Book Review: Soupy Leaves Home

 

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 Soupy Leaves Home by Cecil Castellucci

 

A perfectly executed graphic historical fiction. This text seamlessly weaves color, layout and text to tell the story of Pearl/Soupy as she hits the rails and meets her hobo mentor Ramshackle. As she runs from her troubles she learns the ways of the hobo community and finds her place in the world.
The hobo signs sprinkled throughout the book are guaranteed to make readers attentive and curious. The story itself is a bit of history that often goes unnoticed. Grades 6-8 should find great appeal.

Click here for a book trailer created by the author.

Source:  paperback from the public library

Audience:  grade 6 and up

 

 

Book Review: The Astounding Broccoli Boy

The Astounding Broccoli Boy

by Frank Cottrell Boyce

 

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Sometimes you just need to laugh.  And when you do,  this is the perfect kind of book.  It’s just silly enough to entertain with just enough depth to keep the reader engaged.

Poor Rory is always looking over his should for the evil Tommy-Lee.  When the two boys suddenly turn bright green they are locked into a hospital ward – together.  Hilarity, danger, and friendship ensue.

Get ready for some British humor and slang.  You might even add some expressions to your vocabulary!

Source:  Public Library ebook

Audience:  middle school  grades 6-8

 

Book Review: All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

by Leslie Connory648

 

A book about a child born in raised in a prison.  And it’s not a downer,  not at all.  Filled with quirky characters and so much love, it is sure to be a favorite for many readers.

The action plot is exciting – what will happen if people find out?  How will Perry’s life change?  How will his mom endure without him by her side?

A thoughtful emotional plot really focuses on how we define home and family.  The title permeates the entire text:  rise up.  Get out of bed.  Take a class.  Do your chores.  Make a plan.  Rise yourself up from where you are.

Source:  Public Library ebook

I highly recommend this book for all readers grade 6 and up

Book Review: In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse

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In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph M. Marshall III

This book is going to need a little help finding and audience, but when it does they are going to love it.  Coming of age, road trips, history, culture all work so well in this slim text.

This is an important book to share with kids.  I found myself stopping to look up the memorials and historical sites as I was reading.  This is not the history I was taught in school.  It’s so much more personal and authentic.

 

Please read the excellent review published on the American Indians in Children’s Literature site.

Book Review: Drowned City by Don Brown

Drowned City:  Huricane Katrina and New Orleans

Written and illustrated by Don Brown

Winner of the 2016 Orbis PICTUS award, given to outstanding nonfiction for children.

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The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina was shown on live TV and it was stunning.  I think that a graphic novel is a good way to show the despair and hope that followed the flooding.  It’s good to note that some things I thought were true were shown by this text to be only rumors.  I don’t think it reads too much like a textbook, it’s more like good journalism.

 

You can take a peek at some of the text on the NOLA.com website.  While you’re there, you can see how NOLA feels about the text.  The book is the

Book Review: The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan

 

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If you think you’ve read all you need to read about Grimm’s Fairy Tales, think again. Shaun Tan pairs the briefest telling of a tale with deceptively simple sculptures. The words and photographed sculptures combine to tell the darker, deeper story underlying the tales we know so well.
Reader tip: if you are unfamiliar with a particular tale their are more detailed synopses in the book’s appendix. I might have preferred reading these as I read each tale.
 Check out the author’s page for a peek at some of the sculptures.
 Source:  Public Library -I suggest NOT getting an ebook for this read.
Audience:  Grade 7 and up

Book Review: The Best Man by Richard Peck

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Richard Peck has captivated me with this book. I enjoyed the humor, the characters and the plot. I especially liked the family relationships, dads and moms and sons and daughters and brothers all figuring out how to b happy. Mix in the deadpan humor and social ineptness of the main character and you have a winner for sure.

Source:  Public Library

Audience:  Grade 5 and up

Book Review: Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

 

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The author deftly weaves the concepts of home, family, and community in this kind-hearted book. I love that Deja allows herself to be happy and that the kids in the book choose kindness over judgement time and again. For many kids literature will be the best way for them to learn about this tragic day.

 

Readers may like this video featuring visual elements of the book

 

Source:  Ebook from the public library

Audience:  5th-7th grade

Review: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

by Chelsea Sedoti

 

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It’s a bit hard to write about this without giving too much away.  Despite the title, the book isn’t really about Lizzie.  It’s about Hawthorn, a senior in high school who simply does not fit in.  Not with her family, not in her classes, not really even with her best (only) friend.

Hawthorn meets Lizzie during her freshman year,  Fascinated  and then spurned by the senior girl Hawthorn becomes a bit obsessed with her, making herself believe that she really knows Lizzie.  And when Lizzie disappears the obsession grows.  She actually takes Lizzie’s job and begins dating her boyfriend.

It’s a complicated book with lots of interest subplots (werewolves, hippies).  I can’t say I liked Hawthorn, but she sure was interesting.

 

Source:  ARC from publisher

Audience:  high school

 

 

 

 

Book Review: A Blind Guide to Normal by Beth Vrabel

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Richie Ryder Raymond is leaving the school for blind children and heading to public school.  His wit and intelligence serve him well and are his complete downfall.  He turns everything into a joke and pushes away anyone who might offer help and support.

 

Some nice lessons about giving people a second chance and being honest with yourself.

(I guess you could call this a sequel to A Blind Guide to Stinkville, but it really stand alone.)

Source:  ARC from publisher

Audience:  Middle school

Publication Date:  October 11, 2016