Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Monday, May 27, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's/YA version at Teach Mentor Texts.

I did it!  I finished City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare!  I can't say there were a whole lot of surprises (even when I didn't see something coming from a long way away, I still realized it before Clary), but the plot picked up, and I'm interested to see where the character dynamic goes from here.

After that, I needed something I could breeze through, so I picked up Collision Course, the second book in the Titanic series by Gordon Korman.  I'm not a big fan of adding fictionalized stories to the Titanic, since every story you could ever want to tell was already there in real life (well, maybe not the one totally ridiculous one he added), but there's enough fact here to make it worthwhile, and he does a nice job of capturing some of the complex emotions between the collision and realizing that all was lost.

I started Necromancing the Stone, the second in Lish McBride's Necromancer series.  This is great fun, written with a wonderful sense of humor, and the rare book that I think can be sold to boys and girls equally easily, both in content and marketing.  I'm reading an ARC from Henry Holt and Company Books for Young Readers.











I also started Archetype by M.D. Waters, the first in a two-book adult series.  This one doesn't come out until February, so there's no cover yet.  It's very compelling so far.  A literary science-fiction story in the vein of The Handmaid's Tale.  I'm reading an uncorrected proof from Dutton.

I also read some picture books coming from Macmillan this fall.

The Greatest Dinosaur Ever by Brenda Z. Guiberson, illustrated by Gennady Spirin
A nice nonfiction title for the very young.  Not so much detail that they'll lose interest.
I read an F&G from Henry Holt and Company Books for Young Readers.


Fall Ball by Peter McCarty
Great for young sports fans.  Love the illustrations.
I read an F&G from Henry Holt and Company Books for Young Readers.


Cool Creations in 35 Pieces by Sean Kenney
It's nice to see a LEGO book that doesn't require tons of specialty kits.
I read an F&G from Christy Ottaviano Books.


Dino-Baby by Mark Sperring, illustrated by Sam Lloyd
A cute way to teach little ones the dos and don'ts of having a little brother or sister.
I read an F&G from Bloomsbury Children's Books.


Moo! by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
This very silly story told in (almost) one word could be a lot of fun as a read-aloud.
I read an F&G from Walker Books for Young Readers.


The Tiger Cubs and the Chimp: The True Story of How Anjana the Chimp Helped Raise Two Baby Tigers by Bhagavan "Doc" Antle with Thea Feldman, photographs by Barry Bland
A worthy addition to the interspecies friendship genre.
I read an F&G from Henry Holt and Company Books for Young Readers.


I See Kitty by Yasmine Surovec
Almost too cute, kids will have fun finding all the kitties.
I read an F&G from Roaring Brook Press.


The Table Sets Itself by Ben Clanton
A fun and subtly humorous take on this aspect of etiquette.
I read an F&G from Walker Books for Young Readers.


Penguin in Love by Salina Yoon
I lovely and sweet addition to the Penguin books.
I read an F&G from Walker Books for Young Readers.


On My Way to Bed by Sarah Maizes, illustrated by Michael Paraskevas
I love these tributes to imagination, and this one will look very familiar to anyone who's had to enforce bedtime.
I read an F&G from Walker Books for Young Readers.


How Big Were Dinosaurs? by Lita Judge
Another nice nonfiction piece, this one a little more advanced.
I read an F&G from Roaring Brook Press.


Musk Ox Counts by Erin Cabatingan, illustrated by Matthew Myers
These books are so much fun.  Love the breaking of the fourth wall.
I read an F&G from Roaring Brook Press.


The Crocodile and the Scorpion by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley
This is a very pretty adaptation of the classic tale, but it's a bit iffy to have a picture book where everyone dies at the end.
I read an F&G from Roaring Brook Press.


Hello, My Name Is Ruby by Philip C. Stead
A sweet book about making friends that is perfect for those on the shy side.
I read an F&G from Roaring Brook Press.


Herman and Rosie by Gus Gordon
A beautiful book with fantastic illustrations.
I read an F&G from Roaring Brook Press.


A Single Pebble: A Story of the Silk Road by Bonnie Christensen
A great jumping-off point for learning about Eastern history and cultures.
I read an F&G from Roaring Brook Press.


Beatrice Spells Some Lulus and Learns to Write a Letter by Cari Best, illustrated by Giselle Potter
A fun book with lots of things to spell.
I read an F&G from Farrar Straus Giroux.




This week I'll be working on finishing Necromancing the Stone and Archetype.  I also hope to pick up The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration, Volume 8 for their author event.

What are you reading?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Event Preview: The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration


Join us at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2013, at Left Bank Books--Downtown when the authors and illustrators of The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration, Volume 8 will discuss and sign their work.

The Grannie Annie works with kids grades 4 through 8 (ages 9 to 14) who submit stories of their family history based on an interview with an older family member.  The pieces selected for publication are paired with student illustrators.  These stories run the gamut of the human experience and span generations back in time, linking kids with the past in a unique and creatively engaging way.  You can find more information on the organization at their website.

Copies of all the Grannie Annie collections (except Volume 1, which is out of print) will be available for purchase.  If you can't make it to the event, call Left Bank Books at 314-367-6731, ext. 2, to order signed, personalized copies.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Event Preview: Super Hair-O and the Barber of Doom with John Rocco


Join us at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, St. Louis County Library--Headquarters when author and illustrator John Rocco will read and discuss his newest book, Super Hair-O and the Barber of Doom.

Rocco and his friends are superheroes.  Everyone knows superheroes have a source for their strength, and these boys have their hair.  The longer it gets, the stronger they are.  But what happens when faced with their most dangerous nemesis, The Barber?  Will they make it out with their powers intact?

Copies of John's books--which also include Blackout and Moonpowder--will be available for purchase and signing.  If you can't make it to the event, call Left Bank Books at 314-367-6731, ext. 1, to order signed, personalized copies.

Monday, May 20, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's/YA version at Teach Mentor Texts.

This was another terrible reading week.  I've learned I don't read well when working two jobs almost every day.  Surprise.  I did get a bit further in City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, for the May meeting of Teen Reads.  I'm a bit frustrated with the main character's inability to see the most obvious things and don't understand the love triangle at all, since one of the sides doesn't really have any redeeming qualities.

I managed to read the entirety of A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano, illustrated by Michael Carroll, for her author event.  I actually learned a lot, and quite a few physics concepts I knew vaguely make a lot more sense.  I'd definitely recommend this for older kids interested in science and space.













This week I have to finish City of Bones, then, if we have it by then, I'll be starting The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration, Volume 8 for their author event.  Otherwise, I'll be selecting from my vast TBR pile.

What are you reading?

Monday, May 13, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's/YA version at Teach Mentor Texts.

This was not a good reading week for me.  I did finish The Complete Talking Heads by Alan Bennett just in time to start performances of selections from it at St. Louis Actors' Studio this weekend.  This is really just stellar writing and amazing character building.  See them if you can, but if you can't, they're still worth a read.

After that, I read less than a full chapter of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, for the May meeting of Teen Reads, so I don't have much to say about that.

I did get through some picture books though.  On the finished side, I read What Will Hatch? by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Susie Ghahremani, for Jennifer's Children's Book Week event.  It's a very visually appealing and accessible light-science picture book that can also be played as a guessing game.  Younger kids should love it.













Then there were some yet-to-be-published books from Penguin:

An Otis Christmas by Loren Long
Everyone's favorite tractor is back with a tale in the classic Christmas spirit, although it might be a bit heavy for some (a horse almost dies in childbirth).
I read an F&G from Philomel.


Friends by Eric Carle
This is...odd.  I really like the beginning, and it's nice to see a friendship between a boy and a girl.  I really like the middle, which reframes the traditional illustrations and puts the reader in the setting rather than the character.  But the end is...odd.  And abrupt.
I read an F&G from Philomel.


Llama Llama and the Bully Goat by Anna Dewdney
Llama Llama adds a worthy installment to the ongoing discussion on bullying.
I read an F&G from Viking.


Madeline and the Old House in Paris by John Bemelmans Marciano
A nice new installment to the Madeline series, this one featuring a ghost.
I read an F&G from Viking.


Tea Party Rules by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by K.G. Campbell
A very cute story with a lot of visual humor kids will love.
I read an F&G from Viking.


Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
A worthy successor to Dragons Love Tacos.  Often laugh-out-loud funny.
I read an F&G from Dial.


Flo and Wendell by William Wegman
Wegman combines his iconic Weimaraners with splashy paintings for a silly book about siblings.
I read an F&G from Dial.


Ladybug Girl and the Big Snow by David Soman and Jacky Davis
Another solid entry in the Ladybug Girl series, this one dealing with overcoming frustration.
I read an F&G from Dial.


The Christmas Cat by Maryann Macdonald, illustrated by Amy June Bates
A beautiful religious story of the connection between Jesus and his pet cat, inspired by the work of da Vinci.
I read an F&G from Dial.


Little Santa by Jon Agee
A strange little Santa origin story.
I read an F&G from Dial.


Please Bring Balloons by Lindsay Ward
A magical adventure of a book.  Love the collage illustrations.
I read an F&G from Dial.


Sometimes I Forget You're a Robot by Sam Brown
It's basically an explodingdog picture book.  Which means it's visually striking, unexpectedly poignant and so exciting.
I read an F&G from Dial.


Bits and Pieces by Judy Schachner
SO.  SWEET.
I read an F&G from Dial.


You Know What I Love? by Lorena Siminovich
Cute and sweet with bright retro illustrations.
I read an F&G from Dial.


Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella by Jan Brett
This is, in many ways, a classic Jan Brett book.  Except that it's about chickens acting out Cinderella.
I read an F&G from Putnam.


Little Burro by Jim Arnosky
A fiction story from Arnosky, this evokes the same love of the wild that his nonfiction books do.
I read an F&G from Putnam.


Gifts of the Heart by Patricia Polacco
A somewhat wordy, but nice, Christmas story.
I read an F&G from Putnam.


Strega Nona Does It Again by Tomie dePaola
I'm not quite sure I've ever understood the appeal of these books.  This one just doesn't seem like it has much to do with anything kids care about.
I read an F&G from Nancy Paulsen Books.


Old Mikamba Had a Farm by Rachel Isadora
A very pretty African reimagining of Old MacDonald.  Bonus for a "true facts" section at the back that doesn't get too wordy.
I read an F&G from Nancy Paulsen Books.


Bones and the Apple Pie Mystery by David A. Adler, illustrated by Barbara Johansen Newman
A cute mystery for young readers with some light humor.
I read an F&G from Penguin Young Readers.









This week I'll be finishing City of Bones, then reading A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristfano, illustrated by Michael Carroll, for Carolyn's Children's Book Week event.

What are you reading?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Event Preview: A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole with Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano


Join us at 2:00 on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at St. Louis County Library--Headquarters when Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano will discuss her nonfiction picture book A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole (illustrated by Michael Carroll, who will not be present) as part of Children's Book Week.  The event will start with activities provided by the St. Louis Science Center.

Black holes are very mysterious.  Even the name brings up questions.  Well, this book will answer all those questions and more by telling you everything you need to know about this space phenomenon and more.

Copies of A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole will be available for purchase and signing.  If you can't make it to the event, call Left Bank Books at 314-367-6731, ext. 1, to order signed, personalized copies.

Event Preview: What Will Hatch? with Jennifer Ward


Join us at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 8, 2013, at St. Louis Country Library--Daniel Boone when picture book author Jennifer Ward will read and sign her latest book, What Will Hatch? (illustrated by Susie Ghahremani, who will not be present) as part of Children's Book Week.

We all know that eggs will eventually hatch, but what will come out when they do?  The die-cut pages of this picture book turn to reveal the baby animals in this rhymed guessing game.  The back of the book includes scientific facts about all the species represented.

Copies of Jennifer's books--which also include Because You Are My Baby, It's a Jungle Out There!: 52 Nature Adventures for City Kids, I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature and Let's Go Outside!: Outdoor Activities and Projects to Get You and Your Kids Closer to Nature--will be available for purchase and signing.  If you can't make it to the event, call Left Bank Books at 314-367-6731, ext. 1, to order signed, personalized copies.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Event Preview: Second Chance and Elemental with Heather Brewer and Antony John


Join us at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at St. Louis County Library--Daniel Boone when young adult authors Heather Brewer and Antony John will discuss their latest books, Second Chance and Elemental respectively, as part of Children's Book Week.

Second Chance is the second installment in Heather Brewer's Slayer Chronicles, featuring Vlad's friend-turned-enemy Joss McMillan from The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod.  In this book, set the summer after Ninth Grade Slays, Joss must pay penance for taking a private slaying job by bringing down a vampire serial killer in Manhattan.

Elemental is the first book in a trilogy by Antony John set in a post-apocalyptic society where each person has control of the elements.  Everyone except Thomas, that is.  But when the aftermath of a hurricane brings pirates that kidnap his colony's adult residents, it may fall on this pariah to save everyone.

Copies of the above books, plus Antony's Five Flavors of Dumb and Thou Shalt Not Road Trip and Heather's Eighth Grade Bites, Ninth Grade Slays, Tenth Grade Bleeds, Eleventh Grade Burns, Twelfth Grade Kills, High School Bites, First Kill and Soulbound will be available for purchase and signing.  If you can't make it to the event, call Left Bank Books at 314-367-6731, ext. 1, to order signed, personalized copies.