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

Monday, June 24, 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.

Apparently something has happened to my schedule, and I'm not getting through books as quickly as I have been.  I finally finished Horde, the third book in the Razorland trilogy by Ann Aguirre, last night.  I really enjoyed this installment, which was just as epic as the first two.  I'm not sure I was completely satisfied by the explanation of the Freaks, but my displeasure can be filed under "suspend your disbelief," so I'll let it pass.  I am genuinely sad to leave behind these fantastic characters, and I cried more than once during the final parts of the book.  I read an ARC from Feiwel & Friends.

After that I (just barely) started the adult novel Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel by David Rakoff.  I'm so excited to get further into it.  I love Rakoff's work, and this novel-in-rhymed-couplet is one of the most ambitious things I've read lately.  I'm reading an ARC from Doubleday.











I also got through some upcoming picture books:

The Apple Orchard Riddle by Margaret McNamara, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
A nice book for the ubiquitous apple unit with great characters.
I read an F&G from Schwartz and Wade Books.


The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert, photographs by Per Breiehagen
Lovely photographs, but you can tell the story was written around them, rather than the other way around.
I read an F&G from Random House.


Cowboy Boyd and the Mighty Calliope by Lisa Moser, illustrated by Sebastiaan Van Doninck
A cute western tale.  Kids will have fun being one step ahead on Calliope's identity.
I read an F&G from Random House.


Daisy Gets Lost by Chris Raschka
A simple story about a common fear with gorgeous watercolors.  If you like A Ball for Daisy, this is a sure winner.
I read an F&G from Schwartz and Wade Books.


Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane, illustrated by Hoda Hadadi
A beautifully atmospheric book with a strong Muslim background.  Gives a positive spin on the wearing of the veil.
I read an F&G from Schwartz and Wade Books.


Dog-Gone School by Amy Schmidt, photographs by Ron Schmidt
Back-to-school poems for the very young, illustrated by adorable puppies.  Kids should love that all the puppies' names and breeds are given in the back.
I read an F&G from Random House.


Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey by Emily Winfield Martin
A beautiful bedtime story full of imagination.
I read an F&G from Random House.


The Girl Who Wouldn't Brush Her Hair by Kate Bernheimer, illustrated by Jake Parker
This book is so much fun, and I love the writing style.  (But I don't love the suggestion that people with wavy hair should brush it.)
I read an F&G from Schwartz and Wade Books.


The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Patrice Barton
A story about bullying, both the active kind and the passive, exclusionary kind.  Beautiful illustrations make it more widely appealing.
I read an F&G from Alfred A. Knopf.


Lena's Sleep Sheep: A Going-to-Bed Book by Anita Lobel
A whimsical book of counting sheep.
I read an F&G from Alfred A. Knopf.


My Pen Pal, Santa by Melissa Stanton, illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
A very sweet book that covers what Santa does all year.  May give kids ideas for a year-long correspondence.
I read an F&G from Random House.


Penguin Cha-Cha by Kristi Valiant
A cute look at the secret lives of penguins.
I read an F&G from Random House.


Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
A super-cute book about an unlikely friendship.  Great ending.
I read an F&G from Schwartz and Wade Books.


Squirrels on Skis by J. Hamilton Ray, illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre
A fun rhyming beginner book with lots of silliness.
I read an F&G from Beginner Books.


Anne Frank's Chestnut Tree by Jane Kohuth, illustrated by Elizabeth Sayles
While written at an easy comprehension level, this covers even the darker parts of Anne Frank's experience.
I read an F&G from Random House.







This week I'll be finishing Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel and starting If He Had Been with Me by Laura Nowlin for her upcoming author event.

What are you reading?

Monday, June 17, 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 started out last week by finishing The Story of Mankind by Hendrick Willem van Loon, updated by John Merriman, the 1922 Newbery Award winner.  As I said last week, I loved this book.  At least, van Loon's portion of it.  The added chapters are significantly more dry and move much more slowly.  If you're reading it just for the reading experience and not for the comprehensive history (and you're not a completist like me), you might want to skip them.

I followed that with The Tale of Willy Willys by Ben Hilliker, illustrated by Robery Shay.  This is a charming picture book (on the longer side) featuring the fictionalized tale of a 1926 car who found a new home with a couple who shares the Willys name.  There's lots of alliteration and some new vocabulary that makes it a fun read-aloud.  (There doesn't seem to be a cover image anywhere online to share with you.)

Finally I started Horde, the third book in the Razorland trilogy by Ann Aguirre.  This picks up right where the last book ended.  Aguirre continues to impress me with her ability to pack so much action into a short period of pages without sacrificing character development.  She's very pithy.  I'm reading an ARC from Feiwel and Friends.

I also read some upcoming picture books:

Go Ahead and Dream by Karen Kingsbury and Alex Smith, illustrated by Greg Banning
A nice message about believing in yourself, but it gets a bit sad (a character dies).
I read an F&G from Harper.


Thanksgiving Day Thanks by Laura Malone Elliott, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
This one's a bit all over the place and has trouble landing on its message.
I read an F&G from Katherine Tegen Books.


The Twelve Days of Christmas by Susan Jeffers
Not too much to say here.  There's a nice framing device that recontextualizes the material to make more sense for kids.
I read an F&G from Harper.


Santa Claus and the Three Bears by Maria Modugno, illustrated by Jane Dyer and Brooke Dyer
What it says on the tin.  A fun addition to any fractured fairy tales collection.
I read an F&G from Harper.


The Snow Queen a retelling of the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
A very beautiful version of one of Andersen's more obscure tales.
I read an F&G from Harper.


Mia's Nutcracker Ballet by Robin Farley, illustrated by Olga and Aleksey Ivanov
The story of the classic ballet, told in kid-friendly terms, starring Mia.
I read an F&G from Harper.


Zoomer's Out-of-This-World Christmas by Ned Young
Who doesn't love a Christmas story starring beagles and aliens?
I read an F&G from Harper.


Christmas Mouse by Anne Mortimer
Very cute, for younger kids.  Nice small trim size, too.
I read an F&G from Katherine Tegen Books.


JFK by Jonah Winter, illustrated by AG Ford
A simple picture book biography covering Kennedy's life and ambitions.
I read an F&G from Katherine Tegen Books.


Foxy in Love by Emma Dodd
Super cute Valentine's Day story, perfect for the very young.
I read an F&G from Harper.


The Silver Moon: Lullabies and Cradle Songs by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Jui Ishida
I never would have guessed this was Prelutsky.  It's much quieter and gentler than his norm.  Sheet music is included.
I read an F&G from Greenwillow Books.

Monday, June 10, 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 almost finished The Story of Mankind, the first Newbery Medal winner, by Hendrick Willem van Loon, updated by John Merriman.  I'll admit, I was very reticent to start this.  It's a nonfiction title from 1921 and clocks in at over 650 pages.  I was wrong.  It's amazing.  I was never a good history student.  While I was often interested in specific incidents, nothing about the way it's taught stuck with me.  Van Loon's style puts everything in context in a way that really resonates with me.  I think it's the fact that everything starts not with the "what," but with the "why."  He's telling the story of people, who just happened to have shaped history, not events that affected people as a sort of byproduct.  He's also not afraid to insert his thoughts and feelings into the narrative, which apparently some find off-putting, but I think is charming.  I've completely fallen in love with him to the point that I actually was nearly moved to tears reading about his death (which is not in the book, just my research).  In case it wasn't obvious, if you're at all inclined to pick up this book, I recommend you do it sooner rather than later.

This week, I'll be finishing The Story of Mankind, then moving on to Horde, the third book in Ann Aguirre's Enclave trilogy.

What are you reading?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Event Preview: The Tale of Willy Willys with Ben Hilliker


Join us at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 14th, 2013, at Left Bank Books--Central West End when Ben Hilliker and his 1926 Willys Overland touring car will present the picture book account of another vintage Willys, The Tale of Willy Willys (illustrated by Robert Shay, who will not be present) as part of Local Social.

One day Mr. and Mrs. Willys are out for a drive when they encounter a car being hauled in for scrap.  A car whose name also happens to be Willys.  They can't ignore what seems meant to be, so they adopt the car himself and turn him over to a team of mechanics who soon have him running like new!

Copies of The Tale of Willy Willys will be available for purchase and signing, and you'll get to experience the fully-restored 1926 car up-close and personal!  If you can't make it to the event, call Left Bank Books at 314-367-6731, ext. 1, to order a signed, personalized copy.

Monday, June 3, 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 started off last week by finishing Necromancing the Stone, the second Necromancer book by Lish McBride.  I really like this series for its high level of creativity and humor.  It's smart writing and it should find a lot of fans.  I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who likes Supernatural.  I read an ARC from Henry Holt and Company Books for Young Readers.










Next I read Archetype, the first in an adult literary science fiction duet by M.D. Waters.  This is so far out from publication that there is no cover and it's not available for presale yet, and that is a shame, because I want to share it now!  This is really up-all-night, can't-put-it-down stuff.  Keep an eye out for it if you liked The Handmaid's Tale.  I read an uncorrected proof from Dutton.

Finally, I started my long-delayed project to read all the Newbery winners with the 1922 book, The Story of Mankind by Hendrick Willem van Loon, updated by John Merriman.  It's surprisingly engaging and easy-to-read.  I've even laughed out loud a few times.  There are definitely some outdated comparisons to our own time, but I'm still learning a lot.










This week I'll be finishing The Story of Mankind then moving on to Horde, the third book in the Enclave trilogy by Ann Aguirre.

What are you reading?