Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0)
This prequel to the book Practical Magic is set in the 1960s and it follows the Owens siblings, Franny, Jet, and Vincent.  Alice Hoffman's unique writing style makes magical realism come to life as Susanna unsuccessfully tries to keep her children from their magical heritage.  They learn from their Aunt Isabelle that their family is cursed and that anyone they fall in love with is doomed, yet she encourages them to love anyway.  The story is lovely and magical as all of Hoffman's books are and I highly recommend it.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
I listened to the audio version of this book because the narrator is Lin-Manuel Miranda and I figure that I will most likely never get to see Hamilton, and this is the closest I will get.  He did a fabulous job reading the book and the book is totally excellent.  The book begins when Aristotle, who goes by Ari, is fifteen years old.  He has no friends because he is socially awkward. Ari is obsessed with the fact that his older brother is in prison, but his parents never talk about him at all.  Ari is befriended by Dante, who teaches him how to swim and who is like no one that Ari has ever met before.  Throughout the span of the book, over more than a year, Ari learns quite a bit about himself, about friendship and about his family. Several touchy issues are covered, including bullying, LGBTQ issues, PTSD and more.  I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

A Stick Until... by Constance Anderson

I love this excellent little picture book that combines a story about how animals and people use a stick along with lots of interesting factual information!  I think this book is just fantastic and is great for preschool through middle school children!  It encourages the use of imagination and shares many intriguing facts! 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Cat Up, Cat Down by Catherine Hnatov

This bright, simple opposites book is sure to please children and parents alike!  It is filled with positional opposites.  It is great for toddlers through preschool and would make an excellent book for story time in the library!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Jack and the Geniuses At The Bottom of The World by Bill Nye The Science Guy & Gregory Mone

At the Bottom of the World (Jack and the Geniuses, #1)
In this fun middle grade novel, twelve year old Jack and his "siblings", Ava and Matt are emancipated ex-foster children who live together and are guided by a guardian.  After Jack talks his sister Ava into flying her homemade drone over a mysterious building, they become partners with an eccentric inventor, Dr. Hank Witherspoon, who takes them with him on a trip to Antarctica for a science competition.  This book has mystery, science and cool kids!  I think that middle grade readers will enjoy it very much.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Beatrice Zinker Upside Down Thinker by Shelley James

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker
Beatrice is spunky and does everything her own way, which is usually a bit different.  She does her best thinking upside down, and is excited about going to school on the first day of third grade in a ninja outfit.  Her best friend, Lenny is also supposed to be wearing her ninja outfit, but instead Lenny has changed.  She is taller and wearing a skirt and has a new friend who just moved to the neighborhood.  Beatrice has to learn how to include the new girl, Chloe and embrace Lenny's changes while still being her own, adventurous self.  This early chapter book has cute illustrations and I think that children in grades 1-4 will enjoy this book.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fish-Boy An Inuit Folk Tale By Vanita Oelschlager

Lovely artwork accompanies this Inuit folktale about where the sea parrots come from.  Even though Fish-boy has no arms, he has a big heart and some helpful magic. I enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it!