New Bookshelf

A Look Back at the 1920s: A Whistle in the Dark

Whistle in the Dark by Susan Hill Long (J FIC LONG)

The day before Clem Harding turns 13 is also his last day of school. With his little sister Esther's increasingly expensive medical care and Grampy too sick to work anymore, it's Clem's turn to join his father in the lead mines. Clem doesn't want to go down into the dark of the mines, and he doesn't want to leave school, but choices are hard to come by in his small Missouri town in 1924. Still, Clem is hopeful something will change. When tragedy strikes both Clem's family and his town, will Clem be stuck forever, and will he find a way to a different life?

A Million Ways Home by Dianna Dorisi Winget

A Million Ways Home by Dianna Dorisi WInget (J FIC WINGET)

Poppy Parker knows the only way life will go back to being the way it's always been is if the people at Grandma Beth's nursing home and the center where Poppy is staying temporarily understand that Poppy can take care of things just fine back at home. Grandma Beth had a stroke, and Poppy knows she'll be able to take care of her, once she learns how. But when Poppy goes to visit Grandma Beth in the nursing home, she unwittingly becomes a witness at the scene of a crime. In order to keep the perpetrator from finding Poppy, the police decide she should stay with Detective Brannigan's mom, Marti. At first Poppy feels even further away from her goal of getting Grandma Beth home, but being at Marti's is a million times better than being at the center. Just when Poppy is starting to feel better about things, Grandma Beth takes a turn for the worse, and the police may have tracked down their criminal, which would mean Poppy has to go back to the center. Will life ever return to the way it was?

American Girl: Innerstar University

innerstarDo you like American Girl books? How about Choose Your Own Adventure books? Then you'll love the Innerstar University series by American Girl. Each book has more than 20 different possible endings, based on the choices you make. You can read each book more than once and see what happens when you make different choices.

Animal Antics

bookMr. Prickles: A Quill-Fated Love Story by Kara La Reau

Poor Mr. Prickles! None of the other forest animals will be his friend because he's just...too...prickly! But when he meets Miss Pointypants, things start looking up. An entertaining read with lots of puns.

 

bookA Girl and her Gator by Sean Bryan

Claire wakes up to find an alligator has made his home on her head! She worries that her friends will gossip, but becomes a fashion trendsetter instead! Lots of fun.

 

 

bookFive Little Monkeys Reading in Bed by Eileen Christelow

When Mom won't read "just one more" story, the monkeys read to themselves--with hilarious results. Great fun for bedtime storytime.

Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith

Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith

Zavion is in the midst of one of the worst hurricanes ever to hit U.S. soil - Hurricane Katrina, a hurricane that will take away his home and just about everything else that he loves. Meanwhile, Henry is mourning the loss of his best friend Wayne, who died on the top of Mount Mansfield, the mountain they knew better than anyone. When Henry loses the good luck marble he and Wayne shared, he decides to travel to New Orleans with Wayne's dad Jake to see if he can get it back, as well as get away from Mount Mansfield. Amazingly, he meets Zavion, who has returned to New Orleans from Baton Rouge in order to repay a debt. Henry and Zavion soon discover they are inextricably linked - through tragedy, through the struggle to make things right, and quite possibly the marble.

Anybody Shining by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Anybody Shining by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Arie Mae Sparks has spent what feels like her entire life searching for a real friend. The prospects in her rural corner of western North Carolina aren't good; none of the girls her age are all that interesting. Arie Mae's mother suggests she write to her cousin Caroline in Raleigh, whom Arie Mae has never met. But Arie Mae believes in telling stories about her life, and hopes one day soon Caroline might write her back with her own story. When it starts to look like Caroline may never write, Arie Mae sets her sights on someone who would be considered an unlikely friend - a boy named Tom who has come to North Carolina for the summer, all the way from Baltimore. Tom also loves to find and tell stories, and he and Arie Mae quickly realize they are kindred spirits. But is it possible to push a real, once-in-a-lifetime friendship too far?

Are you cuckoo for Katie Kazoo?

You're in luck!

  • We just got all the books in the Katie Kazoo Switcheroo series by Nancy Krulik!

  • Celebrate Katie's 10th anniversary by checking out one of these fun books.

  • Baseball Fever!

    Take Me Out to the Yakyu by Aaron Meshon (JJ MESHON)

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    Baseball's not just big in the USA; it's also big in Japan, where it's known as Yakyu! In this story, a little boy learns about baseball from his two grandfathers, one who lives the the USA, one who lives in Japan. Some things are different, some are the same--but the game is fun wherever you are!

  • Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes

    Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes

    Maddy Johnson is about to spend the summer with her grandmother in Bon Temps, a world away from New Orleans. In the Johnson home, Maddy is the youngest of five sisters, and is used to cooking with Ma in the kitchen and escaping from her sisters through books and dreams. In Bon Temps, it is just Grandmere and Maddy, with fireflies, the bayou, and old legends to keep Maddy company. But soon she meets new friends, and takes part in adventures that go beyond the safety of Grandmere's front porch. Maddy also discovers she has a magical awareness no one else in her family seems to have. Even Grandmere, with all of her stories and deep knowledge of the bayou, does not see the things Maddy can see. When tragedy strikes Bon Temps, will Maddy have what it takes to make things right?

    Boom!

    boomYou may think your teachers are evil aliens, but Jim and Charlie know it! When Charlie disappears, Jim and his sister set off on a "borrowed" motorcycle to rescue him. Will they survive rock climbing and an encounter with a giant spider named Britney?  Readers who enjoy funny stories and science fiction will love Boom! by Mark Haddon.

    Captain Underpants!

     

    Learn what really killed the dinosaurs (page 81), experience George and Harold's worst nightmare (page 178) and find out how the universe really began (page 198)....and much, much more!

    Want more? Check out Dav Pilkey's website!

    Check Out This New Picture Book!

    The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm by LeVar Burton & Susan Schaefer Bernardo, illustrated by Courtenay Fletcher

    Mica Mouse is afraid of storms, but her Papa reads a story to sooth her. Just like Mica, the Rhino in the story is afraid of storms, so when one destroys his world, he decides to swallow the storm. But with the storm inside him, Rhino is sad and can’t seem to get back to his normal self. He needs to let go of the storm and his friends help him. This vibrantly illustrated metaphor for holding onto one’s feelings, by beloved Reading Rainbow host and literacy advocate LeVar Burton, is a must read.

    Check Out This New Picture Book!

    It's Only Stanley by Jon Agee

    A strange noise wakes the Wimbledons late into the night. Walter, the father of the family, goes to see what (or who) is making all the racket and discovers the family’s beloved dog, Stanley, howling at the moon. Everyone goes back to bed, but each of the family members is woken by more of Stanley’s noises. Each time Walter declares “It’s only Stanley,” as Stanley fixes the old television, makes catfish stew, and many other odd activities. But Stanley’s work is all leading up to one big “KAPOW!” and even the exhausted Wimbledons can’t be mad at Stanley when they find out why he’s been keeping them up all night. A very sweet book, with an even sweeter ending.

    Check Out This New Picture Book!

    The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton

    Princess Pinecone lives in a kingdom of warriors, but no one treats her like the warrior she knows she can be. This year she has made it very clear that she wants a big strong horse for her birthday, one that will assist her in battle. Instead she receives a short, squat, cross-eyed pony. Pinecone is nervous to take her little pony into battle, but she may find out that cuteness can sometimes soften the most hardened warrior. Hilarious and adorably drawn, The Princess and the Pony will not disappoint.

    Check Out This New Picture Book!

    22718696One Family by George Shannon, illustrated by Blanca Gómez

    A beautiful counting book in disguise, One Family showcases the many different kinds of families in existence using warm earth tones. Readers utilize counting skills to determine the number of bananas held by a monkey or the number of puppies in a basket, all as diverse families stroll by. This is a great book for children who have just learned to count and want to put their new skill to the test.

    Check Out This New Picture Book!

    22718696Pepper & Poe by Frann Preston-Gannon

    Sendak Fellowship Recipient Preston-Gannon has based these characters on her own cats by the same names. Contented feline Pepper gets a new roommate in the form of a smaller, wide-eyed kitten named Poe. Pepper seems deeply disturbed by this new addition, stating “I don’t like it.” Diminutive, smiling Poe just wants to play with Pepper, but Pepper is not interested and does not want to share anything. In the end, the age-old “blame it on the dog” brings the two together. This book makes a great choice for young listeners and early readers, as well as any child getting a new sibling or pet.

    Check Out This New Picture Book!

    Home by Carson Ellis

    Whimsical illustrations take readers on a journey from real homes to fantasy ones, showing that everyone has their own definition of home. There are a diverse range of homes and a diverse range of people who live in them, all fantastically drawn in dark earth tones with splashes of red. Questions throughout the book (such as “Whose home is this?”) will have children jumping out of their seats to respond. This whimsical book will take readers around the world and offer a glimpse into homes they may not otherwise get to see.

    Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley

    Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley

    Micah has always lived in a world of wonder and happiness with his Grandpa Ephraim and his stories of the Circus Mirandus. The Circus Mirandus is populated with magicians and mythological creatures that Micah knows can't possibly be real, until Grandpa Ephraim becomes very ill - and tells him that the circus is not just a story. Grandpa Ephraim really visited the Circus Mirandus when he was Micah's age, and met the Lightbender, the world's most amazing magician. When Ephraim last saw the Lightbender, he promised him a miracle, and now Ephraim needs that miracle more than ever. Micah knows the miracle is needed to keep Grandpa Ephraim from dying, and to keep Micah from having to live with Great-Aunt Gertrudis, a woman completely devoid of happiness and belief in magic. With his new friend Jenny, Micah embarks on a quest to find the Circus Mirandus, and to ask the Lightbender to grant Grandpa Ephraim's miracle.

    Clementine, Friend of the Week

    AClementines Friend of the Week in her third grade class, Clementine gets to be line leader, feed the fish and collect lunch money. Best of all, the other kids will make her a book full of things they like about her. Trouble starts when Clementine sees her friend Margaret's amazing book of compliments--how will SHE get such a great book? She's got alot of ideas for getting the kids to write nice things about her, but then something terrible happens.  Read the latest in the great Clementine series.

    Dragonblood: Dragon Cowboy

    DragonblodThe Dragonblood series by Michael Dahl is a unique blend of easy-to-read chapter book and graphic novel that would appeal to anyone who loves fantasy tales.  A new Age of Dragons has begun, as the powerful creatures have returned to rule the world again. In ages past, humans have been enemies of dragons. This time, though, dragons have human allies--humans born with dragon blood that gives them amazing powers. If you enjoy fantasy, graphic novels, or superhero stories, check out the latest in the series: Dragon Cowboy. Click on the title or the picture of the book at left to see if it's available at the library, or to request it.


    Earwig and the Witch

    Earwig and the Witch cover

     

    Looking for a new fantasy story to read? Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones is a clever tale of a girl who is happy in her orphanage because she always gets her way. Things change when she goes to live with a witch named Bella Yaga and a man called Mandrake, and Earwig suddenly finds herself unhappily slaving away as she helps Bella Yaga with her messy magic spells. After befriending the talking cat who lives there, the cat and Earwig find that they can manage some crafty spells of their own to get back at Bella Yaga… Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky (who won the Caldecott for Rupunzel), this yarn is full of surprises and fun for any fantasy lover.

     

    Explore A World Of Tales and Legends

    Maneki Neki: The Tale of the Beckoning Cat by Susan Lendroth

    A samurai soldier escapes a lightning strike after seeing a temple cat beckoning with its paw through the rain, and in thanks, he showers the temple with riches. This retelling of the traditional Japanese folktale explains why the cat with raised paw is a symbol of luck and prosperity.

     

    Anklet For a Princess:  A Cinderella Story from India by Meredith Brucker

    Cinduri, hungry and ragged, is befriended by Godfather Snake, who feeds her delicacies and dresses her in gold cloth and anklets with bells and diamonds, to meet the prince.

     

    Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition by Jewell Reinehart Coburn

    By following her mother's admonition to perform every task with care and love, a poor young Mexican girl wins the devotion of the governor's son.

     

     

    Abadeha: The Philippine Cinderella by Myrna J. De La Pez

    In this version of Cinderella, set in the Philippines, Abadeha endures abuse by her stepmother before being helped by the Spirit of the Forest and becoming the bride of the island chieftain's son.

     

     

    The Dragon Lover and Other Chinese Proverbs byYongSheng Xuan

    Presents Chinese folktales about a lazy farmer, a musician who played for a water buffalo, a fight between a clam and a crane, an old horse, and a man interested in dragons, and describes how they explain proverbs.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Gabriel Finley & the Raven's Riddle by George Hagen

    Gabriel Finley & the Raven's Riddle by George Hagen (J FIC HAGEN)

    Gabriel Finley's father Adam has been missing for three long years. In the meantime, Gabriel has lived with his Aunt Jaz, who loves him, but doesn't quite understand twelve-year old boys. Aunt Jaz also doesn't want to tell him why his father is missing, but when a young raven named Paladin enters his life and Aunt Jaz gives Gabriel a key to a magic desk, things begin to change. Gabriel is a lover of riddles, and now he knows why - ravens love riddles. In fact, ravens use riddles to distinguish whether they are speaking to another raven or a valraven, feared creatures that can live forever. Soon Gabriel and Paladin are communicating without having to say a word aloud, and both raven and boy get to work to solve the riddle of Gabriel's father's disappearance. With the help of three human friends, Gabriel and Paladin will soon make their way to an underground world filled with birds of every kind.

    George Brown, Class Clown

    SuperburpGeorge Brown, Class Clown: Super Burp by Nancy Krulik. Poor George! He moves to a new town and is determined to change his reputation as a class clown and make friends without having to make jokes. Unfortunately, a trip for ice cream results in the biggest burp EVER! The burb takes over and makes him do all kinds of crazy things! Will he be able to make some new friends in his new school?  There are lots of laughs in this fun series for grades 2 and up. Try the other titles, too.

     

     

    Get small!

    68 roomsHave you visited the miniature Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago? Ever wished you could live inside them? You will love The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone. While on a field trip to the Art Institute, 6th-graders Ruthie and Jack find a magic key that lets them shrink down to the size of gerbils. The kids start to explore the tiny rooms and learn that they are not the first to do so; there's a magical mystery in the Thorne Rooms. If they can solve it, they can change someone's life for the better! This is a great read for fans of Blue Balliet's Chasing Vermeer, and anyone who loves life in miniature.

     

    Great Reads for Long Summer Days

    Dorko the Magnificent by Andrea Beaty (J FIC BEATY)

    Robbie Darko believes in his ability as a magician - the only problem is that his ability doesn't always believe in him. Enter Grandma Melvyn, who's forgotten more about magic than most people ever knew. Can Grandma help Robbie be a real magician at this year's Hobson Elementary Talent Show?

    Elvis and the Underdogs by Jenny Lee (J FIC LEE)

    Ten-year old Benji has landed in the hospital one too many times when the doctors offer him a choice - wear a helmet or acquire a therapy dog. Benji chooses the therapy dog, and winds up with a ginormous Newfoundland who can talk. Only Benji can hear him say anything but growls and barks, and what Elvis has to say changes Benji's life - for good.

    P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia (J FIC WILLIAMS-GARCIA)

    After their crazy summer living with their mom in Oakland, California, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are back in Brooklyn. Everything is different, and not necessarily for the better - their dad has a new girlfriend and their uncle is home from Vietnam, and seems like a completely different person. How can Delphine keep her little sisters in line when not much is making sense?

    The Year of the Baby by Andrea Cheng (J FIC CHENG)

    Anna is determined to be a great sister to her newly adopted little sister from China. But Kaylee is having a hard time gaining weight and growing. Can Anna and her friends create a special science project that will help Kaylee?

    Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord

    Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord (J FIC LORD)

    Lucy and her mom and dad have just moved yet again, this time to a cottage on the shores of a lake in New Hampshire. And the day after they move in, Lucy's dad leaves for an extended business trip, photographing wildlife in Arizona. Lucy is interested in photography too, and when she finds out that her dad's magazine will be running a photography contest for kids, she decides to enter. In order to qualify, Lucy will have to take a whole list of photographs that represent different words and phrases. At first, the project starts off as a way to get closer to her dad and occupy her time over the summer. Then Lucy meets Nate, who's staying at the cottage next door for the summer. Nate offers to help with the contest, and soon Lucy gets to know Nate's family, including his Grandma Lilah. While Lucy really wants to win the contest, she comes to realize that she may be taking pictures that show a truth Nate isn't ready to face.

    Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell

    Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell (J FIC HASKELL)

    Princess Matilda of Alder Brook has very little expectation that her life will ever be much different than it is now - full of royal tasks that are dull and seem pointless. Tilda is not only limited in what she can do by being a princess, she is also limited by a lame foot, which many in Alder Brook seem to think is a curse. She would give anything to spend her time as a cloistered nun in a great library, copying classic works and perfecting her penmanship. When Tilda's cousin Ivo kidnaps her and threatens to take Alder Brook and its lands, to Tilda it almost seems like a blessing. She is now free to join a cloister and pursue her dream, especially when she is rescued by her handmaiden Judith and Parzifal the squire. What Tilda doesn't bargain for, however, are the dreams of her rescuers - to pursue and slay a dragon. Will Tilda ever return home again - and will she want to? Handbook for Dragon Slayers is the 2014 Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award for middle grade readers. The Schneider Award selects books that best express the disability experience for juvenile and young adult readers.

    Hope is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrera

    Hope is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrera

    Star Mackie hates her new town, her new home at Treasure Trailers, and the way her new classmates always make fun of her for her blue hair. To make things worse, Star's older sister Winter has become quiet and withdrawn, and her mother continues to be her usual spacy self. Yet Star has two lights at the end of the tunnel. First, Star plans to start a school club. She's sure this will help her make friends, and when she discovers the poetry of Emily Dickinson, she knows she has a theme for her club. Second, Star and Winter plan to go back to their hometown soon to visit their father, who Star only saw once from a ferris wheel. Star is sure he'll have great advice for her club, and will help Winter stop feeling so sad. But will Star be prepared for what her father has to say?

    I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett

    Tiffany Aching has spent years studying with senior witches, and now she is on her own. As the witch of the Chalk, she performs the bits of witchcraft that aren’t sparkly, aren’t fun, don’t involve any kind of wand, and that people seldom ever hear about: She does the unglamorous work of caring for the needy.

    But someone—or something—is igniting fear, inculcating dark thoughts and angry murmurs against witches. Aided by her tiny blue allies, the Wee Free Men, Tiffany must find the source of this unrest and defeat the evil at its root—before it takes her life. Because if Tiffany falls, the whole Chalk falls with her

    If only magical powers came with instructions!

    ScumbleScumble by Ingrid Law, the sequel to Savvy is just as much fun as the first book, with great characters and an exciting plot. When Ledger Kale turns 13, he inherits the family trait of "savvy": a magical power unique to each individual. Managing this gift, however, turns out to be tough. At first it seems Ledger can only destroy things:  "I could blow stuff apart without a touch..." But a summer at his uncle's Wyoming ranch helps Ledger tame his talent, using it for good as he struggles against a young reporter who wants to exponse his family's secrets.

    Is television taking over your life?

    Todd'todd's tvs TV by James Proimos. Todd's parents are busy people...REALLY busy, so Todd spends alot of time watching TV. When neither Mom nor Dad can make it to parent-teacher conferences, the TV volunteers to go with Todd to talk to his teacher! Pretty soon, the TV is driving Todd to school, having heart to heart talks,and playing catch in the backyard. Can Todd's Mom and Dad find a solution before the TV takes over Todd's life completely? This is a funny picture book that gives food for thought to parents and kids alike.  Click on the picture of the book to find it in the library catalog. 

    It's almost Halloween...

    LubarDo you like getting creeped out? Try David Lubar's The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies and other Warped and Creepy Tales. Just in time for Halloween, these thirty-five short stories will make you laugh...and cringe. There's the story of Kieffer, who never gets angry, because he swallows his feelings, until they burst out (for real). Eeeuw! Then there's Lily, who needs a date for the dance. Her dad comes to the rescue by making a boy called "Stitchy"....but is he really a boy? Anyone who likes to laugh and be a little bit spooked will enjoy this book!

    Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens by Julie Mata

    Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens by Julie Mata (J FIC MATA)

    Kate Walden knows what she wants to be in life - a big-time movie director. What better way to practice than to make movies right now? Kate's current project is "Night of the Zombie Chickens," starring her best friend Alyssa and Kate's mother's flock of organic hens. But fate intervenes in the guise of the "Most Popular Girl" (MPG), Lydia. Alyssa trades allegiances and becomes Lydia's best friend, and soon the entire school is making fun of Kate for thinking she could ever be a director, and for having a mother who raises chickens. When there's only the loner crowd left to sit with at lunch, Kate decides it might be time for a little revenge. Will Alyssa learn what it feels like to become a nobody, or will Kate discover that revenge may not work exactly as she planned?

    Kylie Jean: Blueberry Queen

    Blueberry Queen by M. Peschke (J FIC PESCHKE)

    Meet Kylie Jean, schemer and dreamer extraordinaire. The Blueberry Festival is coming up and Kylie Jean is determined to win the title of Blueberry Queen. Discover if she succeeds in this first installment of the series!

    Looking for adventure?

    Crimson CapDo you like historical novels?

    Try The Crimson Cap by Ellen Howard. Set in the late 1600's in the New World, this book tells the tale of French child Pierre Talon, a young boy who leaves his family to accompany the great explorer Sieur de LaSalle as he searches for the mouth of the Mississippi River. The expedition begins to go wrong almost from the beginning, as the men fight among themselves and LaSalle is eventually killed. Pierre falls into the hands of the Hasinai Indians, who raise him as one of their own. New trouble arises with the arrival of the "Children of the Sun"-- the fearsome Spanish conquistadors. This fascinating story. based on real life events, is a great read for history and adventure lovers. Click on the book cover picture to find the book at the library.

    Moonpenny Island by Tricia Springstubb

    Moonpenny Island by Tricia Springstubb

    11-year old Flor and her best friend Sylvie live on Moonpenny Island, a tiny hunk of limestone in the middle of Lake Erie. During the summer, Moonpenny is popular with tourists, but year-rounders are far and few between, and that's the way Flor likes it. But when Sylvie goes to live with her aunt and uncle in Cleveland in order to go to a fancy private school, Flor feels completely left behind. To make matters worse, Flor's mother leaves soon after for Toledo to take care of Flor's grandmother. When Flor is starting to feel truly alone, a geologist and his daughter arrive to search for fossilized trilobites, for which Moonpenny is famous. Is it possible to find a new friend after Sylvie?

    Ms Kate's 2011 Faves

    It's been a great fall! We rocked our last 2's and 3's storytime of 2011.

    Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin

    Pete the Cat is back—and this time he’s rocking in his school shoes. Pete discovers the library, the lunchroom, the playground, and lots of other cool places at school. And no matter where he goes, Pete never stops moving and grooving and singing his song . . . because it’s all good

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I Went Walking by Sue Williams

    Join a young boy for a playful stroll with a colorful parade of farm animals.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Ms Kate's Fall Faves: Animals and Colors

    This week we read two new books about colors and animals.  These books have a lot of similarities as well as differences.  One explores creativity by painting animals in unusual colors.  One presents a color and a clue and we can guess what animal will be on the next page.  Both books have beautiful illustrations.

    The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle

    Every child has an artist inside them, and this vibrant new picture book from Eric Carle will help let it out. The artist in this book paints the world as he sees it, just like a child. There's a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox and a polka-dotted donkey. More than anything, there's imagination. Filled with some of the most magnificently colorful animals of Eric Carle's career, this tribute to the creative life celebrates the power of art.  Includes biographical information about the German painter Franz Marc, who created unconventional animal paintings in the early 1900s.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I Spy With My Little Eye by Edward Gibbs

    Have you ever played the I-spy game? Debut artist Edward Gibbs takes the game to a whole new level in this picture book with spy holes. Peeking through the pages, children will be able to spot a different colored animal every time, and guess what it is using a simple, factual clue. Bold illustrations and die-cut holes will absorb young readers as they learn about colors and animal names.

    Ms Kate's Monsterly Faves

    Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters by Jane Yolen

    Creep, gurgle, crawl, tumble! Meet two young monsters who are far from scary - they’re too busy having fun. They go to school, play outside with their friends, and eat after-school snacks. But they also have a bedtime, whether or not they’re ready for it! Young children and parents alike will find much to identify with as they follow these lovable little monsters getting ready for bed. With wildly colorful illustrations full of whimsy and warmth, Kelly Murphy brings Jane Yolen’s gently rhyming tale to rambunctious life.

     

     

     

    Go Away Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley

    Caldecott Award-winning author-artist Ed Emberley has created an ingenious way for children to chase away their nighttime fears. Kids can turn the pages of this die-cut book and watch the Big Green Monster grow. Then, when they're ready to show him who's in charge, they'll turn the remaining pages and watch him disappear! This lavish reissue features dramatic die-cut eyes and sparkling foil on the cover.

     

    Ms Kate's Storytime Faves

    This week the 2's and 3's read a new book about caterpillars, plus an old favorite!

    Ten Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin Jr.

    Ten little caterpillars are out and about in our big wild world—come join them! You never know what you might find....A butterfly, perhaps?

    Illustrations and rhyming text follow ten caterpillars as one wriggles up a flower stem, another sails across a garden pool, and one reaches an apple leaf, where something amazing happens.

     

     

     

     

     

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

    Follows the progress of a hungry little caterpillar as he eats his way through a varied and very large quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep. Die-cut pages illustrate what the caterpillar ate on successive days.The beginning reader may watch a hungry caterpillar eat his way to the cocoon stage, when he hibernates for two weeks to emerge as a beautiful butterfly 

     

     

     

    My Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula J. Freedman

    My Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula J. Freedman (J FIC FREEDMAN)

    Almost 13-year old Tara Feinstein loves to celebrate both the Jewish and Indian sides of her family. She loves the food, customs, and Bollywood movies of her mother's culture, while at the same time plans to honor her father's family by participating in her bat mitzvah. But all of a sudden, things start getting serious: Tara's best friend Ben-o may have a crush on her, her other best friend Rebecca is hanging out way too much with Tara's arch nemesis Sheila, and Tara's not too sure she actually wants to go through with her bat mitzvah after all. Is it too late to change her mind? And what will Tara's Gran have to say?

    New Nonfiction!

    Want to learn about frogs, extreme weather, or people who did amazing things? Check out these new nonfiction books!

    book book book book book book book book

    New on our shelves this week!

    Looking for something new to read? Check out some of these new arrivals!

    poor puppy and bad kitty Poor Puppy and Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel. Bad Kitty doesn't want to play with Poor Puppy, so Poor Puppy thinks about all the toys he can play with, and then takes a nap and dreams about playing with Bad Kitty.

     

     

     

    snivel Snivel: The Fifth Circle of Heck by Dale E. Basye. A new installment of the Heck series. (If you want to read book one, it's- Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go).

     

     

     

     

    dragon keepersDragon Keepers Book 5: The Dragon in the Sea. The fifth installment of the Dragon Keepers series. (If you want to read book one, it's- The Dragon in the Sock Drawer).

     

     

     

     

    Happy Reading!

    Ophelia & the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

    Ophelia & the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee (J FIC FOXLEE)

    Ophelia, her older sister Alice, and her father (who is an expert on swords), have come to a cold, snowy city in order for her father to mount an important exhibition on swords. Ophelia and Alice's mother died just a few months ago, and Ophelia has no use for fairy tales or magic, things her mother loved. On her first walk around the museum, Ophelia finds the Marvelous Boy, who has been locked in a room for hundreds of years. He is being held captive by the Snow Queen, and he needs Ophelia's help to escape and stop something horrible from happening. First, Ophelia needs to believe the Marvelous Boy's story is real, and her scientific mind tells her it is not. Will the Marvelous Boy be able to convince her?

    P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia

    P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia (J FIC WILLIAMS-GARCIA)

    After spending the summer with their mother Cecile in Oakland, California, sisters Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern come back to Brooklyn to find that their lives aren't the only ones to have changed. Their dad, Pa, has a girlfriend. Uncle Darnell just came home from Vietnam, but he is not the happy, joking uncle the sisters remember. And to top it all off, Delphine is still expected by Big Ma (the girls' grandmother) to keep her sisters in line. How can Delphine possibly get Vonetta and Fern to listen to what she says after being immersed in the "power to the people" of Oakland and their mother's house all summer long? Delphine's only solution is to write to her mother for advice, but Cecile has her own idea of what advice should be.

    Read a book, love a book.

    lonely book The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer

    When a book is read with less and less frequency, it can become very lonely. So it happens to the lonely book, until a young girl discovers it in the library and helps it to feel beloved again.

     

     

    otto Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson

    Otto is a book bear who is happiest when his book is being read. When nobody is looking, Otto comes to life and enjoys exploring the house! One day he is left behind, and has to go off in search of a new home. The home he finally finds makes Otto happier than ever!

    Saving Baby Doe by Danette Vigilante

    Saving Baby Doe by Danette Vigilante

    When Lionel and his best friend Anisa discover a newborn baby girl abandoned at a construction site, they have no idea their lives are about to change forever. They know they're heroes for saving the baby, but it seems like the adults in their lives don't see it that way. Anisa's mother blames Lionel for creating a situation that could leave to trouble, and Lionel's own mother doesn't realize how important it is to keep the baby out of foster care. Lionel decides it's up to him to save the baby from a future of loneliness and feeling abandoned. But Lionel has no money to take care of a baby, and no way of making any. When a friend offers him a way to make a lot of money - and quickly - Lionel feels he has no choice. Will Lionel take what seems to be the best way out, or will he realize it could be more trouble than it's worth?

    Shadows of Sherwood: a Robyn Hoodlum Adventure by Kekla Magoon

    Shadows of Sherwood by Kekla Magoon

    Robyn Loxley's life has been turned completely upside down. During the Night of Shadows orchestrated by Ignomus Crown, the leader of Nott City and carried out by his Military Police and evil Sherriff Malltt, who intends to carry out Crown's orders with an iron fist. Robyn's parents have been taken away, and Robyn doesn't know if they are alive or dead. Robyn's father had always told her to go to the forest if anything should happen to them, so Robyn follows his advice - and finds an underworld of cardboard cities, abandoned cathedrals, and wandering souls like her who no longer have a home. Robyn wants to strike back at Crown and his new autocratic rule, but what happens if Sherriff Mallet tracks her down first?

    Smells Like Dog

    Smells like dogDo you like hunting for treasure? Do you dream of pirate riches? Check out Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors, the story of luckless 12 year-old Homer Pudding, a farm boy who dreams of being a treasure hunter like his uncle. When his uncle is eaten by a killer tortoise, Homer is drawn into a race for riches. Helping him in his quest is an oddball basset hound named Dog, who can't smell, but who has other hidden talents. Can Homer outwit an evil museum director and realize his uncle's dream? Kids in 4th grade and up will enjoy this screwball story with hints of The Odyssey.

     

     

     

    Spaceheadz: It's Crunch-Tastic!

    SpaceheadzIt's tough enough to start fifth grade without dealing with aliens! Michael has two extremely weird classmates-- Bob and Jennifer --  Spaceheadz from another planet who need his help to save the world. Led by Major Fluffy, the class hamster and mission commander, they must recruit 3.14 million (+1) Earthling brainwaves to join in one giant SPHDZ wave to keep the planet online. However, Agent Umber from the Anti-Alien Agency is on their trail, and wants Michael to lead him to the aliens. Michael wants to save the Earth—but does that mean helping the Spaceheadz or turning them in? If you liked the Time Warp Trio series, or if you like graphic novels, or if you just like a good laugh, check out the SPHDZ series.

     

    Splat the Cat Sings Flat

    Splat the CatSplat the Cat Sings Flat is a new easy reader based on the popular Splat the Cat picture books by Rob Scotton. While this book his written by Chris Strathearn, the illustrations,created by Rob Scotton, have the same whimsy of the orginal books. In this story, Splat has to sing on Parents' Night with his class. The only problem is, stage fright makes Splat forget how to sing, how to hum, and even how to meow! Will he overcome his nerves in time for the big performance?

    Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper

    Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper

    Stella Mills lives in Bumblebee, North Carolina, right in the midst of Depression - and segregation. For the most part, Stella has been handle the way things are, even though she knows it's unfair that certain people are nice, and many are not. But late one night Stella and her little brother Jojo see a sight that makes them scared for their lives. The Klan is back in their corner of North Carolina, and Stella wants to fight back. Her fight will begin with words, words she writes every night in an effort to tell her own story. Stella is doubtful that she will ever be a good writer, but knows she needs to find a way to tell the world what is happening to her family and her community during a very challenging time.

    The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

    The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel (J FIC OPPEL)

    Will was used to a life of being poor, his father always gone working on the railroad, his mother without much hope. But when Will's father saves Cornelius Van Horne, the great railroad magnate, from an avalanche, all of their lives begin to change. Fast forward to three years later and Will is about to ride the Boundless across Canada, the biggest and most luxurious train ever made. Even more, Will's father is in charge of it all. Yet Will feels like he has no part in the adventure, and can't envision following in his father's footsteps. Soon after the Boundless begins its journey, Will is witness to a terrible crime, and becomes the keeper of a key that provides access to treasures more valuable than the Boundless itself. Can Will survive the journey - and keep the key safe?

    The Center of Everything by Linda Urban

    The Center of Everything by Linda Urban (J FIC URBAN)

    Ruby Pepperdine always did what she was supposed to do: she went to school, did her homework, and helped look after her cousins. But now that Ruby's grandmother Gigi is gone, nothing is right and "supposed to" doesn't make much sense anymore.

    The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

    The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

    Calpurnia Virginia Tate, also known as Callie Vee, has a keen interest in science and the natural world. But Callie lives in rural Texas in the year 1900, and girls are not supposed to be interested in science. Instead, Callie is expected to learn the domestic arts of knitting, sewing, keeping house, and carrying on polite conversation. Luckily, she has an ally in Granddaddy, who has started to introduce her to dissection - a worm, a grasshopper, and a frog to start with in addition to their studies of evolution and the stars. When Callie spots a strange seagull one morning (though her family's farm is nowhere near the coast), she has no idea that the worst natural disaster in Texas history is about to be unleashed on Galveston, where Callie's mother has family and friends. After the hurricane Callie's rude and cold (in Callie's opinion) cousin Aggie comes to live with the Tate family while her house is being rebuilt. Aggie has no interest in the things Callie cares about, but the two are stuck with each other. Will Callie and Aggie learn to get along and keep each other's secrets, and thus make their very different dreams come true?

    The Danger BoxDanger Box12 year old Zoomy is legally blind (he's extremely nearsighted) and lives with his loving grandparents after being abandoned as a baby. Intrigue begins when his alcoholic dad reappears, leaving behind a mysterious box with an old journal inside. Could it be the long-lost field notes of Charles Darwin's voyage on the HMS Beagle? Zoomy goes on a quest to find out, with the help of his new friend.  Danger, suspense, humor--it's all here in Blue Balliett's The Danger Box. Click on the title or the book cover at left to reserve it!
    The Detective's Assistant by Kate Hannigan

    The Detective's Assistant by Kate Hannigan

    Eleven-year old Cornelia Warne (known to her family and friends as Cornie) hasn't a clue what she'll find when she travels to Chicago to reunite with her long lost aunt, Kate Warne. Aunt Kitty left the Warne family home in upstate New York years ago; now that Cornie's family has all passed away Aunt Kitty is all she has left. The trouble is, Kate Warne wants nothing to do with her niece. She would rather Cornie be brought up in an orphanage, and is all set to send her to one of the many being built in Chicago. Cornie (who receives a new nickname from her aunt - Nell) does her best to be indispensable by assisting with household chores and helping Aunt Kitty's landlady in order to reduce their rent. But Nell feels she's always one step away from the orphanage, until she starts helping Aunt Kitty with her real work as a detective with Pinkerton's National Detective Agency. Nell can hardly believe her luck when she travels with Aunt Kitty all over the country assisting with high-profile cases, but knows the orphanage can't be too far away. How can she prove to Aunt Kitty that she needs her - and Nell needs Aunt Kitty?

    The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

    The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm (J FIC HOLM)

    Ellie Cruz is dealing with a lot this year: middle school, the disappearance of her best friend Brianna, and the death of her goldfish, who turned out to be a very different goldfish from the goldfish she had in preschool. (Ellie's mom kept replacing Goldie with a new fish, unbeknownst to Ellie.) On top of all that, one night Ellie's mom returns home from work with a teenaged boy named Melvin, who acts eerily like Grandpa Melvin, Ellie's super scientist grandfather. Could it be possible that Grandpa Melvin made a major scientific breakthrough and found the key to turning back time?

    The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage

    The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage (J FIC TURNAGE)

    Mo LoBeau and her best friend Dale return in this sequel to Three Times Lucky, and this time they must track down a ghost and help save their friend Miss Lacy Thornton (and the town of Tupelo Landing) from bankruptcy. It all starts at an auction for the old, run-down Tupelo Inn, and before they know it, Mo's guardian Miss Lana is the owner of the inn, along with Miss Lacy. Things only get more complicated when Harm Crenshaw enters the scene, along with his older brother Flick and Flick's girlfriend, the evil Miss Filch. To top it off, Mayor Little is planning on throwing a party for Tupelo's 250th anniversary, and expects the inn to be cleaned up in less than two months! Luckily, Mo knows that all will go according to plan, as long as she can discover who the ghost is. But with Miss Lacy all of a sudden keeping quiet about the past and nobody else in town all that willing to talk, Mo has her work cut out for her.

    The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove

    The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove (J FIC GROVE)

    Sophia lives in the year 1891 in the city of Boston, but much of the rest of the world lives in not only different places, but different times. In the year 1799 the Great Disruption occurred, creating completely different lands and times, from the prehistoric era to ages far in the future. To attempt to map this strange new world is to truly venture into unknown territory. Sophia lives with her uncle Shadrack, a famous mapmaker and cartologer, who makes maps not only out of paper but out of just about any substance imaginable. Sophia's parents were great explorers as well, but they disappeared on a mission several years ago and have yet to return. When the government in Boston decides to close the borders of their Age to anyone from other Ages, the city is thrown into a panic. How will Sophia's parents ever be able to return? Most importantly, how will Sophia find Shadrack when he is mysteriously kidnapped?

    The Golden Specific by S.E. Grove

    The Golden Specific by S.E. Grove

    In this sequel to The Glass Sentence, Sophia continues to search for her parents Minna and Bronson, who disappeared when she was a baby. Minna and Bronson were searching for a friend in the Dark Age, and their last letter stated they were traveling to the land of Ausentinia. The trouble is, Ausentinia is not found on any map - or in any Age. After the Great Disruption of 1799, the world's continents shifted in time. New Occident, where Sophia lives, is in the year 1892. But across the sea the world is lost in a medieval Age, and even further away, there are future Ages. Sophia knows if she can find the mysterious land of Ausentinia, she will find the clue to where her parents are. But with her uncle Shadrack tied up in governmental affairs and her best friend Theo off on journeys exploring leads to Minna and Bronson's disappearance, Sophia knows she must rely on herself. After several visits to the local Nihilismian archive, Sophia knows what she must do - travel to the Papal States and visit Granada, where the Nihilismian archive is supposed to have a copy of her mother's last diary. But how will she travel to the Papal States? And will Shadrack - or Theo - go with her?

    The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

    The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare (J FIC BLACK)

    For his entire life, Callum Hunt's father has told him to stay away from magic. Magic was dangerous. Magic was why Call's mother wasn't with them anymore. Magic was probably the reason why one of Call's legs didn't work very well. But when Call is required to go the Iron Trial, he is unable to completely hide his magic ability, despite how hard he tries to make mistakes. Before he knows it, Call is on his way to the Magisterium, where he will discover if he has what it takes to properly harness his magical talent into something more?

    The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham

    The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham (J FIC DURHAM)

    In the village of Drowning, there are certain rules that must be followed. The Earl of Longchance is leader over all. Women and girls are not allowed to learn to read or write. And the Luck Uglies, the band of outlaws who saved Drowning from the horrible monsters the Bog Noblins, are never to be even thought of. But the night Rye comes face to face with a real Bog Noblin, she knows the rules of the village will not work any more. The Luck Uglies must be summoned - if they still exist, that is. And Rye will have to find all the courage she possesses to join in the fight against the Bog Noblins, and the evil they represent.

    The Magical Flying Car is back!

    chitty book coverFans of the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and of the 1964 novel Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car will be pleased to know that our favorite magical flying car has returned in Frank Cottrell Boyce's new novel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again! When an inventive father and his family get an old, beat up camper van to fix up, and when they install an old engine, it turns out to be the first step in Chitty's quest to find all her old parts- with the family's help of course! Full of fun illustrations by Joe Berger, unbelievable adventures, and the same sort of wit that you loved in the original novel, this book is a great modern installment to an old classic.

    The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell

    The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell (J FIC HASKELL)

    Reveka is no ordinary herbalist's apprentice, and she lives in no ordinary kingdom. The twelve princesses of Sylvania are cursed by a spell that requires them to disappear each night and return with bruised and aching feet. All who have tried to rid Sylvania of the curse are in a deep sleep from which no one can wake them. Reveka is certain that if she can discover where the princesses go each night, she will find a way to break the curse, and wake the sleepers. But Reveka has no idea what kind of a challenge she's in for when she does indeed follow the princesses one night and finds out what they've really been up to.

    The Red PyramidI highly recommend that every one listen to the new audio version of the Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. The story is told altenatively by Carter and Sadie. There is no lack of sibling rivalry. Since his mother’s death six years ago, Carter Kane has been living out of a suitcase, traveling the globe with his father, the brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane. But while Carter’s been homeschooled, his younger sister, Sadie, has been living with their grandparents in London. Sadie has just what Carter wants — school friends and a chance at a “normal” life. But Carter has just what Sadie longs for — time with their father. After six years of living apart, the siblings have almost nothing in common. Until now. On Christmas Eve, Sadie and Carter are reunited when their father brings them to the British Museum, with a promise that he’s going to “make things right.” But all does not go according to plan: Carter and Sadie watch as Julius summons a mysterious figure, who quickly banishes their father and causes a fiery explosion. Then the story really gets exciting.
    The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer

    The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer (J FIC HOLCZER)

    The only family Grace has ever known is her mother, and a place to call home changes more often than Grace would like. But Grace never tells Mama how much she wants a real home until she finds out they're moving yet again, this time away from Mrs. Greene and Lacey. Mrs. Greene feels like the next best thing to family, and Lacey is Grace's best friend. Grace finally tells Mama how she feels, but these words turn out to be the last ones she'll ever say to her. Now Grace has no choice but to move away from Mrs. Greene and Lacey, this time with a grandmother she's never met and doesn't particularly want to know. Grandma may be offering a real home, but without Mama, does a real home exist?

    The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell

    The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell (J FIC ALMHJELL)

    Lin Rosenquist is sad for several reasons: the loss of her much loved pet vole Rufus, the move of her family from their home in the country to the city, and being separated from her best friend Niklas. When Lin receives a mysterious package containing a key, she has no idea it will lead her into an entirely new world, a world where Rufus is still alive. The world of Sylver, however, is on the brink of extinction, and soon Lin discovers it is up to her to save Rufus's new home.

    The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

    The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

    Ada has spent her entire life (as far as she knows) in her family's one-room apartment, with only a window to see what the outside world looks like. Ada has a clubfoot, and her mother insists she is crippled for life and can never learn how to walk, let alone leave the apartment. Ada's only company is her little brother Jamie, and now he's old enough to go outside and play. Ada is terrified of being left alone. But then World War II breaks out, and children all over London are being sent to the country to escape the bombing that is sure to come. Ada knows Jamie will be sent away, but her mother would never let her leave. So when Jamie does leave, Ada decides her only choice is to secretly leave with him. They go to live with a woman named Susan Smith, who has her own sorrows and does not want to take in any evacuees. Will Susan, Jamie, and Ada learn to be a family? More importantly, will Ada's mother ever want them back?

    Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

    Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald (J FIC FITZGERALD)

    Theo Tenpenny is not sure where to turn next. Her grandfather Jack, the one person who made the world make sense, has died, leaving Theo in charge of her dreamy and impractical mother. While they were always poor, Jack had his job as a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Now with no money coming in, Theo has to keep both her mother and herself fed, keep the very old house they live in from falling apart, and pay for her mother's expensive fancy tea habit. With no one to turn to Theo takes refuge in Jack's studio, and soon discovers a valuable Renaissance-era painting that was hidden in plain sight. But how did Jack come by such a painting? Could he have stolen it? With the help of her new friend Bodhi, Theo is determined to solve the mystery - and find a source of revenue.

    Wanderville by Wendy McClure

    Wanderville by Wendy McClure (J FIC MCCLURE)

    Harold, Frances, and Jack find themselves on the same train that will take them from New York and everything they've ever known to Kansas. In Kansas, they are told, they will be matched up with new families and find a better life. Jack, however, can't think about anything but the older brother he just lost in a factory fire, and Frances knows she cannot allow Harold, her little brother, to be separated from her. When the other orphans and castaways on the train begin to talk about the hard work and deprivation that lies ahead (in place of the nice families they were promised), Jack and Frances decide they will not wait to find out what might happen at the end of the line. Instead, they leave the train and soon find themselves in "Wanderville," an imaginary town created by Alexander, a fellow orphan and runaway. Alexander teaches the three how to survive without grownups, and at first it seems like their plan to leave the train was the right one. But when something happens to Harold, will they all be able to band together and rescue him?

    Wild Things

    "I'd won a bet, been fingerprinted, helped write a sermon, and met a mind reader, all in one day."

    That's just a regular day for 11 year old Zoe Royston, who's come to live with ther Uncle Henry after years of having to care for herself and her mentally ill mother. Zoe trusts no one at first, but as time goes on, she gets to know Uncle Henry's friends and their small town. Zoe befriends another "wild thing", a feral cat hanging around her uncle's house, and learns to believe in others as she coaxes the cat into friendship. Zoe and the cat alternate the telling of this beautifully written story of how kindness can tame wildness in both animals and humans. Check out Wild Things by Clay Carmichael!

     

    Words in the Dust: Ms. Kate Reviews

    Ms. Kate Reviews Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

    Reading this novel taught me a lot about culture and traditions through a well developed character and the hardships she endured.

     

    This book is set in Afghanistan.  Zulaikha, the main character is a thirteen year old girl who has a facial deformity.  This young woman struggles to be accepted with her cleft lip, being called “Donkey-face” by other children, and even her own brother. She also disobeys her father and learns to read and write in secret with the help of a friend. 

    This story engages readers in the day to day life of this family, which is rich in the cultures and traditions of Afghanistan.  Zulaikha participates in the culturally rich, arranged marriage of her fifteen year old sister to a wealthy older business man. 

     

    When the American soldiers come to her town, they are disruptive to her daily life and culture.  Zulaikha is intimidated by and offended by some of their actions and mannerisms.  However, their agenda helps her father find work, and Zulaikha is presented with the opportunity to have surgery to correct her cleft lip.  She is also given hope that she might attend the schools they are building. 

    The family experiences a tragedy that challenges Zulaikha’s perception about what is going on around her, and what things are most important.

     

    This book was written by an American soldier and the characters are based upon people he met while on active duty in Afghanistan.  It addresses how the civilians perceive the presence of the troops both as a threat and as opportunity.  It taught me a lot about the culture of an Afghani family by immersing me in their story and being part of the customs.  This book is intended for 5th through 8th graders but I recommend it to anyone as a tool to learn about and understand what goes on the Afghani culture. 

     

    The book contains a glossary, pronunciation guide, and a note from the author explaining how and why he wrote the book.

    More Juvenile titles concerning Afghanistan:

     

     

     

     

    Adult titles concerning Afghanistan:

     

     

     

     

     

    Click on the book cover to see the SWAN catalog entry.