Saturday, June 23, 2012

Piper Reed Navy Brat by Kimberly Willis Holt

Piper Reed is a 4th grade girl whose father is in the U.S. Navy.  In this first book in the Piper Reed series, Captain, Piper's father,  has received orders to move his family from San Diego, California to Pensacola, Florida in the middle of the school year.  The Reed family (Captain, Mom, Tori, Piper, and Sam) makes the cross country trip to their new home and learns once again that home is more than a location on a map; home is where your family is.  If you are a part of a military family, you will understand Piper's feelings about moving.  You will also enjoy the happy ending as Piper and her family help each other adjust to their new home.  Recommended especially for 3rd or 4th graders.
By Mrs. Norton

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo is the author of many wonderful books enjoyed by both children and adults.  Examples you may recognize include The Tale of Despereaux and Because of Winn Dixie.  The Mysterious Journey of Edward Tulane is the story of how Edward Tulane, a self-centered china rabbit, learns the importance of being loved and loving others.  DiCamillo describes the ups and downs of Edward's life from his own unique point of view.  If you have ever imagined that your own stuffed animals and dolls are real, you will probably enjoy this book.  It has a satisfying, feel-good ending.
By Mrs. Norton

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen is an ordinary girl...that is if you live in District Twelve in Panem, a futuristic country in North America where tyranny rules.  Every year, each of the 12 Districts of Panem must send two tributes each (a boy and a girl) to the annual Hunger Games where the tributes must fight to the death.  When Katniss' sister, Prim, is selected to be a tribute, Katniss volunteers in order to save her sister from certain death.  She must leave all she knows in District 12 and go off with Peeta Mellark, the baker's boy, and her Hunger Games "mentor", Haymitch, to the Capitol.  She has to choose between survival and humanity and life and love.  Suzanne Collin's gripping trilogy will have readers cheering for Katniss and Peeta.  That is, if they survive...
Caution: This novel is for older children and may be a little more than some can handle due to graphic descriptions of violence.
By Payne N.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud, not Buddy was my second Christopher Paul Curtis book.  (I have also read Elijah of Buxton, an engaging story set during the Civil War.)  The book takes place during the Depression of the 1930's and is, therefore, historical fiction.  Bud, the main character, is a 10-year-old boy who has been on his own since his mother died when he was 6.  He has spent four years either living in an orphanage or in various foster homes.  Early in the story, he decides to follow the few precious clues left by his mother and "go on the lam" to find the father he has never known.

This book would make a great compliment to a study of the Great Depression.  Curtis did much research on the time period and even based the characters Lefty Lewis and Herman E. Calloway on his grandfathers who lived during this time.  If you are an upper elementary student who enjoys a little history and happy endings, you will like Bud, not Buddy!
By Mrs. Norton

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

I read Stormbreaker upon the advice of my 13-year-old son.  It is the first of eight books in the Alex Rider series.  In this book 14-year-old Alex discovers that his recently deceased guardian and uncle, Ian Rider, was a spy.  Alex is pressed into the service of MI6, a British intelligence agency.  The book is a fast-paced and action-packed adventure!  As I read, I kept thinking that this book would make a great James Bond-type movie.  If you are a 6th grader who likes mysteries and is interested in starting a series, try Stormbreaker!
Caution: Language (a few inappropriate words)
By Mrs. Norton