Saturday, 29 August 2015

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot

By: Dav Pilkey

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My younger son wanted a turn to answer some questions so we read Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot together.

Me: What was the best part of this book?
T: When they had the final battle. It was in flip-o-rama.

Me: What other books did it remind you of?
T: It reminded me of the movie Big Hero 6.

Me: Who do you think would like this book?
T: Our friends and kids in Grade 1-3.

Me: Was it hard or easy to read?
T: It wasn't too hard to read but not too easy.

Me: Would you read more of these?
T: Yah. I want to get the second one or maybe the third. Or maybe all of them.

Parent Point:
This is a great beginner chapter book. There are great illustrations and minimal text on each page. If your child is looking to get started on chapter books I think this would be a super place to start! It also has some features kids love like a few sections with comics and the flip-o-rama, which Dav Pilkey is kind of famous for!

Magickeepers - The Eternal Hourglass

By Erica Kirov

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My son and I both read this book recently so I thought I would get his opinion on it.

Me: What did you think of the book?
Son: Good. There was action and magic.

Me: What other books did this one remind you of?
Son: Harry Potter.

Me: What was the best part of the book?
Son: I liked the battle at the end with the Shadowkeeper. There was a lot of action and it was exciting. 

Me: Would you read the next one in there series?
Son: Yes. 

Me: What grades would you recommend it for?
Son: Grade 3-6

So, there you have it. An endorsement from my son who is going into Grade 5. If you want to get started on this series we have the first book in our library. Come and check it out!

Friday, 28 August 2015

The Book of Awesome

By: Neil Pasricha

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I remember seeing people walking around with this book everywhere a few years ago and thinking I had to read it. Well, 2015 turned out to be the *awesome* year to do it!

Basically, this book is a series of short essays about things that are awesome, such as bubble wrap, getting grass stains, having bed head all day, swimming in your neighbour's pool, etc. The author takes simple things that we normally take for granted and explains why they are awesome. Every essay ends the same. Awesome. 

There were some gems in this book that made me laugh. Overall, though, it is the kind of book you don't want to read in a couple of sittings but maybe an essay or two each day. I did read the whole thing but I skimmed through some of the essays that weren't as interesting to me as the others. 

This book wasn't specifically written as a children's book but I think kids can easily read it, especially Grade 7 & 8. This book is available through Overdrive. 

Parent Point: As this is not a children's book some essays deal with more adult content. 

The Face on the Milk Carton

By Caroline Cooney

Face on the Milk Carton
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What if you found out your parents weren't actually your parents?
What if you realized a family somewhere had been looking for you for 12 years?
What if you wanted your life to stay the same?
What would you do?

The Face on the Milk Carton tackles all of these questions and got me thinking what would I do if it were me?  The author, Caroline Cooney, got the idea for this series when she saw a missing person profile on a milk carton and wondered what it must be like for the family who spent  all those years looking for their child. I would recommend this book for Grade 7 & 8; it is the first in a series so if you like it there are a few more. I read it on Overdrive but we have it in the library too.

Parent Point: Some relationship details included in this book. 

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Completely Clementine

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I love the Clementine series and I always read new ones as soon as I see them. The only Clementine book I didn't really like was The Spring Trip so I was hoping this one would be great and it was!

In this story, Clementine is worried about the end of Grade 3 because she really loved her teacher and doesn't want to say goodbye. She is also looking forward to the arrival of her new sibling and she is figuring out what to do because she is really mad at her dad and isn't speaking to him. I liked all three main parts of this story and the ending as well. 

I like Clementine's character because she is really sweet and thoughtful and when things go wrong she usually meant for them to go right. I think she is a perfect Grade 3 character!

If you like Junie B. you will probably also like Clementine. 

Friday, 7 August 2015

Courage for Beginners

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Mysti Murphy is not excited to start Grade 7. Her "best friend" has decided he needs a new image and doesn't want to hang out with her any more. He texts her at night but makes plans to completely ignore her when they are at school. Little does Mysti know, he also plans to be mean to her to impress his new friends.

Her mom has agoraphobia, which means she has a "strong fear about being in places or situations where escape might be difficult, be embarrasssing, or cause panic attacks" (Courage, Pg 12). Her condition means that she is basically unable to leave the house and the family depends on the dad for any day-to-day activities outside of the home. The family makes this work until the dad has an accident and ends up in the hospital. The start of seventh grade is less than easy for Mysti to say the least.

I loved this story for many reasons. Karen Harrington does a great job developing her characters and I really loved getting to know Mysti and her mom and dad in this book. I also liked learning about agoraphobia and "watching" Mysti make new friends throughout the school year. I would definitely recommend this book for Grade 5-7. 

Monday, 3 August 2015

The Eye of Minds

By James Dashner

The Eye of Minds
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"The world is virtual.
The danger is real."

Well, this book was fun! It kept me guessing the whole way through and I was blind-sided by the ending!
If you like gaming or plot-driven novels, you will like this book. If you liked any of the Divergent, Hunger Games, etc. type series you will like this series as well. Eye of Minds is the first half of The Mortality Doctrine Series so I will be reading the second one sometime this year as well.

And, just in case you didn't make the connection, James Dashner is the author of The Maze Runner series so if you liked those books, this will probably be something to check out as well.

Parent Point: There is some violent and dark parts in this book that are similar in intensity to some of the series mentioned above.

The Crossover

By Kwame Alexander

kalexander 19
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I loved this book! If you like basketball or any other competitive sport you should definitely read it! If you have a goal in life that you would do anything to achieve, you should check out the main characters in The Crossover. If you are in Grade 7 or 8 and need a book for a book report, you should consider this one. Great read!

Parent Point: This book is written in free verse, which seems to be becoming a more popular genre. I love seeing how poetry and the novel can come together to create a strong plot and something unique stylistically. Other books that I have read in the last year  that are free verse include Counting Back From Nine by Valerie Sherrard and Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai. I have enjoyed them all!