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Showing posts from November, 2015

I Survived: The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912

I Survived: The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
Lauren Tarshis
Scholastic Press, 2010
Source: Library
Audience: Children

From Goodreads:
The most terrifying events in history are brought vividly to life in this new fictional series! In book 1, ten-year-old George is trapped on the Titanic -- how will he survive?

Ten-year-old George Calder can't believe his luck -- he and his little sister, Phoebe, are on the famous Titanic, crossing the ocean with their Aunt Daisy. The ship is full of exciting places to explore, but when George ventures into the first class storage cabin, a terrible boom shakes the entire boat. Suddenly, water is everywhere, and George's life changes forever.

The movie Titanic was BIG when I was a kid. It was just risqué enough to be PG-13 but not bad enough that 10-year-olds couldn’t watch it. I remember kids in the grade above me taking their Walkmans and Discmans out to listen to “My Heart Will Go On” over and over. The girls wanted to see it because it was rom…

The Little Prince

The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Harcourt, Inc, 1899
Source: Library
Audience: Everyone

From Goodreads:
Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.

I was expecting this fable to be more obvious. For example, when I think of fables, I think of The Tortoise and the Hare. Shame on me for thinking it would be easy to see. It didn’t help that I didn’t 100% concentrate on the story and read it in separate settings. So after doing research, the meaning of the story made sense and seemed obvious. It’s about being narrow or open-minded. Had I read this book as a child, I think I would have either absolutely loved it and understood …

Girl Waits With Gun

Girl Waits With Gun Amy Stewart Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015 Source: E-Galley, Library Audience: Adults, Older Teens
From Goodreads: Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared.
Thank you, Goodreads, for the SPOILER. I hadn’t read the description for months - I just remembered that I wanted to read it. I was almost done with it when I went to add it to my “Currently Reading” list and saw the ending. So if you’re inte…

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School
Jeff Kinney
Amulet Books, 2015
Audience: Younger Teens, Older Kids
Source: Library

From Goodreads:
In the latest installment of the phenomenally bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, author-illustrator Jeff Kinney brings the series back to its roots, as Greg starts a new school year and faces a challenge he never could've imagined.

Another amusing Wimpy Kid book. In this one, Greg wasn’t as offensive and mean as he has been in other books. He made hilarious mistakes, that’s for sure, but not necessarily for selfish reasons... all the time, anyway. So it’s nice to see the character grow. Unplugging will certainly test a person! The camp hijinks were silly and ridiculous and I never would have survived it. I wonder what will happen in the next book!

Dead End in Norvelt

Dead End in Norvelt
Jack Gantos
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011
Source: Library
Audience: Children, Younger Teens

From Goodreads:
Dead End in Norvelt is the winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal for the year's best contribution to children's literature and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction!

Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is "grounded for life" by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. 

But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack's way once his mom loans him out to help a feisty old neighbor with a most unusual chore—typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his Utopian town. As one obituary leads to another, Jack is launched on a strange adventure involving molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, twisted promises,…

The Marvels

The Marvels
Brian Selznick
Scholastic Press, 2015
Source: My Own Bookshelf
Audience: Everyone

From Goodreads:
Caldecott Award winner and bookmaking trailblazer Brian Selznick once again plays with the form he invented and takes readers on a voyage!

Two seemingly unrelated stories--one in words, the other in pictures--come together. The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 and follows Joseph, who has run away from school to an estranged uncle's puzzling house in London, where he, along with the reader, must piece together many mysteries.

I was so excited about this book that I went out and paid full price for it, just so I could read it right away. It was totally worth it. It was the perfect time to read an easy book, and the illustrations were amazing, as always. The book itself is BEAUTIFUL. The gold, the purple, the cover, oh my! …

The Baby-Sitters Club: Claudia and the Mean Janine

The Baby-Sitters Club: Claudia and the Mean Janine
Raina Telgemeier
GRAPHIX, 2008
Source: Library
Audience: Everyone, Younger Teens

From Goodreads:
Claudia and her sister, Janine, may as well be from two different planets. Claudia, who pays more attention to her art than her grades, feels she can't compete with her perfect sister. Janine studies nonstop, makes straight As, and even takes college-level courses. The girls are nothing alike, and they can't agree on anything. While Janine devotes all her time to working on her Web site, The Baby-sitters Club is busy with their new summer play group. But when something terrible happens to their grandmother, Mimi, the two sisters discover they're more alike than they originally thought.

This was a great interpretation of the beloved series by Ann M. Martin. She understands the sister dynamic well. These girls are opposites and have to learn to understand each other better. When Mimi has health problems, it gives them an opportun…

I Survived The Shark Attacks of 1916

I Survived: The Shark Attacks of 1916
Lauren Tarshis
Scholastic, 2010
Source: Library
Audience: Children

From Goodreads:
Based on true events! It's the summer of 1916 and the Jersey shore is being terrorized by a Great White shark. Can 10-year-old Chet and his friends survive a swim in the local creek?

In the summer of 1916, ten year-old Chet Roscow is captivated by the local news: a Great White shark has been attacking and killing people up and down the Atlantic Coast, not far from Chet's hometown of Springfield, New Jersey.

Then one day, swimming with his friends, Chet sees something in the water. . .


This is my favorite “I Survived” book. It seemed the most sinister and dangerous to me, probably because it was so similar to Jaws. Jaws was just a horror movie, but this book was based on a true story! So scary, so good. Loved it!

This is running through your head now, isn’t it?