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Archive for September, 2015

Doll Bones

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Black_doll1by Holly Black, 244 pages, Grades 6 and up

CYRM NOMINEE 2015

Zach, Poppy and Alice have known each other a long time. They created a game together and they continue to add to its imaginative story every time they get together, each one taking on the point of view of a particular character. There is one character they never allow in the game, the queen. This china doll stays locked in Poppy’s family cabinet; she is too powerful and too frightening to bring out. One day Zach refuses to join Poppy and Alice in the game, so Poppy decides to release the queen to lure him back, but the nightmares that follow are more than she bargained for! Zach, Poppy and Alice are soon propelled into a frightening adventure to try to put the doll bones to rest and stop her from haunting their dreams.

If you like scary adventure books, you might also enjoy The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman, The Long Lankin, Lindsey Barraclough, or Cirque du Freak series, by Darren Shan.

The Red Pencil

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

20454083by Andrea Davis Pinkney, 308 pages, Grades 6 and up

Amira lives in Sudan and though she loves to create stories and draw in the sand she is not encouraged to go to school. Girls, her mother says, must become good wives and mothers. Luckily her father and grandfather see Amira’s passion for learning and want to help her fulfill her dreams. Just when she thinks her life might be looking up their village is invaded and her father is brutally killed. She and her mother and grandfather struggle to find a safe place to live while they also try to find the courage to survive their grief. The sadness consumes Amira; it even swallows her voice and she can no longer speak out loud. What will give Amira strength to go on? Will she ever be able to speak again? What about her passion for learning; is that lost forever?

If you like stories of overcoming difficult circumstances, you might also enjoy: Homeless Bird, by Gloria Whelan, The Lightning Dreamer, by Margarita Engle, or if you want to read more stories about refugees of war you might also like Now Is the Time For Running, by Michael Williams.

How I Became a Ghost

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

51L2Lg+T8bL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_by Tim Tingle, 139 pages, Grades 6 and up

There was a time when Isaac’s life was happy and peaceful with his Choctaw family and his dog, Jumper. But this is not the story of that part of Isaac’s life; this story is actually told by his ghost, so right away you see things are not going to end well for Isaac. Isaac becomes a ghost during the Trail of Tears, but that doesn’t stop him from helping his family and friends survive their harrowing journey.

If you enjoy stories about the Native American experience you might also enjoy:  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie, Ghost Hawk, by Susan Cooper, House of Purple Cedar, by Tim Tingle, or The Birchbark House, by Louise Erdrich.

CYRM 2016 Nominees

Monday, September 14th, 2015

California Young Reader’s Medal winners are chosen by students.  Read all three of the titles in a section and cast your vote for the best of the group!

CYRM 2015-16

Middle School Titles are: Dogtag Summer, by Elizabeth Partridge, Doll Bones, by Holly Black, and Ghosthawk, by Susan Cooper.

Young Adult Titles are: Cinder, by Marissa Meyer, Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs.

Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

hold tightby Laura Rose Wagner, 263 pages, Grades 8 and up

One moment, Magdalie is living an ordinary life in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; she goes to school, spends time with her best friend and cousin Nadine, and helps her auntie with chores around the house. The next moment her world is turned upside down; she has no home, no school, no family and maybe no best friend. When the earthquake hit Haiti in 2010 it caused devastation throughout the region. Magdalie survives the quake but is challenged with surviving the new chaotic world.  How can she embrace her future now that everything is different?

P.S. The author is a former student of Piedmont Middle School

If you enjoy books about persevering after a disaster, you might also enjoy: The Red Pencil, by Pinkney, or Mockingbird, by Erksine.

What if?

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

what ifby Randall Munroe, 295 pages, All ages

“What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light?”

“If every person on Earth aimed a laser pointer at the Moon at the same time, would it change color?”

“What would happen if you made a periodic table out of cube-shaped bricks, where each brick was made of the corresponding element?”

These questions and many more are scientifically considered and answered using diagrams and line drawings by Randall Munroe, the creator of xkcd.

 

If you enjoy nonfiction books that answer curiosity, you might also enjoy: Cool Stuff 2.0 and How It Works, by Woodford and Woodcock, Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun, by Glenn and Larsen, or Pick Me Up, by Roberts and Leslie.

Darius & Twig

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

dariusby Walter Dean Myers, 201 pages, Grades 6 and up

Darius and Twig are best friends. Twig is a runner; he is so good that he just might get a scholarship right out of Harlem. Darius wants this for his friend more than anything. Darius is a writer, but he can’t imagine how that will help him make a better life for himself. Their lives are not easy.  Bullies, gangs, dirty sports dealings and abusive relatives make navigating their Harlem neighborhood a challenge; good thing they have each other.

 

If you like stories about friends supporting each other you might also enjoy: The London Eye Mystery, by Dowd, or Bluefish, by Schmatz, or Lions of Little Rock, by Levine.

Proxy

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

proxyby Alex London, 379 pages, Grades 8 and up

Syd is a proxy which is basically a futuristic whipping boy. Any time his patron makes a mistake or does something illegal he gets punished. The punishment is brutal; Guardians use a nerve weapon that causes pain throughout your body. In this future society patrons have all the wealth and power and the poor often have to go into debt to survive thus becoming proxies. Some proxies have decent patrons; they are mostly law abiding citizens, but Syd’s patron is prone to getting himself in trouble and Syd has suffered the consequences his entire life. When one of his patron’s antics adds years to Syd’s debt, he decides he has to escape, but he is only one guy against an entire world.

 

If you enjoy dystopian adventures, you might also like: Hunger Games, by Collins, Shipbreaker, by Bacigalupi, Mazerunner, by Dashner, or The Testing, by Charbonneau.