Saturday, August 30, 2008


Who knew that London was actually two cities, the one we know about and an alternate , damp, dark and dangerous one? Fourteen-year-old Jonathan Starling discovers this when his father becomes ill and he finds among his papers references to Darkside. While doing some research on the subject, Jonathan is almost kidnapped but manages to elude his captors and cross over to Darkside. There the adventure begins as he tries to solve the mystery with aid of a werewolf named Carnegie.

The Darkside by Tom Becker is an action packed story with lots of chase scenes and dastardly characters. This is the first volume of proposed series. For grades 5-8.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


At home Alvin is a superhero, Firecracker Man, able to save the world, but when summer is over and he has to go back to school, the same old fears overtake him and he can't talk. You see, Alvin has lots of fears and school is only one of them.

Before entering Second Grade Alvin decides to arm himself with a PDK- Personal Disaster Kit- a box with things he might need in case of a disaster. Inside are things like a whistle, garlic, escape routes, magnifying glass, and lists. Now that he can write, he's making lists for surviving a fire, or surviving show and tell, and one for making friends.

Coming Soon, Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look is a humorous tale of one Second Grader's attempt to make the best of what he considers a scary and voice numbing For 4th-6th.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Avon, the snail, loves to read. After reading so many enjoyable stories he decides to leave his comfortable home and go on an adventure. On his journey, he befriends an ant named Edward. The two develop a wonderful friendship that will make Avon's adventure a memorable one. Avi's chapter book for 3rd graders and up is a good introduction to witty dialogue between the characters. The illustrations are delightful!! I enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Seventh-grader Phoebe wants to be an actress and has looked forward to the middle school Drama Club for several years. She talks her best friend Harper into joining the club with her and they both get involved with the first production of the year, Harper as a producer and Phoebe in a small part. Phoebe gets caught up in the drama of the Drama Club and almost loses her friendship with Harper but ultimately discovers that being true to herself is more important that being popular.

Spin the Bottle by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel is a good depiction of middle school life. For readers in grades 5-7.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Charlotte is a young American girl living in France with her mother and father, who is an impressionist artist. They live right next door to Monsieur Monet, run into Monsieur Gaugin while vacationing by the sea, and travel to New York where her father is comissioned to be a featured artist in a fancy gallery there. The story unfolds through Charlotte's journal, as she details the many exciting things that happen in France and New York, and what it's like to be alive in the 1890s. It even includes a recipe and quite a few paintings, post cards and other artistic tokens. A good story for 3rd-5th grades.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Like a good mystery? Join seventh grader Minerva Clark as she tries to help the popular and rich Chelsea de Guzman find her missing diamond ring. With nothing else to do for the summer Minerva takes on the case and even with her recently gained brave new attitude she finds that it may be more than she can handle. She finds herself in the middle of the usual thirteen year old stuff such as peer pressure, trendy clothes, a pet ferret that is a kleptomaniac with the addition of a mysterious death, identity theft and a money scam. Get a copy of Minerva Clark Gets A Clue by Karen Karbo to see how it all turns out.

This is the August book for Snacktime Readers. The group will meet to talk about the book and to share some tasty snacks at the Central Library, 222 East Harvard, Glendale, CA 91205 on Wednesday, August 27 at 7:00 p.m. It's not too late to check out a copy and join us. For grades four and older.

Monday, August 18, 2008


The school year is just about to start and the following are perfect titles to share with that child that is going to be starting school this year.

In Wemberly Worried Kevin Henkes introduces the reader to a little mouse who worries about everything from the crack in the living room wall to going to school. But when she meets a new friend on the first day, Wemberly discovers that there was nothing to worry about after all.

Wow! School by Robert Neubecker tells the story of Izzy who takes a bus from her house on the mountain and discovers all kinds of new and wonderful things at her school. There is a lot to discover in this book's bright and colorful pictures of school objects and activities which offer a good opportunity for the readers to also play search games.

Meet Yellowbelly and Plum, two best friends, in Yellowbelly and Plum Go to School by Nathan Hale. On his first day at school Yellowbelly takes his stuffed bear along and they have a wonderful time meeting new friends and learning all kinds of new things until Plum disappears. Fortunately they are reunited and able to share some of the new things they learned.

For preschool through Kindergarten.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Here's another list of summer themed books for the older readers.
If you start now, you'll have plenty of time to read before you go back to school.

Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen - A boy gets an old lawnmower for a present and makes a ton of money mowing lawns. If you like making money, you'll enjoy this book. A very funny and short read for mature 6th - 8th graders.

My Almost Epic Summer by Adele Griffin - This girl fantasizes about having a hair salon based on her literary heroines during a boring summer of babysitting. But, the boring summer turns into a one of intrigue when she finds herself featured in the online journal of a pretty but self absorbed lifeguard. Also for mature mature 6th -8th .

Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison - A girl figures out a way to get a free trip to San Francisco by using her psychic ability to solve her distant cousin's ghostly mystery. Not so scary but good for mystery lovers. 6th - 8th.

Deep Dark and Dangerous: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn- During a summer stay at the family cabin, the sisters discover an old family secret at the bottom of the lake. If you like being scared, then this is a great book with one angry and spooky ghost. 6th-8th .

Thursday, August 14, 2008


In this delightful retelling of the classic fairy tale Cinderella, ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine, there are some funny and creative twists. Ella has been cursed at birth to always do as she is told. This becomes increasingly bothersome upon her mother's death, as her father marries an awful woman with two snobby daughters of her own. Once they discover Ella's curse, she is doomed. Ella does everything in her power to rid herself of this horrible obligation. She experiences many adventures in her quest. The prince in this story is friend's with Ella and time will tell if it ever is to become romance. For 4th - 8th grades.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Juno lives with his parents and a dog named Sam. His grandmother lives far away in Seoul, Korea, but she writes him letters. Juno cannot read the words she writes as they are in Korean, but he knows what it says because of the items that accompany the letter. When Juno decides to write a letter in return, he draws pictures of his life and sends a leaf from his swinging tree. Juno learns to interpret meaning through a language outside of writing. Even though they don't speak the same language, they can still communicate with images from the world around them. DEAR JUNO by Soyung Pak is a beautiful story for pre-k through 3rd grade.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Seth is in love. But not with just any girl. She's beautiful, muscular, and the daughter of the awful housing inspector who has been hounding his family ever since his dad "accidentally" splattered mud on him. It's causing so much stress on his family that his parents' relationship is in jeopardy. His brother, gorgeous and useless, flip flops from one girl to the next and one interest to another. It's up to Seth to come up with a plan to get the girl of his dreams ... and fix everything else.

I'm Being Stalked by a Moonshadow by Doug Macleod is a fun book about a "hippyish/alternative" family in Australia and a boy who will overcome anything for the girl of his dreams. For mature readers in 6th - 8th grade.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Minty, the nickname of Harriet Tubman when she was a little girl, hates being a slave. All she thinks about is getting off the plantation. She is lucky in that she lives with her family, and they do their best to make her situation more bearable. But Minty is bound and determined to leave, and her father sees it best that he train her to live off the land. When Minty finally gets a chance to escape, she hesitates too long and the opportunity slips away. While she is saddened by her inability to follow through, she is not discouraged and vows to one day escape. MINTY: A STORY OF YOUNG HARRIET TUBMAN by Alan Schroeder is great for 3rd grade and up. This book also won the Coretta Scott King Award for Jerry Pinkney's gorgeous illustrations.

Friday, August 01, 2008


Three very bright, very spoiled sisters have their father wrapped around their little fingers so tightly that he lets them get and do whatever they wish. Sounds ideal, doesn't it? Like most things that are too good to be true this situation makes a change for the worse when their aunt arrives to take charge of everything. Thrilled? No, not these girls who do all they can to make their aunt's life as unpleasant as possible and when that doesn't work they try to marry her off. Fortunately all is resolved in Narinder Dhami's BINDI BABES. If you like this one then you won't want to miss the rest of the series.

Best for grades 5-8, this title was the July selection for the Snacktime Reader's book discussion group at the Central Library. This is a group for students in grade four and older and their parents. If you love reading and tasty snacks then this is the group for you. It meets the fourth Wednesday of the month in the Children's Room of the Central Library 222 East Harvard, Glendale, CA 91205 at 7 p.m. For more information, please call (818)548-2035.