Friday, July 30, 2010


The Glass Cafe or, the Stripper and the State; How My Mother Started a War With the System That Made Us Kind of Rich and a Little Bit Famous by Gary Paulsen is the really long title of this hilarious tale of how some figure drawings of exotic dancers became part of an art exhibit and landed Tony, a budding artist and his mother, Al, in trouble. The story unfolds in the rambling way of a great storyteller who has you hooked from the first line of this incredible story of an ordinary boy with an extraordinary a mother.

Short and tiny at 99 pages, it is one of the funniest thing I've read in a long time. For mature readers in 6th grade and up. Be sure to read another hilarious boy book by Paulsen, The Amazing Life of Birds: (The Twenty Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech) As Discovered by Gary Paulsen. Stay tuned for more Gary Paulsen book reviews.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Aggrandizement, surreptitious, xerphyte, lackadaisical are words that you probably don't get to hear or use everyday right? Wait!... Maybe you use the word katzenjammer? Didn't think so!

WEIGHTY WORDS, TOO by PAUL M. LEVITT with illustrations by KATHERINE KARCZ is not only unique but almost too fun, if there is a such thing. The book has 26 stories, one for each letter of the alphabet and of course each story has a key word. By now you probably have already guessed the kind of words there will be...

For grades 4th and up.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


A new take on a very the old tale of the Pied Piper is the focus this novel written by Jane Yolen and her son, Adam Stemple. Told from a more modern perspective it is a story worth reading and talking about. Join Snacktime Readers on Wednesday, July 29 at the Central Library, 222 East Harvard Street, Glendale 91205 at 7:00 p.m. This discussion group is for readers in the 4-8th grades and their parents. Pick up a copy of this very quick read at the desk and come and share your thoughts!

Friday, July 23, 2010


What would your dragon look like and how would it be?

Would it be beautiful, fierce, tame or carefree?

Jackie Morris' Tell Me A Dragon combines colorful illustrations and poetry to describe these mystical creatures, and at the end the reader can describe his or her own.
Tell Me A Dragon is an enchanting book of dragons to delight new dragon fans, as well as old.

For Kindergardeners or older...CHECK IT OUT!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


It's summer vacation and everyone knows that means ...ROAD TRIP!!!! What else will you do do with the kids for the next two and a half months? Check out these two books about two families crossing across all fifty states.

Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America by Lynne Cheney and Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser is inspired by Cheney's experiences with her grandkids to write what is basically a history book in the guise of tour book. It's lavishly illustrated and accompanied with lots of tidbits about each state on a double page spread. Sometimes the information is too much and your eyes kind of glaze over but overall it's chockful of stuff and it's great to pore over a few states at a time with your kids.

Go, Go America: 50 States of Fun by Dan Yaccarino has a more retro feel, theYaccarino family way back when perhaps? Yaccarino also gives each state a double page introduction with his stylish minimal approach to illustration. There are kooky historical facts, obscure head scratching laws as well as the more straight forward info all rolled into one really fun book for everyone from the very young all the way up.

And if you don't get to go to all 50 states this summer, these books might inspire you to look for a fun event going on in your local town or discover an intereseting fact about your area . Start your station wagon, I mean your SUV, or maybe Prius? Well, your car. Start exploring everybody!

For readers of all ages.

Monday, July 19, 2010


This is the story of Lucia Alvarez a teenage girl and her little brother Frankie that lived in Cuba when Fidel Castro came to power in 1960. Lucia wants to be an average teenage girl, hanging out with her friends, reading the latest fashion magazines, dreaming about her crush Manuel, and planning her up-coming quinceaƱera with her best friend Ivette. When soldiers from Castro’s Revolution arrive in Lucia’s small town her life begins to turn upside down. After her dad gets arrested, she realizes that the Cuba she loves is changing. Family and friends become enemies. Lucia and her best friend Ivette grow apart after Ivette joins the “Jovenes Rebeldes” a communist youth movement in Cuba. Since her parents are not in favor of the new regime and fearing that their children were taken away from them, they finally make the heartbreaking decision to send Lucia and her younger brother to the United States… alone. Operation Pedro Pan, an organized exodus of 14,000 children was in effect in Miami between the 1960 and 1962. Many Cuban parents who were against the communist regime, sent their children alone to the U.S. to escape the revolution.

Parents should advise their children to read this book, so they can appreciate the freedom that we all enjoy. Beautifully written by Christina Diaz Gonzalez. Grades 4-6.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Have you ever made up stories about yourself to try and impress someone? How do you think people feel when they know you have told them a lie about yourself? What would you do to make a new kid more comfortable? It is always hard being the new kid, especially when you go to a new school right in the middle of the year. In the book HEY NEW KID! by Betsy Duffey, Cody decides he is going to be the most exciting, adventurous, brave new kid anyone has ever seen and makes up stories about how crazy and exciting his life is, when it's really not all that action-packed. In the end, it turns out all the kids like him, even though his great new image falls apart one day at a party, and they see Cody for who he truly is. It's a great book for anyone in 2nd - 4th grade.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Who Stole Grandma's Million Dollar Pumpkin Pie? by Martha Freeman. A fourth Chickadee Court Mystery set during Thanksgiving, when all thoughts turn to pumpkin pie and other comforting family dishes. Yasmeen and Alex have to find out who stole his family's fantastic pumpkin pie recipe that's going to be featured on a television food show. But the two detectives are reluctant to investigate when they realize that all the suspects are either family members or friends who came to dinner at Alex's home. Everyone wanted their dish to be on T.V. , so everyone has a motive.

Be sure to read the others in the holiday series, like Who Stole Uncle Sam? especially with the July 4th holiday coming up. For readers in 4th grade and up.

Monday, July 12, 2010


If you have been enjoying Rick Riordan's books such as the Lighting Thief, than you are to sure enjoy Medusa Jones. However, one of the cool differences is that Medusa Jones is a girl... She is one feisty, smart and cool girl that has a best friend who also happens to be half horse but still, she does not understand why that would be an issue and why her school mates are mean to her.

The question arises... will she ever use her special abilities to turn people into stone or will she find more traditional ways to deal with people that are getting on her nerves. In addition, Medusa also has to deal with the occasional hair issue that every girl has, the difference though is that Medusa's hair turns into snakes, so on top of all the things that she has to deal with, now she also needs to worry about her "headsnakes" as well. MEDUSA JONES by ROSS COLLINS.

For grades 4th and up.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


Turtle is an eleven-year-old girl sent to Key West, Florida by her mother in the 1930s. When her mom gets a job as a housekeeper with an employer that can’t stand children, Turtle comes to live with her mother’s sister Aunt Minnie and three boy cousins none of whom she has ever met before. Florida is a very strange place for Turtle, much different from any place she’s lived before. It’s hot, everyone is called by a nickname, no one wear shoes and the food is strange. Her cousins have created a gang called The Diaper Gang, a “no-girls allowed club” that help them earning a bit of extra cash babysitting infants. Her adventures with the gang of cousins help her to discover family secrets. This nice and humorous adventure story was inspired by the author’s great grandmother stories that emigrated from the Bahamas to Key West in 1897. Written by Jennifer L. Holm. Ages 9-12

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Mice are such tidy creatures. Who knew that they were so helpful around the homes where they stow away in the walls? They don't like to stray far from their homes, and become very nervous when faced with such adventures. But Tumtum and Nutmeg, a happily married mouse couple, live simple lives, eat lots of delicious food, and take all their adventures in stride. TUMTUM & NUTMEG: ADVENTURES BEYOND NUTMOUSE HALL by Emily Bearn
is a collection of three adventures the mice lead while living in their cozy cottage. For lovers of animal stories in the 2nd-6th grades.

Friday, July 02, 2010


All of the Glendale Libraries will be closed July 3 - July 5 in honor of the holiday. We will reopen on Tuesday, July 6 at the regular time.