Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Lexie is an eleven year old girl that always loves her family’s summer vacation at the beach. Her parents have divorced and it's her first summer vacation away from her mother at her father's beach house. Unfortunately this year things will be a little different when she finds out that they’re having guests. Her father is inviting his girlfriend Vicky and her two children, a teenaged son and a very dirty three year old. Everything is wrong. Lexie does her best to be nice and to live up with her father’s expectations but her father is so immature and selfish that it is difficult. She just can’t take anymore and when she finds out her dad and Vicky are getting married she decides to confront her father. There is plenty of humor too that helps Lexie not to stay angry for so long. A nice book that helps parents to talk to children about divorce and remarriage and how it affects them. Ages 8-12. Written by Audrey Couloumbis.

Monday, August 29, 2011


If you have ever tried to make a paper airplane or made an attempt to fly a kite, than you should learn about the man who by observing birds, realized that objects could also fly as well... This man's name is Leonardo De Vinci and let's just say that he was one very cool man. He is also known for his other skills, such as painting, sculpting and drawing. But, you would be surprised to learn that with all his accomplishments, what bothered him the most was his inability to sculpt a huge horse out of bronze which was commissioned to him… He never did finish the sculpture and this haunted him even on his death bed... In the year 1977, a discovery was made...The rest, as they say is history, literally... LEONARDO'S HORSE by JEAN FRITZ is definitely what I would call a work of art!

For 3rd and up grades.

Friday, August 26, 2011


From Children's Librarian Vivian at the Casa Verdugo Branch Library:



Although the residents on Orange Street are different in character and age, they connect with one another in this wonderfully amazing story. A less than perfect day gives them a chance to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses, and their neighborhood's history.

This story is as sweet as oranges!

Best for 4th thru 6th grade.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Alice-Miranda can't wait to go to boarding school, so she decides to apply early and go at seven and one quarter years old instead of at eight years old like everyone else. She arrives a day early (of course) and sets everything on their ears. She's sweet and never takes no for an answer. So, she sets the poor cook off on a much needed vacation, the gardener gets beautiful flowers, and she evens meets the reclusive headmistress. But the headmisstress certainly has no desire to meet Alice-Miranda again and make plans to get rid of the upstart optimistic little girl with the bouncy chocolate curls.

A bubbly book about an irresistable girl with a whole slew of supporters and few enemies thrown in just for fun. Alice-Miranda at School by Jaqueline Harvey is for readers in 4th-6th grade.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


From Jennifer at the Montrose Branch Library: If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet by Leslie McGuirk

In this picture book, McGuirk uses found rocks to introduce the alphabet. By combining art, nature, and humor, she’s created a stand-out offering in the flooded alphabet book market. “C is for couch potato,” for example, will surprise readers with its realistic imagery. Both children and parents will want to read and re-read this title. Kids will soon be pointing out letters, real and imagined.
A fun, unique alphabet read. For preschool.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Bug and Bear are best friends. Bug really wants to play a game with Bear, but Bear is tired and all she wants to do is sleep. Bug follows Bear everywhere, and one day she tells Bug to go away and leave her alone. Bug can’t take the hint, even when Bear tries her hardest to avoid Bug entirely. Bear gets angry and tells him to go jump in the lake.

When she finally settles down for a nap she discovers she can’t sleep feeling a remorse for the sharp words she said to her friend. Bear begins a frantic search for Bug that teaches her that true friends speak kind words and treat each other with care and love. Beautifully illustrated story that carries a lesson about the effects our words can have on others. Kindergarten, Ages 5-6. Written by Ann Bonwill, translated by Layn Marlow.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


From Kristine at Adams Square:

Annabel is looking forward to the second semester of middle school. With the Valentine dance and Science Fair coming up, she has her good friends to share the excitement with…except for one thing; she cannot tell them she has a crush. Can't tell because she has discovered that her friend has a crush on the same boy. There, begins the Middle school drama…will she finally have the courage tell her crush about her feelings and also will she tell her friends about her crush. Everybody Bugs Out! By Leslie Margolis, is part of a series but can also be read as a stand alone novel. For grades 5-8

Friday, August 12, 2011


From Mr. B at Grandview Branch Library

How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy
By Crystal Allen

Asthmatic 13 year old Lamar Washington goes from King of the Lanes at Striker’s Bowling Paradise to community criminal despised and rejected even by his first and only girl friend, as he comes of age and to grips with what it takes to man-up. Once author Crystal Allen proves her slang creds in the first couple of chapters, her style settles down and the book becomes a well written novel about growing up in – or even outside of – the Afro-American Community. Lamar is a spirited and good hearted character, full of wit and belated wisdom. Everyman. He should make it to the screen soon – or at least to a well deserved sequel.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


From Mr. B at Grandview...

Gary D. Schmidt

More a stand-alone companion to “The Wednesday Wars” than a direct sequel, this well written tale is not to be missed. Doug Swieteck was a trouble-maker in “The Wednesday Wars.” In “OKAY for Now,” Doug’s own after-story in his own vibrant and direct voice, we discover the sources of his troubles and watch as they nearly overwhelm him. Despite an abusive father and generally dysfunctional family, eighth grader Doug stumbles on a part-time job, a teacher who helps him learn to read, a girl friend, and eventually self respect when his family moves from NYC upstate to “stupid Marysville.” This is a good read for middle and high school students, and for the most part, an absolute page turner for their parents.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


Attention families going to the Dodgers' Summer Reading game this Sunday, August 14. We have just been informed that due to logistical issues at the stadium, there will not be a parade on the field before the start of the game. We apologize for the last minute notice, but we hope that you will still have a fantastic and memorable time at the game with your families.

There's still time to pick up Chivas USA soccer tickets for the August 27th game. If you finished your 8 books earlier in the summmer and have not received your free ticket voucher, come by the Central Library ASAP!

Monday, August 08, 2011


When a lowland gorilla is acquired by a research lab he becomes the main subject of a study being done to investigate the possibility for an ape to acquire speech. They did not use similar methods that other researchers had tried such as teaching the animal sign language. In this case a radical new method was tried and a very delicate surgery was performed grafting new vocal cords into the animal. This was successful and Ortega began to acquire language.

At the age of eleven, he was sent to school with human children and this is where the story begins. Fitting in as a new kid is always difficult but when you are a large gorilla it is even more so. In Ortega by Maureen Fegus, the author tells an unusual story of animal who has to fit into a human world and while it is a work of fiction, similar stories are taking place in laboratories around the world. Good idea or ? You, the reader, will have to decide. For grades 5-8.

If you liked Ortega, then you also might also like My Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel. This one's about a chimpanzee raised with a family with human children. The chimp is treated as if he were the youngest brother and included in all family activities. But as it turns out family life is not so easy nor is acceptance of a human/chimp hybrid. For grades 5-8

Friday, August 05, 2011


A duchess has vanished in the Underground (London's subway trains) and Enola, rather Dr. Ragostin, has been hired to find the missing woman. The only glitch is that she disappeared at the Baker Street station where her brother, Sherlock, lives.

In this sixth book of the Enola Holmes Mystery, our fearless feminist heroine and her famous detective older brother are both hired to solve the same case! All the while, she receives a coded message from her mother who has been living with the gypsies. Who will solve the mystery and find the duchess? Will Enola be reunited with her mother?

The Case of the Gypsy Good-bye by Nancy Springer holds many surprises for Enola fans. For readers in 6th-8th.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


This is not a story for the squeamish. You'd think, since it starts out being about a little kitten, that it's going to be a cute, cuddly story. But I tell you, it is anything other than cuddly. David suspects there is something suspicious about this cat, especially when his family starts doing everything for the cat, including starving themselves in order to feed it! The end is not pretty, and readers should be prepared for quite a graphic scene! THE IMPROBABLE CAT by Allan Ahlberg is a riveting but scary read for grades 7 and up.