Monday, February 28, 2011


From Jennifer, Children's Librarian, at the Montrose-Cresenta Branch:
In “Justin Fisher Declares War!” by James Preller, Justin starts third grade with a spectacular fall. Thrown into the spotlight, he must choose—school nerd or class clown. Brushing himself off, he makes a joke. But it doesn’t stop there. Justin constantly needs attention to stroke his fragile ego. At first, kids welcome the distraction from school monotony. By fifth grade, though, it’s no longer funny. Justin’s relentless teasing has cost him friends and hurt his popularity. Even worse, his fifth grade teacher has no sense of humor.

What if your talent was making people laugh? And one day, people stopped laughing? Justin must save his image. When given the chance to MC the school’s talent show, he jumps. Can he do it, without making fun of other kids?

A funny, crowd-pleaser for reluctant readers. Grades 3-5.

Friday, February 25, 2011


From Kristine at Adams Square and Pacific Park:

Miss Tutu’s star by Leslea Newman is an encouraging story about a girl who loves dancing. Regardless of her clumsy ways, she is determined to learn to dance. Will her hard work and determinations pays off?
The rhyming text and delightful illustrations makes it a great book for storytime as well as one-on-one read aloud.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Brixton Brothers 2: The Ghostwriter Secret
Mac Barnett
Illus. Adam Rex

“It’s hard to run right after throwing up,” is the lesson 12 year old detective Steve Brixton learns as he runs from his would-be kidnapper. Just another skill to add to what he’s already learned from “The Bailey Brothers Handbook” in this warm but intense Hardy Boys tribute/send-up. An exciting read, “The Ghostwriter Secret” is as appropriate for parents who remember the Hardy Brothers (and Nancy Drew) as it is for youngsters who have yet to discover them.

For grades 5 and older.

Monday, February 21, 2011


This is a historical novel based on real life of the author Enrique Flores-Galbis. The author was one of the 14,000 children who left Cuba in a mass exodus known as Operation Pedro Pan.

Shortly after Castro’s takeover, Julian, the main character and his two brothers, are sent to Miami to a Cuban-exile camp. The refugee camp where they stay is nothing compare with the summer camp they expected to find. It is overcrowded with not enough adults to supervise. Being the youngest of the family, his brothers and parents constantly are assuming that he is too young to accept responsibility or to be able to understand anything, which makes him feel undervalued. Unfortunately, he is separated from his brothers and sent alone to another orphanage in Miami, and it is when he had to learn to deal with bullies, and loneliness. He wants to prove to his family and everyone that he could do anything to which he sets his mind. He meets Tomas. Tomas is a Cuban guy who is fixing up a boat to use with the intention to illegally transport people from Cuba. Julian was so desperate to be reunited with his parents again, that he gets involved in the project and sails to Cuba with his friend. Written by Enrique Flores-Galbis. Historical fiction for grades 4-6, ages 8-9.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Zoomy wears very thick glasses. He likes to make lists. Some things make him very nervous. But he helps his grandparents and does lots of research at the local library (a really great place to find out about stuff). One day his wayward pop comes along and leaves a big box of junk. Inside there's a mysterious notebook, so Zoomy starts to do research on it. Somehow his investigating ends up in a robbery, a fire and some very scary changes! THE DANGER BOX by Blue Balliett will captivate any reader grades 5 & up.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Rissa Bartholomew couldn't believe that she just told off all of her friends during her birthday party and right before starting middle school. Well, she did want to be an independent person, to think for herself rather than be one of the herd. Little did she realize how lonely and difficult it would be to find new friends and establish a new persona, especially if all she had to keep her company were her gnomes.

Rissa Bartholomew's Declaration of Independence by Lynda B. Comerford is a fun read for those who are coming of age and want to break out of the collective mold and begin their own self exploration as well as their world.

For readers in 6th - 8th grade.

Monday, February 14, 2011


This is the story of a very special and remarkable chicken that is born on a ranch. When his mom was hatching a clutch of eggs, all the chicken were exactly alike except for the last one. This one has only one wing, one eye, one leg and half a beak and everybody calls him Half Chicken/Medio Pollito.
His mother tucks him under her wings to protect him cause she thought he was helpless, but he wasn’t. Medio Pollito yearns for adventure, and one time he told his mom he wanted to travel to Madrid to meet the king.
All the barnyard animals didn’t think he could make it, but this time his mom encourages him to do it! -“You can do anything you want if you put your mind in it” – she said, and Medio Pollito set out for Madrid. It was obvious that Medio Pollito was a very self-sufficient and independent chick.
A very old spanish legend adapted by Eric. A. Kimmel, illustrated by Valeria Docampo. Illustrations are very colorful. Wonderful read aloud for children all ages.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Vivian, Children's Librarian at Casa likes:

The Losers Fight Back: A Wild Willie Mystery by Barbara Joosse

Wild Willie and Lucky Lucy are eager to win a soccer game, but they’ll need someone who has the right height and build in order to beat the other team! Chuckie is a great candidate but will it really be worth paying him or doing his chores to get him to play in the game?

For grades 3 and 4.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Everything in Annabelle's life is new this year.

New house.
New puppy.
New family (mom's boyfriend).
New school.

New classmates.

And what's new about that is having to deal with boys. You see, Annabelle was use to going to an all girl school, where there were no boys at all. But this year she got more boy trouble than she knows what to do with. She's done nothing but they always seem to be bothering her; kicking her chair, calling her names, and so on. She was miserable until she came up with a surefire method to make them behave better. Boys=Puppies. Training puppies=Happy home life therefore Training boys=Happy school life.

Boys Are Dogs by Leslie Margolis is a fun look at how one middle schooler deals with life's obstacles and discovers her voice. For readers in 5th grade and up.

Monday, February 07, 2011


FOREVER ROSE by Hilary McKay is not your typical family, not your typical little girl and NOT your typical book. Is your Dad an artist living far away from home? Does your mom hide away in a shed pretending to paint pictures? Do your brother's friends come to live with you? Even if none of these things happen in your life, Rose might be someone you can relate to because Rose feels very alone. The youngest of five or so siblings, it's almost as if everyone forgets she even exists. Nothing a little hiding out with a tiger at the zoo wouldn't help... For grades 5 and up.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


In this story, Carmen, a girl newly-arrived in the United States from Mexico, feels very apprehensive about going to school and learning English.She knows she has to be strong to face her classmates who tease her all the time for her Spanish funny accent.Her teacher’s Spanish is terrible, but gradually the kind Señora Cosky helps Carmen to learn many new English words and expressions.
Señora Cosky encourages the whole class to learn Spanish counting words, while Carmen learns the English number words.On her way home, Carmen is excited thinking about teaching her little sister what to expect when she begins kindergarten.

Colorful illustrations showing great facial expressions used in the content of the book. Excellent resource to help adjustment to the immigrant children. Spanish-English glossary at the end of the book. Ages 4-8. Written by Judy Cox, illustrated by Angela, Dominguez.