Tuesday, March 29, 2011


From Children's Librarian Jennifer at the Montrose-Crescenta Branch

Where The Streets Had A Name by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Hayaat’s grandmother, Sitti, likes to tell stories about her home in Jerusalem. Mostly, her eyes brighten when she talks. But when she describes the day – that awful day – her family was forced to move, her expression changes. Hayaat is Palestinian and lives with her grandmother behind the Israeli-built Separation Wall, in the West Bank City of Bethlehem. When Sitti falls ill, Hayaat believes it’s her heart, not her body, that’s suffering. It’s this realization that compels Hayaat to make the short but dangerous trip to Jerusalem. With a friend’s help, she vows to bring her grandmother soil from her native land.

In this book, Abdel-Fattah creates a portrait of everyday life in occupied Palestine. But without taking sides. Instead, she shows the strength of the human spirit, even in the most difficult of times. Abdel-Fattah balances the seriousness of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with what people naturally use to handle hard things – humor.

An engaging, must-read novel. Grades 5-8

Friday, March 25, 2011


Want a fun and relatable book about the crazy things that happen in a usual classroom? Now imagine that all those fun and relatable things are happening without your teacher. The regular teacher is out and a new substitute teacher has taken over the class. Imagine all the pranks and all the endless possibilities of great mishaps that the class can come up with the hope that the substitute teacher will not be as harsh as their regular teacher? Sounds fun ha? THIRTEEN WAYS TO SINK A SUB is by JAMIE GILSON and one you finish reading this book, I am sure that you will be able to come up with more than thirteen ways to "sink a sub."

Warning: Don't try the pranks that you read in this book in your classroom!

For grades 5th and up.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


This is a story of two boys, Darren Jackson and Jamie Jenks, who are looking for the quickest way up the millionaire ladder. Darren works as a giraffe at a nearby pizza joint, miserably dealing with rude, abusive children. Jamie works at a nearby deli, annoying patrons with his great puns and catchy rhymes. When one of the boys' inventions goes crazy, it looks like a pretty dim future. One day, when things are at their worst, the boys stumble upon something that sends their magician careers soaring into fame and fortune! JACKSON & JENKS: MASTER MAGICIANS by actor Dan Frischman is a hilarious book for grades 4 and up.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Derek's perfect summer was ruined. His mother did not want to have fun. She wants him to READ! His best friend goes away for a great vacation back East, and he gets to go to a learning camp so he can learn to enjoy reading "real" books. Then he finds out that he almost died when he was a baby and he may have caused the death of the babysitter. He's obsessed with finding out what happened, but his mom is also determined not to let him.

A funny look at one boy's wreck of a summer with stick figure commentaries on the side. My Life as a Book by Janet Tashijian is great read for 5th-8th grade.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Enrique’s insatiable sweet tooth is getting out of control and his dad has forbidden him to eat anything sweet. His birthday is coming and Enrique won’t be allowed to help his grandmother with her baking. Since his father has forbidden to eat anything sweet, Enrique comes up with a plan to trick his father’s. Soon his mother catches him up and prepare a plan of her own . Enrique is allow to have desserts only on Mondays and Fridays after school.
Following Monday when they visited the ice cream parlor, Enrique orders a huge triple banana split, with strawberry, chocolate and vanilla scoops of ice cream, nuts, sprinkles and chocolate syrup.Later that night, Enrique is having terrible stomach aches and El Coco , a frightening creature with a huge mouth and sticky hair, haunts his dreams. Vibrant colors, and great facial expressions. Ages 4-9. Written by Lucha Corpi, illustrated by Lisa Fields.

Friday, March 18, 2011


For Kyle Chase, things just don't seem to go the way he plans. He is confused whether his actions are being sabotaged or if he is just making the wrong choices in life and hanging out with the wrong people. Because every time that he wants things to go smoothly in his life, they go in the exact opposite directions.

He is not sure if it's because he chooses to hang out with the wrong people or it's because his destiny is set and that there is not much that he can do. There are a lot of unanswered questions in his life and his brain is working too fast to try to figure out what he is not doing accordingly. YOU by CHARLES BENOIT is an excellent, fast paced read that will take you on a cool journey with Kyle while he investigates the things that should have or should have not happened to him.

For grades 7th and up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger.

First of all, this author is an absolute geek or an absolute genius. It's hilarious. Each character's story had me laughing out loud. One day, Dwight, the class weirdo starts giving his friends advice via a paper origami Yoda puppet on his finger. He would spout in a Yoda like voice some bit of wisdom. For example, Tommy wasn't sure if he should ask this girl to dance> Well, Origami Yoda said "Rush in fools do". Basically, no don't do it! Everyone else was saying go ahead. And before he can embarrass himself with the girl AND her BOYFRIEND in front of the entire school, he gets saved by Yoda, cause he stopped to think about it. AND that was what Yoda did for Tommy.

So is the advice of Origami real or not? It seems like a lot of things kids have asked Origami Yoda really came true and the only way to find out for sure is to investigate it scientifically and document it.

A truly funny read about boys and coming of age - falling for girls, standing up for yourself and your friends and what you believe in. Basically, the mystery of growing up but done in a hilarious way- a cross between Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Gary Paulsen's writing. A short read for readers in 6th - 8th grade.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Rory finally is turning 12 years old, which means she’ll be able to participate in many activities previously forbidden by his parents always so overprotective, like getting a cellular phone, shaving her legs, being alone at home, drinking coffee, putting on makeup, piercing her ears, go to parties and many other things. Rory cannot wait for her birthday!. When the big day finally arrives, she makes a list of all her wishes and proudly shows it to everyone. What she doesn’t know is that those experiences will bring disconcerting surprises when she realizes that most things she desires in her list mean more work and responsibilities than she really expected. Funny story perfect for teenagers that are eager to grow up too fast. Grades 4-7. Written by Wendy Mass.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


City Managers across California recently launched an aggressive petition drive and advertising campaign to tell California Legislators and the Governor to listen to the will of the voters and reject budget proposals that would steal local redevelopment funds.

In just three days, more than 3,000 Californians have signed our petition urging Sacramento politicians to listen to the voters. Legislators have taken notice and a budget vote that had been scheduled for today was delayed.

We're making great progress, but we need to do more!

Please help us reach our goal of 5,000 signatures by Friday by signing the petition at http://www.myvotecountsca.org/ and encouraging all of your contacts to do the same.

Please tell as many Californians as you can.

Sign the petition NOW!

Check us out on Facebook.

Friday, March 11, 2011


If you ever wanted to become a vampire or wanted to know how their world works but were afraid to do so, now is your time. HOW TO BE A VAMPIRE by AMY GRAY is the book for you. This illustrated and colorful book might be too tempting to close so once you open it, than be cautious that you might get hooked.
The book is divided into different sections, such as: vampire etiquette, choosing your vampire name, how to form your own coven and much more. The book also has a chapter on the famous vampires that were in movies and and television shows as well. Additionally, if you like to know how to dress like a vampire, there is a big chapter on that as well.

For grades 7th and up.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Since Maggie's twin brother is allergic to dogs, it seemed like a perfect plan when her parents suggested she help out her landlord by walking her dog after she hurt her ankle. One thing led to another and instead of walking just one dog for fun she now walks three dogs and has her own bustling small business and all the troubles that come with a business; jealous competition, more business than she could handle, and mysterious dog disappearances. On top of all this, she must keep it a secret from her parents, help out her ex-best friend and keep her blooming crush on "Milo" under wraps.

Girl's Best Friend: A Maggie Brooklyn Mystery by Leslie Margolis is a fabulous new mystery series for girls who are seriously into dogs. Add VideoFor readers in 5th-8th grade.

Monday, March 07, 2011


Ten year-old Emma Wright, her sick mama and her beloved pony Licorice Twist, have boarded the Sally May for a journey that will take them up the Mississippi River to the Missouri River and finally to St. Joseph to meet her dad so they can move to California. They are being escorted by Dr. Burton who is taking care her mother's fragile health. But Emma doesn't like Dr. Burton because he treats her like a bothersome child and always bosses her round. While on the boat, Emma becomes friend with Patrick, an eleven-year-old runaway who recently emigrated from Ireland. Anxious over her pony, Emma is making frequent trips to this place below the main deck that it is forbidden to visit. She is horrified when she discovers that livestock and poor immigrants are crowd together, starving, unclean and exhausted. When the boiler explodes and the steamboat starts sinking, Emma tries to escape from the smoke to find her friend and family. This story is based on a true river disaster in 1854.

Ages 4-6. Written by Alison Hart.

Friday, March 04, 2011


Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen

This summer, he'll be living with the Larsons, distant relatives of his, on their farm. Every so often, he packs up and get sent off to live with some relative or other due to the fact that his parents are drunks or "puke drunks" as his cousin Harris puts it. living on the farm with foul mouth, mischievous cousin who gets him into all kinds of hilarious scrapes - playing cowboys and Indians with the farm animals, being charged by the farm's bull, kicked unconscious in the head while milking the cow.

A funny and unforgettable summer for Harris and any reader in 4th grade and up.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


In our lives, there are always some people that are just really hard to get along with. But somehow, these difficult people are perhaps important and we don't really want to let them go from our lives. If this is the case, than HOW TO HUG A PORCUPINE by Dr. DEBBIE JOFFE ELLIS is the book for you. This small and useful book offers a lot of insightful and clever ways in which we can avoid conflict and allow the "quills" not to hurt us as much as they usually do. The tips are easy to follow and offer a very mediating and calming approach in dealing with people that usually would not be as easy. After reading this book, I think that most people would not be bothered or challenged by the not so easy people in our lives.

For grades 4th and up.