Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Usborne First Skills: Starting Chess





 Usborne First Skills: Starting Chess
Author: Harriet Castor
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Reviewer: Denise Z.
https://pics.cdn.librarything.com/picsizes/df/52/df521fdc35514f2593276625941444941414141.jpg
Summary: Starting Chess covers everything a young player needs to know, from how to set out the pieces to special moves and tactics.
Review: I never played chess before and thought it was about time I learned…with a children’s book. This is a helpful book for beginner chess players of all ages. The basics are introduced and the practice examples are especially helpful. This book should give confidence to the beginner player enough to have him or her say “checkmate!” at the end of a fun game.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

O.C. Daniel

O.C. Daniel
Author: Wesley King
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Reviewer: Julie H.

http://ccsp.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/rlapl/search/results?qu=ocdaniel&te=&lm=ROUND_LAKE


Summary: Middle-schooler Daniel wishes more than anything that he could live a normal life. He struggles daily with his “routines”; things he feels compelled to do or else something terrible will happen. He hates being on the football team but feels like football is the only thing that keeps his father from hating him altogether. He turns beet red anytime he tries to talk to his crush, and other kids pick on him constantly. He is overwhelmed by anxiety, and feels like writing is the only thing keeping him sane. Nothing is going right until one day when a strange girl claiming to be a “Star Child” asks him to help her solve a mystery, and he is drawn into a dangerous murder investigation. Daniel must confront his fears and explore who he really is to be able to get out of this alive.

Review:  Riveting and honest, this chapter book had me hooked from the very first line. The realistic portrayal of characters brings a sense of truth to the story, while the mystery of Sara the Star Child makes it all feel a bit magical.  Wesley King, who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder himself, handles the theme of mental illness with care and even offers suggestions at the end of the book on how to seek help. Overall, the book was enjoyable and well-written. I would recommend it for children late middle-school age or older, because it addresses challenging topics including mental health, suicide, and infidelity.