Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mitchell Goes Driving

Mitchell Goes Driving
Author: Hallie Durand
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Reviewer: Sue


Summary: This fun book is about Mitchell, who never ever wanted to go to bed.  Dad figures out an ingenious solution to the problem. Mitchell is issued a Remote-Control Dad Driver’s License!  Now he can “drive” his car (dad) around the house before he goes to bed.  What a creative idea dad has come up with to get his son to bed!

Review: I’m not sure who will like this book more, the child or the parent.  Great illustrations, a really fun storyline, and a theme that most parents can relate to make this a fun book to read aloud.  The relationship between father and son is beautiful to see.  While the son is lovingly abusing his dad, the dad is loving taking the abuse.  It will make you smile.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Blizzard of Glass

Blizzard of Glass
Author: Sally M. Walker
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Reviewer: Christi


Summary: On December 6, 1917, two ships collided in Halifax Harbour, resulting in the largest man-made explosion until the detonation of the atomic bomb.

Review: I picked up this book because I’ve never heard of the Halifax explosion. I don’t know how, seeing that it was the biggest explosion ever until the atomic bomb. But this book was an interesting read. It was just another ordinary day in Canada. As you are introduced to the people of the area that are going about their normal morning routines, you find out that two boats have collided in the water. The people in the area walk toward the water or their windows at home as they start to see the smoke rise wondering what was happening. Horribly, one of the boats hit was full of ammunition and TNT and it’s getting ready to blow up and take out almost the whole town and that of the surrounding town. In a horrifying twist of fate, a blizzard hit the next day and stalled a lot of the rescues.

At times this story is horrible to read because it is hard to imagine the depth of suffering that went on, but overall the story is one of heroism and tragedy that deeply affected the community. It’s definitely worth a read. A Rebecca Caudill 2014 nominee.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Confessions of a Former Bully

Confessions of a Former Bully
Author: Trudy Ludwig
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Reviewer: Denise Z.

Summary: Nine-year-old Katie's punishment for bullying classmates includes making up for the hurt she has caused so she decides to write a book about bullying, why it is not okay, and how to start being a better friend.
Review: This book is a useful tool on the subject of bullying for both the parent and the child. Readers can learn what to do if they are being bullied and why not to be a bully themselves in a fun diary written in the voice of a nine-year-old bully. Katie starts off her journal by explaining how she used to be a bully and what it means to be one. I liked how her thoughts on the subject were presented in her journal and how it was pointed out that being a bully hurts everyone, even the one doing the bullying. She explains that bullying isn’t just physical and gives examples and facts on bullying, including the statistic that 9 out of 10 elementary students have been bullied by their peers. The choice to be a bully, why bullies do what they do, what to do if you see someone being bullied, and how to handle being bullied yourself are all covered in this kid-friendly book that offers answers on a difficult topic in a familiar diary way. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Author: A. Lee Martinez
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Todd

Meet Monster. Meet Judy. Two humans who don't like each other much, but together must fight dragons, fire-breathing felines, trolls, Inuit walrus dogs, and a crazy cat lady - for the future of the universe.

Monster runs a pest control agency. He's overworked and has domestic troubles - like having the girlfriend from hell.

Judy works the night shift at the local Food Plus Mart. Not the most glamorous life, but Judy is happy. No one bothers her and if she has to spell things out for the night-manager every now and again, so be it.

But when Judy finds a Yeti in the freezer aisle eating all the Rocky Road, her life collides with Monster's in a rather alarming fashion. Because Monster doesn't catch raccoons; he catches the things that go bump in the night. Things like ogres, trolls, and dragons.

Oh, and his girlfriend from Hell? She actually is from Hell. From Amzon.com


Monster was a fun reading experience, as is general with Martinez’s work. The world is similar to our own so we can empathize with the characters that become victims of magical creatures that most likely they can’t even perceive. But I also think Monster is something a weak book. There really isn’t much character evolution outside of Judy, and the plot needs an almost literal deus ex machina just for the plot to finally make sense. But if you’re in the mood for a quick read that’s fun, give Monster a peek.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Abandoned Amusement Parks

Abandoned Amusement Parks
Author: Dinah Williams
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Reviewer: Helen

Summary: This is the telling the stories of 11 abandoned amusement parks across the country, giving their history and what happened to them and the ghosts later seen in the parks.
Review: This book is perfect for a young reader who likes spooky stories. It does not have a lot of details or pictures that are spooky and dark, but it is just enough for a younger child. There is something sad and creepy about the loss of the parks. I enjoyed it and would recommend this book for readers in Grades 4 -7.