Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Lemonade War & The Lemonade Crime

The Lemonade War & The Lemonade Crime By: Jacqueline Davies

Evan and Jessie are very close as brother and sister. That is until Jessie gets to skip third grade and gets placed in Evan's fourth grade class. Evan feels like he is not the smart one, and so he decides that instead of working together on their summer lemonade stand, he is going to go solo. This hurts Jessie's feelings and she does not understand what she has done wrong to make Evan treat her so poorly.  They come up with a plan to see who can make one hundred dollars the fastest.  Jessie's money gets stolen, and Evan feels lousy about it.  But when fourth grade starts, they know just who did it.  Jessie plans a trail for the accused, and Evan and her work out their issues to solve the crime. But sometimes people's lives are not what you think.

This was a great set of books, perfect for upper elementary readers.  I put them together because the second book is truly the end of the story, and you need to read them together. I enjoyed how well the siblings in this book got along, they were really friends.  I also thought that the was the author portrayed the bully gave a powerful lesson to readers. Sometimes the bully at school, really has a rough time at home and you should just be kind to them.

I borrowed these from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-618-75043-6  & 978-0-547-27967-1

Monday, May 26, 2014

The One

The One By: Kiera Cass

America and the others know that it is time for Prince Maxon to finally choose. Which one will he choose though, because he shows no sign of wanting to get rid of any of them. America is struggling with the whole competition, and is just ready for it to be over.  She knows the King does not approve of her at all, and has kept silent about the way he treats her. Her feelings for Aspen have become ones of friendship, but she has not had the courage to tell Maxon the truth.  When things around them begin to get out of control, America finds that she loves Maxon, but it may be to late to tell him the truth.

I loved this book.  This series is one of my all time favorites. America is a beautiful character that you want to achieve the things that she desires.  I was on pins and needles until the end of this book, and loved every minute of it.  I also want to say that the cover image of this book, and the previous two are simply stunning. You really have to read this series.  (The Selection & The Elite)

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-06-205999-4

Midnight Pearls

Midnight Pearls By: Debbie Viguie

Pearl has known her entire life that she is different. Finneas found her in the water when she was little during a terrible storm. Mary and Finneas raised her as their own, but the other people in their village treated her differently because of how she looks. Her only friend, Prince James, and her spend time together talking, but when they both realize that they are going to have to marry soon, things change. James takes Pearl out on a boat, and there is an accident.  Kale and Faye save them, reveal themselves and Pearl realizes that she has known all along that she belonged somewhere else.

This was a twist on the classic story of "The Little Mermaid".  Instead of the mermaid being the fist one you meet, we meet Pearl first who has no idea that she is a mermaid.  I was a little disappointed in this story because I felt it didn't end the way I wanted it to. Definitely a great read for teens.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-4169-4016-6

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Julian Chapter

The Julian Chapter By: R. J. Palacio

This is Julian's side of the story.  He is one of the most popular boys at school and he likes it that way. When Mr. Tushman asks him and the others to be nice to the new student, August, he is fine with it. But when he meets Auggie, and the nightmares return, he knows he has to do something about it.  He is not nice to Auggie, and ends up putting notes in Auggie's locker.  This gets him suspended, and makes his parents go nuts. As he spends the summer in Paris with his grandmother, Julian finds that maybe he should have done things differently. His grandmother's story of a boy who helped her in her past, just might change his mind.

When I read Wonder, I kept thinking, what is wrong with Julian? As a teacher, I know that sometimes when kids act a certain way around others, there might be something in their life that is causing the behavior.  This book shows that indeed, Julian probably did not start out trying to be the mean kid that he ended up, but that we didn't know his side of the story.  While there are no excuses for the behavior, it just took another to help Julian figure out what he was doing wrong, and isn't it great that we can always have a second chance.  Great Great Book

I purchased this from amazon.com
This book is only available in Kindle edition or Audio Book.  ASIN: B00IBZ5YKW

The Yellow Cab

The Yellow Cab  By: Marcus Pfister

Jack is a yellow cab in New York City.  He works very hard and loves his job, but he is tired. One day he sees a sign for Brazil and decides he would love to go there.  He has a dream where he is flying in the beautiful rainforest. His dream becomes a nightmare when construction vehicles come to tear down the beautiful rainforest, but Jack is able to get the construction crews out.

This is a good twist on telling about conservation. Jack wants nothing more than to save the beautiful place that he visited and is successful.  At the end of the book there are facts about rainforests and how to help conserve.  Great book to read to any elementary classroom.

I borrowed this from the public libray
ISBN: 978-0-7358-4111-6

The Girl Who Came Home

The Girl Who Came Home By: Hazel Gaynor

This is the story of Maggie and her granddaughter Grace. Grace is forced to leave her dream and come home when her father dies. She is very helpful, but left feeling lost.  On her birthday, her grandmother, Maggie, tells her that she has a story to tell her. This story changes everything, and is the story of Maggie's time on the Titanic.

This story is told from the point of view of many different people. Each of these people are either on the Titanic, or connected to it in some way. It is a sad, but beautiful story of loss and hope.  I thought it was very well written.  Great read

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-06-231686-8

Monday, May 12, 2014

red hat

red hat By: Lita Judge

This is the story of animals that find and take a red stocking hat.  With only sound effects this book is a terrific tale of the fun animals can have with things.  Since they destroy the hat, it is also nice to see what the little girl does.  Just a simply story with great pictures.

I borrowed this book from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-4424-4232-0

Louise The Big Cheese and the Back To School Smarty Pants

Louise The Big Cheese and the Back to School Smarty Pants
By: Elise Primavera Illustrated By: Diane Goode

Louise is a small girl with a big attitude. She is really excited for school to start, she knows that her teacher Mrs. Pearl is going to be the best one yet. But when she gets to school she realizes that she is not going to be thrilled. Mrs. Pearl is a hard teacher that never gives "A"s. Louise is not happy about how hard it is to be at school. But when Mrs. Pearl is out and the class has a substitute, Louise is surprised by why she misses her teacher.   This is a great book about teaching students why teachers may be hard.  It shows that with hard work, you actually will learn a lot, and like your teacher.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-4421-0600-1

Even Monsters Need Haircuts

Even Monsters Need Haircuts By: Matthew McElligott

This is the story of the barber's son.  Late at night, on the night of the full moon, he sneaks to the barber shop to open for all the monsters. Every type of monster comes to the shop, and they each need something different. They get everything cleaned up in time for the humans to come back in.  This book was really cute, the pictures made my kids and I laugh out loud.  Perfect for the young monster lover in your life.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-8027-8819-1

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Other Half Of My Heart

The Other Half Of My Heart By: Sundee T. Frazier

Minni and Keira are twins, but no one believes them. They are complete opposites, their father is white, their mother black. Minni looks just like her father, while Keira looks just like their mother.  They have always had to explain to people that they really are twins.  Minni just wants to stop feeling so out of place, and when they are sent to their grandmother's to be in a pageant, Minni has to work hard to find a balance in her life.

This story was really good.  First, it has a great message about what it means to be a sister. That no matter what anyone says, the bond they share is a tight one and they love each other deeply. It also brought up some great things about what it mean to live in a biracial family, and not only that, having one sister that is white and one black, brought up the differences in what each of them go through based on the race they look.  Good story for upper elementary and middle school readers.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-385-73440-0

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Flood By: Alvaro F. Villa

This was one of the most moving books I have read.  A wordless book about what it is like to experience a flood.  The images come to life on the page, and you know what the family is feeling. I also like how the author shows the rebuilding process, because it tells that even when bad things happen there is a way to rebuild the things around you.  This is my favorite wordless books I have read.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-6237-0001-0

Treasure Chest: Angel of the Battlefield

Treasure Chest: Angel of the Battlefield By: Ann Hood

Maisie and Felix are not happy about their new home.  The twins are annoyed they have to leave their home, and sad that their dad is going to be moving so far away.  They are now living on the third floor of a historic mansion, that their mother is able to rent for $1 a year.  Maisie and Felix are being giving the grand tour of the bottom floor when a few strange things begin to happen.  And in their attempt to rid of the boredom they find an adventure they will never forget.

This was a clever historical fiction novel.  Having the kids fall into the past was something I believe upper elementary readers will really like.  I liked the characters Maisie and Felix, how they stuck together and really were friends not just twins. If you liked The Magic Tree House books you will definitely want to pick this one up.  Catch the next book in the series Treasure Chest: Little Lion Great read.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-448-45471-9