Thursday, October 14, 2010

Staff picks out to lunch

It's a reading frenzy here in the chapter book room, with staff members sneaking new books off the displays and devouring them (metaphorically, for the most part) on their lunch breaks. Here are our latest staff choices for you.

Koko Be Good by Jen Wang
Bookseller: Natasha
Genre: graphic novel, realistic fiction
Suggested reading level: ages 15 up

This book weaves the stories of three really interesting characters in a subtle and interesting way. I really liked that the book showed all these characters without judgment, and in the end it seems to say that no matter who you are--whether you’re driven toward a goal or an aimless wanderer--what matters is that you're okay with yourself.

I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
Bookseller: Michelle
Genre: fantasy adventure, humor
Suggested reading level: ages 13 up

This 4th book in the hilarious Tiffany Aching series concludes the adventures of witch Tiffany and the rambunctious, kilt-sporting Wee Free Men. As always with Pratchett, there are many laughs, puns, and subtle satirical scenes. I'm sad that a favorite series is over, but Tiffany's coming-of-age is as wonderfully unsentimental as it is heroic and humorous. Plus, I can always reread them! The Wee Free Men books are perfect for grads of Diana Wynne Jones's Howl's Moving Castle.

Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd
Bookseller: Morgan
Genre: YA fiction
Suggested reading level: ages 12 up

When Fergus finds the body of a child preserved in the bog near his Northern Island home, he is drawn into an ancient mystery that occupies his dreams. But Fergus has problems here and now: his brother is on hunger strike, and the political turmoil that surrounds him is threatening to divide his home.

Dragonbreath series by Ursula Vernon
Bookseller: Natasha
Genre: graphic novel, fantasy
Suggested reading level: ages 8 up

Reluctant readers will love this series; somewhere between graphic novels and heavily illustrated chapter books. You'll want to be best friends and sidekicks with mythical dragon Danny who hates homework and dreams of being a pirate while stuck at a school full of normal amphibians.

The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers
Bookseller: Jessie
Genre: fantasy
Suggested reading level: ages 11 up; read-aloud to 7

All the inhabitants of Atlantis crowded together to hear the (only slightly embellished) autobiography of Bluebear; the hobgoblins could not console themselves without his nightly performances, and the thoughts in the Bollogg's brain paid generously to witness his dreams - who are you to resist reading his story?

The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Bookseller: Shara
Genre: realism
Suggested reading level: ages 12 up

After prank-calling a lonely old man named Angelo Pignati, two teenagers inadvertently begin an intense relationship with him that ultimately leads to his death. As John and Lorraine take turns telling their sides of the story, they begin to deal with their feelings of guilt and loss. Similar to S.E. Hinton.

The Pen
derwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Bookseller: Michelle
Genre: sibling story, wholesome summer adventure
Suggested reading level: ages 9 up

The Penderwicks can stand alongside the great tradition of family stories, like Edward Eager's Half Magic, Frank Gilbreth Jr and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey's Cheaper by the Dozen, and Elizabeth Enright's Melendy Quartet. These four sisters (responsible Rosalind, practical Skye, imaginative Jane, and butterfly-wing-wearing Batty)
along with Hound Penderwick are about to have their best summer vacation yet - full of escapes, scrapes, a mysterious boy next door, and pet rabbits! Also look for the sequel, Penderwicks on Gardam Street.

Ninth W
ard by Jewell Parker Rhodes
r: Morgan
Genre: magical realism
Suggested reading level: ages 9 up

A gorgeously written story about a New Orleans girl with a special power,
fighting to survive Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Readers who live for interesting characters will love the relationship between Lanesha and her Mama Ya-Ya, and fantasy fans will love the hint of magic behind the gritty story.

No comments: