Thursday, January 27, 2011

Staff picks in a snowbank

Happy snow day, Cambridge and Somerville! This is my favorite kind of day to have a snow day: the sun is shining, the snow has stopped falling but it still lying in beautiful banks taller than me. What a perfect day for making a snow fort and snow animal prints and coming back inside for hot cocoa and a good book! Here are some of the books we've been reading in the last few snowstorms.

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
Bookseller: Teresa
Genre: realistic fiction, verse
Suggested reading level: ages 8 to 12

Every once in a while I will read this book to remind myself that poetry is pretty, dogs are cute, and writing helps us figure things (and ourselves) out. If you happen to be in the room with me while I am reading this book, I will read it out loud to you, and that's a promise!

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
Bookseller: Natasha
Genre: fantasy, fairy tale retelling
Suggested reading level: ages 12 up

I love, love, love fairy tale retellings and Hansel and Gretel is one of my all-time favorite fairy tales. This book is much more than just a retelling of Hansel and Gretel, though. It melds a lot of fairy tales into one funny story with tons of adventure and action that definitely feels at home in a Grimm world.

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Bookseller: Michelle
Genre: fiction
Suggested reading level: ages 14 up (teen/adult)

This book will change the way you read books. If only every book character had the humor and sincerity that Alex and Jonathan have. If only every plot had such nuances between fact, reality, and memory. Read, laugh, weep, read again.

Frindle by Andrew Clements
Bookseller: Shara
Genre: humor, school story
Suggested reading level: ages 9 up

For Nick Allen, calling a pen a frindle starts as a practical joke to annoy his teacher. But when the new word gains popularity, the whole situation spins out of Nick's control. Clements's hilarious story examines what can happen, good and bad, when kids choose to question the status quo.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Bookseller: Natasha
Genre: realistic fiction, young adult
Suggested reading level: ages 14 up

Colin was born a brilliant child prodigy. He can speak 11 languages, he has an uncanny memory for trivia and more so, an uncanny ability to date and be dumped by girls named Katherine. After the 19th Katherine says sayonara, Colin's hilarious friend Hassan drags him on a wacky road trip to get over it.

The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier
Bookseller: Jose-Luis
Genre: graphic novel, fantasy, adventure
Suggested reading level: ages 9 up

Ready for a thrilling comic set on the high seas? Join Walker Bean and a quirky crew of pirates as they attempt to steal a talking skull from two creepy sea-witches! Along the way, Walker Bean creates awesome inventions like a boat-on-wheels and a fake night sky. Fans of Tin-Tin or The Invention of Hugo Cabret will love this.

The Memory Bank by Carolyn Coman
Bookseller: Michelle
Genre: magical realism, for fans of Roald Dahl
Suggested reading level: ages 9 up

Told through clear writing and rich illustrations, fans of The Invention of Hugo Cabret will like this story of two separated sisters. After her cruel parents ditch her sister for laughing, Hope spends all her time dreaming, until she is summoned to the World Wide Memory Bank, where she finds clues on how to get Honey back. A very sweet tale!

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