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Kid's Featured Items
- Submitted by Children on Mon, 07/29/2013 - 10:45
Super Skills series by Stephanie Turnball
Packed with useful advice and practical tips, these well-illustrated guides are good introductions. Even kids with expertise in the subjects will find something new and interesting to try. Step-by-step instructions are exceptionally well written and easy to follow, although the books quite properly note that practice-sometimes a great deal of it-may be necessary in order to master a skill such as juggling, while other activities, such as using papier-mache, tolerate a high degree of imprecision. Of particular note are the "What's Next?" sections, which suggest additional skills to try and potential related careers. Safety tips, "Super Facts," and handy hints are highlighted in sidebars.
- Submitted by Children on Mon, 07/15/2013 - 10:44
Wild Rescue series by Jan Burchett
Twins Ben and Zoe travel the world on secret missions for their uncle's elite environmental organization, WILD. In these exciting, informative books, the two teens travel all over the world to save animals in danger and protect the environment. No matter how dangerous the mission, no matter what's at stake, Ben and Zoe will do whatever it takes to rescue at-risk animals.
- Submitted by Children on Mon, 06/24/2013 - 09:53
These titles focus on the documentation of history. Each one begins with a good explanation of primary versus secondary sources. The history of each specific document is explored-who wrote it, how it was distributed, and how it is being preserved today. The texts are factual and straightforward. The information is not presented with any particular flair, but it is well organized and easy to understand. Small sections of text are broken up by highlight boxes, period illustrations, and photographs. A time line runs along the bottom of each page, drawing attention to significant events as they occur, and is reproduced as a whole at the end of the book so readers can see the entire progression. While many collections will already own books on these topics, the distinctive approach and clear accounts make these volumes worth adding.Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
- Submitted by Children on Mon, 06/17/2013 - 10:23
The 13th Reality series by James Dashner
What if every choice you made created an alternate reality? In The Journal of Curious Letters, Atticus Higginbottom, a.k.a. Tick, is an average thirteen-year-old boy until the day he receives a strange letter informing him that dangerous— perhaps even deadly—events have been set in motion that could result in the destruction of reality itself. Tick will be sent twelve riddles that, when solved, will reveal the time and place of an extraordinary happening. Will Tick have the courage to follow the twelve clues and discover the life he was meant to live?
Tick’s journey continues in The Hunt for Dark Infinity! The Realities are in danger - and from something more terrible than Mistress Jane and the mutated Chickarda of the Thirteenth Reality. People from all Realities are unexplainably going insane. Worse, some Realities are fragmenting, disintegrating into nothingness. Master George has learned that Mr. Chu from the Fourth Reality is working on a mysterious new weapon called Dark Infinity. But no one has any idea how to stop the weapon - or even if it can be stopped. To make matters worse, Tick and his friends have been kidnapped, forced to wink from Reality to Reality, solving impossible riddles in order to survive the deadly traps surrounding them. Mistress Jane and Tick find themselves in a race to reach the weapon first - but who will destroy it and who will become its master?
In The Blade of Shattered Hope, things have changed for Atticus Higginbottom. After the near catastrophe in the Fourth Reality, Tick’s being homeschooled in the fields of science, trying to master the mysterious Chi’karda. But just as he begins to make progress, Mistress Jane reappears, now hideously scarred and much more powerful. She has tapped into the universe’s darkest secret to create the Blade of Shattered Hope, and in her quest to attain a Utopian Reality for the future of mankind, she’s ready to risk billions of lives—including those of Tick’s parents and sisters—to set her plan in motion. Her vengeance knows no bounds and when rumors begin to circulate about the secret scientific experiments taking place at the Factory, Tick and his friends—Sato, Sofia, and Paul—are faced with their most dangerous task yet. And they must not fail; for if they do, the entire universe could cease to exist.
The journey ends in The Void of Mist and Thunder. Atticus Higginbottom has known all along that when the battle for every reality is on the line, his role will be a crucial one. But he never could have imagined how this final challenge would go down. While Tick’s friends Paul, Sofia, and Sato work together with the Realitants to fight the newest and biggest threat to the very fabric of all that exists, Tick finds himself alone with the villains responsible for the damage: Mistress Jane and Reginald Chu. Each character faces unimaginable choices and death-defying odds in this breathless conclusion to a quirky, clever series. Ultimately, it will take a stunning sacrifice to save the day….
- Submitted by Children on Mon, 05/06/2013 - 10:16
Julie Andrews' treasury for all seasons : poems and songs to celebrate the year selected by Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton ; paintings by Marjorie Priceman
A collection of poems that celebrates diversity, family, and the moments during a year that make each day special. The introduction sets the tone by explaining that the selections were chosen not only because of their enjoyability but also for their ability to offer readers a new perspective on the celebrations of people who might be different from themselves. The table of contents is divided into the 12 months, with an average of 10 poems for each one. They highlight, in different ways, the holidays, seasonal changes, and other occasions such as birthdays, the arrival of new babies, etc. Featured poets include some of the usual suspects, such as Keats, Hughes, Frost, Dickinson, and Prelutsky, as well as lyrical selections by musicians and entries by the selectors themselves. Priceman's bright, eye-catching, folksy watercolors complement the poems perfectly and seem to lift right off the pages. The holiday/month index in the back of the book makes it easy to find a poem appropriate for any season, holiday, or mood. A light, warm, and cheerful addition to any collection.Rita Meade, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
- Submitted by Children on Mon, 04/22/2013 - 10:43
Strong deaf by Lynn McElfresh
Fourteen-year-old Marla has just returned home from her residential school for the deaf, and her younger sister, 12-year-old Jade, is already acting immature. Jade, who's been anxiously awaiting softball season, is crushed when she's forced to be a benchwarmer on Marla's team in case Marla needs an interpreter. Told from the perspectives of both Jade, in standard prose, and Marla, in translated American Sign Language, which uses many language shortcuts ( Weekend fun. Play many game ), this realistic story explores the dynamics of a family with both hearing and deaf members. McElfresh also tackles controversial issues in the deaf community: Jade, the only hearing member of the family, wonders how Marla's life would have been different with a cochlear implant, and their parents attend a Gallaudet University protest, which is based on an actual event. Just when the sisters' sibling rivalry comes to a head, their responses to an accident help them see each other's strengths. An enlightening book, no matter one's abilities.--Leeper, Angela Copyright 2010 Booklist
- Submitted by Children on Mon, 04/01/2013 - 11:10
What's for lunch? : how schoolchildren eat around the world written by Andrea Curtis ; photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden.
This survey of foods that inter-national children eat for school lunch emphasizes differences while pointing to the interconnectivity of world ecology. Visually, the focus is on the food, which appears in vivid photographs (often on lunch trays), joined by large blocks of text broken up with modest cartoons of schoolchildren. In Nantes, France, lunch consists of salad, roast chicken or fish, vegetables, cheese, and fresh fruit or a tart; in Tokyo, it's sardines and rice. In Afghanistan, children eat "high-energy biscuits" provided by the World Food Programme. Curtis crafts a holistic conversation about health, poverty, and sustainability: the availability of free school lunch in Brazil has helped decrease child malnutrition by 73%, while processed foods in American school lunches ("Brand name food such as Domino's Pizza and KFC are sold at more than one-third of U.S. public schools") contribute to obesity in children. Ages 8up.
- Submitted by Children on Mon, 03/25/2013 - 11:24
The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders
Mix chocolate, magic, villains, one immortal uncle, a few invisible and immortal animals, and a couple 11-year-olds, and viola! a tasty morsel that, in some ways, is reminiscent of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Unexpectedly, the Spoffards inherit a house from Mr. Spoffard's great-uncles, who tragically died young in a tram accident in 1938. Twins Lily and Oz are captivated by the house, especially after meeting the resident invisible and immortal (and talking) animals: Demerara the cat and Spike the rat. Demerara and Spike tell the children that their deceased uncles were famous London chocolatiers and that they suspect one brother, Isadore, didn't really die. The twins soon learn their summer will be quite an adventuresome one. By using magic to foil the children's unsuspecting parents, the Secret Ministry of the Unexplained enlists the kids to help solve a plot to steal their uncles' secret chocolate recipe and use it to destroy the world. From one unpredictable plot turn to another, Saunders' lively characters will endear themselves to readers from start to finish. A great read-aloud, too.--Petty, J. B. Copyright 2010 Booklist
- Submitted by Children on Mon, 03/11/2013 - 10:23
They became America’s first black paratroopers. Why was their story never told? Sibert Medalist Tanya Lee Stone reveals the history of the Triple Nickles during World War II.
World War II is raging, and thousands of American soldiers are fighting overseas against the injustices brought on by Hitler. Back on the home front, the injustice of discrimination against African Americans plays out as much on Main Street as in the military. Enlisted black men are segregated from white soldiers and regularly relegated to service duties. At Fort Benning, Georgia, First Sergeant Walter Morris’s men serve as guards at The Parachute School, while the white soldiers prepare to be paratroopers. Morris knows that for his men to be treated like soldiers, they have to train and act like them, but would the military elite and politicians recognize the potential of these men as well as their passion for serving their country? Tanya Lee Stone examines the role of African Americans in the military through the history of the Triple Nickles, America’s first black paratroopers, who fought in a little-known attack on the American West by the Japanese. The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, in the words of Morris, "proved that the color of a man had nothing to do with his ability."
From Courage Has No Color
What did it take to be a paratrooper in World War II? Specialized training, extreme physical fitness, courage, and — until the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion (the Triple Nickles) was formed — white skin.
It is 1943. Americans are overseas fighting World War II to help keep the world safe from Adolf Hitler’s tyranny, safe from injustice, safe from discrimination. Yet right here at home, people with white skin have rights that people with black skin do not.
What is courage? What is strength? Perhaps it is being ready to fight for your nation even when your nation isn’t ready to fight for you.
- Submitted by Children on Mon, 03/04/2013 - 10:19
Missing on Superstition Mountain by Elise Broach
This engrossing mystery pits three brothers recently transplanted from Chicago against the rocky caverns of Arizona's Superstition Mountain.
Simon, 11, feisty 6-year-old Jack and narrator Henry, 10, quickly grow curious about the menacing mountain that adults pointedly warn them against climbing. Their first clandestine trek ensues as they chase their roving cat, Josie. The boys feel the mountain's oppressive eeriness and encounter three skulls on a precarious ledge. After some research with library books and a historical-society pamphlet, the three secretly return to the mountain with Delilah, a smart fifth grader who's also new to Superstition. Broach brings her customary skill to this first of a projected series, articulating the boys' personalities, sketching out adults (Mrs. Barker, a medical illustrator, is the most interesting) and adding the evenhanded Delilah. A fall injures Delilah and brings adults to the rescue, but it also permits Henry's discovery of a hidden canyon, an old pair of saddlebags and a strange map. Broach sympathetically explores Henry's voice, allowing the third-person narration to filter his perceptions as a lonely middle child. He loves reading, relishes the big words he learns and worries about not living up to his namesake, the late, roguish Great Uncle Hank.
Broach reserves plenty of suspicious characters, spooky landscapes and loose ends for the slated sequels, which both boys and girls will savor. (author's note) (Mystery. 8-12)
Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.