Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Guys Read Other Worlds Edited by Jon Scieszka

Other Worlds is another installment in the Guys Read series edited by Jon Scieszka.  While these books of short stories are marketed to boys, they are very enjoyable and would be appealing to girls as well. Many of the authors will be familiar to kids which helps to promote interest in the Short Story Genre. 
Also Try:
The Real Boy by Anne Ursu
Shelf Life: Stories By the Book by Gary Paulson
The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech

Dance Divas Showtime~ by Sheryl Berk

A cute book about four girls who live to dance, their teacher and their studio.  There are a lot of descriptions of the routines and the dance world, but the major topics of the book focus on the rivalries amongst the girls and how they learn to deal with the drama.  This is one in a series.

Also Try:
  Tutu Much by Airin Emery
Isabelle by Lawrence Yep
Katie, Batter Up! by Coco Simon

Operation Bunny by Sally Gardner

Operation Bunny by Sally Gardner is a charming, magical story.  Emily's life bears more than a passing resemblance to Cinderella's life.  As the story goes on Emily gains a benefactor, starts to learn magic and gets involved with a fairy detective agency.  This is book one in a planned series.

Also Try:
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord

The Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons Lucy at Sea by Barbara Mariconda

Lucy at Sea is the sequel to The voyage of Lucy P. Simmons.  Like the first book, this book is full of adventure, mystery and action. While the main character is a girl, the seafaring adventure will surely appeal to boys and girls alike.  The story is set in 1906 and the historical details are accurate and interesting.  A great adventure story!

Also Try:
The Hostage Prince by Jane Yolen
Andi Unexpected by Amanda Flower
Doll Bones by Holli Black

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is truly a children's classic that I fear is becoming forgotten. It is a melancholy story about a young girl, Francie Nolan, growing up in a gritty Brooklyn neighborhood in the twenties. Despite the poverty and and degradation of her life, Francie tries so hard to find beauty and joy whenever she can. The book ends when Francie is just becoming an adult, and while it may not be a very happy story, it is a realistic and enjoyable coming-of-age story.

Also Try:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
A Little Pricess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Gingersnap by Patricia Reilly Giff is a bittersweet novel about an orphaned girl in 1940's New York. Jayna's guardian is her big brother but he has to leave to fight in WWII. Jayna is not happy with her living situation while her brother is gone and so she takes some pretty courageous steps to change it. There is a little bit of a paranormal element to the story too, but it only makes the story more interesting for young readers.

Also try:
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

Monday, December 10, 2012


Wonder, by R.J. Palacio is a beautiful story written with compassion and kindness about a boy born with a facial deformity that prevented him from attending a mainstream school until 5th grade! August Pullman wants nothing more than to be included and treated as an ordinary kid but his classmates struggle seeing past his looks. This book is written from August's perspective and the perspective of other characters as well. These various points of view reflect a true struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. Terrific opportunity for the 8-12 year old in a society dealing with so much bullying to meet a sweet, funny boy who wants the same things others want: friendship, understanding, and the freedom to be himself and to meet those in his life who are opening to allow him just that freedom. A well-written, engaging, book so much fun to read that the pages almost turn themselves!   -Aurora

The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
One for the Murphy's by Lynda Mullaly Hunt