Book reviews...from picture books to adult books, as well as books-to-movie info, and other stuff I think is interesting. Note: Not all books reviewed or recommended are appropriate for all ages.
NOVEMBER 8, 2011
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
If the title alone doesn't pull you into this short chapter book, maybe the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid"-like illustrations, "handwriting" of different narrators, etc. will. The book is The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger.
The light-hearted plot centers on building a case for whether or not the origami Yoda that Dwight carries around with him has "magic" powers of giving advice. Different characters tell their individual stories, and some characters make notes throughout the notebook in their own "handwriting."
I would recommend this book to fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid as well as other stories of regular school life (with a little "twist")...like the Humphrey series, beginning with The World According to Humphrey (about a classroom hamster that seems to have the same "helping" effect as Yoda in this title.)
A sequel, Darth Paper Strikes Back, is newly published and available for check-out as well.
Just Grace is the first book of a series by Charise Mericle Harper, and is a great early chapter book for a new chapter book reader. It is a fun, quick read...featuring lists and cartoonish drawings inside, in the spirit of Diary of Wimpy Kid.
This first book is about a girl named Grace, who gets re-named "Just Grace" much to her horror, early on in the school year because there are so many girls named Grace in her class. The main plotline is Grace's altruistic project to secretly help her neighbor, Mrs. Luther, who was sad because her beloved cat, Crinkles, started running away out of fear of her owner's new bright orange leg cast. Grace wants to cheer up her neighbor, but ends up being blamed when Crinkles goes missing---and then must solve the mystery to clear her name.
I have been reading The House of Dies Drear to write questions for the Lenihan/MACS Battle of the Books. I can't WAIT to finish this book...I'm not a fan! It is a mystery that seems to be resolving like a Scooby-Doo episode but without the funny parts. Oh well...
As I occasionally do in this blog, it is freebie time again...to reward people who check this blog reguarly. We have several sets of the Thirty Nine Clues series "clue" cards to give out to the first few readers who ask for them.
Please only ask for them if you are a Thirty Nine Clues series fan....comment on this post (only your first name and last initial please) and I will set aside a pack for you at the youth desk, as supplies last. Ask Joa or Teresa next time you are at the library.
Recommend Eleven: a Mystery by Patricia Reilly Giff
I just finished listening to the CD version of the newest book by Patricia Reilly Giff, the author of several books, including one of my favorite books ever, Pictures of Hollis Woods.
Eleven tells the story of Sam, a boy who lives with his grandfather, "Mac." Sam's reading struggles have never been such a big problem as they day when he discovers a newspaper clipping in the attic with his childhood photo and the words "Missing." Unable to read the rest of the article, Sam enlists the help of the new girl at school, Caroline. Together they work to solve the mystery.
As they find out more information and Sam has flashes of early memories, he worries that he doesn't really belong with "Mac." The suspense grows, as does the friendship between Sam and Caroline. I highly recommend this well-written novel, which keeps you reading to discover the truth about Sam's past, as well as for the likable and memorable characters.
I just finished reading Do You Know the Monkey Man? by Dori Hillestad Butler. I wanted to read it after hearing from so many Battle of the Books readers that it was a favorite, plus the author lives in Coralville, Iowa.
It was an interesting story about a Sam, a girl who is determined to track down her father, who she hadn't seen or heard from since she was three years old. Her parents divorced shortly after her twin sister, Sarah, drowned in a boating accident. But evidence starts piling up suggesting that maybe her sister is still alive....and Sam wants to find out, no matter what. She especially wants to see her father before her mother and Bob, her fiancee get married.
This story is suspenseful, and you will get caught up in Sam's search.