My Name is A.J. and I hate school. So begins every one of the multitude of My Weird School Books. The short chapter books are laugh out loud funny and depend on lots of 1st and 2nd great humor. I hope many of you are already aware of these books. Gutman has started his 3rd series of them. They are My Weird School, My Weird school Daze and My Weirder School.
For Ron Faster, going to school at Harvey N. Trouble Elementary School is exactly as it sounds like it might be– his bus driver, Mr. Ivan Stuckinaditch, gets stuck in a ditch every morning, Janitor Iquit and Assistant Janitor Iquitoo often quit, and kindergartner Chuckie Upkins rarely makes it to the nurse’s office on time.School! follows Ron Faster through one week at school (beginning on a Hotsy-totsy Monday and ending on a Yowie-ka-zowie Friday). While it first might look like Ron will get to school late every day for the rest of his life because his bus driver has put the bus in a ditch (again), have a substitute teacher because one of Mrs. Petzgalore’s pets has had a medical emergency, and eat beenie weenies on a bun for lunch, a chain of events is set in motion that will change everything.As much as I love Kate McMullan I thought the was trying a bit too hard to be like Dan Gutman, the book feels forced in points. That being said School is in that rare and precious category of very early chapter books with some character and the illustrations will pull young readers in.
Cartoons are by her then 14 year old son Jake. Twelve-year-old Derek has been identified as a reluctant reader. He likes to read, but doesn't enjoy so called “good books”. He prefershaving his own adventures like tossing as hand grenades the avocados his mother is saving for dinner, climbing onto the roof with a croquet set to hit wooden balls into the satellite dish) just like his favorite cartoon Calvin and Hobbes. Searching for a way out of his summer reading and writing assignments, Derek discovers an old newspaper clipping about a 17-year-old who drowned, and his mother explains that the teen was babysitting him at the time and died saving him. Derek is determined to learn more about her death and his involvement in it. Parents will looooove this book because all the cartoons illustrate vocabulary words but kids won’t even notice. Derek isn’t nearly as annoying as Greg but still pretty snarky so this book is a great fit for Wimpy Kid readers.
This is Ellie.She is strong, smart, and good at drawing. Say hello, Ellie! Normally Ellie is a pretty happy person. But right now she is extremely UNhappy. And this is why: Before dumping her with a bunch of relatives Ellie doesn't like, her mom says: So here is Ellie at camp with her relatives she can't stand.She's teaching them how to play spoons, a fast, fun card game. Ellie's an expert at games. I know it looks like she's having fun, but, trust me, she isn't. This is Ellie's cousin, Eric. Also known as Er-ick.She draws him as a monster because She draws him as a monster because she really, really, REALLY can't stand him.Sure, he looks happy and reasonable here,but normally he's a major pain. But he's not the only one.... The rest of his family is a major pain too.And Ellie's not so crazy about her little brother,Ben-Ben the Monkey Boy, either. It doesn't sound like a very good vacation, does it? But it gets better. :) You'll have to read the book to see just how.And.... if you like it, you'll also like the next book.
"Is Origami Yoda JUST a finger puppet, or is there something bigger going on here? The Force, maybe?" It's a question that's been vexing the sixth graders of McQuarrie Middle School ever since Dwight, the weirdest kid in class, started wearing a folded paper version of the Yodaon his finger. Dwight himself is "a total loser," (read on the spectrum for adults) yet Origami Yoda, perched on Dwight's finger and speaking through Dwight's mouth, is able somehow to dispense wisdom of an almost supernatural quality. How can this be? In the hopes of coming to an answer, Tommy, decides to write down his classmates experiences with Origami in a pants at the bathroom sink. Class is starting in 40 seconds! The teasing will be merciless! Just in time Origami Yoda emerges from a stall, via Dwight, and advises: "All of pants, you must wet." It works! Kellen goes to class in thoroughly soggy trousers—and no one notices any particular damp bit. This book is perfect for boys who are becoming conscious of the social world around them but have little idea what to do with it. The book includes both the easy and hard instructions for folding Origami Yoda and Angleberger’s website has tons of pictures and more instructions for other Star Wars characters. I have to say while I liked Origami Yoda I LOVED Darth Paper Strikes Back it does a marvelous job of illustrating how our school systems deal with kids who don’t fit in.
Best friendsLydia and Julie are about to leave elementary school for the big, scary world of junior high. They are determined to enter this brave new world as “popular girls” and embark on an ambitious research project to discover the secret of popularity. In this heavily illustrated journal they record the habits of popular girls and their own experiments. Needless to say many of their experiments have disastrous results but they are always entertaining for the reader.This book is predictable and has been told many times before but it’s journal format and wimpy kid like humor will pull them in.
Before we get started on these some points of interest. First Riordan has just announced that is new series will deal with Norse Mythology but don’t look for it until at least 2013. The next movie in the The Lightning Thief series will be release March 27, 2013. There were some major director problems. Now in terms of Lightning Thief read-alikes I think there is a tendency for us all to grab books that involve greek mythology when a says they loved The Lightning Thief. While that’s not necessarily wrong my feeling is that many of the kids, especially boys, who love this book are really responding to the action, adventure and coolness of this book not necessarily just the mythology aspect. So oftentimes I go the route of recommending something like Stormbreaker if that’s my sense of the kid. So here’s a list of kind of amalgm books that blend action and adventure with interesting elements of fantasy.
Speaking of Stormbreaker try Anthony Horowitz’s series Legends. These are short illustrated stories about Gorgons, Banshees, Dragons, Spinxes, Sea Monstersand allthe badddest beasts along with fast-moving action, plenty of fighting, and a good dose of gruesome gore. Enough said.
After saving the life of the school's toughest bully, 12-year-old Mack, who fears everything from spiders to the ocean, is visited by the ancient wizard Grimluk, who charges Mack with gathering the "Magnifica," a group of 12 magical 12-year-olds who can defeat the ancient Pale Queen and her daughter. Mack's adventures take him to Australia and alternate with flashbacks to Grimluk's original battle against the Pale Queen. Mack is replaced by a golem back home whose e-mail updates will have your readers in stitches.These books are quite silly and rely on increasingly unlikely scenarios but so much fun that I couldn’t stop reading. I especially enjoyed watching Mack cope with his numerous fears as he’s called upon to do amazingly impressive feats.
After her cousin Zee arrives from England, thirteen-year-old Charlotte Mielswetzski investigates a mysterious plague that has left most of her school in a coma-like state. With the help of their English teacher, Mr. Metos, Charlotte and Zee descend into the underworld to stop the plague, caused, they discover, by a half-demon immortal with a Napoleon complex. Philonecron has been stealing students' shadows and using them to animate an undead army to overthrow Hades, who has been distracted from his empire by Queen Persephone. I thought this book was so much fun and completely action packed if a little uneven in quality. Give this to boys and girls with a sense of humor.Also I just had to throw in my new favorite book Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu. This is amazing juvenile book that deals sensitively with depression in children while being a wholly engrossing quest fantasy.
And Speaking of quests the Sea of Trolls is a battle-ax-size fantasy-adventure in which rampaging Northmen (the polite term for Vikings) pass through a Saxon village and enslave two of its residents: an 11-year-old apprentice mage and his 5-year-old sister. When Jack offends the Northmen's touchy queen, she threatens to kill his sister unless he reverses a misfired spell--a task that requires a journey deep into icy troll country. The subsequent bouts with troll-bears, giant spiders, and dragons are thrilling, and boys in particular will delight in Farmer's portrayal of the initially terrifying Northmen as tellers of fart jokes and singers of rowdy songs.
For a slightly older croud, John Smith appears to be a normal American teenager, living in Ohio with his father, attending high school, and falling for a local girl. But he's really something much cooler: an alien from the planet Lorien, and one of the last survivors of a race that was nearly wiped out by its enemies. And now the evil Mogadorians have traveled to Earth looking for survivors, with an eye toward wiping out this planet as well. John is destined to fight them, but will his superpowers manifest before it's too late?Incredibly formulaic books but definitely action packed and fast moving.
Now as I mentioned earlier there is a small percentage of Lightning Thief fans that are genuinely fascinated by the mythology theme. For those readers I can do no better than to recommend the classic D’Aulaires book of Greek Myths. This heavily illustrated book is broken into short stories about each of the major and minor gods. D’aulaire also has books of Norse Mythology, Trolls and Norwegian myth but this is the original and the best.
For a funnier and more modern take try Townsend’s Amazing Greek Myths of Wonders and Blunders. Here ten familiar Greek myths are depicted in cartoon panels with broad jokes and up to date language. Each story has a moral but the stories are in no way moralistic. There a number of graphic novel mythology books currently being issued and all seem popular with Percy Jackson fans.
Meet Ruby. She’s almost8, she loves reflective tape, magic and her baby brother Oscar, not necessarily in that order. Ruby even loves Chinese school but … she’s not learning Chinese. She keeps mixing up her numbers and she was hopeless at colors. To make matters worse Oscar could speak whole sentences in chinese and he’s only a baby! Then Ruby finds out that her Chinese cousin Flying Duck is emigrating from China and Ruby will have to share a room with her. How will they even talk to each other? Ruby is funny, caring and shares Junie B’s knack of misunderstanding the adult world to hilarious results. And don’t worry Flying Duck gets off the plane wearing reflective tape so all is well. The book includes a Chinese glossary and pronunciation guide.
Nine-year-old Sassy usually is the one who gets stuck with the last piece of chicken or the last choice of jelly beans in the bowl because she is the youngest and smallest member of the Sanford clan. In fact she’s so small that everyone calls her “Little” sister. Sassy feels there's a special sparkly part hiding deep within her; it just needs some help to shine through. It's what's inside that counts, Grammy tells Sassy.This book is full of great characters and great dialog. My favorite Sassy quote? "Daddy says I have a KrispyKreme face, warm and sweet, but who wants to look like a doughnut?”
Grace is a 3rd grade girlwho loves making lists, draws comics (even though it's #4 on her list of "Boy Things"), and has a "small superpower." When Grace discovers a sad story about her neighbor, that superpower kicks in, and she hatches a Big Idea to help her neighbor feel better. She enlists the help of her best friend, and the glamourous French flight attendant who lives in the apartment in Grace's basement. But when things go wrong and the plan threatens to collapse, Grace finds more help from a very unlikely source.You can sell this book to some girls by telling them it’s a journal like Amelia or Wimpy Kid but you’ll really get them when you open up the book and take a look at the great drawings illustrating Grace’s lists. A lot of fun.
Not quite as funny but just right for a slightly older sensibility is third grader Katharine Carmichael, AKA Katharine the Almost Great. Katherine is convinced she is a work-in-progress. If she could just stop blabbing super-duper secrets to her cousin Crockett, conquer her stage fright-itis, and come up with the winning idea for the character education service project, her parents would finally crown her Katharine the Great.I wouldn’t call these books deathless classics but they are fast-moving and have an immediacy to them that feels very 3rd grade to me. Easy to sell with their short length.
Allie has a lot in common with Mallory but her interests have widened to fashion, cliques, animals rights and standing up to bullies. These books are just right for tween girls who are beginning to take an interest in the wider world and, of course, it has the Meg Cabot name on it.
A home-school astronomy obsessed girl, a reclusive artist and sci-fi obsessed boy and an aspiring model obsessed with own popularity. What will happen when these 3 meet at a remote campground to view a total solar eclipse? This is a girl book with meat. This book along with Wendy Mass’s other titles are for girls who are beginning to consider the deeper implications of friendship and family. It is self-reflective and character driven. My favorite part of this book is the loads of well presented information about astronomy that will have girls googling for more.
Simple, Easy to Read
Poor Buddy, his family went away and never returned and he ended up in the P-O-U-N-D. Fortunately Buddy is adopted by Connor and his mom and taken to his new home. Unfortunately Connor disappears and is it up to Buddy to find him. These are short, easy to read books with black and white illustrations. The first book does deal with divorce and abandonment but in totally appropriate ways.
Sixth-grader Benjamin Pratt is about to embark on a mystery. After receiving a peculiar gold coin from the school janitor, who unexpectedly dies, Ben finds himself on a quest to save his landmark elementary school from imminent destruction by developers who want to build an amusement park. When things don't feel quite right, and the new janitor appears to be a spy, Ben and his classmate Jill start digging for answers, hoping that secrets hidden in the building itself will help them to save the school.
O.k. for you mystery fans listen carefully to this name, Saxby Doyle Christie Chandler Ellin Allan Smart, whose father loves crime novels, has cut his literary teeth on great detective stories and developed a schoolyard reputation as a sleuth. In his first book of cases, Saxby must help friends and classmates as they bring cases to Saxby’s Crime Headquarters (his backyard shed). Saxby is a smart, introspective sleuth whose crime solving notebook pages are interspersed amongst the story. Children will enjoy being challenged to solve the mystery by following his careful clues.
After moving from Florida to London with their parents, 12-year-old Xena Holmes and her younger brother, Xander, are surprised when a mysterious stranger presses a note into Xena's hand, mutters It fades fast, and hurries away. They follow the note's puzzling instructions (written in rapidly disappearing ink) and discover that they are not only descendants of Sherlock Holmes but also the heirs of his notebooks and his unsolved cases. Researching 100-year-old clues, they attempt to solve a mystery involving a missing painting. The setting sets up some interesting scenes as the children explore their new city and find, among other things, that even familiar words can have unfamiliar meanings. Check out this fast paced and entertaining mystery
Steve Brixton always wanted to be a detective...until he found out he already WAS one. It all starts here: The thrilling story of Steve Bixton's first case. Our hero has a national treasure to recover, a criminal mastermind to unmask, and a social studies report due Monday -- all while on the run from cops, thugs, and secret-agent librarians. Since when can librarians rappel from helicopters? Does Steve have any brothers or sisters? If not, then why is this series called The Brixton Brothers? You will solve all these mysteries and many more by the time you finish The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity. We think you'll agree: Steve Brixton's first adventure is his best adventure yet.
Eleven-year-old twins Jason and Julia have just moved from London to an old mansion on the English coast. Their new home is filled with twisting tunnels and strange artifacts from around the world, and the twins can't wait to discover all its secrets. Before long, Jason, Julia, and their friend Rick stumble upon a mysterious-looking door hidden behind an old wardrobe. But none of the keys in the house will open it. What lies behind the door? And why has someone tried to conceal it? Jason, Julia, and Rick are determined to find out, no matter what it takes....
This is a huge series that includes just about every sport known and every type of protagonist. They are short, fast paced books with lots of sports action and dialogue. Great choice for hi/lo readers.
Here’s a soccer series that recounts the adventures of the Kickers, a co-ed soccer team. It deals with such dilemmas as what to do when teammates hog the ball, cheating and sportsmanship. The Winning Season is a similar series about football that’s aimed at a slightly older crowd and brings in boy-girl tension. Lots of sports action and adequate writing.
Cool illustrations make this young series which follows 5 friends as they compete in an array of sports. There is very little conflict and happy endings abound.
Twelve-year-old Ty is devastated when his uncle Gus tells him he has to spend afternoons scrubbing toilets for the family's cleaning service instead of playing on the football team. But when Ty's older brother, Thane, is selected in the NFL draft, the local mob boss takes an interest. He persuades Gus into letting Ty play football in exchange for insider information about Thane's team. All Ty wanted was a chance to succeed like his brother. Now the brothers are caught in the middle of a Mafia betting scheme, and their futures are in jeopardy.
Twelve year old Ari Fish believes in luck. Like many athletes, he has pregame rituals: reading the newspaper, checking his horoscope, and eating a particular cereal. On the day he discovers the a rare soccer trading card, his luck skyrockets: he finally makes first-string goalie. But as Ari's luck increases, his friend Mac's decreases. By far the best player on the team, Mac is not having a good year and hates not being the center of attention. When Ari's card disappears, the newest team member, the first and only girl to play in the boys' league, tells Ari that Mac was the last person near his backpack. Ari must decide which is more valuable, his friendship and the status quo, or supporting and trusting someone telling the truth. Beyond Lucky is really a cut above most sports centered books I have read (excepting Chris Crutcher of course) I thought the characters felt appropriately self-involved and each had a real personality that made me want to know what happened next. It’s a little moralistic but not crushingly so.
In Mike Lupica’s trademark fastmoving style, we follow the lives of kids who face a mulitude of challenges both on and off the court and field. This stories focuses around sports but also deals with dyslexia, immigration and foster children to name just a few. Meaty but still an excellent choice for reluctant readers.
This could be called if you liked Harry Potter as well but I’m in a bit of a Harry burnout period right now. Like Harry, the Septimus Heap series’ protagonist is a child wizard. There are fun spells, evil villains and warm families. Overall Septimus Heap is a kindler, gentler kind of Harry with plenty of humor and likeable characters.
Eric, Julie and Neal have discovered something magical in Eric’s basement; a staircase to another world! The world of Droon is amazing – full of magic, flying lizards and fun, furry creatures. But how will Eric, Julie and Neal find their way home? Can their new friend Princess Keenah help?This is an old series but really worth it for young readers who are just beginning their introduction to the wider world of fantasy.
Popular author Debbie Dadey has this new series about best friends Luke and Penny. They are recruited by an elderly neighbor to become keyholders, guardians of the border between the enchanted realm and the real world, which boggarts are threatening to invade. The kids sign on when they meet their "links"-"beings from beyond the border that form a special connection to the Keyholders"-Luke's is a bumbling dragon, Penny's a caustic unicorn. One drawback: the third Keyholder is their nemesis, Natalie.
Thirteen-year-old Jason is transported (via hippopotamus intestine, no less) from Colorado to Lyrian, a magical world ruled by the despotic sorcerer Maldor. After witnessing some horrific deaths and learning the history of Lyrian, Jason discovers that his quest to return home might be impossible without defeating Maldor, which can only be done by finding the syllables of a long-lost magic word that erases itself from the memory of those who utter it. He's given this task by the Blind King, the last man to discover the word, who also introduces him to Rachel, another refugee from Earth. My basic feeling about this book was that I had read it before many times but it will easily satisfy those fantasy book swallowers we all know and love.
Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie's favorite days. That's because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it's up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle's never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom.
The bat-winged lizard in this exciting story is small in size but big on bravery! Basil's challenge is not only to find the legendary Arthurian wizard in order to give him the warning that will save his life, but to face his own fears along the perilous journey. Basil’s really cute and this books is a great introduction to the world of King Arthur without actually going into the classic story.
In the city of Quill, all signs of creativity are shunned, and any children who so much as sing or draw are declared "Unwanted" when they turn 13 and sent off to be killed. When Alex is culled from his family and sent to die, he is surprised to discover that the Unwanteds are actually taken to a hidden, magical city called Artime, where the teens are allowed to explore the very creativity they were condemed for. Artime lives in fear that the city of Quill will discover the truth and prepares its citizens for battle with Quil using the magical arts. I can’t tell you much more because it would totally spoil the book but it is amazing! I loved the mix of dystopia, magic and battles.
Sarah Dessen does good, clean chick lit and yaers eat it up with a spoon. I actually had quite a bit of trouble getting books that really felt like Dessen’s voice. Her hallmarks are plenty of melodrama, some light romance and quick pace and usually family problems. So with great thanks to Karen for these suggestions here are some books that really evoked Desson for me.
Welcome to Elsewhere a secular island realm where the dead exist much as they once did--except that no one dies or is born, and aging occurs in reverse, culminating when the departed are returned to Earth as infants to start the life cycle again. Having sailed into Elsewhere's port aboard a cruise ship populated by mostly elderly passengers, 15-year-old head-trauma victim Liz Hall does not go gently into Elsewhere's endless summer. She is sulky and furious: "You mean I'll never go to college or get married or get big boobs or live on my own or get my driver's license or fall in love?" She rejects her new existence, spending endless hours keeping tabs on surviving family and friends through magical coin-operated telescopes, and refusing to take the suggestions offered by a well-meaning Office of Acclimation. Eventually, though, she begins to listen. She takes a job counseling deceased pets, starts a light romance with a young man struggling with heartbreaks, and finds simple joy in the awareness that "a life is a good story . . . even a crazy, backward life like hers.”
Sara Zarr is an amazing author. In only 217 pages she manages to cram in a plot that covers alcoholism, child abduction, faith, extra-martial affairs, emotional separation from parents and even a little romance. It’s melodrama squared. So here goes. It is hot beyond belief in Texas and nothing is right in Samara’s world. Her mother is in rehab, her father, a popular pastor, is always too busy with church business and with the attractive leader of the church’s youth group. Money is tight and the air conditioner just died. Then, something shocking happens, Samara’s 13 year old neighbor Jodie disappears and Samara is drawn together with Jodie’s 18 year old brother Nick, himself a suspect in Jodie’s disappearance. All ends well, mostly but life will never be the same. This book has been labeled as Christian-themed but I can’t say I noticed it overmuch with all the melodrama.
15 year old D.J. Schwenk isn’t really unhappy. She’s good at the backbreaking farm work on her family’s dairy farm that has fallen on her since her father had become partially crippled. The cows don’t hurt her feelings, and even better, don’t want her to talk about her feelings. She doesn’t have to talk about the fact that her younger brother rarely speaks and that her 2 older brothers have gone off to be professional football players leaving her with all the responsibility. But D.J.’s world is turned upside down when a local football coach ask her to spend the summer training his quarterback, Brian Nelson. Brian forces D.J. to confront her feelings both about her work, her family and about Brian.This is a transformative story with a twist. D.J. does morph from an awkward 15 year old to a much more assured and attractive 16 year old but, more interestingly, she finds the courage to try out and play for the local football team going head-to-head with her love interest.
According to tradition, when the Martin children turn 15, they inherit a suite in the family's small, rundown Manhattan hotel and a job: to take care of the room and their occupant. On Scarlett's 15th birthday, Amy Amberson, an actress with a capital A, sweeps into the suite that Scarlett has just inherited. The woman is demanding and brash, but she does have her charms (and large amounts of cash). Amy hires Scarlett as her personal assistant and then becomes involved in every aspect of Scarlett’s life including a fledgling romance. Unfortunately when the going get’s tough, Amy drops the ball and disappears and Scarlett is left to pick up the pieces. The book is less about romance than it is about family relationships and it is very Dessen like with tons of melodrama including cancer, a failing hotel and a failing career. It does have a (more or less) happy ending and it’s great that Scarlett’s happiness does not depend on the guy.
15 year old Laurel has always been different. She barely seems to need to eat or breathe. She never gets cold and fiercely craves being outdoors. But shortly after starting her sophomore year at a new school Laurel is startled to find a bump growing our of her back. Fearing cancer she tells no one until the bump grows into startlingly beautiful wing like petals. Afraid and alone Laurel shares her secret with her new friend/boyfriend David who vows (I just have to read this) “Whatever you need, I’ll be. If you need the science geek to give you answers from a textbook, I’m your guy, if you just want a friend to sit by you in bio and help you feel better when you’re sad, I’m still your guy. And if you need someone to hold you and protect your from anyone in you world who might want to hurt you, then I am definitely your guy.” Edward anyone? Laurel then meets Tamani an incredibly gorgeous fairie who tells her about her heritage and does a lot of hot ,lustful staring. The evil trolls who try to kill Laurel’s father and almost kill David are almost beside the point. In the end Laurel must chose between David and Tamani, between the normal and the paranormal. She chooses the normal at least until the next book in the series!
Aislinn knows that fairies are real and that they aren't the small, cute, winged beings that most people imagine. She has inherited the gift of Sight from her mother's family, allowing her to see them. She lives by rules that have kept her safe from their notice. All of that changes when Keenan, the Summer King, chooses her as his queen, involving Aislinn in a 900-year power struggle between him and his mother, the Winter Queen. If Aislinn refuses him, summer will cease to exist, killing both mortals and fairies alike. If she accepts, she loses her humanity and ties to the mortal world-as if life as a teenager isn't hard enough when you're "normal." I thought this book was ok. What really stood out for me was the ending which, I have to say, is quite unique among paranormal romances. Aislin’s human love interest, Seth, was a little too good to be true but that’s par for the course.
After her boyfriend dies in a mysterious fire, Luce is sent to spend her senior year of high school at a reform school. There she meets the totally gorgeous but entirely aloof Daniel. Long story, short, Daniel and Luce have met each other countless times through the ages, each time they fall in love but lose each other. Daniel remembers it all but Luce does not. My favorite part of this book was the battles with the angels and the outcasts. I thought Daniel was kind of cold but not in the smouldering Edward sort of way. Still very twilightesque.
Welcome to the world of mortal instruments where a race of supernaturally talented shadowhunters protect the “mundies” mundane humans by tracking and killing demons of every description. 15 year old mundie Clary should not be able to see Shadowhunters but mysteriously witnesses a hunt. Clary is taken by Shadowhunters and thus introduced to a whole shadow world full of demons, fairies, werewolves, vampires, etc. Surprise, surprise Clary falls in love with ShadowhunterJace only to find out (gasp) and he is actually her brother. Now before you get all weirded out, things do resolve quite well and the world of mortal instruments can be a rich and occasionally funny place. I lost interest with the second book after too many labryinthien plot twists and soap opera like moments. It is extremely popular and an excellent Twilight read-alike.
Anybody here Team Jacob? This one is for you! Grace was attacked by wolves when she was 9 and only saved by the intervention of an intense yellow eyed wolf. Anybody see where this is going? 8 years later, a human is killed by a wolf and a local hunting party decided to retaliate. Grace finds a shivering, wounded teenage boy with intense yellow eyes on her back porch. Sam transforms into a wolf every winter but soon he will be frozen in that form forever. What will the young lover’s do? I thought this book was perhaps the most Twilightesque that I have read in the intensity of Grace and Sam’s relationship and in the wolf pack dynamics.
So here’s your assignment. Take your handout go pick out or put on hold at least two books from this presentation. Most of them are short. Read them, discuss them with your colleagues, e-mail me to tell my you loved or hated it. Write it down, tell you significant other about it. Then do it all again. If you can do that with at least one book from every read-alike category you will be in great shape. Have Fun and thank you.
Njla ra presentation2
Good Reads: Reader’s Advisory for Youth Services ProvidersPresenters: Sharon Rawlins, Youth Services Consultant, New Jersey State Library and Elizabeth Burns, Youth ServicesConsultant, Talking Book and Braille Center
Thank You, Tamara!• Based on a presentation by Tamara Richman, Youth Services Librarian, Mary Jacobs Library
• What is Reader’s Advisory?• New Books• Favorite Titles• Your opinion!
What Makes an Ultimate Reader’s Advisor• Read!• Listen• Enthusiasm• Knowledge• Persistence• Don’t Panic!
Great Sources• Novelist• All Together Now Reading Lists, atn-reading- lists.wikispaces.com/Read+Alikes• BookHive at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, www.cmlibrary.org/bookhive/books/• St. Charles Library, http://www.st- charles.lib.il.us/ys/good_reads.htm
The Conversation• Dialogue• Acknowledge• Age/Grade• More Info• Sell! Sell! Sell!
Some New Books….• Game of Thrones/Fantasy? – Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta. Candlewick Press 2012 (Teen)• Bad Family Members – I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. Little, Brown 2012 (Teen)• Ghost Story – Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake. Tor Teen. 2011 (Teen) – Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough. Candlewick Press. 2012 (Teen)
• Mystery with History – The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman. Knopf 2012 (Teen)• Backpacking Central America – Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. Delacorte Press 2012 (Teen)• Dystopia – Pure by Julianna Baggott. Hachette Book Group. 2012 (Adult)• Flesh Eating Bacteria – Catch & Release by Blythe Woolston. Carolrhoda Lab 2012 (Teen)
• Historical Fiction – The FitzOsbornes in Exile, the Montmaray Journals, Book II by Michelle Cooper. Knopf Books for Young Readers. 2011 (Teen) – Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Hyperion. 2012 (Teen)• Teen Spies – Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter. Disney Hyperion Books. 2012 (Teen)• Becoming an artist – Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand. Viking. 2012 (Teen)
Wimpy Kid Appeal• Hybrid graphic novel/chapter book format• Authentic voice and look• Fast moving• Funny• School Theme
My Weird School by Dan Gutman • Ages 6+ • Series • School Stories • Appeals to both boys and girls • Authentic Voice • Funny
School! Adventures at the Harvey N. Trouble Elementary School by Kate McMullan • Ages 6+ • Hybrid Format • Appeals to both boys and girls • Lots of Word Play and Crazy Name a la My Weird School
My Life as a Book by Janet Tashjian• Ages 8+• Cool, Clever Cartoons
Twilight Appeal• Is it really about vampires?• Enduring Love• Transformation• Tons of Teenage Angst!
Wings by Aprilynne Pike• Fairies• Torn between Normal and Paranormal• Series
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr• Wicked Lovely Series• Fairies evil vs good• Sexual Tension• Unique Ending
Fallen by Lauren Kate • Series • Eternal Love • Past Lives • Fallen Angels
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare• Mortal Instruments Series• Rich, well detailed fantasy world a la HP
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater • Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy • Werewolves ‘Я Us • Alternating points of view • 2 sets of lovers in trilogy
Thank you!Your Steps to Becoming an Ultimate Reader’s Advisor• Read, read, read• Identify at least 2-3 books in each major genre or “read-alike” category that you would feel comfortable personally recommending to a patron. Try to make these titles that are often available.• If possible, take your time talking to a child when they ask for a suggestion, remember to listen not just react.