Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Student Book Review- Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon

by Ursula Vernon
Review By: Logan 

Pages 148

Published in 2009 by Scholastic Inc. 

My rating 5 out of 5 stars!
Brief Summary
Dragonbreath is about a dragon named Danny who can’t breath fire like most dragons. He goes to a school filled with reptiles and amphibians, but he is the only dragon.  Danny had to do a report about an animal. His first attempt wasn’t a success. He got an F- because he had made the whole thing up. Then he decided to do something that changed his whole report and started an adventure. If you want to know more, read the book.     
 My Thoughts
I loved this book. It was definitely one of my most favorite books. My favorite part is when Danny wakes up from this weird dream where he was a pirate, it was funny!
I think one theme of Dragonbreath is friendship because he has a friend named Wendell that goes on a special adventure to help Danny with his essay. If I were you I would read this book. I would recommend Dragonbreath to anybody who likes a funny fantasy books with some pictures.
If you like this book I would recommend the second book in the series by Ursula Vernon, Attack Of The Ninja Frogs

To visit Ursula Vernon's website click here.

Check out other reviews of Dragonbreath on School Library Journal and One Librarian's Book Reviews.

Monday, April 29, 2013

What Are You Reading? Monday, April 29, 2013

Please visit the amazing blog: Teach Mentor Texts 
who host this terrific meme each week. 

 Click on the picture to go to each book's Goodreads 
page for more info.. 

Picture Books-Fiction


Nonfiction Picture Book

Early Chapter Book

Graphic Novel

 Middle Grade Novel

Review to follow soon.  
I didn't think I'd like it, but I really did!

Currently Listening

Up Next?

What are you reading friends?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday April, 24

Please visit the host of this weekly event: Kid Lit Frenzy

Brick by Brick by Charles R. Smith
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper

This book is about how many slaves built the original White House for George Washington, brick by brick.  I am ashamed that I had not ever thought about how The White House was built, but I learned a lot from reading Brick by Brick.  I loved how this book is written in poetic form.  The amazing illustrations practically told the story by themselves.  This would make a great read aloud in grades 2-5 when studying early American history or during Black History Month. 

Click here for the Goodreads page. 
More info about Charles R. Smith and his books here.
Click here for more info about Floyd Cooper.   
More info about The White House for Kids

Sunday, April 21, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? April 22, 2013

Please visit the amazing blog: Teach Mentor Texts 
who host this terrific meme each week. 

I was on vacation, so there are too many books to write about. Click on thepicture to go to the book's Goodreads page.

Picture Books-Fiction

Nonfiction Picture Books


Check back for more info about some 
of these books on Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday.

Graphic Novels

Middle Grade Novel

Professional Book

Currently (Still) Reading

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday- April 17, 2013

I have a new affection for nonfiction picture books and I am enjoying adding them into my weekly reading 
Here are two from last week.

by Nick Dowson  Illustrated by Patrick Benson

This book is a short, beautifully illustrated description of the migration of many fascinating arctic animals.  It starts with a polar bear and an artic fox who reside in the arctic year round. Then the story describes how the arctic changes throughout the seasons.  The migration journeys of animals that travel to the arctic in the warmer months (gray whales, caribou, narwhals, arctic terns to name a few) are highlighted as each season is highlighted.
I found it fascinating and I know kids will too.

by Wendy Towle   Paintings by Wil Clay 

I'd like to thank Laurel Parker from The Windham Public Library for suggesting this book to me.  Have you ever wondered where the phrase "the real McCoy" came from?  Well, I did and Mrs. Parker had the answer. 

Elijah McCoy was an inventor in the mid to late 1800's.  Because he was an African-American, his inventions were not often seen as valid or valuable.  After he received a degree in mechanical engineering, he was unable to find work as an engineer because of his race. He worked as a a grease man and a fire man on a steam engine train. This was back breaking work.  To make his job more efficient, he invented a self-lubricating cup for the train's axles.  Again, many were reluctant to use his invention, but it was recognized as superior to other models so the Michigan Central Railroad installed his invention in all their locomotives. As others invented imitations that did not work as well, railroads started asking for "the real McCoy".  Although Elijah McCoy started to make enough money to fund his inventions, he did not become wealthy.  Along with many influential and important African-Americans of the time, he was not fully recognized for his contributions until well after his death.  

So now you can impress your friends with the story of "the real McCoy". 

Monday, April 15, 2013

It's Monday, What Are Your Reading- April 15, 2013

Please visit the amazing blog: Teach Mentor Texts 
who host this terrific meme each week. 

I enjoyed several great books this week!
Click on the title to go to the book's Goodreads page.

Picture Books

by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah 
and Kelly DiPucchino  Illustrated by Tricia Tusa
Two best friends get in an argument over what the other eats for lunch.  They learn about their cultures by tasting each other's sandwich.  Nice story about friendship and accepting differences.

by Beth Cadena  Illustrated by Frank W. Dormer 
This is a nice story to share with a soon-to-be big sister.  Supersister does great things throughout the day such as reading a story by herself and helping out around the house.  

by Tammi Sauer  Illustrated by Michael Slack
I was lucky enough to win a signed copy of this book in a recent giveaway!  It is the story of best friends, Nugget the fish and Fang the shark.  The two don't realize they are not supposed to be friends until Nugget starts school.  Many of the lesson are about how dangerous sharks are and to avoid them.  Nugget doesn't understand this and tries to defend his friend.  In the end, Shark proves he is helpful and a very good friend indeed. 

by Laurie Halse Anderson  Illustrated by Ard Hoyt
I enjoyed this story of Zoe's hair that has a mind of its own.  Zoe's first grade teacher is trying to show that there are rules in first grade and won't put up with Zoe's hair messing up the room. Finally, her hair becomes helpful during a science lesson and her teacher starts to accept it.  The illustrations are very well done.

Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic
by Ginnie Lo  Illustrated by Beth Lo
A very sweet true story of a wonderful family tradition.  

Early Chapter Books

Rabbit and Robot The Sleepover
by Cece Bell
Adorable story of friendship and compromise.

Bink an Gollie Best Friends Forever
by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee  Illustrated by Tony Fucile
Who doesn't love Bink and Gollie?  In this latest installment, Gollie discovers she is descended from royalty, can their friendship survive?

Graphic Novels

by Jennifer Holm and Matt Holm
This is the 8th Babymouse book.  Babymouse is looking for the perfect pet after yet another one of her fish dies. When she finds a lost dog, she thinks her search is over. This book is entertaining.  It is a short read and I would imagine grades 2-4 enjoying it.

Middle Grade

I finished listening to...

by Gordon Korman
This book is one the 2013-2014 Maine Student Book Award.
I gave it a 4 star rating.  It is the story of Donovan, a miscevious middle schooler who gets sent to the "gifted academy" by accident. It quicky becomes clear that he is a fish out of water.  However, Donovan's sense of humor, laid back attitude and lack of regard for rules is like a breath of fresh air for the academy.  Readers in 4-6 will especially enjoy this book about acceptance, preconceived notions and true friendship. 

Currently Reading

by Megan Frazer Blakemore
Loving it!!

by Kimberly Griffiths Little
Reading aloud with my daughter.

What are you reading friends??

Post from last week: 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Review of This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavanaugh

Goodreads page

320 pages

Ages 9 and up (from the publisher) Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Release date: April 1, 2013

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

Review copy provided by netgalley.com

Brief Summary
This story is told by the main character, Ratchet (who is actually named Rachel).  Ratchet's mom passed away when she was young.  She lives with her eccentric, environmentalist father who does not want her to go to public school.  Ratchet tells the story through the writing assignments in her homeschool journal.  When she isn't writing, Ratchet can be found helping her mechanic father fix cars in their garage.  She is also a skilled mechanic, thus the nickname, Ratchet.  

Ratchet is desperate to learn more about her mother, but her father seems reluctant to discuss her mom.  This creates a wedge between them and Ratchet feels increasingly angry and resentful toward her father. As events unfold, readers find out that his reasons for deliberately withholding information from her are an attempt to protect her from the difficult truth.  

Although she loves her father and does not want to upset him, Ratchet longs to go to a public school and have a "normal" middle school life with real friends.  In her own words, what she really wants is to change her "old, recycled, freakish, friendless, motherless life into something shiny and new."

My Thoughts
I really loved this book.  I loved how Ratchet is a down to earth girl who shops at Goodwill, can make a go-cart run better than any boy and cares about her father.  The journal is written in her handwriting in a wide variety of writing forms (poetry, how to, persuasive essay, etc.). Her entries are clever, entertaining and amusing, thinly masking her obvious feelings of loss and loneliness.  Another aspect of this book that I like is the fact that Ratchet is a middle schooler, but the book is very accessible to ages 9 and up.  It is not a difficult read and I think girls and boys alike will enjoy her story.

Themes/topics include: loss of a parent, homeshooling, talents, global issues such as pollution and recycling, friendship, and self-acceptance.

Congratulations to Nancy J. Cavanaugh on her excellent debut novel!

Visit Nancy's website for more info on This Journal Belongs to Ratchet.

See what others are saying about this book.
Publishers Weekly
Kirkus Reviews

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? April 8, 2013

Please visit the amazing blog: Teach Mentor Texts 
who host this terrific meme each week. 

I enjoyed several great books this week!
Click on the title to go to the book's Goodreads page.

Picture Books/Poetry
Although I didn't really plan it, they all have a haiku theme.

 Won Ton 
by Lee Wardlaw
A story written in haiku.  It is also the winner of this year's Chickadee Award!  I am not a cat person and I enjoyed it very much.

by Bob Raczka and Peter Reynolds
I book filled with classic "boyish" activities written in haiku.  I think boys today could use a little more riding bikes with a baseball card in the spokes.  

by Andrew Clements
Cute story told from the dog's point of view in haiku.  

Graphic Novels

by Jeanne DuPrau
I have not read the original novel, so I can not compare the two. Although a bit brief, I enjoyed this book about a civilization that lives in near darkness and isolation.

Middle Grade Novels

I finished reading...
by Jennifer A. Nielsen
I loved this book so much that I had to immediately move on to the next in the series. 
So I read...

by Jennifer A. Nielsen 
This book is so full of action and suspense that I had to 
stop myself a few times to take a deep breath and calm down.

Just Starting 

by Kimberly Griffiths Little

Currently Listening

by Gordon Korman 
I really enjoy Gordon Korman's books and this one is very entertaining so far. 

What Are You Reading?