Thursday, December 5, 2013

Maine Student Book Award Books 2013-14 Post #4

In these MSBA posts, I am sharing my thoughts about on the MSBA books I have read and bit about them.  Please read MSBA post one, two and three.  A list of all the MSBA books can be found here

by Josh Lacey

Goodreads Summary
Buried treasure. Ruthless gangsters. An ancient clue . . .
Tom Trelawney was looking for excitement. Now he's found it. With his eccentric uncle Harvey, he's travelling to South America on a quest for hidden gold. But Harvey has some dangerous enemies and they want the treasure too. Who will be the first to uncover the secrets of the mysterious island?

My Thoughts
This book combines action, adventure and mystery in a suspense-filled plot. I would recommend it for grades 6 and up. 

by Kristin Levine

Goodreads Summary
Two girls separated by race form an unbreakable bond during the tumultuous integration of Little Rock schools in 1958.
Twelve-year-old Marlee doesn't have many friends until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is bold and brave, and always knows the right thing to say, especially to Sally, the resident mean girl. Liz even helps Marlee overcome her greatest fear - speaking, which Marlee never does outside her family.
But then Liz is gone, replaced by the rumor that she was a Negro girl passing as white. But Marlee decides that doesn't matter. Liz is her best friend. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are willing to take on integration and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.

My Thoughts
Lions of Little Rock is one of my favorites from this year's list.  I learned a ton about the time period and the year after the "Little Rock Nine" entered the integrated school in Arkansas. I would recommend it for late 4th through 8th grade.  Students will need background knowledge in the Civil Rights movement and integration in order to fully appreciate and understand the book. 

Edited by J. Patrick Lewis

Partial Goodreads Summary
"Out of a windless August night/A luna moth in ghostly light
Beat softly on my window screen/Tick-tick-ticking-all silver green. She whispered secrets in my ear--/I am but a stranger here.
The stars are scrawled across the sky/By ghostwriters, the Moon and I. You will not see me here tonight--/I have a thousand stars to write."
What could be better than cuddling up with your child and this book on your lap and allowing your imaginations to soar with the words and images? Lovingly selected by U.S. Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis and paired with vibrant animal photography, this collection of poems is an exuberant celebration of the animal kingdom and a beautiful introduction to this genre of literature. Designed for family sharing but targeted to ages 4-8, this dynamic, fresh, yet still classic collection of animal poems is a must-have for the family bookshelf.
Featured poets include J. Patrick Lewis, Dorothy Aldis, Emily Dickinson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Frost, Rudyard Kipling, Jack Prelutsky, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, Robert Louis Stevenson, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and many more.

My Thoughts
This poetry compilation is just extraordinary! With poems by famous poets and huge, gorgeous photos it can be appreciated by all ages. 

by Grace Lin

Goodreads Summary
The moon is missing from the remote Village of Clear Sky, but only a young boy named Rendi seems to notice! Rendi has run away from home and is now working as a chore boy at the village inn. He can't help but notice the village's peculiar inhabitants and their problems-where has the innkeeper's son gone? Why are Master Chao and Widow Yan always arguing? What is the crying sound Rendi keeps hearing? And how can crazy, old Mr. Shan not know if his pet is a toad or a rabbit?
But one day, a mysterious lady arrives at the Inn with the gift of storytelling, and slowly transforms the villagers and Rendi himself. As she tells more stories and the days pass in the Village of Clear Sky, Rendi begins to realize that perhaps it is his own story that holds the answers to all those questions.

My Thoughts
What a beautifully written story.  I enjoyed it very much, however it is quite complicated.  I would recommend it for grades 6 and up.

by Kate Messner

Goodreads Summary
Three kids get caught up in an adventure of historic proportions!
Anna, José, and Henry are complete strangers with more in common than they realize. Snowed in together at a chaotic Washington D.C. airport, they encounter a mysterious tattooed man, a flamboyant politician, and a rambunctious poodle named for an ancient king. Even stranger, news stations everywhere have announced that the famous flag that inspired "The Star-Spangled Banner" has been stolen! Anna, certain that the culprits must be snowed in too, recruits Henry and José to help catch the thieves and bring them to justice.
But when accusations start flying, they soon realize there's more than justice at stake. As the snow starts clearing, Anna, José, and Henry find themselves in a race against time (and the weather!) to prevent the loss of an American treasure.

My Thoughts
Capture the Flag is a mystery story.  The three friends are entertaining to read about. I had one student last year read this book and Hide and Seek and he is anxiously awaiting Manhunt. I would recommend it for grades 4-6. 

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