Posts Tagged ‘boys’

The Sock Thief

August 25, 2015

sockThe Sock Thief

By Ana Crespo

Illustrated by Nana Gonzalez

Recommended for ages 3-6.

Felipe is a sock thief. Once a week, he gets up very early and picks mangoes from his family’s tree, then he goes the long way to school. He doesn’t have any socks of his own, since his only pair of shoes are worn out flip-flops, so he takes socks from windowsills and laundry lines. But for every pair of socks he takes, he leaves behind a ripe mango. What does he do with so many socks? It turns out that it’s not as much of a secret as Felipe thinks.

A fun story about ingenuity and kindness in a small town, The Sock Thief will charm soccer fans and creatives alike. There are introductory words in Portuguese scattered throughout the text, as well as a glossary in the back to help the reader learn a few more words. The bright and cheery pictures will draw in any reader as you get closer to learning about Felipe’s secret use for the socks.

Nicole P.

Schimelpfenig Library

 

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I am Jackie Robinson

May 27, 2015

jackieI am Jackie Robinson

By Brad Meltzer

Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

Brad Meltzer’s series Ordinary People Change the World show heroes all throughout history in a new light. Each book is told in first person, with the historical figure telling the story about their lives and accomplishments. The illustrations are comical and fun, making it an interesting read for younger kids as well as older. What makes the books unique is that the heroes are drawn to look like children, letting the reader relate to these normally bigger-than-life people.

In his newest book in the series, Brad Meltzer shows the life of Jackie Robinson, world renowned athlete and warrior for equality. Jackie was the first African American to play on a major-league baseball team. Though he faced discrimination all of his life, Jackie learned tolerance from his mother and applied it wherever he could. People were mean to him on the field and off of it, but Jackie kept his head high and played baseball with everything he had. His example opened the doors for all races to play together.

Recommended for grades K-2.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

If you enjoy I am Jackie Robinson, make sure to check out the other books in the series!

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Fox’s Garden

December 24, 2014

fox's gardenFox’s Garden
by Princesse Camcam

In this wordless picture book, a lone fox travels through the cold night to find shelter from the blowing snow. In the village, fox is shooed away from windows and doors by unwelcoming townsfolk. A young boy watches from his bedroom window as fox sneaks into a nearby greenhouse. Wishing to help, the boy delivers a basket of food to fox, only to encounter an unexpected surprise.

Even without words, this little book has a big impact. A tale of kindness and giving that is perfect for the season. Readers wrapped up in the magic of the story and the detail of the illustrations will want to enjoy it again and again.

fox's garden 2

Sidenote: Adults, if you are enjoying this book with a child, explain that you are about to read a wordless picture book, which means the story is told completely through the illustrations. On the first spread, model narrating the story. Note important story elements such as the characters and setting. Then go through the book slowly, allowing a few seconds of silence at each page turn to take in the images. Ask the child to tell what is happening on each page. You can support new readers in this activity by asking leading questions and providing key vocabulary. Most of all, enjoy!

Recommended for ages 3 and up.

(Jocelyn, Davis Library)

Sources: Empowering the Youngest Readers: Reading Without Words (http://www.randomhouse.com)

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The Things I Can Do

July 12, 2013

The Things I Can Do
by Jeff Mack

In his new book, The Things I Can Do, Jeff Mack calls on his inner-kid to tell a story of all the things he can do, all on his own. The rhyming text is written by hand in bold black crayon, and the illustrations are a collage of construction paper, stickers, tape, glue, crayon drawings, and all kinds of other stuff! This is a great book to read one-on-one. Younger kids will love pointing out all the components of the pictures. Adults and older kids will catch on to the humorous discrepancies of what young Jeff says he can do, and what he does do. A fun, funny, and explorative read. You might want to have some craft supplies and paper on hand, though. Kids may want to make their own book after reading this one!

Recommended for ages 5 to 8.

(Jocelyn, Davis Library)

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The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe

May 21, 2013

Misadventures of Edgar and Allen PoeThe Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe Book One: The Tell-Tale Start

Written by Gordon McAlpine and illustrated by Sam Zuppardi

These mischievous twelve-year-olds are the great, great, great, great grandnephews of Edgar Allan Poe. They are one boy in two bodies or two boys with one mind and have a psychic connection with each other that gets them in trouble as often as it gets them out of it. Whether they’re building a replica of the Pit and Pendulum dungeon to scare the pants off the bullies at school, or trying to talk to their long dead uncle from beyond the grave, the twins are always in the middle of something unusual. Their talents catch the mysterious Ian Archer’s attention, who lures them to the isolated Gale Farm and OZitorium. He has dastardly plans for the twins, but with the help of mystical fortune cookies and their extremely well-trained cat, they can unravel the mystery of  Gale Farm and the professor behind it all.

Packed with fun illustrations and dark, whimsical humor, this book is definitely recommended for those who enjoyed the Time Warp Trio and Lemony Snicket.  This is an action-packed start to a series that promises many adventures with the Poe twins and Roderick Usher, their cat.

Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Nicki P. (Schimelpfenig)

 

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Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

March 4, 2013

 

Navigating Early

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

 If you want a deeply layered story with thoughtful characters, then this just might be the book for you!  Navigating Early is also an adventure quest.  It took a while for me to start piecing it all together, but I loved it and didn’t want it to end.

At the end of World War II, Jack’s mother has died, and his father decides to send him to a boarding school in Maine.  It’s a strange new world compared to Kansas.  At first he tries to fit in with the other boys, but he ends up retreating into a friendship with Early Auden.  Early is different than the other boys (in today’s language he might be described as being on the autism spectrum).  When the two end up alone at school, Jack goes along on the venture Early has planned to find pi and a great black bear on the Appalachian Trail.  If you are a stargazer and a dreamer, you’ll love the many connections that Jack and Early make on their journey.

This is Vanderpool’s second novel.  She won the Newbery Award for Moon over Manifest, which is another complex and worthwhile read.

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Invasion of the Dognappers

December 10, 2012

Invasion of the Dognappers by Patrick Jennings is a solid choice for kids 8 to 12.  I think it will especially appeal to boys.

The story revolves around alien-obsessed Logan and his group of friends who investigate the disappearance of several dogs in town.  What I liked about this particular book is that Logan really does find aliens!  It’s a funny story and of course Logan saves the day and the dogs.

Patrick Jennings has several other popular novels.  One of my favorites is Faith and the Electric Dogs, which was on the 1998-1999 Texas Bluebonnet Award master list.  It’s an oldie, but a goodie!

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Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories of Growing Up Scieszka

May 14, 2012

Knucklehead:  Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories of Growing up Scieszka by Jon Scieszka

I picked up Knucklehead because someone recommended it as a funny read.  Jon Scieszka’s reputation as a favorite author of kids was a factor in my decision too.  I was not disappointed, and actually laughed out loud!  Jon Scieszka was the second oldest of six boys.  I grew up with one sibling, and the dynamics of larger families has always fascinated me.  Stories about a bunch of boys is hysterical, and mildly terrifying!  Scieszka has thrown in a couple of Knucklehead warnings for worried parents!

This 106 page memoir is filled with Scieszka’s old family photos, and short chapters that really don’t have to be read in order to be enjoyed.  I highly recommend it; it would be a great summer read-aloud.

Julie (Harrington)

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It’s Baseball Season at the Library!

April 25, 2011

Shoeless Joe & Black Betsy

by Phil Bildner

Did you ever hear the story of Shoeless Joe and his bat, Black Betsy? This story is about the baseball legend, Shoeless Joe Jackson and how his bat helped him to get the greatest rookie batting average in baseball. You can discover just how a bat needs to be cared for to help you really bat well, as well as how Shoeless Joe earned that famous nickname!

 Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings

by Deborah Hopkinson

This is a story of a girl who just could not stop playing baseball. As a girl, Alta Weiss discovered that she could really throw a baseball. Not only was she a pitcher for a girl, but she was a good pitcher for anyone. She found her way onto a team, and shows everyone just what she’s made for, and that’s playing baseball!

The Babe & I

by David A. Adler

Baseball during the depression was a way for folks to escape from the tough times and enjoy that national pastime. When times are tough for a little boy and his family, they do what they can to make ends meet. Not only does baseball come through for this little boy in a time of need, but Babe Ruth himself played a key role in helping out him and his family.

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Boys and Books

December 30, 2010

From Jon Scieszka’s Guys Read website:

A lot of boys are having trouble reading.

  • The U.S. Department of Education reading tests for the last 30 years show boys scoring worse than girls in every age group, every year.
  • Eighth grade boys are 50 percent more likely to be held back than girls.
  • Two-thirds of Special Education Students in high school are boys.
  • Overall college enrollment is higher for girls than boys.

This is not news to a lot of teachers and parents.  And let’s face it, a lot of chapter books out there have too many cute pictures on the cover, describe too many feelings (eeeew), and are just not appealing to boys.  If your boy needs a little extra encouragement or inspiration to make reading fun, there are two websites that are great resources for you.

Guys Read was created by author Jon Scieszka of Time Warp Trio and Stinky Cheese Man fame to promote boys literacy.  For awesome book lists, authors and more that have guy-appeal, you can’t find a much better source.  I particularly like the odd themes Scieszka uses to group books, such as “at least one explosion,” “monkeys and/or apes” and “outer space, but without aliens.”

Books 4 Boys was created by Penguin Publishers to provide “tried-and-true favorites as well as brand-new suggestions specifically for boys.”  The catch with this website is that it is run by a publisher, so naturally the titles listed are limited to Penguin publications.  On the flip side, the advantage of being run by the publisher is that they provide free excerpts to read online if you want to test drive a book before picking it up at the library.  Lists are available by author, series, age and grade level, and genre/theme.

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