Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Unidentified Suburban Object

September 22, 2016

Uunidentified-suburban-objectnidentified Suburban Object

By Mike Jung

Chloe Cho is tired of everyone assuming that all Asians are the same.  As the only Korean American as well as the only Asian American in her school, she’s heard it all — she’s a straight-A student because she’s Asian, she’s good at the violin because she’s Asian, her parents know how to discipline because they’re Asian — and she’s had enough!  It doesn’t help that her parents seem just fine with people confusing them for Chinese or Japanese and never seem to want to talk to her about their lives back in Korean.  Things finally start to look up for Chloe when a new teacher comes to town and she’s Korean American too!  Finally, she has someone to talk to who understands her!  But Chloe’s world starts to unravel when a class assignment about her family history forces her parents to share an out-of-this-world family secret.

I’m not going to lie; the book cover is what originally drew me to this book; just look at the face on that fish!  After reading the summary on the book cover, I was hooked.  Racial stereotypes and unintended racism can be hard topics to address and even harder to sell to young readers, but I think Jung does a great job giving it enough humor to help the medicine go down in the most delightful way.  Chloe has such an authentic voice and is very relatable.  It really sounds like a story told by a seventh grade girl.  While a lot of authors struggle with the balance of character emotion, Jung is able to portray Chloe at her whiniest, most miserable low point without alienating the reader (pun intended).  I really enjoyed the emotional roller coaster and I loved the little twist at the end.  Who knows, maybe this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Miss Chloe Cho…

Reviewed by Meredith (Harrington Library)

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Tru & Nelle

September 16, 2016


Tru & Nelle

by G. Neri

In their small town of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1930, misfits Tru and Nelle strike up a friendship and find a mystery to solve when someone breaks into the drugstore and steals some candy and a fancy brooch.

This is a fictionalized account of the real-life friendship between two of America’s great writers, Truman Capote and Harper Lee, so for adults, it’s really fun to see the ways parts of this book mirror things that happen in the books that Capote and Lee wrote as grown-ups. But it’s also a really satisfying story of friendship, small town life, standing up for yourself and your friends, childhood adventures, and dealing with tough situations in life, and also about sometimes having to let go when you’ve found a person and a place you really connect with. No prior knowledge of Truman Capote or Harper Lee are necessary to enjoy this book immensely! Definitely well worth a read for aspiring writers, mystery fans, and those looking for adventures in everyday life.

Happy reading!

Reviewed by: Lara (Haggard Library)

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Cecil’s Pride

June 23, 2016

cecilWhen Cecil the lion was killed in 2015, the news made international headlines.  In Cecil’s Pride: The True Story of a Lion King, young readers learn more about Cecil and his extraordinary life before his death.

When Cecil was challenged by another male lion, and forced to abandon his territory, Cecil unexpectedly paired up with another male lion.  Male lions are fiercely protective of their prides and typically do not pair up, so this was highly unusual.  Cecil and Jericho, however, were stronger together. When Cecil was tragically killed by hunters, Cecil’s pride (especially the cubs) were in danger.  Amazingly, Jericho spared the cubs and adopted them into his own pride.

Young animal lovers (and budding conservationists) will pore over the quality photographs and enjoy the narrative of this unlikely friendship.  The author team is a father and his two daughters, and they’ve produced many photo biographies of true animal friendships.  Check out this one or another one by the Hatkoff’s.

cecil and jericho

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Hector and Hummingbird

June 21, 2016

Hector and HummingbirdHector and Hummingbird

By: Nicholas John Frith

Hector is a bear with a big problem. His best friend, a tiny hummingbird, is so NOISY!! If that isn’t bad enough, Hummingbird copies Hector too.

Hey Hector!

            Are you scratching?

            I’m going to scratch too!

            Look! I’m the best scratcher, aren’t I?



This story made me laugh out loud. Kids will be able to relate to Hummingbird while parents might relate with Hector. The brilliant, bright illustrations are the perfect complement to the story. A real winner!

Renee (Parr library)


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The Mouse Who Reached the Sky by Petr Horacek

May 31, 2016

mousewhoWhen Little Mouse sees something red and shiny in a tree, she tries to get it down but is unable to reach it. She goes to ask her friend Mole to help but they still can’t attain the necessary height. The two friends ask Rabbit to assist them and by cooperating with each other, they are able to achieve even more than their original goal. Each character imagines the red circle is something a little different.  Children can make their own guesses before the actual object is revealed at the end.  The vibrant colors used in the illustrations add to the exuberance of the story.  When these friends help each other, they succeed beyond their wildest dreams. mouse moon

Recommended for children ages 3-6.

Enjoy these two additional titles by Petr Horacek starring Little Mouse.

new house for moue



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Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

May 27, 2016

By Chris Grabenstein


Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.
Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.
In this cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night in the Museum, Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Old fans and new readers will become enthralled with the crafty twists and turns of this ultimate library experience. (taken from Goodreads)

This fun, entertaining book has many elements that engage the reader. I enjoyed all aspects of this story. The clues and puzzles are cleverly done and the children have rewards and consequences for their actions.

This is a great book for older elementary age kids, who will have an opportunity to discuss the book in our ‘Tween You and Me Book Club at Parr Library this summer.  You can find more information about the book club, and other great summer events at the library here

Happy reading!

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May 19, 2016


By: Ally Condie

This is a deeply emotional coming-of-age story about twelve-year-old Cedar Lee, who moved to Iron Creek, Utah, for the summer with her mother and younger brother, Miles. The family is struggling to recover after an accident claimed the lives of Cedar’s father and brother Ben. Cedar quickly befriends Leo, a hometown boy, who helps her get a job at Summerlost, the town’s yearly Shakespeare festival. The enterprising young people team up to give unofficial walking tours about a legendary actress, Lisette Chamberlain, from their hometown. A couple of different mysteries are woven into the story including mysterious trinkets that keep appearing on her windowsill that remind Cedar of her brother Ben. Another mystery involves the circumstances surrounding Lisette’s death. However, the heart of the story revolves around Cedar coming to terms with her grief and her new relationship with her friend Leo.

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Builder Mouse

March 9, 2016

buildermouseBuilder Mouse: A story of friendship, creativity, and the fine art of compromise

By: Sofia Eldarova

Edgar the mouse loves to build tall things with food leftovers. This is problematic when his best friend, Toby, also like leftovers, but for eating, not building. Each masterpiece that Edgar creates becomes a meal for Toby. Eventually Edgar decides to leave his home to find a place where his talents for building are appreciated. He tries out the subway, a restaurant, and a museum, but all the mice in those places also find his masterpieces tasty. He decides to return home to his best friend, Toby, and discovers that his best friend has gotten him a surprise to help him with his building.

I enjoyed this sweet friendship story mostly because of the subtle story and lovely illustrations. Share this book with the little builder in your life. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)

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Minna’s Patchwork Coat

March 8, 2016

Minna’s Patchwork Coat

by Lauren A. Mills

8-year-old Minna lives with her family in a rustic cabin in the Appalachian Mountains during the beginning of the 20th century.  Life is difficult.  Her father works in the coal mines where he has contracted the deadly black lung disease and is forced to miss work more and more often. The family is extremely poor.  Too poor, in fact, to afford a coat for Minna. Without a coat, Minna must remain at home during the harsh winter months.  No coat means no school – her greatest wish. Minna knows how to read and write thanks to her mother who has taught her at home but Minna desperately wishes that she could go to school and make friends with the other mountain children.

Sadly, Minna’s beloved father finally dies from his disease and her mother must make ends meet by joining the local Quilting Moms who sell their quilts to city people to bring in an income.  When the mothers discover Minna’s coat dilemma, they offer to make her a coat from the scraps of material that are part of their family’s life.  Each scrap has a story behind it – stories of the children that Minna hopes will eventually be her friends.  Can the children see beyond the rags to the girl inside who is offering them her friendship?

The author has based this middle grade chapter book upon her 1990 picture book The Rag Coat and in so doing has expanded Minna’s story and built it upon her own childhood memories of summers spent with her grandparents in West Virginia.  In addition, Mills has complemented Minna’s tale with exquisitely drawn pencil sketches that skillfully bring the setting and characters to life.

Recommended for grades 4 – 6.

Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)




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Green Thumbs-Up!

February 24, 2016

Green thumbs-up!Green Thumbs-Up

By: Jenny Meyerhoff

The first book in the Friendship Garden series introduces readers to third-grader Anna Fincher. Anna has recently moved to Chicago from upstate New York. The view from her new school window is gray where there used to be green. She misses her friends and wonders how she will be able to make new friends. Luckily a school project partners her with Kaya, whose abuela loves to garden, and Reed, who loves to dig in the dirt. The trio comes up with the idea of starting a kid’s garden club. They will need to convince an adult to supervise their garden project. Anna’s father stays at home while her mother works as a chef. He can’t help the garden club, but the kids find someone who can help them. This sweet chapter book will appeal to readers of Laurie Friendman’s “Mallory” books or Anna Branford’s “Violet Mackerel” series.

Reviewed by:  Renee (Parr Library)


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