- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
After reading the Harry Potter series, you might feel depressed because there aren't anymore titles coming out! However, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan will help to fill the void. The first in this series is The Lightning Thief (AR 13.0, Level 4.7).
Like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson faces many disadvantages in modern life. However, he soon finds out that he has some special powers and belongs to the mythological world of Camp Half-Blood.
Told from the first person, this series is especially great for kids who don't like to read all that much. And guess what! There is a sequel to Percy Jackson! The subsequent series, Heroes of Olympus is told from the third person and switches viewpoints. This is great for those of you who like to read or write fan fiction!
The Lightning Thief: the Graphic Novel (AR 1.0, Level 3.1) by Rick Riordan is an excellent companion to the original 2005 version. This book is especially good for visual learners. A word of warning, though. Don't expect a graphic novel of the movie! This graphic novel is a faithful version of the book! Riordan fans rejoice!
The day their life fell apart. Caitlin and her father have been trying to recover from that day, but it is SO hard. How do you put your life back together after your beloved older brother is killed in a school shooting? Caitlin, a 10-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome has been told that “closure” will help her to feel better, but she’s not sure where to find it. Her counselor at school believes she will find it when it’s time. In the meantime, Caitlin is learning how to feel empathy and how to be a good friend. Sometimes she feels like she’ll never “get it,” never understand how the confusing world around her works. In her unique and sometimes funny voice, Caitlin tells about her first friend, her love of drawing, and about trying to find closure. In this heartbreaking, yet hopeful book, the author touches on so many important lessons all of us would do well to learn. And as we see the world through the eyes of someone who might have a different view than we do, we have the opportunity to “get it” and to learn.
From the beginning of this book, readers are quickly drawn into the world of post-Taliban Afghanistan as they follow the life of a young girl named Jameela. Mor, which means Mother in Pushto, taught Jameela how to care for a house and to observe Muslim traditions. She wears her porani, a shawl type head covering, and always performs her prayers. When Mor dies Jameela is left in the care of her father. Unfortunately he is not the typical caring father; he doesn’t have a job and has other bad habits.
Jameela and her father, whom she calls Baba, travel to Kabul from their very small village; there he hopes to find a job. Rather than a job, Baba finds another family. Jameela tries her best to be helpful to her new stepmother, but nothing she does satisfies her. Jameela hears her father and stepmother arguing about her. What happens next between Jameela and her father is almost unbelievable, but since this story is based on real life it reminds us that things like this happen.
It was difficult for me to put this book down; I was anxious to find out what happened to Jameela. As I followed her through all her ups and downs I was cheering her on, wishing I could help her as she adjusts to her new life. I enthusiastically recommend Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan.
This book is based on real events which took place after the 2001 American invasion of Afghanistan.
Is Origami Yoda just a green paperwad or is he actually a source of surprisingly wise advice? This is the question that sixth-grader Tommy and his friends debate in the amusing novel, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, by Tom Angleberger. One day, Dwight, the nerdy guy who “wears shorts with his socks pulled up above his knees” and stares into space “like a hypnotized chicken” shows up at school with a folded paper Yoda stuck on his finger. Yoda proceeds to offer odd yet helpful counsel to Tommy’s friends. Tommy isn’t quite sure whether he should trust Origami Yoda with the really big question on his mind: should he ask a certain girl to the dance? So, he decides to use a scientific approach to figure out whether Origami Yoda is real or not. He has asked several students to write down their first-hand eyewitness accounts of their encounters with Yoda. The result is a series of funny stories about everyday life in middle school accompanied by zany hand-drawn illustrations. Instructions to help you construct your own Origami Yoda are included in the back of the book!
A really good children's book can be enjoyed as much by adults as it is by children. A Long Way from Chicago is such a book... in fact, it's one of my favorite children's books of all time. Set in the Depression era, the book is about a brother and sister who take the train from Chicago to a hick town south of the city to visit their grandma every summer from 1929 to 1935. That first summer Joey and Mary Alice are only age 9 and 7, and they soon find out that "what little we knew about grownups didn't seem to cover Grandma." Grandma Dowdel is a no-nonsense, hard-working woman with little tolerance for people who put on airs or stick their nose into others' business. She's not afraid of using unorthodox means to put fools in their place, often with hilarious results. The short chapters, each a story unto itself, coupled with the book's country charm and ever-present humor, make it a fast read and a good pick for a historical fiction assignment for students fifth grade and up. When you've finished with this book, pick up the equally good sequel, the Newbery-Medal winning A Year Down Yonder, in which 15-year-old Mary Alice goes for an extended stay with Grandma. You may also enjoy the many other books for children and young adults written by author Richard Peck.
Younger fans of Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series rejoice! Meg Cabot has a series that follows the first person account of tween's life in Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls: Moving Day (AR 6.0, Level 5.0.)
Allie Finkle is an unusual 4th grade girl who has to go through one of the most reviled rites of passage: moving! Allie finds, however, that her treasured old life may not be that hard to leave! Conflicts with old friends and interesting new friends make life a little bit more interesting.
If you are going through some major changes yourself, or if you enjoy reading about hilarious situations, or if you like Beverly Cleary's Ramona, you will thoroughly enjoy the Allie Finkle series. You might find that Allie's rules for herself may be useful for you!