2014 Reviews by Library: Waupaca

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Author: Amy Schwartz

Anyone who has raised or is raising two girls should really enjoy this book.  It is so realistic to the way sisters are with each other.  I love the way the younger sister decides not to take it anymore and makes a plan to run away but instead imagines herself into a new solution to her problem.  I think it will help children with the emotions they don't quite know what to do with about their siblings.  

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Author: David Stein

I can imagine this book as very popular being read aloud to a group of children.  Everyone needs to help make the sounds of Ol' Mama Squirrel, the most protective mama you will ever meet.  She can chase away just about anyone, but has a surprise planned to scare off the big bear that threatens her babies.  There's only one thing more frightening than a fierce protective mother..... a whole group of fierce protective mothers.  Delightful reading!

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Author: Emily Jenkins

There are so many ways to enjoy this book.  It is a book about the time of day and what happens when.  It is a book about a community of families with small children and pets. It is a book about the water in the park that connects everyone!  I really, really, really want to live in a neighborhood with a park like this!

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Author: Guido van Genechten

This book, and it's companion book, Odd OneOut: Big and Small, are a must read for any lapsit exploring between a parent and a toddler.  They are so fun.  Children will really have to look closely at each full page spread to find the odd one out and the one who is going to the dance.  These books would make great birthday presents!

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Author: Bruce Goldstone

This book really makes a sometimes difficult concept very understandable for children.  With colorful photographs and interactive examples, readers are introduced to the concept of possibility and impossibility, certainty and improbability.  What are the odds that you will find fun in this book?  I'd say it is a certainty.

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Author: Mineko Mamada

This terrific book urges the reader to look at everyday things and familiar animals in a different way on just about every page.  There isn't a lot of text and what text there is is repetitive, asking the reader, "What do you think?" This book is genuinely thought provoking and fun!

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Author: David Kelly

I had no idea!  Really.... major league baseball teams rub special mud on 70-100 baseballs before every game!?  This easy nonfiction picture book tells the story of the man who would never be a great baseball player but found his way into the Baseball Hall of Fame by his idea of rubbing mud on baseballs to make them safer, easier to throw and easier to hit.  I want to call all my baseball loving friends to see if they knew about this technique.

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Author: Andrea Cheng

This book is a quick read and tells the most amazing story of Dave the Potter, a black slave in South Carolina.  The story is told through poems from various voices and gives readers a true depiction of what it must have been like to be a slave.  Pair this with the movie "12 Years a Slave" and the picture book, Dave the Potter, and you will learn important lessons from the heart.  This book makes me want to visit Edgefield, SC!

What is a Friend?

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Author: Kristin Levine

"I think a friend is someone who helps you change for the better. And whether you see them once a day or once a year, if it's a true friend, it doesn't matter."  This is a great book! It has unexpected twists and turns in the plot that can really surprise you.  Historical fiction set during the Civil Rights Movement in the American South, it is really more a book about friendship, loyalty, and family.  I highly recommend this book!

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Author: Sarah Campbell

Okay.... we all know about circles, cones, triangles, cubes, etc.   But what to you call things like trees, broccoli, lightning, your lungs?  What shape are they?  Here's your answer! Thanks to Benoit Mandelbrot, a mathematician who named fractals in 1975, we have a common name.  Love the photos in this book.  Perfect for Fizz, Boom, Read and STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) reading.

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Title: Clementine
Author: Sebastian Loth

Clementine is a small snail who loves round things, especially the moon.  Her dream is to fly to the moon and with help from her friend, a worm, she does all the research and makes her plan.  Great book for any age!

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Author: Don Brown

This graphic novel showed me more that I didn't already know about the 1930s Dust Bowl.  I can hardly even imagine the dust so thick and high in the air that snow fell brown and that cities on the East Coast were so affected.  Quick read for anyone wanting to know more about this environmental disaster in our nation's history.

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Author: Sara Levine

Loved ... loved .... loved this book!  It's a guessing game and an animal comparison book.  What kind of animal would you be if your finger bones gew so long that they reached your feet?  Yep... lots of questions like this and when you turn the page you are either right or amazed.  I learned so much about the ways our skeletons are the same and different.  READ THIS BOOK!

Score Big!

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Author: John Coy

I'm recommending this book to all middle school basketball lovers.  John Coy knows and writes a lot about basketball, but this is the first fiction book of his I read.  It's a great mix of real life issues (friends, family, girls, homework) and the love of the game.  I like the way the author adds everyday teenagers life into the plot.  This would be good choice for reluctant readers.

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Author: Amy Timberlake

Set in Wisconsin in 1871, this book brings us into the small towns of Placid and Dog Hollow during the hey day of the passenger pigeon (now extinct).  Georgie is the only one who doesn't believe that the pieces of body brought home for burial in the blue-green ball gown is her older sister, Agatha.  She needs to find out what really happened and she discovers more than she bargained for.  This book will have you on the edge of your seat until almost the very last page!  It was a Newbery Honor Book, too.

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Author: Holly Sloan

This book reminded me of Out of My Mind and Wonder (both books I loved by the way) being that it is about a 12-year old girl who is a genius, but feels detached from her peers.  Suffering the loss of her parents in a tragic accident sets this story on a hopeful mission to find Willow Chance a new family.  But what does it take to be a family?  Readers will have a lot to talk about after reading this book.  What is strange?  Are we all strange or at varying levels of strangeness?  Is it fair to group like strangers?  Hmmm.

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Title: Hold Fast
Author: Blue Balliett

This book is a mystery and a work of art.  The Pearl family experiences a huge upheaval and Early, the young protagonist, feels the urgency to not only solve the mystery of where her father has disappeared to, but hold her family (mom and brother) together in the Chicago homeless shelter scene.  Readers will get a pretty realistic look at the lives of those having to live in such shelters.  I'm interested now in checking out some Langston Hughes poetry.  Lots to talk about after reading this book.

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Author: P. L. Travers

Understanding that this book was written in the 1930s, when books for children were just becoming popular, I was amazed at the imaginative story lines in this book.  Each chapter really a short story, I found myself wanting to compare and contrast with the classic Walt Disney movie, Mary Poppins.  There are some movie scenes not in the book.... and some book scenes not in the movie. Then, after seeing Saving Mr. Banks (Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson) which is the story of P. L. Travers and her reluctance to give up the rights to her story to Disney, I really wanted to read the book.  In the end, I think Mr. Disney did P. L. Travers a huge favor in making sure her story of Mary Poppins lives on for generations.

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Author: Cynthia Kadohata

This book is the winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature for 2013.  What I liked about this story is the quirky relationship between Summer and her grandparents.  I also was fascinated by the mechanics of wheat harvesting and the work of harvesting teams, many of whom are immigrant workers.  This coming-of-age story has just enough adventure, humor and romance to keep me reading right through to the end.  Who hasn't ever felt that their bad luck couldn't get any worse right before it does.  I guess the question to ask is how much are we responsible for our own luck?