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Welcome to Books to Hoot About! the children's book review blog from InfoSoup librarians and users!

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?

Author: Chris Grabenstein

This book is for gamers!  Imagine being locked in a new library that was designed by a very famous gamemaker.  Winner who can decipher clues and find their way out gets rich and famous!  Mr. Lemoncellos has been the benefactor in Kyle's town and has built them a new library.  They have not had one in 12 years, so twelve 12-year-olds are selected to play the ultimate game of being locked in the library.  This was a quick, fun read.  I'd like to devise a similar game for a lock-in at a local library.

Author: Janet Schulman

This is a nice counting book about decorating the tree. I like that menorah candles represent the number 9. This shows how multifaceted our society is and that we are all celebrating together and enjoying the lights of the season.

Author: Jennifer Nielsen

The sixth book in this series takes us to a serious break in history with an unexpected complication.  Sera, Dak, and Riq know that something is wrong when they are faced with an enemy that shows a high level of aggressive need to be in control of the world.  The series is forever changed by the actions of the villian that is presented in this book.

Author: Judith Viorst

What would you do for money?  Meet Lulu....the loudest, rudest girl you might ever meet.  She's got a plan...we don't know what it is...but she needs money.  Add to the story a know-it-all, perfect boy named Fleischman and you have for a very funny story.  This would be a great read-aloud, especially if the reader is very animated!  This is a quick read.  I hope to promote it during Money Smart Week in April.


Author: Mary Vander Sanden

A vibrant book about how the library is not "all quiet all the time", especially at story time. The refrain is, ""When she's happy and content, her voice gets louder by 100%!" As a librarian who can relate (!) I adored the message in this book. Congrats to the author who works at the library in Kaukauna!

Author: Claudia Mills

Seventh-grader, Sierra, has always been an good student.  Her life gets messy the day she accidentally brings her mother's lunchbag to school with a paring knife in it.  The school has a "zero tolerance" policy about drugs and weapons.  Will Sierra get expelled for her mistake even if she did the right thing by turning herself into the school office?  This book keeps you interested until the very last page.....don't read the end first!!!

Title: Bully
Author: Laura Vaccaro Seeger

In  a soft and simple way, this book shows that a bully has to be confronted to change their behavior (and sometimes even be aware of it). It also shows that a bully has most likely been bullied. So simple yet perfectly told.