Tuesday, November 30, 2010

#36 I Dare You!

This book is the 4th one in the Ghost Detectors series. Malcolm and Dandy can't wait to get out of school and go to the Franklin County Fair. They try all their favorite rides - but something strange seems to be going on at the Screaming Mansion. All of the people who enter are coming out scared to death - and when Dandy and Malcolm go through it they discover more than just a stray cat!

This series has 6 fun, scary books. They're quick reads - just enough to give you a little scare!

#35 The Ghost of J. Stokely

Jared and his younger brother Caleb are traveling to Eagle Point for a fun camping trip. At first it seems like they'll have a great time, but the clerk at the outfitters store tells them not to go, and when they arrive they can tell there has been a fire. Then they see the campground caretaker's burned cabin and they realize that the caretaker is not longer around. But is he dead? Or could he be a ghost?

This book will have you turning the pages as fast as you can read them. It has just the right amount of mystery - enough to make you shiver, but not so much that you can't sleep at night. If you like ghost stories, you may want to give these books a try!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

One-third of the way there!!

Hey Fourth-Graders!

Several of you have recommended great books to me in class, in the library, or even in the Pine Meadow hallways. However, I haven't had a chance to write them all down. Please record your recommended titles in the comment areas so I know what to read next.

It's been really hard to select books to read and write about: there are so many wonderful choices! Also, since I just started recording this blog this year I'm only including books I'm reading this year. I have always loved to read as many of our library books as I can - so if I don't include a book it might be because I already read it.

Keep those suggestions coming!

#34 This Chicken doesn't Skate

Milo Neal's science fair project, the "complete life cycle of a link in the food chain", stars Henrietta, a chicken. But somehow Henrietta ends up on the bench of the South Middle School Rangers hockey team. The team is in a big slump and having Henrietta as their mascot seems to bring them all together.

Pretty soon the hockey season, the science fair, and even the chicken's future are all up in the air. Can they all be saved?

This story is told by a number of different characters - the hockey star, the class dweeb, the animal rights activist. I love their chicken humor, and I love the way everything turns out all right in the end. This Chicken doesn't Skate will have you laughing out loud with every page you turn.

#33 Sent: The Missing: Book 2

Upon finishing the first book in The Missing series by Katherine Peterson Haddix I couldn't wait to read the next book, Sent. In this book Jonah and Katherine accompany Chip and Alex to the year 1483. They find themselves in the Tower of London - and they learn that Chip and Alex were Edward and Richard - princes, and heirs to the thrown.

Katherine and Jonah must uncover the secrets of the past and grab Chip and Alex just in time to whisk them back (unharmed) to the present. I found myself once again on the edge of my seat as I traveled through this page-turner! I love the historical fiction aspect of the book - and I can't wait to read the next installment in the series and see what time period the children travel to next. I'm also really curious about Jonah, and his identity in history.

Fourth graders - this is one exciting and adventurous series. I know that many of you began to read Found because of the Maud Hart Lovelace book club. Keep reading: you'll be glad you did!

Friday, November 26, 2010

#32 Found: The Missing: Book 1

Wow!! I just finished reading Found, the first book in the Missing series, and I can't wait to read the next one - and to tell you about it!

You always ask me this first, so I'll answer the easy question "Did you like it?" with a resounding "Yes!! I loved it!!"

When Jonah and his friend, Chip, each receive a mysterious letter in the mail declaring them "among the missing". Jonah's sister Katherine gets involved and the three begin a nail-biting adventure trying to answer the questions of who they are, what happened to them, and why they are being pursued. Everything around them is a mystery - and it is one that is definitely adventure-packed!

The book begins with a mysterious airplane landing. There are no pilots or flight attendants, but the plan is filled with 36 babies. Where did the plane come from, and more importantly, what do these 36 children have in common?

One of my all-time favorite books was one I read back when I was in 5th grade. It was a book about time travel - a famous book called A Wrinkle in Time. I loved the concept back then, and I still love it today!!

PME 4th graders: you will love this book! (Now leave me alone so I can start on Book 2: Sent.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

#31 The Teacher who Forgot Too Much

One of the books in the Fieldtrip Myteries series, The Teacher who Forgot Too Much tells the story of Cat, Sam, Gum and Egg (great nicknames, huh?) and their attempts to solve all of the mysteries that take place on their school field trips.

This field trip is to the recycling center, where something is definitely wrong - all the machines have stopped recycling, and the trucks are being sent to the landfill instead. Can you help solve the mystery with the clues you've been given?

These stories end with a report, a detective glossary, and a few fun extras. They are short and easy to read - and if you're looking for a quick read that has a bit of mystery, this just may be the series for you.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

#30 Red Zone

Red Zone is the fourth book in this series by real football stars Tiki and Ronde Barber. The story continues as their 8th grade football team is competing in the playoofs and hoping to win the state title. Things aren't looking so good, however, and it appears the Eagles may not even make it to the finals.

Being a huge sports fan, I just love reading stories about football! This series is especially interesting to me because I enjoyed watching both Tiki and Ronde Barber in the NFL. When they talk about the game it is so realistic - and when they tell stories about teamwork, you just know they've been there.

Do you like sports? Then read these great football books. You'll feel like you're part of the game!

#29 The Night Flyers

Set in 1918, The Night Flyers is the story of Pam Lowder, a young girl who is caring for her family's homing pigeons while her father is away fighting in World War I. A mysterious stranger comes to town and he has a very strong interest in Pam's pigeons. The excitement mounts as Pam's pigeons start disappearing, and someone seems to be sneaking around her farm.

The Night Flyers is my second American Girl History Mysteries selection. This is an awesome series! Each one teaches so much about a specific time in history, and also keeps you on the edge of your seat with a great mystery. I expect these books to be flying off the shelves - so check them out today!

#28 Hoofbeats of Danger

If you love adventure and mystery, and I know many of you do, you are going to love Hoofbeats of Danger. Set in 1860, this book tells the story of the Pony Express. Annie Dawson's family is in charge of one of the stations along the Express. They take care of the horses and riders along the express route, and also serve as a place stop along the way for covered wagons and stage coaches traveling along the Oregon Trail.

First and foremost, Hoofbeats of Dangerous is a great story! I couldn't put it down! Annie's favorite pony, Magpie, has gone loco and it looks like she'll have to be shot. Annie is courageous and does whatever she can to help Magpie - but in the meantime it looks as if someone is trying to get her Dad fired!

In the back of the book there is a great article giving more information about the Pony Express and the way of life in 1860, so even though the story is make-believe, it all could have happened.

American Girl publishes this great series of books called History Mysteries. Boys, don't let the fact that they're published by American Girl scare you away: these books are awesome!

#27 Everything for a Dog

Awwww...Don't we all just love dog books! This story is sure to be one of your favorites! It is written as a companion book to A Dog's Life, also by Ann M. Martin.

There are really three stories in this book. The first is a story of Bone, a stray dog, who would like nothing better than a real family of his own. The next story is of a boy named Charlie, who is dealing with a terrible loss. There is also the story of Henry, and this is the one that gives the book its name: Henry would do anything for a dog of his own.

You will be amazed at how the three stories come together! I loved this book - and I think you will too! Check it out today!!

Our library is filled with books by Ann M. Martin (over 150!!) so if you like this book, check out FIC MAR for more books by the same author!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

#26 The Ball Hogs

The Ball Hogs is the first book in the Kickers series.

Ben is on his first soccer team - and he is excited! Everything would be perfect if it wasn't for Mark, a new kids who always hogs the ball. Throughout the story Ben and Mark struggle to get along and both think the other player is hogging the ball. If only they could work together!

If you like books about soccer, or any sport, you're sure to enjoy this new series by Rich Wallace.

I won't write about all of the other books - but here are the covers for Book 2, Fake Out, and Book 3, Benched. Keep yours eyes open too, because I think book 4 is due out soon!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

#25 The Long-Lost Map

I admit it: I am now hooked on the Ulysses Moore series!! This story begins with Julia, Jason and Rick running away from what seems to be an explosion - but only Julia making it back!

With the help of Maruk, an Egyptian girl, Jason and Rick continue to follow the clues to find the long-lost map. There seems to be danger around every corner - but things turn even worse when Oblivia Newton appears to be seeking the same map.

Meanwhile, back at Argo Mansion, Nestor and Julia have their hands full, as Ms. Newton's assistant, Manfred, has returned and is threatening their safety.

If you like adventure and action this book is certainly for you! Now I can't wait to read the third book and see what happens next!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

#24 No Talking

I have to admit that when I read this book I thought to myself, "These teachers are crazy! Why would they be worried just because the kids are being quiet? That sounds like a dream!"

Oh I'm just kidding!

This awesome story is about Dave and Lynsey - and their challenge to the entire 5th grade class to not talk for 48 hours. They realize this would cause some problems, so they come up with a few rules. My favorite rule: You are allowed to answer a question asked by a teacher or parent - but only 3 words! Their wild challenge disrupts the entire school, but after listening to the noise in our cafeteria some days I really thought it would be a nice change! Don't you think so?

I first heard Andrew Clements speak right after he had published the book Frindle back in 1997. His school stories are some of my favorites, and I hope you're enjoying them too! If you can tell me one of the titles of another book he's written I'll give you a pencil. Just stop by any time and we'll see how many pencils I can give away!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

#23 The Door to Time

This first book in the Ulysses Moore series brings twins, Jason and Julia, to a huge mansion on the coast. Mystery definitely surrounds the house, and things get really exciting as Nestor, the caretaker leaves the kids, along with their friend Rick, alone in the house to explore all of the unusual and amazing clues left behind by the previous owner.

After solving many riddles, and surviving some terrifying moments, the children discover the secrets hidden beneath the house...and the story ends! Never fear, however, as many additional adventures are planned in more books about Julia, Jason and Rick. I can't wait to read the next one so I can discover the clues they find as they travel to Egypt!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

#22 Bobby Versus Girls (Accidentally)

Bobby and Holly are friends - but having a friend who's a girl can be tough when you're in the 4th grade. Things get even more difficult when Bobby accidentally brings about a bunch of events that pit the boys against the girls. It's pretty hard to be friends when you're supposed to be enemies!

This is a quick and easy read - so pick it up and see how everything comes out for Bobby and the other boys in his class!

#21 Confetti Girl

I have to admit it: I picked this book up at the book fair because I liked the cover. I think it's one of the greatest looking books I've seen in a long time! Now I know that's not a very good way to pick out a book - but it did turn out to be a pretty good one.

Lina and her best friend Vanessa are learning all about getting along in middle school. Sprinkled throughout the book are "dichos" (Spanish sayings like proverbs), and they are translated into English for the reader. I really like these, and I think they add a lot to the book. The situations are definitely "middle school": Lina has a crush on a boy, feels left out when Vanessa and her "boyfriend" spend more time together and less time with her, and doesn't want her Dad to find a woman to replace her Mom.

The story takes place in Texas, where the author, Diana Lopez lives. Confetti Girl is her first middle grade novel. I love the way she intersperses the hispanic culture and Spanish language into the story. Her website is: http://www.dianalopezbooks.com/.

#20 Million Dollar Throw

Imagine having the opportunity to throw a football through a hoop at halftime of an NFL football game - for a chance at one million dollars! Now imagine you're like Nate Brodie, the star of the 8th grade football team, and it should be a breeze, right?

If you are a football fan like me you'll really like the football in this book! Author Mike Lupica knows sports - and he makes it all seem very real.

However, on a deeper level, Million Dollar Throw is also a book about a kid dealing with the economic reality of his Dad losing his job and the medical reality of his best friend, Abby, losing her eyesight. There is much more to this story than just football!

Mike Lupica's official website is: www.mikelupicabooks.com. Take a look!