Monday, April 25, 2011

Deb recommends "Because of Mr. Terupt" by Rob Buyea

Who would have thought that fifth grade could be a life changing year. For seven students and one amazing teacher that proves to be just the case. Everyone has a teacher they remember and some are lucky enough to have had someone who was a major influence. For these seven students it is Mr. Terupt. He is the new, energetic teacher with a fresh approach to teaching actually making it fun. But also teaching life’s lessons that they don’t always want to hear. He knows what’s going on and how to handle each student and each situation. Looking back, after the accident, that might not have been the best way.

In Because of Mr. Terupt Rob Buyea has written a believable and poignant story. Following the school year, the brief chapters tell the story through the voices of these seven students. The pace never drags. And the reader will be left with much to think about. Gr 4-6.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tracy recommends "Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot"

Tracy recommends “Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot” by Sy Montgomery, Photographs by Nic Bishop.

This is a very interesting book. Montgomery describes all of the work that is involved with saving this particular parrot native to New Zealand.

This flightless parrot is friendly and curious. Except for man, it had no natural enemies until mammals were introduced to New Zealand.

The photographs are wonderful. This book is aimed at upper elementary and above.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Annie recommends "Life, On The Line"

If you like the food from The Achatz Pie Company, check out the book, Life, On The Line, by Grant Achatz. He’s part of the Achatz family, but chose a different path, one leading to numerous national and international culinary awards. His is a story of dreams and determination, from opening a restaurant to beating cancer. An interesting story for adults.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lisa recommends "Chocolate Milk"

I love children’s music that has adult appeal and ScribbleMonster & His Pals is my new favorite group for this. This Chicago-based group is full of fun rhythms and catchy lyrics (I dare you not to be singing Chocolate Milk all day long after listening to it). So if you are looking for a fun and energetic cd for the whole family, make sure you pick up a ScribbleMonster & Pals cd. You will have a great time!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tracy recommends "Borrowed Names" by Jeannie Atkins

I don’t normally read a whole book written in verse, but this is an amazing book. Atkins takes the lives of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker, Marie Curie and their daughters and fits it into three different biographical stories. All three women were born in 1867. All three had remarkable lives and their daughters did as well. I don’t think that I would even imagine that there was a connection between these women, but Atkins makes one along with this unique book. There is a timeline and a selected bibliography in the end.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Colette recommends "The Warmth of Other Suns: the epic story of America's great migration" by Isabel Wilkerson

Don’t be put off by the 2+ lbs. or the 622 pages! This is narrative non-fiction at its best. The Warmth of Other Suns is a fascinating history lesson that every American should know. The book documents the regional migration of African-Americans from the Jim Crow south between World War I through the 1970s. This epic narrative is structured by detailing the life/journey of three different individuals: a sharecropper’s wife from rural Mississippi to Chicago in the 1930s; a bright activist from the orchards of Florida to NYC in the 1940s; and a physician from Louisiana to Los Angeles in the 1950s. The book traces their lives as they settle into new communities and follows until their deaths; the journeys were brave and unforgettable.

The lives of these 3 people are framed by the cultural, geographic and political sociology of the times. The author interviewed over 1200 people and studied records and data to create a vibrant and compelling treatise of an important regional migration, tenderly told. Very highly recommended for adults and teens.