Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Basil is going into seventh grade after being home schooled by his Gram. Gram decided since she wasn't really great in teaching a few subjects that Basil should go off to public school. Basil finds he isn't quite like the other kids. Then Tenzie comes to school and sits with him at lunch. Just plops herself right down and starts to talk to him like it was the most natural thing in the world. She even lives near him and when they get off the bus at the same stop she introduces herself to his Gram and enters his home life. To say he is annoyed is mild,
he just doesn't know what to do. But he finds they have one thing in common, they both see numbers in color. Something Basil has never told anyone. After researching it online he learns is has a name, synesthesia. 
It wasn't bad enough that he is so different, his estranged mother shows up and turns his life upside down. Tenzie may be the only person to help him put it back together. Loved this book!
Ages 10-14   $16.99 Henry Holt 


This vibrant picture books will surely make learning colors fun.
Not only do the monsters present the colors, but they mix the colors to make more colors. Perfect for your own little monster.
Ages 2 up. $15.99 Harper

Monday, April 22, 2013

HOLD FAST By: Blue Balliett

HOLD FAST  By: Blue Balliett
When Early's father disappears life totally changes for her family. When no money is available and you lose your home, the next place is a homeless shelter. Dash is Early's dad, and she knows that he would never just leave them, so she starts asking questions at the library where her father works. And she realizes that something isn't right. 
What follows is a mystery that will keep you wanting more.
There are many references to Langston Hughes throughout the book. But here is a quote from the book that I just love. "Reading is a tool no one can take away. A million bad things may happen in life and it'll still be with you, like a flashlight that never needs a battery. Reading can offer a crack of light on the blackest of nights"
Hold Fast is a treasure, that will keep you rooting for the the family, hoping against all odds that they are reunited. $17.99 Scholastic

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

ZEBRA FOREST By: Adina Rishe Gerwirtz

ZEBRA FOREST  By: Adina Rishe Gerwirtz
Annie and her brother Rew are being raised by their Gran. Gran is a very private person and keeps her money in different places in the house, for she doesn't trust anyone outside of her family.
She even home schooled the grand kids until the truant officer showed up and made them go to school. Annie is only eleven, but has to do a lot of the shopping when Gran isn't feeling well. And when the social worker comes around, she stretches the truth as her Gran has taught her. So when their is a prison break on the other side of the Zebra Forest and a man comes in and holds them hostage Annie and Rew are shocked to find out that the father that was dead, was really in prison. What happens after will change everything Annie and Rew believed.
This novel is so moving a poignant it will take your breath away. I couldn't put it down. Started it this morning and finished it a little while ago. Ages 9-12 Candlewick $15.99

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

WHITE FUR FLYING By: Patricia MacLachlan Ages 7-11

WHITE FUR FLYING  By: Patricia MacLachlan
A touching story of a family who rescues Great Pyrenees dogs, and how they helped a child find his words.
Zoe's family always has multiple dogs in the house, always Pyrenees. Life is never dull at their home with all the dogs coming and going. But Kodi is the dog that stays with them. Well a new family moves in the neighborhood, perfect furniture, drapes and very overprotective. Phillip is a part of this family and doesn't speak. He won't even try, but he likes coming over to the fence to see the dogs.  Only his family is afraid of the big dogs and at first is reluctant to let him come over. Only when a rescued dog and Phillip disappear do things change.
This would be a great book to read with a child who is having family problems. It would really get you to talk about what is troubling Phillip and might lead to more conversation. Ages 7-11. McElderry Books. $15.99

MATCHBOX DIARY By: Paul Fleischman

MATCHBOX DIARY  By: Paul Fleischman
If ever there were a perfectly written  picture book this is the one you should share with your children and students. When a little girl visits her great grandfather for the first time she is told to pick something she likes and her grandfather would tell her about it. So she chooses a cigar box filled with matchboxes. In each matchbox is a memory from when he was little. He wanted to write a diary, but didn't know how to write, so he put in an object to remember the time. It starts with his journey from Italy to America.
I can see this used in many writing exercises to get the kids motivated to tell their own stories. I read this to my five year old grandson and he was intrigued by the idea. So we went off in search of our own matchboxes.
The illustrator Bagram Ibatoulline captures the authors words with beautiful acrylic gouache illustrations.
Candlewick Press  $16.99  all ages