Monday, November 3, 2014

CROSSOVER by Kwame Alexander

Book description from"With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering," announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he's got mad beats, too, that tell his family's story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander.

My 25 cents...This was a great story and a f-a-s-t read!  Written in prose, it will take no time at all for the reader to be eagerly turning pages as they get caught up in the twin brothers' story here.  One does not need to know anything about basketball to enjoy this title either, basketball just happens to be a shared passion of the characters.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Want to read some scary books this Halloween season?

Try one of these titles....

Monday, October 20, 2014

Like those GOOSEBUMPS books by R.L. Stine??

Check this out!  You can design your very own GOOSEBUMPS style graphic novel by

Our K-8 Library has a collection of these on the Middle School side of the library!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Eight Keys by Suzanne Lafleur
2014-15 Children's Choice nominee

Book description by and Franklin have always been best friends. Elise has always lived in the big house with her loving Uncle and Aunt, because Elise's parents died when she was too young to remember them.  There's always been a barn behind the house with eight locked doors on the second floor. When Elise and Franklin start middle school, things feel all wrong. Bullying. Not fitting in. Franklin suddenly seems babyish.  Then, soon after her 12th birthday, Elise receives a mysterious key left for her by her father. A key that unlocks one of the eight doors upstairs in the bar . . .

My 25 cents...I picked this up because it was a children's choice nominee.  I wasn't sure I was going to like it because I am not usually a fan of mystery books.  It was more of a story or "wonder"??  WHY each key was left , WHO is leaving the keys for Elise and WHAT is the message when the key opens the room??  Also a side story of REAL friendship and the ups and downs during middle school. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Other sites for looking for "what to read next"!!


One of the most difficult questions one can ask a librarian is "what's a good book for me to read?"
(But do ASK, because we want you to READ and it's our JOB!!)   This is difficult because A) What I think is "good" might not match what you think is "good" and B) There are sooooo many "good" books out there!!

Maybe you read a book you really, really enjoyed and you want to read a book with a similar kind of story?  Perhaps you loved a particular author and read all of his/her books already and want to find an author that has a similar writing style?

Aside from what I have read and blogged about--here are just a few search tools you might want to try that will help you find that next "good" book.  (Remember, since these are public links, this does not mean we own all of these books in our school library though.)

To find a "new author" or look up a series of books and see the order they come in, try:
Thank you to the Bettendorf Public Library for this awesome link:

and to Mid-Continent Public Library for these (click on light blue headings for links):                                              Bookhive  "BookHive is a web site designed for children ages birth through twelve, their parents, teachers or anyone interested in reading about children's books. Providing reader's advisory service, this site contains hundreds of recommended book reviews in a variety of reading levels and interest areas."                                                                    Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction The Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction was established to encourage other writers to focus on historical fiction.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Girl, Stolen by April Henry
(nominee for Iowa Teen 2014-2015)

Book description from

Sixteen–year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of a car while her mom fills her prescription for antibiotics. Before Cheyenne realizes what’s happening, their car is being stolen. Griffin hadn’t meant to kidnap Cheyenne, but once his dad finds out that Cheyenne’s father is the president of a powerful corporation, everything changes—now there’s a reason to keep her. How will Cheyenne survive this nightmare? Because she’s not only sick with pneumonia—she’s also blind.

My 25 cents...SUS-PENSE-FUL!!!!  This is a real page-turner!  Cheyenne must continue to remain calm as she tries desperately to escape from her kidnappers.  No easy job for someone who is young, blind and also very ill from pneumonia.  Sometimes being brave will even surprise the one being brave!!
The Raft by S.A. Bodeen
(nominee for Iowa Teen 2014-2015)
Book description from
Robie is an experienced traveler. She’s taken the flight from Honolulu to the Midway Atoll, a group of Pacific islands where her parents live, many times. When she has to get to Midway in a hurry after a visit with her aunt in Hawaii, she gets on the next cargo flight at the last minute. She knows the pilot, but on this flight, there’s a new co-pilot named Max. All systems are go until a storm hits during the flight. The only passenger, Robie doesn’t panic until the engine suddenly cuts out and Max shouts at her to put on a life jacket. They are over miles of Pacific Ocean. She sees Max struggle with a raft.
And then . . . she’s in the water. Fighting for her life. Max pulls her onto the raft, and that’s when the real terror begins. They have no water. Their only food is a bag of Skittles. There are sharks. There is an island. But there’s no sign of help on the way.

My 25 cents...
This story reminded me of Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.  The major difference is this is all happening ON WATER, not on a deserted island.  The other major aspect is no one really knows Robie is missing, because her parents think she is safe at her Aunt's house visiting, but her Aunt had to leave on business and thinks she is being checked in on by the neighbor lady. So no one is worried about her or looking for her?!  There is a super "plot twist" that I did NOT see coming either, about 3/4 way through the story.  I literally stopped reading after that and said WOW! outloud!!  If you are a fan of survival type stories you don't want to miss this one!