Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

Book description from
Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto.With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list of workers in his factory—a list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List.

My 25 cents:  I knew this book was not going to be a "happy" one since it is from a time in history that is so horrible.  I had to keep reminding myself though, that it really was true because as a reader I couldn't comprehend that humans would treat other humans so badly. This book gave me a whole new understanding of the conditions some were forced to live in simply for being Jewish.  Unreal.  I kept asking myself if I myself could have survived what Leon had to go through and quite honestly I am not sure I could have.  Read this book for an eye-opening experience and see if you think you could have lived to tell about it. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog by Tom Watson

Book description from
Stick Dog and his four friends, Poo-Poo, Mutt, Stripes, and Karen, must execute a master plan for stealing hot dogs. The closer they get to the hot dog vendor, the more difficult their mission becomes. With the same hilarious antics, the five dogs are met with many challenges along the way, including having to distract the frankfurter guy and Karen getting locked in a human's house. No matter what, these dogs have their eyes—and stomachs—on the prize.

My 25 cents....I can not tell a lie. This book made me laugh out loud at times!  I really didn't expect to like it. Five dog friends have adventures and this one is about them trying to get some frankfurters from the Frankfurter wagon.  Sounds simple if you aren't a dog right?
The dogs know that the frankfurter boy's name starts with a "P" but can't remember it (it's Peter) so they keep coming up with other "P" words to call him:  Pumpkinhead, Piddly Pants, Patsy their hilarious plans on how to swipe the frankfurters (get a helicopter and fly over? wait if they can get a helicopter who can fly one??) Stickdog is kind of the leader of this group of dogs and has to be sensitive to the feelings of the other dogs' "not so good" ideas.  The illustrations throughout the book make it a quick read. 
If you like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books you will most likely enjoy this series too! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Make your voice COUNT!!
A really awesome site to see book trailers about EACH Iowa Teen Read Nominee title!

Our school library owns each of these titles (as does the public library).  Students that have read at least 2 of this year's nominees will be able to vote for their favorite in March 2014  in the school library!

Be a part of helping teens in Iowa choose the winning book title for 2014!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Land of Stories: the Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

Book description from Amazon...(minus the spoilers!!)
When Alex and Conner's father unexpectedly dies, the twins lose the person who always had the perfect story to cheer them up. Then, on their 12th birthday, their grandmother gives them the book of fairy tales he used to read to them. Suddenly it seems to come to life, and the youngsters find themselves falling into the Land of Stories, seemingly with no way to get out. Desperate, they follow instructions in a mysterious journal: if they gather eight items from various residents in the kingdoms of the Land of Stories, they can complete the Wishing Spell and have one wish granted. After scaling castle walls, diving deep into the home of mermaids, and meeting characters from all of the beloved fairy tales, they are stymied by the Evil Queen, who has escaped from Snow White's dungeon. With the hope of using the spell gone, the twins appear to have no way home until they meet Fairy Godmother.

My 25 cents...This book was recommended to my by a middle school student who also happens to be a Glee fan.  (Author is on the tv show Glee)  I have always been a pushover for fairytales, so learning "more" about those characters was a definite draw for me.  This book really kept me turning pages.  There is enough suspense and action happening to make me not want to stop reading and enough humor (usually in sarcasm between brother and sister) to make it fun as well.  I could see this being a fun read-aloud for a family with kids of different ages, as there is a little something for everyone.  The combining of the fairy tale characters reminds me of the first Shrek movie!