Thursday, January 23, 2020

GAME CHANGERS: THE STORY OF VENUS AND SERENA WILLIAMS by Lesa Cline-Ransome. Illus. by James Ransome.  New Yrk: Simon & Schuster Books, 2018. 42p.  ISBN 978-148147684-3 hc. $17.99    Gr. 1-3    J 921

Venus and Serena Williams have taken the tennis world by storm.  However, their story began on the broken courts of Compton, California as youngsters.  This picture book relates the hard work and adversity the two sisters went through to win championships and reach the pinnacle of tennism while keeping their special bond as sisters and best friends as strong as ever.  The illustrations are beautiful and complement the story of the lives of the Williams sisters.
Jolene Hetherington, Advisory Board Member, Munising School Public Library

Sunday, January 19, 2020

J. MERRIAM SMITH'S RACE TO COMPLETE AMELIA EARHART'S QUEST by Aimee Bissonette.  Illus. by Doris Ettlinger.  Ann Arbor, MI:  Sleeping Bear Press, 2018. 32p. ISBN: 978-158363810 hc. $16.99    Gr. 1-4    J 629.13

Jerrie Mock decided to become a pilot after her first airplane ride at the age of 7.  Joan Merriam Smith was 15 years old when she made the same decision receiving her pilot's license before she could drive a car.  In later years, both ladies independently made the decision to fly around the world to complete Amelia Earhart's quest.  Neither of them knew about the other's plans.  Just a few weeks before they took off, the news broke.  They both had decided to take off at the same time and the news media turned it into a race.  This is a great story about the trials and tribulations they experienced as the first two women to fly around the world.
Jolene Hetherington, Advisory Board Member, Munising School Public Library

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

START HERE by Trish Doller. New York: Simon Pulse, 2019.  346p.
ISBN 978-1481479912 hc. $18.99     Gr. 9-12     YA FIC

After their mutual best friend, Finley, succumbed to cancer, Willa and Taylor decide to honor her memory by sailing to Key West the summer after graduation, just as the three of them had planned to do together.  Finley left them a list of clues as to the route they should sail for maximum adventure.  The trouble is that Willa and Taylor are definitely not best friends, although Finley was a best friend to both of them.  Each time their rocky relationship is beginning to gel, Willa and Taylor argue or say something offensive and end up angry all over again.  However, the close proximity of living on a sailboat together and adhering to the same plan for the journey is forcing them to talk out their differences and find similarities instead.  As they heal from the loss of Finley, Willa and Taylor form a new kind of friendship together. Doller, author of SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL and IN A PERFECT WORLD adds another heartwarming story about modern teens and the problems they encounter to her list of good books.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

BUGS IN DANGER : Our Vanishing Bees, Butterflies, and Beetles by Mark Kurlansky.  Illus. by Jia Liu. New York:  Bloomsbury, 2019. 164p. ISBN 978-154760085 hc. $19.99   Gr. 4-6   595.7 JUV

Introducing "The Insect World" in Part One, Kurlansky covers why insects are important to our ecosystem, and agriculture, and the reasons for changes in the insect population, such as insecticides, predators, and climate change.  Parts Two, Three, and Four are devoted to in-depth studies of bees, beetles, and butterflies.  The last part reveals theories about why Insect species fade in and out and sometimes disappear.  There's a short chapter named, "What Can I Do?" to motivate students to positive action.  Readers will find a complete bibliography and index at the back of the book.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI