Tuesday, September 29, 2015

THE MAGICIAN'S TOWER by Shawn Thomas Odyssey. The Wizard of 
Dark Street series.  New York: Egmont, 2013. 293p. ISBN: 
978-1-60684-425-0 hc. $15.99. Gr. 3-6  JUV

This book continues the magical fantasy of Oona Crate as she 
enters the Magician's Tower contest, a series of dangerous 
magical tasks. During the competition, a rare and magical punch 
bowl goes missing. Oona attempts to solve the mystery and locate 
the punch bowl. The same clues could help her find the reason 
for her mother and sister's deaths so many years ago.  This
series was very engaging and enjoyable.
Melissa Coyne, Library Patron, Munising School Public Library

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

ATHLETE VS. MATHLETE by W.C. Mack.  New York: Bloomsbury, 2013.
198p. ISBN: 978-1-59990-915-8 hc. $16.99.  Gr. 5-7  JUV

Owen and Russell Evans are twins with totally different 
personalities and interests. Owen loves basketball and Russell 
loves math. When Russell is found to be a pro at basketball, 
everything in their life gets turned upside down. Owen and 
Russell need to work together to keep their lives from going 
completely off course.  The contrasting points of view between
Owen who values academics and Russell who is great at sports
keeps the story interesting and enjoyable.
Melissa Coyne, Library Patron, Munising School Public Library

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

FROM APPLE TREES TO CIDER PLEASE! by Felicia Chernesky. Illus. by Julia Patton. Albert Whitman & Company: Chicago, IL, 2015.  32p. ISBN978-080756513-1 hc. $16.99.   Gr. Prek-2  E PIC

The title accurately describes the action in this story about a young girl and her mom visiting a cider mill with an adjoining pick-your-own apple orchard.  They pick a load of apples and then participate in the cider making process of cleaning, crushing, and juicing. The text is short and rhyming - only two lines on each two-page spread, but the illustrations are full of information about different types of apples and the machinery involved in making apple cider.  Patton paints two entire pages from end to end creating a single scene of the farmer and families enjoying the day.  Look for comical details -pink cows in the background -  in these fantastic illustrations.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Thursday, September 10, 2015

THE BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT by Jason Reynolds.  Atheneum Books for Young Readers: New York. 2015. 255p. ISBN 978-14424-59502 $17.99   Gr. 9-12   Y.A. FIC

Matt begins his senior year in school reeling from the recent death of his mother.  He can't seem to forget the images of his mother's funeral, but needs to get back to the reality of school and work.  He ends up working for the funeral home and, drawn to the grieving families, begins to sit in on the funerals held there.  It's like therapy, so he puts on his black suit each day to blend in with the mourners.  While Matt is trying to get himself together, his father starts to hit the bottle as he grieves his wife's death and ends up in the hospital.  Matt is without parental guidance at this point, but relies on his best friend, Chris, and his new friend and romantic interest, Lovey, who just lost her grandmother and primary caregiver.  The two lost souls connect on several levels, including a secret they share without knowing it.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

BECAUSE YOUR GRANDPARENTS LOVE YOU by Andrew Clements. Illustrated by R.W. Alley.  New York: Clarion Books, 2015. 32p. ISBN 9780544148543 hc. $16.99   Gr. K-3   E PIC

Written from the perspective of two young children, this story tells about summer adventures at the grandparents house through a series of situations.  The first example is, "When you run into the pasture and step right into a big cowpie, your grandmother could say....But she doesn't. She get the hose and sprays off your shoes."  The illustrator joins in the fun with colorful, expression-filled pictures that show the potential for trouble, but always end on a positive note. The grandparents take every mishap in stride and turn each one into a teachable moment.  This book could be used in parenting classes, as well as a charming read-aloud for young readers who enjoy spending time with their grandparents.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI