Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson

What does the "typical" drug addict look like? Why would you ever try meth the first time, knowing what it does to people? How dumb do you have to be?

Through Laurel's eyes, you'll get a different look at crystal meth addiction. A cheerleader and good girl, she catches the eye of the basketball star. But there's something broken inside Laurel, and there's something broken inside T-Boom. Together, they'll try to fix those breaks - and break much, much more.

This is a very good book, with a quick pace that shifts back and forth through time. Sometimes it's very eloquent and thoughtful, sometimes scattered and choppy - a real look at Laurel's state of mind and thoughts.

Demon Song by Cat Adams

In this third installment of the Blood Singer series, bodyguard Celia Graves must help save the world by figuring out how to close a rift between the demon dimension and ours.

Along the way she'll learn more about her siren ancestry, perhaps figure out some of the mystery of her friend's strange last-will-and-testament, and fall in love/out of love/into lust with a bevy of hunky dudes.

Entertaining escapism, but you have to read the series to enjoy each book - they're not really stand-alone books. And this one ends with Celia getting dragged away for another task. Guess we'll find out soon enough ...

I don't want to be a pea!

by Ann Bonwill

Hippos and Birds go together. They really are the best of friends. In fact, they have an annual Fairy-tale Fancy Dress party. This year, Hugo and Bella must decide on a costume. The only problem is that in most fairy tales, the sidekick always seems to be a less than desirable costume option. Can the two friends find a solution that works for both of them?

This adorable new story was a hit with the first grade class I visited this morning.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shut up and kiss me

by Carolyn Hughey

Mmm. Italian comfort food. Oh wait, that's only a side note in this romance. Ellana has spent her entire life being coerced by her mother and Nick's to believe that combining the two families is inevitable. Nick, however, sees her only as a sisterly figure in his life. After twenty-six years, Ellana has decided it is time to call the bluff. Rather, she is going to start bluffing in order to convince Nick that he is missing out. Enter chef Giovanni, who will aid Ellana in her quest, but seems to have a hidden agenda of his own.

It's a quick read that keeps the steamy bits to a minimum. If I were using a five-star scale, this might be a 2.5.


by Charise Mericle Harper

This adorable picture book chronicles the adventure of a vanilla cupcake. Cupcake is so proud of herself until she is the only one left on the platter. Soon she befriends Candle who tries to think of ways she can become special enough to be eaten. A silly selection of toppings ensues until Candle comes up with just one more idea.

This book would make a very cute flannel board for retelling. Some day I'll have to incorporate it into a story time.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Border Songs by Jim Lynch

The war on drugs and paranoia about the country's largest unguarded border bring an unlikely superhero in this book. An innate sense of attention to detail and change makes Brandon Vanderkool a phenom in his new role as a Border Patrol officer in his hometown in Washington state. His linebacker size makes the resulting arrests easy. Too bad he's really more interested in watching the birds and building spontaneous nature sculptures.

In a small town, it's easy to get pigeon-holed - and early in life, Brandon was labeled "dumb" and "weird." Even his dad can't get past those labels. Brandon's social awkwardness has made it tough for him to find a girlfriend, make personal connections essential for friendships, or even really find a place in life. Until now.

This is an excellent novel - lyrical, strange, touching and funny. You can't help but root for Brandon to somehow come out ahead, and his small town is just chock full of the kind of characters you know from real life.

Young Fredle

by Cynthia Voigt

Can you relate to the life of a house mouse? You might initially think the answer is no. Then you'll realize you have gotten wrapped up in the lives of far more unlikely characters in the past.

Fredle is like the precocious child who asks a thousand questions. His curiosity leads him to the magnificent scent of a peppermint patty. Unfortunately, there is danger in consuming chocolate if you are a mouse. Soon, Fredle finds himself alone in a new world - outside. He has quite an adventure that involves raptors, raccoons, lawnmowers, and stars. Fredle must learn about trust and a whole new kind of safety as he builds unlikely friendships and skirts danger. It's a coming of age story for young readers that will engage the whole family.

The audio version was an Odyssey Honor title for 2012.

Taft 2012 by Jason Heller

Given all that's going on in today's politics, this book is incredibly relevant: a subtle, truly funny political satire for people who wouldn't normally read anything in that genre.

Improbably, ex-president William Howard Taft has reappeared after a 99-year Rip VanWinkle-style hibernation. Lots about America has changed in the last hundred years - except the fact that we could still use an honest, ethical politician who speaks his mind and heart. Taft for President!?