Monday, March 16, 2015

New things!

I've had a stupid cold this week and I spent a lot of time watching TV and re-reading Harry Potter.  But I'm feeling better now and I was digging around in Netgalley and there's some really great stuff there!

I just read a picture called "The Queen's Shadow" by Cybele Young.  It's a funny story about a queen who has lost her shadow and she accuses the animals she is dining with of stealing it.  One by one they explain they couldn't have possibly have done it because of the way that they see.  There is some great scientific information in the book about the way different animals see and it has a funny ending.   The pictures are scientifically Victorian so you get both the queenly theme and the scientific accuracy of the animals.  I liked this one a lot.  This would be a great one to go along with some of Steve Jenkins books like "What do you do with a Tail like this?".

The second one I read was a middle grade fiction chapter book called "Seriously Wicked" by Tina Connolly.  It had a very funny premise... Camellia, a middle schooler, is the assistant of a truly wicked witch.  They have a pet dragon in the garage and in addition to trying to algebra, Cam is responsible for gathering all the ingredients for the witch's evil spells and not letting anyone know that she lives with a witch.  It's a precarious balance and one that is upset when a new handsome boy comes to town and the witch hatches a plan to take over the town, which coincides with a phoenix's rebirth, that could cause the end of the world.  In addition to being exciting, it's also funny and fresh.  Another big winner.  This would be great to compare with one like 'Half Magic" by Edward Eager or "Harry Potter".  

The last one I read is called "Fort" by Cynthia DeFelice.  It's about two 11 year olds, Wyatt and Augie, that build a completely amazing fort where they like to spend their time camping and just hanging out.  Unfortunately, two mean kids find their fort and are intent on destroying it.  Wyatt and Augie come up with a really great plan to stop that from happening.  It has been themes of friendship, bullying and being kind.  It would be great paired with "Wonder" by R. J. Palacio.  

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