Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Awesome new books!

I just read some amazing new books.  The first one was a sequel to one of my favorite books from a couple of years ago.  It's called "The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate" by Jacqueline Kelly.  The first one was called "The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate" and Calpurnia or Callie V as she is called by her family is a terrific character.  Callie lives with her large family in Texas in 1900.  She has 4 brothers, a mom and dad who care about her a lot (although they REALLY don't understand her) and a grandfather who really does understand her.  Callie is VERY interested in all things scientific and her mother despairs that she will ever become a lady (not if Callie has anything to say about it).  I love that Callie is so interested in science (in this one she does dissections, creates a barometer that forecasts a devastating hurricane, and becomes a veterinary assistant) and although she wants to please her mother and father, she also continues to push for opportunities that wouldn't normally be available to girls during that time period.  It would be a great compare and contrast story and great for character analysis.  

The second one I read is called  Book Scavenger" by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman.  It's about a girl who loves puzzles and has moved a lot of times (her family has set a goal of living in all 50 states and is writing a blog about it).  Emily also loves playing a game called Book Scavengers (which I was crushed to find was actually fictitious!  Rats!  I really wanted to play it!), which is an online game where you hid books and post clues on line.  People can earn points by finding the book first.  Her new town, San Francisco, starts off different right from the very start.  First, she makes a new friend almost immediately.  James lives in her building and is also a big puzzle fan, which is good because her brother has developed his own interest in music and is kind of leaving Emily behind.  Second, San Francisco is the home of the Book Scavenger founder, so Emily is really excited to be so close!  There is also an attempted murder, skulking bad guys, excellent ciphers, and a ton of literary references.  If you liked "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library" by Chris Grabenstein, you are going to love this one.  

The last one I read is called "Max the Brave" by Ed Vere.  This one is a picture book and I'm not sure I'm really going to be able to give this one what it deserves.  I downloaded it from Netgalley and I hope this isn't the way it's supposed to be, because the way it was, was a pain.  First of all, the orientation was a bit wonky.  When I had my iPad in landscape, the book formatted to portrait.  When I turned the iPad, the book turned too.  So I basically had to read it sideways.  But ok, it's free.  The second thing though was that it felt like the pages were out of order.  On one of my pages, Max the cat is saying yuck and looking behind him as he runs away.  But it there isn't anything on the page before it to give you any indication of what might be yucky.  Anyway, it's a cute little story with simple pictures and apparently Max is trying to catch a mouse but he doesn't know what a mouse looks like, so he keeps asking.  It's a bit like P. D. Eastman's "Are you my mother?".  I will look for it in a real book rather than trying to read it online.  

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