Salina Yoon - Balzar and Bray - 15.99 - 9780062286840
Full of bright, bold colors, this book delivers an interactive reading experience that is sure to be a hit for the PreK-1 set. By tapping the red dot, the narrator of this simple story, readers embark on quest similar to a video game which requires shaking, tilting, flapping and knocking. The red dot, with big, cute eyes and a silly smile, encourages readers to be hands-on and engaged in order to help him get to the end of the level. Sure to produce giggles and smiles, this book is recommended for school libraries and will be requested by students in the primary grades, particularly Preschool through first.
#prehistoric Follow the Dinosaurs
Scholastic - 9.99- 9780545823418 -John Bailey Owen
What if the prehistoric era had a social media site? That’s the premise for this book featuring over 60 dinosaurs, early mammals, and major prehistoric events and places who post facts about themselves in the “about me” section of their page, and interact with each other via a message board. InterruptingDina, also known as Iguanadon, is the first to join the social site. He is soon followed by the trillobite, screen name Trill_O_byte who reminds any confused friends that he is the ancestor for the now ubiquitous insect. Plenty of favorites appear, including the velociraptor and the woolly mammoth, with a few surprise members like Pangea and something with the screen name “AttackPony.” This is a clever way for dino lovers to find out more about their favorite lizards and prehistoric animals. It has plenty of full color pictures and maps to help readers visualize the online predator or prey. Fun screen names and hashtags are educational as well, such as Official_Rex1, soon to be known as Tyrockasaurus Rexington with #rebrand. Elasmosaurus (KillerSeaGiraffe22) tags with #PebblesHelpWithDigestion and #MiraclePebblesDiet. This book is recommended for school libraries who will find it flying off the shelves into the hands of readers grades 2-6.
Temple Run-Run for YOur Life!: Doom Lagoon
Egmont, Chase Wilder, 6.99 9781606845721
Jungle Trek 9781606845714
Based on the popular video game, these choose-your-own-adventure books are a fun and easy read, perfect for boys or reluctant readers. The covers feature Guy Dangerous and Scarlett Fox, characters in each book, as well as a boy who is the “you” in the stories. Both books are set in remote areas where simple choices at the bottom of the page can lead the reader to further adventures, or sudden death by crocodiles, drowning or demon monkeys! It is quite easy to start again and to read a new ending to the story, and would be a great read-aloud for students in lower grades. Students in grades 3-7 will enjoy reading the books on their own. These are recommended for school libraries.
Orca Book Publishers 19.95
Wallace Steven’s beautiful illustrations are the highlight of this book featuring crazily mixed-up creatures from the mind of Professor I.B. Doodling. From the first page where the Whalephant leaps into the air above the ocean, giggling readers will be captivated by the magical silliness of the colorful drawings. Some animal mixes are quite rega according to the rhyming couplet that accompanies each illustration- the proud Hawkodile “sits and ponders all the while.” However, others are just plain awkward, including the Toraffe whose tortoise backside must held up by a balloon while her giraffe head is “held up with pride.” The last two pages of the book include additional creatures that appear the book with rhyming couplets. It will lead to rereads of the book as readers scan the illustrations to locate the mismatched animals. Perfect for read-alouds, this book is recommended for grades K-5.
The Magic Thief: Home
Harper Collins 17.99
The third book in The Magic Thief series finds Conn returning to his roots. Despite proving himself as a trustworthy wizard, the elder wizards don’t believe he can ever be anything more than a common pickpocket. Determined to prove he is not the culprit in the disappearance of the powerful locus magicalicus stones that give the magicians their power, Conn returns to his thieving and grubby beginnings. With the help of his royal best friend, Conn must make find the real thief and avoid being pulled back into the grip of old enemies who’d like to see him fail. This series is a perfect fit for readers who are in search of Harry Potter but aren’t ready to fail in their quest due to a higher reading level. Older primary students in grades 3-6 will enjoy the characters and magical setting. It is recommended for school libraries who have the other books in the series.
Ostow’s book uses the real-life murders from the newspaper and not the novel and movie that put the town of “Amity” on the map as the basis for this book. Told in two voices, the book spans across a decade. Connor moved into the house in Amity ten years before Gwen and her family did. Both share their experiences in the house, from bad dreams and shadows to violence and death. The house in Amity is the power in both stories, and its presence looms largely in the lives of the teens. In the end, their live parallel each other more than either would ever want, and Amity claims it’s last victim. Teen readers who are not familiar with the real story of what happened in the house in Amityville, New York may find a compelling read in this novel. However, the book and movie have had a large impact on popular culture, and their influence will be hard for readers to shake. There are some creepy parts to be sure, and readers will find themselves reading this in a well-lit place, but overall, the story is not compelling enough to compete with the fictional images from the movie. It is an optional purchase for readers in grades 9-12.