Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bolger, Kevin. Sir Fartsalot hunts the Booger

Bolger, Kevin. Sir Fartsalot hunts the Booger.Razor Bill, 2008 [978-1-59514-176-7]
The story opens in the Kingdom Armpit where King Reginald has a son, Prince Harry who likes to play practical jokes. Enter Sir Fartsalot who is trying to solve the riddle of the foul wind that turns up whenever danger is around. The King decides that Prince Harry needs a real life so he sends him off with Sir Fartsalot. Harry immediately convinces Sir Fartsalot that he should be in search of the terrible Booger. The rest of this 214 page book is an adventure of these two plus Sir Knotaclew. The names and places are silly... just what upper elementary and middle school kids like, but the story line is quite good with a surprise ending. This is a fun book for your collection... they all don't need to be "A Catcher in the Rye."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rennison, Louise. Stop in the name of pants! [#9 Georgia Nicolson]

Rennison, Louise. Stop in the name of pants! [#9 Georgia Nicolson]. Harper, 2008 [978-0-06-145932-0]
We once again return to the loony world of Georgia Nicolson. Masimo (the Luuurve God) has returned to Italy for a vacation before confessing his love for Georgia. She is all a-dither about this. But... why does Dave the Laugh keep popping up in her mind? Angus, the cat gets hit by a car.. will he recover? Georgia's parents appear to be on the verge of a divorce. Will Masimo get upset about her kissing Dave the Laugh. This ninth book just stops and will pick up in the next book. There is no attempt at completing a plot of this 310 page book. I hate it when series rambles on like this. To be honest, the cutesy nature of this series has worn off of me and I think my students also.. There some of these books on the shelf now and before there was always a waiting list.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a wimpy kid [#3]: the last straw

Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a wimpy kid [#3]: the last straw. Amulet Books, 2009 [978-0-81097068-7]
Once again (for the third time) we return to the crazy world of Greg Heffley, his family, his friend, Rowley and a love interest. In this 217 page book, Greg's father gets so fed up with his wimpy son, Greg, that he decides to send to him to a military camp. While these books may not be great literature, they are fun to read. They author has discovered a great, fresh formula. This series which appears to be handwritten and has many simple illustrations to fit in with the "diary" format. I can not keep these in my library. If you don't have these in your upper elementary or middle school library, you need them.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Glatshteyn, Yankev. Emil and Karl

Glatshteyn, Yankev. Emil and Karl. Roaring Brook Press, 2006 [1-59643-119-9]
Emil and Karl are two children growing up in Vienna during the Holocaust. Emil is Jewish and Karl is not. Because of the "changing circumstances" the two boys are left on their own and wander, trying to find help. They face the "changing circumstances" of the Holocaust, seeing people treated cruelly, arrested, beaten and even killed. They meet a German soldier who won't be cruel to children. They meet an old Jewish man with incredible perseverance. A couple runs into them and tries to help them and the book ends not on an entirely happy note. The reader sees the Holocaust the the eyes of two young children and some of the local people who keep saying that this can not last much longer. It is a good story about the Holocaust. What is absolutely incredible is that it was written in 1940, just at the start of the whole thing and it has just now been translated from the Yiddish. Realizing when this book was written makes it an important piece of Holocaust fiction. This 194 page book is an important piece of fiction and should be in every middle school and upper elementary school library.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Funk, Cornelia. Inkdeath [#3]

Funke, Cornelia. Inkdeath [Inkheart #3]. Chicken House/Scholastic, 2007 [978-0-439-86628-6 // 0-439-86628-6]
In this third book of the trilogy we once again return to the world inside of the book Inkheart. Evil in the form of Adderhead has taken over the world and people are in constant fear. Dustfinger, the fire-eater, is dead trying to save his apprentice, Farid. Elinor has been left behind in the real world and thinks her entire family is now dead. Mo, as Bluebird, becomes a hero to the people and he makes a deal with the White Women of death to try and save the people. Mo's daughter Meggie continues to believe in her father. This 682 is a heavy read... there are so many characters living in two separate worlds. I didn't realize until I was done, that there is a glossary at the end helping the reader. There reader is brought back and forth between two story-lines in the book world and the one story-line back in the real world. Good readers who enjoyed the first two in the series, will live through the slow beginning of this book to the exciting conclusion. A movie will be released this month (January 2009) and you can see clips on youtube. Although I have enjoyed this series, I have not had much interest in them.. but with the movie out now....who knows.