Whoa! The first days of summer vacation come along, and Fauquier County (and friends from neighboring counties) decides to go to the library--That's how it's felt ever since the last school bell rang last week. It's awesome to see kids and parents picking out books and magazines (and books on CD for long car trips and DVDs for movie nights)--and, of course, registering for our summer reading program, spinning our famous prize wheel, and picking out prizes. We have some terrific new books coming our way very soon (and some in the fall, but I won't talk about those until they are on order, but can we say-sequel to The Princess Academy??!!). Here's just a tiny glimpse at some that I'm eager to read:
Bink and Gollie: Two For One
Kate DiCamillo is a fave. Such a fave. She's recently turned her attention to beginning chapter books, so bless her a million times for that. Beginning chapter books is an area begging to be rediscovered. Two For One is the second entry in the Bink and Gollie series, featuring the two different but BFF Bink and Gollie exploring the state fair.
Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship
Russell Freedman is a legend in children's nonfiction, and winner of the 1988 Newbery Medal for Lincoln: A Photobiography. As we can expect from Freedman, this is receiving strong reviews, including three starred reviews. Kirkus Reviews hails it as "[A] marvel of history writing that makes complicated history clear and interesting."
Aliens on a Rampage
Sooo happy that Clete Barrett Smith wrote a sequel to the hilarious and touching Aliens on Vacation. David is back for another summer working at his grandmother's bed and breakfast for vacationing aliens. Kirkus calls it "spot-on for middle graders who like a dash of humor in their science fiction."
Because of Shoe and Other Dog Stories
Ann M. Martin and other fabulous children's authors (Wendy Orr, Pam Munoz Ryan, etc) write stories about dogs and their humans. What's not to like?
Don't Squish the Sasquatch
Fans of wacky and silly picture books will snatch this up. A city bus carrying a passenger load of monsters features a nattily dressed monster who demands that he not be squashed. Publishers Weekly shouts that "...this is a book to be read aloud. Loudly."
Now, this looks very intriguing: a multicultural fairy story (first in a trilogy) set during the Dust Bowl.
Gold Medal Summer
Gymnastics novels for children and teens, for some reason, are few and far between. Luckily, former competitive gymnast Donna Freitas has stepped up to the plate. I reviewed this for School Library Journal, so I can tell you that this is a fun read for gymnasts and non-gymnasts alike. It's on the young side of YA, so although the negative aspects of competitive gymnastics are honestly portrayed, it's mostly a positive portrayal of determination, believing in yourself, and hard work. A budding romance, a mean rival, and a stubborn coach test fourteen year old Joey's dedication to the sport and make her evaluate her priorities and self-worth; although the ending is predictable, it's quite satisfying. Just in time for the 2012 Games, too.
This story about vampires entering a lottery and hunting hepers (an endangered species of vampires) is obviously inspired by The Hunger Games. So, yay for those who prefer their vampires not be sparkly and romantic. I've read both positive and lukewarm reviews; we'll see how it goes.
The queen of beginning chapter books! Monty apparently learns that "sometimes a day filled with excitement is not always the best thing." Yeah.
Marathon is a graphic novel about the story of Eucles, whose run from Sparta to Athens (in order to save Greece from falling to Persia) inspired the marathon. Publishers Weekly enthuses that "...it is easy to feel oneself racing alongside him to Athens." Timely reading for the Olympics.
A Passion for Victory: The Story of the Olympics in Ancient and Modern Early Times
Rounding out our new books about the Olympics is this nonfiction look at the Olympics from its origin in Greece to the 1936 Games in Berlin, which Hitler used to showcase German athleticism. I love Olympics history and trivia, so this is definitely going on my to-be-read list. Kirkus likes it, calling it "[A] fascinating account of the Olympic Games and their place in history."
The Shark King
This children's graphic novel story based on a Hawaiian legend of a shape-shifting shark god has received wide praise for its "straightforward and engaging" (Publishers Weekly) and "simple yet mysterious" (School Library Journal) storytelling.