Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hot Reads

Our libraries have been teeming with kids and parents ever since school let out. With this scorching heat that we're recently experienced (with more to come, as they used to say on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson), we're seeing an ever greater number of families browsing books and having fun at our programs. I've definitely noticed larger stacks of books and DVDs being carried to the checkout desk; this kind of weather is a perfect excuse to stay inside and read.

We have some terrific books that we just ordered; keep your eye out for them (or reserve a hold) in the near future:

The Atlantis Complex

A new Artemis Fowl book! Unfortunately, it won't be released until August 3. However, you can put a hold on one of our copies now.

Blindsided (YA)

I'm really looking forward to this one. A 14 year old girl with failing eyesight enters a school for the blind, where she'll learn how to adjust to her blindness. It's received very good reviews, and its portrayal of a teen girl learning to face her blindness has been praised. The title is also written in Braille on the cover, which is cool.


The fact that a bee's body is technically too heavy to fly is a fact used by many motivational speakers and preachers to illustrate a talk or sermon. Eileen Spinelli has used this incredible fact to create what looks to be an absolutely adorable book about a bee who learns that his body is too heavy to fly, but manages to fly in order to save a friend in need. Eileen Spinelli, you're killing me here!

The Cow Loves Cookies

Karma Wilson is one of my favorites; Bear Snores On and Hilda Must Be Dancing are staples in my story times. I'm definitely looking forward to reading about what happens to a cow who loves to eat cookies. And it's in rhyme!

The Daughters

OK, I admit that I initially thought that the premise of this book (teens deal with the pressures of being daughters of famous people) was potentially obnoxious, although one that tween and teen girls would love to read. However, the reviews have been kind. If it's a positive book about teenage friendships, more power to Joanna Philbin. This looks like it will be a series.

Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story

I loved Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World . I'm still not convinced it will translate well into a movie; it's a terrific read, but admittedly, not much action. Still, it does have two things going for it: 1) it's definitely a feel-good story about a community struggling through hard times and 2) Meryl Streep is playing the librarian.

ANYWAY, all of this is to tell you that there's a young reader's edition of Dewey! Very cool. I like the trend of creating young reader's editions for nonfiction that has appeal for children, as long as source notes and the like are included (this is my major gripe against Chasing Lincoln's Killer), if applicable (which I doubt will be necessary for Dewey, since it's a memoir; an author's note would be hoped for!).

The Eternal Ones

I have a fondness for the Kiki Strike series, so I'm super thrilled that Kirsten Miller has a new book out. This one is also New York City-centric, but it appears to be for a slightly older audience than her Kiki Strike series.

Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story

Several supernatural romance parodies have been published in the wake of the Twilight and romantic vampires phenomenon, but the one I'm most eager to read is Adam Rex's Fat Vampire. Rex definitely knows his monsters and how to create sidesplitting laughter from them; he's the author of Frankenstein Meets a Sandwich, among other things. After 15 year old Doug is bitten by a vampire, he's doomed to be an eternally overweight teenager. He also has to save himself from the clutches of a host of a cable access vampire hunting show. Cannot wait.

The Fool's Girl

Oh, the historical fiction assignment. It's not the most popular genre for teenagers, but there are many fantastic YA historical fiction books and authors out there. Celia Rees is one of them, especially if the reader has a romantic sensibility. Her latest, The Fool's Girl, is loosely based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

Haunted Houses

The author of several excellent folktale picture books and the ever-popular Short and Shivery books has written another collection of horror stories. Every tale centers around a haunted house. Ooooooh. Should be popular.

How to Be a Zombie: A Hands-On Guide For Anyone With Brains

If you're more into zombies than haunted houses, this may be the book for you. This tongue-in-cheek guide to the zombie life might be scarce to find once we receive our copies. I'm fairly certain that this will go in our YA collection.

How to Ride a Dragon's Storm

How To Train Your Dragon fans will clamor for book #7 in the series. If you're wondering what all the fuss is about, read the first one. It's seriously funny.

How to Survive Middle School

This looks like a fun read. A middle school student goes through friendship issues and issues with the opposite sex. OK, sounds like every other book about middle school, right? Well, our hero enjoys posting comedy skits to Youtube. Our hero is also a boy. Excellent! Nice to see a boy-friendly YA book that's not a thriller or adventure story maxed to the hilt.

I'm a Truck Driver

We can never have enough transportation books, especially for the toddler set. This book is about a variety of trucks and is written in rhyme (so, hopefully a good read aloud for story time). It's also written by Jonathan London, the author of the popular Froggy picture books. Super cool.

Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot

Awww, parrots. I love parrots. Would never, ever, ever own a pet parrot (they are very demanding pets). I just enjoy watching their Youtube videos. The Kakapo parrot is an extremely unusual bird; it is the only (naturally) flightless and nocturnal bird. It is also nearly extinct. Fewer than 100 parrots survive on a New Zealand island refuge, but with the help of some dedicated human friends, they are making a comeback! Yay! I love environmental stories like this; inspiring stories about people making a real difference (as well as informational environmental books that empower readers). I'm really looking forward to the photography.

Lots of Spots

Awesome! A new Lois Ehlert book. This one is all about camouflage.


If you want to get on the hold list for the final book in The Hunger Games series, do it quickly. We've had it in the catalog for about a week, and there's already 11 holds. And it won't be released until August. Definitely *the* anticipated book of the summer.

My Life as a Book

This looks promising: Derek is what's called a "reluctant reader." When he goes away to Learning Camp, he uncovers a mystery that consumes his summer. Kirkus Reviews called it a "kinder, gentler Wimpy Kid," which definitely caught my interest.

Queen of Secrets

Another trend I'm liking is are the YA modern retelling of classic stories, particularly because the ones I've seen have been written quite well, and the trend hasn't been overblown ad nauseum (like supernatural romances). When I read that Queen of Secrets is based upon the Book of Esther, I knew I had to read it. Essie's sophomore year is going quite well; she's a sophomore and and her football playing crush has noticed her. Letting people know that the football team kicker, Micah, is her cousin would be a no go. Micah is a traditionally observant Jew and is made fun of by the other kids. Essie keeps quiet until one boy, Harrison, does (says?) something blatantly anti-Semitic. This has received very strong reviews, so I'm eager to read it and see how our patrons respond to it.


NaTasha lives a privilidged life in tony Park Adams, where she's only one of a handful African-American teens. That comes to an end when her grandmother demands that she spend time volunteering at a crisis center in Harlem. The reviews have been quite good for this debut author; I'm looking forward to learning how NaTasha grows and changes due to her experiences.

Star Wars ABC

I was super happy to discover the DK Star Wars early readers; the majority of the Star Wars books published are for independent readers. Now, when our pre-reading patrons ask for Star Wars books, we can hand them this one. As a former Star Wars kid myself (Princess Leia Halloween costume and all), I'm really interested to see how they made a Star Wars ABC. C is for carbonite?

(You know, the stuff that they froze Han Solo in at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. Side effects are hibernation sickness and temporary blindness when unfrozen. OK, I'll stop now. But you see why I'm a little skeptical? Oh, well. This will circulate like hotcakes! How super geeky will it be? I'll file a report.)

Super Chicken Nugget Boy and the Furious Fly

I ordered this because I thought this had appeal for reluctant readers. Super Chicken Nugget Boy has to save the school from an enormous mutant french fry. Before you scoff at it, I should tell you that 1) School Library Journal liked it and 2) It's the first in a series. You'll probably wish that you had the idea first.

(You ever do that with books? I do. Do it every time Laura Joffe Numeroff comes out with another If You Give a ____ a ____ book. Every.Single.Time.)

Whooo! That's a load of books. Should keep everyone busy.

1 comment:

CoffeeShopBloggers said...

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Pragmatic Mom
Type A Parenting for the Modern World
I blog on children's literature, education and parenting.