Tuesday, July 12, 2011

(More) Sizzling Reads for Summer

Looking for new summer reads? We have some terrific books on the way!

10 Rules You Must Absolutely Not Break if You Want to Survive the School Bus

Kyle is rather nervous about riding the school bus. His older brother gives him a set of rules, which he promptly breaks. At the end, he discovers that there's one rule that his brother doesn't know about! This received starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and School Library Journal. Pretty impressive!


Ugh, blackouts. Such inconveniences! A busy family's activities come to a screeching halt when the lights go out. When it becomes too uncomfortable to stay inside, they climb to their rooftop, where they find peace and enjoyment under the stars. This also received three starred reviews-Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal.

The Bridge to Never Land

This won't be released until August 9, but I'm anticipating that there will be a lot of publicity and interest once we're closer to the release date. Two fans of the Peter and the Starcatchers series discover that the books captured real events. Kirkus Reviews gave it an excellent review.

The Elephant Scientist

The Scientists in the Field series is exceptional, so I'm happy to see a new one coming soon! This one focuses on Caitlin O'Connor and her work with elephants in Nambia.


The final book in Virginia author Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I'd recommend placing a hold if you want to read it ASAP. If you're not familiar with the series, it's about a human girl and her werewolf boyfriend. Verrry popular. No, no, no....don't draw any comparisons to Twilight. It's much better than that.

Frankie Pickle and the Mathematical Menace

I get a kick of out Frankie Pickle. We have a number of easy chapter book series featuring spunky little girls, but not nearly enough featuring young boys. In his latest adventure, Frankie tackles math.


What would a superhero be without a sidekick? Captain Amazing is getting a little long in the tooth, so he needs a sidekick to help him out. He just doesn't expect his pets to fight over the position! This graphic novel is receiving praise for its humor and bright illustrations.


Two books titled Sidekicks published in the same month? Luckily, one is a children's graphic novel, while this one is YA fiction. Bright Boy has been the crime-fighting Phantom Justice's sidekick for years. After meeting his rival sidekick, he realizes that Phantom Justice may not be the good guy that everyone thinks he is.

Star Wars Character Encyclopedia

It's a bit embarrassing how much I am looking forward to this book; I grew up watching the original Star Wars trilogy and dressed up as Princess Leia (Star Wars Leia, not Return of the Jedi Leia) for Halloween when I was a kid. This is a guide to all six Star Wars movies: "With stat boxes, expert text, incredible movie stills, and more than 200 profiles" according to the publisher. Geek out to your heart's content.

Total Sports

I have a grownup version of this book (it's very cool; covered in astroturf) that I appreciate very much, so I'm happy that a kid-friendly version is available. Total Sports covers every Olympic sport, so this will definitely come in handy for next summer's Olympics in London (yay!) and you're trying to figure out the ins and outs of curling or what the deal is with synchronized swimming. Extreme sports are also covered (cliff diving, mountain biking, etc) as well as more traditional non-Olympic sports (golf, rugby, American football, cricket, and motor sports). A section on the Paralympic Games (for athletes with physical disabilities) is also included. Rules and techniques are outlined; histories of the sports, key athletes, bizarre moments, major competitions, and geographical range of the sports round out this browse-worthy sports reference book.

That's just a sample of the books coming our way.

I'm also making more of an effort to read adult fiction. Here's what I have on tap:

The Peach Keeper-I'm very picky about Southern fiction. I don't like books stuffed with wacky Southern characters and their wacky Southern ways. Having lived in the South all my life, I've known my share of colorful characters (especially since I grew up in Louisiana), but reading about characters constantly acting wacky is tiresome. If someone talks about enjoying it with a tall glass of iced tea (or worse, mint julep) while swinging in a hammock on a gentle summer day, that's usually a sign for me to stay far away. Thankfully, this doesn't seem to be the case with this book. It take place in North Carolina and involves family secrets that are revealed when a historic house is renovated. Nice.

The American Heiress-Reviewers have said that this has shades of Edith Wharton; I'm a fan of Edith Wharton, so this has been on my radar for a few months. Cora Cash, member of a very wealthy American family, marries an English aristocrat. After their lavish New York wedding, they move to England, where even the servants look down on her. Oh, goodie.

A coworker noticed that I had returned Tolstoy and the Purple Chair and wanted to know my opinion on it. Regrettably, I had to tell her that I had to return it without finishing it, for I knew that several people had it on hold (she had already finished it). What I read was exceptional: after the death of her sister, the author sought comfort in literature and vowed to finish a book every day for a year. Once I'm in the mood for more reflective reading, I'll pick it up again.

Be cool, everyone. I mean that literally.

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