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Reviews by Janet P.

Titles are listed alphabetically by the author's last name. You can click the title of each book to check its availability in the WPL catalog.

Book Cover Dachshund Disaster
Tui Sutherland

Charlie longs for a pet of his own, a pet who likes him best, the way Bowser, his surly brother David's dog, only likes David. When he gets King, a dachshund, for his birthday, he thinks his dream has come true. But soon King is snapping at everyone, deepening divisions in the family. With the help of some friends, Charlie looks for a way to turn King from a one-kid dog to an everyone dog. For budding dog trainers in grades 3-5.

WPL Call Number: J paperback SU
Review Date: 8/31/12

 

Book Cover Hamster and Cheese
Colleen A. F. Venable

Because of his bad eyesight, Mr. Venezi has labeled the cages in his pet shop wrong--hamsters are called koalas, the snake is called a llama, and the chinchilla is called a moose. Also, Mr. Venezi doesn't see who keeps taking his sandwich. Sasspants the Guinea Pig does some fancy detective work to catch the sandwich thief. Readers in about second and third grade will like this funny graphic novel that requires keen observation skills.

WPL Call Number: J Comic VE
Review Date: 8/16/10

 

Book Cover H.I.V.E. : Higher Institute of Villainous Education
Mark Walden

Ever wonder where villains learn their diabolical skills? They go to HIVE, the Higher Institute of Villainous Education. Otto Malpense finds himself at the mysterious school, which is inside a volcano in the middle of an undisclosed ocean. Otto learns the arts of evil, such as Villainy Studies, Tactical Education, Stealth and Evasion, and Practical Technology. Then Otto and his friends put their education to good use with an amazing display of wickedness. Fifth through eighth graders, especially those who like Alex Rider and his ilk, will enjoy this book.

WPL Call Number: Y Walden
Review Date: 10/6/08

 

Book Cover The Boy in the Dress
David Walliams

Since his mother left home, Dennis's home life with his father has been pretty bleak. Soccer is the one thing that cheers him up...until one day he discovers he has a passion for women's fashion. His friend Lisa encourages him to come to school as her French exchange student--in an orange sequined dress. Dennis's cover is quickly blown, and he's expelled from school. But how will he able to play in the big championship soccer match? Will he be able to regain his father's trust? And will he be able to show that it's OK for boys to be just a little different? This is a funny, quick read that kids in about fourth grade and up will enjoy.

WPL Call Number: Y Walliams
Review Date: 3/31/10

 

Magic book The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!
Mo Willems

The Pigeon is back with more outrageous demands! First he wanted to drive the bus, then he wanted a hot dog, and, when last seen, he wanted to stay up late. Now he wants a puppy. Find out just how badly he wants one in Mo Willems's latest hilarious romp. As usual, the Pigeon's temper tantrum is dead on, and children and parents (and grown-up librarians) may be reminded of real-life conniption fits.

WPL Call Number: JE Willems
Review Date: 4/10/08

 

Book Cover Today I Will Fly!
Mo Willems

Mo Willems, popular author of picture books such as Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Knuffle Bunny, makes a foray into the world of easy readers. Optimistic Piggie informs his glum friend Elephant Gerald that today, he will fly. Elephant seems to think that Piggie will fly when, well, pigs fly. Their amusing adventures may make kids think about the nature of persistence and friendship. Expressive yet sparse drawings are complimented by speech bubbles. This is a fun pick for children just starting to read. A bonus for Pigeon fans--see if you can find the Pigeon hiding somewhere in this book.

WPL Call Number: JE ER Willems
Review Date: 5/2/07

 

Book Cover One Crazy Summer
Rita Williams-Garcia

It's the late 1960s. Delphine and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, fly off to Oakland to spend the summer with their mother, who abandoned them years ago. The sisters find their mother very unlike the kind but firm grandmother and father who raise them. Their mother, Cecile, or Nzilla, as her new friends call her, doesn't cook, hug, or spend time with her kids. Instead she sends them off to a community center run by the Black Panthers. There, Delphine and her sisters learn about the ups and downs of revolution. They also try to crack the mystery of their poet mother. This is a great read for kids in about fourth grade and up who are interested in recent history and social movements.

WPL Call Number: Y Williams-Garcia
Review Date: 7/2/10

 

Book Cover Adam Canfield of the Slash
Michael Winerip

One of overscheduled Adam's many activities is co-editing his school's newspaper. Between baritone lessons and standardized test prep, Adam uncovers some shocking facts about his school and his community. He and his co-staffers at the Slash must decide how to handle this sensitive information. Funny and fast-paced, this book will be a great conversation starter for busy kids and their families. For kids in grades 4 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Winerip
Review Date: 6/13/07

 

Book Cover The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman
Ben H. Winters

Nobody knows anything about mousy Ms. Finkleman until Bethesda Fielding uncovers her music teacher's secret past--Ms. Finkleman was Little Miss Mystery, the wild singer in an early '90s punk-rock band. Once she's outed, Ms. Finkleman is pressured into organizing a rock show for the annual Choral Corral. But planning the show really falls to Bethesda and spaced-out rocker Tenny Boyer. Bethesda starts to wonder if Ms. Finkleman isn't hiding even more secrets. This is a totally rockin' school story that will appeal to readers in about third through sixth grade.

WPL Call Number: J Winters
Review Date: 3/25/11

 

Magic book After Tupac & D Foster
Jacqueline Woodson

In the months before rapper Tupac Shakur is killed, D wanders into the lives of Neeka and her best friend. D loves roaming, and she brings a sense of adventure to the two girls, whose perspectives have so far been limited to their own block. D identifies with Tupac's stories of young people struggling, and Tupac's insight helps D and her friends cope with their search for a Big Purpose in troubled times. Then D disappears, and Tupac dies, changing their close-knit neighborhood. For kids 11 and up, especially those who like music and friends.

WPL Call Number: Y Woodson
Review Date: 4/17/08

 

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