Reviews by Lyn 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.
The Race to Save the Lord God Bird|
The southern states were once full of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, but they are now probably extinct. The reasons why make for a fascinating story: From the captive bird studied in a hotel room for three days in 1809 (he eventually died but not before putting up a great fight) to the German prisoners-of-war who were cheap labor for the lumber companies in World War II, this is also the story of the rise of the science of conservation, which has ultimately helped many other species. Highly recommended for grades 7 to adult.
WPL Call Number: Y333.95 HO
Bumperboy and the Loud, Loud Mountain|
Very fun and exciting comic about a boy and his dog who go into a "Borp" hole and end up in a land where they find talking mountains whose helpers, the Grums, have been disappearing mysteriously. Not many graphic novels are geared to kids this young (grades 1 and older). I really enjoyed both the artwork and the story.
WPL Call Number: J Comic HU
The Beasts of Clawstone Castle|
Ibbotson has come up with another middle grade novel that is spooky, funny, and heartfelt. When two English children are sent to relatives in the country for the summer, who would have expected that they'd be recruiting ghosts to help haunt the legendary family castle? Or that their famed white cattle would be spirited away in a mysterious manner? Another great read by a deservedly popular author. For grades 4 - 6.
WPL Call Number: J Ibbotson
Small as an Elephant|
Jack heads off on a camping trip in Maine with his mother, but, on his first morning there, he wakes up in the tent to find himself alone. He's afraid to call the police to report her missing, since her past erratic behavior means that he may be taken away from her. This story of a brave and caring boy's struggle to safely find his way home makes for a novel that is both exciting and thoughtful. For grades 6 and older.
WPL Call Number: Y Jacobson
Out Standing in My Field|
Ty Cutter (named after his father's hero, Ty Cobb) is the worst player on his Pee Wee League team, the Babylon Brewers. Unfortunately, his father, "The Professor," is the team's tyrannical coach. Set in rural Arizona, this story takes place over nine innings of a game. It is both very funny and quite serious. Recommended for grades 4 - 6.
WPL Call Number: J Jennings
The Wolving Time|
Thought provoking novel about a very sympathetic family of werewolves (father, mother, adolescent son) in 16th century France. They live simple rural lives as shepherds and live in fear that their true nature will be discovered. Set against a backdrop of an intolerant and cruel society, this dramatic story is absorbing and well-written. Probably best for grades 7 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Jennings
Seeds of Change|
Inspiring picture book biography of Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan woman who worked courageously to plant trees in her native land. In doing so, she battled big corporate interests and was imprisoned for a time. She was the first African woman and environmentalist to win a Nobel Peace Prize. The scratchboard/oil illustrations are vivid and beautiful.
WPL Call Number: J921 Maathai
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat|
Emmy's very careful and good - then why does everyone ignore her? Even her own parents? Her sinister nanny seems to be the only one who really pays attention to her, except for the sarcastic and grouchy classroom rat. This funny fantasy seems old-fashioned and edgy at the same time. Pictures by Jonathan Bean add to the charm and interest, and a border on top of all the pages adds a flip-book element. For grades 3 and up.
WPL Call Number: J Jonell
Dianna Wynne Jones
Fun book from a veteran British fantasy author - a girl whose parents are caretakers at a historic castle inadvertently summons up a ghost. Short (exactly 100 pages), quick moving, this will even give kids a bit of English history. For 3rd and 4th graders.
WPL Call Number: J Jones
Trailblazers: Poems of Exploration|
Interesting mix of poetry and information. First, there are dozens of poems about explorers from all over the world. Next, readers find short informational pieces about each of the explorers. Illustrated with small black and white pictures, this is a lively book that may be especially useful in the classroom. Probably best for grades 4-7.
WPL Call Number: Y811
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