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 Snow Goose|
This classic story has gorgeous new illustrations by Angela Barrett. When a wounded bird is found by a local girl, she gets help from a local recluse, a talented artist who stays away from people because of his grotesque appearance. Eventually, the Battle of Dunkirk sets the scene for the ending of this touching and romantic tale. For grades 5 or 6 and older.
WPL Call Number: Y Gallico
The Countess's Calamity|
Wonderful story about a box of dolls abandoned in a park who are befriended by a mouse couple. They have many run-ins with the toy-breaking park keeper and his evil cat. The Countess, one of the dolls, is a very funny character, snobbish and rude, and all the other dolls have just as much personality. Great black and white pictures are a mix of photos and drawings. Good book for grades 2 - 4 (younger for reading aloud).
WPL Call Number: J Gardner
A Girl, a Boy, and a Monster Cat|
Funny short book about Brandon, a TV-loving boy who has to spend 3 afternoons a week with Hannah, a girl with a vivid imagination. For instance, she thinks the new neighbor's chihuahua has scary black eyes that shoot laser beams, or, "maybe he's a dog but a space alien took over his brain." Gradually, her energy and sense of drama win over Brandon in a story that 2d and 3d graders will enjoy.
WPL Call Number: J Gauthier
95 Pounds of Hope|
A 13 year-old sixth grader struggles with school; he's great working with his hands, but academic subjects are another story. Meanwhile, he's coping with his parents' unstable marriage and their disappointment with him. This very short and accessible book is not nearly as gloomy as it sounds - it's got a lot of humor and overall appeal, in fact. Translated from the French. For grades 5 - 7.
WPL Call Number: Y Gavalda
The Cowgirl Way: Hats Off to America's Women of the West|
Fun historical facts about the girls and women who worked as cowhands, in rodeos, in wild west shows, and on stage and screen. I especially enjoyed reading about how their experiences helped break down the strict gender roles of the 19th century. Legends are separated from truth for characters like Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley. Illustrated with lots of photos and old advertisements, this is a lively and readable book recommended for 3rd-5th grade boys and girls.
WPL Call Number: J978 GE
Leaving the Nest|
A girl riding a 2 wheeler for the second time - a kitten escaping out an open door - a baby blue jay trying to fly and falling from its nest. Gerstein, one of the best children's author/illustrators around, brings these characters (plus a few nosy squirrels) together in a backyard tale of trying your wings and growing up. A picture book in comic format, this will be enjoyed as a read-aloud or read-alone. For ages 4-8.
WPL Call Number: J Comic GE
The Old Country|
A girl is warned never to stare into a fox's eyes - but she does, and ends up changing places with the animal. (Her mind and heart are in the fox's body, and vice versa.) This story of several magically transforming animals is set against a backdrop of human warfare and the girl/fox's search for her missing family. It's is like a cross between The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and the Hobbit. An original, thought-provoking and well written book. For grades 4 - 6.
WPL Call Number: J Gerstein
The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular|
This funny and sharp graphic novel brings back Amelia and her fellow students at Joe McCarthy Elementary School, whose motto is "weeding out the wrong elements since 1952." Amelia and her somewhat hapless friend Rhonda try out for cheerleading and, in general, experience the mob mentality that rules the hallways, classrooms, and cafeteria. This book is not at all earnest but has some great messages about courage and loyalty. Absorbing and clever for grades 4-6.
WPL Call Number: J Comic GO
The Reluctant Dragon|
The main character, known only as "The Boy," meets a dragon who definitely does not want to meet (and be killed by) St. George. In fact, the Dragon is very reluctant to behave like a dragon at all - he says he's out of practice breathing fire, and only wants to relax and show off his beautiful blue scales. First written in 1938 by the author of The Wind in the Willows and illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard (of Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh), this is highly recommended for kids who like humor with an off-beat quality that seems as modern as anything written today. For all ages.
WPL Call Number: J Grahame
Quick page turner about a bus full of kids who go on what they anticipate will be a boring field trip to a farm. Things go terribly wrong instead, in a nightmare scenario involving a deranged criminal. The main character, Dan Hogg, is used to being the butt of jokes (hogg=pig), and finds himself needing to summon all his strength and courage to try to help his classmates. For grades 5-8.
WPL Call Number: Y Grant
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