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#CelebrateLU- August 19, 2016

19 Aug
Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating things I celebrated this time last year.

First up, we had our annual Educator Night where we recommended some new titles for K-8 school teachers and librarians. We’re always thrilled to help them discover books which they can use in their lessons or that will get kids to enjoy reading. I still get nervous speaking in front of a crowd but they couldn’t be nicer.

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Here are the books I talked about:

BookedBooked by Kwame Alexander

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This year has completely surprised me in terms of what books I’ve ended up liking. You may or may not know how I absolutely didn’t like The Crossover but I was hooked on Booked! I kept wanting to talk about it with someone.

Maybe I knew what to expect with a novel told in verse. But I think the characters were definitely more likable and relatable. And the “corny like Fritos” factor was still there but it worked with Booked.

I would have enjoyed a list of all the books mentioned in this book. And props to Kwame Alexander for being such a literacy advocate!

View all my reviews

Sprout Street Neighbors: Five StoriesSprout Street Neighbors: Five Stories by Anna Alter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Absolutely charming new series about five friends who live in the same building. Readers will find themselves relating to at least one of the characters- or a combination of them. These stories celebrate differences and friendship and working together in a super sweet way.

View all my reviews

Duck, Duck, Porcupine!Duck, Duck, Porcupine! by Salina Yoon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Delightful trio of new friends young readers will enjoy getting to know in these three stories. It’ll be hard to pick out a favorite character.

View all my reviews

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson ElementaryThe Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A novel in verse told from 18 different characters. Luckily there was a class picture of sorts in the front flap of the book to help keep track of who’s who. We follow these students as they learn their school is about to be torn down. Throughout the school year, we learn about their reactions to this news (not everyone’s sad about it), their personal struggles in school as they navigate changing friendships and figuring out who they are and who they want to be, and the differences in their home lives. Also included is a glossary, descriptions of all the different kinds of poems used, and even prompts!

View all my reviews

School's First Day of SchoolSchool’s First Day of School by Adam Rex

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s not only kids who get first-day jitters as we see in School’s First Day of School.

This charming picture book introduces a newly built school wondering how the students will like him! He worries they don’t like him. He’s a little bit mean to one of them. He’s embarrassed when his fire alarm goes off. But as the day progresses, he’s excited to learn new things and meet new friends.

Paired with Christian Robinson’s vibrant and playful illustrations, Adam Rex has created a story perfect for any classroom read-aloud.

View all my reviews

Sprout Street Neighbors: Five StoriesSprout Street Neighbors: Five Stories by Anna Alter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Absolutely charming new series about five friends who live in the same building. Readers will find themselves relating to at least one of the characters- or a combination of them. These stories celebrate differences and friendship and working together in a super sweet way.

View all my reviews

The StorytellerThe Storyteller by Evan Turk

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This gorgeous picture book features stories within stories. In a dry desert town, a boy in search of a drink meets an old man who begins a tale that satisfies another thirst he didn’t know he had. What neither of them knows is that a terrible djinn in the guise of a storm is coming and it’ll take a cunning solution to keep the town safe.

View all my reviews

And, I also celebrated my current favorite Young Adult series- William Ritter’s Jackaby. Here are the books so far with Ghostly Echoes coming out August 23rd so be sure to check them out!

Jackaby (Jackaby, #1)Jackaby by William Ritter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There will be a new YA book coming out in September that I think will be a big hit-
Jackaby
by William Ritter. Fans of Sherlock Holmes (especially the Benedict Cumberbatch portrayal) will enjoy this first in a series debut that mixes mystery with more than a splash of the supernatural. A runaway suddenly finds herself far away from home and working for an eccentric detective. Ghosts, banshees, and blood-thirsty monsters are just some of the things that they must deal with. Likable (and familiar feeling) characters, clever dialogue, and plenty of action make this a must-read for fall!

View all my reviews

The Map (Jackaby, #1.5)The Map by William Ritter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Even though it’s Abigail Rook’s birthday, readers are the ones who get a gift with this novella featuring our intrepid adventure, her boss- the supernaturally gifted Jackaby, a treasure map, goblins, and vegetables. A smart move for fans of this smart, spooky series until the next installment comes out!

View all my reviews

Beastly Bones (Jackaby, #2)Beastly Bones by William Ritter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quick Twitter Review: Finished Beastly Bones by @Willothewords! Jackaby is my current fave #yalit series. Smart supernatural fun. Read it!

And so the problem is BB doesn’t come out til Sept so I have to wait even longer for the next book! Such is a reader’s life!

New characters and dinosaur bones are thrown into this mix in the sequel to Jackaby. Not to mention: shape-shifting cats running loose in the city and a mysterious monster killing inhabitants in a small village.

But something even more sinister is brewing closer to our main characters than they could imagine…

Relationships are deepened. The dialogue remains sharp. The stakes are higher.

View all my reviews

Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby, #3)Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This series just keeps getting better!

We dig deeper into the histories of characters we’ve come to know revealing surprising secrets. We learn of dark forces ready to make their ultimate moves to get what they want. Our heroes undertake unique ways to fight back but things will never be the same which makes me wish the fourth and final book is out already!

I love this series for its cleverness, sophistication, and its ability to speak on certain topics you wouldn’t expect in a supernatural mystery.

View all my reviews

What are you celebrating this week?

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3 responses to “#CelebrateLU- August 19, 2016

  1. Linda Baie

    August 20, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    I love seeing that picture of you presenting, Earl. and these are great books. I love The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, and still need to find The Storyteller! Thanks for sharing what you shared!

     
  2. Terje

    August 21, 2016 at 12:56 am

    Sharing books is like giving gifts. Thank you for your gifts to your listeners and readers.

     
  3. Tara Smith

    August 21, 2016 at 8:50 am

    What a great collection of books to present – you looked very comfortable there, Earl, I’ll bet it all went beautifully.

     

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