Showing posts from July, 2014

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Salt Water Taffy graphic novel series by Matthew Loux

SALT WATER TAFFY series The Seaside Adventures of Jack and Benny by Matthew Loux Oni Press Publication Source: Purchased
Book 1: The Legend of Old Salty ISBN: 978-1-932664-94-2
Eleven-year-old Jack Putnam and his eighth-year-old brother Benny are being dragged against their will on a summer-long vacation with their family. And not to somewhere cool like Disney World, but to a little port town in Maine named Chowder Bay, far away from anyplace fun. But what promises to be a very bleak summer quickly becomes a series of exciting adventures in one of the most mysterious places on earth!

Warring Seagulls! Giant Lobsters! Kleptomaniac Eagles! Ghosts from the Civil War! Chowder Bay has far more adventures and mysteries in store than these two boys could have ever imagined!

Book 2: A Climb Up Mt. Barnabas
ISBN: 978-1-934964-03-3

Eleven-year-old Jack Putnam and his eight-year-old brother Benny are being dragged against their will on a summer-long vacation with their family. And not to somewhere cool …

GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: Dragon Girl, The Secret Valley by Jeff Weigel

THE SECRET VALLEY Dragon Girl #1 by Jeff Weigel Andrew McMeel Publishing, 2014 ISBN: 978-1-4494-4183-8 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Eleven-year-old Alanna and her older brother Hamel are orphans and doing their best to take care of each other until one day Alanna stumbles upon a cave full of dragon eggs. When the eggs hatch with no mother dragon in sight, Alanna decides to take care of the babies herself, even creating a clever costume so that the babies think she, too, is a dragon. With their large appetites and accidental fire burps, Alanna learns that dragon babies are hard work! And when a mama dragon finally comes to claim the babies, Alanna's costume is so convincing that she is swept along for the ride as they journey to Dragon Rock, a mysterious magnetic force that draws dragons of all shapes and sizes to a magical, untouched valley.


Dragon-lovers are sure to love this new series. I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel that rev…

NONFICTION MONDAY: National Geographic Readers

I've long enjoyed National Geographic's books, especially the beautiful photography.  The leveled readers are especially well done.  Today I'm highlighting several Level 3 readers. Level 3 readers are for fluent readers.  These are books that I plan to use with my students to highlight nonfiction text features.  Not only do they have beautiful photographs but the information is interesting and well-presented.  These books work for both learning and pleasure reading. National Geographic also has a Super Reader Program that encourages students to read, play games, take quizzes, and earn prizes.  WATER by Melissa Stewart National Geographic, 2014 ISBN: 978-1-4263-1474-2 Water is all around us; we drink it every day. In this level 3 reader, kids will learn about the water cycle, discovering how rain and snow flow into our lakes, rivers, and oceans, and later evaporate into the sky again. Vivid photography and accessible text make this book an ideal introduction to the science of wat…


COMICS SQUAD: RECESS Contributors: Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm; gene Luen Yang; Eric Wight; Ursula Vernon; Jarrett J. Krosoczka; Dav Pilkey; Dan Santat; Raina Telgemeier & Dave Roman Random House, 2014 ISBN: 978-0-385-37003-5 Graphic Novel Grades 2-5 Source: Purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

A bust-your-gut-laughing graphic-novel anthology with original contributions from the most beloved names in the genre! * Jennifer Holm & Matthew Holm * Jarrett J. Krosoczka * Dav Pilkey * Dan Santat * Raina Telgemeier * Dave Roman * Ursula Vernon * Eric Wight * Gene Yang *

Wowza! Calling all kidz! Do you like comics? Do you like laughing till milk comes out of your nose?! Look no further—do we have the book for you! All your favorite comic creators are right here in this handy-dandy hilarious book! This all-star tribute to classic Sunday comics includes eight sidesplitting, action-packed stories about every kid’s favorite subject—RECESS! With popular characte…

BLOG TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: The Fog of Forgetting by G.A. Morgan

THE FOG OF FORGETTING by G.A. Morgan Islandport Press, 2014 ISBN13: 9781939017239 Middle Grade Fantasy

In The Fog of Forgetting, the beginning of a new adventure-fantasy trilogy, five children wash up on the shores of an foreign land, unwitting agents of destiny in a realm struggling to withstand a force that could change their world -- and ours -- forever.

Move over, Narnia. The journey to Ayda has begun. 

Sneaking out for a quick boat ride on a summer day, five children find themselves engulfed in a curtain of dense, powerful fog that transports them from the rocky Maine coast to the mysterious island of Ayda. Rescued by Seaborne, a machete-toting wayfarer of few words, the children suddenly find themselves at the center of a centuries-old battle between Dankar, the ruler of Exor, and three siblings that rule the other realms of Ayda. At stake are the four stones of power and the elusive Fifth Stone that binds them all.

When 9-year-old Frankie is kidnapped by Dankar, her older…

MMGM: My Explosive Diary by Emily Gale

MY EXPLOSIVE DIARY Eliza Boom #1 by Emily Gale, illustrated by Joelle Dreidemy Aladdin, 2014 ISBN: 978-1-4814-0648-2 Middle Grade graphic novel humor Grades 2-5 Source: ARC from publisher All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Meet Eliza Boom; assistant inventor, junior spy, and full-on fantastic; as she tells all in this first book of a chapter book series packed with jokes, doodles, and dear-diary secrets!

Eliza Boom is having a blast. Her father is an inventor who makes gadgets for spies, and Eliza is his unofficial assistant; very unofficial.

Eliza knows if she can just build that one indispensable thing that every secret agent needs, she can be a full-fledged spy herself, but somehow her inventions keep going wrong. Still, with her best friend (well, dog), Einstein, she's not going to give up.

When Eliza's father loses a top-secret roll of film, Eliza realizes that she might have accidentally given it to class bully Zoe Wakefield, the Queen of Mean. Eliza's got t…

NONFICTION MONDAY: A World of Her Own by Michael Elsohn Ross

A WORLD OF HER OWN 24 Amazing Women Explorers and Adventurers by Michael Elsohn Ross Chicago Review Press, 2014 ISBN: 978-1-61374-438-3 Source: Publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

An inspiration for any young person who loves the outdoors, wildlife, or science, A World of Her Own tells the stories of 24 brave women from different cultures, epochs, and economic backgrounds who have shared similar missions: to meet the physical and mental challenges of exploring the natural world, to protect the environment and native cultures, and to leave a mark in the name of discovery. Among the many bold women profiled are Rosaly Lopes, who worked for NASA and discovered 71 volcanoes on one of Jupiter’s moons; Helen Thayer, the first woman to walk and ski the Magnetic North Pole accompanied by only her dog; Kay Cottee, the first woman to successfully sail nonstop around the world completely unassisted; and Anna Smith Peck, who set the record for the highest climb …

Wild & Wonderful Wednesday: Birds

A Beginner's Guide by Kim Kurki Black Dog and Leventhal, 2014 ISBN: 978-1-57912-969-9 MG/YA Nonfiction Grades 3 and up Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

A great way to help children understand the diversity of the natural world, World of Birds combines the delightful and spot-on illustrations of Kim Kurki with the expertise of the National Wildlife Federation.


A beautifully illustrated guide to birds that is perfect for budding ornithologists. While the book contains illustrations rather than photographs, the illustrations are detailed enough to help identify the different types of birds. The book is organized by habitat; fields, woodlands, wetlands, and deserts.  I liked this organization because if a reader knows what to look for in a particular location.  The author/illustration focuses on some of the most common birds and bird types.  She covers the major points of interest about each bird in…

National Geographic Kids Chapters

LUCKY LEOPARDS And More True Stories of Amazing Animal Rescues by Aline Alexander Newman National Geographic Children's Books, 2014 ISBN: 978-1-4263-1457-5 MG Nonfiction Grades 2-5 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Based on the hit feature in National Geographic Kids magazine, we bring you Lucky Leopards, true and inspiring stories of daring animal rescues that will engage and enchant readers of all ages. Packed with full-color photography, and written in fun and lively prose that empowers readers to keep turning pages, these heart-warming stories will leave kids hungry for more of the animal "awwww" factor.

National Geographic Kids Chapters picks up where the best-selling National Geographic Readers series leaves off. This new series offers young animal lovers, who are ready for short chapters with lively, true stories just right to carry in a backpack, share with friends, and read under the covers at night.

National Geographic supports K…