Oneota Reading Journal:
An E-Journal from Decorah Public Library and Luther College
Fall 2009 Issue
Significant Others II: Multiple Voices
Stasi Dubbels, Nicole Gesch, Maggie A. Hugeback, Leah Jensen, Jill Nerka, Paul Pichelmann, Leah Sobotta, Aaron Carl Zander
Garmannís summer. Hole, Stian. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008. eerdmans.com, (800-253-7521). 42 pp. $17.50. ISBN 978-0-8028-5339-4.
This story contains a realistic character facing his first day of school. As time gets closer to the first day, Garmann, goes around to all of this family members asking them if they have fears. As each person confesses their fears to him, he realizes that he can make it through the first scary day, just as they can face their own fears. At the summerís end, Garmann feels that he can face the fear of going to school for the first time. (AD)
This interactive picture book is a collection of ghost stories from around the world. The stories are put together and retold by the ďSecret Ghost Society.Ē Each story is unique and has its own interesting way to present the story, with moving objects and other interactive pieces. This book would be great for elementary students who are interested in scary stories. The text and illustrations effectively depict each story; giving the reader the ability to engage in the illustrations and making each story come to life. (PP)
The girl who drew a phoenix. Demi. Simon & Schuster, 2008. firstname.lastname@example.org, (800-223-2336). 44 pp. $21.99. ISBN 978-1-4169-5347-0.
This is a story of a girl who learns wisdom and self-discovery from a phoenix as she tries multiple times to draw one. The reader experiences wonder and self-discovery as the girlís journey continues. Through her wisdom, she is able to draw the most exquisite phoenix that anyone had ever seen, and learn a more valuable lesson than the phoenix could have taught her. Recommended for children ages 4-8. (AD)
On one mysterious night Polly's older sister, Bree, disappears into the woods. Even though Pollyís friends and family have given up, Polly still believes that Bree is alive in the woods. Polly goes as far as leaving her sister food in the woods. While doing so, she discovers a hidden grove where she believes her sister is making a fire each night. As Polly continues to visit the mysterious woods, she learns about herself, her family, and nature. The story is believable because the plot intertwines with both the modern and fantasy world. Many preteen girls will be able to relate to Polly because she has to deal with all sorts of coming of age issues, such as her relationship with her mother, mistakes, peer pressure, discovering who she is, and love. This magical book also has many relatable themes including: the understanding that itís alright to be different, finding the value and magic of nature, and the challenges of growing up in a complicated world. This enchanting fantasy book will captivate the reader from start to finish. (JMN)
Give a goat. Schrock, Jan West and Aileen Darragh. Tilbury House Publishers, 2008. tilburyhouse.com, (207-582-1899). 32 pp. $16.95. ISBN 978-0-88448-301-4.
This book is meant to inspire the reader to give to people less fortunate than they are. The story begins with a teacher reading a story to her students about giving a goat, and how doing so not only benefits one family, but at least three other families as well. The children aspire to do just that. They fundraise enough money to send a goat to someone in need. This book is great for children ages 4-8 that want to learn how to make the world a better place. (AD)
Go long! Barber, Tiki and Ronde. Simon & Schuster Inc. (A Paula Wiseman Book), 2008. 153pp. $15.99. ISBN978-1-4169-3619-0.
Go Long! is a story inspired by the childhood of NFL Football players Tiki and Ronde Barber. This motivational football story is perfect for any young boy interested in athletics. In the story, the twin boys Tiki and Ronde are beginning their second year on the junior high football team. After the loss of one key player, Matt Clayton, as well as their previous coach, Coach Spangler, the two boys worry that they wonít reach their goal of the State Championship this year behind the new Coach Wheeler. (LJ)
This is a concept counting book, which begins at one, counts up to ten, and then back down to one again. The text flows smoothly with lyrical rhyming text. The theme of the book is farm animals, and throughout the story the reader will see exciting and busy illustrations of horses, pigs, turkeys, geese, cows, and chickens. This book is great for younger students because it combines two important concepts of counting and rhyming. (PP)
The gold rush kid. Waldorf, Mary. Houghton Mifflin (Clarion Books), 2008. email@example.com, (617-351-5000). 232pp. $16.00. ISBN 978-0-618-97730-7-51600.
After Billy and Edna's mother dies suddenly of typhoid fever they feel obligated to search for their father, who left the family to go to the Klondike in search of gold. Edna disguises herself as a young man and the two set off on the grueling trail over the mountains into Canada. They soon meet a fellow traveler named Jack, who is also headed for gold country. They run into adventures and dangers on the way when Billy saves Jack from the deadly waters of the Dyea River. Continuing their journey and eventually locating their father, the kids and Jack find an old abandoned cabin to use as a shelter. At this cabin is a set of sled dogs that Billy quickly becomes friends with, especially the lead dog that he names Percy. Times are tough, though, and the dogs must be sold to make it through the freezing winter. Billy misses his dogs terribly and also feels like he needs to give his mother a proper gravestone. He has a difficult decision to make between his family and Skagway. Is he strong enough for whatever he decides? This historical fiction effectively describes the hardships of a family during the Klondike Gold Rush and would be an interesting read for junior high students and could also be an enjoyable read-aloud for a classroom. (PP)
Golf: The best instruction guide ever!. DeNunzio, David. Lerner (Twenty-First Century Books), 2008. firstname.lastname@example.org, (800-328-4929). 144pp. $39.93. ISBN 978-0-8225-7278-7.
Filled with pictures and helpful diagrams, this book is geared toward first time golfers. From explaining the proper swing techniques, to avoiding tough situations on the golf course, this book teaches all of the basic information needed to play golf. This is a phenomenal book that utilizes an easy to follow layout in order to teach the fundamental elements of the golf game, and appears to be geared toward older children or adults. (LJ)
This charming easy-to-read bedtime story takes the reader through the actions that one monkey goes through before he goes to bed. Before going to sleep, the monkey must say goodnight to each of his body parts. The warm calming illustrations and simple plot line would make this a great book for pre-school aged children. Children of this age will be able to relate to the monkey who knows its time for bed, but is not yet tired. (JN).
Gorgonzola: A very stinkysaurus. Platini, Margie and Tim Bowers. HarperCollins Books, 2008. harpercollinschildrens.com (212-261-6500). 29 pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-06-073897-6.
An orphaned dinosaur thinks he is one of the biggest, baddest dinosaurs in his territory because all the other dinosaurs run away from him. In reality, he is the worst smelling dinosaur around. A little bird gets tired of her nest getting ruined as the other dinosaurs flee, so she is honest with the dinosaur. She decides to help him clean up, and he becomes a very fine dinosaur that everyone wants to be around. This book is great for children 4-8 years old. (AD)
The Graveyard Book tells a story of a boy named Bod who lives in a graveyard and is being raised by ghosts. As Bod grows up, he starts to figure out and learn more about the death of his family and the mysteries of the graveyard. Bod discovers that the man who killed his family is still out there, and could come back to kill him as well. Bod embarks on many thrilling journeys in order to defeat the man who killed his parents. The characters come alive in this adventurous and suspenseful fantasy book. Even though Bod is dealing with many extraordinary challenges, teens will still be able to relate to him because he struggles to find a sense of belonging and growing up. The book, for young adults, is filled with ghosts, humans, surprises, and humor, will captivate the reader from the very beginning. (JN)
The great Texas hamster drive. Kimmel, Eric A. Marshall Cavendish, 2007. email@example.com, (914-332-8888). 40pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7614-5357-4. Illustrated by Bruce Whatley.
Pecos Bill buys his daughters two hamsters, and before long there are ten, twenty, fifty, and then hundreds of little hamsters. With a plethora of hamsters, problems soon arise on the ranch. Soon Pecos Bill decides the best idea would be to take them to Chicago, where they can be given to other children who want hamsters. This entertaining story is a fun tale, which any young child will enjoy, especially those with pets. (LJ)
Sam dreams of not living in the White House anymore. He wants to run around where people donít follow him anymore. One day, he, his cat, and rat run away so they can explore without people with cords coming out of their ears following them and watching every move he makes. After a humorous adventure, Sam and his pets return home and back to almost the same life. In the pictures, the colors are bright and the details look like they have been drawn. This book would be very informative in the classroom when talking about monuments or Washington D.C. (LS)
After the loss of their mother, Ben, Dylan, and Gerry are forced by their father to pack up their belongings, sell their house, and journey into the great wide sea. It is apparent that this is their fatherís way of coping with the loss of his wife. Ben tries to have a good attitude about their new way of life, and everything seems to be going well until one morning when everything changes. The three boys woke up with a missing father and a great storm approaching them. As the storm tosses them onto a strange island, the boys struggle to survive against natureís challenges. The opening chapter of this book will reassure the reader that Ben does indeed survive his journey. There is still tremendous suspense throughout this book. This is a great book for children with questions about death and grief. (MAH)
Gym candy. Deuker, Carl. Houghton Mifflin Co. (Graphia), 2008. firstname.lastname@example.org, (617-351-5000). 313pp. $8.99. ISBN 978-0-547-07631-7.
Mick Johnson has always wanted to be a football player. One wall of his basement is lined with articles about his father's high school and college football career, but not much about his professional career. The other wall was blank, left waiting for headlines about Mick's plays. Mick is hungry to succeed; he has no interest in other sports. He is a hard worker, hitting the weights every spare moment, but even with protein shakes and vitamin pills, he misses a touchdown by a foot. Tthen there is Kane, a freshman, who's threatening his position. So when his trainer at Popeye's offers him some "gym candy", or steroids, Mick agrees thinking he'll be able to get off of them once he bulks up a bit. What Mick doesn't know is that getting off of the gym candy is much harder than first taking them. Deuker takes the reader through the emotional effects of steroids and the pressures young athletes have to succeed. This book is geared towards high school students because of the topic of steroids and the realistic emotions teens go through to win. (PP)
The government in England does not approve of Emilia Finchís family because of their gypsy lifestyle. The Finchís try to stay out of trouble, but one unfortunate day at the market left Emiliaís whole family in jail for murder. The only two to escape were Emilia and her cousin, Luka. Now itís up to them to save their family. In order to rescue their imprisoned family, Emilia and Luka must embark on a dangerous quest to recover five magical charms. This magical fantasy book takes the reader on an adventure with Emilia and Luka as they try to save their family. The plot is very believable because of Emilia and Lukaís realistic character traits and their urgent need to help their struggling family. The setting is described in great detail, which allows for the reader to feel as though anything can happen to Emilia and Luka as they go on their daring journey. This book would be appropriate for children ranging from ages nine to fourteen. (JMN)