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New Books We Love– Jan/Feb 2010
The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner
Gianna Z has less than one week to collect, identify, and creatively display 25 leaves for her science project—or else she won’t be able to compete in the upcoming cross-country race. As the deadline for her leaf project draws near, life keeps getting in the way. Some things are within Gee’s control, like her own procrastination, but others aren’t, like Biana Rinaldi’s attempts at sabotage and Nonna’s declining health. If it weren’t for her best friend Zig, Gee wouldn’t have a chance at finishing. His knowledge of trees and leaves in their rural Vermont town comes in very handy, as does his loyalty to Gee. But when Nonna disappears one afternoon, things like leaves and cross-country meets suddenly seem less important.
After reading this new book about Just Grace you will know how to . . .
1. turn your favorite potato chips into a tasty chipwich.
2. draw and fold up your very own zine, which is a cool little book made from only one piece of paper.
3. look for and use the special powers of the wish chip.
This book will not help you know how to . . .1. do fancy hairstyles for your cat.
2. make a flower garden in your room.
3. bake a four- or even five-layer cake.But this book might make you feel a little bit hungry, and if it does, then you will know you are having a “snack attack” just like Grace! Move over Judy Moody, Amber Brown and Clementine, there's a new spunky third grader on the block
This illustrated early chapter book is a good title for reluctant and/or stuggling readers.
The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet
by Erin Dionne
Hamlet Kennedy just wants to be your average, happy, vanilla eighth grader. But with Shakespearean scholar parents who dress in Elizabethan regalia and generally go about in public as if it were the sixteenth century, that's not terribly easy. It gets worse when they decide that Hamlet's genius sevenyear- old sister will attend middle school with her— and even worse when the Shakespeare project is announced and her sister is named the new math tutor. By the time an in-class recitation reveals that our heroine is an extraordinary Shakespearean actress, Hamlet can no longer hide from the fact that she—like her family—is anything but average
Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
by Jaqueline Kelly
The summer of 1899 is hot in Calpurnia’s sleepy Texas town, and there aren’t a lot of good ways to stay cool. Her mother has a new wind machine from town, but Callie might just have to resort to stealthily cutting off her hair, one sneaky inch at a time. She also spends a lot of time at the river with her notoriously cantankerous grandfather, an avid naturalist. It turns out that every drop of river water is teeming with life — all you have to do is look through a microscope!
As Callie explores the natural world around her, she develops a close relationship with her grandfather, navigates the dangers of living with six brothers, and learns just what it means to be a girl at the turn of the century.
Evolution of Calpurnia Tate was recently awarded a Newbery Honor medal. I LOVED this book and highly recommend it for strong readers.
Where The Mountain Meets the Moon
by Grace Lin
In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.
Congratulations to Grace for who also won a Newbery Honor Medal for her latest title! The illustrations are gorgeous.