Friday, November 26, 2010

List 4--November 26, 2010

Forge, Anderson
Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, and Science,  Aronson and Budhos
A Tale Dark & Grimm, Gidwitz   
Touch Blue, Lord
A Long Walk to Water, Park
The Kneebone Boy, Potter
Heart of a Samurai, Preus
Mindblind, Roy
Saving Sky, Stanley
A Conspiracy of Kings, Turner
Moon Over Manifest, Vanderpool

A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Clarion Books
121 p.

Summary:  When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven. Based on the life of Salva Dut, who, after emigrating to America in 1996, began a project to dig water wells in Sudan.

Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, and Science, by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos

Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, and Science,  by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos

Clarion Books
                         166 p.

Summary:  This meticulously researched, brutally honest, compelling book offers readers a different way to look at many events over the past 200 years or so. The title says it all. From the slave trade through abolition; from revolutions (American, French, and Haitian) to the Louisiana Purchase; from the decline of honey to the rise of saccharine, these events and many more are directly traced to the cultivation and production of sugar cane around the world. With a focus on slavery, Aronson and Budhos demonstrate how this one crop, with its unique harvesting needs, helped to bring about a particularly brutal incarnation of slavery. What makes this such a captivating read is that the book has a jigsaw-puzzle feel as the authors connect seemingly disparate threads and bring readers to the larger picture by highlighting the smaller details hidden within.  (School Library Journal)

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gitwitz

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Dutton Children's Books
256 p.

Summary:  Follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into eight more tales, encountering such wicked creatures as witches, along with kindly strangers and other helpful folk. Based in part on the Grimms' fairy tales Faithful Johannes, Hansel and Gretel, The seven ravens, Brother and sister, The robber bridegroom, and The devil and his three golden hairs.

Saving Sky by Diane Stanley

Saving Sky by Diane Stanley

199 p.

Summary:  In an America that has suffered continual terrorist attacks since 9/11, seventh-grader Sky stands up for what is right and helps a classmate of Middle    Eastern descent, although doing so places her and her family at great risk.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

SJCPL Mock Newbery Club Meeting - November 11, 2010

Skyping with Laura from Laura's Life
Great meeting with 22 students in attendance.  We talked books, Skyped with Laura, and then discussed the books they thought were the "most distinguished".

Top Vote Getters
The Cardturner by Louis Sachar
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

The Cardturner, Mockingbird, Out of My Mind, and The Red Pyramid have gotten top votes two meetings in a row!

Skyping with Laura from Laura's Life
Laura was nice enough to Skype with us and opened by telling us a little about herself.  She was an honored guest at the 2010 ALA Newbery Award ceremony.  She's met both Jerry Pinkney and Rebecca Stead.  

A Q & A with Laura
Q:          How many books do you read a day?
Laura:   I don't know.  I'm usually reading 5 at a time. 

Q:          Do you have a favorite book or series?
Laura:   Caddy Woodlawn

Q:         Picks for the 2011 Newbery?
Laura:   One Crazy Summer, Out of My Mind, Mockingbird, The Dreamer and Keeper.

Q:         Did you read Holes?  It's by the same person who wrote the Cardturner.
Laura:  Yes, but I didn't love it.  (Our group really LOVES Cardturner and they wanted to know why it wasn't a top choice of hers.)

Q:         What are your top 5 books of all time?
Laura:   When You Reach Me, Caddie Woodlawn, The Giver and Hitty: Her First 100 Years.  (Couldn't think of a 5th one.)

Q:        What are you reading right now?
Laura:  Encyclopedia Brown, Hugo Cabret, The Outsiders, and Savvy. (There was a fifth but I missed it!)

Students really enjoyed meeting with Laura.  I'm hoping that a couple of the students, who will be too old for the club, will think of assisting Kris next year.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mindblind by Jennifer Roy

Mindblind by Jennifer Roy

Marshall Cavendish
248 p.

Summary:  Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel Clark, who has Asperger's Syndrome, tries to prove that he is a genius by writing songs for his rock band, so that he can become a member of the prestigious Aldus Institute, the premier organization for the profoundly gifted.

Moon Over Manifest by Claire Vanderpool

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

Delacorte Press
351 p.

Summary:  Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past.