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Click to search this book in our catalog A Web of Air
by Reeve, Philip

Book list Two years have passed since Fever fled London at the end of Fever Crumb (2010), set centuries before Reeve's Hungry City Chronicles. Now the engineer-raised girl is living the most irrational sort of life with a traveling theater group, which makes a stop in a small coastal city at the edge of Europa. She meets another genius sort who is convinced that he has discovered the old-tech secret to flying, if only he could cobble together an engine light enough to do the trick. They join up, Fever experiences the weird sensation of love, and together they try to outwit a gaggle of deadly villains. Though Reeve again displays a knack for the sort of inviting cleverness that makes readers feel as if they are in on an inside joke, this follow-up is a bit less crammed full of imaginative delights than the first. There is still plenty of high-wire action and inventive writing to savor, though, and if the downer of an ending leaves some crestfallen, the promise of what is in store (the mechanizing and mobilizing of cities) should keep appetites hungry for the next book.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Traveling with a troupe of actors, Fever uses her knowledge of technology to add special effects to the shows performed in a future England. This well-written, richly imagined story is the second about Fever Crumb. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Gr 6-10-Having fled London and her recently discovered parents, Fever Crumb is traveling around a postapocalyptic Europe with an acting troupe. She earns her keep by using her knowledge of technology and electricity to provide lighting and special effects. The audiences and performers are appreciative, but deep inside, Fever is unhappy about how unreasonable the acting business is, since her childhood training by the Order of Engineers focused on facts and rational thought. Then, at a seaside town, Fever comes across a model glider built by a mysterious young recluse named Arlo Thursday, who is trying to rediscover the lost mysteries of flight. Fever wants to help him, but shadowy powers seem to be working against any inventor, philosopher, or engineer who wants to study flight and flying machines. Reeve's intricately imagined world, combined with a fast-paced plot, offers a rich, rewarding reading experience. In the bittersweet ending, Fever continues to develop as a character as she experiences the transformative power of love and makes sacrifices that none of her family and friends can truly appreciate. This book can be read as a stand-alone work, though readers familiar with Fever Crumb (Scholastic, 2010) will have a better understanding of the backstory.-Misti Tidman, Licking County Library, Newark, OH (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog Bring on the Birds
by Susan Stockdale

Book list This picture book celebrates the diversity of birds by presenting their varied physical features and behaviors. Appearing on each page or double-page spread is a word or phrase and an illustration featuring a single species, usually engaged in some activity. Over several page turns, the phrases combine to form rhythmic, rhyming verses, such as Skimming birds, / swimming birds, / birds with tails held high. / Racing birds, / riding birds, / birds that never fly, illustrated with pictures of black skimmers, Adelie penguins, a peacock, a roadrunner, red-billed oxpeckers, and ostriches. Created with clean lines and simple compositions, the acrylic paintings create images of birds that are easy for even young children to discern and, perhaps, recognize again. The last three pages feature a source bibliography and a smaller version of each picture, accompanied by a caption identifying the featured species and offering a bit of information about the bird, including its location. A fresh look at birds: familiar, strange, and wonderful.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2-Birds of a feather come in many guises and behave in myriad ways. This cheerful survey introduces 21 species from varied parts of the world in spare, rhyming text and attractive acrylic paintings. The birds swoop, whoop, dance, and dive. They have puffy chests, fluffy crests, and other fine features. Picture placement follows the nice rhythm of the text with each two sets of facing framed paintings followed by a double-page view for each of the longer phrases of verse. Simple, flat stylized settings-only a narrow swath of pale blue highlights the ptarmigan group nestled between snowy hills and white sky-showcase the lively, colorful birds, providing an inviting introduction to this hugely varied animal family. Their actual names are given only in the concluding picture glossary, which offers just a sentence or two about some significant feature or behavior of each bird and tells the world area(s) in which it lives. The closing poetic phrase states the common features of all the birds-"All of them have feathers,/and all are hatched from eggs." Carefully crafted in charm and simplicity, the book offers many possibilities for use and enjoyment in reading aloud, browsing, and teaching. The pictures invite a lingering look, easily stimulating observation and discussion.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Caldecott Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Golem
by David Wisniewski

Publisher's Weekly : Elaborately composed cut-paper spreads give a 3D, puppet-show-like quality to a retelling of a Jewish legend. Rabbi Loew has a prophetic vision in 1580 when the Jews of Prague are accused of mixing the blood of Christian children into matzoh: he must create a Golem, "a giant of living clay, animated by Cabala, mystical teachings of unknown power." Brought to life with apocalyptic explosions of steam and rain, the Golem seeks out the perpetrators of the Blood Lie and turns them over to the authorities. Thwarted, the enraged enemies of the Jews storm the gates of the ghetto, but the Golem grows to enormous height and violently defeats them with their own battering ram. Once his work is done, he pitifully (and futilely) begs the Rabbi: "Please let me live! I did all that you asked of me! Life is so... precious... to me!" Wisniewski (The Wave of the Sea Wolf) emphasizes the Golem's humanity and the problems with his existence; instead of reducing the legend to a tale of a magical rescuer, the author allows for its historical and emotional complexity. The fiery, crisply layered paper illustrations, portraying with equal drama and precision the ornamental architecture of Prague and the unearthly career of the Golem, match the specificity and splendor of the storytelling. An endnote about the history and influence of the legend is particularly comprehensive. Ages 6-10.

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

School Library Journal : Gr 3 Up--Wisniewski's retelling of the golem legend varies only slightly from the traditional version recounted by Beverly McDermott in The Golem (HarperCollins, 1975; o.p.). It is the tale of a clay giant formed in the image of man to protect the Jewish people of medieval Prague from destruction by their enemies. His master, the chief rabbi of Prague in the late 16th century, was a highly regarded Cabbalist (a mystic). In this telling, the golem speaks with the simplicity of a child (In many versions he is mute), and he is destroyed when the emperor guarantees the safety of the Jewish people. (Traditionally, the golem goes berserk and must be returned to the earth.) A lengthy note explains the idea of the Golem and details Jewish persecution throughout history. Wisniewski has used layers of cut paper to give depth to his illustrations, many of which have a three-dimensional appearance. A wispy layer, which begins as the vapor of creation, becomes smoke from torches carried by an angry mob of armed silhouette people and horses. The colors are browns and grays of the earth, sunrise mauve, and the pumpkin and burnt orange of fire and sunset. Skillful use of perspective enhances the Golem's immense size. While the plot is stronger than in Mark Podwal's retelling (Greenwillow, 1995), Wisniewski's text lacks the power and child appeal of McDermott's spare, well-crafted tale. Still, collections wanting another edition of the story might consider this one.

Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Lila
by Marilynne Robinson

Publishers Weekly This third of three novels set in the fictional plains town of Gilead, Iowa, is a masterpiece of prose in the service of the moral seriousness that distinguishes Robinson's work. This time the narrative focuses on Lila, the young bride of elderly Reverend Ames, first met in Gilead. Rescued as a toddler from abusive caretakers by a rough but kind drifter named Doll, raised with love but enduring the hard existence of a field worker, and later, in a St. Louis whorehouse, Lila is a superb creation. Largely uneducated, almost feral, Lila has a thirst for stability and knowledge. As she yearns to forget the terrible memories and shame of her past, Lila is hesitant to reveal them to her loving new husband. The courtship of the couple-John Ames: tentative, tender, shy, and awkward; Lila: naive, suspicious, wary, full of dread-will endure as a classic set piece of character revelation, during which two achingly lonely people discover the comfort of marital love. Threaded through the narrative are John Ames's troubled reflections that the doctrines of his Calvinist theology, including the belief that those who are not saved are destined for hell, are too harsh. Though she reads the Bible to gain knowledge, Lila resists its message, because it teaches that her beloved Doll will never gain the peace of heaven. Her questions stir up doubt in Ames's already conflicted mind, and Robinson carefully crafts this provocative and deeply meaningful spiritual search for the meaning of existence. What brings the couple together is a joyous appreciation of the beauty of the natural world and the possibility of grace. The novel ends with the birth of their son, to whom Ames will leave his diary in Gilead. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog The One and Only Ivan
by Katherine Applegate

School Library Journal Gr 3-7-This tender tale of friendship and hope is narrated by a silverback gorilla living at The Big Top Mall, a shabby, circus-themed roadside attraction. For years, Ivan was passively content. He had his art, unlimited bananas, and his friends: Stella (an elephant), Bob (a stray dog), and Julia (a human child). Ivan's eyes are finally opened to his deplorable surroundings when he loses a friend due to neglect. The last straw is when he witnesses the attraction's owner abusing Ruby, a newly acquired baby elephant. Thus, Ivan is inspired to take action. With some help from his human friends, his dream of a better life for all the Big Top's animals just might come true. The character of Ivan, as explained in an author's note, is inspired by a real gorilla that lived through similar conditions before being adopted by Zoo Atlanta. Applegate makes a powerful statement about the treatment of animals-especially those living in captivity-and reminds readers that all creatures deserve a safe place to call home. Castelao's delightful illustrations enhance this lovely story, and the characters will capture readers' hearts and never let go. A must-have.-Alissa J. LeMerise, Oxford Public Library, MI (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Inspired by a true story, Applegate (Home of the Brave) offers a haunting tale told from the perspective of Ivan, a silverback gorilla who has been confined to a small "domain" of concrete, metal, and glass for 27 years. Joining Ivan at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade are Stella, an aging elephant, and Bob, a feisty stray dog. While other animals perform, Ivan makes art, watches TV, and offers melancholy assessments of their situation. When Ruby, an inquisitive baby elephant, arrives and Stella dies from neglect, her dying wish is for Ivan to help Ruby escape. The brief chapters read like free-verse poetry, the extra line breaks between paragraphs driving home the contrast between Ivan and humans, who in his opinion, "waste words. They toss them like banana peels and leave them to rot." As is to be expected, there's significant anthropomorphism, but Applegate is largely successful in creating a protagonist who can understand humans yet feels like a gorilla. Although Ivan's role in the events leading to their rescue reads as too human, readers will be left rethinking our relationship to animals. Final art not seen by PW. Agent: Wernick & Pratt Agency. Illustrator's agent: Kidshannon. Ages 8-12. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Ivan, a silverback gorilla, has lived in a glass, metal, and concrete enclosure at Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, conveniently located off I-95, for 27 years. Bored, he watches TV, draws pictures, throws me-balls (dried excrement) at visitors, and enjoys the company of a venerable elephant named Stella and a few other friends. After a baby elephant arrives, Ivan makes Stella a solemn promise that seems impossible to fulfill. The text, written in first person from Ivan's point of view, does a good job of vividly conveying his personality, emotions, and intelligence as well as creating a sense of otherness in his point of view. His story is based on the life of a gorilla now living at Zoo Atlanta. The book's wide-spaced lines, plentiful white space, and pleasing black-and-white illustrations make this a quicker read than the page count might suggest. Animals fans will enjoy this one.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 3-7-This tender tale of friendship and hope is narrated by a silverback gorilla living at The Big Top Mall, a shabby, circus-themed roadside attraction. For years, Ivan was passively content. He had his art, unlimited bananas, and his friends: Stella (an elephant), Bob (a stray dog), and Julia (a human child). Ivan's eyes are finally opened to his deplorable surroundings when he loses a friend due to neglect. The last straw is when he witnesses the attraction's owner abusing Ruby, a newly acquired baby elephant. Thus, Ivan is inspired to take action. With some help from his human friends, his dream of a better life for all the Big Top's animals just might come true. The character of Ivan, as explained in an author's note, is inspired by a real gorilla that lived through similar conditions before being adopted by Zoo Atlanta. Applegate makes a powerful statement about the treatment of animals-especially those living in captivity-and reminds readers that all creatures deserve a safe place to call home. Castelao's delightful illustrations enhance this lovely story, and the characters will capture readers' hearts and never let go. A must-have.-Alissa J. LeMerise, Oxford Public Library, MI (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog The Meanest Thing to Say
by Bill Cosby

School Library Journal : K-Gr 3--Cosby turns his hand to writing, telling stories about situations that children often face. In The Best Way to Play, Little Bill, the narrator, and his friends get caught up in the excitement and marketing of their favorite TV cartoon, Space Explorers, and desperately want their parents to buy them the expensive video game. They become bored with it quickly, however, and realize that it's more fun to play Space Explorers outside. In The Meanest Thing to Say, Little Bill comes face to face with a bully. The Treasure Hunt takes him on a voyage of self-exploration. It seems to him that everyone in his family has a special quality. After a full day of searching, he discovers that his is "telling stories and making people laugh." These titles feature short chapters, making them appropriate for beginning readers--but they're also short enough to be read aloud. Honeywood's illustrations are bright and eye-catching, and show Little Bill and his friends and family as having distinctive personalities and characteristics. Each book comes with a letter to parents from a child psychiatrist about the subject matter in that book. While the writing is nothing extraordinary, Cosby has a good grasp of the issues and how the world looks through children's eyes. The primarily African-American characters also make these books welcome additions to easy-reader collections.

Dina Sherman, Brooklyn Children's Museum, NY Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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