By Valle Blair
Pre K-1st HOT ROD HAMSTER by CYNTHIA LORD (Scholastic, 2010) *** Hamster is headed for One Dog’s Junk Yard because he needs a hot rod. He wants to burn rubber! He wants the engine to roar! And he wants it to look fast, too! One Dog helps him pick a car to work on and gives him choices all along the way of things to do to the car. Each time he offers Hamster a choice, the book asks “Which would you choose?” This gives the reader a chance to really look at what is in the illustration and choose the parts for the car that they like. The next page shows you what Hamster chose. Then the race!! Will he win? This is a colorful book with an exciting finish. And guess what Hamster’s last choice will be?
2ND – 4TH SYLVIA JEAN, SCOUT SUPREME by LISA CAMPBELL ERNST (Dutton, 2010) *** Are you a Scout? Sylvia Jean is and it is the most important thing in her life! Her favorite day is Friday when she can go to her Pig Scout meeting. This week, they are starting on a new badge, the Good Deed badge, and everyone must pick a good deed to do. Sylvia Jean wants to take care of her neighbor who has twisted her ankle and can’t walk. But things are a disaster when she goes to Mrs. Van Hooven’s house and the doctor says she must stay away. She figures that anyone except her, even a stranger, can visit Mrs. Van Hooven. So she heads for her dress-up closet and for the next week visits Mrs. Van Hooven every day as a different stranger, always bearing a gift. But when Friday and her next Pig Scout meeting comes she realizes she can’t tell anyone about her good deed because she disobeyed and would get in trouble. Now she would never get her Good Deed badge! What should she do? Find out by reading her story of doing good.
MIDDLE SCHOOL SIGNAL by CYNTHIA DEFELICE (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006, 2009) *** Owen and his dad moved from Buffalo to the Finger Lakes region at the end of the school year, the worst time to move. A whole summer without knowing anyone before the school year starts. He and Josie, his dog, go for runs and rides every day on the trail between two of the lakes. On one run he sees spots of blood on the trail leading into a cornfield. Following the trail leads him to an old deserted house and a girl streaked in blood with the most glittery, green eyes he has ever seen. Her name is Campion and she is an alien whose parents accidentally left her behind when their spaceship took off. She needs Owen’s help to signal them. During the few weeks, Owen brings her food, especially her favorite, Tootsie Rolls, and supplies to prepare for the signal at the full moon. Keeping his dad in the dark about this is easy because he’s always at work, but the old guy at the convenience store is giving him funny looks. She needs some very specific items to make the signal and slowly they are all brought to the house. The night of the full moon proves to be a night of excitement for Owen, Cam, and the whole town.
HIGH SCHOOL LIVING ON IMPULSE by CARA HAYCAK (Dutton, 2009) *** Mia is a very charming and impulsive young lady. Her strong impulsive desires sometimes draw her toward doing things that get her into trouble. Impulsiveness can be a very destructive force if left unchecked. Mia finally understands the ramifications of this tendency when she is caught on video shoplifting in a department store. Her first impulse is to lie fully expecting she will get away with it. Her arrogance turns to disbelief when her mother and the security officer hold their ground. It then turns to remorse when she sees the effects of it in her daily life. Mia’s home life, her friendships, her personal safety, and her self-awareness all take on many changes in the face this significant lifestyle altering incident. Discover how the elements of her character and those of the people who are significant in her life play a role in determining whether she will grow in personal responsibility or whether she will continue to be driven by her impulsiveness. This is a tale with many twists and turns that will carry your interest along with it.