Posts Tagged ‘Book Review’

Chasing Vermeer is a mystery book for grades 4th-8th. It has been described as The Da Vinci code for kids. The book starts off with a mysterious letter sent to three seemingly random people. The letter asks the receivers to help solve an old crime involving a famous painting called A Lady Writing A Letter by Johannes Vermeer.

The book follows sixth graders Petra Andalee and Calder Pillay. They are classmates and friends at the University School in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. The two sixth graders are a little different from the other kids at school. They are both very smart and enjoy puzzles and mental challenges. They are brought together through a series of strange coincidences involving an old book and several quirky characters. They combine their brain power and problem solving skills to figure out the mystery of a missing painting by one of the world’s most famous artists.

Chasing Vermeer is a fun read full of puzzles and mystery. The readers become part of the mystery through the author’s and illustrator’s use of secret codes and hidden messages. Blue Balliett introduces readers to pentominoes (a mathematical tool of geometry) as a clue to solve the mystery. Brett Helquist (who is also the illustrator of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events) includes a hidden message in his illustrations throughout the book. If you like mysteries that involve imaginative thinking and solving puzzles this may be a good book for you!

 There are two sequels to check out as well:



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Check out these Book Talks done by kids!

Click on the picture to the left to see the videos on the Centerville Library Glogster page. If you would like to participate in the Centerville Library Kids Book Discussion Club join us the second Thursday of every month. You can record your own Book Talk and be featured on the Centerville Library Glogster Blog and Facebook page.

Join us today (Feb 10th) at the Centerville Library from 4:30-5:30

If you can’t make it today, contact Elizabeth to find out when our next meeting will be.

510-795-2629 or egamell@aclibrary.org

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Sandry’s Book by Tamora Pierce is the first book in the Circle of Magic series. I have read the book several times before, but this time I listened to the full cast audio presentation during my commute. Narrated by Tamora Pierce herself, the full cast presentation really brought an extra element of life to this Book on CD. The Circle of Magic series is about four children with magic that shows itself through everyday objects, such a spinning, metalwork, plants, and the weather. Sandry’s Book introduces us to Sandry, Tris, Daja, and Briar and what they can accomplish when they set their minds to it. A noble, a merchant, a trader, and a thief come together to form a family. In the process, they prove themselves very valuable to their new home.

Admittedly, I am a hardcore Tamora Pierce fan. I have most of her books in my collection. Part of the reason I love her work is that each series has its own focus and strength. This series concentrates upon four very different main characters that learn to work together when it’s most important. It takes place in a completely different world than the one in the Alanna books. Even the magic is different in this series. As with all of her books, the characterizations are very believable and the plot lines are well thought out. If you are a fan of fantasy, you should really give this book a try. It’s just that good.

(place hold)

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You may have heard about it on a talk show, or in the newspaper, but How to Talk to Girls by Alec Greven is not the gimmicky piece of fluff that you may think it is. The author may be only nine years old, but his advice is really quite solid. Although the book is aimed at boys his own age, guys of all ages would do well to mind some of the offered advice. (Girls can join me in hoping that he follows this book with “How to Talk to Boys.”) Here are a couple of quotes to show you what I mean.

“Sometimes, you get a girl to like you, then she ditches you. Life is hard, move on!”

“Pretty girls are like cars that need a lot of oil.”

“If you want to start a conversation with a girl, first you have to say something like “hi.” If she says “hi” back, you are off to a good start.”

Pretty accurate, eh? Alec distilled his advice from his observations of folks at his elementary school. (He notes that his observations “aren’t worldwide. I would have to do a lot more research for that.”) It would seem that his elementary school is a good control group, as I would hazard a guess that his advice is applicable at least across the USA, if not further.

How to Talk to Girls is a quick read that you will find yourself quoting to your friends. Kei Acedera’s illustrations are a perfect accompaniment to the text. So, if you would like some tips on behavior or a bit of commiseration if things don’t work out, give this book a try.

(place a hold here)

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Kevin was just an average kid. He did ok in school, but not great. He wasn’t the best at sports, but he wasn’t picked last either. It was Monday.Nobody was home. His best friend had guitar lessons and a dentist appointment. So there was nothing for Kevin to do but homework. Kevin threw a ball against the wall behind his desk. Thwonk, thwonk, thwonk – whoosh . Kevin looked up. His baseball ball cap , which had been on his head only seconds before was now pinned to the wall above his desk with an arrow. He turned and half hidden behind his bed was a stranger.

“Who are you and how did you get here?” asked Kevin.

“I was riding my tiger, lost my balance, fell off and landed here,” replied the stranger.

The stranger is from an ancient Korean kingdom and Kevin needs to help him get back to his time before history is changed forever.

Join the Centerville Library Kids book club on April 17th at 4pm to discuss Archer’s Quest by Linda Sue Park .Contact: Beth Buchanan (510) 795-2629 or email: ebuchanan@aclibrary.org .

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Monsters and food are the two themes running through a very amusing book of poetry entitled Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich: and other stories you’re sure to like, because they’re all about monsters, and some of them are also about food. You like food don’t you? Well, all right then. by Adam Rex. Yes, that’s the whole title. Speaking of titles, the titles of the poems in this book are uniformly funny.

Don’t believe me? How about, “The Phantom of the Opera still can’t get “It’s a Small World” out of his head.” Or perhaps, “The Creature From the Black Lagoon doesn’t wait and hour before swimming.” I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that my favorite one is, “Godzilla Pooped on My Honda.”

Yep. They’re all pretty much like that, irreverent and silly from start to finish. The artistic style even changes from poem to poem. The Phantom has shades of grey. Frankenstein’s art is primarily green. Dr. Jekyll rates Victorian pictures complete with Gibson Girl hairstyles. A couple of my friends recommended this book to me, and I find that I must thank them publicly. Thank You. This book made me smile on a long and tiring day. I hope that it does the same for you. You can place a hold on it here.

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