Book of the Week: America Bowl, by Don Steinberg

America Bowl, Don Steinberg
Nonfiction

Good news, sports fans: just in time for the Super Bowl, we have a highly educational nonfiction book called America Bowl. This book goes through the first 44 presidents – that’s all of them, for those who are keeping count, because they count Grover Cleveland twice – and compares them to the first 44 Super Bowls, in terms of their awesomeness. Continue reading “Book of the Week: America Bowl, by Don Steinberg”

Book of the Week: First Light, by Rebecca Stead

First Light, Rebecca Stead
Science fiction

First line: “Most boys his age had never touched paper.”

Booktalk: When Peter finds out that he’ll get to tag along with his parents on a work trip to Greenland, he’s hugely excited. He knows that adventures await him there: dogsleds, glacier walks, helping his dad with his study on global warming. And maybe, away from the noise of New York City, his terrible recurring headaches will finally stop. In remote, icy Greenland, anything seems possible. Continue reading “Book of the Week: First Light, by Rebecca Stead”

Book of the Week: The Family Romanov, by Candace Fleming

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia, Candace Fleming
Nonfiction

First line: “On the night of February 12, 1903, a long line of carriages made its way through the Imperial Gates of St. Petersburg’s Winter Palace.” Continue reading “Book of the Week: The Family Romanov, by Candace Fleming”

Book of the Week: Little Blog on the Prairie, by Cathleen Davitt Bell

Little Blog on the Prairie, Cathleen Davitt Bell
Realistic fiction

First line: “At first, it felt like a normal family vacation.”

Booktalk: Most kids get to have fun during summer vacation. Maybe they go to camp, or visit their cousins, or – if they’re really lucky – they travel to Disney World or Hawaii or London. Continue reading “Book of the Week: Little Blog on the Prairie, by Cathleen Davitt Bell”

Book of the Week: Somebody on This Bus Is Going to Be Famous!, by J.B. Cheaney

Somebody on This Bus Is Going to Be Famous!, J.B. Cheaney
Realistic fiction

Booktalk: Every day, nine middle school kids ride the bus together. It’s eight miles, and it takes 25 minutes, so by the end of the school year, they’ll have spent 75 hours on the bus together. And a lot will happen during those 75 hours. Continue reading “Book of the Week: Somebody on This Bus Is Going to Be Famous!, by J.B. Cheaney”

Book of the Week: Cinder, by Marissa Meyer

Cinder, by Marissa Meyer
Science fiction

First line: “The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle.”

Booktalk: In this science fiction retelling of “Cinderella”, sixteen-year-old Cinder is a cyborg – part-human, part-robot – living in New Beijing many years in the future. Cinder spends all of her time working in her repair shop. Even though she singlehandedly supports her family, her stepmother and one of her stepsisters loathe Cinder, and would do anything to get rid of her. Continue reading “Book of the Week: Cinder, by Marissa Meyer”

Book of the Week: Courage for Beginners, by Karen Harrington

Courage for Beginners, by Karen Harrington
Realistic fiction

First line: “I don’t know much, but I do know people stop to look at unusual things.”

Booktalk: Sixth grade was bad enough, but Mysti Murphy had plans for seventh grade. She was going to turn things around at school. Her mom was going to leave the house for the first time in seven years. And she was going to stop pretending that she was actually a character in a book. Continue reading “Book of the Week: Courage for Beginners, by Karen Harrington”

Book of the Week: On the Day I Died, by Candace Fleming

On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave, by Candace Fleming
Horror/Short Stories

*** The stories in this book are all set in Chicago, and based (however loosely) on real events. Awesome. ***

First line: β€œIt was after midnight, and Mike Kowalski was driving fast – too fast – down County Line Road.” Continue reading “Book of the Week: On the Day I Died, by Candace Fleming”

Book of the Week: Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo
Fantasy

First line: “The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest, and because they haunted the Duke’s house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches.” Continue reading “Book of the Week: Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo”