Archive for June 13, 2012


tracing stars

Tracing Stars by Erin E. Moulton

Indie Lee Chickory is heading to her last day of school where she really doesn’t fit in.  Her older sister Bebe fits in perfectly, dresses like the others, and never seems to smell like rotting fish like Indie does.  That’s what she gets for feeding Monty, her golden lobster, before coming to school.  So whenever Indie does something that draws attention to herself, Bebe is embarrassed.  When Indie accidentally carries Monty to school on that last day, she does a lot more than draw attention, she runs away from school to get Monty into the water he needs.  But when they reach the sea, she loses him and he won’t return to her after the sirens from the police car go off.  Now Indie has to figure out not only how to get Monty back but also how to not be so weird and not embarrass Bebe anymore.  Bebe has a part in a summer musical, so she has a lot at stake.  It’s up to Indie to see how normal she can be.

This is a wonderfully deep and thoughtful book for preteens that explores expectations and sisterhood.  While Indie’s own plans may be to not stick out and not be unusual, readers will be delighted to find out that is not the message of the book.  Instead Indie is clearly her own person and unable to fit into any mold, no matter how much she may want to.  Bebe is actually the sister in crisis, the one desperate to be perfect, the one who would do almost anything to belong.  The book allows readers to figure that out on their own as the book progresses. 

While the book is deep, it is also a great read for summer because it has plenty of humor and action to keep things moving.  The setting is clear and used throughout the story almost as its own character.  The dynamics of a small tourist town, the beauty of the natural setting, and the sea herself all play into the action and the story.  The addition of a theater performance and Bebe being an actor and Indie working on set construction gives the book another element that works particularly well, and also gives the book some of its most interesting characters.

This pre-teen novel about a young girl who is unique in many ways but also wants to fit in will resonate with young readers who will be buoyed by the way the story works out.  Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from ARC received from Philomel.

I always look forward to the list of titles under consideration for the Notable Children’s Book list from ALSC. Notable books must be “worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding.” The list includes books for birth through age 14.

Here are the informational and nonfiction titles that will be discussed at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference.

INFORMATIONAL PICTURE BOOKS

  

Bird Talk: What Birds Are Saying and Why by Lita Judge

The Camping Trip That Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir and Our National Parks by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein

Just Behave, Pablo Picasso! by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

  

Mrs. Harkness and the Panda by Alicia Potter, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman Olympic High-Jump Champion by Heather Lang, illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Stay: the True Story of Ten Dogs by Michaela Muntean, illustrated by KC Bailey and Stephen Kazmierski

 

NONFICTION POETRY

 

Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart selected by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Michael Emberley

Freedom’s A-Calling Me by Ntozake Shange, illustrated by Rod Brown

  

I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery by Cynthia Grady, illustrated by Michele Wood

In the Sea by David Elliott, illustrated by Holly Meade

Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Mark Hearld

  

Step Gently Out by Helen Frost

A Stick Is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems by Kate Coombs, illustrated by Meilo So

 

NONFICTION BIOGRAPHY

  

Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love by Patricia C. McKissack and Frederick L. McKissack, illustrated by Randy DuBurke

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

Chuck Close: Face Book by Chuck Close

 

Steve Jobs: The Man Who Though Different by Karen Blumenthal

Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery

 

NONFICTION

 

The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins

Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard by Loree Griffin Burns

 

First Girl Scout: the Life of Juliette Gordon Low by Ginger Wadsworth

Hope and Tears: Ellis Island Voices by Gwenyth Swain

 

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson

We’ve Got a Job: the 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson

I always look forward to the list of titles under consideration for the Notable Children’s Book list from ALSC. Notable books must be “worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding.” The list includes books for birth through age 14.

Here are the fiction titles that will be discussed at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference.

FICTION

   

Bink and Gollie: Two for One by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee

Crow by Barbara Wright

A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

Freaky Fast Frankie Joe by Lutricia Clifton

   

Kepler’s Dream by Juliet Bell

Kindred Souls by Patricia MacLachlan

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

May B. by Caroline Starr Rose

  

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny – Detectives Extraordinaire by Polly Horvath

No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

  

One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibbotson

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

Wonder by RJ Palacio

 

PICTURE BOOKS

  

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano

A Bus Called Heaven by Bob Graham

Demolition by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Brian Lovelock

  

Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan, illustrated by Merhdokht Amini

  

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

The Hero of Little Street by Gregory Rogers

Just Ducks by Nicola Davies

 

Oh, No George! by Chris Haughton

One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo

  

Pip’s Trip by Janet Morgan Stoeke

We March by Shane W. Evans

Z Is for Moose by Kelly Bingham

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