Monday, January 26, 2015

Great Football Book for Boys

With the Superbowl this coming weekend, why not get your kids reading a book about high school football.  There are no under inflated balls involved, but for kids who love the game, this one is a great read.  And I promise it won't deflate their expectations.  (I kinda had to!)

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Email for all the books that capture the energy and competitiveness of the game.

Title: The Walk On

Author:John Feinstein

Target:Grades 6 and up

Series: This is the first book in a planned trilogy

What this book is about: 
Alex has just moved into town and with his amazing arm he has high hopes of making the varsity football team as the new quarterback.  However, he quickly learns that not only does the team already have a solid quarterback, but the quarterback is also the coaches son, making a starting position virtually impossible.  While Alex wants to hate the quarterback, he can’t, because he turns out to be a great guy and a talented team leader.  But Alex can’t say the same thing about the head coach.  The coach’s obvious favoritism means that Alex will have to be a team player, even if that means sitting on the bench. 

Why I love this book: 
I know almost nothing about football, but I still got completely caught up in the games, which are pivotal to this story.  Some of the terminology eluded me, but it didn’t matter in my enjoyment of this book.   

I liked Alex.  He gets frustrated, he makes mistakes but you are rooting for him throughout.  I also really enjoyed that they didn’t make the other quarterback the bad guy.  So often in books it is another team member who is the bully, but in this case it is actually the adult in power that is making questionable decisions, and I think that makes Alex’s situation feel even more complex.

I also enjoyed the fact it was a book with a kid in high school, but it was appropriate for middle school kids.  They want to read about more mature situations, but sometimes the books with high school athletes focus too much on issues that may not be relevant to younger kids.  This book crossed over nicely.

Who this book is for: 
Great book for athletes, and it works for both middle school and high school kids.

Final thoughts: 
I really liked this one.  I am looking forward to basketball season for book two and baseball season for book three!  Yes, Alex has quite an arm.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Walk On (The Triple Threat, 1)  A portion of this book goes to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The British Are Coming!

I have to admit that I do love a good story from across the pond!  My trip to London last summer just left me wanting more, and thankfully many of the delightful books that have been a success over there are now available stateside.  How lucky are we?

I ran into a friend the other day who also enjoys scouting out good book finds for kids in the UK.  She reminded me of another series I profiled for early readers several years ago which her kids have just discovered and adore. You're a Bad Man Mr. Gum.  Scroll down to the end of the blog where I have reprinted it for those of you who can't get enough of anything British.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest for all the books filled with raucous British humor.  When your kids are laughing at these you can feel quite haughty knowing that they have an educated sense of humor or at least they might one day enjoy a good Monty Python movie!  Cheerio!

Title: Digby O’Day In the Fast Lane

Author: Shirley Hughes 

Target: Kindergarten - Grade 2

Series:This is the first book in a planned series

What this book is about: 
This is a charming story in the vein of tortoise and the hare. Digby takes good care of his car, keeping it well oiled and shiny.  His neighbor Lou Ella buys a new fancy car every year.  When Digby’s car breaks down, Lou Ella is too busy to help.  However, during the big car race, friends of Digby help him discover a clever short cut which leaves Lou Ella in the dust, with no one to blame but herself.

Why I love this book: 
First off the illustrations by the author’s daughter are absolutely charming.  They have included a map of the race route so kids can follow along, interviews with all the main characters, and bonus activities.  These all add to the fun.

The story itself has cars hanging off of cliffs and a race to the finish, which means lots of action.  Lou Ella was the unexpected villain as her entitled attitude is put to the test and fails to get her the desired results.

Who this book is for:
Great for kids starting chapter books.  Cartoon like illustrations on every page with only a few sentences will make success feel attainable.

Final thoughts: 
Just love this import from the UK.  I can’t wait until Digby rides again

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Digby O'Day in the Fast Lane  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.



Title:Claude at the Beach

Author:Alex T. Smith

Target:Kindergarten - Grade 2

Series: Yes

What this book is about: 
Claude is a dapper dog whose busy owners rush off every morning.  Claude decides that he and his best friend Sir Bobblysock, who is literally a sock, will have an adventure and go on vacation to the beach that day.  With bags packed they set out to find that things are not quite as they expected.  Claude saves a man from a shark, enters a sandcastle contest and helps pirates find buried treasure.  All in a days work.

Why I love this book: 
The Claude books are fun adventures with cartoon drawings that are extremely appealing.  While no big life lessons are covered, there are giggles, extravagant escapades and humor throughout.  It is a fun romp with a book that most children will enjoy.

Who this book is for: 
Good early chapter book, but some of the words are for more advanced readers.  There are illustrations and only a sentence of two on every page so the story is not intimidating, but read it aloud or with your child if you have a new reader.

Final thoughts: 
Another import from the UK.  How lucky are we?

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Claude at the Beach  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.



Title:You’re a Bad Man Mr. Gum

Author:Andy Stanton

Target:Grades 2-5

Series:Yes

What this book is about:
Mr. Gum is a dirty, filthy, mean hearted man who keeps his home a mess.  However, his garden is immaculate because a little fairy comes and whacks him with a frying pan if the garden is ever out of order.  When the local dog decides that Mr. Gum’s garden is an ideal place to romp, Mr. Gum is bruised and battered from the fairy whackings he receives.  He decides to poison the dog (because he is a very bad man after all) but when a little girl Polly get wind of the situation, she tries to come to the dog’s rescue.

Why I love this book:
Well this book is silly done oh so well, and as many of you know, doing silly in a clever way is not always that easy or successful.  The descriptions are marvelous, the characters are absurd without loosing the point of the story and of course who can resist a book with a super bonus story at the end!

This book was originally published in the UK and it still has many the British expressions (and all of the British humor), but the author has added a glossary for the Americans which “tells you what words mean by explaining them using other words.”

Who this book is for:
Kids just moving into more advanced chapter books will enjoy this.  However, I actually think reading this book aloud may be the best way to experience it.  It reads so well to an audience, and allows the kids to get some of the more advanced humor without skimming by it.

Final thoughts:

This book is a whopper of a good time, with the occasional oddity thrown in.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum! Special Edition  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nonfiction Book Kids Will Love

I thought I would share one of my favorite nonfiction books today!  This book is amazing, full of science, replete with interesting creatures and absolutely slimy and gross.  I can't think of a more perfect combination to intrigue kids.  Both my daughter and I couldn't put it down.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest for all the books that make bird vomit extremely scientific and just plain cool.  I promise, even you will be amazed!

Title: When Lunch Fights Back

Author: Rebecca Johnson

Target:Grades 3-6

What this book is about: 
This book profiles several animals who have unique ways of defending themselves from predators.  There is the hagfish who slimes sharks away, the Spanish ribbed newt whose ribs actually poke out of his body with tips of poison and the fulmar chick who sends a stream of putrid vomit out on to anyone who might do him harm.

Why I love this book: 
I really enjoyed the way the book was laid out.  First Johnson shares the story of what these animals do to defend themselves against a typical aggressor, and then she delves into the science behind the story.  Kids learn both the physiology of the animal that allows them to perform a physical feat and the chemical reactions that occur to make the toxins they use work.

Also the stories she has found are frankly amazing and a little gross.  This makes them all the more fun and fascinating to read about.  The one that I actually found the most interesting was the mustard plant.  You will be amazed at how a plant that cannot move and has no brain has found a way to survive.  Incredible!  And no, I am not giving it away.  You have to read the book.

Who this book is for: 
Any kid interested in animals or science should love this book.  However, even if they aren’t interested in these things to begin with, this book will certainly peek their curiosity!

Final thoughts:
This book is not for the faint of heart.  It is amazing the creative ways animals use to stay alive, and that their battles are waging all around, unseen, every day.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: When Lunch Fights Back: Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Get Your Kids to Snuggle Up With a Good Book

With the temperatures getting colder, who doesn't want to snuggle up with a good book?  With less opportunity to be running around outside, this is a great time to get kids into some engaging books to fill the time they have to spend indoors.  Cue book about a girl who lives in a zoo and wrangles crocodiles in her free time.  Not your typical day in the suburbs.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest for all the books that show kids that middle school really is a zoo.

Title:How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied

Author:Jess Keating

Target: Grades 4-8

Series: Yes

What this book is about: 
Ana is in seventh grade with a family that is well known for their work with animals.  Their fame is her shame.  While the rest of her family is charismatic and outgoing, Ana is awkward and scared of having too much attention placed on her.  When her grandfather makes his family the star of his new reality show, all Ana’s fears are realized.  She must live in a zoo (mortifying), she must talk in front of strangers (embarrassing), and she becomes more of a target for the girls in school who have it out for her (impossible)!  Can Ana turn things around, or will she always be the kid who can’t live up to the accomplishments of her family?

Why I love this book: 
Ana is the perfect tween.  She embodies all the things that tweens worry about - their parents embarrassing them, not being able to look as cool or great as the other kids, having to put themselves out there and be outgoing in public.  I can’t imagine a kid not seeing something of themselves in Ana.  I think we forget as adults some of the worries and challenges kids face in middle school, because we have moved passed them, but they are very real for these kids.

The book also has humor and fun and will be so relatable for kids.  Anna has some tough challenges, but she is a good kid with nice friends, and she has a sense of humor!  Of course there is also a substantial amount of animal poop.  You have been warned.

Who this book is for: 
Great for middle school kids who like realistic fiction.  Also nice for girls who like animals.  The author includes relevant animal facts at the start of every chapter. 

Final thoughts: 
A lovely surprise of a book.  Both my daughter and I were completely caught up in the story and are looking forward to the sequel which was just published!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied (My Life Is a Zoo)  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Funny Picture Book Alert

Time for a fun picture book!  This one is so clever that it had me and my daughter giggling all the way through.  I love it when readers are asked to actively engage in a story, and this one doesn't disappoint.  How often does your picture book misbehave and your child must set things right?

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest for all the picture books that need to be reminded to be polite.  Yes, even picture books need a little guidance from time to time.

Title:This Book Just Ate My Dog

Author:Richard Byrne

Target:Preschool - Grade 1

What this book is about: 
Bella is casually walking her dog across the page when he suddenly disappears!  Her friend Ben goes to investigate, and he too vanishes.  Cue rescue vehicles and they too are lost from sight.  When Bella takes matters into her own hands she finds she needs the readers help to set things right … well almost right.

Why I love this book:  
While interactive stories where readers shake and wiggle the physical book have become all the rage, this book stands out.  The reason I like it is because it uses the actual fold in the book’s center to provide a clever twist to the story.  Embracing a books physical limitations to create an engaging mystery is very clever indeed.

You see, everything in the book disappears into the book’s fold and it isn’t until Bella sends out a note to the reader asking them to shake everyone loose, that order is returned.  But of course not everything rights itself perfectly, just adding to the fun.  

Who this book is for: 
Fun book for kids who like to laugh and who like interactive stories.  Now could that be your child?

Final thoughts: 
I love the endpaper where the book must write over and over again “I promise not to be a naughty book.” 

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: This book just ate my dog!  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Arctic Adventure for Kids

Today I have an exciting action and adventure book on the blog.  I very much appreciate that this series takes kids around the world to experience both the people and culture of other geographic areas.

I also like that there is an internet tie in.  While I often get frustrated when kids are directed to a computer after reading a book, I mean isn't the point of a book to get them off the computer, these videos have some great footage of the places visited during the story.  Somehow seeing the actual places made the story feel all the more real.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest for all the books that show two brothers hamming it up around the globe.  I want their job.  And don't forget to check out the video clip at the end of the blog to see their adventure in Greenland!

Title:Greenland: Travels With Gannon & Wyatt

Authors:Pattie Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet

Target:Grades 4-7

Series:Yes

What this book is about: 
Gannon and Wyatt are twin brothers who are on an arctic adventure to cross Greenland on their own dog sleds.  However, when their journey begins, they learn from their guide that a group of Inuit families have become stranded even further north than the boys were headed, so they agree to make the trek to try and rescue them.  While the boys learn about the culture and heritage of Greenland, they are also literally experiencing the physical environment as they work through a terrible storm to try and save the locals from certain peril.  

Why I love this book: 
There is actually a Gannon and Wyatt, they are real kids and they take trips to places featured in the books.  I really appreciated the website with actual footage from the real Gannon and Wyatt’s trip to Greenland.  It is not often that I feel a real connection with internet material that accompanies books, but in this case it was well done.  While the actual adventure in the book is fiction, the details about their surroundings are taken from their trips and kids can see them in the video footage online.

The story itself is told in alternating journal entries from the two brothers.  They include actual photos throughout the book from Greenland showing people and places they met on their adventure.  While they pack in a lot of information, the story never gets bogged down because of the very readable format.

I like that the story is suspenseful and that there is some tragedy.  I feel as though kids get so used to a perfect ending that they begin to get jaded when they read books, so I appreciated some honest drama.

The book is also a lovely blend of information about culture, geography and climate changes wrapped up in a suspenseful adventure.  Gannon and Wyatt feel like real teenagers, so there is also plenty of brotherly ribbing and jokes.

Who this book is for: 
Nice for reluctant readers because of the format and videos that accompany the book.  However, even voracious readers will get caught up in the adventures of these two intrepid explorers.

Final thoughts: 
If you ever thought Greenland was named for its rolling green hills, then you really need to read this book.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Travels with Gannon and Wyatt: Greenland (Travels With Gannon & Wyatt)  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Kid's Books Where the Con Is On

Today I have fun one.  There is just something about a book where cons are being played and you are never quite sure who to trust that makes for a can't put down read.

Of course to con someone you have to have charm and who doesn't like to read about someone who is so charismatic.  Also, you have to understand human behavior and it's entertaining to see how someone else is taken in by traits and insecurities we all posses.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest for all the books that are really great reads.  No I'm not conning you ... no really.


Title:Trust Me, I’m Lying

Author:Mary Elizabeth Summer

Target:Grades 6 and up

Series:This is the first book in a planned series

What this book is about: 
Julep Dupree attends a private school in Chicago, but she is anything but swanky.  In fact, she and her father are con artists, and this school is her attempt to turn her life around.  However, when her father mysteriously disappears, she has to turn to her grifting ways, not only try and find him, but also to earn enough money to pay tuition and keep a roof over her head.  Thankfully her school is full of marks, but also friends who will help her at every turn.

Why I love this book: 
This is just a fun caper story filled with cons and twists.  I actually enjoyed the con she did for her fellow classmate the best - getting the most popular girl in school to go to the dance with the established nerd.  However, the meat of the story is Julep’s attempts to find her father and to do that she has to outwit the mob!

I do have to note that there is one instance where the word “bitch” is used in the text.  It is almost at the end and there were no other swear words in the book, so I was so bummed.  Not needed and now I have to let you know about it.  Other than that everything was age appropriate.

Who this book is for: 
Kids who liked Loot and Heist Society will absolutely enjoy this one.  

Final thoughts: 
I really appreciated Julep’s understanding of human behavior.  Most of her cons are based on simply understanding how people think.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Trust Me, I'm Lying  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.