Sunday, June 17, 2012

Great Kid's Books They Can't Refuse

The kids are all home for the summer.  Perhaps that brings out the godfather in me - the need to control the day, the bribery to get them to do the things I want and of course, the offers they can't refuse!

This weeks book selection is firmly rooted in the godfather theme.  The authors have used middle school as their setting and they each have a guy who can get things done.  But while the set up is fueled by gangsters, thankfully the messages are good clean fun!

So give them one of these books over the summer ... a wise guy move!

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Title:          The Big Splash
Author:      Jack E. Ferraiolo
Target:       Grades 5-7
Series:        No
What this book is about:
Think a gumshoe novel in style noir.  “The Frank,” a typical middle school, is run by Vinny Biggs and his gang.  Need a hall pass, a sugar high, a stolen exam, you have to go through Vinny.  Cross him and you’ll face his assassins, whose water guns hold your fate in their hands.  One squirt to the pants and you are in “the outs”  Our detective Matt is hired to find out who took out Nikki Fingers, once the most feared water shooter in school.  He only has a week or he may find himself in the outs as well.
Why I love this book:
I loved that this book kept me guessing until the end, but the real fun is the tribute to the old detective novels of the past.  It is filled, Bugsy Mallone style, with kid’s who will do anything for a pixie stick rush, a frazzled newspaper kid looking for a scoop, a sandwich shop in a garage where the kids hang out, and a girl who needs help, or does she?
I also love that in the end, our detective Matt is a great role model for kids.  This books touches on bullying, following the crowd, and trying to do things to feel accepted, but in the end what feels right is doing the right thing.
Who this book is for:
Great read for kids who like mysteries, fast paced stories and a lot of clever humor.
Final thoughts:
Crime never pays!

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: The Big Splash  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog.

Title:          The Fourth Stall
Author:      Chris Rylander
Target:       Grades 4-7
Series:        Yes
What this book is about:
If you need help with something, Mac is your guy.  Make that a sixth grade guy who operates out the the boy’s bathroom, fourth stall from the window.  However, when a new wise guy comes to the school and a third grader needs protection, it threatens to bring down Mac’s whole operation.  Can he save his business, his friendships and his reputation?
Why I love it:
The author clearly plays the godfather theme for the middle school set.  However, even with this premise Rylander manages to create a novel with well developed characters who of course encounter hardship, betrayal and forgiveness.  It is also a good mystery, and I must say it took me a while to figure out the mole in the organization!
Who this book is for:
Fun read for kids.  All the characters are boys, so it might sku towards the male perspective.
Final thoughts:
This is a book you should not refuse!

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: The Fourth Stall  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog.

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