Monday, December 4, 2017

Nonficition Review: 1,000 Facts About the White House

Title: 1,000 Facts about the White House
Author: Sarah Wassner Flynn

Welcome to the White House! Go behind the scenes to get a 360-degree view of America's most famous president's residence, from how it was built in 1792 and the fire of 1812, to today's state dinners, celebrations, celebrity pets, and more. Discover through 1,000 fun-to-read facts what it's like to live and work at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the quirky rules of the house and how the Secret Service keeps it safe. Find out how the kids who have lived there play, watch movies, and entertain friends. With a treasure trove of material from the White House Historical Association, this book presents a fascinating story of the building and the many people who have shaped its 225-year history.

Ok we all know about the White House right?  It's the place where the president lives.  But what do you really KNOW about it?  This book is filled with all kinds of little tidbits about the house we see all the time in the news and in movies etc.  There are facts about it's history, the animals that have lived there, food at the White House, ghosts (my favorite part!), and how it has changed over time.  

What I really liked is that the infomration is grouped just like that. It's not just a long list of 1000 facts.  Instead the facts are grouped up.  So if you're interested in one topic over another, you can just read that topic.  Which is why I was able to jump the the ghost facts first.

As I've said before on the blog I often times see my son's reaction to a book as an indication of it's ability to hook other kids.  My son spotted it sitting out and started asking all kinds of questions about it.  I think he was interested because, just like me, I knew the White House, but I wanted to know more.  

Also - it has great photgraphs throughout the book.  So not only do you get to learn about some new things, you can see what they are talking about as well. 

In the End: Great book with lots of fantastic facts both fun and serious.  

Library Thoughts: I would add this for sure!  We should all know more about the house the President lives in! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll

Title: I Need My Monster
Author: Amanda Noll
Illustrator: Howard McWilliam

 A unique monster-under-the-bed story with the perfect balance of giggles and shivers, this picture book relies on the power of humor over fear, appeals to a child’s love for creatures both alarming and absurd, and glorifies the scope of a child’s imagination. One night, when Ethan checks under his bed for his monster, Gabe, he finds a note from him instead: "Gone fishing. Back in a week." Ethan knows that without Gabe’s familiar nightly scares he doesn't stand a chance of getting to sleep, so Ethan interviews potential substitutes to see if they've got the right equipment for the job—pointy teeth, sharp claws, and a long tail—but none of them proves scary enough for Ethan. When Gabe returns sooner than expected from his fishing trip, Ethan is thrilled. It turns out that Gabe didn't enjoy fishing because the fish scared too easily.

I read this book aloud to my 1st graders, and they LOVED it! In the book different substitute monsters appear to try and fill in for Ethan's vacationing monster.  The students loved the descriptions of each monster, and almost even more they loved looking at the illustrations of that monster.  Some made them giggle too.  Super fun to read to them.  Many wanted to look at the book later because the illustrations are so detailed that they wanted to explore it more.  What I loved was that yes he has a monster under his bed, but it's not something that really scares him a lot.  He needs his monster to scare him enough to stay in bed and sleep.  I loved that concept.  So little kids can see a good/safe reason! 

YES! for sure I'd put this in the media center.  I already do have it in mine, but if you're a media specialist I would definitely get it.  

Who a boost of courage
Who need to see monsters as silly
Who like silly stories

Monday, October 31, 2016

Frightlopedia by Julie Winterbottom

Title: Frightlopedia: An Encyclopedia of Everything Scary, Creepy, and Spine-Chilling, From Arachnids to Zombies
Author: Julie Winterbottom
Illustrator: Stefano Tambellini

Here’s the book for kids who love scary stuff, whether it’s telling ghost stories around a campfire, discovering the origins of various vampires, monsters, and witches, or reading creepy tales under the covers with a flashlight.

Combining fact, fiction, and hands-on activities, Frightlopedia is an illustrated A-Z collection of some of the world’s most frightening places, scariest stories, and gruesomest creatures, both real and imagined.

Discover Borneo’s Gomantong Cave, where literally millions of bats, cockroaches, spiders, and rats coexist—in pitch darkness. Learn about mythical creatures like the Mongolian Death Worm—and scarily real ones like killer bees, which were accidentally created by scientists in the 1950s. Visit New Orleans’s Beauregard-Keyes house, where Civil War soldiers are said to still clash in the front hall. Plus ghost stories from around the world, a cross-cultural study of vampires, and how to transform into a zombie with makeup. Each entry includes a “Fright Meter” measurement from 1 to 3, because while being scared is fun, everyone has their limit.

I'm a huge fan of scary things.  I love scary books and movies! So when I received this book in the mail for review I was really excited about it.  I did wonder how it would be for kids though.  First what did I think of it - I loved it!  The book takes you through the alphabet of creepy, scary, odd things.  I was impressed they actually had something for each letter!  My favorites were the Manchineel tree (I'm staying clear of that one!) and Island of the Dolls (also staying clear of!).  The letter G was great too looking at different ghosts.  And of course I liked Z with zombies.  I found the pieces informative and well written.  They gave details without pushing the gore or scare.  What was really cool was that each topic has a Fright Meter telling you how scary this topic might be.  I thought this would be great for kids reading the book.  Now about kids reading it - many of the topics are ones you'd see in other books - spiders, bats, rats - those types of things, so I don't think those would be an issue.  Some of the ghost stories might be hard for kids who scare easily, so I would caution them.

Over all - I enjoyed it! 

Like to learn about different topics
Can handle a scare
Enjoy nonfiction/informative text

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Library List Oct 29, 2016

I thought I'd share with you the books a saw checked out this week.  
These are books real K-5 students are reading.

I introduced my 4th graders to Patrick Carman and many of them wanted to check out this book!

Ranger in Time Series
I book-talked Kate Messner books and many, many, many went after this series!

I'll keep you posted on what books I see this upcoming week! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

BOOK BLAST: Curse of the Boggin by D.J. MacHale +GIVEAWAY

I'm very excited to be part of the book blast for Curse of the Boggin: The Library Book 1 by D. J. MacHale!

First of all - his books are fantastic.  So many kids I know love his books.  
Second: Um - The LIBRARY.  Hello how perfect is that?

About the Book

Enter the Library, where no one knows how the stories end . . . and finding out will be terrifying.

There’s a place beyond this world, beyond the land of the living, where ghosts go to write their unfinished stories—stories that ended too soon. It’s a place for unexplained phenomena: mysteries that have never been solved, spirits that have never been laid to rest. And there’s only one way in or out.

It’s called the Library, and you can get there with a special key. But beware! Don’t start a story you can’t finish. Because in thislibrary, the stories you can’t finish just might finish you.

Marcus O’Mara is a 13 year old guy at a crossroads. He constantly finds himself in trouble at school, with his friends, and with his adoptive parents. Marcus doesn’t believe things can get any worse for him…until they get worse.

Much worse.

He begins seeing strange and impossible visions; gets thrown into paranormal danger and is haunted by a mysterious ghost with a singular goal: to give him a key.

It’s a key that opens the door to a mysterious library. When that door opens, the incredible adventure for Marcus and his friends begins as they learn the truth about Marcus’ past and uncover the strange world of unfinished stories that are found on the shelves of the Library.


D.J. MacHale is a writer, director, executive producer and creator of several popular television series and movies. As an author, his ten-volume book series: Pendragon: Journal of an Adventure Through Time and Space became a New York Times #1 bestseller.

He was raised in Greenwich, CT where he had several jobs including collecting eggs at a poultry farm; engraving trophies and washing dishes in a steakhouse…in between playing football and running track. D.J. graduated from New York University where he received a BFA in film production.

His film-making career began in New York where he worked as a freelance writer/director making corporate videos and television commercials.

D.J. broke into the entertainment business by writing several ABC Afterschool Specials. As co-creator of the popular Nickelodeon series: Are You Afraid of the Dark?, he produced all 91 episodes. D.J. also wrote and directed the movie Tower of Terror for ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney. The Showtime series Chris Cross was co-created, written and produced by D.J. It received the CableAce award for Best Youth Series.

D.J. created and produced the Discovery Kids/NBC television series Flight 29 Down. He wrote every episode and directed several. His work on Flight 29 Down earned him the Writers Guild of America award for Outstanding Children’s Script and a Directors Guild of America award nomination.

Other notable television writing credits include the ABC Afterschool Special titled Seasonal Differences; the pilot for the long-running PBS/CBS series Ghostwriter; and the HBO series Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective for which he received a CableAce nomination for writing.

In print, D.J. also authored the supernatural Morpheus Road trilogy; a whimsical picture book The Monster Princess; and The SYLO Chronicles, a thrilling sci-fi trilogy. He also wrote Voyagers: Project Alpha, the first of a six book science fiction adventure.

D.J.’s newest book series is The Library, a spooky middle-grade anthology about a mysterious library filled with unfinished supernatural tales, and the daring young people who must complete them.

D.J. lives in Southern California with his wife Evangeline and daughter Keaton. They are avid backpackers, scuba divers and skiers. Rounding out the household is a spoiled golden retriever named Casey and an equally spoiled tuxedo cat named Jinx.

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
Winner will receive a Copy of The Library Book 1: Curse of the Boggin + Signed Bookmark by D.J. MacHale
1 Winner will receive a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card.

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