Book Buzz Blog
"We have a gift, and we have a cake, and today we're going to drive all the way to the big city to see my new baby cousin on his zero-year birthday!"
So begins Margarita Engle's joyful picture book, All the Way to Havana. The narrator, a young boy who lives in Cuba, and his family are preparing to go see his new cousin in Havana. They take "Cara Cara," their 1954 blue Chevy that is supposed to purr like a kitten. But Cara Cara is so tired, she just chatters away like a baby chicken: "Pío, pío, pío, pío, pffft." The narrator's father fixes Cara Cara with each clunk clunk, something he does often to the old vintage vehicle.
Something strange is in the air . . . and it could just be love.
The members of the Fright Club are planning a frightful scare. It will be a good one—like always. But Fran K. Stein has something (or someone) else on his mind. He's busy making something, and of course, the others want to know what it is.
Pink paper . . . scissors . . . glue . . . in the shape of . . . something. "Are you making a mask? With fangs?" Vladimir asks.
Like most animals during the winter months, field mice take cover underground. They stay warm in tiny burrows built into farmhouse walls or hollow logs. But not Lucy. Lucy the field mouse LOVES winter. She loves the feeling of the snow beneath her paws, the frosty air that makes her whiskers freeze. Most of all, Lucy loves her fluffy wool hat that keeps her head—and heart—warm.
It makes her brave. It makes her bold. It makes her bloom!
What do you know about the out-of-doors and the changing of seasons? What happens when snow falls? What do the trees look like in winter? Icy boughs, covered in snow. How do you feel when snow falls? Look here! We have red ears. And, there? Frosty hair!
Look at the animal prints, the snowmen. How about at night? Everything is white—night white! What will you see soon? A hint of green? Suddenly, it's April, May, June. Springtime is almost here!
Five kids, one well, and no coincidences. At least that’s what Kaori Tanaka, self-proclaimed 12-year-old psychic, tells her clients: no coincidences.
Of course, right now, Kaori’s psychic business is limited to an assistant—her little sister Gen—and one client—Virgil Salinas. Virgil is shy, misunderstood by everyone in his boisterous family except his Filipina grandmother, and bullied by Chet Bullens. He also needs Kaori’s help in figuring out how to approach Valencia Somerset, whom he would desperately like to befriend. Valencia is deaf, loves nature, secretly wants a friend, and has just found Kaori’s flyer at the supermarket.
"A bread bandit burgled my bakery before breakfast!"
Alliteration is abundant in Travis Nichols' new children's book, Betty's Burgled Bakery.
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Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student. (catalog summary)
Wonder is a 2017 American drama film directed by Stephen Chbosky and written by Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad, and Chbosky, based on the 2012 novel of the same name by R.J. Palacio. The film stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay, and follows a child with Treacher Collins syndrome trying to fit in. Wonder was released in the United States on November 17, 2017, by Lionsgate, received positive reviews from critics and has grossed $104 million worldwide on a $20 million budget. See the trailer below.
If you like Wonder, check out these similar titles.
Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories by R.J. Palacio
"These stories are an extra peek at Auggie, a boy born with extreme facial abnormalities before he started at Beecher Prep and during his first year there. Readers get to see him through the eyes of Julian, the bully; Christopher, Auggie s oldest friend; and Charlotte, Auggie's new friend at school. (catalog summary)
On Christmas Eve, does a dinosaur sleep? Does he go up to bed without making a peep?
Christmas is almost here, and Jane Yolen's favorite dinosaurs are up to no good. Are they sneaking a peek at the brightly wrapped gifts and picking off ornaments, angels and all? Do they eat the cookies left out for Saint Nick or lick all the candy canes?
It’s 1938. After the Night of Broken Glass, Oskar’s parents feel they must send him to America, so he can be safe. Traveling all alone, Oskar arrives in New York City on the seventh day of Hanukkah, which also happens to be Christmas Eve. He must walk a long way across the city to reach his Aunt Esther, hoping to reach her house before she lights the menorah at sunset.
Aunt Esther does not know he is coming, so he must navigate the cold streets by himself, over 100 blocks on the big street called Broadway. It is rather daunting for a small boy, but Oskar is comforted by his father’s last words to him: “Oskar, even in bad times, people can be good. You have to look for the blessings.”