Ruby Ann's Down Home Trailer Park BBQin' Cookbook

By Ruby Ann Boxcar

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"It's summertime and the grillin' is easy. The doyenne of double-wide cuisine is back with plenty of good cookin' and good eatin', as good timing Ruby Ann Boxcar serves up the ultimate BBQin' bible of the summer."
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More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen

By Laurie Colwin

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"In this delightful mix of recipes, advice, and anecdotes, she writes about often overlooked food items such as beets, pears, black beans, and chutney. With down-to-earth charm and wit, Colwin also discusses the many pleasures and problems of cooking at home in essays such as 'Desserts That Quiver,' 'Turkey Angst,' and 'Catering on One Dollar a Head.'"

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Looneyspoons: Low-Fat Food Made Fun

By Janet Podleski and Greta Podleski

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"Who knew cooking healthful, low-fat food could be so much fun? In this hilarious, informative book sisters Janet and Greta Podleski combine jokes, cartoons, and humor with 150 outrageously delicious (and deliciously outrageous) recipes, nutritional information, and inspiration. As irreverent as it is invaluable."
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Ladyfingers and Nun's Tummies: A Lighthearted Look at How Foods Got Their Names

By Martha Barnette

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Etymological history told in whimsical tales of how hundreds of foods, such as graham crackers and lettuce, have been named.

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Desperate Measures: 90 Unintimidating Recipes for the Domestically Inept

By Kevin Crafts

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"Easy, tasty recipes for those who know how good food looks and tastes but never before had a clue how to make it themselves. Kevin Crafts demystifies the kitchen in 21 mouth-watering, easy-to-prepare menus, all spiced to perfection with his engaging sense of humor."

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Coffee: The Bean of My Existence

By Rosanne Daryl Thomas

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Celebrating the joys and dangers of loving coffee, a journey through words and pictures traverses the seven rings of coffee addiction with a desperate coffee and cartoon addict who tells the story of his consuming passion.

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The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

 As The Strange Case of Origami Yoda begins, Tommy has two questions and two questions only. Those questions?  Is Origami Yoda for real? Not real as in he exists, but for real as in can this seemingly wise finger puppet predict the future? And secondly, is the advice Yoda has given Tommy (despite Origami Yoda being voiced by Dwight, the strangest kid in school) good advice or will it result in school wide humiliation? With these two questions in mind, Tommy begins a case study of the Origami Yoda - how he got his start, the kid behind it, and all the situations in which Yoda has been used for aid at McQuarrie Middle School. 

The book has cool illustrations and little details throughout – think Diary of a Wimpy Kid format – and they really capture the personalities of the characters in the book. There are more than a few funny Star Wars references that fans will delight in as well.   The writing and story really drew me in because the reader is able to ponder each situation and draw his or her own conclusion on the wisdom being dispatched by Origami Yoda. The author, Tom Angleberger, has captured the unique personalities and challenges faced by the middle-school crowd in a realistic and humorous way.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

By by Tom Angleberger

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What if a paper finger puppet could really predict the future? Sound too weird to be true? Tommy and his sixth grade friends are skeptics but Dwight’s Yoda puppet may convince them that, “the truth, he does tell.”

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H.I.V.E.: Higher Institute of Villainous Education

Mark Walden

Swept away to a hidden academy for training budding evil geniuses, Otto, a brilliant orphan, Wing, a sensitive warrior, Laura, a shy computer specialist, and Shelby, an infamous jewel thief, plot to beat the odds and escape the prison known as H.I.V.E.

Middle School

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12 Weeks of Hot Summer Reads: After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

This is Week 4 of a 12-Week series of blog posts reviewing new young adult books. Check back each Monday for a new review. 

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
Tad Ibsen is a scrawny kid who walks into the classroom on crutches, muttering angrily to himself, with a huge red scar across the side of his head. Why does the teacher seat the new kid next to Jeffrey Alper? “Suddenly I get it,” Jeffrey explains to the reader. “I don’t always catch on so fast, but this time, I put two and two together…I lean over and whisper, ‘Hi, I’m Jeffrey. I had cancer, too.’ He looks at me like I’m a particularly loathsome slice of school-lunch meat loaf and says, ‘Wow, congratulations! What do you want, a medal?’” Of course, they’re best friends from that moment on.