New Book Reviews
Reading Level: Ages 4 - 6
Penelope Hippo is very excited about her first day of school, until her older, jaded friend, Tiny Mouse, helps her pick out what to wear, bring and eat to make sure she conforms on that special day.
Sam is excited about his new neighbors, especially when he overhears someone yelling "Charlie, don't forget your baseball mitt!"
Sam runs over to meet his new neighbors, Charlie (short for Charlene, but never call her that) and Sam Too, Charlie's little sister. The three new friends have a lot in common other than their names and their love of baseball and hamentaschen.
In this fun beginning chapter book, play baseball, celebrate Purim, sneeze on a sick day, and much more with new friends Sam and Charlie (and Sam Too!).
For other early chapter books about good friends, try:
Pinky and Rex by James Howe (series)
Iris and Walter by Elissa Hadden Guest (series)
Mimi and Mati to the Rescue: Roger the Rat is on the Loose! by Brooke Smith
Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
Nugget, a minnow, does everything with his best friend Fang. Everything except go to Minnow School. Sharks aren't allowed at Minnow School, and Fang is a shark.
At Minnow School, Nugget learns all about how terrible and horrible and awful and just plain bad sharks are. Nugget thought that his friend Fang, a shark, wasn't any of those things - he is a great friend... but his teachers and his homework wouldn't be wrong, would it?
Jamie Grimm, soon to be the world's greatest stand-up (actually sit-down-in-wheelchair) comedian, lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin - an extremely boring version of the Durlseys. He has an uncanny ability to make anyone (other than the aforementioned boring Durlsey-esque relatives) laugh. Jamie Grimm just funny!
When Uncle Frankie (not the boring one) suggests to Jamie that he compete in The Planet's Funniest Kid Comic contest, he knows he's got to try. His only problem is stage fright!
I Funny is a fabulously funny story about being brave enough to stand up for your own talents, even if you can't actually stand up. Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans are sure to love Jamie Grimm.
Reading Level: Grades 6 - 8
Gabriella is having a perfectly normal day, until she receives a letter from her Death, Hercule, informing her that she has been chosen for Departure. Now she has one week to wrap things up with her friends and family and to try to figure out what will force Hercule to give her a Pardon before he comes and makes her disappear.
Reading Level: Grades 9 and up
Franciso is a celebrity in his Spanish Harlem neighborhood. He is a top student, popular, and a gifted basketball player. He has a wonderful girlfriend and loving supportive parents. For his senior year he is offered a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school in upstate New York. Franciso knows this is his ticket out of the 'hood and into a better life for him and those he loves. But his best friend fears that Francisco will leave him behind. A visit home sets in motion events that lead to bad decisions, betrayals, and tested loyalties. This is a riveting book that readers will not want to put down.
Another book about a minority scholarship student is Tequila Worm by Viola Canales.
Reading Level: Grades 4 - 6
Ben Harvester meets a strange old man in a graveyard one day, and again at his aunt's funeral in another town, and again on the street by his house, where the man performs a very strange quick change act. Then, on his first day in his new school he sees two burned children holding the hand of a burned man at the back of the classroom and he hears scratching from an empty classroom and finds the words, "Welcome to Pandemonium, Ben." written on the blackboard. And things only get odder from there as he is drawn into the world of ghosts, demons and lost souls.