Tuesday, February 15, 2005


From Yalsa Listserv

East by Edith PattouColibri by Ann CameronAshes of Roses by Mary Jane AuchInkheart by Cornelia FunkeI Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade by Diane Lee WilsonA Girl Named Disaster by Nancy FarmerTangled Threads by Pegi Deitz SheaZazoo by Richard MosherHeir Apparent by Vivian Vande VeldeEsperanza Rising and Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz RyanOnce Upon a Marigold by Jean FerrisAngel on the Square, Homeless Bird and others by Gloria WhelanWitch Child, Sorceress, and Pirates by Celia ReesChinese Cinderella : The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mahany Sharon CreechHow about these oldies but goodies:The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George SpeareUp a Road Slowly by Irene HuntRoll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. TaylorThe Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Jaqueline Woodson, Cormier's _THE RAG AND BONE SHOP_,some of the newer Konigsburg titles (_SILENT TO THEBONE_, _OUTCASTS OF SCHUYLER PLACE_), Mildred Taylor,Virginia Hamilton, Joan Bauer, Jerry Spinelli.

A great crying book is A Time for Dancing by DavidaHurwinI love Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen. It's awonderful coming of age story.The Sammy Keyes series are part real-life, partmystery.

*The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread (grown-up's fairy tale)
*Crispin, The Cross of Lead (great action)
*A Single Shard (very sensitive)
*Bud, Not Buddy (very "quest-like")
*Out of the Dust (sad, upbeat)
*The View from Saturday (a great Battle of the Books type)
*The Midwife's Apprentice (enough "yuck" for the boys)
*Walk Two Moons
*Hatchet (for adventure)
*An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 (don't read this while eating a bowl of spaghetti)
*Island of the Blue Dolphins
*Where the Red Fern Grows
*The Secret Garden
and my two latest "favorites"...
*Coraline (I had no fingernails left after this one)
*The Thief Lord (magical)
And you can't beat "Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown" for old-fashioned fun.

- The Year of Secret Assignments - Jaclyn Moriarty - I don't rememberanything offensive in this book but there may have been some language (Itend to miss those words for some reason)- Out of the Dust - Karen Hesse- Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine PatersonMaybe too obvious but L.M. Montgomery's books:- The entire Anne of Green Gables series, especially Anne of the Islandand Rilla of Ingleside (will definitely make them cry!).- The Emily of New Moon series - I remember several of my friendsbawling over these back in sixth grade, but they did nothing for me- The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery - no one seems to have heard ofthis one, but it's Montgomery's most feminist work (for the time, not somuch at all any more!)Fantasy but with a real-life feel:- Beauty by Robin McKinley- East by Edith Pattou- The Theif Lord - Cornelia Funke

I just finished THE LEGEND OF BUDDY BUSH (Sheila Moses) and it did all those things. I think it would be a great title for 6th graders. Really well done.

What about A VIEW FROM SATURDAY (Konigsburg)? That's a great story. Not so sad but about real life and tons of fun.

Hesse's WITNESS might work too and also ALEUTIAN SPARROW.

A Year Down Yonder - Richard PeckWalk Two Moons - Sarah CreechNumber the Stars - Lois LowryJacob Have I Loved - Katherine PatersonA Ring of Endless Light - Madeline L'Engle

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt, and LOVED it and feel it would be terrific for your group. If only the cover was half as enticing as the book is great.
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg
The Misfits by James Howe
Hope Was Here By Joan Bauer
A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
Kit’s Wilderness by David Almond
Any Sharon Creech
Any Sonia Sones

Sahara Special by Esme Raji CodellPictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly GiffHoot by Carl HiassenHush by Jacqueline WoodsonLeon's Story by Leon Walter Tillage (nonfiction)

Sahara Special by Esme Raji CodellPictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly GiffHoot by Carl HiassenHush by Jacqueline WoodsonLeon's Story by Leon Walter Tillage (nonfiction)

Ida B

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo

Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo is a twist on "the castaway landing on a deserted island" theme, a Robinson Crusoe like story set after World War II. My daughter and I just finished it. She is in seventh grade and found the way the boy comes to the island, as well as the ending, a bit hard to accept. I must agree, especially the ending. The interactions between Kensuke and the castaway, Michael, are interesting and make the reader think about what they would do in similar circumstances. The initial language barrier was an intriguing obstacle that was overcome within a rather short period of time, thanks to Morpurgo's creativeness within the story. Overall, we both enjoyed this book and recommend it as an easy, enjoyable read for fourth and fifth graders, or for reluctant readers. It is also for readers seeking a Hi/Lo book.

Flamingnet January Enewsletter

Flamingnet Book Reviews Enewsletter
1. New and Advance Book Reviews
2. Other Recent Book Reviews
3. Student Reviewers
4. Please Tell Your Students and Friends
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1. New and Advance Book Recently Reviewed On Flamingnet

Stuart Hill
Stuart Hill's first novel, The Cry of the Icemark, is a brilliantly written tale of destiny and personal discovery. It concerns a fourteen year old princess, who after her father has just died in battle, finds herself ruler of a country on the brink of war. With the help of a witch's son she makes allies with Vampires, Snow Leopards and Werewolves who agree to join her in her battle against a greedy, unstoppable nation.

Chasing the Falconers by Gordon Korman is the exciting first book in a series of non-fiction action tales. Despite the drab and misleading cover, this book is filled with suspense and adventure. Aiden and Meg Falconer are being punished for their parents' crime of treason by living in the custody of the "supes" at Sunnydale Farm, a Juvenile Detention Center. Upon escaping this horrible lifestyle, they transform from innocent, high society children, to young fugitives on a mission to prove their parents' innocence.

SMILER'S BONES Peter Lerangis
Famous Artic explorer, Robert Peary, takes a young Eskimo, Minik, and five other Eskimos from their native land. Peary brings them to New York City to be presented at the American Museum of Natural History. They are treated like circus acts, and soon four of the six Eskimos are dead including Minik's father, Smiler. Out of the two remaining, one goes back to Greenland, leaving Minik in New York City. The story tells of the unjust way Minik was treated and how it ruined his life forever.

SHADOW LIFE Barry Denenberg
The story of Anne Frank is told through her sister's eyes in a fascinating and compelling tale of the human will to live. Author Barry Denenberg's masterful portrayal of realities for Jews living during the WWII era makes for a fascinating read. Denenberg fills readers in on historical facts and goes on to re-create the diary of Margot, the sister of Anne Frank. The final sections of this book shed new light on the fates of Anne and her companions from 263 Prinsengracht.

Pip and Tim move into an ancient English home, Rawne Barton, built in 1422. As soon is they are settled they notice that there is another person in the house. They uncover a boy, Sebastian, who has slept in the house for almost 600 years. The explanation he gives Pip and Tim is that his father was a great alchemist who fought an evil alchemist named de Loudéac. Also, he says that, just before Sebastian's father was going to be burned at the stake, around 1440, he told his son to continue his fight against de Loudéac. Now, in our modern day, Sebastian tells Pip and Tim that he needs their help to defeat de Loudéac who has slept just like Sebastian so that he may live longer.

2. Other Recent Book Reviews
UNDER THE SUN Arthur Dorros
Ehmet lives in the Bosnian town of Sarajevo during their civil war. When his father tries to send he and his mother to a safer place, his mother ends up dying and Ehmet must survive on his own. He hears from a friend that there is a place where orphaned children are living in peace and helping to rebuild a village and their lives. Ehmet makes his way through war torn Bosnia looking for this haven of peace. This is an excellent book that all our reviewers loved!

Ashlyn and Autumn Miller live in their grandmother's house on the coast of Oregon because both of their parents have died. One day the two siblings are exploring Deadman's Bluff down at the beach, when they are caught in a storm and almost drowned in a whirlpool. Miraculously, something in the water saves their lives. Soon, Ashlyn becomes aware of strange sounds inside his head. At first he thinks nothing of it, but before long the sounds turn into messages. He follows the messages and finds he has been chosen. He and Autumn venture into the bottom of the ocean and discover secrets beyond anyone's wildest dreams.

TRUESIGHT David Stahler Jr.
Jacob is blind, his parents are blind, and everyone in his community is blind. Jacob lives on the planet Harmony, a place where everyone is genetically engineered to be blind. In his community they believe in the idea of Truesight, that sight corrupts people and leads them to have no values. As Jacob is preparing to find out his job for life, something strange starts to happen to Jacob and the world become much clearer than it was.

This book is about the life of two young djinn, John and Philippa Gaunt. In a dream, their Uncle Nimrod tells them that they need to come to London immediately. Little did they no that a simple trip to see a relative would turn into a journey of self-discovery, adventure, terror, magic, and mystery.

This book is about kids who in one way or another are strange. They are so strange that they are sent to an alternative school. This school is the end of the line as schools go. Martin, who is the main character in the book, has been thrown out of 3 schools, cub scouts, and his baseball team. This is the reason he ended up in the alternative school called Edgeview. At Edgeview he has to deal with bullies but he makes 5 new friends in the end. Just when it looks like the end of the road for Martin and his friends, they find out something that could change their lives forever.

3. Student Reviewers
Flamingnet Student Reviewers work very hard to read, review and recommend books for the visitors to our web site. Currently we have about 20 student reviewers, from fifth grade to college. We are always looking for conscientious students who are good readers to review for Flamingnet. Please, therefore, email us if you know of students who would make good book reviewers and would be interested in applying to be Flamingnet Student Reviewers. If accepted, we would send them books to review, that in most cases they can keep. Each student reviewer must be sponsored by an adult who would be responsible to assure that their reviews were completed within 4 - 6 weeks from the time they received their book assignments.

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Happy New Year to everyone!
Gary and Seth