When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin




“You’d have to be nuts to trust a magician. I learned that lesson the hard way. And then, if you can believe it, I actually became a magician’s assistant. That part was the Rainbow Girl’s fault, but the rest of it I blame on a little dog named Flip.

Griffin, Paul. When Friendship Followed Me Home.  Dial, 2016. 247 pages. Hardcover. $16.99, ISBN 978-0-8037-3816-4

I loved this story – for a lot of reasons. First, it had a dog in it. I absolutely adore dogs and Flip is special. He can listen when kids read books to him – and he actually looks interested. Second, the story shows that when bad things happen, you can still survive, that there are always options. A good attitude goes a long way to help. Third, it made me laugh out loud. Ben Coffin is one funny guy and his friend Halley (like the comet) is equally entertaining. Ben and Halley are the kind of people who keep a positive attitude even when things aren’t looking so good. Another reason I love this book, one of the good guys in the story is a librarian who keeps homemade chocolate chip cookies on her desk and she’s pretty cool. I’m a librarian and I love cookies so I have lot in common with her. Plus, she’s Halley’s mom and I’m a mom so I can relate. Most likely, if you’re reading this, you’re a kid, and I think you just might relate to Ben and Halley and all that they are experiencing. This book will make you laugh and it will make you cry. I highly recommend it. If you want to know more, watch the book trailer below created by Heartland Media Center. They did a great job book talking this book. Enjoy!

Want to watch a book trailer for When Friendship Followed Me Home?

Link to Amazon.com (available in Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle versions, and Audible)

Link to Worldcat.org

 Paul Griffin





Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

Courtesy of Worldcat.org

“‘He won’t talk about what happened to him there. But since he left Stone Mountain, he won’t wear anything orange. He won’t let anyone stand behind him. He won’t go into rooms that are too small. And he won’t eat canned peaches.

Schmidt, Gary D. Orbiting Jupiter.  Clarion, 2015. 183 pages. Hardcover. $17.99, ISBN 978-0-544-46222-9

This story takes place in a small town in Maine – on a dairy farm – with a loving family who takes in a foster child. The family has one child of their own, Jack, who is twelve. Jack is the narrator of this story. They take in Joseph who is just a couple of years older than Jack. There are quite a few things that you learn about Joseph right away. He almost killed a teacher (after taking a drug that someone gave him when he was upset). He spent time at a juvenile prison facility called Stone Mountain. He has a daughter, Jupiter, who he has never met. When he arrives, he does very little talking. He has never had this kind of family life. He was raised by an abusive father. Over time he learns to trust this family and becomes friends with Jack. This is a story of a father’s undying love for his child. It is also a story of how far a family and a friend will go to help.

Gary Schmidt’s website, provides a link to the first chapter of the Orbiting Jupiter. Read it for yourself. I think you will be truly moved by the story.

HRS Black-Eyed Susan

Courtesy of www. public-domain-image.com

Orbiting Jupiter is a Grades 6-9 nominee for the 2016-2017 Black Eyed Susan Award. For more information go to the Maryland Association of School Librarians.


Gary Schmidt talks about his book Orbiting Jupiter:


  • Capitol Choices 2016
  • Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of 2015, Middle Grade
  • Booklist Best Young Adult Books of 2015
  • ALA Notable Books for Children 2016, Older Readers
  • VOYA’s Perfect Tens 2015; 2016 Winner, Notable Books for a Global Society
  • CCBC Choices 2016, Fiction for Young Adults
  • 2015 Cybils Awards Nomination, Young Adult Fiction

Courtesy of hmhbooks.com



© Chris Peeler 2013