When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin

 

friendship

 

“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)

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 Paul Griffin

PaulGriffin

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Soar by Joan Bauer

 

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Image courtesy of Amazon.com

 

“The problem with having a story like this is people don’t know what to do with it. Their faces get super sad and their shoulders slump as they pat me on the head, which I find irritating and say. ‘My, you are a little survivor, aren’t you?’

Bauer, Joan. Soar.  Viking, 2016. 296 pages. Hardcover. $16.99, ISBN 978-0-451-47034-8

There are a few things that you need to know about Jeremy Lopper. First, he is probably 12 years old. The other things you should know about him are that he was left at a water cooler in an office building with a note and a stuffed eagle when he was a baby. He was found by a single man named Walt, a computer genius, who later adopted him. The other thing you need to know is that Jeremy has had a heart transplant, and his new heart, that he has affectionately named Alice, is not working as great as everyone would have hoped.  Lastly, Walt and Jeremy love baseball!

Walt and Jeremy move to a small town where Walt has a consulting job. This town is all about baseball and Walt and Jeremy can’t wait to get there. When they arrive however, all is not as they had planned. There is an unexplained death and some unexpected secrets that surface which are tearing the town apart.

Here’s the most important thing you need to know about Jeremy though- he has THE BEST ATTITUDE about life and baseball. Will it be enough to help this town? Read this book to find out what happens to the town, baseball, Jeremy and Walt.

I love, love, loved every page of this book!

Want to watch a book trailer for Soar?

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

Link to Worldcat.org

 Joan Bauer

HRS Joan Bauer

Courtesy of Penguin Books

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House Arrest by K.A. Holt

Courtesy of FCPS OPAC

“‘Adjudicated delinquent. I had to look up how to spell that.Three times. I don’t feel like a delinquent and I don’t know what adjudicated means (even after looking it up). Sounds like a kung fu move. I adjudicated you in your face! HI-YA”

Holt, K. A.. House Arrest.  Chronicle Books, 2015. 296 pages. Hardcover. $16.99, ISBN 978-1-4521-3477-2

Did you ever do something wrong but for the right reason? I mean, something really wrong? Was it worth it? Would you do it again? Timothy (aka T-man) did and he has to write about it and his feelings in a journal for a year while he’s under house arrest. This book is written entirely in journal entries. It will make you laugh and it will make you cry. I highly recommend it. Read it and let me know what you think 🙂

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

Link to Worldcat.org

K.A. Holt’s

Courtesy of kaholt.com

Courtesy of kaholt.com                                                                        

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I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka & Martin Ganda with Liz Welch

Courtesy of FCPS TLC

“I’d never heard of Zimbabwe. But something about the way the name looked up on the blackboard intrigued me. It was exotic, and difficult to pronounce. It was also the last country in a long list that Mrs. Miller had written in chalk. She asked each student in my seventh-grade English class to pick one place for a pen pal program our school was starting that year.

Alfirenka, Caitlin and Ganda, Martin; with Welch, Liz. I will always write back: How one letter changed two lives.  Little, Brown and Company, 2015. 387 pages. Hardcover. $18.00, ISBN 978-0-316-24131-1

From School Library Journal courtesy of Amazon.com

Gr 6 Up—The true story of two young pen pals who forge a life-altering connection. In 1997, Caitlin, a typical 12-year-old girl from a middle class American family, began writing to Martin, a studious 14-year-old from a Zimbabwe slum. In her letters, Caitlin described her life, which consisted of shopping trips, quarrels with friends, and problems at school. Martin was initially far more circumspect in his responses. Inflation had rocketed in Zimbabwe, and even finding money for postage was a struggle for the boy. Staying in school, which required paying costly fees, became merely a dream. Eventually, Martin revealed the harsh realities of his life to Caitlin, who began sending money and gifts. What started as chatty letters turned into a lifeline for Martin and his family, as Caitlin and her parents helped the boy stay in school and achieve his goal of studying at an American university. This is a well-written, accessible story that will open Western adolescents’ eyes to life in developing countries. Told in the first person, with chapters alternating between Caitlin’s and Martin’s points of view, this title effectively conveys both of these young people’s perspectives. Caitlin’s early chapters, however, in which she discusses friendship and boyfriend woes, feel somewhat superficial compared with Martin’s genuinely troubled life. While these chapters provide an effective contrast between the two teens’ lives, they may discourage some readers from continuing with what becomes a strong and inspiring story. VERDICT A useful addition to most collections and an eye-opening look at life in another culture.—Michelle Anderson, Tauranga City Libraries, New Zealand

Want to hear Caitlin and Martin discuss their book? Bloomberg has a great interview.

Bloomberg Interview

Bloomberg Interview

Awards
  • 2015 Parents’ Choice Book Awards: Nonfiction, Silver
  • 2016 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, 6–8
  • 2015 Cybils Awards Nomination, Young Adult Nonfiction

 

Courtesy of Amazon.com

Liz Welch (image courtesy of Amazon.com)

Courtesy of Amazon.com

Caitlin Alifirenka (image courtesy of Amazon.com)

Courtesy of Amazon.com

Martin Ganda (image courtesy of Amazon.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caitlin’s Twitter

Martin’s Twitter

and

Liz’s Twitter

 

 

 

Schooled by Gordon Korman

HRS Schooled

Courtesy of FCPS.org TLC

“‘I was thirteen the first time I saw a police officer up close. He was arresting me for driving without a license. At the time, I didn’t even know what a license was. I wasn’t too clear on what being arrested meant either.”

Korman, Gordon. Schooled.  Disney-Hyperion, 2008. 224 pages. Paperback. $5.99, ISBN 978-1423105169

Cap – short for Capricorn – has always lived on Garland Farm Commune, population two, with his grandmother, Rain. The only time he has left the farm is to pick up supplies. When Rain falls out of a tree and has to go to rehab, Cap is forced to live with a social worker, Florimunda, who just happened to live at the commune as a child. Cap is also enrolled in middle school for the first time ever. Imagine Cap – long hair – tye-dyed t-shirts – homemade sandals – being thrown into middle school. He’s never eaten pizza, watched TV, or played a video game. He practices tai chi on the school’s front lawn. Zach, big man on campus, is out to get him by getting him elected president, so that he can humiliate him. Can Cap survive middle school? What’s going to happen to him?

Link to Amazon.com

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Available in:

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Gordon Korman’s
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© Chris Peeler 2013