Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Boy at the End of the World

“Fisher is the last boy on earth--and things are not looking good for the human race. Only Fisher made it out alive after the carefully crafted survival bunker where Fisher and dozens of other humans had been sleeping was destroyed.

Luckily, Fisher is not totally alone. He meets a broken robot he names Click, whose programmed purpose--to help Fisher "continue existing"--makes it act an awful lot like an overprotective parent. Together, Fisher and Click uncover evidence that there may be a second survival bunker far to the west.”

In The Boy at the End of the World, Fisher and Click depart on an adventure loaded with encounters of menacing rats, monstrous parrots, flesh-eating piranha-crocs, and gadgets with missile launching capabilities. Readers, take a breath because you will also encounter a giant electric eel, the Intelligence (Hello!), a spiked seedpod, and weaponized prairie dogs!

Add a juvenile mammoth named Protein into the mix, and you have a story that is a read-without-stopping romp! Greg van Eekhout has written a story that middle grade readers will not want to put down.

I enjoyed the post-apocalyptic plot and the quirky characters. I enjoyed the swing of emotions in the story—from wonder and curiosity to suspenseful scenes and from action-packed fight sequences to warm-n-cozy humorous moments.

While accomplishing all this for the reader, the author does something else quite astonishing. He makes a plea for the world we live in today. “You humans dig more than you can ever put back. You burn anything that is burnable. You is destroying forests, is covering world with concrete and plastic, is changing weather.”

Indeed, Greg van Eekhout shows readers a future world that is not one we wish for. It is a lesson to heed.

Visit the author's website HERE. You can read chapter one of this thrilling book right HERE!

Don't miss this fantastic read coming to a bookstore near you on June 21.

(Thank you, Greg van Eekhout and Sarah Prineas for this ARC. It has already been read and enjoyed by several sixth graders!)

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories About Growing Up Scieszka




Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories About Growing Up Scieszka is hysterical! A must read if you like funny stories!

Jon Scieszka grew up with five brothers: Jim, Tom, Gregg, Brian, and Jeff. I can’t imagine what their household must have been like. Wait!! Yes, I can! Jon writes all about his childhood and growing up with five brothers in this collection.

Be sure to read:

"Roommates” – Where older brother Jim tries to sell Jon’s own shirt to him.

"Brother-Sitting” – Where the ‘Bad Boys’ Home’ is called.

"Car Trip” – Where readers will have a ‘puking’ good time!

"What’s So Funny, Mr. Scieszka” – Where Jon chooses his path.

“Cooking” - Where you will read the best first line: “I learned how to cook because I like to stir oatmeal more than I like to pick up dog poop.”

I also enjoyed “Random Reading” where I made a connection to Golden Book Encyclopedias…”Lesson From Dad” where there is a deeper meaning behind the story…and “Jon’s Side of the Mountain” where kids may realize that they need to get outdoors again instead of sitting in front of a computer or TV all day.

I will be sure to share this book with readers at the beginning of each school year. What a wonderful collection of stories-memoirs-for students.

Click HERE to visit Jon's website. Click HERE to visit Guys Read, a web-based literacy program for boys.

So…”Stop breathing my air!” and go check this one out from your library. It is worth your time to read.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Don't Touch That Toad & Other Strange Things Adults Tell You

"I'm sure you've heard a lot of weird things over time from your parents, your grandparents, or even your teachers. You'll probably find some of those sayings here within these pages. Some of the expressions will thrill you, some will make you think, others will just gross you out, but what you'll find really interesting is where and how these crazy expressions got started as well as how they've been passed along from generation to generation."

"Don't Touch That Toad & Other Strange Things Adults Can Tell You gives it to you straight. Find out if lightning can strike the same place twice, if eating fried foods can cause acne, if an elephant never forgets... Well, what are you waiting for? Get reading!"

The book cover and introduction just about says it all. This 96 page book is a treat for young inquisitive readers. It is divided into four sections: Healthy Habits, Weird Science, Food Fallacies, and Animal Tales. Catherine Rondina gives readers an adult saying such as "Cracking your knuckles can cause arthritis." The author then provides readers with an answer of "True", "False", or "You Decide" based on the scientific evidence that follows. Comical illustrations by Kevin Sylvester can be found on nearly every page.

I was eager to find out about the following sayings:

*Don't eat raw cookie dough, or you'll get worms.
*Don't swallow bubble gum because it takes your body seven years to digest. (Does it really?)
*Don't sit too close to the TV, or you'll ruin your eyes. (My husband used this line just today!)
*A chicken can live without its head. (Gross!)
*A dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's.

And my favorite:

*Eating Pop Rocks candy and drinking a soda pop at the same time will make your stomach explode. (I've been waiting for a long time for someone to explain this one to me!)

Pick this book up! You'll have it devoured in no time!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Monday, May 2, 2011


If you have a ten-year-old to shop for, a perfect gift may be Junonia by Kevin Henkes.

This gem tells the story of Alice who is turning ten years old while vacationing in Florida. Every year that Alice and her family visit Scallop, everything is the same. Alice looks forward to seeing the same friends, playing on the same beach, and looking for the elusive junonia shell.

But this year, one friend is snowed in and can't come. Aunt Kate (not Alice's 'real' aunt) is bringing her boyfriend and his daughter, Mallory. Mallory also brings someone new, her doll Munchkey.

Alice is determined to have the best birthday ever even if things have changed. After all, Alice is undergoing the biggest change herself...turning ten! Double digits!

Alice experiences a wide range of emotions in the book--from happiness and elation about her vacation and upcoming birthday--to hatred and jealousy of the newcomers to the beach--to resentment--to compassion. Readers will watch Alice undergo these emotions yet champion through each one of them with determination and gumption in a way only a ten-year-old can.

Be sure to look for Junonia on shelves May 24 , 2011.

Watch Kevin talk about Junonia HERE.

Kevin Henkes has written numerous books for middle grade readers including my favorites: Sun and Spoon, Protecting Marie, and Words of Stone. He has also written numerous picture books for younger readers. Check out my four-year-old daughter's favorites: Kitten's First Full Moon, A Good Day, and his newest Little White Rabbit.

Click HERE to visit his website.

Happy Reading!

Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!