Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth" by Lynne Rae Perkins

Wow, you think you have problems? Ry is on his way to camp when he belatedly opens the "Urgent!' letter he had received from the camp. Surprise! The camp is closed. When the train abruptly stops and he hears the conductor telling a passenger that there will be a 40 minute delay, Ry tries to call his grandfather but there is no cell phone reception. Thinking that he'll get better reception outside of the train, Ry starts to walk further and further away from the tracks-- except the train has started to move, leaving Ry deserted. Ry walks the tracks for miles, his nose starts to bleed, staining an already tattered tee shirt and he finally hitches a ride on a boxcar. Sitting with his legs dangling over the side of the boxcar, one of his loosely tied boots falls into the water. When the train approaches the trainyard in town, Ry jumps off and hurries to hide behind a pile of rubble to avoid security. Unfortunately, he doesn't see the protuding piece of steel that smacks into his head right above his eye, making it immediately blacken and swell.
Now all this happens in the first 25 pages and it just goes on from there. You see, not only is Ry having a bad time, so are his parents and Grandpa. Shattered masts, missing dogs, sink holes, and an airplane with duct tape holding it together all converge to make a humorous and exciting story.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sid Fleischman 1920-2010

One of my favorite children's authors passed away on March 17th. Sid Fleischman was 90 years old and had written a dearth of books. Known to practically every middle schooler in the country, Fleischman's "The Whipping Boy" won the prestigious Newbery Award in 1987 . Sid Fleischman really knew how children's minds work and wrote his books to captivate and entice them.

Why not take some time and revisit "The Whipping Boy" once again? In case you have forgotten or never have read this book, here is a synopsis: this is the story of a poor boy, Jemmy, who is drafted to take the punishment for the spoiled prince because, after all, no harm shall befall a member of royalty (even if he really needs a spanking.) Prince Horace demands that Jemmy shout or cry while being punished but Jemmy has too much pride. When the prince decides to runaway, he drags along poor Jemmy. But Jemmy was raised on those mean streets and, in the end, Jemmy is the one who saves the prince from himself and others.

There are many other books by Fleishman I'm sure you'll enjoy, the latest being "The Dream Stealer" that can be found in our new book section. Goodbye and thank you, Mr. Fleischman!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Scooby-Doo, Guan Yu and Beowulf: A Thrilling Trio

If you wander back to our youth graphic novels (now located behind the youth services desk, toward the backwall), you'll find a great selection of fiction and nonfiction titles. New this week are the first three books of the Scooby-Doo graphic novel series, call number J GN SCO. Also new to our shelves are these nonfiction titles: "Guan Yu: Blood Brothers to the End" based on a Chinese legend, call number J GN GUA, and "Beowulf: Monster Slayer" based on a British legend, call number J GN BEO. You'll find thrills, chills, and spills in all of these books!