November BOB reviews are rolling in!

Peterson, Scott. Meet the Marvel Super Heroes. New York: Marvel, 2013. 978-1-4231-6142-4. 144p. $12.99. Gr. 1-4
An excellent beginner guide to all the Marvel Super Heroes. Full of vivid and bright illustrations that book instantly grabs the interest of all those that love super heroes. The text is concise and to the point and perfect for reluctant and young readers. Each page depicts a different character, with a full color illustration and text that bolds, and changes color emphasizing the heroes specials skills and talents. The dust cover to the book open up as a poster of all the characters inside the book, on gloss heavy paper and perfect for display.
741.5: Cartoons, comics               Denise Naumann, Eisenhower Elementary

Rau, Dana Meachen. How-To Library: Creating Thanksgiving Crafts. Ann Arbor: Cherry Lake, 2014. 978-1624311482. 32p. $28.50. Gr. 3 – 6.
This wonderful little book begins with a brief history lesson of this national holiday including a who’s who and typical foods consumed on this 3-day feast.  An illustrated list of basic supplies needed follows along with basic painting and sewing tips. The book then uses beautifully illustrated spreads to gibve step-by-step instructions for making a turkey puppet, cornucopia, a thank you banner, Pilgrim place cards, a corn husk doll and an arrowhead beanbag toss game. Highly recommended.
394             Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Burgan, Michael. John F. Kennedy. Chicago: Raintree, 2013. 978-432980962. 56p. $32.65. Gr. 4-8.
A broad-based, in-depth analysis of John F. Kennedy against a backdrop of important people and events in his administration. Added background on historical topics stimulates further interest .A list of resources not only includes a glossary. index, books and websites, but also suggests places to visit. The author has added a “What if “ page speculating on the turn of events had Kennedy lived. The format and extensive contents of this book make it a wonderful source for reports covering the time period. A good purchase.
Biography             Martha Trzepacz, Strath Haven Middle School

Senker, Cath. Days of Decision: Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2014. 978-1432976378. 56p. $26.25. Gr. 7-8.
Even for those who remember it, the Cuban Missile Crisis and it’s implications on international relations has always been difficult to explain. While building a foundation of background material, the author has succeeded in giving the reader a big picture of the events and people of the period. Well placed photos, information boxes, timelines, source notes, glossary, bibliography and media resources contribute to the authenticity of the material. If a student ever asks about Kennedy, Castro and the Missile Crisis, grab this book first. I was impressed by this book and intend to look into purchasing others in the series.
973.9                          Martha Trzepacz, Strath Haven Middle School

Soderberg, Erin. The Quirks: Welcome to Normal. New York: Bloomsbury, 2013. 978-1-59990-789-5. 225p. $13.99. Gr. 3-6.
For the magical Quirks, the move to Normal Michigan a town where every house is identical, blending in proves to be a tough challenge. Each member of the Quirk family has their own special power: Grandma a miniature fairy prefers living outdoors, Grandpa shifts time, Mom performs mind control, nine-year-old Penelope has a wild imagination, and Finn the feisty troublemaking  little brother appears invisible to everyone except the one “normal” member of the family,  Penelope’s twin sister, Molly. After living in 26 different towns, forced to move each time by mishaps involving her family’s magical powers, nine-year-old Molly is determined to help them stay in Normal. This proves problematic after many unfortunate incidents, especially when their trip to her mother’s restaurant turns into chaos because invisible little brother Finn wreaks havoc by invading the glass case, and helping himself to a bite of each dessert. The cartoonlike humorous black and white illustrations, and outrageous accidents caused by the family’s quirks keeps the reader routing for a happy ending. Through it all the bond of support and love the family shares, and Molly’s discovery that she has the most helpful special power of all, make this a satisfying tale. Give this one to fans of Ingrid Law’s Savvy, with characters who also have powers they can’t always control.
Family life-Fiction              Martha Lambertsen, Wallingford Elementary School

Abdel-Fattah, Randa. The Friendship Matchmaker: Goes Undercover. New York: Walker Books, 2013. 978-0-8027-3485-3. $16.99. 208p. Gr. 4-7.
In The Friendship Matchmaker: Goes Undercover, seventh grader Lara formerly Potts County Middle School’s Official Matchmaker, decides that kids at her school can make their own friends this year, now that she has a best friend, Tanya. Told through instant messages, friend profiles, handwritten lists, and prose, readers will have no trouble relating to Lara social media filled world. Her old customers from her BFF agency, eager for advice continue to request her friendship help. The temptation is too great to resist and Lara finds herself going “undercover,” continuing to match up and help classmates. The stakes get higher when Chris, the best athlete and also the meanest bully, demands that she find him a friend. Chris’ bullying effectiveness has diminished with the arrival of Majur, an orphan   refugee from Sudan, who turns out to be outstanding at soccer, outplaying Chris on the soccer field. This story covers relevant issues for tweens such as, loneliness, social insecurities, and refraining from managing social relationship for others. Despite her obvious weaknesses, Lara is kind and helpful to others.  This sequel to The Friendship Matchmaker, can be enjoyed as a series or on its own, especially for girls who prefer realistic school fiction with lots of social drama.
School Stories-Fiction             Martha Lambertsen, Wallingford Elementary School

Lassieur, Allison. You Choose: Survival (series). Can You Survive Being Lost at Sea? : An Interactive Survival Adventure. North Mankato: Capstone, 2013. 978-1-4296-6861-3. 112 p.  $23.49. Gr. 3-6.
What happens if  you’re relaxing on vacation at sea, and something goes wrong? In three realistic scenarios Can You Survive Being Lost at Sea? takes the reader through only part of  life threatening adventures, leaving it up to them to make the decisions that will seal their fate. The three adventures, Crash Landing, Adrift in Paradise, and Alone in the Ocean all have a series of endings based on the reader’s choices leading to life or death. Full of facts and nonstop action each escapade is a real page turner. All of the plentiful color photos include small fact boxes containing  facts such as, “Some species of porcupine puffer fish are deadly to eat.” At the end of the book there are four mini accounts of “Real Survivor” stories, as well as a survivor quiz, glossary, index, and a “Read More” list of books and web site. This extreme survival title will have great appeal for boys and reluctant readers.
 613.6; Survival at Sea              Martha Lambertsen, Wallingford Elementary School

Chew, Ruth. A Matter of Fact Magic Book (series). No Such Thing as a Witch. New York: Random House, 2013. 978-0-449-81559-5.  115 p. $15.99. Gr. 2-4.
Nora and Tad are shocked to see a squirrel reading a tiny newspaper on their fence. Could it have anything to do with the strange new neighbor who is attracting the interest of their dog, neighborhood cats, and other animals? After deciding she must be a witch, their curiosity lures them next door to meet her. This kind old lady, Maggie Brown offers them delicious fudge they can’t resist; with a warning to only eat one piece a day. After devouring a piece of fudge and feeling strange, Tad can’t help but eat another, that’s when he finds himself able to talk to animals. No Such Thing as a Witch contains just enough magic to ignite readers’ imagination. Reminiscent of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle stories and Daniel Pinkwater’s  new Mrs. Noodlekugel series, this easy to read magical story with spare black and white illustrations, will be a sure hit with early chapter book Magic Tree House fans.
Witches -Fiction                           Martha Lambertsen, Wallingford Elementary School

Jonell, Lynne. Magical Mixups (series). Grasshopper Magic. New York: Random House, 2013. 978-0-375-87084-2. 114 p. $12.99. Gr. 2-4.
Abner Willow, during his parents’ party, finds himself cornered and convinced by Mrs. Gofish, from the Historical Society, to make a speech before the whole town during the Willow Day Festival. Obviously regretting his promise, his brother and sister begin to make clucking, chicken noises, suggesting Abner practice with bravery lessons. The perfect opportunity occurs when dressmaker Mrs. Delgado, while preparing his costume, notices a jar of grasshoppers caught by the Willow children. She eagerly roasts and serves them up as a tasty treat. To prove his bravery, oldest brother Abner pops one into his mouth. His sister joins him and before long, both siblings go BOING, bouncing in the air fueled with “grasshopper magic.” The suspense intensifies as the Willow children anticipate the “grasshopper magic” dangers awaiting Mrs. Delgado’s toddler when she gives him some of the roasted grasshoppers. With lively animated black and white illustrations, this exciting easy to read magic adventure will appeal to young chapter book readers, who will soon demand the other titles in this clever series.
Courage-Fiction                         Martha Lambertsen, Wallingford Elementary School

Porter, Esther. What’s Sprouting in my Trash?: A Book about Composting. North Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2013. 978-1-6206-5047-9. $19.99. 32 p. Gr. Pre-K-2.
A perfect book to help celebrate Spring and Ecology. A photo album and text shows students exactly what happens in a compost bin. Be prepared for “yucks” and “yeahs” when you reach the worm page. The colors in the photos are bright and clear and there is a recipe for creating compost in a jar, which would be a great science project for Earth Week. Teaching the cycle of life and earth science is important to all of us.  The book includes Glossary, Index, reading suggestions, and Internet suggestions.  On Capstone’s website, the book is a part of a series entitled Earth Matters.
631.8: Fertilizers, soil conditioners, growth regulators
Lourie Stewart, Dunbar Township/Dunbar Borough Elementary Schools

Water Babies (series). New York: Bearport Publishing Company, Inc., 2013. 24 p. (each book). $127.92 set, $15.99 ea., Reading Level: 2.0, Interest Level: preK-3, Common Core: Reading Standards for Informational Text. 
Owen, Ruth. Manatee Calves. 978-1-61772-599-9.
Owen, Ruth. Orca Calves. 978-1-61772-600-2.
Owen, Ruth. Penguin Chicks. 978-1-61772-602-6.
Owen, Ruth. Sea Otter Pups. 978-1-61772-601-9.
Owen, Ruth. Seahorse Fry. 978-1-61772-604-0.
Owen, Ruth. Seal Pups. 978-1-61772-605-7.
Owen, Ruth. Sea Turtle Hatchlings. 978-1-61772-603-3.
Oldfield, Dawn Bluemel. Water Frog Polliwogs. 978-1-61772-606-4.
*This series was not listed on the original BOB list but with Bearport Publishing on that list, this series is something worth noting. “Everybody loves babies.” This series takes that phase and presents 8 wonderful very easy to read books about water babies. Not only do the books have many up close and personal color photos, the information is laid out in a left to right manner, making reading easier for the most reluctant reader. Small graphics show sizes of the animals in relation to items children are familiar with. The individual books are of the same format making for ease of read. A Glossary and Index is included in each book, and there are online resources at the Bearport website. This series has been “kid tested” in my k-6 library and is one of the library’s most popular series. More information at the Bearport Publishing website.
597-599 Animals
Lourie Stewart, Dunbar Township/Dunbar Borough Elementary Schools

Hile, Lori.  Mermaids (Solving Mysteries with Science series).  North Mankato, MN: Heinemann/Raintree, 2013.  978-1-410949899. $31.43. Gr. 3 -6.
Beginning with the oldest tales of mermaid and merman sightings in the Dark Ages to relatively modern accounts of these encounters, the author does a good job building the intrigue about these creates that have fascinated us through time. The scientific method is then used to help the reader deconstruct myth and compare the stories with the facts. Beautifully illustrated, it contains photographs of sea creatures like manatees and walruses (could they be mistaken for merfolk?) as well as hoaxes, and a description of the rare birth defect which results in a baby’s legs being fused together. The book wraps it all up with a timeline and a “Summing Up the Science” hypotheses vs. science graphic. Contains  glossary, sources for further research and an index. Very well done, highly recommended for your mermaid fans!
398.21: Mermaids                 Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

October 2013 Best of the Best (BOB) Reviews are IN!

Better late than never as they say….our BOB Committee member’s reviews that were written in October are now posted below, in no particular order, for your browsing pleasure. Check back monthly; the newest reviews will be added at the top. And check the sidebar to the right for any breaking news. Looking forward to adding more reviews to this blog. Enjoy!

Yomtov, Nel. How to Write a Comic Book.  Ann Arbor: Cherry Lake Publishing, 2013. 978-1624311871. 24p. $17.95. Gr 2-4
For every student that loves to write, this book is part of a series of Language Arts Explorer. It is concise, straightforward and provides excellent examples. Each page is broken apart in manageable sections and important words are in bold. The activities provided assist a young writer in completing the process. The web links provided for each activity are easy to access, however, are for teachers or adults not children. There are numerous books in this series that provide a straightforward approach to assist children with their writing content and techniques.
741.5: Cartoons, comics                   Denise Naumann, Eisenhower Elementary

Pringle, Laurence. Scorpions! Strange and Wonderful. (Strange and Wonderful series) Illustrated by Meryl Henderson. Honesdale,:Boyd Mills Press, 2013. 978-1-59078-473-0. 32p. $14.46 Gr. 5-7.
Laurence Pringle, well known for a series on naturalists, has written another book on scorpions.  Unlike his previous book Scorpion Man, ,this one deals with the history of scorpions, their behavior and  habitat.  The illustrations by Meryl Henderson are colorful and artistically appealing. This would a good introduction to the subject for the younger reader.  For a more in depth look, try Sandra Markles’ Scorpions from the Arachnid World series. Large photographs and a more scientific approach work well for middle and even high school reports.
595.4  Zoology                Martha Trzepacz      Strath Haven Middle School

All About Myths (series). Chicago: Heinemann Raintree, 2013.  48 p.  $24.00  ea.  Gr. 5-8.
Chambers, Catherine.  African Myths and Legends.  978-1-4109-4971-4.
Chambers, Catherine.  American Indian Stories and Legends.  978-1-4109-5469-5.
How was the world created and why do we act in the way that we do? These universal questions are introduced and answered  in both the African Myths and Legends and American Indian Stories and Legends, from the All About Myths series.  Using colorful  photos of sculptures, statues, architecture, crafts, and paintings within a dynamic visual format organized in short comprehensive information packed chapters, each  section is sprinkled with fact boxes and pictures to break up passages in small font.  Inspired by ancient legends and   myths, the  tales are RETOLD in an abbreviated clear one page format accompanied by an attractive graphic style illustration. American Indian Stories and Legends emphasizes the American Indians’ belief  in the Great Spirit and reverence towards all living things.  African Myths and Legends describes its powerful spiritual beings through their arts and crafts, dance, music and storytelling. Each title covers five  topics of their culture; world creation myths, heroes and villains, and trickster tales. These tales are especially effective in African Myths and Legends, showing the evolution of their stories as they traveled from Africa to America through slave trade.  Finishing with a chapter on Death and Afterlife, and finally the Myths and   Legends Alive chapter describing how these rich cultures are celebrated today.  The back matter includes a Character and Creatures section, glossary,  index , and a “find out more” double page listing books, websites, and places to visit. These two All About Myths titles are valuable resources for both independent reading, or research projects bringing the history of the cultures alive through their rich arts, myths and legends so rarely covered in such detail for 5th-8th grade.     4 star rating
398.2089 Indian  Mythology-North America             Martha Lambertsen,
398.2096 Mythology, African                                      Wallingford Elementary School   

Jakubowski, Michelle. Third Grade Mix-Up (Book 1, Sidney & Sydney Series). New York: Capstone, 2013. 978-1404881044. 128p. $5.00. Gr 2-4.

This series is narrated in alternating chapters by two third graders, a boy and a girl, whose names are nearly identical. Sidney just moved to Oak Grove. On the first day of school, things get kind of awkward when Sydney accidentally sits in his seat and even more weird when her mother invites him and his mom for dinner. The two classmates, one a fashionista, the other a world traveler, find out they actually have a lot in common, including a game called Galaxy Quest. In the second book in the series, their adventures continue as the two, now fast friends, tackle dodge ball, the spelling bee, and the school play!
Realistic                                   Robin Bartley, Davis Elementary School

Brezenoff, Steve.  Bites (Ravens Pass series).  North Mankato, MN: Capstone Stone Arch Books, 2013.  978-1-43424617-2. $23.99. Gr. 3 -6.
From this prolific author of easy-to-read contemporary series we have the latest installment in the Ravens Pass series. Each of the 8 stories in the series so far is a stand-alone tale, so the series need not be read in any particular order.  Each Ravens Pass book features a different resident of the spooky town of Ravens Pass, where unexpected things happen. In Bites, Twelve-year-old Collin Bertram and his family have just moved to Ravens Pass, and he is disturbed when his new acquaintance Tucker tells him about the vampire attacks. They set out to solve the mystery of who has been biting numerous classmates and townspeople and the story has a wonderful plot twist conclusion. These books will appeal to your early elementary readers but have enough spookiness and high interest to be suitable for your 4th through 6th grade reluctant readers.
Fantasy, Vampires                      Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Bracken, Beth and Kay Fraser. At the Edge of the Woods (Faerieground series, #5). North Mankato, MN: Capstone Stone Arch Books, 2013.  978-1-4342-4489-5. $22.65. Gr. 5-9.
Another installment in the dark faerie-tale perfect for your tween and teen readers looking for a quick and easy but gripping read; this book is #5 out of 8 so far in the series. Lucy and Soli are best friends who live on the edge of deep and eerie woods. In the first book they set out to explore and Lucy gets lost. Soli comes to find out she has been adopted; that her birth mother is a sinister Faerie Queen who needs to find Soli again to regain her powers. In this book, Soli is searching to woods for her abducted best friend Lucy, with the help of Faerie Prince Kheelan. Simply but beautifully written, with lots of suspense, this volume ends in a cliffhanger leaving readers hungry for more. Flipping through this book you may think it is too young for your middle school readers, however my advanced tween readers love this series as a fun and spooky break from their otherwise heavy reading. In addition, it is gorgeously illustrated and designed, and bound in a pleasing, small size.
Fantasy, Fairies, Suspense          Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Eliopoulos, Chris. Mr. Puzzle, A Perfect Fit (Mr. Puzzle series, #1). North Mankato, MN: Capstone, 2013.  978-1-4342-60246. $16.99. Gr. 3-7.
One day Walter, a master puzzle solver, is working on an antique puzzle when it begins to glow and come to life. The magic locked inside this ancient puzzle turns Walter into Mr. Puzzle, an unlikely superhero who’s a puzzle piece able to bend, stretch, shrink and grow in many ways to save the day. In a series of episodes, our hero tackles an evil wrecking ball, a maniacal middle school teacher, a gruesome, greasy monster in a Laundromat, and a thief in the Tallmart. Includes a “How to Draw Mr. Puzzle” feature at the end as well as an interview with the author, a glossary and a “Brain Benders” quiz that is great for testing comprehension. While Capstone suggests this book for grades 2 – 5, I found it contained vocabulary sufficiently challenging to interest my middle graders, especially those who like other funny graphic novels like the Lunch Lady series. A very fun little book!
Graphic Novel, Humor          Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Klimo, Kate. Dog Diaries, Barry (Dog Diaries series). New York: Random House, 2013.  978-0-449-81280-8. $6.99. Gr. 3-7.
If you have die-hard devotees of the Magic Puppy and Magic Kitten Series, the Dog Diaries and Horse Diaries are the next reading level up and sure to please. I also love that these are each stand-alone books that need not be read in order. Based on a true story, this book is written in first person by Barry, a St. Bernard rescue who saved the lives of at least 40 people buried in the snow.  Includes an Appendix, “More About the St. Bernard,” photos, and history about the real life Barry, links for further reading, and tips about owning a St. Bernard. These are beautiful little books, highly recommended.
Historical Fiction, Dogs         Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Bright, J.E. Cyborg Superman (Super DC Heroes, The Man of Steel series). North Mankato, MN: Stone Arch, 2013.  978-1-4342-40897. $25.32. Gr. 3-7.
While these beautiful little books are technically not graphic novels, I shelve them there because they’re perfect for that audience, and the illustrations are straight out of a top-notch superhero graphic novel. The reading level is perfect for your better readers as young as 2nd grade, but the subject matter and vocabulary will still appeal to your superhero fans in upper middle grades regardless of reading level. Each Super DC Heroes book is a stand-alone adventure, so the books may be read in any order. Includes Discussion Questions and Writing Prompts at the end, a perfect teacher’s companion for that reluctant reader!
Fantasy, Superheroes         Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Weissburg, Paul. Batman Undercover (Super DC Heroes, The Dark Knight series). North Mankato, MN: Stone Arch, 2013.  978-1-4342-40941. $25.32. Gr. 3-7.
In this episode, Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego Batman and his fearless sidekick Robin tackle more than one villain: Penguin, and mobster Matches Malone. Can they save Gotham from the Cosmic Annihilator, a doomsday weapon which could destroy Earth? My 2nd through 6th graders love these books, which I shelve with superhero graphic novels. They are technically not graphic novels, however the subject matter, design, and illustrations are suitable for the same audience. Beautiful, glossy comic art is topped off with Discussion Questions and Writing Prompts at the end, a perfect teacher’s companion for your reluctant readers!
Fantasy, Superheroes         Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Bass, Guy. Stitch Head. North Mankato, MN: Capstone, 2013.  978-1-62370-0072. $10.95. Gr. 3-8.
Small little Stitch Head, “no bigger than a medium-sized monkey,” is the first Frankenstein-type creation of Mad Professor Erasmus of the spooky misfit town of Grubbers Nubbin. The problem is that Prof. Erasmus has many creations, and he loses interest in his prior creatures as soon as he moves onto the next project. This time, Professor has created a truly monstrous monster, who begins an evil rampage in the town, and little Stich Head sets off to stop the carnage before everyone and everything is destroyed. Each chapter begins with a small poem, ditty, or Mad Musing. So much about the writing and design of this witty and spooky little book puts me in mind of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events series; this book is perfect for those fans.
Fantasy, Monsters, Humor Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Peschke, Marci. Kylie Jean Summer Camp Queen (Kylie Jean series). North Mankato, MN: Picture Window, 2013.  978-1-4048-75838. $21.32. Gr. 1-3.
Kylie Jean Carter is from Texas and her number-one dream is to be a beauty queen. Her fun girly romps are perfect for your series-loving fans of Judy Moody and Clementine. Each book in the series is a stand-alone that need not be read in any particular order. In this book, Kylie Jean is at Mariposa Ranch summer camp which she loves, but there is a problem: there’s a Camp Queen contest she would love to win, but there’s another girl who looks just like Kylie Jean and is a trouble-maker. At the end of each book Kylie Jean learns a humbling lesson. Includes glossary, discussion questions, writing prompts, a recipe, and a link to the Capstone website for more series-related games and activities.
Realistic Fiction, Humor          Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Poe, Edgar Allan; retold by Harper, Benjamin. The Tell-Tale Heart (Edgar Allan Poe Graphic Novel series). Mankato, MN: Stone Arch, 2013.  978-1-4342-30232. $26.65. Gr. 5+.
Ingenious and creative graphic rendering of one of Poe’s most chilling works, told verbatim. The illustrations are primarily in black and white, and in each tale in the series the illustrator uses a different accent color to emphasize the meaning of that story. Includes a glossary, brief bio of Poe, and “Visual Questions,” to spur thinking and reading comprehension. Beautiful book, highly recommended for any reader grade 5 through adult.
Graphic Novel, Classic Horror Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Biskup, Agnieszka. The Amazing Story of Space Travel (MaxAxiom STEM Adventures series.) Mankato, MN: Capstone, 2013.  978-1-476501246. $29.99. Gr. 3-9.
Kudos to Capstone for producing these graphic nonfiction books that will be sure to entice your emerging early grade readers and middle schoolers alike. Max Axiom, super scientist, is the series guide, exploring the details of modern STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Design) wonders including Cell Phone Technology, the Combustion Engine, Recycling, TV Technology, and more. In this book, readers learn about the last 50 years in space travel history as well as the technology involved in sending rockets into outer space. Includes a glossary, lists of books and internet links to explore the subject further, an index and “Critical Thinking Using the Common Core” questions. Highly recommended.
Graphic Nonfiction, Space Travel 
                                                     Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

McCloud, Scott. Balance of Power (Superman Adventures series). Mankato, MN: Stone Arch, 2013.  978-1-434247100. $21.27. Gr. 2-5.
The latest in 8 beautifully illustrated Superman glossy comics, sure to please your younger superhero and graphic novel fans! In this episode, Superman and Lois Lane are confronted by female villain Live Wire who can absorb and release high voltage electricity. Can Lois and Superman act in time to save Metropolis? Teachers will love that these books feature glossary, character map, and “Visual Questions” that test comprehension.
Graphic Novel, Superheroes      Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Sonneborn, Scott. Attack of the Zom-Bees! (Tiger Moth series). Mankato, MN: Stone Arch, 2013.  978-1-434232830. $22.65. Gr. 3-5.
This is book 7 in the Tiger Moth series, and our hero the Insect Ninja must escape the power of Beatrice, the Queen Bee of Antannae Elementary who has everyone under her evil power. But first Kung Pow, Tiger Moth’s apprentice, must get Tiger out from under Beatrice’s spell.  This fun and action-packed easy reader contains a glossary and visual questions which stimulate comprehension. Perfect for your emerging and reluctant readers who love comics and action.
Graphic Novel, Superheroes      Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Downer, Denise. Soul Mates (Tombstone Twins series). Mankato, MN: Stone Arch, 2013.  978-1-434232830. $22.65. Gr. 3-5.
Set in Underworld Elementary, where all the kids have died in whacky ways, in this first book in the series we meet Deadbert, the “butt” of all the jokes because he died flushing himself down the toilet. But the new girl at school Skully turns out to be Deadbert’s “death twin” because she died in the exact same way. A beautiful friendship is born and they go on to solve a mystery and save the day. Contains a glossary and Visual Questions that enhance reading comprehension.
Graphic Novel, Superheroes      Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Kibuishi, Kazu. Explorer: The Lost Islands. New York: Abrams, 2013. 978-1-4197-0881-7. $19.95. Gr. 4+.
Kibuishi follows up his dazzling first book, Explorer: The Mystery Box with this new collection of 7 individual tales by 9 different graphic artists. In this collection: Rabbit Island by Jake Parker, The Mask Dance by Chrystin Garland, Carapace by Jason Caffoe, Desert Island Playlist by Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier, Loah by Michael Gagne, Radio Adrift by Katie Shanahan and Steven Shanahan, and The Fishermen by Kazu Kibuishi. The reading material is easy enough for 4th grade and up, but the subjects and treatments will engage all ages. Each short graphic tale follows the lost island theme, and it is a delight to see the different approach and style taken by each of these master storyteller/illustrators.
Graphic Novel, Fantasy         Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Wacholtz, Anthony. Picture a Touchdown (Drawing with Sports Illustrated series). Mankato, MN: Stone Arch, 2013.  978-1-476531045. $33.32. Gr. 5-9.
Fourth in a series, this book gives step-by-step instructions on how to draw football players in the heat of the action. Beginning with stick figures and outlines, young artists are guided how to draw an expert-looking play, superimposed on Sports Illustrated photographs of real football action. Begins with a supply list, and organized by types of plays. Includes web links and lists of books for more information. Other volumes in this Drawing with Sports Illustrated series are Picture a Home Run, Picture a Slam Dunk, and Picture a Slap Shot. Sure to appeal to your middle grade sports fans and budding artists alike.
Nonfiction How-To, Art, Sports   Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School