May 2014 BOB Fiction

cask of amontillado

Poe, Edgar Allen. The Cask of Amontillado (Graphic Horror) adapted by Joeming W. Dunn. 978-1624020155. Minneapolis, Magic Wagon/ABDO: 2014. $28.50. 32p. Gr. 3-6.
The Edgar Allen Poe tale of the same name has been adapted into an easy to understand Graphic Novel form that is simple and fun to read. The tale retains Poe’s undertones and dark nature despite its adaption to a simpler form. The story follows Montresor telling the tale of how he got his revenge on Fortunado. After being slighted Montresor planned and waited for his revenge, luring in Fortunado with a false friendliness. Montresor leads a drunk Fortunado deep into Montresor’s catacombs with the promise of the great Amontillado wine. Leading Fortunado to the deepest of rooms Montresor locks him up and builds a wall to seal him in, which remains undisturbed to the end. The story is a bit dark, as all of Poe is, and one should consider both the dark subject matter and the depiction of merciless revenge before recommending it to some of your youngest readers. Those who like and can handle spooky stories will love it.
741.5 Graphic Novel/Horror/Easy reader
Matthew Dickinson, Conestoga HS senior and intern at Plymouth Meeting Friends School


Blackwood, Algernon. The Wendigo (Graphic Horror) adapted by Vincent Goodwin. 978-1624020186. Minneapolis, Magic Wagon/ABDO: 2014. $28.50. 32p. Gr. 3-6.
In a spooky tale adapted from Algernon Blackwood’s writing a boy named Simpson faces the dangers of the legendary Wendigo after his hunting trip goes awry. When Simpson’s partner Defago disappears under frightful circumstances Simpson investigates only to be attacked. Simpson flees and returns with the rest of the hunting party to find the disheveled Defago rambling and warped. Defago is changed, and he professes of meeting with the Wendigo in the woods and shows signs of turning into a Wendigo. The tale ends with the rest of the party finding Defago dead in the morning of exposure. The novel is easy to follow, but due to its scary subject matter one should not recommend it to children prone to nightmares.
741.5 Graphic Novel/Horror/Easy reader
Matthew Dickinson, Conestoga HS senior and intern at Plymouth Meeting Friends School


Holm, Jennifer. Babymouse #18: Happy Birthday, Babymouse, 978-0307931610. New York: Random House Books for Young Readers, 2014.  $6.99. 96p. Gr. 1 – 6.
In the 18th installment in the series Babymouse has her birthday party on the same day as her classmate Felicia’s. Babymouse’s plans for a perfect party are threatened by a string of bad fortune and her party is a pale joke in comparison to Felicia’s great celebration. Babymouse is upset only to be comforted the next day by her friends when they throw her another party that turns out to be just perfect. Babymouse fans won’t want to miss it!
741.5 Graphic Novel/Easy reader
Matthew Dickinson, Conestoga HS senior and intern at Plymouth Meeting Friends School


Meyers, Mark and David A. Kelly. Ballpark Mysteries #8: The Missing Marlin. 978-0307977823. New York: Random House Books for Young Readers, 2014.  $4.99. 112p. Gr. 1 – 3.
In the 8th book of the Ballpark Mysteries cousins Kate Hopkins and Mike Walsh must deal with missing fish and mysterious goings on at the Marlin’s stadium. The series is written for younger, emerging readers and has pictures interspersed throughout to help them follow along. With both sports and mystery tie-ins this book is great for kids at early reading levels who enjoy mystery or baseball.
Fiction/Easy reader
Matthew Dickinson, Conestoga HS senior and intern at Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Product Details

Pakkala, Christine. Jasmine and Maddie. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mill Press, 2014. ISBN 978-1-62091-739-8. 203 pgs.  $16.95. Gr. 3-6.
Jasmine has just lost her dad and her mother is now working two jobs as they make a new start in Connecticut. Despite these changes she is fitting in at her new school but hides the fact that they are living in a trailer court. Maddie used to have a best friend and they played soccer together. This year Maddie does not make the soccer team and she feels pressure to be perfect like her older sister. How is it that Jasmine and Maddie become friends and what happens when they switch rings: Jasmine’s mother’s promise ring from her husband and Maddie’s grandmother’s ring that her sister inherited?  English class is a feature in the novel as Jasmine displays a strength with poetry where she displays talent to DD (dig deeper) with meaning in her work. They are studying GAP (Great American Poets) and her favorite becomes Emily Dickinson. American poets, I AM poems and poetry cafes are extension activities to try with this book.
Fiction, Families, Friends                  Beth McGuire Wendover Middle School

Product Details

Mata, Julie. Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens. New York: Hyperion, 2014. ISBN 978-1-4231-9459-0. 288 pgs.  $16.99. Gr. 3-7.
Life was ideal before Kate moves with her mother, father and younger brother from their city house in walking distance from her best friend since first grade, Alyssa, to a five acre farmhouse so that her mother may pursue of her dream to raise free range organic chicken. Kate is trying to make the most of the situation by having the chicken part of her latest film project while involving her father, brother, Alyssa and many other people in town with the finest fake blood she can concoct for the zombie scenes. Things started to get even more painful when she visits her orthodontist and then finding her mom as a speaker for national career week at school only adds embarrassment. Then Alyssa is becoming closer friends with Lydia, aka the MPG (Most Popular Girl). When Lydia teases Kate, Alyssa does not come to her defense and Kate is crushed. The school is abuzz over the upcoming school play Annie and the coveted red wig from New York City that the lead will wear. Can Kate complete her movie without Alyssa by her side and will she make new friends? Could Kate possible have a script in her mind using the famous red wig to give her revenge on Alyssa for abandoning her? Read to find out how the rest of the story and how Night of the Zombie Chickens unfolds. Students with interest in film making will also find comfort with the different film terms throughout the novel.
Friends, Farming, Siblings                 Beth McGuire Wendover Middle School


Thomson, Jamie. Dark Lord: School’s Out. New York: Walker Books, 2014. ISBN 978-0-8027-3522-5. 371 pgs.  $16.99. Gr. 3-7.
Dark Lord: School’s Out is the sequel to the Roald Dahl Funny Prize novel Dark Lord: The Early Years (Walker Books, 2012). Dirk Lloyd is struggling as a twelve year old boy in foster care as opposed to his previous grandiose stature of a tyrannical leader as The Dark Lord. Times become even more perilous as Dirk and his foster brother Christopher attempt to develop a creepy cell phone to connect with Sooz as she is in the other realm. Dirk is confused as to why a nanny named Dumpsy Deary was hired to look after him. As Sooz has the Dark Lord’s ring, she sticks to the idea that she is betrothed to the Dark Lord but she runs things with much more peacefully putting an end to slavery and reaching for treaties instead of war making Dirk jealous and ready to return back.  Dirk and Christopher work together to find themselves able to help Sooz, but will each return to their proper home? The novel is told in five parts including twenty nine full page sketch illustrations and assorted newspaper inserts to add different viewpoints to the story.
Fantasy, Friends, Humor               Beth McGuire Wendover Middle School

May 2014 BOB Nonfiction


Prince, Jane. Underworld: Exploring the Secret World Beneath Your Feet. 978-1894786898. Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can Press, 2014.  Gr. 4-6. $18.99. 96p.
This interesting non-fiction book about all the amazing things buried in the earth is filled with fun information. With mummies and giant crystals and buried treasure it has the information that young kids will want to know about. The book has many pictures but the large amounts of text and higher level words move this book to a higher reading level, similar to Guinness World Records. This fact-filled book is worth the read. Recommended for grades 4-6.
624.19 Underground construction/Earth, internal structure
Matthew Dickinson, Conestoga HS senior and intern at Plymouth Meeting Friends School



Becker, Helaine. Zoobots: Wild Robots Inspired by Real Animals. 978-1554539710. Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can Press, 2014.  $17.95. 32p. Gr. 2-4.
This fascinating nonfiction book should be a big hit for any kid. A dozen types of “zoobots” are explained in an easy to understand breakdown and grouping that is very kid-friendly. Each bot has its own “superpowers” and its own animal basis, teaching readers about not only about the robot but also the animals they are based on. With a variety of exciting robots that could catch any kid’s attention this book is a fun read.
688.725 Robots/Easy reader
Matthew Dickinson, Conestoga HS senior and intern at Plymouth Meeting Friends School


Kerley, Barbara. Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham.  A Home for Mr. Emerson. New York: Scholastic, 2014. ISBN 978-0-545-35088-4. 48 pgs.  $18.99. Gr. 3-6.
Enter Concord, Massachusetts the town that American author Ralph Waldo Emerson loved so much and recorded his thoughts in The Wide World, which was how he named his journal.  Continue the biography picture book rich in artful full page illustrations with detail and style taking the readers back to the 1800s.  The book concludes with an author note and suggestions for readers to start their own journal in the fashion of Emerson. Throughout the story direct quotations and writing examples incorporates samples from Emerson are included to advance the tale. A Home for Mr. Emerson received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.
814 Biographies, American Authors                 Beth McGuire Wendover Middle School

Product Details

Disaster Alert! (series) Canada: Crabtree, 2014. 48 p. $20.75 each. Gr. 3-6
Arato, Rona. Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. 978-0-7787-1192-6.
Peppas, Lynn. Superstorm Sandy. 978-0-7787-1193-3.
These two books have been added to the Crabtree Disaster Alert! series in 2014, bringing the total volumes in the set to twenty-two titles. The layout of the books begins with a table of contents and main heading colors match the subheading topics in the sections. Throughout the books terms are placed in bold font and pictures in full color. A map of Hurricane Sandy’s path also contains a legend and this is ideal for developing map reading skills and sequencing. True stories from everyday people are included in the “It really happened” boxes for the Superstorm Sandy book. A multipage time line of events from March 11, 2011 – December 16, 2011 details the events and reaction to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Many maps and diagrams are included such as the diagram of a megathrust earthquake, the Ring of Fire, how a tsunami forms, and the boiling water nuclear reactor. The books conclude with a glossary, suggestions of additional books and internet sources to view to learn more and lastly is an index.
363.17 (Arato) 551.75 (Peppas) Environmental disasters                                                                   Beth McGuire Wendover Middle School

Product Details

Campbell, Sarah C. Photographs by Sarah C. and Richard P. Campbell. Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mill Press, 2014. ISBN 978-1-62091-627-8. 32 pgs.  $16.95. Gr. 3-6.

A glossary including terms such as cone, pattern and sphere opens the book. Crisp photographs tell the story accompanied with text. The shapes of tomatoes, cucumbers and icicles are clearly outlined. The written story goes when explaining that it was not until 1975 that mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot identified fractals. An assortment of fractals are included with broccoli, Queen Anne’s lace, and lungs. The book concludes with directions to create a fractal and more information Mandelbrot. When learning concepts of shape, fractals and successful mathematicians this book is essential and the fine photography adds to the overall experience. This book has earned starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and School Library Journal.

516 (Mathematics, Biography)                   Beth McGuire Wendover Middle School


Hanson, Anders.  Manatee.  Minneapolis: ABDO Publishing, 2014.  978-1-62403-059-8. 64p.  $15.95. Gr. K-2.
This book is part of the Giant Animas Series in the Sandcastle Giant Animals a division of ABDO Publishing.  It is an engaging book full-page photographs and maps.  The text is concise information that relates directly to the photographs.  This is a perfect resource for those beginning to learn from and explore nonfiction texts.  The Quick Quiz at the back of the book is an information and comprehension check that is easy to understand and emphasizes key points.  Other books in this series are also of high quality, interesting photographs and equally engaging:
Hanson, Anders.  Elephant.  Minneapolis: ABDO Publishing, 2014.978-1-62403-057-4. 64p.  $15.95. Gr. K-2.
Hanson, Anders.  Giraffe.  Minneapolis: ABDO Publishing, 2014.978-1-62403-058-1. 64p.  $15.95. Gr. K-2.
Hanson, Anders.  Panda.  Minneapolis: ABDO Publishing, 2014.978-1-62403-060-4. 64p.  $15.95. Gr. K-2.
Hanson, Anders.  Sea Turtle.  Minneapolis: ABDO Publishing, 2014.978-1-62403-061-1. 64p.  $15.95. Gr. K-2.
Hanson, Anders.  Whale Shark.  Minneapolis: ABDO Publishing, 2014.978-1-62403-062-8. 64p.  $15.95. Gr. K-2.
599.55: Animals                     Denise Naumann, Eisenhower Elementary


Barry, Holly M.  Helen Keller’s Best Friend Belle.  Chicago: Albert Whitman & Company, 2013.  978-0-8075-3198-3. 32p.  $12.75. Gr. 1-2
This book provides a different look at what we know about Helen Keller and her love for animals, especially her dog Belle.  With engaging illustrations and a balance of text and white space the youngest child will quickly be drawn into the story.  By providing a connection to a dog, the character of Helen Keller provides a text-to-self connection to students with pets.   The final two pages provide a deeper story that can be shared between the adult and child, including interesting facts about other dog breeds that she had and other animals that were her companions.  The author is able to provide another perspective to a famous person that has had much written about her.
92 Biography                               Denise Naumann, Eisenhower Elementary


Llanas, Shelila Friffin.  Fish & Game: Walleyed Pike.  Minneapolis: ABDO Publishing Company, 2014.  978-1-62403-109-0. 32p.  $18.95. Gr. 3-5
For the students that love fishing and wildlife this is an awesome series.  The Fish and Game Series by ABDO contain six titles that are sure to education and intrigue the nature enthusiast or outdoorsperson.    The photographs and close ups are amazing and bright.  The text is informative and interesting.  The font is sharp and clear and contains the bold words and captions that draw the eye to further information.  The glossary and website section in the back of the book are concise and information and the links on the websites are accurate.  This series will not sit on shelves; the covers alone draw readers in.  Other books in this series are just as well done and informative.
Llanas, Shelila Friffin.  Fish & Game:  Catfish.  Minneapolis: ABDO Publishing Company, 2014.  978-1-62403-106-9. 32p.  $18.95. Gr. 3-5.
–.  Fish & Game: Common Pheasant.  Minneapolis: ABDO Publishing Company, 2014.  978-1-62403-107-6. 32p.  $18.95. Gr. 3-5.
–.  Fish & Game: Largemouth Bass.  Minneapolis: ABDO Publishing Company, 2014.  978-1-62403-108-3. 32p.  $18.95. Gr. 3-5.
–.  Fish & Game: Whitetailed Deer.  Minneapolis: ABDO Publishing Company, 2014.  978-1-62403-110-6. 32p.  $18.95. Gr. 3-5.
–.  Fish & Game: Wild Turkey.  Minneapolis: ABDO Publishing Company, 2014.  978-1-62403-111-3. 32p.  $18.95. Gr. 3-5.
597 Animals/Fish                                Denise Naumann, Eisenhower Elementary     

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Forbes, Scott. How to Make a Planet: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building the Earth. 9781894786881. Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can Press, 2014.  Gr. 3-7. $17.95. 64p.
This amazingly fun nonfiction book should be a big hit with both your science fans and science phobics alike. A CGI-animated boy on a skateboard takes readers through all the history, physics, chemistry, and astronomy involved in creating the Earth. The tour starts with a timeline of creation and the big bang, through primordial life on earth, all the way up to how stars are formed and various life forms appeared. Gorgeously illustrated with animations, photos, graphics and call-out boxes and captions to entice your middle-grade readers. Readers are pulled in with fun-sounding chapter names, “Begin with a Bang!,” “Bake to Perfection,” “Check for Signs of Life,” and more. Highly recommended.
550 Earth Science                          Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School


May 2014 BOB Picture Books


Arnold, Tedd. A Pet for Fly Guy. 9780545316156. New York: Orchard, 2014. Gr. K – 2. $16.99. 32p.Buzz the boy and Fly Guy come back for another fun story, this time as a full-sized picture book. Fly Guy is sad because he doesn’t have a pet so he and Buzz shop around and discover that a dog, a cat, a frog and a spider won’t work for Fly Guy! Very cute, short, easy-to-read way to get your almost ready to read crowd interested in the Fly Guy series of easy readers.
Picture Book                          Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School


Heos, Bridget.  Mustache Baby.  New York: Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.  978-0-5477-73574-5. 40p.  $16.99. Gr. K-2.
A hysterical picture book to fit the mustache craze.  Baby Billy was born with a mustache, is it a good guy mustache or a bad guy mustache? Only time will tell. This is a perfect book to discuss feelings and emotions for different days, and just a fun book for a read aloud.  At times the pictures add to the meaning of the text to emphasize the sarcasm or difficulties the baby is having on bad mustache days. The illustrations are engaging and bright, the text creates movement and the story is humorous. For fans of The Day the Crayons Quit or Dragons Love Tacos it is another fun addition.
Picture Book: Fantasy                      Denise Naumann, Eisenhower Elementary