Crabtree Chrome

pearlharbor robotics
Crabtree Chrome Series. New York: Crabtree, 2015. 48p. $23.00 ea. Gr. 5-8.
Hyde, Natalie.  Ninjas. 978-0-7787-1365-4.
Superheroes of the medieval period, ninjas were legendary for their skills, spying, and missions.  They were accomplished combatants and masters of disguises which allowed them to blend in during precarious missions to discover crucial secrets.
Johnson, Robin. Pearl Harbor. 978-0-7787-1376-8.
Details the shocking surprise attack on Pearl Harbor two years into World War II.  As a result of this catastrophic event, America joined the war in support of Great Britain and its allies.
Johnson, Robin. The Salem Witch Trials. 978-0-7787-1395-1.
Investigates one of the biggest and deadliest witch hunts in the history of the United States.
Peppas, Lynn. Robotics. 978-0-7787-1369-2.
Delves into the history of automata and robots and explores the potential practical implications of artificial life in the future.  One day robots could perform tedious household chores including vacuuming or execute imperative medical surgeries in space.

Each title provides cursory coverage of a momentous event or component of life and discusses the impact on the time period and possible future significances.  Vocabulary is typed in bold and defined at the bottom of each page in a call-out box.  Bold subheadings and fact boxes keep each title organized while adding additional explanations and highlighting influential quotes.  Photos and authentic copies of primary sources add to the artistic value.  Back matter includes an additional resource list, glossary, and index.

Various Nonfiction (series)    Christine Massey, JWP Middle School

Love is the Drug

Johnson, Alaya Dawn.  Love is the Drug.  New York: Arthur A. Levine, 2014.  978-0-545-41781-5.  335 p. $17.99.  Gr. 9-12.
Emily Bird is a privileged African American teenager who attends a private school in Washington, D.C.  Both of her parents are high profile scientists, and her mother has high expectations for Emily (who prefers to be called Bird) to socialize with the right crowd and eventually attend an Ivy League school.  However, Bird’s perfect world is shattered when she wakes up in the hospital with no recollection of how she got there.  The last thing she remembers is attending a party at which she spoke with Roosevelt David, a government security agent.  Now, the country has been hit by a flu pandemic, and although the government claims this to be an act of bioterrorism, Bird soon starts to believe that she knows an awful secret about the origins of the outbreak…if only she could remember.  As she struggles to remember the details of the night she landed in the hospital, Bird must determine who she can and can’t trust.  She finds an ally in Coffee, a drug-dealing son of a diplomat, and as the two of them work together to discover the truth, she finds herself falling in love and gaining both confidence and independence.
Realistic Fiction           Julie Ritter, Montoursville Area High School
​There are many layers to this story: class and racial inequities, government power and corruption, science fiction elements, a rocky mother-daughter relationship, a passionate love story and a coming of age story.  Therefore, I can see this story appealing to a wide variety of audiences.  I do, however, think the story is better suited for upper level students.  There are a lot of details that require close attention, and because the reader knows only as much as Bird throughout the story, there are many gaps that might cause confusion and frustration for lower level students.  There is also some off-page sex in the book that might not be suitable for younger readers.  The suspense of discovering the earth-shattering secret about the flu pandemic, however, will keep readers turning the pages until the very end.

There Will Be Lies…new from Printz Winner Nick Lake


Lake, Nick. There Will Be Lies. New York:  Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 2015.  978-1619634404. 464p. $17.99. Gr. 9-12.

The book opens with the news that the narrator will be hit by a car in four hours, and her world is going to end. Thus begins the complicated story of Shelby Jane Cooper as she discovers who she and her mother really are. Shelby is one overly protected teenager, and her mother is definitely an oddball, but their bond is strong and will be put to the test as Shelby’s world crumbles. There are some interesting and exciting plot twists along the way that also keep the reader guessing.

This novel is by written Nick Lake, Michael L. Printz Award winning author of In Darkness. His newest novel has just the right mix of Native American mythology and Grimm’s fairytales to really make the story appealing as Shelby goes back and forth between reality and “the Dreaming” to save a crying child and ultimately herself. This novel is touted as an “emotionally charged thriller” with the reader wanting to know what is going to happen next to find out the truth about Shelby.

Realistic; Fantasy            Marian Kohan, Erie School District

Scary Places…new titles from Bearport Publishing


Williams, Dinah. Scary Places: Haunted Prisons. New York:  Bearport Publishing, 2014.  978- 1627240895. 32p. $26.60. Gr. 5-8.

It is easy to see why this series is so popular with kids. This particular book centers on eleven scary prisons around the world and the history and facts behind their ghost stories. A particular favorite is the story of Al Capone who claimed to see the ghosts of murdered rivals. He could be heard screaming in the night and was quite frightened.   All of the stories have just enough information to tell the story without being overly wordy, and the drawings and photographs also add to the overall creepy feel of the book.  Scary Places includes 25 titles.  New titles for 2014 include Abandoned Amusement ParksEerie Inns, and Tragic Theaters.  2015 titles include Creepy Islands, A Haunted Capital, Haunted Hollywood, and UFO Crash Sites.  This is a great series for exploration and just plain fun with nonfiction.

Haunted Places (various)            Marian Kohan, Erie School District



Arnold, David.  Mosquitoland.  New York: Viking, 2015.  978-0-45147077-5. 342 p.  $17.99.  Gr. 7-12.

Mary Iris Malone (Mim) is a feisty, outspoken 16 year old who has been forced to leave her home and move to Mississippi with her father and new stepmother.  When she hears that her mother is sick, she steals her stepmother’s secret coffee can of money and buys a Greyhound ticket back to Cleveland.  Mim meets some unforgettable people along the way, including the grandmotherly Arlene, a menacing sexual predator she nicknames “poncho man”, and the devastatingly handsome boy in seat 17C.

Any travel story has its share of twists and turns, and Mim’s tale isn’t any different.  Mim’s bus overturns when a tire blows out, but she and the other surviving passengers soldier on.  “Poncho man” soon attempts to assault Mim in the bathroom of a roadside bus stop, so in Independence, Missouri, she decides to hitchhike the rest of the way to Ohio.  Later, when Mim falls asleep by a highway overpass, she is awakened by Walt, a homeless teenager with Down’s syndrome.  They quickly become traveling companions and mutual protectors.  In a fortunate twist of fate, their paths cross with the boy in seat 17C (whose real name is Beck Van Buren, 3rd year college dropout and photographer).  The three continue northward, not stopping to think about what will happen after Mim reaches Cleveland.  Of course, all journeys do come to an end, and Mim’s ends when her stepmother finds her at the family home in Cleveland.  Mim discovers the truth about her mother’s affliction and is now able to deal with the fact that people and things aren’t always as they seem to be.

Every character in Mosquitoland is memorable, but Mim’s strength, humor, and eccentricity are truly unforgettable.  The book is told from different perspectives; events are described as they happen, but there are also flashbacks to Mim’s time with her family, as well as diary entries addressed to “Isabel”.  Each perspective gives additional insight into the novel’s events.  By the end of the story, Mim has conquered many personal demons and found answers to some important life questions.

Realistic Fiction     Susan Fox, Washington Jr. /Sr. High School

Lost…Choose Your Own Adventure

Turner, Tracey. Lost: in the Desert of Dread. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company, 2014. 978-0-7787-0725-7. p 127.  $28.99. Gr 7-9.

Remember how awesome choose your own adventure books were when you were in elementary school?  Well, maybe you don’t, but now you can start making new memories with Tracey Turner’s series Lost.  In Lost: in the Desert of Dread, you wake up disoriented and alone in the middle of the Sahara Desert.  Luckily you do have some provisions that you have to use wisely along with using any prior knowledge you have about the desert.  The book does provide facts about the Sahara Desert as well as basic survival facts to assist readers as they go.  The last few pages of the book has a glossary of terms, facts about those who live in the Sahara Desert, real life survival stories of people lost in the desert and additional book titles and websites to go to for more information.  I’m not going to tell you how well I fared in the desert, but I will say that this is a title I would suggest to a reluctant boy.  We do have a few teachers who require students to read during downtime in class.  These are action-packed, quick reads that will keep the students engaged.  Nostalgia aside, these are great!

Adventure     Laura Ward, Fox Chapel Area High School


Turner, Tracey. Lost: in the Jungle of Doom. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company, 2014. 978-0-7787-0727-1. p 127. $28.99. Gr 7-9.

In Lost: in the Jungle of Doom, part of Tracey Turner’s choose your own plot series, you wake up alone in a remote part of the Amazon Rainforest jungle after a bumpy flight that was supposed to take you to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from Columbia.  Luckily, you have your trusty Swiss Army knife and a dented metal container you find amongst the wreckage.  This is all that you have to use along with the prior knowledge you have about the jungle.  Lost: in the Jungle of Doom provides facts about the Amazon Rainforest as well as basic survival facts to assist readers as they go.  The last few pages of the book are a glossary of terms, facts about those who are native to the Amazon, information on why the rainforest is disappearing and additional book titles and websites to go to for more information.  I’m not going to tell you how well I did this time, but I will say that this is a title I would suggest to a reluctant boy.  We do have a few teachers who require students to read during downtime in class.  These are action-packed, quick reads that will keep the students engaged.  Nostalgia aside, these are great!

Adventure    Laura Ward, Fox Chapel Area High School

Fairest: Levana’s Story


Meyer, Marissa. Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles Levana’s Story. New York: Rampion, 2015. 978-1-250-06055-6. p. 222 $17.99 Gr 9+.

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles get a rare glimpse into the life of the tyrannical and power-hungry Queen Levana of Luna before she became queen.  Why does this Queen hate mirrors so much?  Who held the key to her heart before she set her sights on Emperor Kai?  Exactly what happened to her to make her so afraid to show anyone her true appearance?  Answers to all of these questions are found in Fairest as well as insight into what actually happened to Princess Selena all those years ago and Queen Levana’s stepdaughter, Winter.  This is definitely a good book to tide readers over until the final book in the series, Winter, debuts later this year (there’s even a bonus excerpt of Winter!).

Fantasy (fairytale)   Laura Ward, Fox Chapel Area High School


March BOB Fiction


Draper, Sharon. Stella by Starlight. Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 2015. 9781442494978. 336 pgs. $16.99. Ages 9-12.
Stella and her brother are out late one evening and come upon a horrific scene. They don’t know what to make of the people in white hoods and the cross burning in the field. They rush home, completely scared, and report what they have seen to their parents. Thus begins many events involving the Klu Klux Klan and how a community comes together, both black and white. Sharon Draper also provides a story of how family is more important than anything. Stella learns some very difficult lessons, including how to be a good friend and student. Once again, Sharon Draper does not let her readers down. This book is not an easy read and would be best for more mature readers. The content is extremely sensitive, but would make for a spectacular literature circle.
Historical Fiction        Krista Goodzinski/Mars Centennial


Gurevich, Margaret. Illustrated by Brooke Hagel. Design Diva. New North Mankato, Minnesota: Stone Arch, 2014. 978-1-4342-9177-6. 91 p. $18.04. Gr. 5-8
Travel to Santa Cruz and meet Chloe Montgomery, a budding 16 year old fashion designer,. Along with her best friend, Alex, they watch the fashion reality television show “Design Diva.” Alex encourages Chloe to enter the teen contest for the show. Chloe is nervous at first and her fashion rival, Nina, is also going to try out. Throughout the novel you can see the clothing choices and color fashion designs artfully designed. At the conclusion of the novel Chloe’s designs advance her in the competition. The next book in the Chloe by Design series is The First Cut.  This series is favorite for student with an interest in design and fashion at my middle school.
Fiction, Friendship, Fashion   Beth McGuire, Wendover Middle School


Harrington, Karen. Courage for Beginners. New York: Little Brown, 2014. 978-0-316-21048-5. 289 p. $17.00 Gr. 5-8
7th grade brings numerous challenges to Mysti as she comes to grips with her best friend Anibal’s goal to become a hipster, the fact that her father is critically injured from the tree fall and the secret that her mother will not  leave the house to confront her agoraphobia. The novel is told in a compassionate tone for the struggles facing the family. Mysti embraces Anibal’s social project even though this requires his cruelty towards her at school. This also means that Mysti will need to find somewhere to sit at lunch and hopefully a new friend or two, which luckily she eventually does. As it takes longer for her father to heal at the hospital, Mysti has to endure long walks that led to nefarious situations while obtaining the family groceries. Each chapter begins with a story Mysti envisions while chapter are appropriate for a read aloud. The novel earned starred reviews from Book List and VOYA.
Fiction, Family, Friendship              Beth McGuire, Wendover Middle School


Margolis, Leslie. Monkey Business (Book 4 in the Annabel Unleashed series). New York: Bloomsbury, 2014.  978-1-61963-393-3.  211 pages. $16.98. Grades 3-5.
Annabel can’t wait to show her best friends her new house.  Her family has just moved and her mom and stepdad are expecting a new baby. But Rachel, her best friend is saying mean things and Annabel can’t figure out why.  When the girls find out about a benefit concert starring all of their favorite bands, they decide to ask for permission to go.  When the parents decide that the girls must earn the money to go, they have to get creative!  The girls have some difficulty getting along, so issues of friendship and working out difficulties arise.  Annabel is also getting used to the idea of being a big sister and the changes to their family life. A fun and realistic look at the lives of twelve year olds today. Great themes of working for something and not judging someone for what they do or don’t have are great lessons for today’s kids.
Realistic Fiction      Donna Fernandez, Calvary Christian Academy


Matheny, Bill. Catwoman Gets Busted by the Batman. (The Batman Strikes, part of the Graphic Resolve: Common Core editions series). N. Mankato, MN: Stone Arch, 2014. 978-1434292117.  $21.27. 32p.  Gr.  3-6.
The prized Blue Novick Diamond’s just been stolen, and Catwoman was seen at the scene of the crime. But the Batman knows she’s innocent. Will they team up to catch the real crooks? Read this fun, action-packed, and beautifully illustrated graphic novel to find out!  Re-tooling the classic comic book to appeal to teachers of the Common Core, this series includes features in the back: glossary and visual questions and prompts on both the story and the graphic novel style. One of 9 books in this The Batman Strikes series, I’d highly recommend these for superhero fans, especially younger and reluctant readers.
741.5 Graphic Novel   Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School


Stewart, Yale. Battle of the Super Heroes!   (The Amazing Adventures of Superman series). 978-1479557318. N. Mankato, MN: Capstone, 2014.  $23.99. $21.27. 32p.  Gr.  K-2
This exciting episode begins with Superman investigating an explosion only to discover it’s, wait…Batman? Destroying the City? When Batman then punches his ally Superman in the nose, we know something fishy is going on! The book ends with a secret message for readers to decode and a glossary to help them decode new words they’ve encountered. Very fun. While these 5 books in The Amazing Adventures of Superman series are not graphic novels, I shelve them with my superhero graphic novels to entice my beginner and lower level readers looking for a superhero action fix.
Easy Reader   Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School


Sherry, Kevin. The Yeti Files: Meet the Bigfeet. New York, NY: Scholastic Press, 2014. 978-0-545-55617-0. 122 pages. $8.99. Grades 1-3.
The introduction to this promising series of monster mythology mashed with humorous comics introduces us to a world hidden to human readers. But a yeti named Blizz Richards lets us visit the cryptids, a group of beings who have never been proven to exist, as they have a reunion at bigfoot’s lair. All should beware of the snooping cryptozoologist who could ruin the mystery and magic of these creatures as the story quickly evolves. This book has two great things going for it. For one, it is an easy sell for fans who move easily between picture books, graphic novels, and beginning chapter books looking for entertainment. Second, the diagrams, charts and tons of humorous labels to the illustrations provide a cool crossover from non-fiction text features. Sherry’s clever crossover story with  imaginative characters won’t remain undiscovered on your library shelf for very long!
Fiction; Fantasy    Dustin Brackbill State College Area School District


Oppel, Kenneth. The Boundless. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: New York. 2014. 9781442472884. 336 pages. $17.99. Ages 8-12.
All aboard! William Everett is on the ride of his life. Coming from a poor family in Canada that relies on the father to make a living as a brakeman on the Canadian Pacific Railway, William finds himself on adventure that could get him killed. William’s father goes from laborer to General Manager in 3 short years after saving the life of the founder of ‘The Boundless’, the longest train in the world. The families’ new lifestyle includes new houses and the best education. Not only does William now live a life of luxury, but he has to decide whether or not he follows his dream of studying to be an artist or pleasing his father and going to college to get a ‘real’ job. During his journey, William meets a young girl that is a member of a circus that is part of the 5 mile Boundless Train. She not only helps William escape the man that is trying to kill him, but she encourages William to do what he loves. Hop on board to discover the magic and mystery of The Boundless.
Fiction/Mystery/Adventure                     Krista Goodzinski/Mars Centennial


Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker. The War that Saved My Life. Penguin Young Readers Group. 2014. 9780803740815. 320 pages. $16.99. Ages 9-12.
Ada and Jamie live in London, England during World War II. The parents of the community they live in are preparing to send their children away in order to protect them from the ‘war’ that is knocking on their door. Unfortunately for Ada, her mother treats her terribly due to her foot and tells her that she will not be sent away. Without her mother knowing, Ada taught herself how to walk and ‘escaped’ to the country with her younger brother. They are taken in by a woman that initially knew nothing about taking care of children, but quickly takes the children under her wing and provides them a home life they never knew existed. This story allows the reader to experience the successes of Ada as she learns to walk, ride a horse, read, and be loved for who she is
Historical Fiction                                                                                             Krista Goodzinski/Mars Centennial

March BOB Picture Books


Harrison, Hannah E. Extraordinary Jane. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers,  2014. 978-0-8037-3914-7. 32 p. $16.99. Gr. K-3.

Jane is part of a circus dog family. Her mother dances on horseback, her “strongdog” father shows his strength, and her brothers and sisters perform similar daring feats, but Jane is “just Jane.” She wants desperately to find the thing that makes her special, but after several disastrous attempts at circus life, Jane still hasn’t found her talent. It turns out that the thing that makes Jane special is just…Jane. “Jane is a really good dog” proclaims the circus poster on the last page, and it’s so true. She is loved by all for just being herself.

This sweet, simple story is a welcome message in our highly competitive world where children feel so much pressure to be extraordinary. Aside from the positive message, the illustrations are the true highlight of this book. Harrison must be a dog owner because she perfectly captures the spirit and expressions of a small dog. Jane’s movements, facial expressions, and body are very realistic, down to her softly pink tummy. The other circus animals and ringleader have well developed personalities thanks to her illustrations, leading readers to understand that the ringleader and other animals love Jane just the way she is. Jane is a treasure who will be loved by all.
 Picture book              Lindsey Long, Nye & Conewago Elementary Schools


Spier, Peter. The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night. New York: Doubleday, 2014. 978-0-385-37616-7. unpaged. $17.99. Gr. K-2.

This is a rereleased version of Peter Spier’s Caldedott Honor-winning title. The words are made of the old folk song “The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night” and Spier’s illustrations beautifully compliment the song. Each picture is brightly illustrated in watercolor and depicts a sleepy, quiet New England town in which a fox is creating havoc late one night in old mother Giggle-Gaggle’s duck and goose pen.

A note from Spier in the back of the book explains his motivation in redoing the book that won a Caldecott Honor Medal in 1961. The original edition was published with a colored illustration on one page and a black and white illustration on the other side, simply to save the publisher money. Spier always felt a strong connection to this book which was inspired by a trip through Vermont that he and his wife took as newlyweds. The redone illustrations are lush and beautiful, and while the song is old fashioned and a little macabre in places, it’s a simple story of an animal feeding his family. A well-done update.
Picture book              Lindsey Long, Nye & Conewago Elementary Schools


Shea, Bob. Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2014. 978-1-59643-975-7. $17.99. Gr. K-2.
When reading this story, whether aloud or in your head, one cannot help but use an impassive southern drawl, which ends up being hilariously juxtaposed against a silly story about a town under attack by “terrible toads” (these toads being the detestable person type, not the amphibious type). It turns out that the town’s only hope against said toads might be their new sheriff, Ryan, a young fellow who knows a lot about dinosaurs and whose preferred mode of transportation is a tortoise. An unlikely candidate for taking down criminals, you might ask? Ryan’s dinosaur knowledge paired with his nonchalance are really all that is needed to complete the task. By accusing dinosaurs of all the robberies in town, the real criminals feel slighted for not receiving the credit that they so deserve for their deplorable behavior. Ryan, being the dino-lover that he is, might truly believe that a T-Rex caused the massive bank break-in, but he still manages to outsmart the crooks, bringing the town of Drywater Gulch back to its peaceful, normal, toad-free self.

Looking for a storytime hit? This book has got you covered. I recently tested the waters with a few first grade classes and they found the entire thing hysterical. What’s not to love? Our hero is a young boy and a sheriff. He rides a tortoise, convinces the mayor that dinosaurs have been robbing the town dry, and has the last laugh when he manages to trick those nasty toads into jail. Add a southern accent and silly voices when reading and your students will think you’re a rock star!
Picture Book   Lisa Naylor, Concord Elementary


McDonnell, Patrick. A Perfectly Messed Up Story.  New York: Little , Brown & Company, 2014. 978-0316222587. 40p. $12.00. Gr. K-2.
In this fun primary read,  cartoonist, Patrick McDonnell, brings us little Louie who excitedly begins to tell us his happy tale as he skips and jumps across the pages. Sudeenly it starts getting messed up by jelly, peanut butter and crayon. Louie gets so frustrated and horrified by the messy book that he is ready to give up! Finally he realizes that life is not perfect and neither are stories. This is also an excellent book to teach incoming Kindergarteners and First Graders about proper book care!
Picture Book        Robin Bartley, Davis Elementary School


Roscoe, Lily. The Night Parade. New York, NY: Orchard Press, an imprint of Scholastic, 2014. 978-0-545-39623-3. unpaged. $16.99. Grades Pre-K to 1.
Kids can certainly be sneaky after bedtime, but this light and lively bedtime story let’s the children roam happily through the night exploring and playing with innocence. Roscoe uses simple rhyming couplets to take the night adventurers to town while Illustrator David Walker uses warm watercolors to keep the merriment interesting. There are odes to Sendak’s work and other nocturnal tales of the night life, all of which help fill in the time gap from dusk to dawn for little dreamers. This is an enjoyable addition to that bedtime tradition.
Fiction; Picture Book   Dustin Brackbill State College Area School District


Fine, Edith Hope. Sleepytime Me. New York: Random House, 2014. 978-0-449-81062-0.   32 pages. $17.99. Grades PK -1
Sleepytime Me is a soft and soothing book that is perfect for winding down before bed.  The beautiful illustrations depicting family members as evening falls are captivating. The sweet rhythmic poetry and the repetitive phrases make this a wonderful bedtime book that children and parents will love.
Picture Book            Donna Fernandez, Calvary Christian Academy


March BOB Nonfiction


Schuh, Mari. Nut-Free Diets. North Mankato, Minnesota: Capstone Press, 2015. 978-1-4914-0591-8. $18.49. Gr. K-2.
Both easy-to-read and informative, this book introduces the basics of the very serious challenge of living with a nut allergy. Many people need a nut-free diet and it is refreshing to see resources such as this one that even young children will be able to fully grasp and understand. Readers learn who needs a nut-free diet, food options to try that do not include nuts, what a nut allergy reaction looks like, and what to do if a reaction should occur. There is even a brief section about remembering to be a good friend and not make fun of others for eating different types of food. Along with a glossary, index, and related resources, this book also includes a “safe recipe” for a delicious smoothie. Large, bold photographs of diverse children accompany the accessible text making this a great choice for teaching and learning about the intricacies of nut-allergies.
641.5; Diet and Nutrition Lisa Naylor, Concord Elementary


Besel, Jen. Baking Bliss! Baked Desserts to Make and Devour. North Mankato, Minnesota: Capstone Press, 2015. 978-1-4914-0859-9. $23.49. Gr. 4-8.
Part of the “Custom Confections” series, Baking Bliss offers 13 recipes of mouthwatering, custom desserts. Many of the recipes in this cookbook are old favorites with a twist. We all know and love fudge brownies, but Baking Bliss introduces us to PB&J Cheesecake Brownies. Cake pops might be the latest craze, but this cookbook changes things up a bit with a fun, updated “Pie Pops” version. Most of the recipes are fairly straight-forward and while skill is certainly required, along with a basic knowledge of baking, even younger kids could tackle the more challenging treats with help from a willing adult. The book does a nice job of making things as simple as possible, offering tips and tricks throughout. There is even a full-spread page in the beginning of the book showing each baking tool required to master the art of custom confections.
641.86; Cooking        Lisa Naylor, Concord Elementary


Marx, Mandy R. Stars of Pro-Wrestling. North Mankato, Minnesota: Capstone Press, 2015. 978-1-4914-0594-9. $18.49. Gr. K-3.
As part of the “Sports Stars” series, this book includes facts and short bios on some of wrestling’s most famous champions. Large, color photographs support the easy-to-read text and will captivate young readers as they navigate through the fascinating world of pro-wrestling. Covered in this book are snapshots of Randy Orton, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, Triple H, Undertaker, Sheamus, Chris Jericho, and John Cena. There is also a glossary, an index, and a list of related resources, both print and online. Subject-specific vocabulary words and repetition make this a great choice for both early and reluctant readers.
796.812; Sports & Recreation    Lisa Naylor, Concord Elementary


Sidman, Joyce. Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2014. 978-0547906508. 32p. Gr.1-4.
A dozen wintery poems reveal the vigorous animal and plant life hidden beneath the seemingly barren winter landscape. Rich in language and scientific facts,  the book focuses on nature and animal survival.  It is accompanied by stunning illustrations and includes a glossary of specialized words. This magnificent collection will enchant old and young alike. It is the perfect accompaniment to or focus of a winter animal unit!
821; Poetry            Robin Bartley, Davis Elementary


Davis, Kathryn Gibbs. Mr. Ferris and His Wheel. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.   978-0-547-95922-1. 40 p. $17.99. Gr. K-3.
The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair was on the way and engineer Mr. George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. was determined to design a structure that would wow the crowds even more than Mr. Eiffel’s tower did at the Paris World’s Fair in years past. His inspiration came from the water wheel that he watched turn around and around during his childhood in Nevada. He wanted to design a structure that would not only be large and impressive but would move! His design was meant to be both strong and beautiful, but many people did not believe that it would work since it was made of a new product—steel. In the end, after many obstacles, Mr. Ferris and his wheel were successful and over 1.5 million passengers rode it during the Fair’s duration. It revolved more than 10,000 times and made Ferris a household name.

Davis does a wonderful job with this book. She combines history, basic engineering principles, and human interest in one easy to read story. Secondary facts about the wheel and its construction are included on opposite pages and add extra interest and to the story. The book includes quote sources, a selected bibliography, and websites for further information. Illustrator Gilbert Ford uses mostly purple and blue tones in the illustrations which pair nicely with the story. This book would make an excellent read-aloud and will easily tie in with units on science, engineering, inventions, or famous people.
Nonfiction; 791.06       Lindsey Long, Nye & Conewago Elementary Schools     


Woll, Kris. Newsmakers Series: Nelson Mandela: South African President and Civil Right Activist. Core Library: Abdo Publishing. 2015. 978162403649. 48 pages. $32.79. Ages 7-10.
This book, which is part of the Newsmakers series, provides a basic overview of Nelson Mandela’s life as the first black president of South Africa. It provides statistics of his early years, his time in prison, and the years after he was released. The timeline provided in the back of the book is a useful resource for all students.
968.06 General History of South Africa     Krista Goodzinski/Mars Centennial


Bang, Molly and Penny Chisholm. Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth. New York, NY: The Blue Sky Press, an imprint of Scholastic, 2014. 978-0-545-57785-4. 42 pages. $18.99. Grades 2-4.
Making a picture book about the value of energy that is both relatable enough for young readers and complex enough to demonstrate sound scientific principles is a challenge. But the team of Molly Bang, long time illustrator and children’s book whiz, with ecology professor Penny Chisholm are up for the task in this engaging latest creation in their Sunlight Series. Descriptions of the production process and value of fossil fuels to our world as well as the environmental impact and intertwined choices comes across fairly straightforward to the readers, allowing them to become part of the conversation with the sun and the earth. The authors bring a sense of scope to the story which young readers may not comprehend, but the illustrations and endnotes really fill in gaps of knowledge and provide an appreciation for the changes to our world and the power of the sunlight.
333; Environmental Science   Dustin Brackbill State College Area School District