Straight Talk for Librarians: Another lighthearted twisted fairytale by Sarah Mlynowski. Abby tackles getting along with the new girl. She doesn’t like Penny because Penny has been monopolizing Robin’s time. Abby feels left out. The three girls have to come together to save Frankie. It is a current day story about girl heroes meeting fairytale villains and crazy characters. Working together is the only way they are going to leave with their heads still attached. Great for fairytale readers and elementary bookclub starts.
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Straight Talk for Librarians: A very upbeat and color filled world of Lola is what you will find. Lola knows what she likes and does not like, broccoli. She learns by imitating her sister, father or mother, which can be annoying. She tells it like it is whether good or bad. It is a lesson on being yourself and telling the truth though people might not agree with you. It could be used as a read aloud or read alone. The illustrations are big, bright, beautiful, and can be seen from a far.
Straight Talk for Librarians: Little Blue Truck and Toad teach their friends all about rain and thunderstorms. Plants need to drink the water and thunder is just the noise clouds make when bumping into each other. Their friends become less fearful and scoff at the noise. After the storm ends, Little Blue Truck gives each of his friends a ride back to their home and wishes them all a good night. This story is all about friendship and overcoming fear. By understanding, how the noise is made and that we all need to drink the water, all the fear goes away. Waiting out a storm with friends can be a lot of fun too. This is a well-written story in prose. This feel good story with a hero would work great for story time or a read alone.
Straight Talk for Librarians: This would work for a read aloud on the topics of dogs and poetry.
D-Day: The World War II Invasion That Changed History, written by Deborah Hopkinson, reviewed by Stephanie Wilson
Straight Talk for Librarians: Hopkinson uses tons of historical photographs, first person eyewitness accounts and extensive source documents to paint a detailed picture of D-Day. Her dedication to research is unparalleled. As she has in her previous books about World War II, she gives readers multiple perspectives on the invasion. The battle stories by the soldiers on the ground are particularly powerful. Events are presented in chronological order. The book contains numerous websites and an extensive bibliography for readers who are interested in learning more about D-Day. Hopkinson gives the African American soldiers the respect they were denied both during and after the war. The contributions and bravery of the African American soldiers are presented throughout the book. Years of discrimination have kept African American soldiers from receiving the medals, recognition and respect they deserved.
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Straight Talk for Librarians: This is a must pick for libraries’ science fiction collections, and it is sure to hold reader’s interest through the adventure and suspenseful chapters. Librarians should note there are references to drinking and drug use, which may be a concern as this is marketed to upper elementary grades. It also is a large read for this age group, but manageable for those who have enjoyment in this genre. “Outwalkers” would be a great pick for discussions on government control, a sort of younger reader’s version of “1984” or “The Handmaid's Tale.” These teenagers are also able to solve the majority of their problems with minimal help from adults, which would appeal to younger readers as well. This book is not for everyone, but would definitely be predicted to be a popular pick in school libraries.
Straight Talk for Librarians: The lively, fun illustrations along with the creative story would be great for a read aloud.
Sunday, June 7, 2020
Straight Talk for Librarians: Readers who loved "Not Even Bones" will also love "Only Ashes Remain." The plot, characters, and thrill seeking chapters read quickly and keep the reader guessing. Librarians should know there is a good amount of profanity used in the book, and many of the killing/torture scenes are graphic. This is not a recommended book for all readers, but those who like dark thrillers will enjoy this pick. Schaeffer has created a fantastic world of unnatural characters such as ghouls, kelpies, and unicorns, that fantasy fans would also enjoy. Also, the two main protagonists are teenagers, but there are times where they reach out to adults for help, which sends a good message to young readers. There is allusion to a third book in this series that will definitely be added to reading lists.
Straight Talk for Librarians: This book is a highly recommended choice for the school library shelves. It does such a great job of exploring the First Amendment rights of teenagers when it comes to social media, and countering when anonymity and freedom of speech can become hate speech and needs to be shut down. “Tell Me Everything” explores the weight of emotions that teenagers carry, and how they can work through them in a safe manner. It also does a great job of supporting LGBQT+ rights, as hate speech on the VEIL app features homophobia in the story, opening up lots of discussions with readers. A character then forms a Gay Pride Club, and shows the support the school has for the LGBQT+ community, which would also be a great discussion point with students. This story is written with humor, with a superb protagonist whose story you are sucked into from page one.
Straight Talk for Librarians: This is just a fun, colorful book to read to very young children.
Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice, written by Lawrence Goldstone, reviewed by Anneliese White
Straight Talk for Librarians: Mixed feelings come with this book; it is so well researched and put together, and has a plethora of information readers will be exposed to for the first time. It is, however, very difficult to get through because its reading level is extremely high, and it is so fact driven, that at times it reads like a very boring textbook. As a lover of history and an adult, even I had a difficult time pushing through reading this as I found myself getting bored with information that did not seem relevant and got to be overwhelming. It also, based on title and book jacket summation, implies to be a book solely about the Colfax Massacre. Instead, it is really a history of racism and discrimination from the beginning of our country’s founding until the Reconstruction period. It still is a fantastically researched and written book, just not what is advertised, which is confusing. Librarians will appreciate the rigorous bibliography, index, glossary, and notes at the end of the novel. They will also love the numerous primary sources included that help with the comprehension of the historical events and people. Overall, it could be a good purchase but needs to be advertised to students and would be for more mature, advanced readers.
Straight Talk for Librarians: This would be a great story to discuss as to how people see one another and how not to judge.
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Straight Talk for Librarians: This book covers very good subjects in a fun way for young children.