Tuesday, September 20, 2016

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson

This is a tragic Romeo and Juliet type of story or two kids who have fallen in love who have different colored skin.  Some of their family and friends are (unfortunately) racist, which is why they have to keep their relationship a secret.  If you like sad romances, this is your book!  -Mrs. Ekstrom

Amazon summary: A heartbreaking contemporary romance from a three-time Newbery Honor winning author.

Jeremiah feels good inside his own skin. That is, when he's in his own Brooklyn neighborhood. But now he's going to be attending a fancy prep school in Manhattan, and black teenage boys don't exactly fit in there. So it's a surprise when he meets Ellie the first week of school. In one frozen moment their eyes lock and after that they know they fit together -- even though she's Jewish and he's black. Their worlds are so different, but to them that's not what matters. Too bad the rest of the world has to get in their way.

Finding Stinko by Michael deGuzman

When you've been in so many foster homes, you can't even keep track, and you run away and lives on the streets, life can seem pretty hard.  Newboy hasn't said a word in three...yes...three years.  One day he finds a ventriloquists' puppet in the garbage and this will change everything.  This book is unique and surprising at every turn.  -Mrs. Ekstrom

Amazon summary: Newboy hasn’t spoken in three years. One morning he opened his mouth and nothing came out. He doesn’t know why he stopped talking, but what he does know is that he’s through with the state child-care system. In twelve years he’s lived in eleven foster homes, and the Knoxes are the worst of the bunch. Now, with no voice, no family, and no exact plan, Newboy is running away for good. Living on the streets means danger and excitement around every corner, but the one thing Newboy never expected to find is a companion in the form of an old ventriloquist dummy lying in a Dumpster – a puppet with no hands, backward feet, and a chunk of its nose missing. Amazingly, this beat-up doll whom he dubs “Stinko” possesses a kind of magic that helps Newboy rediscover his ability to communicate.

This is a fast-paced adventure about a runaway kid figuring out not just what he’s searching for but also what he has to say.

Swindle by Gordon Korman

Griffin spends the night in a haunted house on a dare and finds a Babe Ruth baseball card.  When he sells it, he later finds out that he was scammed.  The card is worth much more than he got when he sold it.  He hatches a plan to get the card back...but will dobermans and security alarms get in his way.  I loved this mystery!  -Mrs. Ekstrom

Amazon summary: Ocean's 11 . . . with 11-year-olds, in a super stand-alone heist caper from Gordon Korman!

After a mean collector named Swindle cons him out of his most valuable baseball card, Griffin Bing must put together a band of misfits to break into Swindle's compound and recapture the card. There are many things standing in their way -- a menacing guard dog, a high-tech security system, a very secret hiding place, and their inability to drive -- but Griffin and his team are going to get back what's rightfully his . . . even if hijinks ensue.
This is Gordon Korman at his crowd-pleasing best, perfect for readers who like to hoot, howl, and heist.

Born to Rock by Gordon Korman

Born to Rock tells the story of Leo who finds out as a high school senior that he was adopted...and not only that but his real dad is punk rock superstar King Maggot.  Leo gets swept up in a whirlwind world tour with his dad and has a ton of fun travelling with him.
-Mrs. Ekstrom

Amazon summary: Leo Caraway—high school senior, president of the Young Republicans club, 4.0 GPA, future Harvard student—had his entire future perfectly planned out. That was, until the X factor. As in Marion X. McMurphy, aka King Maggot, the lead singer of Purge, the most popular, most destructive band punk rock has ever seen. He's also Leo’s biological father. 

When Leo discovers that his real father is a punk rock legend, he is disgusted.  Not only is Leo not a punk rock fan, but he believes the X factor (the Maggot blood that is running through his veins) is a dangerous time bomb just waiting to explode.  And sure enough it does—Leo stubbornly defends the unlikeliest of people, thereby getting himself falsely accused of cheating on a test.  

Because of the blemish on his record, the once star pupil finds his scholarship to Harvard taken away.  So he hatches the crazy plan of going on tour with King Maggot for Purge’s summer revival tour, all the while secretly hoping to convince Maggot to pay for his tuition. But life on the road is even crazier than Leo ever bargained for, and before the summer is out, he will finally discover the surprising truth about his dad, his friends, and most important, himself. 

Six Innings by James Preller

Image result for six innings prellerTwo best friends...no longer best friends.  Sam is battling cancer and Mike is playing on a baseball team set to win the championship.  Sam used to play on the team but now is the announcer.  Sometimes in life, things get complicated.  Will the game bring them closer together...or push them farther apart?  -Mrs. Ekstrom

Amazon summary: Two teams, six innings, one game.

A lively cast of characters―baseball-loving boys between the ages of eleven to thirteen―are playing the biggest game of their lives. With acrobatic catches, clutch hits, dramatic whiffs, and costly errors, this game is full of action. But as the book unfolds, pitch by pitch, a deeper story emerges, with far more at stake: Sam and Mike, best friends, are trying to come to terms with Sam's newly diagnosed cancer. And this baseball diamond becomes the ultimate testing ground of Sam and Mike's remarkable friendship as they strive to find a way to both come out winners.
This is for the championship.
This is for life.

The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts by Richard Peck

This book is hysterical!  Russell begins the new school year feeling like he's dodged a bullet when Miss Myrt Arbuckle dies in August.  But----Russell is shocked and stunned to discover that his new teacher.....wait for it.....is his OLDER SISTER!  Russell begins to plot some epic schoolroom pranks....    -Mrs. Ekstrom

Amazon summary: "If your teacher has to die, August isn't a bad time of year for it," begins Richard Peck's latest novel, a book full of his signature wit and sass. Russell Culver is fifteen in 1904, and he's raring to leave his tiny Indiana farm town for the endless sky of the Dakotas. To him, school has been nothing but a chain holding him back from his dreams. Maybe now that his teacher has passed on, they'll shut the school down entirely and leave him free to roam.

No such luck. Russell has a particularly eventful season of schooling ahead of him, led by a teacher he never could have predicted--perhaps the only teacher equipped to control the likes of him: his sister Tansy. Despite stolen supplies, a privy fire, and more than any classroom's share of snakes, Tansy will manage to keep that school alive and maybe, just maybe, set her brother on a new, wiser course.
As he did in A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder, Richard Peck creates a whole world of folksy, one-of-a-kind characters here--the enviable and the laughable, the adorably meek and the deliciously terrifying. There will be no forgetting Russell, Tansy, and all the rest who populate this hilarious, shrewd, and thoroughly enchanting novel.

A Traitor Among Us by Elizabeth Van Steenwyck

I loved this book!   Once Pieter realizes that there is a person in his village who is not to be trusted, he decides to investigate.  The author kept me guessing the whole time who the traitor in Pieter's village might be during World War II in Holland.  Will you solve the mystery before the author reveals the traitor?   -Mrs. Ekstrom

Amazon summary: In the fall of 1944 in Nazi-occupied Holland, thirteen-year-old Pieter, who's part of the Resistance movement, knows there's a traitor in his village. But who is it?