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Brandi, when not escaping the pesky paparazzi, enjoys reading and buying books for the Children's and Young Adult sections. When she's not reading picture books and middle grade or YA fantasy, she likes humorous fiction and the occasional memoir. She is an advocate for cats and giraffes, enjoys swing dancing and anything that lets her hone her inner child. She especially loves matching young readers with books they will love.
This is a fantastic book for toddlers! Youngsters are asked to interact with the book by simply "pressing here" on the yellow dot. When they do the next page will show them how the dot has changed! It's exciting and a great way to engage them in a reading activity. In this case the book is the toy!
The Future of Us took me to the "past of me" - back to high school and my introduction into the World Wide Web when I was 18. The Future of Us is set in 1996, when 17 year old Emma launches AOL for the first time. Only instead of "You've Got Mail" she is asked to login to a blue and white screen with a foriegn word attached, "Facebook". Suddenly she sees herself in her early 30's, living a life she isn't sure she wants. What would you do, when suddenly faced with the possiblity of changing your future? Would you do it? Remember to think about the ripple effect your actions of today have over the years to come. It's not as easy as it sounds. —Brandi
The future of the social network is out of control. Imagine living in a time where Facebook and Myspace have evolved to a super social network, where you can mentally link into and live your own carefree life. Personally, I see the world coming to this point. Society won’t even realize their being manipulated until it’s too late. Andy’s hit a subject of a possible future. Great for older fans of PJ Haarsma’s The Softwire series and fans of MT Anderson’s Feed.
Eon, now Eona (the first female Dragoneye in 500 years), must face her true self and what it takes to recover from the devasting loss of ten of the twelve dragoneye lords in Eona. After two years of waiting, I was not disappointed with the conclusion to Eon, one of the best dragon stories I've ever read. Filled with heart-racing drama and romance, action-packed fight scenes, surprising plot twists and beautiful settings, the story of Eona and her Mirror Dragon ends as it should, satisfyingly.
When the Society has everything is planned out, even who you will marry and when you die, you should never have to worry about anything right? Cassia fully trusts the Society to make the right choices for her. That is, until the day she finds herself with two “ideal matches”—the day of her Matching Ceremony. I found myself wondering what would I do in a situation where suddenly I had to make a decision for the first time in my entire life. Who can you talk to when everything you do and say is monitored? And the bigger question: how could this happen when the Society never allows mistakes? —BRANDI
If you read Haroun and the Sea of Stories, you'll understand why I love this semi-sequel! We return to the Khalifa family and embark on a new journey with Haroun's little brother Luka. Their legendary storytelling father, Rashid falls suddenly and inexplicably into a sleep so deep that nothing and no one can rouse him. To save him from slipping away entirely, Luka must embark on a journey through the world of magic. Rushdie continues to weave wit and humor into another magical children's book for adults. —Brandi
Inspiring wonder with an imaginative new trilogy, Caldecott Honor winner Tony DiTerlizzi creates a unique and timeless story. Forced to flee her underground sanctuary, twelve-year old Eva Nine, with the help of her Multi Utility Task Help Robot (a.k.a. MUTHR), sets out on a quest to find others of her kind. By holding up special illustrations to a computer’s webcam, readers can explore an interactive map through WondLa-Vision (a.k.a. augmented reality). Watch the story come alive!
I found this wordless picture book to be stunning and moving, with it's simple, yet graceful illustrations from Suzy Lee. The visual story depicts a young girl exploring dance and friendship with her own reflection. They move from cautious movements to larger, confident leaps and twirls—until the moment they have conflict, and we are reminded that our actions have consequences.
Hilarious! Two unlikely foes compete in a series of ridiculous tests through the imagination of a couple of rambunctious boys as they duel with their toys: a shark and a train. Who will win, shark (grrr) or train (chugga-chugga)? The illustrations are great, with amusing facial expressions to convey fierceness and determination and will have you laughing from start to finish. Whether you are in a classroom or at home, this is sure to be a hit at your next story time!
What would it be like to live up to an image of who you used to be? In this enthralling story, based on the life of Alice Liddle (a.k.a Alice in Wonderland), Melanie Benjamin shows us how a classic and the loneliness of one man trapped in his own "Wonderland" affected Alice her whole life. At times funny, then very sad, it was intriguing to learn facts about the real Alice and see the author's interpretation of her relationship with Charles Dodgson.
Hallelujah! Finally a cookbook that creates an equal eating nation. Being a vegetarian myself and dating an omnivore, it has been difficult finding meals we can cook together. Sure you can cook two separate meals, but that gets expensive. This cookbook is genius because it allows you to cook the same meal, vegetarian and omnivore at the same time! Step-by-step instructions show how to make harmonious meals for all eating types.
From the illustrator of the Harry Potter series, Mary Grandpre, and author Jennifer Armstrong comes a beautiful story on kindness. Chin Yu Min is a selfish woman who looks down on others around her. Then she befriends a kind ginger cat who teaches her the value of friendship.
We may not feel it in the air but apples are ready to eat and be made into yummy treats, like applesauce! In this tale, you’ll learn all about different types of apples and the delicious desserts that can be made with them from a young child who can’t wait for Applesauce Season! As a bonus, there is an old fashioned recipe for applesauce at the end of the book! Kids, parents and grandparents will love sharing this story and creating a tasty snack together. It's a bushel of fun!
Did you like Finding Nemo? Did you love Monsters Inc.? Then you’ll be ecstatic about The Hermit Crab! From the character designer of your favorite Pixar films, comes a story about a shy hermit crab who inadvertently finds himself a reluctant hero when he frees a trapped flounder.
Dinotrux breaks the mold by bringing together kids' two favorite themes: dinosaurs and trucks! Ever wonder what trucks and cars were really like billions of years ago? They weren’t as nice as they are today. Chris Gall once again amazes with his attention to detail as he guides kids through the evolution of Dinotrux!
I wish I could be on the Newbery committee because here is another great candidate! Smart, funny and endearing. Along with the cover, debut author Jacqueline Kelly's writing style is classic. She captures the spirit of a spunky, unconventional young girl in 1899 perfectly. How exciting it must have been to be a child exploring nature and being part of the latest inventions that are so common to us today. Kids will marvel at the idea that Coca-Cola didn't always exist!
Based on a true story about a house-maid, Anne Green, who was wrongly tried and hanged for murder in 1650, only to survive and awaken on a dissection table among a group of physicians and medical students. Newes from the Dead is told in two voices: Anne Greene's as she lay trapped within her own body, not knowing if she is alive or dead, and Robert Matthews, a shy medical student attending his first dissection when he notices that Anne's eyes seem to "flutter". Through a pronounced stutter, Robert finds a away to alert the physicians and finally convinces them to wait before they take their first cut. Suddenly Anne finds herself among strangers and a new fear that she may be dragged back to the scaffold. This compelling novel concludes with an excerpt of the original 1651 "Newes from the Dead" article.
The bonds of sisterhood run deep in this tale of fate, woven together with history and fiction. Five sisters grow up in a small town of women called Spirit Vale where mediums live and thrive without persecution. Eager to explore the world, the sisters embark on different journeys leading each to a life changing voyage aboard the Titanic.
Get ready for dessert! This latest creation of gigantic food will delight longtime, and new, fans of the classic, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Done in the style of her older titles, Judi’s newest book shows kids that arguments are not as important as they seem at the time and that marshmallows are better when shared. It’s sticky-riffic!
Meet Eona, a 16-year-old girl pretending to be 12-year-old Eon. Eon has been training for the last four years of “his” life to become an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. Only males are allowed to use Dragon Magic, so Eona must keep up her pretense to save herself and her friends from certain death. That’s not her only problem, she must also find a way to save the Imperial Throne from being overthrown by a power hungry lord. A powerful and exciting story for anyone trying to find the courage to be their true self.
Get ready for an intense reading experience! Set in a future with unsettling parallels to the present, The Hunger Games delivers equal parts of suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance. Panem is a land of 12 districts ruled by one capital. Each year the capital holds "The Hunger Games," a national event viewed by all. Two children, one boy and one girl ages 12-18, are drawn from a lottery and sent to the capital to participate in the games. They are trapped in a harsh landscape, given weapons, and forced to fight each other to the death. There can only be one winner. Set aside some time for this one because you won't want to put it down!
Spanning the lifetime of one woman, The Toss of a Lemon offers an intimate look into a Brahmin household. This beautiful story brings to life an exotic yet recognizable family in the midst of social and political upheaval. If you love to read about culture and family bonds, this is a must read.
With buzz about the new movie Julie and Julia, I have cooking on the brain right now. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I decided to read this as a potential teen event book to find that the main character, Lainey, is obsessed with Julia Child (a.k.a. “Saint Julia”). Her dream after high school is to visit Saint Julia’s exhibit at the Smithsonian then go on to become the first African-American host of a vegetarian cooking show! I couldn’t think of a better idea. First she must finish her last year of high school, with its social dramas, and discover what true friendship really means. This is a perfect book for the budding chef, and allows practice with Lainey’s own recipes at the tail end of each chapter.
Sweethearts is the bittersweet tale of the childhood friendship between Jennifer (a.k.a. Jenna) and Cameron, torn apart by circumstance and reunited 8 years later. Now they must face memories of their past and the different paths their lives have taken. A great book that will leave you thoughtful and satisfied.
Take a trip in the sea with this book! Caldecott award-winning author David Weisner (of Tuesday) does it again. This time take a glimpse into the ocean world when a little boy discovers an old fashioned camera washed up on the shore filled with wondrous images. But who has taken the pictures? Find out as you turn the beautiful and brightly illustrated pages. Not only will Flotsam please your eyes, it will stimulate your imagination as you create your own story with this wordless picture book.