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Staff Book Blog

Not sure what to read next? Check out what the staff at WPL have been reading. You might get some ideas! You can click the title of each book to check its availability in the WPL catalog.

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Book Cover Revenge of the Flower Girls
Jennifer Ziegler

Darby, Delaney, and Dawn ought to be thrilled to be flower girls in their sister Lily's wedding. But she's marrying the wrong guy! Instead of marrying her funny, kind high school sweetheart, Alex, she's engaged to boring, sneezy, workaholic Burton. It's not wrong to ruin your sister's wedding if it's in the name of true love, right? This funny family story is a great vacation read. Suggested for grades 3 to 6.

WPL Call Number: J Ziegler
Reviewer: Lisa B.   (6/9/14)

 

Book Cover Benjamin Franklin
Kathleen Krull

With all the information we have about Benjamin Franklin as a statesman and inventor, we now know that he was quite a scientist. Krull has included him in her Giants of Science series. Franklin spent as much time as he could as a scientist, experimenting with and developing new ideas while working and helping to establish our country. The most remarkable fact is that he was self-taught and many of his ideas influenced others and have been proven correct. This is a fascinating look at a side of Franklin's life that many of us did not know.

WPL Call Number: Y921 Franklin
Reviewer: Alice J.   (4/30/14)

 

Book Cover Numbed!
David Lubar

Sixth graders Logan and Benedict take a trip to the math museum with their class and are zapped by a mathematical robot named Cypher which numbs their ability to do math! Whereas before they took their mathematical ability for granted, they learn, to their horror, that now they can’t do any math even in ordinary situations such as knowing how much change they should get during a donut purchase at the mall, or how to tell when their mom returns by looking at a clock, and they can’t even count in the most basic way. They feel shame when given math tests they can’t do in class. Only by relearning math in the controlled part of the math museum they return to allows them to regain their mathematical abilities. There are various math problems given in the book, along with tips and tricks that the boys use to solve the math problems.

WPL Call Number: J Lubar
Reviewer: Sue K.   (4/15/14)

 

Book Cover P.S. Be Eleven
Rita Williams-Garcia

In this sequel to "One Crazy Summer", Delphine, age 11 and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, return to their Brooklyn home after visiting their poet mom, Celine, in Oakland, CA. This story is set in 1968, with references to the Jackson Five singing group and the Vietnam War. The girls must readjust to their grandmother's very old fashioned, strict ways, their father's new wife, and their young uncle's return from Vietnam and descent into drug addiction. Delphine tells a lively story that readers in grades 4-7 will enjoy.

WPL Call Number: J Williams-Garcia
Reviewer: Sue K.   (2/20/14)

 

Book Cover The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond
Brenda Woods

Violet, the daughter of a white woman and black man, is the only black kid at her school. She loves her mom and white half-sister, but she hates the funny looks her family gets from strangers. Her father died before she was born, and his family isn’t in the picture. Naturally she wants to know about her father’s family and figure out how she fits in. When she discovers her grandmother is not only an artist but is having a show in nearby Seattle, she begs her mother to go. After a rocky start, her mom and grandmother reconcile, and Violet’s grandmother—whom she calls Bibi, Swahili for grandmother—invites her to L.A. to spend two weeks and meet the rest of the family. The experience leaves Violet with questions (in Moon Lake she was “too black,” but now she’s “too white”), but she’s happy to discover she doesn’t have to choose sides. This amiable story of one biracial girl beginning to explore her cultural identity is recommended for grades 4–6.

WPL Call Number: J Woods
Reviewer: Lisa B.   (2/20/14)

 

Book Cover Garden of My Imaan
F. Zia

Fifth grade Aliya is uniquely Indian-American and Muslim at her public school. She has many concerns that she shares with her large, loving, supportive family and her diary, in which she writes to Allah. Her worries include the following: what will her classmates think about her as she fasts for Ramadan; how can she share her feelings about being a Muslim with her non-Muslim friends; how does she navigate a friendship with a new Muslim girl, Marwa, who is devoutly religious and wears a hijab; how does she cope with prejudice against Muslims related to 9/11; how can she be a more devout Muslim, and what can she do to make cute Josh like her a little? Not only is this story is fun to read, it is an important contribution to our culturally diverse world. Moreover, the story demonstrates that Muslims differ in their observance just like other faiths do. A glossary of Urdu and Arabic expressions complete the novel.

WPL Call Number: J Zia
Reviewer: Sue K.   (1/21/14)

 

Book Cover Zero Tolerance
Claudia Mills

Seventh-grader Sierra Shepherd is an honors student who has never been in trouble. One day, she accidentally brings her mothers lunch bag to school instead of her own. Unfortunately, the lunch bag contains a small paring knife for cutting up an apple, and knives are strictly prohibited by the schools zero tolerance policy against weapons. Though her friends tell her to just hide the knife, Sierra decides to do the right thing and turn it in. She is surprised when her actions land her in an in-school suspension, awaiting an expulsion hearing. Her dad, a high-powered attorney, is determined to fight the school. Her principal is determined to stand his ground zero tolerance means no exceptions. Sierra just wants to get back to class and extracurriculars, but as her time in suspension drags on, she gets to know some of the school troublemakers and begins to question right and wrong in a way she never has before. This book will really have you thinking about what it means to do the right thing. Recommended for grades 5 to 8.

WPL Call Number: Y Mills
Reviewer: Keren J.   (1/16/14)

 

Book Cover Chews Your Destiny
Rhode Montijo

This heavily illustrated chapter book stars Gabby Gomez, a young bubblegum addict whose mother has banned her favorite pastime after an unfortunate gum-in-the-hair incident. As luck would have it, chewing a verboten piece of limited-edition Mighty-Mega Ultra-Stretchy Super-Duper Extenda-Bubble Bubble Gum changes Gabby's life: now whenever she pops a bubble, she turns into Gum Girl, with sticky, stretchy superpowers! (To turn back, she dumps peanut butter on herself.) Gabby soon sets about saving the day. This series opener sets the scene for future entries. Suggested for grades 2-3 (and older kids who want/need a fun, easier read).

WPL Call Number: J Montijo
Reviewer: Lisa B.   (1/13/14)

 

Book Cover Better Nate Than Ever
Tim Federle

Nate wants nothing more than to leave his small Pennsylvania town, where he fits in with nobody except his best friend Libby, and become a Broadway star in New York City. When auditions are announced for E.T.: The Musical, Nate's got to go. But is he up to lying to his parents (and just about everyone else), navigating the big city on his own, and dealing with a bunch of snotty show biz professionals? This funny, heartfelt read will make you cheer for Nate as his world expands and he discovers a place he can truly fit in. Recommended for readers in grades 5 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Federle
Reviewer: Lisa B.   (5/29/13)

 

Book Cover [Peanut]
Ayun Halliday

Sadie knows she'll be a nobody at her new school if she doesn't find a way to stand out. The solution? Fake a peanut allergy! Sadie buys a medical alert bracelet and everything. The plan works: soon Sadie is making friends left and right. But Sadie's little fib becomes complicated as teachers freak out, friends dig for details, and one very special boy gives her a bronzed peanut necklace. How long can Sadie conceal the truth? This slice-of-life tale of teen drama will appeal to readers who like Raina Telgemeier's books Drama and Smile.

WPL Call Number: Y Comic HA
Reviewer: Lisa B.   (5/13/13)

 

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