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Showing posts with label Scholastic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scholastic. Show all posts

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

War Stories - Gordon Korman

War Stories
Gordon Korman
Scholastic
ISBN 
9781338290202
eISBN 9781338290219
ASIN B07WKSLDD3


Over the last year my son and I have read about a dozen books by Gordon Korman. To date we have loved all the books we have read. And though some of them deal with series matters, there is always a humour to the storytelling. This story is different. It is much more serious. And is told in a very different way. 

This is a story about family. About war, about heroics, and about really being a hero. The story alternates back and forth from present day to the second World War. It follows a man, his grandson and his great grandson. Trevor loves the history of WWII, he loves that his Great Grand dad, GG was a hero. He loves war computer games, and he loves listening to his GG’s stories. When his GG, Jacob is invited back to a small French village to celebrate its liberation, for he is the last surviving member of the group that liberated it.

We join Trevor, his dad, and GG are retracing Jacob’s steps from the base where he did his basic training. To the beach he landed on. And his journey across Europe. But something is off. Trevor keeps seeing a blond at all their stops. And His dad and gramps know someone does not want him to go to the town. And thinks start escalating, a dead bird on their rental car, slashed tires, a rock through a window. How far will the activists go? And what is driving them. 

Interspersed with the recreation of the journey are the memories of Jacob’s actual time during the war. The two parts of the story fit together perfectly. We hear some stories that Jacob had told before. And because of the places, he is sharing new stories. Both his grandson and son realize the closer they get to the end of their journey the harder things seem to be for GG. 

This book does an excellent job of bring home the reality of war. Especially to younger readers whose main info about it is video games. The story is well written, and it is absolutely a page turner. I stayed up way too late reading, I just could not put it down. I devoured it in two sitting and am now reading it again with my son. 

This is a fascinating read, and a real page turner.  

Reviews of other books by Gordon Korman:
Restart
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
The Emperor's Code - 39 Clues Book 8
One False Note - 39 Clues Book 2

The Unteachables
War Stories
...

Ungifted Series:
Ungifted
Supergifted
...

Slacker Series:
Slacker
Level 13
...








Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Real Mother Goose Treasury - Grace Maccarone

Real Mother Goose Treasury
Grace Maccarone
Cartwheel Books an imprint of
Scholastic
ISBN 9780439858755



We were first introduced to this book at a friends. My friend’s wife had a copy, and she and my daughter sat down and read many of them together. My daughter was so enthralled with the gold trimmed anniversary edition that we had to track down our own copy. My daughter read the whole book with our friend. And has since read it aloud twice to me since we got our copy. She has even been doing calls and video chats and reading it back to the friends who introduced us to it.

My youngest daughter loves this book. It is her favorite book of nursery rhymes even though some are different than previous versions she had encountered. Her favorite is:

“Ride a cockhorse to Banbury Cross
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
She shall have music, wherever she goes.”

There are 5 chapters in the volume:

Animals
Girls and Boys
Ladies and Gentlemen
Babies
Bedtime

And there is an index of first lines. And there are over 130 poems and rhymes in this volume. It is a book she had read herself almost a dozen times now, and one she will read many, many more. The illustrations are bright and vibrant. There is a lot of space on the pages. And the poems are in a very large font. It is a family favorite. She brings it with her almost everywhere.





Friday, 22 May 2020

Abby In Oz - Sarah Mlynowski - Whatever After Special Edition 2

Abby In Oz
Whatever After Book 13.5
Special Edition 2
Sarah Mlynowski
Scholastic
ISBN 
9780545746694
eISBN 9780545746700
ASIN B07NNSN254


Four years ago, when my oldest daughter, Abby, was a much more reluctant reader we began this series. As part of the family reading challenge she needs to read at least 20 minutes each day. When we began this series, I would read 2 pages for every page she read. Now she reads to me. And this book she read to be beginning to end over nine days. And She read to me while I worked out, killing two birds with one stone. Last summer while on a road trip with her Aunt and Nana she read them two of these books. And she read me the other special edition last fall. And this second Special Edition she has just finished reading to me.

We both really enjoy the whatever After books. As have other family members she has read them to.  This is the fifth that we have read together. And of all the Whatever After books this one is now my daughters favorite. She really liked that there was less focus on Jonah not being with Abby this time. She also appreciated the conflict between the friends, and how they had to all realize things in order to overcome it. She loved the final conflict with the witches, and is now using this story in her own bid to get a new puppy. 

Again after reading this story we also talked about what other books we would love to see Abby dropped into. Her top pick would be one of the Narnia books, specifically The Magician’s Nephew, or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I on the other hand thought immediately of the possibilities if Abby were to find herself and her friends in The Giver by Lois Lowry, or Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit. But I am getting ahead of myself, lets take a look at this specific book. My daughter also wondered about dropping Abby in the tv Series Once where things are already messed up. 

This second Whatever After Special Edition they are different than any of the other books for a number of reasons. First, Jonah and Abby do not go together into the story. Second, they do not get to the story via Mary Rose the magic mirror in their basement. In this one Abby and her friends get caught up in a tornado while in a tree house and are transported to Oz. What is similar is that they end up in a story. Then they mess the story up somehow and need to fix it to find their way out. But this time they need to not only find a way home themselves, they need to help Dorothy and Toto find a way home. They encounter many of the characters from the story, and one evil fairy who has a nasty plan and purpose, and Gluck is out to get them, especially Abby.

With the first Special Edition I mentioned I enjoyed it more than the source story. That was not the case this time, but it was still a great read. I really enjoy that my daughter who is now 13 still enjoys these books and is willing to read them to me. This is a great addition to the stories in the ‘Whatever After’ world. We both give it a very solid 5/5 Stars!

Books by Sarah Mlynowski:
Magic in Manhattan Series:

Bras & Broomsticks
Frogs & French Kisses
Spells & Sleeping Bags
Parties & Potions

Whatever After Series:

Fairest of All
If the Shoe Fits
Sink or Swim
Dream On
Bad Hair Day
Cold As Ice
Beauty Queen
Once Upon a Frog
Genie in a Bottle

Sugar and Spice
Two Peas in a Pod
Seeing Red
Spill the Beans


Whatever After Special Editions:
Abby in Wonderland
Abby in Oz


Upside-Down Magic Series:
Upside-Down Magic #1
Sticks and Stones #2
Showing Off #3

Other Books by Sarah:
Milkrun
Fishbowl
Monkey Business
As Seen on TV
Me Vs. Me
Gimme a Call
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)
Don't Even Think About It
Think Twice
Know It All
A Nice Fling is Hard to Find
A Little Bit Broken
Cruisin'
Party Girls
The Two-Month Itch

Books Coauthored:
See Jane Write (with Farrin Jacobs)
How to Be Bad (with E. Lockhart and Lauren Myracle)

Books Contributed To:
Girls' Night In
Girls Night Out
American Girls About Town
Fireworks
Vacations from Hell





Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Level 13 - Gordon Korman - Slacker Book 2

Level 13
Slacker Book 2
Gordon Korman
Scholastic
ISBN 
9781338286212
eISBN 9781338286229
ASIN B07L485VTM


This was the sixth Gordon Korman novel we have read in the last few months. After reading Restart, my son and I each picked two other books by him and picked up the eBooks. My son can read on his iPod and I can read on my phone during my commute to work. And we can share about our experiences with the story and have conversations around the books. Sometimes when we really get into one, we will also read it together in the evening. So you might be asking why 4 books by Korman, we each had preferences for which ones we wanted to read. I gave in a bit and we each got 4 and have a book to read each week for the next month together. But this is the last of those original selections. We have both become addicted to Korman’s writing. And we already have another half dozen that we want to read. Moth my son and I love the books by Korman that we have read. But it seems that ‘to be read piles’ are constantly having more Korman books added!


This is the second book featuring Cam Boxer, or at least the second that we have read. And to be honest we really hop it is not the last. In the first one Slacker, all Cam wanted to do was live his lifestyle, be a gamer and making a living live streaming. He created a fake school group, the PAG, Positive Action Group/ And his fake group became a big hit, and ended up in conflict with the High School group. In this volume Cam’s role as president of the PAG is really cutting into his gaming time. So he and the other two members of the awesome threesome let word get out that he needs to pull back because his grades are slipping. And thus is born GameFox229, Cam goes online wearing a Zoro mask and with gummy worms stuffed in his cheeks to disguise his voice. During that first live stream the town beaver, Elvis, sits on his shoulder and really seems to be into the game. And soon his live stream is taking off. But only while the beaver is there.

Soon he has hundreds of thousand followers and ten of thousands of subscribers. They seem as into the beaver as the game he is playing. And both Elvis and the followers are really interested in the Guardians of Geldorf game he is playing. It appears to be a variant that was banned in 47 states and people who love the game are picking up all the differences and dreaming of a hidden banned level. Soon Pavel and Chuck are helping to cover it all up again. Cam is accepting assignments and school help from anyone in the school. 

But something is going sideways for Cam. And his sister who has always considered that he lived a charmed life is really starting to worry about him. Daphne is really worrying about Elvis and his loss of weight. Cam is looking like a wreck, bags under his eyes, pasty, losing weight himself. And when certain things come to light it all starts collapsing around him.

But to find out if Cam can figure a way out of the mess, he created this time, you will read to read this awesome book. Slacker was an excellent read, but in may ways this follow up is even better. Last year my Gordon Korman wish list will consumed a lot of my reading budget towards the end of the year. It is another excellent read from the always entertaining pen of Gordon Korman. A great read and fun for readers of all ages.  

Reviews of other books by Gordon Korman:
Restart
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
The Emperor's Code - 39 Clues Book 8
One False Note - 39 Clues Book 2

The Unteachables
War Stories
...

Ungifted Series:
Ungifted
Supergifted
...

Slacker Series:
Slacker
Level 13
...







Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Deck the Halls A Canadian Christmas Carol - Helaine Becker and Werner Zimmermann

Deck the Halls: 
A Canadian Christmas Carol 
Helaine Becker 
Werner Zimmermann (Illustrator)
Scholastic
ISBN 9781443148368



Six years ago as a family we first read A Porcupine in a Pine Tree: A Canadian 12 Days of Christmas, and loved it. It has remained a favorite of the children. This year my youngest brought home from her school library both Deck the Halls: A Canadian Christmas Carol and Dashing through the Snow: A Canadian Jingle Bells for us to read together. We dug out the original and read these three back to back twice. Because I review books my youngest has insisted that we review both the ones she brought home. 

We have mixed ratings for these books: 
My youngest daughter (9) 5/5 Stars
My son (11) 4/5 Stars
Me (50ish) 4/5 Stars

They are fun books, and it is nearly impossible to read them without singing them. In fact, my youngest brought them home so that we could sing them, and her brother could play it on the piano. For me the first one was wonderful, and is very popular by the 5 different editions including a box set with a stuffie of the porcupine. This one has 1 other edition a board book version. They are fun and the kids love them but maybe over worked.

It was fun to return to the same characters. It is fun and the illustrations are fantastic. The lodge keeps getting more and more crowded as the versus progress. The kids love the illustrations. And they love singing the book.

A good picture book, just not as good as the first.


Holiday books by Helaine Becker  and Werner Zimmermann:
A Porcupine in a Pine Tree: A Canadian 12 Days of Christmas
Deck the Halls: A Canadian Christmas Carol 
Dashing through the Snow: A Canadian Jingle Bells 



  


Friday, 10 January 2020

Dashing through the Snow A Canadian Jingle Bells - Helaine Becker and Werner Zimmermann

Dashing through the Snow: 
A Canadian Jingle 
Helaine Becker 
Werner Zimmermann (Illustrator)
Scholastic

ISBN 9781443124522
ISBN 9781443124546


Six years ago as a family we first read A Porcupine in a Pine Tree: A Porcupine in a Pine Tree: A Canadian 12 Days of Christmas, and loved it. It has remained a favorite of the children. This year my youngest brought home from her school library both Deck the Halls: A Canadian Christmas Carol and Dashing through the Snow: A Canadian Jingle Bells for us to read together. We dug out the original and read these three back to back twice. Because I review books my youngest has insisted that we review both the ones she brought home. 

We have mixed ratings for these books: 
My youngest daughter (9) 5/5 Stars
My son (11) 4/5 Stars
Me (50ish) 4/5 Stars

They are fun books, and it is nearly impossible to read them without singing them. In fact, my youngest brought them home so that we could sing them, and her brother could play it on the piano. For me the first one was wonderful, and is very popular by the 5 different editions including a box set with a stuffie of the porcupine. This one only one edition and a French edition. They are fun and the kids love them but maybe over worked.

It was fun to see an appearance of Sasquash, and Santa. The kids loved the mixed-up presents. The rhymes are whimsical and amusing, though some feel forced. The illustrations are wonderful. And having the three books side by side and comparing the illustrations is fun for the children.

Overall a good book, just not as good as the first one.


Holiday books by Helaine Becker  and Werner Zimmermann:
A Porcupine in a Pine Tree: A Canadian 12 Days of Christmas
Deck the Halls: A Canadian Christmas Carol 
Dashing through the Snow: A Canadian Jingle Bells 



  


Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Supergifted - Gordon Korman - Ungifted Book 2

Supergifted
Ungifted Book 2
Gordon Korman
Scholastic
ISBN 
9781443175234
eISBN 9781443157162
ASIN B07B5CSPT8


I started reading Gordon Korman books again with my son. After we finished reading Restart, my son and I each picked two other books by him and picked up the eBooks. But I have jumped ahead of reading with my son and am ripping through a book a week. And there are so many more by Korman that both my son and I want to read. But back to Supergifted. Like the first book in this series, Ungifted, and many by Korman this is told is a series of first-person narratives from different characters perspectives.  The chapters in this volume are:

1: Supergenius, Donovan Curtis
2: Superstoked, Noah Youkilis
3: Supercheerful, Megan Mercury
4: Superathlete, Hash Taggart
5: Superscuffle, Donovan Curtis
6: Superloyal, Noah Youkilis
7: Superhero, Donovan Curtis
8: Superanonymous, Megan Mercury
9: Supersecret, Noah Youkilis
10: Superphony, Donovan Curtis
11: Supergrateful, Megan Mercury
12: Superspotty, Chloe Garfinkle
13: Superblackmail, Daniel Sanderson & Daniel Nussbaum
14: Superk.I.S.S., Donovan Curtis
15: Superscary, Noah Youkilis
16: Supersalesman, Donovan Curtis
17: Superexcited, Megan Mercury
18: Superjealous, Noah Youkilis
19: Supersplashy, Donovan Curtis
20: Superprotective, Chloe Garfinkle
21: Supersupportive, Hash Taggart
22: Superrevealing, Megan Mercury
23: Superfriend, Noah Youkilis
24: Superkid, Donovan Curtis
25: Superinnocent, Chloe Garfinkle
26: Superkicked, Noah Youkilis
27: Supergifted, Donovan Curtis
28: Just Plain Super, Noah Youkilis

The story picks up a few months after the first volume. Donovan has recruited his buddies the two Daniels to help protect and watch out for Noah. Noah is a true genius but has been bumped back to regular school and he is loving it. He is loving failure, and he is loving the larger school atmosphere. Noah tries out for the Cheerleading team and unbeknownst to him become the archnemesis of team captain Megan Mercury. Her boyfriend, jock and alpha male, Hash “Hashtag” Taggart tries to get Noah to quit the team. And for all his brilliance Noah just does not get the hints. Donovan steps in to prevent a pummeling and his brother-in-law’s dog bites the Hashtag. And so begins a series of events that lead to the Super Kid. But Noah stepping in to be the Super Kid and take pressure off of Donovan leads to all kinds of unexpected consequences. 

This story is another wonderful Middle Grade read from the artful pen of Gordon Korman. The story is funny, it is fun to read, and it is a great story for young readers. 

Reviews of other books by Gordon Korman:
Restart
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
The Emperor's Code - 39 Clues Book 8
One False Note - 39 Clues Book 2

The Unteachables
War Stories
...

Ungifted Series:
Ungifted
Supergifted
...

Slacker Series:
Slacker
Level 13
...







Tuesday, 15 October 2019

The Unteachables - Gordon Korman

The Unteachables
Gordon Korman
Scholastic
ISBN 9781443182010

eISBN 9781443170178
ASIN B07T86WKKM


This was the second Gordon Korman novel we have read in as many weeks. After reading Restart, my son and I each picked two other books by him and picked up the eBooks. My Sone can read on his iPod and I can read on my phone during my commute to work. And we can share about our experiences with the story and have conversations around the books. Sometimes when we really get into one, we will also read it together in the evening. So you might be asking why 4 books by Korman, we each had preferences for which ones we wanted to read. So I gave in a bit and we each got 4 and have a book to read each week for the next month together.

First this book was one of my picks. I picked this and Ungifted. My son picked Slacker, and Level 13. And we went with this one first because my son had picked Restart. We both loved restart, and to be honest we love this one just as much. The story focuses around the student in SCS-8—Self-Contained Special Eighth-Grade Class, and a teacher less than a year from retirement who his assigned to the class. The teacher assumes he is assigned to this class to make him quit, but with one year until he is eligible for early retirement, he believes he can make it through anything. The kids in SCS-8 are the end of the line. No one believes they can be taught or that they can learn, and it is an odd assortment of kids. And Then there is Kiana Roubini who is here because her mother is on a movie set, and staying with her dad, it is just supposed to be a few weeks. She is a short timer. And her situation is more complicated than any of the other kids in SCS-8 or Mr. Kermit their teacher. 

The story is told in alternating first person perspectives. From different characters including students, teachers, Jake Terranova, the superintendent. The chapters are:

One: Kiana Roubini
Two: Mr. Kermit
Three: Parker Elias
Four: Aldo Braff
Five: Mr. Kermit
Six: Mateo Hendrickson
Seven: Kiana Roubini
Eight: Mr. Kermit
Nine: Parker Elias
Ten: Kiana Roubini
Eleven: Barnstorm Anderson
Twelve: Parker Elias
Thirteen: Mr. Kermit
Fourteen: Dr. Thaddeus
Fifteen: Mateo Hendrickson
Sixteen: Parker Elias
Seventeen: Mr. Kermit
Eighteen: Kiana Roubini
Nineteen: Parker Elias
Twenty: Jake Terranova
Twenty-One: Kiana Roubini
Twenty-Two: Mrs. Vargas
Twenty-Three: Kiana Roubini
Twenty-Four: Barnstorm Anderson
Twenty-Five: Kiana Roubini
Twenty-Six: Mr. Kermit
Twenty-Seven: Kiana Roubini
Twenty-Eight: Mr. Kermit
Twenty-Nine: Parker Elias
Thirty: Aldo Braff
Thirty-One: Mr. Kermit
Thirty-Two: Kiana Roubini

At the beginning the students and Mr. Kermit are just traying to make it through the year. But something happens. First Mr. Kermit goes to bat for a couple of the kids, and the kids once they realize he is on their side, try and do something for him. After the bonding over those events the hearts of both are changed. And We begin to see what can happen with a little hope and work. 

The story makes me think of a grade 8 version of Welcome Back, Kotter. I have a dual form of dyslexia, and spent grade 3 in a class like the one described in this book. If not for some exceptional teachers, and a special summer program I would not be the reader and bibliophile I am now. This book does an amazing job of capturing the feelings of students in those kinds of situations. 

This is an excellent book! And as I mentioned earlier, I have picked up 3 other Korman Titles and have added 6 others to my wish list, for future reading. With my son, and if I cannot wait for him rereading with him after I have read them. An exceptional book a Middle Grade read but great for readers of all ages.

Reviews of other books by Gordon Korman:
Restart
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
The Emperor's Code - 39 Clues Book 8
One False Note - 39 Clues Book 2

The Unteachables
War Stories
...

Ungifted Series:
Ungifted
Supergifted
...

Slacker Series:
Slacker
Level 13
...