Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nubs; the True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, and a Miracle

Major Brian Dennis found Nubs when he was stationed in Iraq. Poor Nubs had never known a loving owner and someone had cut off his ears to make him look more fierce. But Nubs had a good heart and he quickly bonded to Major Dennis. Nubs even began helping at night with guard duty.

Unfortunately, Major Dennis and his team were often ordered to move out on patrol. Sometimes when they returned, they couldn't find Nubs. Other times he was injured from attacks by older or larger dogs. Finally, Major Dennis was ordered to the Iraqi battalion headquarters over 70 miles away. What would happen to Nubs?

How far would you go to find a friend? Nubs was determined to find his friend and so he set off in the middle of winter to cross Iraq. Don't worry - this dog story has a very happy ending!

Click on the title above to watch a short video of Nubs.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Graveyard Book

Just in time for Halloween! This year's Newbery Award winner was The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

Nobody Owens, called Bod by his friends, lives in a graveyard. Yup - he is being raised by the ghosts who live there. There are lots of dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a living boy - but the biggest danger of all lies outside of the graveyard, where a living, evil man still waits to threaten Bod.

This summer I heard Neil Gaiman talk about where he got the idea for this terrific book. When his son was a toddler, the Gaiman family didn't have a yard. Neil would take his boy across the street to the graveyard where he could ride his tricycle and Neil would try to write books. One day he realized that his son wasn't afraid of the graveyard - he thought it was a great place to play. What if a boy was raised in a graveyard? A boy like Bod Owens . . .

Click on the title above to watch and listen to Neil Gaiman read the first chapter "How Nobody Came to the Graveyard."

And click here to watch The Graveyard Book video!

Friday, October 16, 2009

If America Were a Village: A Book About the People of the United States

There are really more than 300 million people living in the United States. Such a big number is hard to think about; but, what if our whole country had only 100 people? Each person would represent more than 3 million people in our real country. Author David J. Smith also wrote If the World Were a Village.

If America Were a Village is a fascinating book! Here are some interesting facts from the book:

If America were a village, 80 people would like in the city or suburbs while only 20 would live in the country or on a farm.

If America were a village, there would be 81 cars. If the world were a village, there would only be 13 cars.

If America were a village, there would be 74 TVs and 73 cell phones. 27 people would be in school. 13 people would be younger than age 9. 4 people would be older than 80.

I think the most amazing fact is that only 5 people would have more than half of all the wealth.

Test your knowledge or our country and then compare it to the world! You will probably be surprised at some of things you will find out.

Click on the book title above to view a short video from If the World Were a Village.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I love the bat books by Kenneth Oppel - Silverwing, Sunwing and Firewing - but for something completely different check out Darkwing!

Darkwing is the story of the very first bat. Sixty-five million years ago as the dinosaurs were beginning to die away, a small tree glider, a chiropter, discovered that he could actually flap his wings and fly!

At first his colony thinks he is different and tries to drive him away. In time, they discover that his new skill may be the only things that can save them in this dangerous world where carnivores are beginning to roam.

Kenneth Oppel has a wonderful website. Check out his Darkwing pages and video by clicking on the title link above. Also read his pages and watch the videos on all the bat books at his website

Find more videos like this on ReadKiddoRead

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rescuing Seneca Crane

Kari Sungren and Lucas Stickney are best friends. They also manage to get themselves involved in thefts of valuable art, the kidnapping of a teen-age concert pianist, and assorted other mysteries.

Seneca Crane is a famous teen-age pianist. Kari and Lucas have traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland for the internatinal music festival. Kari's mom is a journalist and she is writing a big article about Seneca. As Kari and Lucas get to know Seneca, they stop envying her for her jet-set life style and realize that her life is hard work and very little fun. Then, Seneca gets kidnapped! Kari and Lucas have a hunch who the kidnappers are.

Rescuing Seneca Crane
is the second book in the Kari + Lucas Mysteries. The author, Susan Runholt, loves both traveling the world, art, and music. The Kari+Lucas mysteries all share these things in common - they all happen in different places in the world and they involve art or music.

Click on the title above and you can read the first chapter of both books online!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Much Ado about Grubstake

Jean Ferris is my new favorite author! See my earlier posts about Once Upon a Marigold and Twice Upon a Marigold. In Much Ado About Grubstake we meet sixteen-year-old orphan Arley and a colorful cast of characters who live in the town of Grubstake, an almost abandoned mining town in the Old West. There's a saloon, a boarding house, the mercantile and the newspaper included, too. Find out what happens when a city slicker comes to town and tries to buy out all their mining claims!

This book is funny and touching, adventurous and will show you how important friends can be.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Everything for a dog

Everything for a Dog is writen by Ann M Martin, one of our favorite authors. This story is very interesting in the way it is presented. It's told from three points of view--that of a dog and two boys. The dog's name is Bone and he is looking for a forever home of his own. Henry wants a dog of his own more than anything in the world, while Charlie is grieving over the death of his brother. You'll be really surprised at the way the author brings the three separate stories together!

Anyone who loves dogs will love this tale by Ann Martin. I look forward to reading another of her books--A Dog's Life. Bone, the dog in this book, makes an appearance there as well.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thirteenth Child

Thirteenth Child is a the first book in a new series by Patricia C. Wrede. The new series is called Frontier Magic and that is certainly a good description of this original book!

Eff and her brother Lan live in the year 1855 in a very different United States - one where everyone can do some magic and students even study it in school. Eff and Lan are twins. Lan is the seventh son of a seventh son, which is very powerful in magic. Eff, on the other hand, is the 13th child in her family and some people believe that is very unlucky. Eff and Lan are quite a combination!

Eff, Lan and their whole family moves west to the frontier where powerful magicians are in great demand to protect the settlers from the beasts of the wilderness: spectral bears, swarming weasels, mammoths, dire wolves, saber cats, terror birds, Columbian sphinxes and especially the steam dragons.

I really like the cover art on this book. it reminds me of the black silhouettes that people used to cut out before their was photography. On this cover, every silhouette detail reveals a clue about the story.

Click on the title link above to read an excerpt from Thirteenth Child.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Season of Gifts

Grandma Dowdel from A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way from Chicago is back! This time she meets new neighbors; a new preacher; his wife and three children, who really need her help - whether they realize it or not. The story is comical and sweet and the cast of characters is nothing short of hilarious! Somebody's always in trouble and somehow Grandma comes up with a way to get them out.

Richard Peck is one of our favorite writers and this series will make you laugh out loud! We also love Here Lies the Librarian!

The Leanin' Dog

Dessa Dean badly needs a friend. Her mama died and she hasn't been able to leave the cabin since that horrible time. Her daddy must go out to hunt for food to keep them alive through the winter. Then, one day, the thing she wishes for appears in the form of the Leanin' Dog, who not only becomes her friend, but her guardian angel as well. This is a sweet story told in a style that reminds me of Little House on the Prairie.

K. A. Nuzum is a real cowgirl from Colorado! Like Dessa, she grew up in a house without a dad and loved dogs and other animals. Click on the title link above to enter her Leanin' Dog poetry contest and find recipes from mama's cookbook