School Visit Book List 2008


During the month of May 2008, Mrs. Mac and Mrs. K. visited

North Mianus, ISD, Riverside, and Old Greenwich Schools to recommend about new and exciting books!


Here is a list of the titles they talked about, with brief summaries of the books.


Ask for copies of these books at the Youth Services Desk, or click on the book cover to place a hold on that item.



Amulet Book 1: The Stonekeeper

Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper, by Kazu Kibuishi

After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids' mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals. Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves. This graphic novel is the first in the Stonekeeper series.




A Crooked Kind of Perfect

A Crooked Kind of Perfect, by Linda Urban


Ten-year-old Zoe Elias has an agoraphobic father and a workaholic mother. She longs to own a piano, become a prodigy, and play in Carnegie Hall, like her hero, Vladimir Horowitz. But Zoe’s dad doesn’t buy a piano. Instead, he gets her a Perfectone D-60 electric organ, complete with lessons and golden oldies songbooks. Disappointed but game, Zoe starts practicing for the Perform-O-Rama and learns that there is more to music than merely getting the notes right-- it takes heart.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal, by Jeff Kinney


The first year in the middle-school life of Greg Heffley is chronicled in this laugh-out-loud novel that first appeared on the Internet. Most of the action revolves around the adolescent male curse: the need to do incredibly dumb things because they seem to be a good idea at the time. At every moment, Greg seems real, and readers may even occasionally see the logic in some of his choices. Greatly adding to the humor are Kinney's cartoons, which appear on every page.

  • Tied for second place on the Young Young Critics' Club's list of Favorite Books of 2007/2008




Eleven, by Patricia Reilly Giff


Just before his eleventh birthday, Sam finds a newspaper clipping poking out of a locked box in the attic. It contains the image of a small child, who, Sam realizes with astonishment, is himself. Although he can read wood like his carpenter grandfather, Mack, Sam can’t read words. He agonizes over his discovery, but he is too afraid to ask Mack for explanations. Then he befriends an eccentric new student, Caroline, and together they investigate Sam’s past. How did he arrive at the place where he is being raised by Mack? And why does he dream about an icy river?



Elijah of Buxton

Elijah of Buxton, by Chistopher Paul Curtis


Eleven-year-old Elijah is the first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit. He’s best known in his hometown as the boy who made a memorable impression on Frederick Douglass. But things change when a former slave steals money from Elijah’s friend, who has been saving to buy his family out of captivity in the South. Elijah embarks on a dangerous journey to America in pursuit of the thief, and he discovers firsthand the unimaginable horrors of the life his parents fled—a life from which he’ll always be free, if he can find the courage to get back home.

  • Winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for Writing

  • Winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction

  • A Newbery Honor Book



The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School

The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School, by Candace Fleming


Principal Struggles has had some trouble finding a new fourth-grade teacher for the rambunctious students at Aesop Elementary School. But Mr. Jupiter’s unusual teaching experience and wacky demeanor make him an even match for his “lively” pupils! The kids test their boundaries, and each chapter ends with a moral (e.g., "Slow and steady wins the race"), which humorously summarizes the classroom discombobulations.

  • Tied for second place on the Young Young Critics' Club's list of Favorite Books of 2007/2008



Keeping Score

Keeping Score, by Linda Sue Park


Both Maggie Fortini and her brother, Joey-Mick, were named for baseball great Joe DiMaggio. Unlike Joey-Mick, Maggie doesn't play baseball—but at almost ten years old, she is a huge fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Unfortunately, Jim Maine is a Giants fan, but it's Jim who teaches Maggie the fine art of scoring a baseball game. Jim is drafted into the army and sent to Korea, and although Maggie writes to him often, his silence is just one of a string of disappointments—being a Brooklyn Dodgers fan in the early 1950s meant season after season of near misses and year after year of dashed hopes. But Maggie goes on trying to help the Dodgers, and when she finds out that Jim needs help, too, she's determined to provide it.





The Rising Star of Rusty Nail

The Rising Star of Rusty Nail, by Lesley M.M. Blume


It’s 1953, and not much happens in Rusty Nail (once the Coot Capitol of the World), but 10-year-old Franny Hansen and her best friend, Sandy, manage to have fun, mostly involving water balloons and harrassing prissy Nancy, the richest girl in town. Franny dreams that her knack for playing the piano will be her way out of small-town Minnesota. Might an enigmatic Russian pianist (whom the townsfolk shun and label a "Commie") be Frannie’s ticket to success?

  • Voted the third-favorite book of the year on the Young Young Critics' Club's list of Favorite Books of 2007/2008



The Wednesday Wars

The Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt


On Wednesday afternoons during the 1967 school year, all of seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood's classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school. He stays in Mrs. Baker's classroom, where together they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns much of value about the world he lives in.

  • A Newbery Honor Book

The Willoughbys

The Willoughbys, by Lois Lowry


The four Willoughby children-- Tim, twins Barnaby A and Barnaby B, and little sister Jane-- set about to become "deserving orphans" after their despicable and neglectful parents embark on a treacherous around-the-world adventure, leaving them in the care of an odious nanny.  Lemony Snicket says of the book: "Lowry . . . here turns her quick, sly gaze to parody, a word which in this case means 'a short novel mocking the conventions of old-fashioned children's books stuffed with orphans, nannies and long-lost heirs.'"

  • Voted the Young Young Critics' Club's Favorite Book of 2007/2008!



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