December 2008

These are the books the Children's Area staff reviewed in December 2008. Click on the "check the catalog" link to see if the book is available. If it isn't, ask a librarian to put it on hold for you.

Scroll past these book reviews to see an archive of all of the previous book reviews.

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There Is A Bird On Your Head

I read the pictures and I read the words of a book called There Is A Bird On Your Head. It is easy to read the pictures without the words. An elephant has a bird on his head. The bird finds a friend and makes a nest on the elephant's head. The birds have some chicks. The elephant doesn't like the bird on his head. He asks a pig about it. The pig thinks it is all very sweet. Then the birds get on the pig's head. The pig doesn't like the birds on his head either. The book is funny with just the pictures, but it is funnier with the words. The book is written by Mo Williams, and that's his secret. He tells stories in pictures and adds just the right words. He is a fantastic writer and illustrator of children's books.

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Mr. Tucket

On the pages of his book Mr. Tucket, Gary Paulsen brings to life the story of a young boy faced with the challenges of surviving in the Wild West in 1814. When he is captured from the wagon train by Indians, he must learn to live by his wits and strength in order to survive. As Tucket travels through the West, Paulsen uses vivid imagery to describe the challenges he faces as he wrestles with an Indian boy as a rite of passage, tries to cope with living in an Indian village, escapes and then pairs up with a rusty old mountain man who teaches him how to survive. The adventures they face are not to be missed. This is a page turner ---along with the other books in this series.

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The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy

If you found yourself spending the entire summer with your family in a mountain cottage that backed up to a huge mansion, I bet you could find SOMETHING to do to pass the time. In this charming book by Jeanne Birdsall, we follow the four Penderwick girls Rosalind, Skye, Jane, Batty and their dog Hound on a series of misadventures during their stay at Arundel Cottage. Accompanied by their gentle, yet somewhat preoccupied father, the distinctly unique girls are free to roam the elaborately landscaped grounds of Arundel Manor, but are warned to steer clear of the hoity-toity Mrs. Tifton. In an attempt to avoid the lady of the house, Skye collides head-on with her lonely son Jeffrey, who quickly becomes a permanent fixture in the Penderwick's cottage. This story explores the deep bonds that exist within families and between friends. While lighthearted and fun, it also probes each of the characters' struggle to find their own voice. A great read!

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March Toward the Thunder

Exciting Civil War historical novel with an American Indian boy as main character. Louis Nolette, a fifteen-year-old Abenaki Indian from Canada, joins the Union Army's Irish Brigade to bring the bounty money to his mother. He marches toward the thunder of battle in Virginia, 1864, the Battle of the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and all the battles of the Siege of Petersburg. Something astonishing happens on each page, and in each chapter of this book. The soldiers, the battles, the battle wounds and horrible hospitals meant to tend the wounded soldiers, plod relentlessly through the story.

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