June 2010

These are the books the Children's Area staff reviewed in June 2010. 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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The Heart and the Bottle

This was an incredibly beautiful book. The illustrations are simple and as lovely as the book's message. After losing a loved one, a young girl decides to protect her heart by putting it in a jar. As she grows up, she becomes aware of her mistake. Jeffers's story makes a profound life lesson understandable without oversimplification.

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The Snow Spider

The Snow Spider is the first book in a trilogy about a young magician named Gwyn. In the beginning Gwyn's grandmother gives him five unusual presents for his birthday. She instructs Gwyn to give the gifts to the wind, and as he does so, he acquires new magical powers. The last gift is very powerful, and while it is not meant to be used, Gwyn accidentally gives it away, unleashing an evil power which he must subdue before it destroys Gwyn's world.

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Bird Lake Moon

The summer months on Bird Lake bring two families together and prove to be a time of healing and friendship for two young boys - Spencer, who is dealing with a ghost from the past; and Mitch, who is dealing with the pain of his broken family and whether or not his parents will divorce. Kevin Henkes has written other great novels for older readers as well, like Newberry Honor book, Olive's Ocean. He also writes and illustrates picture books for younger readers, like his Caldecott Medal winner, Kitten's First Full Moon. His books are beautifully written and illustrated - all great reads.

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A Long Way from Chicago

If you grew up in the Chicago of Al Capone, you probably learned a lot about living before you were entirely ready. But, for Chicagoans Joey and Mary Alice Dowdel, life's most important lessons weren't learned in the city. They were discovered during the month that they spent with their Grandma Dowdel in rural Illinois each summer. Eccentric and rough around the edges, Peck writes of a comical granny who's heart, and compassion for others, is at the root of all of her wild antics. True to form, this book will transport you to another time and place. And, like all of his other works, it is so fabulously written that my only complaint is that I couldn't put it down before I finished.

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