Meet the Chapter Books

I had the chance to read some great little beginning chapter books for the lower to mid elementary age readers. These are cute and have illustrations so they would also be a good introduction into longer books for even the young listener from preschool up. When I introduced both my readers to chapter books we started off with small beginner ones. That made it really fun when they finally reached the phase where they were no longer the listener but now the reader. It was something familiar and loved so it made reading on their own for the first time not so scary and they were so proud.

 

The Kid from Planet Z: Crash! by Nancy Krulik illustrated by Louis Thomas

about the book: When Zeke Zander’s spaceship crashes on Earth, he and his family must pretend to be humans until they can fix the ship and return home to Planet Z. But with antennae on their heads and a talking cat named Zeus, fitting in is easier said than done!

This was the first of the 3 I read and it was adorable! It would be perfect for any preschool through mid elementary aged bookworm who has just recently moved and will be starting a new school or even a soon to be kindergarten aged child who is starting school for the first time. Zeke Zander and his family are from Planet Z they didn’t mean to crash here but they did and until they get their spaceship fixed they have to act like they are humans from planet earth. Zeke is not to happy when he finds out he has to be a second grader and attend school. This is all new to him and he is scared of not fitting in and be found out he is different and an alien. He soon learns all about all things earth kids and even makes some friends along the way. The head of the Zander family is their cat Zeus, see on Planet Z the cats are smarter than the aliens. I got the idea that Zeus was very much liking being a lazy earth cat and was in no hurry to fix the spaceship. My favorite line in the book is so true, on page 59 Zeus the cat says: “Exactly, Zeus purred. Because cats are always in charge, no matter what planet they are on.” Well said Zeus! I can’t wait to read more adventures from Planet Z. I know the kids at my elementary school are going to love this fun book!

Bea Garcia: The Curse of Einstein’s Pencil written and illustrated by Deborah Zemke

about the book:  Bea Garcia wants to impress her brainy new friend by excelling at the geography contest, but her talents lie elsewhere and she learns that the best way to make friends is by being herself.

The Curse of Einstein’s Pencil tackles the subject of how we all have our strength’s and they might be different from another classmates. It doesn’t mean they have a magical pencil or something just that they are good in a certain subject or talent. This book also tackles how it feels when your best friend moves away and you’re looking for a new friend at school. My favorite part was when Bea found out that Einstein wasn’t perfect and her pencil wasn’t magical and filled with all the right answers. Einstein just studied a lot and hard. This is another great first day / week of school chapter book that would be a quick read aloud for a classroom or home setting as well as an easy beginning chapter book for the beginning reader.

The Escapades of Clint McCool: Octoman and the Headless Monster by Jane Kelley illustrated by Jessika Von Innerebner

about the book: Clint McCool always has a lot of great ideas. That’s what makes him such a great hero. But sometimes he has too many great ideas. Armed with his super-powered cap, his brain flashes, and his two best friends, Clint is ready to solve any problem and find adventure anywhere. When he runs onto a film set, he gets into trouble. A lot of trouble. Can Clint McCool still save the day?

Walter aka: Clint McCool is a boy who thinks before he leaps. He isn’t a bad kid he just gets into fixes. What we call trouble he calls escapades. It also kinda seemed like his mom and 2 friends Marco and M.L. let him get by with it. They didn’t really speak up and say hey slow down, let’s think things through. I expect that from the kids but not the parents. All that being said Clint is a lot of boys and girls from youngster to adult. I can really see some of the elementary kid readers really enjoying Clint McCool books and being a hit with those readers. It was a fun story with lots of great pictures and I enjoyed it, just the planner in me was thinking no you got to think it all out before you do something. 🙂

Thank you so much Penguin Young Readers for sending me this trio of beginning chapter books. I can’t wait to share them with the elementary students when school starts back. 

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Orbiting Jupiter

by Gary D Schmidt

 

 

I’ve been seeing this book at my library for a few years now, and I’ve grabbed it many times but never read it before returning it. Well I finally grabbed it and sat down and read it in one sitting. Oh my gosh this book wrecked me! I had so many feels while reading this heartwarming and heartbreaking book!! I hope it wins many book awards because they would all be very well deserved. I was immediately drawn into the characters and felt like I had known them for a long time. Jack telling the story of his foster-brother Joseph and how Joseph’s only real goal was to find his daughter Jupiter was what intrigued me about this book. It is told by a 12-year-old boy  about a 14-year-old boy. That right there I’m not sure has ever been done, add the fact that they are just babies themselves. Joseph had a bad home life, heck he had the worse home life and got put into foster care. After a few tumbles he ended up with a loving opening family that ended up being his forever home. He wasn’t going to settle down till he got Jupiter back even if it meant doing it on his own. The book takes a drastic turn and I pretty much bawled through the last half of the book. Grab a copy of Orbiting Jupiter you will not be disappointed!!

About the Book: 

Jack, 12, tells the gripping story of Joseph, 14, who joins his family as a foster child. Damaged in prison, Joseph wants nothing more than to find his baby daughter, Jupiter, whom he has never seen. When Joseph has begun to believe he’ll have a future, he is confronted by demons from his past that force a tragic sacrifice.

Awards & Honors: Capitol Choices 2016
Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of 2015, Middle Grade
Booklist Best Young Adult Books of 2015
ALA Notable Books for Children 2016, Older Readers
VOYA’s Perfect Tens 2015; 2016 Winner, Notable Books for a Global Society
CCBC Choices 2016, Fiction for Young Adults
2015 Cybils Awards Nomination, Young Adult Fiction
ILA Young Adults’ Choices, 2016 Reading List
YALSA 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adults
Children’s Book Committee Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of 2016, Coming of Age

The Go Between

by Veronica Chambers

 

 

 

I don’t know I just wasn’t feeling this book. I guess it was the rich kids having rich kid problems that let’s face it I’ve never experienced that just threw me off. I didn’t really connect with the characters and just felt that it was an OK book but maybe one that just wasn’t for me. I’m sure there is a reader out there for this book and they would love it. As for me and my middle grade reader we liked it alright but both of us decided it wasn’t on our recommend list.

 

 

 

About the Book: 


She is the envy of every teenage girl in Mexico City. Her mother is a glamorous telenovela actress. Her father is the go-to voice-over talent for blockbuster films. Hers is a world of private planes, chauffeurs, paparazzi and gossip columnists. Meet Camilla del Valle Cammi to those who know her best.

When Cammi s mom gets cast in an American television show and the family moves to LA, things change, and quickly. Her mom s first role is playing a not-so-glamorous maid in a sitcom. Her dad tries to find work but dreams about returning to Mexico. And at the posh, private Polestar Academy, Cammi s new friends assume she s a scholarship kid, the daughter of a domestic.

At first Cammi thinks playing along with the stereotypes will be her way of teaching her new friends a lesson. But the more she lies, the more she wonders: Is she only fooling herself?

Thank you Delcorte Press for sending me a copy of The Go Between. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Bailey

The Puppy Pals series

by Susan Hughes

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Buy links: AmazonApple Barnes and NobleBooks A MillionIndieBound

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway Link for 2 Finished Copies of Bailey: The Puppy Pals (Runs May 1-May 31st; U.S. & Canada only)

Bailey Puppy Pals series by Susan Hughes

 

This series is perfect for every dog or pet loving reader, or listener. The book is simple enough to build reading confidence in the beginning reader. It would also be a good read aloud and hold the listeners attention. The book is really good and enjoyable. I think it would be a great addition to elementary aged kids summer reading list and will appeal to both boys and girls.

 

 

summary: Meet Bailey, a playful yellow lab puppy!

It’s a new school year and things haven’t been great for Kat so far. She’s being teased, and her best friend Maya is in a different class. But things start to look up when her Aunt Jenn opens a kennel and dog-grooming salon, and the girls are allowed to help out with a puppy named Bailey! But is the responsibility of watching someone else’s pup too much for Kat and Maya to handle?

Excerpt from Bailey:  Puppies were running across the grass. Dozens of puppies.

Some were black, some were brown, some were white with black spots. Some puppies were red and shaggy, some were gray with white muzzles. All the puppies had smiling faces and wagging tails.

Kat was sitting on her front steps. Her eyes were closed. She was having her favorite puppy daydream. And it always ended the same…

The puppies jump around, begging for her attention. Her mother and father smile at her.

“Of course you can have a puppy, Katherine,” her mom says.

Her dad sweeps out his arm. “Pick any one you want!”

Kat smiles too. She looks at all the puppies, and she tries to choose. The little toffee-colored Irish terrier that jumps into her lap? The shy gray schnauzer looking at her, his head cocked to one side? The black pug so tiny that—

Aidan’s running shoe nudged her leg, and Kat opened her eyes. As usual, her brother was listening to music. He pulled out one of his earbuds. “Come on, Kat,” he said. “Let’s go! We’re going to be late for school.”

Kat sighed. The daydream was over. She sent a mental message to the puppies: I’ll come back and visit soon!

She ran to catch up with Aidan. The sun was shining. A squirrel chattered at her from the branch of a chestnut tree.

“Do you think Mom and Dad will ever let me get a dog?” Kat asked her brother as they walked.

Aidan shrugged. “You’ve asked them a million times. They always say no.’”

“That’s because they travel so much for work. But I don’t!” Kat protested. “And I’d be the one looking after the dog.”

Aidan bounced his basketball as he walked. “I don’t know, Kat. I think you should forget about it for now.”

Kat sighed. She knew he would say that. He didn’t care if they got a dog or not. Her parents both liked dogs, but she was only the only one who was truly dog crazy.

Kat and Aidan reached school just as the bell rang.

“Later, alligator,” Aidan said to Kat. He hurried over to the seventh and eighth grade entrance.

“See you soon, baboon!” Kat called after him.

She rushed across the playground. But she didn’t get in her lineup. Instead, Kat went over to the other fourth grade line.

“Maya!” she called. Her best friend hung back as her class made its way into the school.

“There you are, Kat-Nip! Late again!” Maya said with a grin.

Kat made a funny face back at her. Maya had called her “Kat-Nip” for as long as she could remember. “You love dogs but your name is Kat? How goofy!” she’d say. Maya often teased her, and Kat teased her back.

It was all in fun, since they had been best friends forever. Even though they lived on opposite sides of town, they had known each other since nursery school. They played soccer on the same team. They took swimming lessons together. Most of all, they talked about dogs together. Maya was probably the only person in the world who loved dogs as much as Kat.

Until this year, Maya and Kat had always been in the same class. But a few children had moved away over the summer. So Maya was put in the third-fourth grade split class, and Kat was put in the fourth-fifth grade split class.

The girls didn’t like it. Not one bit.

School had started last week. The first few days had been tough. Kat hoped it would be better this week, but it didn’t seem likely.

“Joke of the day: what does a mother dog call her pups when they come in from playing in the snow?” Kat asked.

Maya thought for a moment. “I don’t know. What?”

“I’ll tell you at recess!” Kat said, waggling her fingertips at her friend. She turned to run toward her lineup.

“Hey, not fair! Tell me now!” called Maya. “That’s torture!”

“Nope! Oh, and I have some really awesome news to tell you,” Kat called over her shoulder. “Puppy news!” she added, taunting her friend.

“Seriously? And you won’t tell me what it is until recess? You are horrible!” Maya put on her grumpy look, but she couldn’t hold it for long. Kat started to laugh, and Maya did too.

“See you!” Kat teased. She ran to the back of her own line which had just disappeared into the school.

Coming Soon: Riley

Release Date: August 2, 2016

 Add to your GoodReads shelf

Pre order: AmazonBarnes and NobleBooks A MillionIndieBound

Riley Puppy Pals series by Susan Hughes

summary:  Best friends Kat and Maya love helping out at Tails Up! Groomers. The best part is helping to exercise the adorable puppies that stay there. When a sweet golden retriever puppy named Riley is boarded at the groomer, Kat and Maya couldn’t be more excited! Riley is super-sweet and friendly.

 But when a new girl named Grace shows up in Kat’s class, she finds herself wishing Grace was as easy to get along with as Riley. Kat is disappointed to find herself paired up with Grace, who can’t seem to get that mean look off of her face! But is Grace unkind, or is she just lonely? Maybe Riley can help her figure it out!

About the Author:

Visit the authors website

Susan Hughes

Susan Hughes is a writer and editor, and has been writing children’s books and articles for nearly twenty years. She has received numerous nominations for Canadian children’s writing awards. She lives with her family in Toronto. 

 

 

thank you Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for allowing us to read and review Bailey. All thoughts and opinons are our own and not influenced by the free book.

The Maloney’s Magical Weatherbox

by Nigel Quinlan

MacMillan Children’s Publishing

the maloneys magical weatherbox

Neil and Liz measure their lives by the regularity of the seasons, until one year when autumn doesn’t arrive and all-weather breaks loose.
Neil and Liz Maloney have a secret: Their father is the keeper of the Weatherbox, a magical phone booth that rings four times a year, signaling the changing of the seasons. But this summer when the family gathers to send off the season, the phone doesn’t ring and autumn does not arrive. Instead a mysterious tourist of magic shows up at their doorstep, along with two nonsensical hags and one cat-shaped bog beast. The only one not taken by surprise is their neighbor Mrs. Fitzgerald, who seems to be able to make the elements of weather itself do her bidding.
Now it’s up to Neil and Liz to discover the source of Mrs. Fitzgerald’s power and restore order to the climate.

This book had me at magical phone box. We are all about magic phone boxes since we discovered Doctor Who. So I was ready to jump into this book. So happy I did. I think the Irish country side setting made it even more magical and a delight to read. The book goes back and forth between characters smoothly and gives you a whole fully developed story.  The Maloney’s are an interesting family full of fun, magic and quirks that make them even more like-able. The Maloney’s Magical Weatherbox is full of fantasy and action that will keep the reader whether it’s a boy or girl interested. This book would also  make for a great read aloud either at home, the classroom or even over many library hours at school. This book is a great fit for so many readers, whether they enjoy fantasy, action, or weather related stories. There is a bit of something for everyone in this charming little book. This book is full of many layers to the story and I hope I get to travel on more adventures with the magical Maloney’s!

thank you netgalley and MacMillan Children’s Publishing for allowing me to read and review The Maloney’s Magical Weatherbox. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.