Reading Ahead – June 2009

The shelves are once again bulging. Starting in early May the pace of new arrivals began to pick up, aided in early June by BookExpo America. Look for a post in the next week that highlights what look like great finds from BEA.

These are the recent arrivals that after a little bit of thumbing through seem to set themselves apart. If you’ve read these, click the cover. It’ll take you to the website where you can link your review.

Bilingual Books (all ages)

walk_with_grandpaA Walk with Grandpa ~ Un paseo con abuelo written by Sharon K. Solomon, illustrated by Pamela Barcita (Raven Tree Press) This bilingual picture book has few words and glorious illustrations. There is plenty to talk about just by looking at the pictures.

Picture Books (all ages)


mule_Train_mailMule Train Mail by Craig Brown (Charlesbridge, 2009) This is a book that could just as easily be an easy reader as a PB. The illustrations are captivating and seem to tell the story.  A map and authors notes about rural mail delivery in the Grand Canyon create a factual story.

little_red_elfThe Little Red Elf written by Barbara Barbieri McGrath, illustratd by Rosaline Bonnet (Charlesbridge, 2009) I know, it’s too early for holiday books, but the illustrations made me go “aw” on every page. And the back cover is just adorable!

1937fThere’s a Babirusa in my Bathtub! Fact and Fancy about Curious Creatures by Maxine Rose Schur, illustrated by Michael S. Maydak (Dawn Publications, 2009) A nonfiction picture book! This is a world-tour of little-known animals (like the one in the title).

Easy Readers & Illustrated Chapter Books

seymour_snailThe Amazing Trail of Seymour Snail by Lynne E. Hazen, illustrated by Doug Cushman (Henry  Holt and Company) We loved Cinder Rabbit, and Seymour looks just adorablediamonds_best_friend.


. Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, Book 1: Singled Out in Center Field written by Robyn Washbur, illustrated by Lisa Byers (AuthorHouse, 2009) Jewelry and softball … I like the idea that the two are not mutually exclusive.


Poodle and HoundPoodle and Hound written by Kathryn Lasky, illustrated by Mitch Vane (Charlesbridge, 2009) This looks like a cross between Henry and Mudge and Houndsly and Catina.  The pages are half-narrative, half-illustration, but the reading level is a bit higher (3.8).


Middle Grade and Young Adult



Dead Puzzling by Sue Birch (, 2009).  What catches my eye about this book not only that it features a character (preteen boy) who has an Autism Spectrum diagnosis, but that the character has a major role and directly affects the plot.

lucky_childA Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young By by Thomas Buergenthal (Little, Brown and Company, 2009) The blurb on the back talks about a fortune teller. Not what you’d expect on a memoir, but very poignant given the times. On a personal note, I know very little about my Polish heritage … this may be a way to connect to a subject I’ve avoided for decades.

Kendra KandlestarKendra Kandlestar and the Shard from Greeve by Lee Edward Fodi (Brown Books Publishing Group, 2009) I had never heard of Lee Edward Fodi until I started listening to Just One More Book!! podcasts, with Mark and Andrea’s special series Waiting at the Door to Unger.  Their recommendation alone is enough to push this to the top of the pile.

wreck_ethieThe Wreck of the Ethie by Hilary Hyland (Peachtree Publishers, 1999) – Not all recent arrivals have to be new … just new to us. It is an illustrated historical fiction novel. The black and white sketches really add to the “feel” of the story. School Library Journal suggests that it will appeal to reluctant readers.



2 responses to “Reading Ahead – June 2009

  1. I don’t know any of these so I’ll look froward to your thoughts. The Little Red Elf appeals to me too, but I think I would have first grab at Seymour.

  2. This weekend I have read A LUCKY CHILD and will link as you request when I write it up for posting in a couple of weeks. I thought it was a terrific book…as I am sure I will convey in my entry, I feel as if I have had a series of personal visits in front of a fireplace with Thomas Buergenthal, the “Lucky Child.”

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