Bigger May be Better, but Tiny is Terrific!

Eddie and his family discreetly live in a classroom at Ferny Creek Elementary. Life is good until the day that Aunt Min travels to the library and never returns. Eddie is tasked with traveling to the library and rescuing her. Dangers abound, with a school full of squishers (humans) and physical challenges.  Eddie, however, perseveres, locating Aunt Min, but realizing she is injured and he must stay with her as she heals. The two are book-loving bugs, content to discuss classics, enjoy story time and observe the young readers of Ferny Creek Library. All changes, however, when the librarian takes a leave to have her babies (yes, babies, she’s having three!). Enter the substitute librarian, Mrs. Vrisch (guess what her name rhymes with? yep, squish). Eddie and Aunt Minn overhear her evil plan to get rid of books and convert the library into a testing center (horrors!). Now, Eddie must take on one big job for a little bug….saving the Ferny Creek Library. Communicating with humans through sticky notes and inadvertently perpetuating the idea that the ghost of a former library volunteer is haunting the library, Eddie makes a sizeable impact for his cause.

The story is bursting with cuteness while getting across the point: determination is what matters and anyone, of any size, with enough of it can accomplish big things. Children love books set in schools and this imaginative tale will have them wondering what the bug on their school library windowsill is up to!

Written by Linda Bailey

Copyright 2017

Accelerated Reader Level 3.7

Get Ready to Roll!

There are two innovations that I think make Darcy Miller’s book, Roll, a winner. First, the main character is adjusting to numerous changes and trying to make it all work.  Not innovative enough for you? There are lots of books about characters trying to handle change? True, but most of these books feature a girl as the main character. Dealing with developing situations and redefining yourself is not often the topic of a book with a boy as the central character. Featuring a boy going through this makes for an interesting, fresh perspective.. Second, Birmingham Roller Pigeons are an imperative part of the story. Now, that’s intriguing. By the end of the story, I’d learned a lot about them and wanted my own! (not going to happen)

Ren is a boy dealing with change, lots of it. He and his family move away to live in grandma’s house. Ren’s best friend Aiden, once a kindred soul who shared his love of comic books, is now an athlete and joining the popular crowd. His father, a celebrated runner, is expecting Ren to be one, too. Ren tries to cope and meet the expectations of others. Out on a run, he finds himself mesmerized by what appear to be pigeons hurtling toward earth as a group. Following his curiosity leads him to Sutton, a no-nonsense, take-me-as-I-am girl with flaming red hair and a talent for training competitive Birmingham Roller Pigeons. The sport, as well as a friendship with Sutton, spark Ren’s own change and eventual self-acceptance. Fans of realistic fiction will find this story engaging.

By Darcy Miller

Copyright 2017

Accelerated Reader Level 4.0

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Small But Mighty Chapter Book

Flashback Friday! Wednesday, I scouted out Marion Dane Bauer’s book, Little Cat’s Luck.  This flashback is also by Bauer and was her first venture into chapter books for intermediate readers which feature animals as main characters. Runt, published in 2002, is the sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes triumphant tale of a family of wolves. Five pups are born and each is given a name that reflects their abilities, such as Leader. Born last and smallest, Runt is only called Runt. In attempting to define himself and to convince his father, King,  of his worth, Runt puts himself in dangerous situations and the results make matters worse. But, when King is threatened, Runt finds another chance to prove himself. Bauer successfully draws readers into the world of the wolf and produces a strong adventure story rife with lessons that readers can internalize about trying too hard to impress others, bravery and self-worth.

By Marion Dean Bauer

Accelerated Reader Level 4.8

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