An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines Book Cover An Abundance of Katherines
John Green
Juvenile Fiction
Dutton Childrens Books
2006
227

Always being dumped by girls named Katherine, Colin Singleton, a washed-up child prodigy with a Judge-Judy obsessed best friend, embarks on a quest to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will impact all of his future relationships and change his life.

RECOMMENDED BY: Emily Meloche

Colin Singleton, former child prodigy and serial-dater of girls named Katherine, embarks on a road trip with his best friend Hassan to attempt to get over Katherine-19, who just dumped him. The two end up in small-town Gutshot Tennessee, making connections with the locals, and Colin attempts to create a formula that will predict the ends of his future relationships.  Colin’s struggles with reading social situations and the strange way his mind jumps from subject to subject are well-rendered in the storytelling and are especially evident in the slew of clever footnotes that pepper the pages. Perhaps because of the full development of Colin, the other characters are only viewed on the surface. However, despite the simple characterization, teens of both genders will find An Abundance of Katherines a fast-paced, fun read.


13 Little Blue Envelopes

13 Little Blue Envelopes Book Cover 13 Little Blue Envelopes
Maureen Johnson
Juvenile Fiction
Harper Collins
August 23, 2005
336

When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.

RECOMMENDED BY: Emily Meloche

Sent on a mysterious European road trip by her recently deceased Aunt Peg, Ginny finds herself following her Aunt’s directions left in 13 letters– not knowing what country she’ll be headed to or what task she’ll be assigned until she finishes the previous envelope’s instructions.  The quest-like plot keeps readers turning pages, and neither Ginny nor the reader can predict what the next envelope will hold. Johnson creates a likable, but realistically flawed, character in Ginny– her desires to follow her Aunt’s wishes and become more outgoing are balanced by her frustration with Peg’s flightiness and the challenges of being constantly thrust into new and intimidating environments.


This is Not My Hat

This is Not My Hat Book Cover This is Not My Hat
Jon Klassen
Juvenile Fiction
Candlewick Press
2012
40

A little fish thinks he can get away with stealing a hat.

RECOMMENDED BY: Emily Meloche

A sassy small fish has stolen a hat from a very large fish– but since only a crab saw him take it, he doesn’t have to worry, right?  Delightfully funny, Klassen’s story and illustrations will capture the attention of listeners as they realize the worry-free explanations of the small fish contradict the situation portrayed in the pictures. The art of This Is Not My Hat is digitally created, but resembles paper cut-outs, giving it a style different from most picture books. Because the text is made up of only the dialogue of the small fish, the book begs to be read aloud– and children will beg to be read it again and again.


Frindle

Frindle Book Cover Frindle
Andrew Clements
Juvenile Fiction
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
February 1, 1998
112

SYNOPSIS: After learning about the origins of words, Nick decides to change the word pen to frindle . At first, it seems like a harmless prank, a way to annoy his dictionary-obsessed teacher. Then the whole class starts using the new word, and the joke spreads across town like wildfire. Suddenly Nick finds himself in the middle of a media frenzy over frindle. Will Nick emerge from the controversy a troublemaker or a hero?

RECOMMENDED BY: Emily Meloche

After thinking about how words are first created, fifth grader Nick decides to create a new word for pen– “Frindle.” The word catches on with all the other students, much to the chagrin of tough fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Granger.  The innovative plot and likable main character will keep kids turning the pages, especially those amused by the questioning of authority figures. Though the book lacks much suspense and unpredictability, readers will care enough about Nick to remain engaged throughout the book’s 105 pages; the lack of suspense also makes Frindle a great choice for advanced younger readers. With the help of a handful of detailed pencil drawings by Brian Selznick scattered throughout the text, readers get a great sense of Nick, Lincoln Elementary School, and the town of Westfield.


The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks Book Cover The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
E. Lockhart
Juvenile Fiction
Hyperion
March 25, 2008
352

Sixteen-year-old Frankie, frustrated by the exclusion from her school’s all-male secret society, infiltrates the group, sending the unknowing boys on a spree of ingenious pranks. The protagonist experiments with grammar to hilarious effect, and serves as an inspiration to teenage girls who aren’t content being relegated to arm-candy status. Subversive and clever, this young adult novel is a stunning story of gender, entitlement, and the making of an anti-heroine.

RECOMMENDED BY: Emily Meloche

In her sophomore year of boarding school, Frankie no longer lives under the radar– publicly dating one of the most popular seniors, and secretly infiltrating the boys-only secret society that he runs. Frankie is a heroine that transcends most chick-lit tropes, finding a lovely balance between a feminist solid in her beliefs and a teenage girl interested in boys and being liked. The hijinks of Frankie and the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds will amuse readers and keep them turning pages, and the book as a whole will leave them thinking about rebellion and its purpose. Though teen boys may be reluctant to pick up a book with a female protagonist, the story is not girly, and if they give it a shot, they will not be disappointed.


Paper Towns

Paper Towns Book Cover Paper Towns
John Green
Juvenile Fiction
Penguin
2008
305

Having been in love with Margo forever, Quentin is happy to help her with her strange plots and campaigns for revenge, but when she vanishes one evening without a trace, Quentin finds himself delving into clues in order to resolve many unanswered questions. 75,000 first printing.

RECOMMENDED BY: Emily Meloche

Just a few weeks before graduation, Q’s next door neighbor and longtime crush Margo Roth Spiegelman comes through his bedroom window at midnight and drags him along on an all-night adventure of revenge against her unfaithful boyfriend and disloyal friends. The next day, Margo disappears, leaving a few cryptic clues that Q, and a few of his closest friends, attempt to follow to track her down. Green is the master of teen fiction engages boys, girls, and adults alike. His ability to craft relatable, realistic, and amusing characters makes readers feel connected and care about the fates of Q and his friends from the beginning. The book is fast-paced and suspenseful, and not at all predictable, making it an ideal choice for reluctant readers.


Babymouse: Queen of the World!

Babymouse Book Cover Babymouse
Jennifer L. Holm, Matthew Holm,
Juvenile Fiction
Random House Books for Young Readers
2005
91

Babymouse, an imaginative mouse dreams of being queen of the world, but will settle for an invitation to the most popular girl's exclusive slumber party. Simultaneous.

RECOMMENDED BY: Emily Meloche

Adorably spunky Babymouse daydreams of making it in with the popular Felicia Furrypaws, and seems willing to do anything to make that dream a reality, even if it means putting aside some morals. Babymouse manages to maintain simplicity—with thickly lined cartoons and minimal shading or coloring—while still conveying ample emotions—with expressive faces and to-the-point dialogue. Kids will be enraptured by Babymouse’s vivid imagination and moxie, and not even realize they are learning a lesson about being true to yourself and your friends.


A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever

A couple of boys have the best week ever Book Cover A couple of boys have the best week ever
Frazee, Marla
2008

Friends James and Eamon enjoy a wonderful week at the home of Eamon's grandparents during summer vacation.

RECOMMENDED BY: Emily Meloche

James and Eamon visit Eamon’s grandparents for a week of “Nature Camp,” though the illustrations show that the two may not experience as much of the great outdoors as the camp name implies. The real delight of the book is the way the words and the illustrations work together to tell a complete (and slightly sarcastic) story. The text describes scenes that are expected from an actual nature camp, while the drawings portray how the boys’ time was really spent (playing video games, eating waffles, and watching television). Though there is often a long paragraph of text on each page, the illustrations provide enough entertainment that children will be unlikely to want to preemptively turn the page.


When Charlie McButton Lost Power

When Charlie McButton lost power Book Cover When Charlie McButton lost power
Suzanne Collins
Juvenile Fiction
Putnam Pub Group
March 22, 2005
32

A boy who likes nothing but playing computer games is in trouble when the power goes out and his little sister has all of the batteries in the house.

RECOMMENDED BY: Emily Meloche

When video-game addict Charlie McButton loses power, he has no idea what to do to amuse himself, and resorts to trying to steal batteries from his younger sister. With a rhyming quality reminiscent of Dr. Seuss, Collin’s text manages to simultaneously tell the story and make jokes. She condemns over-dependence on video games, suggests other forms of entertainment without being heavy-handed, and covers sibling relations on top of that. Over the course of the short book, readers truly care for Charlie and his younger sister Isabel Jane. Action-packed pencil and watercolor illustrations convey emotions hinted at in the text. The thin-lined sloppy style, with coloring extending over the penciled outlines, captures the feeling of child-done drawings while still maintaining the quality of an experience illustrator. Highly recommended for preschool and early elementary listeners.


Wing Wing Brothers Math Spectacular!

The Wing Wing brothers math spectacular! Book Cover The Wing Wing brothers math spectacular!
Long, Ethan
Humorous Stories

The Wing Wing brothers spin plates, juggle pies, and reveal a magic box, all while delivering a math lesson on addition, subtraction, and number values

RECOMMENDED BY: Emily Meloche

Five goofy ducks put on a sideshow to demonstrate key math concepts, such as basic addition and subtraction, and comparing amounts. Designed to cover the Common Core State Standards for kindergarten mathematics in Counting and Cardinality, the Wing-Wing brothers will have young readers laughing throughout. Text in the book is mostly limited to math problems, which are deftly illustrated by the hijinks of the wacky Wing-Wings. The simple, yet expressive cartoon ducks demonstrate addition, subtraction using spinning plates, tossing pies, and magic tricks. Children will, without a doubt, be more enchanted by the illustrations than the text, but they will be exposed to the mathematical concepts even if they don’t read the words.


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