Monday, June 26, 2006

The Bookbag, Books for Ages 8 to 12, May/June 2006

In pulling together the collection for this edition of the Tween book bag, we searched for titles that would be of interest (and value) to all readers this summer. Book titles are listed in alphabetical order.

Aaron Brooks: Rise Above by Aaron Brooks, with Greg Brown. Aaron Brooks is a gifted and talented quarterback who plays for the New Orleans Saints. He has earned respect, praise, and fame for his accomplishments inside and outrside athletics. Successful as he has become, Aaron is well aware of how fortunate he has been to have family and mentors who helped keep him focused on his goals. Aaron is appreciates how fortunate he has been and hopes his story will help others achieve their goals. Positively for Kids, Inc., 2004)

Magnabumble's Big Bumble (Knight Lights, Volume 1) by Ed Baker. A long, long time ago, the house on Mapleham Court was actually a castle. The knights that once protected the castle are now charged with protecting young Oliver Lindenberry. When Magnabumble (a knight) finds someone in Oliver's room, he's sure they are there to steal something. Is he right? "The story reads VERY quickly. The sentences and chapters are short, which will appeal to struggling and/or reluctant readers. The author adds in some words that will stretch this audience's vocabulary. The illustrations give visual depth to the wordplay/humor." (Norsemen Entertainment, LLC, 2005)

The Portly Princess of Thynneland by Kathleen Marie Marsh. In Thynneland, everyone, including the royal family, must maintain their weight and fitness levels. Failure to do so, results in expulsion to the “Hinterland.” Princess Volumina, pampered daughter of King Rollo and Queen Reeda, became obese and at 18, was banished to the “Hinterland” to lose weight. Volumina not only faced a difficult personal challenge but discovered that Thynneland was in danger of collapsing and that King Rollo’s advisors had failed to advise him. Volumina knew she had to do something…would it be in time? "This is a very good story. It provides insight to how innocently parents and caring adults try to do the “right thing” for children, their own and others, and discover later that they actually hurt or confused the situation." (Goblin Fern Press, 2004)

Professor Angelicus Visits the Big Blue Ball
by L.B.B. Ward. Professor Aquius Angelicus comes to Earth from his home planet to find the pure water he needs to power his bubble ship home to Quantia in time for the Rainbow Festival. He meets Zack, Ivy, and Zack’s dog Ziggy, who agree to help him. They discover that finding pure water is not easy on planet earth anymore. Their adventure turns into lessons on how to become responsible guardians of the planet. "My son especially enjoyed the trip to Quantia for the Rainbow Festival. The book leaves you with the feeling that you CAN make a difference in the world if you’re aware of what’s going on around you. I highly recommend this story as an inspiring and educational tale that doesn’t feel like a lecture." (Mumblefish Books, 2005)

Robin, The Lovable Morgan Horse by Ellen F. Feld. Karen wants to go riding with her friends. Because her horse, Robin, is recovering from a bruised foot, Karen must ride Comet, known to be a bit rambunctious. When Comet gets spooked and bolts for home, Karen can't control the horse, who causes a series of chain-reaction events. This is the story of how a family, friends, and a Morgan horse helped a frightened and traumatized young woman to overcome her fears and regain her physical and emotional well-being. "This book is about horses, horsemanship, and the challenges and rewards of owning and caring for horses. It is equally about teenagers, parents, peer pressure, friendship, personal responsibility, hard work, self-confidence, patience, and caring. The author has woven all of these themes into an extraordinary and enjoyable story." (Willow Bend Publishing, 2006)

Sue Bird: Be Yourself, by Sue Bird, with Greg Brown. Sue Bird is a remarkably talented basketball player. She is a fierce competitor and a winner. Sue appreciates the talent she has been given, the opportunities she has had to use her talent, and accepted the obligation she has to be a responsible role model. Sue has experienced setbacks and challenges in her professional and personal life and successfully overcome them with the help of her family, friends, teammates, and coaches.

War Kids, 1941-1945: WWII Through the Eyes of Children by Lloyd Hornbostel. World War II required great sacrifices by American men and women. Some served in the armed forces fighting the enemy in Europe and Asia. Others supported the war effort by working in defense plants, manufacturing medical supplies, raising food, and making clothing for the armed forces. World War II also affected the children. The stories in this book share the experiences of three teenagers in a small mid-western farming town, 1941 -1945. This is a historical fiction work for advanced readers. "The stories are informative, believable, and humorous." (Galde Press, 1996)

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