Monday, June 26, 2017

YA Pick: A Short History of the Girl Next Door

This book makes me
A Short History of the Girl Next Door
by Jared Reck
Knopf Books for Young Readers
2017
272 pages
ISBN: 9781524716073

Move over, Sarah Dessen and John Green. Make way for Jared Reck. A Short History of the Girl Next Door is the most promising book of 2017.  Reck has captured unique characters who will resonate with readers. Teen voices are pitch perfect, spot on, memorable and lovable.

Matt (Matty) Wainwright grows up with Tabby who seems more like a sister than a neighbor. Tabby's mother walks away from the family leaving Tabby with a working father who can barely deal with himself. Matt's family steps in and raises Tabby as the daughter they never had. Tabby and Matt share every day together for years until high school. Tabby begins to drift away and into the arms of a senior basketball star.

In high school, Matt realizes he  has "feelings" for Tabby. She has always been there--his partner in crime--the kid he could always count on. A girl, yes, but most of all a friend. Suddenly,  he sees how the light shines off her hair, how the way she moves is like no other girl, how she walks into the room and the atmosphere changes. She is the Halloween Nerds for Matty--"...so good, so amazing, they're not even part of the rankings...You're the Nerds, Tabby," Matt tells her. This line, like the ubiquitous, "You had me at hello," from movie "Jerry Maguire" will be quoted forever. It is the most perfect line of YA prose--capturing both the promise of something indescribably sweet and the youthful innocence of first love.

Besides falling for Tabby, Matt has a fierce love of basketball and his drive to make the varsity team is intense. Teammate and best friend Trip is the perfect sidekick for Matt--bright, hilarious and under it all, deeply caring. All the characters in this YA are so well developed that it is hard to close this book--and readers won't want to!

Make no mistake, this is not a simple love story. It is not a sports story. It transcends both those labels and all others. It is that ONE book you will FEEL long after you finish the last page. A Short History of the Girl Next Door will cause laughter and tears. I wept buckets as I kept turning the pages. Bring your BOX of tissue; you will need the entire box. This YA debut is my early pick for TAYSHAS.

Brilliant cover design and a title that is the best in YA debuts. The marketing department gets kudos for this one!

I see this one as the next big Hollywood teen film! Jared Reck, quit your day job and please write faster! I cannot say it loud enough--this is a MUST READ.

Highly, highly recommended! Put this on your order form NOW. Publishing drop date is September 26, 2017--make sure you reserve your copy!

Grade 9-up. Some language that is "normal" for high school students.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Picture Book Pick: Bad Guy

Bad Guy
by Hannah Barnaby
Illustrated by Mike Yamada
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
2017
32 pages
ISBN: 9781481460101


Devious, dastardly and devilish, Bad Guy is a delight! A young boy has great adventures being a bad guy. He is a pirate and treasure hunter, he captures superheroes, he goes to space and swallows astronauts and on Friday, he even eats his sister's brain! Bad Guys always get in trouble, and when Mom lays down the law, even a Bad Guy can turn Good.

Mom takes the children to the library where the Bad Guy gets books with all kinds of ideas and he begins to plot his Bad Guy strategy. But sometimes even Bad Guys are outsmarted! Readers will love the unexpected and fun plot twist. This is a book that both young boys and girls will cheer for!

Smart illustrations with inside jokes are sure to please adult readers. The book Alice is reading is titled Eat, Prey, Love (wink)! This author and illustrator team is a winning one!

Highly, highly recommended ages 1-up. Great fun and sure to be Audrey-approved! (Audrey is my 2 year old niece who KNOWS what she likes!)

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Best New Titles 2017- Pamela's Picks

I presented these new YA, early readers, middle grade and adult titles at the LEND conference 2017. These are AWESOME and some early medal winners picked (by me)!

Best New Titles 2017 Pamela's Picks 

LEGO Wall Presentation- LEND Conference Presentation

Here's my journey to create our GIANT, EPIC LEGO wall in the library

LEGO Wall Presentation 

MaKe Some Noise In the Library LEND Presentation

If you're not making noise, moving and shaking things up, your program is stagnant! Here are some great ideas to get you started or to enhance what you already have:

Check out this Power Point presentation from LEND 2017 for area and Texas and New Mexico libraries;


Make Some Noise 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Fairy Tale Reimagined: Bean Stalker and Other Hilarious Scary Tales

Bean Stalker and Other Hilarious Scary Tales
by Kiersten White
Scholastic Press
2017
240 pages
ISBN: 9780545940603

Publication date: Available July 25, 2017

Who doesn't love a catty narrator who knows everything and drops hints for the readers along the way? Kiersten White takes mid-grade readers on a romp through some of our best loved fairy tales twisting the stories so that they are darker, gloomier, and scarier and much, much more fun.

Rapunzel with her locks of hair "locked" in a tower awaits her prince. The bumbling prince manages to scale the side of the castle tower and meets a glowering Rapunzel who points out the obvious--there is a door! On the other side of the tower if  the prince had simply walked around it, he would not have  needed to climb her hair!

Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, The Princess and the Pea, Jack and the Beanstalk and other tales are twisted into comedy gold by White. The wood represents everything magical, scary, strange, weird, and possible. The narrator teases the readers, "No? You....want to go into the deepest, darkest woods? But nothing good ever happens there! Fine. Don't say I didn't warn you."  The Huntsman in the Snow White story is as dopey, loopy, and stupid as a comic clown could be.  The queen writes her instructions in a note and gives it to her Huntsman with the hope that he will somehow carry out her wishes to kill the "creature" in the bag (Snow White). The Huntsman nods and smiles and never tells the queen that he can't read. Comedy ensues.

Laugh out loud funny, Bean Stalker and Other Hilarious Scary Tales is my early pick for the Texas Bluebonnet List and likely to be in the running for the Newbery. Biting satire, diabolic dialog, hilarious hi-jinks, and cunning characters make this book a true charmer. This is a Scholastic Book and bound to be on fall book fair. It will probably be the bestseller of the year!

The cover design is appealing and a trick for your eyes. What do you see? Look carefully. There is more than one way to "see" this cover. The cover alone will sell this book. Simply brilliant marketing!

Highly, highly recommended grade 5-up. Strong readers grade 4 will also enjoy  this book but may not understand some of the puns or  digs. Pick this one up and be delighted!

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bedtime Story Pick: The Too-Scary Story

The Too-Scary Story
by Bethanie Deeney Murguia
Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic
2017
32 pages
ISBN: 9780545732420

Available June 27, 2017

Bethanie Murguia ( Zoe's Room, Zoe's Jungle) continues to wow the preschool and young readers world! Her clever stories depict  sibling rivalry and family love that adults will remember from their younger years. Little ones will giggle at  the active banter between the younger brother and the older sister.

Grace wants a scary story; Walter wants a story, but not a too-scary story. Papa gamely begins his story, " One night, two brave explorers and their dog were walking through the forest. It was very, very dark." Walter decides dark is too scary, so Papa lightens it up. Each time Papa begins to tell a creepy story, Grace is enamored while Walter is terrified. Poor Papa has to balance the scary elements (dark, forest, shadow) with not too-scary elements (fireflies, bunnies). In the end, the children are snug in their beds and they each got their kind of story.

Illustrations capture the spookiness of the forest, the presence of the animals in the night,  the fear in the children's eyes, and the intelligence and curiosity of their dog who is their constant companion. It is a book like this one that will make city dwelling kids beg for a dog!

Highly, highly recommended for preschool and young readers. This one is sure to be Audrey approved! (My little niece)

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the F & G from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.