newbery book

“Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” by Grace Lin

“Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” by Grace Lin

A Newbery finalist

THE BOOK MAMA BASICS

For ages: 8 -12

Gender specific: Slightly more girl-friendly

Any pictures?:  Beautiful illustrations done by the author

How long?: 304 page

What’s it similar to?: “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” and “Turtle in Paradise”

What’s it cost?$7.99 on Amazon

Synopsis:  Living in the shadow of the Fruitless Mountain, Minli and her parents spend their days working in the rice fields, barely growing enough to feed themselves. Every night, Minli’s father tells her stories about the Jade Dragon that keeps the mountain bare, the greedy and mean Magistrate Tiger, and the Old Man of the Moon who holds everyone’s destiny. Determined to change her family’s unlucky fortune, Minli sets out to find the Old Man of the Moon, urged on by a talking goldfish who gives her clues to complete her journey. Along the way she makes new friends including a flightless dragon and an orphan and proves her resourcefulness when she tricks a group of greedy monkeys and gets help from a king.  (edited from School Library Journal)

Review:  Based on Chinese folklore, “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” by Grace Lin is fresh adventure that will likely introduce your little ones to a whole new world.  We read this as an out-loud book at my house and that’s a great idea for kids 5 and up.  Otherwise, it’s probably more like a 4th grade reading level book.  However, my daughter loved it so much that she found two of  Grace Lin’s other books “Year of the Rat” and “Year of the Dog” and read those on her own.  I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing many more wonderful books by Ms. Lin in the future.

“The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo

A book by Kate DiCamillo

Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a rabbit who was made almost entirely of china.

I am rerunning a post from last summer not because I’m too busy to write something new (which I kind of am) or because this post came out when my blog was new and I had 3 readers (including my mom and my college roommate), but because this is truly one of my favorite children’s books of all time and deserves more attention.

I first read “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo (ages 8 – 12) shortly after it was released, and I fell in love after the first few pages.   It reads like an instant classic.  Since then I have read it outloud to my daughter, and she”ll happily tell you it’s her favorite book of all time.

It a modern(ish) fable about an arrogant rabbit who learns the true and sometimes difficult meaning of love.

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The 2011 Newberry and Caldecott Medal Winners.

The American Library Association announced on Monday the 2011 John Newbery Medal and the Randolph Caldecott Medal. The Newbery Medal honors the most outstanding contribution in children’s literature and the Caldecott Medal honors for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

The ALA also announced more than 20 awards total for top books, video and audiobook for children and young adults at its Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.

It’s a looooooooooong list with lots of different awards so check out the whole thing when you have some time.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:


“A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” illustrated by Erin E. Stead, is the 2011 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Philip C. Stead, and is a Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing.

Two Caldecott Honor Books also were named:

“Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave,” illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.; and

“Interrupting Chicken,” written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein and published by Candlewick Press.

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The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg is more than mostly fantastic

“I say my ‘true’ adventures because I told a fib to a writer once, who went and put it in the newspapers about me and my big brother, Harold, winning the battle of Gettysburg, and how we shot each other dead but lived to tell the tale. That’s partly true, about winning the battle, but most ways it’s a lie. Telling the truth don’t come easy to me, but I will try, even if old Truth ain’t nearly as useful as a fib sometimes.” – Homer Pierce Figg (p.7)

A fresh fun “Huck Finn” like voice that will turn any kid into a fan of historical fiction.  Master storyteller Rodman Philbrick takes readers on a colorful journey in The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg(Newberry Finalist 2010) as young Homer Figg sets off to follow his brother into the thick of the Civil War.

Through a series of fascinating events, Homer’s older brother has been illegally sold to the Union Army. It is up to Homer to find him and save him. Along the way, he encounters strange but real people of that era: two tricksters who steal his money, a snake-oil salesman, a hot-air balloonist, and finally, the Maine regiment who saved Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg and won the war for the Union

These historical people and places will educate and engage young readers about our nation’s past–in one of the most decisive moments of American history. In Homer’s inspiring fight to track down his brother, Philbrick brings us another groundbreaking novel.

Funny, poignant, entertaining, and tragic, The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P.Figg (ages 9 -12) will be embraced and heralded by readers and parents alike. A magnificent novel by one of the best juvenile fiction writers of our time. (product description)

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