February 2, 2015
2015 Newbery Medal Winner
The Newbery Medal is awarded every year by a committee of librarians to recognize “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” Past winners have included The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, The Giver by Lois Lowry, and Holes by Louis Sachar. Last year’s winner was Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (who also wrote Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux).
This year’s winner was just announced today, and the 2015 Newbery Medal goes to . . .
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Have you read The Crossover yet? Do YOU think it was the best American children’s book published in 2014? Two Honor books were also chosen this year: El Deafo by Cece Bell, and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.
If you were on the committee voting for the 2015 Newbery Medal, which book would YOU have chosen? (Remember, only books published in 2014 by writers in America are eligible.) Let us know in the Comments.
— Sonja, STACKS Staffer
January 28, 2015
Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud (for ages 11 and up)
And now, a book recommendation from DreamtimeDetermined14!
Oh my gosh! I just finished reading Lockwood & Co. Book #2: The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud, and it was so amazing! Although, the cliffhanger made me really mad. I can’t wait for book #3!
The series is about a psychic investigations agency in London called Lockwood & Co. It’s managed by the very brave—and very reckless—Anthony Lockwood, who is still a teenager. Lockwood employs 2 other teenagers, Lucy Carlyle and George Cubbins, to help at the agency. The book is told from Lucy’s point of view.
Lucy and George live with Lockwood in the house he inherited from the parents he never likes to talk about. Their house is also headquarters for the agency—the smallest one in London. The city wouldn’t need these agencies if it wasn’t for the problem… Many years before Lucy was born, the problem started. Ghosts started coming back from the dead. People realized that only children could sense the ghosts, and some children better than others. That’s when large agencies started employing children to help defend the country from visitors.
Parts of the books are quite frightening, but I think most people older than 11 should be okay reading it. I enjoyed the books immensely, even though I’ve never liked very scary books or movies. The characters were wonderful and the plot was intriguing. I recommend this series to anyone who is looking for an exciting mystery or just wants a good book to read. If you haven’t read this series you definitely should!
–Scotland on the Reading Buzz Board
January 21, 2015
What Books Should You Read Before You’re 13?
We love, love, LOVE books here at the STACKS. But there are a TON of books out there, like, millions. Maybe billions? I don’t know about you, but sometimes it feels like there are too many choices. With so many options, how can we ever sift through to find the must-reads?
So, I have come up with my *opinionated* list of the 13 books you simply MUST read before you turn 13 years old. By the way, if you’re older than 13 and you somehow missed any of these books, you should totally go read them now! They are not just for kids! Continue reading
January 14, 2015
What were the most recommended books of 2014?
Over the year, we asked you to add your recommended books to our Books of the Month word cloud. Well, I have tallied up the results and the following books stand out way above the others for being the books that YOU chose most often in 2014.
Behold the 2014 Books of the Year!
#1: The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan was the #1 most recommended book series of 2014!
#2: Harry Potter series
#3: Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
#4: The Hunger Games trilogy (for ages 12 and up)
#5: Warriors, Dork Diaries, Minecraft, and Wings of Fire series tied for 5th place.
Have you read them all? Are these YOUR favorite books of 2014? What books will you be reading in 2015? Tell us in the Comments, and get ready for a new year of reading!
Sonja, STACKS Staffer
January 9, 2015
Top 10 Snape Quotes
Happy Birthday to one of the meanest professors of all time: Severus Snape. January 9 is Professor Snape’s birthday, and to celebrate, here is a list of my top 10 favorite Snape quotes (as written by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling). Here they are in chronological order . . .
- “I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death — if you aren’t as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach.” (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)
- “Tut,tut . . . Fame clearly isn’t everything.” (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)
- “That is the second time you have spoken out of turn, Miss Granger,” said Snape coolly. “Five more points from Gryffindor for being an insufferable know-it-all.” (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
- Well, I think I had better separate the three of you, so you can keep your minds on your potions rather than on your tangled love lives.” (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
- “Potter, when I want nonsense shouted at me I shall give you a Babbling Beverage. And Crabbe, loosen your hold a little, if Longbottom suffocates it will mean a lot of tedious paperwork, and I am afraid I shall have to mention it on your reference if ever you apply for a job.” (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
- Umbridge: You applied first for the Defense Against the Dark Arts post. Is that correct?
Umbridge: But you were unsuccessful?
Snape: Obviously. (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
- “You and Black, you’re two of a kind, sentimental children forever whining about how bitterly unfair your lives have been. Well, it may have escaped your notice, but life isn’t fair.” (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
- “You dare use my own spells against me, Potter? It was I who invented them!” (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
Warner Bros. Pictures
- “Mr. Potter…” (pretty much all of the books!!!)
Gotta love his sarcasm. Do you see any of your favorites on the list? Or let us know your own in the Comments below!
-Ratha, STACKS Writer
January 7, 2015
New Dog Adventure Series: Ranger in Time
Are you a kid who loves . . .
- Dangerous journeys?
Ranger in Time is Kate Messner’s new series that has ALL the above. The main character is Ranger, a lovable search and rescue dog, who travels back in time to join a family as they take on the Oregon Trail. Ranger saves the day, but a lot happens before he gets to return to his own time, his owner, and a nice slab of bacon.
Read the first chapter here!
And get excited for Ranger’s next trip — to ancient Rome!
January 2, 2015
Next Stop: London’s Book Benches!
A cool thing happened in London last summer. An organization called the National Literacy Trust hired artists to create book-based sculptures called BookBenches. 50 books from Peter Pan to A Bear Called Paddington were painted onto benches all across London. They called it the “Books About Town.”
The BookBench sculptures were on display on the streets of London this summer, and then sold at a public auction. They raised over £250,000. (That’s about $390,000 in U.S. dollars.) All of that money will go to the National Literacy Trust, a charity dedicated to raising the literacy levels of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.
As you can see, these BookBenches are pretty amazing – they look like they belong in an art museum!
If you could see one of your favorite books depicted on a bench in your town, what book would it be? Leave your ideas in the Comments below!
Marisa, STACKS Intern
December 31, 2014
A Million Ways Home (for ages 8 and up) by Dianna Dorisi Winget
When Grandma Beth has a stroke that puts her in the hospital, Poppy Parker has to live in a temporary home for foster kids. Poppy is so unhappy about being unable to see her grandmother each day that she decides to walk to the hospital herself.
But when she stops to buy a snack for Grandma, Poppy accidentally becomes a witness to an armed robbery. To keep Poppy safe, Detective Brannigan sends Poppy to stay with his mother so they can look out for Poppy until the suspect is caught.
Poppy begins volunteering at an animal shelter and makes two unexpected friends – Lizzie, the “bad kid,” and Gunner, the German shepherd. No one wants to adopt Gunner because he once bit a little boy. Poppy feels unwanted too, so she decides to try to save Gunner and find him a home.
But what if Grandma Beth never gets better? And what if the police can’t find the robber? Will Poppy ever be able to go home? Will she be able to save Gunner from a terrible fate? You’ll have to read the book to find out how Poppy’s story ends. Then leave your Comments in the section below!
Marisa, STACKS Intern
December 24, 2014
New Island of the Aunts Book Trailer!
Have you seen STACKS Staffer En-Szu’s awesome video for Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibbotson (author of The Secret of Platform 13, Which Witch, and One Dog and His Boy)?
Check it out and tell us what you think in the Comments!
December 17, 2014
The Badger Knight (for ages 8 and up) by Kathryn Erskine
The year is 1346. Adrian is almost 13 years old but he isn’t like most other boys his age. He has Albinism, which means he has very pale skin and light hair and eyes. He has almost always been a small, sickly kid. The bullies in his English village call him “badger” because of the dirt he rubs under his eyes to stop the glare from his paper-white skin.
Adrian has a sharp mind, and all he wants to do is go to war as an archer. This is not his father’s plan. Adrian can write, and Adrian’s father wants him to become a scribe. To Adrian, this sounds like the worst job in the world.
The Scottish invade near their home in England, and Adrian’s best friend Hugh joins his father on the battlefield. Adrian follows Hugh, determined to find his friend and participate in his glorious vision of warfare. As Adrian ventures through war-ridden England and Scotland, his voyage becomes a true knight’s tale.
But will Adrian even be able to find Hugh? The perils of war don’t exactly resemble what Adrian had pictured in his head. Will he make it home safely? Read the book to find out how this young knight’s adventure ends. Have you already read The Badger Knight? Leave your Comments in the section below!
Marisa, STACKS Intern