Book Review

The Time Museum by Matthew Loux

Time Museum book cover: illustrated image of a girl with reddish brown hair looking at a glowing band on her wrist. In the background are figures appearing to be runningDelia Bean is just your average valedictorian- a nerd through and through and not popular in school at all. However, summer begins to look promising when her family visits her Uncle Lyndon’s home. There Delia discovers The Time Museum, a museum of Earth’s history (past and future), and wouldn’t you know it, her Uncle is the curator. Delia quickly joins the competition to win the coveted internship position. The competition pits Delia against kids from various eras in history, and the intensive study required is broken up by harrowing trials that send the competitors through time. But, soon Delia makes another important discovery, it is not just T-Rexes one was to watch out for, because not all time travelers are the good guys.

This graphic novel opens this new series with a bang, and will sure to be a hit with upper elementary school readers. Fans of the Amulet or Dreamjumpers series will find enough action and adventure to satisfy, and fans of Roller Girl and Smile will appreciate Delia’s struggle to build friendships.

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Celeste, Kids World

That's NOT How You Do It! By Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar

That's NOT How You Do It! book cover: an illustrated cat with arms crossed is frowning while wearing a berret"Everything was fine, until the day Toshi arrived."

Lucy knows how to do everything under the sun. Build a tower of blocks, eat with a fork, even how to paint an elephant. Lucy is so good in fact, that everyone else in the neighborhood comes to her for help. However all that changes when Toshi arrives. Toshi also knows how to do many things too, but he does them all wrong! Or, is that really the case?

Cultures lightly ‘clash’ in the book, ‘That’s not how you do it!’. When something is different, it’s easy to think it’s wrong. However this books shows even our youngest kids that there’s more than one correct way to do things, and in the end we can all learn from each other and make something beautiful.

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Naomi, Kids World

John Ronald’s Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien By Caroline McAlister

John Ronald's Dragons book cover: illustrated man on a hill under a tree with a book in his lap. He is looking up at the leaves of the tree which have taken the shape of a dragon“Then one day when John Ronald was grading exams, he came to a blank page. He wrote on the page, ‘In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.’

J.R.R. Tolkien loved dragons. He loved all types of dragons and wanted to meet one, but he couldn’t find them anywhere. Until one day he did.

This well-researched biography gives the reader a glimpse of the man who never forgot how to dream and imagine a fantastical world that millions of people would fall in love with. Recommended for elementary readers who would love to learn about the man who wrote about hobbits, wizards and yes, dragons.

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Victoria, Kids World

Real Friends by Shannon Hale

Real Friends book cover; illustrated 7 girls of varying ethnicty in the front a red headed girl with glasses"When I was little, I didn't worry about friends."

Before you start school, having friends isn't a problem. But if you're like Shannon, friends aren't always easy to come by once you start your academic career. Never quite fitting in yet never exactly standing out, Shannon's kindergarten-through-fifth-grade experience with friends and frenemies is one many school-aged children will relate to. Whether trouble comes from shyness, anxiety, bullying, or just plain being different, Real Friends proves that it's not about finding friends, but finding out who your real friends are.

This graphic novel will win the hearts of readers in upper-elementary and middle school who enjoy the works of Raina Telgemeier (Smile), Cece Bell (El Deafo), and Victoria Jamieson (Roller Girl).

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Brittany, Kids World

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

Goldfish Boy book cover: blue house silhouette of boy looking out the window"At some point after 12:55 p.m. on that bright, scorching day, Teddy Dawson went missing."

In the middle of a cul-de-sac in a small English town there lies Matthew Corbin, a boy who refuses to leave his house. He has OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) where he has to wash his hands multiple times a day and has to make sure his bedroom is clean and germ-free. In his spare time (which is a lot), Matthew looks out his window where he can take note of his neighbor's daily activities.

But when a toddler next door goes missing, it’s up to Matthew (will he leave his house?) and some unlikely friends to help him solve the mystery. Did one of the neighbors take Teddy? Did he run off on his own?

The shining light of the book is the refreshing take of a boy suffering from OCD and how it dictates his life. The readers will root for Matthew as he tries to deal with his disorder while solving the mystery. Although the mystery plot is not new, it did keep me on my toes as I tried to figure out what happened to Teddy.

All upper elementary and middle school readers who love mysteries should take a look at this book!

Find The Goldfish Boy at the Library.

Victoria, Kids World

Carrot & Pea by Morag Hood

Carrot and Pea: An Unlikely Friendship book cover- illustrated green peas fil the page with one orange carrot stick"Colin isn't at all like Lee and the other peas."
"He is much too tall and much too orange."

Lee and Colin are so different. Lee is a pea: little, round, and green. Colin is a carrot: large, rectangular, and orange. All of Lee's friends are peas, except for Colin. Not only does Colin not look like Lee and his pea friends, but he cannot do many of the things peas can do like roll or bounce. However, Colin can do many things the peas cannot. Will the peas accept Colin for who he is, even though he is not the same as them?

These simple illustrations in this story of friendship and acceptance make detecting round peas as different from orange carrots fun for those just learning shapes and colors, and funny for those already in the know. This title is best for birth through out preschool and readers who are learning about being accepted and accepting.

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Brittany, Kids World

Tales of Sasha: The Big Secret by Alexa Pearl

Tales of Sasha: The Big Secret book cover: an illustrated grey horse on a lush cliff looking up into the sky"Sometimes, I feel like I'm standing at the starting line of a race, waiting for the whistle to blow."

Sasha is a small plucky young horse who just doesn't fit into the herd. She admits, "I stink at staying still," and her classmates know she is more prone to daydreams than focusing on her teacher. Downhearted and depressed after failing a school lesson, Sasha's parents let her in on a little secret that has the potential to change everything.

With less than 100 pages and illustrations on every page, this series opener is a tidy little transitional chapter book perfect for early elementary readers just making the jump into chapter books. My Little Pony fans will find the artwork appealing, and kids who struggle sitting still will find in Sasha a kindred spirit.

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Celeste, Kids World

Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan

Freedom Over Me book cover: title is encircled with chains, within each loop the face of an African slave is pictured."I was enslaved in Central Africa. In chained coffles, I survived the long walk to the coast."

After reading an 1828 estate appraisement listing only the names, ages, and prices of a family's slaves, author Ashley Bryan decided to bring these forgotten souls to life, giving each their own story and dreams using free-form poems. Weaving the eleven people together through marriage, friendship, or mere shared servitude, a community emerges and just how grave and dehumanizing the conditions of slavery were comes to light. Each fictionalized account of a real person merits reflection on how the institution of slavery gravely affected our brothers and sisters in the past, and how it still affects us today.

The illustrations bring life to each fictionalized story in a way that is not too juvenile for its target audience, but could be easily emulated by any young artists who happen to be reading. This book is recommended for readers in grades 3-6 and would pair flawlessly with Laurie Halse Anderson's Seeds of America trilogy.

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Brittany, Kids World

Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color by Julia Denos

Swatch book cover: an illustrated girl in long grey pants and gray and white striped long-sleeved shirt with color dots trailing behind her"Her name was Swatch, and she was a color tamer."

Do you have a hard time choosing just one color to call your favorite? Then meet Swatch. This young girl collects breathtaking colors from all over and places them in jars. One day, she stumbles upon the color she hasn't yet collected: yellow. But yellow doesn't want to be tamed. Will Swatch continue to try and tame yellow, or will she let it roam free?

This picture book is perfect for exposing pre-kindergarten students to a beautiful array of colors. It will be sure to capture their attention with its vibrant artwork.

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Aseel, Kids World

Can You Snore Like a Dinosaur? by Monica Sweeney

Can You Snore Like a Dinosaur book Cover: two long neck dinosuars nuzzle a baby nestled between them"Can you yawn like a Pteranodan?"

This self-designated "Help-Your-Child-to-Sleep Book" offers illustrations of sleepy dinosaurs as a backdrop for its quiet interactive text. With tips from a certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, this book offers struggling parents a guide to help settle down rombitious young ones. Encourage your child to do as the dinosaurs do- fall sleep. Young dinosaur fans, particularly those between ages 2 and 5, will find this a perfect bedtime story.

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Celeste Kids World