A while back we posted about our amazing librarian, Mr. Olson, and her wonderful book talks that she would do for classes. Many asked which books she had recommended, so we figured we would do #booktalktuesday with some of her recommendations. Books are available for checkout each weekday from 8 AM to 10 AM or digitally with the Sora app.
Pixie Pushes On by Tamara Bundy
Pixie has been sent to live with her grandparents on a farm and she is not very happy about it. She feels that she is bad luck for everyone, and blames herself for her sister getting polio. She has to learn to do chores on the farm and collecting eggs is the worst - one of the chickens always attacks her. New hope springs up in her heart when her grandpa brings home a baby lamb that he wants Pixie to take care of. He warns her that the lamb is a farm animal, not a pet. She names the lamb Buster, and as he grows he follows her everywhere.
A delightful story, set in the 1940s, during World War II. Pixie has spunk, and she is very brave. She makes rash judgments and I loved how Pixie matured during the book and how she was able to deal with all her inner struggles. She even makes some unexpected friends. I kept cheering for Pixie during the whole book. Such a good read! I recommend this book.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
At the same time every year, the people in the village of the Protectorate have to leave a newborn baby in the forest as an offering to a witch that lives in that forest.
Every year, Xan finds a newborn baby in the same place and she does not understand why someone would leave a baby like that. She picks up the baby and takes to a village that will take good care of the baby. For the trip, she feeds the baby goats milk and starlight to make the child strong and healthy. One year Xan accidentally feeds the baby she just picked up the moonlight. Moonlight holds powerful magic and Xan realizes she cannot give this baby to someone else to raise. Xan locks the magic deep inside the child, a girl she calls Luna. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday her magic starts to appear, right on schedule. Danger approaches and Xan is far away. Luna will have to decide if she should protect the ones who have protected her even if it means the end of the world as she has always known it.
This is a delightful, new fairytale, sure to delight readers and become a classic.
Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Maddy is going to spend the summer with her grandmother that lives in the Louisiana bayou. She is excited and scared. Her older sisters did not enjoy their summers with their grandmother and claims that she might even be a witch. However, as soon as Maddy arrives, she is enchanted by her grandmother, the bayou, and everything about living there. She loves the surroundings, the fireflies, and her new friend. She feels like there is something else – maybe even a mermaid!
This was an amazing book. I could not put it down. I discovered the bayou with Maddy and loved the vivid descriptions and language in the book. The book read like a “movie in my mind.” Maddy revels in the bayou, all the life, her new friends, the food and people that live there. I learned, through the eyes of Maddy, the impact of natural and man-made disasters on the environment. Maddy will stay with me for a long time.
Switched at Birthday by Natalie Standiford
Scarlet and Lavender are two 7th grade girls. Lavender is an outsider, she is bullied but has love and support at home. Lavender is spunky and somewhat at peace with who she is.
Scarlet has a mother and stepfather that really don’t care that much and a rude step-brother. She knows how to dress and knows that she is popular and beautiful. Both girls want the lead in the school play. The girls have nothing in common, except their birthday. The morning after their birthday, the girls wake up as the other person. They need to figure out how to switch back to their own bodies.
This book was cute and funny, and I found myself laughing out loud at times. It was sad at times, but I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a fun book and a quick read.
All the Colors of Magic by Valija Zinck
Penelope lives by the swamp forest with her mom and grandma. The house they live in is run down and the paint is peeling, making it look like speckled red and green. Penelope calls it the "dragon house." Penelope is unusual because she has gray hair and she smells like smoke. She misses her dad and once a month he sends a dark gray envelope with $5 or sometimes, just sand. One day Penelope's mom was hit by a tractor and is in the hospital. Penelope wakes up with bright red hair, the road starts talking to her and she discovers that she can fly.
I could not put this book down! It was a fun, fast-paced story and Penelope is a delightful heroine, and her life is full of unexpected, twists and turns. She takes matters into her own hands and brings the story to an unexpected end. I can't wait for the next book from this talented author. This is a great book!
Legends of the Sky by Liz Flanagan
Milla an orphan has been taken in by Nestan on the island country of Arcosi as a servant and companion to his daughter Tarya. While hidden in a tree a stranger hangs a beautiful pannier up in the tree to hide it. All her life Milla has heard the old legends about dragons and dragon riders. The man that hides the pannier is killed and Milla is frightened. She takes the pannier and hides it before looking inside. When she checks, she finds four beautiful, large eggs. Could they be dragon eggs? Will the dragons return to the island? She protects the eggs and finally confides her secret to her best friends, twins Tarya and Isak. The eggs are stolen. A mysterious woman, Kara, gives Milla a riddle. Milla has been present when the dragons hatch. Will she make it in time? What will happen when the dragons hatch? All this takes place while three groups of people struggle for control of the island kingdom. There is a lot of political struggle and finally a big uprising. Can the dragons and their riders help the people see that they can all live in peace?
This is a wonderful, fast-paced, epic fantasy about dragons and dragon riders, the fight and struggle between Norlander, Arcosi, and Sartolan people. I could not put this book down. It was great. The characters and their struggles, good times and bad times were told and explained so well. The characters were so well written, they seemed real. The story became like a movie in my mind while I was reading it. It was great! If you liked Eragon, you will also love this book.