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This Orq. (he cave boy.) by David Elliott, Lori Nichols



Way back when woolly mammoths and sabertooth tigers roamed the earth, Orq lived and loved his young pet, Woma. When Woma grew to full size, Orq's mother told him to take the animal out of their house cave. Because Orq loved Woma, he started on a campaign to have Woma earn his mother's love. This story is reminiscent of some of the antics from the Flintstones (for those who are old enough to remember the TV cartoon show). The illustrations add context to the story creating an engaging adventure in Orq's life. The text provides opportunities for discussion about how the book is written compared with how we write and speak today. This story may be more appealing to boys, but I enjoyed it very much. This Orq would make a great read aloud in addition to reading it alone. Pick up a copy and enjoy. 

Alone Together by Suzanne Bloom

Bear wants to be alone but Fox wants to be alone with Bear. When Goose decides to join them they are alone together. Illustrations display the characters against a blue sky background that enhances Bear's coat, Fox's tail, and Goose's down. The language is simple and supports comparison between quiet and noise. Young readers will enjoy the friendliness and compatibility of the characters. This makes great reading alone or together with additional readers.

The Minature World of Marvin & James

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The Minature World of Marvin and James


For younger readers who enjoyed Masterpiece, the adventure continues in The Miniature World of Marvin & James. This chapter book is a bit shorter in length than the original and has a simpler plot. The font is large and black and white drawings help tell the story with accompanying text on each page. Author Elise Broach and illustrator Kelly Murphy bring Marvin and James back together again for a fun tale of friendship and Marvin’s adventures.

Masterpiece by Elise Broach and Illustrated by Kelly Murphy

    Masterpiece by Elise Broach and illustrated by Kelly Murphy is a story about a young beetle named Marvin who becomes friends with an 11-year-old boy named James. Marvin and James begin their friendship soon after James’ birthday party when his father gave him an ink and pen set along with drawing paper. That night, Marvin goes into James’ room and finds the ink container open. He decides to try to draw something using his legs dipped in ink. What he creates is a masterpiece. The next day when the drawing is discovered by humans and attribution is given to James, the adventure and friendship begins. Readers who enjoyed Charlotte’s Web or other similar stories will enjoy this one as well.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart


Book cover for We Were LiarsE. Lockhart delivers an interesting tale of four teens who vacation each summer at their grandfather’s private island near Edgartown. Cady looks forward to her summers on the island. After a series of tragedies, Cady begins having migraines and has lost her memory of the events surrounding one of them. When she returns to the island, she begins to remember. We Were Liars takes the reader on a ride filled with love, adventure and heartache. This is one of the books that you will not want to put down; but if you do, you will be drawn back to it time and again.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business - Charles Duhigg

We all have habits, but how do we form them? How may we change the habits we already have? Charles Duhigg in his book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and in Business, describes the habit loop, why habits are hard to break, and the best way to make progress with changing a habit. Filled with engaging stories of well-known corporations and interesting people, the reader will learn how either the people included in these stories were or were not successful in altering patterns that developed a certain habit loop. For a self-help book, I found this book engaging and informative.

As Luck Would Have It

The Thing About Luck - Cynthia Kadohata

As luck would have it, Summer's parents were called away to Japan to take care of an ailing relative. Summer's grandparents are going to fill in for the parents to help pay the mortgage for the family. Summer and her brother accompany the grandparents as they take on jobs with a harvesting company. Summer helps her cantankerous grandmother cook the meals for the crew while her grandfather drives a combine. When bad luck strikes the family again, Summer must make a decision to help rescue her family as only she can or obey her grandmother. The story shows us how Summer overcomes obstacles that many tweens face, including trouble that comes from having her first kiss.

A Suitcase and a Dream

A Tangle of Knots - Lisa Graff

This story begins with a powder blue suitcase that held within it a young man's hopes and dreams for making a fortune. What he needs besides what is in the suitcase is a special talent that will give him the success he desires. Too soon, his hopes and dreams are dashed when the suitcase turns up missing. Meanwhile, a young orphan girl who has a talent for making the perfect cake for each person including judges, successfully competes in bake-offs. Her guardian has a special talent for matching each child with the best parents, but has yet to find a match for the orphan girl. As the story progresses, the reader is introduced to many unique and interesting characters and most of them have special talents. Most know what their special talent is and others are searching for their talent. What happens next causes a problem for many of the characters when a man begins stealing talents from the people he encounters in his store. This story has captivating characters and the writing is eloquent. This makes a great read.

Is this the End of the World as We Knew It?

Fallout - Todd Strasser

Back in 1962 when President Kennedy was in office, a dispute between the Soviets and the U.S. resulted in a nuclear war, or so it seems to have happened in Fallout by Todd Strasser. Living in an underground shelter challenges the people in this story to overcome obstacles that may hinder their survival. Many thoughts played in the background of my mind as I read this story. How would I react when faced with these circumstances? Why is it typical for so many people, including myself, to prepare ourselves for life changing events only partially? Why don't we think it through so that we are fully prepared? For example, in my neck of the woods, we store up things that we believe we will need when we learn that a hurricane is approaching. Yet, somehow, many of us do not fully prepare for the event when a major hurricane does in fact devastate the area for miles around us. We take so many things for granted. This book will walk you through the lives of two boys, their families, and their neighbors in the happenings before and after their town has been hit by a nuclear bomb.