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Rave Reviews from Bookstores and Kids

June 29, 2011

 Here are new books and future publications our indie book buyers are raving about:

Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard

I love this book, and as a former teacher, I would use it in my classroom. I think there is so much there to discuss: the writing and the poetry are really wonderful and I love the voice–it rings so true of a high school boy…

 -Betsy Balyeat, Book Stall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka, IL


 Notes from the Blender by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

Notes from the Blender is told in two voices, the girl part is by Trish Cook, the boy part by Brendan Halpin, in alternating chapters. Declan is a death metal music fan, loves violent video games, and Neilly Foster. Neilly is beautiful and popular, the child of parents who love her very much, divorced when her dad realized he was gay. And now Declan’s dad and Neilly’s mom have found each other and fallen in love (and gotten pregnant). This is especially uncomfortable because now Declan will be living in the same house with Neilly, and her underpants, and he is having enough trouble with being an adolescent. Neilly, as secure as she seems to be in her social metier, is still a teenager and worries about her boyfriend, her place in the world, and how the people she knows are going to react to her dad’s upcoming marriage.

I found this book to be absolutely charming and hysterically funny. Neilly and Declan don’t really know much about each other, just the surface things you know about people you are in school in. As they deal with parents who are acting like teenagers themselves, moving in together, sharing bathrooms, they find out how much they have in common and how deeply you can feel for someone else.

-Rene Kirkpatrick, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

Rotters by Daniel Kraus

What an amazing book-A lot of talk about maggots and flies, fetid smells and difficult families but such a good read! It’s the story of a boy whose mother dies and he has to go live with a father he never knew who lives in a small town with a small-minded bunch of jocks and bullies. His father is known as the garbage man because he smells so bad and it takes a very long time for our hero and his dad to come to any kind of friendship, much less any kind of family feeling.

 I loved this society of men who rob graves, their fraternity, their mythology and loneliness, the special words and feelings for their tools. I love the relationships they have with each other, the love and fear they have for their work and that it will soon be a world gone as the men die and no one is further admitted into their ranks.

Rotters…(is) a book that we think is especially good for those boys heading into manhood, ages 15 and older, a coming of age story as Joey wends his way through high school, family and friendship.

It would be a really good book for all those adults who may be not particularly squeamish who are just looking for a good book to read, an interesting story with fascinating characters, a story with love, lust, jealousy, rat kings, loyalty and interesting facts about death and the funeral business.

Rene Kirkpatrick, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

Bigger Than a Bread Box by Laurel Snyder

Laurel Snyder’s books always feel so cozy to me, fun and sweet and relatable. Her newest, about a magical breadbox that grants wishes (and it doesn’t work out as well as you’d imagine!) is a must read for middle readers!

-Lauren Peugh, Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book, La Verne, CA


Amen, L.A. by Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld (available July 12, 2011)

“Amen, L.A.” is a Gossip-Girl-style expose on celebrity church life, following Natalie, whose mom has just been appointed the head pastor of the Church of Beverly Hills, and her not-so-saintly friends. Dip into this guilty pleasure!

– Lauren Peugh, Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book, La Verne, CA

 Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick (available September 6, 2011)

This haunting dystopian thriller (the first in a series) will entrance “Hunger Games” fans – teens and adults alike!

– Lauren Peugh, Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book, La Verne, CA


Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig and Marc Brown

Kids will love Marc Brown’s bright pictures, they almost seem to pop right off the page! And the bouncy beat of the story will have kids and adults singing along!

– Lauren Peugh, Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book, La Verne, CA


And here are some upcoming books children and teens are loving:

The Game of Triumphs by Laura Powell (available August 9, 2011)

The Game of Triumphs was a great book. The storyline was original along with the characters. I would have never thought of doing it this way, but when it is written, it is amazing. I would recommend this book to people who love the thought that there are other worlds out there.

-Jessica, age 12, via Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book, La Verne, CA


These three came from a local school near Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers.

The Summer I Learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt (available July 12, 2011)

Drew lives in her father’s shadow. She was given her dead father’s name.

Drew works at her mom’s cheese shop along with the handsome employee Nick, her crush. And crushed she is when she finds out he has a girlfriend. Now she has no one. she has only ever had four friends in her whole life, none of which she has now. And then when she needs someone most, here comes Emmet. Emmet is different he likes day old bread, and can train rats. But it appears Emmet is hiding something. And Drew was not expecting to learn about what he plans to do, and more importantly who he really is.

This book made me laugh my voice hoarse,  made me leak my eyes dry. I was immersed in Drew. I felt her joy. Her pain. Dana made Drew so believable I’m not entirely sure she is not really out there.

Mrs. Perry’s Class Reviewer: River


Toys Come Home: Being the Early Experiences of an Intelligent Stingray, a Brave Buffalo, and a Brand-New Someone Called Plastic by Emily Jenkins and Paul Zelinsky (available September 13, 2011)

This is a story about a little girl that has talking stuffed animals, and loses one of them. The animals talk but the girl doesn’t hear them.
I love how the girl got a new stuffed animal and couldn’t find a name so she named it No Name Walrus. This book was a good fantasy. . There was a good story plot, also good characters. I could connect to this book really well because I had a stuffed animal that I was obsessed with when I was younger. I think that it could have been longer though. Sometimes it was confusing though like who was talking. When I saw this book I didn’t think I would like it because of it’s title , but it turned out to be a really good book. I would definitely read this book again.

Mrs. Perry’s Class Reviewer:  Camryn


Alvin Ho: Allergic to Dead Bodies, Funerals, and Other Fatal Circumstances   by Lenore Look, illustrated by Leuyen Pham (available September 13, 2011)

FUNNY, Funerals, exaggerations, Kenny you rock for bringing this book to our class. This book was great. It was kind of weird but still very funny. If I could only bring one book to a desert and read it over and over again for a year, I would bring this one. It was action packed and full of adventure. This book was about how Alvin was supposed to go to a funeral with his Gung Gung (grandpa) and somehow at school his classmates were confused he was supposed to go to a funeral with his Gung Gung. And they thought it was his Gung Gung who died. So, they were going to hold a ceremony for Alvin.

Mrs. Perry’s Class Reviewer:  Addisyn


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