Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chapter Books Recently Read

Liar & Spy
Liar & Spy
by Rebecca Stead
Wendy Lamb Books

Newbery Award-winning When You Reach Me is one of my all-time favorite reads, so I was excited to see that Rebecca Stead had a new book on the shelves.  While it didn’t capture me as When You Reach Me did, Liar & Spy certainly did not disappoint. 

Georges is dealing with a myriad of issues: bullies at school, moving to a new home, parents who are away more often than not, and even more than he lets on.  He meets Safer, a homeschooled kid who lives upstairs, and becomes involved in a spy club that pushes the limits of their new friendship.  In the process, truths and lies are revealed, both to Georges and to the reader.  As always, Stead’s writing is engaging and the hint of mystery pulls the reader along. Although, the mystery that appears to be there is not the real mystery at all.  This is what makes the book so interesting. 

The ending is a bit quick and almost too neatly wrapped-up for my taste, and I felt that the characters and their relationships could have been stronger.  However, I love the way Stead gets at the heart of what it feels like to be a middle-schooler.  The school scenes are my favorite and the ones that will stick with me when I recall this book.

a boy and a bear in a boat
 A Boy and a Bear in a Boat
by Dave Shelton
David Flicking Books

The title says it all.  I’m not sure how an almost 300-page story about a boy and a bear in a boat can be so captivating.  I don’t know who they are, where they’ve come from, or where they are heading, but I’ve come to love them and understand them thanks to some brilliant writing and beautiful illustrations.

Honestly, I can’t do A Boy and A Bear in a Boat justice, but this poignant review at A Fuse #8 Production is exactly what I would want you to know about it.  Please take the time to read it…and pick up a copy of the book, too.

lady lollipop
 Lady Lollipop
by Dick King-Smith
Illustrated by Jill Barton
Candlewick Press

Recently, What Do We Do All Day? had a fabulous post highlighting 50+ Chapter Books for Preschoolers and 3 Year Olds.  I got right to work adding many of these titles to our to-read list.

The first one we chose was Lady Lollipop: the story of a perfectly spoiled princess, an unusually intelligent pig, and a down-to-earth pig-(and princess)-trainer.  We thoroughly enjoyed this sweet chapter book.  It seemed to be just the right length for us to get through in a few days, kept both the 5-year-old and I interested and gave us lots to talk about.  We’re looking forward to reading further adventures of Lady Lollipop.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.  All books were borrowed from my local public library.

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