The Black Butterfly by Shirley Reva Vernick

51uGIZSVTlL      The Black Butterfly by Shirley Reva Vernick, Cinco Puntos Press, 2014

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4

Genre:  Paranormal/Romance

What did you like about the book?  All high school student Penny wants is to spend time with her mother at Christmas, but her mother is off chasing ghosts in Idaho and Penny is sent to spend the holidays in Maine with a stranger who was once her mother’s best friend. Bubbles owns the Black Butterfly Inn on the coast of Maine, her son, George is home from the CIA, not the agency, the Culinary Institute of America and Rita is the talented European chef who befriends Penny.   Not having had a traditional upbringing Penny finds friendship, good cooking, love, dream journeys and ghosts at the Black Butterfly.

This is a unique story about holding on and letting go, about hope and forgiveness, and about ghosts and their stories. Particularly enjoyed the character Blue, he added so much to the plot.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Not a reader of paranormal fiction, I honestly enjoyed this book, so anyone who likes a great story with some romance and fun and interesting characters, including some ghosts will enjoy this book.

Who should buy this book?  High schools and Public libraries to add to their YA/Teen sections

Where would you shelve it ?  Fiction (Paranormal)

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  It’s a pleasant diversion but maybe not the top of “to read” pile, near it though.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Maria Touet, Pope John XXIII High School, Everett , MA

Date of review:February 26, 2015

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X: a Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz

  51f2p-ofWtL      X: a Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz, Candlewick Press, 2015

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4

Genre:  Historical Fiction

What did you like about the book? This is a fictional novelization of Malcom X’s teenage years written by one of his daughters.  The story is fascinating for the content and for how much IS real (the author explains at the back which bits are exaggerated or which characters are more compilations of a few folks) but also because it reads as a good coming of age YA novel of a young black man in the 1930-40s in the United States.  

Anything you didn’t like about it?  It feels a bit slow after the first quarter and took a bit of pushing to keep going.

To whom would you recommend this book?   Teens and adults interested in Malcom X’s young life and a good YA coming if age tale.

Who should buy this book? Public Libraries, School Libraries

Where would you shelve it? YA Fiction (Historical)

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  No, but it’s a good read if you’ve time and interest in the time period

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: April Duclos, Hudson Public Library, Hudson, MA

Date of review: 3/1/15

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If I Had a Triceratops – George O’Connor

3475862                If I Had a Triceratops – George O’Connor, Candlewick, 2015

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4

What did you like about the book? A little boy imagines just how wonderful it would be to have a triceratops for a pet. He would have to do everything with the beast that he would with a dog: walk it, clean up after it, feed it, care for its well-being and train it. The illustrations are laughingly wonderful.

What didn’t you like about the book? Nothing.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Though not as well done as this one, O’Connor’s predecessor, If I Had a Raptor, would pair well.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries and child-care centers

Where would you shelve it and why? Picture Books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Near.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Gardner High School, Gardner, MA

Date of review: 3/1/2015

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Jessica’s Box – Peter Carnavas

jessicas-box        Jessica’s Box – Peter Carnavas, Kane Miller, 2015.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 5

What did you like about the book? Wheelchair-bound Jessica is going to school for the first time. She thinks if she brings something special, the kids will like her so she brings her teddy bear. Not so special. She brings cupcakes – they are devoured and then the kids are gone. She brings her dog, a super hit but dogs are not allowed! She gives up and hides inside the box she has been using to bring her treasures to school. This works with one special little boy. An enchanting tale with sweet, moving illustrations.

What didn’t you like about this book? Nothing at all.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Read some other books by Peter Carnavas like “Last Tree in the City”, “The Boy on the Page” and “Oliver and George”.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries, kindergartens and lower elementary grades

Where would you shelve it and why? Picture books

Should we (librarians/Readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Gardner High School, Gardner, MA

Date of review: 2/27/2015

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The Black Butterfly by Shirley Reva Vernick

51uGIZSVTlL       The Black Butterfly by Shirley Reva Vernick, Cinco Puntos Press, 2014

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4

Genre:  Paranormal/Romance

What did you like about the book?  All high school student Penny wants is to spend time with her mother at Christmas, but her mother is off chasing ghosts in Idaho and Penny is sent to spend the holidays in Maine with a stranger who was once her mother’s best friend. Bubbles owns the Black Butterfly Inn on the coast of Maine, her son, George is home from the CIA, not the agency, the Culinary Institute of America and Rita is the talented European chef who befriends Penny.   Not having had a traditional upbringing Penny finds friendship, good cooking, love, dream journeys and ghosts at the Black Butterfly.                                                                                                                                              This is a unique story about holding on and letting go, about hope and forgiveness, and about ghosts and their stories. I particularly enjoyed the character Blue as he added so much to the plot.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?   Not a reader of paranormal fiction, I honestly enjoyed this book, so anyone who likes a great story with some romance and fun and interesting characters, including some ghosts will enjoy this book.

Who should buy this book? High schools and Public libraries to add to their YA/Teen sections

Where would you shelve it ? Paranormal young adult fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  It’s a pleasant diversion but maybe not the top of “to read” pile, near it though.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Maria Touet, Pope John XXIII High School, Everett, MA

Date of review:  February 26, 2015

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My ABC Book, illustrated by Art Seiden

51WfXTmC6VL       My ABC Book - illustrated by Art Seiden, Grosset & Dunlap Vintage Books, 2015 (originally published 1950)

Format: Hardcover Picture book

Rating: 3

What did you like about the book? This vintage book is a straight-forward ABC book, with a classic picture of a dog, cat, elephant for the letters. This 1950 style book doesn’t pretend to be anything but an alphabet book.

What didn’t you like about the book? With literacy instruction focusing more on the sounds of the letters rather than the names of the letters, this might not be a good choice for beginning readers. There was only one illustration for each letter.

To whom would you recommend this book? Parents who like the nostalgia factor of this book will like reading it to their children.

Who should buy this book? All libraries

Where would you shelve it and why? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Maybe

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sandra Pacheco, Gardner Public Schools, Gardner, MA

Date of review: Feb. 24, 2015

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The Too Little Fire Engine story and pictures by Jane Flory

51tE5McLB0L      The Too Little Fire Engine – story and pictures by Jane Flory, Grosset & Dunlap Vintage Books, 2015

Format: Hardcover Picture book

Rating: 3

What did you like about the book? This is a vintage book republished today. It has classic 1950’s illustrations and the text and layout of the book scream the 1950’s. I can’t say it is great literature, however, it does have the nostalgia factor that might carry it through. It is the story of a little fire engine that realizes that small is just the right size.

What didn’t you like about the book? Aside from it being a vintage book, it had little appeal for me. The premise of the fire engine putting a fire out amongst the toys might be frightening to young children who are afraid of fires.

To whom would you recommend this book? Parents who remember the books of their youth might enjoy reading this book to their children.

Who should buy this book? All libraries

Where would you shelve it and why? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Maybe

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sandra Pacheco, Gardner Public Schools, Gardner, MA

Date of review: Feb. 24, 2015

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