Yoko Finds Her Way by Rosemary Wells (E WELLS)

I am about to take a flight on an airplane. It is good that I have read Yoko Finds Her Way by Rosemary Wells. Yoko teaches readers young and old how to watch for directional signs that help them get to the airport, through check-in and cuyokostoms, and to the gate for their flights. With good signs, it might be easy to navigate through the big airport, but Yoko goes through one wrong door. Getting back to her mother is a little adventure.

We have been reading Rosemary Wells books in our house since my daughter was little. Our daughter has graduated from college and is living her own life in another state now, but my wife Bonnie and I still like to bring home the author’s brightly illustrated books. I particularly enjoy the oriental touches in Yoko Finds Her Way.

It is also good to know that there will be food at the airport.

Review submitted by Rick

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Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan (J SLOAN)

Willow is highly gifted twelve year old. She has three major obsessions: plants, medical counting by 7sconditions, and the number 7. Willow is faced with a terrible tragedy. With help from her friend Mai and Mai’s family and counselor Dell Duke, she is able to tackle and face her challenges. Willow is adorable, intelligent, clever, and sensitive; I wanted to keep reading to know how she would cope with all the issues she was confronting. Counting by 7s is a delightful tale of transformation, friends, family and a celebration of life.

(Recommended for ages 10 and up)

Review submitted by Uma

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The Elephant Scientist by Caitlin O’Connell (J 599.67 OCO)

Elephants continue to surprise us. In her field studies in Namibia, Caitlin O’Connell noticed that when elephants warily stop to assess the safety of situations, a matriarch holds a front foot bent so that the front toes firmly contact the earth. She had seen similar behavior in insect studies and recognized it as hearing vibrations through feet. In her book for young readers, The Elephant Scientistelephant, she recounts further observations and field experiments that she and a team of naturalists conducted to verify and understand her observation.

I particularly liked the section of the book showing O’Connell and others building and inhabiting a scaffold-like four-story observation station close to a water hole that attracts elephants, giraffe, and zebras. And an occasional lion, of course. Wrapped in boma cloth, the electrified perimeter fencing kept the team safe from the wildlife and let them observe elephant behaviors without disturbing the elephants. The station had sleeping tents, a dining tent, an outhouse, and a loft for watching wildlife. The boy in me that always longed for a tree house thinks it would be really cool to live and work in an observation tower in Namibia.

As a title in the Scientists in the Field series from Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, The Elephant Scientist, which was a Robert F. Siebert Honor Book, is filled with photos of the wildlife and the scientists at work. The chapters are concise and fairly quick reading, and the authors include a glossary and references in the back of the book. The Elephant Scientist is an attractive book for elephant lovers of any age.

Review submitted by Rick

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Smile by Raina Telgemeier (J COMICS TELGEMEIER)

Raina is in midsmiledle school and her dentist has told her she needs braces. Getting braces starts off as a simple process and quickly it gets complex and Raina has to deal with the pain and many frustrations. She wants be noticed and look pretty, but the braces do not help her with this issue at all. Facing all these challenges help her learn new things about herself and her friends.
(Recommended for ages 9 and up)

Review submitted by Uma

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Gandhi: A March to the Sea by Alice B. McGinty (J B GANDHI)

This is a great picture book about Gandhi 24 day march to the sea to gather salt. This was a pivotal step in India’s quest to becoming independent from almost 200 years of British rule. This peaceful protest of the laws and taxes that Great Britain imposed oGandhin salt was part of Gandhi’s Satyagraha movement. Thomas Gonzalez’s powerful and beautiful illustrations in Gandhi: A March to the sea adds to the re-telling of this fascinating pieced of India’s history.

Review submitted by Uma

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Unstoppable by Tim Green (J GREEN)

unstoppable I am always recommending books to our young members. It is very special when children tell me they liked a book and that I should read it. That is how I decided to read Unstoppable. Once I started reading about Harrison who is a foster kid and living in a cruel home, I was unable to put the book down. Harrison knows his dream of playing for NFL or even football may never come true. Then his luck changes and he is brought to a new home with loving parents. At first Harrison finds it unbelievable that things could change for good for him. He gets to play football in his high school team, but something happens to alter things drastically.
(Recommended for ages 9 and up)

Review submitted by Uma

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Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America’s Own Backyard by Mary Kay Carson (J 333.78 CAR)

America’s National Parks were created to preserve wilderness and wildlife. To succeed in this mission, they have also become places of scientific inquiry, much of it being cparkonducted by park scientists. Author Mary Kay Carson and photographer Tom Uhlman traveled to three of the country’s national parks to meet “Scientists in the Field” and learn about their important work. They report in Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America’s Own Backyard.

Their first reports focus on Yellowstone National Park, which stretches across a mighty volcanic caldera in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Carson and Uhlman followed geologists who monitor the ever-changing eruptions of geysers on the western side of the park. Then they joined biologists who study the park’s population of grizzly bears.

Saguaro National Park in Arizona was their second stop. Here they worked alongside the scientists who study large lizards called Gila monsters before joining scientists and local students conducting a census of the park’s saguaro, who may live up to 200 years.

Then they crossed the country to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles Tennessee and North Carolina. After spending days with biologist Amy Luxbacher finding endangered salamanders in the park, they turned their attention to nighttime research of Photinus carolinus, a rare type of firefly that blinks in sync with others of its kind, putting on amazing light shows.

Being a big kid who has been to two of the parks, I enjoyed learning more about the habitats, the wildlife, and the people who work there. If I were a kid, I might be inspired to become a nature scientist. In any case, I would understand and learn to care about the conservation of the great places.

Review submitted by Rick

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