Outstanding! – January 2016

Every month, we post an annotated bibliography of books that were rated ‘Outstanding’ and nominated for our Distinguished List at our previous month’s meeting. Members can see full reviews of these books and many more in the January edition of BayViews.



Rules for Stealing Stars written by Haydu, Corey Ann; Katherine Tegen Books 2015

Silly hopes a stolen star can save her family. But when dark truths are revealed along with wonderful secrets, it might be the thing that tears them apart. In Rules for Stealing Stars, Haydu paints a beautiful and realistic picture of a family in shambles trying to cope with their mother’s unpredictable moods. (4-8)



The Story of Diva and Flea written by Willems, Mo and illustrated by Diterlizzi, Tony;  Disney-Hyperion 2015

Set in Paris, this is an enchanting story about the friendship between a dog and a cat and how their friendship allows each to grow. Both text and illustrations are filled with humor and charm. The lush design of the book enhances the reading experience. (2-4)

Salt to the Sea written by Sepetys, Ruta; Philomel Books 2016

Based on actual events, this harrowing and moving historical YA novel brings a human dimension to a largely forgotten World War II tragedy. As thousands flee the Soviet advance through Eastern Europe, the novel’s four narrators are caught up in the melee as they try to escape to unoccupied Germany. (8-12)

Out of the Woods written by Bond, Rebecca; Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2015

People and wild animals, natural enemies, go to the lake to save their lives as a wild fire burns in the remote woods of Ontario, Canada. Based on a true story, the attention to details in the distinctive illustrations elevate this story from interesting to absorbing. (1-3)



Finding Monkey Moon written by Pulford, Elizabeth and illustrated by Wilkinson, Kate; Candlewick 2015

It is bedtime and Michael realizes his beloved doll Monkey Moon is lost in the park. He and Dad don hats and coats and set off into the snowy night to search for Monkey Moon. Double page acrylic illustrations capture the haunting experience of the park at night and simple text describes Michael’s determination to find Monkey Moon in spite of his fears. Large format pictures and subject matter any young child will relate to makes this book an excellent choice for preschool story time. (PS-3)

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower :or John Howland’s Good Fortune written and illustrated by Lynch, P.J.; Candlewick 2015

Award-winning illustrator P.J. Lynch puts the adventure, romance and the ‘nightmare of sickness, death and danger’ back into the Pilgrim story, telling the true story of young John Howland, who survived falling from the Mayflower during a storm and went on to build Plymouth settlement. A bibliography and author’s note provide sources and intriguing historic context. (3-6)

The Plan written by Paul, Alison and illustrated by Lehman, Barbara; HMH Books for Young Readers 2015

A young farm girl enlists the help of her dog and her widower father to get her mother’s old plane flying again. Although the text only consists of twenty different words, with one letter difference between them, they work seamlessly with the crisp illustrations to tell a surprisingly nuanced story. (PS-1)

Float written and illustrated by Miyares, Daniel; Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 2015

In a wordless picture book a boy takes his paper boat outside in the rain with a predictable outcome. The dynamic illustrations, however, surprise with each page turn, inviting the eye to follow the boy as he splashes through puddles, scurries across pages, and returns home for hugs, hot chocolate, and a new paper vehicle to pilot. (PS-2)

Good Night, Good Dog

Goodnight, Good Dog written by Ray, Mary Lyn and illustrated by Malone, Rebecca; HMH Books for Young Readers 2015

At nighttime, a little dog cannot sleep thinking about the fun he had during the day. Colorful acrylic illustrations, and a sparse but playful text blend well to make this a cozy and worthwhile bedtime story. (B/T-2)




Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx written by Manzano, Sonia; Scholastic Press 2015

Sonia Manzana describes her childhood in the Bronx as a mixture of love and bright cultural color juxtaposed to the dreariness and isolation of poverty and the terrifying moments of growing up with a violent alcoholic father. She tells her story with humor and grace – no wonder she became the iconic Maria on Sesame Street and award-winning television writer and children’s author. (9-A)




National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry: More Than 200 Poems With Photographs That Float, Zoom, and Bloom! compiled by Lewis, J. Patrick; National Geographic Children’s Books 2015

This eloquent anthology, elegantly illustrated with vibrant, lush National Geographic photography, is an excellent resource for libraries and a treasure for poetry and nature aficionados of all ages. (1-A)




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Read-Alikes: 2016 Summer Reading – Sports and Games

Read for the WinThe 2016 Summer Reading Programs “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!” and “Read for the Win!” both focus on sports and games. Here are some great books you can offer to those who would like to read books related to the theme.

For Little Ones (ages two – five)

Alexander, Kwame. Surf’s Up.

Allard, Harry. Miss Nelson Has a Field Day.

Boelts, Maribeth. Happy Like Soccer.

Boiger, Alexandra. Max and Marla.

Brown, Marc. Arthur’s Computer Disaster.

Drummond, Ree. Charlie Plays Ball.

Durand, Hallie. Mitch Goes Bowling.

Grandits, John. The Travel Game.

Clothesline CluesHeling, Kathryn. Clothesline Clues to Sports People Play.

Judge, Lita. Red Sled.

Lester, Helen. Tacky and the Winter Games.

McMullan, Kate. I’m Cool!

Meyer, Eileen R. Ballpark.

Morales, Yuyi. Niño Wrestles the World.

Pinkney, Brian. On the Ball.

Say, Allen. Bicycle Man.

Sullivan, Mary. Ball.

Trimmer, Christian. Mimi and Shu in I’ll Race You!

Wheeler, Lisa. Dino-Swimming.

Wielockx, Ruth. I Won.

Yoon, Salina. Tap to Play.

For Early Readers (ages five – six)

Don't ThrowAdler, David A. Don’t Throw it to Mo!

Blevins, Wiley. Go, Billy, Go!

Eastman, P.D. Aaron Is a Good Sport.

Hsu Lin, Amy. Splat the Cat: the Name of the Game.

Mills, Claudia. Gus and Grandpa at Basketball.

Rylant, Cynthia. Mr. Putter and Tabby Drop the Ball.

Willems, Mo. A Big Guy Took My Ball!

Moving-Up Books (ages six – eight)

Lola LevineBrown, Monica. Lola Levine is Not Mean!

Meshon, Aaron. Take Me Out to the Yakyu.

Mills, Claudia. Izzy Barr, Running Star.

Mochizuki, Ken. Baseball Saved Us.

Myers, Christopher. H.O.R.S.E.-A Game of Basketball and Imagination.

O’Connor, Jane. Nancy Clancy: Soccer Mania.

Parish, Herman. Amelia Bedelia Shapes Up.

Preller, James. Scary Tales: Nightmareland.

Quinn, Jordan. Let the Games Begin!

For Tweens (ages nine – twelve)

crossoverAlexander, Kwame. The Crossover.

Berlin, Eric. The Puzzling World of Winston Breen.

Bowen, Fred. Perfect Game.

Card, Orson Scott. Ender’s Game.

Feldman, Jody. The Gollywhopper Games.

Freitas, Donna. Gold Medal Winter.

Grabenstein, Chris. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.

Green, Tim. Football Champ.

Green, Tim. Force Out.

Lee, Fonda. Zeroboxer.

Miller, Jeff. Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind.

Nall, Gail. Breaking the Ice.

Nelson, Peter. Herbert’s Wormhole.

Raskin, Ellen. The Westing Game.

Schreiber, Joe. Game Over, Pete Watson.

Scieszka, Jon. Guys Read: Sports Pages.

Snyder, Zilpha Keatley. The Egypt Game.

Soto, Gary. Taking Sides.

Spinelli, Jerry. Maniac Magee.

Stoudemire, Amar’e. Slam Dunk.

Tashjian, Janet. My Life as a Gamer.

Wesselhoeft, Conrad. Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly.

Yelchin, Eugene. Arcady’s Goal.

Graphic Novels

Holm, Jennifer and Matthew. Squish: Game On!

Holm, Jennifer and Matthew. Babymouse Goes for the Gold.

Jamieson, Victoria. Roller Girl.

Krosoczka, Jarrett. Lunch Lady and the Video Game Villain.

Morse, Scott. Magic Pickle and the Creature from the Black Legume.

Yang, Gene Luen. Level Up.


Adoff, Arnold. Sports Pages.

Chatterjee, Debjani and Brian D’Arcy. Let’s Play! Poems about Sports and Games from Around the World.

Lesynski, Loris. Crazy about Hockey!

Prelutsky, Jack. Good Sports: Rhymes about Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More.

Smith, Charles R. Hoop Kings: Poems.

Thayer, Ernest Lawrence. Casey at the Bat.


Brothers at BatBirmingham, Maria. WeirdZone – Sports.

Coy, John. Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Game.

Douglas, Gabrielle. Raising the Bar.

Kootstra, Kara. The Boy in Number Four.

Lair, Cynthia. Feeding the Young Athlete: Sports Nutrition Made Easy for Players, Parents, and Coaches.

Lang, Heather. Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman, Olympic High-Jump Champion.

McCully, Emily Arnold. Queen of the Diamond: the Lizzie Murphy Story.

Moss, Marissa. Barbed Wire Baseball.

Smith, Charles R. Black Jack: the Ballad of Jack Johnson.

Tavares, Matt. Becoming Babe Ruth.

Vernick, Audrey. Brothers at Bat: the True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team.

Penny Peck, SJSU iSchool

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Review of the Week: “Goodnight, Good Dog”

Goodnight Good DogRay, Mary Lyn. Goodnight, Good Dog. Rebecca Malone, Illus. Picture Book. Houghton, 11/2015. [32]pp. $16.99. 978-0-544-28612-2. OUTSTANDING. GRADES TOD-2.

As the house quiets down for the night, a dog cannot sleep thinking about running in the sunshine, playing with his toys, and eating his food. Malone’s illustrations show that the dog has been accompanied in all of his daytime activities by a little girl who he now finds sleeping in her room. The poetic text is sparse and perfectly complemented by colorful acrylic illustrations that reflect this dog’s fun-filled and cozy life. Word play and repetition add to the pleasure of reading this outstanding bedtime story.

Katrina Bergen, Berkeley PL

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ACL Meeting on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016

Finding WinnieACL Meeting Friday, February 5, 2016:  Just a quick reminder for our Bay Area members!  Please join us for our ACL Meeting on Friday, February 5, 2016, from 9am12:30pm at the Oakland Main Library.   We will have our usual Book Reviewing and a discussion of Distinguished Books. We will also have a Professional Development session, with highlights of the ALA Midwinter conference. Note that we are meeting one week earlier than usual due to the holiday on Feb. 12th. For more information, see: www.bayviews.org/calendar.html#meetings.

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O’Dell Award, Sendak Museum, Beatrix Potter, Cleary’s 100th Birthday News

Hired GirlScott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction Named: Laura Amy Schlitz’s The Hired Girl was named the 2016 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction recipient. Read more about the book and the award at School Library Journal: www.slj.com/2016/01/industry-news/why-the-hired-girl-won-the-2016-odell-award/#_ .

New Maurice Sendak Museum Planned: The late Caldecott Medalist sendak2Maurice Sendak’s Connecticut home is the site of a planned museum: www.nytimes.com/2016/01/26/arts/design/where-the-wild-things-arent-a-sendak-museum.html?emc=edit_th_20160126&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=1274360 .

Beatrix PotterNew Beatrix Potter Book to Publish Fall 2016: A new Beatrix Potter book will be published in the U.S. and U.K. this fall by Frederick Warne & Co. The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots will feature three unpublished manuscripts found in the Potter archives. The book will feature illustrations by Quentin Blake. For more, check out the full story at: www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/69247-new-beatrix-potter-book-to-publish-in-fall-2016.html?utm_source=Publishers+Weekly&utm_campaign=cb77bae3b9-UA-15906914-1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0bb2959cbb-cb77bae3b9-304449365 .

New Introductions for Beverly Cleary’s 100th Birthday: Anniversary editions of Beverly ClearyCleary’s popular children’s novels will be published this year to honor Cleary’s 100th birthday, April 12, 1916. These editions will feature new introductions by various celebrities and authors, including Amy Poehler and Kate DiCamillo. For more, see: www.ew.com/article/2016/01/21/beverly-cleary-100th-birthday?utm_source=Publishers+Weekly&utm_campaign=cb77bae3b9-UA-15906914-1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0bb2959cbb-cb77bae3b9-304449365 .

Special thanks to Ruth Gordon for many of these items.

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Review of the Week: “Friday Barnes, Girl Detective”

Friday BarnesSpratt, R. A. Friday Barnes, Girl Detective. Phil Gosier, Illus. Fiction. Friday Barnes Series, Bk. 1. Roaring Brook, 01/2016. 272pp. $13.99. 978-1-62672-297-2. HIGH ADDITIONAL. GRADES 3-6.

In this hilarious first book in a new series, Nanny Piggins creator Spratt introduces Friday Barnes, a very, very smart and forthright 11-year-old girl detective. Ignored by her family of academics, Friday loses herself in books and, after reading many detective novels, she decides to start solving mysteries herself. Spending the reward for foiling a diamond theft on a year’s tuition at fancy Highcrest Academy, Friday finds a friend and crime-solving partner, Melanie; acquires a nemesis, the distractingly dishy Ian; and cracks cases ranging from missing homework to the identity of the yeti in the swamp. Friday’s unwittingly deadpan humor, along with sharp authorial pokes at teachers, rich kids, and parents, is drier and more sophisticated than one would typically find in an elementary grade book but remains accessible. Though the appealing illustrations don’t quite capture the text’s offbeat tone, they do show an ethnically diverse student body. With four books already published in Australia, readers will be pleased that the cliffhanger ending will undoubtedly be followed by more comical whodunits for Friday to unravel. Review based on an ARC.

Hayley Beale, San Francisco Univ High School 

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Walter Dean Myers Award, Books for a Global Society Announced

All American BoysWalter Dean Myers Award Announced: The We Need Diverse Books(TM) Walter Award Judges Committee has confirmed selections for the inaugural Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature – Young Adult Category. One winner and two honors have been named.

The Walter Dean Myers Award, also known as “The Walter,” is named for prolific children’s and young adult author Walter Dean Myers (1937 – 2014). Myers was a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature as well as a champion of diversity in children’s and YA books.

The winner of the first annual Walter award (2016) is the young adult novel All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. The judges also selected two Walter honor books: Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings by Margarita Engle and X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon.

The Judges Panel reviewed titles published during the 2015 calendar year by diverse authors whose work featured a diverse main character or addressed diversity in a meaningful way. In the case of author pairs (or author-illustrator pairs), at least one member of the pair must be from an underrepresented community. The books covered many genres and included both fiction and nonfiction works. The award’s mission is to honor the memory of Walter Dean Myers and his literary heritage, as well as celebrate diversity in teen literature.

We Need Diverse Books(TM) is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2014 to address the lack of diverse representation in the children’s publishing industry. The Walter Dean Myers Award is one of many initiatives funded or supported by WNDB(TM). http://weneeddiversebooks.org/

Notable Books for a Global Society: The Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Drowned_City_09-2015Group of the International Literacy Association is pleased to announce the 2016 Notable Books for a Global Society.  The list includes picture books such as Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk, tween novels including Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper and Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt, and nonfiction books including Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown and Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of his People by S.D. Nelson. Please visit http://www.clrsig.org/nbgs_books.php for a printable list of winners and additional information.

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