Outstanding!

Every month, we’ll 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 August edition of BayViews.

Picture Books

Good News, Bad News by Jeff Mack
Chronicle, 2012.
Friends Rabbit and Mouse can agree on a picnic, but not much else. Using only four words (“good news” and “bad news”) on all but the last page, this warm-hearted, humorous picture book explores opposites, friendship, and personal identity, and will work well for a range of storytime groups. (Toddler–Preschool)

It’s a Tiger! By David Rochelle; illustrated by Jeremy Tankard
Chronicle, 2012.
A young explorer shows us around the jungle, which includes a monkey whose tail looks suspiciously like… A TIGER!  RUN!!  Thus begins this sure-to-please read-a-loud gem, filled with repetition, I Spy-ability, and shout-out-loud interactivity.  A storytime dynamo. (Preschool–Grade 1)

Oh No! by Candace Fleming; illustrated by Eric Rohmann
Schwartz & Wade, 2012.
One by one, small animals tumble into a deep hole, closely observed by a salivating tiger.  Lively expressive relief print art meshes perfectly with a fresh, rhythmic retelling that invites participation, “Oh, Yes!” (Preschool–Grade 2)

Fiction

The Broken Lands by Kate Milford; illustrated by Andrea Offerman
Clarion, 2012.
Archfiend Jack Hellcoal has sent his minions to transform 1870s New York into a hell on earth, and it falls to two orphans to foil his plans. This compelling and intricately plotted historical fiction novel, with supernatural elements, will appeal to a wide range of teen readers. (Grades 7–12)

The Diviners by Libba Bray
Little Brown, 2012.
Banished from her conservative Ohio town, seventeen-year-old Evie O’Neill is sent to live in New York City with her uncle Will, the curator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult. The Diviners depicts the glamor and mayhem of the Roaring Twenties in a frenzied pace that captures the spirit of the era and mixes it with a chilling supernatural plot. (Grade 9-Adult)

Stuey Lewis: Against All Odds by Jane Schoenberg; illustrated by Cambria Evans
Farrar, 2012.
Four loosely connected stories intro­duce third-grader Stuey in this engaging chapter book that will appeal to beginning reluctant readers and fans of Andrew Clements’ Frindle (Atheneum, 1996). (Grades 2-3)

Nonfiction

A Black Hole Is Not a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano; illustrated by Michael Carroll
Charlesbridge, 2012.
Using analogies within a child’s experience, this deceptively clear, engaging introduction to black holes describes, explains, excites, and sparks a sense of wonder. (Grades 5–8)

Leopard & Silkie: One Boy’s Quest to Save the Seal Pups by Brenda Peterson; illustrated by Robin Lindsay
Holt, 2012.
Young Miles, a “Seal Sitter”, watches out for seal pups on the beach near his home in Seattle. Information about the seals’ lives is seamlessly interwoven into this true story. (Preschool–Grade 4)

The Mighty Mars Rover: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity by Elizabeth Rusch (Scientists in the Field series)
Houghton, 2012.
Part of the “Scientists in the Field” series, this entry focuses on the geologist who helped develop the Mars rovers – two “robots” that covered opposite areas of the Mars surface to see if it is possible that Mars once had water. As is the custom with this series, there are color photos on every page, relevant sidebars, and complete backmatter. (Grades 5–10)

Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature’s Undead by Rebecca Johnson
Millbrook, 2012.
Real zombies are closer than you think! Electrifying photographs and snappy design break up the pages and lure readers into the rich, solidly scientific text. (Grades 4-8)

– Hayley

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