Outstanding!

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 February edition of BayViews.

Picture Books

boot and shoeBoot and Shoe written and illustrated by Marla Frazee
Beach Lane, 2012.
Dogs Boot and Shoe live together, but after chasing a squirrel, they each search for their look-alike doggie sibling but keep missing each other in this humorous circular story. Black pencil and gouache on creamy speckled paper depict the two dogs and their journey. With a hand-lettered text, the narrative has plenty of repetition and rhythm to please a storytime audience. (Preschool – Grade 2)

unspokenUnspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad written and illustrated by Henry Cole
Scholastic, 2013.
In a wordless yet eloquent picture book, a devout, courageous farm girl secretly provides food to a runaway slave who leaves her a special gift. (Grades 3 – 8)

Up-Fall-and-HighUp! Tall! and High! (But Not Necessarily in That Order) written and illustrated by Ethan Long
Putnam, 2012.
Three very brief episodes depict the concepts of high-low, up-down, and tall-small, in this easy to read picture book with gatefold flaps. Brightly colored birds, done in a cartoon style in ink with digital coloring, use dialog balloons for all the text portions of the story; perfect for emergent readers. This is the 2013 Geisel Award winner. (Baby/toddler – Kindergarten)

Fiction

my-family-for-the-war-475x475My Family for the War by Anne C. Voorhoeve; translated by Tammi Reichel
Dial, 2012.
Ziska leaves Germany to live in London as part of the late 1930’s Kindertransport. A non-practicing Jew, Ziska has to learn to live with her Orthodox Jewish foster family. Although the novel is relatively long, it is compelling, filling in historic details without coming off as a lesson. Winner of the 2013 Batchelder Award. (Grades 6 – 11)

on the day i diedOn the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave by Candace Fleming
Schwartz & Wade/Random, 2012.

Told by nine teen ghosts, this deliciously frightening collection of horror stories is not for the faint-hearted.
(Grades 5 – 9)

parchedParched by Melanie Crowder
Harcourt, 2013.
This dystopian novel follows the harsh survival challenges facing two young teenagers in a land with scarce water.  The simple language is evocative and powerful as it describes the physical and emotional demands that must be faced as two strangers become allies. (Grades 5 – 8)

shadowShadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus
Amulet, 2012.
Espen, a good-natured fourteen year old, comes of age during the Nazi occupation of Norway, and risks his life performing missions for the Resistance.  Preus provides a riveting fictional account of real characters and events with humor and poignancy, as well as references to Norwegian folklore. (Grades 6 – 10)

– Hayley

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