February 4, 2017

We had a “book tasting” week in the library. This means we just received a new shipment of books and every student had the opportunity to touch and skim through every one to decide if he/she wanted to add the title to his/her TBR (to-be-read) list. Readers make a plan. We are engaging in the habits of lifelong learners by always making a plan for books we want to read. I hope this weekly Book Bites post serves as an avenue for finding new titles as well.

Sometimes I take pictures of books I want to read and/or purchase for our library by walking through the public library and bookstores for ideas.  That is another way for readers to make a plan.

Here are five new books we’ve recently added to our library for you to consider.


The Last Kids on Earth (#1), (2015)

words by Max Brallier and illustrations by Douglas Holgate

Goodreads summary: Ever since the monster apocalypse hit town, average thirteen year old Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, which he’s armed to the teeth with catapults and a moat, not to mention video games and an endless supply of Oreos and Mountain Dew scavenged from abandoned stores. But Jack alone is no match for the hordes of Zombies and Winged Wretches and Vine Thingies, and especially not for the eerily intelligent monster known only as Blarg. So Jack builds a team: his dorky best friend, Quint; the reformed middle school bully, Dirk; Jack’s loyal pet monster, Rover; and Jack’s crush, June. With their help, Jack is going to slay Blarg, achieve the ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success, and be average no longer! Can he do it?

Watch The Last Kids on Earth book trailer.

Visit author Max Brallier’s website.


Mr. Pants: It’s Go Time! (#1), (2014)

words by Scott McCormick and pictures by R.H. Lazzell

Goodreads summary: Meet Mr. Pants! It’s the last day of summer, which means the last chance for fun, and he really, really wants to play laser tag. But his sisters have other ideas—the Fairy Princess Dream Factory? Gah! Good thing Mr. Pants knows how to get what he wants—and have a blast doing it.

Watch the Mr. Pants: It’s Go Time book trailer.

Visit author Scott McCormick’s website.


Rising Above: How 11 Athletes Overcame Challenges in Their Youth to Become Stars, (2016)

by Gregory Zuckerman

Goodreads summary: Discover the inspirational real-life stories of superstar athletes like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Tim Howard, and more!

Team USA goalkeeper Tim Howard was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome in 6th grade. He went on to become a national treasure after single-handedly keeping America competitive in the 2014 World Cup. Stephen Curry was told he was too small, too weak, and too slow to even receive a scholarship to play college basketball. He outworked everyone and went on to become MVP of the National Basketball Association. Jim Abbott was born without his right hand, yet he refused to be defined by what he lacked. He went on to pitch a no-hitter in the Major Leagues.

Athlete after athlete in this book found discipline, hope, and inspiration on the playing field, rising above their circumstances. Filled with first-hand accounts from stars who exemplify the idea of enduring at all costs, Rising Above will serve as a must-read source of inspiration for kids and sports fans of all ages.

Visit author Gregory Zuckerman’s website.


Into the Lion’s Den (Devlin Quick #1), (2016)

by Linda Fairstein

Goodreads summary: Watch out, Nancy Drew—Devlin Quick is smart, strong, and she will DEFINITELY close the case in this thrilling new mystery series for girls and boys from New York Times bestselling author Linda Fairstein.

Someone has stolen a page from a rare book in the New York Public Library. At least, that’s what Devlin’s friend Liza thinks she’s seen, but she can’t be sure. Any other kid might not see a crime here, but Devlin Quick is courageous and confident, and she knows she has to bring this man to justice—even if it means breathlessly racing around the city to collect evidence. But who is this thief? And what could the page—an old map—possibly lead to? With her wits, persistence, and the help of New York City’s finest (and, okay, a little bit of help from her police commissioner mother, too), Dev and her friends piece the clues together to uncover a mystery that’s bigger than anyone expected—and more fun, too.

With all of the heart-pounding excitement that made her internationally bestselling Alexandra Cooper series a hit, Linda Fairstein paves the way for another unstoppable heroine . . . even if she is only twelve.

Read the first chapter of the Devlin Quick mystery here.


XO, OX: A Love Story, (2017)

words by Adam Rex and pictures by Scott Campbell

Goodreads summary: The hilarious tale of love between a hapless ox and a fabulous gazelle, told in correspondence.

“Dear Gazelle,

For some time now I have wanted to write a letter to say how much I admire you. You are so graceful and fine. Even when you are running from tigers you are like a ballerina who is running away from tigers.

I think that what I’m trying to say is that I love you.


And so begins an epic, if initially unrequited, love affair between a graceful gazelle and a clumsy, hapless ox. Romance will never be the same.

Adam Rex’s hilarious, sweet, and at times heartbreaking letters between a hopelessly romantic ox and a conceited, beautiful gazelle is paired perfectly with Scott Campbell’s joyful illustrations to bring you a romance for the ages.

Visit Adam Rex’s website .


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