Looking for some good books to read? Why not check out what the Blue Duke himself is reading? That's right. The Blue Duke has his own reading blog. Read about the books and then get to the library to "check them out!"
BROWN GIRL DREAMING
NY: Nancy Paulsen Books, 2014
(select a poem to read from the book)
Jacqueline Woodson was born in Columbus Ohio in 1963 in a time of dramatic and violent change in America. In expressive and illuminative poetry, she tells her story of growing up as an African American girl in the 1960’s and 1970’s between the worlds of the North in New York City and of the South. Jacqueline shares with us her story – of loving books and stories and yet also struggling to learn to read; of her family losses and struggles and her thoughts and dreams. Through her engaging poems, we are invited into her world; we taste, smell, and feel what is there and what is experienced by a young girl dreaming and finding her voice as a writer. (Booktalk by the NH Great Stone Face Committee)
ANTON AND CECIL : CATS AT SEA
New York : Algonquin Young Readers, 2013
IL 3-6, RL 6.4
Two Cats, two brothers---night and day.
Anton, sleek and grey, enjoys watching the ships as they venture in and out of the harbor. He is content to watch.
Cecil, stocky with black and whites patches is thirsty for adventure. He roams the harbor, taking daily trips on the fish boats.
Then one day all changes. Anton is swept up and thrown on a vessel to be a ratter. Bound for the seas, will Anton ever see his family and harbor again?
His capture does not go unnoticed. Cecil stows away on another vessel determined to rescue his brother.
As the two brothers face the unknown, will their paths ever cross? Will their ships survive? Will they? Will Anton and Cecil find safe harbor? (Booktalk by the NH Great Stone Face Committee)
THE HIDDEN GALLERY
New York : Balzer + Bray, 2011
IL 3-6, RL 6.7
Back for book 2 of the series, life has not changed that much for the Incorrigibles – Alexander, Beowulf and Cassiopeia, the children who were raised by wolves. Miss Penelope Lumley is doing a great job of civilizing them even if Lady Constance thinks they should be sent to an orphan home. After the disastrous Christmas party where the children nearly destroyed the house, Lady Constance is more convinced than ever that they cannot be tamed. With the noise of the workman and the continual interruptions, she is beyond annoyed. When Penelope receives a message from Miss Mortimer, her former head mistress, with an invitation to meet her in London, Lady Constance thinks it is a fine idea for the entire household to visit. She plans to stay in London until the house is back to normal. Penelope is sent a travel book from the headmistress and a man tries to steal it on the train. How odd. But when she and the children arrive in London, they find that their guide book is not all that useful. Instead of pictures of London sites, it is filled with pictures of mountains and beautiful valleys. And there is an entire section on one gallery at the British Museum. Why would they have been given a useless guide book?
New York : Walker Books, 2014
Fiona and Jonah are no longer beasts. The cure has worked and now there is hope for everyone. But some are still living outside the wall and dealing with the raiders. The sequel to Stung is told from Jacqui's point of view. Forced to live as a boy to keep safe from the raiders, Jack has almost forgotten she is a girl. Her family has survived outside the wall because her father is needed. As the only dentist around, he treats the raiders as well as those inside the wall. But Jack's brother is missing. He left to bring Fiona's mother to safety when she was banned from the walled city. And now Jack has set out to find him. She enlists the help of Fiona, Bowen, and Jonah. The journey will not be easy. There are rumors that people have escaped to Wyoming. so the kids set off. Along the way there will be raiders, untreated beasts, wolves and maybe even some new friends.
New York : Walker Books, 2013
It started out as a good idea. The bees have become endangered and everyone fears what will happen if they disappear forever. It would mean the end of all we know. So the scientists develop genetically modified bees that can live through anything. Unfortunately, their sting can be fatal. When a vaccine is developed to protect from the sting, there is not enough to go around so only a few are vaccinated. And very few have the full 10 dose course of vaccine. Fiona is one of those. When she wakes up in her room, everything is different and she is disoriented. Although she doesn't remember much, it is obvious that many years have gone by. She doesn't recognize the young woman she sees in the mirror. As she tries to make her way to the walled city, she learns that those who received the vaccination have turned into beasts. There are raiders around who sell them to the people who run the pit and that she is a level ten, the most dangerous of all. She is destined to turn into the worst kind of beast. Can she find some answers before this happens?
Van Riper, Guernsey.
New York : Aladdin, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 4.0
Have you heard of Babe Ruth? I bet you have. Especially if you are a baseball fan like I am. Did you ever wonder about what he was like when he was your age? He was actually an orphan who spent his early years living in an orphanage. And a reformatory. He tended to be a bit on the bad side as a kid. But then some monks stepped in and decided to teach Babe to play baseball to keep him out of trouble. They thought the discipline of the game might help him become a better person. Little could they know that Babe would turn into one of the best baseball players ever and one of the first to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
New York : Aladdin, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 3.3
There have been many books written about Abraham Lincoln. And a lot of legends. Like Abe walking miles to school every day and then studying by candle light. The truth is that Abe only went to school for about two years. He did have a passion for learning and taught himself through reading a lot. He eventually was able to teach himself enough about the law to become a lawyer. This led to him becoming a US Representative for Illinois. He became President at a very stressful time in history. Within just a few years, the country would enter the Civil War.