Childrens book reviews by StorySnoops, judge a book by more than its cover, serving fresh scoops of new books for you every day
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Archive for the ‘Books for Girls’ Category

Summer Reading – Old Faithful Books for 4th/5th Graders

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

School is out for many of our kids, already, and for the rest of us it is rapidly approaching. We want to keep our kids reading this summer, but sometimes it is hard to find a book that will keep their attention during the non-school months. Summertime is the perfect time to relax in the sun with a book – and sharpen those reading skills while they are at it!

In addition to our summer reading lists (for boys, teen girls, and tween girls), my child’s teacher asked me for a list of “old faithful” books for 4th and 5th graders, so I thought I’d share this list with you. These might not be the newest releases, but they are tried and true, and certain to be loved by the 9 and 10 year olds in your life.

Old Faithful Books for Tween Girls

My Life in Pink and Green (#1) by Lisa Greenwald, and
• My Summer of Pink and Green (#2) by Lisa Greenwald
Close to Famous by Joan Bauer
11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
Eleven (The Winnie Years Book #1) by Lauren Myracle (Parents, check the scoop on the site)
The Candymakers by Wendy Mass *
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead *
Whatever After #1: Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski
Old Faithful Books for Tween Boys

Peter and the Starcatchers #1 by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko  *
Holes by Louis Sacchar *
• Any of the sports books by Tim Green and Mike Lupica
Island Book One: Shipwreck by Gordon Korman
Maximum Ride #1: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson (kids love this series, but read the Scoop on the site) *
* Books that would be enjoyed by both genders.
Click here for our 2013 Summer Reading lists for teen gals, teen guys, tween girls, and tween boys.
Happy reading!
- Shannon, StorySnoop

StorySnoops Summer Reading–(Teen) Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

School is almost out, and your daughter may be itching to get at her “to be read” pile, full of all kinds of books her English teacher would never approve of, or she may be in need of some direction to keep her reading muscles in shape over vacation. Either way, we have all kinds of suggestions that will appeal whether she likes fantasy, romance, dystopian, sci-fi, humor, sports or otherwise.  If you’ve missed our other lists, we just posted great summer reads for boys and tween girls too. Enjoy!

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And this is just the start! Click here to see the entire list for teen girls :-)

Happy Reading!

-The Snoops

StorySnoops Summer Reading–It’s a (Tween) Girl Thing!

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Summer is just about upon us!  When hear your first, “Mo-om, I’m bored,” don’t panic.  We have just the thing for you. You’re guaranteed to find something on this list to keep your tween girl engaged. Whether she likes fantasy, chick lit, humor, mystery, or dystopian, we have something for every taste. Also, be sure to check out our summer reading list for boys. And check back for our teen girls list, plus a list of classic summer standards.

Happy Reading!

-The Snoops

Earth Day and Books

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Am I mistaken, or was Earth Day even a thing back when I was a kid?  I kind of think not.  I guess I was a kid a really long time ago though :-) I did a little checking on it, and it turns out that it was first celebrated in San Francisco (named after St. Francis, the patron saint of ecology) on March 21st, 1970. It is now celebrated in over 175 countries around the world, with the intention of increasing awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment and resources. I give a big thumbs up for anything that gives our younger generation an opportunity to think about what the Earth has to offer, and how to make it last for generations yet-to-come. So in the spirit of Earth Day this week, StorySnoops has created a list of books for teens and tweens that have environmental themes or environmentally conscious characters—just a little something to reinforce what they’ll be hearing about in school this week. Enjoy!

-Eden, StorySnoop

Old Stories With a New Twist: Today’s Thoroughly Modern Fairy Tales (and they’re not all just for girls!)

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

I have read a bunch of books for the StorySnoops site with the same kind of a premise – a refreshingly modern day take on a classic fairy tale.  Sounds girly and perhaps a little corny but no! These books feature a Cinderella who is more about empowering herself than she is about marrying her prince; or a brave outcast who faces the Snow Queen in order to save her best friend, Jack; or cousins Jack and Jill who, while on a quest, have many creepy and dangerous encounters in a book which is simultaneously hilarious and terrifying!

If your tween is interested in the new spin on an old classic, the “modern fairy tale”, here are some titles to try:

This list will get you started. We have a similar list for teens coming soon!

Happy Reading :-)

Shannon, StorySnoop

Is it the hormones, or what?

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Okay, so I’m happily reading along in a nice little tween book, and I’ve read quite a few of these now, so the general direction of the plot is usually not a surprise.  But before long, when the cute little troubled girl protagonist finally gets adopted by her former step dad, who, as it has been made abundantly clear, can offer her a better life than her unstable mother, I find myself sitting in my car with the book in my lap, sobbing—complete monster tears dripping down the face, nose running…sobbing!  At this point, I am really, really hoping that I don’t see anyone else I know in the school parking lot who might notice that I look like a puffy-eyed crazy woman!  And do I carry Kleenex in my car for just this sort of occasion?  Of course not.

Anyway, once I was able to collect myself, it occurred to me that I was completely losing myself over a book for a ten year old.  Yikes!  I am a forty-something gal, to whom these plot twists are rather predictable.  Books in the 9-12 year old category rarely have a truly sad ending (consider the audience—plenty of time for those books later), and yet, here I am crying my eyes out (and it’s really not the first time, actually).  Why???  In the interest of full disclosure, I do have a tendency to get a bit weepy sometimes in a nice coffee commercial, and I do love a good, trashy teen movie now and again, but I digress.

Maybe, to make myself feel better, I think that I’m crying because with my older, wiser view of the world, I can cry for the happy life that little girl will get a chance to have.  I can cry for the beauty of the step-parent who went above and beyond for a child who was no longer his.  I can cry for that poor mother, who even though she made a lot of mistakes, was still going to lose her daughter to another family.  None of these are thoughts the intended audience of ten year olds is likely to have, so maybe I have some adult insight that makes me cry.  Or maybe I’m just a sap.

-Eden, StorySnoop

Is it just me, or would you cry too? Waiting for Normal

Super Scoop: Drama by Raina Telgemeier–What’s the big deal?

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

You gotta love those well-written graphic novels for middle schoolers. They are crowd-pleasers: attractive to those who don’t love to read, and gobbled up in one sitting by those who do.

Raina Telgemeier’s Smile, about growing up as an awkward adolescent with braces, was well-received by critics and readers alike. She now has a new book out called Drama, which also depicts the very real ups and downs of middle school. Like Smile, the writing is good, and it’s a darn good book.

However, I am disappointed in what I have been reading about it. Critics seem to like it (well, it IS a good book!), but others are not so open-minded. Bloggers and other reviewers have condemned this book because there is a gay character who is open about his orientation. No one in the fictional school has a problem with it. There are a few gay characters in the book’s theater production, but honestly – can you tell me a theater production that does not? Or for that matter, can you name a middle school that does not have gay students? This book is not about sex, it’s about young teens (gay and straight alike) figuring themselves out and accepting who they are. More importantly, it is about others accepting them (which is not a problem in this book as everyone is open and being gay is not a problem).

My daughter, also a seventh grade theater chick, read this book and really enjoyed it. We talked about the characters, gay, straight, bi – whatever. It was not shocking to her. She told me that it very accurately depicted her middle school life.  I applaud the middle school kids of today, really. They can read a book and say, “He’s gay, lots of kids are. So what?” Not so for many parents and other critics of this book. Why is that?

Let’s just stay focused on the positive. Finally we have a book that is perfect – PERFECT – for the young theater crowd. Those kids, male and female, who know all of the words to Les Miz, and say things like “Break A Leg!”, and “The Show Must Go On!”: here is a book just for you.

Happy Reading!

-Shannon, StorySnoop

Super Scoop–Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Monday, January 21st, 2013

One day that changes the course of your life. Paris. Romance. Self-discovery. Adventure.

I could not put Just One Day by Gayle Forman down, and now I want to go to Paris. And re-read some Shakespeare. And go back in time and be 18 again. Sigh…

This compelling and engaging story is a true quality read. Teen girls may see plenty of themselves in main character, Allyson, though even if they are nothing like her, they will certainly enjoy her story. Sheltered by her extremely controlling, “helicopter” mother, and always the quintessential “good girl,” Allyson shakes things up on a whim while on her high school graduation trip in Europe.

She meets free-spirited, adventurous and handsome Shakespearean actor, Willem, in London and spontaneously decides to leave her tour and go with him to Paris. Completely out of character for her, and out of her comfort zone, she becomes a different person with Willem, and falls in love with him over the course of their whirlwind, perfect day. When he disappears, her heart is broken, and she spends the next year depressed, floundering in school, trying to figure out who she is and how to re-capture how she felt in Paris.

I loved this story for the journey, both the physical one, and the internal one that Allyson experiences. She finally comes into her own, figures out what she loves, who she wants to be, and learns how to speak up for herself. Supporting characters are equally as fabulous.

I was dreading reaching the end of the book, and was delighted to see that there will be a sequel, which cannot be published soon enough for me! Until then, I might have to give this one a re-read. Put this one in the hands of the teen girls in your lives, or pick it up to read on your own. Be ready to yearn for adventure and youth and macarons.

-Tiffany, StorySnoop

Holiday book help found here!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

The shopping season is upon us, and let’s admit it, even the most prepared shopper can use a little bit of help sometimes :-) We’ve already posted our Holiday Gift Guide, which includes many of our favorites from this year. But there are so many books to choose from. Maybe you are looking for an award-winner, or something named on a “Best of 2012″ list by a major book review publication–or how about those few books that fit into all three of those categories? Here are a few other sources that may provide just the inspiration you need to choose a book gift for a young reader in your life.

These immensely readable books have all been School Library Journal Best Books of the Year.

Love a good mystery? The books have either been nominated for, or won the Edgar Award for kids and young adults.

The Schneider Family Book Award is given to books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.

Kirkus Reviews has just added their favorite children’s books for 2012 to this list.

Perhaps you’d like a book for a tween reader featuring families worth reading about.

These YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults may not be 2012 releases, but they’ve got wide appeal!

How about a book for a teen guy who is a reluctant reader?

The William C. Morris Award winners and finalists are all celebrated first-time authors.

If you know a budding young chef, here are great books with a cooking theme for teens and tweens.

Celebrate baseball! Books about either playing or simply loving the game.

And after all that shopping, here’s a little something for you too: books for teens that will appeal to adults :-)

Happy Holidays!

-The Snoops

This blog’s for you Carly: suggestions for a girl who loves Wendy Mass…

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

I saw my young family friend Carly today, and among other things, we had a nice chat about books–what she likes to read and what she is reading in class this year. And she asked me for some suggestions. She is an avid reader and likes books somewhat above her fifth grade level, like so many girls her age. She told me that she loves Wendy Mass, and prefers realistic fiction (though I was trying really hard to sell her on some fine dystopian or fantasy lit :-) ). I thought I would share my official StorySnoops reply to Carly publicly because she is part of a pretty large demographic of girls who have similar reading parameters. So Carly, for you and anyone else who shares your taste in books, here are our collective StorySnoops thoughts for books you might enjoy. These cover a wide range of subjects and all come highly recommended. A couple of them even push the boundary a little bit into the fantasy genre, just in case you want to branch out. And if anyone has anything else to add to this list, don’t be shy!

And of course, in case you haven’t read them all, here’s our list of books by Wendy Mass :-) You may also want to check out this list of books for Tween Girls Reading Up. So much good stuff to read, and so little time. Enjoy, Carly!

-Eden, StorySnoop