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 August, 2012

8 Cute Crush Stories for Tweens!

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

New school year, new crush?  If your tween is interested in the social scene more than her academics, we have just what you need.  These books will help them shake off the summer reading slow-down and give them some material for their nightly reading log.

Happy reading!

-The Snoops

12 Great Books for Teen and Tween Outside Reading

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

As we mentioned earlier this week, we’ve been working hard here at StorySnoops, reading everything we can get our hands on, so that we can bring you our favorite books that we think are must-haves for the classroom this year. Tuesday we published our lists of books that would be great for book reports for elementary, middle and high school students, and today we bring you some good choices for outside reading–maybe a bit lighter, or more enticing for a reluctant reader–in other words, something to make it easy to fill up that nightly reading log!

Great Outside Reading for Elementary Students:

See the complete list here.

Great outside reading for middle schoolers:

See the complete list here.

Great outside reading for teens:

See the complete list here.

There are so many great titles in the “Outside Reading” category, that it was next to impossible to pick just four books to show here, so be sure to check out the complete lists, and do let us know what we may have missed! As ever, happy reading!

–The Snoops

12 Must-Have Back-to-School Books for your Classroom!

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

The StorySnoops Back-to-School lists are here! We have been working hard (and reading fast!) to compile lists of reading essentials for the back to school season. Whether you need an outside reading book to keep your elementary-, middle- or high school student engaged, we’ve got ‘em. If you are in the market for a thought-provoking selection for a book report, look no further. For today, some of our favorites for book reports are sampled here, and more complete lists are included at the end. Join us on Thursday to hear what we like for outside reading books. We can’t wait to share–happy reading!

Great choices for elementary school book reports:

See the complete list here.

Consider these for a middle school book report:

See the complete list here.

Some books we like for high school book reports:

See the complete list here.

See you Thursday, when we list our favorite outside reading books for each age group.

–The Snoops

School is back in session! 12 Books that Celebrate Smart Kids

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

If school hasn’t started in your neck of the woods, it certainly will soon. As the kids get ready to go back and work their summer-ized brains for the first time in 10 weeks, here are some great books to remind your tween how cool the smart kids can be :-)

This list is just a taste to get you started. We have so many more books featuring smart kids here and here. Have fun checking out these books, and let us know what some of your favorite “brainiac” reads are!

–The Snoops

Literary Pet Peeves!

Monday, August 6th, 2012

We at StorySnoops frequently sing the praises of the books we’ve read.  But let’s be honest, they’re not all literary treasures. We each read A LOT of children’s books, so there are bound to be some duds.

Hundreds of children’s books later, I seem to have developed a list of literary pet peeves–those phrases or patterns that keep rearing their ugly heads and start to get more than a bit annoying. Without naming names, here are a few.

Pet Peeve #1 — Unrealistic Phrases

A couple of phrases are surprisingly common in teen romances.  So much so, that I’ve come to expect them.  For example…

“She peered up at him through her lashes.”

For me, it is physically impossible to peer at anything through my eyelashes.  And I’m sure that the facial contortions resulting from attempting this feat can hardly be considered fetching.

“She chewed on her lower lip.”

Really? Who actually does this?  It’s completely awkward and painful for more than a second or two.

Pet Peeve #2 — The Never-Ending Series

Are there really kids out there who will stick with a series that has ten or more titles?  I get that publishing is an industry and there is money to be made, but some series just go too far.  With a few exceptions, a good series maxes out between three and five books.  Of course Harry Potter gets a hall pass–I could have kept reading more.  Most series that go on way too long are the ones that really weren’t worth reading in the first place.  I’m just saying.

Pet Peeve #3 — The Formulaic Series

This is a cousin to the never-ending series but can occur even with a series that is limited to a reasonable number of installments. It’s comprised of those books that have the same structure every single time. Some hero/heroine goes on a mission/quest, meets a nasty villain, almost loses his/her life, and triumphs in the end.  Seven times in a row.  Sound familiar?  I understand that children find comfort in repetition.  We’ve all had to sit through our three-year-old’s favorite movie more times than we’d care to remember.  But the formula series is kinda boring, seems a bit lazy, and is all about the cash.

Pet Peeve #4 — Typos and Grammatical Errors

Enough said.

I think I’m done venting, for now. Please let us know if you have any literary pet peeves. Let the complaints fly!  It feels pretty good.  :-)

-Jen, StorySnoop