Monday, December 6, 2010

December is National Read a New Book Month

Here Are Some New Books
for December to Try Out!

Calvin Can’t Fly: The Story of a Bookworm Birdie
by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Keith Bendis

Calvin is a starling with three brothers, four sisters, and sixty-seven thousand four hundred and thirty-two cousins, so he has a very big family. While his brothers, sisters, and cousins all discover things like worms, grass, dirt, and water, Calvin is different, and he finds books. He teaches himself how to read, and he goes to the library instead of learning how to fly with his brothers, sisters, and cousins. He learns about all kinds of interesting things through books. His brothers, sisters, and cousins made fun of Calvin, because he was different. So he went to the library, the only place where he could be happy. When fall came, though, it was time to leave and fly south. Calvin knows he cannot fly, so he thinks that the other birds will leave without him. Will the other starlings take Calvin with them when they fly south? Will Calvin be able to help his family with something that he learned while reading all of those books?

Children’s Book of Music: An Introduction to the World’s Most Amazing Music and Its Creators
DK Publishing

This nonfiction book is filled with facts about all kinds of music. There is also a CD that has extracts of music that correspond to different pages in the book. The music covered in the book is early music, classical music, and modern music. In these chapters there is information about different instruments, people, and the kind of music that they played. In the early music section some instruments include the lyre, didgeridoo, and the sitar. In the classical music section some instruments include the organ, violin, and the French horn. This section also discusses famous composers and operas. In the modern music section some instruments include the drum kit and the electric guitar. This section discusses recorded sound and artists that have had their songs recorded. At the end of the book there is a glossary and an index of musicians.

Curtain Up!: A Book for Young Performers
by Dirk McLean and illustrated by France Brassard

Amaya loves to sing, dance, and act, and now she is auditioning for a role in a musical. When it is her turn to audtion, Amaya stands alone in front of director and stage manager, and she does so well, they ask her to come back for a second and third audition. Soon Amaya learns that she is going to have the lead child in the musical. On her first day of rehearsal, Amaya and the other members of the cast play a game to learn each others’ names, and then the read through the lines of the play together. The actors get to see a miniature of the set and get measured for their costumes. The director shows them where to stand on their positions on the stage, and the choreographer shows them all the dance moves. Amaya and the other children work really hard learning their lines and their moves to get ready for their performance in a couple of months. During the preview performance, Amaya becomes nervous and forgets her line, but the stage manager whispers it to her, and Amaya makes it through the rest of the performance. Will Amaya be ready for opening night? Will the musical be a success?

Aldwyns Academy
by Nathan Meyer

Dorian is more interested in following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a warrior. His mother, a powerful seer, decides to send him to Aldwyns Academy for wizards, instead. Dorian does not wish to attend the academy, but his mother insists. On their way to the academy, Dorian and his mother are attacked by dire wolves. His mother attacks the wolves with her wand while Dorian throws hot coals on the wolves with his dagger, but the wolves still keep coming. Then they receive help from Archmage Lowder and Professor Blackburn of the academy. Another student, Helene Miridori, is to be Dorian’s tutor in the academy, but she does not want to be. She also has a secret that someone has figured out, and she is worried. She also knows that ghosts have come to the academy, and even the more powerful wizards cannot drive them away. Dorian meets Maverick, a shopkeeper, who tells him of the dangers that have come to the academy lately, and Maverick also gives Dorian a little present and tells him not to tell anyone about it. Dorian decides to prove to the professors and to Helene that he can be a great wizard. He manages to get into trouble his first day, though, and he is not confident that he will be successful at the academy. Helene finds that her familiar was stolen, and she has to find him and get him back. Dorian and his roommate Caleb notice her sneaking off to meet the kidnapper. Both boys noticed that she was not afraid of the ghosts she had seen, and since they are suspicious, they decide to follow her. Dorian runs into a ghost who tells him that someone is after Helene, who is really an elf princess. The ghost tells him that he must save Helene or the person after her will destroy everyone in the academy. Will Dorian and his friend Caleb be able to help Helene? Will they find out what is causing all of the problems at Aldwyns Academy? Will Dorian be able to prove that he belongs at the academy?

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