Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Speechless - Silver Birch

By Jennifer Mook-Sang

Image from: http://www.scholastic.ca/books/authors&illustrators/jennifer-mook-sang
Speechless is a book that could take place in any school in Ontario. It features ordinary characters going to an ordinary school. The main character, whose nickname is Jelly, decides that he wants to win the school's speech competition. Unfortunately, so does the biggest know-it-all in his class. He sets out to win the contest even though public speaking is really not his thing. 

I liked this book because it was so relatable. I could picture this happening at our school, or really any school. I like that Jelly stretches himself to do something he wouldn't normally do, I like that he tries to convince his parents of his point of view but does it without whining or throwing a fit, and I like that he learns about helping out at a Food Bank but doesn't do his speech about it. I think that Jelly was a great character and I enjoyed spending some time with him while he was learning and growing so much. 

This book is a quick, valuable read and I would recommend it if you are planning to participate in Silver Birch this year. 

Lost in the Backyard - Silver Birch

Lost in the Backyard
Image from: http://www.orcabook.com/Lost-in-the-Backyard-P979.aspx

by Alison Hughes

Flynn can't understand why his sister loves the outdoors so much she would want to spend a weekend wilderness camping. While she's gone, he gets stuck visiting his parents' friend's house that they built in the woods. As they are checking out the backyard, Flynn wanders off and falls down a ravine. He hears wild animals, panics and makes a run for it. Before he knows what has happened he is injured, soaking wet, scared and alone. Not only that, but a light snow starts to fall. Flynn has to do everything in his power to stay alive and find his way to safety.

I enjoyed this book and think that if you like survival stories you will enjoy this one too.

Rocket Blues - Silver Birch

By David Skuy

Image from: www.accessola.org

David Skuy writes sports books for kids aged 8-12. Before this year I have never actually read one myself but my son read Striker last year for Silver Birch and said it was good so I thought I would give this one a try.

IT WAS SO GOOD! If you play hockey, if you like watching hockey, if you play street hockey, if you just want to read about hockey you should definitely read this book. I am thinking I will go back and read Striker as well, which was his Silver Birch nomination for last year. Striker also has a sequel that just came out called The Beautiful Game so if you've read the first one you might want to check this one out too. (Striker and The Beautiful Game are both about soccer).

To find out more about David Skuy's books go to http://davidskuy.com/

Monday, 21 December 2015

Between Shadows - Silver Birch

Between Shadows
Image from: http://coteaubooks.com/index.php?id=913

By Kathleen Cook Waldron

It is Forest of Reading season so I am doing some Silver Birch and Red Maple reading over the holidays. The first Silver Birch book I did was Between Shadows, since my son was reading it also. This book is about a boy named Ari who inherits a cottage from his grandfather. He is beyond excited and hopes his family will move there. Unfortunately his aunt and father have other ideas and want to sell the cottage. Ari has to see if he can convince them to keep the cottage his grandfather loved and convince his father that maybe it's time for a new start.

This book is a quick read at only 100 pages and has some exciting elements. Ari quickly makes friends in the area and is able to get neighbours to help him keep the cottage. I wish this book was a bit longer as I think the first part could use more detail. I also think the aunt's character is a bit harsh and that a bit more time on character development would have helped the story.

If you are hoping to read 5 books to vote for Silver Birch this year I would recommend giving this one a try. If you are a quick reader you can finish it in a day or two and there are some fun moments throughout this story.

The Family Cooks

Image From: http://thefamilydinnerbook.com/

Baking and cooking books have been really popular in the last couple of years. I was happy to buy a bunch more the last time I was shopping. One that I am really excited about is called The Family Cooks -- there are so many recipes I want to try! When I read through it I bookmarked about 20 pages and I have already made the pancakes.

The recipes in this book are easy to follow and often include a "play with it" at the end, which gives you ideas of how you could change the recipe to make it a bit differently. If you love cooking healthy food for your family I think you will really like this new cookbook.