Thursday, 27 July 2017


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by Jilly Gagnon

Rachel Ettinger and Kyle Bonham are seats away from each other in class but worlds away from each other in social standing. Rachel is pretty sure Kyle doesn't even know who she is but, one day, while she is at the mall, she "Flits" (read Tweets) a picture of Kyle to one of her friends. Her friend shares the picture and caption with a few other people and the whole things ends up going viral.

The flit goes so viral that a talk show host asks to have  Kyle come on the show to talk about his recent fame. The visit goes well and the show decides that they also want to meet Rachel. They decide that Kyle will ask her to go to a dance at their school and that they will film the whole thing.

Rachel and Kyle end up thrown into a Hollywood adventure where they have to learn to trust each other, let go of insecurities, value themselves and decide what really matters to them. This story read quickly and was, overall, a fun read that I really enjoyed.

The other part of this story is about social media and the mean behaviour of some students in their teen years. In this particular story, Rachel is treated very poorly by the virtual world, while Kyle is given Star Status. Over time, the "Flitterverse" changes its opinion about Rachel but she suffers through many rude comments and even death threats.

As a parent, I think this book could be a gateway to talk about the importance of being careful on social media. It also made me pause and think about what kind of person I may have been had my high school years been filled with social media. There is some drinking and talk about sex in this book but it is not central to the plot line. I would recommend this book for Grade 8 and up.

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics
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By Chris Grabenstein

This is the second book in the Lemoncello series. I read the first one with my boys a couple of times so we were excited about another one coming out.

In the second book, Kyle and his team must compete against students from all over America to prove that they deserved to win the first time. Unfortunately, there are people who do not want to see that happen and even some who do not want Mr. Lemoncello to have any control over the library he so lovingly created. In the end, all the kids have to work together to figure out who is sabotaging everything or their library may be lost forever!

I have enjoyed both of the Mr. Lemoncello books greatly. They have a lot of literary references, good clean fun, mystery and adventure. They are a wonderful family read-aloud and appeal to a wide age of students. I read the first one to my youngest when he was in Grade 2 and my son going into Grade 7 listened in on most of this second one as well.

Grabenstein also has a book out called The Island of Dr. Libris, which contains many literary references and adventure, but we definitely liked this one least. If you are looking for a book to read together with your kids, I would say the Lemoncello books would appeal to Grade 2-6.