Tag Archives: Jennifer L. Holm

Most checked out 2018-19

19 Jun

As always, graphic novels were the most checked out books form my classroom library this year. Here are the top three stats on what kids checked out most in graphic novels, fiction, and nonfiction.

Graphic Novels

# 1 – This One Summer by  Jillian Tamaki & Mariko Tamaki


# 2 – Hey Kiddo by  Jarrett J. Krosoczka


#3 – Brave  by Svetlana Chmakova



#1 –The Valiant  by Lesley Livingston


#2 – The Fourteenth Goldfish


#3 – Fallout by Todd Strasser



#1 – The Faithful Spy  by John Hendrix


#2 – Spooked  by Gail Jarrow


#3 – Poison  by Sara Albee





This week’s book talks 9/17-21

21 Sep


The Third Mushroom by Jennifer L. Holm



Ebb & Flow by Heather Smith



Estranged  by Ethan M. Aldridge



Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson



Spooked! How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America by Gail Jarrow




Full of Beans

18 Nov

It’s the week before Thanksgiving and everyone is ready for a break. We’ve had some friendship and honesty issues at school, which is pretty typical for this time of year.

Beans, the main character of Jennifer L. Holm’s Full of Beans,  has similar issues.


Publisher’s Summary:Grown-ups lie. That’s one truth Beans knows for sure. He and his gang know how to spot a whopper a mile away, because they are the savviest bunch of barefoot conchs (that means “locals”) in all of Key West. Not that Beans really minds; it’s 1934, the middle of the Great Depression. With no jobs on the island, and no money anywhere, who can really blame the grown-ups for telling a few tales? Besides, Beans isn’t anyone’s fool. In fact, he has plans. Big plans. And the consequences might surprise even Beans himself.

Funny, honest and charming, this was a really great read. Appropriate for all audiences, the book really captures the flavor of the Depression. I really like the way Holm makes the  run-down town come to life as the New Dealers paint and spruce it up. It was like Dorothy leaving Kansas and arriving in Oz. And, along the way, the spirits of the islanders are lifted.  The author’s note at the end provides readers with photographs, list of 1930s child actors, popular sayings, gang rules, and websites.

Ah, summer!

24 Jul


To be honest, I don’t even remember picking up the ARC of Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matt Holm. But, as I was looking through the now organized box of ARCs I got in San Francisco, this one surprised me. How did it get there? I have no idea, but I ma sure glad it made it home.

Scholastic’s summary of this graphic novel is very brief: From the groundbreaking and award-winning sister-brother team behind Babymouse comes a middle-grade, semi-autobiographical graphic novel.

Following the lives of kids whose older brother’s delinquent behavior has thrown their family into chaos, Sunny Side Up is at once a compelling “problem” story and a love letter to the comic books that help the protagonist make sense of her world.

We meet 10-year-old Sunny as she arrives at the airport in Florida in 1976.  Although a summer in Florida sounds like fun, Sunny is spending it with her grandfather in his retirement community while her parents deal with her older brother’s substance abuse problem that they are trying to keep secret. Fortunately for Sunny, she befriends Buzz and together they explore the world through comic books. And talking with her grandfather and Buzz helps Sunny deal with the problems that lead to her trip to Florida.

This book deals with some tough issues, but is done in a very appropriate way for the target audience (grades 3 and up). As always, Holm & Holm have created a book that is more serious than Babymouse or  Squish , but just as endearing and readable.

What I’m reading now

17 Oct

I read more than one book at a time. I know a lot of people don’t, but I need something for whatever mood I’m in. And I always have an audiobook in the car and one on my laptop. Here’s what I’ll be reading, and I hope finishing, this weekend.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Andrew Smith? Reading his 100 Sideways Miles is the perfect follow-up to Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future. 


Goodreads Summary:Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved.

Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.

100 Sideways Miles is definitely a YA book. I’m also reading The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm, which is written for a middle grade audience.


From the publisher:Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this pimply boy really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?

That doesn’t really capture the voice and wonderful manner in which Jennifer Holm resents scientific information. In spite of the publisher’s description, you should read this.

My other two reads are adult reads. That makes them sound naughty, but they are not, except that they both represent terrible things that happened as the 19th century turned into the 20th.


I’ve been listening to An Officer and a Spy  by Robert Harris in the car and have 3 discs to go. It is a fictionalized account of the Dreyfus Affair from the point of view of Georges Picquart, who uncovered evidence to exonerate Dreyfuss and was persecuted by the French Military who tried to cover up their wrongdoings on the case. This has been an excellent book so far.

Finally, I’m reading the book about the origins of WWI that I got this summer while I was in Canada.


The War That Ended Peace by Margaret MacMillan, runs almost 800 pages. I’m only on page 107, but this is a highly readable account of the years leading up to WW1.

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