Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tales of the Cryptids by Kelly Milner Halls, Rick Spears, and Roxyanne Young

Cryptozoology is one big word that is easily decoded. "Crypto" comes from a Greek word meaning "hidden or covered," and "zoology" is the study of animal life. So, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, cryptozoology is the study of and searching for legendary animals--called cryptids-- to find out if there's any possibility that these mysterious animals people say they've seen really exist. [...] And every once in a while, a determined cryptozoologist makes a discovery that knocks the doubtful experts on their ears: proof that one of the legends really does exist. (4)

Kelley Milner Halls, Rick Spears, and Roxyanne Young set out to showcase the science behind the legends and lore of creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. While you might be familiar with these, have you ever heard of the Coelacanth, which was supposed to be extinct a million years ago, or the Giant Squid found near Japan that can grow more than 40 feet long? Is the Loch Ness Monster's cousin hanging out in Lake Champlain in New York? Tales of the Cryptids breaks down the fact from the fiction, and relates new finds from this century about the possibility of these creatures actually existing.


Secret Subway by Martin Sandler

He was ready to begin. But in order to do so he would have to do something that no one in the world had ever done. Not only would he have to build a subway that would so impress city and state officials, the public, and the press that they would forgive his deception, but he would have to do it without anyone finding out about it until it was completed. The nation's first subway was about to be built in secret! (49)

In the late 1860s, New York was known as having "the biggest, the fastest, the most, the tallest, the greatest!" But New York was also the busiest and most crowded, with thousands of people, horses, and vehicles on the streets every day. Alfred Ely Beach, a young inventor, was intent on fixing the city he loved and called home. He had an idea of moving people underground, which many took to mean in the dank, dark, and dreary. Those who saw the potential in the project were corrupt by greed and above ground taxi services. That is when Beach decided to tunnel under the busy city streets in secret. Secret Subway by Martin W. Sandler tells the fascinating tale of one man's mission and the people who fought against it.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oggie Cooder: Party Animal by Sarah Weeks

“You’re joking, right?” said Hannah. “You didn’t really invite Oggie Cooder to your party, did you?”
Donnica reached into her pocket and pulled out her pink lip gloss.
“I invited him,” she said, pausing for a minute to slowly run the shiny gloss over her lips. “But trust me, he’s not going to come.” (26)

Oggie Cooder can’t believe his good luck when Donnica Perfecto finally invites him to her pool party. Donnica can’t believe her bad luck when she’s forced to invite Oggie Cooder to her pool party by her mother. It’s especially unfortunate when Donnica finds out that her local smash hit band is being replaced by the juggling Bumbles the Bear. Donnica has an idea to keep Oggie and Bumbles away from the party, though she might live to regret it when she finds out what Oggie is trying to get for her birthday gift. Anyone who liked Oggie Cooder before will love Oggie Cooder Party Animal in this newest novel by Sarah Weeks.