Monday, August 04, 2014

MMGM-- Double Reverse

20836096Bowen, Fred. Double Reverse
August 1st 2014 by Peachtree Publishers
E ARC from

Jesse is on the freshman football team, and they are struggling to find a good quarterback. Jesse thinks he knows the plays and would work hard, but he doesn’t feel he LOOKS like a quarterback. His brother Jay, who is off playing at Dartmouth, is the quarterback in the family, but he finds that there are lots of good players at college and he is not chosen for this prime role. Jesse is, however, and is successful at it, but the team still needs a good kicker. They find one in Savannah, a soccer player who is the object of a small crush. She ends up being great, and Jesse even manages to write a play so that she can do more than kick to help out the team. Historical notes at the end discuss players who didn’t look like they would be successful but were, as well as the small gains that girls have made in playing football.
Strengths: Bowen does fantastic sports books. Short, interesting, NOT in huge long series, and involving some historical aspect of the sport. I loved the fact that both high school and college football were discussed. Need to make sure I have ALL the Fred Bown titles for the start of the school year. He is definitely the new Matt Christopher.
Weaknesses: While the covers of these have gotten better, all of Bowen’s books deserve absolutely awesome covers!

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday at Anastasia Suen's blog.

Hoena, Blake. Stubby: The Bull Terrier World War I Hero
August 1st 2014 by Picture Window Books 
E ARC from

There have been a lot of great books in the last year or so that talk about various dogs and their involvement in war. This new Hoena title is a good introduction to this topic for younger readers. It is a picture book, and while things like mustard gas and people getting injured are covered, nothing particularly graphic is shown. It would be a good introduction to WWI for younger students, or could be used as a read-a-loud or nonfiction piece for covering dogs in service or WWI.

18339848 Bausum, Ann. Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I's Bravest Dog 
 May 13th 2014 by National Geographic Children's Books

There are quite a few books about Stubby. This one comes in at 80 pages, and is the one I am thinking about buying for my library. It has much more in depth information about the war in general and Stubby in particular, and is better for me since actual photographs of the times are included.

 Bausum also has a 240 page version of this story: Sergeant Stubby: How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend Helped Win World War I and Stole the Heart of a Nation, if you have readers who want even more information.

Did you finish the #SummerThrowdown? I managed to read 65 books in July (my goal was 40), which was a challenge. In short, life has been getting in the way of my reading!

A little nervous, since school starts in just one week. Our cafeteria was renovated over the summer, and when I have been in to school, the library has been a mess. I have a ton of new books to process, so the plan is to spend some quality time tomorrow getting things put back in order. Makes me feel more prepared to go back if I know things are where they are supposed to be!


  1. Thanks for a great group of recommendations. I had not heard of any of these. I especially need to check Fred Bowen off of my authors to be read. Good luck with the new school year. Staying one step ahead is the best way.

  2. I want to read the books about Stubby. It's quite a story. Good luck getting things back in order at the library.

  3. I had never heard of Fred Bowen, and I am always looking for good sports books for my kiddos--thank you!!!
    And I am very intrigued by Stubby.
    Good luck with the beginning of the year!!!!
    Happy reading this week! :)

  4. I was always looking for good football books for my middle school students. I have never heard of Stubby, but I defnitely want to learn more. Good luck with the start of your school year.

  5. Ah, the organizing of the books. I feel like all English/Language Arts teachers (or many of them) feel very overwhelmed at the beginning of the year as they prepare for this task. After a few years, I started to have my students help, but I am a bit of a control freak, so this was hard. Good luck!

  6. Happy New School Year!

  7. Anonymous10:18 AM EDT

    whoa whoa and whoa on the summer throwdown! i'd say that is a pretty good number. well ahead of me, my reading is slowed way down this summer, so have me some august catching up to do.

  8. So glad to see the recommendation for Fred Bowen. I've never heard of him, and my older son loves sports books, so I'm always on the lookout for something I can read aloud to him that won't be too demoralizing for me! I need to invest in more nonfiction for older readers (I have tons of PBs, not much in the way of chapter books). Will look for the book on Stubby--think that has wide appeal. Thank you!