Gunnjr’s Weblog

Were you one of the 30,000 plus Connecticut students that voted for the 2009 Nutmeg Award?  Well the winners were:

Intermediate Category (students in grades 4 – 6):

MVP*Magellen Voyage Project by Douglas Evans

Teen Category (students in grades 7 & 8):

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Congratulations to the winners and all students that got involved in voting for their favorite book!

Now it is time to get excited about the 2010 nominees.  Here are the lists for Intermediate and Teen readers to get you started:


(Grades 4 thru 6)

Archer’s Quest by Linda Sue Park

Facing another evening of dreary homework, Kevin Kim is startled

by an unusual intruder.  Standing before him is Koh Chu-Mong,

an ancient Korean archer from the 1st century B.C. Kevin’s quest is to

return this brave stranger to his own time within 24 hours or

history will be changed forever.

Attack of the Turtle by Drew Carlson

Living on the Connecticut shoreline during the Revolutionary War,
fourteen-year-old Nathan secretly helps his cousin, inventor David
Bushnell, build the first submarine. Nathan must overcome his fears and
Tory spies to help the Patriots fight the British.

A Dog’s Life: The Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M. Martin

Everything is comfortable in Squirrel’s world until her mother and
brother disappear. Left on her own, she is forced to face many
challenges from humans, other animals, and the elements. As days pass,
Squirrel learns that her life will never be the same, but with all these
obstacles, can she survive?

Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix

What would you do if your parents dropped you off at an unknown aunt’s
house in the middle of the night, in an unknown town, where everyone you
met looked at you as if they just saw a ghost? This is Bethany’s living
nightmare, and it takes all her courage to slowly unravel the truth.

Drita, My Homegirl by Jenny Lombard

Drita emigrates to New York City from Kosovo. During a social studies
project, she meets Maxie, a native New Yorker who can’t seem to stay
quiet in school. What can two girls from such different worlds possibly
have in common? More than you think.

The Ghost’s Grave by Peg Kehret

When twelve-year-old Josh apprehensively spends the summer in Washington
state with his eccentric Aunt Ethel, he encounters the ghost of a
one-legged coal miner. After stumbling upon a metal box of buried
treasure, he solves the mystery of the box and finds out more about
himself and his family.

Paint the Wind by Pam Munoz Ryan

Maya lives secluded in her grandmother’s overprotective care until an
unexpected event sends her to Wyoming to meet her mother’s family. Maya
learns about the mother she hardly remembers, and she encounters a wild
herd of horses including a mare that her mother once rode.

Rules by Cynthia Lord

If you have to tell your autistic brother “to keep his pants on in
public,” how can you hope for a normal life? Catherine discovers that
her own behavior with new neighbor Kristi and wheelchair-bound Jason
make her look again at what “normal” really means.

The Stumptown Kid by Carol Gorman and Ron Findley

Eleven-year-old Charlie Nebraska learns about friendship, heroism and
racism when he meets a former Negro-league baseball player. Luther Peale
ends up coaching Charlie’s team. Will this be the change they need to
win against the premier team?

The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin

Taiwanese-American Grace, has high hopes that the Year of the Dog will
bring her great luck. During Grace’s funny experiences throughout the
year, she figures out what makes her unique and how she fits in with her
family, friends, and classmates.


Accidental Love by Gary Soto

Boy meets girl (accidentally), girl falls for boy (love).  But they’re from two different schools, two different neighborhoods, and truly two different worlds.  The odds of them making it are slim to none in this well-crafted story of young love.

Code Orange by Caroline Cooney

While completing his infectious disease report for science class, Mitty fears he may have contracted smallpox.  When he searches the internet for information about this disease, he alerts a terrorist group who plans to kidnap him and use him as a biological weapon against the people of New York City.

Crackback by John Coy

Miles can’t remember why football was fun after being sidelined by a new coach, criticized by his father, and shunned by his best friend for avoiding performance enhancing drugs.

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

What is the most annoying thing in the world?  For Steven, the answer is obvious; his little brother Jeffrey.  When Steven finds out that Jeffrey is sick, however, he must use all of his skills as a drum-playing, girl-crushing, friend-finding, parent-manipulating teenager to help his family keep laughing through this heartbreaking year.

Epic by Conor Kostick

Epic is a fantasy role-playing game that is more than just a game—it’s New Earth’s government and economy.  Everyone has always played Epic the same way, by slowly accumulating wealth, but no one can rival the Committee, the world’s tyrannical ruling group.  But Erik, a risk taker, thinks he and his friends may be able to change all that.

Eyes of the Emperor by Graham Salisbury

It is 1941. Eddy Okubo is 16 years old, a Japanese American, and enlists in the US Army to protect the country he loves.  The Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, and suddenly Eddy is the enemy.  He and 24 other Japanese American soldiers are sent on a terrifying secret mission that will test their loyalty and courage.

Jeremy Fink and The Meaning of Life by Wendy Maas

If before your 13th birthday, you received a quadrupled-locked, mysterious box engraved “The Meaning of Life”, lovingly handcrafted by your dead father, what do you do?  You run around all of Manhattan with your best friend, trying to find the missing four keys.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Miranda, a sixteen year old high school sophomore, is looking forward to getting her license, junior year, and just being a teenager.  She doesn’t give a second thought to the news of a meteor speeding towards the moon, until it hits. Life as she knew it will never return.

Pieces of Georgia by Jen Bryant

Artistic loner Georgia McCoy writes a series of letters to her dead mother in the hope of understanding her father’s sadness, her friend’s curiosity about drugs, and her own feelings of loneliness.  When she receives an anonymous membership to the local art museum, Georgia’s life changes dramatically.

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

When Stephenie’s uncle dies and includes her in his will, she meets Skulduggery Pleasant and quickly enters a world of secrets, magic, and danger.  Can Stephenie and Skulduggery work together to defeat the evil powers of Serpine?


The Newbery Award Winner of 2009 is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

You may recognize this author from his other book Coraline which is currently a movie out in theaters.

Well I have to say I read The Graveyard Book and I think that it was very inventive engaging story. It is a story about a young boy who grows up in a graveyard. You might be wondering how he ended up in this graveyard…It was though some luck and the tragedy that befell his family. Bod Owens (short for Nobody) had a normal family, but one night when he was just a baby a man named Jack came into his house and murdered his family. Young Bod however being a restless sleeper climbed out of his crib out the front door and into the graveyard where the ghosts found him and took him in. During his youth Bod learned many things from the ghosts including how to disappear and walk though walls. Bod’s past however comes back to haunt him when the man named Jack after 12 years finds him and tries to dispose of him once and for all. This story was very well written and was a real page turner. I hope you get a chance to read this book!

Happy Reading!

Melanie Dobos

Children’s Services

The Jr. Library has purchased some new books that I am very excited about. I have put all our new titles on display, so I urge you to stop in a take a look. The new titles include Runaway Dolls by Ann M. Martin, Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi (author of Spiderwick Chronicles), Gully’s Travels by Tor Seidler and many more!

Happy Reading!

Melanie Dobos

Children’s Services

Jack is back at school again this year with his teacher Miss Stretchberry.  She moved up with him and so did her lesson on poetry. Unlike last year Jack is more willing to write poetry and have fun with it. Jack still writes about his dog Sky who he wrote about in Sharon Creech’s last book Love That Dog, but he is mostly writing about a fat neighborhood cat that he just hates. Just like he did in the last book Jack is able to use poetry to overcome some very importat things going on in his life.

I think this was a great book written in a very fun way! If you haven’t read either Love that Dog or Hate that Cat I suggest you come on down and check them out!

You can find either of these books in our fiction section. Call number JFIC CRE

Happy Reading!

Melanie Dobos

Children’s Librarian

Hello to everyone! I hope you have been reading some great books! I just read a great book called The Seems: The Glitch In Sleep written by John Hulme and Michael Wexler. This book was great! This is a story about a boy named Becker Drane who lives in an ordinary town and has an ordinary life until he sees an application in a local coffee shop for “The Best Job In The World”.  Becker applies for this job and to his surprise he actually gets it, however, the job is not what he expects. Becker always wondered how the world worked, why it rained and what made the sky so blue or the grass green so when Becker got this job he found all the answers he was seeking. The job was in a place called the Seems where there are all different departments that control everything that happens in the world. Becker’s job in the Seems is to be a Fixer. Being a Fixer was one of the most respected jobs in the Seems and not to mention one of the coolest. When there are problems in the Seems that creates problems in the world.  Being a Fixer means fixing those problems before everything stops working and the fabric of time rips open. In his first assignment Becker is called in to catch a Glitch in the Sleep Department before it ruins everything. Can Becker fix the world? You’ll have to read and find out!
Happy Reading!

Melanie Dobos
Children’s Services
Gunn Jr. Library
This book is available in the Jr. Library

Hello to all!

I just finished reading Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and I have to say this was a good read!

Just image what it would be like if the whole world was pretty. Everybody has a perfect body a perfect face and of course a perfect mind. This is the world Tally Youngblood and her friend Shay live in. They are on the verge of their 16th birthday which means that they get to become “pretty” just like everybody else. But shay decides that she does not want to be “pretty” so she runs away to a rebel camp outside the city called the Smoke leaving behind cryptic directions for Tally. Tally on the other hand wants nothing more than to be “pretty” but when the Department of Special Circumstances discover that Shay had run away. The Specials know that Tally and Shay were friends so they send Tally on a spy mission to find Shay and the Smoke and turn them all in. However, once Tally reaches the Smoke she has a change of heart when her new found love David reveals to her the full truth about what becoming “pretty” really means. This is a fast paced adventure story and the first in a series. I think this book was great and it was really interesting to think about what it would be like if all the world looked the same. Let others know what you think and post a comment!

Happy Reading!

Melanie Dobos

Children’s Services

Gunn Jr. Library

This book is available in our Young Adult Section


Recommended for grades 7-9

If you haven’t read it yet City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau is a fabulous book!

This book is about two young teenagers that live in a dying city. The city is in complete darkness with only their old generator to keep all their homes and businesses alight. The generator however is beginning to fail the people of Ember and they are experiencing blackouts. The Emberites have no idea if there is anything beyond their city, but the two young teenagers Lina and Doon find instructions that may save the people of Ember from their dying city. Lina and Doon will do anything to help their city and their people even if that means leaving the only home they have ever know.

I really enjoyed reading this book and I highly recommend it. Please post a comment to let others know what you thought of this book.

Happy Reading!

Melanie Dobos

Children’s Services

Gunn Jr. Library

This book is available in the Jr. Library


This book in recommended for grades 4-7


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