Welcome to the Bookshelf Detective, a site packed with tricks and tips for readers and writers of children's literature. Thank you for visiting!
Kim Tomsic

Monday, December 29, 2014

Predicted Caldecott, Newbery and Printz Award Nominees Written 2014 for Awards 2015

With 2014 almost over, my big piece of advice to writers is this: the best thing a writer can do to improve his/her craft is to become an avid reader. Below please find School Library Journal's list of best books for 2014. Think of it as your shopping list. Want to check out other lists? Just google any of the following:  The Horn Book, Publisher’s Marketplace, Mr. Shu Reads or Kirkus Review.                   Xoxo Kim Tomsic
SLJ BEST Picture Books 2014

Viva Frida
Yuyi Morales. photos by Tim O’Meara. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Bks.
MY BUS by Byron Barton (HarperCollins/Greenwillow)
BROTHER HUGO AND THE BEAR by Katy Beebe. Illus. by S.D. Schnidler) (Eerdmans)
THE BABY TREE by Sophie Blackall (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks.)
BIG BUG BY Henry Cole (Simon & Schuster)
DRAW by Raúl Colón. S. & S./Paula Wiseman Bks.
THE FARMER AND THE CLOWN (Love love love--here is my pick!):

The Farmer and the Clown
Marla Frazee. S. & S./Beach Lane.
ELIZABETH, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox. Illus. by Brian Floca (Random/Schwartz&W)
WEASELS by Elys Dolan (Candlewick)
ANY QUESTIONS? By Marie-Louise Gay (House of Anansi/Groundwood)
ONCE UPON AN ALPHABET by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel)
THE IRIDESCENCE OF BIRDS: A book about Henri Matisse by Patricia MacLachlan illus. by Hadley Hooper (Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Books)
HUNTERS OF THE GREAT FOREST by Dennis Nolan (Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Books)
WHAT IF…? By Anthony Browne (Candlewick)
RULES OF SUMMER by Shaun Tan (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books)
THREE BEARS IN A BOATThree Bears in a Boat
David Soman. Dial.

My personal addition to this list for fun text: COURTSHIP OF THE MONSTER UNDER THE BED by Barry Solway

SLJ Best Books 2014: Middle Grade
THE CROSSOVER                                       THE BOUNDLESS
THE NIGHT GARDENER                           THE RED PENCIL   
EL DEAFO                                                    WEST OF THE MOON
ALL FOUR STARS by Tara Dairman
NEST                                                              CARTWHEELING IN THUNDERSTORMS
MY HEART IS LAUGHING                                   SISTERS
RAIN REIGN                                                            REVOLUTION
My personal addition to this list of middle grade selections is: ALL FOUR STARS by Tara Dairman 

SLJ Best Books 2014: Young Adult: The Impossible Knife of Memory, Avalon , The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, Mortal Heart, We Were Liars, Egg &Spoon, Althelia & Oliver, I’ll Give You the Sun, Gabi: A Girl in Pieces, Grasshopper Jungle, Blue Lily Lily Blue, This One Summer, The Accidental Highwayman, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Afterworlds, Belzhar
My personal addition to this list: Noggin by John Corey Whaley 
And Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Book of the Week for Middle Grade Readers Counting Down to Christmas

As the days tick down to Christmas Eve and the house turns cozy with fluffy throw blankets and the scent of oatmeal cookies baking in the oven, it’s a great time to click off the TV and plop a book into the hands of young readers everywhere. So here’s a book that keeps the pages turning—especially for the 3rd through 6th grader:

TRACY TAM SANTA COMMAND by Krystalyn Drown turns everything you thought you knew about Christmas on its head—the reluctant reader will enjoy nail-bitter page turns, while the reluctant believer gets an exciting Chirstmas escapade.

Tracy Tam may believe in Santa, but she’s a reluctant believer in his magic. She’s certain everything has a scientific explanation—even Christmas, so on December 24th she sets out to gather evidence, samples and data to prove the science behind Christmas. If she’s successful, she’ll use the evidence to present at the state Science Fair competition and hopefully win the cash prize. And Tracy desperately wants that prize money, so she can give it to her aunt to pay for her cousin Pim’s expensive operation. Tracy will do anything to help Pim, including hiding in Santa sleigh and hitching a ride back to Santa’s workshop. But the workers at Santa Command will do anything to protect the secret of Christmas magic.  

And so here’s where everything —as promised—is turned on its head—but I won’t ruin the discovery of those secrets here. What I will tell you is the story is packed with fun surprises and zany flips that turn expectations into wonder. Young readers will have a fun adventure reading this story as they wait for their own visit from Santa. Tracy Tam keeps readers as well as everyone at Santa Command on their toes..

Available at and Indie Bookstore here: click here
Available from Amazon or Kindle here: click here
Available from my local bookstore Boulder Books: click here 
Available from my local Barnes & Noble: click here
·         Age Range: 9 and up 
·         Grade Level: 3 and up
·         Series: Tracy Tam
·         Paperback: 300 pages
·         Publisher: Month9Books, LLC (October 21, 2014)
·         Language: English
·         ISBN-10: 1939765803
·         ISBN-13: 978-1939765802

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Watch Your Toes! I'm Reading COURTSHIP OF THE MONSTER UNDER THE BED by Barry Solway

Just like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer written by Robert L. May, Courtship of the Monster Under the Bed by author Barry Solway started out as a poem created as a gift for his niece.

The beautiful text, unique approach and clever nature of Barry's story were all factors that helped spread the word of his work, and soon he was receiving standing ovations to the chorus of, "Read it again!" Barry had no choice but to turn the tale into beautiful picture book. Kids love this empowering story, and adults get a chuckle at each twist and turn. Courtship of the Monster Under the Bed is fresh, original, and full of delightful surprises. Trust me--you have not seen a book like this one!

In the spirit of giving, Barry is making the book available this coming weekend only (Friday, December 19, 2014-Sunday, December 21, 2014) as a free download. Of course I couldn't resist
purchasing a print copy, too.

Visit this link for both Kindle and print copies: CLICK HERE 

If you'd like to know more about Barry, please visit his website at http://www.barrysolway.com/

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