Mock Printz Countdown – Liar & Spy and Moonbird

Hi there – did the holidays catch you off guard and throw off your best intentions for keeping a normal routine? Never fear – me, too! For those of you who are working to get back on track before the Mock Printz workshop on Saturday January 26, 2013, or for those who read ahead, but need a refresher, here are the next two installments of the Mock Printz Countdown titles, Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead and Moonbird by Phillip Hoose.

Liar & Spy – Rebecca Stead

Book cover for Liar and Spy, a pair of binoculars over an apartment buildingGeorges faces a lot of changes – his dad was laid off, forcing his family to move out of their house and into an apartment; his mom’s never home because she’s always at the hospital where she’s an ICU nurse; his best friend, Jason, joined the cool kid crowd at school who tease Georges non-stop. Now a bullied loner, Georges and his dad are both surprised when he befriends another 12-year-old boy, Safer, in their apartment building. Safer and Georges form a very serious spy campaign against mysterious Mr. X who only wears black and is constantly transporting suitcases in and out of his apartment…possibly to dispose of the bodies of his murder victims (according to Safer).

As Safer keeps asking Georges to help with the case in increasingly criminal ways, Georges becomes more unsure about his new friend. Especially when Georges’ own observations about Safer don’t add up. And, as Georges uncovers more about Safer, he lets us as readers in on the huge secret he’s been hiding, too. Find out what these boys are up to in this humorous, quirky, and very sweet quick read!

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 – Phillip Hoose

Book cover for Moonbird, a red knot shorebird flying over the oceanMeet B95, a rufa red knot shorebird whose fame comes from his uncanny and innate ability to survive while his species facing possible extinction. B95 is an ornithological legend – he’s flown the distance to the Moon and halfway back again in his decades of migrating from the near-Antarctic to the near-Arctic every year for about 20 years.

In this engaging information book about the rufa red knot subspecies of shorebirds, Phillip Hoose brings to life the amazing resilience of the birds through the story of B95, the Moonbird. Hoose paints a clear, unbiased picture of the food shortages, weather, and human impact on the annual migrations of these incredible birds…all while helping you as a reader feel connected to B95 and the plight of his fellow birds, sans guilt! A great read with extensive source notes, an annotated bibliography for motivated readers who want to learn more, and an appendix all about “What You Can Do.”

Watch for more to come about other Mock Printz titles on the blog as the workshop nears! Or, feel free to post your own synopses here to share.

And…Did you know? Lisa Elliot from the Tigard Public Library is collecting book talks on the Mock Printz titles! Got a great one?? Send it along to Lisa here: lisae@tigard-or.gov.

Happy Reading!