Friday, December 22, 2017

Holiday Blasts from the Past (Plus Two New Ones)

Greetings, holiday-loving and book-reading guys! Every now and then, when the Iron Guy gets too busy to read, he goes back into the vaults and brings out some books that I've recommended before. I call these Blasts from the Past and today I'm going to tell you about a few holiday books. All of them are picture books but don't let that scare you off. They are not just cutesy little stories for three-year-olds; they are really good for guys of any age. Even grownups!

First there's Hanukkah. It's over now but that doesn't mean you shouldn't read these truly terrific books. They are wonderful and inspirational in the best sense of the word. with guys overcoming difficulties in really bad circumstances. And they're based on real stories! See the original reviews here.

Then, of course, there's Christmas.  The first book is How Santa Really Works by Alan Snow. (what an appropriate name!) Come on, boys, haven't you always wondered how he gets all that stuff into one sleigh, even if it is magical? Or how does that big, fat guy get down those narrow chimneys? You'd be surprised! (I sure was!)

And have you wondered what Santa does or where he goes those other eleven months of the year? Then you should read Where Does Joe Go? by Tracey Campbell Pearson and find out. This book is a lot of fun for younger and older reader guys (and grownups!) and you will get a smile out of it.

And we have Kwanzaa as well. The best Kwanzaa book I've ever read is Seven Spools of Thread by Angela Shelf Meadearis. It's a great story--seven brothers, who argue all the time, find out that their father's will says that they have to spin seven spools of thread into gold by nightfall or they will all be turned out of their house as beggars. How can they accomplish such an impossible task? In an unexpected way that uses the seven principles of this marvelous holiday. It's a book you'll remember for a long time. (see the original review here)

Have a happy holiday season and don't forget that you can still rescue a book from The Island of Semi-Neglected Books.

And to get you rocking for the holidays, here's a video I posted way back in 2008. Watch it and enjoy.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Island of Semi-Neglected Books

Hey, guys, the Iron Guy is back! I'm sorry I haven't posted anything for a while but we've been as busy as Santa's elves on December 23. That means I haven't had time to read very much, so I don't have anything new to share with you. But I thought I'd do something to promote a bunch of books that don't get the attention they deserve.

Do you remember The Island of Misfit Toys from the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV special?
(btw, do you ever watch it on broadcast TV or do you watch it other ways?) There's this island where toys that no one wants. like the ostrich-riding cowboy, live and get forgotten each year. (It's a sad scene that could make even a MANLY MAN like the Iron Guy sniffle) It all turns out OK; Rudolph gets Santa to pick them up and deliver them on Christmas Eve. So that got me thinking about some books that are really terrific but don't get checked out as much as they should. These live on The Island of Semi-Neglected Books. They deserve to be checked out by boys who would really, really enjoy them but, for whatever reason, they don't get much notice and stay on our shelves. Well, the Iron Guy is here, like Rudolph, to make sure that they aren't forgotten this holiday season. And what are these books? I'm very glad you asked.

The Copernicus Legacy books by Tony Abbott

I'm always surprised that these books don't get checked out more often. They are T-E-R-R-I-F-I-C! Action, suspense, a world-wide conspiracy, 500-year-old secrets, time travel, puzzling clues and one of the most memorable villains you'll ever meet.

The Alvin Ho books by Loren Long

You want to read something REALLY funny? Go check out any of these books about second-grader Alvin Ho and his PDK. You'll laugh out loud. You will!

The Akimbo books by Alexander McCall Smith

These books are short and could be read quickly and, believe me, once you start one of these stories about Akimbo, who lives on a nature preserve in Kenya, you won't stop. (there's a scene in Akimbo and the Snakes in which he is trapped in a truck with a deadly black mambo snake--one of the scariest things I've ever read!)

The Legends books by Howard Bryant

Man, oh, man I could spend all day talking about these terrific books. There are three of them and each one is about a different sport. (football, basketball and baseball) They have incredible stories of teams, individuals, stamina, determination, athletes who changed the game, athletes who changed our country, last-minute wins, comebacks against all odds and--well, there's a whole lot more.

OK, guys, now that you've seen them, here's your chance. Don't let these books just sit on the shelves over the holidays! Come check them out and let them go to a good home. (at least for three weeks!)

All kidding aside, you will really enjoy these and that's why I'm enthusiastic about seeing these get checked out. And if you need some more incentive, any boy who sends in a review (or more than one) of any of these books gets to pick a prize (or prizes) out of our ultra-cool prize box. The more reviews you send, the more prizes you get. But the reviews have about books in these series. Got that? I'll keep this offer going until Wednesday, January 3, 2018. Plenty of time to read and review, especially with the holiday break.

All right, then! Head on down to your local library and let's rescue some of them from The Island of Semi-Neglected Books!