Posted in Fiction, Fiction, Graphic Novels, Intermediate, Middle Grade

Kid-Friendly graphic novels for younger readers

I told you, this is a graphic novel summer! I’m so happy to see graphic novels coming out with younger and newer readers in mind: they helped develop a love of reading in my own kiddo, and I know the littles in my library love them as much as my middle graders do. Let’s take a look at what’s good.

Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark Graphic Novel, by Mary Pope Osborne, Adapted by Jenny Laird, Illustrated by Kelly Matthews and Nicole Matthews, (June 2021, Random House Books for Young Readers), $9.99, ISBN: 9780593174715

Ages 6-9

Jack and Annie are headed to graphic novels! The Magic Tree House books have been a staple in libraries for decades; now they’re transitioning to more visual storytelling mediums with graphic novels, starting with the first Magic Tree House adventure, Dinosaurs Before Dark. Jack and Annie discover a treehouse loaded with stacks of books, make a wish to see dinosaurs, and discover that they’re been transported back in time to the prehistoric era! Annie befriends a couple of plant-eaters, they run from a T-Rex, and try to figure out how to get home again. The story translates wonderfully to a graphic novel medium, and the artwork has a manga influence, which makes for big facial expressions; the artwork is colorful and eye-catching. Less dense text relies on visual storytelling, making this even more appealing to emerging and struggling readers. This series is going to be a hit.

Be sure to check out the Magic Tree House Classroom Adventures website, where you can find lesson plans and more resources. The Magic Tree House website has resources for kids and parents, including a Mission Game and Kids Adventure Club.

Fitz and Cleo, by Jonathan Stutzman and Heather Fox, (May 2021, Henry Holt), $12.99, ISBN: 9781250239440

Ages 6-9

The dynamic duo behind the Llama Destroys the World series is doing graphic novels now!! Fitz and Cleo are sheet-wearing ghost siblings who find and adopt a cat they name Mr. Boo. There are 11 bite-sized stories in this first volume; perfect for newly confident readers to pick up and spend time with. Fitz sports a baseball cap and glasses and is more interested in science than cats; Cleo wears a head bow, is cheery and fun, and is always there to support her brother. The two are best friends, with Mr. Boo adding comic relief with his antics, usually aimed at Fitz. Adorable, fun, Fitz and Cleo is a great early graphic novel to add to your younger reader shelves. Download a Fitz and Cleo activity kit right here!

 

Blue, Barry & Pancakes: Escape from Balloonia, by Dan & Jason, (June 2021, First Second), $12.99, ISBN: 9781250255563
Ages 4-8
The second Blue, Barry, and Pancakes adventure is just as wacky and fun as the first. Blue and Barry want a day just for themselves, but Pancakes has other plans: she’s made a rocket, and a planet made of balloons, and before Blue or Barry can say a word, they’re zooming off into space, where they’ll find themselves facing a giant Balloonian – a resident of Balloonia, naturally – named Balloon Kong. Will the trio ever get home? Will Blue and Barry ever get their quiet day? You have to read it to find out! This is such a fun series that you can easily start reading with preschoolers. The humor is light, laugh-out-loud funny, and the characters are endearing and adorable.
Scaredy Squirrel in a Nutshell, by Melanie Watt, (June 2021, Random House Books for Young Readers), $12.99, ISBN: 9780593307557
Ages 6-9
Popular picture book friend, Scaredy Squirrel, makes his graphic novel debut in Scaredy Squirrel in a Nutshell. Scaredy has successfully secured his tree from wooly mammoths, woodpeckers, lumberjacks, and aliens, but now he’s faced with a seemingly insurmountable foe: his new neighbor, a friendly bunny named Ivy. Scaredy has to weigh all the potential risks and plan for every scenario before deciding whether or not to invite Ivy to share his takeout pizza, and he discovers that having a friend can be pretty fun, after all. If you’re familiar with the Scaredy books, you’ll give a hearty chuckle at seeing Scaredy’s familiar lists for everything. If you’re new to Scaredy, you will be quickly enchanted by how funny and sweet he is. The artwork is adorable, expressive, bold, and eyecatching; there are three easy-to-navigate chapters that advance the story and give readers easy spots to put the book down for a break if they need to. Scaredy Squirrel is a great choice to bring to graphic novels!
Shark and Bot #2: Sleepaway Champs, by Brian Yanish, (June 2021, Random House Books for Young Readers, $9.99, ISBN: 9780593173381
Ages 5-8
The two besties are back in their new adventure, where they head off to sleepaway camp (much to Bot’s chagrin: he wanted to go to Space Camp). Camp Sweet Sunshine is not what the friends expect: Bot is put in a giant bubble because “everyone swims at Camp Sweet Sunshine”; they’re glitter-bombed by another camper, and the bathroom may be haunted. But they have a talent show to practice for, and it’s the one place that has enough privacy! Sleepaway Champs is a funny, cheerful story about summer, friends, and trying new things, sure to make readers smile. The book is organized into 8 chapters, making for easily paced reading with breaks. Author Brian Yanish’s website has loads of resources for caregivers and educators, including a video on how to draw Shark and Bot. Back matter includes instruction on how to draw Batty, Shark’s stuffed wombat, and amusing and interesting facts about wombats.
Posted in Animal Fiction, Fiction, Fiction, Intermediate, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

Middle Grade Animal Fiction: Say hello to your new best friends!

Animal fiction is always popular – that’s why there’s so much of it! – and I’ve been getting a bunch of animal adventures to read over the last few months. Great for book bundles, Summer Reading, or just keeping in mind for your animal fiction fans, here are two I’ve just finished:

 

Hotel Flamingo, by Alex Milway, (March 2021, Kane Miller), $5.99, ISBN: 9781684641260

Ages 7-10

Originally published in the UK in 2019, this is the first in an intermediate/middle grade series that’s just hitting US shores and it is hilarious. Anna is a young girl who recently inherits Hotel Flamingo, a once glamorous hotel that’s seen better days. Mr. Bear and Mr. Lemmy, the previous administration’s employees, have stayed on, trying to keep the lights on and the water running, and are happy to see Anna, hoping she’ll bring back the hotel to its former glory. As she mulls over how to compete with The Glitz Hotel, run by – oh yes, my friends – Ronald Ruffian, the demanding, boorish hotelier/businessman determined to keep his hold on Animal Boulevard’s clientele, Anna realizes a strength that the Flamingo has: they’ll treat all animals, even bugs, with dignity, respect, and as welcomed guests. With a cast of memorable and fabulous animal characters and situations, this first outing makes me want to check into the Hotel Flamingo again and again. The writing is wonderfully paced, engaging, and pink-and-black two color illustrations throughout make this a great bridge between intermediate chapter books and middle grade novels. A lovely story of teamwork, respect, and hard work paying off, kids will also love Anna, a human girl, being surrounded by new, anthropomorphic, animal friends. There are four books in total (so far?) in the Hotel Flamingo series; keep an eye out for the next ones.

Visit author Alex Milway’s website for a newsletter, free ebooks and excerpts, and his blog.

The Hotel Flamingo series works with the Tails and Tales Summer Reading theme and the Reading Takes You Everywhere theme! Ask your readers what kind of animals would run their hotel, and with what jobs, and cast an animal/human talent show. You’re bound to get some great responses. Print out a passport template (there are a bunch of good ones, for free, on TeachersPayTeachers.com) and either have kids create their own stamps or find some fun ones online. We’ve been stuck inside for a year – it’s time to (armchair) travel!

 

Dog Squad, by Chris Grabenstein, (May 2021, Random House Books for Young Readers), $16.99, ISBN: 9780593301739

Ages 8-12

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library author Chris Grabenstein hits gold again with Dog Squad – the beginning to what I hope is a new series. Fred is a nice dog who’s had a rough time of it in his just about two years of life. He had a home with Susan, who loved him and treated him so well… until she chose her stuck-up boyfriend over Fred. Then, he was adopted from the shelter by a lout named Tony, who wanted to turn him into a guard dog by “toughening him up”, which really meant abusing him and neglecting him. Fred’s only refuge was the show, Dog Squad, where Duke, Scruffy, and Nala, three heroic dogs, had exciting adventures every week! When Tony kicks Fred out and he ends up in a shelter, it’s good fortune that he’s adopted again: this time, by Jenny, the producer of Dog Squad, and her niece, Abby, who claims to be a dog psychic! Fred’s thrilled to meet his idol, but he’s crushed when Duke turns out to be pretty awful in real life. The tables turn when Duke’s injured and Fred, who resembles Duke, is asked to stand in for Duke on Dog Squad until he heals up, but Fred isn’t brave like he thinks Duke is. It’ll take some real-life adventure, including standing up to bullies. to help Fred understand that bravery takes all sorts of forms, but it’s something that starts inside you. A touching story about friendship, self-worth, and finding a forever home, Dog Squad was inspired by Chris Grabenstein’s dog, Fred: have tissues when you read his words about Fred at the end of the story. Black and white cartoon illustrations throughout will make readers wonder when this will become a movie (at least, that’s what I was thinking). Have kids who loved Paw Patrol but have aged up from Easy Readers and 8×8 media tie-ins? This is your new go-to book. The story even has Paw Patrol-esque catchphrases like, “Pawsome!”

More Summer Reading tie-ins: Tails and Tales, sure, but the Dog Squad team travels around the New York/tri-state area to shoot their show. Maybe consider mapping the areas mentioned in the story? If you’re using reading passports, put a Dog Squad stamp in there (or, you know, New York and Connecticut stamps) for your readers!

Visit Chris Grabenstein’s author page for a Dog Squad excerpt and video piece on the real Fred’s story (and Mr. Lemoncello stuff galore).

 

 

Posted in Fantasy, Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

Black Canary’s YA novel starts the new year off with a Canary Cry

Okay, 2021. Let’s see what you’ve got. Please be gentle with us, we’re still reeling from 2020. Thankfully, there were books. So many great books. And 2021 is shaping up to have just as many great books – seriously, look at the upcoming Latinx titles, and lists from Here We Read, Brightly, and Beyond the Bookends, for starters. And let’s dive into the first book I finished this shiny new year.

Black Canary: Breaking Silence (DC Icons #5), by Alexandra Monir, (Dec. 2020, Random House Books for Young Readers), $18.99, ISBN: 9780593178317

Ages 12+

I’ve been a Black Canary fan for a while now (thanks, Arrow!), and getting an email inviting me to read the new Black Canary YA novel sent me over the moon. The fact that it takes place in a dystopia where Gotham City has been taken over by the Court of Owls – some of the best storylines in the Batman universe –  made me salivate. The Court of Owls, in the comics, is a secret society that quietly oversees the machinations of Gotham City, always looking out for the wealthy founding families’ interests. In Breaking Silence, the Owls have taken on a fundamentalist-type role, sending women back into the home and relegating them to second-class citizens in the name of “decency” and “morality”. Penguin, the iconic Bat-villain who sided with the Owls during their takeover 20 years prior to the events in Breaking Silence, engineered a toxic gas that stole the singing voices away from women in Gotham; finding a way to silence them while still allowing them to function. The overthrow of Gotham and Silencing, the culminating event that stole women’s singing voices, was sparked by the death of Bruce Wayne – Batman – who died of old age; the revolt also saw the deaths of Commissioner James Gordon and superheroes at the hands of the Owls and their enforcers, the Talons. Dinah Laurel Lance has grown up under the boot of the Owls. Her father, Detective Larry Lance, works for the Gotham City Police Department and treads lightly between the Owls and his duties for the GCPD, while raising his daughter as a widowed father. Now a high school senior, Dinah listens to forbidden music in private and is already on the Owls’ watch list. Between a cautious romance with new student Oliver Queen and discovering the hidden truth about her mother, Dinah’s heading into strange new territory. The Owls had better be ready, a revolution is coming.

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Breaking Silence. Smashing the patriarchy and literally finding one’s own voice? Sign me up! Dinah Laurel Lance comes right off the pages; her frustration and fear are palpable and serve as a motivator and a hindrance; it isn’t all black and white here. Alexandra Monir gives us a smart teen heroine who navigates family secrets, a secret society, and the frustration of being a woman in a male-dominated society with skill. Her father, her male friend Ty, and the super-handsome, mysterious rich boy Oliver Queen all lament the current circumstances with her, but they don’t – can’t – get it: they’re men. They have freedom and privilege that they just can’t comprehend not having. There’s a DC cameo or two that made my heart sing, too… Read this book, add it to your booktalks, and get it into the hands of other readers. Then, go read Black Canary: Ignite and get some Birds of Prey trade paperbacks! (Psst… Gail Simone’s run is unparalleled).

Posted in Fiction, Fiction, Fiction, Intermediate, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction

Batter Up with the newest Ballpark Mysteries Super Special: The World Series Kids

The World Series Kids (Ballpark Mysteries Super Special #4), by David A. Kelly/Illustrated by Mark Meyers, ($5.99, Random House), ISBN: 9780525578956

Ages 7-10

The Ballpark Mysteries is a fun mystery series for intermediate readers that fits right in with Ron Roy’s mystery series (Capital Mysteries; Calendar Mysteries; A to Z Mysteries). The hook here is baseball; each mystery takes place at a ballpark and stars Mike and Kate, cousins who love baseball and solving mysteries. The World Series Kids is the latest Super Special – a little longer in length and structured around a big happening in baseball; in this case, the Little League World Series. Mike and Kate’s friend, Colin, is on the Cooperstown team, and Kate and Mike travel to South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to support the hometown team. They quickly discover that someone’s trying to sabotage the team: the coach’s son saw someone slash one of the team bus’s tires; the team’s equipment goes missing right before their first game, and there’s a warning that more shenanigans are coming! Thank goodness Mike and Kate are on the case to help out, but can they find out who’s behind the incidents in time to keep the team in the game?

This is such a fun whodunit! Mike and Kate work together well as a team, and David A. Kelly’s writing has action, humor, and a wealth of baseball knowledge. He creates whodunits that will leave kids (and adults, to be honest) guessing until the end of the story, with a surprise reveal, a lesson to be learned, and a happy ending, leaving kids ready to read the next book… right after they play a few innings. Dugout Notes at the end of the book are all about the Little League World Series, with cool facts to read and share.

There are loads of great resources on David A. Kelly’s author site, including educator guides, fan art and videos, even missing chapters. The Ballpark Mysteries are popular reading at my library, among baseball fans and mystery readers alike. David A. Kelly’s MVP series is also a big hit here, because I have a lot of soccer fans in this community. (A LOT.)  Display and booktalk this series with Matt Christopher’s sports fiction, and Dan Gutman’s Baseball Card Adventures series.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Two Halloween stories for your little monsters to love!

10 Busy Brooms, by Carole Gerber/Illustrated by Michael Fleming,
(Aug. 2018, Doubleday), $7.99, ISBN: 9781524768997
Ages 2-6

Originally published in hardcover (2016), this board book version of the rhyming, counting story follows a group of little witches as they rescue one another from mischievous skeletons, ghosts, and goblins. The digital artwork is bold and bright, and the witches have eschewed basic black for jewel tones and fashionable hats. There’s some diversity among the witches, too; something always nice to see. One witch even sports a hijab under her hot pink pointy hat! The fonts are bold and white, set off against the nighttime backgrounds of each spread, and the numbers are brightly colored, large, and bold. It’s a fun story for little Halloweeners to enjoy, and the sturdy board book will hold up to multiple readings.

 

How to Scare a Ghost, by Jean Reagan/Illustrated by Lee Wildish,
(Aug. 2018, Knopf), $17.99, ISBN: 9781524701901
Ages 3-7

The team that brought you How to Babysit a Grandpa, How to Raise a Mom, and How to Catch Santa are here to teach readers How to Scare a Ghost! First, you have to attract a ghost. There are several different ways to do this. Then, you have to make sure you have a real ghost, and not some kid dressed up for Halloween. Once you’ve got those two points down, you’re ready to scare! But wait! You’ve gone too far, and you’ve really rattled your ghost? Okay, the book has that covered, too, with ways to comfort, play, and choose a costume for your ghost. A combined handbook and story, How to Scare a Ghost features a brother-sister duo and a friendly ghost enjoying a Halloween together. Endpapers offer a variety of kids and ghosts in a variety of costumes, and the digital art is upbeat and cheerful. This one’s a cute add to holiday collections and great for readers who are a little shy around monsters and spookier fare.

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Fiction, Graphic Novels, Humor, Intermediate, Middle Grade

Hilo’s back to save the Whole Wide World!

hilo_1Hilo Book 2: Saving the Whole Wide World, by Judd Winick (May 2016, Random House Books for  Young Readers), $13.99, ISBN: 9780385386234

Recommended for ages 7-12

The boy who crashed to Earth returns, one piece at a time – no, seriously, the book starts out with his friends DJ and Gina holding a toe – to save the world again! Hilo, the android boy who captured readers’ imaginations and hearts, returns to learn how to tell knock-knock jokes, gets excited about transportation, and discovers cool new things he can do. He thinks everything is outstanding, especially dogs and cereal with milk. Then, the portals start opening up all over the place, letting in freaky things like viking hippos, mutant chickens, and a very cool warrior cat. What the heck is going on? It sounds like Razorwark is back in town – or, at least, trying to get back to town. Hilo and his friends are charged with keeping the planet safe one more time, but Hilo doesn’t want to hurt anyone.

Hilo’s first adventure was a huge hit, receiving a 2016 Choice Book Award and multiple starred reviews. I haven’t seen it on my shelves since the day I put the first copy up, and I really need to order more for Summer Reading. I love Judd Winick’s fun art, and Hilo’s genuine love of life and discovery. He’s relentlessly optimistic, even when faced with monsters coming through portals.

Add the Hilo books to your graphic novel collection: there’s fun, friendship, diversity, and some great word definitions (another cool thing Hilo does). Booktalk it with one of my favorite series, the Zita the Spacegirl books by Ben Hatke, and Hatke’s Little Robot, and introduce kids to the joy that is science fiction.

Judd Winick has scripted issues of bestselling comic series, including Batman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Justice League, and Star Wars, and has been head writer on the Hulu network’s animated series, The Awesomes. Judd also appeared as a cast member of MTV’s The Real World: San Francisco and is the author of the highly acclaimed graphic novel Pedro and Me, about his Real World roommate and friend, AIDS activist Pedro Zamora. Check out his author website for more about his books and artwork, and take a look at more of Hilo: Saving the Whole Wide World right here.

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Posted in Animal Fiction, Early Reader, Fiction, Preschool Reads

Babymouse comes to picture books!

I’m a huge Babymouse fan. She’s smart, she’s a bit sassy, she’s a great read for kids. The Babymouse graphic novels do gangbusters, no matter what library I’m at, and my kids’ book club had a Babymouse discussion that ended up being more about laughing and talking about the crazy things Babymouse (and Squish, her graphic novel counterpart) come up with. Today, I’m super excited, because Babymouse is coming to picture books!

babymouse

Little Babymouse and the Christmas Cupcakes will be out in October, but I was able to get a sneak peek at a few pages, thanks to Edelweiss, where I get a lot of my advance reader copies. The book is colorful, as opposed to Babymouse’s 2-color graphic novels, so this will get me a lot of mileage at storytime. The book is still set up like a graphic novel, with word balloons, narration boxes, and mini panels popping up here and there.

babymouse_1

Here’s the story: Babymouse ate all of the Christmas cookies her mom made for Santa, so now she can make him something he really wants—CUPCAKES! But a dragon rears its fiery head, and Sir Babymouse has to defeat him to save Christmas – or, you know, a cupcake or two.

I love that the Holms are bringing graphic novels to different formats. Their board books, I’m Grumpy and I’m Sunny, are adorable and perfect introductions to the graphic novel medium for babies and toddlers. Get your kids started on comics early!

Little Babymouse and the Christmas Cupcakes, by Jennifer L. Holm/Illustrated by Matthew Holm, (Oct. 2016, Random House Kids), $16.99, ISBN: 9781101937433

 

 

 

 

Posted in Intermediate, Non-Fiction

Pretty in Pink? Pink is for Blobfish takes a look at pink animals

blobfishPink is for Blobfish, by Jess Keating/Illustrated by David DeGrand (Feb. 2016, Knopf Books for Young Readers), $16.99, ISBN: 9780553512274

Recommended for ages 5-8

Pink is for princesses, sparkles, and all things girly and pretty. Right? Um… maybe not. Have you ever seen a blobfish? It was voted the ugliest animal in the world by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society (yes, it’s really a thing) and it’s pink. So very pink. But that’s not the only pink animal! Pink is for Blobfish introduces readers to animals who are all perfectly pink – but you probably won’t find a princess in the bunch.

The first book in zoologist Jess Keating’s “World of Weird Animals” series, Pink is for Blobfish offers brightly colored pages with photos, facts, and hilarious and commentary, plus illustrations by David DeGrand, that kids are going to love.  You know those Weird But True NatGeo books? I can’t keep those on the shelves at my library. Kids love weird stuff, they love animal books, and let’s be honest – everyone is tired of writing reports about bears, snakes, and frogs when their animal reports are due.

There’s no way this book will go unnoticed on your shelf. Add to that the original, outright freaky looking animals with solid facts written by a zoologist and kids’ author, and you’ve got your kids’ science reports wrapped up this year. I’m also looking at incorporating this into a Discovery Club we’re working on at my library (more posts on that when I get it underway), because who wouldn’t love a weird animal program?

Check out Jess Keating’s author webpage, where you can sign up to receive her Creature Newsletters and find out more about her #KeatingCreature Twitter feature!

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Posted in Animal Fiction

Quackers – A story about fitting in and standing out

quackers_1Quackers, by Liz Wong (Mar. 2016, Knopf Books for Young Readers) $15.99, ISBN: 978-0-553-51155-0

Recommended for ages 3-7

“Quackers is a duck. He knows he is a duck because he lives at the duck pond with all the other ducks.”

Quackers is the story of a cat who’s grown up with ducks. He doesn’t see himself as anything other than a duck, and neither do the ducks around him. But sometimes, Quackers doesn’t feel like he quite fits in. He has trouble making himself understood, he’s not in love with the food, and he really, really hates getting wet! One day, when Quackers meets Mittens, he learns that he’s what others call a cat – he’s not a duck at all! He tries to fully embrace his feline side, but he ends up missing the duck life. And that’s when Quackers learns that bringing all the parts of your different backgrounds together makes for a wonderful feeling. .

Quackers is a great book to have on hand for read-alouds and libraries with multicultural populations. It’s a great book to give to an adoptive family as a welcome home gift for baby, too! Quackers is a duck – no one thinks any differently. Once he learns that he’s a cat, though, he tries to throw himself into being a cat – but when you’ve been raised lovingly by one group, why walk away? This is the heart of the story, and it’s when Quackers realizes that he can be a cat and be a duck, he’s happiest. Kids from different backgrounds will learn that they can embrace more than one culture, whether it’s a culture they’re adopting, like moving to a new city/state/country, or a culture that they’ve been adopted into.

On a different note, Quackers works for all kids who may feel like they don’t fit in, for whatever reason. I’d pair this with Harvey Fierstein’s The Sissy Duckling to reach LGBT kids and kids being raised by LGBT families. Quackers teaches kids (and their caregivers!) to embrace themselves first and foremost – you can’t ask for a better message than that.

The art, created digitally and with watercolor, is adorable and soft, with soothing greens and teals for the water and grass. The text is set off almost like an old photo album, placed in small text boxes with a font that looks almost handwritten. Kids will love reading this book and adults will love reading it to them. Take a look at some of the art, below.

 

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You can find more of Liz Wong’s illustrations at her website.

Posted in Fantasy, Teen

Alexandra Moni’s Suspicion – A touch of the paranormal in this mystery

suspicionSuspicion, by Alexandra Moni (Dec. 2014, Delacorte Press), $17.99, ISBN: 9780385743891

Recommended for ages 13+

When Imogen Rockford was 10, she lost her parents, aunt, and uncle in a fire that raged out of control. Extended members of the British upper class, they were enjoying their annual gathering at the family estate when the fire in the garden maze consumed them. Seven years later, she’s living with her guardian in New York City when the call comes in – her grandfather has been dead for three years, and her cousin-next in line for the title of Duchess-has just died . Imogen is the new Duchess of Rockford, and is immediately swept into a new life in Britain, on the same estate where her family died. There are family secrets that haunt her, especially the secret of the infamous fifth Duchess, and what she left in the maze…

I’ve got to be honest, this book was good without the addition of the paranormal details. If anything, the paranormal plot brought down the book for me, bringing me out of the story’s flow with what felt like tacked-on additions. The paranormal could have been alluded to, or done away with entirely, and it would have strengthened the rest of the book.