Dig These Great Reads--June Book Buzz Picks - The Missourian: Mo Books

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Dig These Great Reads--June Book Buzz Picks

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Posted: Saturday, June 1, 2013 2:32 pm | Updated: 2:48 pm, Sat Jun 1, 2013.

Get the scoop! Your literary bee-buddy has unearthed a trio of books that go right along with your public library’s summer reading theme, “Dig Into Reading.” Hole up this summer with these entertaining books featuring captivating characters and plots that engage faster than a dog can bury a bone. You’re sure to dig these great reads handpicked by Newsbee. Page On!

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The “Otis” series by Loren Long is as well-known as Grandpa’s tried and true John Deere, and as dear to many a young reader’s heart. The beloved, red tractor featured in Long’s marvelous stories is back in “Otis and the Puppy.”

It’s springtime on the farm and Otis is as hardworking as always. When he’s not “putt puff puttedy chuffing” around on the back 40, he finds time to play hide and seek with his old pals, and the farm’s newest pet, a spotted puppy. Otis and the pooch become fast friends, but they share a common dread — both are afraid of the dark.

That fear comes into play when puppy wanders into the forest and gets lost like a needle in the haystack. The goodhearted farm animals pitch in to hunt him down, and the farmer too — but it’s no go, and the search is called off when darkness falls. Never fear, it’s Otis to the rescue in another charmer adorned with illustrations long on luscious.

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All righty — Newsbee would have to agree. Sloths don’t seem like engaging reading material, but “A Little Book of Sloth” will convince you that these creatures are the masters of cute, creative and chill. Abundant photographs by Lucy Cooke show the sloths doing their thing, and not doing anything — the latter much more their style.

While sloths are noted for being lazy, some good folks down in Costa Rica are working hard to rescue and protect them at the Aviarios del Caribe Sloth Sanctuary. The book highlights some of the sanctuary’s inhabitants, like Buttercup, the “queen of Slothville,” who has lived there for 20 years, but doesn’t look a day over 10, and Mateo, an abandonded “streetwise sloth,” that prefers its snuggle-toy Mr. Moo to humans or sloth buddies.

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about sloths, or didn’t give a bean about, is included in this colorful book that’s as entertaining as it is informative. You’ll never gaze into a sloth’s peepers again without falling for these endearing animals that sometimes fall asleep in their food.

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Summer, a 12-year-old Kansas girl, has a life far from the norm in “The Thing About Luck,” an engaging new novel by Cynthia Kadohata, about a pre-teen with plenty on her plate.

When Summer’s parents return to Japan to care for their relatives, they leave their Japanese-American daughter Summer, and her brother Jaz, in the care of their grandparents, strict seniors with hearts of gold and rules galore. Summer loves them, of course, but wonders how she’ll weather all the time the four will spend together traveling with work crews from Texas to Montana, to Oklahoma, Kansas and back again harvesting wheat.

Summer’s grandfather has come out of retirement to operate a huge combine, and her grandmother will cook for the crews — Summer will be helping her prepare the food.

Things heat up as Summer deals with personal and familial issues. Her brother Jaz hasn’t got a friend in the world, and she’s under the thumb of her grandmother and confused about a possible love interest. Add to that her obsessive fear of mosquitoes, lingering angst resulting from a recent and unusual bout with malaria.

Come along for the ride and observe how Summer deals with her issues, combining courage, ingenuity and maturity, to dig deep and be the best she can be.

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