Monday, May 31, 2010

The Goth and the Ghost by Stacey Kade


Kade, Stacey The Goth and the Ghost,  288 p. Disney, JULY 2010.  $16.99.  Language: PG-13 (40+ swears, 3 “f”).  Alona, queen bee, is dead.  Unfortunately she died in her crappy gym uniform, so now she is stuck in that ugly thing in her afterlife.  Weirdly,  Will, resident creepy, black-wearing, goth boy can actually see her.  She knows, because he saw him react to the humiliation of finding her boyfriend making out with her former best friend – THREE DAYS – after Alona’s death.  Alona needs Will to help her over to the other side – but so does every other ghost in town.  Will has problems and secrets of his own, including a vindictive spirit who seems to be out to do himbodily harm.  If Alona isn’t careful, she may find herself tied to Will forever.  Alona is surprisingly funny.  I was ready while I was getting my hair done and I kept snorting, so I would have to read passages out loud.  And it is also very poignant – I came close to tears more than once.  It would be much more accessible without the “language”. MS – OPTIONAL, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Finders Keepers by Marilyn Kaye


Kaye, Marilyn Finders Keepers (Gifted #4), 216 p.  Kingfisher, 2010.  $7.99.  Ken would much rather be an ordinary football player,  but instead he’s stuck being able to talk to ghosts – and he’ll tell you – it really isn’t that much fun.  Now he’s stuck in a love triangle with his dead best friend’s girl.  But even worse, someone wants to use Ken’s power to do dastardly deeds.  The inferring girls in his Gifted class won’t leave him alone, either.  What’s a boy to do?  If it weren’t for how whiny Amanda is, I would enjoy this series much more – but the rest if the group is great and I am really waiting to see the rest of the personalities come to the fore.  EL, MS – ADVISABLE.  

Stringz by Michael Wenberg


Wenberg, Michael Stringz, 215 pgs. WestSide Books, 2010. Language - PG-13 (73 swear, 0 "f"), Sexual Content - G; Violence - G; Jace has never had a "normal" life. He doesn't have a dad, he doesn't know where his brother is, and his mom moves him around constantly. This time, they've moved from LA to Seattle and the only thing Jace can rely on is his cello. One day while playing his cello on the street to earn some cash, he gets $100 bill with a business card telling him to call a Mr. Majykowski if he wants to make to make a difference. A good book about music and how good it can be for you. I found myself loving this as every page turned because it was so spectacular with the details and play. I recommend this to any music-loving person. MS, HS - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: CCH

Taken By Storm by Angela Morrison


Morrison, Angela Taken By Storm, 288 pgs. Razorbill, 2009. Language - PG (17 swears, 0 "f"), Sexual Content - PG-13; Violence - G; Michael's parents died in a hurricane on a diving trip they were on together. Now it haunts him and he can't get over it. He goes to stay with his grandma, and he meets Leesie. Leesie is a Mormon that has always stuck to her beliefs, but when she and Michael get together will they be able to keep her rules? This story is a classic forbidden romance tale. What really makes this one stand out isn't just the characters, but the unique way the tale is told. Angela Morrison tells this love story through poems, online chats, and dive log entries. MS, HS - OPTIONAL. Reviewer: CCH

Bone Warriors by Bron Bahlmann


Bahlmann, Bron Bone Warriors, 264 pgs. Sweetwater Books, 2009. Language - G, Sexual Content - G; Violence - G; Derrik and Tweaks' biggest worry is Tweaks getting a baby brother. That is, it was before their families and most of their neighbors get kidnapped by the Necromancer and Derrik and Tweaks go on a trip to rescue them. An enemy will become a friend and they will run into countless creatures ready to kill them. With all these delays, will they make it in time to save the people they love? I think this book is outstanding! It has all the juicy details and battles that an adventure story needs to have, but without being gory. MS, HS - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: CCH

The Eyes of Kid Midas by Neal Shusterman


Shusterman, Neal The Eyes of Kid Midas, 148. Simon & Schuster, 1992, 2009. Language - PG (11 swears, 0 "f"), Sexual Content - G; Violence - G; Kevin is the awkward, glasses-wearing kid that always gets made fun of, and the field trip to the Divine Watch, a mountain, is no different. After hearing some stories about the Divine Watch, Kevin and his only friend Josh start climbing it. But when they reach the top, Kevin finds a pair of glasses that will change the world as they know it. I think this book is exciting through and through. It always surprised me with what came next and I think it was great. EL, MS - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: CCH
FYI: Originally printed in 1992, the fresh, new cover will draw in a new generation of reader.

Emma's River by Alison Hart


Hart, Alison Emma's River, 142 pgs. Peachtree, 2010. Language - G, Sexual Content - G; Violence - G; Emma, a ten-year-old, and her mom are going up the Mississippi on a steamboat to meet up with her dad so they can all move to California together in the year 1852. While on the boat Emma breaks the rules and becomes friends with a stowaway, what could go wrong? This book was fun to read, but there were a few parts that bored me. I really like Emma's will for adventure and strong determination, though. EL, MS - OPTIONAL. Reviewer: CCH

Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards


 Richards, Jame Three Rivers Rising, 280 pgs. Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. Language - PG (6 swears, 0 "f"), Sexual Content - PG; Violence - G; Celestia and her family are staying at a fancy clubhouse for the rich and high society people at Lake Conemaugh in summer of 1888. While there, Celestia meets and falls for Peter, a boy working there, but because of their different classes in society, they cannot be together without Celestia being disowned. A book completely make up of poems, yet still having an actual storyline. I love it. All of the poems are free verse, but because they are poems, the words flow way better than they would in a regular story and it swept me away. MS - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: CCH

And Both Were Young by Madeleine L'Engle


L'Engle, Madeleine And Both Were Young, 238 pgs. Crosswicks, Ltd., 1983. Language - PG (3 swears, 0 "f"), Sexual Content - G; Violence - G; Flip is going to an all girls boarding school because she can't miss a year of school to travel with her father while he goes to draw real people for a book. On a walk on day, she finds Ariel, a dog, who leads her to find Paul. Paul and Flip become great friends, but what will happen if they finally get caught on one of these meetings that go against the school rules? I really enjoyed this book that shows how hard it can be to fit in and that you need friends to help you through the hard times. Friendship and acceptance are what everyone needs and is looking for. MS, HS - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: CCH
FYI - This is a reprint, with a few differences, of a book originally printed in 1949 -Cindy

Camille McPhee Fell Under the Bus by Kristen Tracy


Tracy, Kristen Camille McPhee Fell Under the Bus, 293 pgs. Delacorte Press, 2009. Language-G, Sexual Content-G; Violence-G; Camille McPhee has everything going wrong for her. It doesn’t help that she slipped and fell under her school bus. Plus her mom is having a midlife crisis, and while Camille’s dad is gone, here mom paints the whole house purple. This is a very well-written book. It was quite entertaining to read. In it Camille learns that everything in the world is not fair, and she won’t always get her way. The book teaches essential life lessons that everyone needs to learn. MS - Advisable. Student reviewer: HW

Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors

Selfors, Suzanne Smells Like Dog, 354pgs. Little, Brown and Company, 2010. Language-G, Sexual Content-G; Violence-G; Homer Pudding recently inherited his treasure-hunting uncle’s dog, and wants to follow in his uncle’s footsteps. In this book, he goes on a thrilling treasure hunting journey, and follow his dreams. This book was very adventurous, and it kept me on my toes the whole time reading it. It was worthwhile reading, and I’d read it again. MS-ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: HW

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Eli the Good by Silas House


House, Silas Eli the Good, 295 pgs. Candlewick Press, 2009. Language- PG-13(37 swears, 0 “f”), Sexual Content- PG; Violence- PG; Eli Book, a 10-year-old, lives in Kentucky during the summer of 1976. His dad has nightmares of being in the Vietnam war, his sister Josie rebels against his mother, and his and Nell was a war protester coming to live at his house. These conflicts are the bases of the conflict of the whole book. I really enjoyed this book, and learned a lot from the message that radiated from it. I would advise it to middle school-age students and up because I think this book would need an older audience to understand the message well. MS-HS- ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: A.W.

Charlie Bone and the Red Knight by Jenny Nimmo

Nimmo, Jenny. Charlie Bone and the Red Knight, 480 pgs. Orchard Books, 2010. $12.99. Sexual Content-G; Language-G; Violence-PG. The eighth and final book in The Children of the Red King series ends predictably and satisfyingly. The Bloors and Charlie Bone are searching for a box containing a hidden will and the true heirs of the fortune. The Bloors and their evil dominions are tightening their hold on the city. Meanwhile a mysterious Red Knight has been aiding and defending the children of the Red King. Charlie and his friends must prepare for a final battle between good and evil. Fantasy fans, particularly those of Harry Potter will appreciate this imaginative British series. Essential purchase if you have the rest of the series, otherwise advisable. EL – ADVISABLE. Samantha, Public Librarian.

Busing Brewster by Richard Michelson


Michelson, Richard Busing Brewster Illustrated by R.G. Roth 32 pgs. Knopf Books for Young Readers 2010. $16.99. PICTURE BOOK Brewster is getting ready to start first grade. He is nervous because he hears that the teacher is mean. His mom is able to get him and his brother into an all white school called Central. This upsets Brewster even more. Now he will have to get up early to ride the bus. When the bus pulls up, a rock shatters the window, people are protesting outside. He quickly learns that he can't drink from the same drinking fountain, and is taken into detention. There he becomes friends with "freckle face," and realizes that Central won't be so bad after all. EL - ESSENTIAL. Anna Mattheus, Elementary Teacher.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Aunt Mary's Rose by Douglas Wood

Wood, Douglas Aunt Mary's Rose illustrated by LeUyen Pham 32 pgs. Candlewick Press, 2010. PICTURE BOOK. $16.99. This is a sweet story about the power of family love. Douglas' Aunt Mary tells him to take care of the rosebush so that one day there will be a little bit of him inside it. Douglas doesn't understand what Aunt Mary means until she tells him the history of the family rosebush. Through thick and thin, different family members took turns caring for the rosebush and in return a part of each of them lives on in the rosebush. This wasn't my favorite written story, but because it is a true story, it carries a sentimental feel. The text is a bit long and might be hard for kids to sit through, but it is a nice feel-good story about family bonds. EL-OPTIONAL. Whitney, Library-Teacher. 

Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton

Shelton, Paula Young Child of the Civil Rights Movement illustrated by Raul Colon 42 pgs. Schwartz & Wade Books, 2010. PICTURE BOOK/NON-FICTION. $17.99. Remembering what it was like in her youth, Shelton shares her memories of the Civil Rights Movement. She recalls what it was like to have dinner with "uncle" Martin and "aunt" Coretta and other prominent figures of the Civil Rights Movement. She describes her feelings as she participated in the march from Selma to Montgomery. Combined with the text and illustrations, this would be a great book to use when discussing the Civil Rights Movement as it includes short biographies of the people discussed at the back of the book and is told from the perspective of a young child during that time period. EL-ESSENTIAL. Whitney, Library-Teacher. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Wizard from the Start The Incredible Boyhood & Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison by Don Brown


Brown, Don A Wizard from the Start: The Incredible Boyhood & Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison 32 pgs. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children 2010. $17.00. PICTURE BOOK Who knew that the famous Thomas Edison started out selling vegetables from his garden and being removed from school because the teacher thought he was "addled." This takes you through Thomas's childhood, showing all of the different jobs he held before becoming an inventor. He wrote and sold newspapers on the trains all day, and worked with telegraphs. This was not enough for him though, and at the age of 22, he quit his job as a telegraph operator and focused on his inventions. He came up with 1,093 patents in his lifetime. His achievements include the phonograph, motion picture cameras, and of course the light bulb. This is a fun book chronicling his early life. It would be a great supplement for inventor units, or the electricity unit. EL-ESSENTIAL. Anna Mattheus, Elementary Teacher.


The Summer Before by Anne Martin


Martin, Anne  The Summer Before, 215 pages. Scholastic press, 2010. Language-G(0 "f", 0 swears), Sexual Conten-G, Violence-G. The Four girls everyone nows as the babysitters club have yet another book, but this time it is different it's the summer before. Through this book you get to learn how Kristy, Mary Anne, Stacey, and Claudia become friends and later become the babysitters club. This a really good book and it is a quick and easy book. If you love the babysitters club series you are sure to love this book. EL/MS-Optional. Student Reviewer:MM

The Private Thoughts of Amelia E. Rye by Bonnie Shimko


Shimko, Bonnie  The Private Thoughts of Amelia E. Rye, 234 pages. D&M Publishers. Language-PG13(10 swears, 0 "f"), Sexual Content-G; Violence-G. In this book Amelia goes from being a little baby to a teenager, and it shares all of the stories from through her life. Amelia's mom does not like her, and in life Amelia only has 1 friend who is her age and another girl named Mary Laroue. Amelia is always one to tend for herself but through this book she meets new family members and also looses a few, this is a book of many emotions but it is a really good book. I would recomend this book to almost any girl who likes to read, once you start you wont put it down. MS/HS-ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer:MM

Living On Impulse by Cara Haycak


Haycak, Cara  Living On Impulse, 292 pages. Dunton Books,2009. Language-Pg-13 (5 Swears, 0"f"), Sexual Content-G; Violence-PG (there is some fighting between people). Mia Morrow is just a normal teenage girl who goes to a normal highschool with normal friends, but she has one secret she is a shoplifter. Everyday at lunch Mia goes out and takes one think but one day when she tries to take a silver shoe she gets caught on camera. When Mia goes to meet with the mall owner she tries to lie to cover it but then the truth ends up coming out. When Mia's mom comes to get her they get into an argument and her life just gets worse from there. This was a really good book, a little bit hard to get into but once you get past that it is a really good book. MS/HS-ESSENTIAL. STUDENT REVIEWER: MM

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead


Mead, Richelle Spirit Bound, 489 p. Razorbill (Penguin), 2010.  $17.99.  Language: PG-13 (50+ swears, 2 “f”), Violence:PG, Sexual Content: PG-13 (steamy, but off page).  Dmitri is still alive – and threatening to end Rose’s life as soon as she steps off the Academy campus.  Rose is involved with Adrian now, but she is determined to pursue a hint of a chance to turn Dmitri from Strigoi back to dhampir – even if it means springing Lissa’s former torturer from a high security prison.  Rose’s life is never dull!  I enjoyed this one much more than the last.  And yes, the door is left wide open to a sequel.  The circumstances look very promising for a great story line. MS – OPTIONAL, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Crossing Stones by Helen Frost


Frost, Helen Crossing Stones, 178 p. Frances Foster (Farrar), 2009.  $16.99.  Content: G (mild violence).  Muriel’s words wander across the page, even as her thoughts wander all over her life.  Not content with a woman’s lot in life, she longs to be more than someone’s wife, more than the person who holds down the farm.  With the dawn of World War I,  the boys from her school are headed off to war.  At the same time,  Muriel’s own aunt is working in Washington DC for women to earn the right to vote.  Frost has written a free verse novel that actually contains beautiful poetic richness.  I would suggest you hand this to a Language Arts teacher for future use in the classroom.  MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Let’s Dig It!


Shannon, David Let’s Dig It! (Jon Scieska’s Truck Town).  Simon, 2010.  $5.99.  BOARD BOOK.  Content: G.  Payload Pete is so fond of digging that he has dug himself a hole that he can’t get out of.  Will his friends be able to rescue him?  The only thing this cute little book is lacking is moving wheels – wouldn’t that be cool!  PreK – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Peekaboo, Puppy! by Beth Harwood


Harwood, Beth Peekaboo, Puppy!  Illustrated by Mike Jolley and Emma Dodd. Templar (Silver Dolphin), 2004.  $12.95.  puppy has gone in search of animal friends on the farm today.  As he looks through each little hole, who will he find on the other side?  As with all picture books I receive, this one headed off to church for kid-friendly testing.  The kids had a great time peeking onto the next page, but they also enjoyed peeking at each other!  PreK - ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Action Figures by Bob Raczka


Raczka, Bob Action Figures: Paintings of Fun, Daring and Adventure, 31 p. Millbrook (Lerner), 2010.  $18.95.  Content: G.  Raczka takes 18 works of art – from the classic to the modern – to look at how action and motion are portrayed in art.  Little tidbits at the end of the book offer just enough information to make this a great resource for an art classroom lesson.  MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Come to the Fairies’ Ball by Jane Yolen


Yolen, Jane Come to the Fairies’ Ball, illustrated by Gary Lippincott.  Wordsong (Boyds Mill), 2010.  $17.95.  PICTURE BOOK.  Yolen’s poetry combines with Lippincott’s drawings for a magical trip through the preparations for a wonderful fairy ball.  One poor fairy, however, may be late – or maybe she is just on time.  There is a myriad of details to exclaim over on each page and the text is a nice little twist on a classic fairy tale.  EL – ADVISABLE.  

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Line by Teri Hall


Hall, Teri The Line, 224. Dial, 2010. Content - G; Rachel and her mother live quietly on The Property working for Ms. Moore. While Rachel's mother feels safer far from the city and the restrictive government, Rachel is fascinated by the Line, and invisible fence that encloses the entire Unifed States. But there are secrets on The Property that start to unravel when someone on the other side of the Line asks for help.

An okay book. I thought it started slow and didn't really go anywhere until about half way through. I am intrigued with the futuristic dystopian world and will probably pick up the next in the series when it comes out. MS - ADVISABLE. Rebekah, Public Librarian

Split by Swati Avasthi


Avasthi, Swati Split, 280. Knopf, 2010. Language - R (78 swears, 13 "f"); Sexual Content - PG-13; Violence - PG-13; When sixteen-year-old Jace fights back, his physically abusive father throws him out of the house. With nowhere else to go, Jace travels 19 hours to find the brother who disappeared five years earlier.

I loved this book. It is amazing. Jace is a heroic character who isn't perfect and is struggling with his own anger issues. But he recognizes his weaknesses and works hard to overcome. The violence that he describes towards himself and his brother and mother is tough to read. This is a lot of swearing, sex is not described though it is implied. HS - ADVISABLE. Rebekah, Public Librarian

the Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones


Brodien-Jones, Christine The Owl Keeper, 320. Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2010. Content - G; Max is allergic to the sun. Forced to spend his days inside, he sneaks out at night to visit the owl tree where his silver owl is hidden. Max loves silver owls and believes them to be magic, but the government claims they are evil and kill any they find. When Max discovers that his caregiver and the government have a horrible use for him he runs away with his friend Rose to try and find The Owl Keeper, someone who was prophesied of long ago to bring freedom and peace to their world.

I found this book slow to start and wordy throughout. 100 pages shorter and I would've liked it much more. It had a lot of plot holes and the adults aren't all that smart. EL - OPTIONAL. Rebekah, Public Librarian

Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski


Mlynowsky, Sarah Gimme a Call, 320. Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2010. Language - PG; Sexual Content - PG; Violence - G; As Devi's senior year comes to an end, she looks back on her years in high school and wishes she could change the way she lived them. When her cell phone falls into the mall fountain and the only number it will call is her own phone from three years before, she thinks her wish might just come true.

This is a fun book. I enjoyed it immensely. The older Devi and younger Devi's interaction with each other is great. MS, HS - ADVISABLE. Rebekah, Public Librarian

Candor by Pam Bachorz


Bachorz, Pam Candor, 256. EgmontUSA, 2009. Language - PG; Sexual Content - PG; Violence - PG; The Community of Candor is perfect. Beautiful, quiet, and the children never misbehave. Candor is controlled by subliminal Messages that are controlled by founder Mr. Banks. His son, Oscar, student-body president, straight-A student, and all around nice guy, pretends to be like every other student, but in reality he's fighting to keep his life his own.

I thought this was an okay book. How the messages control the community is disturbing and the ending is drepressing and it was rather slow overall. I didn't believe in Oscar's love of Nia so everything he did for her didn't ring true for me.
HS - OPTIONAL. Rebekah, Public Librarian

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker


Baker, E.D. The Wide-Awake Princess,  275 p. Bloomsbury, 2010.  $16.99.  Content: G.  While everyone around her falls asleep, Annie, the younger sister of the Sleeping Beauty, is wide awake and not about to sit around waiting to be rescued.  The gift of her fairy godmother makes her impervious to magic, so she is determined to exit the castle and find her sister’s true love and drag him back to the castle to kiss her – even if it means giving up her own dreams.  Princess power at its finest – just as much fun as Baker’s other books!.  EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.
FYI: I am not a big fan of this new cover - I really liked the picture on the ARC that I received.

The Dollhouse Fairy by Jane Ray


Ray, Jane The Dollhouse Fairy.  Candlewick, 2010.  $16.99.  PICTURE BOOK.  Content: G.  The poor little fairy Thistle has hurt her wing and needs a place to rest to recuperate.  Luckily Rosy’s Dad has made Rosy a lovely dollhouse – just the right size!  Now Rosy has someone she can take care of while her Dad is being taken care of at the hospital.  A fun fairy delight for little girls.  EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Benno and the Night of Broken Glass by Meg Wiviott


Wiviott, Meg Benno and the Night of Broken Glass, illustrated by Josee Bisaillon.  Kar-Ben (Lerner), 2010.  PICTURE BOOK.  Benno has lived as a street cat along a normal street in Berlin for a long time.  Everyone on the street loves him and works together to keep him happy. It’s 1938 however, and things are changing on Benno’s street and after the night of broken glass, nothing will ever be the same again.  This little book is sensitive enough that it would be useful for smaller children to hear as they learn about the Holocaust.  EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

The Bad Queen by Carolyn Meyer


Meyer, Carolyn The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie Antoinette, 420 p. Harcourt, 2010.  $18.00.  Sexual Content: PG-13 (there is a lot of talk about the King and Marie’s inability to connect in the bedroom, Violence: PG-13 (this is the French Revolution, folks).  From a young girl controlled by her mother in the court of Austria to a young princess and then queen controlled by strict rules and etiquette in the courts of France – Marie Antoinette carves out what happiness she can.  But the people of France don’t understand this Austrian princess and when things start to go sour, she, with her extravagant spending and elaborate lifestyle, is a much too easy target for their wrath.  Meyer has put out two great new titles now, with Charley Darwin and this.  Her writing has returned to its prime.  Unfortunately, you can’t give a full picture of Marie without going into the problems in her marriage or addressing the Revolution, but this does push the material into a more mature category.  This is also a longet book than any that I remember.  I don’t think I would recommend this to schools with 6th graders – the 8/9 grade level seems most appropriate.  MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

The Mermaid’s Treasure by Stephanie Peters


Peters, Stephanie The Mermaid’s Treasure.  Dutton (Penguin), 2008.  $19.99. Pop-up/Movable Book.  Content: G.  A little girl is watching fireworks with her family when she spies a mermaid in the water.  The next day she finds a magical box on the seashore, full of all kinds of information about the elusive beings.  Foldouts, letters, touch and feel, and all kinds of pop-ups await a little girl who is fascinated by mermaids.  What a great gift book or library book for hours of imagining.  EL – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

The Necromancer by Michael Scott


Scott, Michael The Necromancer, 389 p. Delacorte (Random), 2010. $18.99.  Content: PG (Violence).  Pernelle has been rescued and the twins and the Flamels are safely back home, but by no means are their adventures over.  Josh’s powers still need to be awakened, Scatty and Joan of Arc have disappeared into the distant past and Dee is not out of the picture yet.  Nicholas Flamel is moving swiftly towards death – there are just a few days left before his power will be totally depleted – and just a few days before Dee might be able to destroy the world.  And Josh and Sophie are still not sure who they can trust.  Scott still doesn’t allow us time to catch our breath in this latest installment of his series.  Dive in and hope you can keep your head above water! EL, MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Your Life But Better by Crystal Velasquez


Velasquez, Crystal Your Life But Better 274. Random House 2010. Language-G (0 swears, 0 "f"), Violence-G; Sexual Content- G.  This is a book to tell you all about your life, were you will go in life, what will happen in life. In this book you go through quizzes and mini stories to tell you about what they have just told you. I liked this book because it is fun to go through it is not just a book you read and read you take a break to take a quiz. This is a book I would really recommend to people who like fortune telling. EL/MS-OPTIONAL. STUDENT REVIEWER:MM

The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade


Slade, Arthur The Hunchback Assignments, 278 pgs. Wendy Lamb Books, 2009. Language - G, Sexual Content - G; Violence - PG; Mr. Socrates took in Modo when he was little and has been training Modo--without Modo's knowledge--to help him. When Mr. Socrates leaves Modo in the middle of an unfamiliar place as a test, Modo learns to adapt and gets himself ready to accomplish the tasks that Mr. Socrates has planned for him. I couldn't put this book down. I loved the mystery that's incorporated into every page and I loved everything about Modo. MS, HS - OPTIONAL. Reviewer: CCH

The Ghosts of Ashbury High by Jaclyn Moriarty


Moriarty, Jaclyn The Ghosts of Ashbury High, 480 pgs. Arthur A. Levine, 2010. Language - PG-13 (63 swears, 0 "f"), Sexual Content - G; Violence - G; The new kids, Amelia and Riley, are the talk of the school. No one is aware, though, that they are actually ghosts--but how long can this secret remain a secret? This book is unlike any I've ever read before because it tells the story through essays, letters, blogs, etc. and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is great and it's even more captivating because it comes across in a unique way. MS, HS - OPTIONAL. Reviewer: CCH

Beyond the Map's Boundary by Nibi Soto


Soto, Nibi Beyond the Map's Boundary, 305 pgs. Thornock International Productions, Inc., 2010. Language - G, Sexual Content - G; Violence - PG; Mattie is given powers she didn't even know existed when her mother dies and now Mattie is finding trouble around every corner. She has to get married, reunite her family, and get control over her powers or a family member will be murdered. This book was fabulous. It was enthralling and attention-demanding. I really enjoyed all the powers that came up and how it all played out. EL, MS - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: CCH

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Dignity of Dragons by Jacqueline K Ogburn


Ogburn, K Jacqueline A Dignity of Dragons illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli 32 pgs. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children 2010. PICTURE BOOK. $17.00. You know that geese come in gaggles and fish come in schools, but did you know that you could also see a tsunami of sea monsters, or a tangle of gorgons? This book is filled with all sorts of magical creatures like sirens, chimeras, and even werewolves. Without having a plot, this book is still able to hold your attention because of the unusual creatures listed and the interesting pictures. There is also a glossary in the back that gives a definition for each creature listed in the book. EL - OPTIONAL. Anna Mattheus, Elementary Teacher.

Toy Story 3 Toy to Toy (Step into Reading) by Tennant Redbank

Redbank, Tennant Toy to Toy (Step into Reading) 32 pgs. RH/Disney 2010. $3.99. This is Step 1 in the Step into Reading series. The text is very basic, written for beginning readers. First you meet all of Andy's old toys including Woody, Buzz, and Slinky and many more. Andy becomes too old for his toys and decides to donate them to the Sunnyside Daycare. Andy's old toys meet new ones there. They meet Lotso the teddy bear, Big Baby, Chunk, Sparks and Stretch. The big question is, will the toys like their new home and get along with the other toys. EL(K-3) - ADVISABLE. Anna Mattheus, Elementary Teacher. (No picture available)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Please Take Me for a Walk by Susan Gal


Gal, Susan Please Take Me for a Walk 40 pgs. Knopf Books for Young Readers 2010. PICTURE BOOK $15.99 I'm sure this is just how most dogs feel that are cooped up in their houses all day. This is about a dog that just wants to go for a walk. He lists all of the reasons why he wants to get out of the house. He needs to chase the cat, greet neighbors, watch kids at school play outside, and play fetch among other things. He keeps repeating, "Please take me for a walk." This is written for young readers. The pictures are cute and the text repeats itself. There is not really a plot though. EL(K-3) - OPTIONAL. Anna Mattheus, Elementary Teacher.

Christian, the Hugging Lion by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell


Parnell, Peter and Richardson, Justin Christian, the Hugging Lion illustrated by Amy June Bates. 32 pgs. Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing, 2010. PICTURE BOOK $16.99. Based off of true events, this is a story about two men and a lion. Harrods, a famous department store in London made a promise that you could buy whatever you wanted there. Two men, Ace, and John shopped there one day and found a lion cub. After paying, what is today about $4,500, the men took the cub home and named it Christian. Christian went wherever they did, including the churchyard, eating at restaurants, and visiting friends at the pub. Soon Christian grew too big, and they knew that he needed to go live wild in Africa. They were able to leave Christian there, but they missed him dearly. Deciding to visit him after a couple of years, they traveled back to Africa to find him. Christian recognized them and came running up to give them a big hug. The illustrations are great, and the story is unbelievable. EL - ESSENTIAL. Anna Mattheus, Elementary Teacher.

The Monster Who Ate My Peas by Danny Schnitzlein

Schnitzlein, Danny The Monster Who Ate My Peas illustrated by Matt Faulkner 32 pgs. Peachtree Publishers, 2001. Reprint. PICTURE BOOK. $16.95. This is not your average monster story! The little boy in this story will desperately do anything in order to avoid eating his peas, including giving up some of his most prized possessions! (Sound familiar to any of you parents out there?!) Well when his wish comes true and the disgusting pea monster appears, all it will take for the peas to disappear from his plate is the boy's new soccer ball. Easy enough it seems. But the next time the monster appears he wants the boys bike....and then his dog. How far is the boy willing to go to avoid eating his peas?? The boy has had enough and decides that this must stop....so he does the most brave thing of all...he eats his peas....and makes a surprising discovery! 
This is a clever book about facing the things we dread eating the most. Parents will get a kick out of this as it may describe their kids exactly! The illustrations are disgustingly detailed and the rhythmic rhyming of the text creates the perfect flow to the story. EL-ADVISABLE. Whitney, Library-Teacher. 

What If? by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Seeger, Laura Vaccaro What If? 32 pgs. Roaring Book Press, 2010. PICTURE BOOK. $15.99. With very simple and limited text, this book depicts the possibilities of a ball, a beach, and three seals. The same story premise is illustrated three different ways so children will have the chance to explore the possibilities of what if? This would be a great book to gets kids' imaginations churning. Though the words are basic and simple, the bright and color-popping illustrations are what create the story. Pre-K/EL-OPTIONAL. Whitney, Library-Teacher. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead


Mead, Richelle Blood Promise, 503 p. Razorbill (Penguin), 2009.  $9.99.  Violence: PG-13, Language: PG -13 (50+ swears, 1 “f”), Sexual Content: PG-13 (Steamy leadups, but off page endings).  Now that Dmitri, the love of Rose’s life, has been turned to a Strigoi, Rose is determined to track him down and kill him herself.  As she tracks him to the frozen lands of Siberia, her best friend, Lissa, is left behind to negotiate dangerous waters of her own.  Rose will have to face everything dark about the relationships between Moroi and dhampir before she will have her chance to take out Dmitri.  Don’t worry Vampire Academy fans – things are definitely set up for book number 5.  MS – OPTIONAL, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Little Vampire Women by L.M. Alcott and Lynn Messina


Alcott, Louisa May and Lynn Messina Little Vampire Women, 320 p. Little and Brown, 2010.  $8.99.  Violence: PG-13.  The Little Women are actually vampires, lvingly turned by their “parents” when they were orphaned as children.  Now they have lived enough vampire years that they are on the cusp of maturity and almost ready to set up their own households.  But while Mr. March is away with the army, the women left behind are finding it difficult to make ends meet.  Through the kindness of their new next door neighbor and his grandson, the women may be able to keep things together until their father can return.  Yes – it sounds almost exactly like the original story – because it is, except in some very crucial ways – such as Beth turning Grandfather into a vampire and an evil anti-vampire group trying to kill Beth with poisoned kittens.  This is so much better than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  Each page is a skillful interweaving of original story and bloody vampire action.  There is a Romeo and Juliet and Vampires coming out soon – I can only hope that it is as well crafted.  It is somewhat bloody (as all great vampire books are), however, so it won’t work for every middle school.  MS – OPTIONAL; HS – ESSENTIAL.   Cindy, Library Teacher.

Confessions of a First Daughter by Cassidy Calloway


Calloway, Cassidy Confessions of a First Daughter, 224 p. Harper Teen, 2009.  $16.99.  Language: PG (23 swears, no “f”).  Morgan Abbott always manages to make the worst of a good situation – case in point her final speech for Student Body President elections – how would you like to have your arch rival steal your platform word-for-word and then fall out of your skirt and be left standing in your ugly gym shorts (I guess it could have been worse).  Oh – and your mother is the President of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! And your Secret Service code name is Tornado.  Mrogan is so ready do be out of this First Family.  Except that Mom has some very politically delicate business to take care of and Morgan has just volunteered to stand in for her for a week.  This is one case where Morgan had better not screw up.  Oh – did I mention the very hunky agent assigned to Morgan?  Morgan is pretty dang funny!  Her mis-adventures are heart-warming and feel genuine for all of their unbelievability.  I really hope we get to meet her again.  MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.