Sunday, February 27, 2011

Be a Genie in Six Easy Steps by Linda and Cole Chapman


Chapman, Linda and Cole, Steve Be a Genie in Six Easy Steps, 326 pgs. HarperCollins Publishers, 2009. Language - G, Sexual Content - G; Violence - G; Milly, Jason, Michael, and Jess have just moved from London to a little town in the middle of nowhere because their parents want to open a bookshop. For the most part, they don't like where they are and want to move back to London. Luckily, they find a guide to becoming genies and they realize that can be their ticket back to their old lives. But the "six easy steps" aren't a piece of cake - they take work. Will they pass the steps to reach their heart's desire? It didn't start how I thought it would, but once I went with it, it was a very predictable story. Don't get me wrong, it was a good story with some new ideas about genies and magic, but it had some very cliche elements too. All in all, it was a good book, just not amazing. EL, MS - OPTIONAL. Reviewer: CCH

Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey


Yancey, Rick Monstrumologist, 434 pgs. Simon & Schuster, 2009. Language - PG (27 swears, 0 "f"), Sexual Content - PG-13; Violence - R; William James Henry had recently died and no one knew anything about him. A collection of journals was found and you have the privilege to read the first three volumes of Will Henry's almost impossible tale. The story of a boy and his experience with some monsters and a monstrumologist. A thrilling, action-packed story that was strange yet alluring in the beginning turned bad as I kept reading. It has very detailed imagery, but in this case, it is not a good thing. Some parts were too gory, I practically had to skip whole paragraphs in order to avoid it. If you don't mind gore, it's a great book to read with mystery and excitement everywhere. Even if you end up not liking it, like myself, you can't help but be there and empathize with poor Will Henry. HS - NO. Reviewer: CCH

Take Me to the River by Will Hobbs


Hobbs, Will Take Me to the River, 184 pgs. HarperCollins Publishers, 2011. Language - G, Sexual Content - G; Violence - G; Dylan is visiting his cousin Rio and uncle in Texas for a big river trip. When he gets there, though, he finds out that his uncle went to Alaska and Rio wants to go on a longer journey than originally planned. If Dylan goers with it, it will include not telling his parents and risking going into a big storm. Dylan is in. When you start this kind of story, you know that plans are going to be messed up and that it will all work out in the end. What you start reading for is the want for a good story in between what you know. Take Me to the River delivered. I could foresee most of what was going to happen, but I still thought it was great. It was a very intense tale with a very satisfying ending. MS - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: CCH

The Star Maker by Laurence Yep


Yep, Laurence The Star Maker, 94 pgs. HarperCollins Publishers, 2011. Language - G, Sexual Content - G; Violence - G; Artie is always getting picked on by his cousin Petey and one day he gets so mad about being insignificant and useless that he makes a promise. Artie promised to buy everyone firecrackers for Chinese New Year. He has only a few months to then and not even he thinks he can do it. This was a nice short story. It was pretty entertaining with all the Chinese New Year traditions that got mentioned.  EL - OPTIONAL. Reviewer: CCH

Efrain's Secret by Sofia Quintero


Quintero, Sofia Efrain's Secret, 263 pgs. Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. Language - PG-13 (127 swear, 10 "f"), Sexual Content - PG-13; Violence - PG; Efrain wants to go to Harvard. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the money or high enough SAT scores required. In order to retake the SAT, he needs money. In order to go to college, he needs tuition and board money. This means some sacrificing on his part, no class ring and no dating. That is, until a friend makes him an offer that will help him make more than enough cash to do it all. A decent book, but not one I would recommend to other. First, it wears 137 times more than necessary, it has too much Spanish in it that you can't follow unless you speak the language, and I think the end left too many loose ends. I did like the story when I could follow it, but the swearing made it hard to enjoy it completely. MS, HS - NO. Reviewer: CCH


Folly by Marthe Jocelyn


Jocelyn, Marthe Folly, 249 pgs. Wendy Lamb Books, 2010. Language - PG (28 swears, 0 "f"), Sexual Content - R; Violence - PG; Mary has a hard life, but loves it until her step-mother comes along. Once old enough, Mary is sent away to work, tearing her from her beloved siblings. She is appreciated as a hard-worker and is always upbeat in her new home as a maid. All this changes, though, when she meets Caden Tucker. I did NOT like thins book at all. Mary is a stupid and naive child and I can't stand her. i didn't appreciate the sexual content or the unnecessary swearing (by a six year old) either. HS - NO. Reviewer: CCH

Saturday, February 26, 2011

10 Easter Egg Hunters by Janet Schulman

Schulman, Janet 10 Easter Egg Hunters illustrated by Linda Davick 32 pgs. Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. PICTURE BOOK. $8.99. Can the kids find the 10 hidden Easter eggs in time for the Easter parade? Cute rhyming text with pastel pictures makes this a great holiday and counting book though I didn't like the illustrations as I think the kids' teeth make them look scary. Kids would enjoy finding the eggs on each page. The book is also great because it is very neutral and doesn't have any religious references. EL-OPTIONAL. Whitney, Library-Teacher. 

Ducks Go Vroom by Jane Kohuth

Kohuth, Jane Ducks Go Vroom illustrated by Viviana Garofoli 32 pgs. Random House, 2011. EARLY READER. $3.99. Darling early reader for the most beginning readers. Ride along with the Ducks as they visit and create chaos at their aunts house. Using lots of noise words and actions, the text is very basic. The illustrations are hysterical and are critical for the story to really come together. Kids would love this simple, silly story! EL(K-3)-ESSENTIAL. Whitney, Library-Teacher. 

Why Do I Have to Make My Bed? by Wade Bradford

Bradford, Wade Why Do I Have to Make My Bed? illustrated by Johanna Van Der Sterre 32 pgs.  Tricycle Press, 2011. PICTURE BOOK. $16.99. It is a question kids have been asking for centuries and one they are still asking today..."Why Do I Have to Make My Bed?" Covering different eras of time, the author takes us through Colonial times, Ancient Egypt, the Middle Ages, the Fabulous Fifties and so on, each time with the bed question. The text is clever and true to the specific time period. The best part is when the age-old question is finally answered at the end...mothers are sure to love the answer! Included at the end is a time line of chores kids have been participating in throughout the eras. Fascinating and fun...kids will love learning this part of history! EL-ESSENTIAL. Whitney, Library-Teacher. 

The Super Crazy Cat Dance by Aron Nels Steinke

Steinke, Aron Nels The Super Crazy Cat Dance 40 pgs. Blue Apple Books, 2010. PICTURE BOOK. $10.99. Cats to share and cats to spare. Cats are everywhere! All about cats, this book features cartoon illustrations with bubble text. The book really didn't have anything to do with crazy cats dancing, and I am not a huge fan of the illustrations. However, the rhyming sing-song quality of the story made it fun to read and kids would love the bubble text so it might be a good try for reluctant readers. EL-OPTIONAL. Whitney, Library-Teacher. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Case Closed: Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science by Susan Hughes

Case Closed?: Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern ScienceHughes, Susan, Case Closed: Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science. Kids Can Press, 2010. INFORMATION.

An explorer and his crew set off to the far reaches of Antarctica and never return. An airplane within 20 minutes of the airport never lands. An ancient city, alive with traders and camel caravans, flourishes in the desert for centuries than disappears in a swirl of sand. These are all common stories over the years that fascinate modern scientists. What really happened in these cases? Modern science attempts to explain these and other marvels throughout time. This book documents their research.

A fascinating book filled with research, science, and marvels. The text is simple and easy-to-follow. The layout is well-done. The research is presented well. Readers who like science, ancient history, and legends will enjoy reading this book. EL (4-6), MS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Jessica M, Library Media Specialist, Olympus Jr. High.

The Little Prince by Joann Sfar

The Little Prince Graphic Novel
Sfar, Joann, The Little Prince. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. GRAPHIC NOVEL. Pgs. 110. Language: G, Violence: G, Sexual Content: G

A graphic novel adaptation of the classic story of Little Prince. The pictures are wonderful. The text seems to stay true to the original story. Readers who like classics and graphic novels will enjoy reading this book. EL(4-6). OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.

Dogs
Gravett, Emily, Dogs. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2009. PICTURE BOOK.

Big dogs, small dogs, stripy dogs, dogs that bark. All are wonderful dogs. Do you love dogs?

A cute book with simple illustrations and text. The illustrations are cute. The text is easy to follow. Young children who like dogs and humor will love having this book read to them. Pre-K. ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.


Dust Devil by Anne Isaacs

Dust Devil
Isaacs, Anne, Dust Devil, Schwartz and Wade Books, 2010. PICTURE BOOK.

Angelica Longrider, also known as Swamp Angel, had a reputation for being a great woodswoman and the wildest wildcat of Tennessee. When she outgrows Tennessee, she moves to Montana. While there, she wrestles a storm to the ground and meets her sidekick horse, Dust Devil. When Backward Bar, the orneriest, ugliest outlaw ever known starts causing trouble, Swamp Angel is the only person who can stop him. Will she be strong enough to stop him?

A fun tall tale for young readers. The illustrations are wonderful. The text is easy-to-follow. Readers who like tall tales, legends, and folklore will enjoy reading this book. EL (4-6). ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.

Albertine's Got Talent! by Shena Power

Albertine's Got Talent!Power, Shena. Albertine’s Got Talent! Henry Holt Books, 2010. PICTURE BOOK.

Albertine lives in a family filled with talented people, but she isn’t. Her mom tries to help her discover her hidden talents by enrolling her in gym club, woodworking, and swimming. Neither talent fits her well, though. Will Albertine be able to find out what she’s good at?

A cute picture book for young children. The illustrations are done well and do a good job of complementing the text. The text is simple and easy-to-follow. This book is a fun read aloud for parents of young children. Pre-K, EL(K-3). OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.

The Duel: THe Parallel Lives of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr by Judith St. George

The Duel: The Parallel Lives of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron BurrSt. George, Judith, The Duel: The Parallel Lives of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Viking Press, 2009. INFORMATION.

On July 11, 1804, two met to duel on the dueling grounds of Weehawken, New Jersey. At the end of the duel, one was dead, the other was a fugitive. Alexander Hamilton was the first secretary of the treasury for George Washington, Aaron Burr was the vice president for Thomas Jefferson. Up until this point, however, the two had led curiously parallel lives. This is their stories.

A fascinating look at two prominent figures in history. The information is well-researched. The layout used is easy-to-follow. The text is put together well. Readers who are interested in early American history, biographies, and non-fiction will enjoy reading this book. MS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Jessica M, Library Media Specialist, Olympus Jr. High.

Havoc by Chris Wooding


Wooding, Chris Havoc, 396 pgs. Scholastic Press, 2010. Language - PG (12 swears, 0 "f"), Sexual Content - G; Violence - PG; Seth is just remembering what happened last summer on Malice and he has to get back. He has to find Kady and Justin just like he promised. Running away again finds Seth running from Tall Jake and into an acquaintance, Alicia. He needs help, but can he risk dragging someone else into Malice? Havoc was an outstanding book; I LOVED it. I'm not a huge fan of comic books, but I enjoyed being able to see some of the action. The adventures I take while reading it are amazing, I am always right next to Seth, Kady, Justin, and Alicia with my heart racing the whole time. I read Havoc without reading Malice first, but after I got through most of the confusing beginning I couldn't put it down. I recommend reading Malice first, but it's not impossible to follow by itself. MS, HS - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: CCH

The Dragon in the Library by Kate Klimo


Klimo, Kate Dragon Keepers Book 3: The Dragon in the Library, 218 pgs. Random House, 2010. Language - G, Sexual Content - G; Violence - G; Jesse and Daisy are having a hard time putting up with a grumpy Emmy and now they have to figure out how to storm a castle too. With "The Big Book" missing and the professor taken prisoner by a witch, they have a lot on their plate. With the help of friends and each other, can they still lose? Despite it being meant for younger kids, it was an alright book. It's also one of those books that you don't have to read all the books in a row to get what's going on. It reminded me of The Magic Tree House books. They're both about two kids, a boy and girl, and their magical adventures, with some help from adults in on the magic. EL, MS - OPTIONAL. Reviewer: CCH

Nothing by Janne Teller


 Teller, Janne Nothing, 227 pgs. Atheneum Books, 2010. Language - PG (1 swear, 0 "f"), Sexual Content - PG-13; Violence - PG; Pierre Anthon started it all. "Nothing matters," he said, but they know things matter. Now Agnes, Jon-Johan, Otto, Ursula-Marie, and the rest of their class are gathering things together that MATTER. They have to show Pierre Anthon that things do matter. But is Pierre right? A bunch of seventh graders are bullying each other into putting something they love on their pile of important things to show to Pierre. Once one person gives up something important they feel they have to get revenge and the next person has to give up something even harder to give up to "make up for" what the last one lost. I hated reading it. I couldn't get into it and I hate how rude everyone was! Revenge is stupid and some things matter. Those are the only things you could possibly take from this book, but it's a waste of time reading Nothing for that message. MS, HS - OPTIONAL. Reviewer: CCH.

The Secret to Lying by Todd Mitchell


Mitchell, Todd The Secret to Lying, 329 pgs. Candlewick Press, 2010. Language - PG (34 swears, 0 "f"), Sexual Content - PG-13; Violence - PG; James is invisible. A nobody. No one notices him, so when he gets a chance to go to a boarding high school, he takes it. There he creates a new life for himself, a new James. But life's not all gumdrops and roses, James is loosing something. James is running from something. James needs help. From what? With what? Not even James himself knows. Amazing is the only way I can describe this book. I made assumptions from the very first couple of chapters and I kept waiting for them to come into play, but not all of them came true, and none how I anticipated. James has inner conflict with his dreams and conflict with school mates and elders. I loved watching how everything unraveled and was a surprise for me. I couldn't put it down, despite my having to get up at 5:15 am. MS, HS - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: CCH

Anna Maria's Gift by Janice Shefelman


Shefelman, Janice Anna Maria's Gift, 100 pgs. Random House, 2010. Language - G, Sexual Content - G; Violence - G; Anna Maria is a talented violinist who's father has just passed. She goes to an orphanage for girls in Venice, Italy in order to study more music and be taken care of. There she learns some important lessons. Anna Maria is a strong girl and a vary talented musician, but she is still not perfect. She has to learn to forgive and forget and I love how this book shows that it isn't always easy and that doing things out of anger aren't always the best. EL - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: CCH

Sophie Simon Solves Them All by Lisa Graff


Graff, Lisa Sophie Simon Solves Them All, 92 pgs. D&M Publishers, 2010. Language - G, Sexual Content - G; Violence - G; Daisy hates ballet, but is forced to take classes. Owen never gets what he wants for his birthday, but the complete opposite. Julia wants to be a journalist, but will be forced to quit if she can't get a published story. Sophie is a genius, especially math, but can't get the calculator she wants. Can a solution be found for them all? This was a cute story about problem solving and friendship. Teamwork is a very key factor in both of these and it is shown in this short story. It's very cute and nice, short read. EL - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: CCH

Ortega by Maureen Fergus


Fergus, Maureen Ortega, 224 pgs. Kids Can Press, 2010. Language - PG (5 swears, 0 "f"), Sexual Content - PG; Violence - PG; Ortega is a scientific experiment to see if gorillas can be like and understand as much as humans. He has grown up in the lab learning tricks to get what he wants or else punish Dr. Whitmore, the mean head of the research facility.. Things get more complicated when Ortega is forced to ho to school. HUMAN school. Now he doesn't just have to worry about Dr. Whitmore, but what the eleven-year-olds think of him. How should he act? Who does he hang out with? Why aren't there any snack breaks before lunch? Ortega is in way over his hairy head. I really enjoyed reading Ortega. It was interesting to read about a scientific research project and how our society treats others. As a student in a new school myself, I know that a lot of things can be different and hard, but at least there aren't people protesting my going to school or into movie theaters! Friendship plays an important role in school and life and I like how Ortega learns this important lesson friends. It was a very different experience for me reading and learning from the point of view of a gorilla who is learning human ways and yet still yearning to act on his instincts. It gave me a new look on things. MS, HS - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: CCH

Night Fires by George Edward Stanley


Stanley, George Edward Night Fires, 184 pgs. Aladdin, 2009. Language - PG (2 swears, 0 "f"), Sexual Content - G; Violence - PG; Woodrow has just moved to Oklahoma with his mom after his father's death. he wants to fit in and have friends, but what happens what the ones being nice just want to manipulate you? Woodrow wants to go along with it in order to get high enough in power to change it, but it goes against his values. What do you do? Even though peer pressure has gone down from the KKK, there is still a lot of pressure out there. You have to do this, wear that, hang out with these people and be rude to those, do drugs, smoke, the list goes on and on! Sometimes it's hard to make the right choice, as Woodrow shows. The important thing is to do what YOU know is right. If you make a mistake, tell someone and fix it. MS - OPTIONAL. Reviewer: CCH

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone


Stone, Phoebe The Romeo and Juliet Code, pgs. 295 Arthur A. Levine, 2011. $16.99. Language-G; Sexual Content-G; Violence-PG; Felicity Budwig doesn't know why she has to come live in America with her fathers family. She just wants to stay with her mom and dad in London, but it is not safe for her with the German bombings. When there is so many secrets in her new home, Flissy wants the answers. Will Derek help her figure out the Romeo and Juliet code? I liked this book, but thought that it needed a dramatic part, something to give the story a dramatic pause. The author could have given a little more detail at the end. It just dropped off. I liked, not loved. EL-MS- OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: K.B.

Muchacho by Louanne Johnson


Johnson, Louanne  Muchacho, 197pgs. Random House, 2009. $15.99. Launguage - PG13 (72 swears, 4 "f"), Sexual Content - PG; Violence - PG; Eddie Corozon is used to being a juvenile delinquent until he meets Lupe and turns over a new leaf.  This is a very good book and I really liked reading it. It showed a different point of view on what most people think Mexicans in that area are like.  I thought it was very well written.  ADVISABLE - HS, Student Reviewer: EL

It Started With A Dare by Lindsay Faith Rech


Rech, Lindsay Faith It Started With A Dare, pgs. 305 Graphia, 2010. $8.99. Language-R (50 swears, 10 "f"); Sexual Content- R; Violence-PG; When CG moves, she wants to reinvent herself. But will she go too far? As she keeps spinning her web of lies, will she get so caught up in them that her life falls apart? Can she make it through High School? I really hated this book. The author made the character seem more like a boy than a girl. Also, she talked about lots of inappropriate things and used lots of language. The story line was very dumb. It could've been better. NO. Student Reviewer: K.B.

Camo Girl by Kekla Magoon


Magoon, Kekla Camo Girl, pgs. 218. Aladdin, 2011. $15.99. Language- G (0 swears) Mature Content- G; ' Everyone has something to hide.' Ella and Z have been best friends forever and Z has always been the weird kid and he doesn't care what others think. Now all their friends have ditched them.. Ella wants to become a part of the groups where people won't make fun of her. And then Bailey moves into town, and Ella befriends him with them being the only two black kids in class. Bailey is popular and can make Ella popular to if she stops hanging out with Z. She is faced with a big decision: stay with Z and never be a part of the popular group or abandon Z and become what she's always wanted...              This book was very inspirational. I really enjoyed the fresh ideas and wrenching decisions. I enjoyed reading this book, but I don't think I will keep this book and read it again. It was a one time kind of book. I don't think it would be the first book I would suggest to my companions. MS – OPTIONAL.  Student Reviewer: CG

The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman


Hautman, Pete  The Big Crunch, 280 pgs. Scholastic Press, 2011. $17.99 Language- PG13, Sexual Content-PG13; Violence- PG13 This book tells the story of June Edberg who's family constantly moves to different sections of the U.S due to her father's career. As she enrolls in the local High School, she takes a sudden interest into another student, Wes. As it so happens, he happened to take a sudden interest to her too. June starts dating Wes's best friend but she soon realizes that being closer to Wes, someone has to go. This book is more like a love story that is very romantic. It does include some heavy teen partying so some sections of the book will maybe make some readers uncomfortable. MS, HS - OPTIONAL.  Student Reviewer: HF

Rosebush by Michele Jaffe


Jaffe, Michele Rosebush, pgs. 326 Razorbill, 2010. $16.99. Language-PG-13 (15, 1 "f"), Sexual Content-PG-13; Violence-PG-13; Jane is part of the popular crowd like she wished, but after a big party she needs to piece together the mystery of her almost death. As each friend and family member comes to visit her, she remembers things piece by piece. Can she solve the mystery in time? I really loved this book but wished the author changed the ending. I was disappointed on Jane’s new boyfriend. I was a little confused on the ending but really enjoyed the whole experience. MS-HS-ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: K.B.

Hourglass by Claudia Gray


Gray, Claudia Hourglass, 339 pgs. Harper Teen, 2010. $16.99. Language PG-13 (32 swears, 0 "F"), Sexual Content R; Violence PG-13; I rated this book R for sexual content because of the on-page content this book contained. I enjoyed reading this book, although it was a little confusing because it is the third book in the series. I also enjoyed the many twists and turns in this story. In this book Bianca Is living at the Black Cross institute with her boyfriend Luis. For Bianca it's very difficult to live there because she has a secret, that if discovered could cost her, her life. A secret that goes against everything the Black Cross is about: Killing vampires.  MS, HS - OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: Kylie Usher

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sources of Light by Margaret McMullan


McMullan, Margaret Sources of Light, 233 pages. Houghton Mifflin, 2010. 16.99. Language-PG (4 swears, 0 "F"), Sexual Content-G; Violence-G; In 1962 Sam move to Jackson Mississippi after her mom gets a job. Sam gets made fun of in her new school because all of the girls are wearing new dresses and bobby socks while she wears hand-me-downs that her cousin gave her. Sams mom's new friend Perry gives Sam a camera and Sam learns that taking pictures is really what she enjoys to do. I really liked reading this book and seeing Sam go through the ups and downs of life. I think this book is great because it is something that could happen to anyone. EL/MS- Advisable. Student Reviewer: MM

Angel in Vegas by Norma Howe


Howe, Norma  Angel in Vegas: The Chronicles of Noah Sark, 247 pgs. Candlewick Press 2009, Language- PG (4 swears no "f") Sexual Content- G Violence-G
Noah Sark, is not your average teenage boy. He techincally isn't even a teenager; he is a guardian angel sent to Vegas to protect someone, who? he doesn't know. He arrives with a backpack full of things he'll need, no matter how bizarre they may seem! He meets two friends, Andy and, the girl he is to protect, Barbra. He goes on many adventures with these two, learning all about Sin City. Although Andy and Barbra don't know it, danger is always lurking near by. Angel is Vegas is different, its something new and very fun! ADVISABLE to MS. Student Reviewer: EM

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


Perkins, Stephanie Anna and the French Kiss, pgs. 372 Dutton, 2010. $16.99. Language-PG (10 swears); Sexual Content-PG-13; Violence-G;
Anna was excited for her last year at high school in Atlanta, but when her dad ships her to boarding school in Paris...Will she be able to survive? When things get heated between her and St. Clair, they turn bad every time. Can she fix her relationship status, mend her wounds with her friends, and not fail?
I really loved this book! It was so good, I read it so fast I could not stop. Just when you think things will get good between Anna and St. Clair, they turn bad every time. It happens more than once. I am glad it ends with a happy ending though. The author is such a great writer, I love her. MS-HS-ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: K.B.

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens


Stephens, John The Emerald Atlas, 417 pgs. Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. Language - PG (9 swears, 0 "f"), Sexual Content - G; Violence - PG; Kate, Michael, and Emma have been going from orphanage to orphanage ever since their parents disappeared Christmas Eve. Kate had a locket and the tiniest memory of them, Michael had one of his dad's books, and little Emma was too young when they left to have anything. They had just arrived to yet another orphanage where they discover a magic book and learn things they could never had dreamed of. Time travel, magical creatures, and ignorant kids that become heroes equal a good book in my opinion. The Emerald Atlas is no exception, with adventures through time and discovering new things while trying to keep the world from falling apart always keeps me reading. The only thing I'm upset about is the long wait for the next two books. MS, HS - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: CCH

Hero by Mike Lupica


Lupica, Mike Hero, 288 p. Philomel (Penguin), 2010.  Violence:  G (action hero/villain violence – think Incredibles).  Zach Harriman’s father always returns from his incredible missions for the President of the United States.  But then one time he doesn’t.  Zach, suspects something sinister and a mysterious old man seems to confirm his opinion.  Zach is something special – but how can one teenaged kid save the world from any kind of bad when he can’t even stand up to his personal bully?  Fans of Lupica’s sports fiction will only be sort of pleased with this fantasy offering and fans of fantasy probably won’t notice this at all.  Lupica’s attempt at this genre does not hang together as well as his originals.  At the end the book feels like one big advertisement for a new series.  I would suggest Michael Carroll’s Quantum Prophecy series, Yancey’s Alfred Kropp books, or Powerless by Matthew Cody.  EL, MS – OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) by Lisa Yee

Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally)
Yee, Lisa, Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally). Arthur. A Levine Books, 2009. Pgs. 176. Language: G, Violence: G, Sexual Content: G

When Bobby enters 4th grade, he realizes that it’s becoming increasingly important to keep his friendship with Holly secret. The two friends start to drift apart even farther, however, when Holly lets slip that she’s seen Bobby wearing curlers, Bobby spills paint all over Holly (accidentally, of course), and Holly finds out about Bobby’s picture of Holly with horns and a tail. With an already widening gap in their relationship, their friendship becomes tested when both Bobby and Holly run for student council rep at their school. Now the school’s broken out in an all-out boys vs. girls war and the two friends are stuck in the middle of it. Will Bobby and Holly remain friends in the end? Who will win the boys vs. girls war?

A funny, school story for any fans of boys vs. girls novels. The characters are well-developed. The plot is well-developed and the story is amusing. Readers who like realistic fiction, school and friendship stories, and humorous fiction will enjoy reading this book. EL (K-3). ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.

I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis

I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005
Tarshis, Lauren, I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005. Scholastic Press, 2011. Pgs. 95. Language: G, Violence: G, Sexual Content: G

On August 29, 2005, many people witnessed what was one of the worst natural disasters to ever strike the United States. At one point, people thought it wouldn’t be as bad as predicted, but then the levees broke which made things a lot worse. Today, Louisiana is still feeling the effects of this disaster. At the start of this book, Barry’s family is preparing to evacuate their home in The Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, Louisiana. When Barry’s sister gets really sick, however, the family is forced to wait out the storm. When the storm gets worse and the levees break, Barry is swept away in the floodwaters. Along the way, he meets a canine companion named Cruz. The two rescue each other, but can they keep each other alive? Will Barry ever find his family again? Will help arrive in time?

An inspirational work of fiction for independent readers. The facts interspersed in the book are accurate. The disaster is well-portrayed. The characters are well-developed and likable. Readers who like fiction, action, adventure, and survival stories will enjoy reading this book. EL (K-3), EL(4-6). ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.

The Gecko and Sticky: The Power Potion by Wendelin Van Draanen

The Gecko and Sticky: The Power Potion
Van Draanen, Wendelin, ill. By Stephen Gilpin. The Gecko and Sticky: Power Potion. Alfred A. Knopf Books, 2010. Pgs. 228. Language: G, Violence: G, Sexual Content: G.

Dave Sanchez and Gecko are back in their fourth adventure as superheroes. By day, Dave is your average kids with a courier job. After school, her becomes Gecko, the secret crime-fighting superhero. So far he’s been able to keep his roles separate until Dr. Damien Black, an evil treasure hunter bent on gaining power, uses Dave’s courier service to obtain a package. Knowing he can’t deliver the package to Dr. Black, Dave breaks the cardinal rule of delivery service and opens it. Inside he discovers a potion that grants superpowers to whoever takes it. By doing so, he literally opens up a can of whole lot of trouble. When Dr. Black discovers that the potion he ordered gives him diarrhea instead of powers, he comes after Dave. Can Dave prevent the potion from falling into the wrong hands and save the world and himself?

A funny, superhero adventure for avid and reluctant readers alike. The bathroom humor is funny, but not overpowering. The plot is well-done and the characters are

well-developed for an early chapter book. The illustrations are entertaining and add a lot to the story. Readers who like Captain Underpants, Geronimo Stilton, and other such fantasy/superhero adventures will enjoy reading this book. EL (K-3), EL(4-6). ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.

My Havana by Rosemary Wells

My Havana: Memories of a Cuban Boyhood
Wells, Rosemary with Secundino Fernandez. Ill. By Peter Ferguson, My Havana: Memories of a Cuban Boyhood. Candlewick Press, 2010. INFORMATION.

When he was six years old, Secundino Fernandez was forced to leave his home in Havana and is forced to move all over until Castro takes over in 1959. Although he lived in many places and eventually settled in New York, he never forgot his childhood in Cuba. This is his story and his memoir.

Great illustrations. Touching, yet easy to relate to story. Readers who like non-fiction, autobiographies, and life in other countries will enjoy reading this book. EL (4-6), MS. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, ADVISABLE.