2003 - Annotated Book list

genre themes myRating WebComments author bookTitle
fantasy fiction good vs evil Four Stars It s Harry... However, the writing continues to get better with each book.
How does she keep everything straight?
J. K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
fiction realistic death destruction grief gardening Gothic Five Stars Green loses her family at fifteen and retreats into her ruined garden. She struggles to survive emotionally and physically. Imagery from 9-11 or the journey through adolescence and the struggle to finding yourself as an adult. Creative, thought provoking, and incredibly profound vivid and emotional imagery. Alice Hoffman Green Angel
fantasy fiction historical King Arthur Great Britain knighthood magic middle ages Four Stars Jane Yolen writes this story using fantasy and selections from different historical interpretations of Arthur, the various members of his court, and his adversaries. It relates well to English literature, history, and the political scenes for a variety of different types of government. Particularly the interesting interplay between perception and reality and how different entities of the government can try to manipulate them to achieve their goals. Jane Yolen Sword of the Rightful King: A Novel of King Arthur
fantasy fiction Witch wee free men fairyland puns play on words Three Stars
Terry Pratchett The Wee Free Men: A STory of Discworld
fantasy fiction graphic novel Good bad evil living happily ever after vocabulary story elements Five Stars Well written very engaging fantasy adventure to read aloud in primary grades. The author plays with the reader by using the word reader . Makes comments about the meaning of some word (perfidy). And uses a generally delightful tone - With a rope made of mice whiskers, He went up to see the light and ended in the Queen s soup... As he was running away he looked back and saw... the Princess s look that broke his heart... Katie Di Camillo The Tale of Despereaux
fantasy fiction
Not yet
Fuqua, Jonathon Scott Catie and Josephine
fantasy fiction adventure good and evil Four Stars Being in the wrong place at the wrong time makes Arthur Penhaligon, a self-conscience 12 year old asthmatic boy that wants nothing more than to be a normal 12 year old boy, heir to Architect of the Universe. Unable to walk away without the universe as we know it being destroyed Arthur begins to collect and assemble the will. Not to mention survive and conquer the most unusual days worth of adversaries. The title suggests a weeks worth of book adventures ahead. Garth nix The Keys to the Kingdom: Mister Monday
fantasy fiction father son African American family Harlem New York mental health great imagery. Five Stars A story about a family that centers on a father son relationship and finding ones place in the world that balances family and cultural histories with the realities that a young adolescent faces in his present world to create his own life. Intriguing three stories within the story told the dream bearer and how they relate to David s life and suggest directions he might choose. Includes great imagery... It was as if sadness had just come in and was living with our family. (36) and ... When I dream of him sometimes I think I see him peering through his darkness looking for something he ain t never seen. And it makes me laugh, and sometimes I think I see it and it fills my cup with tears.
Walter Dean Myers The Dream Bearer
realisitc mystery fiction fear recovery detective teen growing up diary Canada Four Stars In addition to the usual struggles of a young adolescent Jacob is plunged into a deeper struggle with his inner fears and uncertainties after not being able to rescue a drowning girl. Exiled to the concrete underworld of Toronto s Transit system where he has plenty of time to drown in his self pity he thinks he finds clues of a mass murderer. Will he be able to save his life in time to stop more death? Compelling action packed thriller that builds suspense and endangerment of life as well as any movie thriller. The story also has some masterful uses of language to realistically set the story and plot for the reader. ...goes to school because she loves learning, not on fast track to Oxford, just to learn, stretch brain... Not me... I have had last decade with my brain being stretched against my will... Graham McNamee Acceleration
picture book nonfiction movie article Newsweek adventure Philippe Petit WorldTrade Centers tightrope walking aerialists France Five Stars Picture book with wonderful illustrations about the story of Philippe Peiit and his 1974 tightrope walk from atop one World Trade Center to the other World Trade Center.
Excellent perspective. Gives you the feeling that you are actually on top of the World Trade Centers with him.
Mordicai Gerstein The Man Who Walked Between the Towers
fairy tales fantasy fiction anthology Denmark delightful must read Five Stars Classic literature needs to be read to all children as it was written by the author. This translation captures the richness of language and imagery of Andersen. One delighful example is Andersen s story of The Little Mermaid totally different than the Disney version or A Fish Called Wanda with Tom Hanks ... and probably all the others you ve ever read, unless of course you ve read Andersen or have had him read to you. Hans Christian Andersen translated by Dianna Crone Frank and Jeffrey Frank The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen
Fiction fantasy apartment building pirates psychic lizards princess ghosts Four Stars Twelve year old Olivia explores her new apartment building and finds a psychic, talking lizards, a shrunken ex-pirate, and exiled princess, ghosts, and other unusual characters. Did I say creative? Ellen Potter Olivia Kidney
Fiction fantasy djinni geni magic Egypt London England adventure Four Stars Nathaniel is apprenticed to learn magic and encounters Simon Lovelace who humiliates Nathan in public. Nathan determined to learn more spells and magic on his own summons a djinni Bartimaeus. Let the trilogy begin. Adventure, excitement, suspense, magic, spells, power, and of course good versus evil. Jonathan Stroud The Bartimaeus Trilogy book 1 The Amulet of Samarkand
fiction fantasy
Four Stars Interesting style written as letters between two cousins Cecelia and Kate in the style of 1817 English country life and London society. The exploits of these girls involves witch craft and wizardry that adds even more twists and turns to the plot. Interestingly, the story began from a letter game created and played by the authors . Soon after the game/ letter writing began the creative genius and playful nature of the authors lead to fantasy and the authorship of this book. Delightful! Patricia C. Wreede & Caroline Stevermer Sorcery & Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot
realistic fiction
Five Stars Wolves, growing up with wolves, bullying, violence, school violence, friendship, guns, bombs, invisible students, belonging, and not belonging. The author created a powerful story relevant for today s middle school students and above. It has to be read to see how such a compact book could be authored that brings together these ideas in a compelling powerfully important story for these times. Here is a sample from the beginning.
WHEN AKHIL VYAS showed up at school in early October, I thought he was, without a doubt, the weirdest person on earth. But on that cold December day, by the time the last police car left and the last ambulance pulled out of the school parking lot with tires screeching and siren wailing, I had begun to believe that he was the first truly sane person I d ever know.
elisa carbone The Pack

fiction humerous Not yet
Ann Downer Hatching Magic
picture book colonization rabbits indigenous people Not yet Allegory of colonization told with the viewpoint of native animals. A group of rabbits arrive with unfamiliar ways - new food, new animals, new houses, and begin to dominate the environment and the previous inhabitants. "They chopped down our trees and scared away our friends and stole our children..."
The Rabbits

Four Stars
Eoin Colfer Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code
fiction picture book Siamese cat kitten Spanish Chihuahua Five Stars A delightfully creative picture book with the main character - a Siamese cat who is scolded for going to the birds. So in his room a quick look in the mirror and ... a Chihuahua!! Well not just any Chihuahua. Skippito Friskito a masked mouse ridder with a sword by his side off to join a band of Chihuahuas for a little sword play with El Blimpo Bumblebeeto Bandito. Pop - beans everywhere. Nice play on words, rhythm and rhyme and foreshadowing, and just a lot of nutty fun. Thanks - Michelle Judy Schachner Skippyjon Jones
science fiction future city Four Stars The first book of an underground city that was colonized to save the human race before the destruction of the world. However, the people have lost the instruction manual that was given to their first leader and don t know what they should do as the power generators in the city a wearing out with use. Two children are adventuresome and concerned enough to seek answers to their problems. A good adventure story and if you like this there are three sequels written and ready to read after this one. Jeanne DuPrau The City of Ember