2005 - Annotated Book list

genre themes myRating WebComments author bookTitle
Science Fiction Great Britain History civil war space time Oliver Cromwell Christianity Charles I King of England Four Stars Instead of the European invasion of the Americas in the sixteenth century how about an alien invasion of England. What a turn around when a superior civilization comes through a gate with a modern invasion force. Oliver Cromwell and the King Charles of England must deal with this invasion in this turn about adventure. Within the story Dhon Do s son, Daniel, comes of age within the story of political intrigue. I don t know what sixteenth century politics was like, but the story line includes interesting possibilities that suggest how behind the scenes negotiations, deal making, and dastardly deeds might have changed history. Great story. There is some discussion of different kinds of sex acts as cultural descriptions to set a tone of reality not gratuitous in nature. Ben Jeapes The New World Order
Fairy tales Hispanic Americans tales red riding hood, snow white, pied piper jack and the beanstalk emperors new clothes three pigs sleeping beauty Five Stars Creative modern fairy tales told from a Hispanic perspective. Fantastic read aloud or read alone for that matter. Patricia Santos Marcantonio Red Ridin in the Hood: and Other Cuentos
Fiction 1741 war Spain New York History Catholic slavery freedom scapegoat mob decisions race riots Not yet Fast paced action laden Phoebe s best friend is charged with setting fire to buildings and starting an uprising. Threatened to be burnt at the stake unless he identifies the leader, Phoebe is plunged into this outcry of fear and mob brutality desiring a scapegoat needing to decide to do what is right or seek her own freedom. Ann Rinaldi The Color of Fire
Fiction boarding school juvenile delinquency spies supernatural Not yet Beverly Hills teenager Rachel Buchanan gets in trouble with the law and ends up in the mysterious Blackthron Academy in PA, where she uncovers secrets about the school and becomes entangled in a case of international espionage. Michael P. Spradlin Book One Spy Goddess: Live and Let Shop
Picture book fiction Thanksgiving school true stories story telling vocabulary Five Stars It was early November in Mrs. Pidgeon s seconod grade with students hard at work on their Pilgrim mural and of course - Gooney Bird Green who likes to be in the middle of it all, is indefatigable, and feels ennui when she wears matching socks. An entertaining story about class life that incorporates vocabulary, dictionary skills, a unique way to introduce foreshadowing, predicting, and reasoning with Gooney s stories and second grade students literal interpretations. Gooney seems to be a model student and class leader. But, will Gooney solve the problem of finding a room mother so she can be rewarded with the role she want for the Thanksgiving Pageant? Lois Lowry Gooney Bird and the Room Mother
Fantasy Fiction Magic Princesses wizards fantasy Four Stars After learning that Jenna is the princess, she is whisked away from her home and carried to safety by the Extraordinary Wizard. Leaving those who she had always thought were her family she is pursued by the same characters that killed her mother ten years earlier. Action packed adventure of good versus evil. First children s book to include a CD? Angie Sage Septimus Heap Book One Magyk
graphic novel fiction picture book art cartoon Three Stars Cartoon that may be too advanced for me. I don t know why, but I did read it from beginning to end and would like to know WHAT? Jeff Smith Bone: Out from Boneville
fantasy fiction adventure good and evil Four Stars The third installment, of the saga of Arthur Penhaligon. How could any 12 year old survive a week of this... Wait it has only been three days. Start with Mister Monday, then Grim Tuesday for a wild adventure. How long? Seven days? or in real time how long till Garth Nix turns out the rest of the story? Garth Nix The Keys to the Kingdom: Drowned Wednesday
realistic fiction mystery detective Five Stars Ingrid, an eighth student, is challenged from a variety of directions. Her algebra teacher, soccer coaches, brother, parents, friends, desire to be an actress, are making life more complicated everyday. How can she deal with all of them when an even greater concern is what the sheriff might know about her and her shoes being at a murder scene. Will she be able to save herself with the use of her intellect, as her idol Sherlock Holmes did?
This is the best children s murder mystery I ve ever read. If you like adventure movies like the Goonies, Ferris Bueller s Day Off, and Home Alone (without the slapstick) you ll find this story compelling.
Peter Abrahams Down the Rabbit Hole: An Echo Falls mystery
science fiction genetic engineering adventure Four Stars First in the Maximum Ride series - Mutant Erasers abduct the youngest members of their group. In pursuit of their abductors they find themselves struggling to find out their own origins and purpose.
The book starts with a warning and again in the first paragraph: Yes, you, standing there leafing through these pages. Do not put this book down. I m dead serious - your life could depend on it. Genetic mutants? Author of adult murder mysteries Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls.
James Patterson Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
historical fiction World War II North American Indian troops Navajo language cartography Marine Cor Four Stars A story told in American Indian oral narrative style about Ned Begay and a group of Navajo men that were taught in a boarding school and were then recruited by the Marines to become code talkers in World War II. Great story and very good read if the didactic preachy tone is overlooked. Joseph Bruchac Code Talker: A Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War Two
fiction science fiction space time quantum theory brothers and sisters illness Massachusetts maze gardens Four Stars Fourteen year old Susan s brother insists to be taken into the mysterious backyard garden that was designed by their quantum physicist great uncle. Each twist and turn of the garden maze creates unpredictable results of fortune and misfortune. What is the key? Is there one or are they doomed to the same fate as their strange uncle. William Sleator The Last Universe

Not yet Continuing story of Omakays, Little Frog, an Ojibwa from the first book in the series: The Birch Bark House (1999).
The series follows an Ojibwa family on an island in Lake Superior beginning in the summer of 1847. First book Grandmother s Pigeon, takes you through a year with all the seasons. Omakays is 8 winters old. Very good cultural and historical view.
Louise Erdrich The Game of Silence

Not yet 15 year old Tut lives with his father and hasn t talked since his mother died. He is befriended by Alex, talkative, outgoing, in your face type. Compelling story of loss and survival, with one of a kind characters. J. D. McNeill The Last Codfish
picture book
No Rating Classic 1953 picture book is back with bright colors.
Summer means the outdoors to kids.
Lois Lenski On a Summer Day

Four Stars Marit Tarrnqvist reimagines Lindgren s wistful tale of two children (author of Pippi Longstocking) alone in the world that watch and follow a red bird. Notice the change in color as the children move from their colorless world of poverty to the meadow... to ...
Translated from Swedish by Patricia Cramption.
Astrid Lindgren and Patricia Crampton translator Red Bird

Not yet Simmering summer of 2001 in New York City. Heller is the youngest employee of a messenger delivery service that delivers bad news orally. He is the best deliverer of bad news and is allowed to deliver by bike instead of roller blades. He is drawn into a wildly diverse cast of characters and learns to relate to people in a whole new way. Ariel Dorfman and Joaquin Dorfman Burning City
picture book fiction fantasy
Four Stars Picture book with rich fanciful color pictures of the main characters (Puddleglum the Marsh wiggle and his niece Lally) are on an adventure to save their mice friends from the marauding and frolicking giants in the land of Narnia. The setting of Shribble Gorge, The Giants castle, and Lally s Rocks is colored with rich earth tones and supports this tale of rescue well. The illustrator s personification of background objects assists the fanciful tone of the story with objects such as rocks and clouds personifying characters in the story.
The story is markedted as a new Narnia adventure based on characters in C. S. Lewis The Silver Chair.
Hiawyn Oram Giant Surprise

Not yet Joe and Annie escape the abusive farmer they work for and head for Manchester in Victorian England. It is an adventure with helpful strangers and swindlers that would even sell them. No matter how he tries Joe and Annie get separated, Joe joins a gang, and it is questionable if they will ever find what happened to their mother.
Epic novel that will grip the reader from the first page. Winner of four English awards for novels for adults.
Livi Michael The Whispering Road

Three Stars humorous story... What else would it be? Henry Winkler Summer School: What Genius Thought that up?

gay lifestyle growing up love sex adolescent Four Stars 16 year old Billy, from MO, spends summer with his cool gay uncle Wes in Tucson and works at a race track; where he meets an outspoken horse exerciser Cara Mae. Billy discovers that gaining stature and manhood come from places you least expect.
Wes is a strong character and positive role model.
Ron Koertge Arizona Kid
picture book
Not yet Young girl with her shaggy dog plant seeds, care for them, and then enjoy the flowers and trees that make the whole round world. Each verse matches actions in the book with a repetitive verse. Folk art paintings with detailed actions of nature. Art is paint and paper. Search of detail will find many wonders. Use to increase students respect for the Earth. Tony Johnston The Whole Green World
picture book picture book art humorous art galleries museum Four Stars Museum of Modern Art in N.Y. City is the setting for this work on art appreciation and first person narrative that becomes tiresome by the end of the book. Why did Scieszka believe lame humor would add to the quality of his book? Forget the rule of three, even Letterman wouldn t repeat the same gag over twenty times. Jon Sciezka, on the other hand, in one way or another repeats the title of the book as a pun twenty or more times. However, the shape of the book and display of art is worthy a view; especially before a trip to a gallery or an online art study.
The gag line, I am looking for Art, have you seen him? MoMA (Museum of Modern Art).
Jon Scieszka Seen Art?
historical fiction slavery Not yet Story of a slave, 47, who endures harsh treatment, meets Big John, hopes to escape... Walter Mosley 47
Four Stars
Toby E. Huff Age of Science and Revolutions 1600-1800

Not yet Girl and friend explore their roots and difficulties of unforeseen events as they work together on a school project.
Project Mulberry

Not yet James Bond in print for the younger set. Charlie Higson SilverTin

No Rating Two teen sisters Jane and Lily drift apart, but death brings them together. This powerful story of Jane, with mental illness, and its grip on her family is told in alternating voices from two very different sisters who try to bring light to each other. The mixing of voices blurs the line between imagination and reality, life and death, grief and guilt, hanging on and letting go. Adele Griffin Where I Want to Be

No Rating 43 humorous short stories. Internet witches, Panda marauders... Narry Yourgrau Nasty Book

Not yet Julie and her sister Sarah are on vacation and desire to build a wall to keep out the wild things (Maurice Sendak revisited?).
Rich detailed forest scenes... Sarah helps her sister find the monsters.
Duncan Weller Night Wall
fantasy fiction fable medieval magic mystery Four Stars This book isn t the book without words. It has 200 pages of them. The story is set in 1046 England. Master Thorston dies and dies some more toward the climax of his lifelong quest to discover the meaning of a book without words so that he might create gold and eternal life. Sybil, his servant, with the aid of Oto a talking Raven, must continue the master s work to rediscover the use of magic to find the secret of the Book without Words and the truth to this fable. Avi The Book without Words: A Fable of Medieval Magic

Not yet After getting in trouble and being sent to a new school the main character discovers that the school has gone mad with desire to have all students do well on achievement tests. A madcap adventure lampooning the standards testing movement in schools in the style of the best madcap satyr movie comedies. Maybe more interesting for teachers than students. Edward Bloor Story Time
fantasy international
Three Stars Third book in Isabel s trilogy (City of Beasts, Kingdom of the Golden Dragon). Alexander (18), Nadia, and Grandma Kate are off on a new International Geographic expedition too Africa. Jaguar and Eagle totemic animal spirits help return leadership to its rightful hands and a transformation of an extraordinary friendship. Isabel Allende Forest of the Pygmies
fiction fantasy good vs. evil Four Stars If you have read previous J. K. Rowling Potter books, then you will know most of this book. How do you write a sequel and not include pages of information to remind the reader of the intricate relationships of the characters and the characters ancestors while at the same time keep the story moving ahead at earlier paces? Probably not a problem for the average reader, but for the avid Harry Potter reader and movie viewer the reminders overshadow the continuing plot. However, what avid Harry fan isn t going to read and enjoy Harry reruns? J, K. Rowling Harrry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
fiction high fantasy adolescent growing up friendship responsibility heroes Four Stars Excellent high fantasy tale set in the background of the story of the main character, Will, coming of age, being selected apprentice for the mysterious and feared Ranger Corp against his desire for apprenticeship as a knight. The story describes Will s struggles as his boyhood friendships develop to life long friendships. As he discovers who he is. As he accepts his abilities and desires for what he would become rather than what he believes others would want him to be. And how he discovers the uses of force for good and evil as well as the limits of force when people use it to control or attempt to control other people. John Flanagan Ranger s Apprentice Book one: The Ruins of Gorlan
fantasy fiction riddles England supernatural curses Four Stars A fourteen year old girl, Jess, must solve a series of riddles to save more than just her Mom. The author twists and turns this story creating riddles with secret artifacts, strange markings, letters, notes, diary entries, sketches, and character behaviors that make it difficult to know if a character is allied with good or evil or what might be the right thing to do. On top of all these puzzles is the mystery of how a person living around a hundred years earlier seems to know Jess and what she has done before she herself does. Christine Morton-Shaw The Riddles of Epsilon
nonfiction adult physics universe gravity space time Four Stars
Lisa Randall Warped Passages Unraveling the mysteries of the universe s hidden dimensions
Fiction fantasy apprentice magic bane thought control supernatural witches Four Stars Joseph Delaney brings the thrill and scary spiritual world to the adolescent reader. This is the first children s book that could realistically raise a few hairs on the back of the neck of the typical adolescent reader. The story is set in what could be England or New England in the 1700 s or early 1800 s before industrialization. Inhabited by typical human beings of that era with the addition of ghasts, ghosts, boggarts, and other nasties that people of that era are known to have imagined and some they might not have been capable of imagining. Thomas Ward, as an apprentice, must learn what all the different spiritual entities are, their strengths, weakness, and how to control them if he is to protect the country. How far can he stretch his beliefs and still be true to what his father taught him and he wants to believe. However, in this book the fears aren t imagined they really do exist and result in real consequences. One chilling chapter after another. Joseph Delaney The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch

Four Stars
Cornelia Funke Inkspell

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Alan Snow The Ratbridge Chronicles Volume 1 Here Be Monsters

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Cat Weatherill Barkbelly

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Patrick Carman The Dark Hills Divide The Land of Elyon Book I

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Kai Meyer Dark Reflections Book one The Water Mirror

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Patrick Carman The Land of Elyon Book 2 Beyond the Valley of Thorns
fiction high fantasy adolescent growing up friendship responsibility heroes Four Stars
John Flanagan Ranger s Apprentice Book Two: The Burning Bridge
realistic fiction family adventure crime self confidence theft murder mystery detective novels stories Four Stars A great story about seventh grade Minerva who is electrically changed when she was hooked to her brother s art exhibit during a lightning storm. Enabling her to see people and herself in a way she was not able to before. She uses her change in self assurance and insight to become annoyingly involved in her cousin Jordan s life. Minerva, a rebus lover, has her love of a puzzles draw her to think Jordan s actions are puzzling enough for her involvement. Fraud, petty theft, stolen identity, death threat, and murder are throw into this thriller. Karen Karbo Minerva Clark Gets a Clue
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Michael Buckley The Sisters Grimm book two The Usual Suspects
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Michael Buckley The Sisters Grimm book One The Fairy Tale Detectives
science fiction future 2368 science work camps education environmental degradation orphans forced child labor Five Stars The Secret Under My Skin is a futuristic story that takes place as the earth is recovering from a global ecological disaster. The main character, a teenager, orphaned at age six as a result of a power struggle for government control. As she grows her curiosity and love of reading open doors of opportunities. However, she is concerned and confused by her perceived obligations to others and her obligation to herself. The author sets her struggle against the struggle of another major character. The contrast of the way these two girls work differently ignoring each sometimes and working together makes an interesting story of intellectual and emotional development about adolescent girls. Janet Elizabeth Mc Naughton The Secret Under My Skin

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Shel Silverstein Runny Babbit
fantasy fiction
Not yet Upper middle school or high school Paul Park A Princess of Roumania
fantasy fiction child prodigy adventure Four Stars
Colfer, Eoin Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception
nonfiction war Germany Hitler Five Stars With a focus on the years between 1933 and the end of the war in 1945, Bartoletti explains the roles that millions of boys and girls unwittingly played in the horrors of the Third Reich. The book is structured around 12 young individuals and their experiences, which clearly demonstrate how they were victims of leaders who took advantage of their innocence and enthusiasm for evil means. Their stories evolve from patriotic devotion to Hitler and zeal to join, to doubt, confusion, and disillusion. Andrew Medlar
An audio version is also available with a slideshow of photographs (to be viewed on a computer) adds an important dimension to the narrative and demonstrates a meaningful innovation for audiobooks. Also includes an introduction and epilogue spoken by the author, which adds to the presentation.
Susan Campell Bartoletti Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler s Shadow
graphic novel comic picture fiction girls slumber party popularity friends animals imagination mice Five Stars Graphic novel about Babymouse who wants so bad to go to a slumber party with the popular girls she wants so much to be friends with. She blows off her best friend in her desires to acquire an invitation. However, in the end even a mouse can understand her true personality and accept what she really is. Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm Babymouse Queen of the World