|Bird Lake Moon||Kevin Henkes||This is two compelling stories with plots intersecting when Mitch Sinclair (12) and Spencer Stone (10) meet. Mitch is suffering from the recent announcement of his parent s divorce. Afraid of the unknown it causes him to act out in ways he never would have. Spencer along with Lolly, his younger sister, and both of their parents are attempting to recover from the lose of Matty who drowned in Bird Lake. Suspense, characterization, and altering point of view by chapter from Mitch s perspective to Spencer s perspective makes this an outstanding novel.
Lolly creative antics of talking in different dialects and deciding to give each voice a name.
Language such as - yesterday you were soaked in sunshine . Today - rain. - His mind was an aquarium , and his thoughts were darting around, this way and that, like little fish. -
... all its lines, angles, and corners were softened like the edges on a well-used bar of soap.
|fiction realistic||divorce friends family death grief Wisconsin||Five Stars||2008|
|The Missing: Book 1 Found||Margaret Peterson Haddix||When thirteen year old friends Jonah and Chip, who are both adopted find out that they were discovered on a plane that appeared out of nowhere, full of babies, with no adults on board, the realized that they have uncovered a mystery involving time travel and two philosophically opposed groups, each trying to capture them for two different purposes. What should they do? Or do they have any choice in the matter as people who appear and disappear at will might be able to take matters into their own hands. Compelling plot with suspenseful situations that are challenging enough to keep turning the pages. As with the time travel Haddix does a good job keeping things plausible.||science fiction||time travel mystery adoption||Five Stars||2008|
|White Sands, Red Menace||Ellen Klages||It s 1946 and the author picks up shortly after where she left Dewey and Suze in her first award winning book - The Green Sea. The story continues in the same accurate historical style that depicts the countries cultural and political climate of the day. Set in the southwest state of New Mexico Suze s father has been offered his opportunity of a life time to work on the development of unmanned rocket ships. The story of this unconventional family begins in May of 1946 as they arrive in White Sands. The story unfolds throughout the next year ending in May of 1947. Dewey s and Suze s relationship as unofficial sisters strains during the year but never breaks as it blossom s into a brother relationship with a creation of a mechanical and artistic wonder labeled in their words as the Wall . The author historically recreates the plausible lives of these two adolescent eighth grade girls. An interesting story and slice of life of the times. Masterfully touching on intercultural, racial, gender, and political themes of the time as well as the characters love of art, things mechanical, a mother that is not happy being stuck away from her career all intertwined within relationships that grow toward a climax with the return of Dewey s birth mom.||historical fiction||atomic bombs radiation slave labor world war 2 cold war rocket ships space vehicles adoption teen pregnancy unwanted pregnancy mathematics mechanical art||Five Stars||2008|
|Sunrise over Fallujah||Walter Dean Myers||Robin Perry who felt compelled to enlist as a result of his experiences of 9-11 joins the service and is sent from Harlem to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civil Affairs Battalion. Robin nicknamed Birdy by his comrades - Marla: a tough talking wisecracking blonde gunner and Jonesy, a guitar-player who just wants to open a blues club become comrades in arms. This trio struggles to find meaning in their service to secure, stabilize and win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. Robin s time there profoundly changes him as his innocence and intentions of good will are overcome by a need to survive and question why he is there. An important book that offers insight to the intense relationships and profound implications that result during a war and more specific for today s youth - Iraq.||historical fiction||Irag war 2003 African Americans human cost of war||Five Stars||2008|
|The Dreadful Revenge of Ernest Gallen||James Lincoln Collier||When Eugene starts to hear voices inside his head telling him to do awful things, it leads him to look into his small town s past during the early 1900 s. He and Sonny discover long-hidden secrets about his neighbors and his town.||supernatural fiction||horror story depressions||Five Stars||2008|
|13: A Novel||Jason Robert Brown & Dan Elish||Evan Goldman, almost thirteen, learns what it means to be a man when his parents separate and he and his mother move from New York City to Appleton, Indiana, right before his bar mitzvah. Knowing no one he mysteriously is befriended by two people: Patrice and Bret. Bret the superstar of the school and Patrice not part of of the cool crowd. I am sure you are beginning to connect a pretty transparent plot where the main character is conflicted by his desires to have a big in crowd at his party and also not wanting to be part of a crowd that ostracize, Patrice, someone whom you care about. Normally a plot this transparent might cause me to rate such a story much lower. However, the dialogue the author has Evan use is creative, humorous, and entrances you to keep reading to see in what interesting manner Evan is going to tell his story. A very good read for students in middle school interested in peer relations. Isn t that about all of them?||realistic fiction||interpersonal relations peer pressure Bar Mitzcvah Indiana divorce school 13 moving, popularity friendship fitting in growing up family||Five Stars||2008|
|11 Birthdays||Wendy Mass||Amanda and Leo, unbeknownst to them, have been linked at birth by an ancient spell that has been around unsuspectingly for years. An unknown protector has arranged for them to spend their birthday s together since birth to protect them from being enchanted by the spell. Unaware of the dangers that could be fall them if they don t celebrate together they independently celebrate apart. Entranced or bewitched Amanda continues to wake up to a Sponge Bob balloon and has to relive her present and worst ever birthday - her eleventh birthday. A ... Really clever way to see the consequences of ones actions and how one s actions sometimes work the way we expect and other times don t. Groundhogs Day for young readers.||fiction fantasy||birthday time friendship interpersonal relationships||Five Stars||2008|
|Zorgamazoo||Robert Paul Weston||281 pages In rhymed verse with a sing song rhythm. Creative use of fonts and lettering size and orientation throughout as well as a smattering of ink drawings of the zany characters. It is an engagingly enchanting story of Katrina Katrell and her zany romp with Mortimer Yorgle a zorgle and their zany and suspense filled adventure.||verse fiction fantasy||Five Stars||2008|
|The Graveyard Book||Gaiman, Neil||Expect strange when the author is Neil Gaiman and this book doesn t let you down. Nobody Owens - Bod parents are killed when Bod is born and he is raised by a couple in the graveyard. Yes they have been dead for several years. The spirits of the graveyard take care of him and provide for his education. Eventually he desires for more than what can be provide by the graveyard and is sent to school. having been warned not to draw attention to himself he can t but do so when he feels a need to act against injustice. His forays beyond his protected boundaries result in the forces of dark being able to detect his presence and act to destroy him. He is reunited with a girl of his childhood and together they attempt to resolve the situation once and for all. A thrilling action filled novel.||fantasy fiction||supernatural adventure excitement dead cemeteries||Five Stars||2008|
|Jack and the Box||Art Spiegelman||Jack get a new toy a - Zack in the Box. The humor is a little advanced for real young children. As the first time Zach comes out of the box Jack ends up in his mother s arms. Through the book Jack is frightened, frustrated, mad, bewildered, and amused. The genre is a cross between a comic book and picture book. It is creative and as zany as the cat in the hat. A simple way to explore how to include surprise as a style element.||picture book fiction graphic comic||jack in the box dark humor surprise as style element||Five Stars||2008|
|Highway Robbery||Kate Thompson||In England in the 1700 s there was Dick Turpin. Who was a house-breaker, torturer, murderer, horse-stealer and all-round real nasty piece of work who was fictionalize as Dick Turpin, Highwayman and Knight of the Road. However this story isn t about the character of Dick, but of the unidentified main character who tells the story in first person whose character was asked,by Dick Turpin, to hold Black Bess until he returned. This main character is undeniably ethical as we discover in the story that begins with the following dialogue:
The rider sprang off as light as a cat and pulled the reins over the horse's head. Then he marched straight over to me and put them into my hand. ... Hold the mare for me, lad. And when I come back, I'll give you a golden guinea."
The style of this chapter book includes pen-and-ink drawings by Duddle and Dress, large font and line spacing for easy reading, fast-paced action, dry humor and an ending that begs to be talked about. In fact it would be a great read aloud with its flamboyant narrative and those detailed comical illustrations to accompany it. The plot is suspenseful, precise and with twist to make it richer.
|fiction historical||robbery adventure horses Richard Turpin Great Britain eighteenth century||Five Stars||2008|
|Children of the Lamp The Day of the Djinn Warriors book 4||P. B. Kerr||The Children of the Lamp action adventure series continues as the the tribes with the forces of good battle wits and djinn power with the tribes of the forces of evil. Mystery abounds as the twins, Philippa and John Gaunt, travel form New York to London to Napal on a whirlwind adventure to help their friend Dybbuk. How does a talisman and The Cult of the Nine Cobras figure into Dybbuk s friends murder? Does the absence of Uncle Nimrod and Mr. Rakshasas from their home figure in this mystery? Are Phillippa and John the real target of the Nine Cobra Cult?||fantasy fiction||brother sister genies magic twins museums||Four Stars||2008|
|The Willoughbys||Lois Lowry||realistic fiction||brothers & sisters family orphans humorous||Four Stars||2008|
|Tunnels||Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams||Book one - Will Burrows and his friend Chester embark on a quest to find Will s archaeologist father, who has inexplicably disappeared, they are led to a labyrinthine world underneath London, Full of sinister inhabitants with evil intentions toward Topsoilers like Will and his father.||fiction||archeology adventure England London Brian James Williams underground||Four Stars||2008|
|Smiles to Go||Jerry Spinelli||fiction realistic||friendship brothers sisters self actualization family life high schools protons||Four Stars||2008|
|The Calder Game||Blue Balliett||fiction realistic||mystery detective England sculpture art||Four Stars||2008|
|The Ice Cream Con||Jimmy Docherty||fiction realistic||Scotland mugging criminals bullies robbers outlaws friendship Glasgow England||Four Stars||2008|
|Julia Gillian (and the Art of Knowing)||Alison Mc Ghee||fiction realistic||fear Saint Bernard dogs family life Minnesota Minneapolis neighborhood||Four Stars||2008|
|Stink and the Great Guinea Pig Express||Megan Mc Donald||fiction realistic||guinea pigs animal rescue automobile travel Virginia humorous||Four Stars||2008|
|The 13th Reality: Book 1 The Journal of Curious Letters||James Dashner||Twelve clues to solve the riddle or puzzle...||fiction||Four Stars||2008|
|Attack of the Growling Eyeballs||Lin Oliver||Adventures of Daniel (10) when he finds he is able to shrink in size and not only that, but he has a twin brother that is as small as his fourth toe. Not only that, but his gGandma Lola has know it since his birth and kept it a secret. Wild and zany fun filled adventure.||realistic fiction||family life sisters brothers humorous size||Four Stars||2008|
|Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head||Nancy Viau||Great story of a girl that loves rocks and how she deals with being teased and her mother being a single parent.||realistic fiction||sisters temper problem solving goals family life behavior Grand Canyon||Four Stars||2008|
|Nurk the Strange, Surprising Adventure of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew||Ursula Vernon||Nurk a sort-of brave shrew, packs up a few pairs of clean socks and sails off on an accidental adventure, guided by wisdom found in the journal of his famously brave and fierce grandmother, Lady Surka the warrior shrew.||animal fiction||adventure dragonflies shrews diaries courage letters||Four Stars||2008|
|Boots and Pieces||Emily Ecton||Arlie can t understand why the Sheriff wants to keep the disappearance of Stacyi Sizemore so hush hush. Easy reading, fast paced, funny, and difficult to put down. A story about gummy bear mutations with a growing appetite that is covered up by the town sheriff that is more worried about the turmoil that would be caused if prom is called off, than if he admits a few teenagers were murdered by a mutant monster. Can you solve the mystery before Arlie and Ty?||science fiction||prom genetics evolution mutants mystery||Four Stars||2008|
|The Magician: The secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel book 2||Michael Scott||The story continues with the struggle between Nicholas Flame and Dr. John Dee to save or over throw humankind, which won t know what is happening until it is too late. The prophecy says that Sophie and Josh are the only ones that have the power to save the world, but can they figure out who is the good side before it is too late?
A third in the works - The Sorceress...
|fantasy fiction||Nicolas Flamel John Dee alchemist magic supernatural brothers sisters twins San Francisco Calif||Four Stars||2008|
|The Diamond of Darkhold the fourth book of Ember||Jeanne DuPrau||If you have read the first three books of ember this is the fourth. While it answers questions that were raised in the earlier books there always seems to be ways of adding sequels.||science fiction||future city||Four Stars||2008|
|The Last Apprentice: Wrath of the Bloodeye - 5||Joseph Delaney||Joseph Delaney continues with his fifth book that takes off where the fourth ended. More thrills and scares from the spiritual world for the adolescent reader. It will raise more hairs on the back of the necks of adolescent readers. Again set in England before industrialization. Inhabited by typical human beings of that era with the addition of ghasts, ghosts, boggarts, fiends, and other nasties. Thomas Ward, as an apprentice, continues to learn, but now he deals with Bloodeye.
If you like this genre or want scary, this is a FIVE.
|fiction fantasy||apprentice magic bane thought control supernatural witches||Four Stars||2008|
|Ranger s Apprentice Book Five: Sorcerer of the North||John Flanagan||Sequel to - Ranger s Apprentice Book one: The Ruins of Gorlan and Book two The Burning Bridge; Book three The Icebound Land ; Book four The Battle for Skandia
Will is a full fledged Ranger now and is asked to go disguised as a jongleur and travel north to investigate strange happenings. Alyss is sent as a confidant to assist in assessing the situation. As they are just beginning to discover the strange happenings and struggle for control of power their cover is blown and Will must make a critical decision so save the mission or Alyss.
|fiction high fantasy||adolescent growing up friendship responsibility heroes male Australia||Four Stars||2008|
|Maximum Ride: The Final Warning||James Patterson||Fourth in the Maximum Ride series - On a mission to save the world from global warming, 14 year old Maximum Ride and the other members of the Flock are pursued by their creator, the Uber Director, who wants to auction them off to the highest bidder.||science fiction||genetic engineering adventure Antarctica female survival||Four Stars||2008|
|The Keys to the Kingdom: Superior Saturday||Garth Nix||The sixth installment, of the saga of Arthur Penhaligon. It is beginning to look as if this 12 year old will survive the week, but it is hard to know since the book doesn t bring day six to a resolution. It turns midnight, but the reader is left hanging... A modern day fantasy adventure that is action, action, and more action. Each time I am eager to read the next one and had to wait. If you haven t read them, there are six good books and one to come waiting for you.||fantasy fiction||adventure good and evil male||Four Stars||2008|
|What s Up Duck: A Book of Opposites||tad Hills||picture book||opposites up down||Four Stars||2008|
|Queste Septimus Heap Book Four||Angie Sage||Septimus, Jenna, and Beetle hope to rescue Snorri and Nicko trapped in the past. They are unaware that Merrin has used summons and aided the ghost of the first Chief Hemetic Scribe to send Septimus on a wizzard s Queste. All wizzards chosen for this Queste have never survived it. The story is a well paced adventure with a twisting plot, passionate spirited characters, and told with the authors humorous tone.||fiction fantasy||audio book available||Four Stars||2008|
|Ladybug Girl||Jacky Davis||Lulu dresses as Ladybug Girl and finds that her parents are busy and she will have to figure out her own fun time. She tries her brother and he tells her she is too little to play baseball and bugs don t play baseball. She goes exploring with the dog Bingo: inside finding L s, measuring a plant, outside to explore finding ants, puddles, fort, wall, rocks, wind, tree, her brothers game, blue jays, and home.||picture book fiction||imagination ladybug brother sister||Four Stars||2008|
|The Last Apprentice: Attack of the Fiend - 4||Joseph Delaney||Joseph Delaney continues with his fourth book that takes off where the third ended. More thrills and scares from the spiritual world for the adolescent reader. It will raise more hairs on the back of the necks of adolescent readers. Again set in England before industrialization. Inhabited by typical human beings of that era with the addition of fiends to the collection 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.||fiction fantasy||apprentice magic bane thought control supernatural witches||Four Stars||2008|
|If You re Reading This It s Too Late||Pseudonymous Bosch||Second in the Secret Book series:
The book begins with a Binding Contract outlining the reader s responsibilities, followed by a prologue that warns about mysterious things and a monster 400-500 years old - impossible to make more impossible to kill. A few more pages of ... then In enormous letter: "IF YOU RE READING THIS, IT S TOO LATE."
The story eventually starts with chapter 33 and runs backwards... like a count down to a rocket launch or a bomb so I won t have to finish it. BUT finish it he did. Another saga about the kids who discover a mysterious society desiring immortality, which gets them into all kinds of troublesome situations. Sarcasm, playfulness of the author, and suspense moves the reader through mysteries and adventure as the characters search for the mysterious sound prism, discovering Cabbage Face, and a humunculus and trying to figure out how they all come together.
|fiction fantasy mystery||mystery||Four Stars||2008|
|Amelia Rules - When the Past Is a Present||Jimmy Gownley||Amelia (fourth grade) is an only child who lives with her recently divorced mother. She has one melodramatic adventure after another. Each packed with freewheeling energetic antics. Her good and bad traits are illustrated in full colored graphic art. Jealousy, meanness, sadness, confusion, generosity, and love splatter the pages.
Five stories included in this book are:
Funny Story - mom s date
The Runaways - divorce, talk with Tanner
Let s hear it for Joan - date?, cross town boy, how long is a year - father in army...
When the past is a present - old photo album to see Amelia s roots
Hangin out -
|graphic novel comic book picture book||friends family super heroes growing up||Four Stars||2008|
|The 39 Clues Book one The Maze of Bones||Rick Riordan||The book introduces us to Amy Cahill (14) and her brother Dan Cahill (11) and their ecentric grandmother Grace. We soon discover she as created a world wide game of find and seek with a cash prize of a million dollars and a formula for world power during the reading of her will. Almost before the lawyer is done reading the will different family branches are off to uncover the clues and to thwart other family members. With Saladin in tow, a Persian cat fond of red snapper, and Nellie Gomez their au pair they set out find the first clue. First of ten books along with sets of cards in each book, additional cards available for purchase, and a companion web site that offers prizes.||fiction science fantasy||games family adventure mystery||Four Stars||2008|
|The 39 Clues Book two One False Note||Gordon Korman||Amy, Dan, Nellie, and Saladin are off to Austria and Italy in search of another clue. Run ins with the Holt family of five, Irina Spasky, their Russian cousin with ex-KGB ties, and Ian as they attempt to decipher how Mozart, Ben Franklin, and Mozart s sister can provide information to decode clue number two. As they travel from Paris to Salzberg and on to Italy there seems to be a cousin around every corner trying to thwart their success. From visits to museums, art galleries, the catacombs where Mozart and his sisters remains are located, and a family stronghold action and adventure moves the reader through this book adventure of mystery and adventure.||fiction science fantasy||games family adventure mystery||Four Stars||2008|
|The 39 Clues Book four Beyond the Grave||Jude Watson||fiction science fantasy||games family adventure mystery||Four Stars||2008|
|Ranger s Apprentice Book Six: The Siege of Macindaw||John Flanagan||Sequel to - Ranger s Apprentice Book one: The Ruins of Gorlan and Book two The Burning Bridge; Book three The Icebound Land ; Book four The Battle for Skandia; Book five Sorcerer of the North
The books continues where book five left off after Will makes a critical decision to save the mission, Alyss is left prisoner in Macindaw Castle.
See first book in 2005
|fiction high fantasy||adolescent growing up friendship responsibility heroes male Australia||Four Stars||2008|
|Cool Zone with the Pain & the Great One||Judy Blume||fiction realistic||brother sisters schools family life||Not yet||2008|
|Allie Finkle s Rules for Girls Moving Day 1||Meg Cabot||fiction realistic||moving household rules best friends schools behavior family life||Not yet||2008|
Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©