Sunday, September 27, 2009

Montmorency's Revenge

Montmorency's Revenge is by Eleanor Updale. The fourth book in the saga of Montmorency and his dual life. After George is murdered, Montmorency and Jack set out to find the killers and take revenge. Can he learn to be a father to Tom? Can he stop Farcett's slide into insanity? Can he teach the next generation to forgive when the need for revenge is eating at his own soul? As he races around the globe seeking to stop the anarchist's from killing again he must come face to face with his own past once and for all.

Ratings: 8th grade - 8 out of 10.

The Titan's Curse

The Titan's Curse is by Rick Riordan. The third book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Percy, Thalia, and Annabeth rush to help Grover rescue two new half-bloods from Luke and the evil Kronos. After Annabeth and Artemis are captured Percy, Thalia and Zoe (one of Artemis' hunters) have only a short time to save them and prevent the Titan's Curse from destroying the Olympian gods and the human world. But will they fall prey to the curse, and who will be the ones the Oracle says will never return? Another great installment in the series.

Ratings: 8th grade - 9 out of 10.

The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees is by Sue Monk Kidd. Lily lives in South Carolina with an abusive father and a black "stand-in mother" named Rosaleen who has taken care of her since her mother was killed. Determined to register to vote Rosaleen insults three racists and is thrown in jail and beaten. Lily decides to free Rosaleen and run away to Tiburon, a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by three beekeeping black sisters she is introduced to the world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna. A remarkable novel set against the civil rights struggle of 1964. A powerful tale of healing, forgiveness, and the power of love.

Ratings: 9th grade - 9 out of 10 - P (profanity).


Impossible is by Nancy Werlin. A fantastically amazing story based on the song "Scarborough Fair". Lucy is seventeen and getting ready for her prom. She is looking forward to her future; true her birth mother is mentally unstable, but she has wonderful foster parents and her childhood neighbor and friend, Zach. When Lucy becomes pregnant after being raped by her prom date she discovers that the women in her family are cursed by the Elfin Knight to become pregnant at 17 and go mad after the baby's birth. She decides to keep the child and find a way to complete the three "impossible" tasks that will break the curse. Her foster parents rally around to support her and her relationship with Zach matures from friendship to love. But can she and her child escape from the evil Elfin Knight's curse? A wonderfully enchanted new take on fairy tales from a modern perspective. There is mature thematic content, although there are no graphic descriptions of any kind.

Ratings: 9th grade - 10 out of 10 - AC (mature thematic content) - MP (mild profanity).

The Rise of the Black Wolf

The Rise of the Black Wolf is by Derek Benz & J.S. Lewis. The second book in The Grey Griffins series. Max and his friends are off to Scotland to spend Christmas at his father's castle. But things begin to go wrong when a pack of werewolves appear and come after the Grey Griffins, and if that isn't bad enough Max's dad is taken by Morgan LaFey. She threatens to kill him unless Max brings her the Spear of Ragnarok which only he can find. Can the Griffins find the spear and save Max's dad? Perhaps, but things are not at all as they appear. This book has a totally unexpected ending.

Ratings: 7th grade - 9 out of 10.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Eagle is by Jeff Stone. Book five in The Five Ancestors series continues the story from Ying's point of view. Ying and Hok continue to search for the dragon treasure and avoid capture by Tonglong. Ying has been deceived by the Emperor and Tonglong. Is there anyone he can trust? Left with no choice but to trust the very five young monks he tried to kill, Ying continues his search for his past and the treasure. The tale of the young monks continues to flow in a seamless fashion that is not interrupted by every book's change of perspective. Young boys will devour this series.

Ratings: 6th grade - 9 out of 10.

Soul Eater

Soul Eater is by Michelle Paver. The third installment in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series. Torak and Renn are in the Far North searching for Wolf who has been taken by the Soul Eaters. What do they want with him? Can Renn and Torak rescue him in time and save their world from the machinations of the evil Soul Eaters? This series is thoroughly enjoyable. Every installment is better than the last. Can't wait for the next volume!

Ratings: 7th grade - 10 out of 10.

Son of the Mob

Son of the Mob is by Gordon Korman. Vince Luca has a problem. His father is the local mob boss and even though he wants no part of "the life" he is still his father's youngest son. He also has a new girlfriend, whose father is the FBI agent assigned to build the case against his father. How does he tell Kendra who his father is? How does he explain why he can't meet her parents and she can't meet his? He can't exactly get the folks together for a meet-and-greet! A funny and amusing story of a young man's struggle to do the right thing in a world where everything he has and does seems to be wrong.

Ratings: 8th grade - 9 out of 10 - MP (mild profanity).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grip of the Shadow Plague

Grip of the Shadow Plague is by Brandon Mull. The third book in the Fablehaven series. Kendra goes off with Warren, Tanu, and Coulter to join the Knights of the Dawn. She is immediately sent to Arizona on a secret mission. Meanwhile at Fablehaven Seth discovers something is turning creatures of light into creatures of darkness. Will Kendra survive and return to Fablehaven? Can Seth and the rest of the family stop the plague before Fablehaven is destroyed? Another exciting installment in a great series.

Ratings: 7th grade - 9 out of 10.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Justified Deception

Justified Deception is by Paul Lillard. WWII is raging and it looks like the British are losing ground rapidly. FDR knows he can't get the U.S. into the war unless America is attacked. He meets with Churchill and devises a scheme to trick the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor so the U.S. can enter the war on the side of the Allies. Although this book is pure fiction, it is full of historically accurate information and characters. As the author states, "It didn't happen, but it could have." Mr. Lillard was Miss Dayna's neighbor and has recently passed away. He was a Korean war vet and hero and it was Miss D.'s honor and privilege to work with him on this book.

Ratings: 11th grade - 8 out of 10 - P (profanity).

Wild Man Island

Wild Man Island is by Will Hobbs. Andy Galloway is 14 and on a kayaking trip to Alaska. He leaves the group to visit the spot where his father died years before and on the way back is caught in a storm and swept up onto Admiralty Island. Struggling to survive Andy encounters a run away dog and the secretive wild man who lives on Admiralty. The dog leads Andy to the wild man's secret cave filled with Stone Age weapons. Afraid of the wild hermit Andy retreats deeper into the cave where danger and discovery await. Another Hobbs gem.

Ratings: 6th grade - 9 out of 10.