Sunday, July 18, 2010

She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall

She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall is by Misty Bernall. Cassie was one of the students killed in the Columbine shooting. Her mother tells her story through her own memories, those of Cassie's family and friends, and Cassie's own words. Cassie's story is one of redemption and courage. A great introduction to nonfiction. Since Cassie and her family are Christians this book is written from a definite Christian perspective.

Ratings: 8th grade - 9 out of 10.

Lost and Found

Lost and Found is by Anne Schraff. The first book in the Bluford High series. Darcy Wills is having trouble with the kids in her science group at school. They are "losers" and she doesn't want to work with them. If that isn't enough her father left and she has to help her working mother with her grandmother who is ill. She is also being followed by a strange man, and when her sister disappears Darcy doesn't know who to turn to for help. An excellent series girls will love.

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10.

Tales from the Hood

Tales from the Hood is by Michael Buckley. The sixth book in the Sisters Grimm series. Mr. Canis is on trial for his crimes as the Big Bad Wolf. Granny Relda hires Robin Hood and Little John as his lawyers, but things are not going well. Uncle Jake continues his search for Goldilocks to break the spell on the girls' parents. The girls, with Puck's help, try to find out the truth about Little Red Riding Hood in time to save Mr. Canis.

Ratings: 6th grade - 8 out of 10.

The Mystery on the California Mission Trail

The Mystery on the California Mission Trail is by Carole Marsh. Another in the Real Kids, Real Places series. Grant & Christina head west with their grandparents to visit the California missions. When they arrive they discover that the bells from the missions are being stolen. They find themselves in a race against time to find the bells and catch the thief. This series is a great way to introduce young readers to mysteries. They are as predictable as Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, but more modern, and this series includes a great introduction to historical events as well.

Ratings: 5th grade - 7 out of 10.

The Robe of Skulls

The Robe of Skulls is by Vivian French. The First Tale from the Five Kingdoms, a new series from this author. Lady Lamorna is a sorceress and she wants a new, and expensive robe. The Ancient Crones agree to make it for her, for a price. She decides to turn princes into frogs and then charge their parents a large fee to change them back. Gracie is a peasant girl who lives with her evil stepfather and stepsister. Together with Marlon, a chatty bat, and a prince who managed to escape the spell, Gracie must  defeat Lamorna and save the princes. A cute and charming story.

Ratings: 5th grade - 9 out of 10.

Marco's Millions

Marco's Millions is by William Sleator. Lilly sees things and knows things before they happen. She tells her brother Marco that she sees strange lights in the basement. Marco discovers the lights lead to another dimension filled with strange creatures who want Lilly's help to save their universe and ours as well. Marco agrees to aid them in Lilly's place. Will he succeed? What will this help cost Marcos and his family?

Ratings: 6th grade - 8 out of 10.


Firegirl is by Tony Abbott. When a badly burned girl joins Tom's 7th grade classroom, the entire class must learn how to respond to her. Despite her appearance and the fact that Tom is afraid of Jessica, he can't stand the reactions of his classmates and finds himself befriending her. A wonderful tale of acceptance and overcoming one's fears and prejudices.

Ratings: 5th grade - 9 out of 10.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is by Mark Haddon. An absolute must read! Christopher is an autistic child who decides he is going to solve the mystery surrounding the death of the neighbor's poodle. Written from Christopher's point of view the tale is funny, poignant, and extremely heart-rending. You will laugh and cry as Christopher struggles to understand the world he lives in and as the world tries to understand Christopher. A wonderfully touching book!

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

Summer Ball

Summer Ball is by Mike Lupica. A sequel to Travel Team. Danny Walker is heading for the Right Way Basketball Camp. He's the smallest player in his age group and he's afraid he's out of his league. Facing old rivals and a coach who thinks he should change sports; Danny must stand tall and fight for what he believes in. Boys who love sports will enjoy Lupica's books. As a sports writer he really knows his stuff.

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10.