Monday, February 22, 2010

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats is by T.S. Eliot. A collection of Eliot's charming, and amusing, poems dealing with our feline friends. If you love cats, or even if you don't, you will love these irresistible poems. A great introduction to prove that poetry can be fun to read. Don't miss this one!!!

Ratings: 7th grade - 10 out of 10.

The Mysterious Planet

The Mysterious Planet is by Lester del Rey. A charming science fiction tale written in 1953 in the middle of the Cold War. Mankind has populated the solar system. Our outpost on Neptune discovers a planet beyond Pluto moving our way. Planet X does not seem to have a regular orbit and seems to be heading toward Earth. The Solar Federation Navy sends a group of ships to investigate. When the ships are attacked it becomes clear Planet X is inhabited - but by whom? Are they peaceful or warlike? Will a simple misunderstanding lead to war or can three teenage boys save the day? A little dated, but still a most enjoyable story. Boys should like this one! For those of us who are older the nostalgia is a treat.

Ratings: 7th grade - 9 out of 10.

Violet & Claire

Violet & Claire is by Francesca Lia Block. Violet is a rich kid who wants to make movies. Claire is from a poor family who just moved to California and she believes in faeries. Drawn to each other from the start, they are best friends - until Violet gets a job and Claire takes a poetry class. This story is a journey through success and failure and how a true friendship can survive both. It contains the profanity and mature thematic content of Block's other novels, but this one is a little more conventionally structured and lacks a fantasy element.

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

Best Poems of the Bronte Sisters

Best Poems of the Bronte Sisters is by Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte. A selection of the sisters' very best poems. It is broken into sections by sister. A great introduction to their moving poetry.

Ratings: 8th grade - 8 out of 10.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Hunter's Moon

The Hunter's Moon is by O.R. Melling. The first book in the Chronicles of Faerie. Gwen goes to Ireland to backpack the country with her cousin Findabhair. When the King of Faerie kidnaps Findabhair to be his queen, Gwen sets out to rescue her cousin. But is the King really evil? Will Gwen end up rescuing Faerie as well as her cousin? A surprising and entertaining series. Much better than expected.

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

Blood Captain

Blood Captain is by Justin Somper. The third book in the Vampirates series. Grace and the Vampirate Captain take Lorcan to Sanctuary to find the healer, Mosh Zu. Meanwhile, Connor finds himself stuck with Captain Wrathe's bratty nephew Moonshine. Unknown to either Sidorio is still about and plotting the demise of the Captain and his crew. This series gets better as it goes on. This installment leaves you anxious for the fourth book.

Ratings: 7th grade - 9 out of 10.

Ink Exchange

Ink Exchange is by Melissa Marr. This is the sequel to Wicked Lovely. Aislinn is trying to protect her friends from the new world in which she finds herself. When her friend Leslie decides to go to Rabbit to get a tattoo, she gets more than she bargains for. The ink used contains the blood of Irial, the King of the Dark Court, whose court feeds on human emotions. The tattoo binds Leslie and Irial and they find themselves linked in ways neither expected.

Ratings: 10th grade - 8 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content).

King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian

King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian is by Marguerite Henry. The Sultan of Morocco sends six of his best horses and their horse boys to the King of France as a gift. When a evil captain steals the food for the journey the horses nearly die. The King of France doesn't recognize their worth and sends Sham and his horse boy Agba to be a common workhorse. But Sham is anything but common! The story of the famous Godolphin Arabian, sire of champions.

Ratings: 5th grade - 6 out of 10.

Gilda Joyce: The Ghost Sonata

Gilda Joyce: The Ghost Sonata is by Jennifer Allison. The continued adventures of our favorite 14-year-old psychic investigator. Gilda manages a trip to London with her friend Wendy who is participating in an international piano competition. Once they arrive Wendy hears ghostly music, Gilda sees a ghost, and mysterious tarot cards begin to turn up. Could all of this be connected to the piano competition? Is Gilda's attraction to Julian, a cute English boy, distracting her from the investigation of a lifetime?

Ratings: 6th grade - 9 out of 10.

Twenty and Ten

Twenty and Ten is by Claire Huchet Bishop. A charming tale set during WWII and the German occupation of France. A group of French children in a mountain refuge must save ten Jewish children from the Nazis. Can 20 small children trick adult Nazi soldiers? A great tale of friendship and bravery.

Ratings: 4th grade - 7 out of 10.