Sunday, May 16, 2010

Where the Red Fern Grows

Where the Red Fern Grows is by Wilson Rawls. A charming classic tale of a young boy from the Ozarks and his two coon dogs. Billy and his twosome roamed the hills and river bottoms hunting coon and growing up. A touching and wonderfully powerful tale. A must read for young boys who love dogs and hunting.

Ratings: 6th grade - 10 out of 10.

Easy: How Far is Too Far?

Easy: How Far is Too Far? is by Kerry Cohen Hoffman. Jessica is fourteen; her parents just went through an ugly divorce and her dad is getting married to a much younger woman. She feels worthless and wants attention and is willing to do anything to get it. With the "right" clothes and attitude she can get all the male attention she wants. But is this kind of attention the "right" kind? Is the reputation she gets deserved and what can she do to make a change? A poignant tale of a lost teen making very bad choices and facing the consequences of those choices while trying to to deal with her parents' divorce and its aftermath. This book is excellent but does contain mature thematic content and profanity.

Ratings: 10th grade - 9 out of 10 - P (Profanity) - AC (mature thematic content) - S (non graphic sexual content).

The Day of the Djinn Warriors

The Day of the Djinn Warriors is by P.B. Kerr. The fourth book in the Children of the Lamp series. John & Philippa set out to find Faustina's spirit and return her to her body so she can become the next Blue Djinn and their mother can come home. But nothing is ever easy, Iblis is plotting evil and his plot may destroy their plan. Can they defeat Iblis, save Faustina, themselves, and get their mother back? The ending to this installment is surprising and sets up another book in the series well. Loaded with action and suspense.

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10.

The Cry of the Icemark

The Cry of the Icemark is by Stuart Hill. The first book in The Icemark Chronicles series. Thirteen-year-old Princess Thirrin must grow up quickly. When her country is invaded by the Polypontian Empire and her father the king is killed, Thirrin must rally her country, find new allies, and defeat the invaders. A tall order for a teenage girl. A great series loaded with action and adventure.

Ratings: 7th grade - 9 out of 10.

The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel is by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. One of the three most famous classics set during the French Revolution; the other two being Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities and Sabatini's Scaramouche. This is the epic adventure of Sir Percy Blakeney, whom everyone believes to be a bumbling idiot; but who in reality is the heroic Scarlet Pimpernel. With his small band of followers the Pimpernel saves doomed aristocrats from the guillotine right under the noses of the Revolutionary government. Afraid for her brother's life, Lady Blakeney betrays the Pimpernel to the French Ambassador only to discover afterwards that the Pimpernel is her husband Sir Percy. She races to France to save him or die with him. One of Miss D's favorite classic novels, the 1934 movie version starring Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon is almost as good as the book - but not quite. A delight for adventure lovers of all ages, this series of novels is arguably the genesis of such modern heroes as Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and others who must hide their identity from the world.

Ratings: 9th grade - 10 out of 10.

A Boy's Will & North of Boston

A Boy's Will & North of Boston is by Robert Frost. A charming collection of Frost's poems originally published in 1913 & 1914 respectively. A great introduction to Frost and contains some of his finest poems i.e. "Mending Wall", "After Apple-Picking", and "The Death of a Hired Man".

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10

Disney After Dark

Disney After Dark is by Ridley Pearson. The first book in The Kingdom Keepers series. A fascinating premise involving four teens who have been recruited to be part of a new Disney program called DHI. The kids will be used as models for holographic images that will guide visitors through the park. Led by Finn Whitman, the teens discover that when they go to sleep they are transported in their holographic forms to the park. An elderly Imagineer tells them that a group of characters called the Overtakers are plotting to destroy Disney World and only the DHI's can stop them. High tech and entertaining, this book will appeal to adventure lovers and anyone who has ever loved a Disney theme park.

Ratings: 7th grade - 9 out of 10.