Sunday, January 30, 2011

Picture the Dead

Picture the Dead is by Adele Griffin. This creepy tale is set during the Civil War. Will, his twin brother Quinn, and Jennie's brother Toby go off to fight for the Union. Will is also Jennie's fiancee. When Quinn returns home injured, Jennie discovers both Will and her brother have been killed. Quinn says Will was killed in battle, but was he? Jennie begins to experience strange happenings she believes are caused by Will's restless spirit. Is there something he wants Jennie to do? Can she solve the mystery of Will's death? Or is Will trying to save her life? This is a great mystery and is sufficiently creepy to charm both boys and girls. 

Ratings: 6th grade - 10 out of 10.  

Beauty Sleep: A Retelling of Sleeping Beauty

Beauty Sleep: A Retelling of Sleeping Beauty is by Cameron Dokey. Another in the fantastic "Once Upon A Time" series. Aurore is cursed at birth and her parents deny her regular princess activities like sewing and embroidering. On her 16th birthday Aurore learns her curse will destroy the entire kingdom. To save those she loves she runs away into the enchanted la Foret, where she finds her destiny. A wonderfully surprising and entertaining retelling of this classic fairy tale. Girls will love this series. 

Ratings: 6th grade - 10 out of 10.  

The Suburb Beyond the Stars

The Suburb Beyond the Stars is by M.T. Anderson. The second book in The Game of Sunken Places series. Brian and Gregory return to Vermont and discover that strange things are happening. Cousin Prudence has disappeared, a mysterious suburb seems to be springing up, and time doesn't seem to be working normally. When it becomes clear the Thusser are breaking the rules of the Game and trying to take over the world, Brian & Gregory must stop them and summon the Norumbegans. This installment sets up well for the next book in this fun, but creepy, series.

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Wereling is by Steve Feasey. The first book in the new Wereling series. Trey is fourteen, an orphan, and a werewolf. The last hereditary werewolf. Now he is being hunted by demons and the most evil vampire in the world - Caliban; whose brother, Lucien, is trying to save him. Now Trey must decide whether he is a boy or a werewolf and what he is willing to do to stay alive? A great new series. This book was hard to put down, both boys and girls will enjoy it.

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

Monday, January 17, 2011

Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott is by Russell Freedman. A compelling look back at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. Freedman makes the situation understandable for young readers and the pictures are fantastic. A great introduction to Civil Rights or nonfiction reading. We highly recommend this title.

Ratings: 6th grade - 10 out of 10.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Troy is by Adele Geras. The epic siege of Troy told through the eyes of young people trapped within its walls. Primarily the story of two sisters Xanthe and Marpessa cursed by the goddess of love, Aphrodite, to love the same boy. Marpessa serves as the handmaiden for Helen. Xanthe is nursemaid for Andromache, Hector's wife. Will either sister escape the arrows of Eros? Will anyone escape Troy alive? A fantastic book! It does contain mature thematic content, violence, and profanity. It is Troy from an insider's point of view and a look at the way the ancient Greeks and Trojans lived.

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

Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary

Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary is by Brandon Mull. The fourth book in the Fablehaven series. Two of the secret artifacts have been found and the Society of the Evening Star is after the rest. When they discover the location of a thrid artifact the Knights of the Dawn decide they need to find it first. Kendra and her friends head to Wyrmroost, a dangerous dragon sanctuary to retrieve the object. Wrymroost isn't Fablehaven though, will any of them make it out alive? Will they find the artifact before the Sphinx does? Another great installment in an exciting series both boys and girls will enjoy. Prepare for a surprising betrayal.

Ratings: 7th grade - 9 out of 10.  

Charlie Bone and the Hidden King

Charlie Bone and the Hidden King is by Jenny Nimmo. The fifth installment in the Children of the Red King series. The shadow in the portrait of the Red King has escaped. Strange things begin to happen at Charlie's house. His Grandmother Maisie is frozen, his mother seems bewitched by a rich stranger, and all the animals in town disappear. To save his mother and grandmother and locate his missing father, Charlie and his friends must find the Red King. Will they succeed before both Charlie's mother and father are lost forever? A charming series.

Ratings: 7th grade - 9 out of 10.

The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows is by Kenneth Grahame. The classic animal fantasy involving Mr. Rat, the Mole, the Badger, and the irrepressible Mr. Toad. A must read classic for children (and adults) of all ages. Journey with Ratty and Mole to Badger's house in the Wild Woods. Follow Toad's adventures as he steals a motor car, goes to prison, and escapes. A wonderful tale for everyone.

Ratings: 5th grade - 10 out of 10.


Revelations is by Melissa De La Cruz. The third book in the Blue Bloods series. Schuyler is now forced to live with Mimi and Jack. She hates Mimi and loves Jack even though he and Mimi are soon to be bonded. The search continues for the Silver Bloods and when Dylan returns Schuyler wonders if he really was contaminated. When an ancient place of power is threatened in Brazil everything will change forever.

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

Old Magic

Old Magic is by Marianne Curley. When Kate and Jarrod see each other for the first time at school the connection is undeniable. Everyone thinks Jarrod is a clumsy freak and everyone shuns Kate because they believe she and her grandmother are witches. Kate believes Jarrod has magical abilities as well, but when she confronts him he acts like she's a nut. As time goes on Kate comes to believe Jarrod's problems are the result of an ancient curse; one that can only be broken if he returns through time to stop the evil magician who cursed his family. Together Kate and Jarrod travel through time to break a centuries old curse. A unique and fascinating tale told from both Kate's and Jarrod's point of view.

Ratings: 8th grade - 9 out of 10.

Twelfth Grade Kills

Twelfth Grade Kills is by Heather Brewer. The final book in The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod. Vlad's time is running out. He only has weeks to present his supposedly dead father alive to the council of vampires or face his own death. How do you find a dead man? Or is he dead? Then there is the Pravus prophecy to worry about. Is Vlad the Pravus that will enslave mankind? There is also his best friend who wants to kill him, and if that's not enough, he has girl problems with both Snow and Meredith. Should he even worry about graduation? A wonderful end to a great series.

Ratings: 8th grade - 10 out of 10 - V (violence).