Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuck Everlasting

Tuck Everlasting is by Natalie Babbitt. The Tucks have a secret; they know of a spring whose water can give immortality. When 10-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret they must all make life changing decisions. Is immortality a blessing or a curse? Should Winnie join Jesse or stay mortal. A classic take and a must read for everyone.

Ratings: 5th grade - 9 out of 10.

Winter's Child: A Retelling of the Snow Queen

Winter's Child: A Retelling of the Snow Queen is by Cameron Dokey. Another book in the marvelous Once Upon a Time series. Grace and Kai have grown up together and are best friends. When, after their first quarrel, Kai runs off to follow the Winter Child, Grace sets out to find him - and herself. A wonderful story, very different from the original.

Ratings: 6th grade - 10 out of 10.

The Best Love Poems Ever: Selections of the World's Greatest Love Poetry

The Best Love Poems Ever: Selections of the World's Greatest Love Poetry is edited by David Rohlfing. This small book contains love poems by Shakespeare, Yeats, Dickinson, Whitman, Neruda, Browning, and many more. A wonderful collection of love poems for all ages. A must read for poetry fans and those who want to be.

Ratings: 7th grade - 10 out of 10.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Caught by the Sea: My Life on Boats

Caught by the Sea: My Life on Boats is by Gary Paulsen. Paulsen, of Hatchet fame, sets out to explore his love of the sea and the many adventures he has had sailing. His spare proses makes readers feel as if they were along for the ride. His adventures make you wonder how he survived, and make you fall in love with the sea yourself. A great way to get Hatchet readers into non-fiction.

Ratings: 6th grade - 7 out of 10.

The Christopher Killer

The Christopher Killer is by Alane Ferguson. The first in the Forensic Mystery series. Cameryn's father is the Colorado County coroner, who needs an assistant. Cammie has always wanted to be a forensic scientist so she talks her dad into letting her assist him even though she is still in high school. But when her second case turns out to be a high school friend who is the latest victim of a serial killer, Cammie is in over her head. Can she find her friend's killer or will she be his next victim? A fantastic new series for NCIS lovers. Move over Duckie, there's a new kid in town.

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


Feathers is by Jacqueline Woodson. Set in the 1970s, a young white boy starts school in a black part of town. Everyone starts calling him the "Jesus Boy". Who is he and why is he going to school on this side of town? During a winter full of surprises Frannie must deal with her parent's fear, her own, a class bully, her brother's deafness, and the importance of hope. A charming story.

Ratings: 5th grade - 7 out of 10.

Giants of Science

Giants of Science is a duo of books by Kathleen Krull. Two well researched books on Sir Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci. The illustrations are magnificent and the books are packed with information on these two "giants of science". A great way to make science readable.

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10.

The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets

The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets is by Nancy Springer. The third book in the Enola Holmes series. Dr Watson has disappeared. Even Sherlock can't find him, so Enola decides to try. Can she solve the mystery before Watson is killed and before Sherlock or Mycroft find her? A charming delightful story for Holmes lovers everywhere.

Ratings: 6th grade - 9 out of 10.

The Dead Man in Indian Creek

The Dead Man in Indian Creek is by Mary Downing Hahn. Two friends go camping by the creek and discover a dead body. They then decide to find the killer. But can they find him before he finds them? Another thrilling book from Hahn, who is a master of creepy young adult suspense.

Ratings: 6th grade - 8 out of 10.

Sleeping Freshman Never Lie

Sleeping Freshman Never Lie is by David Lubar. Scott is getting ready to start his freshman year of high school. If that's not enough pressure he discovers his mother is pregnant. He decides to document his freshman year for posterity (the microscopic intruder). He also decides to do whatever it takes to get the attention of the lovely Julia. Everyone who has ever been a freshman will relate to Scott's adventures - the funny and the miserable. A great read!

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

Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood

Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood is by Ann Brashares. The third installment in the Traveling Pants series. As our beloved quartet prepare to leave for college they realize that this is their last summer together. After this they will be grown-up and things will necessarily change. This may be the summer they need the pants the most. Another fantastic journey of self discovery with our favorite sisterhood.

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

Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska is by John Green. Pudge heads from Florida to Alabama to go to the same boarding school as his father. At Culver Creek he makes friends with his roomate, the Colonel, and the utterly captivating Alaska Young. Together they pull him into their world of rebellious behavior. He discovers that Alaska, gorgeous, funny, smart, and totally self-destructive Alaska has stolen his heart - and nothing will ever be the same again. You get sucked in with Pudge and you'll laugh and cry with him. A wonderful book!

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

The Life and Death of Crazy Horse

The Life and Death of Crazy Horse is by Russell Freedman. A wonderful book! It is well researched and presented and the pictures are magnificent. A great way to introduce young readers to nonfiction, of which Freedman is a master.

Ratings: 7th grade - 9 out of 10.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Scarlet Moon

Scarlet Moon is by Debbie Viguie. A wonderful retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. The Once Upon a Time Series scores another home run! When her brother and cousin leave for the Crusades Ruth is forced to work in the family blacksmith shop. She works and takes care of her father and her Grandmother, who lives in a cottage in the forest. Then she meets a young noble in the forest, one who has a terrible secret; bet you can guess what it is.  A fantastic book girls will love. It contains some mild violence.

Ratings: 7th grade - 10 out of 10.

Gregor and the Code of Claw

Gregor and the Code of Claw is by Suzanne Collins. The final installment in the Underland Chronicles. Gregor has now read the final prophecy which calls for the warrior's death - his death. The army of rats is approaching, Luxa is injured, his mother and sisters are at risk in Regalia, his father and grandmother ill at home; can Gregor save the Underland and get his family home before the prophecy of his death comes to pass. A thrilling, if violent, conclusion to the series. As Gregor moves between hope and despair you come along for the ride. The ending is slightly unsatisfying, but a good book nonetheless.

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10 - V (violence).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Deltora Quest

Deltora Quest is by Emily Rodda. Lief and his companions must locate the seven lost gems in the Belt of Deltora so that the evil Shadow Lord may be overthrown once again. This is a cute series for younger readers. Both boys and girls will enjoy it. Title links to all books in the series; click on each word individually.

Ratings: 5th grade - 7 out of 10.


Awakened is by P.C. & Kristin Cast. The 8th installment in the amazing House of Night series. Neferet has returned to the House of Night and Stevie Rae and friends need Zoey to confront her evil. But Zoey and Stark are living happily ever after on the Isle of Skye. Will they come back? What will Neferet do to bring them back? And then there's the problem of Rephaim and what Stevie Rae is going to do about her Raven Mocker boyfriend. This series gets better and better and prepare for a couple of shockers at the end of this one.

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