Thursday, June 27, 2013


Switch is by Carol Snow. Claire is just like every other teenager, except for one thing. She switches bodies during electrical storms. She returns to her own body as soon as the body she has switched into goes to sleep. Until, she switches bodies with a beautiful summer visitor; the boy she has a crush on falls for her new body, and she finds she can't switch back. Can she make Nate see her? Will she be able to switch back? What is her mother going to say? An interesting look at being happy with who you are.

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10.

The Grimm Legacy

The Grimm Legacy is by Polly Shulman. Elizabeth has been recommended by her history teacher for a job as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository. She quickly discovers that the objects they "circulate" are not at all what she expected. When magical objects from the Grimm Collection are being stolen, Elizabeth and the other pages must risk everything to discover who is taking the objects and get them back. A cute book both boys and girls will enjoy.

Ratings: 6th grade - 9 out of 10.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Mark

The Mark is by Jen Nadol. The first book in The Mark series. Cassandra sees the mark—a glow around certain people. When she told her grandmother, she was told it was a trick of the light. Then one day she sees the mark on a man and watches him get hit by a car. Now she realizes that when she sees the mark, the person dies that day. What is the mark? Is she the only one to ever see it? If you know someone is about to die, do you tell them? An interesting series, girls will enjoy.

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

Life of Pi

Life of Pi is by Yann Martel. Pi Patel is the son of an Indian zookeeper. His father decides to move the family to Canada, sells the zoo, and books passage on a ship with several of the animals being sold to North American zoos. When the ship sinks in a storm Pi finds himself the only human survivor alone in a life boat with a tiger, a baboon, a wounded zebra, and a hyena. Once the tiger eats the other animals, is Pi next? An imaginative, sometimes graphic, story of survival and growing up. A wonderful book! A Reader's Corner Highly Recommended book.

Ratings: 11th grade - 10 out of 10 - AC (mature thematic content) - V (violence) - P (some profanity).

Wicked Game

Wicked Game is by Jeri Smith-Ready. The first book in the Wicked Game series. Ciara Griffin comes from a family of con artists, both her mother and father are in prison. She is trying to live a normal life, which means college and a job. She applies for an sales and marketing intern position at the local radio station only to discover all the DJ's are vampires stuck in the era in which they were turned. When a huge conglomerate decides to buy the station and change the format, Ciara decides to foil the takeover using her skills as a con artist. What she doesn't know is that she's about to put her life in danger. A charming start to a promising series.

Ratings: Adult - 8 out of 10 - P (profanity) - V (violence) - AC (mature thematic content).

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Black Country is by Alex Grecian. The second book in the Scotland Yard's Murder Squad series. Set in England in the late 1880's, this is the story of Scotland Yard's relatively new "murder squad". Inspector Day and Sergeant Hammersmith are summoned to a small coal mining village in England's "Black Country" to find three members of a local family that have disappeared. A eyeball has been found in a bird's nest, a unseasonable snowstorm is brewing, and time is running out for the Price's. The squad finds itself surrounded by a village that is full of superstitious, and very ill people, all of whom have secrets, and a town that is sinking into the coal mining tunnels that have been dug beneath it. A fantastic summer mystery read with enough plot twists and turns to keep you guessing.

Ratings: Adult - 10 out of 10 - V (violence) - AC (mature thematic content).

Feather on the Moon

Feather on the Moon is by Phyllis A. Whitney. Jennifer Blake's three-year-old child was kidnapped seven years ago. She has almost given up hope of ever finding her again. Then she receives a mysterious phone call from Vancouver Island. The wealthy Corinthea Arles thinks the child that is being presented to her as her great-granddaughter and heir is Jennifer's Debbie. Determined to find the truth Jennifer finds herself in the middle of a family in crisis with secrets they want kept at any cost. Fans of Whitney, of which I will admit I am one, will enjoy this book.

Ratings: 9th grade - 8 out of 10 - AC (some mature thematic content).

Fire World

Fire World is by Chris D'Lacey. The sixth book in the Last Dragon Chronicles. This book takes place on another world known as Co:per:nica, which runs parallel to our world. Firebirds roam a librarium, a storehouse for ancient books, and when twelve-year-old David and Rosanna accidentally injure one they find themselves in the middle of an adventure that will change their world. They will need the help of David's parents and the firebirds to battle evil Aunt Gwenyth and the Ix. Fans of this series will enjoy this installment and wonder how it will interface with the previous books.

Ratings: 7th grade - 7 out of 10.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda & the Road to 9/11

The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda & the Road to 9/11 is by Lawrence Wright. THE book for those who have wondered how 9/11 happened. This meticulously researched and documented book covers four decades, from the beginnings of Islamic fundamentalism to the rise of Al-Qaeda, and the failings of the American government agencies who didn't connect the dots. Wright's book raises as many questions as it answers about the future of Islam and the safety of America. A must read book for those who want to understand how radical Islam came into being and all the personalities involved.

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

Snow: A Retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow: A Retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is by Tracy Lynn. Another installment in the Once Upon a Time series of retold fairy tales. The evil stepmother is a would-be scientist as well as a practitioner of magic. This version, however, has no dwarfs and no handsome prince. If you are looking for a faithful retelling, this isn't it. The story and the changes to the original are interesting and thought provoking. Fans of this series will not be disappointed.

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10.

The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as Told in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as Told in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is by Michael Berenbaum. A magnificent look at the Holocaust from beginning to end. The pictures and illustrations are magnificent and the text is extremely well written in a manner that is very understandable. A great overview of the Holocaust that will definitely make you want to learn more. Fortunately, the book contains an amazing resource list to guide further inquiry.

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


Orcs is by Stan Nicholls. This book is a compilation of the entire first trilogy: Bodyguard of Lightning, Legion of Thunder, and Warriors of the Tempest. Stryke, the leader of the band of orc warriors called the Wolverines, leads his team to recover an artifact their queen Jennesta wants. Once they have it, they discover the device is one of several pieces of a magical instrumentality that might save their world. The Wolverines set off on their own to find and collect all the instrumentalities, hunted by Jennesta, humans, and seemingly every other race in Maras Dantia. This series has a very interesting premise, a fantasy tale from the point of view of orcs. It is violent and contains some profanity. Boys will enjoy this tale, there is also a female orc warrior girls might relate to. The plot does not seem to live up to its promise however.

Ratings: 9th grade - 7 out of 10 - V (violence) - P (profanity).

Friday, June 7, 2013

Girl of Nightmares

Girl of Nightmares is by Kendare Blake. The sequel to Anna Dressed in Blood. Cas is having nightmares about Anna suffering in hell. He decides he must find a way to rescue her and bring her back. Despite his mother's and his friend's misgivings he travels to England to meet with Gideon. Thomas, Carmel, and Jestine (a girl who claims to be Gideon's niece) must find a secret organization to perform the spell to allow Cas to enter hell. But this organization has a plan of their own and it may cost Cas his life. Better than the first book, if that's possible. Stephen King - look out!

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

People of the Book

People of the Book is by Geraldine Brooks. Hanna, an Australian rare book expert is hired to restore the Sarajevo Haggadah, an ancient Jewish book found in Bosnia. As she restores the book she discovers an insect's wing, a wine stain, salt crystals, and a white hair. The book contains flashbacks that trace the book's history from 1480 through WWII using the four items found in the book as focal points. Hanna's more modern story is also told in between the flashbacks. A complex story of love, pain, history, and faith.

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


Hannah is by Kathryn Lasky. The first book in the Daughters of the Sea series. Hannah is an orphan in turn-of-the-century Boston. Upon being sent to the Mid West to find a position, she becomes deathly ill and is forced to return to Boston. She seems to have land-sickness instead of sea-sickness. She has this intense need to be near the sea. Hannah finds a position as a maid with a wealthy Boston family. When a painter comes to the house to paint a picture of the family's daughters, Hannah begins to discover a secret about herself. Girls with enjoy this book and look forward to others in the series.

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Deeper is by Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams. The second book in the Tunnels series. Will, Chester, and Cal continue their search for Will's father. The Styx recruit Cal & Will's mother, Sarah, to help them track down her sons, who they have accused of killing her brother Tam. The boys find friends in their search, but put those friends in danger for helping them. Meanwhile, Will's father continues to search for the answers to the mysteries of this strange new world. Another action-packed installment. Boys, especially, will enjoy this series.

Ratings: 8th grade - 9 out of 10 - V (some science fiction violence).

Monday, June 3, 2013


Greenwitch is by Susan Cooper. The third book in the Dark is Rising sequence. Simon, Jane, and Barney return with their great-uncle Merry to the small town in Cornwall where they first found the grail; which has since been stolen from the British Museum and they now have to find it. The must join forces with another strange young boy named Will Stanton. They must fight the forces of the Dark, get another item of power from the mysterious Greenwitch, and recover the lost grail. Another exciting installment in this fascinating series.

Ratings: 6th grade - 9 out of 10.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Dragon & Thief

Dragon & Thief is by Timothy Zahn. The first book in the Dragonback series. A charming science fiction story set in space. A young thief wanders through a wrecked space ship and finds himself the host of a K'da warrior. The K'da are a race of dragon warriors who need a host to survive for more than six hours. Jack finds himself drawn into a battle to clear himself of a crime he didn't commit and save the K'da race from a mysterious conspiracy to destroy them. A story boys will thoroughly enjoy.

Ratings: 6th grade - 8 out of 10.