Monday, January 27, 2014

The Frog Prince and Other Poems

The Frog Prince and Other Poems: Fairy Tales for Grown-ups is by Jane Hayman. A short, but entertaining, book of fairy tales written in a poetry format for grown-ups. 

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

Monday, January 20, 2014

Attack of the Fiend

Attack of the Fiend is by Joseph Delaney. The fourth book in The Last Apprentice series. The Spook, Tom, and Alice must head to Pendle to sort out the three witch covens there before they can join together to raise "the fiend". Before they even arrive in Pendle, Tom discovers that the Malkin clan has kidnapped his brother, his sister-in-law, and their young daughter; destroyed the farm house; and stolen the trunks Tom's mother had left for him. Can Tom and Alice rescue his family and get back his trunks? What is in the trunks that the witches want so badly? What is the secret Tom's mother kept from him? This story is non-stop adventure from beginning to end. Fans of this series will not be able to wait for the next book.

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

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Hidden is by P.C. & Kristin Cast. The tenth book in the House of Night series. Zoey and her friends are celebrating that Neferet's evil has finally been revealed and the wicked High Priestess has been banished from the House of Night; but their joy is short-lived when Neferet kidnaps Zoey's grandma. They will have to depend on Kalona and Aurox for help to rescue her, but are either of them trustworthy. In addition, Zoey's circle is shaken when Erin takes up with Dallas. Fans of this series will await the next installment with baited breath.

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

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Rebel Angels

Rebel Angels is by Libba Bray. The second book in the Gemma Doyle series. Gemma and her friends are headed to London for Christmas vacation. Gemma is looking forward to parties and gowns, and time with her father. The girls can't resist the lure of the realms though, there they relish the use of magic and the appearance of Pippa who appears to be uncorrupted by failing to cross over. Things in the realms however, are not as they appear. Kartik returns to tell Gemma that she must find the temple and bind the magic or beings from the realms will be able to affect the mortal world and those who have died will not be able to cross over. Gemma, Felicity, Ann, and Pippa set out to find the temple before Circe does and bind the magic. Gemma must also deal with her father's problems and a new found love interest. Everything and everyone is not as it appears however, and she must determine who is friend and who is foe. Fans of the first book will not be disappointed by the second.

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

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Stories of the Ancient Greeks

Stories of the Ancient Greeks is by Charles D. Shaw. Originally copyrighted in 1903, this classic set of Greek myths and true Greek history is a must read for all students of Western civilization, which is so heavily indebted to Greek culture. The book contains 32 famous myths and follows with 32 historically accurate tales of ancient Greece and those who lived there. A great classic to get a young person acquainted with the wonders and joys of Greek mythology.

Ratings: 6th grade - 9 out of 10.


Ripper is by Stefan Petrucha. Carver Young is an orphan who wants to be a detective. His dream seems to be coming true when he is adopted by Albert Hawking, a former leader of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. He hopes he will be able to find his real father who disappeared when he was born leaving only a mysterious letter. Then the murders begin, as Carver and the Pinkertons began to hunt for the killer, it becomes clear to Carver that the killer might be his father - and his father may be Jack the Ripper come to New York! A quite historically accurate trip into historical fiction. If you are familiar with Ripperology you will enjoy this exciting tale - if you're not you will want to be soon.

Ratings: 8th grade - 9 out of 10 - V (Violence).

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart is by Chinua Achebe. The first book in the African trilogy. This amazing work of African fiction is set in an Ibo village in Nigeria. It is the story of Okonkwo who falls from grace with his village when he accidentally kills another villager. He must struggle with his seven year banishment and his own family troubles. Then comes the cultural clash when the first European missionaries arrive. These two stories ancient and modern intertwine to paint a vivid picture of African life both before and after the arrival of Europeans.

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

The Comet's Curse

The Comet's Curse is by Dom Testa. The first book of the Galahad books. A comet passing through Earth's atmosphere causes a deadly disease that is wiping out everyone over the age of eighteen. A group of scientists decide the only hope of mankind is to settle another world. The governments of the world agree and resources are pooled to build a spaceship to house 251 teenagers to settle a planet in another solar system. Tri is the head of Galahad's council of leaders. She is already struggling with the loss of her beloved father, having to leave Earth, and take responsibility for 250 other kids; now she has a saboteur to worry about. Is there someone hiding out on the Galahad? Does this person really mean to sabotage their ship and kill them all? Aided by the other council members and Roc, the ship's computer, Tri must solve this mystery and quickly. A promising start to an exciting new series.

Ratings: 6th grade - 9 out of 10.

Fear the Fantastic

Fear the Fantastic is by K.A. Applegate. This is book six in the Everworld series. Told from Christopher's point of view, the four travelers find themselves in Hetwan territory. They are captured and find they must rescue Dionysus and use his assistance to escape to Olympus. Fans of this series will enjoy this installment.

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