Friday, June 23, 2017
This is such a relevant, realistic and necessary story right now. When 16 year old Starr leaves a party with her friend, Khalil, he is pulled over by a policeman and is shot. She is the only witness to the murder. Should she testify? If she does, will it make any difference? This is an incredible story and will be out as a movie in the future. I highly recommend it.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
This book is a compilation of short stories set mostly in Israel, with some in Canada and India. Most of the characters are Israelis of of Yemeni descent, which is the author's background. It gives a good picture of what it is like to live in Israel, be in the Israeli military and more.
This book is written for children ages 8 and up. It is illustrated and has little quizzes that have questions to help guide the reader through different scenarios. It is set in Canada and refers to Canadian laws in a few places. I think it is a good, clear explanatory book about gender for tweens and teens.
This story is told mostly by 12 year old Ethan, who is fascinated by science and is bullied at school because of that. His mother, Claire also tells parts of the story and his father, Mark, who Ethan had never met because Mark left when Ethan was 4 months old, also tells part of the story. I enjoyed the science in the book. When Ethan finds out that his parents have been in contact with one another he is determined to meet his father. The story was sadder than I thought it would be. It is well written and captivating and I highly recommend it.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
This book is part of a series. I have not read the other books. In this book, police detective Louise Rick is the new commander of the Missing Persons Department in a town in Denmark. On her first day on the job, a corpse is found in the woods. Louise and her new partner, Eik, learn that the deceased woman had been in a home for retarded people and that she and her twin sister had been declared dead many years ago. Since Lisemette just died, they realize that her twin sister may still be alive. As they investigate the case, they become romantically involved and we learn that there are links to Louise's deceased boyfriend from over 20 years ago. I think that readers of the series will enjoy this book.
Friday, June 16, 2017
I listened to the audio version of this book and it was very well done! The story is compelling and realistic. Kamran is a senior in high school and plans to go to West Point and then into the army like his older brother Darius did. After Darius is accused of being a terrorist and is seen on film with terrorists, Kamran and his parents are kidnapped by the US government and taken to a secret facility and interrogated - for months. Kamran is sure that Darius is not a terrorist and is being held captive against his will. He sees clues in the films that Darius shares that no one but Kamran would understand. Can he convince the government that his brother is not a terrorist and can he help stop the terrorist plot before it is too late? This book won the Texas Lone Star Book award and it is totally excellent!
Thursday, June 15, 2017
This second book in the trilogy follows Em, a friend of Phoebe who was the main character in the first book. Em is in theater and has entered a speech contest in order to win a college scholarship. Her parents want her to go to the college where her mother works, and since her father just got laid off from his job, that is her only current option. She, however wants to go to a college with a good theater department, and will only be able to do that with a scholarship. She wins the contest and gets to spend a week in Boston with the other winners practicing for the final round. Unfortunately, the male winner from her state is Kris, a stuck up boy from her school whom she despises. There is friendship, lots of drama and romance in this fun to read teen romance novel.
Monday, June 12, 2017
This is a cute, fun to read story about Liv, who begins 6th grade in a new school with a dress code that all girls must wear skirts. She doesn't want to wear a skirt because she doesn't feel like she is a girl, but she hasn't told her moms that or anyone at all. As she navigates the school year, she makes friends with a boy named Jacob and together they fight for the right for girls to wear pants to school and learn to accept themselves as they are. The book addresses bullying, having two moms, transgender and other issues in a well written way. I think that kids will enjoy this book.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
This is not the Disney Aladdin story. In this version, the jinni, Zhara, is a beautiful and dangerous woman jinni. There is action, romance and magic in this fun story! I listened to most of it in the audio version and the woman who reads the audio version has a lovely voice and I totally enjoyed listening to her. This book won the Texas Lone Star award for 2017 and is an excellent book.
Friday, June 9, 2017
In this creepy gothic ghost story/mystery, Eleanor has been drawn to Cliffside, an artist's retreat that used to be a TB sanatorium. She is given the job of director and on her first day there, the current director commits suicide. When the fellows come for the next session, she learns that they all have some sort of connection to the sanatorium, which Eleanor feels may be haunted. There is mystery, romance, and a lot of creepiness in this fun to read novel.
Monday, June 5, 2017
This is a totally fun book to read! When prankster senior citizen Rosie submits the names of her five best friends who live with her at a Catholic retirement home to a mail order bride ad as a joke, she has no idea what they are in for. The 6 women, along with a younger woman who worked for the retirement home, are abducted by aliens and three years later, three of the older women return, looking 30 years younger and very pregnant. The resulting story is just hilarious although it does give a rather sad, but true view of humanity. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it!
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
So sad, and so necessary. I think that all high school students and their parents and teachers and school counselors and administrators should read this as well as the parents of middle school students. The narrator of the story only calls herself "we" because she is just part of the group and in the end, we are all responsible. The narrator describes how a beautiful new girl named Carolyn arrives in town and. because she is beautiful and new, she is accepted into the school and is nominated for the homecoming court. Carolyn doesn't understand that the various cliques at the school are separate and that she can't just go from one to another. She begin's dating the most handsome boy at school, Shane, which makes his now ex-girlfriend hate Carolyn. She joins the swim team where they see scars on her arms. Eventually, Carolyn is bullied and a video of her making out with Shane is posted online. The book shows the attitudes of the students about everything that goes down. "We" didn't really participate in any bullying of Carolyn. Sure, there was that one time, but they changed what we said or perhaps someone else spread that rumor. The book shows how we are all accountable for how we treat others and that being a bystander is also being guilty. We could have done something different if we had known what was going to happen. Perhaps we could have changed things, but it is too late now. The book is just heartbreaking.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
This is a light, cute, fun teen summer romance novel with a few important issues added in. Jane is not interested in college though her parents are pushing her to make that decision. She takes a summer job as a babysitter and the girls' older half brother, Teo, is the romantic interest, although not at first. He has step-dad issues and wants to find his real dad, but his mother has not ever cooperated with him about that. I think teens who like romance will enjoy this novel.
This is an interesting first book in a new series. Julia is not a witch, although her mother was drowned as a witch when Julia was 7 years old. However, Julia can hide from other people's sight. She works in the seedier side of town and her current job is to be a maid in a house as she searches for something there, she is not really sure what. There is mystery, action, and magic in this intriguing book!
Friday, May 26, 2017
In America's Shadow (Carter G Woodson Award Book (Awards)) by Kimberly Komatsu, Kaleigh Komatsu, Mitchell T. Maki,
Sad, haunting photographs illustrate this story of sadness and hope of how the Japanese Americans were forced to live in concentration camps in the deserts during World War II. Their young men were still drafted and fought and died for our country, but the families were imprisoned in concentration camps in substandard conditions.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
This is such a sad story. And what is even sadder is that real things like this are happening to people right now in many places in the world. Subhi was born in an Australian refugee center where people who have fled from atrocities in their home countries are treated like prisoners. While his story is fiction, the conditions in the Australian refugee detention center are horrible and the country has made it illegal for people to report about what goes on in them. Refugees are treated horribly there and in other places in the world, with many countries, including the US, either holding them in prisons or detention centers or refusing to allow them into the country so they die in boats at sea. The book is suitable for grades 5 and up. I think that it is an important issue and this book helps bring it to light.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
I couldn't put this mystery thriller down! Leah Stevens, a journalist who was forced to leave her job because she was accused of unethical behavior, has moved to a small town with her old friend, Emmy, and become a high school teacher. When the body of a woman who looks a lot like Leah is found nearby, and Emmy is missing, Leah is determined to find her roommate and find out what happened and what is going on. There are plot twists and many mysteries in this fun to read story.
Several stories are told in this book as Louise searches for her mother, Nora, or her mother's body after the tsunami in Thailand. A journal belonging to a woman named Claire is found in Louise's mother's bag and so, we follow Claire's story and try to learn how it she is connected to Nora.
Well, this is an interesting concept. Ren died at age 17 and now she is living on in her memorial bench by the Thames river in London. Ren is able to communicate with Lionel, the memorial bench closest to her. Lionel was an old man and he tries to share his wisdom with Ren who relives her relationship with her boyfriend, Gabe, every night. She also relives her death, but she can never remember it when she "awakens" in the mornings. When she finds out that Gabe has been charged with her death, she is determined to remember how she died because she is certain that Gabe did not kill her. Lionel has told Ren that she can communicate with the living if she tries hard enough and her goal is to convince someone that Gabe is innocent so that he won't be convicted of her murder.
Monday, May 22, 2017
In this second book of the Trials of Apollo, Apollo is a mortal teenage boy named Lester who is now working with Leo and Calypso and some others to try to save the oracles. There is action, adventure, friendship and breaking of stereotypes in this fun to read book!
Monday, May 15, 2017
Irene tells the story of the LaBaron polygamous cult in Mexico in the 1950s to the 1980s. While Joel LeBaron was the self-appointed prophet and leader of the group, his brother Ervil wanted to be the leader and he gained his own group, eventually becoming known as the Mormon Charles Manson because he got several of his wives and others to kill people who refused to follow his twisted teachings and leadership. Irene was married to the third LaBaron brother, Verlen, one of his 10 wives. She illustrates how truly insane Ervil was, but I don't think that she seemed to understand how insane the whole group and it's teachings were. The book is quite interesting.
Monday, May 8, 2017
I chose to read this book because the author will be speaking at the library where I work next week. I am very glad that I chose to read it! The main character, Darcy, is a librarian in Nantucket, which sounds like a lovely place based on the descriptions in the book. Darcy has inherited her grandmother's home and is living there when surprisingly, her ex-husband and his wife whom he left Darcy for, show up at the rental house next door. Darcy has a handsome new boyfriend and while she tries to avoid relationships with the summer people, she winds up befriending her ex-husband's step daughter and an elderly woman named Mimi who is renting the house on the other side of Darcy's home. Mimi is staying there with her handsome grandson who is quite interested in Darcy. The story and characters are very interesting and the book is a fun read! I highly recommend it.
I listened to the audio version of this Texas Bluebonnet Award winning book. It is a touching story and I think that kids will enjoy it. Eleven year old Jeremiah is a heart transplant recipient and while he is doing well, he is unable to play sports. An avid baseball fan, he has decided to be a coach and has the opportunity to coach a middle school baseball team in the new town that he and his adoptive father move to. Even though I am not a sports fan, I still enjoyed this book and it helped me to better appreciate the role of sports in the lives of the people who do enjoy them. The book is inspirational and a fun read. I will definitely recommend this book to others.
Friday, May 5, 2017
Rainbow can shape trees using her hands, but her stepfather is very much against anything spiritual or psychic. When a tragic accident occurs, the choices that she makes determine the course of her life. Can she live the way she has chosen to? With tree magic, parallel universes and romance, this story is a fascinating tale.
I read this book all in one day and stayed up too late at night to finish it because I could not put it down. Ruth grew up in a polygamous colony, the 39th of her father's 42 children. Her father had been the leader of his group, but was murdered by his brother when Ruth was an infant. Her mother had remarried within the group and Ruth grew up in their group's colony in Mexico in abject poverty. Her mother took Ruth and her siblings back and forth to the US to collect welfare and they lived in the US for a couple of years at one point, after her stepfather beat her mother and she left. Her mother returned to the abusive husband, who, we learn, abused many of his children as well, including Ruth. The story is heartbreaking in parts, and shows Ruth's strength and resilience as she was able to overcome the abuse and tragedies in her life and save herself and her siblings from her abusive step-father.
Monday, May 1, 2017
Cassandra, Ezekiel and Stone, guardians for the Library that houses magical items, set out on a search for the missing parts of the Mother Goose spells after a series of odd events. There is lots of action and adventure as they battle Mother Goose, the Three Blind Mice and others in a attempt to get the spell book and stop Humpty Dumpty from being put back together again because that would be the end of the world as we know it. The book is full of action and a fun read!
Barbara tells her story of how after being abused at home, she ran away repeatedly and wound up becoming a victim of human trafficking at age 13. She tells how she became addicted to heroin, but managed to eventually get clean from drugs, get out of prostitution, get an education, and help others who are also in the same trouble. I think this is an important story and I highly recommend it.
Friday, April 28, 2017
The lives of several individuals are drawn together as each one loses something important to them. Mrs. Feathersby loses the front wall of her house, Robert loses his job - and his workplace and all the people that he used to work with, Marcus loses the keys off of his piano, Delia loses her sense of direction and Cassie loses her girlfriend. Jake has lost his mother and now he is finding lost items, but losing his father. Interesting story.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
In this book, Kendra uses her magic mirror to search for her lost love James and she shares tales of how she participated in modernish versions of 4 different fairy tales - Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and The Ugly Duckling. The book is fun to read filled with humor, love and excitement in the retold fairy tales.
Monday, April 24, 2017
This story is beautifully written, but heartbreakingly sad. Jules is 11 years old and her sister Sylvie is 12. The story deals with the death of their mother, the death of their friend Sam's older brother Elk's best friend, a soldier who died in Afghanistan, and the disappearance of Sylvie. Jules and Sylvie often wonder what happens when people die? Do they come back as something else? Maybe you turn into wind? Maybe you turn into stars? Maybe...
Friday, April 21, 2017
Wow! I really enjoyed this book! Family secrets are revealed and Marin learns that many things are not what she thought as she meets a half sister and grandmother that she never knew existed while going through issues in her own love life and we see a variety of characters struggle and grow through love, life, death and renewal.
Monday, April 17, 2017
This is a totally fun to read modern Cindarellaish retelling. In this story, Chris is the Cinderella stand-in, living with his not really wicked step-mother and his step-brother and sister. When they all go to a fancy ball for the handsome and eligible bachelor, JJ Kennerly, part of a wealthy political family who his sister, Kimberly hopes to catch the attention of and marry for his money, Chris is left at home. That is, until drag queen Coco Chanel Jones shows up and takes Chris to the ball where he sees the handsome JJ and it is love at first sight for both of them. The story is funny and heart-warming and overall, a fun read.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
I loved this third book in the Kendra Chronicles. It can be read as a stand alone book, but the first two are fabulous and I highly recommend them as well. In this modern retelling of a slightly twisted Snow White story, Violet is an ugly duckling who transforms herself into a total knock out when she finds out she is a witch. Kendra helps her with this. Although Violet has always been in love with Greg, he, alas, only has eyes for Jennifer, a mean girl who bullied Violet mercilessly. Years later, Violet becomes the step mother to Celine, a fair skinned, dark haired beauty, Greg and Jennifer's daughter. Celine is befriended by Goose, a little person, ok, a dwarf, but that term is not politically correct. He is funny and wonderful and totally in love with Celine. The story is a totally fun read and Alex Flinn is one of my favorite authors!
Thursday, April 13, 2017
If you are looking for magical realism for kids, this book is perfect! Such a sweet, encouraging, endearing, wonderful story! I listened to the audio book and I love the reader's voice and singing. Emma lives with her brother and grandmother above The Boneyard Cafe where her brother bakes and Granny Blue makes Boneyard Brew, a special blend of hot chocolate. Emma misses her mother, who passed away several years earlier, and she looks forward to having her Destiny Dream, which all of the women in her family have. Along with her best friend, Cody Belle, and Earl Chance, who survived a tornado, but hasn't spoken since then, she has many adventures while trying to find a treasure to save her cafe. The book is filled with magic and flowers and music and love.
I have had quite a few requests for this book at the library. One little boy very excitedly told me that the book is about zombies! I read the book and can see its appeal to elementary school and middle school age boys. Thirteen year old Jack has survived the monster apocalypse and now his town is filled with monsters and zombies, but Jack is lonely and he is searching for his best friend, Quint and he wants to save the girl he likes, June. Together with Dirk, a bully, who used to be his enemy, and a giant dogish monster who becomes Jack's pet and steed, the kids have adventures and try to have fun, even during a monster apocalypse. I am sure that this series will be quite popular.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
This is such an intriguing story! When he was 20 years old, Christopher Knight drove into the woods and never returned to society until he was arrested for stealing, 27 years later. The book tells Knight's story as well as stories of other hermits and some history about people who have been hermits. Knight lived in an area of Maine that was very difficult to get to, but was surrounded by cabins and a camp and he lived for 27 years by stealing from the cabins and the camp. How he survived, why he chose to do that, and what it was like to live such a solitary life are fascinating topics.
The author tells the story of her life as a psychic, but the story is as much about her strange, sad family life as it is about her psychic abilities and readings. All in all, her story is rather depressing. Her mother never showed her any affection and Suzan's love life and personal life was a mess. The psychic readings scattered throughout make it more interesting.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
So, Sunshine is back home and now it is up to her to save the world. There is a nasty demon who wants to use her to end the world, but with the help of her boyfriend, Nolan and her father, Aiden along with others, she is determined to do whatever it takes to save everyone, even if it means that she must make the ultimate sacrifice.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
In this YA dystopianish novel, the Nazis had won the war and the goal of Aryan purity has been pursued with "imperfect" people killed or living on the outskirts of society in hiding as Renegades. Ellyssa and her siblings have been genetically engineered to be perfect Aryans and soldiers with the ability to wipe out the rest of the imperfect society and begin anew. Ellyssa can read minds and her siblings have other abilities that their "father" wishes to hone and reproduce in others. When a Renegade sends a message to her mind, she flees the facility where she was raised and is found by a group of Renegades who take her in. Rein is a handsome young man who she falls in love with, having just learned how to experience emotions. The book ends in a cliffhanger and there should be more in the series.
Monday, April 3, 2017
In this forth book in the series, twelve year old Celie tries to help the castle to find the escaped evil wizard Arkwright as her sister Lilah prepares to visit Grath with her fiance, Lulath. There are griffins hatching and mysterious noises and parts of a ship as the castle shifts and the magic continues.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Having returned to earth and a sense of normalcy, Zeke suddenly finds out that there is an alien intelligence that has taken up residence in his brain, who he names Smelly since his entire name is too long and complex. Zeke is finding earth rather boring and he misses his friends. He does make a friend at school, Alice, who is a UFO buff who recognizes Zeke and wants to find out if aliens are real. Once again, Zeke is sent into space on a dangerous mission and he is reunited with his friends. There is action, danger, and all sorts of fun sci-fi references in this second book in the series.
Saturday, April 1, 2017
This is such a totally fun, spoofy type of sci fi book for middle grade readers! When the POTUS comes to see 12 year old Zeke, and asks him to go on a secret space mission, Zeke is sure it is like Star Wars, Star Trek, Ender's Game, The Hitchhiker's Guide and more. So many fun sci fi references! As Zeke and 3 other young people are sent into space as a delegation from earth, he learns that while the other three were chosen because of their intelligence and skills, he is the random member of the team and they chose to leave him out of things to boost their points. After saving their ship when it is attacked and being branded a war criminal, he is befriended by two other Randoms and it is up to them to save the day.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
When Emma's mom has her girlfriend move in, the girlfriend's daughter, Quinn moves in too. Quinn is a mean girl, a beautiful, mean, cheerleader, queen bee and bully whose parents have no control over her at all. Quinn delights in ruining people's lives including Emma's. When Emma finally stands up to her, Quinn moves back in with her father, for a while, then she is back. This book explores the high school stereotypes in a realistic way and is a very good read. It makes you think.
What a fun book! Twelve year old Pete's life has not been the same since his father died and his grandfather began developing Alzheimer's. Now, his mother is having to sell things so they can get by. As he and his twin brother, Henry, are cleaning out the attic, they find an old sea trunk containing a ship in a bottle. When they take the ship to their grandfather in the old folks home, the adventure begins as they travel through time and fight pirates!
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
I enjoyed this second book in the Blackthorn Key series. The black plague has come to London and while the other apothecaries have left town, Christopher is left behind. Because he is an apprentice without a master, he is unable to sell anything and he is barely scraping by. There are frauds selling fake plague remedies and a mysterious "prophet" who is predicting who the plague's next victims will be. Then, an apothecary comes to town with a cure for the plague, but things are not all as they seem and Christopher and his friend Tom need to solve the mystery before it is too late!
Monday, March 27, 2017
This is a fun to read historical fiction novel for middle grade students set in London in 1665. Fourteen year old Christopher is an apprentice to an apothecary. He is very smart and is learning the chemistry of the time, and how to decipher codes. He enjoys his job until his master is brutally murdered and leaves clues for Christopher to solve the crime. This is the first book in the series and I look forward to reading the next one.
This is a captivating story about the sister of a girl who was abducted at age 6 and returned 13 years later. Faith tells the story of how her life had been changed by her sister Laurel's abduction and how it is changed once again when Laurel is returned. There is mystery, intrigue and plot twists in this sad story.
Friday, March 24, 2017
In this second book of the series, Jessamy continues to try to secretly care for her family while participating in the game of Fives. There is more action and adventure, romance and politics. While she really only cares about saving her family, Jes learns that the political situation that she has been thrown into cannot be ignored. I think fans of Hunger Games and Divergent will enjoy this series as well.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Totally fun to read young adult fantasy novel! Jessamy and her 3 sisters have lived sheltered lives as Patrons with their lovely mother, who is a commoner, and their father who is a Patron war general. While her father is away at war, Jess has often sneaked out and learned to be a competitor in the game of Fives, an athletic event in five sections rather like the American Ninja Warrior course. Then her father comes home unexpectedly, and Jess is recognized competing in her first Fives game. There is action and romance as she is thrust into a new life and must rescue her mother and sisters with the help of a handsome prince.