Thursday, August 16, 2007

Electric Girl

by Michael Brennan

"Virginia seems like a typical teen at the outset of this black-and-white graphic novel, the second compilation of the adventures of the Electric Girl. Light-haired and spunky, with a faithful dog and family members that love her, she seems average until--ZAP!--her "shocking" secrets are revealed. It seems she can release bursts of electricity at will. That would be a wonderful trick, were it not for pesky Oogleeoog, a troublesome gremlin invisible to everyone but Virginia. His only calling in the universe seems to be getting Virginia into crazy situations--for example, babysitting the neighborhood psycho child. Readers will giggle as Oogleeoog creates chaos and commiserate with Virginia as she scrambles through the wake of his mischief. The simple, good-natured text and lively comic book-style illustrations make this a quick, fun read, even for reluctant readers. "

Kelly Halls Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Paperback edition

City of Light, City of Dark

by Avi
"Sarah has been told falsely that her mother died. Carlos can't understand why an old blind man is so interested in a subway token he's found. Together, Sarah and Carlos discover the truth: The evil Mr. Underton was blinded by Sarah's mother eleven years ago when he tried to steal the token that's the source of power for New York City. If the token isn't delivered to safekeeping each December 21st, the whole city will freeze. "

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

"The brilliant, breathtaking conclusion to J.K. Rowling's spellbinding series is not for the faint of heart--such revelations, battles, and betrayals await in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that no fan will make it to the end unscathed. Luckily, Rowling has prepped loyal readers for the end of her series by doling out increasingly dark and dangerous tales of magic and mystery, shot through with lessons about honor and contempt, love and loss, and right and wrong. Fear not, you will find no spoilers in our review--to tell the plot would ruin the journey, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is an odyssey the likes of which Rowling's fans have not yet seen, and are not likely to forget. But we would be remiss if we did not offer one small suggestion before you embark on your final adventure with Harry--bring plenty of tissues.
The heart of Book 7 is a hero's mission--not just in Harry's quest for the Horcruxes, but in his journey from boy to man--and Harry faces more danger than that found in all six books combined, from the direct threat of the Death Eaters and you-know-who, to the subtle perils of losing faith in himself. Attentive readers would do well to remember Dumbledore's warning about making the choice between "what is right and what is easy," and know that Rowling applies the same difficult principle to the conclusion of her series. While fans will find the answers to hotly speculated questions about Dumbledore, Snape, and you-know-who, it is a testament to Rowling's skill as a storyteller that even the most astute and careful reader will be taken by surprise.

A spectacular finish to a phenomenal series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a bittersweet read for fans. The journey is hard, filled with events both tragic and triumphant, the battlefield littered with the bodies of the dearest and despised, but the final chapter is as brilliant and blinding as a phoenix's flame, and fans and skeptics alike will emerge from the confines of the story with full but heavy hearts, giddy and grateful for the experience. -- Daphne Durham

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Forged in the Fire

by Ann Turnbull

"London, 1665. Cast out by his father for becoming a Quaker, the newly independent Will travels from the countryside to London to earn a living. He and his beloved Susanna wait patiently to be reunited and, at last, married. But when Will is thrown into jail for his beliefs, the pair’s future becomes uncertain. With the plague spreading closer and the scent of smoke on the wind, can their love still bring them together despite the most terrifying twists of fate? Will and Susanna’s timeless romance continues in this powerful sequel to No Shame, No Fear.

Star-crossed young lovers triumph over religious intolerance, social disgrace and epic historical events in this thrilling sequel."

from the publisher's website

No Shame, No Fear

by Ann Turnbull

"'Don't cry. We won't be parted. I promise.'

It is 1662, and England is reeling from the aftereffects of civil war, with its clashes of faith and culture. Susanna, a young Quaker girl, leaves her family to become a servant in town. Seventeen-year-old Will returns home after completing his studies to begin an apprenticeship arranged by his wealthy father. Susanna and Will meet and fall in love, but can their bond survive -- no matter what? Theirs is a story that speaks across the centuries, telling of love and the fight to stay true to what is most important, in spite of parents, society, and even the law.

A young Quaker girl and the son of a wealthy merchant face intolerance and persecution in this gripping historical novel that evokes the passion and idealism of young love."

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Blind Faith

by Ellen Wittlinger
"After Liz Scattergood's grandmother, Bunny, dies, Liz's mother spirals into a deep depression. She barely gets out of bed, let alone does any work in her pottery studio like she used to. Then Liz's mom starts attending a spiritualist church, where she believes she can communicate with Bunny through a medium. Liz thinks it's weird, but she agrees to go along -- maybe it's a way for her and her mother to bond. But for Liz's atheist dad, the spiritualist church has the opposite effect -- it drives him away from her mom and their family.

Without anyone to talk to, Liz turns to her new neighbor, Nathan. He's dealing with his own mother's terminal cancer, and together, Liz and Nathan help each other cope in the wake of loss. In this moving novel, acclaimed author Ellen Wittlinger explores how a loved one's death impacts those who are left behind. "

Escape! The story of the great Houdini

by Sid Fleischman

"Who was this man who could walk through brick walls and, with a snap of his fingers, vanish elephants? In these pages you will meet the astonishing Houdini—magician, ghost chaser, daredevil, pioneer aviator, and king of escape artists. No jail cell or straitjacket could hold him! He shucked off handcuffs as easily as gloves.

In this fresh, witty biography of the most famous bamboozler since Merlin, Sid Fleischman, a former professional magician, enriches his warm homage with insider information and unmaskings. Did Houdini really pick the jailhouse lock to let a fellow circus performer escape? Were his secrets really buried with him? Was he a bum magician, as some rivals claimed? How did he manage to be born in two cities, in two countries, on two continents at the same instant?
Here are the stories of how a knockabout kid named Ehrich Weiss, the son of an impoverished rabbi, presto-changoed himself into the legendary Harry Houdini. Here, too, are rare photographs never before seen by the general reader! "


by Terry Pratchett

"At 9, Tiffany Aching defeated the cruel Queen of Fairyland.

At 11, she battled an ancient body-stealing evil.

At 13, Tiffany faces a new challenge: a boy. And boys can be a bit of a problem when you're thirteen. . . .

But the Wintersmith isn't exactly a boy. He is Winter itself—snow, gales, icicles—all of it. When he has a crush on Tiffany, he may make her roses out of ice, but his nature is blizzards and avalanches. And he wants Tiffany to stay in his gleaming, frozen world. Forever.
Tiffany will need all her cunning to make it to Spring. She'll also need her friends, from junior witches to the legendary Granny Weatherwax. They—

Crivens! Tiffany will need the Wee Free Men too! She'll have the help of the bravest, toughest, smelliest pictsies ever to be banished from Fairyland—whether she wants it or not.
It's going to be a cold, cold season, because if Tiffany doesn't survive until Spring—

—Spring won't come. "

From the DiscWorld series

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie

by Jordan Sonnenblick

"Thirteen-year-old Steven has a totally normal life: he plays drums in the All-Star Jazz band, has a crush on the hottest girl in the school, and is constantly annoyed by his five-year-old brother, Jeffrey. But when Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia, Steven's world is turned upside down. He is forced to deal with his brother's illness and his parents' attempts to keep the family in one piece. Salted with humor and peppered with devastating realities, Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie is a heart warming journey through a year in the life of a family in crisis."

Firebirds rising: an anthology of original science fiction and fantasy

edited by Sharyn November

"Charles de Lint. Alan Dean Foster. Diana Wynne Jones. Kelly Link. Patricia A. McKillip. Tamora Pierce. These are just a few of the acclaimed and bestselling authors who have contributed original stories to Firebirds Rising, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to the award-winning anthology Firebirds.
This collection takes readers from deep space to Faerie to just around the corner. It is full of magic, humor, adventure, and—best of all—the unexpected. The one thing readers can count on is marvelous writing. Firebirds Rising proves once again that Firebird is more than an imprint—it is a gathering place for writers and readers of speculative fiction from teenage to adult, from the United States to Europe, Asia, and beyond."

Monday, June 4, 2007

Pants on Fire

by Meg Cabot
"Liar, liar…

Katie Ellison is not a liar. It's just that telling the truth is so . . . tricky. She knows she shouldn't be making out with a drama club hottie behind her football-player boyfriend's back. She should probably admit that she can't stand eating quahogs (clams), especially since she's running for Quahog Princess in her hometown's annual Quahog Festival. And it would be a relief to finally tell someone what really happened the night Tommy Sullivan is a freak was spray-painted on the new wall outside the junior high school gymnasium—in neon orange, which still hasn't been sandblasted off. After all, everyone knows that's what drove Tommy out of town four years ago.

But now Tommy Sullivan has come back. Katie is sure he's out for revenge, and she'll do anything to hang on to her perfect (if slightly dishonest) existence. Even if it means telling more lies than ever. Even if, now that Tommy's around, she's actually—no lie— having the time of her life."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Amazing Grace

by Megan Shull

"Grace Kincaid, tennis superstar (beautiful, teenaged, and the BEST in the world), calls her mother on the eve of the U.S. Open and says three little words. Her mother flies to her daughter’s side, cancels all further engagements, endorsements, press conferences, tournaments, and gives Grace an entirely new identity, which includes a make-under, a former FBI agent as a mentor and bodyguard, and a new life in Medicine Hat, Alaska -- population 813 (including one very cute boy!).

How one teenager goes from everybody’s idea of perfect to her own idea of an imperfect (but wonderful) self is the subject taken on by Megan Shull, a sparkling new voice in teen fiction."

From the publisher's website

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Killer's Tears

by Anne-Laure Bondoux

"In a desolate landscape in Southern Chile, a boy, his parents’ murderer, and a wealthy stranger from the city struggle to confront their pasts and ultimately experience the healing power of love and forgiveness.

'It’s not easy to be alive. . . . It’s complicated, twisted and kinked, just like the dead trees of the Pampas.' (p. 100) No one knows better than Paolo Poloverdo how difficult living can be. After Angel Allegria appears at his family farm and murders his parents, the young boy finds himself in the care of both his parents’ killer and Luis, a wealthy gentleman from the city trying to escape his own inner demons. With two unlikely surrogate fathers, Paolo learns that love, beauty, and ultimately, forgiveness can heal the most griefstricken heart, and that wisdom can be found even in the worst of circumstances. And for Angel and Luis, the love and trust found in the heart of an innocent boy offers them a chance to redeem what is left of the lives they so desperately want to escape."

From the publisher's website

Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space

by Philip Reeve

"Arthur (Art) Mumby and his irritating sister Myrtle live with their father Revd Marmaduke Mumby in the huge and rambling house, Larklight, travelling through space on a remote orbit far beyond the moon. One ordinary sort of morning they receive a correspondence informing them that a gentleman is on his way to visit, a Mr Webster. Visitors to Larklight are rare if not unique, and a frenzy of preparation ensues. But it is the wrong sort of preparation, as they discover when their guest arrives, and a Dreadful and Terrifying (and marvellous) adventure begins. It takes them to the furthest reaches of known space, where they must battle the evil First Ones in a desperate attempt to save each other - and the universe."

From the publisher's website

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

by Joseph J. Ellis
"An illuminating study of the intertwined lives of the founders of the American republic—John Adams, Aaron Burr, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington.

During the 1790s, which Ellis calls the most decisive decade in our nation's history, the greatest statesmen of their generation—and perhaps any—came together to define the new republic and direct its course for the coming centuries. Ellis focuses on six discrete moments that exemplify the most crucial issues facing the fragile new nation: Burr and Hamilton's deadly duel, and what may have really happened; Hamilton, Jefferson, and Madison's secret dinner, during which the seat of the permanent capital was determined in exchange for passage of Hamilton's financial plan; Franklin's petition to end the "peculiar institution" of slavery—his last public act—and Madison's efforts to quash it; Washington's precedent-setting Farewell Address, announcing his retirement from public office and offering his country some final advice; Adams's difficult term as Washington's successor and his alleged scheme to pass the presidency on to his son; and finally, Adams and Jefferson's renewed correspondence at the end of their lives, in which they compared their different views of the Revolution and its legacy."

Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for History

Fahrenheit 451

by Ray Bradbury

"Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires...

The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning ... along with the houses in which they were hidden.

Guy Montag enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames... never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid.

Then he met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think... and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do!"

excerpt from the book

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wolf on the Fold

by Judith Clarke

"Fourteen-year-old Kenny's dad has just died, and now Kenny must become the breadwinner.
'Be careful going through the flatlands,' his mother warns him. 'Don't stop for anyone.' But Kenny does stop, and what happens next will define the man he becomes. These stories, which track the lives of Kenny, his family, and his friends over decades, are about the place where adolescence collides with adulthood. The second story involves Kenny's two daughters, who find they must rely on each other despite their differences. The third story is a snapshot of a school bully with a secret; years later, two of her victims meet her in a shop and are forced to reevaluate their feelings about her."

From the publisher; found on

Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam

by Walter Dean Myers

A young American soldier waits for his enemy, rifle in hand, finger on the trigger. He is afraid to move and yet afraid not to move. Gunshots crackle in the still air. The soldier fires blindly into the distant trees at an unseen enemy. He crouches and waits -- heart pounding, tense and trembling, biting back tears. When will it all be over?

Walter Dean Myers joined the army on his seventeeth birthday, at the onset of American involvement in Vietnam, but it was the death of his brother in 1968 that forever changed his mind about war.

In a gripping and powerful story-poem, the award-winning author takes readers into the heart and mind of a young soldier in an alien land who comes face-to-face with the enemy. Strikingly illustrated with evocative and emotionally wrenching collages by Caldecott Honor artist Ann Grifalconi, this unforgettable portrait captures one American G.L's haunting experience. "

The Children of Hurin

by J. R. R. Tolkien (as edited by Christopher Tolkien)

"Turin is born into a Middle-earth crushed by the recent victory of the Dark Lord, Morgoth, and his monstrous army. The greatest warriors among Elves and Men have perished and Turin’s father, Hurin, has been captured. For his defiance, Hurin’s entire family is cursed by Morgoth to be brought down into darkness and despair.

But, like his father, Turin refuses to be cowed by Morgoth and as he grows so does the legend of the deadly hero. In a land overrun with marauding Orcs, Turin gathers to him a band of outlaws and gradually they begin to turn the tide in the war for supremacy of Middle-earth.

Then Morgoth unleashes his greatest weapon: Glaurung, Mightiest of Dragons, and he proves an unstoppable foe. As the Dragon carves a fiery swathe through Middle-earth there remains only one man who can slay him, but to do that he will first have to confront his destiny.

The Children of Hurin was one of three Great Tales begun by J.R.R. Tolkien as he recovered from the horrors of the First World War, and he worked on refining and improving it for the rest of his life. This tragic tale of adventure, heroism, suffering and love stands as one of the finest expressions of his skills as a storyteller and the narrative is as powerful as anything contained within The Lord of the Rings. Painstakingly reconstructed by Christopher Tolkien from his father’s manuscripts, it can finally be enjoyed as the author originally intended."

From the publisher’s website

To Kill A Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

"At the age of eight, Scout Finch is an entrenched free-thinker. She can accept her father's warning that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird, because mockingbirds harm no one and give great pleasure. The benefits said to be gained from going to school and keeping her temper elude her.

The place of this enchanting, intensely moving story is Maycomb, Alabama. The time is the Depression, but Scout and her brother, Jem, are seldom depressed. They have appalling gifts for entertaining themselves—appalling, that is, to almost everyone except their wise lawyer father, Atticus.

Atticus is a man of unfaltering good will and humor, and partly because of this, the children become involved in some disturbing adult mysteries: fascinating Boo Radley, who never leaves his house; the terrible temper of Mrs. Dubose down the street; the fine distinctions that make the Finch family "quality"; the forces that cause the people of Maycomb to show compassion in one crisis and unreasoning cruelty in another.

Also because Atticus is what he is, and because he lives where he does, he and his children are plunged into a conflict that indelibly marks their lives—and gives Scout some basis for thinking she knows just about as much about the world as she needs to."

From the publisher, found on

Winner of the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Fiction.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

by Ishmael Beah

"A gripping story of a child’s journey through hell and back.

There may be as many as 300,000 child soldiers, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s, in more than fifty conflicts around the world. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. He is one of the first to tell his story in his own words.

In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now twenty-six years old, tells a riveting story. At the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. Eventually released by the army and sent to a UNICEF rehabilitation center, he struggled to regain his humanity and to reenter the world of civilians, who viewed him with fear and suspicion. This is, at last, a story of redemption and hope."

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Dairy Queen

by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

"When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Welcome to the summer that D.J. Schwenk of Red Bend, Wisconsin, learns to talk, and ends up having an awful lot of stuff to say. In Dairy Queen, an extraordinary debut novel full of humor, football, and dairy farming, Catherine Gilbert Murdock introduces one of the most likable young adult heroines to come along in quite some time.

Grandpa Schwenk was a dairy farmer, and D.J.'s ex-football coach father was one, too, until he messed up his hip moving the manure spreader. With her dad injured, her mom always at work, and her football star brothers off at college and not speaking to the rest of the family, it falls to D.J. to run the struggling farm as best she can, including the five a.m. milking of all thirty-two cows by hand.

If that wasn't enough to deal with, the Huge Family Fight over Christmas may mean she'll never see her brothers again. Dutiful D.J. takes it all in stride — until she decides to try out for her high school football team, her best friend, Amber, starts acting strange, and she falls in love with the opposing team's quarterback, whom she just happens to be training.

Murdock's care and craft come through in every aspect of this book: the spot-on dialogue that is laugh-out-loud funny and always rings true; the stress and hard work of life on a dairy farm; the tough training, body aches, and anguish of high school football; and perhaps most important, the humor, heartache, and messiness of learning to open up to family and friends. "

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Septimus Heap: Physick

by Angie Sage

"When Silas Heap UnSeals a forgotten room in the Palace, he releases the ghost of Queen Etheldredda who is as awful in death as she was in life. Her diabolical plan to give herself everlasting life requires Jenna’s compliance, the help of a famous Alchemist and Physician named Marcellus Pye, and forcing Septimus back in Time. Can Septimus devise a way to get back home, or will he be a prisoner in Time forever?"

(This is book three in the series.)

From the publisher’s website

Check out the Septimus Heap website!

Septimus Heap: Flyte

by Angie Sage

"It's been a year since Septimus Heap discovered his real family and true calling to be a wizard. As Apprentice to ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand, he is learning the fine arts of Conjurations, Charms, and other Magyk. But there is something sinister at work. Why is the Darke Magyk still lingering?"

(This is book two in the series.)

From the publisher’s website

Check out the
Septimus Heap website!

Septimus Heap: Magyk

by Angie Sage

"Septimus Heap, the seventh son of the seventh son, disappears the night he is born. That same night, the baby's father, Silas Heap, comes across an abandoned child in the snow—a newborn girl with violet eyes. But who is this mysterious baby girl, and what really happened to their beloved son Septimus?"

(This is book one in the series.)

Check out the Septimus Heap website!

Aliens Are Coming! The True Account of the 1938 War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast

by Meghan McCarthy

"It was an ordinary night in October of 1938 until a news bulletin interrupted the dance music on CBS radio–aliens were invading the United States!

Meghan McCarthy’s hilarious Aliens Are Coming! tells the true story of the Halloween radio prank that duped much of the country into believing that Martians had invaded. The book uses excerpts from the actual War of the Worlds radio broadcast and includes information about the importance of radios in the 1930s (before the time of televisions and computers) as well as facts about Orson Welles and H. G. Wells, author of the novel on which the broadcast was based."

From the publisher's website

Monday, May 7, 2007

Rat Life, a mystery

by Tedd Arnold

"The dead body found in the Chemanga River has nothing to do with Todd. He’s been busy making beds at the family motel and writing alien stories to entertain his friends. Sure, a murder is big news, but what would really interest him? A paying job and a story line free of UFOs and poop jokes. And then he meets Rat.

Just a little older than Todd, Rat’s already been to Vietnam and back. He’s got a tattoo and a messed-up family life. And when he offers Todd a gig at the drive-in theater, Todd takes it. After all, it pays actual money. But hanging out with Rat leads to a host of strange experiences and perplexing questions. More and more, that corpse from the river is on Todd’s mind, and no matter how he shifts the pieces around, Rat is always part of the puzzle."

From the publisher's website

Friday, May 4, 2007

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

"The Book Thief is an extraordinary novel about the redemptive power of words and reading. A life-changing tale of the cruel twists of fate and the coincidences on which all our lives hinge, this is also a joyous look at the power of words and the ability of books to nourish the soul."

Mythbusters: The Explosive Truth Behind 30 of the Most Perplexing Urban Legends of All Time

by Keith and Kent Zimmerman

"Could you kill someone by dropping a penny from a skyscraper? Can an unsuspecting scuba diver be sucked out of the water by a firefighting helicopter and get spit out in the middle of a forest fire? Can you save yourself in a plummeting elevator by jumping just before it hits bottom?

Special effects experts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, hosts of the Discovery Channel's top-rated MythBusters, use modern-day extreme science to show you what's real and what's fiction. With photographs, illustrations, blueprints, and exclusive interviews to document the mythbusting process, MythBusters: The Explosive Truth Behind 30 of the Most Perplexing Urban Legends of All Time will examine dozens of urban legends, from exploding toilets to being buried alive -- these guys have tested them all. Eye-opening, jaw-dropping, and even laugh-inducing, this book will delight armchair scientists, curious readers, and fans of the show alike."

From the publisher’s website

Counting on Grace

by Elizabeth Winthrop

"1910. Pownal, Vermont. At 12, Grace and her best friend Arthur must leave school and go to work as a “doffers” on their mothers’ looms in the mill. Grace’s mother is the best worker, fast and powerful, and Grace desperately wants to help her. But she’s left handed and doffing is a right-handed job. Grace’s every mistake costs her mother, and the family. She only feels capable on Sundays, when she and Arthur receive special lessons from their teacher. Together they write a secret letter to the Child Labor Board about underage children working in Pownal. A few weeks later a man with a camera shows up. It is the famous reformer Lewis Hine, undercover, collecting evidence for the Child Labor Board. Grace’s brief acquaintance with Hine and the photos he takes of her are a gift that changes her sense of herself, her future, and her family’s future. "

The Rules of Survival

by Nancy Werlin

”Living with an unpredictable, psychotic mother has taught Matthew how to survive. Constantly on alert, he and his sister, Callie, devotedly shelter their younger step-sister, Emmy, from their mother's abuse and worry about staying safe. Matt insists that "fear isn't actually a bad thing . . . . It warns you to pay attention, because you're in danger. It tells you to do something, to act, to save yourself," but his terror is palpable in this haunting, powerful portrayal of domestic dysfunction, which is written in retrospect as a letter from Matt to Emmy. Unfortunately, the adults in the children's life, a distant father and an apathetic aunt, don't help, though Matt sees a spark of hope in Murdoch, who dates his mother, Nikki, and then leaves when he becomes another target for her escalating rage. It is Murdoch, with a violent past of his own, who is willing to risk getting involved and eventually becomes the change agent that the children so desperately need. The author of Double Helix (2003), Werlin reinforces her reputation as a master of the YA thriller, pulling off a brilliant departure in this dark but hopeful tale, with pacing and suspense guaranteed to leave readers breathlessly turning the pages.”

From; description by Cindy Dobrez © ALA


by Polly Shulman

"Julie’s best friend, Ashleigh, is an enthusiast. Julie never knows what new obsession will catch Ashleigh’s fancy, but she does know she’s likely to be drawn into the madness.

Ashleigh’s latest craze is Julie’s own passion, Pride and Prejudice. But Ashleigh can’t just appreciate it as a great read; she insists on emulating the novel’s heroines, in speech, dress, and the most important element of all—finding True Love. And so Julie finds herself with Ashleigh, dressed in vintage frocks, sneaking into a dance at the local all-boys prep school, where they discover some likely candidates.The problem with Ashleigh’s craze this time, however, is that there is only one Mr. Darcy. So when the girls get a part in the boys’ school musical, what follows is naturally equal parts comedy and romance, as a series of misinterpreted—and missed—signals, dating mishaps, and awkward incidents make Julie wonder if she has the heart for True Love.

Chew On This: Everything You Don't Want To Know About Fast Food

by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson

"Including passages from Schlosser's best-selling adult book Fast Food Nation (2001) and other writings, the authors dish up a somewhat-less-stomach-churning look at the fast-food industry's growth, practices, and effects on public health. Folding in original interviews, recent statistics, and published research, along with such spicy taglines as "The Golden Arches are now more widely recognized than the Christian cross," they trace the hamburger's early years and the evolution of the McDonald's Corporation's revolutionary Speedee Service System. They follow with vivid tours through feedlots, abattoirs, and a chicken-processing plant to explore how fast food has achieved spectacular international success, particularly among an increasingly obese youth market, then round off with glimpses of Alice Waters' Edible Schoolyard initiative and other alternatives less likely to lead to gastric bypass surgery. Readers may not lose their appetites for McFood from this compelling study, but they will definitely come away less eager to get a McJob and more aware of the diet's attendant McMedical problems. Extensive endnotes, occasional photos."

From – written by John Peters © ALA

House of the Red Fish

by Graham Salisbury

"One year after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 13-year-old Tomi Nakaji is determined to raise his father's fishing boat, which was sunk by the army in the wake of the attack. A sequel to Under the Blood-Red Sun."

From the American Library Association website


by Dana Reinhardt

"There was a man. He had a knife. He attacked us down by the river.

It was just a harmless little lie.

Anna, Emma and Mariah concoct a story about why they're late getting home one night—a story that will replace their parents' anger with concern. They just have to stand by it. No matter what. Suddenly the police are involved, and the town demands that someone be punished. And then there is the man who is arrested and accused of a crime that never happened. "

Remember: the Journey to School Integration

by Toni Morrison

"This book is about you. Even though the main event in the story took place many years ago, what happened before it and after is now part of all our lives. Because remembering is the mind's first step toward understanding, this book is designed to take you on a journey through a time in American life when there was as much hate as there was love; as much anger as there was hope; as many heroes as cowards. As with any journey, there is often a narrow path to walk before you can see the wide road ahead. And sometimes there is a closed gate between the path and the road."

From the publisher's website


by Mike Lupica

"Twelve-year-old Michael Arroyo lives in the shadows of Yankee Stadium, home of his heroes, but a place that might as well be on a different continent since he can’t afford to see the inside. He also lives in the shadows of his Bronx neighborhood, hiding from the bill collectors and the officials who would separate him from his seventeen-year-old brother if they knew the two boys were living on their own. Baseball is Michael’s only salvation, along with his dream of playing in the Little League World Series—until a rival accuses Michael of being older than the league limit. With no parents and a birth certificate that is stuck in his native Cuba, the shadows in Michael’s life grow darker. But that is when heroes emerge, and for Michael, heroes don’t come any bigger than the Yankees."


by Lois Lowry

"Where do dreams come from? What stealthy nighttime messengers are the guardians of our most deeply hidden hopes and our half-forgotten fears? Drawing on her rich imagination, two-time Newbery winner Lois Lowry confronts these questions and explores the conflicts between the gentle bits and pieces of the past that come to life in dream, and the darker horrors that find their form in nightmare. In this haunting novel that tiptoes between reality and imagination, two people-a lonely, sensitive woman and a damaged, angry boy-face their own histories and discover what they can be to one another. Their strength comes from a tiny, caring creature they will never see."

Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue

by Julius Lester

"This book contains Lester’s masterful fictionalized account of the largest slave auction in U.S. history, held in 1859 in Savannah, Ga. In a powerfully dramatic format, the voices of enslaved Africans and their masters move between monologues and conversations."

From the American Library Association website

Thursday, May 3, 2007


by Carl Hiaasen

"Roy Eberhardt is accustomed to being the new kid in school, so when his father’s job moves the family to Coconut Cove, Florida, Roy enters Trace Middle School with the full knowledge of what it feels like to have no real friends. What he doesn’t expect is an immediate encounter with the school bully. Dana Matherson is everyone’s fear, but at the very moment he mashes Roy’s face against the school-bus window, Roy notices a barefoot boy running away from the school bus and across a field. His curiosity about the boy leads him to Beatrice, the boy’s stepsister, and Beatrice leads him to the burrowing owls that are about to become homeless because a Mother Paula’s All-American Pancake House is about to be built on the land where the owls live. The three unlikely allies take on the construction guys, the corporate PR honchos, and the police–all for the sake of the owls."

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Hattie Big Sky

by Kirby Larson

"Alone in the world, teen-aged Hattie is driven to prove up on her uncle's homesteading claim. For years, sixteen-year-old Hattie's been shuttled between relatives. Tired of being Hattie Here-and-There, she courageously leaves Iowa to prove up on her late uncle's homestead claim near Vida, Montana. With a stubborn stick-to-itiveness, Hattie faces frost, drought and blizzards. Despite many hardships, Hattie forges ahead, sharing her adventures with her friends--especially Charlie, fighting in France--through letters and articles for her hometown paper. Her backbreaking quest for a home is lightened by her neighbors, the Muellers. But she feels threatened by pressure to be a "Loyal" American, forbidding friendships with folks of German descent. Despite everything, Hattie's determined to stay until a tragedy causes her to discover the true meaning of home."

Sand Dollar Summer

by Kimberly K. Jones

"Twelve-year-old Lise watches her safe world fall apart when her strong, self-reliant mom is injured in a car accident. To recuperate, Mom takes Lise and her bright little brother to live in a rattletrap house on the beach in Maine for the summer. Although her mother grew up there, this is Lise's first experience with the ocean. She's terrified by what may be lurking in the cold depths and confused by the ways that Maine is changing her mother. As secrets from the past start spilling out, even the solid earth may not keep Lise safe anymore. Lise will have to learn to go with the flow -- or risk falling apart -- in this tender, funny, and wise novel...the story of one family's unforgettable summer. "

From the publisher's website

Accidents of Nature

by Harriet McBryde Johnson

"Seventeen-year-old Jean has cerebral palsy and gets around in a wheelchair, but she’s always believed she’s just the same as everyone else. She goes to normal school and has normal friends. She’s never really known another disabled person before she arrives at Camp Courage. But there Jean meets Sara, who welcomes her to “Crip Camp” and nicknames her Spazzo. Sara has radical theories about how people fit into society. She’s full of rage and revolution against pitying insults and the lack of respect for people with disabilities. As Jean joins a community unlike any she has ever imagined, she comes to question her old beliefs and look at the world in a new light. The camp session is only ten days long, but that may be all it takes to change a life forever. "

Beating Heart: A Ghost Story

by A.M. Jenkins

"This house is mine and I am its beating heart.

She is a momentary chill in warm sunlight, a shadow glimpsed from the corner of an eye, and a memory of secret kisses and hidden passion. He is seventeen years old, waiting for the start of his senior year, and ever since his family moved into this big old house -- abandoned for decades -- he has dreamt of her. Hot, wordless dreams that turn more intense and darker each night. Ghost and boy fascinate each other -- until her memories and his desire collide in a moment that changes them both forever."

From the publisher's website

Inside Delta Force: The Story of America’s Elite Counterterrorist Unit

by Eric L. Haney

"They are the U.S. Army’s most elite, top-secret strike force. But you won’t hear about their heroics on the news, and no one–even their families–can know who they are. First Special Forces Operational Detachment-D–Delta Force, America’s supersecret counterterrorist unit. On paper they do not exist, but without them, our lives wouldn’t be the same. From learning to open padlocks with a soda can to rescuing hijacked airplanes, these men are masters of espionage and warfare. They are the anonymous heroes who protect us everyday from the threats we’ll never know existed. "

From the publisher's website

Odd Man Out

by Sarah Ellis

"Kip is spending the summer with his grandmother and his five eccentric girl cousins, including Emily, who thinks she's a dog. Gran's house is about to be demolished, so anything goes, whether it's drawing maps on the wall or sawing off the banister for a smoother ride. When Kip bashes through an old closet, he discovers the binder his late father kept as a teenager. He's bewildered by what he finds: puzzling lists, hair samples, old newspaper clippings and business cards -- all accompanying a confidential report written by a mysterious young operative who is carrying out a secret plan to infect teenagers with a cell-altering virus. "

From the publisher's web site

The Last Dragon

by Silvana De Mari

"In a postapocalyptic world, shrouded in darkness and continually lashed by rain, a young elf named Yorsh struggles to survive. When his village is destroyed by the torrential waters, Yorsh finds himself suddenly orphaned and alone -- the earth’s last elf. But soon Yorsh discovers he is part of a powerful prophecy: When the last dragon and the last elf break the circle, the past and the future will meet, and the sun of a new summer will shine in the sky.

Now Yorsh must decipher the prophecy and find the last dragon -- it is the only way to end the rains and to save the world from the Dark Age that has begun. Full of great tenderness and humor, this magical journey tells the story of a world now plagued by intolerance and wickedness, and the elf and the dragon who will fight for its redemption."

From the publisher's web site

Monday, April 30, 2007

Ask Me No Questions

by Marina Budhos

"Nadira and her family are illegal aliens, fleeing to the Canadian border - running from the country they thought would one day be their home. For years, they have lived on expired visas in New York City, hoping they can realize their dream of becoming legal citizens of the United States. But after 9/11, everything changes. Suddenly, being Muslim means being dangerous. A suspected terrorist. And when Nadira's father is arrested and detained at the border, she and her sister, Aisha are sent back to Queens, and told to carry on, as if everything is the same.

But of course nothing is the same. Nadira and Aisha live in fear they'll have to return to a Bangladesh they hardly know. Aisha, once the academic star, falls apart. Now it's up to Nadira to find a way out.

Ask Me No Questions is a searing portrait of modern America in the days of terrorism, orange alerts, and the Patriot Act. It is a story of two sisters, one of whom must find strength to save her family. "

From the author's website

Jimi & Me

by Jaime Adoff

"Barely a month has passed, and Keith is being forced to move from big-city Brooklyn, New York, to small-town Hollow Falls, Ohio. Keith enters the eighth grade at his new school, not surprised to find he’s the only one with an Afro, a wardrobe straight out of the ’60s, and a zealous appreciation of Jimi Hendrix, the greatest guitarist who ever lived. Struggling to start over, Keith finds comfort in Jimi’s music, wisdom in his lyrics, and a connection to the man himself—Jimi was a left-hander who loved to write music and poetry, just like Keith. Through the storm of his tragic loss, Keith begins to see the few rays of happiness in this tiny new town--especially when the beautiful Veronica, long blond hair falling everywhere, looks his way.

Soon, however, Keith discovers there may be a journey even more painful than coming to peace with his father’s death—coming to peace with his father’s life. As powerful secrets from his dad’s past come to light, the man Keith once worshipped suddenly becomes the man he hardly knew. Everything is going to be different now."

From the author's website

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bad Kitty

by Michele Jaffe

"Meet Jasmine, forensic supersleuth and unwitting victim of a naughty feline.

All Jasmine really wants is to enjoy her family vacation in Las Vegas. And avoid her evil cousin Alyson and Alyson's best fiend, Veronique. And show her suspicious dad that she can be a Model Daughter. And maybe meet the hot guy she's been eyeing from across the pool. It that too much to ask?

Apparently, yes. One moment she's an innocent bylounger, the next the central figure in a Las Vegas-sized mystery. Fortunately, Jasmine is both a forensics enthusiast and possessed of some very, well, special friends. Polly, Tom, and Roxy crash the vacation, BeDazzle Jasmine's wardrobe, and find themselves key players in the most outrageous adventure in a town known for outrageous adventures.

All because of a very bad kitty."

From the Author's Web Site