In 2009, at the age of nineteen, singing star Adele won two Grammy Awards. Her second album son six awards. Readers may be surprised to learn that Ade...moreIn 2009, at the age of nineteen, singing star Adele won two Grammy Awards. Her second album son six awards. Readers may be surprised to learn that Adele’s rise to fame began with three songs on a MySpace page in 2004. Born in a poor area of North London, with a crime rate twice as high as it is for the rest of England, Adele was raised by a single mom who worked many jobs. They moved often and frequently lived in government-paid housing.
Inspired by the Spice Girls, especially Mel B (”Scary Spice”) and blues singers such as Etta James and Peggy Lee, Adele had little stage experience outside the school choir or singing on the playground. Then she won a spot in London’s BRIT school, a performing arts high school. While she was there, Adele began composing original music.
Adele currently struggles with voice ailments, but still recorded the award-winning theme for the James Bond film, “Skyfall.” This skyrocketed her to international fame, just at the same time her voice failed her. Adele continues to produce recordings, but doesn’t tour extensively. Therefore, this slender volume contains a lot of information that will interest her young fans on both sides of the Atlantic.(less)
Harries provides a very thorough overview to selecting, training, and caring for a new dog. Although the cover has appeal to young readers, the dense...moreHarries provides a very thorough overview to selecting, training, and caring for a new dog. Although the cover has appeal to young readers, the dense text is more appropriate for middle or high school students. There is a a lot of information packed into this slender volume.
Readers are discouraged from purchasing puppies from puppy farms and encouraged to consider shelter animals as pets. Training is emphasized and tips for how to achieve a well-behaved pet begin before the dog is brought home and throughout its first years. The author does not shy away from addressing behaviors, from learning to heel to curbing a dog’s inclination to “hump” a human’s leg. Discussion is matter-of-fact and practical.
Readers learn they must puppy-proof their homes, what grooming needs and veterinary care must be provided, and the importance of socialization. This is a go-to book for owners who plan to share many happy years together with their pets.(less)
In the third volume of the Brightstone Saga, the evil wizard Harlano has captured Mikal’s oracle device, a talking head nicknamed “Orry.” Inside Orry...moreIn the third volume of the Brightstone Saga, the evil wizard Harlano has captured Mikal’s oracle device, a talking head nicknamed “Orry.” Inside Orry is a secret that can end all the world’s magic: the location of the Brightstone. Although Mikal is only an apprentice, he will stop at nothing to defeat Harlano; he knows the fate of the world lies with his success. Along with his feisty friend Lyra and the werewolf Killeen, the trio battles pirates, wizards, and dark magic in their quest to rescue Orry and definitively defeat Harlano.
This novel benefits from reading the earlier two volumes: “The Brightworking,” and “The Fortune-Tellers.” Still, readers will soon be cheering on Mikal and his ragtag band of adventurers. The plot is not complicated and the action is fast-paced. This series is a good choice for reluctant readers who are being introduced to the fantasy genre.(less)
Third in the “Lost Voices” trilogy, “The Twice Lost,” is the tale of once-human girls first lost when a trauma transformed them into mermaids, then lo...moreThird in the “Lost Voices” trilogy, “The Twice Lost,” is the tale of once-human girls first lost when a trauma transformed them into mermaids, then lost a second time when they broke mermaid law and were rejected by their tribes. Luce transforms the exiles, living under the docks of San Francisco Bay into an army. As their general, Luce battles the United States government, which is determined to hunt the mermaids to extinction and end the mermaids’ practice of sinking ships and drowning humans that has been going on for centuries.
As Luce struggles to negotiate an amicable compromise, an antidote is developed that will return mermaids to their human forms and to their families. But Luce is torn. Despite her love for her father and her human boyfriend, Dorian, she still has unresolved issues to address, such as her need to get humans to improve their care of the oceans. As the most recognizable mermaid on the planet, will her voice be as powerful as a human? Or as an ocean denizen?
The novel stands on its own. However, most readers will return to read the previous two volumes to better round out the characters and back story.
The fourth mystery in this series takes teen-aged Sherlock Holmes to Scotland to search for his tutor, Amyus Crowe, and Crowe’s daughter Virginia. At...moreThe fourth mystery in this series takes teen-aged Sherlock Holmes to Scotland to search for his tutor, Amyus Crowe, and Crowe’s daughter Virginia. At the same time, Sherlock must deal with Mrs. Eglantine, the unscrupulous housekeeper blackmailing Sherlock’s uncle. The fragmented story lines create a disjointed connection, and culminate in an anti-climatic resolution.
With his friend Matty’s help, Sherlock experiences a harrowing adventure in a charnel house, in order to destroy evidence that Harkness, the region’s secret keeper and extortionist, and Mrs. Eglantine, his uncle’s blackmailing housekeeper, store there. In the process Sherlock destroys all the documents, freeing all Harkness’ victims from his grasp and creating a deadly enemy.
Soon after this, Amyus Crow andhis daughter Virginia go missing. The clues lead to Edinburgh and the Paradol Chamber. Battling people who appear to be un-dead, plus body-snatchers, and kidnappers, Sherlock is grateful to return home...where he is served drugged tea. He wakes up on a boat bound for China and his next adventure (”Snake Bite and Knife’s Edge”).
Sherlock Holmes fans will enjoy the glimpses of future/adult Sherlock Holmes as he masters skills that are later utilized in Doyle’s novels. However, the young Sherlock depicted here is still emotional and somewhat volatile. Perhaps future volumes will reveal how he came to be such a detached man of reason. Meanwhile, fans and newcomers will enjoy Sherlock’s adventures in a story that can stand on its own.(less)
“Zombie Field Day” is the second volume in the “Zombie Zappers” series.
Leo has a half-zombie residing in his bedroom closet. His zombie experiments s...more“Zombie Field Day” is the second volume in the “Zombie Zappers” series.
Leo has a half-zombie residing in his bedroom closet. His zombie experiments seem to be progressing, until students at his Rotfield Middle School become zombies. Leo and his friend Chad race to figure out what’s causing an outbreak of the undead, and what the antidote might be. Their efforts are hindered by the principal, who seems to be an instigator in creating zombies, along with his large model unicorn collection.
Geared to elementary school students, the short chapters and fast-paced zombie action are sure to appeal to readers looking for a quick, but entertaining, story. (less)