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The Secret Scripture
Whew, Irish literature is always so painful to read. Brutality, cruelty, pathos, religion - set against a backdrop of famine and war. The smooth-as-fi...more
Dec 2008
Dec 04, 2008
The Spell Book of Listen Taylor
When I first picked up The Spell Book of Listen Taylor by Jaclyn Moriarty, it seemed to be quite obviously YA, published as it is by the Arthur A. Lev...more
Aug 2008
Aug 25, 2008
Certain Girls (Cannie Shapiro #2)
"Good in Bed" was such a toothsome piece of chick lit that I was very much looking forward to reading more about Cannie. However, Certain Girls is qui...more
Jul 30, 2008
Aug 02, 2008
The End of Everything
Told from the point of view of 13-year-old Lizzie, this is about the apparent abduction of her friend Evie.

The story takes place in the 1980s, and th...more
Oct 2011
Oct 29, 2011
The Museum of Mary Child
This is one of those books that is impossible to categorize. Although it at first seems meant for children, as Heloise is clearly a child, some of the...more
Feb 2010
Feb 05, 2010
Chains (Seeds of America, #1)
Freedom is snatched away from 13-year-old Isabel and her 5-year-old sister Ruth before they have a chance to experience it – after their gentle owner...more
Oct 2008
Oct 03, 2008
The Apothecary (The Apothecary, #1)
It's 1952 and 14-year-old Janie's parents have just been blacklisted, which means a move for the whole family from Los Angeles to London. Janie experi...more
Oct 2011
Oct 29, 2011
Rapunzel's Revenge (Rapunzel's Revenge, #1)
Rapunzel doesn’t know there’s anything wrong with her life – a gorgeous villa, plenty of food, servants and guards, a powerful mother named Mother Got...more
Dec 2008
Jan 01, 2009
Shooting the Moon
If Jamie had the good luck to be an 18-year-old boy instead of a 12-year-old girl, she’d enlist in the army so fast, it’d make your head spin. But she...more
Nov 2008
Nov 29, 2008
The Maze of Bones  (The 39 Clues, #1)
My review copy of The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan (Scholastic, 2008) came with 6 game cards embedded in the cover. After musing about how this would...more
Aug 2008
Aug 14, 2008
The True Meaning of Smekday
This book is actually a very very long essay written by Middle School student Gratuity Tucci for a contest, the winning essay of which will be placed...more
Mar 2008
Feb 01, 2008
The Farwalker’s Quest
In Ariel's world, there is no technology at all - not even a simple machine like a bike or a wheelchair. Oh, once there were marvelous gadgets - but t...more
Aug 2009
Aug 23, 2009
Pathfinder (Pathfinder, #1)
**spoiler alert** This is the sort of science fiction that will satisfy fantasy readers who particularly crave books that take place in pre-industrial...more
Mar 2011
Mar 26, 2011
The Hotel Under the Sand
The calm and even tone of the narration makes this story feel timeless - although the reader knows that Emma is a fairly modern girl and that Winston...more
not set
Nov 29, 2009
One Crazy Summer (Gaither Sisters, #1)
There's something so refreshing to me about books in which the parents aren't perfect, earnest, cookie-cutter, or generic. Often in children's books,...more
May 2010
Sep 24, 2010
Faith, Hope, and Ivy June

This tale of two 7th-grade Kentucky girls is a bit like the city mouse and the country mouse. The country mouse, Ivy June, comes from one of the poore...more
Mar 2009
Mar 13, 2009
The Dragon's Pearl
This book starts out promisingly with a swashbuckling practice sword fight between Marco and Amelio and then a quick and smooth transition from Venice...more
not set
Nov 29, 2009
Leepike Ridge
This is a very different sort of adventure story. A 12-year-old boy named Tom, disgruntled at his mother's relationship with a man he doesn't like, he...more
Apr 2008
Apr 17, 2008
The Brothers Story
Although the jacket art depicts a lad who looks like a 70s California Boy, this novel about a teen who leaves his "simple" twin brother behind in thei...more
Feb 2010
Mar 09, 2010
The Porcupine Year

Louise Erdrich has always struck me as being a particularly warm and accessible writer, for whom humor is never far away and who can write about tragi...more
Jan 2009
Jan 17, 2009
West of the Moon
From my review in the April 2014 issue of SLJ
At its most basic, this is a tale about a girl escaping a poverty-stricken life in mid-19th century Norw...more
Feb 2014
Jul 01, 2014
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
I was ecstatic when I heard that Gaiman had a new book for adults coming out, as I pictured a hefty, intricate tome along the lines of Anansi Boys. So...more
Sep 2013
Sep 05, 2013
Darkmans (Thames Gateway, #3)
This was an intriguing but ultimately baffling book. A small group of disparate but interconnected people in a small town in England all seem, to vary...more
Feb 2009
Feb 10, 2009
The Key to Rondo (Rondo, #1)
At first glance, this sounds like dozens (and probably hundreds) of other fantasy novels for children. Two mismatched kids figure out a way into a mag...more
Jan 2009
Jan 05, 2009
My One Hundred Adventures (My One Hundred Adventures #1)
Life is messy and unpredictable. Folks don’t always act the way they should – even grown-ups! Even parents! Unpleasant feelings tend to well up and pe...more
Dec 2008
Dec 05, 2008
The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1)
Definitely an "if you loved Harry Potter..." sort of book, with mages sharing the world with non-mages, unbeknownst to the latter. It takes place in t...more
Mar 2014
Mar 12, 2014
Savvy (Savvy, #1)
Mississippi (but call her Mibs) Beaumont is about to turn 13, a momentous occasion in her family; on their 13th birthdays, family members come into th...more
Oct 2008
Oct 18, 2008
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
As in her previous books, Lockhart brings us a heroine who has a very unique and particular way of looking at her life. Frankie has an analytic and ac...more
Aug 2008
Aug 20, 2008
Forever Rose (Casson Family, #5)
Thank goodness for British children’s books! There is something about a book in which characters say “shan’t” and use mysterious objects called sponge...more
Jul 2008
Jul 21, 2008
Little Brother (Little Brother, #1)
This takes place in the very near future and could conceivably happen now - all the technology is in place and so this quite a plausible tale. Even be...more
Oct 2008
Oct 06, 2008
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