Felix is an orphan in 1942 Poland. At least he things he's an orphan, but sometimes he fantasizes about being the only child in the orphanage with liv...moreFelix is an orphan in 1942 Poland. At least he things he's an orphan, but sometimes he fantasizes about being the only child in the orphanage with living parents who've only gone away for a while. Felix's storytelling and fantasizing dampens the horrors of Nazi occupied Poland, but slowly the evil that surrounds him and his friends begins to eat away at his richly imagined tales. (less)
Jessie Elliot is spending her last summer as a child. When school starts, she'll be in high school...with all the drug addicts, smokers, pierced monst...moreJessie Elliot is spending her last summer as a child. When school starts, she'll be in high school...with all the drug addicts, smokers, pierced monstrosities, and her arch nemesis. This is tough for Jessie to accept since she is afraid of EVERYTHING, but she is determined to make her last childhood summer memorable. Cute cartoon drawings accompany Jessie's humorous summer activities and thoughts about her community. Suitable for middle grades and up. Warning: Jessie is obsessed with getting breasts, wonders if French kissing is like having slugs in your mouth, and does use the phrase "pissed off" once. (less)
It's a good thing ALL fifteen-year-olds don't have have stun guns, bullet proof vest, or know how to take down a grown man in a blink! These girls com...moreIt's a good thing ALL fifteen-year-olds don't have have stun guns, bullet proof vest, or know how to take down a grown man in a blink! These girls come fully loaded. After all, they are attending a posh private school for SPYS! Girls only, folks, but when the daughter of the head mistress falls for a town boy, there will be no stopping the exploits! A great read for girls ages 12 and up who want a touch of romance, a ton of girl power, and a little fun. (less)
Magic Sucks! Just ask Clay. He used to love magic and the tricks his big brother Max-Ernest taught him. Now, he hates magic and considers it a "bad wo...moreMagic Sucks! Just ask Clay. He used to love magic and the tricks his big brother Max-Ernest taught him. Now, he hates magic and considers it a "bad word". To make matters worse, Clay seems to be becoming a juvenile delinquent at the young age of twelve. He is accused of writing "Magic Sucks!" in huge, graffiti style letters on the wall at school. Everyone knows he loves graffiti, so he must be guilty, right? When Clay's teacher offers him a chance to go to a private camp for troubled kids or be expelled from school, missing his seventh grade year, what can he do? He heads for a mysterious camp on an island with an active volcano. There, Clay discovers a great deal about himself and begins to untangle a strange mystery. Pseudonymous Bosch's Bad Magic is full of wonder, mystery, fantastical characters, and bizarre strange situations that students in upper elementary and middle grades will love. My twelve-year-old and I read it aloud each night, and she would barely let me put it down. First in what will be an intriguing series and an excellent addition to any middle school library.(less)
Don't you hate it when a dead body turns up at the vicar's house? Especially after the vicar wishes him dead? No worries! Mrs. Marple is on the case....moreDon't you hate it when a dead body turns up at the vicar's house? Especially after the vicar wishes him dead? No worries! Mrs. Marple is on the case. Love Agatha!(less)
If it can happen, it does happen in Unlucky 13. Lindsey and Rich are on the trail of a madman using "belly bombs" to blow up fast food lovers. Yuki ge...moreIf it can happen, it does happen in Unlucky 13. Lindsey and Rich are on the trail of a madman using "belly bombs" to blow up fast food lovers. Yuki gets great news that becomes near tragedy. And Cindy is hot on the trail of a psychopath. Just another day in the lives of the Women's Murder Club.(less)
As Eve tries to catch a killer who captures his victims' deaths on film, Roarke finds out the truth about his mother and her remaining family in Dubli...moreAs Eve tries to catch a killer who captures his victims' deaths on film, Roarke finds out the truth about his mother and her remaining family in Dublin. Eve has to come to terms with her role of "wife", figure out what has Roarke out of sorts, deal with an ailing Summerset, and still catch a killer. It amazes me that she doesn't injure more people, given her level of stress.(less)
It seems that Stone's progeny has inherited his father's ability to fall into manure and sprout pristine, rare roses. Peter Barrington and his friends...moreIt seems that Stone's progeny has inherited his father's ability to fall into manure and sprout pristine, rare roses. Peter Barrington and his friends have graduated college (early of course) and are on a car trip from New York to California, where they will begin work at Centurion Studios as young film makers. On the way, they are pursued by members of the Russian mob, who want to kill baby Barrington in the hopes of making his dear old dad sell interest in The Arrington, a posh California hotel. Good thing when Peter's Porsche gets a flat, the guy changing his tire is none other than Teddy Fay, former CIA agent and killing machine. When the Russians track Peter and his friends to the middle of nowhere, they too stumble across Terry, who fortunately speaks Russian and hears them talking about Peter's impending doom... Get the picture? I did have a good time reading this Barrington fairy tale, even with all the disgustingly good fortune, because I really like Teddy Fay!(less)
The occupants of Portland Row are at it again in the latest installment of Lockwood & Co. This time, Lockwood, George, and Lucy are hired to atten...moreThe occupants of Portland Row are at it again in the latest installment of Lockwood & Co. This time, Lockwood, George, and Lucy are hired to attend the excavation of an evil Victorian doctor who attempted to communicate with the dead through a relic called the bone-glass. This deadly Source is supposedly made up of the bones of several dead and gazing into it is supposed to give you insights beyond your wildest imagination. Too bad everyone who even glances at the thing ends up dead! To top it off, our favorite narrator and heroine Lucy is finding that her gifts are increasing. Lucy can communicate with the spirits she and her partners deal with. Often she can hear them speaking, feel what they experienced, and find out more about how they died by touching objects they have touched. One such spirit is getting pretty mouthy. Of course, if your skull was kept in a jar of ectoplasm, you'd be cranky too. Jonathan Stroud is one of my favorite authors. He has a knack for creating witty characters with just the right combination of sarcasm and spunk that you can't help but want to read more about them. This is a definite thumbs up and will be an excellent addition to my middle school library. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for sharing an advanced egalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Now, I have to wait on the third installment. Sigh...
Kirstin Cronn-Mills, author of the award-winning YA novel Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, provides insight into the world of transgender people tod...moreKirstin Cronn-Mills, author of the award-winning YA novel Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, provides insight into the world of transgender people today and throughout history. This nonfiction book provides a peek into the lives of several transgender Americans, how they discovered their trans* identities, the social aspects of living their trans* lives, and the support systems they have found through family and friends. It also discusses what it means to be transgender, defines various trans* identities, the history of transgender living throughout the world, notable transgender people who have played roles in shaping legislation for fair treatment of transgender people, and health issues many transgender people face. The book features a timeline, a "Who's Who" of famous transgender people, a glossary, and selected bibliography. Cronn-Mills does a good job of providing both transgender people and non-transgender people with a background of this often confusing and difficult to discuss issue. I think this book will give people struggling with identity issues a tool to help them have discussions with family and friends and also gives educators, librarians, social workers, medical staff, and others working with people struggling with these issues a point of reference for assisting them in getting the support and care they need to decide who they are in a very rigidly defined world of male and female. The book makes it clear that these issues are complex and people struggling with issues of identity need help and support, good health care and fair treatment, but don't always get any of these things in their journey to discover themselves. I have a high school librarian friend who would label this book as "a book to be stolen" because it is a book that young people struggling with identity issues might feel uncomfortable checking out, but is definitely a book that someone might "steal" to read and discover they aren't as alien as they might think they are. (less)
Jess lives with her parents, brother, and grandmother on a farm in 15th century Scotland. Two boys from neighboring towns have disappeared, exactly on...moreJess lives with her parents, brother, and grandmother on a farm in 15th century Scotland. Two boys from neighboring towns have disappeared, exactly one year apart, without a trace. Some say they drowned in the local pond while others suspect rogue wolves. Jess dismisses the idea of drowning since no bodies were discovered and both boys were strong swimmers. Wolves? Maybe. The king has decreed hunts to cut down their numbers. After a few weeks, neither boy is spoken of again, except in their own homes, and life moves on in Jess' community until one day Jess witnesses her best friend taken away by a black horse with bright blue eyes...taken into the pond, disappearing without a trace. No one believes Jess when she tells the story of the horse, no one but her grandmother, who finally tells her the story of Kelpies or water horses that can become human and steal people away. Jess cannot live with herself and asks her grandmother if her dear friend can be saved. She discovers a way to trap the Kelpie and make him return her friend; but when she finds herself in the Kelpie's world, speaking face to face to the one called Finn, she becomes confused about her own feelings. She is attracted to the Kelpie, but also has feelings for her friend's cousin Magnus. When Jess returns her friend to her family, unscathed but with no memory of being taken, she creates more confusion and strife. Her friend has lost her confidence, Magnus suspects there is something Jess isn't telling him, and even her parents are mistrustful of her strange stories and behavior. Then the wolves come and bring the humans of Jess' world and the Kelpies of Finn's world into an uncomfortable and dangerous alliance that will either save or destroy them all. This is an exciting novel full of adventure and a touch of magic, with a strong female heroine who is caught in an innocent love triangle of sorts. Jess' battle with her family's beliefs, the world she knows and the newly discovered Kelpie world, and her feelings about two very different boys creates a backdrop for a story that students in middle grades and up will find fascinating. Be warned, the fight with the wolves is not for the squeamish! I read this novel thanks to NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. Recommended adventure for grades 6 and up.
Having read several of Stuart Woods' Stone Barrington novels, and occasionally wondering why, I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed reading Und...moreHaving read several of Stuart Woods' Stone Barrington novels, and occasionally wondering why, I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed reading Under the Lake. It is an intriguing story about a washed up New York Times reporter who has won the Pulitzer Prize and pretty much dead-ended at the peak of fame. He is commissioned to ghost-write the autobiography of a fried chicken magnet (I kid you not!) and tucks himself away at his brother-in-law's lake house in the tiny Georgia town of Sutherland. He isn't in town long before he hears of what some might call a ghost story about how the town of Sutherland was born through the flooding of a great portion of an old Irish community. As the former reporter engages his investigative skills, he uncovers deep, dark, and deadly secrets that may prove the end of his life and many others'. Great read with a satisfying ending.(less)
Stone Barrington, the Secret Service, and Strategic Services must stop a terrorist from blowing up The Arrington and a good portion of California's el...moreStone Barrington, the Secret Service, and Strategic Services must stop a terrorist from blowing up The Arrington and a good portion of California's elite...and fast!(less)