When 14-year-old Alex Rider learns that his uncle was killed in a car crash because he wasn't wearing his seatbelt, Alex immediately suspects foul pla...moreWhen 14-year-old Alex Rider learns that his uncle was killed in a car crash because he wasn't wearing his seatbelt, Alex immediately suspects foul play. After all, his uncle always insisted Alex wear his seatbelt at all times. Soon, Alex learns that his uncle is not the man he thought he was; instead he's a spy for the British government. Alex is persuaded to continue his uncle's mission, but no one thinks he will survive. Can Alex prove them wrong? Or will his fate be the same as his uncle's?(less)
Telgemeier's graphic novel is an autobiographic graphic novel account of what her life in friends, family, school and dental work from grades six thro...moreTelgemeier's graphic novel is an autobiographic graphic novel account of what her life in friends, family, school and dental work from grades six through ten.
On the day of her first trip to the orthodontist sixth grader Raina raced her friends from the car to her house when she tripped. There was a lot of blood, but nothing was broken, or so she thought -- until she opened her mouth. With her two front teeth knocked out, Raina has a lot more than just braces ahead of her! What follows in an account of her orthodontic struggle told in comics. But it's more than that. It's the story of what every girl goes through as she moves from middle school onto high school. It's funny, sweet,and embarassing. The art is colorful, friendly, and bright. It's a great book. As Raina says, "Weird... Something happens when you smile at people. They smile back!" And when you get your hands on Smile, it will be hard to read it without a smile on your face.
Super enjoyable, highly recommended great for girls in grades five and up.
Also, it was like reading a bit of my history -- ok so I never had braces and Raina is just slightly older than me, but the pop culture references and everything just made it feel like I could have been friends with her, or she could have gone to my school with me.(less)
Holm’s book is not a diary, but a story of Ginny Davis's harrowing seventh grade year told through notes left on the fridge, report cards, lists, news...moreHolm’s book is not a diary, but a story of Ginny Davis's harrowing seventh grade year told through notes left on the fridge, report cards, lists, newspaper articles, cartoons and more. It’s a colorful accumulation of stuff that adds to up a full story with plenty of visual appeal.(less)
12 year-old Milo Cruikshank has a lot to deal with. He’s just moved into a new house in a new town – the 5th placed he’s lived- the girl he has a crus...more12 year-old Milo Cruikshank has a lot to deal with. He’s just moved into a new house in a new town – the 5th placed he’s lived- the girl he has a crush on doesn’t know he exists, yet Hillary keeps leaving annoying notes in his locker; and the weird old lady across the street keeps waving at him. But the biggest issue Milo has to deal with is the fact that his mom died two years ago. And that’s changed everything at home, with Milo’s family, and in himself. Silberberg handles this heavy topic with both heart and humor, and in doing so, shows that while graphic novel/chapter book hybrids are great for a laugh, that doesn’t mean they can’t handle deeper issues as well.(less)
7th grade Griff Carver has been around the hallway a time or two. He’s part of the Brotherhood of Officers – Hallway Patrol Officers that is. His job...more7th grade Griff Carver has been around the hallway a time or two. He’s part of the Brotherhood of Officers – Hallway Patrol Officers that is. His job is to keep the order in middle school. Or at least, it was at his last school, the school he was expelled from. Although he’s promised The Old Lady (his mom), that he won’t join the Patrol at his new school –- he can’t help it. It’s in his blood. But things aren’t always as they seem at Rampart Middle, and some of the most popular kids in school may be involved in an underground counterfeit hall pass ring. Can Griff get to the bottom of this? Or will his asking questions and enforcing the law get him into the same type of trouble he found at his old school? Read this middle school police-procedural to find out.
---------------- I enjoyed the tone of this book from the beginning, liking the idea of a sort of dark, police procedural for the dirty halls of the middle school. Griff has that brusque sort of cop-talk that you expect of someone on NYPD Blue or something -- someone who has seen more than he cares to see, but is always there to do his job. But while I could appreciate this a bit, I don't know if I exactly liked the book. There isn't a whole lot of character development, and all in all I'd say I could say I see it working more like a cartoon.(less)
Grandpa Gus always told Greg that his family should never sell any of the old things in their home. “These heirlooms must always stay in our family, n...moreGrandpa Gus always told Greg that his family should never sell any of the old things in their home. “These heirlooms must always stay in our family, no matter what” “…These things are more important that you can possibly understand. …Do whatever it takes to protect them. And most important of all …never take them to France.” But now, 14 year old Greg’s family is no longer rich. And his parents have decided that the best way to get money is to sell the family’s heirlooms. To the Louvre. In France. Greg knows this isn’t right, but even he can’t imagine what ends up happening next – through the power of a magic crystal he and his parents, along with the shifty museum director Michel Dinicoeur, get sucked through a painting and end up in the Louvre in 1615. His family is immediately arrest for trying to assassination the king, and is going to be tossed into prison, the Trieste Mort. Greg manages to escape, and now is intent on getting his wrongfully accused parents out of the worst prison in France. But he can’t do it alone. And the help he finds is going to be even more famous than he expected – the Three Musketeers. Full of time travel, swashbuckling, mixed identities and magic, The Last Musketeer is a fast paced read that you won’t want to put down. ___________________________
I thought this was a fun romp, a not-so-serious, escapist read. The magic of the crystal was a little hard to believe and follow, as was the changing identities of Dinicoeur/Richelieu. But I enjoyed seeing the world of 1615 through modern eyes, and I think this would entice kids into finding out more about that time period and the original Three Musketeers. (less)
Readers who have been waiting for the comeback of Percy Jackson – rejoice! Percy is at the forefront of this second book in The Heroes of Olympus seri...moreReaders who have been waiting for the comeback of Percy Jackson – rejoice! Percy is at the forefront of this second book in The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. Readers, however, may remember more about Percy than he does himself – he can’t remember any further back than waking up in the cabin with the she-wolf Lupa and has a fuzzy memory of someone important to him: Annabeth. All he wants to do is find her and get his life back on track.
But that isn’t going to happen right away. Not when there are monsters chasing him. Now all he wants to do is find someplace safe – and with the help of a mysterious woman, he makes his way into Camp. Camp Jupiter.
Once there, things don’t get any easier. Percy must undertake another quest, with some new friends for company – some of the least popular kids in camp. There’s Frank Zhang, who doesn’t know who his father is, and has no idea what his powers are, and Hazel Levesque, who isn’t even supposed to be alive, and has been told that a son of Neptune will save her. Can the three survive a harrowing journey to the land beyond the gods?
Find out in this fast-paced story of mythic proportions.
I really enjoyed this story, and look forward to finding out what else the demi-gods have in store for them in future installments.(less)
This is the story of two lives. Ben lives in 1977, and his mother has just died. He wishes more than anything that she were still alive – he doesn’t f...moreThis is the story of two lives. Ben lives in 1977, and his mother has just died. He wishes more than anything that she were still alive – he doesn’t fit in with his relatives who have taken him in, and no one understands him. Rose lives in 1927, and no one understands her either. She’s Deaf, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t long for adventure – something that her family denies her. When Ben finds a secret in his mother’s old room, and when Rose reads a headline in a newpaper, both set off on journeys that they hope give them an adventure, and help them find someplace they can truly be themselves. This is the story of two lives, but Ben and Rose’s lives will intertwine, in ways that will leave both them, and you - the reader, Wonderstruck.
So wonderful and just such a magical journey. The way Selznick segues between stories is just seamless -- and how you know they are both wonderful is that when you are reading Ben's story, you can't help wondering about Rose, and when you are reading Rose's you can help wondering about Ben.
I loved the play with museums, and the homage to From the Mixed-up Files, and the Deaf culture aspect.
For her fourteenth birthday, Giannine receives a gift certificate from her absent dad to Rasmussem Games, the virtual reality gaming center. If Giann...more For her fourteenth birthday, Giannine receives a gift certificate from her absent dad to Rasmussem Games, the virtual reality gaming center. If Giannine knew what was in store for her, though she may have asked for socks instead. As Giannine arrives at the gaming center, she passes by the protesters outside, thinking nothing of it. She chooses which game she wants to play – Heir Apparent – based on the cute guys and the dragons she sees in the game trailer. She plugs in and begins playing the game. It’s a typical game. She’s got thirty minutes to play and have fun. And then, suddenly, it’s not so simple. The protestors have damaged Rasmussem, and now Giannine is playing for her life. Because if she doesn’t finish Heir Apparent - find the ring, ward off barbarians, make alliances, deal with a dragon and gain the crown, she’ll lose more than just the game. She’ll lose her life.
________________________ I really enjoyed parts of the story, and ideas within, but for some reason that didn't add up to me liking the story as a whole. I liked the gaming world that was created, and the way that Giannine had to start over each time she "died" in the game, but I just didn't really feel that much of a connection to parts of the story. I didn't dislike the book, but I was just sort of okay with it.
Would I recommend it though to kids? Totally.(less)
11-year-old Audrey has a hard life. The oldest of four girls, she lives with her Mommy and Daddy in the coal mining town of Jewell Valley in southwest...more11-year-old Audrey has a hard life. The oldest of four girls, she lives with her Mommy and Daddy in the coal mining town of Jewell Valley in southwest Virginia in 1948. Her family is poor, living on the scripts her Daddy earns from working in the coal mines. They don’t have a refrigerator, and thanks to her Daddy’s drinking, they often don’t have food. But there is hope in Audrey’s life as well. She has a wonderful new friend Virgil, and loves her teacher. But something will happen that will change Audrey’s life forever. And nothing will ever be the same again. Based on author Ruth White's family, Little Audrey is a fascinating look at a life very different from others, filled with sadness, hope and triumph.
_________________________________ A very short read, I had a difficult time getting in to Little Audrey. I don't normally pick up historical fiction like this, but did since we were reading it for the CLCSC book club. Ultimately, I was glad I did. White give a glipse into a very different world that one that I think many people know today, illustrating just what it was like to be poor in a coal mining town. And the ending made it all worthwhile for me, as I think that last chapter was just so beautiful.(less)
Eleven year old Miss Moses LoBeau is three times lucky: First that her upstream mother tied her to a makeshift raft during the hurricane and sent her...moreEleven year old Miss Moses LoBeau is three times lucky: First that her upstream mother tied her to a makeshift raft during the hurricane and sent her to safety; Second that The Colonel crashed his car and rescued Mo that night before the flood, And third that Miss Lana of Tupelo Landing took Mo in and gave her a home. It’s a good thing that Mo has all this luck - because trouble has come to Tupelo landing. Trouble in the form of city slick detective, a murder, a long-ago bank robbery, a kidnapping and a hurricane. Mo is just the one to put her natural detective skills and luck to work, with a little help from her best friend Dale, to solve these mysteries in this funny, sweet, page turning debut novel from Shiela Turnage that has been called “a compination of Because of Winn Dixie’s heart and the mystery and action of Holes” (Kirkus Reviews 2012 April #2).(less)
Drama follows 7th grader theater set designer Callie through a year of middle school, well, DRAMA, set against the backdrop of the performance of "Moo...moreDrama follows 7th grader theater set designer Callie through a year of middle school, well, DRAMA, set against the backdrop of the performance of "Moon over Mississippi". During the year, she gets her heart broken, makes new friends, finds a crush, designs a cannon, and more. It's funny, and a perfect read for any kid who is part of the theater and musical world. Perfect as well for any kid who is unsure about their sexuality, or just coming into their own, it deals with Gay and Bi issues in an upfront, friendly way.
I liked this book by Telgemeier, but not as much as I enjoyed her earlier book Smile. While Smile gave me a feeling of nostalgia for growing up and going through middle school, this book made me so glad I'm done with that time in my life. Because, correctly, Telgemeier shows it in all it's crazy, heart-wrenching, end-of-the-worldness that you feel when you are in it.(less)