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The Secret Scripture
3.76
really liked it
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
3.55
it was amazing
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)
3.70
liked it
"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
 
Faith, Hope, and Ivy June
3.92
liked it

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 Maze of Bones  (The 39 Clues, #1)
3.83
liked it
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
 
Shooting the Moon
3.74
really liked it
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 Key to Rondo (Rondo, #1)
3.80
really liked it
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
 
Bake Sale
3.92
really liked it
You know those moods you have sometimes, when you feel so fragile and vulnerable that your psyche can be bruised by the tiniest suspicion of criticism ...more
Jun 2011
Jul 15, 2011
 
Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal
4.04
it was amazing
As the size of the book and his portrait suggest, Bass Reeves was larger than life. Born into slavery in 1838, he escaped from his owner during the Ci ...more
not set
Nov 11, 2009
 
Flora's Dare (Flora Trilogy, #2)
4.10
it was amazing
This is the luscious sequel to Flora Segunda (Harcourt, 2006), featuring the intrepid and impetuous daughter of the Commanding General of the Army of ...more
Dec 2008
Dec 18, 2008
 
The End of Everything
3.35
liked it
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
 
Ashes
3.63
liked it
There are plenty of books about the Holocaust, for all ages and from all points of view. In Yann Martel's Beatrice and Virgil, this is problematic for ...more
Sep 2010
Sep 04, 2010
 
Chiggers
3.38
really liked it
Like boarding school, summer camp is an experience I never had as a child and so it seems exotic, thrilling, and a bit scary to me. Summer camp is per ...more
Jan 2009
Jan 08, 2009
 
The Museum of Mary Child
3.86
really liked it
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
 
The Apothecary (The Apothecary, #1)
4.02
really liked it
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
 
Skim
3.78
really liked it
This graphic novel covers some of the same territory as Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci, but in very different style and somewhat more effectively (a ...more
Sep 2008
Sep 12, 2008
 
You'll Like It Here (Everybody Does)
3.53
liked it
4 stars for the writing but 2 stars for the plot. This dystopian children's novel is reminiscent of many others - Brave New World, 1984, Fahrenheit 45 ...more
Jun 2011
Jul 07, 2011
 
Chains (Seeds of America, #1)
4.09
it was amazing
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
 
I, Emma Freke
3.78
liked it
Middle school is a time when many kids feel freakish. Though I looked more or less normal, I felt freakish on the inside. Emma, however, wears her fre ...more
Jun 2011
Jul 07, 2011
 
Forever Rose (Casson Family, #5)
4.11
really liked it
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
 
One Crazy Summer (Gaither Sisters, #1)
3.95
really liked it
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
 
December
3.13
liked it
Imagine all the stages of puzzlement, anger, frustration, and terror you'd go through if your 11-year-old daughter gradually stopped talking. Now imag ...more
not set
Nov 08, 2009
 
Rapunzel's Revenge (Rapunzel's Revenge, #1)
3.85
really liked it
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
 
The Dragon's Pearl
3.46
it was ok
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
 
The Farwalker’s Quest
3.96
liked it
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
 
The Thirteenth Princess
3.92
liked it
Most people who have enjoyed fairy tale-based fantasies by Gail Carson Levine, Donna Jo Napoli, and others will find this a pleasant and well-written ...more
Mar 2010
Mar 15, 2010
 
West of the Moon
3.73
it was amazing
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 Hotel Under the Sand
3.76
liked it
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
 
Pathfinder (Pathfinder, #1)
3.98
liked it
**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 True Meaning of Smekday
4.11
it was amazing
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
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