2008 Reviews

2008 Reviews

January 2008 Reviews
November Book Reviews R.N., NHS Student
Fiction

Showalter, Gena. Red-Handed. MTV, New York, 2007. $9.95 ISBN: 1416532242 288 p. Gr. 11-adult
Phoenix, an ex-druggie, is at a party in the woods, her first one after rehab. At the party she meets a boy, Ryan, and is instantly attracted. During the night aliens attack and she learns that Ryan is actually an A.I.R. (Alien Investigation and Removal) agent, someone who fights bad aliens. She helps Ryan and his sister fight off a group of killer aliens. Once the night is over she goes home and her mom thinks she’s on drugs (even though Phoenix wasn’t) and calls the phone number of the A.I.R. agent/recruiter who gave her his contact information when he brought her daughter home. The mom inadvertently sends her daughter to the A.I. R. training camp. At the camp, she reunites with Ryan (who turns out to be her teacher at the camp) and gains self esteem while restoring her relationship with her mother (and kicking alien ass at the same time.) Did I like the book? Hell, yeah – it was really easy to read (took me 3 days) and I loved it. The characters were all like people I knew, so they were believable and easy to relate to, though the story line was incredible and very imaginative. P6 Q8

November Book Reviews I.F., NHS Student
Fiction

Landy, Derek. Skulduggery Pleasant Harper Collins, New York, 2007. $17.99 ISBN: 0061231150 400 p. Gr. 6-9
The leading lady in this book is a middleschooler named Stephanie who inherits a haunted mansion from her Uncle Gordon. While at the reading of her Uncle’s will, she meets Skulduggery Pleasant, (S.P.), a 1,000 year old ‘living’ skeleton. S.P. turns out to be a good guy, if not a bit weird, and helps rescue Stephanie many times from certain death. Together they solve the mystery of who murdered her uncle and thwart a plan for world domination by evil persons and minions. The book is well-written, very funny (S.P. has some really snappy lines), and has a lot of surprises in store for the reader. P7 Q8

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers January 2008 Reviews by M.D
Parra, Kelly. Graffiti Girl: She’s ready to make her mark. Pocket Books. MTV Books. New York. 2007. $9.95. grade 7 and up. 247 pgs. 978-1-4165-6461-7. P7 Q 8
Angel wants to be chosen as the leader of the schools mural committee she and two other students are in the contest. She doesn’t win but Nathan invites her to be a part of the committee and Miguel takes an interest in her and her art. Miguel Badalin or Badman his tag name will teach her graffiti art if she joins his gang and after a kiss she defaces school property to join the group. Nathan doesn’t understand when she starts missing committee meetings and hanging with Miguel more. She gets in over her head when she attends a party with Miguel and is forced into an impending graffiti war with another gangs girl. She has to learn as much as she can from Miguel and quickly. Angel compromises her beliefs when the gang tags a city park and she is shocked when it makes the newspaper. She wants out but can’t until she does the graffiti war or she will be jumped. The ending is all that we the reader wants with good prevailing and she ends up with the good guy.

Perry, Eliabeth. Illustrated by Linda Bronson. Think Cool Thoughts. Clarion Books. New York. 2005. $16.00 grade 2-4 32 pgs. 0-618-23493-4. P6 Q7
Bright colorful cartoon like drawings are included in this book that has several words on a page if not paragraphs. Angel is an African American girl who is so hot and thinks of ice cubes to cool her in the very hot summer. Her mother and Aunt Lucy tell her of when they were young and how they would cool off. They slept outside on their mattress and Angel gave her mom a look – Ok she said and they drug the mattress to the roof top. That night after her bath she slept outside with her mom and Aunt Lucy. Morning came and she had cool dreams and then it started to rain. They rushed to get the mattress inside and went back to bring in the kitchen chairs but instead she danced in the rain to cool off.

Yolen, Jane. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Baby Bear’s Big Dreams. Harcourt, Inc. New York.2007. $16.00. grade pre-k to 3rd. 30 pgs. 978-0-15-205291-1. P7 Q8
A very enjoyable book with bright colorful pictures and a few words per page which will help to make it a good book for a story time. A boy bear can’t wait to grow up so he can have all his friends over to play and they can live in a toy shop. He will build a house and in a year of two I will be a big bear grow up and read his big bear poem to his parents.

Mortensen, Lori. Illustrated by Frances Moore. Harriet Tubman: Hero of the Underground Railroad. Picture Window Books. Minnesota. 2007. $17.95. grade 2-4. 24 pgs.978-1-4048-3103-2.P6 Q7
This book includes a time line, did you know questions, glossary, a to learn more section, an index, and a list of other biographies in the series. There is an actual photograph of Harriet Tubman and the rest of the illustrations are made from what looks like fabric or different paper patterns. Harriet was a slave and had to work when she was five years old. At seven she took some sugar, ran away from her mistress and hid in a pigpen for five days before she returned. The story continues with her marriage, and her experiences with the underground railroad. She followed the north star to freedom some 130 miles by foot. She returned to Maryland 19 times to help 300 slaves to freedom. She also became a spy and soldier in the Civil War.

McKissack, Lisa Beringer. We the People…Women of the Harlem Renaissance. Compass Point Books. Minneapolis. 2007. 978-0-7565-2034-2. 48 pgs. Grade 4-5 P5/Q7
This is a series called We the People which explores U.S. history from pre-colonial to modern times. This book has a table of contents, glossary, did you know section, important dates and people, want to know more section and an index. The book explains when and why in 1920’s the renaissance began in Harlem New York. The book has photos, maps and other drawings of popular works of literature from the time. It discusses such people as Augusta Savage a sculptor and teacher as well as Bessie Smith a Blues singer. I was impressed with the history and education available to women at this time in history.

Aller, Susan Bivin. Juliette Low. Lerner Publications Company. Minneapolis. 2007. 0-8225-6580-3. Grade 3-4.48 pgs. P6/P7
This is a part of a history maker bio series. The back cover asks a true or false question to grab the attention of the reader as well as other people that the series has books about like Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, and The Wright Brothers. Juliette Low was the founder of the Girl Scouts of America organization. She was unable to have children but gave her motherly care to her animals. She was a strong woman and led girls to greatness as girl scouts. The book has a table of contents, introduction, chapters, pictures of her home and family members. It also has an extensive timeline from 1865 to 1927, further reading section, websites, select bibliography and an index.

Kishel, Ann-Marie. Elizabeth Blackwell…a life of diligence. Lerner Publications Company. Minneapolis. 2007. 0-8225-6459-9. Grade 1-2. 32 pgs.P5/Q6
This is a part of a Pull Ahead – Biographies series on other such people as Abraham Lincoln, Jane Addams, William Penn ect. A very elementary bibliography about Elizabeth Blackwell sketches and real photos as well. Elizabeth wanted to become a female doctor and she studied at Geneva Medical College in New York. The book has a table of contents, a timeline, websites, glossary and an index.

Aller, Susan Bivin. Madam C.J. Walker. Lerner Publications Company, Minneapolis. 2007 0-8225-6582-X. 48 pgs. Grade 3-5. P5/Q6
This is from the History Maker Bios series which also includes such people as: Abigail Adams, Henry Ford, Rosa Parks and the Wright Brothers. The back cover asks a True or False Questions to grab the attention of the reader. The book includes a table of contents, actual photographs as well as cartoon like drawings, break away boxed with definitions and important history dates, a timeline, a section called the company of women: a brief on her daughter Mae Walker. The book also has a further reading section, websites, an index and select bibliographies. This book would make excellent resources for a young student’s first research paper. Sarah Breedlove Walker grew up in the South just after slavery had ended but she wanted a better life for her daughter and herself. She invented products that helped black women’s hair become healthy. She became a millionaire and helped other black women improve their own lives. She started her own business and helped other women become hair specialists as well. She was asked by Booker T. Washington to give a speech at a NNBL Convention.

Sciurba, Katie. Illustrated by Edel Rodriguez. Oye, Celia! A song for Celia Cruz. Henry Holt and Company. New York. 2007. $16.95 0-8050-7468-6. 23 pages. Grades 1-3 P6 Q7
The cover has a different look as part is buff and the title is outlined in a shiny bubble. I liked the drawings they look like abstract art. There is a section in the back: Spanish words used. The story is about Celia Cruz the green of salsa and the songs she wrote and sang about Cuba.

Wiess, Laura. Such a Pretty Girl. Pocket Books. New York, 2007. 212 pages. 978-1-4165-2183-9. Grades 9-up. P8/Q7.
Meredith is a fourteen year old girl whose pedophile father has been released from prison early. She has only had three years of peace. Her mother is so excited and wants them to be a real family again. Her best friend Andy also abused by her father and in a wheel chair lives on the same complex as she. Nigel, a retired cop helps her plant some nanny in her condo because only after 24 hours of his release she can tell her will never stop. She thinks of running away to her grandmothers where she will be safe but realizes her father will just molest some other young child. She decides to sacrifice herself and make sure he goes away for good. The ending has a wonderful twist of fate and is just a quick read away. The book has reading group guide discussion questions, another question and reader tips.

Cohn, Rachel and David Levithan. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List. 2007. $16.99. Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 230 pages. P7/Q8 978-0-375-84440-9
This format the author uses is hard to understand. It took me until the third chapter to figure out that each chapter is from the point of view of a different character. Naomi and Ely have been friends for years and they live in the same complex in New York City. They attend NYU but Noami wants Ely to be her first despite the fact that he is a young gay man who is good looking and flaunts it. Noami has a boyfriend “Bruce the second” but they have only gotten to second base because she is saving herself for when she and Ely get married. But then Ely kisses her boyfriend and it’s over (their friendship.) Her mother needs to get over her dad who had an affair with one of Ely’s moms. She is starting to realize it was never going to be with her and Ely and maybe he really does love Bruce the second. She thinks maybe she could like the doorman but she needs to get her mother away from their condo and the remembrance of her dad. She and Ely decide to save their friendship despite the fact that they will have to redefine it.

Kizer, Amber. One Butt Cheeck at a Time… Gert Garibaldi’s Rants and Raves. Delacorte Press. New York, 2007. $15.99. 978-0-385-73430-1. P8/Q7 295 pages. Age 14 and up.
Gert is a 15 year old girl who only has one friend, Adam who just happens to be a young gay man who is interested in dating Tim who hasn’t come out at all. Gert wants a boyfriend, some girlfriends, her drivers license and to survive her sophomore year.
She and Adam always spend Saturday evenings at the hamburger place talking but now Tim has taken her best friend. She likes Lucas, Tim’s twin brother but when she thinks Adam has set up a double date-no luck Lucas has invited Sue over instead. In the end she gets her license Adam throws her a surprise Birthday party and her new boyfriend Stephen asks her to go steady. She finds out everyone really does put the pants on one butt cheek at a time.

Cooper, Ilene. Up close: Oprah Winfrey media queen…a twentieth-century life. Viking. 2007.$15.99. 978-0-670-06162-4 ages 12 + up pages 192. P6/Q6
I believe some may find some of the content too mature of subject for 6th graders. Oprah was sexually abused and became promiscuous as a teenager. None of this was discussed in detail but may be to mature for some. Any student would be able to write and excellent paper on Oprah’s life from this short but interesting book. I learned that she had a son who died two weeks after birth when she was a teenager. It has and index with; source notes and a complete bibliography.

Hogan, Mary. Susanna sees stars. Delacorte Press. 2006. $7.96 pgs. 235 978-0-385-73513-1 Grade 6 + up pgs235 P7Q8.
A fourteen year old girl Susanna from NYC wants to be a celebrity reporter. She lands a summer internship at scene magazine. She is a savvy New Yorker who ends up being a “toady” or personal assistant for Nel the editor in chief. She looks for a way to get an exclusive story but ends up with a picture of her butt on the front cover and labeled a celebrity stocker. She finally convinces her friend Mel to take a train to New Jersey to look up the senior prom date of a mega star. She gets invited to his movie premiere with his old high school sweetheart. There is a sequel to the book and Susanna gets to go to Los Angeles for the Academy Awards with Ken. At the end of the book there is a three page teaser for the next book “Hollywood”.

January 2008 Book Reviews by C.B. NMS
Cooney, Caroline, Diamonds in the shadow, Delacorte Press, New York, 2007, 228 pgs., $15.99, ISBN:0385732619, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 8,
A refugee family from Sierra Leone is being sponsored by a church group in New York state, when the families apartment falls through, the Finch family steps up to house them. From the start Jared Finch, seventeen year old boy, does not want to share his room with Mattu a boy of the same age. Mopsy, Jared’s twelve year old sister, however can’t wait till she has a sister to share things with. The two familes come together and share the Finchs home. It is here that the African family reveals the horrors of their countries atrocities, the father has had his arms cut off, Alake, the daughter does not speak and Mattu has been a member of the children’s rebel fighters. They all share a secret too, that they are not a real family but strangers to one another who have replaced the original one murdered by a fellow refugee on their plane. This man has smuggled diamonds into the country, carried by Mattu in his grandfather’s ashes urn, two cardboard boxes. As the family is amazed by well stocked grocery stores, cell phones and microwaves they are also in fear of having their secret revealed and also being discovered as diamond smugglers. This book will offer middle and high school students a look into a war, in Africa, that has been going on for over 60 years. It also will bring home to them the difficulties that refuges face in America.

Creech, Sharon, The castle corona, illustrated by David Diaz, New York, Joanna Cotler Books, 2007, 320 pgs., $19.98, ISBN:0060846224, Gr. 4+, P 7, Q 8,
I have read several of Sharon Creech’s books and found this one different from the others. This time she has created a book set in Italy during feudal times that is a fairy tale of a King and his family and two orphaned children, Pia and Enzio, who become the kings official food testers. This book made me laugh at the comical king, his guests, vain daughter and his sons who are seeking to be different. The illustrations which are really illuminations help tell whom each chapter is about and add to the time period as well. This story would be a great read aloud to any class that is studying the medieval times. Students who love fairy tales will also enjoy this book too.

Franklin, Emily, The other half of me, Delacorte Press, New York, 2007, 247 pgs., $15.99, ISBN:038573445X, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q8,
Jenny Fitzgerald is member of a family where there are two twin sisters, a brother and a mom and dad. Jenny is different though she was created from Donor 142, and now she wants to find someone who has some of her talents or features, one who can finish her sentences for her, like her twin sister do for each other. She is also a painter who functions as a athletic family. One day on the internet someone, a girl, her sister, sends her an e-mail, one in answer to a query “is there anyone out there with Donor 142 as a father.” This answer is one that starts a voyage of discovery for Jenny and her family and one that doesn’t necessarily have the results that either girl hopes for.

George, Jessica, Dragon slippers, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, New York, 2007, 324 Pgs., $16.95, ISBN:1599900572, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
Dragon stories are hot right now and this book will not disappoint those who love them. It has all the ingredients of a super story: an aunt who gives her niece to a dragon in hopes of a young prince who will rescue her and bring wealth to the family. What Creel, the damsel-in-distress, finds instead is a dragon who collects shoes and whom communicates with other dragons in the kingdom. Given a pair of the must comfortable shoes she has ever worn, Creel journeys to center of the kingdom where she dreams of owning her own dress shop. She finds instead danger and calls for help, she is rescued by a dragon who collects stained glass windows. Creel doesn’t realize that the shoes she wears are really magical and that they control all the dragons. They are stolen from her and given to a really nasty princess who wages war on the peaceful kingdom. This book is sure to delight elementary and middle age school students.

Godwin, Jane, Falling from grace, Holiday House, New York, 2006, 187 pgs., $16.95, ISBN:0823421058, Gr. 7+, P 7, Q 7,
Annie and her sister are playing on the beach one night, during there vacation, when Grace see’s a struggling Penguin, in the surf. She rushes to its aide not bothering to listen to her sister Annie’s warning or the rising tide. It is soon too late to go back to the beach, for the tide and wind has risen so quickly. Annie climbs to safety and then urges Grace to do the same, she tries but falls back in to the surf where she disappears from sight. Everyone is soon searching for Grace and it is Annie and Kip, a fourteen-year old boy, who are questioned about the disappearance of Grace. The story unfolds as it is told by the three children and in different chapters. This book will appeal to middle and high school students.

Horowitz, Anthony, Snakehead, Philomel, New York, 2007, 388 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:0399241612, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
Horowitz is one of my favorite authors and in this his next book in the Alex Rider series he has again captured my attention so much I had to read this book in one setting. We now find Alex a weary young man who has just returned to Earth, after he rescued it and blasted off into space, back on Earth and being called on to rescue us again. This time however I was able to see that Alex was tiring of always being called on and that he really does want to be a boy back in England just going to school. Alex can’t though let the world down and pulls himself together to meet his godfather and to save the world once again.

Weaver, Will, Defect, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2007, 199 pgs., $16.00, ISBN:0374317259, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
None of us ever wants to be different we always want to fit in and we want to be accepted for what we are. In this book David is a young man in high school who just wants to fit in but can’t seem too. Maybe if David wasn’t so strange looking, he could. A genetic disorder has changed David, he wears hearing aids to diminish sound, glasses so that he can see and he also has a gift of an appendage under his arms that allows him to fly. Living in a foster home David dreams of being different and accepted but does not find this until he goes to a different high school where all the kids seem to have one problem or another. Here he finds a young girl who loves him for who he is and he eventually, after a flying accident reveals his wings to her. This story would be great to give any student who is struggling to understand themselves or to others who need to understand the David’s in this world.

William, Karen, and Mohammed, Khandra, Four feet, two sandals, illustrated by Doug Chayka, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2007, unp, $17.00, ISBN:0802852963, Gr. 3+, P 7, Q 8,
There are a lot of people who have been displaced in the Middle East due to the turmoil in this region. The authors of this book are two girls who were also displaced
and have written about it to show the world the courage and strength that the refugees have. Two girls meet in a tent camp where truck has brought them some clothing from relief organizations. They both find one sandal, which they both want, they become friends and share the sandals. One wears them one day and the other the next. When Lina and her family get word that they are to go to America Feroza gives Lina the sandals. Lina can’t after all arrive in America without any shoes to wear. This friendship through such adverse times will surely stimulate students to talk about what war does to countries, people and the world.

Williams, Marcia, Archie’s War, Candlewick Press, 2007, unp, $17.99, ISBN:0763635324, Gr. 3+, P 9, Q 10,
This book, scrapbook, is dynamite, here we meet Archie and his family, drawn in comic book style, in 1914 just as World War I starts. Archie has letters from his uncle in Germany which tell of the horror of war. The letters also tell of a peaceful Christmas where the soldiers themselves quit fighting, and instead sing Carols, and swap food and tobacco across the trenches. He also collects newspaper articles and draws about the events that take place during this time. His sister who marches against the war, his grandmother and mother who work in the factories and roll bandages, and the young German boy who he can’t play with any more. This collection of artifacts, letters and newspaper articles will appeal to not only elementary students but also to middle school students as well. This is a book that should be in every school library.

Wolf, Joan, Someone named Eva, New York, Clarion Books, 2007, 208 pgs., $16.00, ISBN:061835799, Gr. 4+, P 9, Q 10,
Milada and her family are separated from their home in Lidice, Czechoslovakia, by the German during World War II. The men are led off one way and the women and children are taken to near by town where Milada and one other girl are chosen, because they exhibit the traits the Germans are looking for in the Aryan race, to be part of the Lebensborn program. This program was designed to take children for other nations and that showed the blond blue eyed traits of the true Aryan German to be trained and adopted into good SS German homes. Milada and the other girls who are chosen spend the next two years studying the German language, the only one they are allowed to speak, the culture, the inferior Jewish race and what a good German is. This book is based on a true incident where the men of this village, all 173, were executed for the assassination of one of Hitler’s favorite high ranking generals. Milada struggle is one that needs to be part of all middle and high school library collection.

Whyman, Matt, Icecore: a Carl Hobbs thriller, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York, 2007, 307 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:1416949070, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
Carl Hobbs, is seventeen-years-old when he is arrested for breaking the security code that guards Fort Knox. He is also seventeen when he signs a paper that takes him from his native England to a secret secured, American, military base. Here he has agreed to give all evidence that pertains to his crime, but the military does not believe and he is instead treated as a terrorist. This prison camp is one of America’s secret bases, that are allowed being allowed in other countries, and one where the ice and supreme cold are a deterrent for the suspected terrorist are housed. This book gives the reader a look at the brutality of life for these detainees it also explores the hopelessness that they feel and could be experiencing. A great book to be used as a read aloud, at the middle and high school level, and will stimulate conversations about America’s Home Land Security abuses of power.

NON FICTION
Charman, Andrew, Life and times in ancient Rome, Kingfisher, Boston, Massachusetts, 2007, 32 pgs., index, map, $9.95, ISBN:075346151X, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 8,
Charman, Andrew, Life and times in ancient Egypt, Kingfisher, Boston, Massachusetts, 2007, 32 pgs., index, map, $9.95, ISBN:0753461498, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 8,
Charman, Andrew, Life and times in ancient Greece, Kingfisher, Boston, Massachusetts, 2007, 32 pgs., index, maps, $9.95, ISBN:0753461501, Gr.4+, P 8, Q 8,
Charman, Andrew, Life and times in the Viking world, Kingfisher, Boston, Massachusetts, 2007, 32 pgs, index, map $9.95, ISBN:0753461528, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 8,
The four books above are a series that offers students, in elementary and middle schools, an opportunity to read about the four civilizations: their daily lives, gods, homes, culture, and dress. Using full color spreads each of these topics are discussed and vocabulary is demonstrated through arrows that point to each piece of clothing or article that is being discussed. This collection is a starting point to further in depth research, but will capture, middle school student’s curiosity to explore further.

Collier, Bryan, Twelve rounds to glory: the story of Muhammad Ali, illustrated by Bryan Collier, Candlewick Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2007, 80 pgs., $19.99, ISBN:0763616923, Gr. 4+, P 9, Q 9,
This book is great, no fantastic, in the retelling of the greatest boxer there ever was Muhammad Ali. The boxer “who floated like butterfly and stung like a bee.” Written in prose and using full page collage illustrations, in mostly blacks and browns, the story of this athlete is told. Starting with his 1960 Olympic gold medal to his raised hand holding the Olympic torch in 1996, his fights, the fighters he fought and his life are all hit upon. Any student would love to browse the pages of this remarkable book.

Geras, Adele, Cleopatra, illustrated by M.P. Robertson, Kingfisher, Boston, Massachusetts, 2007,63 pgs., glossary, index, $16.95, ISBN:0753460254, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 8,
The story of Cleopatra, the last Queen of Egypt, is told by her ten-year-old hand maiden Nefret. This young servant girl tells of her court, her loves and her children as Cleopatra struggles to become the ruler of her land. There is a reference section at the end of the book which gives accurate historical information too. The illustrations by Robertson are bright and cheerful and reminiscent of art found on the tombs of the pharaohs. He has also chosen to print the story on paper that looks like papyrus paper. This book will be a great resource for elementary and middle school students to draw upon.
Hinshaw, Kelly, Art across the ages: ancient Mexico: level one, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, California, 2007, 32 pgs., $14.95, ISBN:0811856704, Gr. 2+, P 7, Q 8,

Hinshaw, Kelly, Art across the ages: ancient Egypt: level one, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, California, 2007, 32 pgs., $14.95, ISBN:0811856682, Gr. 2+, P 7, Q 8,
Both to the books above are in a series designed for elementary students. Here Kelly Hinshaw has collected various art pieces to introduce young students to the art work of the ancient civilizations. She does this with head pieces, jewelry, ceramics, carvings and paintings which are full color display and descriptions of what each is. Vocabulary and pronunciation keys are also used to help the developing reader. This is a great series that will surely capture student’s interest.

Mark, Jan, The museum book: a guide to strange and wonderful collections, illustrated by Richard Holland, Candlewick Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2007, 52 pgs, index, glossary, $18.99, ISBN:0763633704, Gr., P, Q,
If you are planning on taking a trip to a museum read this book first. Not only does it show how a museum is laid out, how collections came to be placed here, it talks about how some times there is enough room to always display things that a museum owns. The text is written as though you are having a conversation or being guided by someone who could answer a question if you had one. Richard Holland’s illustration’s catches the readers eye with quirky and peculiar mixed-media examples of artifacts, dinosaurs and two headed sheep from around the world. Students will spend hours roaming the pages of this book.

Park, Linda, Tap dancing on the roof: Sijo poems, illustrated by Istvan Banyai, Clarion Books, New York, NY, 2007, unp, $16.00, ISBN:0618234837, Gr. 4+, P 7, Q 8,
I have read poetry for years and have written Haiku’s this is the first time I ever read a Korean form poetry. Linda Park’s collection of Sijo poems are an overlooked poetic form that is until now. Park notes the orgins and history of this Sijo poetic form. Sijo poems are written in which there are three lines each with fourteen to sixteen syllables and the last line has a twist to it and has humor or irony, a pun or unexpected image at the end. Using free form in the illustrations, Istvan Banyai has captured this unique collection of Sijo poems humor and imagery. This book is must to complete any library collection.

Wilkinson, Philip, Joan of Arc: the teenager who saved her nation, National Geographic, Washington, D.C., 2007, 64 pgs, index, $17.95, ISBN:1426301162, Gr. 5+, P 7, Q 8,
Joan of Arc is another biography in a series which National Geographic has again captured an extraordinary life in print. They have drawn upon small illustrations and photographs that depict her life, her home, battles, and the church during this time. The text is crisp and easy to read and using topics such as “The Church and Medieval warfare” the reader is better able to understand the historical events that surrounded this woman. Joan of Arc was seen as the hero of her nation and many statues are now found through out France. She was burned at the stake and years later the Catholic Church made her a saint, students in middle and elementary schools will enjoy this book.

January Book Reviews L.F., NHS
Non-Fiction Selections – Biography

Murphy, Jim. The Real Benedict Arnold. Clarion Books, New York, 2007. $20 ISBN: 0-395-77609-0 264 p. Gr. 9-12 I don’t think I’ve had such strong feelings about a biography since I read Kitty Kelly’s The Bush Dynasty, but for exactly opposite reasons. Murphy’s meticulously produced biography of Arnold gives us a vivid picture of a much- maligned, complex hero. This book also reveals much about the tenor of the times: an unruly, chaotic congress, disintegrating militia, and few true patriots. Struggling through many battles (in the field and in congress), Arnold turned Loyalist because he questioned whether the government he had been fighting for was worthy, not only of his personal sacrifices, but of those of his fellow Americans. Murphy includes copious notes, sources, and related asides, as well as a T of C and index. Though previously published reviews put this at the 9-12 age level, I believe this to be a typo, as the book would be better suited/understood by students in grades 9-12. A MUST for all High School libraries, this book could be used not only in Civil War studies, but also to promote critical thinking, media & political awareness discussions with students. P5 Q9

Haugen, Brenda. Annie Oakley: American Sharpshooter. Compass Point Books, Minneapolis, 2007. $23.95 ISBN: 0-7565-1869-5 112 p. Gr. 4-8
This little gem is a model for all preteen biographies: well-organized, engaging, lots of photos, and just the right level of detail. Haugen’s not really digging up anything new, just synthesizing a lot of other biographies on Oakley, but she’s doing it with real panache, which makes this biography especially attractive to young readers. Like all of the Compass Point Signature Series books, this one contains a timeline, additional resources, glossary, and index. P6 Q8

Rau, Dana Meachen. Elizabeth Dole: Public Servant and Senator. Compass Point Books, Minneapolis, 2007. $23.95 ISBN: 0-7565-1583-1 112 p. Gr. 4-8
Another nicely produced bio in Compass Point’s “Signature Lives” series, this book covers Dole’s upbringing, education, achievements, skills, aspirations, and relationships very thoroughly and in a manner that will engage preteen readers. Lots of great photos, too. Contains a timeline, additional resources, glossary, and index. P6 Q7

Sommerville, Barbara. Clara Barton: Founder of the American Red Cross. Compass Point Books, Minneapolis, 2007. $23.95 ISBN: 0-7565-1888-1 112 p. Gr. 4-8.
Produced for the same series as the 2 books above, Clara Barton shares the same thoughtful organization and level of detail and is profusely peppered with photos and illustrations. Sommerville has gone a bit further with her research, however, and this biography is more in-depth. Barton’s many accomplishments are well-documented here, as are issues she confronted daily (civil rights, disease, politics.) P5 Q8

Joinson, Carla. Civil War Doctor: the story of Mary Walker. Morgan Reynolds Publishing, Greensboro, NC, 2007. $27.95 ISBN: 1-59935-028-9 128 p. Gr. 6-9
This was a fairly painful biography to read: Mary Walker was a brilliant young woman who became a doctor 1855 and spent the rest of her life on the battlefields of war, politics, and suffrage. She was also a leading advocate for ‘dress reform,’ and fought to free women from the painful trappings of accepted couture. Throughout the book, there’s an overwhelming thread of Walker’s constant frustration, as she fought for recognition and monetary compensation for her hard work. Liberally illustrated with photos, maps, and drawings, this was an interesting account but far from an engaging read, as the writing is dull, repetitious, and often ambiguous. Includes: Timeline, Sources, Bibliography, list of Websites, Index and T of C. P5 Q6

Yannuzzi, Della. New Elements: The story of Marie Curie. Morgan Reynolds Publishing, Greensboro, NC, 2007. $27.95 ISBN: 1-59935-023-8 144 p. Gr. 7-9
I’ve read several biographies on Marie Curie, but I think this is one of the most informative and engaging books on this amazing woman for young readers. The selection of photos and illustrations makes the already colorful text come alive and the overall organization of the biography makes the story flow very well. While the biography is not detailed, it does give a balanced picture of Marie and her times. Also included is a timeline, list of sources, bibliography, webliography, index and t of c. P5 Q8

Krull, Kathleen. Marie Curie. Illustrated by Boris Kulikov. Viking, New York, 2007 $15.99 ISBN: 9780670058945 142 p. Gr. 4-8
I’m glad I read this book before I read the Yannuzzi one above, I would’ve just written the Krull bio off as unreadable. Even though I have enjoyed her other biographies (Leonardo, Isaac Newton) this one is very dull and disorganized. Making this book even less of a good choice for young readers, there are only 3 lackluster illustrations in the entire book, and the font (Kennerly H) makes for blurry reading. The author tries too hard to make the text kid-friendly, using terms like “brainiac” and “fool around” which are easily dated, ambiguous terms. The only outstanding thing I can find about this bio is how Krull writes the last chapter “How She Changed the World,” giving readers a nice synopsis and relating her achievements to her motivations, support, and genius. P5 Q7

Bausum, Ann. Muckrakers. National Geographic, Washington, D.C., 2007. $21.95 ISBN: 9781426301377 110 p. Gr. 5-9
This gifted author has produced a beautifully crafted book that should appeal to anyone interested in the history of journalism in the US. The nicely presented text, liberally illustrated with period sepia photos, is done in a typewriter font, with typewriter keys being used as initial letters. It’s a very clever but subtle way of pulling in the reader and making the text more personable. Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair, Lincoln Steffens, and other ‘muckrakers’ are illuminated in this meticulously organized book and their respective styles of investigative reporting are explored. Would be a great addition to any journalism class curriculum. Includes t of c, timeline, resource guide, bibliography, research notes, credits, and index. P6 Q8

Bausum, Ann. Our Country’s First Ladies. National Geographic, Washington, D.C., 2007. $19.95 ISBN: 9781426300066 128 p. Gr. 5-9.
Another winner from Bausum, and not your typical whitewashed White House presentation, either. The book is historically organized, beginning with Martha Washington and ending with Laura Bush. Each woman’s 1-3 page story contains a sidebar giving a synopsis (birth, death, maiden name, age as first lady, and more.) The selection of photos and painted portraits is especially nice, as it gives readers more to identify that first lady with. Bausum’s writing style is friendly and chatty, but not superfluous. P5 Q 8

Yoder, Carolyn P. John Adams, The Writer. Calkins Creek, Honesdale, PA, 2007. $16.95 ISBN: 159078247X 144 p. Gr. 8-adult
Constructed almost entirely from letters, journal entries, and public documents, this biography doesn’t read like most. While I admire the author greatly for her meticulous research and the overall way the bio is organized, I found this a very difficult book to read. Adams may have been a profuse and passionate writer, but his entries are often too indirect and convoluted and it makes for a less than engaging read. If you can wade through the text, there’s a lot of insight into an accomplished man, his equally amazing wife, and their exciting times. Best for HS readers +. Includes T of C, Timeline, Bibliography, and Index. P5 Q7

Giblin, James Cross. The Many Rides of Paul Revere. Scholastic, New York, 2007. $17.99 ISBN: 0439572908 86 p. Gr. 3-8
This book is one of those rare biographies that are suitable for sharing with the very young but detailed enough for older middle schoolers. With a bit of pruning, it might even work as a read-aloud in a third grade classroom, possibly as a supplement to exploring Longfellow’s “Midnight Ride.” The author does attempt to elucidate the misrepresentations in the poem, and goes into depth about Revere’s military accomplishments, honors, and misdeeds. The nicely organized text is liberally illustrated with maps, photos, woodcuts, paintings, and drawings – all tastefully reproduced in the same sepia tones as the text. P6 Q7

Smith, Charles R., Jr. Twelve Rounds to Glory: the Story of Muhammad Ali. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. Candlewick Press, Cambridge, MA, 2007. $19.99 ISBN: 9780763616922 80 p. Gr. 3-8
This book is much like Ali: hard-hitting, staccato prose, and graceful, yet bold and powerful illustrations. Each of the twelve “rounds” of prose takes on the tempo of the fight, or whatever is going on in Ali’s life at the time.
The book is without a doubt one of the most creatively-wrought biographies in print. This book is a good introduction to many things: poetry (ringside! even young boys would be enthralled with this), civil rights issues, biography, and the zen of boxing. Would be also be appropriate for middle schoolers to use in creative writing development. P7 Q8

Shivak, Nadia. Inside Out: Portrait of an Eating Disorder. Simon & Schuster, New York, 2007. $17.99 ISBN: 0689852169 64 p. Gr. 6-12
As a former anorexic/bulimic, I have read a plethora of self-help books on the subject, but none that saw eating disorders from the inside out as this book does. Ironically, it wasn’t until I heard back from a young library patron about how this book had comforted her that I realized that it truly is a self-help book and not just a very painful autobiography. The author puts us through at least 60 pages of living hell, and truly, she doesn’t overcome her disorder as much as she learns to detatch and distance herself from it – at age 40. What is most refreshing (if anything in this book could be called that) is the humor and the mode of presentation: somewhat like “Amelia gone to Eating Disorder Hell” journals. Her talented and obsessive writing is at times concrete poetry and at other times reminiscent of Dante’s Inferno, illuminating the dark corners of this obsession. There are few, if any, books that adequately portray the angst and manage to comfort sufferers: make sure this book is in your library! Includes afterward, helpful websites, acknowledgements, and a list of eating disorder factoids. P7 Q9

Hilliard, Richard. Ham the Astrochimp. Boyds Mill Press, Honesdale, PA, 2007. $16.95 ISBN: 9781590784594 32 p. Gr. 2-5
Not your usual cute animal story, Ham the Astrochimp would make a great read-aloud introduction to biography, astronauts, or even exploration in an early elementary classroom. This well-written book presents the life and achievements of the U.S.’s first intelligent being to travel in space. While the central, large font text doesn’t go into detail about why or how Ham was chosen and trained for the Mercury flights, there are smaller font sidebars that elucidate this and give the reader many facts about our early space program. The illustrations are meticulous and engaging, as might be expected from a professor of graphic design and illustration. The only thing missing is a bibliography/source notes. A great addition to any elementary library. P7 Q8

Bolden, Tonya. Take-off: American all-girl bands during WWII. Random House, New York, 2007. $18.99 ISBN: 9780375827976 76 p. Gr.6-10
Take-off (a slang term for improvisation) is truly a history book like no other: jazzy, slangy, at times scintillating, and always obsessively informative. The book’s theme is the rise of women in performance music, filling vacancies left by men drafted in to World War II service. Before this time, it was considered ‘unseemly’ for women to be performing in a band on stage. Take-off is meticulously researched and produced, beautifully illustrated, and includes a CD of “Songs to Swing To,” performed many of the big name “orks.” There’s also lengthy documentation and discussion on racial segregation in women’s bands. This book would be a great reference for music history, women’s studies, or civil rights history classes. P6 Q9

Marsalis, Wynton. Jazz ABZ. Illustrated by Paul Rogers. Biographical sketches by Phil Schaap. Candlewick Press, Cambridge, MA, 2005. $24.99 ISBN: 0763621358 76 p. Gr. 5-adult
One crazy book, filled with poems, odes, calligrams, etc. about all the greats, from Louis Armstrong (A) to Dizzy Gillespie (Z). Jazz ABZ is an incredibly creative, beautifully produced book that is just ABOUT jazz, it is jazz. Rogers illustrations are exciting, 50’-ish stylized paintings. Includes a list of 26 recommended jazz records. This book would be great addition to any library. P6 Q9
Sciurba, Katie. Oye, Celia!. Illustrated by Edel Rodriguez. Henry Holt, New York, 2007. $16.95 ISBN: 080507468 32 p. Gr. 1-4 This book is a appealing tribute to salsa superstar Celia Cruz, written. While not an indepth biography, it would make a nice classroom read-aloud.. The illustrations are vivid and warm. P5 Q6

February 2008 Reviews DGH
Gormley, Beatrice, Salome, Alfred A. Knopf, 2007, 978-0-375-83908-5, P7 Q7
An historical fiction that is referred to in the Bible, this is the story of Salome whose dance of the seven veils allows her to ask for anything she wants in the kingdom. To the horror of many (including herself), she demands the head of John the Baptist at her mother’s prompting. It is an interesting tale, one that has been done before on the screen and in books. This one however, paints a different hue on Salome and the events in which she is cast. The Dance of the Seven Veils was done in a fairly neutral way with a mild sexual undertone. We watch Salome grow as various character tests come her way, and although she fails them at the beginning, she grows as the book develops. I won’t be ordering this for our libraries but I will place it in one school and see what the circulation does.

Hill, Kirkpatrick, Do Not Pass Go, Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007, 978-1-4169-1400-6, $15.99, P7 Q7
This was a story of a teen boy whose family was disrupted by his father being taken to jail. We are able to view the consequences of this event and how it affected relationships within the family, with friends at school, and how it impacted self-image. In all three arenas, some pretty surprising and uplifting incidents occur! The author struck upon a topic that many young readers experience first hand. Because prison life is treated mildly, and the father makes some friends while honestly rehabilitating himself, a reader can empathize with the protagonist and the struggles he faced. This is not a “scared straight” type of book, but one that was designed to let kids know that it is not their fault when a parent is arrested. I was a bit let down with the author’s character development as most seemed fairly two-dimensional. The plotline was fairly predictable as well and as I finished I realized that the content and language would actually be fine for readers as young as the fourth-grade. I am choosing not to purchase additional copies for our elementary and middle schools. There are better books out there.

Oregon Coast Preview Center for Young Readers February 2008 SE Grandparent Volunteer
Fiction 

Fletcher, Christine. Tallulah. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, NY, 2006. ISBN-10: 1582346623, 13:9781582346625. $16.95, 304P. Ages 14-18.
An excellent book telling the story of a young girl who thinks her life would be better out on the road with someone she just met and has no idea what that person is all about. She learns that there are more important things than just survival and learns a lot about herself in the process. I liked this book and the experiences the young lady goes through to find out what is really important in life. Q9P8.

Jocelyn, Marthe. How It Happened in Peach Hill. Wendy Lamb Books an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, NY, 2007. ISBN 9780375837012, 9780375937019. $15.99, 232P. Ages 12-18.
This is a cute story of a young girl whose mother is somewhat of a drifting grifter and has her daughter help her deceive people by pretending she is a severely mentally undeveloped idiot. They move from town to town and when the girl decides she would like to be normal, she makes her mother perform a miracle that takes the affectation away by some hocus pocus. Q8P8

Easton, Kelly. White Magic, Spells to Hold You. Wendy Lamb Books an imprint of Random House Children’s Books NY. 2007. ISBN 9780375837692, 9780375937699. $15.99. 193P. Ages 13-16.
This is a story of three young girls in Santa Monica, California, who form a witches coven to try to get what each one wants in life. Q8P8

Boelts, Maribeth, Il Noah Z. Jones. Those Shoes. Candlewick Press MA. 2007. ISBN 9780763624996. $15.99. Ages 6-10.
This is a wonderfully written story of a young man who wants the newest shoes but his mother can’t afford them. He finds a pair at the last thrift store he and his mother go to but they are way too small and he takes them anyway. He ends up giving his friend (also poor) the shoes because his friend’s mother can’t afford those shoes either and since he can’t wear them, he feels that his friend would love them. It is a great book on the value of friendship and the pressure of peers to try to get what others have. Q9P9

Landry, Leo, Space Boy. Houghton Mifflin Co. Ma. 2007. ISBN 9780618605682. $16.00. Ages 5-6. This is a cute story of a boy at bedtime who can’t stand the noise of his household and takes an imaginary trip to the moon to have a picnic. When he returns the house he finds he missed and it is finally quiet and he says he is able to go to bed. Q7P7

Opie, Iona, Il.Rosemary Wells. Mother Goose’s Little Treasures. Candlewick Press, Ma. ISBN 9780763636555 $17.99. 55P Ages 5-7.
This is a collection of obscure Mother Goose rhymes, including “In and out the windows” and “Mother may I” and is very well illustrated. Q8P8

Applegate, Katherine, Il. Jan Ormerod, The Buffalo Storm Clarion Books NY. 2007. ISBN 9780618535972, 0618535977. $16.00. Ages 5-8.
This wonderfully illustrated and well written story is of a young lady whose family joins a wagon train bound for Oregon, leaving her beloved grandmother behind. She learns how to face her fears during the long trip and has the comfort of the quilt her grandmother made for her. I loved this book. Q9P9

The Random House Book of Bedtime Stories. Il. Jane Dyer.Random House, NY. $21.99. 137P. Ages 5-8.
A collection of Bedtime stories from around the world .This is a great compilation of stories and folk tales from around the world including “The Gingerbread Boy” and Goldilocks and the Three Bears” and other nighttime, bedtime stories. I love the illustrations and the choice of tales is great. Q8P8

Tales From the Brothers Grimm, compiled by Coopers Edens. Il.Arthur Rackham, Walter Crane, Randolph Caldecot and others. Starsnap Studio, Raincoast Books BC. 2007. ISBN 9780811854597, 0811854590. $19.95. Ages 5-8.
A great compilation of stories by the Grimm Bros including Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, The Changeling, The Frog Prince, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, the Elves and the Shoemaker and other favorites. Q8P8

Book Reviews By L.R., for Siletz Library Feb. 2008
Young Adult Books

Lenhard, Elizabeth. Chicks with Sticks (It’s a Purl Thing) and Chicks with Sticks (Knit Two Together). Dutton Children’s Books, 2005 and 2006. 241 pgs., 262 pgs. Ages 13-18. ISBN 0525476229, 0525477640, $15.99 & $16.99. P4Q5
I reviewed the third book of this series about four high school friends who share a passion for knitting in December, and then read the 1st and 2nd books in the series. The series has definitely grown on me, and even the covers don’t seem so off-putting anymore! These are rather light books about teen girls going through their high school years. Parent problems, first boyfriends, divorce, learning disabilities, class consciousness—there are lots of themes here for teens to identify with. The theme running through the three books, besides knitting, seems to be supporting one’s friends and celebrating differences. There are lots of references to popular slang, culture and electronic interaction., so at least for a couple of years, these books should seem fresh to teen readers.

Juvenile Books
Kimmel, Eric. A Picture for Marc. Il. Matthew Trueman. Random House, Inc., 2007. 102 pgs. Ages 9-12. ISBN 9780375832536 $11.99. P4 Q8
This chapter book tells about the early life of the Russian painter, Marc Chagall, and how he got interested in art. He grew up in a poor family and did not even know that
people could draw or paint or what an “artist” was. He got a lucky break when his father’s herring factory boss recognized talent and encouraged the parents to let him study with a local painter. The illustrations of the boy and his drawings are reminiscent of Chagall’s work, and there is an author’s note at the end telling a little more about the painter’s life, but it would have been nice to have even some line drawings of some of his work for children to see. Maybe copyright issues prevent that. Let’s hope the book spurs young readers to look him up!

Picture Books
Harris, Jay M. The Moon is La Luna. Il. Matthew Cordell. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007. unpgd. Ages 3-7. ISBN 9780618646456 $15.00. P5 Q8
The author is a dentist by day, but a promising author by night. He writes silly rhymes explaining the meaning of Spanish words. This would be a great story time book, as he even manages to work in the pronunciation of lots of the words, which would be helpful to the non-Spanish reader. Matthew Cordell’s simple illustrations will provide giggles galore. For the older reader, there is a pronunciation guide in the back, as well as a glossary. With reinforced binding, this is a winner for school and public libraries.

Various authors. Sleepytime Tales: A Little Golden Book Collection, Random House, Inc., 2006, 213 pgs. Ages 2-6. ISBN 0375838481 $10.95, P3 Q4
This hefty collection of “Little Golden Books” would make a great birthday gift—even for a sentimental adult, but would not be a well-loved library book. The size and weight of this tome would be daunting to pull out at bed time and most parents are going to choose two or three smaller books to check out over this one. There are nine books in this volume, but it bothered me that the author’s names are not listed on the cover page of each. To find the author’s name, the reader would have to go back to the contents page. But it does have a pretty gold page edging, a sturdy binding and a cheap price.

Christelow, Eileen. Five Little Monkeys Go Shopping. Clarion Books, 2007, 33 pgs. Ages 3-6. ISBN 9780618821617 $16.00, P5 Q5
This rather frenetic story of a mother monkey who takes her five children school shopping will get lots of laughs from the children as the poor mother keeps losing track of her children and having to add and subtract them as they wander off and new monkeys show up. It is unclear if the author is also the illustrator, but whoever did it thought that lots of wavering lines would increase the action in the book. The effect just made this reader slightly seasick. Cute story and a reinforced binding, but I wish the pictures were better.

Stevens, April. Waking Up Wendell. Il. Tad Hills, Random House, Inc., 2007, unpdg Ages 4-8. ISBN 9780375836213 $15.99, P9 Q8
This lively story starts with a bird tweeting at the first house on Fish Street, which results in a pig named Mr. Krudwig waking up and letting his dog out. The dog barks, which wakes up the next neighbor, and so it goes down the street. The illustrations are bright and engaging and the prose is full of loud sound effects just right for shouting out loud. “Wack-slam,” “screeeeeech! gleeeeeep!” “wigata-wigata” are just a few. This book is a little more expensive, but the binding looks sturdy and would be a good purchase.

Campbell, Bebe Moore. Stompin’ at the Savoy. Il. Richard Yarde, Philomel Books, 2006, unpgd. Ages 10-13. ISBN 0399241973 $16.99, P5 Q7
Mindy is a scared little girl about to give her first jazz dance recital. She falls asleep in tears and dreams of dancing at “The Savoy” with couples doing the Lindy Hop to the sounds of Benny Goodman. She has such a good time in her dream that she wakes up ready to shake a rug without fear. It’s an energetic story and the watercolor artwork matches the mood.

De Varennes, Monique. The Jewel Box Ballerinas. Il. Ana Juan, Random House Children’s Books, 2007, unpgd. Ages 4-8. ISBN 9780375836053 $16.99, P5 Q5
Following the classic plot of the rich, selfish person who doesn’t have any friends until she does something unselfish, this is the story of Bibi Branchflower, who is so rich, she has two of everything, except, of course, friends. Her love and care for two “jewel box ballerinas” eventually turn them into real little girls that she can call friends. The illustrations were a bit reminiscient of 1950’s picture books, but not unattractive. Enjoyable enough reading, but probably not something you would check out more than once!

Joyce, William. A Day With Wilbur Robinson. HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2006, unpgd. Ages “4—reasonably ancient,” ISBN 9780060890988 $16.99, P9 Q9
Children will grab any book with dinosaurs on the cover and this one has that and more! It is the fantastical story of a young boy who goes to visit his friend’s house and finds he has wacky relatives who invent things, play amazing games and have dinosaurs, bugs and frogs for playmates. The illustrations are sort of retro—they remind the reader of Buck Rogers, but they are very attractive and engaging. This would be a good buy for a library.

Child, Lauren. Say Cheese! Penguin Young Reader’s Group, 2007, unpgd. Ages 4-7. ISBN 9780803730953 $16.99, P4 Q 5
I don’t personally like the cartoony illustrations of the little girl and her brother who try to stay clean all day for school photos, but can understand that some readers might like them. The characters are engaging and really exhibit the mind-set and behavior of young children. The final solution to their picture problem is totally something a five and six year old might do. So it will bring smiles, if you can get past the cartoons!

Modarressi, Mitra. Stay Awake, Sally. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2007, unpgd. Ages 3-5. ISBN 9780399245459 $16.99, P4 Q4
I didn’t really get the premise of this story. It seems to be parents using reverse psychology to get a young child to go to bed. They pretend that they want to stay up and have all kinds of fun, dancing and playing and baking. But the child had wanted to go to bed from the outset, so it doesn’t really make sense. She begs them to go to bed and they insist that she stay awake. While sort of humorous, it might just confuse a young child and the illustrations are just average. I wouldn’t buy it for a library.

Stem, J. David & Weiss, David N. Eloise in Hollywood. Il. Ted Enik. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2007, unpgd. Ages “all,” ISBN9780689842894 $17.95, P2 Q5
This book may actually be more attractive to adults than children. The “Eloise” books were originally written in the 1950’s by Kay Thompson, a movie star of the time. In the 50’s, it would have been understandable, but today, Hollywood stars do not talk or dress like the characters in the book. People do not take a first class train from New York to California. That said, the illustrations are fun, with lots of little details to look at, and pretty pastel pinks and blues. It would make a good gift book for an adult who is nostalgic for old Hollywood.

First Thursday Book Review Center February Reviews—J.C. Cataloger
Picturebooks

Deedy, Carmen Agra. Illustrated by Michael Austin. Martina, the beautiful cockroach : a Cuban folktale. Peachtree, c2007. [32 p.] ISBN 978-1-56145-399-3/1-56145-399-4 $16.95 Ages 4-7. P7Q8 When Martina, the beautiful cockroach is getting ready to get married, her grandmother teaches her the Coffee Test which shows how each of her suitors will treat her after marriage. Beautiful illustrations, a charming story, but never questions that Martina should be married. Recommended for school and public library collections needing additional Latin American stories.

Ommen, Sylvia van. The surprise. Front Street/Lemniscaat, [2007], c2003. [26 p.] ISBN 978-1-932425-85-7/1-932425-85-3 $16.95 Ages 3-5, adult. P7Q8
A charming, wordless story about a sheep who dyes its own wool, has it spun into yarn, and knits a very special sweater for a friend. Rich colors make this book especially appealing. I found myself a bit taken aback by the cigarette-smoking poodle, though. Recommended for public libraries.

Williams, Karen Lynn, and Khadra Mohammed. Illustrated by Doug Chayka. Four feet, two sandals. Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers, c2007. [32 p.] ISBN 978-0-8028-5296-0 $17.00 Ages 4-7. P7Q7
Two Afghani girls in a Pakistani refugee camp share a pair of sandals, becoming inseparable friends, until one girl’s family is assigned a new home in America. A good introduction to the plight of refugees. Recommended for school and public library collections.

Zalben, Jane Breskin. Light. Dutton Children’s Books, c2007. [32 p.] ISBN 978-0-525-47827-0 $17.99 Ages 3-7. P8Q7
This retelling of a legend from the Kabbalah tells of divine light too powerful to be contained in a jar, and when the jar breaks, sparks fly everywhere. People were created to find the sparks and bring them together. The author’s note states that this is the third book in a trilogy of picture books about peace. Somewhat didactic, but beautifully illustrated. Recommended for elementary and public library collections.

Juvenile fiction
Bang-Campbell, Monika. Illustrated by Molly Bang. Little Rat makes music. Harcourt, c2007. [48 p.] ISBN 978-0-15-205305-5 $15.00 “Ages 6-9.” P8Q8
In the newest installment in the series, Little Rat wants to make beautiful music on her violin, but is frustrated when instead the sounds she makes are seagull SQUAWKS. She avoids practicing until her music teacher helps her find a tutor and assigns them a duet to be performed at the Community Hall concert. The simple text combines perfectly with Molly Bangs’ emotionally expressive watercolor and chalk illustrations. Highly recommended for beginning chapter book collections in school and public libraries.

Park, Linda Sue. Keeping score. Clarion Books, due out 3/17/2008. [208 p.] ISBN 978-0-618-92799-9 $16.00 “Ages: 9-12; Grades 4-7.” P7Q8 Review from uncorrected proof.
In Brooklyn, it’s either the Dodgers or the Yankees…and the Dodgers have yet to win the World Series. Maggie’s father is a Yankees fan. Maggie, her brother, and her mother are Dodgers fans. Since Maggie—a girl—isn’t allowed to play baseball, she learns to score the games and shares them in letters to a young firefighter drafted into the war in Korea. A snapshot of American history that evokes the 1950s. Recommended for school and library collections that need more baseball stories.

Juvenile nonfiction
Pringle, Laurence. Illustrated by Eujin Kim Neilan. Imagine a dragon. Boyds Mills Press, 2008. 1 v. (unpaged) ISBN 978-1-56397-328-4 $16.95 Ages 6-9. P8Q7 Introducing dragons, from fossilized dinosaur bones to Chinese dragons. From Egyptian sun-eating serpents, and northern European wyrms to actual Komodo dragons. Sweeping brush strokes and rich colors bring vitality to the matter-of-fact text. Recommended for school and public library collections.

Young adult fiction
De Lint, Charles. Little (grrl) lost. Viking, c2007. 271 p. ISBN 978-0-670-06144-0 $17.99. Ages 14-up. P8Q8
Fourteen-year-old T.J. is having a difficult time adjusting to a new home, a new school, a new city, and when she meets Elizabeth—a runaway teenager just 6 inches tall, with a prickly attitude to match her punked-out fashion sense–T.J. finds herself keeping secrets from her family while helping Elizabeth find a safe place in the world. De Lint excels in pulling together diverse threads of fantasy worlds and weaving them together into a new story. This one combines Mary Norton’s Borrowers, John Peterson’s Littles, various bits of fairy lore, and a brief glimpse of Rosetti’s Goblin Market to create a gritty story of two girls learning to trust their instincts and find kindred spirits. Highly recommended for high school and public library collections.

Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Princess Ben. Houghton Mifflin Company Books for Children, pub. date 5/05/08. 344 p. ISBN 978-0-618-95971-6 $16.00 “Ages 12 up.” P8Q7
When her parents—the Crown Prince and Princess of the kingdom—and the king are assassinated, Princess Ben finds herself being rigorously trained by her aunt Sophia, the Queen. Ben, plump and rebellious, faces being married off to the next available “specimen of imbecilic manhood”, until she discovers a hidden room where she learns the art of magic. The question is whether she can learn to control herself long enough to take on the duties of ruling her kingdom. A pleasant fantasy with an appealing heroine, but I found the author’s attempts at archaic language somewhat distracting. Still, a good story. Recommended for high school and public library collections.

Thompson, Kate. The new policeman. Greenwillow, 2007, c2005. “First U.S. ed.” 442 p. ISBN 978-0-06-117427-8/0-06-117427-0 $16.99 Ages 12-up. P8Q8
When J.J.’s mother says that what she really wants for her birthday is more time, he decides to find some for her. His search to buy her some time leads him into the fairy world of the Tuatha de Daanan, and to the discovery of what really happened to the priest his grandfather was accused of killing. Includes bibliography, glossary, and simple musical notation for several tunes mentioned in the text. A wonderful fantasy, this story weaves together fairies, Irish music, the frenetic touch of modern life, and the ever-increasing need for more time. Highly recommended for high school and public library collections.

Book Reviews B.R. Yaquina View
Whybrow, Ian and Adian Reynolds. Harry and the Dinosaurs go to School. Random House, c 2006. ISBN 0375841806. Unp. $15.99. Grades PreS-1st. (Q7, P7)
The first day of school is a very special event in any child’s life. This story portrays the anxiety of meeting the teacher and Mom and Dad leaving them for the whole day. Harry loves his dinosaurs and takes them to school. There he meets another boy who doesn’t want to talk. They come together and help each other’s difficulty of their first day of school.

Castle, Kate. My First Ballet Book. Kingfisher, c2006. ISBN 0753460262 48 pgs. $9.95. Grades K-3. (Q9, P7)
This is a wonderfully written book with an abundance of excellent photos to illustrate directions and instructions. This book covers all aspects of learning ballet from explaining what ballet is to what to wear, from warming up to different dance steps. It also includes famous ballets, what happens behind the scenes and what happens at the performance. The book includes a glossary and an index. A magnificent book that will appeal to both boys and girls interested in learning ballet.

Bond, Rebecca. The Great Doughnut Parade. Houghton Mifflin Co. c2007. ISBN 0618777059. Unp. $17.00 Grades PreS-2nd. (Q4, P6)
Billy ties a string to a doughnut and then to his belt. As he goes through the town he attracts attention from everyone and everything he passes. The hen, the cat, the dog, and farther down the street, a cast of a play, a group of joggers, even fantasy figures join the parade. The lively watercolor illustrations fill the pages with wonderful images for children to admire. At first reading I found the writing hard to read aloud, with subsequent readings it became easier but still not flowing easily. At the beginning the rhyming was every four lines and later in the book it became every two lines. Somewhat confusing.

Valerie Wilding. Real Princesses an inside look at Royal Life. Walker Publishing Co., c2007. ISBN 0802796753. $16.95. 64 Pgs. Grades 2nd-5th. (Q9, P8)
Every little girls dream is to become a princess. This book gives a quick look about many aspects of being a princess. What is a princess? Where do they live? Clothing and education, wedding dresses and feasts are discussed. Fantastic photos and some drawn illustrations bring to life the well written text. This book will attract the attention of not only young girls but adults alike who would like to learn about the life of princesses.

Stainton, Sue. I Love Cats. Ills. by Anne Mortimer. Harper & Collins, c2007. ISBN 0060851546. Unp. $15.99 PreS-1st. (Q9, P9)
Big Cats, little cats, happy cats, angry cats, all kinds of cats are portrayed in this delightful book celebrating cats. The illustrations are life like with many of the cats seemingly to be photographs. Simple and to the point, children will love to spend hours devouring the pictures in this book. The rhythm of the words helps make this an easy read aloud.

Puttock, Simon. Earth to Stella. Ills. by Philip Hopman. Clarion Books, c2006. ISBN 0618585354. Unp. $16.00. PreS-2nd. (Q8, P9)
This is a delightful story about a Father and daughter’s relationship. They have a bedtime routine which works for them. Stella’s imagination takes her to outer space while keeping a close tie to earth with her communications with her father. “Earth to Stella” Father keeps contact with Stella.

Gran, Julia. Big Bug Surprise. Scholastic Press, c2007. ISBN 0439676096. Unp. $16.00. Grades K-3rd. (Q7, P8)
Bugs, bugs, bugs abound in this book. Prunella loves bugs and had a hard time deciding which to take to show and tell at school. While trying to tell everyone about bugs their response is always “Not now, Prunella”. When it is show and tell a queen bee flies into the classroom and all her worker bees fly after her. Prunella handles the situation and everyone cheers her. This is an amazing book that will capture the attention of children. The final page gives informational facts about the different bugs in the book.

Reviewed By J. D., Yaquina View
Bloom, Suzanne. Un Amigo De versa. Boyds Mill Press, c2005. ISBN 1590784898. Unp. $15.95. PreS-K. (Q6, P8)
Beautiful illustrations. Spanish translation Pensar en hambre, pensando? Thinking question. Nice story very basic. Good for smaller kids.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers February 2008 Reviews by N.W.
Nonfiction

Parker, Robert Andrew. Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum. Schwartz & Wade Books/Random House, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-375-83965-8. unp. Ages 5-9
Born in 1910, Art Tatum suffered from severely limited vision which only worsened during time. Yet he taught himself to play the piano, becoming a famous jazz pianist who performed across the United States and recorded 14 albums. The first-person narrative, supposedly by Tatum, is enhanced by the soft watercolors with black outlines that simulate a sense of poor sight. The matter-of-fact narrative shows the struggles that African-Americans endured during the early twentieth century to make a living and achieve their dreams. And through Tatum’s four senses, the reader experiences the world in which he lived. P7Q8

Poetry
Wassenhove, Sue Van. The Seldom-Ever-Shady Glades: Poems and Quilts. Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press, 2008. $17.95. 978-1-59078-352-8. unp. Ages 8-12:
Creatures of the Everglades, primarily birds, are the focus of the seventeen poems with background artwork quilted by the author. The poetry is colorful—as are the subjects—and clear. Unfortunately, she follows a traditional view of gender: for example, the “Professor” is depicted as male and the snowy-white egret is compared to girls’ lacy frills. Someone who works with young readers can point this out to them. P7Q7

Picture Books
Plourde, Lynn. Science Fair Day. Il. Thor Wickstrom. Dutton, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-525-47878-2. unp. Ages 6-9: Mrs. Shepherd’s silly students are again the focus of this funny, imaginative book in the fifth of the series. This time Ima Kindanozee (get it?!) pokes her nose into all the science projects, wreaking havoc as she flits from one hapless student to another. Despite the disasters, the teacher manages to help the students repair the damage without squelching Ima’s curiosity. A bonus for the book is the creativity shown in the projects that the diverse students develop and the way that everyone’s skills are highlighted—even that of Ima. A very fun book with clever illustrations and students that all can identify with. P9Q9

Santore, Charles. The Silk Princess. Random House, 2007. $17.99. 978-0-375-83664-0. unp. Ages 7-11:
The discovery of silk, in Chinese legend, came when a princess sees a cocoon fall into the Empress’s teacup and tries to determine the length of the unraveling thread by walking away from her mother. Carefully crafted paintings willed with gnarly trees, Oriental figures and structures, and a wonderfully fearsome dragon depict the princess’s adventures as she is provided the solution to weaving the thread into beautiful cloth by an old man who cares for her and takes her safely home. According to the legend, the secret of silken thread remained a secret for another 3000 years. This would be a delightful companion to Deborah Noyes’ Red Butterfly, the story of how a princess smuggled the secret out of China. P8Q8

Graphic Novels
Holm, Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm. Puppy Love: Babymouse. Random House, 2007. $7.50. 978-0-375-83990-0. 93p. Ages 5-8:
My favorite unrealistic but lovable character who spends a great deal of time in a fantasy land has returned, this time to persuade her parents to get her a dog. After losing a goldfish, hamster, turtle, ferret, salamander, venus fly trap, hermit crab, sea monkey, and ants, she finds a dog on the doorstep and even becomes more responsible—until the owner shows up and takes the dog. Holm skillfully weaves in pieces from Lassie, Charlotte’s Web, Snoopy, and Clifford in a story that will speak to all young readers who beg their parents for pets and the parents who suffer through the experience. P9Q9

Fiction
Hoeye, Michael. Time to Smell the Roses. Putnam, 2007. $15.99. 978-0-399-24490-2. 273p. Ages 8-11:
The third Hermux Tantamoq Adventure once again combines excitement, mystery, and love as the elegant mouse watchmaker/detective teams with his fiancé, Linka Perflinger, and his pet ladybug, Terfle, to find the identity of a body washed up on the beach and the reason that the roses at Thorny End are dying. A missing heir, a homeless teenager, a nasty beauty tycoon, and an evil scientists are only a few of the mice and squirrels that “people” this witty tongue-in-cheek romp. P9Q8

Schwabach, Karen. The Hope Chest. Random House, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-375-84095-1. 274p. Ages 10-13:
The story of fight in Tennessee to win women’s voting rights for the United States is the culmination of this adventure about Violet, 11, who searches for her older sister, Chloe, beginning in New York City and traveling with a child hobo on the railroad cars to Washington, D.C. Although the setting is historical, Violet’s struggle to be independent as she opposes her parents rings true today. Other pieces of the book are the racial prejudice that Violent finds when she becomes friends with an African-American 8-year-old, Myrtle, who isn’t allowed to travel or stay with her and the persecution of a man whose only law violation was to oppose World War I three years before the book begins. An excellent discussion of the government’s refusal to give minorities rights in the early twentieth century as well as a fun read with believable characters. P7Q7

Book Reviews Feb. 2008 by M.D. NHS ASPIRE
Tarpley, Natasha Anastasia. Illustrated Adjoa J. Burrows. Destiny’s Gift. Lee and Low Books Inc. New York.2004. $16.95. 25 pgs.1-58430-156-2. Grades 2-5 P6/Q6
The illustrations are different as the combine 3-D collage of paper and sketching. Sometimes the pictures become a little distracting as they are not very detailed like Mrs. Wade’s hands have no fingers. The story of a little African American girl who enjoys words and visiting the local bookstore. She even helps Mrs. Wade on Saturdays. Mrs. Wade was upset because business wasn’t good and she thought she might have to close the store. The words were stale and not enjoyable to read. This book might be a good addition to a collection of books about African Americans by African Americans.

Wheeler, Lisa. Illustrated by Gregory Christie. Jazz Baby. Harcourt Children’s Books. New York. 2007. $16.00. 40pgs. 978-0-15-202522-9. Grades 1-3 P6/Q6
The illustrations a re a cartoon style/abstract sketches. The words dance on the page to depict jazz music. The words are in sing song jazzy poetry format. This book would be a fun way to introduce jazz music but it may be a little immature. The baby is the main character and they say things like “laughin’ – limbo baby says, “Go man go!” The characters are African American and may add to a diversity section of a library.

Cumberbatch, Judy. Illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max. Can you hear the sea? Bloomsburg Children’s books. New York. 2006. $15.95. 25pgs. 1-58234-703-4. Grades preK-2 P7/Q8.
This is a story of a West African family and a little girl who is listening intently for the sound of the ocean from a shell her Grandfather gave her. The little visits her church, the market and farm. The drawings are simple, bright and colorful but elementary is style. The words dance on the page when the little girl finally closes her eyes and hears the ocean in the shell.

Daly Niki. Happy Birthday Jamela! Farrar Straus Giroux. New York. 2006. $16.00. 25pgs. 0-374-32842-0. Grades 2-4. P8/Q8 The book includes beautiful party pink end pages with a glossary of X Hosa phrases in the back. This is a story of a little African American girl Jamela and the celebration of her Birthday. The illustrations are captivating bright and simple but intriguing. They went shopping for a party dress and then she needed new shoes. She found some sparkly princess shoes but they wouldn’t do- She needed shoes she could also wear to school. She decorated her shoes with sparkles and paint so they would be Birthday special. She was in trouble but a local artist saw them and her help to make shoes for sale at the market.

Slade, Suzanne. Illustrated by Natascha Alex Blanks. Sojourner Truth Preacher for Freedom. Picture window Books. Minnesota. 2008. 978-1-4048-3726-3. Grades 3-5. P7/Q8.
This is a young reader’s biography. The start of the book has an actual photograph of Sojourner and gives a brief explanation of how Sojourner fought to free slaves and worked to win equal rights for women. She was born “Isabella” at birth but choose a new name that fit her better, Sojourner meaning “someone who travels.” The Illustrations are bright, colorful and beautiful. She was sold many tries to different owners. She grew up speaking Dutch because her owners were Danish- When she was sold to an English speaking shop keeper she had learned English quickly. The book has a time line, did you know section, glossary, to learn more, index and other titles in the biography section.

McCully, Emily Arnold. The escape of Oney Judge- Martha Washington’s slave finds freedom. Farrar Straus Giroux. New York. 2007. $16.00. 40pgs. 978-0-374-32225-0. Grades 4-6. P7/Q8
There is an Authors note and sources section in the back of the book. The illustrations are simple water color pictures with faded detail. Oney was the daughter of a white servant so she was a light-skinned slave and Mrs. Washington asked her to work in the mansion house at Mount Vernon. Oney wanted to learn to read but she wasn’t aloud to learn. Oney went to Pennsylvania when George was elected President and wanted to know how slaves got to be free. Oney became a great seamstress but had little hope of Mrs.Washington freeing her, she was even thinking of sending her to miss Eliza. Oney got a ship and ran away from the Washington but was hounded to return to the Washington but she never did. this book is very true to history but has many paragraphs.

Feinstein, Stephen. African-American heroes: Mae Jemison. Enslow Publishers, Inc. New Jersey. 2008. 24 page 978-007660-2762-6. Grade 3-5 P 6/Q7
This book is part of series and on the back cover other heros and visited with their ISBN numbers. The start of the book has a section words to know, contents, chapters, and time line, learn more section and index. The book contains real photos of Mae who was the first African-American women in space. It talked about the science projects she enjoyed doing when she was in sixth grade. The book also has photos of other views and people to help tell what Mae was interested in. This may make it confusing to young readers as they are not pictures of Mae but other young white girl. they could have used photos of African-American girls so the book has more of a positive connection with African-American children.

Grant, Karima. Illustrated by Janet Montecalvo. Sofie and the City. Boyds Mills Press. Pennsylvania. 2006. $15.95 40 pgs. 1-59078-273-9. Grade 1-4 p /Q
The drawings are colorful, bright pictures that look like they are done in chalk. Sofie is a little girl from Senegal. She is practicing her English but feels all alive in they new city while her parents work hard day and night. There are some words that are hard to understand “chum” and the first paragraph is confusing almost in a poem format. She finally meets another little girl who is coloring on the sidewalk with bright colored chalk ans thinks she would be missed if she went back to Senegal.

Stiegemeyer, Julie. Illustrated by Carol Baicker-Mckee. Merry Christmas, Cheeps! BLoomsbury Childrens Books. New York. 2007 $9.95 9781-59990-064-3. 8pgs. Grade prek-k. P7/Q7
This is a cardboard book for young children the illustrations are photos of real objects such as chicks made out of fabric and other craft supplies. The front cover has a recipe for Christmas cheeps Christmas treats-cookies. Each page leads to the next page as the children’s get ready for Christmas morning. Rhyming words make up the very simple story but the words don’t tell a clear story mainly they have a play on the way words sound.

Gray, Nigel. Illustrated by Bob Graham. My dog, my cat, my mama, and me! Candlewick press. 2008. $8.99 978-0-7636-3639-5. 10 pgs. grade pre-K P7/Q7
This is a lift the flap book with sturdy card board pages. The flaps may not stand up well in a library setting without reinforcement. the pictures are cute and very simple to go along with the short rhyming phrases that tell a story of animals and moms getting fatter and having babies. Young children will like to re-read this so they can tell what is the matter and hiding behind the flaps. The book feels a little too simplistic.

Jeffers, Susan. The Nutcracker. Harper Collins publishers, New York. 2007. $17.98. 978-0-06-074387-1. 30 pgs gradde PK-12 P8/Q8
The end papers are beautiful and there is an Authors note at the back of the book which tells why she wrote another Nutcracker book. This one is different is for a younger audience with simple words and is more true in its illustration to a ballet. The pictures draw in the reader and help to tell the tale. The book is very simple it may bore older readers who have been a part of a Nutcracker ballet.

Durant, Alan. Illustrated by Vanessa Cabban. Dear Mermaids. Candlewick press. Massachusetts. 2007. $12.99 20 pgs. 978-0-7636-3442-1. grade 2-6 P9/Q9
this book would appeal to little girls as it has real letters that can be taken out of the ‘Mermaid Purse” or envelope and read. Holly, who is on vacation finds the purse and corresponds with the mermaid princess through letters. There is a coloring book, a
game, picture frame and a silver seahorse charm included in the envelopes. the items may be torn or lost in a library but girls are going to like reading this over and over again. The illustrations are colorful, beautiful and very imaginative. The story “words” could have a softer flow to them to match the captivating pictures.

Dewdney, Anna. Llama Llama mad at mama. Viking. New York. 2007. $15.99. 978-0-670-06240-9. 25 pgs. PK- 1st P5/Q7
The drawings on the front cover don’t draw in the reader but when I opened the book I enjoyed the end papers they were bright and colorful. The words have a nice rhyming beat and will be fun for children to read. There are highlighted letters and words on the pages which don’t seem to have a reason. The illustrations are a little less then desirable and seem to be paintings. Its about a baby Llama that has to go shopping with his mama. The baby gets mad and makes a total mess and throws things out of the cart and is not disciplined at all just helped by his mom to clan up the mess. He still gets to leave the store with his New shoes. I don’t like the moral of the story as some children will see they still get what they want after the pitch a fit.

Daddo, Andrew. Illustrations by Emma Quay. Goodnight, Me. Bloomsbury Children’s Books. New York. 2005.$11.95. 978-1-59990-153-4. 20 pgs. Grade Pre-k-1 P6/Q7
It’s a book to help a restless baby get to sleep. The words are simple and talk about different body parts getting ready for sleep. The characters are orangutans especially in the beginning when she is tucking the baby into bed. He says “Enough wriggling, bottom. It’s time to be still” with a picture of his bottom I think this will make must children laugh and get more excited, rather than sleepy. Some of the words seem choppy but beautiful drawings of the monkey baby.

Hall, Barbara. The Noah Confessions. Delacorte Press. New York. 2007. $15.99. 978-0-385-73328-1. 215 pgs. Grade 9-12th P8/Q8
The book has a family tree chart at the beginning of the book with a section for Mom’s side and one for Dad’s side. Lynnie is a sixteen year old girl who is being raised by her father because her mom was killed in a car wreck. She wanted a car for her sixteen birthday but no luck just a really big letter her mother wrote when she was a teenager. It was a letter written to Noah – the name her mother called her father when they were in high school. Her mother didn’t want her dad to fall in love with her because she had a big terrible secret. She had witnessed her father killing a teenage girl in the woods when she was young. Her mother even helped her dad dispose of the body. It is a story of how Lynnie comes to grips with her families past and who she is now. The story was engaging and a quick read. Teens will enjoy the suspense and how things are resolved in the end.

Mackler, Carolyn. Guyaholic … a story of finding, flitring, forgetting, and the boy who changes everything. Candlewick Press. Massachusetts. 2007. $16.99. 978-0-7636-2537-5. 176 pgs. Grade 9-12. P8/Q8
V is a girl addicted to meaningless relationships. Her mom left her with her grandma and moved to another country with a boyfriend. She and Sam are in a relationship her senior year but she hurts him when she hooks up with a guy at a party. Her mom promises to come to her graduation but doesn’t show. She decides to drive cross country to Texas where her mom is living with a different guy. When she gets there her mom says she is at the beach getting herself together because the guy dumped her. V learns that she will never have the support of her mother and that Sam is the one who is best for her. She takes a different route and doesn’t wait for her mom and heads to California for Sam. She has lots of changing to do but now she knows why she doesn’t want to be like her mom. Most teen girls are going to enjoy this tale of a girl finding out who she is and why she needs to change. There is a lot of sexual content with her hook up behavior but she resolves her issues in the end.

Latus, Janine. A Sister’s Story of Love, Murder and Liberation… If I am Missing or Dead. Simon & Schuster. New York. 2007. $25.00. 978-0-7432-9653-3. 308 pgs. Grade 10th and above P8/ Q8
This was a hard book to read because it was a true story of two sisters and the verbal, emotional and physical abuse they received from their husband and boyfriend. It was amazing how one sister ended up missing and dead and how she new it was going to happen. The other sister finally grabbed the courage to leave her spouse and be her own self. It was sometimes confusing on the time line – with flashbacks and story lines into her sisters life.

FEBRUARY 2008 BOOK REVIEWS L.R.
Catalanotto, Peter. IVAN THE TERRIER. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2007 ISBN 1-4169-1247-9 unp $16.99 Pres-K
As a well-known story begins (Three Billy Goats Gruff, Little Red Riding Hood, The Gingerbread Boy, etc.) Ivan runs across the page causing the characters to run away and prompting the narrator to stop and reprimand the pup. This causes the narrator to move on to another tale and every time Ivan creates chaos. Very small children may delight in the antics of Ivan, but the premise is too short, silly and/or weak to sustain interest in anyone over the age of four. The artwork should, however, ensure a browsing audience. (P-5, Q-5)

Tang, Greg. MATH FABLES TOO. Illus. by Taia Morley. Scholastic Press, 2007 ISBN 0-439-78351-8 unp $16.99 K-3
Tang has created another math book for classroom shelves using rhymes to teach a little science and simple arithmetic. The bright, vivid colors used in the illustrations will attract children and teachers can use the title as a follow-up to a counting lesson. (P-5, Q-8)

Wilson, Karma. BEAR FEELS SICK. Illus. by Jane Chapman. Margaaret K McElderry Books, 2007 ISBN 0-689-85985-6 unp $16.99 PreS-2
Bear is back in another satisfying story in rhyming verse. He is sick with a bad cold and all his friends try to make him feel better as they care for him and try to cheer him up by singing lullabies, drawing pictures and making him tea. But no matter what they do “he still feels sick.” Every small child who has suffered from a cold will relate to bear and feel empathy for him. Of course when bear begins to feel well enough to play again the role reverses and he takes care of his friends who are now under the weather with the sniffles. The illustrations greatly add to the presentation and teachers will use this with health units, during the winter when colds are rampant and when needing books on the ways friends can help one another. (P-8, Q-8)

Elliott, David. ONE LITTLE CHICKEN, A COUNTING BOOK. Illus. by Ethan Long. Holiday House, 2007 ISBN 0-8234-1983-5 unp $16.95 PreS-K
This counting book for young children uses chickens dancing different dances while counting up to ten. The only quibble is the author’s use of the term “bump and grind” that might leave a negative connotation with some adult readers. With the popular “Dancing With the Stars” show currently on, this title might have some success in a display of books about dancing. (P-6, Q-6)

Auch, Mary Jane and Herm. BEAUTY AND THE BEAKS, A TURKEY’S CAUTIONARY TALE. Holiday House, 2007 ISBN 0-8234-1990-8 unp $16.95 K-3
This is a great Thanksgiving story and children will smile over the antics of these chickens as they try to help Lance escape becoming the star of the Thanksgiving dinner. Beauty is running her beauty parlor, The Chic Hen, and is doing touch-ups, pedicures, and trims when the turkey arrives and smugly lets the girls know that he has been invited to a special feast. When they say they don’t know anything about it he guesses that they just haven’t been invited. Later when Beauty peeks through the window of the house and sees a cookbook opened to how to roast a turkey, she knows she and the girls must come to the rescue and poor Lance is in for a complete makeover. Improving his complexion, changing his wardrobe, and tweezing his tail feathers will have kids
laughing with glee. Does the disguise work? Will Lance survive intact minus the tail feathers? The illustrations are a ten. The author has created and dressed chicken mannequins with polymer clay being used for the eyes, beaks and shoes. The author’s husband built the sets for each page which were then photographed and scanned into a computer. The pictures definitely capture the hilarity of the problem and they don’t come much better than this. Teachers with older students can create an “ex” spelling list with all the words that the author begins with “eggs” – they include eggsercise, eggsploring, eggstensive, eggsit, eggsclusive, eggspire, eggstreme, and eggsposed and they could also plan an author study around the chicken titles from this prolific writer. (P-9, Q-9)

Hobbie, Holly. LET IT SNOW. Little, Brown and Company, 2007 ISBN 0-316-16686-7 unp $16.99 PreS-3
This is a wonderful Toot and Puddle holiday story. It is exactly the book to use with young children when talking about how to find the best present for a best friend. With a little thought, a little listening and some creative ideas, these two friends do find the perfect gift for each other. Watercolor illustrations bring the characters to life and four small round paper ornaments are included that could help to decorate a library Christmas tree. (P-10, Q-10)

Vere, Ed. THE GETAWAY. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007 ISBN 1-4169-4789-2 unp $16.99 Gr. 1-2
I’m not liking this one although children might. This mouse is a thief and is stealing cheese. He asks the kid reading the story to help him. He is “in a fix” and wants the kid reading to be on the lookout for the elephant cop. All they need to do is whistle if they see him. The mouse finally decides that the kid (reader) can’t whistle so good maybe because the cop shows up finally and nabs the thief. Then the thief says, “Maybe crime just isn’t your racket!” Well, okayyyyy. There is just something not right about asking the reader to be an accomplice to this robbery even if it is only a hunk of cheese. My prudery is showing (it’s JUST A STORY!!!), but kids will no doubt have fun with it. The illustrations are so-so. Maybe there is a lesson here about what to do if someone calls, “Hey Kid!” and wants you to do something bad. I don’t know. (P-7, Q-5)

Alsenas, Linas. PEANUT. Scholastic Press, 2007 ISBN 0-439-77980-4 unp $16.99 PreS
This simple story finds Mildred, a little old lady, lonely and sitting on a park bench until she notices a stray puppy and takes it home. It’s really a baby elephant which might explain why it will only eat peanuts. When she takes it for a walk in the park she notices that Peanut doesn’t look like the other dogs and doesn’t do the same things the other dogs do. No matter, she still loves her Peanut. One day a man from the circus sees her and claims the lost baby elephant. When she visits the circus she sees that her little Peanut is happy so that makes her feel better, but now she is lonely again. That is until she finds another stray – a kitten that she decides to bring home that is really a camel. Poor Mildred, she needs a good pair of glasses and/or an animal reference book. Very young kids may laugh at the joke, but this will have limited use in an elementary school. (P-5, Q-5)

Hillman, Ben. HOW BIG IS IT? A BIG BOOK ALL ABOUT BIGNESS. Scholastic, 2007 ISBN 0-439-91808-1 47p $14.99 Gr. 3-6
This is an interesting way to teach about the size of things in the natural world. The author takes several things found on our planet and in space (past and present) and places them in context with other things we are familiar with. For example, redwood trees are placed in Brooklyn, New York so that the reader can visualize what they would look like next to the buildings. A giant squid is placed in front of a house to show what 55 feet really looks like in relation to the length of the house. Subway cars are run up the side of the great pyramid at Giza to show how many it would take to reach the top. A standing polar bear is placed on a basketball court to show how easy it would be for it to do a slam dunk. This will draw the interest of an older crowd that use to pour over the “I Spy” titles. As well as a visual delight, children will also learn interesting facts about each of the 22 big things that the author highlights. (P-10, Q-8)

McCourt, Lisa. HAPPY HALLOWEEN, STINKY FACE. Illus. by Cyd Moore. Scholastic Inc., 2007 ISBN 0-439-77977-4 unp $15.99 K-3
I don’t know any of the other stories about Stinky Face, but this Halloween story has him concerned about what will happen during trick-or-treating that evening. Mama reassures him after each question. The lay-out and design of the book is the problem here. Mama’s dialog is done in type that is easily readable, but when Stinky Fact talks the script that is used is more difficult. There is a two-page spread at the beginning using the more difficult type-face and the reader must move to the next page to continue the sentence. It’s not easy to follow. Also, on one page the book needs to be turned sideways to read. The illustrations are busy and will require closer observation so it may be best used as a one-on-one title – an adult sharing it with a child. (P-7, Q-5)

February Book Reviews K.C., NHS Student
Rallison, Janette. It’s a Mall World After All. Walker Publishing, New York, 2006. $16.95 ISBN: 080278853x 230 p. Gr. 7-12
Charlotte is a high school student who works at the mall, and while at the mall she learns a lot. She learns not to trust skinny people who work at the Cinnabon (“if they don’t eat it, how good can it be?”) and that Bryant, Charlotte’s best friend’s boyfriend, is cheating on her. The problem is that Brianna (the best friend) doesn’t believe her. Bryant, with the help of his super-handsome best friend, Colton, turns the tables so now Charlotte looks like the bad person! The Charlotte starts falling for Colton and it really gets complicated. It’s very funny, well-written, with an awesome main character. P9 Q10

February Book Reviews B.R.J., NHS Student
Bush, Jenna. Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope. HarperCollins, New York, 2007. $18.99 ISBN: 9780061379086 290 p. Gr. 9-12
This is the story of a girl, 17, who  has HIV and is a mother. She was abused as a girl, but was infected from birth with HIV. The book starts out with Ana as a young girl. She recollects memories about her mother. It progresses quickly through her childhood, only stopping lightly to explain that both her mother and father have died. She is subjected to abuse, both physical and sexual. She finally escapes the abuse to go live with a friend, but she cannot be legally adopted. She ten goes to juvenile hall, because that is where they put orphans. She has kept her HIV infection a secret. She finally tells a boy that she has HIV, and he also has it. He leaves juvenile detention and moves to a place for HIV positive people and promises that he will try to move her to the HIV positive home, too. They are very good friends, and it gradually becomes something more. He is the one who fathers her child. They end up breaking up after the girl is born, and Ana gradually falls in love with someone else. The book ends here, and then the author tells a bit more to give you a sense of closure, but the book still has a very abrupt ending. All in all, though, I absolutely love this book because it’s funny and serious at the same time. It’s easy to read and very believable. P9 Q10

Petrucha, Stefan. Teen, Inc. Walker & Company, New York, 2007. $16.95 ISBN: 0802796508 244 p. Gr. 8-12
This book is about Jaiden Beale, who was orphaned and was adopted by the company responsible for his parents’ death. It is a very interesting book because he has very few social skills because he did not go to school (he had private tutors) until high school. It all starts off with a presentation about date-able girls, because the company is concerned that he doesn’t have a girlfriend. When the girl he likes is his biology partner and wants to meet at his house, he agrees, but then has to scramble to find a house because he lives in a remodeled office suite. When he gets the company house, he is up in “his” room with her, when lawyers burst in, trying to make everything legal. This book is absolutely hilarious, serious and funny at the same time. It’s easy to read and very believable. P8 Q9

Harshman, Marc, and Barbara Garrison. Only one neighborhood. Illustrations by Barbara Garrison. Dutton Children’s Books, c2007. 1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ISBN 9780525474685 $15.99 Ages 2-5. P7Q7
Cheerful ‘collograph’ (a combination of ‘collage’ and ‘graphic’—graphic designs applied to cardboard, covered in gesso, and then acrylic wash) illustrations show the connections between the one and the many through the shops in a single neighborhood. The attempt to broaden the analysis to a single world, with everyone wanting only peace is not as successful. Recommended for preschool and early elementary collections.

Johnson, D. B. Four legs bad, two legs good! Houghton Mifflin, c2007. 1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ISBN 9780618809097 / 0618809090 $16.00 Ages 4-7, high school. P7Q8
In a simplified—though twisted—adaptation of Orwell’s Animal Farm, the duck’s antics lead the haughty, lazy pig to rejoin the rest of the farm animals in a democratic society. The mixed media illustrations continue Johnson’s distinctive style of illustration, previously seen in such books as Henry Climbs a Mountain, and Henry Goes to Fitchburg. Recommended for preschool collections and especially recommended for high school classes studying Animal Farm.

Carson, Mary Kay. Emi and the rhino scientist. With photographs by Tom Uhlman. (Scientists in the field series.) Houghton Mifflin, c2007. Includes glossary, bibliographic references, and index. 57 p. : col. ill. ISBN 9780618646395 / 0618646396 $18.00 Ages 12 up. P8Q9
An introduction to Terri Roth, an endangered species breeding expert, and her work with Sumatran rhinos in captivity. Includes overviews of the current status of rhino populations. Copiously illustrated with photographs of Emi, only the second captive Sumatran rhino to give birth in captivity. Highly recommended for public and school library collections. A worthy addition to the Scientist in the field series.

February 2008 Reviews-A.G. Indian Ed
Picture Books 

Terrill, Beth. Illus. by Greg Newbold. The Barnyard Night Before Christmas. NY: Random House, 2007. $14.99 32 pp. ages 3-8 ISBN 978-0-375-83682-4 P7/Q7 The “Night Before Christmas” is a perennial favorite for new adaptations. This one features barnyard animals who help Santa when his reindeer can’t fly the sleigh, and in the process have to get over their in-fighting and learn to cooperate. Not as imaginative or funny as “Santa Cows”, nor as intimately familiar with country living, but the illustrations are good and the poem’s adaptation serves.

Elya, Susan Middleton & Banks, Merry. Illus. by Joe Cepeda. N is for Navidad. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2007. $14.95 36 pp. ages 3-10 ISBN 0-8118-5205-9 P7/Q7 This alphabet book uses Spanish words for each letter of the alphabet(A is for angel, B is for bunuelos, etc.), each with a special relevance to Latino celebrations of Christmas. The rest of the text is in English, so it is a nice way to teach both differing customs as well as Spanish vocabulary. The illustrations are lively and convey the social conviviality of the season. This would be a good addition to any elementary school holiday book collection.

Anderson, Hans Christian; retold by Amy Ehrlich. Illustrated by Susan Jeffers. The Snow Queen. NY: Dutton Children’s Books (Penguin), 1982, 2006. $16.99 40 pp. ages 8-11 ISBN 0-525-47694-6 P8/Q5
This book is fabulous for its illustrations. Unfortunately the text doesn’t match up. This rendition of Anderson’s classic fairy tale does not read well, and the large number of words per page and the vocabulary mean that it is most likely going to either be read out loud to the child or else the child will just look at the pictures and wonder about the often-unfamiliar story. They should have gotten Richard Kennedy to write the text.

Early Chapter Books
Delacroix, Alice. Illus. by Cynthia Fisher. How to Survive a Totally Boring Summer. NY: Holiday House, 2007. $16.95 98 pp. ages 7-10 ISBN 0-8234-2024-8 P7/Q7
This easy-to-read chapter book is about a third grader who has just moved to a new small town. Summer seems like it will be boring, so he and his friends hatch a plan to start a chess club, in between the library reading club and swimming lessons. In the process they get to know the “birdman”, an old curmudgeon who starts to play chess with them. Their project expands until it’s a real community effort. Not all kids will identify completely with these characters, but it’s an enjoyable story and has a pleasant tone.

McCombie, Karen. Illus. by Lydia Monks. Indie Kidd: Being Grown-Up is Cool (Not!). NY: Yearling Book (Random House), 2005 (in US 2007—orig. published in UK). $5.99 160 pp. ages 7-10 ISBN 978-0-440-42199-3 P7/Q6
Ten-year-old Indie wants to grow up fast, and experiments with her family’s lodger’s makeup & shoes. When she accidentally removes part of her eyebrow with what she thought was face cream, Indie begins to discover that there’s a bit more to it. Caitlin the lodger has problems with being adult, and by the end of the story Indie has learned that problems that kids have are not much different than problems of adults. The book is an early chapter book, with large print and illustrations on every page. It will probably appeal mostly to girls. While a few words of vocabulary are English rather than American, most kids will do well with it. For Older Students

Myers, Anna. Wart. NY: Walker & Co., 2007. $16.95 215 pp. ages 9-12. ISBN 0-8027-8977-3 P7/Q7
This story takes an ordinary situation—an eighth-grade boy who can’t accept his father’s girlfriend as a new stepmother—and takes it into fantasy. A new girlfriend appears to be a witch, and that old one begins to look good. For preteens it will be fun to imagine—what if your casually-said label turns out to be true? What if she really could change you into a frog, and then starts calling you “Wart”? Through the story we see Stewart grow through some typical social adjustment phases (obsessing about popularity, first feelings towards girls) that will appeal to readers. The vocabulary is simple and while the number of pages makes it appear lengthy, it is actually a quick
read. Not exactly life-changing great literature, but recommended for students who want a light read with just a touch of romance.

Nelson, Blake. Prom Anonymous. NY: Viking (Penguin), 2006. $16.99 262 pp. ages 12-16 ISBN 0-670-05945-5 P7/Q5
This book might appeal to those who want to explore, bit by bit, the various preparations for Prom and the social nightmares that surround it. Junior Chloe has been talked into going to Prom, but can’t find a date. As her friends find her a blind date, she sets about trying to conform to the Prom traditions. Having just gone through this last year with my own daughter, I can see how much of the book covers those details that are pretty universal with the traditional upper-classmen dance, but without the frisson of looking forward to one’s own prom I think the book falls a little flat. It is most likely to be read, I think, by middle school and early high school students, as its themes are a bit tamer than juniors & seniors are likely to consider.

Patton, Stacey. That Mean Old Yesterday. NY: Atria Books (Simon & Schuster), 2007. $24. 320 pp. ages 14 up ISBN 0-7432-9310-X P8/Q9
This is a dramatically written autobiography of a girl who is adopted at the age of 5 by middle class black parents. While her life should have been improved, instead it became a living nightmare of verbal, physical and sexual abuse until she finally ran away at the age of 12. Patton alternates the horrifying stories of her adopted mother’s brutality with analysis of black American cultural values in child rearing as they were affected by the history of slavery. She doesn’t excuse the behavior, but does couch it in a context that may make those who are embedded in that culture begin to see its origins and perhaps make different decisions about how to handle child rearing that emphasizes “spare the rod and spoil the child”. Patton remained a good student throughout her struggles, and is clearly very intelligent, and so brings a sense of hope and resiliency to her difficult past. It should be required reading for social workers, and will be very enlightening to both sheltered middle class kids and those who are themselves engaged in similar struggles. It is explicit enough about the abuse to make it more appropriate for high school, but if a student is experiencing similar abuse it would be a helpful book at any age.

Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. The Off Season. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007. $16.00 277 pp. ages 11-18 P8/Q8
This sequel to “Dairy Queen” continues the life of eleventh-grader D.J. Schwenk as she plays boys’ football. Everyday social situations are tough enough in her life, but then her oldest brother gets injured playing college football. D.J.’s life turns upside down, and much of the book is about her dealing with her family’s dependence on her and her unexpected strengths, as well as dealing with her boyfriend’s disappointing attitude toward her. The author clearly understands country living, and has good insight into the lives of jocks of all stripes. It’s a very enjoyable book that should appeal to both boys and girls.

Donaldson, Julia, The Giants and the Joneses, (Greg Swearingen) (Henry Holt & Co. ), (2005), ($14.95), ISBN: 1844405508, (215 Pages) The book will appeal to ages 8-10.P7/Q8
The story line is familiar to the Jack and the Beanstalk. There are giants and humans in, each speaking their own language. The book has translations for human and giant languages. A giant captures the “Iggly Plop” (human) children. Each chapter is full of suspense. Will the children escape or will they be held captive and tortured by the Giant Children? The chapters are short and easy to read (with the exception of having to interpret the giant’s language). I think it will appeal to the younger, beginner readers, about 3rd grade.

March 2008 Reviews
Oregon Coast Preview Center for Young Readers March 2008 S.E. Volunteer
Fiction

Fredericks, Mariah, In The Cards…Love. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, NY, 2007. $15.99. ISBN 978 0689 876547. 270p.
Anna is an eighth grade girl who has been bequeathed a set of Tarot cards along with a very old and strange cat by an old lady who had lived in her apartment building and who had died. Anna has two best friends and all together they set off to find out if the future can really be foretold by a set of cards. This is a first in a series of three In the Cards books with the same characters…Anna, Eve, and Syd, and I can’t wait to read the other two books in this series. I enjoyed this novel and it is an uplifting book for girls in this age group who are unsure who they should like and what they should look like and who they should hang with. Q8P8 Ages 11-13

Knowles, Jo, Lessons from a dead girl. Candlewick Press, Ma. 2007. $16.99. ISBN 978 0 7636 3279 3. 215p.
This is a story of a young girl’s, Laine’s, adolescent life, from 5th grade through high school and of Leah, the one time friend who would have Laine go into the little bedroom closet to “practice for when they got older.” It messes with Laine’s head throughout the years (and so does Leah) and Laine carries this confusion all the way through high school until she is following Leah in her car, trying to catch up with her when Leah doesn’t even try to make a turn in the road they both know so well and she ends up dead. Laine has to deal with the gossip and taunting of her peers through this difficult period in a girl’s life, and when she realizes that Leah had been sexually abused by her uncle for all those years, she comes to the realization that she was the object of Leah’s sexual abuse the way that Leah had been the object of her uncle’s sexual abuse and used Laine to get rid of all that Leah had experienced through what her uncle did to her all those years. Leah turns out to be a promiscuous teenager, involved in alcohol and drugs and Laine ends up trying to make sense out of
it all. It was a somewhat depressing book but a few lessons can be learned from it, namely, that experimentation is just that and not necessarily a prelude to lesbianism. Q7P7 Ages 14-18

Clarke, Judith, Night Train. U.S publication, Henry Holt and Co., 2000, originally published in Australia 1998 by Penguin Books Australia Ltd. ISBN978 1 932425 92 5. $9.95. 155p.
Luke is a mentally disturbed young man who is having a hard time in his senior year of high school. His folks have sent him to two other schools but he was kicked out of both for what I believe to be non legitimate reasons and this is the last straw for him to “make something of himself” as his stern father puts it. He is passed in the hall by his father without him even being acknowledged and he hears a night train that no one else hears and that everyone says doesn’t come by at that time of the day (2 AM) His sister hates him and his mother is an ineffectual person in any sense of that world that he lives in. He can’t sleep at night and the girl that he is infatuated with, the only person with whom he can talk, is prevented from seeing him by her parents who believe that this young man is just plain nuts and not good for their daughter. The story is a dark story of the misery that he has to go through just to live each day. He dies at the end of the story by having his shoe get caught in the train tracks when he decides to go to the station at 2AM to see if the night train is real or not. He decides to find out if he really is going crazy as people around him seem to think. It is real. Q8P8 Ages 15-18

Schlitz, Laura Amy, il. Max Grafe, The Bearskinner, A tale of the brothers Grimm. Candlewick Press Ma. 2007. ISBN 978 0 7636 27300. $16.99.
This tale of a soldier who has lost everything he has loved and makes the proverbial wager with the devil. For 8 years the soldier has to travel the land in a bear skin and not pray to God and also has to help people with his never ending gold supply in his purse. The people in return are asked by him to pray for him, which they do. Very dark but nicely done illustrations make this short book well worth the turning of each page. Q8P8 Ages 7-12.

Harris, Joe, The Belly Book. Beginner Books A division of Random House 2008. ISBN 978 0 375 843 402. $8.99.
A really cute read aloud book about different kinds of bellies. Q8P8 ages K-1
Dewdney, Anna, Nobunny’s Perfect. Penguin Young reader’s gp. NY 2008 ISBN 978 0 670 06288 1. $12.99 By the author of the llama llama books, this is a cute book on manners and what constitutes good and bad manners. Q8P8. ages K-1

Scarry, Richard, Little Golden Book Favorites. Random House, a Golden Book, NY. 2008 ISBN 978 0375 845 802. $5.99.
Stories include “Goodnight Little Bear,” “Chipmunk’s ABC” and “The Bunny Book” It is another Richard Scarry favorite. Q8P8 Ages K-3.

Non Fiction
Schubert, Ingrid and Dieter, Like People. Lemniscaat, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press Inc, Penn. 2006. Under title net mensen. ISBN 978 159 078 5768. $16.95.
This is a wonderfully illustrated book about animal parents and their offspring. It is a great read aloud book. Q9P9 ages K-1

Einhorn, Kama, Il. Christopher Moroney, My first Book About Horses and Ponies. Random House children’s books NY in conjunction with Sesame Workshop 2008. ISBN 978 0 375 84210 8. $7.99. This is an informative book told by Grover and Elmo of Sesame Street fame. There is a lot of information but the pages just are too busy. I love the pictures and the descriptions of the horses manes and tails and withers and the different kinds of ponies and horses. I am sure that kids will love it. Q7P9. Ages K-3.

Joinson, Carla, Civil War Doctor, The story of Mary Walker. Morgan Reynolds Pub. Inc., NC 2007. 128p. ISBN 10 1 59935 0289, 13 978 1599 350288. Price unknown.
Mary Walker was the first woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Dressing in manly attire because being a farm girl, it would have been impossible to do her chores were she to dress in the womanly styles of the day, and were she to dress in those styles, she wouldn’t have been taken seriously as a doctor in that period of time, she was a volunteer doctor for the Union Army…her father believed in education for all his children. She took a heavy stand on dress reform, and opposed alcohol and tobacco in the 1860 and she was vociferous in the women’s right to vote movement but by the 1870, even the suffragettes turned against her. She was the first woman to run for the United States Senate but was unsuccessful. In 1917, her Medal of Honor was revoked because the government revised the standards for receiving that medal. She fought endlessly for her right to be a doctor when women of that time were only nurses and she fought for the rights of women to get fair pay, to get divorced, to receive pensions. By the time she died in 1919, two of her causes had gained some success…dress reform and women’s’ right to vote. Q9P8 ages 10-17.

Stille, Darlene R., Madam CJ Walker, Entrepreneur and Millionaire. Compass Point Books, Min. 2007. ISBN 13 978 07565 18837, 10 07565 1883 0. 112p. $ price unk.
Madam CJ Walker was born Sara Breedlove, a woman of color, to a cotton picking family on a plantation in Louisiana and was a washer woman for white folks. She came up with a remedy to help workers itchy scalps and an aid to keep their hair from falling out. She started a company not unlike today’s Mary Kay but for African American women’s hair products to be sold and distributed by other African American women in 1917. The company would eventually employ over 3,000 black men and women and would become one of the largest black owned and operated businesses in the US at that time. She employed black lawyers and businessmen to tend to her business affairs. On her death, the Associated Press named her “the wealthiest negro in the US, if not the world.” She was active in the NAACP and in all civil rights movements and spent time lecturing throughout the United States for not only her hair products, but all civil rights. In 1998, the postal service issued a postage stamp in commemoration of her heritage. Q8P7 ages 10-17

Jones, Victoria Garrett, Eleanor Roosevelt, A Courageous Spirit. Sterling Biographies Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. NY. 2007 ISBN 13 978 1 4027 3371 0, 10 1 4027 3371 2. 124p. $5.95.
This is a wonderful telling of the life of a courageous, intelligent woman who became the first woman of substance to fill the duties as the First Lady. It tells of her childhood and her endeavors to press for legislation to protect children workers in America as one of the first successful changes that she made in her lifetime. She worked tirelessly for civil rights and against segregation. Her husband was the only man to hold the office of President of the United States for more than two terms and she was instrumental in his campaigns. She was the first First Lady to hold her own press conferences and she admitted only female reporters, making the newspapers and magazines hire female reporters. She was the first First Lady to receive a presidential appointment, testify before a congressional committee, write a syndicated column, earn an income and speak on the radio as a commentator. This is a truly inspirational book. Q9P8 Ages10-14

Batten, Jack, Silent in an Evil Time, the Brave War of Edith Cavell. Tundra Books, Toronto Ontario. 2007. $16.95 ISBN 9780887767371. 132p.
Edith Cavell was born in England and was educated there became a nurse. She was a nurse in Brussels when the first World War broke out in 1914 and until 1918, she helped British soldiers escape from occupied territory and she was consequently executed for her bravery. Q8P8 Ages 12-17

Havelin, Kate, Victoria Woodhull, Fearless Feminist. Twenty First Century Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Gp. Mn. ISBN 13 978 0 8225 59863. 112p.
Born to a poor family in Ohio, her first money making schemes involved her being a medium and contacting the spirits in the next world for city folks. Who believed in such things. More than once she was run out of town on a rail for her trickery. She offered flavored alcohol as tonics to cure all ails. After the civil war, the government cracked down on all spiritualists when they met Cornelius Vanderbilt, one of the wealthiest men in America who believed in spiritualism and wanted to contact people in the other world and he befriended Victoria and helped make her rich by having her invest on Wall Street. Her investments went untouched when the market crashed in 1869 and she opened her own brokerage even though women weren’t allowed on the stock markets floor.. She met and befriended Susan B Anthony who wrote Victoria and her sister up in the suffragette’s paper, The Revolution, naming them the first women’s firm to mark the new era. Although the book seems to think them important, it bothered me that the sisters used trickery to catch the wealthiest man in America to help them become so rich and powerful and I wouldn’t use them as role models, but who am I to say? Q7P7 ages 8-12

St. George, Judith, Il Matt Faulkner, Stand Tall, Abe Lincoln. Penguin Young readers GP, NY. ISBN 978 0399 24174 1. 2008. $16.99.
This is a wonderfully told story of one of America’s most beloved President and how his life led him to be just that. The illustrations are great and the story is told so that small children could identify with what is being told to them through this very large book. Q9P9 ages 6-11.

First Thursdays Book Review Group
March 2008 L.R. for Siletz Library
Picture Books

Atkins, Jeannine. Anne Hutchinson’s Way. Il. Michael Dooling. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2007. unpgd. Ages 8-12. ISBN 9780374303655 $17.00. P3Q5
A fictionalized story based on a real family who came from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony to settle, it takes a grim turn when the mother of the large family is put into isolation for hosting neighbors in her home and “preaching” to them. The children in the family are devastated and eventually, the mother is freed and the family relocates to an island in Narragansett Bay. The illustrations are beautifully rendered water colors of browns, blacks, white and muted gray-blues which add to the mournful quality of the story. It captures the feeling of how hard and intolerant life must have been for the early settlers, but I wish there could have been more of a hopeful note at the end!

Christian, Mary Blount. If Not for the Calico Cat. Il. Sebastia Serra. Dutton Children’s Books, 2007.unpgd. Ages 5-8 ISBN 9780525477792 $16.99. P7 Q8
This is a “Disneyish” tale of a calico cat who is unwillingly brought on board a Japanese trade ship as a good luck token. Of course, the innocent little cat creates all kinds of onboard havoc and causes the boat to sink and the inhabitants of the boat to retreat to an ice flow before being rescued by another Japanese sailing ship! In the end, the captain is grateful that the presence of the little cat kept them from a worse fate and all is well. The cartoony illustrations are quite charming and do give the reader an idea of what life was like on a sailing ship and what cargo was brought aboard.

Kay, Verla. Rough, Tough Charley. Il. Adam Gustavson. Tricycle Press, 2007. unpgd. Ages 6-12 ISBN 9781582461847 $15.95. P4 Q8
Written in what the author calls “cryptic rhyme,” this tale of very few words tells the life story of an orphan boy who goes west to become a renowned stage coach driver. When he dies, it is discovered that “he” was a “she.” The last stanzas sum up the plot of the book: “Charley did though—- As she would. Drove and voted, cause “he” could.” At the end of the book there is more information on the real character that the book is based on. This is an interesting story that could appeal to many ages. The prose would be fun to read aloud and the large, realistic illustrations would be appropriate for showing to a group. This would be a good purchase.

Middle Grade Fiction
Choi, Sook Nyul. Echoes of the White Giraffe. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1993. 137 pgs. Ages 12-17. ISBN 9780618809172 $6.95. P7 Q8
A sequel to a book called “Year of Impossible Goodbyes,” this book starts with the 15 year old character as a refugee in Pusan, in South Korea. She and her mother have been separated from her father and older brothers while fleeing their home in North Korea. Sookan sings in a choir with a local boy and they form a very sweet bond. Eventually, the girl and her mother are allowed to go back home and she doesn’t even get the chance to say goodbye to her friend. In the end, Sookan mother (who comes across as a very tolerant and understanding character) engineers a chance for the two to see each other one last time before adulthood pulls them to their separate fates. This story is very charming and the reader learns a little about the Korean war, the geography and the culture of Korea.

Swoish, Tammy. Hot Scots, Castles and Kilts. Delacorte Press, 2008. 201 pgs. Ages 13-16. ISBN 9780385734479 $7.99. P2 Q2
There are some good teen books based on the formula of first person accounts of day by day events, but this isn’t one of them. The plot is vaguely Nancy Drewish without the adventure and the character development is thin. The language isn’t even very interesting, and it could have been, with characters from America meeting Scots. The cover isn’t even enticing. It looks like a 5th grader designed it. I would save the money and buy something by Louise Rennison.

Teen Fiction
Pagliarulo, Antonio. The Celebutantes in the Club. Delacorte Press, 2008. 327 pgs. Ages 15-18. ISBN9780385734738 $9.99 P3 Q3
This book may appeal to teens who are very high-fashion minded and obsessed with the way celebrities live. Initially, the descriptions of the very rich and very shallow triplet teen heroines is very off-putting. They are constantly applying make-up and moisturizers, even before inspecting the dead body of a classmate. Their idea of relieving stress is to drink a cocktail of Dom Perignon and milk, or order up in-home massages. They are horrified when the murder weapon appears to be a cheap (not designer) stiletto shoe. These characterizations do not appear to be tongue-in-cheek or humorous. I think the author may be fond of his crime fighting fashionistas. But if you
can get past these rather repugnant teens, it actually is a pretty fair mystery. Still, not worth buying for a library.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers March 2008 Reviews by M.D. ASPIRE

Merz, Jennifer J. Playground Day! Clarion Books. New York. 2007. $16.00. Ages 1-3. 30 pgs.
The illustrations are interesting and engaging, they are made of cut or torn colored paper. Simple preschool words would make this a quick story time reading book. The words are simple and fun about a playground day but the illustrations are fun to look at. The book has the ability to be used as a question game. One page says I hide like a…and turn the page and it says squirrel. Therefore children could answer questions and would enjoy reading this book over and over again.

Schneider, Josh. You’ll Be Sorry. Clarion Books. New York. 2007. $15.00 978-0-618-81932-4. Ages 4-6. 30 pgs. P6/Q7
This simple story has a moral don’t hit your brother or you’ll be sorry. Samantha does and her brother, a little mouse starts crying and crying. He cries buckets and the whole town is flooded her soccer game is cancelled because the field is under water. She apologizes and then gets the urge to pincher brother but decides that she would be sorry and doesn’t do it. The drawings of the mouse sister’s nose are a little strange- not sure if they are mice because of the illustrations

Montana, Eva. My First. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston.2007. $17.00. 978-0-618-64644-9. Ages 4-8. 30 pgs.P7/Q7
This is a goofy funny story about a young girl who wanted a doll for her birthday but instead got a book. Her mother told her it was alive and could tell her stories that would always be with her. She pretended to have a baby doll in her carriage when she played with her friends. One day the tricked her and said her baby wet himself and she had to change him. They found the book and laughed. She ran away but when she returned to get her baby book her friends were reading and listening to stories. The illustrations are different and intriguing. They make the people look strange and sketchy but it grabs your attention… This book would have to be explained to younger children to have them understand the magic of the written word.

Johnson, James Weldon. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. Lift Every Voice and Sing. Amistad an Imprint of Harper Collins Publisher. New York. 2007. $16.99. 978-0-06-054147-7. Ages 4-8. 30 pgs. P 6/ Q.7
The words are from a song written in 1900 to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. It is an African American song of hope threw difficult times such as slavery and prejudice. The illustrations have many layers (like quilt fabric) as there are floating faces that appear to be clouds and water that the author uses as a symbol. The music and lyrics is in the back of the book so a music teacher could teach this to an elementary class in the month of January to celebrate martin Luther King Jr. day. The illustrator also has a paragraph in the back to explain why he brought this forward at this time after hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.

Coleen, Cocky. BABY! BABY! Random House. New York. 2008. $6.99. 978-0-375-84207-8. Ages 0-4. 15 pgs. P7/Q.6
This is a sturdy card board book with simple pictures of different kinds of babies- that are posed the same way the animals are on the opposing pages. For example a baby and a kitten both with their tongues art asleep with their hands or paws near their chins. No words just fun photos are a part of this baby book.

Winter, Jonah. Illustrated by Francois Roca. Muhammad Ali Champion of the World. Schwartz & Wade Books. New York. 2007. $16.99. 978-0-375-83622-0. Age 4-8. 30 pgs. P8/Q8.
This Book has beautiful art work that depicts Muhammad Ali and other Africans in a very favorable way. The story may be confusing to some younger children as it reads like a bible verse- with phrases such as “God said, let there be Joe Louis” etc. It has very poetic verse and words but may be over some younger audiences as it has many quotes from Muhammad Ali the great poet.

Sheldon, Dyan. I Conquer Britain. Candlewick Press. Massachusetts. 2006. $15.99. 978-0-7636-3300-4. Grade 7-12 201 pgs. P7/Q8.
The author was born in Brooklyn, New York but now lives in London. This makes perfect sense as Cherokee switches places with the Pitt-Turnbull’s daughter Sophie for the summer. Cherokee leaves New York and lives in London for the summer. It is an enjoyable journey of how a Goth girl from New York helps the British family loosen up a little. She learns to enjoy the simple pleasures of gardening and helping the Pit-Turnbull’s grandmother. Most teen girls will enjoy this story but it isn’t a book that will grab every reader’s attention and keep it as there is a very mild story of a summer in London to tell.

O’Connell, Tyne. True Love, The Spinx, and other Unsolvable Riddles a comedy in Four Voices. Bloomsbury. New York. $16.95. 2007. 978-1-59990-050-6. 9-12 grades. 228 pgs. P8/Q7.
Once I got into the story I really enjoyed the book. It is told by four different characters that is depicted by the characters name at the beginning of the chapter. If you have to stop reading during a chapter it is a little confusing when you pick up later. It is a story about a high school fieldtrip to Egypt on a cruise of the Nile. The boys are from New York and the girls come from a school in England. Its all about hooking up and of course it ends the way the characters want.

Blank, Jessica. Almost Home. Hyperion Books. New York. $15.99.2007. 978-1212310642-5. 250 pgs. 9-12 grade. P8/Q7
This story will grab any young reader as it is about homeless kids and how they try to survive on their own in California. One downside of the book is each paragraph is written from a different characters voice and is a little confusing. Eeyore is the main character and finally leaves home after she is beaten up by the popular girls. She has been sexually abused by her strep brothers for years and doesn’t fare much better living out on the streets. This book has many moral issues – rape, pornography, drugs, abuse, homelessness and prostitution. Eeyore figures out how to stand up to her step brother and demand that her mother listen to her.

Nye, Naomi Shibab. I’ll ask you three times, are you ok? Tales of Driving and Being Driven. Greenwillow Books. New York. 2007. $16.89 978-0-06-085393-8. 238 pgs. Adult audience P5/Q7.
I don’t believe any young reader would keep reading this story but adults would find it something they could relate to. It is about an adult woman who tells of different people and experiences she has during her world wide travels. Most stories are about cab drivers and their families. The cover and type size would make a young reader think this book would be a good read but I believe they would put it down after just a few paragraphs.

Van Draanen, Wendelin. Confessions of a Serial Kisser. Random House Children’s Books. New York. 2008. $18.99. 978-0=375-94248-8. 12-18 ages. 294 pgs. P8/Q8.
Most young girls would find the story captivating and engaging. Evangeline a high school girl finds a romance book “ A Crimson Kiss” under her mothers bed and reads it and makes a plan to find the perfect kiss. She remakes herself and starts looking for the kiss by kissing about any guy who will stand still long enough. Things don’t go well and her life is falling apart as her dad and mom are getting divorced. She hates her dad because he cheated on her mom. She has lots to learn about forgiving others and growing up.

Mazer, Norma Fox. Ten Ways to Make My Sister Disappear. Arthur A Levine Books, Scholastic Inc. New York. 2007. $16.99. 978-0-439-83983-9. grades 5-7. 148 pages. P7/Q8
My eleven year old daughter Olivia read this book in just a few days and really enjoyed the book. The book has chapters titles and numbers. The cover and font print make the book an inviting presentation. The story is about a girl named Sprig a ten year old girl and her sister Dakota. Sprig is having a horrible year her father is away, her neighbor – her best friend is ill and she gets a boyfriend.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers March 2008 Reviews by N.W.
Nonfiction

Albert, Michael. An Artist’s America. Holt, 2008. $17.95. 978-0-8050-7857-2. 48p. Ages 7-10: Combining his art style with his recycling philosophy, this modernPop artist uses materials from consumer packaging, old photographs, and discarded cardboard to make elaborate collages that interpret such historic and epic events such as the Gettysburg Address. With each piece of art, Albert describes why he used the design. Two pages at the end describe workshops he has given and a brief instruction on make these collages. His art is difficult to read with lettering and logos from many past products. Also young readers will probably not understand his art references in the explanations. The book would have been more useful in art study if he had talked more about layout and design rather than relating generalities, yet the illustrations will serve as a beginning to more elaborate collage work. P6Q6

Kostecki-Shaw, Jenny Sue. My Travelin’ Eye. Holt, 2008. $16.95. 978-0-8050-8169-5. unp. Ages 5-8:
As a seven-year-old, the author had a “lazy” wandering eye, glasses, and a patch, resulting in frustration and ridicule from her classmates. Using childlike cartoon drawings, she tells about this experience, describing the issues that she suffered and the difficulties from the ophthalmologist’s solution. Fortunately, her sympathetic mother showed her how to make the other children envious instead of sneering by creating “fashion-patches” and fashion glasses. P9Q9

Steggall, Susan. The Life of a Car. Holt, 2008. $15.95. 978-0-8050-8747-5. unp. Ages 3-6:
Very basic language with few words and brightly colored vehicles show the the car from building to recycling after a crash. Lines are all three words, ending with “the car” except for the last page, reinforcing two words for the beginning reader. A positive point for the book is the diversity of race and gender in the illustrations. The slightly fuzzy edges of the pieces of torn paper making the collages make this a better read-aloud from a distance than close up viewing. A great beginning book to understand the passages an object moves through in its lifetime and the importance of recycling. P9Q8

Stone, Tanya Lee. Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote. Il. Rebecca Gibbon. Holt, 2008. 978-0-8050-7903-6. unp. Ages 6-10:
This biography about the early life of the famous suffragist begins with asking girls to imagine not having rights, an excellent device for Stanton’s leadership in the first few decades of the movement. The picture book, illustrated with gouache and color pencils in a naïf style, covers Stanton’s life for the first 33 years, ending with the historic meeting at Seneca Falls (NY). The narrative is passionate and succinct, clearly showing the need for women’s rights. One disappointing part of the book, however, is the glossing over of her father’s disappointment that Elizabeth was a girl, explaining it away with his sorrow that her life would be harder as a girl. Even so, this is a valuable addition to a children’s collection with the depiction of women’s struggle in the first half of the nineteenth century. P7Q8 Poetry

Cotton, Cynthia. Rain Play. Il. Javaka Steptoe. Holt, 2008. $16.95. 978-0-8050-6795-8. unp. Ages 3-6:
A rainy day celebrates its many delights through cut-paper collage/paint and joyous rhymes as three African-American children and their parents go to the park. Together they romp in puddles and float boats before running from the thunder and lightening. The movement of the people amidst the long drops provides the same energy as a rain storm, and the few words move gracefully across the pages. Children on the Northwest coast may have some trouble understanding the feeling of the book, however, because part of the family’s joy is the escape from heat, something that rain doesn’t bring here. Winner of the Coretta Scott Illustrator Award, Steptoe’s father, John Steptoe, was also an award-winning author/illustrator. P7Q9

Picture Books
Howie, Betsy. The Block Mess Monster. Il. C. B. Decker. Holt, 2008. $16.95. 978-0-8050-7940-1. unp. Ages 4-8:
When a monster keeps Calpurnia from cleaning up her room, her mother has to intervene, persuading the monster to clean the room himself. Soft watercolors (unlike the bolder colors on the cover) contrast with the variety of positions and costumes Calpurnia shows off as she tries to cope with the huge monster that her mother cannot see. A delight for children because of the monster and the room-cleaning angles with spectacular visual perspectives. P9Q9

Lazo, Caroline. Someday When My Cat Can Talk. Il. Kyrsten Brooker. Schwartz & Wade, 2008. $16.99 978-0-375-83754-8. unp. Ages 4-8:
A young girl follows her cat’s adventures from Nantucket toEurope in a fantasy as he travels by boat and tricycle across the continent. End papers give a map of the route, and illustrations provide a peek into the country’s cultures. Also helpful to understanding seven European different countries are the two pages in the back that give major and trivial facts. A delightful read that slips in interesting information. P8Q8

Portis, Antoinette. Not a Stick. HarperCollins, 2008. $14.89. 978-06-112326-9. unp. Ages 3-6: Follow the rudimentary figure of a pig as the character uses a long narrow object to fish, march, paint, lift weights, gujde a horse, etc. Very simple dialog goes between conventional warnings regarding the safety of the “stick” and the response, in a variety of ways, that it’s NOT a stick. The simulated wood cover and the simple figures (except for a reproduction of “Starry Starry Night”) provides a sophisticated innocence, making this book a delight for young and old alike. P9Q9

Fiction
Cadnum, Michael. The King’s Arrow. Viking, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-670-06331-4. 208p. Ages 13-16: Life can change in an instant, as 18-year-old Simon, son of a Norman nobleman and an English aristocrat, discovers when he accompanies the king on a deadly royal hunt. The politics of England in 1100 are not always easy to follow in this adventure, but the excitement keeps the reader on track as Simon flees the authorities after his new friend kills the king. Based on true events, the heart-pounding tale tries to solve the mystery of why the king was murdered. P7Q8

Ferguson, Alane. The Circle of Blood: A Forensic Mystery. Viking, 2008. $15.99. 978-0-670-06056-6. 238p. Ages 14+:
Once you get over the 17-year-old protagonist being the assistant county coroner in southwestern Colorado, this fast-paced adventure is a great read. In the third of the series, Cameryn Mahoney lies to the police about knowing a murdered girl in order to protect her bi-polar mother who has returned to the girl’s life after 14 years disappearance. The solution to the murder turns a bit weak, but the cliff-hanger at the end will have readers wanting more. And Cameryn is an engaging character who shares a great deal of forensic information. P8Q7

Fletcher, Christine. Ten Cents to Dance. Bloomsbury, 2008. $16.95 978-1-59990-164-0. 312p. Ages 14+:
When her father dies and her mother falls ill, 15-year-old Ruby Jacinski drops out of school to support her family, working in a meat-packing plant. Inspired by stories about her great aunt’s “taxi dancing” for dimes and her romance with a prominent gangster, Fletcher brings the poverty of the Chicago’s Yards district and the seedy underworld of the 1940s alive when she describes Ruby’s turning to taxi dancing, living a double life as she conceals her new work from her conservative mother. Ruby’s experiences are sometimes over-dramatized and her solutions to her problems are not always realistic, but the novel illuminates an interesting setting. P7Q7

Godbersen, Anna. The Luxe. HarperCollins, 2007. $18.89. 978-06-134567-8. 433p. Ages 14+:
Jane Austin meets Nora Roberts in this romance set in the wealthy social scene of 1899 New York. Beautiful sisters Elisabeth and Diana, one very traditional and the other adventurous, struggle against the backstabbing nouveau riche Penelope Hayes as all the young people in the book love someone who doesn’t love them or can’t have because of their class. Once again the formula follows three female protagonists, all very different, with the hope that at least one of them will appeal to all readers. And there’s a sequel in the works! P7Q7

Hale, Shannon. Book of a Thousand Days. Bloomsbury, 2007. $17.95. 978-1-59990-051-3. 308p. Ages 13+:
This delicious read in diary format follows 15-year-old Dashti, a maid who is so devoted to her mistress that she is willing to be shut up in a tower alone with her for 932 days before putting her life in danger while working in a neighboring castle for another 178 days. This imagined variation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale “Maid Maleen,” reset on the central Asian steppes in a fantasy land, benefits from the author’s illustrtated additions—drawings that Dashti has sprinkled throughout her diary. Good adventure, romance, and common sense! P7Q9

Springer, Nancy. The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets: An Enola Holmes Mystery. Philomel, 2008. $14.99. 978-0-399-24518-3. 170p. Ages 12-15:
Dr. Watson has disappeared in this third book starring Sherlock Holmes’ sister, and it’s up to Enola (alone spelled backward) to find Holmes’ right-hand man without getting caught by her brother. This time, Enola masquerades as a beautiful woman and provides lots of information about the customs of flowers during the late nineteenth century. Like the two earlier books, this is fast-paced with delightful characterization in a Dickens-like world. P7Q9

March Book Reviews J.L., NHS Student
Fiction Selections

Block, Francesca Lia. Psyche in a Dress. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, $16 ISBN: 0060763728 116 p. Gr.11-adult
Psyche in a Dress is a wicked romance: Psyche is on her own adventure to find love. She found her love named Eros; she calls him “god of love.” Once she betrayed his wishes Psyche feels she needs punishment. So, she finds her way to her own hell. Driven out and drowned by her father’s actions, she flies away. Her long lost mother comes to save her, but Psyche was too scared. Grieving over lost love, she buries herself with fresh flowers and sex-appeal. In the end, the gothic love craving is fascinating and Psyche sees she is a Goddess. I loved this book! It’s weird, but very understandable. It wasn’t hard to read Psyche in a Dress, but you have to pay attention or you will get lost in the poetic adventure. P10 Q 10

March Book Reviews K.Y., NHS
Early Readers

Cullen, Lynn. Moi & Marie Antoinette, Illustrated by Amy Young. Bloomsbury Books, New York, 2006. $16.95 ISBN: 1-58234-958-4 np. Gr. 2-5
This story is told from a dog’s point of view. He is a pug who lives with Marie Antoinette as a girl, and he accompanies her through her lifetime. She is married to a prince, who will become king and she is led into the unknown. She becomes queen, and loses interest in her dog. When she has a child, however, the child falls in love with the dog and together they show Marie the true meaning of happiness. I really liked this book because it taught a simple history lesson in a fun and exciting way. The illustrations are very detailed, bright, and expressive. The only thing I found disappointing about this book was that some children might not understand what “moi” means. P5 Q10

Jahn-Clough, Lisa. Little Dog. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 2006. $16 ISBN: 0-618-57405-0 32p. Gr. Preschool – 2
The story is about a dog named “little dog” who is a mutt living in a big city. Little dog was hungry, tired, and wanted to eat, sleep, and chase things. Most of all, he wanted someone to love him. Everywhere he goes, people tell him to go away, but he kept hoping. He soon meets Rosa who paints with only dark colors. Rosa takes him in and tells him he can stay. The next day, Rosa didn’t feel like painting with gray colors anymore. Little dog leaders her out into t he country where everything is colorful. Rosa paints while little dog runs around and plays. When Rosa hangs up her paintings, little dog sees that he is in every one. I really like the illustrations in this book because they are very abstract and would really appeal to younger children. It would also encourage them to do their own art work. The cover on this book could be a little more vibrant or exciting; a cover needs to draw in the audience. Young children are looking for bright colors and clear pictures and this cover won’t make the cut. I liked this book because it is a very cheery story and helps children to be happy for all of the color in their lives. It has a very good ending and is very lively. P7 Q9

Book Reviews Belva Rice
Whybrow, Ian and Adian Reynolds. Harry and the Dinosaurs go to School. Random House, c 2006. ISBN 0375841806. Unp. $15.99. Grades PreS-1st. (Q7, P7)
The first day of school is a very special event in any child’s life. This story portrays the anxiety of meeting the teacher and Mom and Dad leaving them for the whole day. Harry loves his dinosaurs and takes them to school. There he meets another boy who doesn’t want to talk. They come together and help each other’s difficulty of their first day of school.

Castle, Kate. My First Ballet Book. Kingfisher, c2006. ISBN 0753460262 48 pgs. $9.95. Grades K-3. (Q9, P7)
This is a wonderfully written book with an abundance of excellent photos to illustrate directions and instructions. This book covers all aspects of learning ballet from explaining what ballet is to what to wear, from warming up to different dance steps. It also includes famous ballets, what happens behind the scenes and what happens at the performance. The book includes a glossary and an index. A magnificent book that will appeal to both boys and girls interested in learning ballet.

Bond, Rebecca. The Great Doughnut Parade. Houghton Mifflin Co. c2007. ISBN 0618777059. Unp. $17.00 Grades PreS-2nd. (Q4, P6)
Billy ties a string to a doughnut and then to his belt. As he goes through the town he attracts attention from everyone and everything he passes. The hen, the cat, the dog, and farther down the street, a cast of a play, a group of joggers, even fantasy figures join the parade. The lively watercolor illustrations fill the pages with wonderful images for children to admire. At first reading I found the writing hard to read aloud, with subsequent readings it became easier but still not flowing easily. At the beginning the rhyming was every four lines and later in the book it became every two lines. Somewhat confusing.

Valerie Wilding. Real Princesses an inside look at Royal Life. Walker Publishing Co., c2007. ISBN 0802796753. $16.95. 64 Pgs. Grades 2nd-5th. (Q9, P8)
Every little girls dream is to become a princess. This book gives a quick look about many aspects of being a princess. What is a princess? Where do they live? Clothing and education, wedding dresses and feasts are discussed. Fantastic photos and some drawn illustrations bring to life the well written text. This book will attract the attention of not only young girls but adults alike who would like to learn about the life of princesses.

Stainton, Sue. I Love Cats. Ills. by Anne Mortimer. Harper & Collins, c2007. ISBN 0060851546. Unp. $15.99 PreS-1st. (Q9, P9)
Big Cats, little cats, happy cats, angry cats, all kinds of cats are portrayed in this delightful book celebrating cats. The illustrations are life like with many of the cats seemingly to be photographs. Simple and to the point, children will love to spend hours devouring the pictures in this book. The rhythm of the words helps make this an easy read aloud.

Puttock, Simon. Earth to Stella. Ills. by Philip Hopman. Clarion Books, c2006. ISBN 0618585354. Unp. $16.00. PreS-2nd. (Q8, P9)
This is a delightful story about a Father and daughter’s relationship. They have a bedtime routine which works for them. Stella’s imagination takes her to outer space while keeping a close tie to earth with her communications with her father. “Earth to Stella” Father keeps contact with Stella.

Gran, Julia. Big Bug Surprise. Scholastic Press, c2007. ISBN 0439676096. Unp. $16.00. Grades K-3rd. (Q7, P8)
Bugs, bugs, bugs abound in this book. Prunella loves bugs and had a hard time deciding which to take to show and tell at school. While trying to tell everyone about bugs their response is always “Not now, Prunella”. When it is show and tell a queen bee flies into the classroom and all her worker bees fly after her. Prunella handles the situation and everyone cheers her. This is an amazing book that will capture the attention of children. The final page gives informational facts about the different bugs in the book.

Reviewed By James Dale, Yaquina View 
Bloom, Suzanne. Un Amigo De versa. Boyds Mill Press, c2005. ISBN 1590784898. Unp. $15.95. PreS-K. (Q6, P8)
Beautiful illustrations. Spanish translation Pensar en hambre, pensando? Thinking question. Nice story very basic. Good for smaller kids.

Krishnaswami, Uma. Remembering Grandpa. Ills. by Layne Johnson. Boyds Mills Press, c2007. ISBN 1590784243. Unp. $16.95. Kind-3rd. (Q9, P9)
A year after Grandpa’s death, Daysha finds Grandma very sad. She sets out to find a cure for her sadness. Daysha gathers simple things that reminds her of her grandfather and makes a special memorial for him. Afterwards her and Grandma goes out and gets ice cream (something that Grandpa always did). This story works well for those who have lost a loved one. Maybe using humans in the story would be more effective, but the delightful bunnies work well. The oil paintings are simply amazing.

Flanagan, Alice K. Women of the Union. Compass Point Books, c2007. ISBN 0756520355. 48 pgs. $8.95. Grades 4-6th. (Q6, P4)
This easy to read this book provides limited information about its subjects, although for complete information additional resources are needed. The book includes a glossary, important date timeline; want to know more information, also websites, and an index. Reproductions of drawing and paintings, maps, even some vintage photos help make this book interesting.

Fisher, Valorie. When Ruby Tried to grow Candy. Schwartz & Wade Books, c2008. ISBN 037584015X. unp. $16.99. Grades K-3rd. ( Q9, P9)
Ruby had a neighbor who scares her. When her ball bounces over the fence and she tries to recover it, she meets Miss Wysterious and her magnificent garden. Growing on bushes, trees and plants are teacups, eggbeaters, and shoes and just about anything. Miss Wysterious gives Ruby some candy to plant and up come the most unusual plants all growing candy. This book portrays a child’s fantastic fantasy of the never ending candy supply. The pictures are bright and colorful with the background rather fuzzy leaving the characters standing out.

Manushkin, Fran. How Mama Brought the Spring. Ills. by Holly Berry. Dutton Children’s Books, c 2008. ISBN 0525420274. unp. $16.99 Grades 1st-3rd. (Q8, P8)
When Rosy wakes up on a cold wintry morning in Chicago and is reluctant to get out of bed, Mama tells her a story about how Grandma Beatrice brought spring to Minsk. Only when they had eggs, milk, flour and sugar could this remarkable feat of making blintzes happen. The working together of mother and daughter creates a delightful story. Included on the back page is a recipe for the blintzes so everyone can try to bring spring to any country.

Jenkins, Emily. Daffodil, Crocodile. Ills. by Tomek Bojacki. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, c21007. ISBN 0374399441. unp. $16.00. Grades K-3rd. (Q8, P8)
Daffodil, Rose and Violet are triplets who are always being described and “Nice little girls, like a bouquet of flowers”. Daffodil is tired of hearing this so when her mother has made a papier-mâché crocodile head, Daffodil claims it and it’s her chance to act different, to be someone else or maybe just herself.

Chatterson, Martin. A Joke a Day: 365 Guaranteed Giggles. Kingfisher, c2007. ISBN 0753461285. 64 pgs. $5.95. 3rd-6th. (Q8, P9)
A joke a day to keep you going. This has seasonal jokes as well as some silly but real observance days, May 23 World Turtle day. Children will love to read these jokes to each other.

Pfeffer, Wendy. A New Beginning, Celebrating the Spring Equinox. Ills. by Linda Bleck. Dulton Children’s Books, c2008. ISBN 0525478744 Unp. $17.99. Grades 3rd-6th. (Q9, P5)
Many cultures are represented in this book which celebrates spring. With engaging language and bright illustrations, this book describes rituals and celebrations from as far back as 3,000 years. It explains the science of spring and includes activities and ideas for celebrating at school or home. This book will be wonderful for the teacher who wants to make the spring season a learning unit.

Book Reviews for March 2008 A.G.
Howe, James. Totally Joe. NY: Ginee Seo Books (Atheneum), 2005. $15.95 189 pp. ages 10 up ISBN 0-680-83957-X P7/Q8
Seventh grader Joe Bunch discovers things about himself as he writes an “alphabiography” (his life story from A to Z) for a class assignment. Along with the usual self-identity issues and social adjustments, Joe admits that he is attracted to another boy. In a light-hearted way, this author of “Bunnicula” stories explores the challenges Joe faces in “coming out of the closet”, coming to terms with himself and with his peers. I particularly liked the positive example set by his parents in accepting who he is and continuing their loving support. Whether or not that’s the average response by parents, it can serve as a model for other parents. The book is totally inoffensive and often humorous, and as a class read-aloud it would stimulate some discussion about diversity and bullying. Recommended for middle school libraries.

Mills, Claudia. Illus. by R.W. Alley. Being Teddy Roosevelt. NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007. $16.00 90 pp. ages 7-10 ISBN 0-374-30657-5 P7/Q7
Riley’s fourth grade teacher assigns them to do a biography on a famous person; he got Teddy Roosevelt. Riley is not a very organized student, but he has passion. While studying Roosevelt, he takes some hints from Teddy’s life. When he decides he wants to learn to play saxophone for the school band class and his mother can’t afford an instrument, he develops his “pluck” and, like Roosevelt, decides to “keep on working and never give up”. This short, large-print chapter book should appeal to early readers and develop vocabulary (mustache, indignantly, astonishment, simultaneously).

Blacker, Terence. Boy 2 Girl. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004. $16.00 296 pp. ISBN 0-374-30926-4 P7/Q7
This story is a cute romp using the ancient schtick of cross-dressing. A newly-orphaned seventh grade boy, Sam, comes from England to live with his aunt, uncle and cousin. As part of a group “hazing”, the new boy is challenged to come to the first day of school dressed like a girl. He was very difficult to be around before, but after dressing as a girl he finds a new level of charm and comfort and is soon tight with the other girls and becomes popular. The story explores differences in how people react to different appearances, and how people can change.

Keaney, Brian. The Hollow People: The Promise of Doctor Sigmundus. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. $16.99 224 pp. ISBN 978-0-375-84332-7 P6/Q6
This is an anti-utopian futuristic story of a society pushed into conformity and strong social stratification. As children “come of age”, they are started on a lifetime regimen of a pacifying drug. The story’s hero, a kitchen boy, the lowest in the social ladder, turns out to be the son of two leaders of a nearby country that doesn’t practice this social oppression. This young hero-in-training teams up with another social misfit and foment a rebellion. The book definitely has the feel of a first in a series.

Banks, Kate. Lenny’s Space. NY: Fararr, Straus & Giroux, 2007. $16.00 152 pp. ages 8-12 ISBN 0-374-34575-9 P7/Q7
Lenny is 9 years old and is a troubled kid. He’s very intelligent but socially behind (perhaps he’s autistic but the book doesn’t bring up that possibility). His mom is distant, always wearing gloves to protect her model’s hands. Lenny begins to see a counselor who gives him a space on her shelf to display things that express Lenny. He meets a boy in the park and makes his first friend. This becomes a letdown, though, as the boy has leukemia. lenny learns empathy, compassion, and some social skills. The book deals with both the socially challenged and the process of grieving.

Cameron, Peter. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You. NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007. $16.00 229 pp. ages 15 up ISBN 0-374-30989-2 P7/Q7
James is 18 and has an enviable vocabulary and wit. He works for his mom (who is very distant) in an art gallery, along with a man who he very much admires, and who is gay. During a slow time, just to be funny, James anonymously answers this man’s online posting on a gay matchmaking site. The joke goes too far, and when he finds out he becomes very angry at James. A lot of the book is James talking to his (completely obtuse) therapist. It isn’t until pretty far into his story that James admits that he himself is gay but hasn’t ever done anything about it, and doesn’t feel it’s the most important thing about him. The story gives some insight into the unfolding of a boy’s awareness of his sexuality without going into actual sexual activity. The literary style is witty, and will tend to appeal more to the older teen, especially those of above-average intelligence.

Erskine, Kathryn. Quaking. NY: Philomel Books (Penguin), 2007. $16.99 240 pp. ages 13-18 ISBN 978-0-399-24774-3 P7/Q7
Bitter teen Mattie goes to live with Quakers, her last chance before institutionalization. They have a severely disabled other adopted child who she distances herself from. There is a lot of political tensions in school–and in the town–led by an intolerant, flag-waving World Civ teacher who promotes war and disparages people who don’t “support our troops”. Mattie naturally reacts, and in the process finds that the Quaker ideals of her new family may come closer to her own than she thought.

Shusterman, Neal. Unwind. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2007. $16.99 335 pp. ages 12 up ISBN 1-4169-1204-5 P8/Q8
In this futuristic, Orwellian novel, a US civil war between pro-life and pro-choice groups ends up in a bizarre compromise: Unwanted children can’t be aborted before birth, but between ages 13-18 they can be “retroactively” “unwound” for transplant parts. Like the proverbial pig in the slaughterhouse, 94 % of them is used, and since all their parts are “kept alive” in other people, they are technically not put to death. This story is about those headstrong teens who have been slated for unwinding but rebel. It’s well-told, with characters you care about, and the concept is not so outrageously impossible that it isn’t dangerously close to a possibility. The book will no doubt bring issues up for discussion, but mostly it becomes an encouragement for teens to use their talents, however unappreciated they are now, to further the common good.

April 2008 Reviews
First Thursday Book Review Center April 2008 Reviews-Jane Cothron
Fiction:

Springer, Nancy. The case of the bizarre bouquets : an Enola Holmes mystery. (Philomel, c2008): 170 p. ISBN 9780399245183 $14.99 Ages 12-up. P7Q7
Enola, the younger sister of Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes, investigates the mysterious disappearance of Dr. Watson. Through her astute observations of the Watson household and deciphering the contents of an ominous, anonymously delivered flower arrangement, she unravels the threads of the mystery. Throughout the book, mention is made of the power of husbands to commit wives to insane asylums, the power of sons and husbands to limit the choices of girls and women, of the limited choices granted women in Victorian England. Enola’s disguise-a pretty, fashionably dressed young woman- elicits comments on the ways in which male response to perceived femininity and class limits female options, and mention is made of the restrictive quality of skirts on her physical behavior.

Vaught, Susan. Big fat manifesto. (Bloomsbury, c2008): 308 p. ISBN 1-59990-206-0 / 9781599902067 $16.95 Ages 14-18. P8Q8
High school senior Jamie Carcaterra is fat–really fat–and her family is not rich. So, her strategy for college is to win the National Feature Award by writing a series of Fat Girl features for the high school paper. She is also in the school production, The Wiz, as Evillene, the wicked witch. When her overweight boyfriend decides to have bariatric surgery to lose weight before he graduates, she supports his decision and comes to face her own fears. The Fat Girl articles are interspersed throughout the text, creating an interesting tension between the first person observations and the flow of the story.

Nonfiction:
Singer, Marilyn. Eggs. Illustrated by Emma Stevenson. (Holiday House, c2008): 32 p. : color illustrations. Includes glossary, source notes, list of resource organizations with web sites, and index. ISBN 9780823417278 / 0823417271 $16.95 Ages 7-11. P8Q8
An illustrated introduction to the variety of animals that lay eggs, accompanied by illustrations of many of the animals and the eggs. The two-page spread illustrating the development and hatching of a bird embryo is an excellent example of the clean layout and clear captioning found throughout the book. Highly recommended for elementary school and public library collections.

Urbigkit, Cat. The shepherd’s trail. (Boyds Mills Press, c2008): 32 p. : color illustrations. ISBN 9781590785096 $16.95 Ages 7-9. P8Q7
An introduction to a year in the life of a Wyoming sheepherder and the flock, with color pictures of sheep, landscapes, dogs, and the men and women who work them. Captions to the illustrations are informative. I found myself both wanting more information and wondering at the length of some of the entries-possibly too long for the audience; however, the cuteness factor of the lambs will carry the book. Recommended for elementary school and public library collections.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers
April 2008 Reviews by N.W
Nonfiction

Nivola, Claire A. Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai. Farrar, 2008. $16.95. 978-0-374-39918-4. unp. Ages 5-8:
“Remember what millions of hands can do.” This is the legacy left by the winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement. Despite personal danger, she persuaded first the women and then other Kenyan citizens to replant the destroyed trees and save the remaining Kenyan forests. The delicate and detailed watercolors and lyrical narrative provide a story which shows that everyone can make a difference and regenerate a country from devastation—without government assistance. This necessary lesson comes from the person who understands the need to save the land so that it will care for the people. P9Q9

Shields, Charles J. I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee. Holt, 2008. $18.95. 978-8050-8334-7. 246p. Ages 13+:
Much to the amazement of its citizens, two famous writers from the twentieth century, Truman Capote and Nelle Harper Lee, came from Monroeville, Alabama, a small sleepy Southern town. Shields has abridged his adult biography of the author of To Kill a Mockingbird and added some definitions for younger readers to market it for this audience. Sadly, the result is somewhat stuffy and dull, particularly tragic because Lee is a strong, unconventional person who followed her own path in life. An extensive index will make this useful for schoolwork or for lovers of her only novel who wish to learn about parts of her life. P4Q7

Poetry
Horowitz, Dave. Twenty-Six Princesses. Putnam, 2008. $15.99. 978-0-399-24606-4. unp. Ages 3-6: In this alphabet book, 26 unsuitable princesses attend the ball put on by His Highness the Prince, a frog. Drawings, meant to be humorous, and brief rhyming statements (i.e., “Princess Nell. What is that smell?”) all present negative
aspects of the princesses, and the collection culminates in their being “a royal pain in the alphabet.” Fortunately, there are hundreds of other alphabet books. P8Q3

Picture Books
Bernheimer, Kate. The Girl in the Castle inside the Museum. Il. Nicolette Ceccoli. Schwartz & Wade Books, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-375-83606-0. unp. Ages 4-8:
Lovely ethereal illustrations of acrylics, clay, photos, and digital media, provide the background for a thin, story about a princess who lives in a castle inside a glass globe inside the museum and dreams of visitors. One page invites the reader to “leave a picture of yourself here for me.” Her first children’s book, Bernheimer has published two novels for adults. The illustrator’s awards include the Andersen Prize, honoroing her as the best children’s book illustrator in Italy. With their unique perspectives and complex, dreamy qualities, the pictures in this book show a great talent. P7Q7

Breen, Steve. Violet the Pilot. Dial, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-8037-3125-7. unp. Ages 5-9:
An inventor with a flair for the air but unpopular at school, Violet Van Winkle hopes that a blue ribbon from an upcoming Air Show will change their minds. With the help of her dog, Orville, she embarks on the project only to fail—because she saves an entire Boy Scout troop caught in the river’s rapids. Watercolor and pencil illustrations enhanced by Photoshop bring out the gentle humor of Violet’s adventures in a charming fantasy. P8Q8

Drummond, Alan. Tin Lizzie. Farrar, 2008. $16.95. 978-0-374-32000-3. unp. Ages 5-8:
Lively watercolor/line drawings and prose combine the history of the car and the problems caused by today’s motor-obsessed world when Grandpa gives his four grandchildren a trip in his carefully preserved Model T Ford. Small, sketch illustrations make this book more suitable of individual reading rather than group presentation, and safety doesn’t seem to be an issue when the dog almost jumps out of the moving car. Grandpa’s positive belief that “you gotta have wheels” and his statement that the children need to work it out themselves for their future doesn’t provide a model attitude for the young ones, but the book does provide food for thought about our dilemma.

Liao, Jimmy. The Blue Stone: A Journey through Life. Adaptation based on trans. Sarah L. Thomson. Little, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-316-11383-0. unp. Ages 4-8:
A large blue stone peacefully lying in a forest is cut in two, starting its journey as its heart breaks every time it is carved into another—and smaller—creation. As it passes from one incarnation to another, its presence affects those around him until all that is left is minute particles which return to the forest and join the remaining half of the stone. Rich vibrant watercolors provide the quality of the book; the adaptation is the weaker part. P8Q8

Rodriguez, Edel. Sergio Makes a Splash! Little, 2008. $15.99. 978-0-316-06616-8. unp. Ages 3-7: For everyone who loves water—but not the deep kind!—Sergio shows the way to overcome this fear: it just takes one splash. Teal, gold, and black
woodblocks combined with lots of humor from the penguin species provides a great lesson for all—just jump in! P9Q9

Millard, Glenda. Kaito’s Cloth. Il. Gaye Chapman. Philomel, 2006. [First American edition in 2008] $15.99. 978-0-399-24797-2. unp. Ages 5-8:
When the butterflies disappear, Kaito takes a long journey with few in her basket to see the Lord of Flight, hoping that he might give them life for one more flight. Because he cannot grant her wish, she returns home to create a simulated feeling of flight with cloth and silk thread. Lucious Asian-influenced watercolors cause a fantasy world of butterflies, castles, and mountains with a large teal insect Lord of Flight to soar above the narration. P7Q7

Graphic Novel
Hague, Michael. In the Small: The Will to Survive Is All That Remains…. Little, 2008. $12.99. 978-0-316-01322-2. 124p. Ages 12+:
In a chilling future world, a mysterious blue light flash shrinks all of humanity to less than six inches tall while everything else stays the same size. The change brings out the best and worst of people as a teenage brother and sister take the lead in the quest to overcome the dark force while the ending promises a sequel. P9Q8

Fiction
Avi. The Seer of Shadows. HarperCollins, 2008. $17.89. 978-0-06-000016-5. 202p. Ages 9-12:
A photographer’s apprentice, 14-year-old Horace, finds himself able to photograph ghosts in portraits and becomes embroiled in his master’s plot to defraud a wealthy society woman in 1872 New York. The deceit turns on the man when Horace discovers from an African-American servant that the supposedly “beloved” daughter was neither daughter nor loved, that her aunt and uncle had starved her to death. The plot moves quickly despite the for the somewhat formal language, but the details break down sometimes, i.e., the lack of filth that the two teenagers accumulate despite entering a house through a coal chute. The appeal is to lovers of historical fiction and moderately mystic fiction. P7Q7

Beaufrand, Mary Jane. Primavera. Little, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-316-01644-6. 260p. Ages 13+:
The violence of the Italian Renaissance, the tyranny of the Medici family during the late 1400s, and the cruelty of society toward women at this time are the backdrop for a story about the wealthy banking family, Pazzi, who were caught up in an assassination conspiracy. The narrator is the youngest daughter, Flora, who falls in love with one of her father’s soldiers while her older sister is marked for fame when she is painted by the famed artist Botticelli. In this debut novel, the author has skillfully woven the intrigues of Italy’s states with the brutality resulting from the power struggles of the time while delineating the coming-of-age angst of a young girl, despised by her mother, who fights her family’s directives of going to a convent. P7Q8

Staples, Suzanne Fisher. The House of Djinn. Farrar, 2008. $16.95. 978-0-374-39936-8. 207p. Ages 13+:
Contemporary Pakistan is the backdrop for the sequel to Shabanu and Haveli, as Mumtaz, Shabanu’s daughter, discovers that her mother is alive, forced to live in a pavilion atop a house in hiding from her murdering brother-in-law, and that Jameel, Mumtaz’s friend and cousin from America, is destined to be her husband and the new tribal leader. Staples’ prose is rich in description of setting and character as well as thorough in providing the background for Pakistani history and patriarchial culture. P7Q9

Yep, Laurence with Dr. Kathleen S. Yep. The Dragon’s Child: A Story of Angel Island. HarperCollins, 2008. $16.89. 978-06-027693-5. 133p. Ages 8-12:
The famed Chinese-American author who has written many books about the struggles of the Chinese who came to the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has collaborated with his niece to tell about his father’s trip from China in 1922. Traveling with his father to San Francisco in 1922, nine-year-old Gim Lew Yep is terrified that he may not get into the country because he is left-handed, he stutters, and, most of all, he may not pass the strict immigration test administered at Angel Island. Simple language tells of the courage needed to face the obstacles that immigrants coming to the country’s east coast were not forced to endure. Poignant but not maudlin, the novel provides an important part of American culture. P5Q8

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers April 2008 Reviews by M.D.
Ephron, Delia. Frannie in Pieces … Save the Blues for Last Drawings By Chad W. Beckerman. Laura Geringer Books Harper Teen. . New York.978-0-06-074717-6 2007. $ 17.89 Grades 7-10th 374 pgs. P7/Q6 Frannie’s father dies and she is cleaning out his apartment when she finds a hand made jigsaw puzzle in a beautifully carved box with her name carved on the cover. She spends every free minute working on the puzzle. The later she stays up the more strange things happen. She becomes part of the puzzle and is transferred to Italy the landscape of the puzzle and figures out that her parents conceived her while they were in Italy. She learns to come to terms with her father’s death and tolerate her mother and his new husband. She finds a boyfriend at the summer camp she is working at for her summer job. The format of the story is very difficult to read because it flips back and forth from dream state to real life. It was a hard book to follow and finish

Paratore, Coleen Murtagh The Cupid Chronicles – The Wedding Planner’s Daughter Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. New York.978-1-4169-0867-8 2006. $15.95. Grades 6-9th 207 pgs. P7/Q7
Willa, a thirteen-year-old, wants to save the Bramble, Cape Cod library and works with her friends to plan and pull off dances to earn money for the save the library fund. Her mom and step dad now runs a bed and breakfast and help with the monthly dances. Some of the more wealthy patrons give lots of money to help save the library. She matches up perfectly with a junior boy who is her new boyfriend. The book was a fun quick read and would be enjoyed by most young girl readers.

Pagliarulo, Antonio. The Celebutants – On the Avenue Delacorte Press. New York.978-0-385-73404-2 2007. $9.99. Grades 8-12 P8/Q8
Madison, Park and Lexington Hamilton the triplets are heiresses to a billion dollar Media Empire and are part of the New York’s social scene. They are sixteen and are involved in a murder mystery of Zahara Bell the fashion icon is found dead in the coat closet. They figure out how to clear their names and start their sister’s new clothing line despite all of the negative publicity. This was a very fast enjoyable read. I was able to read this book in just one day during a car ride.

Allen, Joy. Baby Signs pictures by Joy Allen. The Penguin Group. New York. 978-0-8037-3193-6 2008. $6.99. 1-4 ages. 13 pgs. P7/Q8
This is a card board sign language book for babies with simple words in bright colors. The book also tells the reader how to make the sign and a little drawing of what the sign would look like is included. Fun cute pictures are part of this book.

Wilson, Sarah. Friends and Pals and Brothers, Too illustrated by Leo Landry. Henry Holt and Company. New York. 978-0-8050-7643-1 2008. Pre-school to Grade 2. 20 pgs. P7/Q7
The illustrations are cute and fun depicting two African American brothers. The story is written in short rhyming sentences. It talks about petting strange cats which may be an unsafe example for some young readers. It talks about how the brothers are different and alike and how that is ok.

Robberecht, Thierry Sam Tells Stories illustrated by Philippe Goossens. Clarion Books. New York. 978-0-618-73280-7 2005. $12.00. Grade k-3rd P7/Q7
Sam just moved to a new school and makes up lies so people will like him. He tells lies to his brother and parents. After awhile he feels bad about it and decides to stop lying and only tell the truth. He tells his friends that it wasn’t true and they still play with him. I liked how the story showed the consequences of misbehavior and how he fixed his problem

Book Reviews April 2008 A.G.
Jones, Patrick. Chasing Tail Lights. NY: Walker Books, 2007. 304 pp ages 14 up ISBN 0-8027-9628-1 P8/Q8
Christy is part of a family that goes beyond the average dysfunction. One brother is in prison for gang activities. Her mother is a somewhat flat character, alcoholic and not present even when she is at home. Her father died 8 years before the story takes place, and she has no one to defend her against Ryan, her exceptionally abusive big brother. The story is about how she grows to the point where she has to take control of her life and not just “chase tail lights”. It goes back and forth between present day and various critical parts of her past (which chapters were printed in italics and a bit hard to read page after page). The book is pretty fast-paced, and is a page-turner to the very last line, which gives a satisfying conclusion.

Birney, Betty G. Surprises According to Humphrey. NY: GP Putnam, 2008. $14.99 135 pp. ages 8-10 ISBN 978-0-399-24730-9 P7/Q7
Humphrey is a golden hamster kept by a third grade (?) class. He’s smarter than the average hamster, taking notes with a little notebook and learning the class material along with the kids. His trips home with different students on the weekends provide for a change of scene. This is one of a series of stories about Humphrey. They are designed for the early chapter book reader. The theme is surprises, including getting a substitute janitor or a new hamster ball. Most of the story’s message regards how students get along with each other.

Ferguson, Alane. The Circle of Blood. NY: Viking, 2008. $15.99 236 pp. ages 14 up ISBN 978-0-670-06056-6 P8/Q8
This forensic mystery should appeal to the Crime Scene Investigators fans; it’s a forensic mystery involving a teenage assistant to the coroner (who happens to be her father) in a small Colorado town. The details of the crime scenes and autopsies give a modern relevance to science. At the same time, the murder story that unfolds is true to the police procedural genre. The story is fast-paced and involving. As a Patricia Cornwell fan, I found the book similar but a much faster read and more potentially appealing to the teen reader. The ending is a cliffhanger, a la horror movies, and will make the reader want to rush out and find the next book in the Cameryn series.

Plummer, Louise. Finding Daddy. NY: Delacorte Press (Random House), 2007. $15.99 165 pp. ages 14 up ISBN 978-0-385-73092-1 P7/Q7
What looks like it might be another problem-of-the-week novel ends up being a horror story. Mira, age 15, has always wondered about her father. Her mother and grandmother say only nice things about him, but he is entirely out of their life, and they won’t give any more detail. Mira determines to find him on her own. As in all classic horror movies, the reader wants to scream, “Don’t do it you idiot!” The story moves along, keeping the interest of the reader, and also provides a story-based guideline about contacting people through the internet.

Gutman, Dan. The Homework Machine. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2006. $15.95 146 pp. ages 8-12 ISBN 976-0-689-87678-3 P7/Q7
This large-print chapter book tells the story from many people’s points of view, some of the entries being only a couple of paragraphs long. The story follows a brainy student who invents a “homework machine”: They scan in a homework page and it prints out the answers. Even some good students who hook into it find themselves relying on the machine, freeing them to use their time in other ways. Eventually there’s the foreshadowed crunch that makes them wish they hadn’t used it. The story has drama (how will they be found out? will it matter?) and the characters are familiar types, and they do show some personal growth over the course of the book.

Goodman, Susan E. & Doolittle, Michael J. Motorcycles. [Step into Reading Step 3] NY: Random House, 2007. $3.99 48 pp. ages 6-8 ISBN 978-0-375-84116-3 P9/Q9
This early reading book is lavishly illustrated with lively and colorful photographs of people riding different kinds of motorcycles. It is not so much a book about the technology as a reading book with a high-interest subject. Every primary classroom and library should get a
copy of this one: It will appeal to a portion of the class which is hard to convince to read fluffy bunny books. Young students seeing it have grabbed it out of my hands.

Broyles, Anne. Illus. by Anna Alter. Priscilla and the Hollyhocks. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2008. $15.95 30 pp. ages 6-9 ISBN 978-1-57091-675-6 P7Q7
This is a touching story of a black slave girl in the early 1800’s in the southeastern US. All she has to remember of her mother, who was sold down the river, is the hollyhock plants she loved. Priscilla collects the seeds and plants them whenever she has to move, creating a bit of familiar comfort wherever she is. The exceptional part of this story is that she ends up with a Cherokee family and is forced on the Trail of Tears with her masters. It tells a bit of history while focusing on the way that people cope with hardship. The illustrations are a bit primitive, a’ la Grandma Moses, and the language is such that it will probably have to be read aloud to the young student.

Cirrone, Dorian. Prom Kings and Drama Queens. NY: Harper Collins, 2008. $17.89 200 pp. ages 12-15 ISBN 978-0-06-114373-1 P8/Q7
There must be a subgenre of teen novels about Prom. This one at least takes it in a slightly different direction, promoting an alternative to the conformist, expensive prom tradition. The protagonist, Emily, is a student journalist who is competing in tandem with “nerd” Daniel with others for the expected promotion to co-editor of the school paper. To get the post, they must come up with an original treatment for the annual Prom story. Most of the novel is about social climbing vs social enlightenment, with the non-conformist grandmother of heart throb jock Brian next door providing the ideal of thinking for oneself. The book will probably appeal more to middle school than high school.
 
May 2008 Reviews
First Thursdays Book Review L.R. for Siletz Library
Teen Books

Laser, Michael. Cheater. Dutton Children’s Books, 2008. 231 pgs. Ages 14-18. ISBN 9780525478263 $16.99 P6 Q8
Karl Petrofsky is one of those students for whom academics has always been easy. The other students in his high school call him “Einstein,” and “the geek god.” So he has never considered cheating on a test or had any reason to. This changes when a group of “cool” kids pressure him to help them cheat. In a rash moment of rebellion and lust for one of the girls in the cool group, he agrees and goes through with it. The plot thickens with an evil, over-zealous vice principal and the story gets pretty interesting. The characterizations of the teens are very good and most of the adults are reasonable, but the vice principal comes off as being positively Disney-ish. There must be hopes of turning this into a screenplay. But it is a good read, and one that boys and girls would enjoy. I would buy it for a library.

Moeyaert, Bart. Dani Bennoni: Long May He Live. Front Street, U. S. edition 2008. 93 pgs. Ages 15 and up. ISBN 9781932425970 $16.95 P2 Q7
Belgian Bart Moeyaert has excellent prospects as a playwright. Unfortunately, Dani Bennoni is a short novel and the reader is left wanting to see the characters to interpret the enigmatic actions. We know that the main character, Bing, is a 10 year old boy who misses his conscripted soldier brother desperately. Because his brother was a good soccer player, he wants Dani, another soccer player in town to teach him to play. Dani refuses, and Bing and his friend use devious methods to try to get him to change his mind. But who is using who in this story? By the end, you have the hint that Dani is a sexual predator, or at least a deviant, who is using the two boys. The book jacket tells us that the story takes place in 1939, in Belgium, but the book doesn’t tell us that, and gives us no clues by description of dress or everyday items, except for mention of a Ford truck—this could be Montana for all we know. It is sparse, intense writing, but probably won’t be a popular read with youth. It might be a good acquisition for the adult section of the library.

Picture Books
Cummings, Pat. Harvey Moon, Museum Boy. HarpersCollins Publishers, 2008. unpgd. Ages 3-7. ISBN 9780060578619 $17.89 P9 Q9
The author is the illustrator for this book and, though the story isn’t bad, she is definitely a talented illustrator. It is a very simple story of a young boy who goes to a museum (definitely based on the Brooklyn Museum—I was just there!) and gets locked in for the night. Of course, the exhibits come alive and he narrowly escapes with his life.(A plot we’ve seen before!) In the humorous ending, his story is made into a movie, but everything is changed. The adults will enjoy that little twist. The pictures are just wonderful and there are lots of fun things a reader can point out to a young child. It will make a great storytime book, or a lapsitter book. Buy it.

Weatherford, Carole Boston. Before John Was a Jazz Giant. Il. Sean Qualls. Henry Holt and Company, 2008. unpgd. Ages 3-6. ISBN9780805079944 $16.95 P2 Q4
This short picture book is about John Coltrane as a small boy and how listening carefully to all the sounds of life going on about him contributed to his musical genius. The colors in the illustrations are mostly muted, jazzy blues and the renderings of the people are unusual. The main characters have big heads and little, almost stick-like bodies, and people in the background are mere shadows. This book is okay, but there are much better books about jazz available. Several have been reviewed in our own group. I would spend the $17 on one of those other books.

Oregon Coast Preview Center for Young Readers May 2008 by S. E. Grandparent Volunteer
Fiction
McMullan, Margaret, When I Crossed No-Bob. Houghton Mifflin Co. NY. 2007. 209p. ISBN 13 9780618717156. $16.00. Ages 10-14.
Addy is abandoned by her parents and is taken in by a newly married school teacher and his new bride. It takes place post civil war and it is catch as catch can for youngsters abandoned by parents who can no longer afford to feed or care for them. Addy’s kin are looked down on in the town for being low life and thieves and Addy is forced to try to make it on her own and to get past the bad name of her kin. The KKK is becoming more and more outspoken and when she witnesses a killing by the Klan, her father is one of those that she has to testify against. It is a beautifully written story of a young girl coming of age in a country just emerging from the ravages of the Civil War and who has to rise above her family’s bad name and prove herself worthy. I would like to see this book in the middle schools. It is a story of courage and will and warmth and it shows how young people can survive anything that has come before them. Q9P8

Soman, David and Jacky Davis. Ladybug Girl. Dial Books for young readers, Published by the Penguin Group NY. 2008. ISBN 9780803731950. Ages K-1. $16.99.
Lulu and her dog Bingo have nothing to do and after being put down by her older brother who is going to play baseball, she has to invent something that she and her dog can do besides being bored and so she becomes…Ladybug Girl…who can help ants cross a great rock and can help repair a crumbly old wall and finds she can have more fun than her brother who is playing ball and arguing with his friends. It is a good read aloud book. Q8P8

Rohmann, Eric, A Kitten Tale. Alfred A Knopf, an imprint of Random House Inc. NY. 2008. ISBN 9780517709153. Ages k-1. $15.99.
A very cute read aloud book about four kittens, three of whom are dreading the first snow and the fourth just can’t wait. When it finally snows, the fourth kitten is outside having lots of fun and the other three can’t stand watching him have so much fun and go out and join him. I’d like to see this in our schools. It shows how just one can influence the many. Q8P8

Geras, Adele, Il. Shelagh McNicholas, Little Ballet Star. Dial Books for Young Readers, A division of Penguin Young Readers Group. N.Y. 2007. ISBN 9780803732377. Ages K-3.
A wonderful story about a young girl who aspires to being a ballerina just her aunt. She practices and does what she is told and when her aunt’ big night comes to do the part of Sleeping Beauty, the whole audience applauds after her performance at which time she introduces her niece to the audience and does some twirls and gives the young ballerina the impetus to become more. A very easy and nice read and will be popular among the young ballerinas at every school. Q8P9

Banks, Kate, Il.Boris Kulikov, Max’s Dragon. Douglas & McIntyre Ltd. 2008. ISBN
9780374399214. Ages K-3.
Max is a young boy who likes to rhyme when he talks. His brothers laugh at him and make fun of him when he says he is talking to his dragon…his brothers tell him there is no such thing as dragons until they look up in the sky to where Max is seeing his dragon being chased by a dinosaur cloud and his brothers see it too. The sky gets dark and the rain comes and it starts storming and Max tells his brothers that the only way they can save the dinosaur is to rhyme their words too. So they all start rhyming and they save the dragon. They also start playing with Max. Q8P8

Book Reviews May 2008 B.R. Yaquina View Elementary
Jenkins, Martin. Ape. Ils. By Vicky White. Candlewick Press, c2007. ISBN 0763634719. Unp. $16.99. PreS.-3rd. (Q8, P9)
A very simpley written book about the orangutan, bonbo, gorilla and chimp. It does not give much information, but enough for the younger students. The pictures, done in black and white with a few shades of brown and grey, are also very simple without a lot of other items on the pages. A good book for the beginning of a report.

Bunting, Eve. Mouse Island. Ills. by Dominic Catalano. Boyds Mills Press, c2008. ISBN 1590784472. Unp. $15.95. PreS-3rd. (Q8, P8)
An enchanting story about a lonely mouse, who does not know he is lonely. Mouse lives on an island all by himself. Although he is happy something is missing. One day a passing ship sinks and Mouse saves a creature from drowning. He had saved a CAT! But Cat is grateful and the two learn to live together.

Madison, Alan. The Littlest Grape Stomper. Ills. by Giselle Potter. Schwartz & Wade Books, c2007. ISBN 0375836756. Unp. $16.99. PreS-2nd. (Q8, P7)
Having six toes, Sixto had trouble finding shoes that fit, but he can really kick a ball. When the devious Boss Boombatz, who owns the local grape juice factory, sees Sixto, he wants him to stomp grapes for him. Sixto was allowed to do nothing but stomp grapes all summer. He finally grew tired of not having any fun with his friends and tried to quit. Boombatz convinced him to stomp one last tub. The tub was so big that it took six days and six nights to complete. When the cork came out the bottom of the tub all the juice flowed out making the Great Lakes. This is a funny tall tale to read to children.

Hamilton, Kersten. Red Truck. Ills. by Valeria Petrone. Viking, c2008. ISBN 0670062758 Unp. $15.99. PreS-1st. (Q7, P6)
When the school bus gets stuck in the snow, it is the Red Truck to the rescue. A charming story with bright colorful illustrations will entice young children to pick up this book.

Issa,Kobayashi. Today and today. Ills. by G. Brian Karas. Scholastic Press, c2007. ISBN 0439590787. Unp. $16.99. 1st-3rd. (Q7, P5)
Although Issa Kobayashi died in 1838 his haiku poems live on in this beautifully illustrated book by G. Brian Karas. This book tells of a year in one family’s life, expressing both joy and sorrow.

Merz, Jennifer J. Playground Day! Clarion Books, c2007. ISBN 0618816968. Unp. $16.00. PreS-2nd. (Q8, P9)
A romp through the playground, this book makes a simple guessing game interesting, with verses such as “Stretching, swaying, jungle playing, I climb like a …” The collage art work, made from cut and torn paper, makes one want to touch the pages to see if it has texture.

Young, Amy. Belinda Begins Ballet. Viking, c2008. ISBN 0670062448. Unp. $15.99. PreS-2nd. (Q8, P7)
Belinda was a tiny girl except for one thing. Her feet were very big. She was excellent at many things, skiing without skis, reaching the cookie jar on her tip toes, even playing soccer. There were things that were hard to do, jumping rope, playing hopscotch, and shopping for pretty shoes. Still Belinda was okay with her long feet until Mrs. Rhino, her teacher, cast her as the clown in the school talent show. One day Belinda saw a ballerina practicing, she went home and practiced. Soon she became good and when she preformed in the talent show, she was superb. This story is about self-confidence and learning to turns lemons into lemonade.

Siy, Alexandra. One Tractor, a counting book. Ills. by Jacqueline Rogers. Holiday House, c2008. ISBN 0823419231. Unp $16.95. PreS-K. (Q8, P7)
With its rhyming text and colorful artwork this book takes one little boy through the numbers in a most fantastical way. Counting the airplanes, cranes, trucks, trains as they push, scrape, doze, roll etc. will keep children happy as they learn their numbers.

Capucilli, Alyssa Satin. Biscuit and the Little Pup. Ills. by Pat Schories. Harper Collins, c2008. ISBN 0060741716. Unp. $17.89. PreS-1st. (Q8, P8)
Biscuit finds a small puppy in the park and wants to play but the little pup doesn’t want to come out. Trying to entice little pup out Biscuit offers share his ball and then his bone. Still little pup does not come out. Finally he plays hide-and-seek and little pup comes out. This book has simple sentences for new readers, a high-interest level. A great way for that new reader to develop into reading chapter books.

Adler, David A. Bones and the Math Test Mystery. Ills. by Barbara Johansen Newman. Viking, c2008. ISBN 0670062626. 32 pgs. $13.99. PreS-2nd. (Q8, P8)
Bones, the detective, has lost his math test and his teacher wants him to redo it. Since Bones does not like doing math, he decided to put his detective brain in working order and find the missing test. He does find the test but realizes he had done a horrible job
on the test the first time he does redo it. This is a Level 2 book and has short sentences and simple dialogue which helps young children learn to read.

Grahm, Christine. Three Little Robbers. Ills. by Susan Boase. Henry Holt & Company, c2007. ISBN 0805080945. 63 Pgs. $16.95. PreS-2nd. (Q8, Pp8)
Jo, Flo and Mo are three little robbers who rob everyone who comes down the lane. Soon nobody comes down the lane so they decide to rob the old lady who lives on the hill. When they break down her door and find she has nothing to take they develop a plan help her. The three little robbers soon realize it is fun and makes them feel good to do good things to help people. A really great illustration of no matter how bad off one is that someone out there may be in more need and it feels good to help.

First Thursday Book Review Center May 2008 Reviews—J.C.
Picture books:

Bar-el, Dan. Such a prince. Illustrated by John Manders. Clarion Books, c2007. ISBN 9780618714681 / 0618714685 $16.00 Ages 4-8. P8Q7
You all know the story—the first and second sons (or daughters, for that matter) are rude to the fairy (witch, wizard, etc.) that they meet in the wood, and are punished for their arrogant ways. The, the youngest son, who is polite and persistent, does the fairy a favor, perseveres through the myriad tasks set by the princess’s father, and wins her hand in marriage, along with half (or more) the kingdom. Although text-heavy, the amusing illustrations and improbable solutions perk up this retelling of the traditional fairy tale. Recommended for elementary and public library collections.

Gall, Chris. There’s nothing to do on Mars. Little, Brown, c2008. ISBN 0316166847 / 9780316166843 $16.99 Ages 4-8. P7Q7.
Relying on the pictorial style of mid-20th century comic books, stylized illustrations depict the adventures of Davey Martin, a bored boy dragged from Earth to dusty, stormy Mars by his parents. Davey and his robot dog Polaris head out on his flying scooter to hunt for real, live Martians, and in the process, discover the secret of the ancient Martian canals. Designed to appeal to boys. Recommended for elementary school and public library collections.

Fiction:
Bauer, Joan. Peeled. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, release date May 2008. Review from Advance uncorrected proof. 256 p. ISBN 9780399234750 $16.99 Ages 14-up. P7Q8 High school reporter Hildy Biddle investigates the ghostly shenanigans around the old Ludlow house, discovering links to a big-city corporation trying to steal family farms in order to build a haunted house theme park. Small town independence and dogged persistence save the day. Bauer’s depiction of Midwestern rural and small town life is, as usual, spot-on. Recommended for public, middle and high school libraries.

Thomson, Sarah L. Dragon’s egg. Greenwillow Books, c2007. 267 p. ISBN 978006128487 $16.99 “Ages 8-12.” P7Q8
Mella, the inn keeper’s daughter, is a dragonkeeper, heir to her grandmother’s talent, and keeper of the inn’s flock of egg-producing dragons. When she finds an unusual stone—actually, a dragon’s egg–in the forest, a giant, fire-breathing, ‘mythical’ dragon, dying of his wounds, gives her the task of delivering the egg to the dragons’ enclave high in the mountains. With the help of Roger, a squire, Mella manages to keep the egg safe from dangers posed by humans as well as the physical rigors of the journey. An engaging, well-written fantasy. Recommended for public, elementary and middle school libraries.

First Thursdays Book Review Group April 2008 S.G. for Siletz Library
Picture Books
Kay, Julia. Gulliver Snip. Amelia May Anderson. Henry Holt and Company, 2008. unpgd. Ages 5-8. ISBN 9780805079920 $16.95. P8Q8
The children at my story time really liked this book. It is a story about a young boy who believes his bathtub is actually a clipper ship. As the “bath” progresses, so do Gulliver’s adventures. His ship sinks (bathtub overflows) and he ends up in the family room living out his imaginary voyage where he climbed a tree to escape a fierce tiger (the tree is really a lamp). Parallel pictures show the two different accounts of the story. The right page shows what is actually happening- playing in a bathtub, while the left page shows what is happening in Gulliver’s imagination- sailing his clipper ship in the vast sea. Most children can relate to pretending to be or doing something other than taking a bath. Julia Kat dedicated the book “to those who take adventures instead of taking baths,” which I believe sums up Gulliver Snip.

Macken, JoAnn Early. Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds on the Move. Pam Paparone. Holiday House, 2008. unpgd. Ages 5-8. ISBN 9780823420438 $16.95. P9Q8
The children at my story time LOVED this book. The story follows different kinds of seeds through various weather patterns to show how seeds are spread around the world. The book boosts poetic descriptions with detailed, accurate drawing of actual plants, trees, and seeds. Maple seeds whirl and twirl in a breeze- like shiny green helicopters, spinning and spinning. Every child at the story time had thrown a Maple seed and experienced this same sensation. Lots of discussion came from this book’s language and pictures. The book also ends with a picture glossary that named and defined the different parts of a plant, as well as, seeds, nuts, fruits, and seedpods. This truly is a book where science meets poetry and children can experience both.

Fleming, Denise. Buster goes to Cowboy Camp. David Rogers. Henry Holt and Company, 2008. unpgd. Ages 4-6. ISBN 9780805078923 $16.95. P5Q5
The children at my story time were slightly confused by this story. The story is told by a dog (Buster) and is about his time at an overnight doggie camp (Cowboy Camp). Initially Buster isn’t very happy about going to Cowboy Camp and leaving his home, his friend (Betty the cat), and Brown Shoes (his owner). Buster begins to enjoy pawing painting, chasing balls, and collecting firewood for the big campfire. The back cover also includes a glossary for the cowpoke words used within the story. The children were confused by the concept of an overnight camp for dogs while their owners are away, as well as, the cowpoke words used throughout the story. While the children liked the pictures, the story itself wasn’t one of their favorites.

Book Reviews April 2008 A.G.
Jones, Patrick. Chasing Tail Lights. NY: Walker Books, 2007. 304 pp ages 14 up ISBN 0-8027-9628-1 P8/Q8
Christy is part of a family that goes beyond the average dysfunction. One brother is in prison for gang activities. Her mother is a somewhat flat character, alcoholic and not present even when she is at home. Her father died 8 years before the story takes place, and she has no one to defend her against Ryan, her exceptionally abusive big brother. The story is about how she grows to the point where she has to take control of her life and not just “chase tail lights”. It goes back and forth between present day and various critical parts of her past (which chapters were printed in italics and a bit hard to read page after page). The book is pretty fast-paced, and is a page-turner to the very last line, which gives a satisfying conclusion.

Birney, Betty G. Surprises According to Humphrey. NY: GP Putnam, 2008. $14.99 135 pp. ages 8-10 ISBN 978-0-399-24730-9 P7/Q7
Humphrey is a golden hamster kept by a third grade (?) class. He’s smarter than the average hamster, taking notes with a little notebook and learning the class material along with the kids. His trips home with different students on the weekends provide for a change of scene. This is one of a series of stories about Humphrey. They are designed for the early chapter book reader. The theme is surprises, including getting a substitute janitor or a new hamster ball. Most of the story’s message regards how students get along with each other.

Ferguson, Alane. The Circle of Blood. NY: Viking, 2008. $15.99 236 pp. ages 14 up ISBN 978-0-670-06056-6 P8/Q8
This forensic mystery should appeal to the Crime Scene Investigators fans; it’s a forensic mystery involving a teenage assistant to the coroner (who happens to be her father) in a small Colorado town. The details of the crime scenes and autopsies give a modern relevance to science. At the same time, the murder story that unfolds is true to the police procedural genre. The story is fast-paced and involving. As a Patricia Cornwell fan, I found the book similar but a much faster read and more potentially appealing to the teen reader. The ending is a cliffhanger, a la horror movies, and will make the reader want to rush out and find the next book in the Cameryn series.

Plummer, Louise. Finding Daddy. NY: Delacorte Press (Random House), 2007. $15.99 165 pp. ages 14 up ISBN 978-0-385-73092-1 P7/Q7
What looks like it might be another problem-of-the-week novel ends up being a horror story. Mira, age 15, has always wondered about her father. Her mother and grandmother say only nice things about him, but he is entirely out of their life, and they won’t give any more detail. Mira determines to find him on her own. As in all classic horror movies, the reader wants to scream, “Don’t do it you idiot!” The story moves along, keeping the interest of the reader, and also provides a story-based guideline about contacting people through the internet.

Gutman, Dan. The Homework Machine. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2006. $15.95 146 pp. ages 8-12 ISBN 976-0-689-87678-3 P7/Q7
This large-print chapter book tells the story from many people’s points of view, some of the entries being only a couple of paragraphs long. The story follows a brainy student who invents a “homework machine”: They scan in a homework page and it prints out the answers. Even some good students who hook into it find themselves relying on the machine, freeing them to use their time in other ways. Eventually there’s the foreshadowed crunch that makes them wish they hadn’t used it. The story has drama (how will they be found out? will it matter?) and the characters are familiar types, and they do show some personal growth over the course of the book.

Goodman, Susan E. & Doolittle, Michael J. Motorcycles. [Step into Reading Step 3] NY: Random House, 2007. $3.99 48 pp. ages 6-8 ISBN 978-0-375-84116-3 P9/Q9
This early reading book is lavishly illustrated with lively and colorful photographs of people riding different kinds of motorcycles. It is not so much a book about the technology as a reading book with a high-interest subject. Every primary classroom and library should get a copy of this one: It will appeal to a portion of the class which is hard to convince to read fluffy bunny books. Young students seeing it have grabbed it out of my hands.

Broyles, Anne. Illus. by Anna Alter. Priscilla and the Hollyhocks. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2008. $15.95 30 pp. ages 6-9 ISBN 978-1-57091-675-6 P7Q7
This is a touching story of a black slave girl in the early 1800’s in the southeastern US. All she has to remember of her mother, who was sold down the river, is the hollyhock plants she loved. Priscilla collects the seeds and plants them whenever she has to move, creating a bit of familiar comfort wherever she is. The exceptional part of this story is that she ends up with a Cherokee family and is forced on the Trail of Tears with her masters. It tells a bit of history while focusing on the way that people cope with hardship. The illustrations are a bit primitive, a’ la Grandma Moses, and the language is such that it will probably have to be read aloud to the young student.

Cirrone, Dorian. Prom Kings and Drama Queens. NY: Harper Collins, 2008. $17.89 200 pp. ages 12-15 ISBN 978-0-06-114373-1 P8/Q7
There must be a subgenre of teen novels about Prom. This one at least takes it in a slightly different direction, promoting an alternative to the conformist, expensive prom tradition. The protagonist, Emily, is a student journalist who is competing in tandem with “nerd” Daniel with others for the expected promotion to co-editor of the school paper. To get the post, they must come up with an original treatment for the annual Prom story. Most of the novel is about social climbing vs social enlightenment, with the non-conformist grandmother of heart throb jock Brian next door providing the ideal of thinking for oneself. The book will probably appeal more to middle school than high school.

June 2008 Book Review K.Y. NHS Student
Sones, Sonya. What my Girlfriend Doesn’t know. Simon & Schuster, New York, 2007. $17 ISBN: 9780689876028 291 p. Gr. 9-12
This book was told from the point of view of a boy who all of his life had been the one everyone made fun of. He finally has a girlfriend, and it just happens to be the most popular girl in school. He gets accepted into a college art class and falls in love with a girl there as well. His HS girlfriend catches him kissing her and she gets very angry. They make up and in the end are still going out.
I think this book is almost too stereotypical. I don’t think that it was really thought out and put into reality. A girl would not just forgive a guy for cheating on her to her face, that is just not real. I think this book should be revised again, and made so that the ending is not so typical. Teenagers today want books they can relate to, and have help with their own problems. I just don’t think that this book gives teens that. I also did not like the format in which the book was written. It wasted a lot of paper, and it was very difficult to get involved with the book when every five sentences I was turning the page. I understand that makes it a quick read, but the way it was written makes it so that the reader gets confused easily, and lost even more easily.
There are some good things about this book as well. It had a pretty good plot; it just need to not be so fairytale-ish. I really liked the humor in this book as well. It was very subtle, but yet quite good. I think the author should have included more of that humor to help the story along.
All in all, I do not think teens will buy this book, or like it if they do, due to the way it is written and how typical it is. I also think the author should have used more of the same type of humor. P6 Q6

June 2008 Book Reviews AC, Student Reviewer, NHS
Johnson, Maureen. Devilish. Alloy Entertainment, New York, 2006. $16.99 ISBN:1595140603 263 p. Gr. 9-12
Jane has a best friend named Ally. Jane is the kind of girl that dances to her own beat; she doesn’t care what other people think of her. Ally is different. She is the girl that nobody would be caught dead with. She cares what others think of her. After throwing up on a freshman at an assembly, she meets a new girl (who happens to be the devil) and sells her soul to be popular.
At first, Ally doesn’t tell Jane anything – they don’t talk at all – but when she starts regretting everything, she asks for Jane’s help. When Jane tries to fix things, she ends up selling her own soul and that is when things get really complicated.
The book is not that easy to read, because it is so complicated, but I love books that get me thinking and I have to read parts again and again. This book is fiction; it talks about devils, witches, and such, but it does have a believable plot that revolves around school, guys, and backstabbing friends. P9 Q8

June Book Reviews BJ, NHS Student Reviewer
Jablonski, Carla. Silent Echos. Penguin Young Readers Group, New York, 2007. $13.25 ISBN: 978-1595140821 288 p. Gr. 9-12 This fantasy follows the stories of two girls, Lucy Philips and Lindsay Miller. Lucy is from 19th century New York, while Lindsay lives in present times. The catch is, though, when they are in the same place, they can talk to each other. Lucy’s father is using her to scam weathy people to get money, and when Lucy and Lindsay meet, Lindsay starts helping Lucy ‘tell the future.’ But Lindsay needs help getting out of an abusive home life. Lindsay herself has never been abused, but her mother is – on a nightly basis. While Lindsay helps Lucy, Lucy also helps Lindsay, by using some of her earnings to set up a center called the Phillips Girls Center. Lindsay checks it out and gets help, and Lucy and Lindsay lose communication, because the whole reason they could talk was so Lindsay could get help. One shocking and cool bit of information at the end was that Lucy was Lindsay’s “great-to-the-third-power-grandma.” This novel is beautifully written, very easy to read, and ends very well. P8 Q10

Friesner, Ester. Nobody’s Princess. Random House, New York, 2008. $7.99 ISBN: 978-0375875298 336 p. Gr. 9-12 this is an incredible retelling of Helen’s life before she became Helen of Troy. She is incredibly in this book, and the character is really well developed. This book is well written, and what piqued my interest is that this is an expansion of a short story the author wrote in a collection called “Young Warriors”, compiled by Tamora Pierce. P8 Q10

June Book Reviews C.B. NMS/INMS
Abbott, Tony, The postcard, Little, Brown and Co., New York, 2008, 358 pgs, $15.99, ISBN:031601172X, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
When Jason’s grandmother dies he must fly to Florida to help his father with the funeral and to prepare the house so that they can sell it. Jason instead discovers a yellowed postcard that sends him on journey of discovery, about a grandmother he really didn’t know. This journey is a mystery into his grandmothers past and the truth about who he is too. This book will appeal to those who love a mystery and a love story.

Casanova, Mary, The klipfish code, Houghton Mifflin, Co., Boston, 2007, 227 pgs., glossary, $16.00, ISBN:0618883932, Gr. 5+, P 7, Q 8,
In 1942, Norway is attacked and by the Germans and occupied by them for the next three years. During this time the Norwegians quietly but strongly do everything they can to thwart the Germans. Marit is a 12-year-old girl who rescues a resistance fighter and hides him from the Germans. She and her brother deliver a secret message, through a stormy ocean, to others resistance fighters, who live around the other side of the island. Marit and her brother discover many things about themselves and secrets about their family. In all this story tells of how a fishing community holds itself together through all the rationing and hardships the Germans opposed on them while still maintaining their dignity.

Delaney, Joseph, Attack of the fiend, Greenwillow Books, New York, 2008, 532 pgs., $17.89, ISBN:0060891289, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 8,
This is the 4th book in “The last apprentice” series where Tom Ward, the apprentice to the local Spook must once again save the day. Together they journey to Pendle Valley, a place where three different witch families live, to rescue Tom’s family that have kidnapped by one of the witch families. Here in this valley Tom learns more about his Mam’s family and his destiny in the world. Those who enjoyed rest of the books in this series will find this one to be enjoyable too.

Dowel, Frances, Shooting the moon, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York, New York, 2008, 163 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:1416926909, Gr.6+, P 8, Q8,
Jamie Dexter is 12 years-old the year that her brother, T.J. joins the Army and is sent to Vietnam. These siblings are Army brats and have been raised to love and support the USA. So when T.J starts to send home undeveloped film from Vietnam for Jamie to develop she starts to see the other side of war. She also starts to doubt the things that the Colonel, her father has taught all these years too. This is a deeply moving book that readers will find hard to put down.

Dunkle, Clare, The sky inside, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York, 2008, 229 pgs., $$16.99, ISBN:1416924221, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 8,
Martin and his family live in a futuristic civilization where children are genetically designed and grown. In fact his sister is super baby who is eventually taken from the city, which is under a dome, as they are told that this model of child has defects and must be destroyed. Martin learns the truth and leaves the dome searching for his sister. Here in this new world, which is not under the protective dome, Martin struggles to find his sister and experiences new things, such as sunburn. This book will appeal to those who love a fast pace story and offers twists and turns as each page is turned.

Fleischman, Sid, The entertainer and the dybbuk, Greenwillow Books, 2008, 180 pgs., $17.89, ISBN:006134446X, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 9,
During World War II 1.5 million Jewish children were killed by the Germans. In this book one of these children spirits, Avron, returns as a dubbuk. Avron, finds an ex-GI, Freddie, who has not returned to America, and is touring Europe where he performs as a ventriloquist, not a very good one either. Freddie had met Avron as a child during the war. Avron becomes part of the act when he becomes the dybbuk who haunts Freddie. This allows Avron to look for the SS officer who murdered him his sister. Those who like historical fiction will be drawn to this book.

Kwasney, Michelle, Itch, Henry Holt and Co., New York, 2008, 236 pgs., $16.95, ISBN:080508083X, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
At the end of the 60’s Itch, who is really Delores Colchester, moves with her grandmother to Florida, after the death of her beloved grandfather. Her in a trailer park she must learn to fit into a new school, make new friends and just start over. She soon makes friends with Gwendolyn, who Itch sees has everything she doesn’t. Gwendolyn how ever hides a secret and it is finally with Itch’s help that she is finally able to find the help that she needs.

Stone, Jeff, Eagle, Random House, New York, 2008, 223 pgs., $15.99, ISBN:0375830839, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
This is the fifth book that Jeff Stone has written in the five ancestors series. Here we are the final book, I thought, with the martial arts of the five coming together to discover the why the Cangzhen temple had been sacked and all the monks murdered. Ying, who has trained as the dragon, was the one who had taken his revenge, on the grand-master, and burnt the temple. In this book he learns many hidden secrets about his family and what secret the grand-master was hiding. Mouse, is the newest character in this series and will be featured in the author’s next book.

Short Stories
Hearne, Betsy, Hauntings and other tales of danger, love and sometimes loss, Greenwillow Books, New York, 2007, 211 pgs., $16.89, ISBN:0061239119, Gr., P. Q,
This book offers 15 different stories which start in ancient Ireland and finish with tales of the present world. This collection will appeal to those who love scary tales of old and the new.

Non-Fiction
Alexander, Sally, She touched the world : Laura Bridgeman, deaf-blind pioneer, Clarion Books, New York, 2008, 100 pgs., index, 18.00, ISBN:0618852999, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
Before Helen Keller, there was another famous deaf-blind girl known as Laura Bridgeman, who thrilled and astonished the world. Most people of her time believed that a young deaf-blind person could not learn. Laura did and was soon giving demonstrations to people who came to her school to visit and learn more about her. This book offers a unique look at another brave young woman.

America at war: poems, selected by Lee Hopkins, illustrated by Stephen Alcorn, Margaret K. McElderry Books, New York, 2008, 84 pgs., index by author, title, and first line, $21.99, ISBN:1416918329 Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 8,
Lee Hopkins has selected and collected poems that deal with war in America from the Revolutionary War to the war in Iraq today. She has collected such author’s e. e. Cummings, Carl Sandburg and Langston Hughes. Stephen Alcorn paintings are bright and colorful and add to the emotions that the poems bring forth.

Fleming, Candace, The Lincolns : a scrapbook look at Abraham and Mary, Schwartz & Wade Books, New York, 2008, 176 pgs., $24.99, ISBN:9780375836183, Gr. 7+, P 7, Q 8,
Using a collection of letters, photos, cartoons and engravings a scrapbook has been developed by Fleming to show the lives of President Lincoln from his early life to his death. The life of his wife Mary is also explored in this text. One thing I would have included with this book would have been an index for quick perusal by the reader. The quality of the letters is the other draw back, as the size of the text and the blurriness of some of the letters is difficult to read. This book is better suited for middle and high school age students who enjoy being able to just browse.

Katz, Alan,and Koren, Edward, Oops!, Margaret K. McElderry Books, New York, 2008, 168 pgs., $17.89, ISBN:141690204X, Gr. 3+, P 9, Q 9,
The students at my middle school loved these poems, the ones I read aloud to them. They were clambering for me to read more aloud. Soon we were all laughing as each poem is so silly and tickled all of our funny bones. This book should be included in all elementary and middle school library collections.

Seidensticker, John, Predators, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York, 2007, 64 pgs., glossary, index, $16.99, ISBN:141693863X, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 8,
The Insiders series is one which I have been collecting for my middle school library. This one however is better suited for an elementary school library. In this text the 3-D illustrations jump of the pages as the reader turns each page. The information in the book is up to date and would be a great starting point for further in-depth research.

June, 2008 Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers S.E. Grandparent Volunteer Fiction
Bloor, Edward. Taken. Alfred A Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s books. Ny. 2006. 247p. ISBN 9780836367 $16.99. Ages 12-16. This is a story of the future where children of affluence are kidnapped for the ransom the parents provide. There are rules by which kidnappers are supposed to adhere but for 13 year old Charity, the rules don’t seem to be in effect. There is a twist at the end. My 12 year old granddaughter loved the suspense of this book and wants to read more by this author. Q8 P8

Pitchford, Dean. The Big One-oh. GP Putnam & Sons, a division of the Penguin Group NY. 181p. ISBN 9780399245473. $15.99. Ages 9-11.
This is a funny story of a young man hitting the double digits and wanting to make this the best party ever and prove that he is not a geek. He finds out who his friends are and who he is too. Q7 P7.

Tracy, Kristin. Lost it. Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division NY. 276p. ISBN 9781416934752. $6.99. Ages 14-17.
This is a very funny; laugh out loud account of a high school junior and her dysfunctional family and her just as dysfunctional best friend. It is a story of Tess meeting her first real boyfriend and losing her virginity and written in such a way that it makes it enjoyable to read instead of condemning her actions. I think it should be put in all high schools in Lincoln County because it is believable and uproariously funny. Q9 P9

June 2008 Reviews L.F. NHS
Non-Fiction Selections

Early readers 
McCarthy, Megan. City Hawk: the Story of Pale Male. Simon & Schuster, New York, 2007. $15.99 ISBN: 978-1416933595 40 p. Gr. PK-2 This fresh, exciting, and informative story would be a great choice for a child’s or classroom’s first nonfiction book. Illustrations are vivid and easy to relate to, and the text – complex enough for competent early readers, but perfect for a read-aloud – is engaging. City Hawk tells the true story of a pair of hawks who unexpectedly and uncharacteristically nest and rear their young outside the window of a Central Park apartment. One thing I really like about this is that the author does not anthropomorphize the birds and their plight, but lets the reader follow their story as if they were bird-watching along with the NYC regulars. A portion of the sales of this book go towards the Audubon Society’s NYC chapter and helps “support protection of wild birds and habitat in the five boroughs.” P6 Q9

Cronin, Doreen. Diary of a Fly. Illustrated by Harry Bliss. HarperCollins, New York, 2007. $17.89 ISBN: 978-0060001568 40 p. Gr. K-2
Following the trend set by her earlier “Diary of a Worm” and “Diary of a Spider,” Cronin has crafted yet another highly entertaining, informative critter autobiography. Though she anthropomorphizes the fly, it’s helps make ordinarily boring factoids (like the fact that “flies beat their wings 200 times per second”) come alive to the young reader, who can easily identify with what’s going on during the fly’s first day of school. As a former health inspector, I was pleased to see the author pointed out that flies regurgitate their food into the next food they eat (one of the reasons you want to cover food at a picnic.) The illustrations are very funny and help make this book a good first nonfiction to share with classes. Teachers might also consider using this as a fun example to get the kids started thinking about writing journals. P7 Q9

Middle School 
Brend, Dawn, Kirsty Neale, Cheryl Owen, and Melanie Williams (authors). Jazzy Jewelry (ISBN: 9780753459690) and Creative Costumes (ISBN 9780753459683) Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 2007. $7.95 each  &  48 p. Gr. 3-8
These “EcoCrafts” paperbacks are fun, easy-to-follow, and filled with ideas not commonly seen in juvenile craft books. One thing I really liked about Jazzy Jewelry was that it taught different skills (braiding, basic sewing, decopage, etc.) as well as utilizing recycled materials. Creative Costumes has some good ideas that could easily be adapted for making a plethora of characters. Refreshingly, both books actually have crafts that WORK, not the usual stuff that falls apart and/or is impossible for a kid to finish without adult intervention. However, due to the covers and “girly” craft materials chosen, both books are going to be more appealing to girls than boys, which is too bad. P7 Q7

Fiction Selection
Couvillion, James. Chicken Dance. Bloomsbury, New York, 2007. $16.95 ISBN: 1599900432 336 p. Gr. 6-9 Couvillion’s first book is like Colonel Sanders visiting the Twilight Zone: nothing is what it seems to be, except for chickens. For starters, the Chicken Dance song we all know wasn’t about chickens (the Swiss original was about ducks), the 11-year-old protagonist in this story is not Don as he believes (his real name is Stanley), and his mother is really his grandmother. There are so many metaphors and contradictions in this book, it reminds me of Catcher in the Rye, but Don is a kinder, gentler Holden Caufield. Couvillon’s characters are rich and ironic, and his setting (Horse Island, LA) gives the reader a peek into a unique small-town setting. As the book opens, Don is unpopular and frequently bullied and his family’s small poultry flock becomes his friends and his focus. Don studies the American Poultry Association standards obsessively and manages to take first place in a poultry-judging contest, which catapults Don and his family into local stardom. His bipolar mother and alienated father react to this in some very funny ways, including hosting a dinner party and using TV dinners as entrees. Mystery and intrigue is added, as Don discovers multiple family secrets. The drama is told through the eyes of Don, who emerges as a lovable and wise character. While chickens hardly seem the focus of this story, there are several subtle poultry allegories that tie it all together: the courage of a hen, the fact that chickens can fly, and that fate, like chickenpoop, is often random. Appealing to both tween girls and boys, this book would be a marvelous classroom read, as it would prompt a lot of interesting discussions. P5 Q7.

June 2008 Book Reviews TCM, NHS Student Reviewer
Miller, Karen. The Innocent Mage (Kingmaker/Kingbreaker). Orbit, New York, 2007. $7.99 ISBN: 978-0316067805 672 p. Gr. 8-adult
A fisherman of less than noble roots aims to bring wealth and prosperity to his family in a place called Restharven. However, his loyalties are challenged when he finds he must chose between the prince or his family. It’s a good and strong story line and the characters are very believable. However, the ending of this book clearly calls for a sequel (and I will definitely be reading it!) P7 Q9

Overstreet, Jeffrey. Auralia’s Colors. WaterBrook Press, New York, 2007. $13.99 ISBN: 978-1400072521 352p. Gr. 9-adult
This book immediately grabbed my attention. The story line is very rich and the characters are fabulous. This book is amazing, easy to follow and readable. P6 Q9

June 2008 L.R. for the Siletz Library
Teen Books
Bray, Libba. The Sweet Far Thing. Delacorte Press, 2007. 819 pgs. Ages 12 and up. ISBN 9780385730303 $17.99 P4 Q6
The third book in “the Gemma Doyle trilogy”….what was I thinking? I had to read all three books to understand what was going on in the third. The main character is an English teen in a boarding school for young ladies in 1893. She is a member of a circle of friends who somehow enter a world of extraordinary power called “the realms.” Her mother died a mysterious death 25 years earlier in the same school and passed on magical powers to her daughter. The friends have fun with the magic for awhile, but are eventually plunged into a war among various factions of mythical creatures over the power.
The cover of the book advertises a similarity to the Harry Potter series and there is a similarity. However, this book is much more limited as to its audience. It will be mostly teen girls who don’t mind stories that take place in the past. There is plenty of adventure, but very little humor which makes it different from Harry Potter. In fact, although the reader can sympathize with the Victorian girls and their lack of freedom in choosing their life path, they come across as whiny and self-centered when compared to others in the same time period. But maybe it helps today’s teen to see what freedoms and opportunities they have. There will definitely be some readership for this series of books—perhaps more in a school setting than the public library.

Juvenile Books
Erickson, John R. Hank the Cowdog: the Case of the Blazing Sky. Viking, 2008. 129 pgs. Ages 8 and up. ISBN 4780670062607 $15.99 P7 Q8
This is the 51st book in the Hank the Cowdog series, and Hank hasn’t gotten much smarter, but he is as loveable as ever. He is egotistical, self-deluding, a liar, a cat-baiter and a would-be chicken thief, but when he saves the family home from being burned in a prairie fire, you just gotta love him. These books appeal to a wide range of ages, as well as boys and girls, animal lovers or not. There are fun things about the books that even an adult will enjoy, such as Hank’s propensity for malapropisms and his ability to change the facts of a story to make himself the hero, EVERY TIME. Reminds me to some people I know…

Nash, Scott. Tuff Fluff: The Case of Duckie’s Missing Brain. Candlewick Press, 2004. (2008 in this format) 49 pgs. Ages 8-10. ISBN 9780763634834 $16.99 P8 Q8
Tuff Fluff is a PI in Los Attic, where two rival factions of toys reside: the stuffed gang and the beanbag gang. They steer clear of each other ordinarily, but Tuff Stuff brings them together to solve the case of the missing duckie’s brain. It is pretty cute, because in the end, Tuff Stuff preps the duck for surgery, inserts a bit of fluff from another stuffed animal and a bean from a beanie baby. Thus, the loquacious duck becomes part of both worlds and entertains them all in harmony. This is a nice quality book, with heavy binding and slick, heavy pages. The illustrations are wonderful and eye-catching. It turns out that the author is primarily an illustrator and he does a great job in both roles. The book is a bit spendy, but will probably be popular and worth the extra buck.

Wood, Maryrose. My Life the Musical. Delacorte Press, 2008. 223 pgs. Ages 14 & up. ISBN 978-0-385-73278-9 $$15.99 P4 Q8
Emily and Phil meet each other at the fictional Broadway musical “Aurora,” and embark on an obsession with the play. They borrow money from Emily’s grandma and attend the play every Saturday and some weeknights, riding the train into New York City from their suburb. That is only the beginning of the plot and it is quite a story. For musical theater fans (which you would almost have to be, to pick up a book with this title), each chapter is headed with the name of a song from a musical. You are then informed of the name of the musical, year it was first performed, who wrote the music, and who wrote the book. For the aforementioned musical theater fan, there is also a mini-lesson on how to become a producer and a pretty accurate description of what it is like to sit in a New York theater and revel in a favorite musical. This is a very entertaining story and should be popular with “drama geeks.” Buy it for ‘em!

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers May/June 2008 Reviews by N.W. 
Nonfiction
Alexander, Sally Hobart and Robert Alexander. She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman, Deaf-Blind Pioneer. Clarion, 2008. $18.00. 978-0-618-85299-4. 100p. Ages 8-12:
A half century before Anne Sullivan taught Helen Keller to communicate with sign language, Laura Bridgman faced the same problems after a bout of scarlet fever caused her to lose her sight and hearing. With the same curiosity and intelligence that Keller displayed, Bridgman learned to read, write, and teach, proving that people like her can be educated. Drawings and photographs show the people in Bridgman’s and Keller’s lives as well as the tools they used and the Perkins School for the Blind that they attended. The author Sally Hobart Alexander brings a special warmth and understanding to this biography from her personal loss of sight and then hearing, beginning at age 26. This is an important book for young readers because most of them know of no other blind-deaf person than Keller. P6Q8

Berne, Jennifer. Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau. Il. Eric Puybaret. Chronicle, 2008. $16.99. 978-8118-6063-5. unp. Ages 6-8:
In this bio about a famous French oceanographer, the author shows how he had focused since childhood on the desire to film the watery depths. Simple poetic text and vibrant largely green-hued paintings bring this remarkable person into the lives of the book’s readers. P7Q8

Bush, Laura and Jenna Bush. Read All About It! Il. Denise Brunkus. HarperCollins, 2008. $17.99. 978-0-06-156-75-0. unp. Ages 5-8:
When celebrities decide to write a children’s book, the result can lack the quality and interest important in these books. Such is the case in this collaboration by the president’s wife and daughter in a book about a bright boy who doesn’t like reading but changes his mind after story hour introduces him to such characters as Benjamin Franklin and a “pudgy pig.” With static and syrupy text and predictable plot, the illustrator (who also did the Junie B. Jones series) uses stereotypes for the adults, including the librarian, and shows little racial diversity in the class with only one person of color. The intent is also didactic, as shown by the authors’ quote at the end: “We hope Read All about It! Will be a window into the power and magic of books.” Not recommended. P5Q4

Calabresi, Linda. Human Body. [IN Series] Simon & Schuster, 2007. $16.99. 978-1-4169-3661-3. 64p. Ages 8-12:
This Australian import full of colorful drawings with brief text introduces readers to the body from cells and the skeleton outward as well as the different systems and the different senses. The glossary and index add to the usefulness of the book. Good for both small and large libraries. P6Q8

Clinton, Catherine. Phillis’s Big Test. Il. Sean Qualls. Houghton, 2008. $16.00. 978-0-618-73739-0. unp. Ages 6-8:
The first published African-American poet, Wheatley could not publish her book in Boston in 1773 until she proved in front of 18 important men agreed that she was the author. Acrylic illustrations show the teenager as she prepares for the test and faces her examiners. Wheatley is an important part of American history, but in Qualls’ illustrations she looks like an innocent kewpie doll rather than the intelligent girl she must have been. P6Q6

Kerley, Barbara. What To Do about Alice? How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy! Il. Edwin Fotheringham. Scholastic, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-439-92231-9. unp. Ages 4-8:
One of the most memorable children of a president is Alice, who lived in the White House during her teens at the beginning of the 20th century. This biography illustrates her antics as she overcame the physical disability that forced her to wear braces and opposed the proper female role of the females. Humorous illustrations follow the text as Alice “ate up the world” in her need to have adventures and her zest for fun. P8Q8

L Is for Lollygag: Quirky Words for Clever Tongues. Chronicle, 2008. $12.99. 978-0-8118-6021-5. 125p. Ages 9-13:
This kit and caboodle of humdinger words will encourage umpteen scalawags to indubitably irk flibbertigibbets who might consider this gibberish. And so forth. Word collectors and other readers will delight in these unusual words and the surrounding cartoons in shades of black and white enhanced by diverse red hues. This could be a fun “word of the day” source. P7Q8

Marcus, Leonard S. A Caldecott Celebration: Seven Artists and Their Paths to the Caldecott Medal. Walker, 2008. $19.95. 978-0-8027-9703-2. 55p. Ages 8-12:
On the seventieth anniversary of this prestigious award for illustrated children’s books, the 1998 book with drawings from and information about six award winners has been re-released with an additional chapter. A section on Mordicai Gerstein now joins those about Robert McCloskey, Marcia Brown, Maurice Sendak, William Steig, Chris Val Allsburg, and David Wiesner to show the variety of these winners with anecdotes about their artistic development and the importance of the Medal to each of them. The list of winners from 1938 through 2007 is useful to adults, and the commentaries about artistic styles will benefit budding artists. P6Q8

Schulman, Janet. Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City. Il. Meilo So. Knopf, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-375-84558-1. unp. Ages 6-9:
The story of the red-tailed hawk who made Fifth Avenue his residence and Central Park his hunting ground has been well-chronicled for the past 17 years, but no other book so brilliantly and vividly describes the bird’s adventures as he found a home only to lose it because the apartment building residents removed his nest—an action that resulted in an international outcry on behalf of the birds. The quirky double-page spreads with stunning watercolor-and-pencil illustrations show life in the city: tall buildings, the excitement of the people, a few people’s distaste for the “mess,” crowds with protest signs, and the baby chicks learning about city life. Schulman brings to her writing the love for her subjects and her appreciation for the urban wildlife. P8Q10

The Ultimate Teen Book Guide. Ed. Daniel Hahn & Leonie Flynn; associate ed. Susan Reuben. Walker, 2008. $26.95. 978-0-8027-9730-8. 432p. Ages 13+:
Almost 300 teens, librarians, and authors have written these 700+ reviews that run the gamut from true to cult classics, from award winners to current bestsellers—both fiction and nonfiction published for young adults and adults. Reviews also include suggestions for future reading. Add to this the special features by authors and top ten lists, and the book will promote browsing for a long time. This volume is based on an edition produced for the United Kingdom, using a team from the publisher to consult on reading habits in the U.S. P7Q8

Whitehead, Sarah. How to Speak Dog! Scholastic, 2008. $6.99. 978-0-545-02078-7. 96p. Ages 8-12: Why does a dog yawn? How can you talk to a dog so it does what you want? These and tons more questions are answered in this beginning book on Everyone with a dog should read this book, chock full of information about dog language, treatment, health, rules, and safety. Filled with color photographs of dogs and young people, this teaches people to speak “canine” as a second language. P8Q9

Picture Books
Bedard, Michael. Emily. Il. Barbara Cooney.Doubleday, 1992. $16.99. 978-0-385-30697-3. unp. Ages 6-8:
In lyrical prose, a young girl tells of her experience of stealing upstairs and meeting Emily Dickinson one day when the girl’s mother was invited to play the piano in the yellow house surrounded by a tall hedge. Rich, warm tones in Cooney’s oil paintings highlight the poignancy of the girl’s conversation with her father about poetry and the girl’s exchange of gifts with Dickinson, lily bulbs for a poem. Bedard and Cooney have created a highly accessible book about a 19th-century American for young readers. P7Q9

Cronin, Doreen. Duck for President. Il. Betsy Lewin. Atheneum, 2004. $16.99. 978-1-4169-5800-0. unp. Ages 5-8:
Just in time for elections is another zany story about Farmer Brown’s animals when Duck runs for president of the farm—and wins! Bold cartoon-like figures will delight both young and older readers alike, especially those annoyed by the current state of politics in this description of the campaign process as Duck moves up the political food chain to the presidency. The repetition of “he gave speeches that only other ducks would understand” may give a feeling of the satire implicit in these adventures. P8Q9

Faulkner, Matt. A Taste of Colored Water. Simon & Schuster, 2008. $16.99. 978-1-4169-1629-1. unp. Ages 5-8:
When they learn about a sign over a water bubbler that reads “COLORED,” cousins Jelly and LuLu persuade Uncle Jack to take them to the city. The experience of segregation, Freedom Marchers, water from fire hoses hurting protesters, and the hostility of a policeman and his dog is translated through the two children’s eyes with great clarity and poignancy. The perspective of Faulkner’s illustrations in watercolor and pen and ink enhances the pain and confusion of the 1960s, and his endnote telling about his personal experiences during this time as he grew up and learned about black and white. P7Q9

Geisert, Arthur. Hogwash. Houghton, 2008. $16.00. 978-0-618-77332-9. unp. Ages 4-8:
This pigs are back! This wordless book, with all the intricate detail that Geisert is known for, shows the elaborate machinery necessary to clean all the muddy little piggies with a swaying tub, spouts of soap and water, and a clothesline just for them. P8Q8

Harris, Robie H. Maybe a Bear Ate It! Il. Michael Emberley. Orchard, 2008. $15.99. 078-0-439-929961-5. unp. Ages 3-6:
Searching and temper tantrums in child-like drawings keep a young child creature busy as he cannot find his beloved book and accuses a number of animals of taking it—a rhino, an elephant, a bat, a shark, and, of course, the bear. A nice non-gendered protagonist although the CIP explains that it’s a boy. Highly imaginative and fun—a great goodnight read as well as a beginning book in kindergarten. P10Q9

Lee, Suzy. Wave. Chronicle, 2008. $15.99. 978-0-8118-5924-0. unp. Ages 3-6:
Accompanied by several gulls, a young girl plays on the beach, first tentatively and then defiantly, before a wave knocks her down and she discovers the treasure that it leaves. This wordless book is done in blue acrylics with charcoal girl and gulls. Charming and realistic. P8Q8

Lyon, George Ella. My Friend, the Starfinder. Il. Stephen Gammell. Atheneum, 2008. $16.99. 978-1-4169-2738-9. unp. Ages 3-6:
Lush watercolors and mystical drawings accompany the wondrous tales from an old man who once found a falling star and stood at the end of a rainbow. The simple lyrical story about a man who can feel colors is based on the Lyon’s childhood experiences with his neighbor. P7Q10

Mayer, Bill. All Aboard: A Traveling Alphabet. Concept by Chris L. Demarest. McElderrry, 2008. $17.99. 978-0-689-85249-7. unp. Ages 4-6:
In the art style of 1920s travel posters, these pages hide letters in a such objects as a bridge and paddle. The bold playful graphics, each a full page, are repeated in the end with the letters highlighted in white. This book not only helps young readers find letters but also expands their view of the world. P8Q9

Nara, Yoshitomo. The Lonesome Puppy. Chronicle, 2008. $17.99. 978-0-8118-5640-9. unp. Ages 3-7:
A puppy so huge that no one sees him as dog until a girl climbs to the top of his head and sings to him. Learning that “there is always someone, somewhere, waiting to meet you,” the puppy was no longer lonely. Rough drawings on a board background extend the simplicity of this book and its message. P7Q8

O’Connor, Jane. Fancy Nancy’s Favorite Fancy Words: From Accessories to Zany. Il. Robin Preiss Glasser. HarperCollins, 2008. $12.99. 978-0-06-1542923-6. unp. Ages 5-7:
The ultra feminine stereotype of pink and pretty is back with this alphabet book extolling the virtue of such concepts as glamorous, hostess, monogram, and tiara, with the term “understated” thrown in to show Nancy’s disgust for her mother’s plain clothes. It’s a return to the 50s if you’re interested. P8Q5

Ray, Jane. The Apple-Pip Princess. Candlewick, 2007. $16.99. 978-0-7636-3747-7. unp. Ages 6-10: When the king sets a task to his three motherless princesses to determine who will become the next ruler, the older two, one proud and the other vain, create tall towers. The little, shy daughter believes that she cannot compete with her two older sisters but decides to plant fruit trees to make her country beautiful again, returning the soul to the country side that was lost when her mother died. Exquisite fairy-tale illustrations from an award-winning author/illustrator bring the comparisons of the two older sisters to the youngest one into greater awareness to show the beauty of the youngest sister who changes her world. P8Q9

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. Little Hoot. Il. Jen Corace. Chronicle, 2008. $12.99. 978-0-8118-6023-9. unp. Ages 4-7: A reverse dilemma comes to Little Hoot who wants to go to bed early, but his parents tell him that he has to stay up late and play. The charming text and simple ink/watercolor illustrations provide a nice look at family life, funny puns such as not giving a hoot, and a humorous look at the life of an owl who has to stay up all night. (I especially liked the pondering lessons!) Although the pictures are small, it’s a great read aloud. P9Q9

T Is for Tugboat: Navigating the Seas from A to Z. Chronicle, 2008. $15.99. 978-0-8118-6094-9. unp. Ages 5-8: A mix of vintage illustrations and contemporary photos makes this nautical alphabet book both entertaining and informational. For example, “K” alone has drawings for 33 knots. Some pages have multiple words for a letter such as Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, and “quarters.” The simple layout allows for easy reading and the illustrations for dreaming of adventure. P8Q8

Ward, Helen. Varmints. Il. Marc Craste. Candlewick, 2007. $12.99. 978-0-7636-3796-5. unp. Ages 8+: Once the world was a place of peace and quiet where creatures had time to stop and think. This splendidly illustrated slim volume with spare images told from the heart can make the heart soar. Although the darkness of the second chapter, in stark contrast to the beauty and light of the first chapter, presents a depressing view, the final three-line chapter leads to a soaring hope. The author “like[s] to think in pictures,” making her prose a aural feast. P7Q10

Weaver, Tess. Cat Jumped In! Il. Emily Arnold McCully. Clarion, 2008. $16.00. 978-0-618-61488-2. unp. Ages 3-6: What happens when a cat jumps into a window? The black and white cat in these illustrations gives a vivid and funny perspective with the narrative providing the possible thoughts of the bemused feline who explores the nooks and crannies of the kitchen before proceeding to snoop in a hall closet, bedroom, and finally an art studio. The scene with his finding a strange cat in the mirror rings true, and the frantic movements to rid himself of paint on his paws will bring giggles from all. A great read aloud. P9Q9

Graphic Novel
Morse, Scott. Magic Pickle. Scholastic/Graphix, 2008. $9.99. 978-0-439-87995-8. unp. Ages 8-11: The briniest superhero, the result of a secret government experiment, tackles a ferocious enemy, The Brotherhood of Evil Produce, a battle that takes him into the school lunchroom in the middle of a food fight. Ellen and Lu Lu are just two of the kids who help Jo Jo Wigman, Magic Pickle, against the Romaine Gladiator, Peashooter, Phantom Carrot, Squish Squash, Chili-Chili Bang Bang, and other vegetables gone wild. Bonuses are the short story at the end of the book featuring Loconut and the directions showing how to draw produce. A fun to read book for graphic novel lovers! P8Q8 (Readers who prefer chapter books to graphic novels might want to check out Morse’s Magic Pickle and the Planet of the Grapes and Magic Pickle vs. the Egg Poacher.)

Fiction
Abrahams, Peter. Into the Dark: An Echo Falls Mystery. Laura Geringer/ HarperCollins, 2008. $17.89. 978-0-06-073709-2. 300p. Ages 12-15:
When 13-year-old super sleuth Ingrid Levin-Hill tries to clear her grandfather’s name after the accusation that he murdered an environmental activist on his farm, she uncovers secrets that go back to World War II. With few mysteries for this age group, the series is a valuable addition to libraries. P7Q7

Almond, David. My Dad’s a Birdman. Il. Polly Dunbar. Candlewick, 2008. $15.99. 978-0-7636-3667-8. 119p. Ages 9-12:
Missing her mam, Lizzie cares for her father who is determined to participate in the Great Human Bird Competition. Almond has put together a collection of crazy characters as everyone gets involved in the competition. Cartoon-like illustrations, beginning in black and white and becoming more vibrant in the unfolding of the plot to emphasize the changing mood, dot the book and add to the poignant humor. P7Q9

Arnold, Tedd. Fly High, Fly Guy! Scholastic Cartwheel, 2008. $5.99. 978-0-545-00722-1. 30p. Ages 4-7:
In the fifth of this chapter book series, Buzz and his pet fly gets lost when he and his parents go on vacation with Fly Guy coming to the rescue. A short, delightful book for beginning readers. P9Q8

Dean, Claire. Girlwood. Houghton, 2008. $16.00. 978-0-618-88390-5. 246p. Ages 12-15: Dysfunctional families, natural healing, environmental concerns, and magical happenings blend in this thoughtful, well-plotted novel filled with developing characters. When 12-year-old Polly’s older sister, Bree, leaves home, her divorced parents are distraught, feelings which worsen when they discover that she might have been pregnant. Bree’s issues of drug abuse and anorexia and Polly’s grandmother’s healing with plants make life hard for Polly at school when her best friend temporarily sides with the daughter of the developer who wants to clear-cut Polly’s beloved forest. Complex themes and solutions make this book a rich read. P7Q9

Fischer, Debbie Reed. Braless in Wonderland. Dutton, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-525-47954-3. 249p. Ages 14+:
High school senior Allee considers herself a feminist, far above being a model, until she is selected for It Girl status instead of her younger sister who adores pretty clothes, cosmetics, and posing for people. In this view of the world of professional modeling, the author has created a view of what happens when a teenage girl changes her view of independent feminist to one who justifies her decision to stay in Wonderland rather than attend college. P8Q7

Horvath, Polly. My One Hundred Adventures. Schwartz & Wade, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-375-84582-6. 272p. Ages 10-13:
On the edge of adolescence, 12-year-old Jane wants more than her life in a cozy beach cottage with her younger siblings and single mother. During the summer she learns about the world, riding in a hijacked hot-air balloon while helping her pastor deliver bibles, getting to know possible fathers, babysitting for a large family, and understanding that her mother is actually an important poet. As always, Horvath has written a rich book with funny, quick-moving plot, and characters you want to meet. P8Q9

Karr, Kathleen. Fortune’s Fool. Knopf, 2008. $15.99. 978-0-375-84816-2. 201p. Ages 11-14:
Life in 16th-century Germany can be impossibly hard, especially when the person is at the whim of a cruel lord. Thus Conrad the Good, 15-year-old orphaned court jester, leaves to find a wiser and worthier master after one too many beatings. He sets out with a stolen horse, which would have died without his ministrations, but as he travels, he collects the serving maid, who he loves; a ten-year-old boy who had survived a hanging; and a mentally-challenged jester in another court. Karr brings to the reader a fascinating view of the period while introducing a collection of fascinating characters. P6Q8

Klimo, Kate. The Dragon in the Sock Drawer. Random House, 2008. Il. John Shroades. $14.99. 978-0-375-95587-7. 176p. Ages 8-12:
Parenthood is very hard, especially when the “infant” is a dragon that grows geometrically from four inches at birth, must be fed incessantly, and must be hidden because St. George the Dragon-Slayer is searching for him. These are just a few of the problems that cousins Jesse and Daisy face during their summer vacation after the dragon hatches out of something that looks like a geode. Quick-reading,

Lowry, Lois. The Willoughbys. Houghton, 2008. $16.00. 978-0-618-97974-5. 174p. Ages 8-12:
This tongue-in-cheek view of classic themes in kid lit shows the four Willoughby siblings (12-year-old Timothy, ten-year-old twins Barnaby A and Barnaby B, and six-year-old Jane) decide to become orphans at the same time that their neglectful parents take off around the world, leaving the children with a nanny. From Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna, and James with his giant peach to Hansel and Gretel, the parody is filled with villains, benefactors, abandoned infants, long-lost heirs, and late-life romance—all resulting in a happy, hilarious ending. This book is for Lemony Snicket fans and other readers with a sense of humor. P8Q8

Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Princess Ben. Houghton, 2008. $16.00. 978-0-618-95971-6. 344p. Ages 12-15:
In a not-your-typical-fairy-tale, Princess Benevolence (Ben for short) loses her parents and must subject to the cruelty of her aunt, Queen Sophia. During her struggles, Ben finds herself learning magic (with a great deal of drudgery), escaping the castle on a broom and skewered with an arrow, working (in more drudgery) in the kitchen in the castle of a rival king, subjected to courting suitors to save her kingdom, and finally fighting a dread dragon. Although the language at the beginning is a bit florid, the perspective of suffering sometimes overdone, and the plot ending a bit too pat and quick, the author of Dairy Queen about a football-playing heroine, has created another memorable female protagonist who doesn’t want to fit into the traditional women’s role. P7Q7

Sensel, Joni. The Humming of Numbers. Holt, 2008. $16.95. 978-0-8050-8327-9. 243p. Ages 12+: When Aiden, a novice about to take monastic vows in a tenth-century Celtic abbey, meets beautiful Lana, his life is turned upside down. Not only does she understand his ability to hear the buzzing energy given off by living things but she also makes him question his vocation, especially after they work together to save their village from invading Vikings. Rich in history and religious practice, the book also provides great adventures and personal growth as both young people learn to trust themselves. An excellent coming-of-age novel with a fascinating setting. P7Q9

June Reviews by D.A. for the Siletz Public Library
Juvenile Books

Lalicki, Tom. Danger in the Dark: A Houdini and Nate Mystery. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006. 186 pgs. Ages 9-12. ISBN 139780374316808 $14.95 P7 Q9
In the summer of 1911, young Nathaniel G. Makeworthy Fuller is working as a clerk at a men’s hat shop in Manhattan when he first encounters Harry Houdini. When Houdini selects a hat but leaves the store without paying, the boy is sent to his home to collect for it. A friendship begins between Nate and the Houdini’s, which proves valuable when mysterious things begin to happen in Nate’s own home. Nate lives with his widowed mother, wealthy great-aunt, and quiet housekeeper. But late at night, Nate has been hearing people coming and going and strange voices drift upstairs. Nate soon finds himself involved in a dangerous scheme to swindle his great-aunt out of her fortune
Young adventure and mystery lovers will enjoy this book, particularly if they have an interest in historical literature. Laclicki peppers the book with well-researched historical references as well as reliable information on Houdini. The book’s smallish pencil sketches at each chapter head fit well with the time period of the story and add interest.

Bildner, Phil. Game 1 Barnstormers. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2007. 133 pgs. Ages 7-10. ISBN 13978416918639 $9.99 P7 Q4
In 1899, three young children and their widowed mother (disguised as a man) play on a barnstorming baseball team called the ‘Travelin Nine’. At that time, barnstormers toured an area playing exhibition games as a way of earning money. The children’s Uncle Owen has given them a baseball with a hole in it that belonged to their father. The ball seems to have mystical powers, and the siblings view sightings on the field that no one else can see. Because of these weird sightings, the team loses the game. The mystery goes unsolved as the team catches the steamboat to their next game in Louisville.
Bildner’s knowledge of baseball shows in the writing of this circa 1900 book. All of the baseball terms used during that time period are defined in the margins of the book—which was both helpful and interesting. Illustrator Loren Long does beautiful black and white drawings, sometimes occupying two full pages! The storyline itself lagged, and I found myself wishing it were done. To my surprise, it is a Chapter Book, and doesn’t end here.

Book Reviews R.C. NPL Librarian
To the Big Top, by Jill Esbaum, illustrated by David Gordon.
Return to simpler times as Sam and Benny experience the big-top circus’s visit to Willow Grove. Set in the early 1900’s, Gordon’s illustrations convey the excitement, noise and smells of an event today’s readers may never experience except in books like this. Esbaum’s characters act like excited youngsters of any era as they become involved in setting up the circus and earning money for rare treats.

Mother Goose and Friends, by Ruth Sanderson
Sanderson’s exquisite illustrations are reason enough to pick up yet another Mother Goose book. Her addition of relatively unknown rhymes such as The Elf-Man and The Purple Cow bring something new to the classics included in this volume. For this reviewer, however, it is the artwork that sent me out for my own edition.

A Puppy for Annie, by Kim Lewis
Lewis adds to her lexicon of warm puppy tales with this tale of a little girl’s first puppy love. Accessible text makes this one good for early readers and the soft, muted colors evoke the beauty of gentle, rolling hills and farm country. But it is the image of puppy Bess waiting for Annie’s return from the first day of school that will bring readers back to this one.

Otto Runs for President, by Rosemary Wells
Here’s a timely choice for early elementary teachers and readers looking for help explaining the election process to youngsters. Barkadelphia School is holding elections and Tiffany is running for president because she is beautiful and popular. Charles is running because he’s a star athlete and a born leader. Otto wants to run but only because he thinks he would be a good president. Filled with Wells’ delightful animal characters, this would be effective when paired with Dipuccio’s Grace for President and St. George’s So You Want to be President? for an introduction to our election process.

Eddie’s Little Sister Makes a Splash, by Ed Koch and Pat Koch Thaler, illustrated by James Warhola
It is so hard to be a little sister, vacationing at a lake with no one her age to play with. What’s Patty to do but tag after her big brother who is not happy with the idea and tries, unsuccessfully, to find playmates for Patty. When Eddie escapes to the lake with his friend, Patty follows and predictably falls in. The watercolor illustrations place the story in the 1950’s but are somewhat flat and not especially engaging. An additional purchase where sibling tales are popular.

Chuck’s Band, by Peggy Perry
Anderson Anderson hits all the right notes in this rhyming tale of a barnyard hoedown. Written at a level that early readers can enjoy, the rhymes and vibrant illustrations make this a good storytime choice for farm tales, music tales, or a celebration of Old MacDonald.

Pitching in for Eubie
, by Jerdine Nolen, illustrated by E. B. Lewis
Caldecott honor award winner E.B. Lewis brings alive Eubie’s family as they all pitch in to raise money for her college fees, except youngest child Lily. Her mother takes in extra sewing, her father gets a part-time job, her brother has a newspaper route but Lily is too young for any of those things. She tries an ice tea stand and a pet sitting service but makes no money. However, opportunity comes knocking to those ready to grab it and Lily finds a way to help her sister in this warm family story of pulling together to make a dream happen.

First Thursday Book Review Center Sept. 2008 Reviews—J.C
Picture books: 

Stein, Mathilde, and Mies van Hout. The child cruncher. Lemniscaat, 2008, c2007. Unpaged : col. ill. ISBN 978-1-59078-635-2 $16.95 Ages 4-7. P8Q9 When a big, ugly villain kidnaps a bored, lonely little girl, she asks her father for permission, and goes off with him. But, when she finds out that he is merely an ordinary child cruncher, wanting her for food and not adventure, she takes his horse, and returns home. With illustrations in a style similar to that of Quentin Blake and Tony Ross, this is a fable about a girl who is clearly in control of her own life. Recommended for kindergarten, elementary school, and public libraries.

Nonfiction picturebooks:
Krull, Kathleen. Illustrated by Amy June Bates. Hillary Rodham Clinton : dreams taking flight. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2008. 38 p. : col. ill. ISBN 978-1-4169-7129-0 / 1-4169-7129-7 $16.99 Ages 7-9. P8Q7 This picturebook biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton reviews the highlights of her life, but leaves the details—dates and places—to the back matter of the book. Each two-page spread includes an affirmation. Recommended for elementary and public library collections.

Juvenile fiction:
Barrett, Tracy. The 100 year-old secret. “The Sherlock files.” Henry Holt, c2008. 157 p. ISBN 978-0-8050-8340-8 / 0-8050-8340-5 $15.95 Ages 8-12. P7Q6 American twins visiting London with their parents, Xena and Xander Holmes discover that they are descendents of Sherlock Holmes and set about to solve one of the unsolved problems that their famous ancestor described in his notebooks. The first case is to locate a famous painting, missing for 100 years. With the help of a descendent of Dr. Watson, the twins seek out clues, matching notes left by Sherlock Holmes with people and places in modern London. Obviously the beginning of a series, this book is a more than adequate mystery, and the somewhat undeveloped characters have room to grow. An additional purchase for elementary school and public libraries.

Daley, Michael J. Rat trap. Holiday House, c2008. 212 p. ISBN 978-0-8234-2093-3 / 0-8234-2093-0 $16.95 Ages 11-14. Sequel to: Space station rat. P7Q8 Lavender haired, intelligent, genetically engineered Rat is hiding with her boy, Jeff, recovering from injuries sustained in the fight against Nanny, Jeff’s wicked robotic caretaker. The space station personnel believe Rat to be dead, but the scientist who created her is on the way to the station to retrieve his creation equipped with hordes of robot sniffers and the recommissioned Nanny. Although this is clearly a sequel, the dialogue and action pull the reader into the story. High quality science fiction, recommended for elementary and public library collections.

DiTerlizzi, Tony. Kenny & the dragon. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2008. 151 p : ill. ISBN 978-1-4169-3977-1 / 1-4169-39776 $15.99 Ages 8-12. P8Q8 Kenny Rabbit’s new friend Grahame—a dragon, though a peaceful one–has been designated a scourge and the king has sent word that his knight George (currently running a bookshop)—another of Kenny’s friends—is to exterminate him. A pleasant tale with occasional bookish references and wonderful pencil illustrations. Highly recommended for elementary, junior high, and public library collections.

YA fiction:
Greenland, Shannon. Native tongue. “The specialists.” (Speak, c2008. 237 p. ISBN 978-0-14-241160-5 $7.99 Ages 14-up. P8Q7
The specialists: a secret school, a group of youngsters with no family ties, each individual possessing some highly developed talent—computer programming, language acquisition, physical prowess. When a South American Indian girl walks out of the jungle bearing the mythical vase, rumored to control nature, the many tribes in the region gather to decide who among them actually owns it. One can only hope this series will continue. More fun than James Bond any day. Recommended for high school and public library collections.

Halam, Ann. Snakehead. “Wendy Lamb Books.” Random House Children’s Books, c2008. 289 p. : map. ISBN 978-0-375-84108-8 $16.99 Ages 12-16. P8Q8 Perseus, god-touched son of the Greek princess Danae, offers a sanctuary on the island of Serifos to Andromeda—she will work in his patron’s inn. Andromeda, in turn, offers Perseus the gift of writing, but knows that she is fated to be the sacrifice to save her own people. However, Serifos’ tyrant king brings unrest to the island, and both Perseus and Andromeda must leave to pursue their destinies. The voice of the book is by turns modern and mythic. The author’s note reminds us that Perseus and Andromeda are the only lovers in Greek mythology who lived happily after their adventures. Highly recommended for junior high, high school, and public libraries.

Hale, Shannon, and Dean Hale. Illustrated by Nathan Hale. Rapunzel’s revenge. Bloomsbury, c2008. 144 p., col. ill. ISBN 1-59990-288-5 / 978-1-59990-288-3 $14.99 Ages 8-14. P8Q7 A comic book retelling of the story of Rapunzel, set in a Western mining region, and when she escapes, Rapunzel uses her long, luxurious locks as tools in her quest to defeat the witch, Gothel.

Hardinge, Frances. Well witched. HarperCollins, c2007. 390 p. ISBN 978-0-06-088038-5 $16.99 Ages 12-16. P7Q8 Three teens needing bus money to get home after a night out, steal coins from a wishing well—and the well witch curses them to fulfill each wish paid for by each coin. She gives them special powers. Unfortunately, many wishes turn out to be unkind or malicious, and the three must find a way out before they join in the witch’s madness. Well-written, with a brush of horror. Recommended for high school and public library collections.

Kostick, Conor. Saga. Viking, c2008. 367 p. ISBN 978-0-670-06280-5 $18.99 Ages 14-up. Sequel to: Epic. P7Q8 Ghost, member of an anarcho-punk airboarding gang, rebels against the strict class system of the world of Saga, ruled by a corrupt monarchy enforced by high-tech electronics and armed guards. When strangers begin to appear and disappear from the streets, though, Ghost and her friends discover that Saga is a sentient computer game, which inserts itself virus-like into the computer systems of entire worlds, enslaving the inhabitants as they become addicted to playing the game. Combining the appeal of virtual gaming and skateboarding taken to new levels, Saga will appeal to science fiction readers. Highly recommended for high school and public libraries. Oh, and find a copy of Epic for the collection as well.

Pratchett, Terry. Nation. “Advance reader’s edition. (New York : Harper, 2008): 332 p. ISBN 978-0-06-1433016 $16.99 “Ages: 12 up.” P7Q8 A tsunami following a volcanic eruption brings together Mau, an islander at the border between boyhood and manhood, and Daphne, the daughter of an heir to the throne of the Empire. Together they work to save the other refugees and fight off the attacks of a cannibal tribe led by a sadistic sailor. An adventure in the style of Victorian South Sea tales, with a twist of science fiction at the end. It would be fun to pair this with The Swiss Family Robinson. Recommended for junior high, high school and public libraries.

Thompson, Kate. The last of the high kings. “Greenwillow Books.” HarperCollins, 2008, c2007. 323 p. Includes glossary and bibliography (p.[324]) ISBN 978-0-06-117595-4 $16.99 Ages 14-up. P7Q8
In J.J. Liddy’s boisterous, musical family, eleven-year-old daughter Jenny, who skips school to roam the hillsides barefoot, poses a problem. When she discovers her heritage, she makes a deal with a mysterious white goat, and persuades a ghost to leave his lonely post, nearly destroying all of humanity, only to be saved by the last descendent of the High Kings. Lyrical prose, neatly grafted onto Irish fairy lore makes this a fit sequel to Thompson’s The New Policeman. Highly recommended for fantasy collections in high schools and public libraries.

May-Sept 2008 Reviews by M.D. NHS ASPIRE
Vincent, Erin. Grief Girl: My true story. Delacort Press. New York. 2007. 306 pgs. 9780385733533. $15.99. P/8 Q/8. Ages 9-12 grade. Each chapter starts with a date to give the reader a time line for this true story. The author is fourteen when both of her parents are killed in a car accident. She blames herself because she has already killed them in her thoughts. Her older sister and her boyfriend move back home so she and her brother can be a family. Her uncle who is the executer of the will never gives them any of the money when they need it for a broken refrigerator. She has to work hard just to eat. She hates her sister who resents them both. She thinks she may be going crazy, not dealing with her grief. She wants to be institutionalized so she can just lie around. She lives threw high school, becomes a journalist, her uncle has stolen all of the insurance money from her parents, she hired a lawyer and got most of the money back. This is a sad story but she prevails in the end. I really like the fact that the book has an afterward section so you know how they all made out. This book is well written and would appeal to many different age groups, adults and teens.

Cheva, Cherry. She’s So Money. Harper teen. New York. 2008. 290 pages. 9780061288524. $17.89. ages 7 and up. P/8 2,8. The inside book jacket sleeve has a question and upside down answer that make a fun intro to this book. The author writes for the animated series Family Guy, and the book does have a humorous outlook. Maya is a young Thai girl who works alongside her younger brother in their family restaurant. She has to make lots of money quickly when her parents leave her in charge for the weekend and she does a bad job of cleaning the restaurant and the health inspector slaps her with a $10,000 fine. Rather than tell her hard working parents of the problem she works up a homework cheating ring at school. She falls in love with her co-conspirator/client but realizes he’s just a man-whore. She almost loses her scholarship, parents’ restaurant, her best friend and her sanity. In the end she has to come clean with everyone and pay the price for cheating. The book was a quick fun read with romance, conflict and resolution.

Gallagher, Liz. The Opposite of Invisible. Wendy Lamb Books. New York. 2008. 153 pgs. 9780375841521. $15.99. P7/ Q 6 ages 14 and up.
Alice is a young girl who talks to her poster “Dove Girl” rather than write in a journal. Her best friend is a boy she calls Jewel. She wants a real boyfriend and a date for the upcoming Halloween Bloodbath. She falls for Simon he’s not the most popular guy but he will get her noticed. Jewel kisses Alice and now she wishes she never would have kissed Simon. Alice has remade herself into a cute popular girl but at what expense? Will she be able to keep her best friend Jewel & have a boyfriend or is he both to her. The dialogue and story line is sometimes shallow but a young teen would enjoy reading this quick story.

Stevenson, Robin. Out of Order. Orca Book Publishers. Custer, WA 2007. 221 pgs. 9781551436937. $8.95 P7/Q7 ages 14-16
The book starts with a prologue that tells about how Sophie has moved from Ontario to Victoria and shi is different and no one in her new town will find out she was once fat, ugly and picked on. She is skinny now and will keep herself that way if it kills her. She makes friends with Zelia who gets her to do things even her grandmother is embarrassed of. She rides horses with her friend Max and falls for Tavish the guy who works at the barns. Her friend Zelia tries to kill herself and she has a hard time supporting her threw this difficult time. She learns it is ok to change and for others to find out about it and grows from the experience. Older teens would enjoy this book as some of the things the girls go threw are for a more mature audience.

Cross, Shauna Derby Girl. Henry Hold and Company. New York. 2007. 234 pgs. 9780805080230. $16.95 P7/Q7 ages 14 and up
Bliss is only 16 but pretends to be 18 so she can join the roller derby group. She lives in Texas and her mom wants her to be a pageant queen but Bliss wants something different “blue hair” Bliss falls for a guy from a band and looses her virginity to him and her favorite t-shirt. He of course cheats on her and she has to learn that she can be her own person not who her mom or that boy want. It’s an enjoyable story that moves along quickly.

McElligott, Matthew. The Hairiest Pirate Who Ever Lived: Backbeard Pirate for Hire. Walker & Company. New York. 2007. -16.95. ages 2nd-4th grade. 978-6-8027-9632-5. P7/Q7
The pictures are beautiful and engaging. It seems to have a lot of words on several of the pages. I had a hard time with his name “Backbeard” I kept wanting to call him Blackbeard. It is a funny sotry but uses the word “idot” and may encourage younger children to use such language. The author has several books in his series of “Backbeard” adventures and even has a radio show, games & activiites at his web site http://www.mattmcelligott.com

Cassels, Jean. A Dr. David Harleyson Adventure – Bre’r Rabbit Captured! Walker & Company .New York. $17.95 ages 3-5th grade/ 978-0-8027-9556-4. P 6/ Q6
This is a long told folktale told by letters written to a father who is back home while an Uncle & son go on a trip to capture portraits. It is a little confusing as the letters switch back & forth. When it gets to the folktales it is more enjoyable. Beautiful pictures but a long confusing read.

Kruusval, Catarina. translated by Joan Sandin. Franny’s Friends. R & S Books. New York. 2008. $16.00 ages k-2nd grade. 9-12966-836-0. P6/ Q 5
A very simple story with many repetative words as it says the characters names over and over again in each phrase. It is a translated story so some of the names are not familiar to the English reader. Cute pictures but a little boring.

Emberley, Rebecca. My Big Book of Spanish Words Little Brown & Company. Hachatte Brook Group. New York. 2008. 978-0316-11803-3.$ 8.99 ages pre-k-1st grade. P7 /Q 7
This is a card board book so very young readers can also enjoy this book. It has very simple paper type pictures that have both English and Spanish words. No story just a picture book that helps children learn the opposite word for daily items such as clock, teddy bear. Bright and colorful words and pictures.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Summer 2008 Reviews by N.W.
Nonfiction

Bishop, Nic. Frogs. Scholastic Nonfiction, 2008. $17.99. 978-0-439-87755-8. 48p. Ages 6-9:
From the largest frog, the Goliath, to the tiny strawberry dart poison frog, spectacular close-up photography of this species is combined with minimalist descriptions of each type. The author includes information about the frogs’ anatomy, survival techniques, movements, development, parenting, and much more. At the end, Bishop explains he managed to photograph these shy creatures through his exploration as he even trained some of them to pose for the camera. P8Q8

Crowe, Chris. Up Close: Thurgood Marshall. Viking, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-670-06228-7. 248p. Ages 11-15:
Growing up in a world of “Jim Crowe” laws which made African Americans second-class citizens, Marshall ascended to the highest court in the country, becoming an integral part of Brown v. Board of Education which ended segregation in the U.S. schools. This very human look at Marshall shows his development from a school troublemaker to a passionate lawyer and first African American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. P5Q8

Fleischman, Sid. The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West. Greenwillow, 2008. $18.99. 978-0-06-134431-2. 224p. Ages 10-14:
With its wit, humor, and illustrations of both photographs and drawings, this biography is a true delight. Most of the narrative covers Twain’s younger life from childhood through his first thirty years (his “birth” when he changes his name from Samuel Clemens) showing his travels from place to place, either running to or from something. No matter how many books a library has about Twain, this one is a must! P7Q9

Jarrow, Gail. Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor. Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills Press, 2008. $18.95. 978-0-59078-511-9. 127p. Ages 11-15: Jackson’s journey from self-taught lawyer in rural New York to the U.S. Supreme Court and assignment to be the judge in the trials against the Nazi leadership at the end of World War II shows the value of having friends in high places. His meeting with a first-term senator in 1911, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, led Jackson into the president’s inner circle during the 1930s which resulted
in his becoming attorney general. Jackson’s oppostive to the Japanese American internment during World War II and his belief in the importance of citizens’ rights despite the need for national security gives this detailed biography a contemporary feel. Also valuable to readers is Jackson’s hard work to become a lawyer and the extensive information about the history and workings of the Supreme Court. P5Q8

Lang, Lang with Michael French. Lang Lang Playing with Flying Keys. Delacorte, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-385-73578-0. 215p. Ages 12-15:
Born in Shenyang, China, in 1982, Lang began to play the piano at age 3. Today he is celebrated in the musical capitals of the world, demonstrating an extraordinary level of musicianship. This autobiography tells of his parents’ sacrifice for him, his father’s sometimes cruel treatment, and his feelings about failure as he fought to be the best. A rags-to-riches story, this book also presents an inside look at the Chinese culture. Another recent book by Lang is Journey of a Thousand Miles: My Story. P6Q8

Swain, Ruth Freeman. Underwear: What We Wear under There. Il. John O’Brien. Holiday House, 2008. $16.95. 978-0-8234-1920-3. unp. Ages 6-10:
Sure to be a delight to young readers, the humorous illustrations and text of this book teach them to understand transitions in clothing and culture. P10Q8

Picture Books
Bee, William. Beware of the Frog. Candlewick, 2008. $15.99. 978-0-7636-3920-4. unp. Ages 4-7: Mrs. Collywobbles lives next to a big, dark, scary wood, but she has great protection—a little pet frog that gobbles up anything that comes on her property including the Giant Hungry Ogre. In a surprise ending, however, the frog finds his comeuppance when he turns Mrs. Collywobbles into another frog. Colorful Macintosh illustrations highlight the different villains that invade the little old lady’s space and the grand full-page illustrations of the frog. A delight for all. P9Q9

Lehman, Barbara. Trainstop. Houghton, 2008. $16.00. 978-0-618-756407-7. unp. Ages 4-8:
A young girl’s train ride with her parents leads her briefly into a fantastical world. Boldly outlined gouache illustrations tell the story with no words, providing a delightful stretch of the imagination. P8Q8

Ljungkvist, Laura. Follow the Line around the World. Viking, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-670-06334-5. up. Ages 4-8:
In a “sequel” to her Follow the Line, the author/illustrator uses one continuous line against multi-colored backdrops to take the reader from Australia to the Amazon, from Sri Lanka to the Sahara. The view of different habitats extends the vocabulary as well as highlighting the great variety on our planet. A fun book for both geography and art. P9Q9

Rinck, Maranke. I Feel a Foot. Il. Martijn van der Linden. Lemniscaat/Boyds Mills, 2008. 978-1-59078-638-3. unp. Ages 3-6:
When Turtle, Bat, Octopus, Bird, and Goat try to identify the creature by feeling it, each one thinks that it is just like them, “a whopper of a Tur-Bat-Octo-Bird-Goat!” In reality, the brightly-colored illustrations that seem to pop off the black background show that it is an elephant. This classic tale about different perceptions makes a good real-aloud with lots of scary moments and laughter. P9Q9

Yum, Hyewon. Last Night. Farrar, 2008. $15.95. 978-0-374-34358-3. unp. Ages 3-6:
Sent to her room because she will not eat her dinner, a little girl finds a wonderful adventure, dreaming about an adventure with her bear friend as they voyage deep into the forest, dancing and playing all night. The linocut illustrations then show her return when she makes up with her mother in the morning. With no words to break the spell of the little girl’s experiences, Last Night is an American debut for the South Korean illustrator.

Graphic Novel 
Cammuso, Frank. Knights of the Lunch Table. [The Dodgeball Chronicles] Graphix/Scholastic, 2008. $9.99. 978-0-439-90322-6. 141p. Ages 7-10:
Artie, he new kid at school, doesn’t want to attract attention, but he’s made enemies before lunch on his first day. His attempt to save himself is to take a challenge at dodgeball—a sport at which he claims to excel. Wrong! This fast-paced twist on King Arthur’s tales shows how people find allies in unexpected places and that the game’s not over until you’ve pushed all the limits. A laugh outloud graphic novel in the first of a series. P8Q8

Holm, Jennifer L. & Matthew Holm. Babymouse: Monster Mash. Random House, 2008. $5.99. 978-0-375-84387-7. 91p. Ages 5-8:
The familiar pink accents of this beloved series have disappeared in order to bring out the orange, black, and white for Babymouse’s Halloween experiences. This time her dilemma starts when her mother lets her have a party, and Babymouse’s nemesis, Felicia, lays down the rules for Babymouse and then leads her into lots of trouble with her pranks. Kids love this series! P9Q8

Fiction 
Bauer, Joan. Peeled. Putnam, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-399-23475-0. 248p. Ages 13-16:
High school reporter Hildy Biddle uses her curiosity to investigate what’s behind all the ghost stories popping up in town only to find herself in great danger. Bauer has another strong-willed hero who discovers that developers are trying to buy up the apple orchards that the community depends on. Good plotting and characterization fit with the witty writing to make this a fun read. P8Q8

Jones, Diana Wynne. House of Many Ways. Greenwillow, 2008. $17.99. 978-0-06-147795-9. 404p. Ages 12+:
Howl’s moving castle is back, this time with young Charmian Baker in charge because Great-Uncle William, aka Royal Wizard Norland, is dangerously ill. Although the cottage appears small, the single door leads to vast spaces, including the caves under the mountain and the Royal Mansion. In addition, Charmian finds herself responsible for a magical stray dog, a muddled young
apprentice wizard, and a box of the king’s treasured documents. Absolutely delightful and just in time to read after seeing the movie Howl’s Moving Castle. P8Q10

McDonald, Megan. Judy Moody Goes to College. Il. Peter H. Reynolds. Candlewick, 2008. $15.99. 978-0-7636-2833-8. 133p. Ages 7-9:
The irrepressible third-grader is back and funnier than ever. With a substitute teacher in math, Judy is sent to a tutor, a swinging college student, Chloe, who introduces Judy to all sorts of grown-up things: clothes, mood nail polish, coffee houses (where Judy gets hot chocolate), art classes, and a new attitude toward mathematics. Judy Moody rocks! P8Q8

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Almost Alice. Atheneum, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-689-87096-5. 272p. Ages 13-15:
In this 23rd book, tales about Alice, now a second-semester high school junior, seem to be wearing thin. Most of the occurrences are vignettes, probably of interest to a far younger audience who have followed Alice through her father’s remarriage and her relationship with older brother Lester and a series of boyfriends. Now she’s back with Patrick, her crush on Scott is over, and the focus is on college and pregnancy (Pamela, Alice’s friend). Everything seems so easy for everyone, even Pamela’s spontaneous miscarriage after some worry. For libraries with a strong Alice following. P6Q5

Parker, Robert B. The Boxer and the Spy. Philomel, 2008. $17.99. 978-0-399-24775-0. 210p. Agse 12-15:
After decades of writing books for adults, including the popular Spenser novels, Parker has published a second book for young adults. Rich in dialog, almost a tv script, this one features Terry Novak, a 15-year-old wannabe boxer, and his smart friend Abby who solve the mystery of who killed young nerdy Jason Green. The allusion to Jason’s possibly being gay doesn’t go anywhere, and the solution to the killing doesn’t appear to be plausible. But young readers interested in boxing will find this a good read. P7Q6

Venkatraman, Padma. Climbing the Stairs. Putnam, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-399-24746-0. 247p. Ages 14+:
Dreaming of going to college should not be unusual for a 15-year-old girl, but Vidya lives in British-occupied India during World War II. Her activist father supports her in this desire, but her dreams come to an abrupt end when she mistakenly gets him involved in a protest where he is severely beaten and loses his ability to function. Instead belonging to a well-off middle-class family headed by a doctor, Vidya finds herself in a traditional Indian family ruled by oppressive relatives. Even her new boyfriend, who she meets clandestinely, has the same view toward women as a lesser class. Although rich in culture and history, the book is not over-whelmed by the setting; the characters stand out in great relief, both individually and through their interactions. The author covers issues of personal pride, struggle, and choice in the face of disaster while telling a compelling story. P8Q9

September Book Reviews by C.B.
Campbell Bartoletti, Susan, The boy who dared, Scholastic Press, New York, 2008, 202 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0439680131, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 9,
The author Susan Bartoletti has selected 16-year-old Helmuth Hubner from one of her previous books, Hitler youth. This is a historical fictionalized account of the life of Helmuth Hubner. The story starts with the imprisonment of Helmuth in a jail cell after he has been sentenced to death by the courts of Nazi Germany. Helmuth has a series a flash backs that retell his story of illegally listening to the BBC broadcast on a short-wave radio and then distributing the information in Germany. This book will capture the attention of middle and high school students.

Carman, Patrick, Rivers of fire, Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers, New York, 2008, 303 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0316166723, Gr. 5+, P8, Q8, This is the second book in the Atherton series, where Atherton is a three-tiered world and is in actual fact a huge man-made satellite that is man kinds only refuge from a dying Earth. The three-tiered world, three different lands which had been separated before are now collapsing into each other and the inhabitants of this strange world must work together to survive. Edgar one of the main characters is determined to save the world and to discover the truth about Atherton too.

Paver, Michelle, Outcast, Katherine Tegen Books, New York, 2008, 319 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0060728345, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 9,
This Michelle Paver’s fourth book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, you now find Torak has been keeping a secret from the rest of his clan. He had been infected by one of soul-eaters in the previous book, the mark he has hidden is discovered and he is cast out of his clan and all other clans will not recognize him either. This book deal with an ancient world where Torak’s friendship is tested, he must survive on his own, deal with magic and earn his place back, if he can, in his clan. This adventure story will appeal to all who have read the rest of this series.

Scott, Michael, The alchemist : the secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flamel, Delacorte Press, New York, 2007, 375 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0385733577, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
Sophie and Josh Newman, each 15 years old, are excited about their jobs in San Francisco and the money they can earn. The jobs are situated right across the street from each other. Sophie is working in a coffee shop and Josh in a book store. All is going well until the day that black magical beings enter the book store, to steal the Codex (a ancient magical book). Josh rips two crucial pages out before they leave with the stolen book. Josh and his sister find out that Nick and Peggy Fleming, Nicks employers, are really 14th century alchemists and are the guardians of the book. This fantasy adventure will grab both middle and high school student attention.

Walden, Mark, The overlord protocol, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York, 2007, 376 pgs., $19.99, ISBN:1416935738, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
This is the second book in the H.I.V.E. series and from the first page it is packed with adventure and danger. The characters in them first book again save the day and with it the Higher Institute of Villainous Education. While attending Wing’s father’s funeral he is kidnapped by Cyper, a true villain who wants to take over the world and destroy H.I.V.E. Wing finds that Cyper is mass producing Ninja robots who can outfight any other Ninja warrior and that they cannot be destroyed by bullets either. This fast paced adventure will appeal to all.

Non Fiction:
Curlee, Lynn, Mythological creatures : a classical bestiary, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York, 2008, 35 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:1416914536, Gr. 4+, P 7, Q 7,
Lynn Curlee presents the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology by using his own bright paintings to illustrate each of them as he brings their tales alive in this collection. The creatures and beasts of Greek Mythology are also found in the pages of this book.

DiPucchio, Kelly, Sipping spiders through a straw : campfire songs for monsters, illustrated by Gris Grimly, Scholastic Press, New York, 2008, unp, $15.99, ISBN:0439584019, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
Using familiar songs DiPucchio, has created a mixture of ghastly and witty lyrics that will appeal to all who read the pages of this book. Using supercilious lyrics he replaced worlds from “To take me out to the ballgame” with “Take me out to the graveyard, take me out to the tombs.” Using black and brown watercolors he uses stretched out and really drawn out illustrations to reveal the figures of the characters in this collection.

Fitzgerald, Dawn, Vinnie and Abraham, illustrated by Catherine Stock, Charlesbridge, China, 2007, unp, $15.95, ISBN:1570916586, Gr. 2+, P 7, Q 8,
This book show cases the life of Vinnie Ream who was a sculpture and has a marble statue of Abraham Lincoln that now stands in the Capitol Rotunda. This statue is marble and was unveiled when Vinnie was 23 years-old in 1871. This book brings home to a younger audience the life of this remarkable artist. The author begins with her life in Wisconsin, and then to her becoming one of the youngest women, 14 years-old, hired by the U.S. Post Office and concluding with President Lincoln sitting for her. The water colors by Stock are soft but capture the vitality of this extraordinary young woman.

Hansen, Rosanna, Caring for Cheetahs : my African adventure, Boyds Mills Press, Honesdale, Pennsylvania, 2007, 32 pgs., index, glossary, $16.95, ISBN:1590783875, Gr. 2+, P 8, Q 8,
The Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, Africa is featured in the pages of this book as Chewbaaka is the main Cheeta featured too. Chewbaaka was rescued and then raised by the members of the conservation. Using photos the relationship of this cheetah to Dr. Laurie Marker are shown. The research between Chewbaaka and Dr. Marker has enabled the world to get a better perspective on the growth, eating habits, size and lifespan of the Cheetah. Elementary students will love this book as they discover how one small area of the world is working to save this endangered animal.

Matthews, John & Caitlin, Trick of the tale : a collection of trickster tales, illustrated by Tomislav Tomic, Candlewick Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2008, 85 pgs., $18.99, ISBN:0763636460, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 9,
The gorgeous black and white engravings by Tomic Tomislav invite the reader into this book to discover the world of the tricksters as they lie and cheat their way out of trouble and to success. This collection features stories from all over the world and will appeal to all audiences.

Michelson, Richard, As good as anybody : Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s amazing march toward freedom, illustrated by Raul Colon, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2008, unp, $16.99, ISBN:0375833358, Gr. 4+, P 7, Q 8,
Two men are featured in this book Rabbi Abraham Heshel and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Rabbi Heshel was a Jewish man who escaped from Nazi Germany to America and was drawn in the civil rights movements of the 60’s. He became a good friend of Dr. King. and marched with him from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. These two men were vastly different and came from different cultures and religions but they proved through their friendships and respect prejudices can be over come. The illustrator of this book uses two colors schemes, brown hues for King and blue hues for Heshel to illustrate theses two different men’s lives. This book should be included in all school libraries.

Rapport, Doreen, Lady Liberty : a biography, illustrated by Matt Tavares, Candlewick Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2008, unp, $17.99, ISBN:0763625302, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 9,
The Statue of Liberty has greeted many people to the shores of America and in the pages of this book we are treated to her creation from the financial aspect to those in France who dreamed of giving her as gift to America. Professor Edourd de Laboulaye, a French man wished to honor our struggle during the American Revolution and to celebrate the friendship between our two countries. It is however the creator French sculptor, Auguste Barthodi who made Laboulaye dream come true. The illustrator Matt Tavares uses bright colors to depict the models and building and story of this famous statue.

Ironside, by Holly Black Reader: H.I. WHS Student, Date Read:4-30-08
Ironside is the sequel to Holly Black’s first book, Tithe. It’s really well done and interesting because, along with taking up where Tithe left off, Ironside also wraps up Valiant. Characters from both books are intermingled and fit together perfectly. Kaye, from Tithe and Louis, from Valiant meet and together work to save the Roiban the Fairy king, soon to be, of both courts and also Kaye’s boyfriend. Everybody in “Ironside” have unique, fragile and yet strong relationships and work together amazingly. I read this book in one sitting, it’s that good. Recommendation: YES

Valiant, by Holly Black Reader H.I. WHS Student Date Read:4-29-08
Summary: Valiant is about fairies and their “courts.” Their courts are actually kingdoms of which there are two major ones, they are constantly at war and nobody wants to get caught in the middle of that. The main characters consist of a run away and three already homeless kids, they get into fairy drugs, involved with fairy murders and wrapped up in their own human lives. In the end things get resolved, and end rather happily. It was a delicious book, which I would definitely recommend.

September 2008 Book Review K.J. NHS Student
Meehl, Brian. Suck it Up. Random House, New York, 2008. $15.99 ISBN:9780385733007 323 p. Gr. 9-12 The story is told in third person point of view, and starts off a bit slow when we¹re introduced to Morning McCobb, a vampire graduating from a vampire academy. He¹s awkward and out of place, but becomes easier to love as the reader learns his attitude, history, and sense of humor. Morning loves superheroes and drinks blood substitutes, unlike any other vampire. He is given the chance to become a modern kind of superhero by revealing to the human race (a.k.a. “lifers”) that vampires do actually exist, and that they are peaceful. The “vampire president” of the IVL (International Vampire League) takes a personal interest in Morning, and pays a woman back in NYC (Morning¹s hometown) to make his name known. Morning breaks a lot of ancient “laws” convincing everyone he¹s the real thing. The hired publicist is Penny Dredful, and her daughter is Portia, an aspiring filmmaker. They develop a quick and obvious relationship. An elderly vampire very set in the old ways makes it his mission to destroy Morning. The characters were realistic for the most part, but the relationship between Portia and Morning was expected and not very exciting. The time frame of the entire story happens in about a week, so things seem a bit rushed. It¹s therefore a lot of action, but very descriptive. Good dialogue, slow plot, but excellent past set up (in the explanation of ancient vampire culture.) Boys would probably enjoy this book, but it took me some strain to sit through, even as a vampire lover. P4 Q5

Jenkins, A.M. Night Road. HarperCollins, New York, 2008. $16.99 ISBN:9780060546045 362 p. Gr. 9-12 The main character in this book is Cole, a “hemovore” (not quite the “painted picture” vampire) who isolates himself and takes photos. Over time, taking photos loses its meaning to him. He has to return to “the Building”, the colony of hemovores in NYC. His friend, Sandor, had an accident, and created a new hemovore named Gordon. The “head heme” asks Cole and Sandor to take Gordon on the road and teach him the vampire ways. Most of the story takes place while they are on the road. Reading this book was difficult for me to enjoy. I had to force myself to finish it, although the second half of the book is easier on the stomach. The characters faced a lot of struggles, which is pretty much what fuels the story. The most interesting ideas that the author presented were short-lived, and I would¹ve liked him to elaborate more on those. My favorite part was a chapter that was about a page long. It¹s when Cole “dies”, and the way he sees heaven is intriguing and beautiful. I didn¹t really like this book because it was so hard to keep reading. All the main characters were male, and the female ones were either prey or bitchy. There really wasn¹t much of a story. P3 Q3 Oregon Coast Preview Center for Young Readers September 2008 By S.E. (grand parent volunteer)

Fiction
Tracy, Kristen. Lost It. Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, NY. 2007. 276p. ISBN 10: 1-416934758. $7.00. Ages 13-16. After meeting the cutest guy, Ben, Tess blows it by melting her locker shut and telling him it was probably because of her low blood sugar and having him believe she was diabetic. He was super nice to her and very attentive and the longer she pretended to have diabetes, the more she wanted to tell him but after losing her virginity to him, she couldn’t find the right time to tell him. Ben, it turns out, has leukemia, but is in remission and Tess finds this out a long way into their “relationship” Her folks are always off at some retreat or climbing adventure so she has no parents to speak of and lives with her grandma when the folks are out of town. When Ben finds out that she doesn’t have diabetis, he leaves and doesn’t see her anymore. This book has a good moral and hopefully the persons who read this will take away a sense of honesty. Q7P7

Friedman, Aimee. The Year My Sister Got Lucky. Scholastic Inc. NY. 2008. 370p. ISBN 0439922272. $17.00. Ages 13-18. Two young ballerina sisters, one of which has been invited to Julliard, are uprooted and moved to the country, away from their beloved NY City, 14 year old Katie isn’t fitting in as readily as her older sister Michaela is. Katie keeps the secret of her sister dating a new boyfriend from her parents. She finally tells her folks what her sister is up to and all hell breaks loose. The sisters have been invited to see the Nutcracker at the Lincoln Center in NY City where they would have been performing had they not moved from the city. Katie thinks her sister dances wonderfully and is in awe of that, even seeing how her sister’s toe shoes were always bloody after practicing. The girls get home and realize on the way home, that their home is in the upstate country now. This was an easy read and the lesson learned by Katie was that all her anger toward her sister was born of jealousy. Q7P7.

Shearer, Alex. Canned. Scholastic Inc. NY. 2006. 237p. ISBN 0439903092. $17.00. Ages 9-12. Fergal is a young man who, when he goes to the store with his mom, always digs in the “label missing” bin and takes one of them home each time. He finally had so many, his folks told him he had to get rid of some in order for him to get any more. He opens a can and finds a mystery in it. While at the market another time, he finds a girl who likes to collect unlabeled cans too and together they unravel the mystery of the lost, put into slave labor, kids. This is a farfetched story but it is a cute story and one that a kid of those ages would like to read. Q7P8

Cooney, Caroline B. Hit the Road. Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House NY. 183p. ISBN 038572944(trade) 0385901747 (glb) $16.00. Ages 13-17. Brit has had her license for 11 days but rather than leave their car home for Brit to drive, her folks take it to the airport parking lot to sit while they are gone, leaving Brit off at her grandma “Nannies” house. Because the grandma couldn’t see very well, Brits mom had sold her grandma’s old Cadillac . Nannie had planned a reunion with three of her close friends as they had done every year for ages but with no transportation Brit thought it would be of her grandma’s mind. Nannie rents a car to take to pick up two of her old buddies and rescue another of the trio who was sent to an old age home because her son wanted the money. Brit learns a lot on this funny journey, mostly about herself but also about what it is like to be an old person. I liked this book. Q8P8

O’Leary Burningham, Sarah, Il. Bella Pilar. How To Raise Your Parents, a teen girl’s survival guide. Chronicle Books SF, Ca. 2008. 144p. ISBN 9780811856966. $13.00. Ages 13-18. This is a wonderfully enlightening book for teens. It teaches “parent speak” and tells what the parents or guardians fear about certain things like dating or the internet and why such things like dying your hair and tattooing are such a fear to the “old folks”. I would like to see this book put in all the schools. My grand daughter loved it and it explained a lot of things she goes through with her folks and helps her to understand why they are what they are. It encourages homework and study groups and why you should care about getting good grades. It is a funny comprehensive book on how to raise your parents. It is also a good book for the parents to read. Q10P10

McMullan, Kate and Jim. I’m Bad. Harper Collins children’s books. NY. 2008. ISBN 9780061229718. Ages 4-8. $17.00. A cute read aloud book about a dinosaur trying to catch his dinner and a wonderful ending page that folds up to reveal his momma watching him act like a baby. Primitively drawn, but I liked the ending. Q7P9

McNaughton, Colin, We’re Off to Look For Aliens. Candlewick Press, Ma. 2008 . ISBN 9780763636364. $16.00. Ages 5-8. This is a book within a book, literally. The book opens with the dad getting his newly published book in the mail and showing it to his kids. (His children think that their dad doesn’t really work, all he does is write stories). The dad gives his new book to his kids to read and leaves the house. The book he has written is smaller than the book itself and tells a great rhyming story about building a space ship and traveling the universe and finding an alien and taking her back to his planet and he and the alien marry and have kids. The end of the book is great…I know kids will love reading this book and the book inside the book as well. Q9P9

Morgan, Mary. Dragon Pizzeria . Alfred A Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, NY. 2008. $17.00 ISBN 9780375823091.
This is a story about a dragon who delivers pizza’s to people like Hansel and Gretel, Thumbelina, and the three bears among others. It is brightly illustrated and can be used in classrooms for read aloud or for rhyming. The author also wrote Little Mouse and Sleep Tight. Q7P8

Non-fiction
Hatcoff, Craig & Isabella & Juliana and Dr. Gerald R Ulich. Knut, How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World. Scholastic Press. NY. 2007. ISBN 0545047161. $17.00. Ages 6-10.
A wonderful story about a Polar bear twin whose sibling died shortly after birth. Knut’s mother was in a zoo when she gave birth and the zoo keepers didn’t know if the mom would take care of the cubs. Knut’s mom was one of the kind that didn’t, so shortly after birth, the zookeeper took the cub into a private room and nursed him and fed him and took care of him and taught him how to do bear things until Knot was old enough to do it on his own. This is a wonderful story and I know the kids will love it. Q9P9

Fredricks, Mariah, In The Cards Life. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon And Schuster, NY. 2008. 262p. ISBN9780689876585. $17.00. Ages 11-13.
A great addition to the other two books of the series, In the Cards, Love and In the Cards, Fame, and, as in each of the other two books, is written from the perspective of one of the other two girls involved in the friendship. ( Each book is from a different girl’s perspective.) Three talented teenage girls have an ongoing friendship in which they have bonded with not only each other but with the cats that were given to them in a will from an old lady who lives in the same building as two of them. The old lady also willed them the deck of Tarot cards and they find that the cards usually ring true. This story actually made me cry and I would like to recommend it to the middle schools in LCSD. It covers teen crushes and jealousy and death and how each girl handles each situation that arises. Q8P8

October 2008 Reviews
Eddyville Charter October 2008 Student Reviews

Fiction 
White, Ruth. Little Audrey, Farrar Strauss Giroux, ©2008, 146P. ISBN 978-0-374-34580-8 / 0-374-34580-5. $16.00 Ages 11-14. P6Q7
Audrey tells the story in her older sister’s voice. The story takes place in 1948 at a rural coal mine town. The family is stepped in desperation and dysfunction, desiring a change but not sure how to obtain it. When Dad dies the family is forced to move on and actually end up with a better life.

Burgess, Melvin. Sara’s Face. Simon Pulse, ©2006. 264 P. ISBN 978-1-4169-5815-4 / 1-4169-5815-0 $7.99 Ages 14-18. P6Q7 Sara doesn’t like herself and will do anything to be pretty, popular, and famous. Borderline anorexic, multi-personality disorders, a risk to self are just some of Sara’s issues. When she meets Jonathon Heat, a famous celebrity, known for his addiction to cosmetic surgery, he promises to help her out. How far will she go and at what cost? The many contemporary issues and a peak inside the life of the rich and famous will appeal to young adult readers.

Zindel, Lizabeth. The Secret Rites of Social Butterflies. Masterfile, ©2007. 289 P. ISBN 978-0-670-06217-1 $16.99 Ages 14-18. P7Q9
A girl named Maggie went to a school in New Jersey her whole life until her parents separated in the summer before her senior year. She had to move to New York with her mom and her grandpa sent her to a high class school called Berkley Prep. At first it seems like she will never fit in until the highest clique in the school becomes her best friends. Their “mission” is to write the truths about girls in their school on The Wall. But Maggie starts to wonder if they are using The Wall for the right reasons. I really liked this book and plan to recommend it to my friends to read.

Kwasney, Michelle D. Itch. Henry Holt and Company, ©2008 ISBN-13:978-0-8083-4 ISBN 10:0-8050-8083-x $16.95 Ages 11-14. P4Q7
Delores also known as “Itch” tries to adapt to living in a new town. After her grandfather dies Delores lives with her grandma who is very strict and dull. This book was very boring, no excitement and extremely dull.

Griffen, Paul. Ten Mile River, Dial Books. ©2008, 186 pg. ISBN 978-0-8037-3284-1, $16.99 Ages 12-17. P6Q7
Having escaped from juvenile detention centers and foster care, two teenaged boys live on their own, in an abandoned shack, in New York, making their way by stealing, occasionally working, and trying to keep from being arrested. The book pulls in the reader by being able to relate to the two boys. I suggest this to teenage male readers. This is the first novel by Griffen.

Joyce, Graham. The Exchange. Viking. ©2007 241 pg. ISBN 978-0-670-06207-2. $16.99 Ages 16-18 P5Q5
The Exchange is about two best friends, Caz and Lucy, who sneak into other people’s homes while they are sleeping just for fun. One night Caz is caught in the act by Mrs. Tranter, who snaps a bracelet on her wrist. Caz is unable to take the bracelet off and stop the unusual powers it has. Not a great read due to slow parts and weak characters.

Crane, E.M. Skin Deep. Delacorte Press. ©2008 270 pg ISBN 978-0-385-73479-0/978-0-385-90477-3 $16.99 Ages 12-16 P8Q8
Andrea Anderson is a sixteen year old girl who is taking care of the neighbor’s sick dog. In the book Andrea learns a lot about life, death and friendships. The character is easy to connect with and has a believable back-story and a normal life. Andrea has very common opinions and a basic down-in-the-dumps life.

Picture books
Swanson, Susan Marie. The House in the Night. Houghton Mifflin Company, ©2008 Unpaged: col. III. ISBN 13:978-0-618-86244-3/10:0-618-86244-7 $17.00 Ages 4-7
Inspired by Iona and Peter Opie who collected nursery rhymes and handed them down over many years. This traditional poem inspired the pattern of this picture book; illustrations are all black and white with a smatter of yellow. .

Schaefer,Carole Lexa. Big Little Monkey. Illustrated by Pierre Pratt. Candlewick Press. ©2008 ISBN 978-0-7636-2006-6. $16.99 Grade K-2. P7Q7. Early one morning in a big mango tree, Little Monkey wakes up and finds his whole family still asleep. Little monkey sets off on his own to find his way along with some fun. The kindergarten liked the story as well as the colorful artwork.

Polacco, Patricia. For the Love of Autumn, Philomel, ©2008. unpaged. ISBN 978-0-399-24541-1. $16.99. Grades K-3. P7Q8
Miss Parks finds an abandoned kitten that she adopts as her own. Autumn is a pesky playful companion that fills the void in Miss Parks’ life. When the job takes them to Washington they both learn how to adapt living by the sea. One night during a storm the kitten runs away, only to return off and on, but always returning well cared for. Autumn now has two owners, Mr. Noton and Miss Parks. Through Autumn, true love erupts and they all become one big happy family.

Stewart, Joel. Addis Berner Bear Forgets Doubleday, ©2008 Unpaged ISBN-13: 9780374300364 $ 16.95 Ages 4–6 P5Q5
Addis, a musical bear, comes to the big city, but is so overwhelmed by the noise and the confusion that he actually forgets why he came to the city. Addis wanders all over the city until he realizes why he came. Addis truly is a great trumpet player. Someone who really pays attention will pick up the picture clues. I felt that young readers would need help understanding the message in the book.

Gorbachev, Valeri. Turtle’s Penguin Day. Alfred A. Knopf, © 2008. Unpaged. ISBN 978-375-84374-4 $16.99 Ages 4-8. The pictures bring this book to life. This book shows how information found in books can be inspiring to ones imagination. Over all this is a very enjoyable story.

Parent Reviews Picture Books 
Silverman, Erica. There was a Wee Woman. Melanie Kroupa Books, ©2008. Unpaged: col. III. ISBN 978-0-374-38253-7 $16.95 Ages 5-8 P9Q9
Inspired by the nursery rhyme “The Old Women in the Shoe,” this book illustrates a lively tale of a wee woman, her many wee children, and their pets too, living in one big shoe. When the children start fighting and the pets multiple, the adventure begins for this wee family and pets to find a new home: but beware there are giants out there. With illustrations by Rosanne Litzinger, this easy to read book comes to life following a family into a world full of adventure and surprises as they search for a new home.

Pullen, Zachary. Friday My Radio Flyer Flew. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. ©2008. Unpaged, col. Ill. ISBN 978-1-4169-3983-2 $16.95 Ages 4-7 P8Q8
When a young boy goes searching for things up in his attic, he stumbles upon his Dad’s old radio flyer. With motivation and hard work, find out what happens when one boy is determined to make the radio flyer fly. With colorful illustrations, Zachary Pullen follows one boys dream to make his Dad’s old radio flyer fly.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Oct. 2008 Reviews by M.D. ASPIRE
Berry, Lynne. Illustrated by Hiroe Nakata. Duck Dunks. Henry Holt, 2008. $16.95. ages pre-k-2nd grade. 978-8050-81282 p8/q8
This is a companion book to “Duck Skates.” This is a very enjoyable text with rhymes and adventures for five little ducks that venture to the ocean for a swim & pick nick. This would be a fun read a loud book with a focus on counting the five little ducks one to five. I liked the beautiful water color type pictures and end papers.

Lin, Grace. Bringing In the New Year. Alfred A. Knopf, 2008. $15.99. ages pre-k-2nd grade 978-0-375-83745-6. p9/q9
This simple book tells what the Chinese New Year is all about. The end papers have simple drawings and words that describe some of the items used to celebrate. The pictures are bright, bold and colorful. This is an exciting book with a few surprises – the last page folds out to show the entire Chinese dragon. The book also contains detailed explanations of the Chinese New Year which can be read & shared by the teacher to a young audience.

Grimes, Nikki. Illustrations by Mike Benny Oh, Brother! Amistad. Harper Collins Publishers, 2008. $17.98.ages k-3rd grade. 978-0-688-17295-4. p7/q7
The illustrations are captivating but seem a little old fashioned even though the author references the baseball player “A-Rod”, I’m afraid some readers might not make the connection. The book is written in poetry form with different poems starting with titles. It is a story about an African American and his Hispanic boys whose parents marry and form a step family. I enjoyed most of the poems except the ending was abrupt and didn’t make sense with the previous theme of the book.

Mortensen, Denise Dowling. Illustrated by Melissa Iwai. Wake Up Engines. Clarion Books, 2007. ages prek-1st 978-0-618-51736-7. $16.00. p7/q7
I enjoyed the bright muted illustrations of a pre-school boy waking up to all the engines outside. He plays with his own engines inside and on the next page we see the same type of engine outside starting its day. Simple works and rhymes make up this fun pre-school reading book.

Stohner, Anu. Henrike Wilson. Santa’s Littlest Helper Travels the World. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2006. ages 1st-3rd grade 978-1-59990-187-9. $15.95. p8/q8
Santa’s littlest helper saves Christmas when all the other helpers get Christmas pox. He asks the animals to help deliver the presents and they fly to all the most beautiful cities in the world. They save Christmas and only one little boy wonders why Santa looks a little like an elk. The pictures are beautiful and the story flows perfectly. This is a very enjoyable Christmas book.

Elliott, David Illustrated by Christopher Denise Knitty Kitty. Candlewick Press, 2008. ages prek-1st grade. 978-0-7636-3169-7. $16.99. p 8/ q8
This is a perfect bed time story for little children. The only thing is the words knitty kitty could be a bit of a tongue twister. The cat mom knits them scarves, shawls, and mittens but the kittens use them to build a snowman and when it’s bed time they are cold. She keeps them comfy warm instead of the things she knitted for them.

Baek, Matthew J. Be Gentle with the Dog, Dear! Dial Books for Young Readers, 2008. ages prek-1st grade. 978-0-8037-3250-6. $14.99. p8 / q8
This is a great book to teach a young toddler to be gentle with the family pet. The words and drawings are very simple and are inspired by the author’s young daughter. I love a book that teaches a principle and helps parents raise better children.

Chessa, Fancesca. Holly’s Red Boots. Holiday House, 2008. ages pre-k-1st grade. 978-0-8234-2158-9. $16.95. p9 / q9
I loved this book with its funny and beautiful drawings. Holly can’t go out in the snow till she finds her red boots – she finds everything but them. She makes good sense but her mom still won’t let her go out till she finds the boots. When she does the snow has melted. Luckily her mom and baby brother join her in splashing in the puddles.

Wojtusik, Elizabeth. Pictures by Sachiko Yoshikawa. Kitty Up Dail Books for Young Readers, 2008. ages prek-1st grade. 978-0-8037-3278-0. $12.99. p8 / q8
Cute pictures and two word phrases make up this book. The kitty gets lost and scared then makes it home with the dog to keep her warm. This is a great book to help babies learn words.

Meister, Cari. Illustrated by Rich Davis. Tiny on the Farm. Viking, 2008. ages pre-k-1st grade. 978-0-670-06246-1. $15.99. p8 / q 8
A very bright and beautifully tall tale illustrated book that young readers will enjoy. It is similar to Clifford the Big Red Dog, but this is Tiny who lives on a farm and is helping the little boy hunt for the kittens.

Meadows, Michelle. Illustrated by Dan Andreasen. Pilot Pups Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2008. ages pre-k-1st grade. 978-1-4169-2484-5. $15.99. p8 / q8
The pictures are soft and beautiful. It is a story of stuffed animals who fly in airplanes and save one another. They fly around the house and encounter things like fog and smoke. It made me laugh and children will enjoy the fun quick story.

Bergstein, Rita M., Pictures by Susan Kathleen Hartung. Your Own Big Bed. Viking,. 2008. ages prek-1st grade. 978-0-670-06079-5 $15.99. p8 / q 9
The book cover illustration does not do this book justice. It is has beautiful almost old fashioned drawings with muted colorful tones. The story is wonderful as it takes the little boy from birth to being big enough for a big boy bed. It compares him to animal babies so it would be a fun book to teach toddlers about different animals.

Eaton III, Maxwell. The Adventures of Max and Pinky Superheroes. Alfred A. Knopf, 2007. ages 1-3rd grade. 978-0-375-83805-7. $16.99. p8 / q7
This book could be read on two different levels. For younger readers the words at the bottom of each page would be perfect to read. Older readers could read the little comments in the bubbles by Max and the pig who want to be superheroes. It is defiantly a make believe book and would have to be stressed with some audiences as they may try to send a friend flying off of a teeter totter like in the book. Cute and colorful cartoon pictures make up this silly story. The end papers are cute and funny and the book jacket has some really cool addenda to the story.

Gershator, Phillis adapted by. Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman. This is the Day! Houghton Mifflin, 2007. ages prek-1st grade. 978-0-618-49746-1. $16.00. p7 / q 8
The front end paper has the tune and music that this book is adapted from “This Is The Day”. In the back of the book there is a note from the author about how the author first heard this song in 1960. The song story is about adoption and giving away babies. It has beautiful pictures and bright colors. The book would also help students learn the days of the week.

Rosen, Michael. Illustrated by Adrian Reynolds. Bear’s Day Out Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2007. ages prek-1st grade. 978-1-59990-007-0$16.95. p8 / q 8
This is a story of a bear that lives in a cave and hears the city far off in the distance and travels there. Some little children find him and help him get back to his cave by the ocean. The book is written in a rhyming sing song with repeat of words over and over. The pictures are bright and lively with a very cute big bear. This book is from the author of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.”

Spranler, Brie. Peg Leg Peke. Alfred A. Knopf, 2008. ages prek-2nd grade. 978-0375-84888-9. $15.99 p 7 / q 7
This is a very funny and cute story about a dog with a broken leg who thinks about becoming a pirate. In the end his blankie is his treasure and it helps him feel all better. This would be a great story for a child who has broken his leg and feels sad. The pictures are simple and bright.

Elya Susan Middleton. Illustrated by Jenny Mattheson. Tooth on the Loose G.P. Putnam’s Sons.  Ages 1st-3rd grade. 978-0-399-24459-9. $16.99 p 7/ q8
This book has both English and Spanish words in the story. It has a helpful glossary and pronunciation guide in the front with the Spanish words in bold print. It would be a good book for young students learning Spanish and to read to ESL students. It may be hard to read this book till the reader knows how to say the words and what they mean. An English reader can get the idea of the story. A little girl is about to lose her tooth and she wants it out badly so she can get money for her father’s birthday present. It doesn’t happen in time for the party so she makes him a card instead.

Thomas, Patricia. Illustrated by Chris L. Demarest. Red Sled Boys Mills Press. 2008. ages pre k – 1st grade. 978-1-59078-559-1. $16.95 p 6 / q 7
This is a simple story about a dad and a boy who play with a sled in the snow. It is a rhyming book with two word sentences for each page. It would be fun for small children to learn rhyming words. It has very simple bright drawings.

Cousins, Lucy. Maisy Goes to School Candlewick Press. 1992. grade prek-1st grade. 978-0-763-64095-8. $11.99 p 9 / q 9
This is part of the Maisy Lift-the Flap Classics: others include Happy Birthday, Maisy!, Maisy at the Farm, Maisy Goes to the Playground, Maisy’s ABC. It would not be good for a library unless the flaps and tabs were reinforced. But it has cute simple drawings and flap books are always fun for toddlers.

Stoeke, Janet Morgan. It’s Library Day Dutton Children’s Books. 2008. grade pre k-1st grade. 978-0-525-47944-4 $12.99. p7 / q6
This is a simple rhyming easy reader book that uses different children from various nationalities to rhyme their names with simple sentences. It would appeal to all children because they can see themselves in the story. The pictures and quality of the book and papers are a little on the cheap side.

Harris, Robie H. Illustrated by Michael Emberley. Mail Harry to the Moon. Little, Brown and Company. Ages pre k – 2nd grade. 978-0-316-15376-8. $16.99. p 7 / q7
This is a perfect book for children whose mothers are pregnant or have had another baby. It is about Harry and his brother and how Harry doesn’t want a baby in the house and wants to throw him in the trash, put him in the zoo or send him to the moon. Harry can’t find his baby brother and panic’s when he thinks his parents may have really sent him to the moon. He finds his brother and they play make believe together and then he say’s now there’s Me and Harry.

Cousins, Lucy. Maisy Goes to the Museum – A Maisy First Experiences Book. Candlewick Press. Ages pre-k – 1st grade. 978-0-7636-3838-2. $12.99. p9 / q 9
The pictures are bright and colorful with very simple backgrounds that helps the reader focus on the action and the words on the pages. Maisy books are always fun and popular.

Walsh, Melanie. 10 Things I Can Do To Help My World – Fun & Easy Eco-Tips Candlewick Press. Ages prek – 3rd grade. 978-0-7636-4144-3. $15.99. p 9 / q 9
The cover has a very neat cut out of a lightbulb on the front and the book is made from 100% recycled materials. I really enjoy the way the pages are cut in different shapes
with which provides visual interaction as the reader lifts the paper and reads about the topic. The words on the pages are go around the objects in different shapes. This book would make a great resource for teachers talking about recycling.

Stott, Ann. Illustrated by Matt Phelan. Always. Candlewick Press. Ages pre k – 1st grade. 978-0-7636-3232-8. p8 / q 9
A little boy asks do you love me when I’m nice when I’m not ect.? At the end his mother loves him no matter what. This book has white page backgrounds and very simple pictures and muted tones. It is a beautiful book with simple words and pictures.

Hayes, Sarah. Pictures by Hannah Broadway. Dog Day. Farrar Straus Giroux. Ages pre k- 1st grade. 978-0-374-31810-9. $16.95. p 8/ q 8
Ben & Ellie have a new teacher a dog. They learn to wag their tails and bark. The book is funny because it has the word poo in the book. My son would laugh so loud. It made me laugh so much because the dog teaches the students to lift their legs on trees and wag their bottoms. The book has bright pictures with cute words and simple pictures. Students would love the see the naughty things.

Reader:K.T. WHS Student
Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Princess Ben , Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Date Read:8/16/08
Summary: Princess Ben is not your typical princess. Instead of a proper, waif-thin, ladylike teenager. Ben (short for Benevolence) is loud, big-boned, and opinionated. Her parents encourage her independence and are her best friends. Unfortunately, Ben’s life is forever changed when her mother and father are murdered while on a day trip to her grandfather’s grave. Ben is left an orphan and becomes the ward of her aunt, Queen Sophia. Too young to rule her country, Ben is to be properly groomed by Sophia before becoming the ruler of her country. Queen Sophia is cold and seemingly cruel to Ben- forcing her to learn how to be a princess, how to dance, and worst of all, how to eat a “princess portion”. Ben, never stick-thin, turns to food for comfort during her grief and Queen Sophia is furious. She locks her in a tower and forbids her to leave unless Sophia allows her to leave the room. However, everything changes when Ben discovers the magic. Ben is amazed by the discovery: a hidden magical room. There she learns spells from a mysterious spell book while the rest of castle sleeps. But Ben will have to learn more than magic if she’s to ever escape from aunt’s clutches and keep her country from being overrun by the very people that conspired in her parents’ murders. Princess Ben is a princess that doesn’t need saving from a Prince. You will fall in love with Ben who is not a ordinary princess

October Book Reviews A.C., Student., NHS
Marr, Melissa. Wicked Lovely. Harper Collins, New York, 2007. $17 ISBN: 00061214655 327 p. Gr. 10-12 This magic book is about a girl named Aislinn. She may seem like an ordinary girl, but she has a dangerous power – she can see faeries! Aislinn is raised by her grandmother, as her mom and dad died. Her grandmother and her are the only ones that have the “sight.” When her grandmother found out that Aislinn had the “sight, “ she taught her 3 rules: 3) Don’t stare at the invisible faeries; 2)Don’t speak to the invisible faeries; and MOST important 1)Don’t EVER attract the faeries’ attention. She went on with her life, following those rules and everything was fine until she meets the Summer King. The Summer King is looking for his Summer Queen, and he thinks Aislinn is “the one.” This book, with its many characters, brings fantasy to modern day. If you like scary, suspenseful, fantasy books, this book is for you. It has some mature stuff, but it’s a good read for kids 13 and up. P10 Q 9

October Book Reviews K.J., Student., NHS
Oatman, Linda. Planet Pregnancy. Boyds Mills Press, Honesdale, PA, 2008. $17 ISBN: 9781590785843 197 p. Gr. 10-12 The main character is Sahara, writing in 1st person, in rhythmic poetry verse. The story opens on her pregnancy test, and she seems unable to believe that that it’s positive. The story follows her pregnancy; focus is put on her weight gain and pathetic inability to tell anyone what happened. She finally tells her best friend and her mother. The friend is surprisingly supportive and the mother freaks out. She considers abortion and adoption, but when she finally gives birth, her entire outlook changes. It’s a believable book, but not an especially strong cast of characters. The story focuses more on her story and struggles than on her own life. P6 Q 6

Monninger, Joseph. Baby. Boyds Mills Press, Honesdale, PA, 2008. $17 ISBN: 9781590785027 173 p. Gr. 10-12 Right off, as a reader you want to understand Baby. She wants to be different, but in that sense she is unoriginal. She’s a foster kid convinced that she can’t be helped, so she does what she wants. Her “last chance” is with an older couple that Baby initially describes as “hippie” and they raise rare sled dogs. As Baby discovers, things that she never realized she could love or do, she changes. It’s gradual, but when confronted with people she used to be chill with, she realizes that things are different, and it’s all about what you believe, who you surround yourself with, and the choices you make. I loved the characters, the lessons Baby learns, and even the author’s style. The more I read, the more I wanted to read, and saw things the way Baby perceives them. Towards the end, she sees things in such a new way. I cried. P7 Q 9

Sept. 2008 Book Reviews A. G.
Nance, Andrew. Illus. by Coleman Polhemus. Daemon Hall. NY: Henry Holt & Co., 2007. $16.95 259 pp. ages 10 up ISBN 0-8050-8171-2 P7/Q7
This horror novel features several stories within the story. A famous horror author sponsors a writing contest, the winner of which will be published. The catch is that the several top competitors have to spend the night with him in an old haunted house. There they read their stories, and eerie things happen to them, one by one. I’m not a big fan of horror, but enjoyed this book. The short stories that the students read while in the haunted house give good examples of a variety of story types that students may be inspired to use in their own stories. The cover should attract readers, and the story is scary enough, I think, to satisfy them.

Mebus, Scott. Gods of Manhattan. NY: Dutton Children’s Books, 2008. 340 pp. $17.99 ISBN 978-0-525-47955-0 P8/Q8
Rory Hennessy is 13 and thinks that he knows all about his native town, New York City. It’s not until seeing a party magician’s trick that he realizes that he’s been blind to a whole parallel universe taking place in the same Manhattan where he lives. In this alternate world which occasionally meshes with his, the civic leaders are Gods of various powers which people think of as important (there’s a god of parking spaces, for example). They are really more like demi-gods, though, as they can fade in importance and no longer hold their position. Rory turns out to be important in their world because he is impelled to track down the reason that some gods are now being killed. The story is fun in its fantasy and action, but it also teaches geography and history of Manhattan, complete with a fold-out map in front which will help the many readers who have never been to New York.

Bauer, Michael Gerard. Don’t Call Me Ishmael. NY: Greenwillow Books (Harper Collins), 2007 (1st pub. in Australia, 2006) $17.89 255 pp. ages 12 up ISBN 978-0-06-134835-8 P7/Q8
Ishmael is 14 and thinks of himself as a loser. It doesn’t help that his name, Leseur, is butchered by the school bullies into “Loser”, and when they find out that Ishmael comes form a story about a white whale, he’s in for it. When an unusual boy moves to his school and handily defies the bullies, Ishmael begins to work out how to survive them. Despite his insecurities as a speaker, Ishmael gets talked into joining his new friend’s new debate team. It’s fun to see the character grow and become more self-assured. Readers will also learn how debates work and what makes for a good speaker. Primarily it’s a book about bullying, and may give readers insight into both the tendency and how to overcome it.

Bastedo, Jamie. On Thin Ice. Calgary, Alberta: Red Deer Press, 2006. $10.95 348 pp. ages 12 up ISBN 0-88995-337-6 P8/Q8
Ashley is 16, French Canadian and Inuk, and lives in the Arctic where traditional houses were igloos. Times have changed in more ways than one: Now the weather is turning things upside down. Ashley hasn’t always lived in the far north; her family moved back to her mother’s hometown to take care of her wacky Native uncle. Several of her relatives recognize what Ashley is slow to, despite dramatic dreams, that she has a special sensitivity and connection to polar bears. The story is exciting and has lots of realistic detail about living in a warming arctic environment (the author is a science writer who lives in the Northwest Territories). A companion teacher’s guide with novel study, “Polar Bears in a Climate of Change”, is available online.

Wittlinger, Ellen. Parrotfish. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2007. $16.99 304 pp. ages 12 up ISBN 1-4169-1622-2 P7/Q8
Angela is a high school junior who is trying to learn how to handle some issues that plague many teens, others that are pretty unique. Having been home-schooled through 9th grade, she has only one good friend, and that friend turns out to be weak and more interested in “making it” with the popular girls. The big challenge is Angela’s “gender dysphoria”. While physically she appears as a girl, her real gender identification is as a boy, and this year she decides to act like it: change her name, dress like a boy, etc. Her parents have some difficulty with this, but at school the kids are downright hostile, and the story includes dealing with aspects of bullying. The book is a fun read, spiced with the conversations she imagines in her head and with her dad’s unique obsession with an over-elaborate Christmas light display on their house and yard. The characters have some depth, the story has some humor, and I found it fun to spend some time with Angela in her world. Whether or not the readers have questions about their own gender identification, or know anyone who does, the story stands alone as a drama about adjusting to teen social life. The title refers to the parrotfish species’ ability to change physically from a girl into a boy.

McDonald, Megan. Illus. by Petr H. Reynolds. Stink and the World’s Worst Super-Stinky Sneakers. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2007. $4.99 130 pp. ages 5-8 ISBN 978-0-7636-3669-2 P8/Q7
In this third of the Stink series, our second grade hero explores smells. There’s a stinky-sneaker contest coming up and he is sure he’ll win it. In the process of his preparation, he learns amazing facts about things that smell bad, and that some people make a career of smelling. The large type, fun illustrations, and engaging topic will no doubt appeal to young boys who normally resist reading. Unlike many books written for this reading level, it’s fun reading for anyone.

Weyn, Suzanne. Reincarnation. NY: Scholastic Press, 2007. $17.99 293 pp. ages 13 up ISBN 978-0-545-01323-9 P8/Q8
For a romance novel, this one has some depth. The story follows a couple from one lifetime to the next, starting in the Stone Age before one species had much in the way of language up to the present, skipping many lifetimes but hitting interesting historic periods. There are 4 people who encounter each other in different lives, sometimes as male sometimes as female, but usually in similar roles. The main couple never does have a successful couple relationship….until now? The outcome is left a bit in question, but they have a good start, and the reincarnation backstory gives some clue as to why they find each other uncommonly compatible. This was one of the more memorable books I read this summer, and I suspect it will be appreciated by teens who enjoy romances.

Hautman, Pete & Logue, Mary. The Bloodwater Mysteries: Doppelganger. NY: G.P Putnam’s Sons, 2008. $16.99 159 pp. ages 10 up ISBN 978-0-399-24379-0 P7/Q7
It’s not always easy to find a mystery that’s appropriate to younger age levels. This one will more likely appeal to the preteen group (it includes no romance). The story follows a couple of friends, a boy and a girl, who apparently appear in other mystery stories. This one explores Brian’s history as a young child. He’d always been told he was adopted, but was never very clear about the details. Suddenly he’s being pursued by strange and aggressive people, and he doesn’t know why. Then he meets someone who looks just like him! Does he have a twin? That’s the origin of the “doppelganger” title. The story is exciting without being horrifying, and should keep the reader to the end.

Selvadurai, Shyam. Swimming in the Monsoon Sea. Toronto, Can.: Tundra Books, 2005 $18.95 274 pp. ISBN 08876-735-4 P5/Q7
The story takes place in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and involves two cousins, a boy who is visiting from Canada and a local boy. The story centers on the self-discovery of the Sri Lankan and his slow identification of his sexual identity (he’s gay as it turns out). There are some interesting cultural details included, but not enough to think of the book as a sort of travelogue. It will be a good book for guys sorting through their feelings about their sexual identity, but may leave other readers a bit cold. It is not an action book, but more introspective.

Hawking, Lucy & Stephen. Illus. by Garry Parsons. George’s Secret Key to the Universe. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2007. $17.99 297 pp. ages 8 up ISBN 975-1-4169-5462-7 P8/Q9
The great works of the physicist Stephen Hawking are out of reach for the average young student. Here he and his mother have collaborated on a novel which will demonstrate the principals that he his renowned for, including some his latest thoughts about black holes. The book is lavishly illustrated both with fun drawings of the story action and with scientifically annotated photographs of the astronomical facts and details additional to the story. Talk about a painless way to learn astrophysics!

Monninger, Joseph. Hippie Chick. Asheville, NC: Front Street, 2008. $16.95 156 pp. 12 up ISBN 978-1-59078-598-0 P7/Q8
A fifteen-year-old girl, Lolly, loves to sail alone on her Boston Whaler. One night she swamps her boat and is lost at sea. Since she’s known as a free spirit, no one looks for her immediately, but when they do they can’t find her. Manatees have saved her. This is a survival story that gives an intimate look at life in the Florida keys and of the gentle sea mammals, manatees. The title is a little misleading: It’s more of an action adventure than a social drama. Animal lovers, nature story enthusiasts and both boys and girls should enjoy this story.

Bondoux, Anne-Laure. Translated by Y. Maudet. Vasco, Leader of the Tribe. NY: Delacourte Press (Random House), 2004 (translation c. 2007). $15.99 336 pp. ages 10 up ISBN 978-0-385-73363-2 P7/Q7
Vasco is a harbor rat who sees that his ‘race’ is rapidly being exterminated by humans. His tribe gone, he looks for a new place and way to live. Gathering various orphaned or unhappy rats with him, he jumps on a ship looking for a better life. This story is mostly an allegory about human leadership, the qualities it takes and the kind of diplomacy, battling and feelings that are involved. Unlike “Lord of the Flies”, this world has a history of and population of functioning social groups. But it does have its despots, mavericks that endanger the group, etc. It offers a field of social grouping that is unhindered by cultural associations the reader might bring to it, and is able to explore the functioning of a long-term social group that can be termed a “tribe”. It will probably appeal more to the fifth-sixth grader who has the patience to finish a longish book.

Bradbury, Jennifer. Shift. NY: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008. $16.99 245 pp. ages 12 up ISBN 1-4169-4732-9 P8/Q8
A “road” or “buddy” story, this one has the unique approach that the two 18-year-old boys who are the protagonists cross the country on bicycles. The near-end of the story becomes the beginning, and the book explores how it happened that one of the buddies disappeared at the end of the trip, and why it might have happened. It’s well-told and keeps the reader on edge wondering if foul play was afoot. The author explores the motivations of the disappeared boy well, exploring his relations with his rich and powerful parents. This story should appeal to readers of both sexes, especially high school age, and to those who like adventure or social drama.

Shaw, Susan. Safe. NY: Dutton Books, 2007. $16.99 168 pp. age 12 up ISBN 978-0-525-47829-4 P7/Q8
Twelve-year-old Tracy is still grieving over the death of her mother when she was younger, and has a good relationship with her father. Neither he nor her good friends are able to help, though, when Tracy is grabbed, abducted and raped by the older brother of a classmate. This story is not about the violent act, but about how the girl is traumatized, how it affects her thinking and behavior, and how she eventually comes to terms with it. Counselors, friends of victims of violence, and the victims themselves will find this book helpful in examining the sometimes unrecognized symptoms of traumatic stress, especially rape. Perhaps the perpetrators of such crimes should also read this in order to understand what effects it has. This book could find a place in a middle school library as easily as high school.

Downard, Barry. The Race of the Century. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2008. $15.99 30 pp. ages 5-8 ISBN 1-4169-2509-0 P9/Q9
The illustrations for this classic tortoise and the hare race story are simply fabulous. Using collaged photographs and some painting, Downard has illustrated the classic story to make it fresh and funny. This is one of my favorite books of the year.

Tingle, Tim. Illus. by Stacey Schuett. When Turtle Grew Feathers. Atlanta, GA: August House Little Folk, 2007. $16.95 30 pp. ISBN 0-87483-777-4 P7/Q7
This version of the tortoise and the hare race is taken from the Choctaw Tribe’s tradition. Rather than pointing out the quiet perseverance of the tortoise that beat the hare, this version points out the arrogance of the hare. Turkey tries on tortoise’s shell, and arrogant Hare comes along and challenges him to a race. Rather than point out that he’s actually a turkey, he accepted the challenge and then flew to the finish line, showing up Hare. The moral of this story is “you don’t have to be the biggest or the fastest, or the best, but it sure is nice to be friends with those that are.” The painted illustrations are enjoyable and bring out the feelings of the contestants.

Book Reviews C.S.- Siletz Public Library
Picture books:
Fearnley, Jan. Martha in the middle. Candlewick Press, 2008. Unpaged. ISBN 978-0-7636-3800-9. $16.99. Ages 3-5. P7Q7. Martha is the middle mouse in a family of three sibling mice. She feels in the middle in every way- in age, sleeping position, arguments, etc. She doesn’t feel like this is a very special position to be in. A wise frog teaches her that in the middle is the best place to be. It’s a cute book, and the group of kids I read it to liked it a lot. They had lots of comments about “being in the middle” in different ways.

Himmelman, John. Katie loves the kittens. Henry Holt & Co, 2008. Unpaged. ISBN 978-0-8050-8682-9. $16.95. Ages 3-7. P8Q8. A funny story about a dog who loves the new kittens, but doesn’t know how to behave around them. The pictures are really nice, and the kids at story time found some of them hilarious. This could be a good story to read to small kids who need to learn how to treat their pets.

Matsuoka, Mei. Footprints in the Snow. Henry Holt & Co., 2007. Unpaged. ISBN 978-0-8050-8792-5. $16.95. Ages 3-6. P8Q8. Wolf is unhappy about the wolf characters he finds in books since they’re always unpleasant characters. He decides to write a story with a Nice Wolf as the hero. But he finds that his wolfish instincts are very strong. My story group really liked this book- both the story and the illustrations.

Chrustowski, Rick. Big Brown Bat. Henry Holt & Co., 2008. Unpaged. ISBN. 978-0-8050-7499-4. $16.95. Ages 6-8. P4Q7. Describes the life cycle of a bat. Very informative; it might appeal to kids who are fascinated by animals. The illustrations are well done, but might be scary for very young kids.

Begin, Mary Jane. The Tale of Toad and Badger. Little, Brown, & Co. Unpaged. ISBN. 978-0-3160-1352-9. $14.99. Ages 4-6. P5Q7. A story about young Toad and Badger (from The Wind in the Willows) and how they began their friendship. Very cute illustrations. The story stressed the importance of sharing, but might not mean as much to children who haven’t read The Wind in the Willows yet.

Joose, Barbara. Grandma Calls Me Beautiful. Chronicle Books, 2008. Unp. ISBN. 978-0-8118-5815-1. $16.99. Ages 4-8. P7Q9. The story of a girl named Beautiful, and her strong bond with her grandmother. Lovely watercolor illustrations give a sense of Hawaiian culture, where this story is set. I loved this book.

Young Adult/ Juvenile Fiction:
Stow Ellison, Elizabeth. Flight. Holiday House, 2008. 245 p. ISBN. 978-0-8234-2128-2. $16.95. Ages 8-12. P6 Q6. This books deals with the issue of illiteracy in the family. Elizabeth is worried about her brother Evan. He has problems at school land gets in trouble a lot. She realizes that Evan can’t read and wonders why nobody, even his or her parents, will do anything about it. In the end we find that their mother can’t read either. At the beginning I wasn’t impressed with the writing, but the story pulled me along and by the end it seemed fine. I don’t know whether it improved or I stopped seeing the problems! Students who have struggled in school might appreciate this book.

Shusterman, Neal. Antsy Does Time. Dutton, 2008. 247 p. $16.99. ISBN. 0-525-47825-6. Ages 12+. P8 Q8. Antsy Bonano signs over a month of his life to a friend who believes he has six months. This gesture becomes a movement in his school, then a media campaign, and then gets completely out of control. This book brings up a lot of ideas that are important to teenagers- dating, friendship, dealing with death, sacrificing for others, surviving a dysfunctional family,… I found it entertaining and fast paced.

November 2008 Reviews
Book Reviews, November 2008 L.F., NHS

Preus, Margi, The Peace Bell. Illustrated by Hideko Takahashi. Henry Hold & Co, LLC, NY, 2008, ISBN 0805078002, np, $16.95, Grades 1-3 Told through the reflections of a Japanese grandmother, this sweet and spunky historical fiction tells the tale of an ancient brass temple bell. The grandmother recalls when she heard the bell in her childhood:“I loved the deep KA-DOON of an ancient temple bell. Its song was as gentle as cherry blossoms, as deep as the Bon Odori drum, and as round and full as the moon.” She tells of the special New Year’s Eve ringing of the bell – 108 times, “each toll chasing away one of the one hundred and eight worries of the world.” Sometime during her pre-teen years, the bell is donated to the shipyards for melting down and making war materials, and the traditional ringing ceases. Years after World War II ends, the bell is discovered in Minnesota, where American sailors had taken it during the war. As a goodwill gesture, the city returns the bell and enshrines it. At the end of the story, the grandmother walks her granddaughter Yuko and her American friend Katie-chan (who happens to live in that Minnesota town where it was discovered) to the shrine of the bell where the two friends joyously ring it. The colorful acrylic illustrations are authentic and detailed, but simple enough to engage early readers, who might easily relate to the characters. Based on a true story of one of the thousands of Japanese temple bells that were lost during the war, this c.1686 bell was found in Duluth, MN (where the author also resides) and returned to the city of Ohara in 1954 and dubbed the “American-Japanese Friendship Peace Bell.” The cities have forged a sister-city relationship, and, in 1991 Ohara (now called Isumi City) presented Duluth with a matching Peace Bell. This book could accompany classroom studies on Japan, peace, war, or music traditions. Many schools also have “peace pole” dedications and this book would be a wonderful read-aloud introduction to that activity. P6 Q8

Reader: J.G WHS Student
Shan, Darren, The Vampire’s Assistant, Little, Brown, 2002.  Date read 11/04/08
“The Vampire’s Assistant is the second book in the series “Cirque Du Freak” Darren Shan isn’t any ordinary boy. He is half vampire, and isn’t coping with it well. He refuses to drink human blood, and grows weak. Darren also wants to fit in and to have friends, especially after an accident that made him realize how different he really was. His creator, Mr.Crepsley, takes him to live with a traveling freak show; called “Cirque Du Freak” Darren immediately feels at home and becomes friends with the snake boy Evra Von, and a local boy named Sam. But he also makes some new enemies along the way. This book is easy to read and fun. You can read them out of order if you like.

Oregon Coast Preview Center for Young Readers November 2008 S.E. Grandparent Volunteer Fiction
O’Connor, Barbara. Greetings from Nowhere. Douglas & McIntyre Ltd. 2008. ISBN 10 0 374399379, 13 9780374399375. 200p. Ages 13-18. $16.00. This is a wonderful and uplifting story of a few different people from different walks of life in the smoky mountains, coming together at a motel out in the middle of nowhere and the impact they all make on each other. I enjoyed this book and would like it to be in all middle school libraries in Lincoln County. One of the boys in the story is on his way to a reformatory for being incorrigible. What he takes away from his view alone leaves the reader knowing that he has changed his outlook on life through this experience as have the others involved in the book. A wonderful read. Q9P9

Willems, Mo. I Love My New Toy. Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group. NY. ISBN 9781423109617. 57p. Ages 5-89.$9.00 This is one of an Elephant and Piggie series and I enjoyed this so much. Piggie has a new toy and Elephant wants to play with it and it breaks. Piggie goes through her denial and anger and depression and finally gets it all out when a squirrel picks up the pieces and snaps the two pieces together and says that they have a cool snap and pull apart toy. I really liked this book. I would like to see the whole four books of the series in our library at the elementary school. Q10P10.

Willems, Mo. I Will Surprise My Friend. Hyperion Books for Children, An imprint of Disney Book Group, NY. ISBN 9781423109624. 57p. Ages 5-8. $9.00. This is a book from the Elephant and Piggie series and I loved this book and laughed out loud. Elephant and Piggy see a squirrel playing with another squirrel by hiding and scaring each other and Elephant and Piggy this this would be a fun way to spend some time…it is a riot and I would like to see this book in all the elementary schools. Q10P10

Book Reviews October 2008 B.R. Yaquina View Elementary
Doty, Jean Slaughter. Summer Pony. Ills. by Ruth Sanderson. Random House, c1978. ISBN 0375947094. Pgs. 139. Grades 3-5. (Q7, P8) Ginny desperately wants a pony for the summer, but when Mokey arrives, she is shaggy, dirty and unkept. Throughout the summer Ginny learns responsibility about being in charge of taking care of this animal. This is a great book for children who dreams of owning a pony.

Seibold, Jotto and Vivian, Siobhan. Vunce upon a time. Chronicle Books, c2008. ISBN 0811862712. unp. $16.99 Grades K-3. (Q8, P8) Dagmar is a vampire who is afraid of humans. Being a vegetarian there is only one thing he likes better than vegetables, CANDY! His friends bring him a stash once a year but it has now run out. His skeleton friend tells him about one night a year that humans hand our FREE candy but he will have to wear a scary costume. A kitty, a puppy and butterflies are among the costumes he thinks about and discards. He gets so agitated that he turns into a bat and flies away eventually finding out his vampire looks are just right for Halloween.

Smith, Lane. Madam President. Hyperion Books. C2008. ISBN 1423108469. unp. $16.99 Grades K-2 (Q6, P5) One little girl imagines what her day would be like as President. Executive decisions, such as vetoes, the tuna casserole for lunch, press conferences, keeping the peace, are among the many tasks she must do.

Peterson, Sheryl. This Land Called America California. Creative Education, c2009. ISBN 1583416307. 32 Pgs. Grades 3-8. (Q3, P7) This fascinating book about California with beautiful photographs is filled with an abundance of interesting facts. There is a timeline of happenings which runs throughout the book. A list of quick facts about the state in located on the last page and a bibliography and index is included. The only drawback is the statement “It is
bordered by Washington on the north”. This makes me wonder how many of the other facts may not be quite right.

Tarbox, A.D. A Mountain Food Chain. Creative Education, c2009. ISBN 158341598X Pgs. 43. Grades 4-8. (Q6, P7) Fantastic photographs throughout this book will make it popular for all ages. The information about biomes and the food chain is written in an easy readable manner with certain key works in green which indicates they are in the glossary at the end of the book. Two page spreads include a large picture and an informational panel about different animals of the mountains throughout the world.

Pradlin, Michael P. Daniel Boone’s Great Escape. Illus. by Ard Hoyt. Walker & Company, c2008. ISBN 0802795811. unp. Grades 4-8 (Q7, P7) This little known story is about Daniel Boone’s capture and escape by the Shawnee. This book tells of Boone and his men’s capture, their torture from the Shawnee, Boone’s adoption into the Shawnee tribe through his escape and his arrival back to the fort. This book would be a wonderful addition to any library.
November 2008 Book Reviews Eddyville Charter Student Reviews

Non Fiction
Swanson, James. Chasing Lincoln’s Killer. Scholastic Press, 2009. $16.99. 10:0-439- 90354-8. 166p. Ages 12+: This is a well-written historical depiction of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln from the point of view of John Wilkes Booth. The story starts with Booth’s plans for the assassination and ends with his death and the convictions and deaths of his co-conspirators. Many pictures are included in the text, and these add to the feeling of authenticity. The book is easily read. This would be an excellent required text for United States history classes. P7Q9

Kuklin, Susan. No Choirboy, Henry Holt & Company c2008. 208p. ISBN 978-0-8050-7950-0. $17.95 Ages 14-19 P7Q6 This book tells the stories of a bunch of juveniles who went to prison just when they were teens, most of the crimes were for violence and murder. The inmates tell their story of how they were convicted how they dealt with prison life speaking in their own voices. A lot of inmates received the death penalty; this is their story, sharing their thoughts and feelings about how they ended up in prison.

Juvenile Fiction
Cushman, Karen. The Loud Silence of Francine Green. Laurel-Leaf,2006. 978-0-385-73720-3. $7.99 Ages 12- 15 In 1949 Francine is thirteen years old and goes to a Catholic School. One day she meets a girl named Sophie who is new at the school and moves to the house next to Francine. Soon they become friends and Francine finds out that her friend believes strongly in the freedom of speech. Sophie is always punished because of this. This book is very good because it starts out good and ends excellently. P8Q10

Napoli, Donna Jo. Mogo, The Third Warthog. Hyperion Books for Children, c2008. 194p. ISBN 978-1-4321-0816-0 $15.99 Ages 8-12 P6Q6 Mogo, the runt of a large family of warthogs, finds it hard to sometimes make his voice heard, but is determined to make it on his own in the African Savanna someday. That day comes quicker than Mogo expects when his mother suddenly kicks him and his two brothers, Kebiro and Mathani out of the home to make room for a new litter of warthogs. With illustrations by Lita Judge, this book comes to life as Mogo journeys into a world full of danger, adventure and even loneliness as he becomes of age in the Africa Savanna. Recommended for grades 3rd-5th.

Buckley, Michael. The Sisters Grimm. Scholastic, 2007. $4.00. 0-439-92876-1. Grades, 5th -8th. Sabrina and Daphne’s parents disappear and they are placed in the custody of their grandmother Relda who they have never heard of before. They go to live with her in a town called Ferryport Landing where it is revealed to them that they are descended from the famous story-telling Grimm brothers. Ferryport Landing is also a magical town filled with magical people that straight out of fairytales. When Relda goes missing Sabrina and Daphne have to save her with the help of their new fairytale friends.

Bell, Cathleen Davitt. Slipping. Bloomsbury, c2008. $16.99. 978-1-59990-258-6. 215p. Ages 14+ Slipping is about a boy named Michael whose grandfather dies and his spirit seems to linger. Michael wasn’t close to his grandfather, but for some reason, he chose him to share his memories. If Michael can’t figure out what his grandfather needs to move on soon, then Michael might join his grandfather, slipping into the river between life and death.

Griffin, Paul. Ten Mile River. The Penguin Group, 2008. $ 16.99. ISBN978-0-8037-3284-1. 186p. Ages 15- 17 After they escaped from juvenile detention centers and foster care, Jose and Ray are trying to stay out of trouble. They are forced to live in an old stationhouse on Ten Mile River in New York. They made money by stealing cars until a girl named Yolie and her niece, Trini, offer to take them to work at her Braid Palace. This is realistic. It could really happen to someone. P8Q9

Picture books:
Burleigh, Robert, Abraham Lincoln Comes Home. Henry Holt, c2008. Unpaged : col. ill. ISBN 13-978-0-8050-7529-8 $16.95 Ages 6-10 P7Q9 Luke and his father are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the train carrying the former president, Abraham Lincoln; they have traveled all night long to see this. Luke and his father stood there with hundreds of others to wait. This book is a historic tale written during a dramatic and emotional time. Abraham Lincoln has been assassinated. I liked the book because it was true. My book buddy, on the other hand: didn’t like it very much he only knew that President Lincoln wore a top hat.

Moses, Will, Raining Cats & Dogs Philomel Books, New York, c2008. unp. ISBN 978-0-399-24233-5, $17.99 Grades Pre-3. P6Q8 Moses has put together a collection of our favorite idioms and added his famous folk-art style illustrations to draw the reader in. Definitions of each idiom, its meaning and a table of contents make this a great teaching resource.

Cooper, Floyd, Willie and the All-Stars Philomel Books, c2008 unp. ISBN 978-0-399-23340-1, $16.99 Grades 2-5 Willie is a young African American boy living in Chicago. Willie has a dream to one day play for Chicago’s major league baseball team. One day Willie is on his front porch and he overhears his neighbor saying it’s a shame no African Americans can play on any major league team, and they have to play in their own league. Willie’s dream is crushed, but a neighbor gets tickets to go see the Chicago team play the Negro team. He was kind enough to give Willie the tickets. Willie and his friend go to the game and get to experience the Negro team beat the Chicago Cubs! The illustrations are really good and the book is quite readable. P8Q8

Brett, Jan. Gingerbread Friends. G.P. Putmamn.s Sons New York, NY c2008. unp. ISBN 978-0-399-25161-0, $17.99 Ages 5-7 P8Q8 The Gingerbread Baby lives in a house with everything that he could ever want except one thing; friends. He lives in a room with a boy named Mattie. So when Mattie leaves to play with his friends the Gingerbread Baby is all alone and very lonely. The Gingerbread Baby gets to the point where he is so lonely he has nothing to do so he goes out to find a friend. When he doesn’t find any friends he goes back home to find all of the friends that Mattie has made for him. I liked this book a lot it is very delightful to children and it has very good illustrations and it is very well written.

Jeffers, Susan. My Chincoteague Pony. Hyperion books for children,2008. $16.00. 13: 978-142310023-2. Grade k-3rd. Julie loved ponies. She always dreamed about having her own pony, but she never had enough money to buy one for herself. She decided to earn money. When she got to the auction, she saw the most beautiful pony. She said to the pony,” if you become my pony, I will name you Painted Dream.” During the auction, all the ponies are being sold, even Painted Dream. Then everybody around her gives her money. By the time she had enough money, all the ponies were sold. She was sad. Then somebody returned a pony. It was Painted Dream. She was so excited. They had another auction. Julie got Painted Dream. The beautiful illustrations add to the quality of the story.P9Q9.

Stuchner, Joan Betty. Josephine’s Dream. Independent PublishersGroup, 2008. $16.95. 9781934393048. Ages 4-7 In this biography of Josephine Baker, Josephine dreamed she would become a famous singer. The only problem was she was African American. Her dream finally came true after she moved to France from America. There she helped the French Resistance and won the Medal of Honor. This book has many colorful illustrations and is easy to understand. P7Q9

November 2008 Reviews by N.W.
Nonfiction

Fradin, Dennis Brindell. Duel! Burr and Hamilton’s Deadly War of Words. Il. Larry Day. Walker, $16.95. 978-0-8027-9583-0. unp. Ages 7-10: An important piece of history, U.S. Vice-President Aaron Burr and former secretary of the treasury Alexander Hamilton followed a close friendship with a feud that led to Hamilton’s death in 1804. The book is a story of the tragedy that results when both sides hold grudges and try to outdo each other. Glorious watercolors highlight the action of the narration and extend the excitement. An endnote tells a bit about others, including Abraham Lincoln, who actually or almost dueled. P8Q9

Goodman, Susan E. See How They Run: Campaign Dreams, Election Schemes, and the Race to the White House. Il. Elwood H. Smith. Bloomsbury, 2008. $9.95. 978-1-59990-171-8. 96p. Ages 9-12: Humor, cartoons, and sidebars lighten this compendium of election information about the history of democracy from ancient Greece to the party system in the U.S., the process of running for president including the negative pieces behind this, election day, voting, the 2000 election controversy, and why voting matters. A bonus is the line up of presidents from 1 through 43 complete with illustrations and funny facts. For example, Zachary Taylor didn’t find out about his nomination for president for almost a week because he refused to pay extra postage if someone sent him a letter without enough stamps. This book is a must! (You can just paste a picture of Barack Obama in the back.) P7Q8

Krull, Kathleen. The Road to Oz: Twists, Turns, Bumps, and Triumps in the Life of L. Frank Baum. Il. Kevin Hawkes. Knopf, 2008. $17.99. 978-0-375-83216-1. unp. Ages 5-8: An attractive layout and colorful watercolors enhance the story of the man who followed Dorothy on the yellow brick road out of Kansas. An advantage of this biography is the depiction of life during the second half of the 19th century complete with a picture of small-town life and a visit to the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Krull uses her usual humor to tell of Baum’s continual failures before he listened to his children about what they wanted in books. Absolutely delightful and a fun read-aloud. P8Q8

Scieszka, Jon. Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories about Growing Up Scieszka. Viking, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-670-01106-3. 106p. Ages 9-12: From
the first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and a strong advocate for special reading directed at boys comes this autobiography of a boy who grew up second of six males. With short chapters and lots of excitement in their activities, young readers will enjoy the humor and sometimes identify with Scieszka’s issues and activities. The cover page with its tank and airplanes dropping bombs may lead to disappointment when readers open the book, but it is more than 100 pages—a good book for biography assignments which kids may enjoy. P7Q7

Stone, Tanya Lee. Sandy’s Circus: A Story about Alexander Calder. Il. Boris Kulikov. Viking, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-670-06268-3. unp. Ages 5-8: The man known for creating the mobile was known as a joyous, playful man. One of his early creations was a movable circus that he made from found materials. Black and white drawings meld with fanciful paintings of his life in Paris while he built the circus with his huge hands and then demonstrated it to anyone who would watch. Stone’s love for Calder’s work shows through in her loving language, and Kulikov’s whimsy only adds to the joy. P8Q9

Waring, Geoff. Oscar and the Cricket: A Book about Moving and Rolling. Candlewick, 2008. $14.99. 978-0-763-64029-3. 29p. Ages 3-7: Oscar the curious kitten is back, this time getting his information about how objects start moving, why they stop moving, and how animals use their muscles to get around from a friendly cricket. As in the previous books of this series, the illustrations are boldly delineated, the information carefully explained, and the index useful for teaching this skill. For information about sound, check out Waring’s Oscar and the Bat: A Book about Sound (978-0-763-64025-5). P8Q8

Whitehead, Kathy. Art from Her Heart: Folk Artist Clementine Hunter. Il. Shane Evans. Putnam, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-399-24219-9. unp. Ages 5-8: When she began, Hunter sold her art for $.25, but by the time she finished, her work was selling for thousands of dollars. Meantime, she had to sneak into a museum after hours to see an exhibit of her work because African Americans were not allowed into the museum. During her 100+ years of life, Hunter saw many changes as demonstrated though her art and the art in this book. Her indomitable spirit kept her moving forward and painting through all the hard times. Whitehead’s inspired prose and Evans’ folk-like art show the struggles of life and the achievements for at least one person’s hard work. P7Q9

Yaccarino, Dan. The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau. Knopf, 2009. $16.99. unp. 978-0-375-85573-3. Ages 4-8: Bold, colorful, simple, cartoon-like illustrations show the famous ocean explorer’s progress as he invented ways to go deep into the water and film what he saw. This marvelous look at ocean life includes a list of events in Cousteau’s life. “If we were logical, the future would be bleak indeed. But we are more than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope, and we can work.” P8Q9

Poetry
Reibstein, Mark. Wabi Sabi. Il. Ed Young. Little, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-316-11825-5. unp. Ages 5-9: What does wabi sabi mean? The little cat in Kyoto, Japan, with that name keeps asking but must leave home to find the answer. Lyrical haiku and text, breathtaking mix-media collages, and elaborate Japanese characters demonstrate Wabi Sabi’s journey through the forest and into a temple. And the meaning of the little cat’s name as described in this beautifully simple book? It is a way of finding beauty in the ordinary. A classic of poetry and culture. P8Q10

Stiegemeyer, Julie. Gobble Gobble Crash! A Barnyard Counting Bash. Il. Valeri Gorbachev. Dutton, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-525-47959-8. unp. Ages 3-6: When four noisy wild turkeys smash through the barnyard, waking up the farmer, they search for hiding places among all the other creatures. Silly rhymes and muted watercolors (remember—it’s dark!) promote animal identification, numbers from one through ten, and just plain fun! P9Q9

Picture Books
Allen, Jonathan. “I’m Not Scared!” Hyperion, 2008. $6.99. 978-078683723-6. unp. Ages 2-5: When Baby Owl takes his toy Owly into the moonlit woods, he tells Badger, Bear, and Bat that he isn’t scared, but his papa knows better. This delightful board book shows a reassuring father caregiver as well as way of letting the little one acknowledge his fear by claiming that his little Owly is the one that is afraid. A fun book with nice covert messages. P10Q9

Breathed, Berkeley. Pete & Pickles. Philomel, 2008. $17.99. 978-0-399-25082-8. unp. Ages 4-8: Emphasizing “p” words, the author follows the growing friendship of a practical and uncomplicated pig after a circus elephant hides in his living room and the plans that Pickle has for Pete through ups and downs. The creator of Opus shows the importance of friendship and how the possibility of losing it makes the relationship very precious. “The illustrations were created with virtual acrylics and virtual watercolor on 100% rag archival virtual illustration board” with colors, silhouettes, and purply (sepia in purple) drawings. Totally delightful! P10 Q10

Heide, Florence Parry. The One and Only Marigold. Il. Jill McElmurry. Schwartz & Wade, 2009. unp. Ages 4-7: Four linked stories star a stubborn and lovable Marigold who refuses to give up her old coat, loves to invent ugly faces and bug her friend Maxine, sets up a lemonade stand with surprise packages (of garbage!), and pretends to wear clothes to school instead of what her mother requires. Hilarious, joyful, real, fabulous—Marigold is a classic, hopefully to be continued in a series. “Marigold did not agree with her mother, or her father, or her friend Maxine. But she agreed with herself, and that was the important thing.” P9Q9

McDonnell, Patrick. South. Little, Brown, 2008. $14.99. 978-0-316-00509-8. unp. Ages 5+: Illustrations of yellows, browns, and teal outlined in black tell the sweet story, almost without words, of how Mooch the cat helps a lost little bird on a journey. The addition of “weep, weep, weep” on one of the pages was unnecessary because the bird’s tears show the action. Other than that, quite well-done. P8Q8

Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out. Candlewick Press, 2008. $29.99. 978-0-736-2067-7. 240p. Ages 9-12: This compendium of factual and fictional information about the most famous home in the United States from 108 authors and illustrators plus some presidents, scholars, and other White House employees and residents provides one segment of our national history. Most of the stories are well-known traditional ones; all show a positive view of the presidents described. (The less popular ones have been omitted or glossed over.) This one-sided view of our history provides a fantasy of the past two centuries. It has been selected for the National Endowment for the Humanities We the People Bookshelf which distributes free books to 3000 libraries. A pleasant escape from reality. P4Q7

Rosoff, Meg. Wild Boars Cook. Il. Sophie Blackall. Holt, 2008. $16.95. 978-0-8050-7423-6. unp. Ages 3-6: The bossy, selfish, and stinky creatures are back, and this time they’re hungry. Readers young and old will delight in recoiling from the combination of foods that they decide to put into their “Massive Pudding” before they gobble it down. And the bonus to this rollicking romp through the kitchen is another recipe—Massive Cookie! This book is sure to make readers love boars and cooking. P9Q8

Sharratt, Nick. The Foggy Foggy Forest. Candlewick, 2008. $12.99. 978-0-7636-3921-1. unp. Ages 3-6: Translucent pages and black silhouettes foreshadow the answers to the recurring questions, “What can this be in the foggy, foggy, forest?” The next pages show such colorful magical beings as “a unicorn playing a horn” and “an ogre doing yoga” culminating in the traveling fair. The repetition, detail, and surprises in the book are sure to delight young readers. P8Q7

Tan, Shaun. Tales from Outer Suburbia. Arthur A. Levine, 2009. $19.99. 978-0-545-05587-1. unp. Ages 12+: Continuing his distinctive surreal artistic style in The Arrival and The Red Tree, this Australian writer/illustrator now tells a tale of an exchange student who is really an alien, a secret room that becomes the perfect place for a quick escape, a typical tale of grandfatherly exaggeration more bizarre than he says, and other odd details of everyday life that grow and take on an increadible life of their own. In this quirky book, Tan proves that he is the king of the first sentence, one which draws the reader farther and farther into an engrossing tale. P8Q10

Tanen, Sloane. Appetite for Detention. Photo. Stefan Hagen. Bloomsbury, 20o8. $14.99. 978-1-59990-075-9. unp. Ages 12+: Using “peeps,” the creators of this book show the struggles of seven “typical” teenagers to navigate a world plagued by unrequited love, pop quizzes, bullies, and embarrassing parents. The wickedly hilarious approach will delight both those in the trenches and others lucky enough to graduate from these painful experiences. P9Q8

Willems, Mo. Are You Ready to Play Outside? An Elephant and Piggie Book. Hyperion, 2008. $8.99. unp. Ages 3-5: Caldecott Honor-winner has a winner in these best friends who are always opposites in their approach to life. This story tells of Piggie’s complaining about the rain while Gerald tells him the advantages of wet weather; he’s so convincing that Piggie complains when the rain ends. And as usual, Gerald has a solution. Simple gray and pink illustrations and brief text. P8Q8

Graphic Novel
Schade, Susan and Jon Buller. Simon’s Dream. (Fog Mound, Bk. 3). Simon & Schuster, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-689-87688-2. 198p. Ages 8-12: In the conclusion to this trilogy, Thelonius Chipmunk and his friends face new adventures after they find a Time Machine and Bill the Human regains his ability to speak. In their attempts to save their beloved Fog Mound from the Dragon Lady and her evil ratmink assistants, readers learn the truth about the past of the humans and animals alike. The black and white illustrations in the fanciful graphic portion of the book are highlighted with purple and laced with excitement and humor. P9Q8

Fiction
An, Na. The Fold. Putnam, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-399-24276-2. 280p. Ages 13+: Plastic surgery for a Korean girl who wants to look “American” is the focus of this coming-of-age novel about high schooler Joyce Kim who hopes that enduring this will make her more attractive to a boy who has never noticed her. An creates believable characters in her depictions of Joyce, her older sister who thinks that Joyce shouldn’t have the surgery, the “benevolent” aunt who is insisting on it, and the girls’ mother who only wants Joyce to be polite to her aunt. This look at the notions of beauty and the affect of its perceptions on people who also want to stay true to themselves will provoke thought in the reader while Joyce’s struggling with high school life will ring true to all adolescents. P8Q8

McKillip, Patricia. The Bell at Sealey Head. Ace Books, 2008. $23.95. 98-0-441-01630-3. 277p. Ages 13+: The queen of classic fantasy is back with a gentle story about the mystery of a ringing bell that no one can see and not everyone can hear. Sealey Head, a small town on the edge of the ocean, shelters many secrets, most of them surrounding Aislinn House, a great house at the outskirts of town, its dying mistress, and the strangers who come to town to learn more about the place. McKillip treats the love interests among the characters almost as if Jane Austin would: a wealthy farmer’s son Raven is courting Gwyneth who loves to read and prefers the innkeeper’s son, Judd Cauley. The plot, people, and writing of the book will entrance the reader from the first glorious page to the solution of all the mysteries. P7Q9

Sage, Angie. Queste. [Septimus Heap Bk. 4]. HarperCollins, 2008. $17.99. 978-0-06-088207-5. 595p. Ages 9-12: No one returns from the Queste, but that’s the journey that 12-year-old Septimus finds himself on, accompanied by Princess Jenna, who wants to find displaced Nicko in another time, and faithful Beetle, who has been unfairly fired from his Manuscriptorium position. Much excitement, adventure, and humor accompany the three as they interact with ghosts, royalty, villains, family, and unearthly creatures. The fourth fantasy in this series—preceeded by Magyk, Flyte, and Physik—is a fast read, a book that can’t be put down once started. P8Q9

Nov. 2008 Reviews by M.D. ASPIRE
Etten, David Van. Likely Story. Alfred A. Knopt, New York. 2008. $15.99. ages middle to high school. 978-0-375-84676-2 p 8/q 8
Surprisingly this is written by a male about a young teenage girl and her soap opera mother. Mallory’s mother is a crazy soap star and she wants to write her own soap about normal teens. But in the end her mother becomes part of her perfect soap opera. The soap has to have some adults. In the end she learns to accept her mother and she gets her boyfriend all to herself.

Ackermann, Joan. In the Space left Behind. Laura Geringer Books Harper Teen. 2007. $18.99. ages middle school. 978-0-06-072256-2. p 7/ q7
This book would appeal to both male and female readers as it is about Colm who is a middle school boy who acts too grown up for his age. His mother and baby sister have gone to Las Vegas for his mother’s third marriage. His mom starts singing in a lounge and doesn’t come home when he thought. His mother has decided to sell their house and move – he takes the news badly and decides he will buy his mothers house. His estranged father sends a note and wants to give him $70,000. They go on a cross country trip and learn to not hate. Colm gives the money back to his father who gives it to the old neighbor man who ran over Colms father when he was riding a bicycle through town. This book would help students whose parents have failed them.

Howell, Simmone. Notes from the Teenage Underground. Bloomsbury. New York. 2007. $16.95. ages high school. 978-1-58234-835-3. p7/p7
The summer is here and what will Gem, Lo and Mira do to make it interesting and memorable. They decide to create an Ug Film similar to Andy Warhol. Gem works at Video Nasties with Dodgy and enjoys hanging out and talking about obscure movies. The girls shoot different party “happenings” the ultimate betrayal happens when Gem is talked into catching a couple on tape getting a little frisky at a party. She is betrayed when it is Mira and Dodgy. Gem was just getting used to the idea that she may have feelings for Dodgy but not now. In the end the girls get threw things and figure out what true friends are all about. This book has sex, scandal and underground freak activities. Students who feel like they are on the edge of society would enjoy this book.

Matlin, Marlee & Doug Cooney. Leading Ladies. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. New York. 2007. $15.99. ages middle school. 978-0-689-86987-7 p7/p7
There are two other books by the author about Megan “ Deaf Child Crossing” and “Nobody’s Perfect”. Megan is deaf and loves to be an actress mainly in her own bathroom mirror but when her school puts on the play Wizard of Oz she wants the part as Dorthy. She gets the part her friend is the speaker for her as she acts and does the sign language. The author is also a deaf actress. Girls who dream of being an actress would enjoy this book.

Hyde, Catherine Ryan. The Day I Killed James. Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 2008. $16.99. ages high school. 978-0-375-84158-3. p8/ q 8 Theresa feels like she killed James because she blew him off for another guy when she took him to a party to make that guy jealous. She is seeing a therapist and writing in a journal to try and get threw these feelings. She doesn’t let in anyone to her circle as she has closed everyone out since James rode his motorcycle off the cliff. A little girl next door to her attaches herself to Theresa after her mother locks her out of the house. They both have to learn how to heal so they can get to the little girls grandmother who lives in another city. Theresa starts to forgive herself as they journey cross country and visit James mother. This book will hold any young readers interest.

Harvey-Fitzhenry Alyxandra. Waking. Orca Book Publishers. Washington. 2006. $9.95. ages high school. 978-1-55143-489-6. p 7/q 7.
The girls in this book have different names Beauty and Luna. Beauty has bad dreams after her mother’s death. She has to figure out what her dreams mean and the Shadow Lady. The girls are making their very own book for a school project. Her father has been crazy since her mother committed suicide and won’t even let her cut her own fruit. This is a short read with girls who die\s their hair brilliant colors and learn to take back their lives.

Rosenbloom, Fiona. We are so Crashing your Bar Mitzvah. Hyperion. New York. 2007. $15.99. ages middle school 978-078683890-5. p7/q7.
Unfortunately this book took a little while to get involved in the plot and didn’t really resolve everything in a happy package at the end. All the cool middle school kids have been invited to Eben’s Bar Mitzvah except two girls who decided to get dressed up as divas and crash the party. Things go terribly wrong when everyone finds out who they are and now they are really a bunch of nobodies. Things get better when they realize they aren’t part of the kissing catastrophe.

Reviews – C.B. NMS/INM
Campbell Bartoletti, Susan, The boy who dared, Scholastic Press, New York, 2008, 202 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0439680131, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 9,
The author Susan Bartoletti has selected 16-year-old Helmuth Hubner from one of her previous books, Hitler youth. This is a historical fictionalized account of the life of Helmuth Hubner. The story starts with the imprisonment of Helmuth in a jail cell after he has been sentenced to death by the courts of Nazi Germany. Helmuth has a series a flash backs that retell his story of illegally listening to the BBC broadcast on a short-wave radio and then distributing the information in Germany. This book will capture the attention of middle and high school students.

Carman, Patrick, Rivers of fire, Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers, New York, 2008, 303 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0316166723, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
This is the second book in the Atherton series, where Atherton is a three-tiered world and is in actual fact a huge man-made satellite that is man kinds only refuge from a dying Earth. The three-tiered world, three different lands which had been separated before are now collapsing into each other and the inhabitants of this strange world must work together to survive. Edgar one of the main characters is determined to save the world and to discover the truth about Atherton too.

Paver, Michelle, Outcast, Katherine Tegen Books, New York, 2008, 319 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0060728345, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 9,
In Michelle Paver’s fourth book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, you find Torak has been keeping a secret from the rest of his clan. He had been infected by one of soul-eaters in the previous book, the mark he has hidden is discovered and he is cast out of his clan and all other clans will not recognize him either. This book deals with an ancient world where Torak’s friendship is tested, he must survive on his own, deal with magic and earn his place back, if he can, in his clan. This adventure story will appeal to all who have read the rest of this series.

Curlee, Lynn, Mythological creatures : a classical bestiary, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York, 2008, 35 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:1416914536, Gr. 4+, P 7, Q 7,
Lynn Curlee presents the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology by using his own bright paintings to illustrate each of them as he brings their tales alive in this collection.
The creatures and beasts of Greek Mythology are also found in the pages of this book.

DiPucchio, Kelly, Sipping spiders through a straw : campfire songs for monsters, illustrated by Gris Grimly, Scholastic Press, New York, 2008, unp, $15.99, ISBN:0439584019, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
Using familiar songs DiPucchio, has created a mixture of ghastly and witty lyrics that will appeal to all who read the pages of this book. Using supercilious lyrics he replaced worlds from “To take me out to the ballgame” with “Take me out to the graveyard, take
me out to the tombs.” Using black and brown watercolors he uses stretched out and really drawn out illustrations to reveal the figures of the characters in this collection.

Fitzgerald, Dawn, Vinnie and Abraham, illustrated by Catherine Stock, Charlesbridge, China, 2007, unp, $15.95, ISBN:1570916586, Gr. 2+, P 7, Q 8,
This book show cases the life of Vinnie Ream who was a sculpture and has a marble statue of Abraham Lincoln that now stands in the Capitol Rotunda. This statue is marble and was unveiled when Vinnie was 23 years-old in 1871. This book brings home to a younger audience the life of this remarkable artist. The author begins with her life in Wisconsin, and then to her becoming one of the youngest women, 14 years-old, hired by the U.S. Post Office and concluding with President Lincoln sitting for her. The water colors by Stock are soft but capture the vitality of this extraordinary young woman.

Hansen, Rosanna, Caring for Cheetahs : my African adventure, Boyds Mills Press, Honesdale, Pennsylvania, 2007, 32 pgs., index, glossary, $16.95, ISBN:1590783875,
Gr. 2+, P 8, Q 8,
The Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, Africa is featured in the pages of this book as Chewbaaka is the main Cheeta featured too. Chewbaaka was rescued and then raised by the members of the conservation. Using photos the relationship of this cheetah to Dr. Laurie Marker are shown. The research between Chewbaaka and Dr. Marker has enabled the world to get a better perspective on the growth, eating habits, size and lifespan of the Cheetah. Elementary students will love this book as they discover how one small area of the world is working to save this endangered animal.

Matthews, John & Caitlin, Trick of the tale : a collection of trickster tales, illustrated by Tomislav Tomic, Candlewick Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2008, 85 pgs., $18.99, ISBN:0763636460, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 9,
The gorgeous black and white engravings by Tomic Tomislav invite the reader into this book to discover the world of the tricksters as they lie and cheat their way out of trouble and to success. This collection features stories from all over the world and will appeal to all audiences.

Michelson, Richard, As good as anybody : Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s amazing march toward freedom, illustrated by Raul Colon, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2008, unp, $16.99, ISBN:0375833358, Gr. 4+, P 7, Q 8,
Two men are featured in this book Rabbi Abraham Heshel and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Rabbi Heshel was a Jewish man who escaped from Nazi Germany to America and was drawn in the civil rights movements of the 60’s. He became a good friend of Dr. King. and marched with him from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. These two men were vastly different and came from different cultures and religions but they proved through their friendships and respect prejudices can be over come. The illustrator of this book uses two colors schemes, brown hues for King and blue hues for Heshel to illustrate theses two different men’s lives. This book should be included in all school libraries.

Rapport, Doreen, Lady Liberty : a biography, illustrated by Matt Tavares, Candlewick Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2008, unp, $17.99, ISBN:0763625302, Gr. 3+, P 8,
Q 9,
The Statue of Liberty has greeted many people to the shores of America and in the pages of this book we are treated to her creation from the financial aspect to those in France who dreamed of giving her as gift to America. Professor Edourd de Laboulaye, a French man wished to honor our struggle during the American Revolution and to celebrate the friendship between our two countries. It is however the creator French sculptor, Auguste Barthodi who made Laboulaye dream come true. The illustrator Matt Tavares uses bright colors to depict the models and building and story of this famous statue.

Scott, Michael, The alchemist : the secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flamel, Delacorte Press, New York, 2007, 375 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0385733577, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
Sophie and Josh Newman, each 15 years old, are excited about their jobs in San Francisco and the money they can earn. The jobs are situated right across the street from each other. Sophie is working in a coffee shop and Josh in a book store. All is going well until the day that black magical beings enter the book store, to steal the Codex (a ancient magical book). Josh rips two crucial pages out before they leave with the stolen book. Josh and his sister find out that Nick and Peggy Fleming, Nicks employers, are really 14th century alchemists and are the guardians of the book. This fantasy adventure will grab both middle and high school student attention.

Walden, Mark, The overlord protocol, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York, 2007, 376 pgs., $19.99, ISBN:1416935738, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
This is the second book in the H.I.V.E. series and from the first page it is packed with adventure and danger. The characters in them first book again save the day and with it the Higher Institute of Villainous Education. While attending Wing’s father’s funeral he is kidnapped by Cyper, a true villain who wants to take over the world and destroy H.I.V.E. Wing finds that Cyper is mass producing Ninja robots who can outfight any other Ninja warrior and that they cannot be destroyed by bullets either. This fast paced adventure will appeal to all.

Broach, Elise, Masterpiece, illustrated by Kelly Murphy, Henry Holt and Company, 2008, 292 pgs., $16.95, ISBN:0805082700, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
James is a 12-year-old boy who lives in New York city with his mom, stepfather and little brother William. William is the only god thing that James sees that has come out of his parents divorce. He is lonely and has a hard time making friends that is until on the night of his birthday when a young beetle draws a miniature picture for him. Marvin is a beetle that lives in James families apartment under the sink in a hole in the wall. The friendship that develops between theses two unlikely characters is one that will appeal to middle school age students. James father is an artists, he sees Marvin’s drawing and takes it and James to Metropolitan Museum of Art. Here Christine, a curator, sees the drawing and with the help of James and Marvin they stage a heist of one Durer’s, a renaissance artist, paintings called Justice. The simple black ink drawings by Kelly Murphy show Marvin and William in many different situations as their friendship grows.

Burg, Shana, A thousand never evers, Delacorte Press, New York, 2008, 301 pgs., $15.99, ISBN:0385734700, Gr. 5+, P 7, Q 8,
It’s 1963, Addie Ann Pickett, lives in Kuckachoo, Mississipp with her Mother, Uncle Buck and her brother Elias. Addie is a 12-year-old African American girl who faces the racism and the civil rights movement of the time. Here in this little town her brother is accused of hurting a white boy, Uncle Bump of ruining the town garden and the truth of how her father was burned alive before her birth. This historical fiction told from Addies point of view will bring to life this horrible era in America’s history.

Clements, Andrew, Things that are, Philomel Books, New York, 2008, 167 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0399246916, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
This Andrew Clements third book in this story and he continues now with Alicia, a young blind girl who chooses to as independent as she can be. Alicia, also narrates the story as she explores her feelings for Bobby and tries to help him after he returns from his audition in New York and is follow by an invisible man. The FBI visits Alicia’s home to warn them to report anything concerning this man. Alicia’s parents don’t know that he is in their basement have been hidden there by Alicia. Her father and Bobby’s have also been conducting secret experiments to discover the cause of Bobby having once been invisible too. This fast paced adventure will invite older middle school and high school students in.

Mass, Wendy, Every soul a star, Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers, New York, 2008, 322 pgs., $15.99, ISBN:0316002569, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 9,
Three young children, Ally, Bree and Jack come together in the days before a solar eclipse in Moons Shadow campground. All three characters are narrators as they tell their story in different chapters as their lives converge for this momentous occasion. Ally, lives at the camp ground with her family and can’t imagine living anywhere else. She is also a confident young girl who is able to take on the many tasks at the campground. Bree is a young debutante from California whose parents are moving to the Moon Shadow campground to take over for Ally’s family. Bree can’t imagine any place else to live but California and is horrified to learn she must leave her popularity, designer clothes and shoes all behind. Jack is an over weight boy who has flunked science and is only going to go to view the eclipse to avoid summer school. The three find instead that there lives are changed by each other and events and they all come to see the world in a different way.

Mikaelsen, Ben, Ghost of spirit bear, HarperCollins, 2008, 154 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0060090073, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 8,
This is Mikaelsen’s continuation of his Touching Spirit Bear saga. Cole and Peter, both characters from the first book, are on an island exiled to together trying to come to terms with each other. Now as they go back to their high school they must learn to
cope with their own fears and also in a world where violence and gangs exist. Peter who is disabled, after Cole had beat him up, is a prime target for those who bully students. Cole fears that others will expect to be the same person, a bully, as before. It takes the suicide of another student to make the staff, principal and the students come together to try and change their school where they will have a zero tolerance to bullying. Students who liked his first book will be drawn to this one as well.

Rodman, Mary, Jimmy’s stars, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2008, 257 pgs., $16.95, ISBN:0374337039, Gr. 6+, P 9, Q 10+,
“James McKelvey is to report to the Union Station at 6 A.M. October 2, 1943.” This message is delivered to the eleven year-old Ellie McKelvey house and her whole life changes. Close to her older brother she dreads the day he will leave and extracts a promise from that he will be home for Christmas. He always keeps his promises and when Christmas day arrives and he doesn’t come she is determined that the tree will stay up till he comes home. Six months later on Ellie’s twelfth birthday she receives a birthday card from Jimmy and also a telegram that reports his death. This is a book that I could not put down.

Springer, Nancy, The case of the bizarre bouquets: an Enola Holmes mystery, Philomel Books, New York, 2008, 170 pgs., $14.99, ISBN:0399245189, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 9,
Enola Holmes is determined to do two things in this the third book in the Enola Holmes Mystery series. One she will not be found by her older brothers Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes. The other is to help find Dr. Watson who has disappeared without any trace. This fast pacing historical mystery will appeal to middle school age students who are looking for a heroine who refuses to bend to the rules of society. To be a proper young woman and to get married, instead she will be an independent private eye.

Zarr, Sara, Sweethearts, Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2008, 217 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0316014559, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 9,
Two young children have made friends with each other when no one else would ever be their friends. One day Cameron Quick does not come to school and Jennifer Harris is left alone with no one. They have done everything together and depended on each other for so much. At home she has had to take care of herself as her mother works during the day and goes to school at night. She is an over weight young girl whom no one likes until the day she meets Cameron Quick and she finally has a friend. Jennifer transfer to another school where she reinvents herself into Jenna, looses weight and has many friends. When Cameron reappears in school years later Jenna is happy but also doesn’t want to lead a life like she had before. This coming of age book will appeal to older middle school age students and also to high school students.

Non Fiction:
Li, Cunxin, Mao’s last dancer, Walker & Company, New York, 2003, 290 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0802797792, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
Li Cunxin is eleven years-old when he is chosen from his rural village, Qingdao, China, to join the Beijing Dance Academy. Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution is in full swing during this time and information, food and work all controlled by the communist government. Cunxin carries his red book, filled with Moa’s teachings. He believes everything that he is told by the government and worships Moa. He works hard and appreciates the chance he has been given to better his life. After five years of hard work is recognized as one of the best dancers and is given a chance to represent China as a dancer in America. He arrives in Texas and soon comes to see that the teachings of the communist government are false. The truth is as he discovers is that America is a great place to live and he realizes what freedom is. Cunxin returns to China and is refused, at first, in his request to return to American to study dance. He returns to Texas, marries and defects to spend the next sixteen years dancing with the Houston Ballet Company.

Frisch, Aaron, The story of Nike, Creative Education, 2009, 48 pgs., glossary, index, $32.00, ISBN:1583416080, Gr. 7+, P 7, Q 8,
The Nike company has become a clothing and shoe giant and with their signature swoosh one that is recognized around the world. This company which originated in Oregon is a story of success that students will enjoy reading about.

Weatherfird, Carole, Becoming Billie Holiday, art by Floyd Cooper, Wordsong, Honesdale, Pennsylvania, 2008, 116 pgs., $19.95, ISBN:159078507X, Gr. 8+, P 8, Q 9,
Written in poetry the life of Billie Holliday is explored. What is really unique of the poems is that each title is actually the title of one of her songs. Each one tells about her life struggle to become the singer that she was. Floyd Cooper’s pictures mostly in mute browns and gold tones depict the Holliday’s life experiences.

Picture Books
Arnosky, Jim, Dolphins on the sand, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 2008, unp., $16.99, ISBN:0399246061, Gr.2+, P 8, Q 8,
Dolpins and whales for some strange reason we are finding that they will beach themselves on land. This strange occurrence is explored in this story, which is also based on a rescue that the author witnessed. Students will see the with Arnosky’s gleaming and shimmering illustrations the struggle to save these splendid creatures.

Browne, Anthony, Little Beauty, Candlewick Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2008, $16.99, ISBN:0763639591, Gr.1+, P 8, Q 8,
Little Beauty has everything he needs, except a friend. So one day this loveable ape signs to his caretakers he wants a friend and is given a tiny little white and orange tabby as friend. What an unusual pair to be friends and what tenderness this huge ape shows towards his friend. This would be a great book to use to discuss what a friendship is in an elementary school setting.

Choi, Yangsook, Behind the mask, Frances Foster Books, New York, 2006, unp., $16.00, ISBN:0374305226, Gr. 2+, P 8, Q 8,
Halloween is just around the corner when Kimin decides to use his grandfather’s mask and be him for Halloween. Kimin’s grandfather had been a famous mask dancer in Korea before his death. Kimin feels that by wearing the mask he will be honoring his grandfather as he wears it as costume. He also wants his friends to see the masks and they are soon dancing on the pages of this book, as Kimin teaches them some dance moves. The illustrations are yellows and brown muted fall colors that help to tell the story.

Field, Eugene, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, illustrated by Giselle Potter, Schwartz & Wade Books, New York, 2008,unp, $16.99, ISBN:0375841962, Gr. K+, P 9, Q 9,
Using bright elementary colors the full page illustrations by Giselle Potter help to tell this familiar nursery rhyme. Kindergarten students will love the journey of these three pixie looking cherubs as they dance across the night sky.

George, Jean Craighead, The wolves are back, paintings by Wendell Minor, Dutton’s Children Books, New York, 2008, unp, $16.99, ISBN:0525479473, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
At time there was a bounty that was placed on wolves and they were hunted down until they were almost extinct. As a result the ecosystem was off balance and in some species they became over populated. Wolves were then years later reintroduced into protected areas to get the ecosystem back in balance. Jean Craighead has in this book shown how the wolves are an iatrical part of the ecological unit and also how bright, funny, and loving they are in a family unit. The water colors by Minor also show the reader the effect that the wolf has had on the environment and how inquisitive the wolf is too.

Lipp, Frederick, Running shoes, illustrated by Jason Gaillard, Charlesbridge, New York, 2007, unp, $16.95, ISBN:1580891756, Gr. 2+, P 7, Q 8,
Soft muted pastel water colors welcome the reader into the tale of Sophy, a young Cambodian girl who dreams of going to school. Sophy who lives in a very poor village is visited by a doctor who later sends running shoes to her. This act of kindness changes her life and we see her running across the pages in this book on her way to school. Students in elementary schools will love this book as they see Sophy overcome all obstacles to be able to learn.

Rocco, John, Moonpowder, Hyperion Books for Children, New York, unp, 2008, $15.99, ISBN:1423100115, Gr. 2+, P 9, Q 10,
Set during World War II, Eli Treebuckle’s father is a pilot and away at war. It’s just him and his mom who are still at home where he is the little man who helps do so many things around the house and also fixes things that are broken. Wearing his aviator hat to bed he is soon off to dream land, where he has been having nightmares for the last few months. Not able to fall asleep again he is visited by Mr. Moon who implores him to help to fix the moonpowder factory, which produces the dream dust for all dreams. Rocco’s illustrations are superb in tones of gold and browns against a aqua night sky.
Here elementary age children’s imagination will soar across the sky with Eli and Mr. Moon.

Teague, Mark, LaRue for mayor: letters from a campaign trail, The Blue Sky Press, New York, 2008, unp. $16.99, ISBN:0439783151, Gr. 2+, P 8, Q 8,
It’s election time in the city of Pumkinville and Mr. Hugo Bugwort is running for mayor. One of Bugwort’s campaign promises is the threat to crack down on the dogs that are roaming around freely and causing havoc in the city. The dogs ban together and soon are ruining things for Bugwort. Through a series of letters to the editor, Mr. Bugwort and Mrs. LaRue the story reveals a mischief dog, Ike who is determined that the next mayor will be the mysterious candidate named LaRue. When Ike rescues Mr. Bugwort his sentiments towards dogs change and the residents of Pumpkinville see a gentler and kinder candidate. Mark Tegue’s illustrations of Ike and his cohorts jump across the pages as they steal icecream, hotdogs, and even the ball from a baseball game. One side is in color, which is reality and the black and white side is the fantasy that Ike sees. Elementary children who are writing letters or studying election procedures will love this book.

December 2008 Reviews
Book Review
DGH LCSD

Hopkins, Ellen. Identical. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2008. $17.95. 978-1-4169-5005-2. 565p. Gr.10-12
A novel in verse, but the poetic style only amplifies this gritty story that is not for the feint of heart. Recently, a girl at WHS asked me to get books about families with problems… it’s here! In typical Hopkins fashion this story takes it all on as the reader experiences a family that put the “dys” into dysfunction: tragedy, incest, drug abuse, cutting, binging/purging, masochistic sex, and mental illness.
Following an accident that ripped through a family that appeared “normal” on the outside, we find out the repercussions of choices made by each member. The reader is taken into the depths of emotional turmoil, but by the end gains empathy for the protagonist and the decisions she made.
Although this book took the reader to the darkest underbelly of teen existence it does merit being read by a mature audience wanting the vicarious experience of the victim of incest… and a way out. P8Q8

Reviews by S.E. Grandparent Volunteer
Fiction

Wolf, Allan. Zane’s Trace. Candlewick Press, Ma. 2002. ISBN 0763628581. $16.99. 177p. Ages 15-18. This is a somewhat factual account of a disturbed young man who has a disease called Geschwind Syndrome that includes seizures and hypergraphia,
an overwhelming urge to write and write a lot. It is also called the “midnight disease” His purpose and goal is to reach Zanesville in his dead father’s Plymouth Barracuda to kill himself on his mother’s gravesite. He writes on his walls in indelible ink describing his imprisionment, ie: his mind. His encounter with a young hitchhiker seems to help himself discover new things about himself but she is as troubled as he is. He has stolen his brother’s credit card and uses it which enables his brother to find Zane in time to save him. Q6P6

Fiction/Poetry
Hopkins, Ellen. Glass. Margaret K McElderry Books Ny, an imprint of Simon and Schuster children’s publishing Division. 2007. ISBN 141694090. $16.00. 680p. Ages 15-18. This is a very long and drawn out story of a young lady who gets hooked on smoking crank. It is way too long with absolutely no redemption at the end. I wasn’t impressed. Q5P4

Fiction/folk stories
Hamilton, Virginia. Il. Leo and Diane Dillon. The People Could Fly. Alfred A Knoph, an imprint of Random House Inc. NY. 2007 ISBN 978037592405-7. $17.99. Ages 6-10. This is a beautifully illustrated retelling of a story of a group of slaves who call upon African Magic to transport them away from their suffering as slaves and allows them to fly away. A Coretta Scott King award. Text copywrite 1985. Q9P8

Fiction
Stein, David Ezra, Monster Hug. GP Putnam’s sons, a division of The Penguin Group. NY 2007. ISBN 9780399246371. $15.99. ages 5-6. Two monsters from different backgrounds come together for a day of fun until their parents call them home for the evening. The drawings are primitive and it has very few words but my youngest grandson calls it one of his favorite books so who am I to say it won’t be popular? Q7P9

Roberts Bethany, Il. Vladimir Vagin, Cookie Angel. Henry Holt and Co. NY 2007. ISBN 0805069747. $16.99. Ages 5-8. It is Christmas eve and the Carroll family make their special cookie angel who comes to life after the family has gone to bed. All the toys under the tree come to life and all misbehave and it is up to the cookie angel to calm them all down. It is a nice Christmas Eve read aloud book. Q8P8

McDonnell, Patrick, Hug Time. Little Brown and Co. NY 2007. $14.99. ISBN 0316114944. this is a very sweet story about a kitten who wants to hug everybody and makes a “hugs to do list” and travels the world hugging everything on his list. It is a sweet story and will be popular among children ages 5-7. The illustrator is the creator of the comic strip “Mutts” Q8P8

Maass, Robert, Little Trucks With Big Jobs. Henry Holt and Co. NY 2007. ISBN 100805077480. $16.95. Ages 5-7. This is a short story about trucks that kids will want to check out primarily because they love big rigs that do big jobs inicluding ambulances
and forklifts and mail trucks. Q6P6.

Johnston, Tony. Il. Melissa Sweet Off To Kindergarten. Cartwheel books, Scholastic Inc. NY 2007. ISBN 0439730902. $7.99. Ages 5-7. a sweet book about a boy’s first day of kindergarten and what all he wants to take with him. It is a good read aloud book. Q8P8

Aruego, Jose &Ariane Dewey, The Last Laugh. Dial Books for Young Readers Group. NY. 2007. ISBN 0803730934. Age K. $12.99. This is an exceptionally good book dealing with bullies. A not so nice snake gets the tables turned on him by a duck with lots of friends. Kindergarten age children will love this book. Q9P9

Purmell, Ann. Il Jill Weber, Christmas Tree Farm. Holiday House NY 2006. ISBN 0823418863 $16.95. Ages 5-10. This is an informative book about a young boy who helps his grandpa throughout all phases of tree farming. The illustrations are great and shows how much hard work goes into this type of farming all year long. A good holiday book. Q7P7.

Wilson, Karma, Il. Christa Unzner, Princess Me Margaret K McElderry books and imprint of Simon and Schuster children’s publishing division. NY. ISBN 9781416940982 . 2007. $16.99. Ages 5-7 A cute easy to read and nicely illustrated book about a young girl who dresses up as a princess and plays with all the toys in her realm. A great read aloud book. Q8P8

Non fiction
Michelson, Richard, Il Mary Azarian, Tuttles Red Barn. The Story of America’s Oldest Family Farm. G Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Young Reader’s Group, NY. 2007. ISBN 9780399243547. $16.99. Ages 6-10. This is a story of a generational farm that goes back to 1632 and follows the family farm throughout time to the present. The illustrator is a previous winner of the Caldecott Medal. Q8P8

Morrison, Taylor, Tsunami Warning. Houghton Mifflin Co. NY 2007 ISBN 061873435. $17.00. Ages 7-11. This is a nicely illustrated anthology of significant tsunamis throughout history including the most recent 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. It teaches what is being done about understanding tsunamis and the newest technology to detect a coming tsunami. Q8P9

Koscielniak, Bruce, Looking at Glass Through the Ages. Houghton Mifflin co. NY 2007. ISBN 0618507507.$16.00 Ages 7-11. This is an in depth look at how glass was made throughout the ages starting in Egypt. It is a very informative book and I recommend it to students who are interested in glass fusion and glass window art. Q8P8

Non fiction/Math/animals
Whitehead, Ann Nagda, Cheetah Math. Henry Holt &Co. NY 2007. Ages 6-11. ISBN 9780805076455. $16.95. In collaboration with the San Diego Zoo, this informative
book teaches how division, multiplication, addition and subtraction are used in determining how to care for cheetahs. The photography is good and I like how it shows how math can be applied in everyday use. Q8P7

December Book Reviews
A.M., Student Reviewer, NHS

Ruckdeschel, Liz & Sara James. What if…Everyone Was Doing It: a choose your destiny novel. Random House, New York, 2008. $8.99 ISBN: 9780385735025 264 p. Gr. 9-11 This book focuses on a high school girl and her life in high school. The choices the reader makes affects her social and emotional outcomes and the way the story ends. I liked this book; it’s really modern and reminds me of a lot of teenagers (and their social lives) that attend Newport High. I think girls would enjoy it more than boys. P9.5 Q8

Fletcher, Christine. Ten Cents a Dance. Bloomsbury, New York, 2008. $16.95 ISBN: 1599901641 356p. Gr. 9-12 The main character of this book is a teenage girl who lives in poverty, working a low paying job. One day she meets “gangster” Paulie who advises her on a job that will pay more: dancing, which is what she loves to do. Eventually, she makes good money and falls in love with Paulie who – in the end – turns out to be a very bad guy. This book is easy to read and easy to enjoy. P6 Q6

December Book Reviews
D.J., Student Reviewer, NHS

Funke, Cornelia. Inkdeath. Scholastic, New York, 2008. $14.99 ISBN: 0439866286 656p. Gr. 7-12
This is a great book with a plot that contains more than one antagonist and protagonist. The contents of this book are pretty safe for younger people with a few exceptions. The organization is pretty straightforward with no back tracking and links actions together instantaneously. This book outlines three to five main points of view but only goes into great detail in two of them. The characters were detailed but not to the extreme like the other two books in this trilogy were. The setting is in a beautiful land with a rotten, evil king, but this book is not believable because it takes place in a book with real people in it. P7 Q8

December Book Reviews
K.J., NHS Student Reviewer

Peters, Julie Ann. Grl2grl. Little, Brown, & Co., New York, 2007. $11.99 ISBN:9780316013437 152 p. Gr. 9-12 This is a collection of very short fiction about lesbians and transgenders. Some were wonderful and had real meaning, but others were ridiculous and confusing. Random organization, some humorous, some ironic, some completely pointless. I really liked about half the stories and really hated a few of them. Some left me extremely curious for more story and background, but some of them I couldn’t finish fast enough. P6 Q4

George, Madeleine. Looks. Penguin, New York, 2008. $16.99 ISBN:9780670061679 240p. Gr. 7-12 Meghan is fat. Really fat. And new girl Aimee is skinny. Scary skinny. Meghan is good at being invisible, ironically. And all Aimee has is her poetry. The way these characters see everyone else and observe life in high school is dead-on and detailed. You relate to them both, and share their pain, both as Meghan is ignored by everyone yet teased horribly and as Aimee struggles to find people she can count on to control her disorder. Both are judged based on their looks, though people are so much deeper than that. The characters are realistic and easy to relate to. They each have a fantastic sense of humor and irony, and see things more clearly than anyone else. P8 Q8

Jocelyn, Marthe. Would You. Random House, New York, 2008. $15.99 ISBN:9780375837036 166 p. Gr. 7-12 Natalie’s best friend is her older sister Claire, and even though they have their own lives, they intertwine and connect. So when Claire gets hit by a car and spirals into a coma, no one even knows how to react. Claire was perfect. She was smart, pretty, a soccer star. How could someone like her die? I really like some of the descriptions but I didn’t like the story itself or the way it was written. P6 Q6

Link, Kelly. Pretty Monsters: Stories. Illustrated by Shaun Tan. Penguin, New York, 2008. $19.99 ISBN978067001090 400 p. Gr. 7-12 Pretty Monsters is a collection of short stories, all of which are a little bit morbid and none of them truly have a happy ending. At first, the characters seem normal, but the fantasy element keeps the plot moving and makes you wonder if the ending of the story is really an end at all. Dark, suspenseful, ironic. I liked this book. My favorites were the last two stories, and they could turn into full books, but because they are short stories, you get just a little taste and you want more. P7 Q8

December Book Reviews
K.C., NHS Student Reviewer

Dobkin, Bonnie. Neptune’s Children. Walker & Co., New York, 2008. $16.99 ISBN:9780802797346 262 p. Gr. 7-12 Neptune’s Children by Bonnie Dobkin is an excellent post-apocalyptic type of story. Some biological terrorists have killed every adult in the world, but for some reason the children all survived. This book centers on all the kids that were at the Isles of Wonder theme park when all the adults died. Suddenly alone and without anyone to lead them, the young teens band together under the park’s patron Neptune. Soon they establish a government, lead by the Core. But signs are starting to appear that they are not alone, after all, and the Core will do whatever it takes to stay in power. It was interesting and clever and made one think. It had good characters and points out the base survival/fear instincts that we try to ignore. Easy to read and believable! A great book, but I’m glad it didn’t happen to me. P8 Q9

Birdsall, Jeanne. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street. Random House, New York, 2008. $15.99 ISBN: 9780375840906 308 p. Gr. 6-12 The Penderwick sisters are delighted when their Aunt Clair comes for a visit. They become rather less thrilled when their Aunt reveals that she is there to start their widower father dating again. They come up with the “save Daddy” plan, a plot so funny and daring, only the Penderwick sisters could have come up with it. However, it rather pales in comparison to the utterly brilliant “new save Daddy plan.” Apart from the trouble at home, Rosalind is finding their neighbor Tommy even more annoying than usual, Skye loses her temper spectacularly, Jane’s imagination and love of writing begins to get her in trouble, and Betty gets into mischief with spying activities. I liked this book; it was absolutely wonderful! All the characters are perfectly, beautifully formed with funny, clever, and insightful points of view. No one is brilliant, brave, and amazing in quite the way the Penderwicks are. P8 Q9

December Book Reviews
A.C., NHS Student Reviewer

Michaels, Jamie. Kiss My Book. Random House, New York, 2007. $7.99 ISBN:9780385734998 274 p. Gr. 8-12 Ruby Crane was never in the “it” crowd, until she got a book of hers published. Everyone wanted to be seen with her, get her autograph, and be her best friend. Ruby loved it, going from a nobody to a somebody in a couple of minutes. Then at a party she got asked from a news reporter the last thing she wanted to hear, “Why did you plagiarize?” Not knowing shat to do, she ran away to live with her aunt. Ruby no longer, she changes her name to Georgie, cuts her hair, wears glasses again, and dresses differently. While in hiding, Georgie makes friends, finds her true love, and learns that she cannot run away from her love of books. I liked the book, but I hated the ending. The book just stops. If the author had smoothed the ending a little bit, it would be better. P8 Q8

Marr, Melissa. Ink Exchange. HarperCollins, New York, 2008. $16.99 ISBN: 9780061214684 336 p. Gr. 9-12 Leslie doesn’t like her life, so she goes to a tattoo shop everyday, looking for one that might change her life. Unknowingly, she chooses a tattoo that binds her to the Dark King. The Dark King needs a queen to help him feed his court. When he does, it would bring chaos into the world. This book makes you believe that there are a bunch of invisible faeries running around doing pranks on us. P10 Q10

Mitchard, Jacquelyn. The Midnight Twins. Penguin, New York, 2008. $16.99 ISBN: 9781595141606 240 p. Gr. 7-12 Mallory and Meredith Brynn are not just regular twins. They can see into the past and future. They can also talk to each other telepathically. After a fire that changed their lives, Mallory could see the future, and Meredith could see the past. They were very confused with their new powers, but lucky for them they had their grandma. Grandma explains everything to them: why they see what they see, their ancestors, and how their gifts will never go away. The
point of view jumps around a lot from Mallory to Merry and that is what makes the book confusing. I didn’t really like the book, it’s believable, but I don’t like the plot. It’s a little too confusing for me. Another thing that makes the book confusing is the names. They sound so much alike I get confused. P7 Q8

December Book Reviews J.K. Lincoln County Juvenile Detention Teacher Assistant
Barker, M. P. A Difficult Boy. Holiday House, New York, 2008.294 pages. ISBN 978-0-8234-2086-5. $16.95. 6th grade +. P7Q8. A novel about the unlikely and reluctant yet primal friendship between two boys and a horse who need each other. Beautifully written with vivid imagery. I’m kind of a weenie about violence and at some places in the book, I found it difficult to even think about continuing because I knew what was coming and it wasn’t going to be pretty. Ethan and Paddy (real name Daniel) are both indentured to Mr. Lyman who feels it’s his duty to ‘discipline’ the boys, ergo bloody beatings. In spite of that, I really loved this book. I loved the story.

Jones, Sabrina. Isadora Duncan: a Graphic Biography. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2008. Unpaged. ISBN 978-0-8090-9497-4.Tentative price: $16.95. 7th grade +. P6Q8. I’m not a huge fan of graphic novels; however, perhaps because of my background in dance, I really enjoyed this one. My only concern for recommending this book comes from Isadora’s promiscuity, but the author doesn’t judge Ms. Duncan one way or the other. She only states, in a concise yet artfully flowing way. As a dancer, I was reminded how much Isadora Duncan’s unique and revolutionary dance/performance style influenced every aspect of my dance experience for forty-three years.

Taylor, G. P. Mariah Mundi: The Midas Box. Penguin, New York, 2007. 304 pages. ISBN 978-0-399-24347-9. $17.99. The lovely use of descriptive language makes this a very visual book. In fact, while I was reading, I kept seeing a movie. AND the author leaves the story open for a sequel. I got hooked right away by the fast paced story of boys from the private Chiswick Colonial School disappearing from their place employment: The Prince Regent hotel. The latest Colonial recruit , Mariah Mundi, has stumbled upon the secrets and mysteries of the exclusive, health-oriented, luxury, steam-operated hotel. In the course of his employment as assistant to the resident magician, Bizmillah, a magical and murderous plot, complete with changelings and dragons, emerges. Yet utterly believable. A very satisfying read which leaves the reader ready for the sequel. Not on minor error: on page 15 the clock strikes midnight, and sometime later, on page 28, midnight strikes again.

Declare Yourself – Speak. Connect. Act. Vote. More Than 50 Celebrated Americans Tell You Why. HarperCollins, 2008. 325 pages. ISBN 978-0-06-147316-6. $11.99. High School +. P7Q7.
A timely book encouraging our youth to step up to taking responsibility for their futures by politically educating themselves about the issues as well as the candidates. I found a few of the stories quite uplifting and motivating, but after the first ten or so it began to feel like overkill. I do think that politically-minded 15 through 18 year olds will find the celebrity entries interesting reading.

Munoz, Manuel. The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue-Stories. Workman Publishing, New York, 2007. 239 pages. ISBN 978-1-56512-532-2. $12.95. High School +. P8Q9. A collection of stories about Mexican/Americans living in the Fresno area of the San Joaquin Valley. This well-crafted book is beautifully written and rich with humanity and emotion. One of the best books I’ve ever read!

December Book Reviews E. C. NHS Student Reviewer
Flanagan, John. Ranger’s Apprentice. Penguin Books, New York, 2008 $17.99 ISBN: 978-0-399-25032-3 295 p. Gr. 7-12
Very good plot with a cliffhanger, nail biting on the edge of your seat suspense which takes you in one direction and then you are on to another adventure. The story keeps connected with the other 4 books in this series The Sorcerer of the North with Will finally making a full-fledge Ranger. Without revealing too much of the plot would spoil the adventure for the reader. The author, Flanagan, who has a great following has once again masterfully connected this story to the series yet made it almost like a separate part. I liked this book and the other 4 books in the series. But to really understand this book and its characters you would have had to read the other books. While reading you must pay close attention to the plot in order to stay connected with the characters. You must read with an open minded attitude. P8 Q 8

December 2008 Reviews L.R. for Siletz Library
Picture Books

Spinelli, Eileen. The Best Story. Il. Anne Wilsdorf. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2008, unpgd. Ages 6-8. ISBN 9780803730557 $16.99. P6 Q8
A little girl learns about a writing contest at her local library and the prize is a ride on the “Sooper Dooper Looper Roller Coaster” with her favorite author. She is so excited, she goes home and starts composing right away. But, one by one, everyone in her family gives her advice on what the story needs. Soon it is a wild mishmash. Eventually she figures out that she has to “write what is in her heart and feels happy with the result. It has a nice little lesson to kids to learn to savor a feeling of accomplishment over a prize. The illustrations are nicely done—full of action, emotion and humor.

Nash, Ogden. The Adventures of Isabel. Il. Bridget Starr Taylor. Sourcebooks, Inc, 2008, unpgd. Ages 5-9. ISBN 9781402210273 $16.95. P8 Q9
This poetry just has to be read aloud, and it includes a CD of Ogden Nash reading the poem that he wrote for his daughter over 80 years ago. Fearless Isabel eats bears, turns witches into milk, and cuts off a giant’s head. In the gorgeous watercolor illustrations, Isabel always has a defiant, slightly bemused smile. You can’t help but like this character and reader and listener will have fun with this book. The overall quality of the book is good and a great way to introduce kids to a famous poet.

Jacques, Brian. Urso Brunov and the White Emperor. Il. Alexi Natchev. Penguin Young Readers Group. 2008, unpgd. Ages 6-10. ISBN 9780399237928 $17.99. P6 Q8
Urso Brunov, “Little Father of All Bears,” is a miniature bear as big as a thumb. He dresses in a style reminiscent of a Russian Cossack and goes around blowing a shiny bugle. He goes on a mission to return two normal sized polar bear cubs to their family, who happen to be an Emperor and Empress who live in an impressive ice castle. The watercolor illustrations are done beautifully in jeweled tone colors, but some of the renderings of the animals are so realistic they may be scary to young readers. There are wolves, wild boars, whales and of course, lots of bears in the story. It is a pretty good folk tale, but maybe not for the very young.

Tafuri, Nancy. Whose Chick are You? Harper Collins Publishers, 2008, unpgd. Ages 2-6. ISBN9780060825140 $16.99. P8 Q8
Here is the book for the very young! All the birds around the pond are looking in anticipation at an egg about to hatch. It turns out to be a gray, fuzzy thing with a black bill and neither the songbird, the duck, the goose or the chicken know who is might belong to. Eventually, a swan comes by and claims it as her own. It is a very simple, touching story book with lively, colorful pictures. This will be a favorite for story times!

Stanley, Diane. The Trouble with Wishes. HarperCollins Publishers, 2007, unpgd. Ages 5-12. ISBN 9780060554514 $16.99. P6 Q9
Based loosely on the Greek myth “Pygmalion,” this story pokes fun at humans who worship physical perfection. Pyg is a sculptor who creates a beautiful marble goddess and promptly falls in love with her. He wishes her to life, only to find out that she is quite demanding and spoiled. When she moves on up to the castle on the hill, he is only too happy to escape back down the hill to a quiet life with his faithful assistant, Jane. The illustrations are what make this book. They are beautiful and playful and really bring the characters, including a cast of kittens, to life. The combination of Greek-style drawings with little modern elements (such as the goddess’s attendants using a hairdryer to make her look like the latest Vogue cover) add to the fun. A very charming book!

Teen books
Todd, Pamela. The Blind Faith Hotel. Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 2008, 312 pgs. Ages 12 and up ISBN9781416954941 $16.99 P5 Q5
The Blind Faith Hotel is sort of a cross between The Secret Garden and Huckleberry Finn, without the great dialects and rich regional descriptions. But it is a pretty good story of a 14 year old girl who is uprooted, along with her mother, brother and sister, from the Pacific northwest coast to an old house in the middle west, next to a prairie reserve. The girl, who is bitter, and hates everything about her new life, gradually comes to accept it and even love this strange new countryside. First, she has to have a brush with the law and be sentenced to community service in the prairie. Then, she has to find a wild child teen boy who loves the prairie. Then, she has to discover her grandmother’s forgotten garden and bring it back to life. Sound familiar? Possibly the messages in the book will resonate with a teen reader, but if you are on a really tight budget, I would buy something else for your library.

First Thursday Book Review Center Nov. 2008 Reviews—J.C.
Picture books:
Doyle, Malachy. Horse. Illustrated by Angelo Rinaldi. Margaret K. McElderry Books, c2008. 1 v. (unp.) ISBN 9781416924678 / 1416924671 $16.99 “Ages 5-9.” P7Q7 A lushly illustrated story of the first two years in the life of a foal. Recommended for school and public libraries.

Isaacs, Anne. The ghosts of Luckless Gulch. Illustrated by Dan Santat. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2008. 45 p. ISBN 9781416902010 / 1416902015 $18.99 Ages 5-9. P8Q7
This California-based tall tale features Estrella, a girl who can run so fast that she leaves trails of flames wherever she goes, and her pets, the Kickle Snifter, a Sidehill Wowser, and a Rubberado puppy. When greedy ghosts steal her pets and put them to work in the mines, Estrella uses her wits to free them. The tall-tale formula will appeal to children, though the sheer number of words on the pages will make this a difficult book to share in storytimes. Recommended for elementary and public libraries.

McKissack, Patricia C. Stitchin’ and pullin’ a Gee’s Bend quilt. Illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera. Random House, c2008. 1 v. (unp.) ISBN 9780375831638 $17.99
Inspired by the quilts and quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. A young girl watches her mother and the other women of Gee’s Bend piece and quilt brilliantly colored works. When her grandmother says that it is time for her to work on her own quilt, the girl chooses fabrics that tell the story of her family and the community of Gee’s Bend. The style of illustration incorporates the somewhat worn feel of reclaimed quilt pieces, and carries the story forward, creating a whole work of art. Recommended for school and public libraries.

Nonfiction picturebooks:
Kudlinski, Kathleen V. Boy, were we wrong about the solar system. Illustrated by John Rocco. Dutton Children’s Books, c2008. 1 v. (unp.) ISBN 9780525469797 $15.99 Ages 4-8. P6Q7
An attempt to do for astronomy what the earlier Boy Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs did in introducing scientific theory and the history of paleontology. Unfortunately, the artwork and treatment of the subject do not carry the same delightful sense of discovery as the earlier book. Would be useful for elementary school and public library collections that need additional material on astronomy.

Ray, Deborah Kogan. Wanda Gag, the girl who lived to draw : the creator of Millions of Cats. Viking, c2008. 1 v. (unp.) ISBN 9780670062928 $16.99 “Ages 5 up.” P7Q8
A picture book biography of children’s book illustrator Wanda Gag. The author intended the illustrations to be in the style of the subject, but the text was more successful in conveying biographical information. Recommended for elementary and public library collections.

Juvenile fiction:
Appelt, Kathi. The underneath. Illustrated by David Small. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2008. 313 p. ISBN 9781416950585 / 1416950583 $16.99 Ages 12-up. P6Q8
The haunting stories of a small cat, her kittens, an abused hound dog, and a 1,000 year old cottonmouth snake. Love, longing, and loneliness tie together the story threads of the present day animals and the long ago family of shapeshifters who lived with the Caddo Indians in the Texas swamps. Highly recommended for middle school and public library collections. Please note, however, that the stories include the drowning of the cat.

Horvath, Polly. My one hundred adventures. Schwarz & Wade Books, c2008. 260 p. ISBN 9780375845826 $16.99 “Ages 8-12.” P7Q7
Twelve-year-old Jane lives with her single mother and younger siblings in a cozy house by the sea. Jane determines to step into the place where she will have adventures—and finds herself delivering Bibles, stealing a hot-air balloon, searching for a healing talisman in a weird friendship with preacher and wannabee psychic Nellie Phipps, and donating her services as babysitter to the Gourd family to pay for a crime she might have committed. An excellent transition novel about fitting into a community while being your own individual self. Recommended for middle school and public library collections.

Ibbotson, Eva. The dragonfly pool. Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. Dutton Children’s Books, c2008. 377 p. ISBN 9780525420644 $17.99 P6Q8
Tally’s fascination with the land of Bergania leads her school to send a delegation to an international folk dancing festival in that country—even though none of the students know how to dance. When the Germans kill the king and take over Bergania, Tally and her friends rescue the crown prince—once from the Germans, and again from the stultifying atmosphere of his aristocratic English relatives. Written in a determinedly old-fashioned style, The Dragonfly Pool celebrates the willingness of people the world over to help one another. Highly recommended for middle school and public library collections.

Jones, Diana Wynne. House of many ways. Greenwillow Books, c2008. 404 p. ISBN 9780061477959 $17.99 Ages 12-up. P7Q8
Charmain Baker is assigned to look over her Great-Uncle William’s cottage while he is ill, but her great-uncle is a wizard, and Charmain knows little magic. To further complicate matters, an apprentice shows up, the cottage doors open into multiple places and times, a terrifying beast called a lubbock appears, and Charmain becomes involved in a frantic search for a magical artifact. A sorceress named Sophie is visiting the court, which is experiencing an epidemic of rocking horses—and where Sophie is, can the wizard Howl be far away? Sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle. Highly recommended for middle school, high school, and public library collections.

Langton, Jane. The dragon tree. (Hall family chronicles, book 8) HarperCollins, c2008. 166 p. ISBN 9780060823412 $15.99 “Ages 8-12.” P7Q7
The Hall family learns about their new neighbor when he brings out a chain saw and cuts down all the trees on his property. Mortimer Moon—the neighbor—is the new tree warden, and his crusade is to cut down all the beautiful old trees in town, including the mysterious new tree that is growing on the property line at the edge of the Hall’s yard. Meanwhile, in the Moon’s own house, a young orphan named Emerald is a virtual slave. How can Eddy and George Hall save the mysterious tree and stop Mortimer Moon? Melodrama abounds. Recommended for middle school and public libraries.

Lisle, Holly. The ruby key. (Moon and sun, book one) Orchard Books, c2008. 361 p. ISBN 9780545000123 / 0545000122 $16.99 Ages 12-up. P7Q8
Desperate to obtain the taandu sap which might save their ailing mother, Genna and her younger brother Dan venture out into the nighttime, even though it breaks the treaty between the nightfolk and the humans, and might betray them into slavery. Unexpectedly aided by Naari, one of the nightfolk, Genna makes a deal with the kai, the lord of the nightfolk, to retrieve his heart’s desire in exchange for healing, safety, and the ruby key. High fantasy for young readers. Genna is brave, courteous, clever–feisty, if you will. Also, she comes to understand the difference between coercion and free will, and works to free both the humans and the enslaved nightfolk from corrupt leaders. While Lisle has written several fantasies for the adult science fiction market, this is her first book for young readers. Obviously skilled at the craft of writing, Lisle has put together an appealing story while avoiding the temptation to oversimplify or to talk down to her audience. Recommended for middle, high school, and public libraries.

December Book Reviews
C.S. – Siletz Public Library

Picture Books:
Ellery, Tom and Amanda. If I Had a Dragon. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006. Not paged. ISBN: 978-1-4169-0924-8. $14.95. Ages 3-7. P7Q6.
A short book about a boy whose mom wants him to play with his little brother. Morton wishes he could play with a dragon instead, but through the book, finds that maybe a dragon isn’t such a good playmate, and his brother is okay. The pictures are nothing special, but the story is cute.

Farrell, John. Stargazer’s Alphabet: Night-Sky Wonders from A to Z. Boyd’s Mills Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-1-59078-466-2. $16.95. Ages 6-9. P7Q8. I found this book very interesting. It is an alphabet book, but has a lot of good information about astronomy.

Greenburg, David T. Ill. Munsinger, Lynn. Crocs! Little, Brown and Co., 2008. ISBN: 978-0-316-07306-6. $15.99. Ages 4-7. P8Q8. I loved this book. It’s about a boy who leaves the city to avoid disgusting creatures like cats and dogs, and ends up surrounded by crocodiles with various unpleasant habits. It’s really funny, and a certain kind of kid will love it.

Wood, Audrey. A Dog Needs a Bone. The Blue Sky Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-545-00005-5. $16.99. Ages 3-5. P7Q7. A very cute book about a dog who wants a bone from his mistress- he pleads and makes various promises before becoming disappointed. In the end he gets his bone. I read this to a group of 3-4 year olds and they laughed a lot at the pictures.

Fiction:
Zimmer, Tracie Vaughn. The Floating Circus. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2008. 198 p. ISBN 1-59990-185-4. $15.99. Ages 8-12. P8Q8.
Owen, a twelve year old orphan, realized that his brother Zach would have a better chance at adoption without him, so he leaves the orphan train and after some adventures, ends up working for a floating circus. He comes to understand some things through his experiences- that the “freaks” he meets in the circus are people just like him, that slavery is an evil thing, and that the circus can be a home and family for him. I really liked this book. The characters are engaging, the writing is nice, and it moves along at a good pace.

Martinez Wood, Jamie. Rogelia’s House of Magic. Delacorte Press, 2008. 300p. ISBN 978-0-385-73477-6. $15.99. Ages 12+. P7Q5.
Three 15 year old Hispanic girls with very different personalities and backgrounds find that they have magical powers while they are learning from a Mexican curandera (wise woman/ shaman). The author deals with topics like cultural identity, fitting in with a new group, grieving, and developing personal power. The writing isn’t top quality, and the author has an annoying habit of dropping brand names to make an effect, but teenage girls might like it.

Nonfiction:
Claybourne, Anna. 100 Most Dangerous Things on the Planet. Scholastic, 2008. 111 pages. ISBN 978-0-545-06927-4. $7.99. Ages 9-12. P8Q7.
This book is a collection of dangerous things and situations, survival tips, and your chances of living. Some of them are: avalanches, falling into a volcanic crater, and being attacked by hyenas. It’s kind of a fun book and I can see 12 year olds being interested, but some of the advice isn’t very useful- if you fall into a volcanic crater, you should yell for help!

Dec. 2008 Reviews by Melinda Dye
Hood, Ann. How I Saved My Father’s Life (and ruined everything else) Scholastic Press, 2008. $16.99. ages middle school. 978-0-439-92819-9 p 8/q 8
Madeline is twelve-years old and believes she can perform miracles and wants to become a saint. She prays when her father is in an avalanche and believes she has performed a miracle when he survives. Things fall apart when he returns from his trip – he leaves her mother and starts a new family with another women. She travels to Italy with her mother and learns what family and faith really are. She figures out the truth about her father and decides the divorce it wasn’t really her mother’s fault. This would be a great book for any young person who’s parents are divorcing. Madeline has to learn to see the truth despite her feelings.

Beck, Nina. This Book Isn’t Fat, It’s Fabulous. Point, 2008. $16.99. ages middle & high school. 978- 0-545-01703-9 p 7/q 7
Riley has been sent to New Horizons a fat camp for the summer and doesn’t want any of her friends to find out. Riley is good at kissing any guy she wants and causing havoc among her friends. She is rich and has told her best friend who happens to be a boy that she is going to a spa instead. She loves her best friend but they are just friends so why is she lying to him. When she gets to the camp she meets a guy Eric who wears red nail polish and falls in love with her. She gets kicked out of camp when they are discovered sleeping together on a camping trip. She doesn’t want to be kicked out and comes up with an plan to get back to Eric. Her life is falling apart she has to get D her best friend and Eric together and figure out which boy she really loves. I think girls who are overweight might enjoy reading this book because despite her weight she goes after what she wants. Riley learns what true love really is and what it isn’t.

Johnson, Maureen. Suite Scarlett. Point, 2008. $16.99. ages high school 978-0-439-89927-7. p8/q8
Scarlett’s family own the Hopewell hotel in New York so everyone thinks they are rich. Far from the truth everyone of them has to clean a specific room. Scarlett turns 15 and she gets her own room. This summer Mrs. Amberson a permanent resident in the hotel is in Scarlett’s room. Mrs. Anderson hires her to help her write a book but instead nearly gets her arrested for shoplifting. Mrs. Anderson saves the day as she helps to back Scarlett’s brother’s community Shakespeare play. Scarlett falls for one of the other actors and becomes a big part of the production. She learns how important it is to stick together as a family and who she is. This is a very enjoyable coming of age story. The author has also written 13 Little Blue Envelopes.

Van Etten, David. All That Glitters: A Likely Story Novel. Alfred A Knopf, 2008. $15.99. ages high school. 978-0-375-84678-6. p8/q8
Last month I read the first book in this series Likely Story. I was so excited to read the second book and look forward to other books about Mallory a teen writer of the Likely Story soap opera. The cover of this book makes one think it will be about sex as it has a picture of Dallas without his shirt. Dallas doesn’t want to be exploited and writes with a black sharpie “This Body wasn’t meant to sell TV shows” and ruins the shot when the director asks him to take off his wet suit. Mallory tells her boyfriend Keith she will fire Dallas if that would make him happy. She has a hard time juggling school work, her mother, the soap and her boyfriend. The soap opera makes it to it’s first airing despite all the drama and the ratings are threw the roof. This is a very captivating series and I hope they write other books.

Ferguson, Sarah the Duchess of York. Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. Tea for Ruby. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2008. $16.99. ages pre-school – 3rd grade. 978-1-4169-5419-4. p8/q8
This book was written by Fergie the Duches of York for her young daughters Beatrice and Eugenie. The drawings are colorful and cute with nice expressions on the peoples faces. I enjoyed the way the castles were done in light drawings and the characters were bright. It is a story of having tea with the Queen and the message of manners and proper behavior when having tea with the Queen. The adult would have to point out in the pictures what Ruby is doing wrong. It would make a good discussion book for a circle time on manners. The Queen is Ruby’s grandmother.

Hector, Julian. The Little Matador. Hyperion Books for Children, 2008 $15.99. ages pre-school – 1st grade. 978-142310779-8. p7 / q 7
There was a little matador who practiced bullfighting every day with his father. Whenever he had free time he would draw animals in the forest. Sometimes he could get the animals to pose for him. When it was time to participate in his first bullfight he decided to get the bull to sit still by drawing his picture. His parents had a meeting with him and said it was ok if he became an artist rather than a bullfighter. This would be a great book for discussion about career choices and doing what you want with your life. The illustrations were cute and simple with an old time feel – kind of like the Madeline book series.

Gonzalez, Lucia. Illustrations by Lulu Delacre. The Storyteller’s Candle = La velita de los cuentos. Children’s Book Press, 2008. $16.95. ages 3rd- 5th grade. 978-0-89239-222-3. p7 / q 7
The author and illustrator both won the Pura Belpre Honor Award. The book has a book plate in the front cover and a glossary of terms, a note about the artwork and a biography about the author and illustrator. There is also an introduction about Puerto Ricans and the Great Depression and Pura Belpre the Puerto Rican librarian and her stories. The book has the English and Spanish words on each page. This book has many words on each page and would take a long time for a child to read. The family talks about all the things they miss about Puerto Rico and how they speak Spanish and the people in the library only speak English. One day Pura comes to the schools and lets the children know she works at the library and speaks Spanish. The book ends with the fact that the library belongs to all and has a nice paragraph about Pura Belpre and her life. I liked the beautiful realistic drawings and the fact that both English and Spanish readers could read this book.

Rannen, Sarah S. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008 $15.99. ages pre-school – 1st grade 978-0-399-24712-5. p6/ q 7
Chloe is upset when her Uncle Bobby is going to get married. Chloe and the rest of her friends appear to be very cute guinea pigs. Her Uncle talks to her about how they want to get married so they can have their own children. Except one thing was strange – when they get married she was going to have two Uncles – so the story is about two gay guinea pigs getting married. The book would need to be used for the correct audience.

Milusich, Janice. Illustrated by David Gordon. Off Go Their Engines. Off Go Their Lights. Dutton Children’s Books, 2008. $15.99. ages pre-school – 2nd grade 978-0-525-47940-6. p7 / q 7
This is a good night story about a city with all of the working vehicles turning off their engines and lights at the end of the day. The phrase Good night, ____ truck, good night is used at the end of each vehicles journey. The pictures are simple and the eyes on the vehicles give the book a magical feel. The yellow taxi is the last one to go to sleep before the little boy closes his eyes for the night.

Graham, John. Illustrated by Tomie DePaola. I Love You, Mouse. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008. $15.99. ages pre-school – 1st grade. 978-0-399-25079-8. p 6/ q 7
It is about a little boy who loves all kinds of animals and if he were them he would do what they do. If he were a pig he would “loaf” which may be a hard word for young children to understand. The drawings of some of the animals are a little scary – for example the mice. It is a fun book and a way to teach children the names of lots of
different animals
.
Sutton, Sally. Illustrated By Brian Lovelock. Roadwork. Candlewick Press, 2008. $15.99. ages pre-school – 2nd grade. 978-0-7636-3912-9. p 8 / q 8
The last page of the book has the machine facts with pictures and what each vehicles job entails. The pictures are bright, colorful, simple and enjoyable. I enjoy the way the book explains each step for building a road. This book would help with a book about sequence. It also has words like ping, bang and tap ect. This would be a fun book to try different sounds.

Nakagawa, Chihiro. Illustrations by Junji Koyose. Who Made This Cake? Front Street, 2008. $16.95. ages pre-school – 1st grade. 978-1-59078-595-9. p 7 / q 7
The first page with the title is not the best picture in the book – the mother looks a little weird. The book is about how machines and little tiny people mix all the ingredients for a cake. The eggs have to be lifted with a crane. They are building a birthday cake for the little boy. The end papers are really cute and would be for a game of can you find.

Blabey, Aaron. Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley. Front Street, 2007. $16.95. ages pre-school – 1st grade. 978-1-59078-596-6. p 6 / q 7
Peal and Charlie are best friends but they are so different. Pearl is noisy and Charlie is very quite. The book uses the word amok – which some younger students will not know what that means. The pictures are a little dark and the faces that Pearl and Charlie make may scare some children. It is good that children realize that different types of people can be friends.

Goldman, Judy. Illustrated by Rene King Moreno. Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead. Boyds Mills Press, 2008. $16.95. ages 7 and up. 978-1-59078-425-9. p 8 / q 8
This is a story about how the Monarch butterflies are believed to be the souls of the families dead. Lupita is taught by her Uncle to never be afraid of the dead and be careful with the butterflies. This book has some words in Spanish and talks about Dia de Muertos and getting ready for the celebration. Lupita’s Uncle passes away and the next year that they celebrate Dia de Muertos she finds one lone Monarch butterfly. There is a glossary and explanation of Dia de Muertos holiday.

Horacek, Petr. Look Out, Suzy Goose. Candlewick Press, 2008. $14.99. ages pre-school – 1st grade. 978-0-7636-3803-0. p7 / q 7
This is a book about geese honking except Suzy Goose. She wanted quiet so she went off by herself. She went to the forest but was not alone – a fox was waiting for dinner. Then a wolf, bear, owl who screeched and everyone ran. Luckily she heard a noise and it was her friends. It was good to be with the flock and protected. The drawings were like paintings with cut out paper figures. The illustrations are very simple and art looking. This would make a good discussion story for staying safe and with you family even though they are doing things you don’t like.

Sierra, Judy. Pictures by Marc Brown. Born to Read. Alfred A. Knopf, 2008. $16.99. ages pre-school – 2nd grade. 978-0-375-84687-8. p 8/ q 8
This is from the creators of the acclaimed Wild About Books and is an E.B. White Read Aloud Award Winner. The pictures are bright and a little busy. It is funny that the mom is reading the little baby several books so the children will notice all of the books in his crib. Sam grows and still keeps reading. There is a funny baby giant Grundaloon who comes threw town turning everything upside down. Sam traced his tracks and took books and snacks into the woods and called UPS to deliver the baby back to his mommy giantess. He went back to town with sacks of toys for the children and they said “Yes, readers can do anything.” What will Sam grow up to be? “Yes, readers can go anyplace.”

Kolar, Bob. Big Kicks. Candlewick Press, 2008. $16.99. ages pre-school – 2nd grade. 978-0-7636-3390-5. p 7 / q 7
The local soccer team asks Biggie the Bear to be on there team because he is big and strong. He isn’t very good at soccer but helps them win the game when he bends down to pick up a special postage stamp. He decides to just be a cheerleader for the team and not be a player on the field. He would rather collect stamps and throw parties. This is a great book for showing how all different kinds of people and skills are needed for sports teams. The pictures are very simple with clear lines and non distracting details.

Goldfinger, Jennifer P. My Dog Lyle. Clarion Books, 2007. $16.00. ages pre-school – 1st grade. 978-0-618-63983-0. p 8/ q 8
I loved this book about a snuggly, smart, howling, burping, slurping, stinky-pink, etc. dog Lyle. It made me laugh because some of the things Lyle get into so does my dog. Very fun bright pictures make up this story book that builds on it self with each thing the dog does. Any dog lover will enjoy this story.

Chamberlain, Margaret. Please Don’t Tease Tootsie. Dutton Children’s Books, 2008. $16.99. ages pre-school -1st grade. 978-0-525-47982-6. p 6/ q 7
It is a simple book with monochromatic drawings and color on each page. The book would be great for a story time about not teasing animals but how to treat animals nicely.

Carlson, Nancy. Henry’s Amazing Imagination! Viking, 2008. ages pre-school – 2nd grade. 978-0-670-06296-6. p 7/ q 7
The pictures are very bright & colorful and a little busy. Henry the mouse likes to use his imagination especially during show and tell but then his friends think he is a fibber. His teacher encourages him to write stories instead and use his imagination in a good way. This would make a great book for discussion about lying, show and tell and using one’s imagination in writing.

Segal, John. Alistair and Kip’s Great Adventure! Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2008. $15.99. ages pre-school – 1st grade. 978-1-4169-0280-5. p7 / q 8
Alistar the cat wants to build a boat to travel to distant lands. The book has a page with different kinds of boats and their names so the book could provide a great deal of discussion and education. The book also tells step by step what they did to build the boat and shows sequence. When out on the ocean a whale saves them and helps them get back home. Next they want to build an airplane. John Segal has also written Sleepy Head and Carrot Soup. The drawings are very simple and get more involved as the story continues.

Kirk, Daniel. Keisha Ann Can! G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008. $15.99. ages pre-school-1st grade. 978-0-399-24179-6. p8/ q 9
Keisha Ann is an African American little girl who can do lot’s of things like ride the school bus, wait in line ect. She is in kindergarten or 1st grade and can do lot’s of things by herself. This would be a great story for a child who may be having a hard time starting school. I loved the pictures as they remind me of an old time story and are very bright and colorful. If Keisha Ann can do these things so can you.

Ahlberg, Allan. Illustrations by Andre Amstutz. The Baby in the Hat. Candlewick Press, 2008 16.99. ages pre-school – 1st grade. 978-0-7636-3958-7. p7 / q 8
This is an old time story about a baby in a hat. The story continues with a little boy from London who fell onto a ship and grew up to become a captain. When he returns to London he falls in love and is married and guess what it was the baby in the hat. I didn’t understand the story and had to read it twice to figure it out. I like the beautiful pictures which have muted old timey looking colors.

Lloyd, Sam. Doctor Meow’s Big Emergency. Henry Holt and Company,. 2007. $14.95. ages pre-school – 2nd grade. 978-0-8050-8819-9. p7 / q 6
The end papers tell part of the story and help to tell what happened in the end. The doctor is a female cat and the ambulance driver is a male dog. I liked the fact that the doctor was a woman. It teaches children that they should not chase or hurt one another and to say sorry. Tom Cat falls out of the tree because he was chasing Mr. Bird and then broke his leg in the process. The pictures are nice but not beautiful – more like cartoons.

December 2008 Reviews by N.W.
Nonfiction 

Evans, Dilys. Show & Tell: Exploring the Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration. Chronicle, 2008. $24.99. 978-0-8118-4971-5. 150p. Ages 12+: From the illustrators of Eloise to The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, children’s illustrations of the past half century have delighted and fascinated both young readers and the adults lucky enough to see children’s books. After Evans founded The Original Art Exhibition, an annual show in New York dedicated to the idea that children’s book illustrations was as much an art form anything hanging in a museum, she began advising award committees, curating other exhibitions, and teaching people about the power of visual storytelling. What makes this book so valuable is Evans’ language as she specifically explains why artists use the lines, formats, and styles that they do. Although some biographical information about these 12 artists is included, the information is largely woven into that about their art. This book is an invaluable resource for young people developing their artistic styles, people working with children’s books, and everyone interested in the field of art. A must for all libraries. P7Q10

Picture Books
Nyeu, Tao. Wonder Bear. Dial, 2008. $17.99. 978-0-8037-3328-2. unp. Ages 3+: Two children plant seeds: the girl’s long rows have a picture of a watermelon at the end, and the boy plants just one seed beside a picture of a hat. After one night, when they sleep beside their tiny garden, the one seed grows into a huge plant that provides a fantasy land with a huge white bear who pulls out many creatures from his hat. Children will love following the antics of insects, lions, an octopus, fish, and other imaginary joys that travel through the air and water of these silk-screened illustrations of bright orange, green, blue, and the dramatic use of white. This wordless book will delight young and old. P8Q8

Fiction
Napoli, Donna Jo. The Smile. Dutton, 2008. $17.99. 978-0-525-47999-4. 260p. Ages 14+: Mona Lisa may be one of the world’s most famous paintings, but few people know much about the subject of this painting. Napoli fictionally fleshes out the life of Lisa del Giocondo (1479-1542 or 1551) a member of a moderately wealthy family in Florence. But her sitting for the painting in the early sixteenth century is almost minor to the storyline as events unravel following the death of Elisabetta’s mother, the rejection of the cruel and vicious Medici family by the citizens of Florence, and Lisa’s forced marriage to a widower instead of the young man she loves. The novel enlivens the struggles in Florence it was one of many states that later combined to become Italy, the lives of women and girls at that time, and an ill-fated romance. P8Q8

GLBTQ Books for Young Readers
The following list of books is taken from, the Rainbow Project, selected by an American Library Association committee that annually picks the best of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/ questioning books for young readers. This is neither the complete nomination list nor the ones selected for the 2009 list—just some of my recommendations for libraries.—N.W.

Alsenas, Linas. Gay America: Struggle for Equality. 2008. 160p. Amulet/Abrams, $24.95. (978-0-8109-9487-4). Ages 13+: This book of events in queer politics from the past century is peppered with photographs of movers and shakers who changed the country from a closeted population to a world in which gays and lesbians can marry.

Bach, Tamara. Girl from Mars. Trans. Shelley Tanaka. 2008. 180p. Groundwood Books, $12.95. (978-0-88899-725-8) Ages 12+: At fifteen, Miriam’s life in a small German town lacks excitement and meaning–until she meets Laura, and sets off on a personal journey. Learning about love, loss, and true friendship, she ultimately discovers herself, and how full and rich her life really is. Realistic with great descriptions, and one of the best of the year.

Bauer, A.C.E. No Castles Here. 2007. 270p. Random House, $15.99. (978-0-375-
83921-4). Ages 9-12: Accidentally stealing a book of fairy tales from a bookstore sets 11-year-old Augie Boretski on his path out of his shell as he learns to accept his gay Big Brother and turns to activism in saving his school from closure. A successful, heartwarming, ghetto story–not very realistic but it doesn’t need to be.

Brannen, Sarah. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding. 2008. unp. Putnam, $15.99. (978-0-399-24712-5) Ages 4-7: When Chloe, a young guinea pig, learns that Uncle Bobby, her favorite uncle, is getting married she worries that he won’t have time for her anymore. Uncle Bobby and Jamie, his partner, take Chloe sailing, to the ballet and out for ice cream, helping Chloe understand that she is not being replaced. At the end of the story Chloe is the flower girl in the wedding and claims to have “planned it all from the beginning.”

Brothers, Meagan. Debbie Harry Sings in French. 2008. 240p. Henry Holt, $16.95. (9780805080803/1-8050-8080-5). Ages 14+: Although he is frequently called bullied and gay-baited at school due to his small stature and the fact that he wears eye liner, Johnny is pretty sure he isn’t gay. But he’s not quite sure what it means that he wants to be Debbie Harry–to dress like her and have hair like hers. This gives another dimension to the concept of “non-straight” in its depiction of a straight boy who likes to dress in drag.

Dole, Mayra Lazara. Down to the Bone. 2008. 370p. HarperTeen. $16.99 (trade); $17.89 (lib binding) (978-0-06-084310-6; 978-0-06-084311-3). Sixteen-year-old Laura is outed at school, kicked out of her home, loses her girlfriend, and finds herself in this hilarious debut novel with an all-Latino cast. A great look at gay life in a non-Anglo culture with a fast-paced plot and sensitive characterization.

Dunnion, Kristyn. Big Big Sky. 2008. 244p. Red Deer Press, $14.95. (978-0-88995-404-5). Ages 15+: The relationships of a pod of five young female warrior assassins trained by mysterious officials to carry out missions makes them physically and emotionally connected in intimate ways. Great rich language in a totally different style because of the changes in words; good adventure and subtleties.

Ewert, Marcus. 10,000 Dresses. Il. Rex Ray. 2008. 32p. Seven Stories Press, $14.95. (978-1583228500). Ages 5-8: Every night, Bailey dreams about dresses–pretty dresses, silly dresses, and dresses that show you the world. But when she’s awake, her parents only tell her to forget about the dresses, because she is a boy. Bailey finds comfort in a new friend who can accept her for who she is, and help her realize the dresses of her dreams. This is a really brave picture book and needed to show young children how they can be whatever gender they want.

Ford, Michael Thomas. Suicide Notes. 2008. 295p. HarperTeen, $16.99. (978-0-06-073755-9). Ages 14+: After he wakes up in a psychiatric hospital, 15-year-old Jeff describes the events that led up to his attempted suicide and the changes that he makes during his 45-day sentence there. The rising tension in Jeff’s fast, irreverent, frank, first-person narrative strengthens the novel. Long before Jeff confronts the truth, readers will realize that he is gay, and his denial is part of the humor and sadness many readers will recognize.

Geerling, Marjetta. Fancy White Trash. 2008. 258p. Viking, $16.99. (978-0-670-01082-0). Ages 14+: Fifteen-year-old Abby struggles with her highly dysfunctional family (for example, her mother and her older sister are pregnant by the same man) while her best friend, Cody, suffers from his classmates homophobia as he tries to come out to himself as well as others. This begins as almost a satirical farce but ends with great warmth for the characters. The sense of setting (Cottonwood, AZ) is also excellent in this first novel. The gay character is not the protagonist, but his essence permeates the entire book.

Greenberg, Melanie Hope. Mermaids on Parade. 2008. unp. Putnam, $16.99. (978-0-399-24708-8). Ages 4-7: A shy “mermaid” comes out of her shell to march in the annual Coney Island parade with a great variety of sea creatures in all their diversity. Although neither the text nor the images is overtly GLBT, the dress on the bearded man shows an acceptance of different sex orientations.

Hardy, Mark. Nothing Pink. 2008. 109p. Front Street/Boyds Mills Press, $16.95. (978-1-932425-24-6). Ages 13+: Tormented by knowing that he is gay, Vincent, son of a Pentacostal preacher, fights his impulses until he meets Robert, a friend in church, who is much more accepting about his homosexuality. Good descriptions and realistic emotions combine with forceful writing. The characterization of Vincent and his mother has a solid reality.

Harmon, Michael. Last Exit to Normal. 2008. 275p. Knopf, $15.99. (9780375840982). Ages 14+: What could be better for an urban, skateboard-loving teenager being raised by two dads than moving to rural Montana? Almost anything, in Ben Campbell’s eyes. The town is too small, the people are too country, and now it’s even harder for him to deal with his gay dads. What he discovers, however, is that if you make the best of what you have, life can be good no matter where you are. A great view of a young man coming to terms with his father’s sexual orientation and his own growth.

Hegamin, Tonya Cherie. M+O4EVR. 2008. 164p. Houghton Mifflin, $16.00. (978-0-618-49570-2). Ages 13+: Close friends in childhood, Marianne gradually pulls away from Opal as Opal finds herself in love with her past best friend, a relationship that ends when Marianne loses her life in the same Pennsylvania ravine where a slave girl died while fleeing in 1842. This is a poignant look at two girls whose sexual desires change as they grow older.

Juby, Susan. Another Kind of Cowboy. 2007. 644p. HarperTeen, $16.99. (0-06-076517-8, 978-0-06-076517-0). Sixteen, gay, and closeted, Alex has dreamed of riding dressage since childhood, although his father wants him to be a “real” cowboy. Fate conspires to give him a chance to learn dressage alongside the spoiled and rebellious Cleo, and he learns as much about himself, friendship, and love as he does about riding. The combined stories of a boy who struggles with defining his sexual identity and a spoiled, rich girl who learns to feel compassion is skillfully blended with a delightful horse story.

Konigsberg, Bill. Out of the Pocket. 2008. 256p. Dutton, $16.99. (9780525479963). Ages 14+. Bobby Framingham, a top high-school quarterback, comes to realize that he is gay. He is hoping for a football scholarship to Stanford and then to move up to the pros. When he is outed by a new friend in the school newspaper, he bravely faces tough responses from his teammates, his coach, his “girlfriend,” and his mother. The elements in this story ring true, from Bobby’s initial struggle with his sexual identity to the sometimes hostile reaction of his teammates. The plot has great energy that compels the reader forward through Bobby’s personal issues with himself and his father.

Lecesne, James. Absolute Brightness. 2008. 472p. LauraGeringer Books/ HarperTeen, $17.99. Ages 14+: This is the story of a shirttail orphaned cousin, Leonard, who moves into the basement of his step-relatives in Neptune, New Jersey. He’s too swishy for his cousins’ taste, but Leonard maintains his dignity while wearing stylish Capri pants. His disappearance, which seems to affect the entire town, leads to a final discussion on good versus evil. The plot line loosely follows the story of Mathew Shepherd, a young gay man killed in Wyoming.

Lieberman, Leanne. Gravity. 2008. 245p. Orca, $12.95. (978-1-550469-049-7). Ages 14+: Reared as a strict Orthodox Jew to believe that homosexuality is an abomination, 15-year-old Ellie struggles with her sexual feelings for another girl. Many readers will identify with this excellent description of a girl’s devotion to her religion and the angst that results from her inability to change to fit into her perception of her faith.

Malloy, Brian. Twelve Long Months. 2008. 316p. Scholastic, $17.99. (978-0-439-87761-9). Ages 15+: Molly carries her love for Mark from a small Minnesota town to college in New York City where she first discovers that he is gay and then that her new boyfriend loves Mark instead of her. The voices in the book are quite strong, and Molly’s growing understanding of her friends’ gay lives.
McLaughlin, Lauren. Cycler. 2008. 250p. Random House, $17.99. (978-0-375-85191-9). Ages 14+: Transformed from a girl into a boy for four days before her menstruation, 17-year-old Jill becomes more and more frustrated with her counterpart Jack (as he does with her) especially after she works toward getting a boy to take her to the prom and discovers that he is bisexual. This is gender-bending in an unusual way!

McMahon, Jennifer. My Tiki Girl. 2008. 246p. Dutton/Penguin, $16.99. (978-0-525-47943-7). Ages 14+: Maggie Keller’s life loses her friends after the car accident that killed her mother and physically handicapped Maggie. Making friends with Dahlia Wainwright, who is dealing with a mentally ill mother and the challenges of being part of a poor family in a rich town, is made even more complex when Maggie falls in love with her new friend. The book distinguishes itself not only by its focus on a same-sex relationship, but by its sensitive treatment of how the lure of normalcy can cause people to make different choices.

Penny, Patricia G. Belinda’s Obsession. [Not Just Proms & Parties Series] 2007. 134p. Lobster Press, $7.95. (978-0-897073-62-9). Ages 13-16: Her growing relationship with last summer’s fling, Candace, is damaged by Belinda’s obsession with saving her parents’ marriage after she discovers that her mother is having an affair. This simple-looking paperback delivers more than the cover promises.

Prono, Luca. Encyclopedia of Gay and Lesbian Popular Culture. 2008. 310p. Greenwood Press, $90.00. (978-0-313-33599-0). Ages 14+: From The Advocate to B.D. Wong, the information in these almost 100 entries of same-sex subjects and biographies of gays and lesbians in popular culture reveal the way that people were forced to conceal their same-sex desire until popular culture became a more welcoming culture for some actors, artists, and singers. An advantage to the book is the bibliographies at the end of each entry that includes articles, books, and websites. The index is also detailed, another use for readers in search of GLBTQ information.

Rosen, Selina. Sword Masters. 2008. 313p. Dragon Moon Press, $19.95. (978-1-896944-65-4). Ages 14+: Determined to avenge her father’s death, Tarius pretends to be a male and non-Katabull to study with the Sword Masters but finds more than she bargained for when she falls in love with the headmaster’s daughter, Jena, who thinks that Tarius is a man. A fun adventure in a fast-paced fantasy.

Ruditis, Paul. Entrances and Exits. [Drama series]. 2008. 242p. Simon Pulse, $8.99.
(978-1-4169-5906-9). Ages 14+: A first time director, high school junior Bryan has to learn to cope with a temperamental playwright, the leading actress’s jealous boyfriend, a vicious attitude toward a new girl on the drama scene, and his yearnings for Drew, his ex-best friend who kissed him and then ran. A bit fluffy but fun.

Sax, Aline. We, Two Boys. 2008. Clavis, $24.95. (978-1605370248). Ages 14+: When teenager Albert emigrates from Belgium to New York City in the early 19th century, he finds himself alone when all his family members are returned to their native country but wants to stay after developing a relationship with Jack, an American boy. This historical novel is powerfully and strikingly honest in its portrayal of adolescent homosexuality.

Tamaki, Mariko and Tamaki, Jillian. Skim. 2008. 140p. Groundwood Books, $15.00. (0888997531/9780888997531). This Canadian import is a graphic novel created by cousins. Set during the early 90’s at an all-girls school, Kimberly Keiko Cameron, aka Skim is witty and a good observer. Skim struggles to find meaning to life by experimenting with wicca, dressing as a goth, and finding romance with her English teacher. This was one of New York Times’ ten best illustrated children’s books and definitely deserves it.

Wilson, Martin. What They Always Tell Us. 2008. 293p. Delacorte, $15.99. (9780385735070). Ages 14+: After an attempted suicide, Alex finds himself isolated and unsure of his place in his family and school—and increasingly at odds with his older brother, James. But as Alex grows increasingly close to one of James’s friends, he begins to come out of his shell to find love, discover good friends he didn’t know he had, and rediscover his relationship with his brother. A good first novel about a boy coming to terms with himself.

Wittlinger, Ellen. Love & Lies: Marisol’s Story. 2008. 256p. Simon & Schuster, $16.00. (1416916237) (978-1416916239): In the sequel to Hard Love, Marisol takes a year off between high school and college to write a novel, and falls in love with her creative writing teacher, Olivia. But is Olivia’s love real or is it a fiction?

 

 

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