2009 Reviews

Oregon Coast Preview Center for Young Readers December 2008, by S.E. Grandparent Volunteer
Picture Books

Thompson, Lauren. Hope Is An Open Heart. Scholastic Press, NY. 2008. $17.00. ISBN 139780545037372. Ages K-? Q10P10.
This is truly an inspirational book. It applies to all classes and gender and gives a true sense of hope. I make this book for ages K-? because it should be read by all students. It is a good read aloud book as well as a book to help kids understand that against all odds, there is hope. I want to see this book in all the Lincoln County School libraries.

Brett, Jan, The Three Snow Bears. G P Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Young readers group. NY. 2007. $17.00. ISBN 9780399247927. Ages K-2.
A wonderfully illustrated Eskimo version of Goldilocks and the three bears. The illustrations remind me of Brett’s earlier book called “The Mitten.” This is a great read aloud book. Q9P9

Steig, Jeanne, IL. Britt Spencer, Fleas. Philomel books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. NY. 2008. $17.00. ISBN 9780399247569. Ages K-3.
This brightly illustrated book is a tale of what goes around comes around and the grass is always greener and if you were meant to have it, it will be there. genre. It is a good longish read aloud book and the illustrations are enough that the kids will love seeing all the details. Q8P8

Vail, Rachael, Il. Yumi Heo, Jibberwillies at Night. Scholastic Press, NY 2008. $17.00. ISBN 139780439420709. Ages 5-6. Q7P7 (just because everyone has had the jibberwillies at night) The very primitive art and the cut and paste design of the words was too much for me but kids might gravitate toward the colors and the lack of words.

Isadora, Rachael, Rapunzel. G P Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin young readers group. NY. 2008. $17.00. ISBN 9780399247729. Ages 5-8.
This African setting for a very old story is wonderfully rich in their lore as they tell a story of the child taken from her parents and raised by a sorceress. The artwork is beautifully cut out pieces of print from another source and pasted in a way that it makes up the page. It is a good read aloud and a good take on Rapunzel. Q8P8

Truss, Lynn, Il. Bonnie Timmons Twenty-Odd Ducks, why every punctuation mark
. G P Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, NY. $17.00 ISBN 9780399250583. Ages K-2.
By the authors that brought you the NY Times best seller, Eats Shoots and Leaves , it is another wonderful learning tool. It teaches what happens when a comma or punctuation marks are left out and it is funny. Q9P8

Arnold, Tedd. Hooray For Fly Guy. Scholastic Cartwheel Books.NY. 2008. $6.00 ISBN 139780545007245. Ages K-2.
Fly Guy saves the day again, this time as a football hero. The remarkable thing about this whole series is that a first grader can pick it up and read it out loud with no problem of sounding out the letters of the word. And these same first graders like to read it over and over again. Q10P10.

Spiro, Ruth, Il. Thor Wickstrom. Lester Fizz, Bubble-gum Artist. Dutton Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. NY. $17.00. ISBN 9780525478614. Ages K-2.
A story of a young man whose whole family were artists but he had no special talent until he blew bubbles with his gum that he called art. Q6P6.

Kelley, True. The Dog Who Saved Santa. Holiday House Inc. NY. $17.00. ISBN 139780823421206. Ages K-3.
The story is not that good but the artwork is outstandingly simple in this Christmas book where a dog saves Christmas. Q9P9

Kimmel, Eric A., Il. Vincent Nguyen, Little Britches and the Rattlers. Marshall Cavendish corp. NY. $17.00. ISBN 9780761454328. Ages 5-7.
A good read aloud with really nice illustrations about a cowgirl roping the wild west as a rodeo queen, taking on the band of thieving snakes and makes it to the rodeo to take the buckle. Q8P9

Lucas, David, Peanut. Candlewick Press, Mass. 2008. $16.00 ISBN 9780763639259. Ages 2-5.
A really good read aloud book with illustrations that look like they were done on canvas. It’s a book that teaches kids not to be afraid. A fun read. Q8P9

Hague, Michael, Where Fairies Dance. Harper Collins Children’s Books, NY. 2004. $17.00 36p. ISBN 9780688140090. Ages 4-10.
Lovely colorful Fairies dance around the poetry in this book of Fairy Poetry. The artwork is by the artist responsible for Velveteen Rabbit, The Hobbit and others including a book of Fairy poetry from which this book was taken. Q7P7

Holbrook,Sara and Wolf, Allan, More Than Friends, Poems for Him and Her. Boyds Mills Press, Penn. 2008. $17.0064p. ISBN 9781590785874. Ages 11-14.
What a wonderful way to express the words that take place between two people when they are falling in love and how great the capture of that comes through in this book. It goes on to tell what each sex is thinking and saying to each other through this same book of poetry and it also teaches the difference between all the different aspects of poetry at the end ie: couplet, tercet, quatrain or a sonnet, tanka, or villanelle. Q10P10

Lankford, Mary D. , Il Karen Dugan, Mazes around the World. Collins, an Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. NY. 2008. $18.00. 26p. ISBN 13978068816519-2,. Ages 8-12. A very nice book on mazes of all types including stone mazes and hedge mazes and religious mazes and woven mazes and even corn (Maize )Mazes around the world. The art work is nice and the choices of mazes is a good one. Q8P8.

Markle, Sandra, Photog. Doug Perrine, Sharks, Biggest! Littlest! Boyds Mills Press, Honesdale, Penn. 2008. $17.00. 32p. ISBN 9781590785133. Ages 6-12.
This is a very comprehensive up close and personal account of sharks of all sizes and shapes. This should be in all our schools. Q10P10

Gunderson, Jessica, Movement in Art, Realism. Creative Education, an imprint of the Creative Company, Min. 2009. $17.00. 48p. ISBN 9781583416129. Ages 12-18.
A very nice collection of realist painters and the state of the economy where the artist was living when he painted the picture. It talks of lithography and how that was accomplished and of the living conditions of the world and how the realist movement made people aware of certain things. Q9P9.

Scott, Elaine, Il. John O’Brien, All About Sleep From A to ZZZZ. Viking, Published by Penguin Group. 2008. $18.00. ISBN 9780670061884. Ages 9-11.
A book about the five stages of sleep and how our bodies need and use the sleep and what happens when we don’t sleep. I think it is an important book to have in our youth’s library so that they can know what might happen should they go without sleep or if they are living in an environment where sleep is not possible all of the time. Q9P9

Olsen, MaryKate and Ashley Olsen, Influence. Penguin Group NY. 2008. $35.00. Ages 14-18.
This book is about them and people that they know and interview (Peter Beard, David Collins, John Galliano, Diane Von Furstenberg, Lauren Hutton to name a few) and about the photography they have taken and have had taken of them. There are some great shots and some insights of the girls (women) themselves. It is a big heavy book and I am sure that it will attract the young teen’s eye. Q9P

Harper, Charise Mericle, Just Grace. Houghton Mifflin Company, NY. 2007. $15.00. 138p. ISBN 139780618646425. Ages 9-11.
A cute start to a series that reminds me of the 80’s when Ramona and Judy Moody ruled the bookshelves but in this story it is about one of five girls named Grace in her classroom so she is Just Grace. It will be interesting to see how this series plays out. Q8P8.

Harper, Charise Mericle, Just Grace Walks the Dog. Houghton Mifflin Company Boston 2008. Ages 9-11.
In this episode, Grace has to prove to her parents that she is responsible enough to get a dog by taking care of a dog for real. Just Grace will be a popular series. Q8P8

Eddyville Charter School January Book Reviews 2009 Middle School Student Reviews
Horowitz, Dave. Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again. The Penguin Group, 2008.978-0-399-24773-6. Ages: 7-9. After falling off a wall and breaking into millions of pieces, Humpty Dumpty gets put back together but never wants to climb again. When one of the king’s horses is in trouble, Humpty must climb a rock wall to save him. A very funny story with great illustrations. Kids will love it.P8Q7

Juster, Norton. Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie. Il.Chris Raschka.Scholastic, 2008.$16.95. 978-0-439-92943-1. Ages 7-10. Everyone has their good days and their bad days, but for one little girl her mood can change in seconds. Sometimes she can be a very good girl, but other times she can be a real sourpuss! When she goes to her grandparent’s house they always ask her before she comes in, “Is it sourpuss, or sweetie pie? Everyone can be moody, but this little girl can change in a heart beat! This was a very good book! The illustrations were different than what I’ve seen in the past, but I thought they were good. P7Q8

Isabella, Craig, Juliana Hatkoff, and Dr. Paula Kahumbu. Looking For Miza. Scholastic, 2008. $16.99. 978-0545-08540-3. Ages 8-13:
Miza is a two year old gorilla. She gets lost in the forest and her gorilla family sets out to find her. Also accompanying the gorillas are two rangers, Diddy and Innocent. This true story is full of compassion and struggle; hear this young gorilla’s story. In the end, will they find Miza, or will she be lost forever? It is filled with many of photographs and much information. P6Q9

Shannon, David. Too Many Toys. The Blue Sky Press, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-439-49029-0. Ages 6-8: Spencer has too many toys. They are everywhere throughout the house. Spencer’s mom wants to get rid of some, but he loves every single one of them. Shannon once again goes over the top with colorful detail and humorous illustrations, making this a fun read/look book. P8Q9

Cote, Nancy. Jackson’s Blanket. Penguin Group, 2008. $16.99.978-0-399-24694-4.Ages 5-8: Jackson does not want to get rid of his baby blanket but, through a series of events, he finds out that some things are more important to him than keeping something that can be replaced. This book is good because the author writes very descriptively. Kids will like this book because they might have had a blanket they did not want to get rid of. P8Q9

Lumry, Amanda. Adventures of Riley: Polar Bear Puzzle. Eaglemont, 2008. $!6.99. 978-0-545-06837-6. unp. ages 5-7: Riley and Alice meet in Northern Canada with their Uncle Max and Aunt Martha. They explore the nature of polar bears and problems with the sudden climate increase which is hurting the creatures. This non-fiction book is good, but not great. It has excellent illustrations mixed in with some real-life pictures. It has many good qualities, overall. P7Q7

Beaumont, Kared. Doggone Dogs. Malcome, 2008. $10.00. 978-0-8037-3157-8.unp Ages 4-6
Ten unruly dogs run lose in the park, and when they are captured by the dogcatcher, they work together to create a plan of escape and return home. A good book to learn how to count to ten. P8Q9
McAllister, Angela. Santa’s Little Helper. Orchard Books, 2008. $14.99. 978-0-545-09444-5. Ages 4-7: While playing hide-and-seek, Snowball, a hare, hides in Santa’s sleigh. Santa finds him and asks if Snowball can help deliver all of the Christmas presents. This is an adventurous book with clear illustrations. P9Q9

Fiction Book
Dowell, Frances O’Roark. Shooting the Moon. Atheneum, 2008. $19.99. 978-1-4169-2690-0, 1-4169-2690-9.163 p. ages 12+: When Jamie’s brother gets sent to Vietnam for war, she expects it to be all marvelous. When she only gets undeveloped film back instead of letters, she must learn how to develop it. And when she finds out that some of the pictures are of the moon, while others are of wounded soldiers, she realizes that war isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, and when her brother goes MIA, she must face the hard truth. I really liked the book, it’s a must read.

Jackson, Alison. Thea’s Tree. Penguin Group, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-525-47443-2. Unp. Ages 5-8: Thea’s teacher gives her a science project to work on over the next month or so. Thea’s teacher tells her to pick something that has to do with science, and have fun with it. So Thea gets a purple seed and starts taking notes. She finds that the purple seed has made the ground around it purple, and the dirt gets bubbly. Thea starts to get suspicious and scared. She calls her teacher and asks her what it is and why it is making the ground around it do these things. Her teacher tells her to start writing people who know a lot about the plants. Thea never really finds out what the plant is because it just keeps growing and growing, until one day it just disappears and a big hole is the only thing left in the ground. This book is well illustrated, and it is written well. Any child could read this book and enjoy it. P8q8

January Book Reviews W.S., NHS Student
Bradley, Alex. Hot Lunch. Dutton Children’s Books, New York, 2007. $16.99 ISBN:97805525478300 276 p. Gr. 8-12
This story is about two sophomores, Cassie and Molly. They have never really spent any time together until they get into a huge food fight and are forced to work in the school’s kitchen. Will these two be able to work it out, or will they have to work in the kitchen for the rest of the school year? I loved this book, it’s very believable and a short, quick, and easy read. P7 Q9

Brown, Teri. Read My Lips. Simon & Schuster, New York, 2008. $8.99 ISBN:9781416958680 238 p. Gr. 9-
Serena is the new girl, and she is also deaf. Once a group of popular girls at school finds out that Serena can read lips, they simply use her to find out all sorts of information. But Serena just wants to date Miller and find true friends that won’t use her and will like her for who she is. I liked this book; it’s a fast read, very believable, and keeps you interested and attached. P8 Q7

January Book Review L.F, NHS

Farr, Richard. Emperors of the Ice: a true story of disaster and survival in the Antarctic. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, New York, 2008. $19.95 ISBN:9780374319755 217 p. Gr. 8-up A confessed Antarcticophile, I devour any books I see that cover South Polar topics. When I saw this title, my first reaction was ‘oh great, another tired retelling of Scott’s trip to the Pole.” Reading on, I found that this book is, as Farr puts it, “a fictional memoir for which the key source is a real memoir.” Skillfully rendered from Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s voluminous 1922 journal The Worst Journey in the World, Farr’s account begins with Cherry’s appointment to Scott’s crew and ends with his return to England. At times depressing and disheartening, this book is a testament to the character and faith of these heroic explorers. Contains historical photos, maps, table of contents, “last words”, chronology, bibliography, and a brief treatise on scurvy. P5 Q10

First Thursdays Book Review Group January 2009 L.R. for Siletz Library
Juvenile Books

LaFaye, Alexandria. Stella Stands Alone. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2008, 245 pgs. Ages 1-14. ISBN 9781416911647 $16.99. P5 Q9
Stella Reid is a young southern woman whose father and mother have just died, after surviving the turbulent Civil War. Too make matters worse, she can’t find the deed to the family plantation or her father’s will. She wants to share ownership of the plantation with the African Americans who have worked the land with her family for generations. But the plantation is about to be auctioned off. She comes up with a bold plan and despite some setbacks coming from all directions, the plan works and she saves the plantation. The characterizations in this book are marvelous and the author does a great job with regional language and cultural references. A young reader will learn a lot about how blacks were forced to live, even after gaining their freedom. It is an exciting book with a good lesson about sticking to what you believe. The cover will entice any reader who is interested in historical fiction.

Jennings, Richard W. The Pirates of Turtle Rock. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008, 152 pgs. Ages 12-16. ISBN 9780618987931 $16.00. P8 Q9
This is a quirky, mythic story of a 16 year-old girl, living in Florida, who is bored out of her mind. She rides her Vespa to the beach, where a young pirate observes her and falls in love. The crazy adventures pile up and keep the reader heartily entertained.The book is full of witticisms and droll observations of life. The author loves wordplay and pirates and gives the reader an in-depth discussion of pirate psychology. It is obvious, also, that he loves teens to give them such a gift as this book!

Nails, Jennifer. Next to Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008, 235 pgs. Ages 11-15. ISBN 9780618966356 $16.00 P5 Q5
The main character in this book really annoyed me because she was way too articulate and worldly for her age. Supposedly, Lylice is a 4th grader who has been allowed to skip to 6th grade this year, and has to cope with changing schools as well. She immediately starts working on the school paper, speaks Spanish and starts tutoring an Hispanic outcast in her new class. She also organizes something called “Art Attacks,” when the school board cuts art classes from the budget. For Halloween, she dresses up like Susan B. Anthony. The book has an attractive cover, and may pick up some readers who enjoy the story, but I’d like to find a reader who really likes the main character!

Stadler, Alexander. Julian Rodriguez: Episode One Trash Crisis on Earth. Il. Alexander Stadler and Marijka Kostiw. Scholastic Press, 2008, 123 pgs. Ages 8-10. ISBN 9780439919661 $15.99 P4 Q3
Very similar in plot to Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, but this book has none of the charm of Sendak’s classic. Julian Rodriguez is a very angry boy who is sent to his room for not taking out the trash. In his room, he daydreams about being an alien sent to observe earthlings. He complains of the “mistreatment, deprivation, insults and disrespect” he has endured at the hands of the earthlings. (his parents) The reader gradually learns that the boy is only asked to get out of bed in the morning, eat healthy food, go to school and yes, take out the trash. The abuse he heaps on his parents for these transgressions is not just grumpy but outright snotty. The illustrations are quite
jagged and jarring and do nothing to make the reader like the story. I would not buy this book.

Picture Books
Thomas, Helen. The Great White House Breakout. Il. Chip Bok. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2008, unpdg. Ages 4-7. ISBN 9780803733008 $16.99 P8 Q8
Written by White House Press Corps member Helen Thomas, this book is a fun look at the White House through a resident child. Helen Thomas published this book at the perfect time with the inauguration of a president in 2009. She hedged her bets by having a female president with a child in the White House, so if either Obama or Clinton were elected, the book worked. (It wouldn’t have worked nearly so well if the McCain family had entered the White House!) The illustrations are fun, but somewhat realistic of Washington DC and the White House. It even showed the Roosevelt swimming pool under the press corp room. This will be a fun read for families or story time right now!

Hemingway, Edward. Bump in the Night. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008, unpgd. Ages 2-5. ISBN 9780399247613 $15.99 P7 Q6
This plot has been done before, too. Boy sitting up in bed, listening to bumps coming from the closet and imagining monsters. Monster comes out, grabs teddy, then gives back when boy cries. They make friends and monster corrals other ghoulies and beasties in the closet. Turns out the bumping in the closet is the dog who got shut in accidentally and everything is OK. The cover is attractive and will attract parents and kids, but there are better books on this subject.

Haseley, Dennis. The Invisible Moose. Il. Steven Kellogg. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2006, unpgd. Ages 3-8. ISBN 0803728921 $16.99 P8 Q9
Any project that Steven Kellogg is involved in is going to be fun and creative and this book is no exception. It is a story of a young moose who falls in love and travels from Canada to New York City to rescue another young moose (a beautiful female with a heart, of course). She has been captured by Steal McSteel, and his trapping machine, powered by half-wolves, half-mongrels is a fearsome sight indeed. The illustrations of the moose crossing the border through security and his adventures in the restaurants in New York are hilarious. The cover is enticing and would be a great display book with a winter theme. This is a great lap-sitting or bedtime story book.

First Thursdays Book Review Group January 2009—J.C Coastal Resources Sharing Network

Demi. The girl who drew a phoenix. Margaret K. McElderry Books, c2008. Unpaged. ISBN 978-1-4169-5347-0 / 1-4169-5347-7 $21.99 Ages 3-7, Adult. P7Q8
A young girl finds a phoenix feather and attempts to draw the mythical bird, but her drawing is unrecognizable. The queen phoenix comes to help, but the girl cannot capture her essence without learning the female wisdom embodied by the phoenix. The girl embarks on a quest to learn the virtues of wisdom, clear sight, equality, generosity, and right judgment. Once she has mastered the virtues, she is able to draw a phoenix which takes flight when she completes the drawing. The rich and intricate artwork carries the story and two fold-out pages bring the storybook tale into a larger realm. A worthy addition to Demi’s body of work. Recommended for kindergarten, elementary, and public libraries.

Fosberry, Jennifer. My name is not Isabella. Pictures by Mike Litwin. Union City, CA. : Monkey Barrel Press, c2008. Unpaged. Includes list of works consulted (books and websites). ISBN 978-0-9802000-7-2 $19.99 Ages 4-6. P7Q7
When a mother asks her daughter to go through her day, the daughter imagines herself as an astronaut, a sharpshooter, an activist, a physician, a scientist, and others, refusing to answer to the name ‘Isabel,’ assuming the names of women heroes such as Sally Ride, Annie Oakley, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, Elizabeth Blackwell, and Mommy. Quirky illustrations show the girl imagining herself as each woman as well as the reactions of the people around the girl. A good introduction to women heroes and the possibilities of girls taking on important societal roles. Further information about each hero is included in a section called “Women who changed the world.” Recommended for home, kindergarten, and primary school libraries.

Nishizuka, Koko. The beckoning cat : based on a Japanese folktale. Illustrated by Rosanne Litzinger. Holiday House, c2009. Unpaged. ISBN 978-8234-2051-3 / 0-8234-2051-5 $16.95 Ages 3-8. P7Q7
A poor boy in a seaside village in Japan invites a wet, muddy cat into his home to share a meager meal. When the boy’s father falls ill, and the boy must stay at home to care for him, the cat waves her paw at customers who then come to the boy’s house to buy his fish. Soon statues of the ‘beckoning’ cat appear in all over the village. A retelling of a traditional Japanese folktale. Recommended for school and public library collections.

Nonfiction picturebooks
Lasky, Kathryn. One beetle too many : the extraordinary adventures of Charles Darwin. Illustrated by Matthew Trueman. Candlewick Press, c2009. Unpaged. Includes bibliography. ISBN 076361436X / 9780763614362 [$ ] Ages 7-12. P7Q9
A stellar introduction to the life of naturalist Charles Darwin. Young Charles Darwin was a collector, especially of beetles. Though he was a meticulous observer of nature, Charles was a a mediocre student and a disappointment to his physician father. Shunted into a theology program after failing anatomy courses, young Charles happened into a friendship with naturalist John Henslow, who was so impressed with his skills at observing nature that he recommended Charles for the position of naturalist on a five year voyage of exploration from England to South America. Darwin’s careful observations and massive collections were the foundation for his work, The Origin of Species. Because the illustrations include actual grasses, herbs and flowers, a detailed examination of the book is a true pleasure. Highly recommended for school and public libraries.

Young adult fiction
Sitomer, Alan Lawrence. The secret story of Sonia Rodriguez. Jump at the Sun/Hyperion, c2008. 312 p. ISBN 978-142311072-9 $17.99 Ages 14-up. P8Q8
The U.S.-born oldest daughter of illegal Mexican immigrants, Sonia Rodriguez is stuck between the expectations of her Latino culture and the prejudices and expectations of the rest of El Norte. While her pregnant mother spends her days watching telenovela, Sonia is expected to cook, clean, and babysit, leaving little time for her studies. When Sonia’s ambition to finish high school brings her to put her schoolwork ahead of the housework, her mother sends Sonia and her older brother to visit family in Mexico so that Sonia can learn the ways of the old world. Told in the first person, Sonia’s voice portrays her love of the Latino culture and her anger at the ways in which her reality mirrors the stereotypes. Caught between the unwelcome attention of her drunk uncle—her druncle—and her mother’s apathy, Sonia talks about her problems and her life. Highly recommended for high school and public library collections.

January 2009 Book Reviews C.S. Siletz Public Library
Picture Books:

Zemach, Kaethe. Ms. McCaw Learns to Draw. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2008. Not paged. ISBN. 978-0-439-82914-4. $16.99. Ages 4-8. P7Q8.
A book about a slow learner who discovers that he has a talent when he trades places with his teacher for a drawing lesson. I liked this book for promoting tolerance. A good one for a student who doesn’t feel confident about him or herself.

Pinchon, Liz. Penguins. Orchard Books, 2007. NP. ISBN. 978-0-545-02215-6. $12.99. Ages 3-6. P8Q7.
A fun, silly book about penguins at a zoo who find a camera and have a great time using it. Nice illustrations, simple text, and a funny story. There is a strip of the penguin’s photos attached to the back cover.

Wilson, Karma & Hillenbrand, Will. Whopper Cake. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2008. $16.99. NP. ISBN. 978-0-689-83844-6. Ages 4-8. P8Q8.
A book in rhyme (it sounds a little like the Beverly Hillbillies theme song) about Grandpa, who decides to make Grandma an enormous birthday cake. I really liked the illustrations- there are lots of funny, quirky details if you look closely. At the end there is a recipe for Grandpa’s cake.

Elliot, David. Ill by Meade, Holly. On the Farm. Cadlewick Press, 2008. ISBN. 978-0-7636-3322-6. $16.99. Ages 3-5. P6Q6.
A book of short poems about farm animals. The poetry is nothing memorable, but the illustrations are interesting. They’re in a block print style that appeals to me, but they may be a little much for very young kids to appreciate.

Demi, The Boy who Painted Dragons. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2008. ISBN. 978-1-4169-2469-2. $21.00. Ages 7-10. P8Q8.
Ping loves to paint, and he fills his house with paintings of dragons. The Heavenly Dragon is flattered by the paintings and visits Ping. He comes to understand that the paintings represent Ping’s fear, and helps Ping confront those fears. I read this to a story time group- I think parts of the story weren’t very accessible to them, but they loved the drawings and got the idea that trying to understand things you’re afraid of can make them less scarey.

Kamara, Mariatu with Susan McClelland, The Bite of the Mango. Annick Press, 2008. 978-1-55451-158-7. $12.95. Ages 13-18. P7Q8.
A story of a girl from Sierra Leon who loses her hands to child soldiers during the war in the 1990’s. It’s a really book that describes her horrendous experience with the rebels, what it was like to beg in Freetown later to scrape together a living, and finally going to England and Canada and getting her life together. I think high school students will find this very interesting and touching.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers
January 2009 Reviews by N.W.

Cheney, Lynne. We the People: The Story of Our Constitution. Il. Greg Harlin. Simon & Schuster, 2008. $17.99. 978-1-4169-5418-7. 32p. Ages 7-11:
The author of several other children’s books and wife of the U.S. vice-president recounts the struggles of Americans fighting the British for freedom from oppression followed by the process, sometimes acrimonious of setting up a new government. Large pastel watercolors extend the text with concludes with ten states’ ratification of the new constitution on July 4, 1788. P4Q7

Demi. The Girl Who Drew a Phoenix. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2008. $21.99. 078-1-4169-5347-0. unp. Ages 5-8:
With typical Demi art, brilliant sweeps of plumage and flourishes of sparkles and stars accent her interpretation of this ancient myth. She uses a young girl, Feng Huang, who wishes to draw the magical bird after finding a feather that has fallen from the sky. Through her attempts, Feng Huang discovers that the phoenix powers are the qualities of wisdom, clear sight, equality, generosity, and right judgment but only strong when they are shared. Demi has used not only her characteristic gleaming red to show the phoenix but also deep blue, yellow, purple, and green all enhanced with gold. As always with this creator, superb. P8Q10

McCarthy, Meghan. Seabiscuit the Wonder Horse. Simon & Schuster, 2008. 978-1-4169-3360-1. unp. Ages 4-6:
Spare, acrylic paintings in earth tones, reminiscent of the earlier City Hawk and complete with bug-eyed people and horses complete the chronicle of the tale of the funny-looking racehorse that surprised everyone when he went from a consistent loser to the winner over a Triple Crown champion. Young readers will cheer on both the people who believed in this grandson of a great racehorse and horse itself as they went from ridicule to victory. The terse text will enchant young readers, and the author’s note at the end fills out the true story of Seabiscuit through the jockey’s recuperation as together they recovered, Seabiscuit also from a leg injury, and then won the Santa Anita Handicap. A nice feel-good book especially for a read-aloud. P8Q8

McLimans, David. Gone Fishing: Ocean Life by the Numbers. Walker, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-8027-9770-4. unp. Ages 4+:
Boldly-drawn illustrations of blue and white on black iconic representations of 22 endangered sea creatures show numbers from one through ten and back again. (Each of the number tens have two different marine animals.) Each illustration includes a simple drawing in white, and information including its class, habitat, aquatic region, threats, and endangered status. Back matter includes a paragraph about each creature along with a list of Web sites for organizations that help endangered animals and books for further reading. A bonus to this striking book, a companion piece to McLimans’ Caldecott Honor book, Gone Wild, endangered animals, are the ocean facts from one through 100,000. P8Q10

Fenton, Joe. What’s under the Bed? Simon & Schuster, 2008. $15.99. 978-1-419-4943-5. unp. Ages 3-6: In this scary, scary book with very little text, Fred imagines that something is under his bed the minute that he lies down on it. Could it be green? With a very big head? With long nails? And two tails? Fred’s (and Joe’s) strong imagination produces some of the best monsters yet seen in children’s books. But the solution of these black and white creatures with red highlighting is—the monster is Ted, Fred’s teddy bear. Or what’s that sound? A great book to read to a group in a well-lighted place! P9Q9

Henson, Heather. That Book Woman. Il. David Small. Atheneum, 2008. $16.99. 978-1-4169-0812-8. unp. Ages 7-10:
In realistically spoken free verse, Cal, a boy who lives in the Appalachian Mountains and hates to read, tells of the Book Woman who brings them books in good weather and bad, right up the side of the mountains of Kentucky. In this homage to the brave Pack Horse Librarians, those who took books to almost inaccessible areas during the 1930s. Warm illustrations in watercolor and pastel chalk help tell the story of a boy who learns to appreciate the bravery of a woman who inspires him to make sense of the chicken scratches in books. A great read-aloud about people and history. P8Q10

Sierra, Judy. The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town. Il. Melissa Sweet. Knopf, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-375-84002-9. unp. Ages 5-8:
As nighttime comes, parents (capital letters) try to get their recalcitrant children (lower case letters) into bed. Sierra’s usual humor translates well with Sweet’s funny drawings in this showcase of animated, goggle-eyed letters showing the personalities of the skitter-scattering little letters. Some of the letters are somewhat difficult to recognize for beginning readers, but everyone can enjoy the story. P8Q8

Picture Books
Cronin, Doreen and Betsy Lewin. Thump, Quack, Moo: A Whacky Adventure. Atheneum, 2008. $16.99. 978-1-4169-1630-7. unp. Ages 4-8:
The seventh story about Farmer Brown’s barnyard menagerie comes once again with broadly-drawn illustrations in black outlining brush and watercolor and a rebellious duck who doesn’t want to follow the examples of the chickens, cows, and mice. This time the good farmer is designing the corn maze for the Corn Maze Festival with Duck doing a bit of revision to the plans. Hilarious and creative—just plain laugh out loud with another strong dose of peaceful protest. P9Q8

Johnson, Stephen T. A Is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet. Simon & Schuster, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-689-86301-1. unp. Ages 7+:
Rich vocabulary blends with exquisite abstract and realistic art and photography to demonstrate the many places where one may find the letters of the alphabet. This is one of an ongoing series of alphabet and counting books by Johnson including the Caldecott-honor book, Alphabet City. In addition to finding letters and expanding a vocabulary, Johnson challenges readers to think about and question art, something that children have a talent for. An excellent book for both language and art teachers, this has many purposes. P8Q10

Pericoli, Matteo. Tommaso and the Missing Line. Knopf, 2008. $15.99. 978-0-375-84102-6. unp. Ages 4-7:
Seeing that his favorite drawing, that of his grandma’s house, is missing a line, Tommaso finds lines throughout his small town as he wanders the streets and visits a variety of businesses. Young readers will delight in finding lines in the curl of a cat’s tale or on the antenna of a car, just as Tommaso has. Because the book was originally published in Italy, the types of businesses are in Italian, a fun for young readers. The book is boldly designed with orange paper for the text and white for the black drawings with the lines in—of course—orange! A joy about lines and love. P8Q8

Wilson, Karma. Where Is Home, Little Pip? Il. Jane Chapman. Margaret K. McElderry, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-689-85583-0. unp. Ages 4-7:
When Little Pip, a baby penguin, decides to chase a beautiful, glittery feather, she doesn’t realize that she’ll lose her pebbly nest and all the other penguins. Acrylic illustrations show Little Pip’s joy at catching the feather and her increasing distress in finding home as she asks a blue whale, a kelp gull, and a sled dog. Each gives the answer for its own home but not that of Little Pip. When she starts to sing, Mama and Papa hear her, reassuring her that home is wherever they are all together. Although the message is a bit overdone, the illustrations are lovely, and children will enjoy the story of Little Pip’s adventures. P8Q7

Graphic Novels
Kneece, Mark. The Twilight Hours: The After Hours. Il. Rebekah Isaacs. Walker, 2008. $9.99. 978-0-8027-9717-9. unp. Ages 10-14:
This adaptation from Rod Serling’s original scripts for the 1950s television series of the same name tells the story of a woman who buys a golden thimble on sale and then tries to return it. The colorful graphics provide the momentum for the story that has a startling resolution as the shopper is not who she has seemed to be. A bit tame for older readers, this gives younger readers a moderately scary view of older tv programs. P8Q7

Kneece, Mark. The Twilight Hours: Walking Distrance. Il. Dove McHargue. Walker, 2008. 978-0-8027-9615-5. unp. Ages 10-14:
A man walks back into his past as he gets a flat tire near his childhood home. This part of the series has a dated feel with an older man as a protagonist. The After Hours will be more appealing to young adults. [See the above entry for more information about the series.] P6Q7

Mack, Stan and Susan Champlin. Road to Revolution. The Cartoon Chronicles of America Series. Bloomsbury, 2009. (pb, $9.99) 978-1-59990-371.2; (hc, $16.99) 978-1-59990-013-1. 122p. Ages 10-14:
When Penny, the daughter of a Boston tavern owner, rescues Nick, a homeless orphan, she finds herself in the midst of the revolutionaries trying to free the American colonies from the British. Carefully researched historical fact mixed with exciting fiction show the key figures of the Revolutionary War, the dangerous events that led to American freedom, the environment in which they lived, and the action-packed lives of the fictional young people who develop mutual fondness and respect. The characters are appealing, and the compelling plot and humorous situations will delight young readers while educating them. Simple and delightful, this is the first of a fun visually dynamic series. P8Q8 Fiction

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Palace of Mirrors. Simon & Schuster, 2008. $16.99. 978-1-4169-3915-3. 297p. Ages 12+:
In this return to the world of Just Ella, Cecilia, a peasant girl, knows that she is actually the true princess of Suala because a knight regular comes to her hovel to teach her statesmanship. It is her decision to take over the country that leads her to exciting dangers and more information that she actually wants. Fortunately, her best friend, Harper, flees with her to help her out of life-threatening situations. The character development is excellent as Cecilia changes from a spoiled girl wanting only nice clothing to a stateswoman planning to end the war with a neighboring kingdom. The humor from eleven other wannabee princesses provides a nice touch, and the resolution is satisfying and not predictable. P7Q8

Todd, Pamela. The Blind Faith Hotel. McElderry, 2008. $16.99. 978-1-4189-5494-1. 312p. Ages 12+:
Zoe’s father has gone off to Alaska to fish, and her mother leaves him, taking 14-year-old Zoe, an older sister, and a younger brother to a run-down farmhouse in the Midwest. Zoe’s feelings for her father and her rebellious nature ring true as she ends up as a volunteer worker at a local nature preserve. Some of the plot seems too convenient, such as the mother’s old friend deciding to do extensive remodeling on the old house to make it a B&B without asking for any money up front. Yet Todd has provided a set of interesting characters who are trying to find their own ways through the plotting. P7Q6

Book Reviews Jan 2009 B.R. Yaquina View Elementary
Collicott, Sharleen. Mildred and Sam Go to School. Harper Collins, c2008. ISBN 006058114X. 64 pgs. $16.99. Grades K-2 (Q7, P7)
This easy to read book contains three short stories of Mildred and Sam and their six little mice. The first story deals with the little ones going to school. The second story is about them going on a field trip and the third story is about a special lesson on planets. Throughout the book Mildred and Sam are concerned about their children being so far from home.

Wells, Rosemary. Max’s Bunny Business. Viking, c2008. ISBN 0670011053. unp. $15.99. PreS-1st. (Q8, P7)
Max’s sister Rudy and her friend Louise want to buy a special sparkling ring but doesn’t have the money. They decide to sell lemonade to earn the $2.00. Max tries to help but they don’t want any help so he sells his old Halloween candy. Then Grandma takes him shopping and he buys the only ring left.

Mortensen, Lori, Harriet Tubman Hero of the Underground Railroad. Ills. by Frances Moore. Picture Window Books, c2007. ISBN 61404831037. 24 pgs. K-3 (Q9, P6)
This is an excellent book on Harriet Tubman. It gives lots of information, is easy to read and flows nicely. I was curious what happened to her husband when she escaped north and at the end of the book is a Did you know? Page which gave this information. Also included is a Timeline, Glossary, Index and a page of other resources to learn more. This would be a must have book for children just being introduced to slavery and their ways of escaping to freedom.

Sandburg, Carl. Never Kick a Slipper at the Moon. Ills. by Rosanne Litzinger. Holiday House, c2007. ISBN 0823421600. unp. $16.95. Grades 2-5. (Q6, P5)
Carl Sandburg wrote this book in 1922 and it is brought back, with a new generation of children in mind, with new fanciful illustrations by Rosanne Litzinger. The story tells why you should not kick your slippers at the moon.

Harby, Melanie. All Aboard for Dreamland. Ills. by Geraldo Valerio. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2007. ISBN 1416961275. unp. $15.99. Grades PreS-1st. (Q6, P5)
A topsy-turvy ride through Wiggletown, looping and bouncing into Giggletown and traveling through other sleepy towns. This story with its illustrations will help transport those cleepy children into dreamland.

Robin, Pulver. Silent Letters Loud and Clear. Ills. by Lynn Rowe Reed. Holiday House, C2008. ISBN 0823421279. unp. $16.95. Grades 1-3rd. (Q6, P4)
We all have trouble with those pesky silent letters. This book lets us know why they are important. Both new and experienced spellers will relate to this book. The illustrations, made with acrylic paint on canvas, are quite fun to look at.

Church, Caroline Jayne. Ping Pong Pig. Holiday House, c2008. ISBN 0823421767. Unp. $16.95. Grades PreS-3rd. (Q8, P9)
Ms. Church has written a delightful book about friendship and helping each other starring a bouncy pig who wants to fly. Ping Pong is trying to fly and not helping the other animals with chores. He is always getting in the way and the other animals give him a trampoline to keep him busy. Ping Pong finds a way to help do chores using his trampoline. I read this book to my classes, from Kindergarten through fifth grade, the students were enthralled with Ping Pong Pig.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Jan. 2009 Reviews by M.D. ASPIRE Center
Smith, Sherri L., Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet Delacorte Press, New York, 2008. $15.99. ages middle school. 167 pgs. 978-0-385-73417-2. p 7/q 7
Ana is graduating from eighth grade and her biracial family is making a special meal for the occasion. Ana’s father is Chinese American and her mother is African American. All of her grandparents are busy cooking and driving her crazy. She is trying to make everything perfect because she has finally gotten enough courage to ask her crush over for dinner. A young teen girl who may be from a bi-racial family may really like relating to this story. I found that the details and the book only spans one day in Ana’s life and was a little boring. The author also wrote the book Lucy the Giant and Sparrow.

Flinn, Alex. Diva: a Novel Harpertempest. New York. 2006. $16.99. ages high school. 263 pgs. 978-0-06-056843-6. p 8/q8
Alex Flin has also written the following books Breathing Underwater, Breaking Point, Nothing to Lose, Fade to Black. Caitlin has decided she is sick of her high school and wants to apply to attend the Arts high school but she isn’t a diva and isn’t sure she will make it. She loves opera and doesn’t know anyone else in high school who understands her. The book includes her online journal where she types her innermost thoughts. If there is a young teenage girl with identity issues or weight issues they may be able to relate to this character. Caitlin does find a boy who understands her and she finally is able to let others see her amazing opera talent.

Watson, Sasha. Vidalia in Paris. Viking, New York. 2008. $16.99. ages high school. 282 pgs. 978-0-670-01094-3 p9/q/ 8
Vidalia wins a scholarship to study art in Paris for the summer. This is a very romantic and thrilling story of art thieves and young romance. Vidalia meets two guys Julien from the bookstore and Marco a young art dealer/thief. She falls in love and even steels to get the money so she can run away with Marco. She discovers an unlawful exchange mother and father who are using her connections to the art world to steal. She ends up in trouble with the law and having to pay the scholarship back and finds out the truth about Marco.

James, Brian. Thief. Scholastic Inc. New York. 2008. $8.99. ages high school. 245 pgs. 978-0-545-06400-5 p 8/ q 8
There are several other titles available from PUSH by different authors such as Getting the Girl by Markus Zusak and Crashing by Chris Wooding. Elizabeth is a pickpocket and a thief living with a foster mom in New York City. The foster mom is a part of a long time Russian thief ring who only takes in teens who will steal for her. Dune a boy joins their family and Elizabeth is given the job of teaching him how to steal. Elizabeth already has a strange relationship with her foster sister and she isn’t sure what kind of relationship she will have with Dune. Finally she and Dune escape from the thieving ring and are finally free of the failed foster care system. Teens who have been abused, homeless, or part of the foster care system may find they are able to relate to this story.

Perez, Marlene. Dead is the New Black. Harcourt, Inc. Orlando. 2008. $7.95. ages high school. 190 pgs. 978-0-15-206408-2 p8/q8
Daisy a sixteen and has her first boyfriend and has been convinced that she should be a cheerleader because they desperately need cheerleaders. Daisy and her psychic mother are trying to help the sheriffs department get to the end of a crimes spree. Several girls are missing or very ill and something appears to be sucking their life force from them. Cheerleading is the key and Daisy finally gets to the end of the vampire involvement. Teens who have read the Twilight series and are excited about vampire stories will find this fun and enjoyable.

January 2009 Oregon Coast Preview Center For Young Readers By S.E. Grandparent Volunteer

Howe, James. Il. Marie-Louise Gay Houndsley and Catina, and the Quiet Time. Candlewick Press, Ma. 2008. 42p. ISBN 9780763633844. $15.00. Ages 6-8 and good for read aloud.
The EB White Read Aloud Award was given to the Houndsley and Catina books and James Howe is also known for his Bunnicula books. It is a short chapter book on what you can do on a snowy day and make the most out of what ever is there to do. I like this book in that it teaches children to think outside the box. Q8P8.

Whiting, Sue, Il.Donna Rawlins The Firefighters. Candlewick Press, Ma. 2008.ISBN 9780763640194. $16.00. Ages 5-7 .
A cute story about young kids wanting to be firemen and visiting the local firehouse. It would make a good read aloud book. Q8P8.

Isaacs, Anne, Il. Dan Santat The Ghosts of Luckless Gulch. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, NY. 2008. ISBN 9781416902010. $19.00. 45p. Ages 8-11.
This book reads like a folk tale. Estrella is ten years old and can run like the wind…the year is 1848 and the gold miners are neck in neck in the sierras of California. Estrella is also an animal healer and has quite a menagerie who all disappear one night. Estrella has to go fight the ghosts to get her family’s town back. It is nice to see a fearless young lady getting back what is rightfully hers. Q7P7

Arnosky, Jim, Gobble It Up, a fun song about eating. Scholastic Press NY, 2008. ISBN 978 0439903622. $17.00. Ages 5-7.
This book comes with a CD and the song is the book. It is a cute song and a cute book about eating practices of different species. Q8P9

Adoff, Jaime, Il. Mike Reed Small Fry. Dutton Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. 2008. ISBN 9780525469353. $17.00. Ages 5-7.
What a wonderful book about being short from many kid’s different perspectives! This award winning author also wrote The Song Shoots Out Of My Mouth, Names Will Never Hurt Me, and Jimi and Me. The illustrations are very nice too. Q8P9

Polacco, Patricia. Someone for Mr. Sussman. Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. NY. 2008. ISBN 9780399250750. $17.00. Ages 7-10.
This is a Jewish story about a child’s grandma who is also a matchmaker. His grandma tries to find out what kind of woman Mr. Sussman wants and when he tells her she makes herself out to be that kind of person (kosher, into fitness, up on the latest styles) until finally he comes to see her when it is just her being her and he starts liking her. It is a cute book but I really don’t think it will be that popular in elementary school. Q7P6.

Winnick, Karen B. Lucy’s Cave, A Story of Vicksburg, 1863. Boyds Mill Press, Pa. 2008. ISBN 9781590781944. $17.00. Ages 9-12.
This is a story of an 11 year old girl who’s family had to go hide in the caves in the hills for over 45 days when the Uunion Army came to take over Vicksburg in 1863. It tells of families and slaves all together in the caves helping each other out. The illustrations are of oil on canvas painted to resemble the style of artiststs painting at that time. Q8P8

Kruusval, Catarina, Ellen’s Apple Tree. Rabe’n & Sjogren Bokforlag, part of Nordstedts Publishing Group. R&S Books distributed by Farrar, Straus and Giroux NY. 2008. ISBN 9789129669053. Ages 5-8 or 9.
The illustrations alone are a delight in that they are all out of kilter but take in the whole neighborhood by using the perspective that way.. The drawings are intricate and the family, who’s apple tree falls down in a storm, are great. I would like to see this in all Lincoln County Schools because it is a feel good book and shows a neighborhood where people interact with each other…something that is kind of rare these days. Q9P9

Hall, Katy &Lisa Eisenberg, Sims Tabacks’s Great Big Book of Spacey Snakey Buggy Riddles. Viking, published by Penguin Group, Penguin Young Readers Group, NY. ISBN 9780670011216. $18.00.. Ages 5-12.
It is a sappy riddle book that has a lot of brightly colored and somewhat detailed drawings and that is precisely what will make this book popular among the elementary school aged kids.Q8P9

Fredericks, Mariah, In The Cards, Fame. Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division NY. 2008. 274p. Ages 11-14.
This is the second in a three part series of books about three young ladies who are given a deck of tarot cards and two old cats in a will from an old lady who lives in the apartment building that one of the girls live in. Each of the 3 books of the In The Cards series are told by a different one of the trio of girl’s perspective. This one is Eve who has the opportunity to be in a musical and dreams of fame and fortune and happens to try seeing the future by reading the cards again. The jealousies and pettiness of “stardom” are too much for her and Eve ends up forfeiting her part in the play for someone who needs this in her life. Because it is about three teenage girls and somewhat a story of the occult…but not too much occult… and one of the crazy cats that were willed to the trio Eve, Anna and Syd, is left in the care of Eve’s dad who forgets to feed and give medication to the old cat while Eve is away at audition causing a rift between her and her dad…young girls will be able to relate to this series. Q8P9

Jennings, Patrick. Barb and Dingbat’s Crybaby Hotline. Holiday House, 2007. http://www.holidayhouse.com. ISBN 9780823420551. $17.00. 161p. Ages 13-16.
This is a novel way to write a pretty funny book. Barb is a young lady who is quite blunt and quite funny and, as a favor to her friend, Viv. She calls Jeff to break up with him. And the rest of the book is a funny phone tag between the two of them. I laughed out loud in places and wish I had been that clever at that age. Q8P9

Jocelyn, Marthe. Would You? Random House Children’s Books,An imprint of Wendy Lamb Books, NY. 2008. ISBN 9780375837036. $16.00. 176p. Ages 13-up.
This is a very sad book but a well written book about a younger sister whose sister gets into an accident and loses half her head and is in a coma and the changes that the family goes through. It is an advanced copy but I would like to see it in the schools because it gives an okay to talk about the impending death of a sibling or a loved one and helps with a grieving process. I read and liked the other book by this author, How It Happened In Peach Hill. Both books make the reader think about what is important in life. Q9P9

Holbrook, Sara and Allan Wolf. More Than Friends. Wordsong, an imprintof Boyd’s Mills Press, Inc. Pa. 2008. ISBN 9781590785874. $17.00. 64p. Ages 13-16.
This is a wonderfully written book in a “ what he says/she says” kind of way. She writes a poem about her feelings, he writes a poem about his feelings. I love the different ways of thinking and the drawings on each page are great.. I would like to see this in the jr/sr highs. Q9P8 (and only because it is poetry)

Hillman, Ben. How fast is it? A Zippy Book All About Speed. Scholastic Inc., NY. 2008. ISBN 9780439918671. $15.00. 47p. Ages 5-10.
A funny book on comparisons of speedy things…cars, comets, sloths, bamboo, cheetah, bicycles, perigrine falcons, sneezes are among the things tested for speed. It is a fun book and the cover will make kids want to check it out. Q8P9

Murrell,Deborah and Christaine Gunzi. Mega Trucks, The biggest, toughest, trucks in the world! Scholastic Inc. 2005. ISBN 439850568. 32p. Ages 6-9.
A very good compiling of big rigs and earth movers as well as off road monster trucks. Q8P10

First Thursdays Book Review Group February 2009 L.R., for Siletz Library
Picture Books

Viorst, Judith. Nobody Here But Me. Il. Christine Davenier. Farrar Straus Giroux , 2008, unpgd. Ages 5-9. ISBN 9780374355401 $16.95. P6 Q8
Every youngest member of a family will relate to this book. A little boy is home with his family, but no one is available to play. The mother is on the phone, dad is using e-mail, and the sister has a friend over. So he engages in various attention-getting mischieviosty, all to no avail. When he finally just goes to bed at 5:10 p.m., they think something is wrong and gather ‘round the bed. It is a heartwarming book, as you don’t see the little boy getting in trouble for what he did whilst he was bored. But there are plenty of chances for the reader to talk to kids about the situations and explain a better way to handle boredom. The illustrations look as though they were done in the 1950’s, even though the father is working on a laptop. That seems a little odd, but probably won’t bother the children reading or listening to the book.

Gibbons, Gail. Elephants of Africa. Holiday House, 2008, 32 pgs. Ages 6-10. ISBN 9780823421688 $16.95.P8 Q9
Gail Gibbons always does a great job with nonfiction books and this one should be in every library. It gives lots of information without being too cumbersome and has lots of realistic illustrations for younger kids who might not care so much about how many sets of molars an elephant has. It has a high quality binding and will last many years.

Juvenile Books
Stewart, Paul and Riddell, Chris. Barnaby Grimes: Curse of the Night Wolf. David Fickling Books, 2007, 205 pgs. Ages 10-14. ISBN 9780385751254 $15.99. P8 Q8
An adventure taking place in Victorian London, this book draws the reader right in to the tale of a werewolf and a beneficent doctor who treats certain patients for free. The descriptions of the werewolf prowling about old London are a bit frightening for young readers, but other descriptions of the life in the city are very colorful and accurate. The illustrations are very entertaining and add a lot to the story, and the cover will attract anyone who is interested in scary adventure stories. This series is a winner.

Pryor, Bonnie. Hannah Pritchard: Pirate of the Revolution. Enslow Publishers, 2008, 158 pgs. Ages 10-15. ISBN 9780766028517 price? P8 Q8
Another adventure story taking place in early America, this book features a girl whose family is murdered by Iroquois Indians teaming up with British troops. She doesn’t blame the native Americans so much as the British and vows to avenge her family somehow. She signs on as a “cabin boy” with a privateer ship, robbing English ships and supplying Revolutionary forces. There are good descriptions of the danger and deprivations of life at sea and enough excitement to keep the reader engrossed. Although the book is fiction, there are a couple of pages at the end that tell a little about real women pirates and privateer ships. Suggestions for further reading on the subject and internet addresses are also included. This book has a library binding with an attractive cover and would be a good addition to a library.

February 2009 Oregon Coast Preview Books Newport HS Student Reviews
Almond, David. The Savage. Illustrated by Dave McKean. Candlewick Press, Cambridge, MA, 2008. $17.99 ISBN: 9780763639327 79 p. Gr. 8-up
The basic premise of this book is a boy who loses his father. This young lad, Blue, finds his happiness through writing. He writes the strange and terrible tale of “the Savage.” The savage is a young man, like Blue, who knows little of this world. The book is wonderfully crude with a luscious opening to greater ideas. I liked this book because of its down to earth, gritty feeling. The writing is basic and true. review by K.H.U.R., NHS 9th grader

Hawes, Louise. Black Pearls: A Faerie Strand. Illustrated by Rebecca Guay. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 2008. $16.00 ISBN:19780618747979 211 p. Gr. 9-12
I really liked this book. This is 7 faerie tale stories from different perspectives. Some are sad endings and some are happy endings, but it reminds you that not all all stories have happy endings – not even the ones that your mother told you as you went to sleep. If you are looking for something to read that is easy to read this is your book. You have heard these stories before, but this book will keep you guessing! Review by M.S-O., NHS 10th grader

Phillips, Suzanne. Chloe Doe. Little, Brown and Co., New York, 2007. $7.99 ISBN:9780316014144 188 p. Gr. 9-12
Chloe Doe didn’t have a nice past. Without a father, and living alone with her sister and a weird mother, bad things are bound to happen. Now older and a runaway, Chloe sells herself on the streets. She thinks that is all she could give. After getting caught by the police, she is sent to the Madeleine Parker Institute for Girls. With no way of escape, she has to tell the tale of her past or stay locked in the four walls of the Institute. I liked this book; it tells a story about a girl who had trouble in her life, but she tries to stay strong. Review by A.C., NHS 10th grader

Ardelius, Gunnar. I need you more than I love you and I love you to bits., Fronstreet / Boyd’s Mill Honesdale, PA, 2008. $16.95 ISBN:9781590784723 118 p. Gr.9-adult
This book covers the fight between two people and the love they have for each other. They are scared of losing the love they feel. One thing I didn’t like about the book is that I wasn’t really sure how old the characters are, so it makes it hard to relate to them. It’s a pretty easy read, and the kind of a book other kids will get into. Review by J.C., NHS 10th grader

Finn, Katie. Top 8: round up the usual profiles. Scholastic, New York, 2008. $8.99 ISBN:9780545053624 308 p. Gr. 6-8
Madison MacDonald goes on vacation, and when she comes back she finds that her Friendverse profile has been hacked. She spends the book going through possible suspects, but the hacker is someone totally unexpected. I liked this book, it’s pretty believeable, and it’s a very easy read. Review by C.H., NHS 10th grader

Nye, Naomi Shihab. Honeybee: poems. Greenwillow, New York, 2008. $17.89 ISBN:9780060853914 164 p. Gr. 6-8
Random variety of poems, some being the author’s thoughts, wishes or memories, others being simple observations. It was difficult to keep reading: some parts were very good (details, metaphors, descriptions) and others were so boring and useless I wanted to die. Review by K.J., NHS 10th grader

Black, Holly. The Good Neighbors; book one: Kin. Illustrated by Ted Naifeh. Scholastic, New York, 2008. $16.99 ISBN:9780439855624 117p. Gr. 9-12
This book is a bout a girl who has recently lost her mother. So she gains the ability to see faeries and monsters. After that she is accused of killing her mom and a college student. Then her grandmother (a faerie) tells her she is a faerie, and she freaks out. Then she finds her mom and she tells her the truth. In the end her mom dies and she goes out with her best friend. It is believable, even though it’s a fantasy. It’s easy to read but hard to put down. Review by N.A.T., NHS 10th grader

Carman, Patrick. The Tenth City: the land of Elyon, Book 3 Scholastic, New York, 2006 $11.99 ISBN: 0439700957 186 p. Gr. 5-8
This is the final battle: a 13 year old girl and her odd companions are on a quest to save their friend, find the tenth city, and defeat the ogres all in the same book. I liked this book: it’s a very satisfying story with a satisfying ending. Review by A.M., NHS 10th grader

Vaught, Susan. Exposed. Bloomsbury, New York, 2008. $16.99 ISBN:9781599901619 330 p. Gr. 10-12
Chan Shealy is the girl half the school whispers ‘skank’ when she passes by. Only for this case the name is unjustly forced upon her. When her ex spreads rumors and lies, Chan’s life goes down the drain. And every girl wants love, right? So she looks for it online, where she meets Paul. Everything seems perfect, but looks can be deceiving. The story is very different from what I first thought it to be. Review by R.S., NHS 12th grader

February 2009 Book Reviews L.F., NHS Technology Instructor
Nonfiction Picture Books

Adler, David. A. Heroes for Civil Rights. B. Farnsworth (Illus.). New York: Holiday House, 2008. ISBN:97808234 32 p. $16.95 Grades 3-5 P5 Q10 Author David Adler has assembled thirteen “profiles in courage” of individuals who worked hard to validate the civil rights provided by our Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. All of the courageous people represented in this book exercised Gandhi’s principles of nonviolent protest in their efforts to bring about an end to oppression, prejudice, segregation, and injustice. Heroes range from famous individuals like Martin Luther King, Jr. to a group of relatively unknown students referred to as “the Little Rock nine,” and the one-page passages outline major events and contain notable, inspiring quotes from these heroes that will resonate with young readers. Alder includes meticulous source notes and an extensive bibliography in the back of the book, which lends credence to his well-organized presentation; there is no doubt that the stories he presents are well-founded in accuracy. Additionally, Alder presents a chronology that helps the reader understand how the passages in the book tie together and how they fit with what was going on nationally at that time. Alder is white, and is better known for his popular “Cam Jensen” series, but has written many biographies, as well. He summaries his philosophy on writing biographies as: “Probably everyone’s life is worth writing about. I judge it by how many people would be interested in reading about it.” The biographies he brings to readers in his Heroes collection are interesting, and REAL. His “entitlement” to write about famous blacks, to me, is a moot point: Alder honors their achievements by writing culturally accurate, inspiring biographies. Farnsworth’s oil on canvas illustrations do a great job of portraying the characters and engaging readers. Farnsworth is an accomplished artist who specializes in portraiture.

Brimner, L.D. We are One: the story of Bayard Rustin. Honesday, PA: Boyds Mill Press, 2007. ISBN:9781590784983 48 p. $17.95 Grades 4-8 P5 Q10
Bayard Rustin was an amazing man: intellectual, athletic, artistic, methodical, meticulous; he was also Black, Quaker, and Homosexual. Drawn at an early age to pacifist and revolutionary groups, he belonged to Communist and pacifist organizations that helped him understand the power of organizing groups of people to promote agendas. His tireless attention to detail (he even advised folks what to bring for lunch on their marches) and his considerable communication skills (he was a ghostwriter for many of M.L.K’s speeches) paid off with the largest event he organized: the 1963 March on Washington. Brimner’s account takes us from Rustin’s youth (with brief sketches on his amazing grandparents, who undoubtedly were major influences on Bayard) to the March. While Brimner could’ve picked other salient events (e.g., his work with President Johnson following King’s assassination) after the March, this is, after all, a picture book aimed at elementary aged readers. The author does follow the main story with an “author’s note” section more addressed to adult readers. In this section Brimner discusses why Rustin hardly stands out as a hero of the Civil Rights movement, saying he “came to realize that his is just the sort of story I like telling – an underdog, an outsider, someone who hasn’t received his or her just recognition from society.” Brimner uses his author’s note to add all the “complicated, adult stuff” to the biography, which makes this book suitable and engaging for middle and high school readers, as well. The photos the author uses have been thoughtfully selected and placed; the book is visually attractive (unusual for a biography.) Additionally, Brimner uses sections of historical background, quotes, and snippets from gospel songs (Ruskin was a talented vocalist and often sang opera and gospel), arranging them in a colored sidebar that livens up the page layout.

Farris, Christine King. March On! The day my brother Martin changed the world. London Ladd (Illus.). New York: Scholastic, 2008. ISBN:9780545035378 np $17.99 Grades 3-6 P6 Q9
Written by Christine King Farris, the older sister of Martin Luther King, Jr., March On! gives early readers an engaging account of the 1963 March on Washington and MLK’s “I have a dream” speech. Farris gives a brief introduction, and away we all travel to Washington, along with a quarter million others on foot, busses, planes, and even on skates. She also gives readers a picture of what was going on being the scenes: speechwriting, organizing, meetings – and credits the “Big Six” (Farmer, Lewis, Randolph, Rustin, Wilkins, and Young) with helping her brother plan and promote the March. While everyone assembled to hear the speakers, great singers of that era led the crowd in singing freedom songs, and Mahalia Jackson set the stage for MLK’s famous speech with a slow, sad, yet defiant spiritual. When her brother Martin begins to speak, Farris says, “he found a rhythm that was all his own.” She highlights points from his speech in quick and poignant excerpts, saying he was “on fire” and, to her “it felt like a holy revival meeting.” She goes on to summarize what had happened in his speech and how it made her feel on that day. In the author’s notes, she tells the “inside story,” that she had not been able to attend but had watched her brother’s speech on TV, along with their aged parents. I don’t believe there can be any doubt as to the writer’s “right to tell this story” or the cultural authenticity or accuracy of this account. The illustrator, London Ladd, is a young African American who brings a personal perspective to his work (there’s an interview with him at http://videos.syracuse.com/post-tandard/2008/09/london_ladd_illustrator_1.html ) and his acrylic paintings in the book lend depth to the story and make it more engaging for younger readers.

Stauffacher, Sue. Nothing but Trouble: the story of Althea Gibson. G. Couch (Illus.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007. ISBN: 9780375834080 np $16.99 Grades1-3 P6 Q9
Nothing but Trouble is a biography of Althea Gibson, the first African American to win the coveted Wimbledon Tennis Championship. This engaging picture book is aimed at early readers, and would be a great introduction to biography. In this account, readers are introduced to Althea when she is around 8 years old, “the tallest, wildest tomboy in the history of Harlem.” She was driven to play ball and dreams of “being somebody.” Many adults in the community note her considerable athletic gifts, including Buddy Walker, a Harlem play leader (basically a street social worker.) Buddy gives Althea her first tennis racket and found tennis players to help mentor her. While her abilities were obvious right from the start, Althea had problems with controlling her temper and being rude to other players. Althea doesn’t think her lack of self-control is a problem until after her first major match where she loses in the final round; she becomes so angry she attacks a kid in the grandstands, who she believes is laughing at her. Althea realizes that keeping her cool in a match was a key to winning and starts changing her temperamental ways. She went on to refine her skills and at the end of the book we see her winning at Wimbledon. As she accepts the trophy, she makes sure to credit her mentors. The author’s notes at the end of the book, written for older readers, give more detail to the story, highlighting the both the obstacles she faced and her indebtedness to her mentors.
Author Sue Staffacher is white, and has produced many award-winning books, including a book on Bessie Smith that was turned into a successful musical revue. When asked in an interview why she decided to write this book, Staffacher said, “I felt if I stayed close to the story the way she told it that I would please Althea. I do want to honor her memory.” The author used Gibson’s autobiographies and other print materials that supported her retelling. I wasn’t able to find out any personal information on the illustrator, Greg Couch, other than seeing that he has illustrated a number of multicultural books. His sensitivity towards portraying Gibson as a person children can relate to is obvious, and the pictures are very approachable and engaging. Couch has a unique style: his acrylic paintings (which often incorporate digital images) are effervescent; Gibson literally is a “rainbow of movement” on each page, it’s as if he captured her aura.

Nolen, Jerdine. Pitching in for Eulie. E.B. Lewis (Illus.). New York: HarperCollins, 2007. ISBN:9780060569600 np $17.89 Grades 1-3 P6 Q9
Eulie is an African American teen from a poor family who wants to go to college. She receives her college acceptance letter and her family is pleased to see she is offered a full scholarship. However, the letter goes on to say she will need to provide the $3,000 for first-year living expenses on her own. From that point forward, the whole family pitches in and works hard to make extra money for Eulie, so she can attend. Her young sister Lily, who tells the story, is determined to help and tries everything from selling fish bait at church to hosting an ice tea stand by the wayside. Despite these attempts, Lily is unable to earn any money until the very end of the story, when she gets a job helping take care of an elderly neighbor. Author Jerdine Nolan, who is African American says, “We need rational connection with each other. And it is just fine to go back and remember the good things about those important connections that we shared.” This book doesn’t have a lot of conflict or strife unique to race, but it does bring to readers a topic that many will understand and be able to connect with: poverty. Lewis’ illustrations also help engage and connect a young audience. His meticulously detailed watercolors are warm and welcoming, but not pretty in a “coffee table” sense.. All the characters, including the mailman who only appears in the first frame, are black. Lewis is black, and he feels that African Americans are underrepresented in children’s literature, so he is making a concerted effort to ameliorate this.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Feb. 2009 Reviews by M.D. ASPIRE
Busby, Cylin & John Busby , The Year We Disappeared … A Father-Daughter Memoir, Bloomsbury, New York, 2008. $17.99. ages middle school – high school, 329 pgs. 978-1-59990-141-1 p 8/q 8
This is a true story written from the view of the daughter Cylin a middle school student and the father/police officer who shot. John is on his way to work when a motorist drives up beside him and fires. His lower jaw is blown away and he nearly dies. This is a story of how the family has to adapt to someone wanting to kill their police officer father. Cylin has police escorts everywhere she goes and no one will play with her anymore. The family finally moves into the witness protection program and starts a new life – the best they can. John undergoes many long surgeries to rebuild his face. In the end the local thug is the one who shot John. The book was able to keep my interest without major blood and gore. At the end of the book was a section that told about each of the people and what they were doing now. I even read the thank you’s section as it gave me a little more glimpse into the lives of the authors.

Grab, Daphne. Alive and Well in Prague, New York. Laura Geringer Books Harper Teen, New York. 2008. $ 16.99. ages middle – high school, 247pgs. 978-0-06-125670-7. p 8/ q8
Matisse has moved from New York City to a little town called Prague in New York State. Her father has Parkinson’s disease and it is getting harder for the family to hide his debilitating disease. They move to Prague so they can get away form the city. Her mother pretends everything is fine and invites her enemy over for dinner. The enemy starts a nasty rumor that Matisse’s father is a drug addict and a lazy bump. Matisse finally finds a way to tell everyone at her school what the deal is and stick up for herself. She finds a boyfriend and starts to rebuild her relationship with her parents.
Students who are dealing with moving or parents who are terminally ill may find some solace in this story.

Jocelyn Marthe. Secrets stories selected by Marthe Jocelyn. Tundra Books. New York. 2005. $8.95 ages middle school. 175 pgs. 9780 887-767234 p 6/q 7
This book has twelve stories of different secrets. The short stories are told by Susan Adach, Ann Carter, Gillian Chan, Anne Gray, Nancy Hartry, Marthe Jocelyn, Julie Johnston, Dayal Khalsa, Loris Lesynski, Martha Slaughter, Teresa Toten, and Elizabeth Winthrop. Some of the stories are funny, others hit home as they talk about parents who don’t care for their children. There is a section in the back of the book called meet the authors – and each author tells one of their favorite books. This would be a great book for a read aloud in an English class or a support group to get some interesting conversation started.

Moses, Shelia P. Joseph A Novel… How does a boy find his way without falling between the cracks? Margaret K. McElderry Books. New York, 2008,$16.99. ages middle – high school. 174 pages p 8/q/ 8
Joseph is a fifteen year old African – American who is starting a new school again. He doesn’t want his mamma to come in and meet the teachers. He doesn’t want anyone to know that he has to take care of her because she is addicted to drugs and his father left them. His dad is away in Iraq fighting in the war so he can’t help Joseph. Joseph lives in a homeless shelter and walks to the corner to catch the bus so no one finds out he lives there. All his mother does is talk all day long on the phone with his aunt about “baby mamma drama” and think of ways to get money for drugs. He is tired of hiding and being in charge of her. Finally his Aunt ,his father’s sister takes him and his mother in till his dad gets back from Iraq. This is a very compelling story and would be good for boys who are dealing with such issues at home.

Gallo, Donald R., What are you Afraid of? Stories about Phobias, Candlewick Press, Massachusetts, 2006. $8.99, ages middle-high school, 189pages p6/q7
This is a collection of short stories by Joan Bauer, Kelly Easton, Alex Flinn, Gail Giles, Angela Johnson, Ron Koertge, David Lubar, Neal Shusterman, nancy Springer, Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple. The book focuses on phobias or things that people fear. It even has a list of the proper names for other phobias and what they are a fear of in the back of the book. It also lists sources or other websites where students could look up additional information on phobias. If a student was struggling with a phobia they might view this book as therapeutic.
odgman, Ann, Illustrations by Eugene Yelchin, The House of a Million Pets, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2007. $16.95, ages middle-high school, 263pgs, p9/q8
This is a true story of all of the pets that Ann has owned over the years. It was a fun enjoyable book to read and if you are an animal lover you would enjoy this read. I even learned a few things about some of our more exotic pets – like the hedgehog. It also tells of rescue attempts for young wild animals such as birds. Maybe the reason I enjoyed the book so much is I remember our family trying to help lost baby birds when I was a child. The pictures are cute depictions of the animals of some of the funny things they do. I believe any age reader who likes pets and animals would find this a very enjoyable easy read.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Feb. 2009 Reviews by O.D.
Frederick, Heather Vogel, The Mother-Daughter Book Club – Much Ado About Anne, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York, 2008. $15.99. ages middle school, 324 pgs. 978-0-689-85566-5. p 8/q 8
This book is about four twelve year old girls that are all best friends. In this book these four girls come upon problems in their life. When one of the girls, Megan becomes friends with the other girl’s worst enemy their relationship with Megan weakens and they fall apart. Megan’s new best friend, Becca Chadwick is trying her hardest to make them all hate each other by doing mean things to Megan and putting Cassidy, Jess, and Emma’s name on it. Then when a great problem happens in Jess’s life they all come together as good friends would do and work together to help Jess with her problem. I would say that students that are having problems with friends or that just love reading books about friendship should defintely read this book.

Stone, Phoebe, Deep Down Popular, Arthur A. Levine Books, New York. 2008. $ 16.99. ages middle school, 280pgs. 978-0-439-80245-1. p 8/ q8
This book is about a girl named Jessie Lou. Jessie Lou has liked this boy in her class named Conrad ever since the second grade. Conrad Parker was one of the most popular boys in class until he hurt him self playing soccer. Jessie Lou had never talked to Conrad Parker before until she came back to school and her teacher asked her to be the one that helped Conrad bring his books home. She was so scared because she had the biggest crush on him and she would have to talk to him. So Jessie Lou every day would walk Conrad home and they became great friends and had a lot of adventures together that year and even though Conrad was “Mister Popular” he always spent time with Jessie Lou who had no friends at all besides him. I would say that people who like happy ending and a great story about friendship should defiantly read this book.

Jennings, Patrick. Wish riders. Hyperion Books for Children, New York. 2006. $15.99 ages middle school and high school, 276pgs. 978-1-423-10010-2. p 7/q 7
Wish riders is a book about a 15 year old girl named Dusty who lives at a logging camp. Dusty is a foster child her mom died and her dad left her to live by herself and Mrs. Smith her foster mom found her and took her in. Dusty’s life at the logging camp is not the greatest she works like a slave every day and never gets a break. After living in the logging camp for awhile she finds a horse and decides to leave with her friends and go find a better place to live. Leaving the logging camp leads her and her friends to many new and adventurous places in the forest. If you like reading books about horses or are foster children this is a good motivating book and is a great story about horses.

February 2009 Book Reviews C.S. Siletz Public Library
Picture Books:

Shirin Yim Bridges. Taeen Yoo, ill. The Umbrella Queen. Greenwillow Books, 2008. Not paged. ISBN. 978-0-06-075040-4. $16.99. Ages 5-8. P7Q8.
A story about a little girl named Noot growing up in a village in Thailand where paper umbrella making is a specialty. Noot learns the art from her mother and finds that she is a good painter. When she lets her imagination run away with her in her painting she is told that she has to paint what she’s told to paint- flowers and butterflies. She does that for the good of the family but in her spare time paints tiny umbrellas with the elephants that she loves. Finally, the king of Thailand comes to the village to choose the Umbrella Queen for the year. Noot is chosen for her tiny elephant umbrellas because she has painted what is in her heart. I liked this book for that message. The pictures are soft and appealing.

Jon Scieszka. David Shannon, Loren Long, & David Gordon, ills. Melvin Might? Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2008. Not paged. ISBN. 978-1-4169-4134-7. $16.99. Ages 3-6. P7Q7. This book about Cement Mixer Melvin is filled with bright, exciting pictures. The boys I read this book to liked it for that reason. The story is very, very simple- Melvin is a fearful character who doesn’t try new things because of worry. Through the course of the story he does take some risks and grows because of that.

Rosemary Wells. Yoko Writes Her Name. Hyperion Books for Children, 2008. ISBN. 978-0-7868-0371-2. $15.99. Ages 3-6. P8Q8.
This is a good book for children who are just learning to read and write. It’s about a character named Yoko who is just starting kindergarden and doesn’t know the English alphabet yet. A couple of her classmates tease her a lot and tell her that she won’t graduate and go on to first grade. Eventually everything works out- she learns to write her name in English and her classmates learn to write theirs in Japanese. The kids I read this to were fascinated with the Japanese words written on each page.

Jane Werner, ed. Garth Williams, ill. The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies. A Golden Book, 2008. 76pages. ISBN. 978-0-375-84426-3. $16.99. Ages. 4-8. P7Q8.
This book was originally published in 1951. It is full of old fashioned fairy tales, poems and pictures that I remember from my childhood. I was very fond of this book as a kid. I don’t think this is a read aloud book for a large group

Jeanne Willis & Tony Ross, Gorilla! Gorilla! Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2005. Not paged. ISBN. 978-1-4169-1490-7. $15.95. Ages 4-8. P8Q8.
A funny book about a mother mouse looking for her baby. A gorilla is following her, and she thinks it’s out to get her. Most of the book is taken up with the mouse, followed by the gorilla racing from one side of the world to the other, with the mouse shrieking “A killer gorilla!” In the end we find that the gorilla was just trying to help- he found the baby mouse and was trying to return it to the mother. My story group found it hilarious and yelled out the mother mouse’s lines- “Help! Help! He’ll catch me!/ He’ll squash me and scratch me,/ He’ll mince me and mash me,/ And crunch me up for lunch!”

Book for older readers:
Nicky Raven. John Howe, ill. Beowulf: A Tale of Blood, Heat, and Ashes, Candlewick Press, 2007. 96 p. ISBN. 978-0-7636-3647-0. $18.99. Ages 7-15. P9Q8.
This is a retelling of Beowulf using modern language that today’s kids will appreciate. The illustrations are great- the illustrator was a lead artist on Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy. It’s an exciting book- violent and gruesome in a satisfying way. I gave it to a family who volunteers at the library. Mom read it to her four boys- the youngest (5 years old) loved the pictures. The middle two (7 and 9) loved the part about the dragon and thought the pictures of it were very cool. They thought Grendel was okay too. The oldest boy (13) liked the whole thing and plans to check the book out once we put it in the system. He thought the story was interesting and liked the idea that it is a very, very old story. Some explanation might be necessary for younger readers- there are a lot of references to drunken, carousing Danes, like in the old versions.

J.S. 5th Grade Crestview Heights School February Book Reviews
Cosentino, Ralph. Batman the story of the dark night. Penguin Group. 2008. 33 pgs. ISBN: 9780670062553. Ages 4-8.
While the text of this story is short, some of the vocabulary is longer and trickier. Words like vowed, commissioner, manor, and foes are present. The illustrations are good and similar to a comic book, giving the story a quick pace.

Gaines, Ann Graham. Ace your research paper. Enslow Publishers Inc. 2009. 48 pgs. ISBN: 9780766033900. Ages 9-14.
This book really breaks down the whole process to writing a research paper step by step. Visually it is simple with a few real-life pictures included. I like how it included how to use technology such as the internet and how to evaluate the sources.

Harper, Charise Mericle. Fashion kitty and the unlikely hero. Disney/ Hyperion Books. 2008. 106 pgs. ISBN: 9780786837274.
I reviewed this book, initially thinking that I was going to dislike it. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how the plot (even though it revolved around fashion) had a theme of friendship and making assumptions from first impressions. I was also
surprised by the ending, I did not expect the principal to respond as she did to the adventures of Fashion Kitty!

Jackson, Tom. Zany miscellany. Scholastic. 2008. 112 pgs. ISBN: 9780545053334. Ages 8+.
This is a colorful and graphically friendly book of random facts. All sorts of subjects are included like cloning, sports, animals, history, biographies, musical instruments, and pirate ships. I really like the “nerd words” and “factoids” that are scattered throughout the text they give students a brief understanding of what the words mean.

Zimmer, Tracie Vaughn. 42 miles. Clarion Books. 73 pgs. ISBN: 9780618618675. Ages 9-13. JoEllen has two completely different lives 42 miles apart. At her mom’s in the city, Ellen (as she is known) plays music, hangs out with her friends, and goes to movies. At her dad’s she is a completely different person, JoEllen, who rides horses, goes fishing, and listens to bluegrass. This story is written through poetry and is perfect for girls who are trying to decide who they are and their place in life.

Book Reviews February 2009 – CB. INMS/NMS
Forsyth, Kate, The gypsy crown, Hyperion Books for Children, New York, 2008, 386 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:1423104943, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
In 1658 the king of England has been murdered and Cromwell, a Protestant is in now power. The English life changes dramatically under Cromwell’s staunch religious reign, no singing or dancing is allowed and drab dress is the rule of the day. Any infringement away from this way of life can be reported by spies and snitches to either the police or the clergy, who hold a lot of power. Two Gypsy cousins, Emilia and Luka, are determined to get their relatives out of jail after they are arrested for singing and performing outside of a church. Luka and Emilia escape capture and are chased across England by a cruel pastor, as they seek charms from their extend families that together should give them the power to set those in jail free.

Klein, Lisa, Two girls of Gettysburg, Bloomsbury, New York, 2008, 390 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:1599901056, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 9,
Rosanna and Lizzie are two cousin living in Gettysburg when the Civil War breaks out. Rosanna is from a rich southern family and Lizzie from a working northern family but whose differences do not matter as they have become good friends. Rosanna has been corresponding with a man from the south and runs away to marry him. Through alternating chapters Rosanna’s story is told through her diary entries and Lizzie through first person narration. The story cumulates with the actual Gettysburg battle taking place and the two cousins finding each other again after the battle is over. A great book that shows the growth of two strong women characters and should appeal to middle and high school age students who love a good history book.

Malley, Gemma, The resistance, Bloomsbury, New York, 2008, 323 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:1599903024, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
It is now 2140 in the futuristic society where the old never die due to the longevity pill that people take to stay young. Peter and Anna who were surpluses, in Malley’s first book “The declaration,” are now legal and pursuing their lives on the outside. This is a society where children have been banned, as they use up to many of the resources in this world. Peter goes to work for his grandfather’s company, which produces the longevity pill, as a spy for the underground who are determined to bring children into the world and company down. Now the secrets of longevity and the true worth of the surpluses are discovered and it is up to Peter and Anna to survive and get the truth out.

McKinley, Robin, Chalice, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 2008, 262 pgs., $18.99, ISBN:0399246762, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
The Willowlands for the last seven years has suffered under the rule of the Master and Chalice, the two who are to be caretakers of the land and who hold two of the highest positions of the ruling council. The Master and Chalice are killed in accident and the Masters brother is to be brought back from the fire priestess to serve the Willowlands. Mirasol, a bee keeper, is chosen to be the next Chalice. Together she and the Master must work together to heal the Willowlands from the damage done by their predecessors. Seeped in magic this fantasy tale will appeal to middle and high school students.

Myers, Anna, Spy!,Walker & Co., New York, 2008, 211 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0802797423, Gr., 6+, P 8, Q 8
This historical fiction book is based on General Washington’s spy Nathan Hale, who was a spy during America’s fight for independence from England. Jonah is fourteen years-old when his father dies and he and his sister, Betsy, are taken in by the wealthy ship builder, Mr. Lawrence, and loyal to the king. Samuel Lawrence, who is a cousin of Nathan Hale, pays for Jonah to continue his schooling with then teacher Nathan Hale. When war breaks out between the two countries Nathan joins the Continental Army leaving his teaching job behind. Jonah, with the Lawrence’s flees Boston for New York. When Nathan Hale is caught spying and hanged his famous words “ I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country” helps young Jonah to decide which side of the war he will fight for.

Rees, Celia, Sovay, Bloomsbury, New York, 2008, 404 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:1599902036, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
Set against the French revolution in 1794, Sovay, a young English girl breaks from traditions that are expected of a girl her age and time. She does not just sit around getting her portrait painted, she is instead out roaming the roads of England robbing the likes of her fiancé, to prove his love for her. She discovers a plot to over throw the government of England and that her father and brother are to be blamed in the plot. Sovay travels to France at the height of Robespierre’s bloody beheadings, by Madame Guillotine, of those who hold a title or from those he perceives to be against the revolution. Those who like historical adventures they will be drawn to this descriptive rendition of this time in history.

Thompson, Sarah, Imagine a place, paintings by Rob Gonsalves, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York, 2008, unp., $17.99, ISBN:1416968024, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 9,
This is the third book by Sarah Thompson by which she has used again the painter Rob Gonsalves paintings in this her newest book. Superb paintings and words make the readers imagination soar.

Non Fiction:
Aronson, Marc, Unsettled: the problem of loving Israel, Atheneum Books for Young People, New York, 2008, 184 pgs., index, $18.99, ISBN:1416912614, Gr. 9+, P 8, Q 9,
Marc Aronson is a American man of Jewish decent, who as a teenager and young man spent time visiting relatives in Israel. We often ask why does it seem like every one in the Middle East hates Israel. Aronson by looking into Israel’s past and the formation of Israel as a country he is able to answer this question. A slim volume that looks at both sides, Israelis and Palestinian, and shows neither is innocent but both hold responsibility and blame and that each has blood on their hands. The Israelis having formed a country, and after winning a war they proved that they could stand alone as a strong country. They changed from nation of holocaust survivors to a country that is now taking personnel liberties away from the Palestinians. This is a book that should be included in all high school libraries.

Aronson, Marc, Bill Gates, Viking, New York, 2009, 192 pgs. $16.99, ISBN:0670063487, Gr. 7+, P 7, Q 8,
Bill Gates is one of the richest men in the world and having read this book I can see why. A self driven man, Mr. Gates is seen by the world as successful and someone who was able to bring technology to new heights. He was self absorb as a young man starting out and could be a bully to those he worked for him. Today married with three children he has taken his wealth and distributed it to the world using the Bill Gates Foundation to do so. One draw back to the book was that the names and ages of his children were left out. As the author points to this book is also a rendition of the growth of computers in the world today.

Bolden, Tonya, W. E. B. Du Bois, Viking, New York, 2008, 224 pgs., index, $16.99, ISBN:0670063029, Gr. 7+, P 7, Q 8,
W. E. B. Du Bois was one of the leading African-American men who sought equality for other African-Americans. He was involved in forming the N.A.A.C.P., one of the first to
write and speak out against Jim Crow laws and the lynching of African-Americans in the South. At the age of 95 Du Bois died leaving a legacy of written work and organizations that dealt with discrimination that African-Americans faced in the United States and Europe.

Sutherland, James, Ronald Reagan, Viking, New York, 2008, 252 pgs., index, $16.99, ISBN:0670063452, Gr. 7+, P 7, Q 9
Ronald Reagan was an actor, a governor and President of the United States. Growing up in a trouble home, who would have believed that this man could accomplish all that he did. A man who did not trust others and did not let those he loved even get close to him. His since of humor got him through many tough situations. He loved the United States and really wanted to do well for us in his Presidency. He was determined to stop the spread of communism, nuclear build up in foreign countries and to bring democracy to the rest of the world. He selected men, in his cabinet, who he felt had the same ideals as he had but instead kept secrets and betrayed him. What he had learned as Governor of California he tried to apply to his presidency and couldn’t understand why it didn’t work for the U.S.

Sandler, Martin, Lincoln through the lens : how photography revealed and shaped an extraordinary life, Walker & Company, New York, 2008, 96 pgs., index, $19.99, ISBN:0802796664, Gr. 6+, P 9, Q 10,
This collection of photo gives the reader a fascinating look at President Lincoln’s life. Presented using historical and lost photos many facts are included about this much love president. The most moving to me was the one of President Lincoln lying in state after his death. This is a book that should be included in every middle and high school collection.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers February 2009 Reviews by N.W.

Stanley, Diane. Mozart: The Wonder Child. A Puppet Play in Three Acts. HarperCollins, 2009. 978-0-06-072676-8. unp. Ages 7-10:
At the same time that the American Colonials were building up to and fighting the Revolutionary War, a musical prodigy was beginning his piano and composing career at the age of three. Stanley uses a highly stylized form of illustrations, including the puppet strings, that concentrate on the people, homes, and carriages that surrounded this brilliant boy who grew up to be an often troubled young man who composed some of the most beautiful music of all time. The concise and lyrical prose matches the precision of the art. A map of Europe shows Mozart’s trail from 1762 to 1791 when he died soon after the birth of his sixth child. P7Q9

Yolen, Jane. A Mirror to Nature: Poems about Reflection. Photo. Jason Stemple. Wordsong, 2009. $17.95. 978-1-59078-624-6. unp. Ages 9-12:
Gorgeous photographs of reflected animals and bird are extended by the reflective poetry about animals and life. Each page also includes notes on the individual photo subject, sometimes commenting on its endangered status. A good addition to poetry collections and photography studies. P7Q8

Picture Books
Cutbill, Andy. The Cow That Was the Best Moo-ther. Il. Russell Ayto. HarperCollins, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-06-166472-4. unp. Ages 4-8:
This touching, humorous look at motherhood, in which a cow proudly enters her baby into a farmyard beauty contest strictly for cows, is a follow-up to The Cow That Laid an Egg. Although proud mom Marjorie is a cow, her baby is small and feathery with a beak. Broad hilarious illustrations show the Marjorie’s and Daisy’s progress in demonstrating that mother-daughter relationships go far beyond biology. This is a must for libraries and a wonderful read-aloud. P10Q10

Black, Michael Ian. Chicken Cheeks. Il. Kevin Hawkes. Simon & Schuster, 2009. $15.99. 978-1-4169-4864-3. unp. Ages 3-6:
How many synonyms are there for “bottom”? Seventeen, according to this book of lots of ends, beginning with the chicken and ending with the “Bumblebee bum!” Bold drawings of these 17 creatures’ “ends” and their matching terms will produce giggles, snorts, and outright laughter from the young ones listening to this litany. P10Q8

Portis, Antoinette. A Penguin Story. HarperCollins, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-06-145688-6. unp. Ages 4-8:
A snowy cover introduces Edna, the penguin who wants more colors in her life than the white, black, and blue of her arctic environment. The rough illustrations, similar to wood cuts, show Edna looking and looking and looking until she finds—orange. The addition of people with their colorful tents, planes and clothing as well as the gift of an orange stretchy glove delight the penguins. But finding the orange only makes Edna more determined to find another color. This is Portis’ third simple, delightful book following Not a Box and Not a Stick. The more you read them, the more you like them. P9Q9

Schubert, Ingrid & Dieter. Ophelia. Lemniscaat, 2009. $16.95. 978-1-59078-659-8. unp. Ages 3-7: Everyone knows what happens when a story is passed along from one person to another. This tale begins very simply when Kevin the lizard tells Ophelia the hippo that he has butterflies in his stomach. But by the time that this innocent remark moves through the meerkat, frog, porcupine, rhino, toucan, and turtle, Kevin is said to be dead. Through the movement of the telling and the soft watercolors, a sense of humor emerges in joy. Winners of the Dutch award for best illustrated book, the Schuberts make the animals actions realistic and combine their concern with a visual imagination of what has happened. A charming read-aloud from Ophelia’s smelling a flower on the cover to the stance of the very alive Kevin on the last page. P9Q9

Scotton, Rob. Love, Splat. HarperCollins, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-06-083157-8. unp. Ages 4-8: Best-selling author and illustrator of Splat the Cat and Russell the Sheep returns with another story about his chubby, square cats filling the white pages. Splat’s dilemma is his “like” for Kitten and the competition with Spike for her friendship. Fortunately, Spike is fonder of himself than Kitten as shown by his Valentine card: “You are so lucky that I like you.” Scotton rolls up a lesson into the humor demonstrated by Splat’s frustration and caring. A joy for any day. P8Q8

van Lieshout, Elle and Mies van Hout. Lovey and Davey. Il. Mies van Hout. Lemniscaat, 2009. $16.95. 978-1-59078-660-4. unp. Ages 6-8:
Prison becomes far more comfortable for the laughable couple—round Lovey and bald Dovey—when Dovey goes through the bars each day to bring back the sun and sea, the moon and sky, the apple tree, and more. The illustrator brings in a variety of animals and attempts by artists to paint the objects that have been stolen. The twist at the end is the disastrous day when the couple is released: all they can do is steal another pair of socks to get back into their happy abode. Children will want to read this many times, searching for new details in the illustrtations.

Godbersen, Anna. Envy (Luxe Series) HarperCollins, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-06-134572-2. 405p. Ages 13+:
This extravagant description of the excesses in the lifestyles of New York’s wealthy society at the turn of the nineteenth century continues the stories of those peopled in The Luxe and Rumors. In this one, Elizabeth has been widowed after her marriage to a stable boy, become pregnant, and must find a husband. Penelope has blackmailed Elizabeth’s ex-fiance, Henry, who is in love with Elizabeth’s sister, into marrying her. And Elizabeth’s past maid is now being passed off as a wealthy heiress from the West. As Kirkus says about the first one, “A big, sumptuous tale of catty girls, dark secrets, and windswept romance unfurls in this compulsively readable novel of late nineteenth-century New York City socialites.” Can’t put it down! P9Q7

Hartinger, Brent. Project Sweet Life. HarperTeen, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-06-082411-2. 282p. Ages 12-146:
Three privileged 15-year-old boys living in Tacoma (WA) spend their summer vacation trying—with disastrous failure—to make enough money that their parents won’t know the boys don’t have the jobs that they claim. After detailing the adventures, the author quickly and unrealistically ties up all the loose ends with success for all of them. The boys are so squeaky clean that this could be set in the 1950s, but the pieces of Tacoma history regarding the discrimination against the Chinese workers in the nineteenth century makes a nice addition. Known for his books with gay protagonist, including Geography Club, Hartinger provides a gay uncle for one of the boys as a peripheral nod to glbtq issues. P7Q7

Klein, Lisa. Two Girls of Gettysburg. Bloomsbury, 2008. $16.99. 978-1-59990-105-3. 393p. Ages 13+:
Committed to the Union cause during the Civil War, Lizzie is torn from her cousin Rosanna who is dedicated to the Confederacy. Vivid brutal images of the Battle of Gettysburg mix with Lizzie’s dedication in continuing her father’s business and Rosanna’s love for a dashing officer. Readers of Ann Rinaldi will enjoy this sometimes florid picture of mid-nineteenth-century Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Milway, Alex. The Mousehunter. Little, 2008. $15.99. 078-0-316-02454-9. 422p. Ages 10-14: Prepare yourself for a page-turning adventure featuring a girl mousekeeper on a high-seas adventure, filled with swords and sea monsters, betrayal, misconceptions, and a large variety of mice who deliver messages, provide dung for fuel, and become close friends. The best part about this romp with pirates and thieves is that it calls for a sequel. P9Q9

February Book Reviews Y.Z., Retired Librarian, Waldport

Patrick Carman, Haunted Hike, Orchard Books, 2008, 58 pgs + cast, activity, etc., $8.99, ISBN 13:978-0-545-01931-6, Back & front endpapers have map of park.
Three squirrels earn their scout badge by taking a hike in Elliot’s Park on Halloween night. They encounter all sorts of scary things or friends on their way to their destination. P 5 Q5 too many characters but good read-aloud

Maribeth Boelts, Dogerella, Random House, 2008, 48 pgs, $3.99, ISBN 978-0-375-83393-95, Grades 1-3.
A dog’s take-off of Cinderella – stepmother, stepsisters, a ball, fairy dogmother, etc. The fairy dogmother was a little ‘off beat’ when she changed Dogerella into a cat then a donkey but finally back into a dog with a sparkling collar. At the castle Dogerella was put into the yard, on a chain, rather than being allowed into the ball. Because all the animals at the party were snarling and hissing, the Princess went into the back yard and sat by the pond. When she threw a dog bone into the pond, Dogerella snapped his chain, loosing his collar, and retrieved the bone for the Princess. The remainder of the story is like Cinderella – the good person or, in this case the dog, wins. P9 Q9

Laura McGee Kvasnosky, Zelda and Ivy and the Boy Next Door, Candlewick Press (1st PB edition, 2008), 34 pgs, $4.99, ISBN 978-0-7636-3799-6, ages 4-8.
Two sisters meet Eugene, the new boy next door. They play in the sandbox, sell lemonade and pretend they are pirates. But when the sisters sleep outside one night, Eugene is miffed. P7 Q8

Mary Jane Begin, When Toady met Ratty, Little, Browne and Company, 2008, unpaged, $14.99, ISBN 978-0-316-01353-6
This is about friendship. Badger has two friends, Toady and Ratty, who try to out-do each other while at a carnival, when Badger is around. Badger, tired of their antics and arguing goes into another carnival tent. He’s accosted, yells for help. Toady and Ratty, working together, save their friend Badger. Good cover, end pages all illustrated by the author.

Alison McGhee, Little Boy, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008, unpaged, $15.99, ISBN 13: 978-1-4169-5872-7
A father thinks of moments in his little boy’s life that will shape his future; cardboard boxes, the sun streaming into the boy’s bedroom, pencil marks on the door jamb, waving goodbye to family, etc.. P2 – doesn’t grab reader for several pages Q5 good read-aloud

Jill Davis, The First Rule of Little Brothers, Alfred A. Knopf, 2008, unpaged, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-375-94046-0, good illustrations by Sarah McMenemy.
A young boy learns that his little brothers watching and copying him may be annoying but leads to teaching and admiration P5 Q5

Trains, Cranes & Troublesome Trucks; a Thomas & Friends story, Beginner Books, Random House, 2008, unpaged, $8.99, ISBN 978-0-375-84977-0.
Story line poor: no consequences for being a trouble maker; the hero, the crane, never gets a “thank you”; the trains could only say “no, no, no”. For the beginning reader the verse, at times, ended on that page, then continued on the next page. This continuation, by itself, made no sense. P2 Q2

Louise Borden, The Lost-and-Found Tooth, Margaret K, McElderry Books, 2008, unpaged, $16.99, ISBN 13:978-1-4169-1814-1, 2nd grade and up.
Mr. Reilly’s 2nd grade class always had a personal problem to look forward to – losing a tooth. Losing a tooth meant putting their name and date on the “Who’s Lost A Tooth?” calendar along with the time and where. Lucy’s tooth finally fell out during recess in the winter. She was so excited, because this was her 1st tooth to fall out, that she showed it to everyone only to drop it in the snow. Someone finally found it so she was able to put her name on the calendar. Mr. Reilly also had many more fun things for his 2nd graders to do but the calendar was the most important. P9 Q9

Lisze Bechtold, Sally and the Purple Socks, Philomel Books, 2008, unpaged, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-399-24734-7
Sally orders a pair of purple socks and is delighted when they come. For some unknown reason her purple socks start growing. She finds many uses for them as they continue to get larger. It suddenly starts to rain and her socks shrink back to their original size. Now her feet will be warm when it snows. P9 Q8

Ken Setterington, Mom and Mum are getting Married!, Second Story Press, Toronto, Canada, 2004 (1st published in USA, 2005), unpaged, $11.95, ISBN 1-896764-84-3.
This story about a same sex marriage has Rosie, the little girl, wanting to be a flower girl at her Mom’s wedding to Mum. She can’t quite understand why it’s only a small wedding, but she is glad many relatives are invited. P6 Q8

Carol Ann Williams, Booming Bella, G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 2008, unpaged, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-399-24277-9.
Bella never said anything, she YELLED everything. On the day of the field trip to the art museum she couldn’t be quiet. The bus driver told her to be quiet, her teacher told her to be quiet and her classmates told her. The museum guide finally stopped and told Bella they wouldn’t continue unless she stopped yelling. Embarrassed Bella hung her head and went to the back of the line. When the tour was over, with her head still hanging down and not watching where she was going, she got on the wrong bus. Now her loud voice came in handy as she yelled about being on the wrong bus. P8 Q7

John Stadler, The Ballad of Wilbur and the Moose, Robin Corey Books, 1989, unpaged, $14.99, ISBN 978-0-375-94067-5. Good endpapers and illustrations.
An older cowboy sings a tale, in verse, to his fellow cowboys. The tale is about Wilbur Little who rode a blue moose while they were rounding up pigs. Along the way they met a gambler who lost his pigs to Wilbur. The gambler was so upset he found some rustlers to get his pigs back. Wilbur and the blue moose found the rustlers and poured lime juice on them till they couldn’t see. All the pigs followed Wilbur and his blue moose out into the night. When the old cowboy finished his tale he found all his fellow cowboys sound asleep.P7 Q7

Ruth Symes, Harriet Dancing, Chicken House, 2008, unpaged, ISBN 13: 978-0-545-03204-9, $16.99.
Harriet, a hedgehog, dances over to her friend’s house after eating breakfast. She’s so happy she invites all the animals she meets to dance with her. But they refuse. She then is so unhappy she starts crying and falls down a hill rolling through flowers. When she gets to her friend’s she looks so pretty they start dancing. All the other animals see how happy Harriet is that they start dancing too. Nice endpapers and illustrations by Caroline Church. P8 Q7

Margery Cuyler, Hooray for Reading Day, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2008, unpaged, $15.99, ISBN 13: 978-0-689-86188-8, ages 5-8.
Jessica, a 1st grader, worried about everything, especially reading in front of her class. Then one day her teacher announces that the class will have a ‘Reading Theater’ day. They’ll read a line or two to all the parents who have been invited. So sure she’ll make mistakes she practices reading to her dog. Then when her reading time comes she pretends she is reading to her dog and she makes no mistakes. She is then so proud of her ability to read she is not afraid to read in front of her class. P8 Q8

Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, My Penguin Osbert in Love, Candlewick Press, 2009, unpaged +, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-7686-8032-4.
For Christmas last year Joe received a live penguin who he let live at the zoo. This Christmas he received a real helicopter. Shortly after the holidays Joe gets a visit from his penguin Osbert. Osbert came because he needed to get to the Antarctic and wanted Joe’s help. So Joe revved up his helicopter, piled in Osbert and his friends and started for the Antarctic. After a few stops they sighted the Antarctic and landed. Osbert, after a few minutes, disappeared. When Joe found him he was making snow penguins with Aurora Australis. He had stars in his eyes and a smile on his face. Joe finally persuaded Osbert that they had to leave. Everyone, including Aurora, squeezed into Joe’s helicopter and they left. On the way back home Joe let Osbert try his flippers at flying. Good endpapers and illustrations by H.B. “Buck” Lewis

Retold by Doris Orgel, Doctor All-Knowing, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008, unpaged, $16.99, USBN 13: 978-1-4169-1246-0. Great illustrations by Alexandra Bliger.
A peasant is told he can become a doctor by reading an ABC book and hanging a sign ”Doctor All-knowing” above his door. A rich man seeing the sign wants the peasant to find out who has been stealing his money. The peasant and his daughter unknowingly reveal who has been stealing his money and where they have hidden it. The peasant is rewarded with wealth forever. P3 Q5

Thalia Kalkipsakis, The Worst Gymnast (Book #2 in ‘Go Girl!’ series), Feiwel and Friends, 2005, 86 pgs, $3.99, ISBN 978-0-312-34642-3
Gemma enjoys her gymnastic class until she accidentally slips and hits her coach, bloodying his nose. The coach yells at her and makes her do extra hard exercises. Even though Gemma resents her coach and his tactics, she stays on but starts practicing a new routine at home. When she shows her new routine to another gymnast friend the coach notices. After confronting Gemma she finally finds out ‘why’ he yelled and made her do harder exercises. This confrontation results in her getting a high score and her team winning at the state level. P9 Q8

Charlotte Herman, My Chocolate Year, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2008, 163 pgs including 12 recipes, $15.99, ISBN 13:978-1-469-3341-0, ages 8-12
This is the story of Dorrie Meyers’ year in 5th grade, shortly after WWII. Her teacher announces there will be a ‘Sweet Semester’ baking and essay contest at the end of the semester. Each student will make a sweet treat to be shared with the entire class and an essay as to why they made their particular entry. Besides the excitement of deciding what her treat would be, she was also excited about being in a relatives wedding. And her cousin, Victor, a Jew who had escaped years before from a deportation camp, was coming to the United States to live with her family. Because Dorrie loves chocolate she decided that her treat would be something chocolaty. All the things she tried didn’t work out too well, especially the chocolate covered gum. Nearing the time for the baking and essay contest, for which Dorrie had still not decided what her entry would be, her cousin Victor comes to the US and her house. It was what Victor suggested Dorrie enter that won her the essay part of the contest. P9 Q10

March 2009 Reviews
March Reviews, 2009, D.H. LCSD Media Specialist

Hollow, Michele C., Grateful Dead: “what a long strange trip it’s been”, Enslow Publishers Inc., 2009, ISBN-13: 978-0-7660-3028-8 This is a typical Enslow biography in that the format is interesting, colorful, easy to read, and fairly useful for writing a report. It has eight short chapters and then supplemental material including: timeline, discography, concert tours, and glossary, further reading suggestions, and index. I enjoyed seeing how “history” looks at this band of my youth. Although never a “Deadhead”, their music influenced me personally and Hollow seemed to capture that spirit that embodied the Dead. The author seemed objective in the coverage, and did a short bio of each main member in chapter’s 2&8 without individual pictures so it was hard to know which member was which without prior knowledge. One factual error was in the naming of their company “Ice Nine” after Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat Cradle. The author claimed Ice Nine was, “a room that contained headaches. To members of the Grateful Dead, dealing with music contracts gave them headaches.” (Ice Nine was actually a crystal that could freeze water). It makes this reader question the veracity of other “facts” in the book. P7/Q7

Krull, Kathleen, Hillary Rodham Clinton: dreams taking flight, ill. Amy June Bates, Simon & Shuster Books for Young Readers, 2008, ISBN 13: 978-1-4169-7129-0
This picture book inspired me! Using the metaphor of dreams taking flight, we watch as Hillary R. Clinton pursues her dreams of helping people and not being limited by people’s stereotypes of women. The text weaves in words indicating flight and soaring, rocketing, and airborne. Each page also has an uplifting phrase in italicizes that the reader realizes she is speaking to her own daughter, as others had spoken encouragement to her. The illustrations helped the text as we watch Hillary develop from a young girl dreaming of being an astronaut to the last page when she ran for President of the USA. “… she was propelling herself into history; making a difference. Sooner or later, we will have a woman president, and it will be because of every girl who has wanted to fly.” P8/Q9

Lewis, J. Patrick & Paul B. Janeczko, Birds on a Wire: a Renga ‘Round Town, ill. Gary Lippincott, Wordsong an imprint of Boyds Mills Press, 2008, ISBN: 978-1-59078-383-2
This picture books introduces the Japanese poetry form of renga (which pre-dates haiku) by giving us a “bird’s eye view” of a American small town circa 1950’s. I enjoyed the illustrations and the clever way that the poets linked each verse, but allowed the verses to take off in unexpected directions. I would purchase this one if I had the budget for it this year! P9/Q/9

Pelosi, Nancy, Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters, Doubleday, 2008, ISBN 978-0-385-52586-2
Using quotes like, “know your power” and “recognize opportunity”, as well as anecdotes of how various women have shaped her life, Nancy Pelosi tells of her rise to the most powerful position held by a woman: Speaker of the House of Representatives. Pelosi shows how her mother influenced her own political family growing up in Maryland and how the skills of raising a family transfer to running the government. She continually empowers the reader to seek out her/his dreams, use the tools that they already possess, and not allow others to limit the pursuit. The narrative flows well and the story of her life is intriguing. Her audience is the young women of America that might benefit from her story as a role model. We get a look into how politics is done at the local and national levels, the importance of relationships, and how many women are perfectly suited to take on the task of running our country. P8/Q9

March 2009 Book Reviews Carol Schramm Siletz Public Library
Picture Books:

Kimberly Wagner Klier. Kathleen Kemly, ill. You Can’t Do That, Amelia. Calkins Creek, 2008. Not paged. ISBN 9780803731257. $16.95. Ages 4-8. P7 Q8. This book tells the story of Amelia Earhart. It focuses on her personality and drive, and how she followed her dream of becoming a pilot without much support from others. The illustrations are richly colored and give a nice sense of the time frame. At the end of the book is a list of important dates and further information about Amelia. The group of 6 boys I read this book to wasn’t overly excited about it because, “there aren’t any boys in it.” I wonder what girls would think?

Steve Breen. Violet the Pilot. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2008. Not paged. ISBN 9781590784679. $16.99. Ages 4-8. P8Q8. Another flying book. This is a fun book about Violet Van Winkle who is a natural born inventor. She is an unusual girl with a strong mechanical streak in her- the book is full of great illustrations of her flying machines (which work!). She wants to enter an air show, but gets sidetracked on the way and has to save some boy scouts from drowning, so misses the air show. Later everyone in town, including the kids from school who teased her for being a nerd, come and praise her. I read this to the same group of boys as the previous book. They loved this one (even though the main character was a girl)- they especially liked the plans for her best plane, which are found on the end papers.

Jonah Winter. Jeanette Winter, ill. The Secret World of Hildegard. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007. Not paged. ISBN 9780439507394. $16.99. Ages 5-9. P1 Q7.
This book is the story of Hildegard von Bingen (often called Saint Hildegard even though she was never officially canonized as a saint by the Catholic church). She was an unusual woman who lived during the middle ages. She composed music, wrote scientific works, and had mystical visions. While her story is very interesting, I can’t imagine many 5-9 year olds who would drawn into this book. The illustrations are nice- they remind me of a kind of icon- but I don’t think that’s enough for young kids. It might be of interest in a specialized setting like a Catholic school.

Cristina Garcia. Sebastià Serra, ill. The Dog Who Loved the Moon. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008. Unpaged. ISBN. 9781416918363. $15.99. Ages 4-8. P7Q7.
This book is about a young girl and her dog. Pilar loves to dance and is a truly joyful little girl. Her dog Paco is a good match for her during the day, but becomes sad at night. The family finally realizes that he is lovesick for the moon. The situation resolves itself by the end when the moon pays him a visit. The illustrations are colorful and the kids in my story hour thought the book was fun.
Children’s Non-Fiction:
Monalisa Sengupta. Discover Big Cats. Enslow Publishers, 2009. 48 pages. ISBN 9780766034730. $23.93. Ages 9+. P8Q8.
This is a very interesting book that gives detailed information about different types of big cats. It covers topics like specific kinds of cats, raising cubs, hunting, prehistoric cats, and dangers the cats are finding themselves today. This book would be useful to a student writing a report, or just curious about these amazing animals.

Young Adult Fiction:
Marilyn Nelson & Tonya C. Hegamin. Pemba’s Song: A Ghost Story. Scholastic Press, 2008. 109 pages. ISBN 9780545020763. $16.99. Ages 12+. P8Q8.
Pemba is a 14 year old girl. She and her mother (her father was killed in Iraq) move from Brooklyn
to a small town in Connecticut. Pemba is very unhappy about leaving her friends behind and lets that show by being a very whiney teenager. She begins to help an old man (Abraham) with some research on black history in the town; at the same time she begins having paranormal experiences in the house she and her mother are living in. Through her historical research, she begins to understand what happened in that house- a young mulatto slave girl died there and her ghost is trying to communicate with Pemba. I liked how Pemba changes over the course of the book- she begins to see that her problems aren’t as terrible as she sometimes thinks, and begins to see situations through other people’s eyes. How could someone like her submit and curtsy to people she must secretly hate? I would’ve run away… or maybe it wasn’t that easy. The author alternates between telling the story in ordinary narrative, and using Pemba’s journal entries (poetry and rap lyrics). I liked this novel a lot. In fact, I wish the author had developed it into a longer book- the characters and setting are interesting and I could have done with more detail, though busy teenagers might find it just right.

March 2009 Oregon Coast Preview Center For Young Readers S.E. Grandparent Volunteer

Herman Charlotte, Il. LeUyen Pham, “My Chocolate Year” Simon & Schuster books for young readers, NY. 2008..163p ISBN 9781416933410. Ages 10-12. Q7P7.
Dorrie is a young Jewish girl starting the 5th grade in the post WWII era. Her family is living in America waiting word of their family in Europe and hoping they will all be joined in America. She is starting the 5th grade and she knows that her new teacher will have a final on sweets and Dorrie does Chocolate. The book is interesting in that throughout the book, there are recipes for different kinds of chocolate desserts. It also enlightens the reader and makes them aware of the things that went on in Europe with the Jews at that time.

Lipsyte, Robert, “Yellow Flag” Harper Teen, a division of Harper Books, 2007. ISBN97806055707. 234p. Ages 14-18. Q8P9.
Kyle plays the trumpet really well and lives in a race car family. When his brother gets injured and can’t race in a big qualifying race, Kyle has to race the race. During the book he struggles with what he wants to do in life and has to make some tough choices.

O’Connor, Barbara, “How To Steal a Dog.” Douglas & McIntyre Ltd. Canada. 2007. 169p. ISBN 139780374334970, Ages 10-15. Q8P8.
Georgina lives with her mom and brother in a car after being deserted by her father. After seeing lost dog posters offering rewards, she devises a plan to steal a dog and get the reward so that they can move into their own place. The dog she chooses has an old lady owner, a nice old lady owner and Georgina finds out what empathy and guilt are. It leaves the reader with uplifting thoughts.

Cheng, Andrea, “The Bear Makers” Boyds Mills Press Pa. 2008. 170p. Ages 8-12. Q9P9.
In post-WWII Hungary, a Jewish family makes teddy bears to sell on the black market. Since it was illegal to make money in Hungary after the war and since the government ordered people to turn their neighbors in to the special police if they suspected them of doing anything wrong, Kata was always worried that they would be found out. Her older brother escaped and went to America and the family spends their time waiting for him to send for them. This book was a wonderful read and at times I forgot that I was reading a kids book.

Hamilton, Richard and Babette Cole. If I Were You, A Daddy-Daughter Story. Bloomsbury, c2008. ISBN 1599902893. Unp. $16.99. Grades K-3rd. (Q7, P8)
This is a funny book because Dad dresses up in a tutu and sits in a stroller. The daughter and the dad trade places. Kindergarten to second grade might like it. The pictures are funny!

Katz, Karen. Ten tiny babies. Margaret K. EcElderry Books, c2009. ISBN 1416935460 Unp. $14.99. Grades PreS-K. (Q7, P7)
This book was weird because it was all about babies. Kindergartener’s likes babies and they might like ten tiny babies. It’s a counting book. (I enjoyed this book, its rhyming verse is easy to read and the bright pictures will attract the little ones.) BR

Markle, Sandra. Sneaky, Spinning Baby Spiders. Walker & Company, c2008. ISBN 0802796974. 32 pgs. $16.99. Grades 3rd-8th. (Q 8, P5)
This book is meant for information. It would be good for a report on spiders. (The up close photographs are absolutely fantastic. You can see lots of details on these spiders. The information is plentiful and easy to read and understand.) BR

Andreae, Giles, and Russell Ayto. Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs Missing Treasure. Margaret K. McElderry Books, c2007. ISBN 1416967451. Unp. $16.99. Grades 1-3rd. (Q 7, P6)
This book was very very weird and a little funny because of the weird names of the characters. There is a game board at the end. There are long words too. Good for grade 1-3. (Flinn and his class go on a field trip to the museum to see dinosaur skeletons. Once there they find a treasure missing. Into a cupboard they go and fall into another world where they experience exciting adventures. The watercolor and ink illustrations are very detailed and busy.) BR

Page, Gail. Bobo and the New Neighbor. Bloomsbury, c2008, ISBN 1599900092. Unp. $16.99. Grades K-2nd. (Q8, P7)
My opinion about this book is it is weird because the dog dresses up and makes muffins. He is clumsy and he walks on two legs. The cat gardens, wears hats and helps bake muffins. (A very entertaining book about welcoming new neighbors.) BR

B.R. Yaquina View Reviews
Stewart, Melissa. Why are Animals Green? Enslow, c2009. ISBN 0766032523. 32 Pgs. Grades 1-3rd. (Q8, P7)
A table of Contents in the book helps one decide what they want to read about. The glossary is also in the front which is nice as it gives the reader a chance to review new words before reading the book. The end of the book includes two Learn More pages and an index. The up-close-in-your-face photos are absolutely fantastic. The book does not actually tell why the animals are green rather it tells how the color helps them in their environment.

Stewart, Amber. No Babysitters Allowed. Ills. by Laura Rankin. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, c2008. ISBN 1599901544. Unp. Grades PreS-2nd. (Q8, P9)
My kindergarten classes loved this book about being scared when the babysitter comes. Hopscotch’s tummy hurts when Mrs. Honeybunch comes to baby sit. Mommy feels a little bad also. By the end of the evening Hopscotch is feeling better and is ready for her to come again.

Case, Chris. Sophie and the Next-Door Monsters. Walker & Company, c 2008. ISBN 0802797563. UNP. $15.99. Grades PreS-3rd. (Q7, P7)
Sophie and her mother has new neighbors and Sophie is afraid because she saw them moving in and they are MONSTERS. Instead of putting on her party dress, when the new neighbors come for dinner, Sophie puts on her monster protection clothes. She comes to find that all monsters are not necessarily scary but can be fun and friendly. A lovely book about new neighbors and friends.

Thach, Janes Otis. The Tickle Monster is Coming! Ills. by David Barneda. ISBN 1599900114. Unp. $15.99. PreS-3rd. (Q7, P8)
Watch out for the Tickle Monster, this book makes going to bed a fun adventure. The tickle monster knows the scent of your toothpaste, he hears you unfold your pj’s, he can even see you through your ceiling. Figuring out what or who the tickle monster is is half the fun of this book.

Long, Loren. Drummer Boy. Philomel Books, c2008. ISBN 039925174X. Unp. $17.99. Grades K-3rd. (Q8, P8)
This book reminds me of “The Little Drummer Boy” and “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”. The Tin Soldier is the Drummer boy and is given to a young boy for Christmas. The Drummer plays his drum for the boy and one morning the magic began. He was pushed into a trash can and ended up traveling all over town and back to his home, always playing his drum for others. This is a heart warming story about love and giving pleasure.

Slade, Suzanne. Sojourner Truth, Preacher for Freedom and Equality. Ills. by Natascha Alex Blanks. Picture Windows, c2008. ISBN 1404837264. 24 pgs. Grades 2nd-5th. (Q8, P5)
This book tells the story of Sojourner Truth, a brave woman who helped many people. She gave speeches that made people think, worked to win equal rights for women and fought to free slaves. This book is easily read and would be an excellent resource for an elementary report on famous black people. It includes a timeline, a “Did you Know?” section, glossary, index and references for more learning.

Einhorn, Kam. My First Book About Airplanes and Rockets. Ills. by Christopher Moroney. Random House, c2008. ISBN 0375843213. UNP. $7.99. Grades PreS-2nd. (Q7, P6)
This book is filled with photos of all kinds of airplanes and rockets. Easy reading gives lots of fascinating facts. Elmo and Grover adding their own comments will entice the younger child to keep looking through this book.
Book Review
Title: Ella Enchanted Author: Gail Carson Levine Reader: K.D. WHS Student When Ella of Frell was born, she was given an unfortunate gift of obedience. She must obey any order given her. Ella has a tough time with the princes, giants, stepsisters, and fairy godmothers while her father is gone on a trip. She is determined to break this curse that is ruining her life. When she denies her love for the prince Charmant… everything changes
Recommendation: Yes

Daughter of the Forest Book One in The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Juliet Marillier
First published in 1999, Daughter of the Forest is loosely based on the traditional story of The Six Swans, which appears in Grimm’s Fairy Tales and has been re-told in many versions, including one by Hans Christian Andersen. In Daughter of the Forest, the fairy tale story – a youngest sister must maintain complete silence while weaving shirts from nettles in order to return her swan brothers to human form – is combined with a family drama set on both sides of the Irish Sea. More than anything, this is a story about the bond of love between siblings. It is one of my favorite’s books and I know that people will enjoy it

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers March 2009 Reviews by N.W.

Beccia, Carlyn. The Raucous Royals: Test Your Royal Wits: Crack Codes, Solve Mysteries, and Deduce Which Royal Rumors Are True. Houghton, 2008. $17.00. 978-0-618-89130-6. 64p. Age ?: Scandalous beliefs about European and Russian royal leaders for four centuries beginning in 1400 are sometimes debunked through research with a two-page explanation of how the reader can do this. Cartoon figures bring out the worst in appearance, including the image of the teacher, with frequently distasteful humor shown in the language and illustrations. The “rumors” frequently use cruel or insensitive language such as the description of Richard III as “Crouchback,” the image of Anne Boleyn as buck and gap-toothed, the comparison of Anne of Cleeves to a horse, and the comment after the dog’s reaction to the execution of Mary Queen of Scots as “one sad pooch.” With no balance in history, the book provides young readers with a number of slurs that they can use against their associates about historical figures unfamiliar to them. Adults who have studied British/Russian history might find this funny if they enjoy sophomoric humor. P4Q6

Gourley, Robbin. Bring Me Some Apples and l Make You a Pie: A Story about Edna Lewis. Clarion, 2009. $16.00. 978-0-618-15836-2. unp. Ages 5-8:
Growing up in the South, Edna Lewis, born in 1916, learned to live off the land by the seasons. Bright juicy watercolors in these lush scenes show her and her family as they pluck salad greens, pick vegetables and fruit, gather honey, and collect nuts before preparing them into tantalizing delights stored in the pantry. Gourley’s colloquial words, frequently using rhymes, feature the rhythms of Southern speech, resulting in a folksy flavor. Her background with using these harvested foods led her to write four cookbooks and become a famous chef in New York, highly unusual for an African-American woman. The story of her youthful gathering and cooking is supplemented by an author’s note, a photograph of Edna Lewis at 73, and five simple recipes. P7Q8

Hoose, Phillip. Claudette Colvin: Twice toward Justice. Melanie Kroupa Books/FSG, 2009. $19.95. 978-0-374-31322-7. 133p. Ages 9-12:
Many young readers in the United States know that Rosa Park’s refusal in 1955 to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama started a revolution that would lead to integrating the city’s transportation system. Fewer know that the refusal was part of an orchestrated movement, and almost none realize that almost exactly nine months before Rosa stayed in her seat, a 13-year-old girl also refused to stand so that a block of seats could be set aside for just one white woman. That girl was Colvin, and this book is her story, complete with a recent interview. Text and photographs tell about her growing up and the culture for African-Americans at that time. The information in the book also explains that the bus boycott and integration was ended, not by the African-Americans’ refusal to ride the buy but by a Supreme Court decision. This is an important addition to school and public library collections. P5Q8

Kajikawa, Kimiko. Tsumami! Il. Ed Young. Philomel, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-399-25006-4. unp. Ages 4-7:
Over 100 years ago, a temple stands in a small Japanese village inscribed in gold with Ojiisan, meaning grandfather. Young’s magnificent collage, gouache, and pastel double-page spreads help express first the joy of a rice harvest celebration and then the fear resulting from the violent monster wave following a small earthquake. Only the quick-thinking of the respected and wealthy Ojiisan when he set his rice field on fire saved the 400 lives in the village as they all ran to put out the fire. The book tells not only of a selfless act but also describes the way in which the sea goes in and out with greater destruction each time. P8Q10

Louis, Catherine. My Little Book of Chinese Words. Calligraphy by Shi Bo. Trans. MaryChris Bradley. NorthSouth Books, 2008. $17.95. 978-0-7358-2174-3. unp. Ages 7-12:
Over 100 Chinese words are clearly illustrated with a picture of the object or concept, the ancient Chinese character, the modern Chinese calligraphy, the word in English, and the pronunciation of the Chinese word. The book is a thing of beauty even if the reader is not learning Chinese, and the shape of the words are remarkably similar to the object. An excellent choice for libraries to extend the diversity of materials. P8Q9

Margulies, Philip and Maxine Rosaler. The Devil on Trial: Witches, Anarchists, Atheists, Communists, and Terrorists in America’s Courtroom. Houghton, 2008. $22.00. 978-0-618-71717-0. 218p. Ages 12+:
Highly detailed information about and background for five trials each show the importance of justice and the lack of it in some of these trials. In one of these, the Salem witch trials, the outcome of execution is clearly shown as wrong. The decision of the Scopes “monkey” trial about the right to teach evolution in a Tennessee school results in no clear winner because it was more of a spectacle than a real trial. The decision was never proved accurate in the other three: the killing of Chicago police supposedly by members of the labor movement in 1886 causing the Haymarket bomb trial; the accusation that Algier Hiss was a Communist leading to a more recent “witch hunt” in the late 1940s; and the struggle surrounding the defense and prosecution of Zacharias Moussaoui for the conspiracy resulting in the 9/11 destruction of the New York City Twin Towers. Although the language is clear, the details are so dense that the reading is sometimes difficult. The authors have also tried very hard to be unbiased, even in the Salem witch trial segment. The book will be useful primarily for curriculum. P4Q8

Noyes, Deborah. Encyclopdia of the End: Mysterious Death in Fact, Fancy, Folklore, and More. Houghton, 2008. $25.00. 978-0-618-82362-8. 145p. Ages 12+:
Ever wondered what a gibbet looks like? Or why limestone was used for coffins? Or why the “bog people” never disintegrated? These questions and far more than you have ever thought of asking are answered in this alphabetical review of almost everything to do with death. (Necrophilia is somehow missing, perhaps because the book is written for young people.) Photographs, drawings, and paintings are generously sprinkled throughout the book with some illustrations laid under the print. While much of the information is fascinating, a little goes a long way. The only negative part of the book is the brief index which, oddly enough, uses mostly the same words that could be looked for alphabetically within the text. The truly good details cannot be found without remembering where they were read; i.e., the story of the Winchester house is lost without referring to “Haunting.” Those who read the book, however, will “memento mori,” or “remember to die.” This will surely be popular. P8Q8

Reich, Susanna. Painting the Wild Frontier: The Art and Adventures of George Catlin. Clarion, 2008. $21.00. 978-0-618-71470-5. 160p. Ages 13+:
Knowing that the Native American culture was destined to disappear, Catlin, artist and explorer, Catlin dedicated his life to documenting the people he met, first with portraits of American Indians and later with landscapes of South America. This chronological view of his life and work shows the series of disasters that he experienced, both personally and professionally. His ambition resulted in the early death of his wife, two of his children, and several Indians who toured with him to publicize his Indian Gallery, the collection of portraits. Congress refused to purchase his works, now a premier attraction of the Smithsonian, and they almost rotted in a basement before being rescued. Reich provides a personal view of the man who looked upon the American Indian as more than a savage and creates an unbiased account of the persecution of these people. Although most of the reproductions of Catlin’s words are in black and white, eight pages of colored portraits give an idea of his work. P4Q8

Sellier, Marie, Catherine Louis, and Wang Fei. What the Rat Told Me: A Legend of the Chinese Zodiac. NorthSouth, 2009. $16.95. 978-0-7358-2220-7. unp. Ages 3-7:
Bold stunning linoleum prints of vivid red complemented by black on the creamy white pages following the parade of the twelve animals that become the 12 signs of the zodiac—and explain why the cat has been left out of the procession. Adapted from a Chinese Buddhist legend dating from the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE), this ancient porquoi tale is accompanied by the Chinese words for the different animals, the final illustration of the entire zodiac circle, and the birth dates for each of the animals. Children will delight in determining their personal “animal” sign and discovering the different characteristics that fit each. A fun read-aloud and elegant book. P9Q10.

Silvey, Anita. I’ll Pass for Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War. Clarion, 2008. $17.00. 978-0-618-57491-9. 115p. Ages 8-12:
Although many people are aware that women sometimes disguised themselves to serve in American wars, the author has collected many of their stories in this slim volume, showing how common was this occurrence. In clear, succinct language, she discusses why women chose to do this, how they succeeded (or failed), and what happened to them after the war as well as describing the discrimination against women at this time. Period photos, prints, drawings, and documents illustrate this well-researched illumination of a Civil War aspect often overlooked. Silvey, one of the foremost authorities on children’s literature, became interested in the subject while researching her own family history and delved deeply into the subject. This is her first book for young readers. P6Q9

Sloat, Teri. There Was an Old Man Who Painted the Sky. Il. Stefano Vitale. Christy Ottaviano/Holt, 2009. $16.95. 978-0-8050-6751-5. unp. Ages 4-8:
Using the song “The Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly” as a pattern, Sloat tells the story of a prehistoric man painting images on the ceiling of a cave as he contemplates the creation of the world. The richness of the images from the illustrator of Why War Is Never a Good Idea begins with the deep colors of night, moves through day and into the sea, and finishes with the creatures of the land complete with humans. Part of the magic of this book is that it includes the 1879 discovery of these paintings in the Altamira Cave in Spain by a young girl who preferred to look at the ceiling while her father explored the floor of the cave. P9Q9

Talbot, Hudson. River of Dreams: The Story of the Hudson River. Putnam, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-399-24521-3. unp. Ages 8-12:
More than four centuries of the Hudson River’s history comes to life in this feast for the eyes from the illustrator of Jacqueline Wilson’s Show Way. From the early explorers through colonial, revolutionary, and industrial times to the tragic effects of pollution, Talbot draws a chronological ribbon citing times and events. Fortunately, his story of the Hudson River has a happy ending with Franny Reese and others founding Scenic Hudson have succeeded in saving the river from destruction as well as started the environmental movement in the country. Although possibly of more interest to young readers who live close to the Hudson River, this great read-aloud provides inspiration to readers and listeners. P7Q9

Wahman, Wendy. Don’t Lick the Dog: Making Friends with Dogs. Holt, 2009. $16.95. 978-0-8050-8733-8. unp. Ages 3-6:
Quirky, almost abstract illustrations in bold colors display a woman with six dogs who gives directions to three children about treating dogs so that they stay safe. Asking permission to pet dogs, keeping a distance until the dogs know new humans, successful petting methods, and hand-feeding dogs are a few of the manners that children need to know before having a relationship with a dog. All children—and adults–should know the information in this book! P9Q8

Lies, Brian. Bats in the Library. Houghton, 2008. $16.00. 978-0-618-99923-1. unp. Ages 3-7:
What happens in the library at night? It might just be that the bats squeeze through a small window opening to not only read and talk about the books but also play games with wall shadows and duplicating themselves on the copier. Although the poetry sometimes fails to scan, the humor and perspective of the dark, detailed acrylic illustrations filled with personality and odd perspectives. Perhaps next time Lies do the illustrations in collaboration with a poet. P8Q8

Raschka, Chris, retold. Peter and the Wolf. Richard Jackson/Atheneum, 2008. $17.99. 978-0-689-85652-5. unp. Ages 4-8:
The characters of Sergei Prokofiev’s musical work—boy, bird, duck, cat, grandfather, wolf, and hunters—are joined by the veterinarian who causes a new ending. In short, Peter first saves the bird from the cat and then, ignoring his grandfather’s warning about the wolf, enlists the bird’s help in capturing the wolf after he swallows the duck whole. Peter’s last act is to save the wolf from the hunters as the duck cries to get out of the wolf. What makes this book highly original, however, is the creative book design by Ann Bobco and Raschka’s imaginative artwork. Most of the two-page spreads have vivid, broadly-drawn characters with the “lyrics” on one side and a sophisticated, three-dimensional watercolor stage set on the other. This is a book to be read over and over with careful examination of the illustrations. P7Q9

Schmidt, Amy. Loose Leashes. Photo. Ron Schmidt. Random House, 2009. $16.99. $16.99. 978-0-375-85641-9. unp. Ages 6-10:
Beautifully sentimental photographs of dogs pair with 15 pleasant poems provide a look at these furry friends. It will make a good coffee table book or a diversion for readers. The “Furry Facts” at the end gives a cute personal view of each pooch but fails to indicate breed or other practical information about it. For large collections. P8Q5 Picture Books

Hurd, Thacher. Bad Frogs. Candlewick, 2009. $15.99. 978-0-7636-3253-3. unp. Ages 3-6: Capricious frogs slurp, burp, skateboard, somersault, parachute, and play their way through action-packed pages. On a variety of colored backgrounds from the yellow of the bathroom wall to the dotted splatters or attempted artists, digitally enhanced watercolors of 170—yes 170!—green and slimy frogs show how bad they can be when allowed to participate in the human world. Although illustrations are simple, they also encourage careful examination by the reader to find all these frogs and what they are doing. The creator of Art Dog has provided another classic of the animal kingdom for the youngest readers. About Bad Frogs, Hurd says, “This has been a fascinating experience for me: to create a book about pure, unadulterated froggy joy. It took many months of drawing and redrawing to find the right feeling and just the right shade of green.” P9Q9

Jeffers, Oliver. The Great Paper Caper. Philomel, 2008. $17.99. 978-0-399-25076-2. unp. Ages 4-8 (with help):
Where were the tree branches going? The creatures in the forest (block-like figures on stick legs) gather to collect clues but fail to notice the bear (another figure with stick legs) wandering around with his ax and sometimes chopping off the branches. Folk images show the homes below the trees, the creatures’ thoughts as they try to solve the mystery, and the solution: the bear is making paper for airplanes to win a contest. Clean lines and negative space make the illustrations memorable, bringing out each one’s personality. P5Q8

Liao, Jimmy. When the Moon Forgot. Adapt. Sarah L. Thomson. Little, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-316-11390-8. unp. Ages 4-7:
Fallen from the sky, the moon finds a friend in a boy who provides it love and nurture. Meanwhile the world is changed for the worse with the disappearance of the moon although people buy manufactured ones. The touching text is accompanied by gentle, detailed illustrations of day and night, filled with action and love as the caring boy teaches the moon to overcome its fears. A charming story about science and nurture. P9Q9

Pearle, Ida. A Child’s Day: An Alphabet of Play. Harcourt, 2008. $12.95. 078-0-15-206552-2. unp. Ages 2-5:
Activities that fill a child’s day from “act” to “zoom” comprise this delightfully colorful book filled with faceless children. The author/ illustrator uses cut-paper collage to show the actions, toys, tools, and animals found throughout the pages showing the many ways that children can entertain themselves. This would be an excellent beginning for finding synonyms; children can create their own “day.” P9Q8

Shapiro, Zachary. We’re All in the Same Boat. Il. Jack E. Davis. Putnam, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-399-24393-6. unp. Ages 3-7:
Noah’s boat is filled with an alphabet-load of animals who are at first disgruntled and then satisfied. Each animal in the alphabet gets two adjectives, one negative and one positive, with the two polarities broken by Noah’s bellow, “We’re all in the same boat!” Humor fills both the language and the colorful, detailed illustrations, in this clever take-off on the forty rainy days of travel. With many of the illustrations being small, this is better for smaller groups or individual readers. But fun, no matter what! P9Q9

Graphic Books
Craddock, Erik. BC Mambo. [Stone Rabbit #1] Random House, 2009. $5.99. 978-0-375-84360-0. 96p. Ages 5-9:
A bored little bunny living a humdrum existence in the sleepy town of Happy Glades, Stone Rabbit finds his life changing when he discovers a time portal of doom—right under his bathroom rug! Suddenly, Stone Rabbit finds himself on a Jurassic journey in a prehistoric world, facing off against vicious velociraptors, terrifying T. rexes, and a nefarious Neanderthal bent on world conquest. This is the first book in a new full-color series that chronicles the zany of adventures of a quick-tempered and quick-witted young rabbit. #2 is Pirate Palooza (978-0-375-85660-0) in which Stone Rabbit replaces the broken leg on his coffee table with the cursed peg leg of a long-dead pirate—and inadvertently unleashes the ghostly fury of Captain Barnacle Bob and fleeing from scary sea beasts! P8Q8

Holm, Jennifer L. & Matthew Holm. Babymouse: The Musical. Random House, 2009. $5.99. 978-0-375-84388-4. 96p. Ages 5-8:
Will Babymouse be a smash success in the school musical? This tenth book in the series about the cute, smart, and sometimes inadequate protagonist reveals all, as Babymouse’s debonair new friend, Henry the Hedgehog, eggs her on to star in several imaginary Broadway productions. The subject matter may be a bit above the reading level of the book; earlier book were closer to the readers’ experiences. The graphics have returned to black and white with pink. P6Q7

Dana, Barbara. A Voice of Her Own: Becoming Emily Dickinson. HarperTeen, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-06-028704-7. 346p. Ages 12-15:
As a young girl, Dickinson did not know that she would be a famous poet after her death in the late nineteenth century: she just struggled through her life like any other child and adolescent. Dana uses primary sources in her attempt to imagine the life of this famous person from the ages of nine through 24, the time that she lived in the house by the cemetery. Much of what happens to her is mundane—the day-to-day events of keeping house, fearing and loving her father, missing her siblings when they went elsewhere, and watching the burials of many friends and other townspeople. Altogether this first-person reflection creates the image of a girl suffering from panic disorder, oppressed by a controlling father, and seeking something other than a marriage. The pace is leisurely, sometimes even tedius; the result is depressing as Emily had no freedom. But the book is a careful picture of nineteenth-century life for children and the frustration that results. Young readers will find that their personal lives are far different and yet somewhat the same as children lived over 150 years ago. P4Q8

Hannigan, Katherine. Emmaline and the Bunny. Greenwillow, 2009. $14.99. 978-0-06-172654-8. 95p. Ages 7-10:
Gentle pastel watercolors sprinkled throughout the small book show the characters and setting of this fable-like tale of a village that must be very tidy because of the tyrant mayor. Musical language follows our willful protagonist as she leaves the tidy town to explore a freer place, discovering that with freedom comes the need for survival, before she returns to her home and starts a small rebellion with her parents. Sweet story from the author of Ida B, this would be an excellent read-aloud. P8Q8

Hiaasen, Carl. Scat. Knopf, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-375-83486-8. 371p. Ages 11-14:
A fire in the swamp, a disappeared teacher, a fraudulent oilman, a delinquent classmate, an eccentric eco-avenger—these are only a few of the elements in this third environmental mystery by a famous adult author. While Nick tries to solve the mystery with his friend Marta, he must also deal with his grief after his father returns home from Iraq with only one arm. The humor is a bit stretched in both character and language—for example, the strict science teacher is named Bunny Starch and the substitute teacher makes class members sing if they don’t know the answers—but the action moves right along, and the book is peopled by interesting and likable individuals. Despite a predictable plot lacking realism, the book is a fun read. P8Q7

McKernan, Victoria. The Devil’s Paintbox. Knopf, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-375-83750-0. 359p. Ages 13+:
Left alone in drought-ravaged Kansas following the Civil War, almost 16 Aiden and almost 14 Maddy are close to starving when they convince a wagon train leader who is looking for strong men to work in the Seattle lumber camps. Thus begins the rough journey riddled with danger and death. The characterization and plot are so compelling that the reader is forced to keep reading, but the book is almost two books—one before Aiden reaches the logging camp and the other afterward. A far different book from the cheerful tales with happy endings, this novel occupies a special niche for readers who want a more real dose of life. The ending offers the possibility of a sequel. P7Q8

Meyer, L.A. My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War. Harcourt, 2008. $17.00. 978-0-15-206187-6. 436p. Ages 14+:
For lovers of this English guttersnipe turned sailor, this sixth installment produces lots of excitement from Jacky’s removal from her ship to a prison at sea, forced performances in ballet (with the possibility of becoming a prostitute), a stay in a miserable French prison, the possibility of being guillotined, and a stint as a male impersonator in the French service where she meets Napoleon. Jacky is now 16, experiencing the war and political intrigues of 1806 England and France. Throughout this plot-driven novel, she renews many former friends and acquaintances and has the chance to change from being a brave young man to a fetching female, always keeping her virginity intact while flirting with many, many men and occasionally finding her fiancé as they become imprisoned together. A delightful, fast read for those familiar and unfamiliar with this irrepressible heroine. P8Q7

Nelson, R. A. Days of Little Texas. Knopf, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-375-85593-1. 386p. Ages 13+:
The authentic Southern voice of the 16-year-old narrator, a boy-wonder preacher known as Little Texas, makes the supernatural events of this novel real. On the revival circuit, Ronald Earl is feeling sexual urges despite all this prayers and tiring of the revival circuit with the oppression of his formidable aunt Wanda Joy. He sees a chance to escape after his trouble healing a girl in a blue dress, but this event leads to her haunting him into danger as she follows him to a plantation where the ghosts may be slaves or their owners. The strong feeling of place and time with Ronald Earl’s fears and desires makes this an unusual read and a journey into the exploration of faith. P7Q8

Rinaldi, Ann. The Letter Writer. Harcourt, 2008. $17.00. 978-0-15-206402-0. 218p. Ages 12-14: The 1831 massacre/slave uprising fomented by African-American Nat Turner is the basis of this novel which uses 11-year-old Harriet as the protagonist. Having been foisted off on her stepfamily on a wealthy Virginia plantation, Harriet befriended Nat and unwittingly gave him the map to find the farms where he and his men killed 57 people. As always, Rinaldi tells a good tale with interesting detours into the characters’ backgrounds and twists from initial beliefs. Her comment about Nat Turner? “He makes a darned good story.” P7Q7

Smith, Sherri L. Flygirl. Putnam, 2008. $16.99. 978-0-399-24709-5. 275p. Ages 14-16: The struggles of women to participate in World War II as pilots and the dilemma of an African-American to pass as white in the South of that time are combined in this novel about Ida Mae Jones who succeeds as both but at a personal cost of losing her self identity. Although the ending seems rather pat, the smooth writing, interesting plot, and use of flying adventure make this an easy and quick read. Both the prejudice against blacks and women are skillfully handled as the author shows Ida Mae suffering the loss of her friends and her worries about her brother, also in the military. P8Q8

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers 2Feb. 2009 Reviews by Student OD
Watson, Stephanie, Elvis and Olive, Scholastic Press- New York , New York, 2008. $15.99. ages 5th threw 8th grade, 230 pgs. 978-0-545-03183-7. p 8/q 7
Elvis and Olive is a book about two girls who meet in their neighborhood and they become really good friends. Elvis teaches Olive things that she would have never known about or would have done by her self. Through out the story Elvis and Olive find out things about their neighbors and have a lot of fun doing it. Elvis and Olive is a good book for better readers in elementary school and for some middle school students. I think people who like funny easy reads should read Elvis and Olive.

Vaught, Susan, Big Fat Manifesto, Bloomsbury, New York. 2008. $ 16.95. ages 8th and up, 308pgs. 978-1-59990-206-7. p 7/ q7
This book tells about a high school girl and how her boy friend makes a choice in his life that changes their relationship with each other. Her feelings about being fat and her boy friend changing his life have been written in their school newspaper. As her boy friend makes his choices in life her article for the school newspaper gets more intense and becomes a big problem for others. I would say that this book is for people who are having problems with a relationship or just like reading about relationships and the mistakes people make in everyday life.

Hernandez, David. No More Us For You. Harper Teen, New York. 2009. $16.99 ages 8th and up 281pgs. 978-0-06-117333-2. p 7/q 7
This book is about a girl and a boy who have both lost too much. And how they come together and share two very different lives with each other. This book is told in two perspectives from the boy’s life and from the girl’s life. It shows how two totally different people in the end come together and become great friends. With the loss of two very important people in each of their lives they use that loss and find each other and grow strong together. This book is for high scholars and could be okay for 8th graders because it does contain a lot of cuss words and more likely stuff that would happen to high scholars in real life but also is a great story to read.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers March 2009 Reviews by MD
Pearce, Emily Smith. Isabel and the Miracle Baby. Front Street. North Carolina, 2007. $15.95. ages late elementary school, 125 pgs. 978-1-932425-44-4 p6/q 6
Isabel is eight-year-old and her mother just had another baby Rebekah. Isabel hates her sister who gets all of the attention. Isabel’s mother won’t even let her play with her best friend because she is a bad example. Isabel is upset and thinks her mother will get cancer again and really won’t have time for her. Isabel’s mother makes her attend the ladies cancer support meeting and be friends with Ben. Ben’s mom has cancer but Isabel doesn’t care she doesn’t want to be friends with him just Tara. I think the audience for this book may be hard to find as the main character is eight but the text is for an older audience. Maybe this story could be read to a child who is dealing with sibling rivalry or parents with cancer.

Friesen, Gayle. For Now KCP Fiction, New York. 2007. $ 7.95. ages high school, 247pgs. 978-1-55453-133-2. p 7/ q7
Jes was hoping for happy-ever-after when her mom got remarried but life happens. Dell her best friend has a creepy boyfriend and she likes her next door neighbor Sam. Her new stepsister – the beautiful and weird Angela gets to move into Jes bedroom because her mom is pregnant and will need a room for the new baby. Jes may just move out and in with her dad if he will take her. Jes figures out what true friends do when her friend Dell is slipped a mickie by her creepy boyfriend. Jes takes the law into her own hands and pays back the creep by messing up his car. They end up at the hospital with her mom giving birth and she is glad she has her mom and not Dell’s. This book would appeal to students who may be in a step family or dealing with friends.

Davis S. Tanita. A La Carte Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 2008. $15.99 ages high school. 281 pgs. 978-0-375-84815-5. p 8/ q 8.
Lainey is a high school senior who wants to be a celebrity chef. She spends all her time at home alone or at her mother’s restaurant. She has a best friend Simeon who she like more than a friend but he is into using her for homework or just for a good meal. Sim convinces her to clean out her savings and give him the money so he can get out of town away from his controlling family. Lainey’s relationship from her mother is strained because Sim keeps popping up in the middle of the night. Lainey has to learn that she is better than Sim and she can reach her dreams of having her own cooking show. This is a great book about relationships for young teenage girls.

Newbery, Linda. Lost Boy David Fickling Books. New York, 2007 ,$15.99. ages middle 194 pages p 6/q/ 6
The author Linda Newbery has also written Set in Stone, The Shell House and Sisterland. Linda is from Northamptonshire village and some of the words used in the book are hard to understand. The story is about Matt who moves to Hay-on-Wye in Wales and has the same initials as Matt and was killed in a car accident many years earlier. The boy appears to Matt and Matt feels like he needs to help the dead boy Martin Lloyd. The boys in the town feel that Wil an old man should be punished as they think he was the cause of Martin’s death long ago. Matt has to learn who his true friends are and what he should do about it all. Young boys may enjoy this story but may find the use of English words confusing.

March 2009 Book Reviews by J.K. Lincoln County Juvenile Detention Teaching Assistant
The following review was written by a 15 year old female non-reader:
Gould, Peter. Write Naked. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2008. ISBN 978037438483. $16.95. High School. P7Q8.
Victor liked to stay “under the radar”. Rose Anna was exactly what Victor needed to make him want to be noticed. The secrets these two teenagers share left me wanting more. Both characters pulled me in to their individual stories. Any young student who isn’t sure who they are would love this book.

Plourde, Lynn/David McPhail, illustrator. Margaret Chase Smith A Woman for President. Charlesbridge, Mass., 2008. ISBN 9781580892346. $16.95. 4th grade +. P7Q7.
I had never heard of Margaret Chase Smith prior to reading the book. And that really made me wonder…. Why not? Enough said.

Abrahams, Peter; Bray, Libba; Levithan, David; McCormick, Patricia; Weeks, Sarah; Yang, Gene Luen. Up All Night. HarperCollins Publishers. 2008. ISBN 9780061370762. $16.99. High School +. P7P8.
A collection of short stories I have mixed feelings about. Taken individually, each story is pure enjoyment (I actually read the book twice). I’m just a little disappointed that I can’t recommend it for middle schoolers. I think that age group would really appreciate the twists and turns in the stories, but a couple of them include inappropriate language.

April 2009 Oregon Coast Preview Center for Young Readers By S.E. Grandparent Volunteer

Walters, Eric, Sketches Viking, published by the Penguin Group NY. 2007. $16.00. 226p. ISBN 9780670062942. Ages 13-18. What a wonderfully inspiring book. It takes kids on the streets and gives them hope for a good future at whatever it is they are into. Jr. High and High school age kids will relate to Dana runs away and takes up with two other homeless kids and after brushes with the law and street gangs beatings, they meet up with a lady who runs a studio called “sketches” and shows them that art can make lots more money than begging and stealing. She teaches them how to be street artists and they get tips for their work and pay for their meals and a room or an apartment. It was a really inspiring book. I would like to see it in all Lincoln County schools since our homeless rate for school age kids is 43 percent and they could relate to this book. Q9P9

Perez, Marlene, Love in the Corner Pocket Scholastic NY. 2008. $9.00. 231p. ISBN 9780545019910. Ages 14-18.
A story of a young lady in Laguna Beach California who is into shooting pool for trophies. Her love life is getting in the way of her concentration and the big tournament is coming up. I love playing pool and I could identify with this book. Q8P9

Hoestlandt, Jo, Gran, You’ve Got Mail Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Childrens Books. NY. 2008. $15.00. ISBN 9780385735650. 112p. Ages 10-15.
This is a wonderful story of a young lady who starts emailing her grandma and not only gets to know her grandma better, it gives the grandma something to look forward to. I liked this book and it made me teary eyed. Q8P9

Kibuishi, Kazu, Amulet, book one, The Stonekeeper Graphix, a division of Scholastic NY. 2008. 187p. ISBN 9780439846813. Ages 8-11. $10.00. This is book one of a graphic novel. I have looked for book two and I don’t see that it is out in print. The graphics are nice and it is easy to read and it is a good book for kids who don’t like to read. Q7P9

Ferris, Jean, Underground Douglas & McIntyre Ltd., Canada. 2007. 164p. $16.00. ISBN 978-0-374-37243-9. Ages15-18.
A wonderful story, set near the Mammoth Caves on the Ohio border. It is a story of slaves and the underground railway and those very brave people who helped the runners (run away slaves that are being sought by dogs and a sheriff posse) It is a well written account taken partly by fact and partly by fiction and I would like to see this book in our libraries.Q9 P9

Gilson, Jamie, Il. Amy Wummer Chess, I love it I love it I love it! Houghton Mifflin & Co. Imprint NY. 2008. Ages 7-11.
This is a cute book about a chess club at an elementary school that goes to a tournament and comes in 2nd place. It concentrates on team work and friendships and lets the reader know that there is nothing wrong with not finishing first. Q8P7

April 2009 Book Reviews C.S. Siletz Public Library
Picture Books:

Andres, Kristina. Good Little Wolf. NorthSouth, 2008. Not paged. ISBN 9780735822108. $12.95. Ages 3-8. P8Q8. A really cute book about a wolf who wants the reader to know that he is good. Very simple text and wonderful, funny illustrations. This book is saved from being too cute by the humor in it.

Darbyshire, Kristen. Put it on the List! Dutton Children’s Books, 2009. Not paged. ISBN 9780525479062. $16.99. Ages 3-5. P8Q8.
A terrific, funny picture book about a family of chickens who are very bad about keeping up with the grocery list. Mom “flips out” at a certain point and the family makes a new plan to write things down when they get used up. The illustrations are simple but quirky, and very funny when you look closely. My group of regular story-timers liked this one a lot.

Kempter, Christa. Wally and Mae. Frauke Weldin, ill. NorthSouth, 2008. Not paged. ISBN 9780735822085. $16.95. Ages 3-8. P7Q8.
Wally (a persnickety rabbit) and Mae (a mellow, messy bear) share a house together and learn about compromising with others who have different priorities. The illustrations are soft and very appealing for children.

Lucke, Deb. The Boy Who Wouldn’t Swim. Clarion Books, 2008. 31 pages. ISBN 9780618914845. $16.00. Ages 4-8. P8Q8.
This is a book about a boy who learns to face his fears and try something new. Eric is afraid to swim; to hide his fear, he makes a pest of himself, especially to his younger sister who is a good swimmer. He eventually overcomes this fear and then drives everyone crazy by not every getting out of the pool. The first grade class really liked this book, both for the story (some of them seemed to identify with it) and for the bright, funny pictures.

Kajikawa, Kimiko. Tsunami! Ed Young, ill. Philomel Books, 2009. Not paged. ISBN. 9780399250064. $16.99. Ages 4-8. P7Q9.
This is a stunning book– the illustrater, Ed Young, is a Caldecott medallist. The collage images very powerfully convey fire, movement, and water. The story focuses on a man who sacrifices all his wealth to warn his fellow villagers about an impending tsunami. I thought this was a terrific book. My reading group had lots of questions about the tsunamis and the language the author used to describe it: “why do they call the sea furious?”

Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg & Three Cups of Tea. Susan L. Roth, Ill. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2009. Not paged. ISBN. 9780803730588. $16.99. Ages 6-9. P6Q8.
This book is a children’s version of Three Cups of Tea. It tells the story of how Greg Mortensen came to build schools in very poor areas of rural Pakistan after failing to climb K2. It’s told simply, with the aid of beautiful collage work. I think this is an important story- it can open young kids’ eyes to another culture, show them how helping others can change a situation, and maybe even help them understand how valuable education is when you have to work for it.

Liwska, Renata. Little Panda. Houghton Mifflin Co, 2008. Not Paged. ISBN. 9780618966271. $12.95. Ages 4-8. P8Q8.
We see a grandfather panda telling his grandson a story, which is intended to teach him something important. The grandson is skeptical about it because of a detail about “flying tigers”, but decides to accept his grandpa’s word at the end, and one of the final illustrations tells us that the story was true. The illustrations are muted but very pretty. My reading group liked this one a lot. It’s a comforting kind of story (the mom always comes back, even if she’s had to be away for a long time) and there are humorous touches in the illustrations.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Group L.R. for Siletz Library April 2, 2009
Picture Books
Plourde, Lynn. Margaret Chase Smith: A Woman for President. Il. David McPhail. Charlesbridge, 2008, unpgd. Ages 10-13. ISBN 9781580892346 $16.95. P2 Q3
I have nothing against Margaret Chase Smith, but in 2008, why would you write a children’s book about her run for the presidency? It would seem that anyone truly interested in Chase’s life story would be seeking a more serious treatment and certainly not one illustrated by the well known illustrator David McPhail. McPhail draws wonderful animals, but his people in this book are oddly stunted and unattractive. Young children might be interested in a book about Hilary Clinton, after hearing and seeing her on the news all of last year, but this topic will have very limited appeal. One thing that did interest me, as an adult reader, was the timelines at the bottom of every other page just showing facts about women in the military, graduation rates, women working outside the home, etc. This book will not find much of a readership.

Minor, Florence. If You Were A Penguin. Il. Wendell Minor. Harper Collins Publishers, 2009 unpdg. Ages 2-6. ISBN 9780061130977 $17.99. P6Q7
This is quite an attractive picture book about penguins, with very cute, but realistic illustrations showing where different penguins live and different varieties. It gives penguin “fun facts” at the end, as well head shots of 10 different varieties to learn. It would make a good book for reading at story time, as the pictures are very large and good for discussion. If your library doesn’t already have a bunch of penguin books, this one would be fine to purchase.

Juvenile Books
Osterweil, Adam. The Baseball Card Kid. Il. Craig Smith. Boyds Mills Press, 2009, 200 pgs. Ages 8-12. ISBN 9781590785263 $17.95. P7 Q6.
Adam Osterweil invents a tale of time travel with an unusual goal. A pre-teen boy is looking for a mint-condition baseball card, worth a million dollars, to replace the one owned by his father and chewed up by the boy in his babyhood. Brian and his best friend Paul travel to the Titanic on its fateful night and escape to Transylvania just before the ship sinks. The book is full of exciting adventures and some pretty fun characters. If the reader knows something about the Titanic and enjoys reading about time travel, they will have a good time with this book.

Teen Books
King, Billie Jean with Christine Brennan. Pressure is a Privilege: Lessons I’ve Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes. LifeTime Media, Inc., 2008, 190 pgs. Ages 13-18. ISBN 9780981636801 $19.95. P2 Q4
This book can’t decide what it wants to be. Is it a self-help book for unmotivated teens? Is it a history of Billy Jean King’s efforts to bring equal pay and equal respect to women’s sports? Is it a motivational book for aging athletes? The first couple of chapters is interesting and will be valuable for teens that have no idea what it was like before Title IX to be a young woman seriously interested in becoming an athlete. But on just about every other page is a boxed in section with Billy Jean’s “rules of life.” These rules, while interesting at first, get to be really annoying. Do you finish the chapter and go back and read the boxes, or do you get distracted by the boxes and then have to go back and find your place in the chapter? After a while, it seems like she is reciting the same lessons, just in a different way, and the temptation is to skim the rest. At the very end is a chapter on “Aging is an Art.” The teens will definitely skim right over that one! In addition to that, the black and white photos are mostly poor quality—blurry and low contrast. You would think the photos were taken in the 1800’s, instead of the mid to late 1900’s! Every library should have a book on Billy Jean King, an important personality in the history of tennis and women’s sports. But not this one.

Klages, Ellen. White Sands, Red Menace. Viking, 2008, 343 pgs. Ages 10 and up. ISBN 9780670062355 $16.99. P 4 Q7
A sequel to The Green Glass Sea, this book stands alone very well and the reader will enjoy it without having read the other book first. It takes place in New Mexico after the end of WWII, and the time and place are crucial to the story. The two main characters, adolescent friends have fathers who worked on the atom bomb during the war and one continues to work with German scientists to test the “rockets” that were forerunners to missile weapons. The novel is very authentic, from the language to references about items used in the home and consumed. The mother of one of the characters smokes continuously, even while pregnant and there is no guilt. Even racial relations seem more relaxed, with people living in separate areas of town, but mixing freely with little tension. It was an engaging plot and a thought provoking subject. This would be a good purchase for a library.

Young Adult-Adult
Alvarez, Julia. Once Upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA. Viking, 2007, 275 pgs. Ages 15 and up. ISBN 9780670038732. $23.95. P7 Q9
Julia Alvarez is very conflicted about the subject of this book: the lavish “quinceañera,” or fifteenth birthday parties, hosted by families of Latino or Hispanic origins in America. She tries to research the “tradition” of the quinceañera, and finds that while there are traditions going as far back as the Aztec peoples in celebrating their young daughter’s ascent into womanhood, the quinceañera in America has morphed into something that could easily compare with a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, or a southern cotillion. Alvarez decries that fact that the “tradition” has become so commercialized and expensive that families refer to the expense as “throwing the house out the window.” Families are literally spending mortgage money for a one night party for a fifteen year old girl. Many of these girls’ mothers never had this party and some never even wanted it, but for some reason, they feel that they must give it to their daughters. The author travels around the country, attending quinceañeras, visiting party planning companies, florists, dress factories, photographers and rented sites. In between explanations of what she has observed, she discusses her own life beginning as a Latina immigrant to the United States at the age of twelve.
This is a fascinating and enlightening book to anyone who is interested in teenagers, Hispanic or otherwise. The author exposes all the wrong-thinking behind these massive parties, but also has tips for making them what they should be—“a potential for affirmation and solidarity.” Teens interested in planning their own quinceañeras will probably stick to the multitude of websites that are available, and not bother to read this book, but any adult who is involved in the planning, or is just interested in the topic will be glad they bothered to read it!

April Book Review from S.B., Staff Crestview Heights School, Waldport
Zimmer, Tracy Vaughn, 42 Miles, Elaine Clayton, Illustrator, Clarion Books, 2008, 73 pages, $16.00, ISBN 9780618618675, Age – middle school through high school,
Black & white illustrations tie the verse together. Free verse tells the story of Ellen/Joey, who as a result of her parent’s divorce, spends her weekdays with mom in the city and weekends with dad in the country. This results in this girl becoming 2 different people. At some point she has to decide who she is. Q8 P9

McKenzie, Nancy, Guinever’s Gift, Random House, 2008, 325 pages, $15.99, ISBN 9780375843457, Age – teens (Uncorrected Advance Proofs)
Story takes place in King Arthur’s time in the Kingdom of Gwynedd. Guinevere is an orphan who comes to live with her aunt and uncle, the king and queen. She is the heroine of the story whose courage and almost perfection make her just about too good to be true/believable. The book touches upon Christian and Pagan beliefs and a prophecy made when Guinevere was born. Q5 P5

Charlton-Trujillo, E. E., Feels like home, Delacorte Press, 2007, 211 pgs, $15.99, ISBN 978038673332, Age – high school
This book, told by a high school girl, has a good hook and draws you in quickly. Told in the first person the girl is dealing with her father’s death, a brother’s abandonment and return, friendships and a past tragedy that tore them all apart. The book works because there are probably readers who will be able to identify with the main character. Q5 P6

D’Amico, Carmella, Ella sets sail, Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic imprint), 2008, unpaged, $16.99, ISBN 9780439831550
A charming story about Ella’s adventures looking for her lost hat. The cover, endpapers and illustrations throughout are vibrant and exciting to look at. The story is sweet and would appeal to younger readers. The type, while it is clean and easy to read on the white spaces, is rather less clear on the brightly colored pages. I feel the faithful “Ella” followers would not find this criticism invalid.

McClintock, Barbara, Adele & Simon in America, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008, unpaged, $16.95, ISBN 9780374399245
The cover is enticing. One can expect a great adventure just from looking at the graphics on the endpapers. Two Parisian children visit their aunt in New York City. In addition to a good story this book is a history and geography lesson: the United States Trunk Railway; segments of history complete with miniature pictures; a legend, endpapers, with numbers for the different stops on the journey. (The above 2 books had no Q or P rating.)

George, Jean Craighead, Frightful’s Daughter Meets the Baron Weasel, Daniel San Souci, Illustrator, Dutton Children’s books, 2007, 30 pages, $16.99, ISBN 9780525472025, ages 1-4
A beautifully illustrated continuation of the book My Side of the Mountain. A nature story of survival and friendship using the characters Baron Weasel and Oksi, the falcon. Would be a good read aloud and could allow for some good discussion. Q8 P7

April Book Reviews Y.Z., Waldport
Schmidt, Hans-Christian, When a Coconut Falls on your Head, NorthSouth Books, 2009, unpaged, $16.95, ISBN978075822429, ages 1 & up Find out what happens when a coconut falls on your head. And be careful when lifting the elephant’s ears. Pictures add to the unwritten story. P9 Q7/8

Lewis, Kim, Seymour and Henry, Candlewick Press, 2009, unpaged, $15.99, ISBN 9780763642433
Brother ducklings love to play and chase things. But when it starts to rain ‘Where is Mommy?’ Very easy book for young readers. Pictures alone tell the story, words enhance it. P9 Q10

Hest, Amy, Little Chick, Anita Jeram, Illustrator, Candlewick Press, 2009, unpaged, $17.00, ISBN 9780763628901,
Three stories that involve Little Chick with a carrot, a kite and a star. The stories are a little sad but with ‘Old-Auntie’ consoling Little Chick they have a happy ending. Illustrations are very good and colorful. P9 Q8

Milord, Susan, If I Could, Christopher Denise, Illustrator, Candlewick Press, 2008 (revised 2009), unpaged, $15.99, ISBN 97807636673723
Story line, in free verse, is the love between mother and child, But first few pages had me thinking it was the reverse – love by a child for mother. Could be considered a PICTURE BOOK rather than EASY – big pictures but few words. P5 Q6

Evans, Cambria, Bone Soup, Houghton Mifflin Co., 2008. unpaged, $16.00, ISBN 9780618809080, Age 4th grade and up A Halloween take-off of ‘Stone Soup’. The author, however, was in Peru and encountered an actual soup with eyeballs. Ghoulish pictures and a good read-aloud for a librarian at Halloween. P9 Q10

Danzig,  Dianne, Babies Don’t Eat Pizza: The Big Kid’s Book about baby brothers and baby sisters, Debbie Tilley, Illustrator, Dutton Children’s Books, 2009, unpaged, $16.99, ISBN 9780525474418 The second part of the title says what the book is about, baby brothers and baby sisters. Each page answers a different phase of a new arrival. The pictures are great and fit each phase from where the baby was before arrival to the parent’s sharing their love. (Parental tips at end.) The book would be most effective if used as a read-along by an older sibling or parent. P9 Q10

April 2009 Book Reviews J.K. Lincoln County Juvenile Detention Teaching Assistant
Nathan, Amy. Meet The Dancers From Ballet, Broadway, and Beyond. Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2008. 231 pages. ISBN13:978080508071-1. $22.95. 5th grade +. P8Q8. As a lifelong dancer, this book’s cover reached out and grabbed me by my pink tutu and jazz shoes, but continued to engross me from page one until the end. Serving as an introduction, this book would appeal to kids who are considering careers in the dance world. The author explores the many directions a dancer can take and presents a realistic image of the passion, dedication and extreme hard work required to be a professional dancer. It made me wish I was young again and just starting out. I especially liked the the little sidebars with interesting tidbits about the dancers featured in the book. Also has lots of great photos and lists lots of resources and reference materials.

Snyder, Laurel. Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains. Random House, New York, 2008. 240 pages. ISBN 9780375847196. $16.99. 4th grade +. P8Q8.
“A milkmaid and her cow. A boy and his horse. A prairie dog named Cat. One adventure awaits them all….” A charming, enchanting, delightful tale about a young milkmaid, Lucy, who goes adventuring, with a young cow named Rosebud, to find her mother whose disappearance, when Lucy was a baby, has been shrouded in secrecy. The story is set in a fantasy land, but the thoughts and feelings of the characters are described very realistically which makes them believable and relate-able.

Brewer, Heather. The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod – Ninth Grade Slays. Penguin Group, New York, 2008. 278 pages. ISBN 9780142413425. $7.99. 6th grade +. P8Q7.
I have to admit that when I realized this was yet another teen vampire book, I was pretty sure I was going to hate it. Having not read the “famous” teen vampire book, I was pleasantly surprised by how easily I got right into this one. The characters are, for the most part, believable and sympathetic. Teen boys should get into the gory details of Vlad’s blood bag meals and could probably relate to Vlad and his friends and their interests (including girls and the difficulty in talking to the ones you really like). This book is the second in a series, and I almost enjoyed it enough to hunt up the first one. Reading Eighth Grade Bites isn’t required to get what’s going on in Slays (the next installment in the series? Tenth Grade Bleeds). It really was a fun read; however, I am super picky about grammar and such and the author uses “sat” instead of “set” (for example: he sat his glass on the table) which drove me crazy. I found the dialogue to be a bit clichéd, but the story is enticing.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers April 2009 Reviews by M.D.
Gitlin, Marty . Celebrity Biographies Shaun White Snow and Skateboard Champion. Enslow Publishers, Inc. New Jersey. 2009. $17.95 ages elementary, middle & high school. 48 pgs 978-0-7660-3212-5 p 8/ q 7
This is a series of Celebrity Biographies. There are also books about Miley Cyrus, Daniel Radcliffe & Kanye Westt. I wanted to read this book to find out more about Shaun White and I believe the book gave a good short history of his life to date. I found that the listing of some of his tricks and awards were repetitive or I just didn’t understand what they meant so they became boring. The book contains a contents page, chapters, nice color photos, quotes, a timeline, further info., glossary and index.

Johnson, Arne and Karen Macklin. Illustrations by Michael Wertz. Indie Girl from starting a band to launching a fashion company, nine ways to turn your creative talent into reality. Zest Books. California. 2008. $16.95. ages middle & high school. 136 pages. 978-097901733-9. p 8/ q
This is a how to book for teenage girls. The chapters included are how to start a band, publish a zine, put on a play, film a TV show, create an Art exhibit, form a dance troupe, launch a fashion company, hold a poetry slam and make a parade. Each chapter is the same starting with a quote, what you’ll need list, resources, first things first, gathering the troops, who’s on board, leader of the pack, the ways to get started, tricks of the trade, insider tips, lights, camera, action, and selling out without selling out. The book has some graphic art as well. I think this is a perfect book for a board teenager or someone who needs to know the steps to follow to make things happen.

Delacre, Lulu. Alicia Afterimage. Lee & Low Books Inc. New York. 2008. $19.95 ages high school. 135 pgs. 978-1-60060-242-9 p 8/ q 8.
This is a true story of sixteen year old Alicia Maria Betancourt who was killed in a car accident. This book has several different chapters from family and friends and how they were affected by the death of Alicia. This book will helps teens who are dealing with loss and grief. There is an author’s note at the back and a page about the books title There is also a section at the back that tells about the people and what they are doing four years after the accident. Also included is a section on resources on teen grief, driver safety, acknowledgements and a photo of Alicia before she died.

Edited by Jessica Hein, Heather Holland, and Carol Kauppi. Girlspoken from pen, brush & tongue. Second Story Press. Ontario, Canada. 2007. $18.95. ages high school. 202 pages 978-1-897187-30-2 p 7q/ 7
This book contains poetry, drawings, and short stories submitted by young women. The book contains sections on voice, beauty, strength, and becoming. In purchasing the book some money will be contributed to continued arts-based work with girls and young women. The book contains an introduction tells of the starting of this project and how it grew into girl speak. The women felt that is was their calling to help young women to share writing and artwork that explored their expression and voice. The book ends with a closer look into girlhood and the feminist landscape, developing youth-driven initiatives, using a holistic approach to understanding girls, and a call for creative submissions.

Missy Jenkins with William Croyle. I Choose to be Happy: a school shooting survivor’s triumph over tragedy. Langmarc, Texas, 2008. $16.95. ages high school. 239 pages 1-880292-31-9. p 8q/ 8
On December 1, 1997 15 year old Missy Jenkins was paralyzed from the waist down in a school shooting. Michael killed three girls and injured five students when she went on a shooting spree in West Paducah, Kentucky. This is a story of how Missy immediately forgave Michael and went on to live a productive and meaningful life. Missy was able to marry, become a counselor, have children and take care of herself. I enjoyed this book because it had photos of events from the shooting as well as current photos to let one see how Missy is doing. This book would help with discussions about teen violence, forgiveness, gun control, and not giving up when life gets hard.

Stolarz, Laurie Faria. Deadly Little Secret. A touch novel. Hyperion, New York. 2008. $15.99. ages high school. 252 pages 978-1-4231-1144-3 p8/q8
This is a mystery relationship book. Camelia is sixteen and is having trouble with boys. She has broken up with her best friend/boyfriend and a new mysterious guy has moved to town. He saved her from a near fatal car accident but when he touched her stomach she notices something strange. This book has many similarities to the Twilight series – for example the boy saved the girl, the boys touch is different, her friends don’t like the boy, and people gossip about the boy. Unfortunately in the end Camelia is abducted and held hostage. Luckily she is saved by Ben the new mysterious guy. This may cause some girls problems if they have had problems with boys who have stalked them.

Atinsky, Steve. Trophy Kid or How I was Adopted by the Rich and Famous. Delacorte Press. New York, 2008. $15.99. ages elementary & middle school. 183 pgs. 978-0-385-13049-5 p8/q8
Joe a 13 year old boy is adopted by a rich Hollywood power couple and he is there trophy kid. Joe was a war orphan at age 3 and brought from Croatia to the USA for a tidy sum of $100,000. Greta and Robert also have a younger daughter who they favor but in the end Joe manages to become the big brother. They want Joe to write a best selling book about his life and how blessed he is. They hire Tom Dolan to be ghost writer and help Joe with the project. Tom helps Joe when they return to Croatia to learn more about who he really is. Joe finally realizes the true meaning of family in the end and his adoptive parents learn to be more like real parents. This book would be good for students who are adopted from another country.

Levchuk, Lisa Everything Beautiful in the World. Farrar Straus Giroux, New York. 2008. $16.95. ages high school. 203 pages. 978-0-374-32238-0 p8/ q 8
This is an exciting story of forbidden love between Edna and Mr. Howland her ceramics teacher. Edna feels happy and is excited to be sneaking around with Mr. Howland but can this kind of happiness last. Edna’s mother is sick and in the hospital so when she is missing from school everyone assumes she has gone to New York to visit her mom in the hospital. They are working on the Dracula principle that if you don’t draw attention to yourself people will not believe what is right in front of there face that a high school girl and a teacher are dating. Edna ends up running away from Mr. Howland and left him in the city wondering where she went. She figures out that sometimes getting caught is best and that she wants to date boys her own age.

Wallace, Rich. Perpetual Check. Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 2008. $15.99. ages middle –high school. 112 pages. 978-0-375-84058-6 p7/q8
Zeke a high school senior and his younger freshman brother Randy are at the Regional Chess Championships. There dad is there and he is pitting them against one another as they are in the finals together. He is abusive to there mother and doesn’t have a kind word for either boy. He causes a scene and almost looses the championship for them but they decide it is time to stand up to there father. This book reminds me of going to other high school championships – staying in hotels with all of the participants and meeting new people from all over the state. This book would be of benefit to young people who have issues with parents who are verbally abusive.

Myers, Walter Dean. Dope Sick. Amistad Harper Teen. New York. 2009. $16.99. ages high school 186 pages. 978-0-06-121477-6 p8/q7
Lil J. Skin is popping or stealing pain pills from his mom who is an addict herself. Lil and Rico are going to do an easy drug deal to make some money but things go bad when Rico shoots the cop and kills him. Lil is running from the police and has been shot in the arm. He runs into an abandoned building and meets up with someone who has powers to show him his future and past life. They watch the TV that shows the truth and Lil has to decide if he is going to end up dead or make a change. This is an inspiring story of change and how even though life can deal you some bad cards you still can make your own choices.

Garcia, Crisina. I Wanna Be Your ShoeBox – life gets a little filled up sometimes. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. New York. 2008. $16.99. ages middle school. 198 pages. 978-1-4169-3928-3 p8/q8
Yumi’s grandparents are from Japan, Cuba and Brooklyn and she is starting 8th grade but loosing her school and orchestra. The horrible thing is her grandfather Saul is dying but she listens to Saul tell a story about his life and it helps her decide to get on with life and make the best of it no matter what. Her dad is a punk rocker who writes songs such as I wanna be your shoebox but can’t get a real gig. She doesn’t want to move with her mom and her new husband but her dad can’t take care of her either. This is a great coming of age story with Yumi learning to be her own person and allowing those around her the same privilege.

Durrant, Lynda. Imperfections. Clarion Books. New York. 2008. $16.00 ages middle – high school. 172 pages. 978-0-547-00357-3. p7/q7
This book is based on a true story about a young girl , her brother and baby sister who are dropped off at the Shaker community during the war in Kentucky. Rosemary has to learn to be perfect so she and her siblings can be taken care of while her mom is gone looking for their drunk father. Rosemary has to live by the Shaker rules – eating, dressing, working and praying the way they do. But she doesn’t believe and neither does a young man she meets while she is living there. She is worried about her brother who seems to be loosing himself to the Shaker ways. She just wants to keep her family together and not loose them to the Shakers. The book also has an afterword that tells of the Shakers and Morgan’s Raiders from the summer of 1863.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers April 2009 Reviews by N.W.

Gibbons, Gail. Tornadoes! Holiday House, 2009. $16.95. 978-0-8234-2216-6. unp. Ages 4-7: The author continues her run of 50+ watercolor-illustrated books, primarily about nature, with this common disaster which is more predominant in the United States than any other country. In vivid action-packed illustrations, she describes its cause, the six different levels beginning with 65 mph and culminating with wind speeds in excess of 201 mph, and primary locations of occurrence. The book ends with a two-page spread entitled “What to Do When a Tornado Approaches,” a few simple facts about tornadoes, and pertinent websites. A useful book for younger readers on the subject. P8Q8

Grimes, Nikki. Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope. Il. Bryan Collier. $16.99. 978-1-4169-7144-3. unp. Ages 5-8:
Using Obama’s memoir, Dreams from My Father, Grimes poetically follows the 44th President from childhood to the White House as he overcomes sadness with the hope that he feels for a better world. The story is told by a mother to her son who wonders why people are so excited about Obama; deeply colored collages expand on this tale of Obama’s dreams. This moving story of an exceptional man is one of the best of his biographies for young readers, showing that every one of us has the power to change ourselves and our world. P8Q9

Jones, Lynda. Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker: The Unlikely Friendship of Elizabeth Keckley & Mary Todd Lincoln. National Geographic, 2009. $18.95. 978-1-4263-0486-6. 80p. Ages 9-12:
The friendship of Abraham Lincoln’s wife and her former slave dressmaker is legendary. Jones describes Keckley’s life as first a slave and then an entrepreneur who tries to help the unstable Lincoln through her marriage to Abraham in the White House and later after the assassination. Combined with this re-telling are paintings, photographs, and illustrations of the mid-19th-century fashion. P5Q7

Krull, Kathleen. Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight. Il. Amy June Bates. Simon & Schuster, 2008. $16.99. 978-1-4169-7129-0. 38p. Ages 4-7:
As a child, Hillary Rodham dreamed of becoming an astronaut, but this path was closed to women in 1961. Then people tried to keep her from going to law schools and ridiculed her looks. Yet this didn’t stop her from trying to make children’s lives better and from encouraging her own daughter. Extensive end notes supplement the brief narrative, and watercolors accurately depict Clinton from childhood through her run for president, the thirtieth woman to do this. This is an important book, not only because Clinton is now the U.S. Secretary of State but also because the narration so clearly describes the value of continuing to work toward a dream. P7Q9

Madden, Kerry. Harper Lee. [Series: Up Close: A Twentieth-Century Life] Viking, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-670-01095-0. 223p. Ages 11+:
This biography of the private (not reclusive, according to her friends) author of To Kill a Mockingbird provides not only a picture of growing up in the South during the early to mid-20th century but also greater insight into this classic novel, sold by the millions around the world and read by millions of students. Because of the lack of information about her life—her last interview was in 1964—the author relies heavily on background of life in Monroeville, Alabama, where she was born and where she lives now with her 97-year-old sister, the oldest practicing attorney in the United States. The bio is also rich with information about her close childhood friend, Truman Capote. This highly accessible book is a delight as well as informative. P7Q9

McCain, Meghan. My Dad, John McCain. Il. Dan Andreasen. Aladdin, 2008. $16.99. 978-1-4169-7528-1. unp. Ages 5-7:
Written with great love for her subject, Meghan McCain describes her view of her father’s life from his childhood through his military career and prisoner-of-war status through his political career and run for the presidency. The digitally-colored graphite illustrations are gentle even when they show his plane’s crash. If this book were designated as fiction, it would be a lovely addition to libraries. I cite the following, not as a political statement, but an objection to the sugarcoated information, filtered through affection, that omits many of the struggles—the number of planes that McCain crashed, his marital problems, and his poor school record. For example, the statement “He broke a lot of rules, but he liked football and wrestling” seems to exonerate his failure in academic studies—not a good example for young readers. Although he refused to leave the prison until his men did, as the book says, he left before any other men and then quashed any attempts to investigate this in the 1990s. There are also records of his mistreatment of women. As a love paean to a father, this is a lovely book; as a biography, it is not recommended.

McGraw, Jay. Jay McGraw’s Life Strategies for Dealing with Bullies. Il. Steve Bjorkman. Aladdin, 2008. $17.99. 978-1-4169-7473-4. 170p. Ages 10+:
From Dr. Phil McGraw’s son comes advice about dealing with bullies and stop being bullies themselves. Although what he says may make sense to adults, some of his advice tends to be dangerous, such as telling bullies to stop or just generally useless such as tell yourself that you’re a good person or run away. The heading on p. 3 is “Stopping Bullies: It Starts with You” placing even more blame on the victim. The solution to institutional bullying should come through the adults who permit it instead of through helpless victims who may be endangered if they follow this advice. (Though the drawings are fun.) P7Q?

Piven, Hanoch. What Cats Are Made Of. Ginee Seo Books/Atheneum, 2009. $16.99. 978-1-4169-1531-7. unp. Ages 6-10:
The information about these 39 cat breeds is interesting, but it’s the illustrations that make the book. Hanoch Piven uses everything from lipstick to circuit boards to illustrate the book, finishing up with a few cat superstitions. One will never recognize cats from these collages, but the adjective used to describe each breed leads to a greater understanding of each term. Just plain fun. P9Q9

Stone, Tanya Lee. Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream. Candlewick, 2009. $24.99. 978-0-7636-3611-1. 133p. Ages 10-14:
Almost fifty years ago, one woman started a crusade for women to go into space; it took 38 years for Jerrie Cobb and the women she worked with in the early 1960s to realize this dream for Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a space shuttle. Stone shows us the hard work and pain that these 13 women endured to prove themselves competent to orbit the Earth and the disdainful sexism that they suffered in their trials. Despite the fact that they performed these tests better than the men and were more qualified than some of the men selected for the Mercury 7 team, women were relegated to the sidelines as cheerleaders for their men. Stone has done her research: she shows that both Presidents Kennedy and Johnson rejected the idea that women should be an integral part of the space program, Johnson believing that to allow women would open the door for anyone of color to be an astronaut. This book is for every young reader to learn about what people have learned from these “women who dared to dream” and others like them. Many photographs and extensive written and web resources. P7Q9

Winter, Jonah. Gertrude Is Gertrude Is Gertrude Is Gertrude. Il. Calef Brown. Atheneum, 2009. $16.99. 978-1-4169-4088-3. unp. Ages 6-9:
Those familiar with Gertrude Stein’s groundbreaking writing will understand the use of repetition in the book; everyone will enjoy the word flow of the imitation. As “Queen Gertrude” greets her guests for tea, Winter gives brief descriptions about some of the artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse and their art. He also introduces the reader to Basket, the poodle; Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude’s partner; and Auntie, their car. Although Winter describes much about Stein’s life, young readers may be confused by his explanation that Stein is as happy as a baby and Toklas is as happy as a mother. The broad, whimsical watercolors and the writing do, however, show a great deal about Stein’s life albeit taken with a grain of salt. P7Q9

Lewis, J. Patrick. The Underwear Salesman: And Other Jobs for Better or Verse. Il. Serge Bloch. Atheneum, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-689-85325-8. unp. Ages 7-10: Amusing line drawings enhanced by digital collage of real objects provide the backdrop for these poems about some of the more esoteric professions. Sophisticated wordplay pushes readers into a new dimension when considering jobs from a bathroom attendant to the Queen of England, from an elevator operator to a paleontologist. Although the humor is sometimes weak, Bloch’s combination of ink doodles and found objects
provides playfulness on each page. This is a book that can be savored for a long time. P8Q8
Newbery, Linda. Posy. Il. Catherine Rayner. Atheneum, 2008. $16.99. 978-1-4169-7112-2. Ages 3-6: Cat lovers will delight in these action-packed illustrations in watercolor pencil-crayons with acrylic and India inks that follow a rambunctious kitten through its day. Each illustration is accompanied by a two-word name highlighting the activity paired with a rhyming term. Although extremely simple, the book could well lend itself to young readers telling about their day using rhyming nouns and enjoy the book at the same time. P9Q9

Rosen, Michael J. The Cuckoo’s Haiku and Other Birding Poems. Il. Stan Fellows. Candlewick Press, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-7636-3049-2. unp. Ages 8+: Two dozen common American birds are highlighted through brilliant watercolors, graceful haiku, and brief field notes both within the text and in a compilation at the end of the book. Divided into the four seasons, the haiku follows traditional form with three lines divided into five, seven, and five syllables; a brief thought; and an idea of the time of the year. Beautifully executed with the birds’ shapes caught in an impressionistic style, the book lends itself more to an adult collection because of the difficulty in reading the descriptions because of the faux hand-writing font. One also wonders about the name of the book because all the poems are haiku. Yet this may inspire young readers to observe the feathered creatures around them and think about their natures. As Rosen says, “wild turkeys’ snow tracks/their arrows point us one way/they go the other.” P5Q8

Picture Books
Gravett, Emily. The Odd Egg. Simon & Schuster, 2009. $15.99. 978-1-4169-6872-6. unp. Ages 3-6: Brief narration accompanies visual jokes that literally unfold with the small pages that get larger and larger. With the theme of a mother’s love for an—egg—the book ends with the surprise of the duck’s egg containing an alligator. One might wish that the alligator showed some affection for its surrogate mother, but, no, it just snaps and disappears. Gentle watercolors belie the more witty humor. Lovers of Orange Pear Apple Bear, on four best-of-the-year lists may also delight in following this tale. P9Q9

Graphic Books
Kovac, Tommy. Wonderland. Il. Sonny Liew. Disney, 2009. $19.99. 978-142310451-3. 160p. Ages 10-13:
Who was Maryann that the White Rabbit mistakes for Alice in the classic tale Alice in Wonderland? This book gives the answer in six exciting chapters originally published as single-issue comics. Facing the troublemaking Cheshire Cat, the decapitating Queen of Hearts, the fearful White Rabbit, and other characters from the story, Maryann finds herself going from one problem to another. The story may be missing Alice, but the references to her as a monster make this even more exciting. A great fun read whether the reader knows the original story or not. P8Q9

Baskin, Nora Raleigh. Anything But Typical. Simon & Schuster, 2009. $15.99. 978-1-4169-6378-3. 195p. Ages 11+:
Living in what he calls a neurotypical world, Jason Black, an autistic 12-year-old, has even more trouble making sense of his world when he finds a female friend who posts stories to the same online site as he does. There is much food for thought about fitting in, bullying, and buried intelligence though reading about Jason’s view of his world. Although poignant and touching, there is nothing maudlin in this perceptive novel. The characterizations of both young people and adult have a feeling of sharp authenticity. This is a must read for all over age ten or eleven, including adults. P8Q10

Fagan, Deva. Fortune’s Folly. Holt, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-8050-8742-0. 260p. Ages 12-15: Fortunata’s life seems destined for disaster: after her mother dies, her father becomes unable to successfully make shoes; Nata is forced to support the family by telling fake fortunes; her cruel master puts her into a position in which she must help a prince secure a magic sword, vanquish a wicked witch, discover the missing slipper, and rescue the princess that fits it to save her father’s life; and she falls in love with the prince. Bits of different fairy tales, including Hansel and Gretel and Cinderella pepper the book that shifts back and forth from a delightful narrative to a predictable plot. The book’s audience appears to be young, but the romance is for a slightly older group. Despite these flaws, the novel is a fun read that moves quickly—fortunately because the first chapters are filled with misery. P8Q7

Gregory, Kristiana. My Darlin’ Clementine. Holiday House, 2009. $16.95. 978-0-83234-2198-5. 206p. Ages 10-14:
Using the classic song “Oh My Darling Clementine!” in which a young woman falls into a stream and drowns as the basis of the novel, Gregory weaves a tale of two sisters with an abusive gambling drunken father and a loving hard-working mother in 1866 Idaho Territory. Sixteen-year-old Clementine dreams of being a doctor because of her work with a Chinese man, while Josie, 11, wants to save her new friend from the opium den. The novel shows a typical view of the time and place with the prejudice against Chinese, the control of the men, the struggle to survive, and the inability of women to follow the path that they wish. The plot is predictable even with Clementine faking her death in the end so that she can escape a forced marriage with an older man to become a doctor. Yet lovers of historical fiction will enjoy this in the same way that they have the many series books Gregory has written. P7Q6

Harmon, Michael. Brutal. Knopf, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-375-84099-9. 227p. Ages 12+:
With bullying becoming a more open issue in schools, this book showing the vicious cruelty of students toward others will strike a chord with all who have ever been the subject of verbal or physical violence from peers. Poe Holly, the 16-year-old protagonist, is the catalyst in the process that changes her new school when she confronts the football players who beat up her next door neighbor. Other elements of the book include Poe’s fight against elitism in the school, her conflict with her mother who leaves her with her father, and her struggle to get to know her father after not having seen him since she was an infant. Although the character of Poe is missing some elements—we see her mostly at school and talking with her father at home—and the long diatribes she delivers about injustices, the book provides a good discussion of the fault of adults because they ignore bullying and the problems of a wealthy school to avoid favoritism. P8Q7

Klass, Sheila Solomon. Soldier’s Secret: The Story of Deborah Sampson. Holt, 209. $17.99. 0-80508-200-X. 215p. Ages 12+:
In a colonial society in which women can be whipped or sent to jail for wearing slacks, Deborah Sampson decided to masquerade as a man to fight in the Continental Army of the Revolutionary War to avoid being slotted into a wife and mother. Klass delivers a first-class first-person narrative of a young woman who wanted to read and travel rather than be a household drudge and who managed to conceal her gender from her fellow soldiers for 17 months despite being severely wounded. Included in the fascinating plot are her brief love for another soldier, the dilemma of a soldier’s not believing in killing, and the advantages of being a man as well as Deborah’s adventures in helping to make America free. There are other books on Deborah Sampson: this is the best. P7Q9

Libby, Alisa M. The King’s Rose. Dutton, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-525-47970-3. 297p. Ages 13+: Imagine a life in which you can have anything you want and everyone must obey you. This was the way that Catherine Howard lived for almost two years while she was married to England’s Henry VIII—until she was beheaded for treason. Libby gives a compassionate view of Howard, who became the king’s fourth wife at the age of 15. Much of her narrative is completely fiction: she does use the information gained from admissions of infidelity from two men, gained through torturing them. She also creates a very sympathetic view of the teenage girl, giving the impression that Catherine had relations with a man only to have an heir—something that no one knows. But the characterization is skillfully done and the plot well-executed, as the action moves inexorably toward its tragic end. P8Q 8

Mazer, Harry. My Brother and Me: Sally Lincoln’s Story. Simon & Schuster, 2009. $15.99. 978-1-4169-3884-2. 202p. Ages 10+:
A wealth of mythology surrounds Abraham Lincoln’s life, but this book provides an excellent view of him as a child. Narrated by Abe’s older sister by two years, the novel shows a hard-working child who desperately wanted his father’s approval, only to fail, with the positive attention falling to his younger brother. When Abe was seven, his father became embittered at losing his farm because of fraud, and the family had to walk from Kentucky to Indiana to clear land for a new home. The hardships that they suffered seemed to multiply with the death of the children’s beloved mother and her subsequent replacement. Mazer spins the details of Abe’s life into a story that will stay with the reader and help them understand Lincoln’s quiet, sadness, and determination. Also a great read-aloud. P7Q9

McDonald, Abby. Sophomore Switch. Candlewick, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-7636-3936-5. 297p. Ages 13+:
A comparison of southern California girl and Oxford, England cultures results in this story of two exchange students, party girl Tasha running from a widely publicized incident in a hot tub and studious control freak Emily escaping the breakup with her boyfriend. Although much of the novel is predicable as Tasha learns to be more serious and Emily becomes quite laid-back, the sometimes humorous struggles of each to fit into a foreign—in more than one sense—place is appealing. There Is much to learn from the work that each of these girls put into their personality changes. It’s a fun read with some meat to it. P9Q7

Book Reviews April 2009 B.R. Yaquina View Elementary
Rodriguez, Edel. Sergio Saves the Game. Little, Brown and Company, c2009. ISBN 978-0-316-06617-4. Unp. $15.99. Grades K-2nd. (Q8, P8)
Sergio loves soccer, but is not a good player. With perseverance and determination he becomes the “star” he wants to be. This is a delightful story about finding your true talents. My kindergarten and first grade students found this entertaining and hilarious.

Berry, Lynne. Duck Tents. Ills. by Hiroe Nakata. Henry Holt and Co., c2009.
Five ducks are going camping. They have a day of fun fishing and an evening of roasting marshmallows around the campfire. This story is about working together and having fun.

Selected and illustrated by Tony Ross. Three Little Kittens and other favorite Nursery Rhymes. Henry Holt and Company, c2009. 90 pgs. $16.95. Grades K-2nd (Q8 P8)
Tony Ross has put together a collection of classic nursery rhymes and illustrating them with a contemporary edge. This will be an excellent book to sit with a child or grandchild and read on a cold winters night. I especially like the font used as it is easy to read.

Foley, Greg. Good Luck Bear. Viking, c2009. ISBN 0670062588. Unp. $15.99. Grades K-2nd. (Q9, P8)
Who would not be enchanted by the illustrations in this book? The animals show their character in their body stances and facial expressions. Exceptional! The print is large and easily read. Little Bear finds a three-leaf clover and shows it to his friend Mouse who tells him if he finds one with four leaves, it means you’re lucky. This book is about friendship and helping.

Winter, Jonah. You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! Ills. by Andre’ Carrilho. Skcjwartz & Wade Books, c2009. Unp. $17.99. Grades 3rd-8th. (Q9, P7)
I absolutely enjoyed reading this book. It is written as if the author is telling the story of Sandy Koufax to you as an individual. From the holographic eye catching cover through the golden fantastic illustrations this book tells of Koufax’s start to the finish of his baseball career. Baseball fans of all ages will enjoy reading this book. Informational sidebars and baseball statistics are spread throughout the book. It also has a glossary of baseball terms for those who need it.

Slate, Joseph. I Want to be Free. Ills. by E.B. Lewis. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, c2009. ISBN 0399243429. unp. $16.99. Grades 2nd-4th. (Q8, P6) This book hurt my heart. Written in rhyme, Mr. Slate captures the fear and desperation of the slave who dearly wants to be free. The illustrations portray the darkness of running away. The only downfall of this book is the illustration of the “Big Man” who does not seem to look quite white enough. This would be a wonderful book to be included in a unit on slavery.

Foley, Greg. Willoughby & the Lion. Bowen Press, c2009. ISBN 0061547506 Unp. $17.99. Grades K-3rd. (Q7, P8)
This a story about an enchanted lion and a little boy who is feeling sad about having to move to a new house, which is smaller than his old one and too far away from any kind of friend. In the middle of his back yard was a big rock and one morning he found a magnificent golden lion sitting upon it. The lion granted him ten wishes. Of course he asked for fun selfish things until the final wish he realized the lion wanted to go home. Yes his last wish was for the lion to go home. This is a story about true friendship.

Weigelt, Udo. Becky the Borrower. Ills. by Astrid Henn. NorthSouth, c2008. ISBN 0735822050. Unp. $16.95. Grades K-3rd. (Q7, P6)
Becky loves kindergarten, everything about it, her teacher, her friends, also their toys. She also likes to borrow them, but forgets to give them back. This charming story about borrowing and returning things is a great lesson for young children.

Pfister, Marcus. Bertie at Bedtime. NorthSouth Books, c2008. ISBN 0735821941. Unp. $16.95. Grades Pre-2nd. (Q7, P7)
Bertie is a young hippo who, like human children, is finding it hard to settle down for the night and go to bed. He finds all types of things to do, and his interactions with his father are amusing. A great book to read before bedtime.

May 2009 Oregon Coast Preview Center For Young Readers By S.E.
Aldridge, Alan & William Plomer, “The Butterfly Ball And The Grasshopper’s Feast.” Templar Books, an imprint of Candlewick Press 1973 by the estate of William Plomer. First Candlewick Press edition, Somerville, Ma., 2009. ISBN 9780763644222..$23.00. 95p. Ages 7-10.
This is a retelling that was first published in 1973, winning the Whitbread Children’s Book Award. It was inspired by the 1807 poem by William Roscoe and retold by William Plomer and has nature notes by wildlife expert Richard Fretter. The poetry is wonderful but the drawings are a bit scary. Bright color is what keeps it from getting too scary. At the end of the book is a glossary and real life drawings of the animals depicted in the book. I wish they had used those pictures to tell the story. Q9P8

Shivak, Nadia, “Inside Out, portrait of an Eating Disorder”. Ginee Seo Books, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, NY. 2007. $18.00. Ages 14-18. ISBN 9780689852169.
This is a diary of a girl who, because of family “discussions” at the dinner table and by examples of her mother, led her to feelings of worthlessness and depression and found life intolerable and eventually led her to anorexia and hospitalization. It is a graphic novel in the sense that it has pictures drawn by her illustrating what she was going through and the thoughts that were in her head. It may have been cathartic to the author, but the story leading to her taking an overdose of pills to kill herself was disturbing. I realize that there are many people who can identify with the book and should be given to those kids who need to relate, (I personally would have read it and identified with it in my youth) but her trying to take her own life leads me to rate this book for ages 16-18. Q7P6

Hillman, Ben, “How Weird Is It? A Freaky Book All About Strangeness” Scholastic Inc. NY. 2009. 47p. ISBN 9780439918688. Ages 8-12. $16.00. From neutron stars to locust swarms to eating scorpions and fun with fungi, this book is filled with weird and wonderful things. I liked the book and since it covers such a large spectrum of weird things, it kept my interest to the end. The kids will love this book. Q9P9

Lumry, Amanda and Laura Hurwitz, Il. Sarah McIntyre. “Adventures of Riley, Dolphins in Danger.” Eaglemont Press, Scholastic Inc, 2009. ISBN 9780545068390. Ages 6-10. This is an informative book on dolphins in a lagoon in Tahiti. It not only covers dolphins but the sea life that dolphins need in order to survive including coral and parrot fish and moray eels and plankton. It is illustrated with drawings of Riley and the people he comes in contact with on this adventure but the undersea illustrations are photographs of what they are talking about. It is a cute way to present this tale of endangered undersea life. Q8P8

Lumry, Amanda and Laura Hurwitz, Il. Sarah McIntyre, “Adventures of Riley, Tigers in Terai” Eaglemont Press, Scholastic Press, 2009. $17.00. ISBN 9780545068390. Ages 6-9.
This is another informative book on tigers and other animals that dwell in the Terai Arc region of India and Nepal. Riley goes on safari to see what animals exist there including peacocks and elephants and tigers, cobras and deer that all exist side by side in that area of the world. I like this series of books and think it will be a good addition to Toledo Elementary School. Q8P8

Bruce, Julia. Il. Peter Dennis, “HUNT ! Can You Survive The Stone Age?” Enslow Publishers Inc. Berkeley Heights NJ. First published by Orpheus Books. 2009. ISBN 9780766034761.
This book is for all ages. It is one of a series of four books (the other ones being “Seige!, Can you capture a castle”, “Sail!, Can you command a Sea Voyage?” and Conquest!, Can You Build A Roman City?”. This particular book is not only a history of what occurred 20,000 years ago, it tells and illustrates how to exist in the wild now as well. The illustrations are totally awesome and it is a how-to book as to skinning animals for the meat as well as the skin and how to dress the skin and how to make needles to sew the skin and how to start a fire with flint and how to cook over the open fire. It shows how to make weapons and tools and shows how to use all these things as they did back then. I love this book and want to see it in all the Lincoln County Schools as well as the other three in the series. What a great book this is! Q10P10

Collins, Yvonne and Sandy Rideout, “Girl vs. Boy” Hyperion Books for Children and imprint of Disney Book Group. 2008. ISBN 9781423101574. $16.00. Ages 14-18. 311p. This cute story is about a young lady who is asked to do a column in the high school paper about the fundraisers for the school from a girls’ perspective and there is a boy who is writing a column about the same fundraisers froom a male perspective and the purpose is to get two different view points regarding the same thing…boys vs girls. It turns into a feud and neither the boy nor the girl know who is the other “ghost” writer” Q8P7

Runyon, Brent, “Surface Tension, A Novel In Four Summers”. Alfred A knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books NY. 2009. ISBN 9780375844461. $17.00. Ages 13-18. 195p.
This is a story of a boy who’s family goes to their lake house each year and how he changes and how the area changes throughout those four years. The boy learns that all is not as it seems in other households and finds that the changes he goes through gives him a better insight as to what is happening around him. And as he says, nothing stays the same and perhaps that is for the best. Q8P8

Weatherly, Lee, “Kat Got Your Tongue.” David Fickling Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. NY. 2006. ISBN 9780385751223. Ages 13-18.
Kathy gets hit by a car and when awaking in a hospital, has no memory of what has happened in her life. She decides that she like the name Kat instead of Kathy and has her folks call her that instead. Her mother and step father take her home and she finds out about herself by reading her journal when she finds it. Her mom can’t handle the fact that her daughter can’t seem to remember her and her stepfather is thrilled that he is finally starting to get close to her. Her friends don’t believe she has lost her memory and when she find out why her friends all can’t stand her and why she was running out into the street to begin with, she feels badly about what she had put them through but still can’t remember it except through her journal. It is a good read and takes the reader through what high school angst is all about in her world. Q7P7

First Thursdays Book Review Group May 7, 2009 L.R. for Siletz Library
Teen Books

Garman, Patrick. Skeleton Creek. Il. Joshua Pease. Scholastic Press, 2009, 185 pgs. Ages 13-17. ISBN 9780545075664 $14.99. P9Q9
This book has an ingenious hook to get teens interested. It is supposed to be a 15 year old boy’s journal, which he keeps because he loves to write, but also because he has been banned from seeing his best friend, a girl named Sarah Fincher. They have discovered a secret about an old gold dredge on the edge of the woods in Oregon. She sends him short videos and e-mails, along with the passwords. The reader is not directed to go to the website and watch, but when you try it, the videos are there. It is quite exciting to find the website, and enter the passwords and get the videos of Sarah investigating. The videos are really well done, and they really do look like they are filmed on a real dredge. Ryan fills the reader in, so one doesn’t need a computer UNTIL the very end, when they both go to the dredge at 1:00 a.m., and Sarah films it with a feed to her computer. This seems like an even better hook for the teens. If they don’t have a computer at home, they will need to go to a library to see the end of the book! I won’t give it away. Read the book and watch the videos!

Juvenile Books
Donovan, Gail. In Memory of Gorfman T. Frog. Dutton Children’s Books, 2009, 180 pgs. Ages 9-12. ISBN9780525420859 $15.99. P5 Q 5
Josh is one of those 5th graders who constantly seem to attract trouble. But when he brings a five-legged frog to school, it seems like he might be finally doing something right. His teacher and classmates are intrigued and it sparks a flurry of research. But then the frog dies and everyone loses interest. But Josh wants to know what caused the defect and whether other aquatic life will be affected in the wetlands behind his house. There is an upbeat ending, with the boy prevailing and getting a biologist to study the frog and water. But it is only a mildly entertaining story and perhaps will only grab readers who are already interested in biology.

Bishop, Nic. Butterflies and Moths. Scholastic, 2009, 48 pgs. Ages 9-Adult. ISBN 9780439877572, $17.99. P4 Q8
This is one of the most intriguing non-fiction children’s book I have ever seen. The gorgeous photos of caterpillars, butterflies and moths are just captivating, and the text just makes you want to read on and on. For younger kids, there is a headline synopsis of the page in a different color. A person reading to a younger child could just read that part with a brief explanation, but an older youth will want to read the whole book. The last couple of pages tells about the photographer and author and what it took for him to capture some of the most unusual specimens on film. Every library should have this book.

Picture Books
Varon, Sara. Chicken and Cat Clean Up. Scholastic Press, 2009, unpgd. Ages 3-6. ISBN 9780439634083, $16.99. P6 Q7
The author-illustrator is a comics artist and she has talent. She manages to make very simple drawings of a chicken and a cat endearing to the reader. The chicken and cat are best friends and open a housekeeping business. The reader quickly ascertains that the chicken is the brains of the business and the cat is a little vague. But when the cat catches a rat thief on the sidewalk and gets a reward, it makes the reader want to cheer for him! It is a surprise what the cat does with the reward money! This would be a great lapsitter book, with lots of opportunity for give and take. The cover is very simple, but attention-getting. It will be one that will be grabbed off the shelves.

Proimos, James. Patricia von Pleasantsquirrel Dial Books for Young Readers, 2009, unpgd. Ages 4-7. ISBN 9780803730663, $15.99. P6 Q8
A little girl named Patricia von Pleasantsquirrel reads the book Where the Wild Things Are and decides that she would like a similar adventure in princessdom. She takes off on a plane and goes to the Land of the Hippos, where they are happy to crown her princess. She has a lot of fun just like Max did, but breaks the rules and is sent home, which was where she wanted to be after all. Surprisingly, it is not annoying that this book is a take-off of Sendak’s famous book, because the author is upfront about it, and it is very entertaining on its own. The simple cartoon drawings are very effective and the purple, gray, black and yellow color scheme is really quite effective. This would be a fun read for storytime.

Milord, Susan. If I Could. Il.Christopher Denise. Candlewick Press, 2009, unpgd. Ages 1-4. ISBN 9780763643423, $15.99. P 8 Q6
There is nothing surprising about this book about a mother and baby raccoon spending the day together, but it does have quite lovely illustrations and adults will grab this off the shelf as a potential bedtime book. The theme is simple the depth of a mother’s love. It would be a good choice for a Mother’s Day story time theme. If your library has plenty of these types of books, you might not need another one. If you don’t, this would be a good purchase.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers May 2009 Reviews by N.W.

B Is for Baseball: Running the Bases from A to Z. Chronicle, 2009. $15.99. 978-0-8118-6096-3. Ages 4+: How many stitches does a baseball have? Baseball facts, lore, history, and info about players combine with vintage photographs from the American Baseball Hall of Fame and line drawings that describe details about the sport in this alphabet book. As in A Is for Astronaut and C Is for Caboose, the book has bold colors and backgrounds. (A baseball has 216 stitches—108 double stitches.) P8Q8

Berger, Carin. OK Go. Greenwillow, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-06-157666-9. unp. Ages 4-8:
The multitude of collages showing a diversity of moving vehicles leads to overwhelming pollution. Berger uses humor and graphic design to demonstrate the need for slowing down the world of go before there is no world left. A four-page spread at the end shows greener alternatives such as walking and recycling to save the world from disaster. An excellent message in a busy, detailed package. P8Q8

Jenkins, Martin. The Time Book: A Brief History from Lunar Calendars to Atomic Clocks. Il. Richard Holland. Candlewick Press, $18.99. 978-0-7636-4112-2. 60p. Ages 9-12:
Everyone knows that time can either fly or drag, depending on what we’re doing. But what else do we know? Probably not as much as Jenkins has crammed into this short view complete with simple explanations for what might be deemed very complicated. Clear, conversational narrative enhanced by the quirky mixed-media collages explains the reasons that we use such odd numbers to divide time, the changes over time in measuring time, and the development of time measurement devices. A fun as well as informational read. P8Q8

Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody. Boy on the Lion Throne: The Childhood of the 14th Dalai Lama. Roaring Brook Press, 2009. $18.95. 978-1-59643-394-6. 158p. Ages 8-12:
Once a hidden part of the world, Tibet has become central in the struggles around the globe after China took over a large portion of the Himalayan land under the regime of Mao Tse-Tung in the middle of the 20th century. And central to Tibet is the legendary leader. This gracious and respectful biography of the current Dalai Lama begins with the story of men disguised as peasants who found him in a tiny Tibetan village when he was two and a half and continues through the next two decades with a brief chapter that describes his life until now. More than a biography, however, this book describes the events that led Tibet to lose its land and the tenets of Buddhism. It is an exciting and valuable addition because of its information about Tibet’s leadership and culture. P6Q8

Falling down the Page: A Book of List Poems. Ed. Georgia Heard. Roaring Brook, 2009. $16.95. 978-1-59643-220-8. 48p. Ages 8-12:
From descriptive poems to concrete poetry, these 45 “lists,” sometimes with a twist at the beginning and/or ending, show that something as simple as a catalog of observations of “things to do” can be a poetic form. Particularly delightful are David Harrison’s “Chorus of Four Frogs” written
in four parts and the call-and-response poem in J. Patrick Lewis’ “What Is Earth?” Although there are no illustrations, the layout design of the narrow pages, bound at the top edge, creates a form of “drawing.” This anthology, which includes verses from such children’s poets as Jane Yolen and Lee
Bennett Hopkins, can be a wonderful starting place for classroom poetry, both reading and writing. P7Q9
The table of contents creates the first list here, naming the 45 list poems appearing in this slender volume. Then come the poems themselves, which celebrate children’s everyday experiences during the school year. The poems vary from simple lists to descriptive ones to those combining with other forms, such as concrete poetry. Well designed to display lists, the narrow pages are bound at the top edge, creating a long vertical space on each page or double-page spread. There are no illustrations, and none are needed. The placement of each large-type title creates a different look for each selection. The anthology includes verse by contemporary children’s poets such as Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Jane Yolen, Lee Bennett Hopkins, and Naomi Shihab Nye. Since list poems are a frequent starting place for classroom poetry-writing projects, teachers will welcome this fine anthology.

Picture Books
Arrou-Vicnod, Jean-Philippe. Rita and Whatsit. Il. Olivier Tallec. Chronicle, 2009. $14.99. 978-0-8118-6550-0. unp. Ages 4-6:
A grumpy Rita rejects all her birthday presents until she finds the dog—and it talks to her! This charming import from France is illustrated in black line drawings with touches of bright orange to show Rita’s original distress and then frustration while trying to name her new pet. The simple humor of both narrations and drawings will delight readers who will also delight in the sequel, Rita and Whatsit at the Beach (978-0-8118-6551-7), a setting that Whatsit loves and “Rita doesn’t like it quite so much.” P9Q9

Cali, Davide. The Enemy: A Book about Peace. Il. Serge Bloch. Schwartz & Wade, 2009. $15.99. 978-0-375-84500-0. unp. Ages 4-8:
A soldier sits in his hole wondering about the soldier in his hole on the next page. Sometimes he shoots at the other soldier because he knows that “the enemy is not a human being.” Most of the time, however, he but suffers the tedium of war for a long time. Minimal words and drawings highlighted with khaki communicate the lessons learned as each soldier sneaks to the other’s hole where the first soldier sees photos of the other man’s family and learns that he is not a monster. Each separately decides to end the fighting by writing a note, “Let’s end the war now,” and tossing is to the other one. The situation with the illustrations of trenches is reminiscent of the brief World War I armistice, but the peace message is timeless. A thoughtful look at how we should consider others in the world. P8Q9

Davies, Jacqueline. Tricking the Tallyman: The Great Census Shenanigans of 1790. Il. S.D. Schindler. Knopf, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-373-83909-2. unp. Ages 5-8:
The humor in this story and detailed illustrations is so delightful that one wishes it were true. During the first U.S. census, Phineas Bump, although worn out and homesick, is determined to count the people of Tunbridge, Vermont. The people are equally determined to falsify the count, first to be undercounted because they think they’ll have to pay more taxes and then to be overcounted because they think that they will get more votes. The “Author’s Note” provides information about the census; the book can be a starting point for education about the census in 2010.

Foreman, Michael. A Child’s Garden: A Story of Hope. Candlewick, 2009. $17.99 978-0-7636-4271-6. unp. Ages 4-8:
When a little boy’s world is reduced to ruin and rubble, a wire fence and soldiers separating him from the cool hills where he visited with his father, he nurtures a tiny plant. The joy from the ensuing vine is quashed by the soldiers’ tearing down the vine, but the vine returns when a little girl on the other side of the fence nurtures a tiny seedling. The illustrations make the message clear with the use of sepia tones except for the growing plant and one view of a winter fire in the boy’s ruined home, and the feeling of isolation is made greater by the lack of adults except for one distant view of the boy’s mother. Perhaps a bit heavy-handed in the conclusion that “Roots are deep, and seeds sprout” and the last illustration of the children returning to the hills, but the concept provides food for thought. P7Q8

Gerstein, Mordicai. A Book. Roaring Brook, 2009. $16.95. 978-1-59643-251-2. unp. Ages 4-8:
A girl’s family each has its own story, even the cat and dog, in this book about a family who lives in a book. As they describe their adventures—fighting fires, exploring space, being a clown—the girl keeps searching for her own story through different story types: nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and even Alice in Wonderland. In his pen-and-paint-on-vellum illustrations Caldecott-medalist Gerstein uses the perspective of looking down on all the characters as the girl keeps running, encountering pirates and her brother in space. In this clever tale that celebrates books and finding oneself, the girl concludes she will become an author and proceeds to start while the rest of the family watches television. P9Q9

King, Stephen Michael. Leaf. Roaring Brook, 2009. $14.95. 078-1-59643-503-2. unp. Ages 4+: Running from a haircut, a boy finds a leaf growing out of his hair after a bird drops a seed onto his head. Despite the close cut that his mother then gives him, the boy helps the leaf grow into a large tree which the boy’s family enjoys after he becomes an adult. Small joyous watercolors tell the entire story with sound effects as the only words. A bonus to this delightful book are the brief sayings on the endpapers, such as “Silence is a word” and “Stillness is not void.” This is a book to be shared and discussed on many levels. P9Q9

McGhee, Alison. Song of Middle C. Il. Scott Menchin. Candlewick, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-7636-3013-3. unp. Ages 4-8:
Anyone who has ever had to perform in front of an audience will appreciate the dilemma of a girl who believes she is totally ready for her first recital—lucky hat, shoes, and underwear; lots of practice; and self-confidence. Bold block-like digitally-colored illustrations complement the story of the girl who resorts to a piano composition of only middle C when she forgets the one she memorized for her recital. P7Q8

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. Little Oink. Il. Jen Corace. Chronicle, 2009. $14.99. 978-0-8118-6655-2. unp. Ages 4-8:
In this reverse of stereotypes, a neat little fellow suffers the dilemma of having to keep his room dirty and cluttered. The reason? Our fellow is a pig, and his loving parents want him to follow a pig’s life. All children who have been told to clean up their room will laugh to see drawings of the pig who whines while being required to put on a stained T-shirt, throw his toys out of the toy chest, and mess up his room. A chuckle from those who created Little Pea and Little Hoot. P9Q8

Say, Allen. Erika-San. Houghton, 2009. $17.00. 978-0-618-88933-4. unp. Ages 6-9:
With luminous watercolors and economical text, Caldecott-medalist Say tells the story of an American girl who wants to live in Japan because of her childhood fascination with a serene print of a Japanese teahouse in her grandmother’s house. She achieves her ambition by becoming a teacher but then must search for the right place in Japan away from noisy cities. In her job on a remote island she finds a teahouse like the one in her grandmother’s picture, takes traditional tea-ceremony lessons, and marries another teacher from the school. Some of the themes in the book such as the chain of events that lead to romance and the slow-moving tranquility of the text may keep the book from having a high appeal for younger children. Yet the amazing perspective in Say’s illustrations showing Japan’s varying cultures and the explanation of Japanese words may entice some to expand their horizons and think about their future. A quiet look at how unwavering focus can lead to satisfaction. P6Q9

Avi. Poppy and Ereth. Il. Brian Floca. HarperCollins, 2009. $15.99. 978-0-06-111969-9. 212p. Ages 8-11:
The adventures of the first five Poppy books culminate in this one that begins with the death of Poppy’s husband, Rye, when he searches through the ice and snow for an inspiration to his new poem. The loss of her husband drives the deer mouse into deep sadness that ends when she first rescues her good friend, Ereth the porcupine, from Glitter Creek’s mud during the summer drought and then finds herself flying through the air because a young bat thought she was a moth. Amidst all the excitement of Poppy’s capture by her fox nemesis and the forest fire started from an earring from Poppy’s first love, Ragweed, this final book addresses issues of grief, family, and agelessness. Fans of earlier books in the series will delight in reading about these endearing characters as will readers new to the Poppy stories who may return to the other books. And the ending leaves the possibility of a seventh in the series. P8Q8

Amateau, Gigi. A Certain Strain of Peculiar. Candlewick, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-7636-3009-6. 261p. Ages 11-14:
A strong Southern voice shows angst and eventual development of self-esteem as 13-year-old Mary Harold Woods escapes her classmates’ bullying and the feeling that she is growing invisible. Begging her mother to take them back to live with her grandmother in a small Arkansas town 691 miles away from their home, she runs away in their old truck to make the journey alone. Allowed to stay there, she finds her place while building her muscles, caring for a Black Angus cow, helping wrangle the herd, and protecting a badly damaged girl who pretends she is a horse. Although the grandmother may come across as too understanding and the mother’s romance with the farm manager too convenient, the characters of students ring true as they accuse Mary Harold of being a lesbian and she decides to fight back. The very real issues that she addresses are portrayed in a clear, insightful way. P8Q8

Carmichael, Clay. Wild Things. Front Street, 2009. $18.95. 978-1-59078-627-7. 241p. Ages 10-12: This blend of recently orphaned 11-year-old Zoe, with an observant cat and a feral boy result in this exciting, poignant novel about people trying to heal from loss and fit into the world around them. Stubborn and self-reliant, Zoe has been sent to live with her reclusive surgeon/metal sculptor half-uncle who has buried himself in the country after his wife died. The story is enriched with the dual points of view from the girl and the cat, as Zoe explores the woods and finds a half-brother that no one knew existed. The character development combined with an exciting plot and a strong sense of place results in a superb view of growing up—no matter what age a person is. P8Q10

Kelsey, Marybeth. A Recipe 4 Robbery. Greenwillow, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-06-128843-2. 282p. Ages 9-13:
In this flip mystery with just a touch of adventure, two girls develop a friendship with a lonely boy whose mother has recently died as they try to solve the theft of valuables from their sixth-grade classmate’s home. Kelsey has developed some funny characters including Granny Goose, who saves wounded animals, and Chef Francoise, one of their suspects. This novel is an easy juvenile read for those just developing a positive relationship with those of the opposite sex as well as an introduction to the mystery genre. P8Q7

Knudsen, Michelle. The Dragon of Trelian. Candlewick, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-7636-3455-1. 407p. Ages 10+:
Dragon stories are always popular, and this one is a must to add to the collection. The plot includes a mage’s apprentice, Calen, who doesn’t realize his power; a princess, Meglynne, who must keep the orphaned dragon in the forest a secret; and the dragon itself, Jakl, who is the answer to saving the kingdom. Toss in a murderous plan by a warring country with a trusted woman who is creating monsters and plans to kill Meglynne’s sister, about to marry the foreign prince, and there’s never a dull moment. Friendship, magic, struggle for survival, and a friendly dragon with enchanting characters and a first romance make one wish for a sequel to this potential classic by the author of Library Lion. P8Q8

Book Reviews May 2009 BR
De Beer, Hans. Little Polar Bear and the Whales. NorthSouth Books, c2009. ISBN 0735822093. Unp. $16.95. Grades 1-3rd. (Q7, P7) Lars makes new friends, a pod of beluga whales and a giant sperm whale, Moby.
When a whaling boat gets too close Lars guides his new friends to safety. This would be a great book for teaching new friendships and how friends can help one another.

Low, William. Machines Go To Work. Henry Holt and Company, c2009. ISBN 0805087591 Unp. $14.95. PreS-1st. (Q8, P8)
From backhoes, to tow trucks, to helicopters and boats, this book will delight the youngster. Six fold out pages give solutions to problems presented in the book. They tell how these vehicles help people. In the back of the book are two pages of additional information about each vehicle. This would be a great book for a classroom or a home library. I don’t like the fold out pages for a school library as they tear too easily.

Janovita, Marilyn. Te puedo ayudar? Can I Help? NorthSouth Books, c1996 ISBN 0735821836. Unp. $14.50. Grades K-2nd. (Q8 P8)
Written in both Spanish and English, this book tells about relationships between a father and son. The son helps Father do many things, although not always to the positive.

Dodd, Emma. I don’t want a posh dog! Little, Brown and Company, c 2008. ISBN 0316033901. Unp. $15.99. PreS-2nd. (Q7, P8)
This silly-nilly rhyming book tells of a young girl’s hunt for just the right dog. Children will relate to the feelings of choosing just the right dog for themselves.

Weninger, Brigitte, Davy! Soccer Star! Ills. by Eve Tharlet. NorthSouth Books, c2008. ISBN 0735821968. Unp. $16.95 K-2nd. (Q8 P6)
When Davy’s old soccer ball falls apart he worries about how to get a new ball. His dad finds an announcement in the paper about the Big Bad Badgers challenging any team to a match. The winner will not only win a trophy but also a new soccer ball, just like the pro’s use. Davy forms a team of his rabbit friends, the practice and train hard, and of course they beat those Big Bad Badgers. This story is about how hard work, determination and working together can be successful.

Chaconas, Dori. Cork & Fuzz Finders Keepers. Ills. by Lisa McCue. Viking, c2009. ISBN 0670011134. 32 pgs. $17.00. PreS-2nd. (Q8, P8)
Cork is a short muskrat who likes to find things. Fuzz is a tall possum who likes to keep things. This story about friendship illustrates that two very different personalities can disagree, even be upset with each other but still remain close friends.

Joyce, Irma. Never Talk to Strangers. Ills. by George Buckett. Random House, c2009. ISBN 0375849645. Unp. $10.99. PreS-2nd. (Q8, P8)
Trying to teach a child who is a stranger and who isn’t, is not an easy thing. This book explains that concept very well. The colorful pictures and whimsical animals help make this book exciting for the young child.

Downing, Julie. No Hugs Till Saturday. Clarion Books, c2008. ISBN 0618910786 Unp. $16.00. PreS-2nd. (Q7, P7)
Felix finds out how important and loving hugs are. When his mother takes away a toy for misbehaving he decides to take away all hugs till the next Saturday. Felix finds out that is way too long to wait for a hug. The dragons in this book are very expressive and look very cuddly.

Staines, Bill. All God’s Critters. Ills. by Kadir Nelson. Simon & Schuster, c2009. ISBN 0689869592. Unp. $16.99. Grades K-2nd. (Q9, P8)
This sing-along, rather howl-along, picture book is a hoot. The rollicking animals will entice everyone who picks up this book to sing along with them. NOW—-All God’s critters got a place in the choir—some sing low, some sing higher. Two-page spreads show the animals having a wonderful time. One four page spread puts all the animals in a chorus line doing leg kicks and belting out their song. You might be sorry if you try to read this at bedtime, it will not settle anyone down.

Dokas, Dara. Muriel’s Red Sweater. Ills. by Bernadette Pons. Dutton Children’s Books, c2009. ISBN 0525479627. $16.99. Unp. PreS-2nd. (Q7, P7)
It is Muriel’s birthday and she needs to hand out invitations to her party. As she delivers them her sweater unravels and her friends find many uses for the pretty red yarn. By the time she arrives home her sweater is gone. Surprise, her friends have given her a new beautiful blue sweater. This story will take you out of her house, down the steeps, across the street, through the park, etc. This would be a great book when teaching directions. At the end of the book is the musical score.

Tobin, Jim. Sue MacDonald Had a Book. Ills. by Dave Coverly. Henry Holt and Company,c 2009. ISBN 0805087664. $16.95 Grades 1st-3rd. (Q6, P3)
Ever read a book and have the letters jump off the page. Sue McDonald does just that in this sing-a-long book. Watch for that A and E run free, the I and O says “Let’s Go”, don’t forget U and sometimes Y. Have fun with this book of vowels.

Moss, Marlissa. Amelia’s Science Fair Disaster. Simon & Schuster, c2008. ISBN 1-4169-6494-0. $9.99. Grades 3rd-6th. (Q6, P9)
Amelia ends up with the two people she did not want, Sadie and Felix. She didn’t win the prize but she kept going. (Written by a 4th grade student at Yaquina View Elementary.)

O’Connor, Jane and Robin Preiss Glasser. Fancy Nancy Explorer Extraordinaire! Harper Collins, c2009. ISBN 0061684864. Unp. $12.99. Grades K-3rd. (Q8, P8)
Nancy and her best friend Bree are two very fancy girls. They love to explore the outdoors and have formed an exclusively glamorous explorer’s club. Everything is fancy in this book including some of the words but they do explain what those words mean. There is much usable information in this book, spiders are not insects, ladybugs have only one spot on each wing, even that butterflies land with wings upraised and moths land with wings expanded. The illustrations explain the attitude of these two girls. I asked 3rd grade girls to read this book and they loved it.

Galbraith, Kathryn O. Boo, Bunny! Ills. by Jeff Mack. Harcourt, c2008. ISBN 0152162461. Unp. $16.00. Preschool. (Q7 P8)
This is a fun little story for the preschool child. Boo Bunny goes trick or treating with a friend. The colorful illustrations on a black background offer a mildly scary story.

Janisch, Heinz. “I Have a Little Problem,” said the bear. Ills. by Silke Leffler. NorthSouth, c2009. ISBN 0735822352. Unp. $16.95. PreS-2nd. (Q8, P9)
Having a problem that no one wants to listen to is hard, but this bear has a problem and everyone has a solution without listening to the problem. The inventor gives him wings, the tailor gives him a scarf, the hatter gives him a hat, etc. No one takes time to find out the problem until he comes upon the fly that listens and gives him a perfect solution. The double-page spreads offer not only illustrations in the collage mode but also have simple pencil drawings. This story was first published in Austria and should appeal to young children here.

Phillipps, J. C. Wink The Ninja who Wanted to Be Noticed. Viking, c2009. ISBN 0670010928. Unp. $15.99. PreS-2nd. (Q7, P8)
Wink had been accepted to the Summer Moon School for Young Ninjas, bur had trouble learning his lessons. He learned the basics of being a Ninja but could not master the art of being quiet. He wanted to be noticed for his accomplishments. He finally finds his place in the Lucky Dragon Circus and “The Nimble Ninja”. This book tackles the problem of being what you want to be and striving for that end.

Sederman, Marty. Casey and Derek on the Ice. Ills. by Zachary Pullen. ISBN 081185132X. Chronicle Books, c2008. Unp. $15.99. Grades K-2nd. (Q8, P7)
Brothers Casey and Derek strength and speed on the hockey rink is used to help their team win the game. Written in the rhythm versus of “Casey at the Bat” this story provides all the excitement and tension of a live hockey game. All hockey families will enjoy this never-give-up story.

Rylant, Cynthia. Annie and Snowball and the Pink Surprise. Ills. by Sucie Stevenson. Simon & Schuster, c2008. ISBN 1416909419. 40 Pgs. $15.99. Grades 1st-3rd. (Q7, P7) Annie loves to play outside wither her cousin and his big dog. They try to find a way to get more humming birds to come to her garden. This ready-to-read book is written in short chapters with varied sentence structure. It contains paragraphs and has a little more complex story line for the reader who is beginning to read independently.

Moulton, Mark Kimball. Reindeer Christmas. Ills. by Karen Hillard Good. Simon & Schuster, c2008. ISBN 1416961089. Unp. $15.99. PreS-2nd. (Q9, P9)
This lovely Christmas story is about two children and their grandmother, who find a weak and weary deer, while feeding the forest animals. They take it back to their home and feed and warm it. One night it leaves and Santa brings them a box of “magic reindeer glow”. The illustrations in this book are done in watercolors, instant coffee and bleach. A Christmas tradition of reading this book could easily be established by many families.

Harley, Avis. The Monarch’s Progress: Poems with Wings. Boyds Mills Press, c2008. ISBN 1590785584. 32 Pgs. $16.95. Grades 3rd – 5th. (Q7, P6) This book would be great for using with a unit on butterflies, although using it at the end of the unit might be more beneficial because students will understand more of the information it is giving. The beautiful colored-pencil drawings illustrate the variety of poetry ranging from haiku, rhymed couplets to acrostic verse.

LeFrak, Karen. Jake the Ballet Dog. Ills. by Marcin Baranski. Walker & Company, c2008. ISBN 0802796583. Unp. $16.99. Grades K-3rd. (Q7 P5) Jake is visiting Allegra, a ballerina starring in “The Nutcracker” ballet. He goes to dress rehearsal with her and learns to perform a doggy arabesque, pirouettes and other moves. The only problem occurs when Jake decides to go onto the stage creating havoc. For opening night, Allegra gives Jake presents to keep him busy off stage.

Muller, Birte. Los pedos de Farley=Farley Farts. North South Books, c2003. ISBN 0735821879. Unp. $6.95. PreS-5th. (Q5, P8)
This book is written in English and Spanish. Birte Muller brings a funny side to a sensitive subject, farting. Farley has been farting for several days; the Dr. says it will pass. Well it has been passing already for days and nobody likes it. Farley tries to hold it in but he blows up like a hot-air balloon and flies away. Once Farley gets back home, what does Mom do? She cooks bean soup. While I think this would be a popular book, I am not sure I would like it in my school library because I would not like the students to get the idea it is okay behavior. If the story had gone into where and when such behavior would be acceptable it would have been better.

May Book Reviews Y.Z., Waldport
McDonald, Megan, Illustrator Peter Reynolds, Stink-O-Pedia, Super Stink-y Stuff from A to Zzzz, Candlewick Press, 2009, 129 pgs plus Sources and Answers, $5.99, ISBN 9780763639631, grades 3-6 P9 Q7
A follower of ‘Stink’ will enjoy going through this alphabetical information. The grosser the better. All through the book are spelling errors, math problems and other school things that have answers in the back. If illustrations in this book are good, the other ‘Stink’ books will fill the bill.

McDonald, Megan, Illustrator Peter Reynolds, Stink and the Great Guinea Pig Express, Candlewick Press (1st PB Edition) 2009, pgs, $4.99, ISBN 9780763642341, grades 3-6, P8 Q7 Weird but funny. If you’re not a STINK fan you will become one. Story almost plausible to an adult, but very plausible to a youngster. Illustrations, although in black and white, add to the story. Michalak, Jamie, Joe and Sparky Get New Wheels, Candlewick Press, 2009, 42 pgs, $15.99, ISBN 9780763633875, ages 7-10 P9 Q9 A very imaginative story about a turtle and his adventurous friend, a giraffe. Illustrations are colorful as are the endpapers.

Baruzzi, Agnese & Sandro Natalini, The True Story of Little Red Riding Hood, Templar Book (Imprint of Candlewick Press). 2009, unpaged, $14.99, ISBN 9780763644277, Ages (according to book 3 and up) P2 Q1
A disillusional story about Little Red Riding Hood’s days before her visit to Grandma’s house. As LRRH finds out “you can’t put a wolf into sheep’s clothing’ because he becomes more popular. The story, some written in bubbles, is easy to follow but has some gaps. Because of pop-ups and other removable pieces this would be difficult to have for general circulation. It is more of a one-on-one book.

Yang, Belle, author and illustrator, Foo, the Flying Frog of Washtub Pond, Candlewick Press, 2009, $16.99, unpaged, ISBN 9780763636159, Grades 3 – 5 P5 Q5
Bragging to your friends has its ‘UPS and DOWNS’. In this case Foo, the frog, puffed himself up too much. After several unhappy encounters he started to deflate and his pond friends were happy to have him back. Great illustrations within the book and enticing endpapers. However, there were many sounds spelled out that did not always represent the animal making the sound.

Fern, Tracey E. illustrator Lauren Castillo, Buffalo Music, Clarion Books, 2008, 31 pgs + author’s note, $16.00, ISBN 9780618423416, grades 3 & up (classified as EASY this book is historical fiction and could be used when studying pioneer days in the West), P6 Q8
An historical fiction book about a pioneer woman, Molly aka Mary Ann Goodnight, who lived among buffalos in 1876 and saw their demise by constant hunting. She raised some rescued buffalo calves which she eventually sent to other farmers to increase their buffalo herds. She even sent four (4) to Yellowstone National Park to augment that herd. The endpapers pique one’s curiosity while other illustrations have a few flaws.

Kvasnosky, Laura McGee, author & illustrator, Zelda and Ivy Keeping Secrets, Candlewick Press, 2009, 42 pgs, $15.99, ISBN 9780763641795, grades 3 & 4, P6 Q8 Three (3) good chapters about Zelda and Ivy keeping secrets (interpretation of keeping secrets up to reader). All chapters involve neighbor Eugene and are complete in themselves. Illustrations, per page, go along with that part of the chapter. A good addition to the Zelda and Ivy series.

Root, Phyllis, Flip, Flap, Fly, Candlewick Press, 2009, $14.99, ISBN 9780763631093, Grades 1 & 2, P3 Q7
A simple story of baby animals seeing other baby animals and how they move. Illustrations very simple but colorful. Good for parents to read to 3 and 4 year olds as an introduction to various sounding words.

Bunting, Eve, illustrator Maggie Smith, Our Library, Clarion Books, 2008, 32 pgs, $16.00, ISBN 9780618494583, grades 3rd – 6th, P9 Q7
This book proves a library provides lots of information on many subjects. Raccoon and his friends, when they found out their library was closing because it needed money to upgrade the old building, took out, read and used every book they could find to overcome each obstacle that came their way. They were determined to keep their library open. The pictures, throughout, are busy but don’t take anything away from the successful story.

Tankard, Jeremy, Boo Hoo Bird, Scholastic Press, 2009, $14.99, ISBN 9780545065702, grades 1st – 3rd, P6 Q7
After a “bonk” on bird’s head and everyone knowing about it the “bonk” gets forgotten in favor of fun things. All pages are in bright colors. The front endpaper starts the story and the back endpaper finishes the story.

Chocolate, Debbi, illustrator David Diaz, El Barrio, Henry Hold & Co., 2009, unpaged + glossary, $16.95, ISBN 9780805074574, grade 4th & up, P4 Q5
A good book for a classroom that is starting Spanish immersion. Although the glossary must be used the illustrations give a hint to the meaning of the Spanish words on the page. An urban student might have trouble with the references made to ‘city lights’ and ‘city blocks’. Traditional bright and exaggerated Spanish colors.

Gorbachev, Valeri, author/illustrator, The Missing Chick, Candlewick Press, 2009, unpaged, $15.99, ISBN 9780763636760, ages 6-8, P9 Q7 Young readers have probably never heard the expression ‘right under your nose’. This story is a prime example of that saying. After friends looked all over for the missing chick it was found when the sleepy chick peeped from Mother’s laundry basket. The last page holds a sleepy surprise. The illustrations were very expressive.

Sanders-Wells, Linda, Maggie’s Monkeys, Candlewick Press, 2009, $16.99, unpaged, ISBN 9780763633264, ages 7 –10, P9 Q8
Using your imagination the reader can almost feel the family bond in this story. Even though the older brother doesn’t go along with the family’s imaginary friends in the refrigerator he defends them when his friends scoff at them. On several framed pages monkeys were hanging on the outside of the frames. But in others with frames there were no monkeys, which leads me to wonder what the significance of the monkeys on frames had. Maybe a sequence? Good expressions on all characters.

McClements, George, Baron von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident, Harcourt Inc, 2008, unpaged, $16.00, ISBN 9780152061388, grades 2nd – 5th P2 Q2
Evil, Baron von Baddie, versus Good, Captain Kapow and, as usual Good wins. The pictures are bizarre and don’t necessarily add to the story line. Dunbar, Polly, Where’s Tumpty? (A Tilly and Friends Book), Candlewick Press, 2009, unpaged, $12.99, ISBN 9780763642730, grades 2nd & 3rd, P9 Q8 A few too many words to make this a PICTURE book. But, the pictures do say a lot. Each character is quietly introduced into the story by appearing in the upper right corner. A good story about friendships with very believable pictures.

Bardhan-Quallen, Sudipta, illustrator Jason Wolff, The Hog Prince, Dutton Children’s Books, 2009, unpaged, $17.99, ISBN 9780525479000, grades 3rd – 5th, P5 Q5
Good pictures depicting Eldon, the hog, looking to kiss his true love and become a prince. He finally finds that a friendship and happiness are closer then he thought. Other story book characters (cinderElla) brought into the story. Vibrant color and good expressions on characters.

Pedersen, Janet author/illustrator, Houdini the Amazing Caterpillar, Clarion Books, 2008, $16.00, ISBN 9780618893324, 31 pgs + author’s note, grades 1st – 6th (good for curriculum P3), P9 Q10
The character is fictional but the information is NOT. A “must have” for any elementary library or primary science teacher trying to teach the stages, in the spring, of the caterpillar. Easily read in spite of colorful pages. Illustrations are thoughtfully done including the endpapers.
Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers May 2009 Reviews by NHS Student O.D.
Gehrman,Jody . Triple Shot Betty in love, Dial Books, 2009. $ 16.99 ages 8th and up. 249 pgs 978-0- 8037-3248-3 p 8/ q 7
This book is about a girl whose friend has a major crush on their sub and she begins to change who she really is for him, for instance pretending she likes to read books and is in college to try to get him to fall for her. As these things with her friend start to become more serious she slowly forgets about her boyfriend Ben and gives all her time to her friend to try to help her make her myspace page the perfect page that has everything their sub likes. Through out the book it tells about her trials with her
boyfriend trying to stay strong with him and also trying to help her friend change her mind about this sub. I liked it because it shows how much friends care about you and who you are.

Ellis, Ann D., Everything is Fine, Little Brown and Company, 2009. $16.99. ages middle & up 154pages. 978-0-316-01364-2 p 8/ q 9
Everything is Fine is about a girl who says everything is fine when it really isn’t. Her dad has left her mom and her and her mom is very sick and won’t get out of bed. Neighbors ask questions but all she says is everything is fine and resist to tell the truth about her life and how her mom doesn’t talk to her and will never get out of bed. As the book goes on people start to realize things are wrong and her life suddenly changes into something she has wanted to happen for a long time. I liked it because it compares her life to art work.

Henderson, Lauren. Kisses and Lies. Delacorte Press, 2009. $16.99 ages middle & up. pgs. 309 978-0-385-73489-9 p 10/ q 9.
Scarlett a normal teenager girl who has had a crush on Dan a boy at her school for all high school years and has dreamed of going out with him gets her first kiss with him. At her first party she has ever went to they go in for there first kiss with each other and as they kiss he drops dead at her feet. Everyone blames it on her that she was the one to kill him and she is tired of it so she gets her friend who is a expert at figuring things out like this and they begin they quest to find out who really killed him and why they did it. With many mysterious people they figure there way to who killed him in the end it is a great surprise of who really did it. I liked it because it’s a mystery of her and her friend working together to find out who really killed him.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers May 2009 Reviews by M.D. ASPIRE
Scott, Elizabeth . Something, Maybe , Simon Pulse, 2009. $ 16.99 ages high school. 217 pgs 978-1- 4169-7865-7 p 8/ q 8
Elizabeth Scott also wrote “Praise for bloom” and “Praise for perfect you”. This is a story about Hannah and her parents, her dad is something like Hugh Hefner and her mother makes a living chatting on the internet in her underwear. Hannah tries to get her crush to notice her but she is thinking about another guy and wondering if she is turning into her mother and father. She wants to know what it would be like to have a normal life. This book would appeal to students whose parents aren’t what they can look up to and how to be better than the last generation. I liked the book because it told a compelling story without being sexually explicit.

Roe, Monica M., Thaw, Front Street, 2008. $17.95. ages middle & high school. 235pages. 978-1-59078-496-9 p 8/ q 8
Dane a competitive skier has been stricken with Gulliain-Barre Syndrome and is paralyzed. His parents have moved him from New York to a care center to recover in Florida. All he can do is look out the window at the swamp and its wildlife when he first arrives. Slowly he begins to recover and change from his former self to a more understanding and feeling person. His therapists are stubborn like he is and eventually he has to learn to thaw both mind and body. This is an interesting story of change and learning to be different despite no help from parents. I liked this book because Dane changes for the better.

McGuigan, Mary Ann. Morning in a Different Place. Front Street, 2009. $17.95 ages middle & high school. 195 pgs. 978-1-59078-551-5 p 8/ q 8.
Fiona is Irish and her best friend Yolanda is black. Fiona runs away from her Aunt’s house because there are too many people and she is sick of her life. Fiona’s mother decides to move back in with her abusive husband so they can have a place to live that Fiona will stay put. Fiona tries to be friends with the popular girls but they don’t accept Yolanda and she finally decides her friendship with Yolanda is more important than her so called friends. She finally decides her mother’s safety is more important than her acceptance and she finds the courage to help her mother leave her abusive father. I liked this book because when I was young I also had a best friend who was African American and could relate to the story.

Stoffels, Karlijyn. Translated by Laura Watkinson. Heartsinger. Arthur A. Levine Books An Imprint of Scholastic Inc., 2006 Dutch text. 2009 translation. $16.99. ages middle & high school. 134 pages. 978-0-545-06929-8 p 6 q/ 7
Hearsinger is a translation of a Dutch tale. Mee travels cross country to the court of the Pincess and sings the life stories of those she meets and heals their pain. Mitou knows she belongs with Mee even though they have never met. Mitou carries an accordion and hopes they eventually meet and discover true love. The book has several different stories imbedded in the tale. The Lieutenant with the Flute, The Horse-Master’s Daughter and the Sailor’s Sweetheart and how they all love differently. This is a book seems to be set in olden times and may not appeal to most young teen readers. I liked the book because the stories were interesting and told about different kinds of love.

Schrefer, Eliot. The School for Dangerous Girls. Scholastic Press, 2009. $17.99. ages high school. 341 pages 978-0-545-03528-6. p 9q/ 8
Hidden Oak is a school for dangerous girls and their mission is to take girls who’ve caused trouble and to reform them into model citizens. Unfortunately no one can get to the school because it is in the middle of a forest and is impassable during winter therefore the Doctors can do whatever they want. Some girls are put in the gold thread where they attend class and sessions with counselors to improve while others are forced into the purple thread. Angela was part of the golden thread but wanted to know what was happening to the others so she punched one of the workers and ended up in
the worst possible place. She learned that her cousin had just died after an allergic reaction and no teachers made it to her in time. Angela decided it was time to escape and let the outside world know what really happens at Hidden Oak. This is a story of being abused and abusing others to get by therefore it is a dark story. I loved this book because it was thrilling and had a great ending the way I would want it to end.

Morrison, Angela. Taken by Storm. Raxorbill, Hyperion, 2009. $16.99. ages high school. 291 pages 978-1-59514-238-2 p 8/q8
Michael a deep sea diver whose parents who have just died in a hurricane arrives in town, Leesie, a devout Mormon, falls in love with him as she tries to help him grieve. Leesie is seventeen and has rules like; no making out, no sex and no falling for a non-Mormon. This book is written with chapter headings of Michael’s Dive Log – date, weather conditions, dive site, and comments. It also has instant messaging format between Leesie’s best friend also a non-Mormon, Michael and Leesie. There is some text talk format to the print but once the reader gets into the story it becomes easier to understand. In the end Leesie decides her beliefs and future goals are more important than falling for the guy she has saved. I really enjoyed this story mainly because I’m a Mormon and my daughter fell for a non-Mormon but I liked the ending of this story.

Herrick, Steven. Cold Skin. Front Street, 2007. $18.95. ages high school. 279 pgs. 978-1=59078-572-0 p7/q8
Eddie wants to quit school and work in the mines. Nothing happens in the town of Burruga except for fight in the pub. The story is set in rural Australia after World War II. Eddie investigates the murder of a local high school girl and he and his father gets the local big wig to confess and commit suicide to pay for his sins. The format of the book is in a poetry format. The book starts with a list of characters and chapter headings to help in understanding the story. Each paragraph/poem starts with who from the list of characters is talking. The format may confuse some but the story is compelling and ends the way it should. I enjoyed this book because Eddie stood up for what he wanted and helped to solve a mystery in his small town.

Whelan, Gloria. The Disappeared. Dial Books, 2008. $16.99. ages high school. 136 pages. 978-0-8037-3275-9 p 6/ q 7
The story takes place in Argentina in the 1970’s during the civil unrest. The story is about Silvia and what she will go threw to save her brother who is in prison and being tortured. The story alternates between Silivia’s and Eduardo’s perspectives. The book ends with an Epilogue that explains about the dictators of the 70’s and some of the other historical facts that were part of the story. The last page has a further reading section with books that tell about Argentina’s history. This book may be hard for some students to read as it talks about torture and civil unrest. I liked this book because it taught me history in an interesting and compelling way.

May 2009 Book Reviews C.S. Siletz Public Library
Picture Books:

Ouellet, Debbie. How Robin Saved Spring. Nicoletta Ceccoli, ill. Christy Ottaviano Books (Henry Holt & Co), 2009. Not paged. ISBN 9780805069709. $16.95. Ages 4-8. P8Q9.
This is a good, old fashioned fairy tale about a struggle between Lady Winter and Sister Spring. Various animals try to wake up spring so life can go on normally, and Robin is finally successful. The story explains the origins of various animal markings (the robin’s red breast, the skunk’s stripe, etc.). The language is simple, and the illustrations are soft and very beautiful. My reading group liked this book a lot, both for the pictures and for the story- they were spontaneously predicting why various animals wouldn’t be able to solve the problem from the second or third page on.

Yang, Belle. Foo, the Flying Frog of Washtub Pond. Candlewick Press, 2009. Not paged. ISBN 9780763636159. $16.99. Ages 3-6. P7Q8.
Sue Lin Salamander, Mao Mao Mudpuppy, and Foo the Frog live together in Washtub Pond. The story tells about their friendship and about an learning experience the boastful Foo has. He comes back from this experience a humbler, wiser frog. The kids at story time found a lot of scenes hysterically funny.

Weaver, Tess. Frederick Finch, Loudmouth. Debbie Tilley, ill. Clarion Books, 2008. Not paged. ISBN 9780618452392. $16.00. Ages 4-8. P8Q7.
This books tells about Frederick, who wants to win a prize at the state fair. He hasn’t found his talent yet, and causes a lot of trouble because he can’t ever be quiet. He finally discovers that being loud is a talent in itself, and finally wins a prize. The illustrations are colorful and funny, but a bit crowded for a read-aloud book. The kids liked it, but I regretted reading it to them a little, because suddenly they all wanted to know if they had a talent for being loud. They do.

Rubin, Adam. Those Darn Squirrels. Daniel Salmeiri, ill. Clarion Books, 2008. 32 pages. ISBN 9780547007038. $16.00. Ages 4-8. P9Q9.
I loved this book. The illustrations are hysterical- this is the illustrator’s first picture book (he swears that no squirrels were harmed in its making). The story documents the struggle over bird feeders between grumpy Old Man Fookwire and some very smart squirrels. This book generated an interesting response. A man was passing by the kids’ room, heard the laughter, and came in to listen. He stayed until the end, and then wrote down the name and author so he could buy the book. He doesn’t have children and will keep it for himself. A great read-aloud.

Mitchard, Jacquelyn. The Midnight Twins. Razorbill (Penguin Young Readers Group), 2008. 235 pages. ISBN.9781595142269. $8.99. Ages 11-14. P7Q5.
This book left me flat. It is about a pair of identical twins who are the same in some ways, but are very different too. They begin having paranormal experiences (it runs in the family) when they turn 13. This could have been a good book, but the characters weren’t very fully developed. I was annoyed by the pettiness in the twins’ characters, and by their lack of growth. A series of awful things happen to the girls, and I was hoping to see them come out of the story stronger and more likeable! I was also left wondering why the teen villain of the book was so evil. There wasn’t much explanation for this- he was just bad, and he had to die because of that at the end of the book.

Llewellyn, Sam. Lyonesse: The Well between the Worlds. Orchard Books, 2009. ISBN.9780439934695. $17.99. Ages 9-13. P8Q9.
This was a good one. It seems to be a version of the King Arthur story, but in a totally unique setting and characters. Idris is our hero, and the place is a country called Lyonesse. After being rescued from a sure death, he ends up as an apprentice Monstergroom. His job is to take care of the monsters (which are horrible, fishy creatures pulled out of wells which link Lyonesse with another world) until they are burnt as the fuel that keeps it rich. While Idris learns his new profession, he is also being prepared to be a leader. He begins to question whether it is right to torture and kill the monsters (even though they are scary and dangerous) to power the kingdom, and he wonders if the leadership of his world is working for the good of everyone and for the good of the land. A lot of things aren’t right in Lyonesse, and we can see that Idris is going to play a big part in changing this. This book is the first in a series. I’m looking forward to the next one!

Banerjee, Anjali. Looking for Bapu. Wendy Lamb Books, 2006. ISBN. 9780385746571. $15.95. Ages 8-12. P?Q9.
This was an extremely interesting book set not long after 9/11. Anu, who is 8 years old, is dealing with the death of his grandfather, which he witnessed. He is grief-stricken, and sees his bapu (grandfather) in dreams and visions. He wants to keep his grandfather there, with him. To do this, he decides to become a sadu or Hindu holy man. Anu’s attempt to become a sadu is hilarious but sad. The book deals with the topic of a child’s grief and anger at death, multiculturalism and racism. (Anu’s family is Hindu, but he’s referred to as “Little Islam” at one point.) I loved the book as an adult who has traveled in India, but I wonder how many young kids in our area would identify with it simply because of the cultural references. Amazon notes that it would be popular in East Indian communities. Still, there’s a lot of thought provoking stuff in this book.

First Thursdays Book Reviews May 2009 J.C., Lincoln County Library District

Chin, Jason. Redwoods. “A Neal Porter Book.” Roaring Brook Press, 2009. Unpaged. $16.95 ISBN 1-59643-430-9 / 978-1-59643-430-1 Ages 4-7. P8Q8
A boy finds a book left in a subway station and travels through time and space as he reads about redwood trees. The inclusion of the unexpected—dinosaurs peering through the subway car window, a subway exit in an ancient redwood grove—in the illustrations lends a feeling of great age and the miraculous to the story. At the end, the book falls into the hands of a young girl, bringing a curiously satisfying feeling of continuity. Recommended for kindergarten, elementary school and public library collections. (Especially recommended for libraries in the Pacific Northwest. )

Cooper, Helen. Dog biscuits. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. Unpaged. $16.00 ISBN 0-374-31812-3 / 978-0-374-31812-3 Ages 3-6. P8Q7
Hungry, Bridget steals a dog biscuit from the shed and eats it. Mrs. Blair sees the tell-tale crumbs and says that Bridget will soon go bowwow and turn into a dog. As Bridget follows her mother through a day filled with errands and doggy adventures, Bridget feels her shaggy fur, her pointed nose and ears, an urge to bark. Will she actually turn into a dog? A simple story paired with charming illustrations. Includes a recipe for people biscuits guaranteed to turn temporarily canine beings back to human. Recommended for pre-school through kindergarten story times, and for public library collections.

Prosek, James. Bird, butterfly, eel. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2009. Unpaged. $16.99 ISB N 0-689-86829-4 / 978-0-689-86829-0 Ages 4-10. P7Q8
Beautiful watercolor illustrations introduce the monarch butterfly, the barn swallow, and the eel as they summer on a New England farm before migrating thousands of miles—to central Mexico, to Argentina, and to the Sargasso Sea. Two of the species—the monarch and the eel—also undergo metamorphosis. Highly recommended for preschool, elementary and public library science collections.

Usher, M.D. Diogenes. Pictures by Michael Chesworth. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009. Unpaged. $16.95 ISBN 0-374-31785-2 / 978-0-374-31785-0 Ages 5-7. P7Q7
A picture book biography of the Greek philosopher Diogenes, imagined as a small dog who decides to bury his collar and leash and become his own master. The explanations of Diogenes’ life and philosophy juxtaposed with the illustrations of the dog amuse, but a true appreciation of the book requires a previous knowledge of the man and his ideas—an unlikely knowledge base for most of the children who might be the book’s audience. It would be a good curricular support title for units on ancient Greece. Recommended for junior high, high school, and college library collections.

Juvenile fiction
Farley, Steven. The Black stallion and the shape-shifter. “The Black stallion series.” Random House, 2009. 263 p. $15.99 ISBN 978-0-375-84531-4 Ages 10-15. P7Q6
After a racing injury in Ireland’s Foster Stakes, Alec Ramsey takes the Black to recuperate on a horse farm on the Irish coast. While there, a neglected girl’s love for an unclaimed pony brings Alec and the Black into a contest to save the girl’s life from what seems to be a shape-shifting kelpie. Although Steven Farley co-authored several books with Walter Farley—the original author of the Black stallion series—this book lacks the attention to the everyday details of living with horses which were the strength of earlier books in the series. Purchase if you need yet another book about a young man and his beloved race horse.

Kingfisher, Rupert. Madame Pamplemousse and her incredible edibles. Illustrated by Sue Hellard. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2008. 138 p. $15.99 ISBN 1-59990-306-7 / 978-1-59990-306-4 Ages 10-14. P7Q8
Although already a good cook, when Madeleine spends the summer in Paris with her Uncle Lard, she is only allowed to wash dishes at his restaurant, The Squealing Pig. Her luck changes when she happens upon Edibles, a small shop run by Madame Pamplemousse and her cat. When her uncle tastes the pate from the shop, he forces Madeleine to work for Madame Pamplemousse and steal her secret recipes. A culinary fairy tale, complete with magic, a one-eyed cat, a piggish villain, and a girl who grows into her own future. Highly recommended for school and public libraries.

Troll’s eye view: a book of villainous tales. Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. Further reading, p. ]202-203]. Viking, 2009. 200 p. $16.99 ISBN 987-0-670-06141-9 Ages 12-up. Ages 12-up. P8Q8
A collection of 15 tales retold from the fairy tale canon from the point of view of the villains of the stories, by accomplished authors of fantasy and horror. Highly recommended for public and school libraries.

Young adult fiction
Pierce, Tamora. Bloodhound. “Beka Cooper, book two.” Random House, 2009. 551 p. : map. $18.99 ISBN 978-0-375-81468-3 Ages 14-up. P8Q7
Beka Cooper, now a fully-trained Dog, rescues a scent hound from abusive handler and takes on a case locating the source of a sudden influx of counterfeit coins. Temporarily without a partner, rookie Beka pairs up with senior policewoman Clary Goodwin on a hunt to the seaside city of Port Caynn. The plot revolves around solid police work (enhanced by a bit of magic) peopled by strong characters, but a good editor would have cut the 500+ pages of unrelieved Tortallan slang (mots and coves, dozy filchers, etc.) to a more manageable length and created a much stronger book. At the same time, the longer format allows the author to explore the similarities and conflicts between the enforcers of the law and the criminal societies, as well as the effects of devalued currency on local economies. Still, the author’s ongoing popularity guarantees a readership for this and future books. Recommended for school and public library collections.

Collard, Sneed B. Science warriors: the battle against invasive species. “Scientists in the field.” Includes glossary, index, and web sites. Houghton Mifflin, 2008. 48 p. $17.00 ISBN 978-0-618-75636-0 / 0-618-76536-1 P8Q9
An engrossing introduction to the history and impact of invasive species on ecosystems, focusing on such species as brown tree snakes, zebra mussels, melaleuca trees, and red fire ants. Details the efforts to control the invasive species and the costs, both economic and environmental of the incursions. Highly recommended for school and public library collections.

French, Jackie. How to scratch a wombat: where to find it—what to feed it—why it sleeps all day. Illustrated by Bruce Whatley. Clarion Books, 2009. 85 p. $16.00 ISBN 978-0-618-86864-3 P7Q8
After more than 20 years of study, Australian author Jackie French imparts her knowledge of wombats. Although written for an older audience than her earlier book, Diary of a Wombat, this title is almost as funny. Includes a quiz (p. [12]) identifying whether the reader is or is not a wombat is priceless. Probably not a core collection title for most school libraries, but recommended for public library collections.

Book Reviews – May 2009 J.K. Lincoln County Juvenile Department
Ryan, Amy, Vibes, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 2008. 249 pages.. $16.00. ISBN:061899530, 8th gr + P9Q9.
This book made me laugh out loud. And sob out loud too. It’s smart, funny and quirky. I’m such a sucker for quirky. Example: while flipping through the channels, Kristi comments “…Then I go to Fox News to find out how quickly and confidently good-looking retards can lie. And finally I end up on Comedy Central where I get the news.” I love books that focus on accepting our differences, so I like to put them out for middle schoolers who tend to be judgemental.

Carvel, Marlene, Caught Between the Pages. Dutton Children’s Books, New York, 2008. 230 pages. $16.99. ISBN:0525479163. 8th gr + P8Q9.
Another teen angst book. Love them! I plan to keep this book to share with the kids at the Juvenile Detention Center. They will easily relate to the ‘loner’, PJ, who doesn’t really fit anywhere in school and who feels disconnected from his family. Like Kristi in the previous book, PJ doesn’t understand that appearances can be deceiving and things aren’t always as they appear. And, again like in Vibes, the theme is acceptance – in this case more about self acceptance.

Sanders, Scott Loring, The Hanging Woods. Houghton Mifflin Books, Boston. 2008. 326 pages. $16.00. ISBN:0618881255. High School. P8 Q9.
It took me a long time to get through this book with its troubling subject matter. A very intense book that would appeal to boys, in particular outdoorsy boys with hunting and woods experience. I would hope the boys in the story aren’t typical of southern boys, but the dialogue is genuine and believable. The writing is terrific and I would most certainly read other books by the author (but would prefer something a little less dark and morbid). Loved the twists in plot.

June 2009 Book Reviews Oregon Coast Preview Center for Young Readers By S.E.

Williams, Suzanne Morgan, “Bull Rider” Margaret K McElderry Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, NY. 2009. ISBN 9781416961307. 241p. $17.00. Ages 14-18.
A young skateboarder’s brother, a class bull rider from a long family of bull riders, returns from service in Iraq where he had his arm and legs blown off. Cam tries to make his brother well by betting him that he could ride a “non ride-able” bull named Ugly and if he rode that bull, his brother would have to snap out of it and make something of his life rather than just get deeper into depression. It is a wonderful read and full of promise by the end of the book. I loved reading this book and hope that we can put it in our libraries. Q9P9

Graphic Novel
Casttellucci, Cecil and Jim Rugg, “The Plain Janes”, DC Comics. NY. 2007. ISBN 9781401211158. Ages 13-18.
A group of Janes get with the program of “people loving art in the neighborhoods” or PLAIN. They set up a time where music would be played and every one could rock out or a detergent in the plaza that they would put soap in for the bubbles effect. All of a sudden the “plain Janes” became popular and staged more art in their neighborhoods. It is an easy read and although it is a graphic novel, it is pretty well written and nicely illustrated. Q7P7

Moss, Marissa, “Max disaster #1, Alien Eraser to the Rescue” First Candlewick Press edition, 2009. ISBN 9780763635770. Ages 7-11. $16.
By the author of the “Amelia” books, this very strange book will no doubt be a hit for the older elementary schoolers. An eraser…an alien eraser hypnotizes Max and friends into doing different things like getting parents to do a conflict resolution or stopping parental fights. (his parents separate during this book) This would be considered a graphic novel and is very strange indeed. It is one of a threesome of “Max Disaster” books. Q6P8.

Moss, Marissa, “Max Disaster #2, Alien Eraser Unravels the Mystery of the Pyramids”. First Candlewick Press 2009. ISBN 9780763635855. $16.00. ages 7-11.
This is another strange book of Max and his alien eraser. I suppose it could be considered historical in the they explore Ramses IV’s tomb and the building of the pyramids and find alien clues on the hieroglyphics of the tombs. Q6P9 and again, the popularity is because of the fact that it is a graphic “novel” and kids are drawn to these kinds of books.

Hayes, Geoffrey, “Benny and Penny in The Big NO-NO”. Raw Jr./TOON books, NY. 2009. ISBN 9780979923890. $12.00. Ages 5-7.
A brother and Sister mouse peek over the fence at their neighbor’s yard and go snooping. They make assumptions that could lead to making an enemy out of their new neighbor but solve the problem before it happens. They find out a bunch about themselves and how not to jump at conclusions regarding others. It is a good read aloud book and it too is a graphic “novel” or toon book. Q8P9

Picture Books
Keller, Holly, “The Van” Green Light Readers, Harcourt Inc. Fla. 2008. ISBN9780152065775. age K. $13.00 A level 1 book for “the reader who is ready to go.”
This is a fine book for the children having trouble reading. The book is well illustrated and it is easy to read and has instructions and activities at the end of the book for either the teachers or the parents. Q8P9

McPhail, David, “Dot and Bob” a Green Light Readers book level 1. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co. Fla. 2008. $13.00 ISBN 9780152065478. Age K.
Another Green Light Readers book for those children having difficulty with reading. It is about Dot and Bob who are trying to plant a tree. It has activities and instructions for parents and teachers at the end of the book. It will be popular for kindergartners wwanting a book to read. Q8P9

Schoenherr, Ian, “Read It, Don’t Eat It.” Greenwillow Books, an imprint of Harper Collin Publishers, 2009. ISBN 9780061724558 Ages 4-6. $13.00
This is a book of few words that rhyme telling the reader what to do and what not to do with a book. It has really nice illustrations and the young readers will want to check this book out because it may be the only one they think they can read easily. Q7P7

Fucile, Tony, “Let’s Do Nothing” Candlewick Press, Ma. 2009. ISBN 9780763634407. Ages 4-7. $17.00.
Frankie and Sal decide to do nothing but find that it is almost impossible to do nothing. It is a cute read and I liked the illustrations. Q8P9

Dunbar, Joyce Il. Patrick Benson, “oddly” Candlewick Press, Ma.2009. $17.00 ISBN 9780763642747 Ages 5-7.
Three creatures; the Oddlet, the Strangelet and the Lostlet are in search of something they can’t quite define until they meet a young boy who is looking for love and not only finds it in these three characters but these three characters find what it is they are looking for but can’t quite put their finger on. It is a wonderful book that can be a read aloud book and the illustrations are great. It is a book about love and friendship. Q9P9

Thomas, Jan, “The Doghouse”, Harcourt, Inc. NY et al.2008. $13.00. ISBN 9780152065331. Ages 4-7.
The cow, the pig, the duck and the mouse were playing ball when the ball went into the dog’s house. Each one in turn goes into the doghouse to get the ball but not one of them returns…the mouse watches this and is scared when he finds out that there will be duck for dinner and runs off. It is a cute book and a great read aloud book and I think the kids will like it. Q9P9

Joosse, Barbara, il. Jan Jutte, “ROAWR!”. Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, NY. 2009. ISBN 9780399247774. Ages 4-7. $17.00.
A young man has a terrible time trying to go to sleep thinking that a bear will come and get him so he devises plans to keep the bear at bay and in so doing, is able to fall asleep when the bear does. Very cute story. Q8P9

Vega, Denise, Il. Erin Eitter Kono, “Grandmother, Have The Angels Come?” Little Brown and Co. Books for young readers. NY. 2009. ISBN 139780316106634. $17.00. Ages 4-8.
The words and pictures flow from page to page as it tells of a grandmother’s words to her grandaughter about aging and the process of aging and death. A wonderful book that at times brought me to tears. Q10 P9

McElligott, Matthew, “The Lions Share, a tale of halving cake and eating it, too” Walker Publishing Company Inc. NY. 2009. ISBN 9780802797681. $17.00 Ages 4-8. Animals are invited to Lion’s dinner but their manners are atrocious and the dessert is a cake that all the animals cut in half when it gets to them. The ant decides to outwit them by making them all bake cakes to make up for such unfair dividing. So they all bake lots and lots of cakes (twice as many or three times as many as…or four times as many as…)And at the end the lion and the ant split a very nice cake. Good for read aloud and sharing and math equations. Q8P7

Gardner, Robert, David Webster, Kenneth Rainis and Barbara Gardner Conklin, “Ace Your Ecology and Environmental Science Project.” Enslow Publishers NJ. 2009. ISBN 9780766032163 Ages 9 and up. (fifth grade and up) $32.00. 128p.
What a wonderful series of books this is. “Ace your Human Biology Project”, and “Ace Your Plant Science Project” being some of the books in the series. It leads the reader through the scientific process and gives great examples of each subject that the reader is giving a report or project on. It tells what would be needed for multiple projects in the book and I would love to see these books in all Lincoln County Schools. What a wonderful and helpful aid for the making a scientific study of different things…The effects of air pollution, the making of a cloud, watching things decay, photosynthesis, and other useful things that a student would need to do to make the project worthy of being entered into a science fair. Q9P9.

Gardner, Robert, David Webster, Kenneth G. Rainis, and Barbara Gardner Conklin, “Ace Your Animal Science Project” Enslow Publishers NJ 2009. ISBN 9780766032200. Grade 5 and up. $32.00.
Another of the most wonderful books a student will need for getting high marks on any animal science project…using the scientific method understanding how spiders make webs, how nocturanl animals catch their prey, how feathers maintain their shape. It gives a one two three step by step clue as to how to prove what earth worms do among many other things. I love this series of books and know that not only will the teachers be glad to have this on their shelves, but the kids will appreciate the book for giving them the facts that they will need to create a real science project Q9 P9

Gardner, Robert and Barbara Gardner Conklin, “Ace your Human Biology Science Project.” Enslow, Publishers, NJ. 2009. ISBN 978 0 766032194. 125p. Ages 5th grade and up. $32.00.
Another wonderful book in the series of Great Science Fair Ideas. This book includes looking at chromosones under a microscope, how skin regulates the body’s temperature, how do you breathe, how is starch broken down by the mouth . It tells about bones and joints and gives several science fair projects that could be useful for the reader using the scientific method. I love these books and the schools will love these books as well. Q9P9

Murphy, Glenn, “Why Is Snot Green? And Other Extremely Important Questions (and answers)”.
First published in the UK 2007 and by Holtzbrinck publishing holdings MacMillan Children’t books)NY. 2009. 236p. ISBN 9781596435001. ages8-12. The title will bring them in and the informations will keep them checking this book out at our school libraries. It is one of thos fascinating things that kids are fascinated by including why we fart, why our farts smell, phobias, tsunamis, why snot is green, can asteroids really blow up the earth and other things that kids just love. It will be a popular book. Q9P9

June Book Reviews Yvonne Zink, Waldport
Anderson, Jill, Subtracting with Sebastian Pig and Friends On a Camping Trip, Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2009, 32 pgs., School & Library price $16.95, ISBN9780766033610, Grades 1-3, Ages 6-8 P3 Q5
This book is for a student having trouble with subtraction and should be recommended by a teacher. However, that student should be working with an older student or adult to benefit from each page. A mystery, who is taking the camping items, is answered on each page if the student is observant. The illustrations are accurate and helpful.

Kirby, Pamela F., What Bluebirds Do, Boyds Mills Press, 2009, 48 pgs., $18.95, ISN 9781590786147, Ages 5-7 P 8 Q 10 Photographs and story, by the author, are an easily understood description of the Eastern Bluebird’s life cycle. Applying this bird’s life cycle to other birds shouldn’t be too hard. The extra information, given at the back, is very helpful. A good book for an elementary teacher to have in the spring.

Rubbino, Salvatore, A Walk in New York, Candlewick Press, 2009, 37 pgs., $16.99, ISBN 9780763638559, Ages 7-10 P 3 (curriculum) P 9 (if a trip is planned) Q 5
The title would indicate the state of New York, but the story is about New York City. A good book to read before a visit to New York City or if doing a report on the city and its attractions. The boy’s dialogue, about places visited, is in bold print. Other information about these same places is in a regular font and very informative. If noticed, as indicated on the jacket, there is a fold-out. The fold-out, of the Empire Building, is so cleverly done that it could easily be overlooked except for the change in the dialogue. Illustrations and endpapers do the story justice.To enjoy the journey the dialogue should be read without reading the extra information. Then reread along with the extra information.

Alko, Selina, author/illustrator, I’m Your Peanut Butter Big Brother, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, unpaged, $16.99, ISBN 9780375956270, Ages 2-5 P 4 Q 4
The first born of a racially mixed couple wonders what the expected new baby will look like: kinky or soft hair, dark or light colored eyes, brother or sister. But then realizes whatever sex or looks they’ll have fun together playing, singing and hanging out. This book should be read aloud and explained by a parent. The colorful descriptions, of various physical features of the expected baby , are a little complex and hard to imagine.

Lionni, Leo, Theodore and the Talking Mushroom, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, (renewed 1998), $16.99, ISBN 9780375945519, Ages 4-6, P3 Q6
Theodore, a mouse, lives with three friends in an old oak stump. They all had special things they could do except Theodore, which made him feel left out. When he discovered a blue mushroom that he thought could talk to him he told his friends he had a special talent. But he lied and his friends discovered his lie. Consequently they ran him out of the area. Because the originator of this fable died in 1999, nowhere is there an indication that the illustrations were original.

Breznak, Irene, Janet Pedersen, Illustrator, Sneezy Louise, Random House Children’s Books, 2009, unpaged, $15.99, ISBN 9780375954695, Ages 5-8 P 9 Q7
Anyone, even adults, know how a cold or allergies have you sneezing at some of the most inopportune times. And you don’t always have time to cover your mouth, resulting in some small disasters, especially at school. But, at the end of the day, sympathy for your problem is appreciated. Good expressions on all the characters as well as good illustrations.

Lerman, Josh, Greg Clarke, Illustrator, How to Raise Mom & Dad (Instructions from Someone Who Figured It Out), Dutton Children’s Books, 2009, unpaged, ISBN 9780525478706, P 2 Q 2 Older children will enjoy reading this ‘parent put down’ book to their younger siblings. I don’t know that the sarcasm of the instructions will be appreciated by the youngest. I would not recommend this book, but should it land in a library I’d shelve it and let it be found.

Behar, Joy, Gene Barretta, Illustrator, Dave Silaber, Colorist, SheetzuCacaPoopoo; Max goes to the Dogs, Dutton Children’s Books, 2009, unpaged, $16.99, ISBN 9780525420811, Grade 1-3, P 9 Q 10 Great colored illustrations enhance a good story about the ‘new kid on the block’ or in this book the ‘new dog in doggy care’. The story would be good to read first to a class as many parts could be compare to youngsters entering school for the first time or a student who has just transferred to a new school. Everyone, even dogs, struggle being the new one.

June 2009 Book Reviews C.S. Siletz Public Library
Picture Books:

Cynthia DeFelice. Andrea U’Ren ill. One Potato, Two Potato. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006. $16.00. Ages 4-8. P8Q8. ISBN 9780374356408.
My story group really enjoyed this story partly because it felt familiar- it’s based on a traditional folktale theme of the “magic pot”, and it is silly. I liked it, and the parents liked it too because it has a different ending than the usual. The poor, old couple uses the magic pot to improve their lives, but in the end they decide to bury it again so someone else can find it when it is needed. Mrs. O’Grady says, “Surely we have everything we could possibly want. Let us bury this wonderful pot for someone else to find.” Greed isn’t the defining emotion in this story. The illustrations are clear and colorful. Very nice book!

Andre Usatschow. Alexandra Junge, ill. Little Ant Big Thinker or Where Does the Ocean End? NorthSouth, 2008. $16.95. Ages 8-11. P6Q7. ISBN 9780735822030.
A interesting story about an ant who is disturbed by the idea that the ocean might have no end. An elephant tries to help him solve this puzzle, but finally a fish answers the question. The ocean ends right here. My reading group liked the end- the ant is happy to know that the ocean has an end, but now he’s worried about where it begins! The illustrations are different from the usual- they’re impressionistic in places and to me, they’re very pleasing. Even the very young kids (3 years old) paid close attention and seemed to understand the pictures.

Gene Barretta. Jack the Tripper. Hartcourt, Inc., 2008. $16.00. Ages 5-9. P7Q7. ISBN. 9780152061326.
A funny book with a “boy who cried wolf” theme. When Polly doesn’t have her book report to turn in, she claims she was tripped by Jack the Tripper. Another child was tripped, and another! Soon the school kids and adults at school are panicking about the crime wave and the school parade will have to be cancelled. Finally, Polly and the others confess that there is no Jack, and they made it all up. Of course, in the end, Jack does show up and trips Polly, but her credibility is ruined. The illustrations are great- especially the parts in blue- they show the kids’ stories with a lot of funny detail.

Hannah Shaw. Sneaky Weasel. Afred A. Knopf, 2008. $15.99. Ages 4-9. P8Q8. ISBN 9780375856259.
I loved this book. The story is simple- the mean weasel’s party is a flop when his friends don’t show up. They’re tired of all the rotten things he’s done to them. He decides to become a kinder weasel, and finds that he has friends after all. The wonderful thing about this book is the little details. They begin with the end papers (advertisements at the beginning show the bad character of Weasel: Make a Fortune from Others’ Misfortune: Getting Rich the Easy Way. & FLEAS Delivered Directly to Your Door: No Questions Asked. Many Itchy Uses. At the end, the ads show his changed character. My story time group loved this book, and got the message very quickly. You have to be nice if you want people to be nice to you!

Alexander Steffensmeier. Millie in the Snow. Walker & Co., 2007. $16.99. Ages 4-8. P8Q8. ISBN 9780802798008.
This would be a great book to read to a group around Christmas. It tells the story of Millie the Mail Cow and her stressful adventure getting Christmas presents (from the mailman) home to the farm for Millie’s family (the farmer and her animal friends). I liked the colorful illustrations, and also found the mailman’s nontraditional activities interesting. He knit, embroidered, wove and welded all of the presents himself. The gifts all end up being used in ways the mailman hadn’t thought of (the coffeepot cover ends up being used as a practical udder warmer)- the kids found this very entertaining.

Richard Platt. David Parkins, ill. Roman Diary: The Journal of Iliona of Mytilini, Who was Captured and Sold as a Slave in Rome, AD 107. Candlewick Press, 2009. $18.99. P7Q8. Ages 8-12. ISBN 9780763634803.
I enjoyed this book- I found it informative and exciting. It teaches us about Roman culture around 107 AD through the eyes of Iliona, a newly captured slave girl. We learn about how varied a slave’s live could be- some slaves in the Roman Empire had reasonably good lives (better than some poverty-stricken free people), or they could be absolutely horrendous. Topics include the Senate, Roman houses, the baths, the amazing fresh water system, gladiators, food, etc. The illustrations are very lively. I can’t say that I found them attractive, but they do convey emotion very well.

Juvenile Fiction:
D.A. Nelson. Dark Isle. Delacorte Press, 2007. $15.99. Ages 9-12. P7Q7. ISBN 9780385736305. Morag, who is ten years old, is locked in the basement by her awful, abusive foster parents. She escapes with the help of a talking dodo and rat. They go on a quest to find an enchanted dragon who can help them save the animals’ homeland from a wicked sorcerer. This all sounds predictable after so many fantasy novels for young readers, but it was actually fairly entertaining. I think both boys and girls would like this book. It’s fast paced with interesting characters. The villains are satisfyingly evil, and the heroes are complicated enough to avoid being dull. We’re left hanging at the end, though. There are hints about Morag’s parents- it seems they have been this way before, and I’m sure she’ll find out more about them in the next book.

Peter Abrahams. Reality Check. Laura Geringer Books/ Harper Teen, 2009. Ages 13+. P8Q7. ISBN 9780061227660.
When I first picked up this book, I thought I wouldn’t like it- the fact that Stephen King has a promotional blurb on the cover didn’t impress me. But after the first chapter, I was caught up. It’s suspenseful mystery about a missing girl, Clea. Her ex-boyfriend Cody, who has quit school after a football injury, drives across the country to look for her at her prestigious private school and finds a very strange group of people that Clea has been involved with. The book is interesting because we see two worlds coming together- Cody’s a working class kid, whose prospects for the future aren’t looking very good. Clea comes from a rich family, is very gifted academically and is heading for an Ivy League school. Their relationship, their problems with the two families, and the mystery itself kept me very interested. There are mature themes here- sexual content, drinking, and gambling.

Book Reviews – June 2009
J.K Juvenile Detention Center

Pausch, Randy. The Last Lecture. Hyperion, New York, 2008. 206 pages. $21.95. ISBN: 978-1-4013-2325-7. 5th grade +. P9, Q9.
I sincerely believe this book should be required reading for everyone 5th grade and up. Randy Pausch, knowing that he was going to die in a few months, made a point of passing on a legacy of optimism and positivity in the form of this, his last lecture. The lecture, titled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” wasn’t about dying. “It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”)…It was about living”. The underlying purpose of this incredible book was so that Randy’s three young children, who will have only early memories of their dad, will have the opportunity to know how funny and inspiring and just plain good he was through his writings.

Chaltas, Thalia. Because I Am Furniture. Viking, New York, 2008. 352 pages. $16.99. ISBN: 978-0-670-06298-0. 8th grade +. P8, Q9.
Am not usually a fan of this type of novel in poems. This one, however, is remarkable in that the author took a difficult, severe and tragic topic (an abusive father) and transformed it into a beautiful, lilting and very readable novel. About a teen, Anke, whose father has focused his abuse on her two siblings while essentially ignoring her. Even after she goes out for the volleyball team, which he has forbidden her to do because competition is unfeminine, he ignores her and takes her disobedience out on her brother. The most important lesson volleyball has taught Anke is to speak up for herself, to shout out “MINE”. She doesn’t fully realize the lesson until the day Anke finds her father trying to rape her friend. She then takes matters into her own hands and stands up to him, something no-one else in the family has been able to do. I like the strong female character that Anke is. She’s strong and she’s independent and she’s a unique individual. We celebrate her.

Jones, Carrie. Need. Bloomsbury, New York, 2009. 306 pages. $16.99. ISBN: 978-1-59990-338-5. 8th grade +. P8, Q8.
This novel is a complete surprise. It starts out being about a ‘normal’ girl in a ‘normal’ world whose stepfather (the only father she’s known) has died. Zara has completely shut down in the months since and out of concern for her, her mother sends her to her step-dad’s mother in Maine to try to snap her out of it. In a few short days, the story becomes other-worldly when Zara again notices she’s being followed by a stranger, a man who leaves gold dust behind him. Soon, with the help of her new friends, she comes to the conclusion she’s being followed by a pixie, and we realize that pixies are not the benevolent fairy tale creatures we’ve always thought of them as, and are quite prevalent, apparently, in Maine. I love a good mystery, and this is a great mystery with lots of unexpected twists and turns. And, again, we have a heroine who is not afraid to be herself, disregarding what others think of her. She sets a very good example for today’s youth who seem so caught up in trying to please their peers.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers June 2009 Reviews by M.D.
Valentine, Jenny. Broken Soup. Harper Teen. New York, 2009. $ 16.99 ages middle & high school. 216 pgs 978-0-06-08507-5 p 8/ q 8
Rowan struggles to keep her family and life from falling apart after her brother’s death. A new “boy” friend gives her a negative and it turns out to be a photo of her dead brother. She finds out that her brother had a girlfriend and that she took the picture. Rowan keeps these new friends and it helps her to heal after her brother has died. Her father has left and her mother is so depressed she will not get out of bed and she has to care for her younger sister. I liked this book because it has a bit of a twist that I didn’t see coming with her best friend being her dead brothers girlfriend. It deals with grief, friendship, and healing.

Schmitdt, Gary D. Trouble. Clarion Books. New York. New York. 2008. $16.00. ages middle & high school. 332pages. 978-0-618-92766-1 p 8/ q 8
Henry’s father told him if you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you. But Trouble comes when a truck hits Henry’s older brother Franklin. In the truck Chay a Cambodian is the one driving – this causes racial problems in the school and town. Henry heads off to climb Mt. Katahdin which he and his brother planned to climb. His friend and he are planning to hitch hike but Chay on his way out of town picks them up and the adventure begins. Henry learns to forgive Chay despite his brothers death. I liked this book because it touches on forgiveness, adventure, racial acceptance, and learning to deal with death.

Strasser, Todd. If I Grow Up. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. New York. 2009. $16.99 ages high school. 222pgs. 978-1-4169-2523-1 p 8/ q 8.
“When you grew up in the projects, there were no choices. No good ones, at least.” In the Douglass projects where DeShawn lives there is only drugs, violence, death and gangs. He doesn’t want to join the gang but in the end hunger for food leads right down the path to gangs and jail. This is a gritty novel about inner city life but there wasn’t much graphic sex or violence to offend a young reader. I liked this book because the author explains some of the teenage struggles with right and wrong and gang violence.

Wolfson, Jill. Cold Hands, Warm Heart. Henry Holt and Company. New York. 2009. $19.99. ages middle & high school. 245 pages. 978-0-8050-8282-1 p 8 q/ 8
Dani was born with her heart on the wrong side of her body, she is fifteen and time is running out. Amanda fourteen is a competitive gymnast and she is in perfect health. They don’t know each other but will soon be connected forever. Amanda falls during a competion and is declared brain dead her family has to decide if she would have wanted her organs donated. Tyler Amanda’s brother convinces his parents to donate her organs and he starts corresponding with the recipients which helps his heart to heal after his sisters’ untimely death. I enjoyed this story because it helps someone to see both sides of the tragedy of organ donation.

Flores-Galgis, Enrigue. Raining Sardines. “A Deborah Brodie Book” Roaring Brook Press. Connecticut. 2007. $16.95. ages high school. 160 pages 978-1-59643-166-9. p 8q/ 8
There is a part of this book that seems fantasy – it talks about a woman floating in the bay on a couch, sardines raining from the sky, and a large “cayman” on a golden chain. It makes for interesting reading but the real story is about Ernestina and how she and her friend are trying to save the wild horses from the landowner Don Rigol. She wants to reclaim the mountain for her people and stop the landowner from destroying the Cuban forests. The author left Cuba at age nine in 1961 without his parents in the mass exodus called Operation Pedro Pan. He uses these experiences to write this historical based tale. I really enjoyed this book because of its historical significance.

Kephart, Beth. House of Dance. Laura Geringer Books Haprer Teen. New York. 2008. $16.99. ages middle & high school. 263 pages. 978-0-06-142928-6 p 8/q8
Fifteen year old Rosie spends the summer helping to care for her dying grandfather because her mother is too busy doing her own thing. On the walk back and forth from her grandfather’s house she discovers a dance studio and decides to create a special party for her dying grandfather who has never taken the initiative to leave the house and live life. I liked this story because it is about a girl who figures out who she is and what family means to her. Students, who are dealing with being abandoned by fathers, or death of a grandparent, may learn how to celebrate life while reading this book.

Henson, Heather. Here’s How I See It Here’s How It Is. Antheneum Books for Young Readers. New York. $16.99. ages middle & high school. 279 pgs. 978-1- 4169-4901-5 p8/q8
Junebug that is what everyone calls her because she was born in June. She dreams of being a real actress but her parents have decided to separate. She has chosen her father and the Blue Moon Playhouse as her home this summer but wishes her mother was around as well. Her father is going threw a midlife crisis and is choosing so spend his time with the young leading lady of the summer plays. Junebug who is almost thirteen and has always been the backstage girl but this summer her father has invited an apprentice who is her same age and a little weird to help her. The author also grew up onstage and in the summerstock playhouse. I enjoyed this book because it will help teens to be understanding of others who are different and are dealing with parents who are divorcing.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by NHS Student O.D.
Lopez,Diana. Confetti Girl, Little Brown and Company. New York, 2009. $ 15.99 ages Middle and up.198 pgs 978-0- 316-02955-1 p 8/ q 8
This book is about a girl whose mother died and her and her family are trying to get over it and move on. Her friend Vanessa and her are very close until her friend goes completely boy crazy over a boy at there school and forgets all about Lina and leaves her to get over her moms death by herself. Linas dad isn’t there to help her either he always has his nose in a book or trying to learn new words. Every time she tries to talk to him about something important he always turns it into an English lesson. She tries her hardest to keep moving on and make life better and her friend Luis makes that happen.

Nelson, Blake, Destroy All Cars, Scholastic Press, New York. 2009. $17.99. ages 8th & up 218pages. 978-0-545-10474-6 p 7/ q 7
Destroy All Cars is about a boy who had a girlfriend named Sadie but they didn’t get along so they broke up. They broke up because they had different thoughts about how to make the world greener. Sadie his ex girlfriend thought that making bike lanes on highways and streets would make the world greener but James didn’t think so he hated cars and thought that getting rid of cars would fix the world. In this book James show a lot of hatred towards Sadie and they never talked after there break up. As there school year went on one day she came up to him and they started to talk again. In this book it shows how people can forgive and make relationships better.

September 2009 Reviews
First Thursdays Book Review Group September 2009 L.R. for Siletz Library
Teen Books

Mowll, Joshua. Operation Storm City. Il. Joshua Mowll. Candlewick Press, 2009, 273 pgs. Ages 15-Adult. ISBN 9780763642242 $16.99. P8Q9
It is hard to believe the publishers kept the price of this book down to the standard $16.99. It is almost like purchasing a book and an adventure game all in one. The author is writing about his fictional great-aunt Rebecca and her brother Doug’s travels and adventures in connection with a secret guild. They search for artifacts, a hidden city and their long lost parents and meet a host of good and evil characters along the way. There are accompanying photos, drawings, maps and fascinating explanations of weaponry, methods of transportation and fantastical mechanisms. Any reader who enjoys Indiana Jones movies or adventure computer games should love this book and it
can be carried along and enjoyed wherever the reader happens to be. This would be a great purchase for a library.

Hurley, Tonya. Ghostgirl: Homecoming. Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2009, 285 pgs. Ages 13-18. ISBN 9780316113595 $17.99. P4 Q3
This is another teen book that has an expensive presentation, but the insides don’t quite match the quality of the cover. The plot, about a teen girl who dies choking on a gummy bear and ends up working on an afterlife phone help line, just doesn’t quite draw the reader in. The characters, while somewhat sympathetic, aren’t filled out enough to make the reader care what happens to them. I liked the purple and black color scheme and the art deco decorations on each page, but they weren’t enough to make me want to read the prequel to this book. Comparisons on the back cover to Tim Burton and Edgar Allen Poe are way too generous.

Young Adult
Williams, Walter Jon. This is Not a Game. Hachette Book Group, New York, 2009, 367 pgs. Ages 16-Adult. ISBN 9780316003155 $24.99. P7Q8
Dagmar is an internet game designer working for two fantastically wealthy former classmates. When they are both murdered, she sets her online gamers on the trail of the murderer. The only problem is that the murderer is using them, too. The book has a really interesting premise, and even though it is listed as science fiction, it seems that everything happening in the book could really happen in today’s world. Early on in the book, the main character is stuck in a hotel in Jakarta, as a government coup occurs and the city is in chaos. When her wealthy employers can’t get her out of the country, online gamers take on the challenge and help her escape. The theme “this is not a game” is repeated in several sub-plots of the book and easy for the reader to imagine himself or herself in a similar situation. The characters are well fleshed out and Dagmar, in particular is easy to relate too. Even the gamers, who are only known by their user names are given personalities and some humor is injected into a mostly thriller-type book. Older teens and adults would enjoy this book, which has physical adventure, mystery and gaming and computer themes.

Picture Books
Hoppe, Paul. Hat. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2009, unpgd. Ages 2-6. ISBN 9781599902470 $14.99. P7 Q8
Henry finds a giant red hat on a park bench and asks his mother if he can keep it. He imagines all sorts of uses for the red hat. It could be a boat, a sled, a costume for a dance revue or even save his life! But his mother explains that whomever lost it might need it for any or all of those same scenarios. Henry imagines those characters using the hat and decides to leave it on the park bench. This book shows, in such a simple way, how much a child can enjoy just using his imagination, but also gently teaches a lesson about why it is wrong to take things that belong to others. It could be a great catalyst to a discussion between a parent and a child, or in a story time setting.

Wellington, Monica. Riki’s Birdhouse. Dutton Children’s Books. 2009, unpgd. Ages 4-7. ISBN 9780525420798 $16.99. P8 Q8
This colorful, attractive book works on several levels. It is a simple story about a boy who builds a bird house and puts it in his yard and also a more complicated explanation about what birds eat, identifying seasonal birds and how they nest and raise their young. In the back of the book is a simple plan for building and maintaining a bird house and more information on identifying birds. This would be a great story time book and would work for any time of year.

Docherty, Thomas. To The Beach. Candlewick Press. 2007, unpgd. Ages 1-5. ISBN 9780763644291 $15.99. P9Q9
A child looks out of a rainy window and dreams of going to the beach. He gathers the essential equipment, and then imagines how he will get there. He travels by plane, sailboat, truck and camel and has a rollicking good time with his new camel friend. He imagines an alternate form of travel on the way home, and then the reader discovers that the boy lives on a farm, presumably a long way from a beach. The illustrations are really beautiful, and make the reader feel like they have experienced a wonderful day along with the farm boy in the book. This would be an excellent story time book, as the pictures are big enough to see at a distance.

Rodman, Mary Ann. Surprise Soup. Il. G. Brian Karas. Penguin Young Readers Group. 2009, unpgd. Ages 3 and up. ISBN 9780670062744 $15.99. P7Q8
A family of bears decides to make soup for the mother who is coming home with a new baby. The younger brother claims that he knows the magic ingredient to soup, but the rest of the family pretty much ignores him. They put in all sorts of ingredients, but it is still missing something. Finally, they listen to him and he DOES know the secret ingredient. The story is fairly engaging, and it has lots of good sound effects. (“Whickety-snick says the peeler.”) The illustrations are unusual—almost amateurish, but the reader gets used to them, and becomes fond of the cooking bears!

Root, Phyllis. Toot Toot Zoom. Il. By Matthew Cordell. Candlewick Press. 2009, unpgd. Ages 2-5. ISBN 9780763634520 $15.99. P8Q8
Another book with great sound effects, this one would be exciting for story time or lapsitting. This is the story of a French cat named Pierre who goes in search of a friend. But he has to drive over a very steep mountain to find one. He encounters a goat, sheep, and bear along the way who decide that they would like to find friends, also. Of course, they end up on the other side of the mountain with only themselves. They build a new house on the other side of the mountain, using the parts of their wrecked car, (the brakes go out) and live happily ever after. The story seems a little lame and I wonder if the car wreck might be a little disconcerting to little kids, but other than that, I think they would enjoy it.

September 2009 Book Reviews
Newport High School Student Reviewers
Fiction Selections

Colfer, Eoin. Airman. Hyperion, New York, 2008. $17.99 ISBN: 9781423107507 416p. Gr. 8-12 Airman is about a boy named Conor Bloekhart who lives on the island of Saltee off the coast of Ireland. He is framed for the death of the king of the island, and is imprisoned on the island of Little Saltee. While there, he thinks up a daring plan to fly off the island in a “flying machine” and prove to everyone that the man who framed him is a twisted individual. The book is written in the 3rd person. I am mainly a fan of science fiction, but this was a very good read. It is set a the time when flight was just starting to become a reality – just after the civil war. Review by D.S., 9th grade

Rutkoski, Marie. The Cabinet of Wonders. The Kronos Chronicles: Book 1. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, New York, 2008. $16.95 ISBN: 978-0374310264 272p. Gr. 6-12
The story follows a 12 year old girl named Petra, whose father is a master at working with metal. He created several creations, including a tin spider named Astrophil. Upon being requested to build a magnificent clock for Prince Rodolfo, Mr. Kronos sets off to Prague and upon returning home, his eyes are stolen. With the help of her smart-alecky spider, Astrophil, Petra sets off on a secret quest to retrieve her father’s eyes back from the spoiled Prince. The clock her father created is more dangerous than he let on and, after meeting several characters (Iris, the acid-spewing dye maker, Neel, the pickpocket who uses ghosts’ fingers) she finds nothing is what it seems. Whether she likes it or not, she must take on the responsibility by herself. I liked this book: it’s mainly driven by the characters and plot line. There are a few jumps, but nothing that distracts the reader for long. The writing style is very easy to follow and lacks a vast vocabulary. Review by M.J., 12th grade

Chaltas, Thalia. Because I am Furniture. Viking Juvenile, New York, 2009. $16.99 ISBN:9780670062980 368p. Gr. 9-12 Because I am Furniture is about a young girl starting high school with a new understanding of what really happens in her family. Finding out that your once kind father beats your mother, brother, and sister is not easy, especially when you are left to only watch. Told through poems and expressed by strong emotions, this book is heartbreaking. I liked how this book was formatted. The conflict of this book is really strong. Review by A.C., 10th grade

Burnham, Niki. Goddess Games. Simon Pulse, New York, 2008. $8.99. ISBN-13: 978-1416927723 256p. Gr. 9-12 Seneca, Drew, and Claire all have a different perspective of life. Seneca is the daughter of a movie star, struggling to help her mom find a new show. Drew is the star athlete whose dad just died. Claire is the go hard party animal that is trying to find peace with God. All three have different lives, different stories, but one job, one summer that will change who they really are. This book looked into three different girls and told each story wonderfully. Their lives are so realistic that many girls can relate to it. Review by A.C., 10th grade

Jones, Carrie. Need. Bloomsbury, New York, 2008. $16.99. ISBN-13: 978-1599903385 320p. Gr. 9-12
After Zara’s step-dad died, bizarre things started to happen. A creepy man is stalking her, his calling card? Gold glitter. Now in Maine with her grandma, Zara starts feeling like her old self. She is making friends, staying out of the cold, and saving the world, one letter at a time. The only problem is who is going to save her when she needs saving? This book is really good, but it reminds me too much of Twilight. Review by A.C., 10th grade

Meehl, Brian. Suck it Up. Delacorte Books for Young Readers, New York, 2009. $8.99 ISBN: 9780440420910 336p. Gr. 9-12
Morning McCobb is no ordinatry vampire. Not only was he a mistake, but he also drinks BloodLife (a blood substitute made from soy) exclusively. After finishing Ivy League at the bottom of the food chain, Birnam, the Headmaster gives him an opportunity that just might put Morning on top. Birnam gives Morning the chance to be what he always wanted to be, before he became a vampire: a Superhero. Morning will be the first vampire to come out and, if everything goes fine, he will be a superhero to all vampires. I love the imagination and creativity the author presents in this book! Review by A.C., 10th grade

Stolarz, Laurie Faria. Deadly Little Secret. Hyperion Books, New York, 2009. $8.99 ISBN: 9781423111986 272p. Gr. 9-12
Camilia’s life was normal, until a near death experience changed it. Almost getting hit by a car, Camilla never got to ask her mysterious savoir his name: all she can remember was his face and his touch. A couple of days later, a new kid arrives and his name is Ben. He happens to be Camilia’s hero, but her fails to admit it. Harassed because of his criminal record, Camilia tries to ignore him, but she can’t. Then she gets weird phone calls, presents, and creepy photos of herself. Is it Ben, or is Ben there to help her? I liked this book and the way it keeps you thinking: it’s a wonderful suspense novel. Review by A.C., 10th grade

Sparrow, Rebecca. The Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay. Knopf Books for Young Readers, New York, 2008. $15.99 ISBN:9780375845703 208p. Gr.8-12
Rachel is perfect. She has perfect grades, perfect attendance, perfect everything. Then something unperfect happens. “Hot” Nick McGowan, who has a horrible reputation, is coming to live with her family. Desperate, Rachel tries to redecorate her room, buy cooler (horrible) music to impress Nick. Even with the change and the list she made for her parents, he still finds a way to make her feel uncool. This book was a great read, and it brings up some serious issues that can help teens understand life. Review by A.C., 10th grade

Papadementriou, Lisa. Drop. Knopf Books for Young Readers, New York, 2008. $15.99 ISBN:9780375842443 176p. Gr. 9-12
Three kids, one problem. Sanjay, Kat, and Jerrica try to win money by Jerrica’s predicting cards at local casinos. Jerrica thinks she is psychic because she can predict the cards, but is she? Or has she found a mathematical way to insure what she predicts is true? Sanjay owes money to his father’s shop and he needs help. Will Jerrica’s discovery help him or put him deeper into debt? Kat’s mom is hoping Kat will go to court to get her out of jail, but Kat doesn’t want to, as she knows her mom has done wrong. She wants to leave, but what about her sister? I liked this book, it mixes real life stories with math. It made my brain hurt, but it was fun. Review by A.C., 10th grade

Hill, Lexi. Kissing Booth. Point, New York, 2009. $8.99 ISBN: 9780545078658 272p. Gr. 9-12
Lisl has never been kissed (NBK) and she wants her first kiss to be with Brett, the most popular guy in school. But a couple of things stand in her way: he has a girlfriend and he hardly knows her. Then the perfect chance comes when her friend makes plans to open a kissing booth for the spring carnival. All goes well until a friend ditches them, a lie gets spread on Facebook, and the person she thinks she loves is not true. The book is believable and a fun read. Review by A.C., 10th grade

Razzell, Mary. Snow Apples. Groundwood Books, New York, 2006. $15.95 ISBN: 9780888997418 192p. Gr. 9-12
Shiela is boy crazy. Hoping she would one day find the “One”, she meets Nels. Thinking he was The One, she gives him everything. Pregnant and scared, Shiela goes to the only person she can go to…her dad. Married to another woman and away from everyone, Sheila feels he would be a good choice to confide in, and he is. He helps her out and keeps it all a secret. Now, unpregnant and free, Sheila continues her life in college. I liked this book, though it takes place in the 1940’s, the issues and struggles are still current. Review by A.C., 10th grade

Marchetta, Melina. Jellicoe Road. HarperTeen, New York, 2008. $17.99 ISBN: 0061431834 432p. Gr. 8-12
When Taylor Markham was eleven, she was abandoned by her mother at the 7-11 on Jellicoe Road. She has few friends except for her house supervisor, Hannah. After Hannah disappears, Taylor is chosen to lead the houses. Taylor takes the job reluctantly and does well until she finds out that the leader of the opposition cadets is Jonah Griggs. Remembering her past, Taylor tries to stay strong but it is hard for her, as her heart is breaking. I liked how mysterious the book is. It made me stay up all night, trying to figure out the puzzle. It also had some very real high school aspects to it. Review by A.C., 10th grade

Medina, Nico. The Straight Road to Kylie. Simon Pulse, New York, 2007. $8.99 ISBN:9781416936008 295p. Gr. 9-12
Jonathan Parish is an out and proud gay male who “messes up” by sleeping with a girl when he’s drunk. Rumors go around that Jonathan is bisexual, and girls start chasing him. When Jonathan is about to put things right, Laura Shculberg comes to mess things up. She bargains with Jonathan, saying if he pretends to be her boyfriend, then she will get him tickets to a Kylie (an Australian pop princess) concert. Infatuated with Kylie, Jonathan agrees. But being straight is not all perfect for Jonathan: he has to deal with his three closest girlfriends. This book is a funny read, but it also has a lot of real-life situations and conficts. Review by A.C., 10th grade

Gaiman, Neil. Stardust. HarperTeen, New York, 2008. $6.99 ISBN:9780061689246 288p. Gr. 8-12 Tristran Thorn is in love with Victoria Forester. One day, while walking in her home, they see a falling star together. Hoping for just a kiss, Victoria tells Tristan to find a falling star and he can have whatever he wants instead. In love and foolish, Tristan crosses a wall to look for the fallen star. While in the land of Fairie, he meets new people, fights for his life, and falls in love. When he comes back across the wall, will he be the same person? Will he be able to give up the fallen star? I loved how the author mixed in known fairly tales throughout the book. The creativity in this book is amazing. Review by A.C., 10th grade

Palmer, Robin. Geek Charming. Speak, New York, 2009. $8.99 ISBN:9780142411223 288p. Gr. 8-12
Dylan is the “IT” girl and Josh is the geek. How they got stuck with each other isn’t important. What is important is how they change each others’ lives. Josh saved Dylan’s life by saving her bag out of a fountain. Because she feels indebted to him, Dylan now has to permit Josh to film a documentary on her. Unwilling to be seen with a geek, Dylan goes back on her word, but her dad makes her follow through with her promise. Now stuck with a geek following her every move, Dylan desperately tries to show the camera that she is a good person. I liked this book, it accurately portrays high school drama and is very gossipy. Review by A.C., 10th grade

Ferraro, Tina. The ABC’s of Kissing Boys. Delacorte Books for Young Readers, New York, 2009. $8.99 ISBN:9780385735827 224p. Gr.9-12
This book is not all about kissing like the title says. It’s about true friendship, finding yourself, and peer pressure in high school. Parker Stanhope was sure she got varsity, but when the papers went up she went into shock. Everyone was in varsity except her and Lyric (the worst girl on the field.) Devastated, she thinks up a plan to get her spot back, but it will be risky. During the sports fair she will need to plant a kiss everyone will remember. The problem is she doesn’t know how to kiss. I had mixed feelings about this book: it has some believable scenes in it, but it’s not that well written. Review by A.C., 10th grade

Hernandez, David. No More Us for You. HarperTeen, New York, 2009. $16.99 ISBN:9780061173332 288p. Gr. 9-12
Love can be lost as easily as it can be found. Isabel (AKA “Is”) lost her boyfriend a year ago in a car accident. Still hurting, she hasn’t looked at another guy until she befriends Vanessa, a new girl who works at an art museum. Vanessa works with Carlos and she tries to hook Is up with him. Carlos is just a kid with a girlfriend and a very weird friend. Ever since he got the job as a security guard at the museum, he thinks his life is good. That is, until he starts talking to Vanessa. I loved this book; it’s very touching and the author tells it like is, the true lives of teenagers. Review by A.C., 10th grade

Garsee, Jeannine. Before, After, and Somebody In Between. Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books, New York, 2008. $7.99 ISBN: 9781599902920 368p. Gr. 9-12
Martha lives with her drunk, drug addicted mother and whichever boyfriend her mother is with at the moment. Right now they live with Wayne in an all black community. Martha is scared and has only one friend, Jerome, who lives upstairs. As she starts 10th grade, nothing goes as planned: she is threatened and now has a beautiful purple bruise on her ankle, but she copes. Everything goes fine until her mom starts drinking again, Wayne beats her, and a fight happens that has Martha holding a knife to her tormentor’s throat. When Martha’s mom almost dies with an overdose, Martha is put into a foster home. She hates it, and just wants to be left alone to play her cello. This book is very realistic. It didn’t end with the main character achieving her dreams, but it showed her struggle and is inspiring.

Nonfiction Selection
Hein, Jessica, et al., Editors. GirlSpoken: From Pen, Brush, & Tongue. Orca Book Publishers, Victoria, B.C. 2008. $18.95 ISBN:9781897187302 202p. Gr. 8-12
This book is filled up with writings and drawings from different girls around the US and Canada. These writings are so true about growing up. You can learn a lot reading this book. There are four sections to the book: voice, beauty, strength, and becoming. I loved reading the stories, though some were very sad. Review by A.C., 10th grade

C.S.,Siletz Public Library September 2009
Picture Books
Alter, Anna. What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe: A Green Activity Book about Reuse.  Christy Ottaviano Books, 2009. $16.95. 32 pages. ISBN. 9780805082906. Ages 4-7. P8Q9.
This book encourages children to reuse old, worn-out items in craft projects. Some of the ideas are very good- a lone flip-flop can become an ink stamp, a torn shower curtain can become a craft apron. There are step by step instructions for each of the projects. Younger kids will need a parent’s help. The book shows how the animal children in the examples ask their moms and dads for help with cutting and sewing- it’s nice that the dads are often asked for help on sewing projects. At the end, the author gives tips for reusing and recycling in general, and finally, gives a page of sewing instructions. A nice book for kids who like doing crafts, and a good way to discourage waste.

Ruddell, Deborah. A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: A Forest of Poems. Joan Rankin, ill. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2009. $16.99. ISBN. 9781416942115. Unpaged. Ages 4-8. P8Q9. This is a lovely book of animal poetry. The poems are varied- some are peaceful, others are funny. The illustrations (watercolor and colored pencil?) are soft and very appealing. I tried this out on a couple of wandering 4 year olds, and they got caught up very quickly, and their mom promises to check the book out as soon as we have it ready!

Hughes, Ted. My Brother Bert. Tracey Campbell Pearson, ill. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2009. $16.95. ISBN. 9780374399825. Unpaged. Ages 3-6. P7Q8.
A very cute story, told in rhyme, about a boy whose pet collection has gotten out of control. The illustrations are colorful and full of motion. Some unusual animals are introduced: did you know that a grampus is a dolphin-like animal? I think my story time kids will enjoy this book.

Mora, Pat. Doña Flor: A Tall Tale about a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart. Raul Colón, ill. Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. $15.95. ISBN. 9780375823374. Unpaged. Ages 4-8. P8Q9.
This story reads like a traditional folk tale. In this story, Doña Flor is a giant woman with an equally giant heart. She’s a giant because her mom sang to her when she was a small child and it made her grow and grow! Pat Mora takes us through Doña Flor’s interesting adventure and sprinkles the text with Spanish vocabulary. This is nicely done; I don’t think the readers will need to wonder what the words mean because Mora has worked them in so well. To me, what made this book so wonderful was the beautiful illustration style. They’re a mixture of watercolor, colored pencil, and etching. They have a dreamy feeling to them that really works for me. I can’t wait to read this one to my story group.

Muirhead, Margaret. Mabel One and Only. Margaret Muirhead. Lynn Avril, ill. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2009. $16.99. ISBN. 9780803731981. Unpaged. Ages 3-5. P8Q9.
I enjoyed this book about Mabel, who is the only kid living on the block. She can’t get any of her usual adult companions to entertain her, so she and her dog use their imaginations and have a great time exploring space in a cardboard box. The illustrations are vibrant colored pencil drawings, and Mabel’s spirit personality comes through beautifully.

Non-Fiction Picture Books:
Dell, Pamela. Hatshepsut: Egypt’s First Female Pharoah. Compass Point Books, 2009. ISBN 9780756538354. $34.65. 112 pgs. Ages 10-15. P 7Q9.
I really liked this book. Hatshepsut is a fascinating historical figure who could be motivational to young girls. The author does a nice job of explaining why Egypt’s first female pharaoh was basically unknown until the middle of the 19th century. She talks about Hatshepsut’s life and reign, how she was represented in sculpture as a man, and shows us her importance in ancient Egyptian history. The book is well made with a sturdy binding. My only criticism is that while the pictures are very interesting, they could be a bit brighter. Includes a timeline.

Juvenile Fiction:
Lowry, Lois. The Willoughbys. Houghton Mifflin Co., 2008. ISBN 9780618979745. $16.00. 174 pgs. Ages 7-10. P8Q8.
This is a strange, dark, funny book. It is also a parody of a certain type of old fashioned book that has unfortunate orphans, cruel relatives, and (often) happy endings. It tells the story of the Willoughby children, who dislike their parents and would rather be orphans, so they take steps to make that happen by convincing them to go on a very dangerous vacation. The parents don’t like their children either, and try to sell the house (complete with the children) while they are on vacation. There is even a baby in a basket left on a doorstep in this story! I enjoyed this book because of its strangeness. I wonder if very sensitive children would find it upsetting, but those with an odd sense of humor should like it.

CHILDREN’S BOOK REVIEWS September 2009 K.R., WHS English Teacher
Siomades, Lorianne. Katy Did it! Boyds Mills Press, 2009
Large, bright illustrations keep the reader as Katy, the katydid, hops into disaster with her younger brother, Lou, following behind on his pogo stick, ready to report that “Katy did it!” every time her “boing-ing” lands her in the wrong place. Ultimately, she saves the day, when she bounces a stuck olive out of the ants’ den. This imple story could be used to show young listeners that every talent is good in the right place at the right time. Preschoolers.Q. 8 P. 7/8

Usher, M.D. Diogenes. Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 2009.
The best part of this children’s book is the Afterward where the author recounts the story of the real Diogenes, who, unlike the dog protagonist in the book, was a real person who taught the value of achieving autarkeia or self sufficiency. The philosophical ideas presented in the book are better suited to older middle school or secondary students; thus, the use of a dog for the main character is incongruous or even unsuitable as it lessens the impact of this philosopher’s impact on human thought. Q. 6 P. 5/6

Ormondroyd, Edward. Theodore: The Adventures of a Smudgy Bear. Dial Books for Young Readers; 2009.
Lucy may be careless at times, but she does understand bears is the lesson taught by this cheerfully illustrated book about a bear (somewhat “smudgy”) who accidentally gets laundered. When Lucy sees him again, she doesn’t recognize him and so it is up to the bear to convince a dog, a couple of cats, and a little boy with a sucker to get him dirty again so Lucy will take him back home. Fun read-aloud for preschoolers. Q. 8/9 P. 8/9

Salerno, Steven. Harry Hungry. Harcourt, Inc. 2009.
This picture book with its exaggerated drawings of a toddler who eats EVERYTHING in his path is dedicated to “parents who encourage their children to take a BIG bite out of life.” It’s not about getting fat from eating too much; after all, how could a baby actually eat a car, bridge, mountain, and even part of the sky? Salerno seems to be saying that everything is possible and nothing can get in the way of someone who is determined to reach his or her goals. Q. 8 P. 8

Fucile, Tony. Let’s Do Nothing! Candlewick Press; 2009.
By the time Frankie and Sal have done everything they can think of, there’s only one last thing to do: nothing. Frankie, however, cannot do nothing because his wonderful imagination takes him into adventures even while he tries to be a statue, tree, or tall building. The result is that the two characters realize that it’s impossible to do nothing, so they dash out of the book to do “something.” Another fun read-aloud, this time for students through 2nd grade.Q. 10 P. 9/10

Hamilton, Kersten. Police Officers on Patrol. Viking; 2009.
Fanciful Steven Kellogg-style illustrations show pre-schoolers what police officers who ride in cars, patrol streets on foot or on horseback, do during the day when they are needed. The tale is written rhyme with lots of visual activity around the police officers. Q. 8 P. 8

Mickelson, Scott. Artichoke Boy. Boyds Mills Press; 2009.
Most kids like potatoes, corn, carrots, and maybe peas, but the Boy in this story likes artichokes so well, that he is surrounded by them. Written in rhyme, this read-aloud has simple, but large, line-drawn illustrations done in medium-Sharpie width black with a few pale blues and purples to add color. But the artichokes are photos of the real thing and add to the humor of the story. The boy even has an artichoke fish. He eats artichoke ice cream. Birds’ eggs are small artichokes and the snowman he builds is large artichokes. It’s a humorous story and will have children begging for artichokes for dinner. (I hope parents know how to fix them.) Q. 9 P. 8/9

Asher, Sandy. Here Comes Gosling! Philomel Books; 2009.
Because I enjoyed the Frog and Toad books, I loved this story written by Asher. Rabbit and Frog (who can’t wait to see the new gosling and makes up songs) prepare a picnic for the Goose family who are coming to visit. The story takes them through all their preparations and the arrival of the geese, when the gosling lets out a loud honk that frightens Frog who won’t come out to see the baby. The climax comes when Frog accidentally does present himself to the other characters and immediately makes friends with the gosling who thereafter honks much quieter. I can imagine reading this story to K-3rd grade children and making the appropriate sounds and songs that go with the plot. Delightful. Q. 10 P. 10

Brown, Peter. The Curious Garden. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009.
The author’s note indicates that this is the almost true story of a garden that began on an old, elevated railway called the Highline that was no longer in use. A curious little boy found a small patch of wild flowers and moss growing there and decided to help them to grow. Eventually, the greenery spread all around the neighboring streets of a grey city of concrete and brick and steel. Here is a read-aloud that will require discussing the wonderful pictures that tell more than the simple words do.Q. 9 P. 9/10

Muller, Birte. Los Pedos de Farley (Farley Farts). North/South Books; 2009.
“For days, Farley the Frog had been having some rather noisy tummy trouble. He had to fart all the time. When he was eating, PFFFOOOTTT! When he was playing, PFFFOOOTTT! Even when he was sleeping, PFFFOOOTT!” When we need so many bilingual books for children, I am disappointed that this is what is available. Eventually Farley holds his PFFFOOOTTTs until he turns into a gas-filled balloon. It isn’t until everyone gives him permission to “fluff”, that he comes gratefully down to earth. P-L-E-A-S-E! I know the kids will think this is funny stuff, but there are other things funnier and more useful in a classroom. Q. 4 P. 4 (And if you do purchase it, don’t tell me.)

Keller, Holly. Miranda’s Beach Day. Greenwillow Books; 2009. Not only is this a sweetly illustrated story of a girl’s day at the beach, it is also a love story. Coloring-book style pictures of seagulls, beach balls, umbrellas, and, of course, a sand castle, are all important to Miranda’s day at the beach when she and some new friends build a castle for a crab. When the crab doesn’t appreciate the castle and the incoming tide washes over the sea, Momma explains that they will return and that the
crab will still be there, but, “the crab will always belong to the sea…The way the castle belongs to the sand?…Yes, and the way you belong to me.” Q. 9 P. 10

Casey, Tina. The Underground Gators. Dutton Children’s Books,; 2009.
There is an urban legend that unwanted baby alligators are now living in New York’s sewers. While there have only been two pulled up from man holes (1935 and 1937), there haven’t been any sightings of gators in the sewers. The author, a former employee of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, takes a fanciful look at how alligators would explain some very ordinary things in life. For example, donuts have holes so that the alligators can carry several back home on their tails. And the reason we lose socks is because the alligators borrow the second one to make puppets. More Stephen Kellogg-style drawings make this a good read-aloud to children K-2 maybe 3. Q. 9 P. 8/9

Hopkins, Lee Bennett (compiler), Sky Magic. Dutton Children’s Books.
Here are fourteen poems about the sky (most are about the night) companioned with richly colored drawings that capture the tone of the poem. An example: “Rising. Like a fresh loaf/Sun rises,/Tempting dawn/To break/Her golden crust–/Taste morning!” by Sarah Hansen. The poems are very short and yet full of unusual metaphors. Good for high schoolers, too. I think. Q. 9 P. 9

Mitton, Tony. A Very Curious Bear. Random House; 2009.
How soon do children begin asking those “Why Questions”? As soon as they start, this book is for parents and children to sit down and read. The bear and rabbit in the story are typical “teddy bear” and “teddy rabbit” illustrations, but it is what is happening in the background that gives the energy to the poem as the little bear constantly asks questions about the sky, the pathway, the flowers, and the storm. The poem even answers one of the most difficult questions of all: “But what am I meant for and why am I here?/To live and to wonder, my darling my dear.”Q. 8 P. 8-ish (More for parents than school)

Emberley, Rebecca and Ed. Chicken Little. Roaring Book Press; 2009.
I am an Emberley fan so I got satisfaction from this retelling of the original Chicken Little tale. Besides the bright, quirky illustrations, the Emberleys emphasize that the birds had no plan and therefore, of course, they end up in the Fox’s lair. Fortunately, the last page, which folds out, resolves the danger they are in with a huge ACHOO! And lets the children figure out what happens next. (Probably no one gets eaten. They’re too goofy.) Q. 8/9 P. 9-ish

Ehrlich, Amy. The Girl Who Wanted to Dance. Candlewick Press; 2009.
The rich colors of the illustrations that carry the tone of this read-aloud for older children is the only thing I am sure of in this book. I am troubled that Clara’s mother left her and her father to go dance with the gypsies; even when reunited with her husband and daughter, she refuses to return. But the story is Clara’s, a lonely girl who is not allowed to sing, dance, or play the piano when her grandmother dies, because her father is already too sad. Then one night, Clara sees the dancing troupe and meets up with one of them in the woods (her mother) who takes her to the camp’s fireside where both women perform a tarantella. Clara has dancing in her, but eventually her father takes her home and her mother leaves once again. This is a lot like some of the later Grimm brothers’ tales where there is an unhappy happy ending. Q. 9(illustrations) P. ? (You’ve got the plot; it’s a hard choice.)

Lewis, Kim. Seymour and Henry. Candlewick Press; 2009.
Buy this one for the illustrations, otherwise it is a typical read-aloud to preschoolers. Seymour and Henry are two little ducklings who are disobedient when their mother says to come home. They run away and play until the rain comes, which makes them just uncomfortable enough that they go find their mother. Afterwards they go home, dancing and quacking in the rain. But the illustrations are those of “teddy ducks” all fuzzy AND YOU CAN SEE THE SEAM LINES where they’ve been stitched together. Momma duck, too, is a plush animal with seams along her flannel yellow-and-white checked body. She even sits as if she were lightly, rather than heavily stuffed. The pictures made me happy. Q. 9 P. 9

dePaola, Tomie. The Song of Francis. G.P. Putnam’s Sons; 2009.
If I were of a church community that venerated St. Francis, I would definitely have this book as part of my children’s library. dePaola’s folk-art illustrations are always child-friendly and this time enhance the simple song whose words are “Love, love, love.” St. Francis sings and all the birds, the sun, the moon, and the angels themselves congregate to hear him sing. It’s a sweet story. Q. 8 P. 8 (with conditions)

Dunbar, Joyce. Oddly. Candlewick Press; 2009.
The peculiar characters in this read-aloud are not describable in human terms. They are a little like colorful opossums of various heights, roundness, and tails. They are called: Lostlet, Stranglet, and Oddlet. When a lost, unhappy little boy finds them, they help him by giving him their most precious possessions, and hugs. Then magically they end up at the boy’s house, no longer lost, strange, or odd. I liked the author’s definition of love: It’s what makes you better. Overall, the book is curious and not for everybody. Q. 7/8 P. 7/8

Hest, Amy. Little Chick. Candlewick Press, 2009.
“The Carrot that Would not Grow,” “The Kite That Would not Fly,” and “The Starry Night” are the three little stories that make up this read-aloud book for K-2nd graders (though some high school students could learn its lessons about patience). Old Auntie, a hen, is Little Chick’s teacher as the younger character plants a carrot seed and wants it to hurry to grow; tried to fly a kite (a large leaf), and finally wants to reach a star to put it in a pocket and keep it. A Sweet, gentle collection of stories. Q. 8/9 P. 8/9

Fleischman, Paul. Dunderheads. Candlewick Press 2009.
Here’s a book 2nd graders will enjoy having read to them and 3-4th graders will enjoy reading. The Dunderheads are the students that Ms. Breakbone insults and whose talents go unnoticed and unappreciated. When she confiscates a ceramic cat that one of the boys finds on his way to school (he needs it for a present for his mother), all the students with their talents get in on a caper to retrieve it. One girl can draw anything, another works wonders with paper clips, another has very long nails that can be filed into keys (among other things), and a third can hypnotize people (she’s been practicing all summer on her brother). Of course they are successful and the book is a winner. Q. 9 P. 9

Sanderson, Ruth. Goldilocks. Little, Brown and Company; 2009.
The rich, almost life-like Scandanavian-style illustrations add flavor to this old story. So does the ending! Instead of chasing Goldilocks out of the house, Baby Bear asks if he can keep her. Instead he’s allowed to watch her while she makes the beds and helps repair the broken rocker. Her life is still in danger until she remembers the blue berries she picked earlier that morning. When she offers them to the hungry bears, they all work together to make blue berry muffins for tea (the recipe is included on the last page). A responsible Goldilocks replaces the selfish one of the Grimm’s tales. Q. 9 P. 9

Yorinks, Arthur. Homework. Walker & Company; 2009.
When Tony goes upstairs to do his homework, he read a comic book instead and fell asleep. Beginning with the pencil, then the eraser, the ball point pen and the fountain pen, the tools start to write a story for the boy so he doesn’t get an F. Unfortunately, they don’t work well together and the result is a splotchy paper with ink stains, crossed out words, and erasures. Tony wakes up, reads it, tosses it, and then begins his own story. I hope this doesn’t get students’ hopes up that their writing utensils will do their work for them; the real lesson seems to be it’s best to do it on your own—right away rather than waiting. Q. 8 P. 8, maybe

Bogan, Paulette. Lulu the Big little Chick. Bloomsbury; 2009.
In this running away from home story, the main character is a big little chick. She isn’t yellow and fuzzy and more, but she can’t lay eggs or do the things the big chickens do. Lulu decides to go “far far away” but at every stop along the way she is interrupted: the pigs splash her with mud, the sheep nearly squish her, the horse nearly eats her and the cow frightens her because of its size. Finally when Lulu does get beyond the farm, the dark comes on and frightens her (shown by a little font when she speaks) until her mother comes to take her home. “How was far far away?” she asks. And Lulu responds:, “Momma, next time I go far, far away, I think I will take you with me.” I had a child who used to plan to run away from home and I think that the classic, Runaway Rabbit, is much better. Q. 5/6 P. 5/6

Shulevitz, Uri. When I Wore My Sailor Suit. Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 2009.
Forty-five years ago when I was working at my first job (in a library, of course) Uri Shulevitz’ first book, Rain Rain, came into our collection and I have loved his work ever since. The illustrations are a departure from his original style, a water color look that was soft on the eyes. Sailor Suit is done in an European style that will seem foreign to American children. After all, who actually has a sailor suit or knows much about sailing ships? However, the story is one of imagination and courage as the little boy overcomes his fears of a very stern man in a painting who watches him as he plays. Note the way the illustrations convey the shift from “real” to “imaginary” and the honest way the boy’s feelings are reflected in his face. Another thing that makes the book exceptional is the wonderful vocabulary. Teachers can certainly use this to help students define words in context (see provisions, valise, arduous, valiantly, luxurious, disrupted, and others.) A very fine piece of work and read-aloud K-3rd or more.

Shields, Gillian. When the World is Ready for Bed. Bloomsbury; 2009.
Momma and Daddy Rabbit help get their three little bunnies ready for bed while a gentle 4-line poetic stanza tells what they must do. “Pictures, stories/ One last look/ At the tales/ in one last book.” Nice for a relaxing read before bedtime. Q. 7/8 P. 7/8 (nothing new here)

Rotner, Shelley and Sheila M. Kelly. Shades of People. Holiday House Book; 2009. Awesome pictures of children illustrate the author’s message that we aren’t colors so much as shades and that there are many different shades even within the same family. While emphasizing our differences, the authors also point out our similarities with pictures of children, just children, spending time together. “Our skin is just our cover, like wrapping paper. And, you can’t tell what someone is like from the color of their skin.” Here’s a clear way to remind us what we already know, but sometimes forget. Q. 10 P. 10

Book Review September 2009 – C.B.
de Fombelle, Timothee, translated by Sarah Ardizzone, Toby alone, Candlewick Press , Somerville, Massachusetts, 2006, U.S. 2009, 384 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:0763641812, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 9,
Toby Lolness is a typical 13 year-old boy, the only difference is that he is only 2 millimeters high and lives in a tree. His world faces many of the same problems that ours does, corruption in the government, over use of natural resources, over develop of their land and homes, and a gang that has taken over the government. Toby his mother and father, who is a scientist, are banned to the low regions of the tree and here they build a home and survive for years. Toby is determined to prove that the theories that his father cautioned the tree society about are coming true and they must change in order to survive. This tale will appeal to upper elementary and middle school age students.

Gratz, Alan, The Brooklyn Nine : a novel in nine innings, Dial Books, New York, 2009, 299 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0803732244, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 9,
If you love baseball this is the book for you. Grantz pulls on one family, through nine different generations to tell the story of their love of baseball. Through this family the development and history of baseball in the Brooklyn, New York area is told. The family portrayed in the story is Jewish and Grantz brings the discrimination that they faced to light. This is a great book to read aloud and it is sure to create discussions on discrimination and differences in people.

Harrison, Mette, The Princess and the bear, Harper Teen, New York, 2009, 325 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:006155314X, Gr. 8+, P 8, Q 8,
This book is the sequel to The Princess and the hound, and Harrison has drawn upon two characters from this first story to tell this second one. The king, in the first story, has been turned into a bear to punish him for the terrible selfish things he did in is old life. The second character is a Princess whose life is saved by giving her the ability to change into a hound. Steeped in magic theses two are given a quest to find out why the frozen dead sections, on earth are growing and can no longer sustain life. Traveling back through time the Bear and Princess must discover what caused the change and repair it. This is a story that will appeal to middle and high school age students.

Mason, Timothy, The last synapsid, Delacorte Press, New York, 2009, 307 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0385735812, Gr. P, Q, Gr 5+, P 7, Q 7,
Set in Faith, Colorado Rob, 12 and his best friend Phoebe, 13, are going on the adventure of their lives. When they find a synapsid, a dinosaur from the Permian era, 250 million years ago the journey begins. Rob and Phoebe along with Sid, short for Synapsid, must find the evil dinosaur, a gorgon, and return him to his time. For in doing so will it guarantee the survival of the human race.

Matthews, L.S., Lexi, Delacorte Press, New York, 2007, 200 pgs., $14.99, ISBN:038573574X, Gr. 4+, P 7, Q 8,
This story is narrated by Lexi, a 12 year-old girl, who awakens in a forest and can’t remember how she got there. Following a bird which leads her out of the forest to a city, she wanders the streets till she is hit by a car. Taken to a shelter Lexi starts to remember bits and pieces of her former life. She is mistaken for another child at the shelter and comes to find out that she is a twin. Lexi also remembers that her father is a famous rock-star who was killed in a car accident. Lexi is now rich and she must decide what to do with her wealth. This is a story that elementary students will be drawn to.

Meyer, Carolyn. The true adventures of Charley Darwin, Harcourt, Boston, Massachusetts, 2009, 321 pgs., $17.00, ISBN:0152061940, Gr.6+, P 7, Q 8,
Meyer has a painted us a picture of Charley Darwin’s early life in England. From Charley’s hatred of his boarding school, to being tongued tied around girls, and his love of science are all told with a fictionalized dialogue that is sure to draw in those who love historical novels. Charley plans to be a doctor and then a minister are put on hold when he boards the ship, Beagle, to explore and document things found in the new world. This creative look of Charles Darwin’s two year voyage will appeal to older readers.

Myracle, Lauren, Peace, Love, and baby ducks, Dutton Books, 2009, 292 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0525477438, Gr. 8+, P 8, Q 8,
This is book about sibling rivalry which made me laugh. Carly and Anna are two sisters close in age but are also entirely different from each other. Carly is the older sister, a sophomore, who is tall, skinny and flat chested and dresses way the hippies once did. Anna is the younger sister, a freshman, out going, beautiful and is seen as sex symbol because of her large chest. All that Anna wants is to be accepted and not seen as a dork as her older sister is. Carly wants her sister to love her for herself. The relationship between the two sisters is typical of the relationship that I had with my younger sister and it made again live those petty little battles. Older readers will relate to these two siblings as they come to accept the difference in one another and that they still do love each other.

Tarshis, Lauren, Emma-Jean Lazarus fell in love, Dial Books for Young Readers, New York, 2009, 169 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0803733216, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
This is the sequel to Emma-Jean fell out of a tree and the continuing life and adventures of Emma-Jean are in full swing. What with the school dance coming up Emma-Jean and her group of friends are pondering what true love is. Now all they have to do is figure out who will take them dance and how they will get the boys to ask them. Each of them does so leaving only Emma-Jean to figure out who she truly loves and how she will get him to ask her to the dance.

Whitcomb, Laura, The fetch, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, Massachusetts, 2009, 379 pgs., $17.00, ISBN:0618891315, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
Calder, is young man, 19 years-old who died 300 years ago and is now a Fetch, a ghost who will help those who have died to make their journey to the other side. As the death door opens Fetch goes though and escorts the soul through door. On one trip however he breaks a sacred rule and leaves the spirit behind because a beautiful woman begs for her son’s life. The soul is that of Alexi, the future Czar of Russia and in leaving this spirit Fetch sets into motion history changing events. Set against the Russian revolution in 1917 Fetch takes over the body of Rasputin, who has been murdered, in attempt to try and rectify his mistake. This is a book with many twits in the plot which will appeal to older readers.

Whitney, Kim, The other half of life : a novel based on the true story of MS St. Louis, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2009, $16.99, ISBN:0375852190, Gr.7+, P 7, Q 8,
In 1939 the MS St. Louis left Nazi Germany with 947 Jewish refugees who were seeking asylum in Cuba. This16 day ocean voyage is told from the fictionalized accounting of Thomas 15, who feels guilty having left his parents behind. Thomas soon makes friends with others on the ship and finds himself in embroiled in a plot, of spies for and against Nazi Germany. The one main question that all these people keep asking themselves is will Cuba let them in or not. This fast paced historical novel will appeal to those who are drawn to this time period in history.

Non Fiction
Matthews, Elisabeth, Different like Coco, Candlewick Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2007, unp, $16.99, ISBN:0763625485, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
With the over exposure in todays media of young girls needing to look and act in a certain way the topic of Coco Chanel is just the shot in the arm that we need. Though she too is portrayed and as a thin and fits the model of what the media is exposing girls to. Coco also demonstrated a fiercely independent, savvy hard working woman who though an orphan overcame great difficulties to become a strong and vibrant woman in the fashion industry. Matthew’s pen and ink and watercolor cartoon like characters also capture the struggles that Coco experienced to become the woman she was. Matthews long pointed nose Coco brings to mind Coco herself thumbing her nose at society and being her own woman.

Reed, Jennifer, Daring American heroes of flight : 9 brave fliers, Enslow Publishers, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, 2009, 128 pgs., glossary, index, $33.27, ISBN:1598450816, Gr. 6+, P 7, Q 8,
Nine brave souls through time, 1902 to 2006, demonstrate the history of flight in the United States. Featuring the Wright brothers who were the first to fly in the world, Reed goes on in chronological order to feature Bessie Coleman, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., Neil Armstrong , Sally Ride and Eillen Collins. Featured with each person is a timeline of their accomplishments in the air and also a web site that you can visit. I felt at times that the book was more a plug for the web site myreports.com. A password is needed for access for this web site and they do provide one that students can use to gain access. The company also guarantees that they will maintain and update the website for five years. Overall this is a good book for students to use who are doing research on flying.

Rockwell, Anne, Open the door to liberty!: A biography of Toussaint L’Ouverture, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Boston, Massachusetts, 2009, 62 pgs., $18.00, ISBN:0618605703, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 9,
On the island of St. Domingue, a French colony, Touissaint L’Ouverture was born into slavery. He was educated and by his slave owner and was later freed. Touissaint at the age of 48 in 1793, went on to lead a successful slave uprising against the French. Appointed the islands first president and he ruled for eight years. Napoleon sent troops to regain control of the island and also to capture Touissaint. Fighting the St. Domingue’s army and the mosquitoes that carried yellow fever, the French troops were decimated. Touissaint’s army however surrenders and Touissant was taken prisoner and later died in a French prison. This book offers a rare insight into Touissaint life and his accomplishments. The vivid illustrations by Gregory Christie bring to life the islands beauty and the struggle of the islands inhabitants to gain their freedom. Middle and high school students will enjoy this biography.

Simon, Seymour, Dolphins, Collins, China, 2009, 32 pgs., glossary, index, photos, $17.99, ISBN:0060283939, 3+, P 8, Q 9,
Seymour Simon, is a well known author of children’s books this time collaborating with the Smithsonian he has captured the amazing life of dolphins. He tells interesting facts about each different species and the danger that they are facing in the oceans today. Students will find the clear colorful pictures and text an extra bounces to this truly amazing book.

Warren, Andrea, Under siege!: Three children at the Civil War battle for Vicksburg, Melanie Kroupa Books, New York, 2009, 166 pgs., index, $21.95, ISBN:0374312559, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 9+,
Telling the story of the battle for Vicksburg, a Confederate strong hold on the Mississippi River, during the Civil War are three children. General Grant’s son Frederick 12 years-old, tells Union point of view during the 47 day siege by the Union army. Telling the Confederate side of the unions bombardment of Vicksburg are Lucy McRae, 10 years-old and Willie Lord, 11 years-old. Living in caves, starvation, bombs landing and the dust that filled the caves are some of the fears that these children faced during the 47 day siege. This book will be a great addition as a source for those who are studying the Civil War in both middle and high school.

October 2009 Reviews
First Thursdays Book Reviews By MD October 2009

Beam, Matt. Can You Spell Revolution?, Dutton Children’s Books. New York. 2008. $17.99. 978-0-525-47998-7. pgs. 263. middle school. P8/Q8
Clouds a new eigth-grader at Laverton Middle school wants to start a revolution. He wants to meet with several of the students and make several Acts of Dissent. Everyone has to do some serious research as Clouds has given everyone a specific assignment to follow. Things go crazy as Clouds wants to take over the school administration. I enjoyed this book because it used history and learning to stand up for what you know is right no matter what.

Davis, Katie. The Curse of Addy McMahon., Greevwillow Books. New York. 2008. $16.99. 978-0-06-128711-4. pgs. 271. middle school. P7/Q8
Katie Davis the author is also the author-illustrator of seven picture books with this being her first novel. This book about Addy features cartoon style/graphic entries of her personal journal which break up the text and add interest. Addy a sixth grader who’s father has just died feels like she is cursed and is the reason for her fathers death. She has to learn to be careful what she says and draws her journal about others as everyone finds out what mean things she thinks about her “friends”. She vows to never write another word because she just causes problems with her words, pictures and thoughts. I know students will enjoy this book and maybe learn something about forgiveness, dealing with the loss of a parent, and learning to accept the changes of life. The drawings are a little juvenile and if a student skims threw the pictures might think the story is too immature, but I believe all ages will find this an interesting story.

Hijuelos, Oscar. Dark Dude: a novel., Atheneum Books for Young Readers. New York. 2008. $16.99. 978-1-4169-4804-9. pgs. 439. high school. P8/Q8
Oscar is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love and also is a visiting professor at Duke University. The cover art focuses on Oscar’s name and not the title of the book Dark Dude which may be confusing when looking for this book. In the back there is a note to readers about the intent of Atheneum Books for Young Readers to publish Latino literature. The author is a Cuban-American and tells a great compelling story of Rico who moves from Harlem to Wisconsin. The story takes place in 1960 and Rico feels like an outsider and realizes that violent and judgmental people can be found even in the Midwest. The book begins with a definition from the hypothetical dictionary of American slang of what a Dark Dude is. The definition hits Rico to a tee – a person considered suspect because of his light complexion, someone who is not considered streetwise. This book talks about racism, and making positive life changes despite what others may think about you. This would be a great book for students who are struggling with family and race issues.

Crowley, Suzanne. The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous., Greenvillow Books. New York. 2007. $17.89. 978-0-06-123198-8. pgs. 380. middle school. P7/Q7
Merilee who has Asperger’s Syndrome lives in Jumbo, Texas and hates change. Things are disrupted when she meets a boy and his father who move to town. She wants things the way they were – but her parents may split up, she may not be able to spend the entire summer at her parent’s summer theater and the little kid who moved to town tries to squeeze himself into her father’s life. She hates all of it and wants things the way they were even if she is learning to be better and different in her new life. I know this book would be great for teachers who work with students who suffer from Asperger’s and their family members. This book also focuses on the importance of embracing change.

Alverez, Julia. Return to Sender., Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 2009. $16.99. 978-0-375-85838-3. pgs. 325 middle school. P8/Q8
This book will help students who are trying to understand the damages of racism and ignorance. Eleven – year –old Tyler’s family hires some Mexican workers to try and save their Vermont farm from foreclosure. He discovers that the workers and their three young daughters may not be in the country legally. This story will help students who are learning Spanish and has a section in the back of the book about how the author uses Spanish in the English text. The author reminds us that sometimes in story it is easier to understand the human side of political and loaded issues and rise above the borders that divide us. I enjoyed this book because I have lived in farm areas where many Mexican workers live and work and have seen the importance of us “making a new homeland together through reading and friendship” as the author says.

Weingarten, Lynn. Wherever Nina Lies., Point. New York. 2009. $ 16.99. 978-0-545-06631-0. pgs. 314. high school. P8/Q8
Two years after her sister has disappeared sixteen year old Ellie sets out to find her. Everyone has given up hope that Nina will return but Ellie wishes she had a clue where to look. Ellie gets a big clue when a drawing that was tucked into the pages of a book is handed to her by her hot new crush. They set out on a big adventure to locate her sister. But Ellie finds some things she wasn’t planning on like love, mysteries and lies. The story has a few drawings through out the book that are depictions of the clues that Ellie uses to find Nina. The excitement and mystery involved in this story make it a quick fun read.

Rodowsky, Colby. Ben and The Sudden Too-Big! Family., Farrar Straus Giroux. New York. 2007. $16.00. 978-0-374-30658-8. pgs. 120. 5-6th grade. P7/Q7
The art on the cover of the book jacket make this book very juvenile and uninteresting. This story is about change and looking for the positive side of things in life. Ben is ten years old and his father remarries and the new couple adopts a baby from China. Ben wonders if his new large extended family is too much of a change but he learns that sometimes change brings lots of new people who love and care for you. This book would be good for students to read who are dealing with family dynamic changes and accepting of step-mothers.

Emerson, Kevin. Carlos Is Gonna Get It., Arthur A. Levine Books. New York. 2008. $16.99. 978-0-439-93525-8. pgs. 291. middle school. P8/Q8
Trina doesn’t mind talking to Carlos as long it’s before school or when no one else is around. But now Thea and Sara her best friend want to trick Carlos on the seventh grade fieldtrip to the mountains of New Hampshire. Carlos is weird and annoying he even says that the aliens visit him. Trina has to help Carlos with a school project so she has to go to his house to figure things out. Now she is starting to learn a little about Carlos and his real problems. She isn’t sure she wants to go threw with the trick but it is too late. Things go bad when Carlos gets lost out in the woods and things get dangerous. When everyone starts eighth grade they have matured and made some good changes and tried to be more understanding of others problems.

Marks, Graham. Missing in Tokyo., Bloomsbury. New York. 2006. $16.95. 978-1-58234-907-7. pgs. 253 high school. P8/Q8
Adam travels from England to Tokyo, Japan to try and find his missing older sister. Adam’s parents and the police seem to be doing nothing to find Charlie and so Adam has to do something. Charlie has been working in a bar and may have been kidnapped or worse. But Adam meets Aiko and is not sure she is such a nice girl but it all works out. Charlie is fine she just went off with her boyfriend and her roommate was mad and made things seem like she had disappeared. Adam learns that he may have found true love in a different country and things may work out for the best. This is a bit of a mystery book, but has some references to sexual experiences between Adam and Aiko who just met.

Reinhardt, Dana. A brief chapter in my impossible life., Wendy Lamb Books. New York. 2006. $15.95. 0-385-74698-9. pgs. 228. high school. P8/Q8
Simone has always felt different she doesn’t resemble anyone in her family because she is adopted. Her mom is a lawyer for the ACLU and her father is a political cartoonist who does most of the house work. Her little brother is a jock and knows how to do everything just right. Her best friend has a boyfriend and she thinks they are going to start having sex. The guy Simone likes spends all his time with another girl. She has never wanted to now anything about her birth mother but one day Rivka calls and Simone has to decide if she wants to meet her and start a relationship with her. In the end Simone is glad she has decided to meet her birth mother and learn about her past. This book would be great for teens who are dealing with being adopted and feeling different.

Marsden, Carolyn and Philip Matzigkeit. Sahwira An African Friendship., Candlewick Press. Massachusetts. 2009. $15.99. 978-0-7636-3575-6. pgs. 189. middle school. P8/Q9
The book ends with an author’s note about the story being a fictional story based on the facts of life in Rhodesia in 1964. There is also a glossary that defines the African words that are used in the story and what they mean and what language the words are from. The author uses the life of many of his friends and their memories of living on Missions in Africa. The story is about Blessing – a Shona boy whose father is a pastor and twelve year old Evan a white American that lives at the Methodist mission in Southern Rhodesia. This story also talks about the civil rights movement that is going on in America at the same time. The story features words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his teachings. Evan ends up betraying the Africans and is in the middle of some fierce mob attacks. This story weaves history and relationships together in a compelling read.

Ostow, Micol. Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa., Razor Bill. Penguin Group. New York. 2006. $16.99. 1-59514-081-6. pgs. 200. high school. P8/Q8
“Learning to love your family is the same as learning to love yourself.” Emily has to learn this the hard way by staying the summer in Puerto Rico with her mother who is morning the loss of her mother. Emily is a Jewish girl from New York and her mother is Puerto Rican. The author is also half-Jewish and half-Puerto Rican and is able to tell a wonderful story of Emily discovering strengths she never knew she possessed. Emily had planned a wonderful trip with her friends but instead she ends up staying with her mother and helping her deal with her pain. Emily also learns a little about her Puerto Rican heritage and family. Lucy Emily’s cousin who she and her mother are living with totally ignores her but sometimes she takes her out dancing late at night. The book also has some words in Spanish so an ESOL student may enjoy reading this story.

Brashares, Ann. 3 Willows: the sisterhood grows., Delacorte Press. New York. 2009. $18.99. 978-0-385-7376-3. pgs. 318. middle school. P9/Q9
Ann is the bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants as well as several other books. Information can be found on annbrashares.net. The book starts with a quote about the willow tree “The root of the willow tree are remarkable for their strength and tenacious hold on life.” This story is about three girls and the summer of their growth. Polly (seeds) wants a more glamorous life, Jo (roots) is working and bonding with older girls and Ama (leaves) wants to study but is sent to a wilderness summer camp. The girls have planted three willow trees when they were younger and often met there to bond, but now they are growing apart and have forgotten the trees. This is a book about friendship and about the younger siblings to some of the girls from the Sisterhod of the Traveling Pants and sometimes refers to those characters. Some of the chapters have sections from the three different perspectives of the girls and has there name so it is easier for the reader to know who is talking. I wish the cover art was more appealing because this is a wonderful book but may be overlooked.

Tharp, Tim. The Spectacular Now., Alfred A. Knopt. New York. 2008. $16.99. 978-0-375-85179-7. pgs. 293. high school. P8/Q8
Tim has also written Knightsof the Hill Country. This is a story about the popular Sutter an eighteen-year-old who will graduate soon but spends most of his time high or drunk. Things start changing for Sutter as he takes a dare and ends up boosting the self-confidence of his classmate Aimee who isn’t popular. Sutter has to come to terms with his father and his cheating and why his parents got divorced. Aimee helps him become someone he can like and isn’t going to drink his life away. I think lots of teenagers can relate to this story about sex, alcohol, parties and learning to temper their negative effects.

Greenberg, David T. A Tugging String – a novel about growing up during the Civil Rights era., Dutton Children’s Books. New York. 2008.$17.99. 978-0-525-47967-3. pgs. 167. middle school P7/Q8
David has also written many other books for young readers Crocks, Skunks, Don’t Forget Your Etiquette: The Essential Guide to Misbehavior ect. This book features several pages of black and white photographs of Duvy with his father and other Civil Rights leaders. The book does have some words that may be sensitive to some people as it talks about the real horrible things of the south during the Civil Rights movement. The book is a work of fiction with names, characters, places and incidents that are products of the author’s imagination but resemble actual people and experiences. The authors father was a civil rights lawyer and his mother an English teacher. This is a story of Dorothy Milton who is fighting for the right to register to vote in the south and the hardships this cause during a time of civil rights problems. The author uses facts, memories and conjecture to tell the story of the Selma-Montgomery Voting Rights March. This is a great book to help young students learn history and take action against what they believe to be wrong.

Wittenberg, Allison. Hollywood & Maine., Delacorte Press. New York. 2009.$15.99. 978-0-385-73671-8. pgs. 166. middle school. P8/Q8
This story is set in Pennsylvania in 1976. Charmaine wants to be a model or actress but is dealing with a boyfriend and her uncle who has returned to the family. Her uncle owes her family $1000 for bail money he skipped out on the last time he was in town. Charmaine is sick of her Uncle E but her parents are glad he is back and her live in cousin Tracy John thinks he is wonderful as well. Charmaine learns that people can change and she has to give them a chance. In the end she had no fame or fortune but she did have family and friends. I’m sure there are students who can relate to living with relatives and making a family work together.

Boie, Kirsten translated by David Henry Wilson. The Princess Plot., Scholastic Inc. New York. 2008. $17.99. 978-0-545-03220-9. pgs. 377. middle and high school. P7/Q7
This book was published in Germany as Skogland. I would consider this book a mystery as fourteen- year –old Jenna is kidnapped and taken to “Scandia” to play the part of the princess. The cover art makes this book seem like it would be a dark tale because of the skull motif but it is far from that. Jenna learns many secrets and ends up to actually be a royal as the princesses cousin. It is a fanciful and interesting tale but takes a little to get into as it is confusing with the fictational places and kingdoms. Of course the story ends happily ever after and would not be a good fairy tale if it didn’t.

Sitomer, Alan Lawrence. The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez., Jump at the Sun Hyperion. New York. 2008. $17.99. 978-142311072-9. pgs. 312. high school. P8/Q8
Alan is also the author of Homeboyz, Hip-Hop High School and The Hoopster. This is a story of Sonia who is born in California and has plans to be the first to graduate from high school and go to college. Her parents are Mexican immigrants and her mother is pregnant again with twins. Her mother spends most of her time in bed watching TV and making Sonia cook and clean for the family. When Sonia wants to put her homework above her family her mother sends her to Mexico to live with her grandmother and cousin. She judges her cousin who is Maria has a baby and teaches Sonia to not judge others. Sonia has to deal with doing chores, homework, her “drunkle” – her Uncle who lives with them and drinks and wants to take advantage of Sonia. Sonia’s father finally listens and tells her Uncle to leave and never come back. He informs his wife to stop watching TV and take care of the house and children and Sonia is not her slave. She has faith and it pays off as her future starts to look up. I thinks many students can relate to the hardship of succeeding despite bad home environments. This book also has Spanish and English words to tell the story of Sonia.

Whitman, Emily. Radiant Darkness., Greenwillow Books. New York. 2009. $ 16.99. 978-0-06-172449-7. pgs. 274. high school. P7/Q8
This is a work of fiction with references to Greek Myths so it could be a great tool for teachers who are teaching these myths to their students. Persephone runs off the underworld with Hades, whom she has fallen in love with. Demeter her mother threatens to destroy earth to save her daughter. Persephone ate a pomegranate before she left Hades and figures out a way to go back and forth yearly from the underworld to earth to visit her mother and help her with springtime. This story is about love, figuring out ones talents and understanding parents and the way they show love. This is a great and interesting way to introduce students to the values of myths.

Mortenson, Greg and David Oliver Relin Adapted by Sarah Thomson. Three Cups of Tea- One Man’s Journey to Change the World… One Child at a Time – The Young Reader’s Edition., Dial Books for Young Readers. New York. 2009. $16.99. 978-0-8037-3392-3. pgs. 209. middle –high school. P8/Q9
This book starts with The Promise that Greg Mortenson gave to the village that saved him after he got lost on his climb of the mountain K2 in Pakistan. The book features maps, color photographs, question and answers from Greg’s oldest child Amira and how it is to have a famous father. There is a time line from 1974-2009 showing how Greg has help thousands of children in Pakistan and Afghanistan get an education by building schools. The Glossary helps to define the many different languages and people that are apart of this true story and work of Greg and the Central Asia Institute that he co-founded. Teachers will enjoy and be able to use this book as part of their lessons with the Readers Guide that has discussion questions to make this book a better learning experience. It also highlights research and writing activities and a section that explains how students can help with Greg’s work threw the Pennies for Peace group. This is a book that not only tells of the hardships that many of the worlds children face but gives hope and a way to actually make a difference.

Cote, David. Principal photograpy by Dough Hamilson and Joan Marcus. Spring Awakening In the Flesh., Simon Spotlight Entertainment. New York. 2008. $40.00. 978-1-4165-8782-8. pgs. 177. high school P6/Q7
Nearly one hundred years after Wedekind’s death his daring play is adapted by Steven Sater. This is a high-concept rock musical that smashes pop-punk songs into Victorain iconography. This book has many pictures and red writing to call attention to special and important facts. This would be a book that students of the drama department might enjoy but I found it tedious as I wasn’t familiar with the play. The subject matter is also very mature and would be appropriate for older audiences. Teachers might use this as an instructional piece in the classroom.

First Thursdays Book Review Group Oct. 1, 2009 L.R. for Siletz Library Picture Books
Stadler, John. Wilson and Miss Lovely. Random House, Inc., 2009, unpgd. Ages 3-8. ISBN 9780375844782 $9.99. P9Q9
Wilson is a rabbit who loves his new teacher and can’t wait to go to school. He is so excited that he goes to school on a Saturday and carries on in spite of the lack of participation of other students and teachers. In fold out pages, a thriller takes shape. Something green and scaly is stalking the halls. In the end, everything is OK, as is the lovable little character Wilson. This story really has the kids on the edge of their seats and I am betting that they will want to read it more than once. The heavy pages and quality stitched binding make the price very attractive. This would be a great buy for a library or a gift.

Gerstein, Mordicai. Minifred Goes to School! HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2009, unpdg. Ages 3-8. ISBN 9780069758899 $17.99 P7Q7
Minifred is another animal in school, except that she attends a school for human children and is treated like a human. In a convoluted story that doesn’t make any sense, the cat causes havoc, but can’t be made to follow the rules, because in tiny print in “The Big Rule Book,” all students must follow the rules except kittens. The illustrations are charming, although tiny and detailed, making it not a good candidate for story time.

Perez, Monica. Margret & H.A. Rey’s Curious George Plants a Tree. Il. Anna Grossnickle Hines. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009, unpgd. Ages 3-8. ISBN 9780547150871 $12.95 P8 Q7
George gets into recycling and starts collecting the evening newspapers on people’s walks, the magazines a magazine seller is displaying, etc. He inadvertently leads some angry people to a tree planting event in the park, where everyone pitches in. This book will certainly fit into a “green theme” at the school or library, but the story seems to lack some punch. Everyone likes Curious George, but maybe this is one too many!

Gantos, Jack. The Nine Lives of Rotten Ralph. Il. Nicole Rubel. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009, unpgd. Ages 5-8. ISBN 9780618800469 $16.00 P8Q8
Some parents disapprove of Rotten Ralph, but would have to admit that Jack Gantos captures the essence of “cat” in his series of books. This time, the vet has diagnosed Rotten Ralph as having just lost his 8th life, and he better shape up! So Sarah does everything she can to protect him, from dressing him in baby clothes and feeding him vitamins to tasting his mice for him! But of course, just like a real cat, he manages to jump out the window and go on his jolly way. The illustrations are even more entertaining than the story and you can’t help but love Rotten Ralph, even with all of his character flaws. Lighten up, parents, and have fun with this!

Gibbons, Gail. Hurricanes. Holiday House, 2009, 32 pgs. Ages 7-11. ISBN9780823422333 $17.95 P9Q
Some of Gale Gibbon’s books can be read to very young children, perhaps by leaving out some of the detail. But this is a little more complicated subject and probably should be saved for the older children. The book explains how hurricanes are formed and describes what constitutes a category one through category five hurricane. It also chronicles the most devastating hurricanes throughout history. The illustrations clearly show the damage these storms can do and show people saving pets, but don’t show anything gruesome. It also tells how people are notified of impending storms and what to do. This is probably not a good candidate for a story time book or lapsitting, but definitely for reading with older kids. A good purchase for a library.
Easy Reading Books

Cole, Joanna. Hungry, Hungry Sharks! Il. Patricia Wynne. Random House, 1986, 47 pgs. Ages 6-9. ISBN0394874714 $3.99 P8Q8
This series of books, called “Step into Reading” would make great gifts for beginning readers or additions to a library, at a really reasonable price. There is a number on the cover of the book, and on the first page is an explanation for the parent of what kind of reader each number is appropriate for. On the inside cover is a place for the child to personalize the book with a name, list of favorite books and a picture of the reader. This little detail should work to make the reader proud of his/her achievement. The facts about the types of sharks, what they eat and how they live are great and I like that it tells the reader that sharks can eat people, but do not go hunting for them, and more people die of bee stings than shark bites. Hopefully, no nightmares from this book!

Penner, Lucille Recht. Snakes! Il. Peter Barrett. Random House, 1994, 48 pgs. Ages 6-9/ ISBN 0679847774 $3.99 P8Q8
Sharks and snakes make very popular reading material for kids, and they will like this “Step into Reading” book almost as much as the shark book! The inside illustrations are very realistic and well done. This is a good series for young readers.

Teen Books
Frank, Lucy. The Homeschool Liberation League. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2009, 279 pgs. Ages 13-16. ISBN 9780803732308 $16.99. P6Q5
Fiction about home schooling teens doesn’t seem to be abundant, so this book grabbed my attention. This book might just fly off the shelves with that population! But, unfortunately, the story just isn’t that engaging. The plot involves a girl who goes to a nature camp over the summer and finds that when it is time to go back to her old school, she just can’t do it. She walks back out on the first day and spends the day hiding from her parents and writing up a home school plan. But it isn’t a very good plan, and her parents are understandably reluctant. The parents try home schooling, get discouraged, try some ideas and on and on. That part of the plot is at least realistic, but not very interesting. There are much more interesting books out there to push with home schooled kids.

Albert, Lisa Rondinelli. Stephenie Meyer: Author of the Twilight Saga. Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2009, 112 pgs. Ages 12-17. ISBN 9780766035843 $23.95. P7 Q5
Having a biography about “Authors Teens Love” is a great concept and this book might be fairly popular among fan readers. However, the fact that it is unauthorized limits the contents. The author gets much of her information and photos from articles on the internet, transcripts of TV talk shows, and book talks Meyer has given. The author tries hard for additional information—even explaining what a National Merit Scholarship is, according to the official website. Many of the photos are from the movie based on Meyer’s first book and even one photo from an “X-Men” movie, which seems to have little to do with the author and her books. The author does some mild surmising about the author’s life, but basically, it seems to be pretty factual. It might be worth the purchase just to get teens to read something nonfiction, and maybe even be encouraged to write, if that is what they are interested in.

Cabot, Meg. Being Nikki: An Airhead Novel. Scholastic, Inc. 2009, 336 pgs. Ages 13-17. ISBN9780545040563 $16.99. P7Q6
The title announces exactly what this book is, but as airhead novels go, it isn’t bad. It is a little bit science fiction (the main character has had her brain transplanted into the body of a supermodel), mystery (and she has to figure out why the evil corporation has done this to her), and teen fiction (plenty of boy problems!). It actually has enough adventure to keep the reader interested, and although it is part of a trilogy, it explains enough that one doesn’t have to have read the first book to get the gist of the story.

Watson, Jude. The 39 Clues: Book Four. Scholastic, Inc. 2009, 190 pgs. Ages 11-16. ISBN 9780545060448 $12.99 P8Q7
Interactive adventure books seem to be all the rage right now, and this series by different authors is on the bestseller list. Not only is it an book about two young siblings searching for thirty-nine clues to the secret of immense power, but each book includes a packet of clue cards, (which, of course, in a library book will disappear rapidly!) and there is a website where the reader can search for clues and actually win cash prizes. Perhaps this is part of the popularity of the books, because the plot itself is actually a bit hard to follow, especially if you haven’t read the previous books in the series. In the fourth book, the main characters are not very well developed. The ancillary characters are much more interesting, and at times, humorous.

October 2009 Book Reviews Newport High School Student Reviewers
Kantor, Melissa. Girlfriend Material. Hyperion Books, New York, 2009. $15.99 ISBN:9781423108498 251p. Gr. 9-12
Kate’s parents are having another dramatic crisis. Kathe’s mom drags her from their home in Salt Lake City to Cape Cod for some “thinking” time while they vacation with her mom’s friend. Missing out on a writing class and her tennis league is enough of a bummer, but Kate also has no social life in Cape Cod. Naïve to their ways, Kate struggles (the book is told from her point of view) to make friends and perhaps even find a boyfriend, all the while learning who she really is, what she believes, and how to love her family. I had mixed feelings about this book; the characters were mostly believable and likeable but sometimes Kate’s thoughts overpower the action in the story. The author may have just been trying too hard to show her as reflective and observant. Sometimes bland, this book moves too slow and has unrealistic dialogue at certain points. Review by KTJ, Grade 11

Burnham, Niki. Goddess Games. Simon Pulse, New York, 2007. $8.99 ISBN:9781416927723 244p. Gr.9-12
Seneca, Drew, and Claire all have a different perspective on life. Seneca is the daughter of a movie star struggling to help her man find a new show. Drew is the star athlete whose dad just died. Claire is the go hard party animal that is trying to find peace with God. All three different lives, different stories, but one job and one summer that will change their lives. I liked this book; it looked into three different girls and told each story wonderfully well. Their lives are so realistic that many girls will be able to relate to them. Review by AC, Grade 11

Challas, Challas. Because I am Furniture. Viking, New York, 2008. $16.99 ISBN: 978067006280 352p. Gr.9-12
Because I am Furniture is about a young girl starting high school with a new understanding of what really happens in her family. Finding out that your once kind father beats your mother, brother, and sister is not easy, especially when you are left to only watch. Told through poems and expressed by strong emotions, this book is heartbreaking. I liked how this book was formatted, and the content of the book is really strong. Review by AC, Grade 11

Jones, Carrie. Need. Bloomsbury, New York, 2009. $16.99 ISBN:9781599903385 306p. Gr. 9-12 After Zara’s stepdad died, bizarre things started to happen. A creepy man is stalking her, his calling card is gold glitter. Now in Maine with her grandma, Zara starts feeling like her old self. Making friends, staying out of the cold, and saving the world one letter at a time. The only problem is who is going to save her when she needs saving? This book is really good, but it reminds me too much of Twilight. Review by AC, Grade 11

Book Review November 2009 – C.B. NIS
Abbott, Ellen, Watersmeet, Marshall Cavendish, Tarrytown, NY., 2009, 341 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0761455361, Gr. 7, P 8, Q 8,
Abisina, a 13-year-old girl, lives in small village, Vranille, with her mother who is a healer. In this society Abisina is also an outcast as her father is unknown and her skin and hair are both dark. These are things that go against the villages belief in Vran, a man who led them across the mountains and is now seen as a God. The village is in war against the beings that the village sees as unclean, the dwarf’s, the fairies, and the centaurs. Abisina escapes capture and death by the villagers who have been thrown into turmoil by the evil Charach, who is out to destroy the world. Abisina herself must
overcome her prejudices towards those beings out side her village gates if she is to survive, meet her father and save the world. This fantasy adventure will appeal to older students in middle and high school.

Cooney, Caroline, If the witness lied, Delacorte Press, New York, 2009, 213 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0385734484, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
Jack Fountain is now living with his brother, Tris a three year old and his aunt who helps to take care of the family. Tris the baby is directly involved in both of his parents deaths. The mom who had Cancer, she chose not to take treaments while carrying Tris, and the father from a car accident, because Tris released the parking break. His two sisters have left the house Smithy to a boarding school and Madison to the parents of the children she has cared for. Jack discovers that Aunt Cheryl is meeting with a T.V. producer who wants to feature their family in a reality show. The four siblings must come together while overcoming their own fears to protect the family from Aunt Cheryl and the reality show. This is a book that will appeal to students in 5th grade and higher.

DiCamillo, Kate, The magician’s elephant, illustrated Yoko Tanaka, Candlewick Press, 2009, 201 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0763644102, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 9,
Peter Augustus Duchene is ten-years-old, both of his parents are dead and he lives with an aging soldier, Vilna Lutz who is his guardian. Peter’s life is dark and dismissal he trains every day with Vilna so he be a good soldier like his father. Every day he goes to the market to buy the oldest bread and smallest fish so that they can have supper. One day he chooses to use the money at a fair to have his fortune told. With this choice his life is changed forever. The fortune teller tells him to follow the elephant and that night in the Bliffenendorf Opera House a elephant falls through the ceiling after a magician calls him forth in spell he is casting. Teeming in magic but a tale that is also strong in love and mystery this book will appeal to all ages as Peter follows the elephant to his long lost sister. The illustrations, in black and white, by Yoko Tanaka, make this dark story, and characters come to life leaving you with a feeling of warmth as the siblings are reunited.

Haddix, Margaret, Sent, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2009, 308 pgs., $15.99 ISBN:1416954228, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
Jonah Skidmore is a 13 year-old boy who was adopted along with 36 other children who mysteriously appeared one night in a jet plane. Now he and the others are being gathered so that they can be replaced from the times in the past that they were taken from. In this the book the sequel to “Found” Jonah and his sister, Katherine, fall through time after Chip and Alex who have been sent back time to the year 1483. Set in England Chip and Alex are really King Edward and Prince Richard and their Uncle they discover has imprisoned them in the Tower of London. Jonah and Katherine must help Chip and Alex to set time right and then return with them to the future. This book will appeal to those in upper elementary and above.

Halpern, Jake, and Kujawinski, Peter, Dormia, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, Massachusetts, 2009, 506 pgs., $17.00, ISBN:0547076657, Gr. 7+, P, Q,
Alfonso Perplexon is a normal 13 year-old boy who lives in World’s End, Minnesota with his widowed mother and grandfather. That is until he starts doing things that are in his sleep and his world starts to change. Alfonso soon discovers that he is a dissented from the sleepers of the ancient city of Dormia, which is located in the Ural Mountains. Alfonso with his Uncle Hill must return to Dormia with the Founding Tree which will save Domia and its inhabitants from freezing. The plot is one that will attract middle school and high school student as the plot thickens and twists with every chapter.

Park, Barbara, Junie B.’s essential survival guide to school, Random House, New York, 2009, unp., $12.99, ISBN:0375838112, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 7,
The school I once worked in has been changed from a middle school to one that now houses 4th grade through 8th grade. The younger students are clamoring for Junie B Jones books. Much to my surprise I found one and was able to finally read all about Junie B and the obstacle’s that she felt that she knew about and what was needed to survive school. This mischievous and adventurous young girl is a wonder and one that I can see that appeals to younger girls. This book will be one that will be snapped up as soon it is out on the shelves.

Paulsen, Gary, Notes from the dog, Wendy Lamb Books, 2009, 132 pgs., $15.99, ISBN:0385738455, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
Fifteen-year-old Finn has always had trouble talking to people and has only one friend Matthew. His father is busy morning his mother who passed away years before and working. Finn knows he needs a job and that it needs to be one away from people as he has so much trouble dealing with them. So when beautiful Johanna moves in next door Finn is immediately drawn to her. Ten years older than Finn, Johanna, who is suffering from breast cancer, hires Finn to create a garden for her. Finn’s garden is a comedy of errors but one that helps him to learn how to deal and talk with people. Finn’s dog Dylan is used as a note carrier between Finn and Johanna. This is a book that made me cry and laugh and is sure to appeal to Gary Paulsen followers.

Petersen, P. J., Wild river, Delcorte Press, New York, 2009, 120 pgs., $14.99, ISBN:0385737246, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
At the age of twelve Ryan has found his niche in life that of one who loves video and computer games. His older brother Tanner is a athlete who excels at all the sports he has ever played. Tanner is also well liked and thought by his family and friends. Ryan has always stood in his brother shadow until the day he comes to Tanner’s rescue. Kayaking down Boulder River and staying over night is something Tanner thought up to get Ryan out of the house. He never dreamed that the he would be injured and that it would be Ryan who had to save him. It also the lessons that Ryan learned through his games that helps him to rescue Tanner. This is a novel that will appeal to those who love adventure and also those who like to see the underdog win.

Phelan, Matt, The storm in the barn, illustrated by Matt Phelan, Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts, 2009, 201 pgs., $24.99, ISBN:0763636185, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 9,
Jack Clark is an eleven-year-old boy who lives in Kansas on a farm with his family in 1937. A drought has hit Kansas and his family almost leaves because of all the dust that is wind blowing. Dust storms hit the area and the sky is black with the earth that the wind is carrying away. Jack’s younger sister is ill as a result of breathing this polluted air. It is the illustrations however that make this story come alive. Black and white drawings show the desperation of the people and the effect that the dust storms have on their lives. This is a book that should be placed in all school and public libraries.

Rinaldi, Ann, My Vicksburg, Harcourt Houghton Mifflin, Boston, Massachusetts, 2009, 154 pgs, $16.00, ISBN:0152066241, Gr. 5+, P 7, Q 8,
If you are a fan of historical fiction this is the book for you. Set in Vicksburg in 1863 a a southern family has taken to the caves to escape the Union bombardment of their city. Claire Louise Corbett is 13 years-old the year that her brother, Robert, becomes a doctor in the Union Army. Her well to do family has a hard time excepting the fact that he chose the Union over the Confederate Army, but to Claire he is still her beloved brother. It is by chance that Claire finds her brother during a lull in the bombardment and brings him back to the family’s cave. Robert has rescued a young Confederate soldier and ask his family to tend to him. The young soldier carries a secret and Claire must decide to help him escape or to let Robert turn him to the Confederate Army.

Slayton, Fran, When the whistle blows, Philomel Books, New York, 2009, 162 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0399251898, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 10,
What a superb book which offers a unique plot of looking at one family from 1943 to 1949 and set on the same day each year, Halloween. The story is set in a remote town of Rowlesburg, West Virginia where Jimmy dreams of the day that he can become a railroad man like his father. His father is determined that Jimmy won’t become a railroad man he will instead stay in school and make something of himself. Jimmy has always seen his father as a remote and unemotional man who he can’t talk to. That is until the day his Uncle Dick dies and on All Hollow’s Eve the society, a secret organization, holds a wake for Uncle Dick and he sees his father cry. This books a offers the reader a journey through Jimmy’s life that will appeal to any who reads it. I loved it. It made me laugh, cry and finally celebrate Jimmy and his family life.

Vernon, Ursula, Dragonbreath, Dial Books, New York, 2009, 140 pgs., $12.99, ISBN:0803733631, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 7,
Written in comic book, graphic novel, style the adventures of Dragonbreath and Wendell under the sea are told. Dragonbreath visits his cousin a sea serpent after he receives a “F” on his sea report. Dragbreath is also worried that he will never gain the ability to breath fire. It is the report and his adventures under the sea though that he finally gains some success in fire breathing.

Verrillo, Erica, World’s end, Random House, New York, 2009, 322 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:037583950X, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
This the third book in the Phoenix Rising trilogy and where the answers to this fantasy adventures are finally answered. I loved this series and enjoyed seeing Elissa grow into such a strong young woman. She was resourceful and independent enough that she stood up to her father, he was planning her marriage, to escape and take her destiny into her own hands. Those who loved the first two books will love this final one too.

Uehashi, Nahoko, translated by Cathy Hirano, Moribito II : guardian of the darkness, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, Arthur A. Levine Books, New York , 1999, 245 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:0545102952, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 9,
I loved the first book of this strong woman’s character Balsa and found this one to be even better. Balsa is now alone as her mentor died in the last book. She now makes her way home to reunite with her aunt and to discover the truth of why her father was killed. The secret that has been kept from the people in the valley and the twist and turns of the plot will keep all the readers on the edge of their seat at read this rousing adventure. If you like the first book you will love the second. I look forward to the Balsa’s further adventures.

Yohalem, Eve, Escape under the forever sky, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2009, 218 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:081186653X, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
Set in Addis Ababa the capital of Ethiopia Lucy, 13-years-old, is the American ambassador’s daughter and has a very confining life. She dreams of returning to America and a much freer life. Her in Ethiopia is severely restricted as she in danger of being kidnapped. The one day she defies her mother she is kidnapped and must escape in to the wild bush of Ethiopia. Her wish for adventure finally comes true as the kidnappers follow her through the bush. This adventure story will appeal to older elementary students.

Bial, Raymond, Ellis Island : coming to the land of liberty, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Boston, Massachusetts, 2009, 56 pgs., $18.00, ISBN:0618999434, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 9,
Waves of immigrants flowed through Ellis Island. This book is one that shows the despair as well as the joy of reaching America. This book is full photographs and actual
articles that were left behind by the immigrants. Ellis Island went through many changes: a fire destroyed the building, a school and hospital were built. The history of the Island and previous locations for debarkation were all included in the book. This is a must for all public and school libraries.

Chaiken, Andrew,and Kohl, Victoria, Mission control, this Apollo: The story of the first voyages to the moon, illustrations by Alan Bean, Viking, New York, 2009, 114 pgs., index, $23.99, ISBN:0670011568, Gr. 5+, P 9, Q 10,
I remember sitting in front of a black and white T.V. in Jackson, Wyoming and seeing the Neal Armstrong step foot on the moon. This historical occurrence came in as a grainy image hard to see but still one that conveyed so much of this historical event. Reading this book brought that time back again but in more detail. The space race was on again and as you turn the pages you are able to see what it took to get man into space. The illustrations which are actual oil paintings by astronaut Alan Bean are beyond believable. Painted from memory Bean’s rendition of space and his time on the moon make you feel like you are there. This is another book that needs to be on the shelves of both public and school libraries.

Harley, Avis, African Acrostics: a word in edgeways, photographs by Deborah Noyles, Candlewick Press, 2009, $17.99, unp., ISBN:0763636215, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 10,
Every year in school I had to come up with words that would describe my last name Chambers. It always seemed to be such a struggle to find words that would describe myself. Now in the pages of this book not only did I find new ways to write an acrostics but finally realized that it was fun and enjoyable too. I sure wish it would have been available back in grade school. Who would have thought to write a double acrostics or one that went in different directions. This book would be a great addition to any library.

Low, Alice, The fastest game on two feet and other poems about how sports begin, illustrated by John O’Brien, Holiday House, New York, 2009, 40 pgs., ISBN:0823419053, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
Every sport that I could think of was represented in this book. There is not only a poem about it but also the history of the sport is included too. Little known facts are incorporated in the history such as: the king of France declared that Tennis was gambling and it could no longer be played. The cartoon style illustrations will draw the reader in as you see football and basketball players run to score some points. A fun book that sports enthusiasts and poetry lovers will enjoy.

Mack, Stan and Champlin,m Susan, Road to Revolution!, Bloomsbury, New York, 2009, 121 pgs., $10.99, ISBN:1599903717, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 8,
The format of this book, graphic novel, makes the study of history fun. The first page captured my attention as Penny, becomes a spy and works to foil the British. It’s 1775 in Boston and turmoil is boiling against England’s suppression of the colonies. It is up to Nick, a orphan of Boston, and Penny to deliver information to the rebels so that the British can be defeated. Any student would love this book.

Scherer, Glenn and Fletcher, Marty, Who Earth is Aldo Leopold? father of wildlife ecology, Enslow Publishers, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, 112 pgs., index, $31.93, ISBN:1598451154, Gr. 4+, P 7, Q 8,
Aldo Leopold as a young man collected things from the forest and dreamed of working in the there as an adult. His dream came true as he later worked for the U.S. Forestry Service. It was because of the things that Leopold learned on the job that we know have conservation practices in place that are followed in national parks, national forests and national reserves. It was this man who has insured these areas for future generations. While the book will not sail off the shelves this book is an easy to read and the story of Leopold’s life is one that will capture the reader’s attention.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Summer 2009 Reviews by N.W.
Baas, Hester. The Secret World of Walter Anderson. Il. E.B. Lewis. Candlewick, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-7636-3583-1. unp. Ages 6-10: Lush watercolors and lyrical narrative highlight the life of a relatively unknown artist of the middle twentieth century. Living a rural life along the Mississippi Gulf, Anderson pedaled his rickety bicycle in rumpled clothes and rowed across twelve miles of open water in a leaky skiff to reach an uninhabited island. There he sketched and painted the natural surroundings and animals that became his friends. He made his living painting pottery and murals and block prints, but he kept his true art secret until his death. An extensive author’s note adds to the information. P7Q9

Bogacki, Tomek. The Champion of Children: The Story of Janusz Korczak. Frances Foster/Farrar, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-374-34136-7. unp. Ages 7-10:
Imagine an orphanage in which the children elected a parliament, ran a court, and put out a weekly newspaper. This is what Jausz Korczak, born Henryk Goldszmit in 1878, created in 1912. With acrylic illustrations and plain, poignant prose, Bogacki tells the story of this remarkable man who continued his orphanage until he was forced into the Warsaw Ghetto after Germany invaded Poland and then sent to be killed with his children in the Treblinka extermination camp in 1942. Korczak’s books are still in print, and the theories of this courageous reformer strongly influenced the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, created in 1989. A powerful book about bravery in peace and war. P7Q9

Brown, Don. Teedie: The Story of Young Teddy Roosevelt. Houghton, 2009. $16.00. 978-0-618-17999-2. unp. Ages 4-8:
No one can predict what child will become the president of the United States, but frail, asthmatic nearsighted Theodore Roosevelt was a most unlikely possibility. With humorous pen and ink drawings colored by watercolors, Brown shows the puckish attitude of “Teedie” as he develops both his mind and body through gym exercise, rowing, horseback riding, and boxing. Many young readers will appreciate the way that Roosevelt was able to overcome his disabilities and fight bullies. The text, some of it from his writings, shows him from a child and young man searching for a direction to the adult who left an amazing legacy for all of us—the Grand Canyon, the Panama Canal, the Nobel Peace Prize, and much more. His aim throughout life was guided by this statement: “[America] will not be a good place for any of us to live in if it is not a reasonably good place for all of us to live in.” P7Q9

Cooper, Michael. Theodore Roosevelt: A Twentieth-Century Life. [Up Close Series]. Viking, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-670-01134-6. 208p. Ages 10-14:
If you have only one biography of the 26th president of the United States, this is the one. Easily read, interesting, and thorough in a few pages, this review of his life covers both his advantages and drawbacks as he refuses to be held back by either tradition or common sense. His experiences from a weak asthmatic to vigorous outdoorsman and the funny direct quotes will involve the person reading it either for an assignment or a personal interest. One of the best in this series. P7Q8

Davies, Nicola. Just the Right Size: Why Big Animals Are Big and Little Animals are Little. Il. Neal Layton. Candlewick, 2009. $14.99. 978-0-7636-3924-2. 61p. Ages 8-12:
Why can’t people crawl across the ceiling like flies? Or lift ten to 50 times our weight like ants? Or fly like birds? The carefully crafted and clear explanations in this book and the funny illustrations from the team that brought us Poop describe the law of physics (without mentioning the word!) and the reasons behind our abilities—or lack of them. But be comforted. We don’t have to worry about drowning when we take a drink or freezing when we venture outside. An informational book on a very high level with a great deal of joy. P8Q9

Dubosarsky, Ursula. The Word Snoop. Il. Tohby Riddle. Dial, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-8037-3406-7. 246p. Ages 10-16:
From Iraqi cuneiforms in 4000 BC to present day texting, this book covers the magic twists of language in alphabet, punctuation, letter and word arrangements, and terminology for all sorts of word usage including Tom Swifties. But that’s not all. There are playful black-and-white illustrations, riddles to solve, and codes to break, amidst non-stopping humor and trivia. A necessary book for all libraries, The Word Snoop is definitive proof that words can spark the imagination and are anything but dull. P7Q9

Laroche, Giles. What’s Inside? Fascinating Structures around the World. Houghton, 2009. $17.00. 978-0-618-86247-4. unp. Ages 8-11:
Fourteen extraordinary structures from past to present, half of them located in the United States, are highlighted in this large picture book. Each one from King Tut’s tomb to the home of two children are shown first from the outside and then the inside. Illustrations are Laroche’s intricate bas-relief cut-paper collages, sometimes seven or eight layers. Young readers will enjoy pouring over the detailed illustrations—people in the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, sea creatures in the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, paintings in the Guggenheim Museum, and on and on. Side bars provide additional information about the structures’ building. P9Q9

Mah, Adeline Yen. China: Land of Dragons and Emperors. Delacorte, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-385-73748-7. 240p. Ages 11-15:
For the past five millennia China’s history has included amazing inventions, architecture, and changes through the intrigue and violence of succeeding dynasties until the Qing Dynasty was overthrown in 1911. Mah has a lively writing style, and some young readers will be drawn to the incessant killings and torture throughout the book. Yet the errors detract from this history, for example confusing the hemp and marijuana plants and using an unsubstantiated rumor to explain the cause of the Boxer Rebellion. Another concern is the rosy look at China’s history for the past two decades which overlooks any protests against government restriction. The British spellings (the book is an Australian reprint) may also detract from easy reading. P3Q3

Marrin, Albert. Years of Dust: The Story of the Dust Bowl. Dutton, 2009. $22.99. 987-0-525-42077-4. 128p. Ages 9-12:
The decade of the Great Depression long remains in American memories partly because of the devastation in the plains area of the United States that sent impoverished farmers across the nation as refugees to find work and food. This book concentrates not on the politics that destroyed many families—although this is addressed—but on the causes that led to the destruction of the land. With rich photographs and posters illustrating the engrossing text, Marrin begins with a description of the land and the history of the nineteenth century while people laid waste to the rich natural resources. He also addresses other greed that lowered prices so much for farmers that they could not afford to stay on their land. Much more than history, however, the book shows the global mistakes resulting in desertification, the process of turning rich land into deserts and allowing the wind to blow away the dust. This book should be required reading for all youth and adults. P6Q10

McGinty, Alice B. Darwin: With Glimpses into His Private Journal & Letters. Il. Mary Azarian. Houghton, 2009. $18.00. 978-0-618-99531-8. unp. Ages 8-11:
People in the United States are still opposed to Darwin’s theory of evolution, published 150 years ago. In this picture book, McGinty shows how the religious man came to learn the truth as he explored the world for five years and recorded what he saw, an experience that resulted in his belief in the survival of the fittest. The two-page spreads include colored woodcuts, narrative, and quotations from Darwin’s writings. The narrative follows his life from his early childhood interest in collecting to his death in 1882. A most thoughtful book for all. P7Q9

Ruelle, Karen Gray and Deborah Durland DeSaix. The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews during the Holocaust. Holiday House, 2009. $17.95. 978-0-8234-2159-6. 40p. Ages 7-10:
When Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps during the Nazi occupation of Paris from 1940 through 1944, the Kabyles and other people in the Islamic community provided a temporary hiding place for American pilots and parachutists, Jews, and escaped prisoners of war behind high walls in the center of the city. Somber oil paintings complement the tragic story of persecution, terror, and bravery. Although the authors have been unable to locate anyone who participated in this rescue, they had access to a 1990 documentary, Une Resistance Oubliee: La Mosquee. The creators of this book are to be commended for providing young people with this history of people from different religions collaborating to save humanity. An educator’s guide is available at http://holidayhouse.com/docs/TheGrandMosque EdGuideFINALWeb.pdf P7Q9

St. George, Judith. The Duel: The Parallel Lives of Alexander Hamilton & Aaron Burr. Viking, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-670=01124-7. 97p. Ages 8-12:
Both Hamilton and Burr were orphaned at an early age, both were brilliant students and studied law, both were war heroes after serving under George Washington, and both went into politics, influencing the development of the United States government. Yet jealousy and corruption led to a deadly duel, leaving Burr an outcast for the rest of his life. This accessible biography, which also provides an excellent background of the fledgling nation, reveals much of the political intrigue and lack of personal integrity that the men displayed. Reading this will show that the recent government activities have a heritage of more than two centuries. P5Q8

Sandler, Martin W. The Dust Bowl through the Lens: How Photography Revealed and Helped Remedy a National Disaster. Walker, 2009. $19.99. 978-0-8027-8647-2. 96p. Ages 10-14:
A variety of photos from the U.S. plains area during the 1930s show the deplorable conditions during that period of time. Unfortunately, the layout is busy, and the background colors detract from the impact of the images. The writing is sometimes disorganized in its attempt to arrange information in a thematic manner. Albert Marrin’s Years of Dust gives a far greater in-depth historical analysis, and he shows more understanding of the photographs from that period. If you can afford it, buy both books. P6Q6

Sturm, James, Andrew Arnold, and Alexis Frederick-Frost. Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles into Comics! First Second Books/Roaring Brook, 2009. $12.95. 978-1-59643-369-4. 110p. Ages 6-10:
A cross between a punny cartoon and a how-to book, this blends the adventure of an impatient knight, a cowardly horse, and a magical elf hunting down a gum-chewing dragon with instruction in the characteristics of comics—panels, balloons, lettering, and rudimentary drawing. A delight in reading and writing. P9Q8

Waring, Geoff. Oscar and the Bird: A Book about Electricity. Candlewick, 2009. $14.99. 978-0-7363-4032-3. 29p. Ages 4-8:
Oscar, the kitten, is always finding different creatures to help him understand science. This time Bird gives him the answers when he finds a tractor in a field and accidentally turns on the windshield wipers. His discoveries include how electricity is made and stored, which machines need electricity to work — and why we always need to be careful around wires, batteries, plugs, and sockets. As in the other books of this series, digital illustrations are simple, bold, and colorful, and the information is clear. The index is a bonus for young
learners. Waring’s other new book is Oscar and the Snail: A Book about Things We Use (978-0-7363-4039-2).

Emberley, Rebecca. There Was an Old Monster! Il. Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley. Music by Rebecca Emberley and Adrian Emberley. Orchard, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-545-10145-X. unp. Ages 3-6:
This new version of the old lady who swallowed a fly has the monster swallowing a tick and then ants, a bear, a jackal, a bat, and on and on to cure the stomach ache from the tick. Although the poetry fails to scan in places, young listeners will shriek with laughter at the silliness such as ants in the monster’s pants and pour over the boldly-colored detailed cut-outs of all these creatures inside the monster. The illustrations are by award-winning Ed Emberley and his daughter Rebecca. The music by Rebecca and her daughter Adrian can by downloaded at http://www.scholastic.com/oldmonster.

Doodler, Todd H. THE ZOO i DREW. Random House, 2009. $14.99. 978-0-375-854-1-5. unp. Ages 3-5:
Cutouts of animals in and on a variety of colors, fat letters (all upper case except for i), and almost-rhyming, almost-scanning poems lead young readers through the alphabet beginning with alligator and ending, of course, with zebra. The author relies on humor in these rhymes, for example, the last two lines of “V is for vulture” is “I just don’t understand why/the vulture doesn’t wear a sig or toupee.” Advertising copy for Doodler states that this is his first book for children, but it fails to state that Todd Harris Goldman, who copyrighted this book, has written, presumably for adults, Boys Are Stupid, Throw Rocks at Them and Girls Are Weirdos But They Smell Pretty. The book is useful for the letters and animal cutouts. P7Q7

Halliday, Ayun. Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo. Il. Dan Santat. Hyperion, 2009. $15.99. 978-142311352-2. unp. Ages 4-8:
No matter what you call them—booty, haunches, fanny, backside, butt, buns, can, caboose, rear, glutes, keister, bums, and even heinie—young people are fascinated with the concept. This funny book takes a good look at the different shapes and sizes while expanding the young readers’ vocabulary and discussing the custom of people staying covering certain parts of their body. Although one little boy decided to strip after this emersion in terminology sometimes considered taboo. Santat’s bold retro illustrations are reminiscent of his earlier The Secret Life of Walter Kitty. P10Q8

Sierra, Judy. The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town. Il. Melissa Sweet. Knopf, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-375-84002-9. unp. Ages 3-7: Two award winners combine their skills in this joyful story about the 26 little letters of the alphabet in their nightly rituals of preparing for bed. In this delightful rhyming book from our Eugene resident, there’s lots of fun from wide awake a to snoring z. At the same time . Sweet’s animated watercolor, pencil, and collage illustrations also require lots of looking as little ones search for both big and little letters. A painless way to teach young children the ABCs. P9Q9

Picture Books
Bottner, Barbara. Miss Brooks Loves Books (And I Don’t). Il. Michael Emberley. Knopf, 2010. unp. Ages 4-8:
This book is for all those children (and adults) who have encountered a librarian convinced that the librarian can find a book that fits their tastes. But in this case, she does—after Missy has rejected a large number of books as “Too flowery, too furry, too clickety, too yippity.” With her messy hair and rumpled overalls, Missy is a delightful protagonist, and her nonstereotypical mother, an artist, demonstrates patience while not coddling Missy. The librarian may fit the new stereotype of a young, active, loud, vigorous woman that seems to be the trend of librarians noticed in professional publications. The book that hooked Missy? Shrek. Especially with her wart-covered costume and her noisy reading of the book to the class. P9Q9

Briant, Ed. If You Lived Here You’d Be Home By Now. Roaring Brook, 2009. $17.99. 978-1-59643-420-1. unp. Ages 3-8:
The value of a small piece of wilderness to children is the emphasis in this wordless tale about a boy who finds playful creatures—including one monsterish one formed from leaves—when he visits a nearby grove of trees. Despite the destruction of the area after it is replaced by a shopping mall, the man continues his dream of the leaf monster and passes the memory onto his son in a science fiction future. Simple cartoon-like illustrations bring the crispness of a fall day with brisk winds and a big pile of leaves alive, and the images of a father and son sharing a book and then camping together is a rarity in children’s literature. P9Q8

Carlson, Nancy. Start Saving, Henry! Viking, 2009. $15.99. 978-0-670-12247-6. unp. Ages 4-6: When Henry starts getting an allowance, he spends all of it every week on giant jawbreakers, a huge pencil, and other things that rapidly disappear. But then he has no money for something he really wants. Although saving money is sometimes hard—sort of two steps forward and one step back—he does have some success. An added delight to the candy-bright artwork is the visual record at the top of some pages to show how close Henry is to his goal, the Super Robot Dude. Henry has a history in some of Carlson’s other picture books about show and tell, kindergarten, first grade, reading, imagination, and valentines. The only questionable piece of this book is whether someone as young as Henry would really get $5 a week. P8Q8

Catusanu, Mirceau. The Strange Case of the Missing Sheep. Viking, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-670-01131-5. unp. Ages 3-6:
In a place called Happy Valley, ten sheep are counted into their beds every night by one Super Sheep Dog named Doug. But when the wolf lures the sheep into the Dark Forest, the mild-mannered dog goes to his closet and “in a flash changed into Super Dog!” Doug boldly seeks out the wolf to find that the villain just wants to count them so that he can go to sleep. Kooky and creative, the detailed orange and brown toned illustrations and the joyful narrative can provide hours of entertainment for young readers as they inspect all of the objects and try to count the sheep. A good bedtime read-aloud that results in education as well as giggling. P9Q9

Faller, Regis. Polo and Lily. Roaring Brook, 2009. $9.95. 978-1-59643—496-7. unp. Ages 4-8:
More books in this Polo series begin with Polo in his tree trunk home before he heads out on adventures. In this one, we see more of this home as Lily sails through his window and teases Polo before they share a dinner in the same place where Polo had eaten alone before. In Polo and the Magician (978-1-59643-497-4) a flood carries Polo, who sits on an easy chair on a turtle’s back, to an island circus where he becomes a world-class tiger-taming magician. During a sea voyage under snowy skies, Polo opens a magical door and finds a new fire-breathing friend in Polo and the Dragon (978-1-59643-498-1). In all these French imports, charming and simple artwork in bright reds, greens, and blues with sharp black lines makes these wordless books a visual delight, easy for young readers to follow the fanciful world of the dog-like creature. P8Q8

Harper, Jamie. Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill. Candlewick, 2009. $15.99. 978-0-7636-3597-8. unp. Ages 4-7:
Our intrepid flamingo teacher is back with her motley crew of students, this time to train them in the ways of escaping a fire at the school. The different responses from such diverse characters as Alligator, Koala, Narwhal, and others provide light-hearted instruction in both animal behavior and fire drill procedures. Another subtle lesson is how very different kinds of animals (and therefore maybe people?) can be friends. This is a must classrooms with the funny watercolors, delightful repartee, and useful information. P9Q9

Hogrogian, Nonny. Cool Cat. Roaring Brook, 2009. $17.99. 978-1-5999999643-429-5. unp. Ages 3-7:
With the help of brushes, paint, and friendly animals, Cool Cat changes his barren, brown world, littered with old cans and broken bottles, into a wondrous paradise. Two-time Caldecott winner Hogrogian starts this wordless book with Cool Cat lying down on bare dirt and finishes with the image of the cat curled up in greenery. With its positive message of transforming change one’s environment, whether emotional or physical, the book is one that will endure. P9Q9

Hopgood, Tim. Wow! Said the Owl: A Book about Colors. Farrar, 2009. $14.95. 978-0-374-38518-7. unp. Ages 3-6:
Hopgood’s owl doesn’t just see the blacks and browns of nighttime when she decides to stay up all day and enjoy the colors from pink dawn through yellow sunrise, green leaves, red butterflies, orange flowers, and gray rain to the glorious rainbow. The movement of the book makes for a bedtime read-aloud, and the owl is a charming catalyst for learning about the colors. The last page shows all the colors that can be found in the book and encourages readers to find them on the different pages. A delightful learning tool—far better than Dolly Parton’s I Am a Rainbow. P9Q8

Lechner, John. The Clever Stick. Candlewick, 2009. $14.99. 978-0-7636-4950-1. unp. Ages 3-7: Soft watercolors and simple text tell the tale of a stick that can do anything but speak. He finds his voice, however, when he looks at the trail he left in the sand and developed a way of communicating through images. Young readers will delight in the stick’s antics, including his ability to create an umbrella during a rainstorm. Early illustrations are largely in brown tones with the stick drawing in the sand, but the color changes to shades of green after he has “grown” his voice. A lovely book about finding oneself. P9Q9

Lester, Helen. Tacky Goes to Camp. Il. Lynn Munsinger. Houghton, 2009. $16.00. 978-0-618-98812-9. unp. Ages 4-8:
Tacky is back—as out of the mainstream penguin world as ever! This time he attends summer Camp Woopihaha in snowy Nice Icy Land with five other little penguins where Tacky is always out of step, whether in synchronized swimming or canoeing. But as always, Tacky saves the day, again accidentally, when a bear threatens the campsite and decides that Tacky, covered in smooshed sm’mores, is a bigger monster that he is. Well-paced and witty with colorful ink-and-wash artwork, this is a great addition to summer camp stories and the Tacky series. The bonus to the story is the lyrics to the official Camp Woophihaha song sung to the tune of “My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean.” P9Q8

Long, Loren. Otis. Philomel, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-399-25248-8. unp. Ages 4-7:
In the tradition of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and The Story of Ferdinand, Long creates a new hero, a friendly little tractor named Otis. The somber browns of farm life are highlighted by the reds of Otis and the fire engine and the yellow of the huge new tractor that comes to replace Otis. The message of the book is the power of friendship and perseverance. When Otis’s friend, the little calf, gets stuck in Mud Pond, the fear of everything around her causes her to sink in deeper and deeper. Only the little tractor can help the little calf to escape the muck. Long is the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of the re-creation of The Little Engine That Could. Otis is his second book. P10Q10

Lucas, David. Something to Do. Philomel, 2009. $14.99. 978-0-399-25247-1. unp. Ages 3-6:
In the style of Harold and the Purple Crayon, Lucas celebrates imagination through the simple broad line drawings and spare text. When Big Bear and Little Bear want to find something to do, they head out for a walk in the great white open—yet still, nothing. But when one of them picks up a stick, snaps it in half, and starts to draw a landscape, the only limit to what they can do is their imagination as they build a ladder to the moon, using it as platform to watch the sky complete with a shooting star. Lucas has created a great antidote to the common complaint that there’s “nothing to do.” P9Q9

Parton, Dolly. I Am a Rainbow. Il. Heather Sheffield. Putnam, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-399-24733-0. unp. Ages 3-6:
Parton uses the colors of the rainbow to describe feelings beginning with pink and ending with rosy, neither of which is a rainbow color. In her attempt to explain how to express feelings through color and respect the feelings of others, she does use red for anger, blue for sad, green for envy, and yellow for fear. The illustrations are strong, the message carries a didactic tone. The upbeat emotions are reserved for girls, whereas the boys suffer from negative feelings. And only one rainbow has the full complement of colors in correct order. This is another example of a famous person writing a book for children. P5Q3

O’Callahan, Jay. Raspberries! Il. Will Moses. Philomel, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-399-25181-8. unp. Ages 4-8:
Storyteller O’Callahan and folk artist Moses have created a tale that will rock the room with listeners cheering and yelling “Rassssssberrrrrrrieeeeees!” A baker famous for tasty treats, Simon loses his bakery when two “friends” steal his money and run away. Then he sells eggs, but his chickens burn up in the barn when lightening strikes it. All he has left are the dried raspberries from a mysterious young woman that he scatters to the wind. At first people don’t want his wares, but the tarts that he makes with the town baker are so magical that no one can resist them. The oral tradition of storytelling combined with the art style of Grandma Moses’ great-grandson makes this a genuine delight. And for a bonus there’s an audio CD of the author telling his tale. P8Q8

Peretz, I. L.; Kimmel, Eric A. (adapt.). Even Higher! A Rosh Hashanah Story. Il. Jill Weber. Holiday House, 2009. $16.95. 978-0-8234-2020-9. unp. Ages 4-7:
One of the celebrations of the Jewish New Year is to recite Psalm 24, which includes the line, “Who may climb the mountain of God, and who may stand in the place of His holiness?” This statement is explained as having a spiritual high and observing a sense of commitment. These are the beliefs that this tale demonstrates as, every year when the Rabbi disappears on Rosh Hashanah, the people believe that he goes to heaven. When a skeptic (referred to as a Litvak) decides to prove that this is not true and follows the rabbi, he discovers that the man disguises himself as Vasilly the woodcutter and takes a bundle of stove wood and kindling to an elderly woman. After he lights the fire for her, they dance, and the Litvak never again scoffed at miracles. The detailed folksy illustrations that include watercolor and wax crayons provide the perfect foil to the language patterns of the century-old story. This is a nice companion piece for Wayland’s New Year at the Pier to discuss the first Jewish holiday of the school year. P7Q9

Pinkney, Jerry. The Lion & the Mouse. Little, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-316-01356-7. unp. Ages 4-8:
The theme of friendship between two creatures, one large and the other small but both with large hearts, is the focus of Aesop’s fable. Richly colored covers in yellow and brown tones, one featuring the lion’s face and the other the mouse, indicate to the reader the wealth of illustration within, that begins with the endpapers. When Pinkney finished the story of the lion who releases a frightened mouse only to have it rescue him, he concluded that no words were needed to explain the story. Thus the only vocabulary within the book is the sound of squeaks, scratches, putts, grrr, screech, hoots, and an enormous roar. The setting in Africa’s Serengeti “with its wide horizon and abundant wildlife so awesome yet fragile—not unlike the two sides of each of the heroes,” as the artists explains in his note, allows a rich variety of African panoramas interspersed with the detailed closeups of the protagonists. P10Q10

Pulver, Robin. Never Say Boo! Il. Deb Lucke. Holiday House, 2009. $16.95. 978-0-8234-2110-7. unp. Ages 4-8:
When Gordon moves to a new school, he is miserable because all the other children and the teacher are afraid of him because he is the only ghost there. Even worse, the lesson of the day involves words that use the letters “boo.” Simple language and gouache illustrations show the double problems of being different and being afraid. Fortunately, Gordon saves the school and earns the children’s respect and trust. P7Q7

Radunsky, Vladimir. You? Harcourt, 2009. $16.00. 978-0-15-205177-8. unp. Ages 3-6:
What appears to be a child’s drawings on homemade oat paper provides the background for a succinct story about a little dog who wants to find an owner and a little girl who wants to find a dog. As they sit opposite each other, each tries to talk to potential friends, but none works out until everyone else disappears. Then the dog says, “Woof?” and the girl says, “You?” A most satisfying conclusion for two lonely souls. All the creatures in the book, human and otherwise, are filled with character rather than beauty, and the whimsy is extended through matches between owner and dog such as yellow plaid outfits and roller-blading activityl (Although one may wonder what happens when the little girl arrives home with her new dog!) P9Q9

Schroeder, Binette. Sir Lofty & Sir Tubb. NorthSouth, 2009. $17.95. 978-0-7358-2251-1. unp. Ages 4-7:
Relationships between close neighbors is highlighted in this story about two knights and their wives who are such good friends that they let the wall between their castle fall down and frequently visit each other, “exchanging recipes and little presents.” This closeness ends, however, when each one claims a lovely flower that blooms between them, bending toward the Loftys’ castle in the east morning sun and turning toward the Tubbs’ castle in the western setting sun. Delightful pastel illustrations in this Swiss import show all the characters’ personalities, including that of the beleaguered blossom, as the families alternate in tying the stem so that the plant cannot turn. The fight builds until the flower is broken, and winter builds a wall of ice between the two families. Children and adults alike will be pleased with the satisfying resolution: each family receives seven flowers the next spring. A great read-aloud with charming illustrations. P8Q8

Smith, Lane. The Big Elephant in the Room. Hyperion/Disney, 2009. $16.99. 978-1-4231-1667-7. unp. Ages 5-8:
The first thing that anyone reading the book to a child need to do is explain that the title refers to “an expression that describes a big problem or situation that is being ignored—usually because it is really embarrassing.” This explanation is found in very small print on the back of the title page. Otherwise the young listener—or reader—will not understand why a nerdy donkey is telling his only slightly less nerdy friend that they need to talk about “the big elephant,” “as in the big problem.” When the “friend” launches into all the troubles he has caused—eating all the crunchy nut ice cream, picking his friend last for soccer, making fun of his Rainbow Pony backpack—he comes up with excuses to cover himself. Once he has reported all of his goofs, the nerdy donkey points at the actual (blue) elephant watching TV, and his friend says, “That’s Stanley.” The open ending concludes with the two “friends” still at odds, needing to work out all the “jackass” things that the one has done. P7Q7

Stein, David Ezra. Pouch! Putnam, 2009. $15.99. 978-0-399-25051-4. unp. Ages 3-6:
Joey’s decision to leave his kangaroo mother’s pouch is difficult, but each time he does it, he stays out longer. A combination of counting book up to five combined with the delights of becoming independent provides great lessons for young readers, both practical and emotional. Watercolor and crayon illustrations use the orange focal point of the kangaroos as Joey’s explorations lead him to finding a friend in another baby kangaroo. Humor and sensitivity are a great plus in this book from the creator of Leaves, winner of Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award and a “best book” from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Review, and School Library Journal. This is one that tots will demand over and over. P9Q9

Wayland, April Haprin. New Year at the Pier: A Rosh Hashanah Story. Il. Stephanie Jorisch. Dial, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-8037-3279-7. up. Ages 4-7:
Part of the Jewish New Year observance includes the Tashlich ceremony, in which sins are symbolically cast away by throwing pieces of bread into a body of water that contains fish. When Izzy precedes this by asking forgiveness from people he has wronged, he finds the process to be painful when he admits to his friend and family the bratty things that he has done. It’s only when they confess their wrongs to him that he appreciates the new beginning he feels from the tradition of beginning “a new year, a clean heart” as the rabbi says. Stylish, quirky watercolors depict the many people of the congregation as they walk to the pier in the salty air to the sound of the shofar. This is a great look at a religious experience that everyone might share. P7Q8

Winter, Jonah. The Fabulous Feud of Gilbert & Sullivan. Il. Richard Egielski. Arthur A. Levine, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-439-93050-5. unp. 5-8
One advantage of picture books for children is that they give young readers a sense of the past, often in an enjoyable way. This is certainly the case with the story of how Gilbert and Sullivan collaborated on successful operas, had a falling out, and then came back together after Gilbert wrote The Mikado after he visited a Japanese street fair and involved Sullivan in setting the words to music. The tale begins with the scene of Victorian times in dire poverty that moves to the fanciful stage scenes through highly detailed ink-and-watercolor illustrations skillfully employing the use of composition, color, and shading. All the illustrations draw on the feeling of stage sets with frames, proscenium arches or cutaways into rooms. An ending “Author’s Note” completes the information in the book with the principals’ biographical information, work, and influence. A fascinating addition to the world of history for young—and not so young—readers. P8Q9

Graphic Books
Kim, Dong Hwa. The Color of Earth. First Second Books/Roaring Brook, 2009. $16.95. 978-1-59643-458-5. 319p. Ages 13+: Every book is a gift filled with surprises. Inside the cover of this coming-of-age manhwa—a Korean graphic novel–is a magnificent work, sure to become a classic. This first of a trilogy chronicles the lives of women from two generations, Ehwa from age seven through fourteen and her widowed mother who is looked down upon by the men at the rural tavern that she owns and runs. The closeness of the two women show love from two perspectives, one who is experiencing it for the first time and the other who longs for a man in her life. Throughout the stunning novel, set at the beginning of the twentieth century, delicate black-and-white illustrations and lyrical text follow Ehwa’s discoveries of the physical differences between boys and girls and struggles with her attraction to both a young Buddhist monk and the wealthy son of an orchard owner. She is helped to understand her knowledge through conversations with her mother who finds joy in the attention of an artistic traveling salesman. Kim has captured both the attitudes and emotions of his female characters as well as the beautiful landscape of pastoral Korea. A bonus to the work is the afterword by Hwang Min-Ho that discusses the symbolism of the rain and flowers, the feminism in the book similar to that of Jane Campion’s The Piano, and contrast between this graphic novel and other manhwa. The trilogy continues in The Color of Water (978-1-59643-459-2) and The Color of Heaven (978-159643-460-8). P9Q10

Krosoczka, Jarrett J. Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute. Knopf, 2009. $5.99. 978-0-375-84683-0. 96p. Ages 7-10:
Serving justice along with lunch, the newest wrong-righting supersleuth, accompanied by Betty, her assistant both in the cafeteria and in superhero activities, sets out to investigate the case of the absent teacher. Assisted by a whole array of high-tech kitchen gadgets such as a lunch-tray laptop and three curious kids, the two discover an army of cyborgs created by another teacher who plans to be Teacher of the Year award replacing the competition with creepy substitutes. Lovers of the Baby Mouse series will appreciate the similar format in this new series with its yellow highlighted pen-and-ink drawings as well as the positive approach in the ending when Hector, Terrence, and Dee use their new-found confidence to stand up to the school bully. The sequel Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians (978-375-84684-7) shows our intrepid fighters winning against the evil librarians. Much fun! P9Q9

Small, David. Stitches: A Memoir. Norton, 2009. $24.95. 978-0393068573. 336p. Ages 14+:
In the tradition of Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, this author of children’s books and winner of multiple awards has created a compelling, intense autobiography redolent with pain and personal growth. Small grew up in the 1950s, a time of scientific discovery and ignorance, in a cold, unloving home with a selfish mother and neglectful father. The title is addressed on many levels from Small’s attempts to keep his sanity stitched together to the long incision from thyroid surgery made worse by the parents’ refusal to address the growth on his neck for almost four years. Combined with his forced silence by cruel parents, he lost a vocal cord, making him virtually mute until, as an adult, he exercised both his independence and his remaining vocal cord. Although not light reading, this book is compelling and somehow liberating as Small shows his escape from childhood trauma. P9Q10

Smith, Jeff. Rose. Il. Charles Vess. [Bone Series] Scholastic Graphix, 2009. $10.99. 978-0-545-13543-6. 138p. Ages 9-13:
Princess Rose is the only person who can save the small towns of the Northern Valley from a terrifying rogue dragon, possessed by the evil Lord of the Locusts. The only way that she can do this is to kill the first living thing she sees after destroying the bloodthirsty beast. But did she make the right choice. An unforgettable story with beautiful, dynamic illustrations provide beginnings of the epic BONE saga. The series is “as sweeping as the Lord of the Rings’ cycle, but much funnier,” says Andrew Arnold on time.com. Anyone not familiar with the Bone books will love to begin with this one and not stop until the other nine books are finished. P9Q9

Yang, Gene Luen. The Eternal Smile: Three Stories. Il. Derek Kirk Kim. First Second/Roaring Brook, 2009. $16.95. 978-1-59643-156-0. 170p. Ages 12-17: “Duncan’s Kingdom,” “Gran’pa Greenbax and the Eternal Smile,” and “Urgent Request”—at first these stories all seem very different with a variety of graphic styles. In the first one, a story of a young medieval knight errant saving the damsel in distress mysteriously evolves into a contemporary setting; the second story uses a cartoon style to show a greedy frog developing a religion from the mystical “smile in the sky” also featured on the cover; and the third story, coming closest to what we might recognize as reality, features an unhappy office worker who accepts an offer to send money to a “Nigerian prince.” All three satiric fantasies are united by the fact that things are not what they seem, that each story smoothly plays into another tale, that explore the multi-layered theme in each piece. Yang is the brilliant creator of the Printz and Eisner Award winner, American Born Chinese. A must for all young adult collections. P8Q10

Yoyo. Vermonia: Quest for the Silver Tiger. Candlewick, 2009. $9.99. 978-0-763-64554-0. 206p. Ages 11+: In a blend of fantasy and reality setting, four skateboarding friends obsessed with their garage band are transported into the Turtle Realm when three of them try to rescue their kidnapped friend. In true epic good-versus-evil tradition they are in the midst of a the destructive rule of Uro after a fierce battle with his brother, Boros, to take over the planet of Vermonia. It is foretold that four warriors will challenge Uro’s control: thus Doug, Naomi, and Jim—guided by the magical squelp Satorin—are not only to find Mel but also to bring Queen Frasinella back. Beautiful manga illustrations with great perspective accompany the exciting plot in this first from Yoyo’s first series. P9Q9

Carter, Ally. Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover. Hyperion, 2009. $16.99. 978-142311638-7. 263p. Ages Ages 12-15:
During summer break, Cammie visits her roommate Macey in Boston to watch her father accept the nomination for U.S. vice-president. But as happens with the previous two books about the Gallagher girls, only their espionage skills will save them first from a kidnapping attempt and later from the continued adventures peopled by other spies. Once again, Carter has created an exciting tale about the girls secretly trained in a school that appears to outsiders to be only a finishing school for young ladies, and the ending promises more in the future. P9Q8

Easton, Kelly. The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes. Il. Greg Sweaingen. Wendy Lamb/Random House, 2009. $15.99. 978-0-375-83771-5. 214p. Gr. 4-6:
Combine magic and comedy with a thick overlay of adventure, and you have this story about 10-year-old Liberty who has been imprisoned in her parents’ home by her criminal insurance-salesman father. She has taught herself to read from the books for children that were hidden under the house’s floorboards. Her curiosity leads her to search her father’s laboratory, a forbidden area in the basement, and discover all the magical potions that allow her to talk to the caged animals there and escape into the world. The quirky black-and-white illustrations and exciting story follow Libby as she searches for
the boarding school of her dreams in a world of scoundrels and supporters, fighting to distinguish between the two and stay away from capture by her desperate father. An indescribable work for special young readers. P8Q9

Graber, Janet. The White Witch. Roaring Brook, 2009. $17.95. 978-1-59643-337-3. 152p. Ages 10-14:
When the plague comes to seventeenth-century England, Gwen, a young girl with pale complexion and healing touch and long believed to be a witch by the villagers, is even greater danger than before. All alone after her father leaves to find a boy who he thinks of as his son, Gwen conceals herself in a secret chamber of the church, watching while the city people bring the disease and most of the villagers die. Seventeenth-century dialect follows the tale of her discovery, test for witchcraft, and ultimate escape. Graber combines the religious and political tensions with vivid—sometimes almost too much so—descriptions of people dying of the plague. Although not didactic, the novel brings a mix of blind faith, ignorance, and persecution with altruism and love. P7Q9

Jones, Tim Wynne. The Uninvited. Candlewick Press, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-7636-3984-6. 351p. Ages 14-17:
A remote Canadian farmhouse is the peaceful setting for this gripping thriller about Mimi, a NYU student escaping from her stalking married professor ex-boyfriend; Jay, Mimi’s recently discovered 22-year-old half-brother living with his mother and her lesbian partner, and Cramer, a twenty-something loner supporting his mentally unstable mother who had had an affair with Mimi’s and Jay’s father. The tension builds as Cramer hides and watches his half-siblings and leaves weird gifts such as a dead bird, a snakeskin, and a cricket sound track embedded into Jay’s musical composition. The question throughout the book is the identity of the intruder who threatens Mimi’s life. Fast-paced suspense accompanies a family drama set in alternating viewpoints. P9Q9

Klise, Kate. Dying to Meet You. Il. M. Sarah Klise. [43 Old Cemetery Road: Book One] Harcourt, 2009. $15.00. 978-0-15-205727-5. 150p. Ages 8-12:
Klise uses her ability to use letters, newspaper clippings, and drawings in telling the story to a new high. The plot in short: Former best-selling children’s author I.B. Grumply (who lives up to his name) moves into a Victorian mansion in Ghastly, IL, to get over his writer’s block and, much to his dismay, encounters its current occupants—11-year-old Seymour Hope, his cat, and Olive C. Spence, the angry ghost who never managed to publish any of her own children’s books. Twists and turns are filled with Seymour’s noncaring parents, always on exotic trips, and Olive’s determination to co-write a book with Grumply. A fun read! P8Q8

Kolosov, Jacqueline. The Sweet Disorder. Hyperion, 2009. $16.99. 978-142311245-7. 418p. Ages 13+:
With the loss of her father, 16-year-old Miranda loses her wedding engagement and is sent to live with a relative who plans to marry her off to an older man for the family’s profit. As in her earlier book, The Red Queen’s Daughter, the author returns to the court of Queen Elizabeth for the background to this romance. The backbiting of the Court maidens is a large part of the plotting as Miranda gains their jealously by using her sewing and embroidery skills to set herself apart. Although the elaborate descriptions of English royal life in the sixteenth century are accurate, Kolosov invents a son for Sir Walter Raleigh to be Miranda’s love interest. Readers who enjoy rich historical fiction will delight in this tale of intrigue. P7Q8

Landman, Tanya. The Goldsmith’s Daughter. Candlewick, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-7636-4219-8. 288p. Ages 14-16:
In the golden city of Tenochtitlán, the people live in awe of Emperor Montezuma and in fear of blood-hungry gods. Under an ill-fated sky, a girl is born, facing a life of submission and domestic drudgery. But Itacate has a secret passion for goldwork, forbidden to women, and is forced to disguise her identity to protect herself and her family. When her city is shaken by Cortez’s invasion, Itacate challenges fate, culture, and faith by crafting golden statues–and pursuing the love of a man who should be her enemy. The beauty and violence of the sixteenth-century Aztec Empire during the Spanish conquest of Mexico is thoroughly described and Itacate’s character well delineated. Yet the realistic plot falls apart at the end to create a happy romantic ending which leaves the reader with a let-down feeling. The historical note is also quite thin; readers would have benefited from information about the comet and the plague, described but not explained in the text, that occurred at the same time as the arrival of Cortes. P7Q7

Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me. Wendy Lamb/Random, 2009. $15.99. 978-0-385-73742-5. 197p. Ages 10-13:
A mélange of New York characters from the 1970s surround sixth-grader Miranda as she moves from the child who’s best friend, Sal, rejected her three years ago to the unknown danger of the mystery notes she keeps finding. The string that ties together the novel’s events is her mother’s training to win a game show called The $20,000 Pyramid which creates a family with their neighbor Louisa and her mother’s boyfriend. While Miranda tries to solve her own mystery of the notes, she also faces the problem of a boy who unexpectedly hit her ex-friend Sal, the sophisticated classmate who won’t tell her why she is upset with Miranda, the friend who is hiding her seizures from others which gets Miranda into trouble, and the boys and the homeless man on the street who frighten her. In an elegant and convoluted style, Stead connects the mysterious happenings in Miranda’s life with L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and the concept of time-travel: all Miranda knows is that Sal’s life is in danger, and she needs to save him. The book is about navigating one’s environment, mind, and life and what to avoide in order to have the best possible results. A delicate, never-boring book about the vagaries of ‘tween life in a busy city. P7Q9

Wrede, Patricia C. Thirteenth Child. [Frontier Magic Book] Scholastic, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-545-03342-8. 344p. Ages 12+:
It’s the American Western frontier of the 1830s in Missouri. Lewis and Clark never got back from their expedition, and magic is necessary to protect the settlements from giant mammoths and steam dragons. Meanwhile, Eff (short for Francine) has her own problems: although her twin is the seventh son of a seventh son, she believes that she is bad luck because she is the thirteenth child. Some of her family members reinforce that opinion, and she becomes afraid to work with her extraordinary magical power. Wrede skillfully begins the book when Eff is a small child and follows her growth until she is 18 and helps save the Western settlements. The author’s magical writings include the series beginning with Dealing with Dragons, and her combination of sympathetic characterization, exciting plot, and dragon study make for another memorable book. P8Q10

Yolen, Jane. Dragon’s Heart. [Pit Dragon Chronicles] Harcourt, 2009. $17.00. 978-0-15-205919-4. 391p. Ages 12+: Over 25 years since Dragon’s Blood, the first in the Pit Dragon Chronicles, was published, Book 4 continues the saga of Jakkin and Akki on the planet Austar IV as they come out of dangerous exile facing the trogs. But their return to the dragon nursery is not the same place they thought: political figures want to use them as pawns, Jakkin almost dies fighting the vile drakks, and Akki is kidnapped by a past enemy who wants to take over the planet. To catch new readers up to speed on the past, the first part of the book seems slow and contrived, but once the danger begins, the adventure moves at breakneck speed. Although the ending nicely ties up all the threads, Yolen leaves room for a fifth book in the chronicles. P7Q7

October 2009 Book Review J.K. Juvenile Detention Center
King, Ron – The Quantum July. Delecorte Press, New York, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-385-73418-9. $15.99. 244 pages. 8th grade & up. P7. Q8.
I had some trouble getting involved in this story. I have to admit the jacket description may have played a part and the first couple of chapters aren’t grabbers. Once I got into the story, I realized this would be a difficult book to describe due to complex concepts relating to quantum theory and parallel universes. The quantum world appears to be similar to the metaphysical world in that anything can happen and realities can be manipulated and influenced by individuals and their choices – I’m a firm believer that we control our realities and I believe this is an idea students should be familiar with. The further I read, the more I realized that the advanced science of quantum physics is way over my head, but the theme of being unhappy with oneself and one’s life is a potentially universal theme among teenagers. I love the idea of introducing teens to the fact that they alone are responsible for their own happiness and success in life. I was surprised to learn that the author is not a science teacher (as I would have expected) because the scientific imagery presented in the book is quite convincing: “The more energy he used, the heavier he seemed to get and the more slowly he seemed to go. It was what light must feel like when it passes through a prism…”.

Book Review DGH LCSD
Armstrong, Robb. Drew and the Homeboy Question. Harper Collins, 1997. $13.89. 0-06-027527-8. 71p. Gr.2-5
Drew’s family decides that he should go to an all-white school after trouble in the hood. The question is whether he’ll turn into an “Oreo” or will he still be a “homeboy” to his friends. The hook in the book is that Drew is a cartoonist and his storyboards are
embedded in the book which will appeal to the reader. P8Q8

November 2009 Reviews
Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers November 2009 Reviews by N.W.

Each year, the Rainbow Project, an American Library Association committee, selects the best of reading about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning people for young readers from birth through age 18. These books show glbtq individuals as the main characters, friends, relatives, etc. in all their pain and glory. One reason for this bibliography is to show glbtq kids reflections of themselves in these books, that they are not alone.
There is another reason for this. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet those who may—in whatever way—be different from us. By taking us into characters’ minds, hearts, and lives, literature has an uncanny ability to help us understand that those we previously regarded as “the other” are—in terms of our common humanity—actually ‘us,’” as Michael Cart explains in his introduction to the short story collection, How Beautiful the Ordinary.
The books on this list vary from picture books about being “different” to memoirs of having lesbian parents or a gay child. All have been published for young readers except for Melissa Hart’s Gringa and Judy Shepard’s The Meaning of Matthew. The majority of them are novels—contemporary, fantasy, and historical fiction—for middle- and high school-age readers.
Below is a sampling of the books nominated for the 2010 bibliography that will be finalized this January. More information about these books as well as the complete list can be found at http://rainbowlist.wordpress.com/ This blog provides an opportunity for readers to comment about these books. We hope you will.

Alsenas, Linas. Hello My Name Is Bob. 2009. unp. Scholastic, $16.99. 978-0-545-05244-3). Gr. PreS-K:
Self-claimed “boring” Bob has a lively panda bear friend Jack. Bob sits, hums, knits, dusts his plants, cooks, and does the laundry while Jack dances, explores the jungle, plays in a band, and surfs before he convinces Bob to go with him to get ice cream, go see the alligator swamp, visit the amusement park, and paint the walls. But at the end of the day they cuddle on the couch.

Amateau, Gigi. A Certain Strain of Peculiar. 2009. 261p. Candlewick, $16.99. (978-0-7636-3009-6). Gr. 6-8:
Fed up with her classmates’ bullying and her increasing panic attacks, 13-year-old Mary Harold Woods runs away to live with her grandmother where she finds her place while building her muscles, caring for a Black Angus cow, helping wrangle the herd, and protecting a badly damaged girl who pretends she is a horse.

Bantle, Lee. David Inside Out. 2009. 192p. Henry Holt, $16.99. (978-0805081220) Gr. 8-12.
David comes out in his senior year after he falls in love another member of his track team.

Barnes, John. Tales of the Madman Underground: An Historical Romance 1973. 2009. 532p. Viking, $18.99. (978-0-670-06081-8). Gr. 9-12:
Karl Shoemaker’s goal as a senior is to be normal and separate himself from his therapy group that started in fourth grade. But can he deal with his alcoholic, hippy widowed mother who keeps stealing his earning from his five jobs, and can he keep the friends he made in the Madman Underground group if he doesn’t attend the group anymore?

Borris, Albert. Crash into Me. 2009. 257p. Simon Pulse, $16.99. (978-1-4169-7435-2). Gr. 10-12: Four teenagers—who connect on the internet—take an odyssey across the United States to visit the sites of celebrity suicides before they kill themselves in Death Valley. The four in the suicide pact couldn’t be more different: isolated Owen, the narrator; lying Audrey, the only one of the four who actually didn’t attempt suicide; Korean-American Jin-Ae, a scholarly lesbian; and alcoholic Frank, the driver. Their bonding from the closeness of the two weeks changes their self-perceptions and their need for death.

Carter, Timothy, Evil? 2009. 256p. Flux, $9.95, (9780738715391). Gr. 9-12:
Stuart is a gay teen in a small, conservative Canadian town, but that’s not a problem. He summons a demon in his spare time to learn the real deal about God, but that’s not a problem either. But, when his brother discovers Stuart committing the Sin of Onan in the shower and his parents find out, the town gets caught up in an anti-masturbation crusade fueled by the self-righteous indignation of fallen angels so it’s up to Stuart, his demon friend, and the priest to save the town and reestablish reason.

Collins, Pat Lowery. Hidden Voices: The Orphan Musicians of Venice. 2009. 345p. Candlestick, $17.99. (978-0-7636-3917-4). Ages 12+:
In the early 1700s a teenage girl suffers from her unrequited love for another girl in the Ospedale della Pieta, an orphanage renowned for its extraordinary musical program, search for love.

Crutcher, Chris. Angry Management. 2009. 246p. Greenwillow, $16.99. (978-0-06-050247-8). Gr. 7-11:
In this collection of three stories, assorted characters from an early morning counseling group in Eastern Washington come face to face with anger and rage. Sometimes it’s their own, as in the case of Montana West, the rebellious goth girl who channels the rage she feels toward the foster-care system and her adopted father into a fight for free expression. Sometimes it’s the rage of others, as in the story of Marcus James, the black, openly-gay genius swimmer who comes up against the bigotry of his small town on a daily basis.

Frazer, Megan. Secrets of Truth & Beauty. 2009. 347p. Hyperion, $15.99. (978-142311711-7). Gr. 9-12:
At age seven, Dara was a darling pageant winner; at 17, she has gained too much weight and anger, a fact that leads her to find the sister who ran away from home 17 years earlier on a commune that includes a gay high school senior and her lesbian sister.

Garsee, Jeannine. Say the Word. 2009. 360p. Bloomsbury, $16.99. (978-1-599990-333-0). Gr. 11-12:
The “perfect” Shawna Gallagher finds her life turned upside down when she is 17 after her estranged lesbian mother dies and she discovers a family in the mother’s partner and two sons.

Going, K.L. King of the Screwups. 2009. 300p. Harcourt, $17.00. (978-0-15-206258-3). Gr. 8-12: Liam is an extremely popular high school senior with a extremely successful executive dad and former supermodel for a mom. Liam is more like his mom–good taste in clothing, exquisite social skills, and straight. Liam screws up one too many times, so after a night of binge drinking with a pretty girl, he is exiled to living in a trailer with his uncle in a tiny town in upstate New York. Liam’s gay uncle is an aging glam rocker who is messy and has no fashion sense, but he does have a heart of gold.

Hart, Melissa. Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood. 2009. 288p. Seal Press, $16.95. (9781580052948). Gr. 8-12.:
“Palabras son libertades,” murmurs Melissa’s mother. “Words are freedom.” Melissa’s memoir shares her freedom ride as the white girl of a homosexual mother and an angry father in 1970s Southern California. The prejudice against homosexual parents limits Melissa’s time with her mother, and Melissa yearns for her mother and the Latino culture her mother has embraced while she wonders who she really is.

Hopkins, Ellen, Tricks. 2009. Margaret K. McElderry, $18.99. (9781416950073). Gr. 8-12:
Ellen Hopkins delivers another well-spun tale in verse with the story of five teens led to prostitution through a series of internal and external factors. As much as these characters don’t have in common, they all end up in Las Vegas, selling their bodies to varying degrees and trying to reclaim their self worth.

How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity. Ed. Michael Cart. 2009. 368p. Harper Teen, $16.99. (978-0-06-115498-0). Gr. 9-12:
Watching two lovers exchange words in the night. The excitement of your first kiss, your first sexual experience, your first Dyke March. Meeting someone new on MySpace. The stories from Michael Cart’s new collection relate not only the variety of identities and experiences in the LGBTQ community–transgendered, gay, lesbian, questioning–but also the variety of experiences of being human–love, regret, betrayal, discovery. Contributors include well known names from young adult literature: Francesca Lia Block, Margo Lanagan, David Levithan, Jackie Woodson, Julie Ann Peters, and Gregory Maguire.

Hurwin, Davida Wills. Freaks and Revelations. 2009. 240p. Little, Brown and Company, 16.99. (9780316049962). Gr. 10-12:
In this story of two California teenagers from 1973 to 2005, told in alternating first person accounts, one is an angry neo-Nazi punk rocker and the other is a thirteen year old gay hustler thrown out of his house by his mother. Based on a true story, the narrative begins with the characters as children, follows them to their violent first encounter, and ends with their peaceful reunion years later.

Katcher, Brian. Almost Perfect. 2009. 360p. Delacorte, $17.99. (9780385736640). Gr. 10-12:
When outgoing and cute Sage moves to his small Missouri town, high school senior Logan is intrigued and surprised. Still reeling from the end of his three-year relationship, he finds himself attracted to Sage even as he becomes troubled and curious about her secret home life. Unable to date like her younger sister, Sage offers Logan friendship, but the two are unable to stop it from deepening. When Logan learns that Sage is transgendered, he embarks on an emotional roller coaster of fear, anger, empathy, and finally acceptance.

Levithan, David. Love Is the Higher Law. 2009. 176p. Knopf, $15.99. (978-0-375-83468-4). Gr. 8-12:
What meaning did the tragic events of the 9/11 bombing of New York’s Twin Towers have for teenagers who lived through them? And what significance and emotional resonance might they have for teens today? These are the questions that Levithan explores through the eyes and interactions of Claire, Peter, and Jasper. But it is their growing friendship and – in the case of the two boys, who are gay – their emerging romantic relationship that provide the answers and the lasting emotional resonance.

Lo, Melinda. Ash. 2009. 264p. Little Brown, $16.99. (9780316040099). Gr. 8-12:
Aisling, better known as Ash, is a haunting and engaging Cinderella in Malinda Lo’s new spin on the fairy tale set in a medieval realm in the twilight of its magical past. Ash spends her days acting as servant to her family while finding reasons to live in her feelings for Kaisa, the King’s huntress. Torn between her emerging love for the King’s mysterious huntress and the ethereal draw of the world of the fairies and its connection to her mother, Ash ultimately discovers the strength of her own identity.

Marino, Peter. Magic and Misery. 2009. 293p. Holiday House, $17.95. (978-0-8234-6. Gr. 8-12: James (aka Pan for Pansy) transferred into Mungers Mills High School during his junior year and ate by himself in the cafeteria until Toni Jo–TJ–got up the gumption to introduce herself one day and they became great friends. After coming out of the closet, two bullies from the football team attack Pan physically and verbally, but he adamantly refuses to report the incidents to any of the adults in their lives, instead beating the bullies with his tennis racket, causing him to be expelled from school and transferred to another school.

McLaughlin, Lauren. (re)cycler. 2009. 273p. Random House, $8.99. (978-0-375-85195-7). Gr. 8-12: Four days (or so) each month, Jill morphs into Jack with all the male body parts and some of the “male” personality traits. After Jill’s nightmarish prom experience and graduating from high school, Jack/Jill move to New York City to be closer to Jack’s girlfriend. Jill works temp jobs and pays the bills as she tries to figure out if her bisexual boyfriend Tommy loves her or not.
Milk: A Pictorial History of Harvey Milk. Int. Dustin Lance Black; Forewrd. Armistead Maupin. 2009. 144p. Newmarket Press, $19.95. (978-1-55704-828-8). Gr. 10-12:
In 1977, when Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, he was the first openly gay man to be voted into a major public office in the United States. One year later he was shot by a disgruntled man who had resigned from the Board and then killed both Milk and Mayor George Moscone. In the past thirty years, Milk has become a hero to those who believe in human rights for the glbt community. This book is a story of how he changed history through his actions and legacy with an introduction about how his life transformed Black’s life when, while he was growing up in a homophobic Mormon household in San Antonio, heard a recording of Milk’s speech giving hope to young glbtq people.

Newman, Lesléa. Daddy, Papa, and Me. (9781582462622); Mommy, Mama, and Me. Illustrated by Carol Thompson. 2008. unp.Tricycle Press. (9781582462639) Pre-K:
These two board books for young children, written by the author of Heather Has Two Mommies each show same-sex parents teaching and playing with their child in typical loving family activities.

Polacco, Patricia. In Our Mother’s House. 2009. unp. Philomel, $17.99. (978-0-399-25076-7). Gr. 1-3: Although the family of three children and two parents seem like any other family on the block, filled with love and respect, one woman doesn’t accept them because the two parents are both women. The narrator of the story from her adoption to her marriage is told by the oldest adopted child as she describes the joy and love in the house.

Park, Judith. YSquare Plus. 2008. 192p. Yen Press, $10.99. (978-0-7595-2927-4). Gr. 10-12: Yagate tries to get his friend Yoshitaka help him catch the man of his dreams, but his friend Chana has her eye on the same guy, handsome college student Ra-Myun.

Peck, Dale. Sprout. 2009. 277p. Bloomsbury, $16.99. (978-1-59990-160-2). Gr. 9-12: Teenager Sprout has a secret. And it’s not his green hair (duh). And it’s not the fact that he’s gay, though his English teacher, the redoubtable – and occasionally inebriated — Mrs. Miller, who is coaching him for the Kansas State Essay Contest, wishes it were. No, it’s – oh, heck, just read this offbeat, occasionally over-the-top but always engaging gay coming-of-age-in-conservative-Kansas story to find out. You may be surprised.

Peters, Julie Anne. RAGE: A Love Story. 2009. 304p. Knopf, $16.99. (9780375852091). Gr. 10-12: Johanna spends time in her alternative universe, Joyland, while Reeves lives in real-time, seeking refuge in a space called the Pit. When fantasy and reality collide, all the romantic, alluring, gorgeous and exciting expectations turn to painful, desperate hard rage.

Pyron, Bobbie. The Ring. 2009. 253p. Westside Books, $15.95. (978-1-934813-09-6). Ages 9-12: Angry to the point of self-destruction, 15-year-old Mardie loses her resentment of her “perfect” older brother, Michael, when she takes up boxing and then discovers that Michael is gay. Through her training to gain strategy and mental discipline in the ring, Mardie works through her emotional pain, her friend’s rejection, and her parents’ lack of understanding toward a sense of strength and fearlessness.

Rapp, Adam. Punkzilla. 2009. 244p. Candlewick, $16.99. (978-0-7636-3031-7). Gr. 7-10:
On his way from Portland to Tennessee, where his gay older brother is dying of cancer, 14-year-old Jamie (aka Punkzilla) writes a series of letters about his adventures and his feelings regarding their dysfunctional family.

Rickards, Lynne. Pink! Il. Margaret Chamberlain. 2009. unp. Chicken House/Scholastic, $16.99. (978-0-545-08608-0). Gr. K-2:
What’s a bright pink penguin to do? Well, after doctor who tells Patrick that there is nothing she can do, his father suggests he live with the pink flamingos. He can’t fit in with them because he cannot catch fish the way they do, he can’t take a nap standing on one leg, and he can’t fly to the nesting ground. So he returns home where he is welcomed back, and his classmates stop teasing him.

Roth, Matthue. Losers. 2008. 186p. Scholastic Push, $8.99. (9780545068932). Gr. 8 -10.
Jupiter Glazer is a loser for too many reasons to list all of them here, but to summarize: he’s from another country, he has only one friend who’s a science geek, and he lives in a factory with his family in the warehouse district of Philadelphia. He gets the opportunity to attend a fancy prep school, but he’s woefully lost. On the very first day of school, a big, scary guy named Hayes, beats the crap out of him. Hayes continues to bully him right up until the day he begs Jupiter to take him downtown to meet guys he can date.

Ryan, P. E. In Mike We Trust. 2009. 321p. HarperTeen, $16.99. (978-0-06-085813-1). Gr. 7-10: Scrawny, short, and closeted, Garth is out only to his mother (who prefers he keep it that way) and his best friend Lisa, Garth is excited when his unconventional Uncle Mike comes for a visit. Mike helps Garth discover his strength, to go on his first date and his mother come to terms with her son while getting Garth in a less-than-honest moneymaking scheme.

Sanchez, Alex. Bait. 2009. Simon & Schuster, $16.99. (9-781416-937722). Gr 7-12:
Out-of-control Diego MacMann, facing juvenile court, finds solace in his weekly discussions with parole officer Mr. Vidas by telling about the sexual abuse from his stepfather and his rage at gay epithets. And Mr. Vidas turns out to be—you guess.

Shepard, Judy with Jon Barrett. The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie and a World Transformed. 2009. 273p. Hudson/Penguin, $25.95. (978-1-59463-057-6). Gr. 9-12:
The day that a young student at the University of Wyoming was tied to a fence and left for dead outside Laramie was a turning point for glbt rights. Eleven years after Matt (as his mother called him) died, this tragedy has become an icon for those demanding rights. In her book, Matt’s mother tells about his growing up, his family, his coming out as a gay man, and his struggles that led up to the horrifying telephone call to his parents in Saudi Arabia about the savage beating. In simple, straight-forward language, Shepard then recounts the aftermath—the memorial service picketed by those who despise glbtq people, the plea agreement of one and the trial of the other murderer, and her husband’s responses. Her book culminates in a brief description of her gay rights activism, work which has helped pass the federal law criminalizing an assault on an individual because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.

Stevenson, Robin. Inferno. 2009. 229p. Orca, $12.95. (978-1-55469-077-0). Gr. 9-12: At 14, Emily lived in a city, enjoying the freedom. A little more than a year later, she is alone in a conservative high school after Beth, her best friend and secret lover, moved away. Her solution to this misery is to change her name to Dante, face down the bullying teachers, and make friends with Parker, a high school dropout who wants to fight the establishment. When Dante becomes infatuated on Parker, she tries to save her friend from the abusive relationship with her boyfriend, but Parker claims she loves him while she flirts with Dante.

Uhlig, Richard. Boy Minus Girl. 2008. 246p. Knopf, $15.99. (978-0-375-83968-9). Gr. 8-10: Fourteen-year-old Lester’s sole goal in life is to be successful with girls, but even the tips he reads in The Seductive Man can’t help him with his friend Charity, who tells him that she is a lesbian, and Regina, who uses him to get her boyfriend back.

Van de Vendel, Edward & Martijn van der Linden. For You and No One Else. 2009. unp. Lemniscaat/Boyds Mills Press, $16.95. (978-1-59078-658-1). Gr. K-2:
Buck is crushed when his friend, Sparklehart, uses the special gift presented to him by Buck to woo all the does but cheers up when he finds an even better gift and has the courage to tell Sparklehart that this gift is “for you and no one else!”

Walliams, David. The Boy in the Dress. Il. Quentin Blake. 2009. 240p. Razorbill, $15.99. (9781595142993). Gr. 3+: Twelve-year-old Dennis is a star soccer player coming to terms with the fact that he enjoys wearing dresses. He lives with his gruff dad and older brother, neither of whom understand or accept his fascination with Vogue magazine. Dennis finds a friend and soul mate in Lisa, an older girl at his school who also loves fashion and encourages Dennis to try on her dresses, something he finds exhilarating and freeing, and then to play at passing as a girl. After Dennis successfully develops a drag persona as Denise, a French foreign student living with Lisa’s family, he even dares to go to school wearing a dress.

Winter, Jonah. Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude. Il. Calef Brown. unp. Atheneum, $16.99 (9781416940883). Gr. K-3. Gertrude is a lyrical introduction to Stein’s prose and a visual treat featuring Picasso and Matisse as a few of the prominent
guests who visited the Stein/Toklas salon in Paris. Their life together with Basket, the poodle, is a creative existence nurtured by Toklas’ service to Stein. The only thing missing from this homage is a kiss or gesture that speaks to the depth of their “companionship.”

First Thursdays Book Review Group Nov. 5, 2009 L.R. for Siletz Library
Picture Books
O’Connor, Jane. Fancy Nancy Tea Parties. Il. Robin Preiss Glasser. HarperCollins Publishers, 2009, 32 pgs. Ages 3-7. ISBN 9780061801747 $12.99 P7Q7
The bright, glittery cover of this book will be sure to attract little hands and for those boys and girls interested in hosting tea parties, there is lots of good information inside. “Fancy Nancy” gives tips on what to wear (ensembles), polite manners (etiquette) language (French phrases) table settings, refreshments and recreation. The illustrations show fancy teas, as well as the old- picnic- table- with- the- dog- kind. Little boys and dads are represented, partaking in the fun and frivolity. (I do wish the dad was not depicted reading the newspaper at the tea table, but at least he was there!) At the end of the book are two pages of punch-out recipe cards. These will probably disappear in a library book, but aren’t an integral part of the story. This book probably would not work well as a storytime book, but definitely to read with one or two children. No doubt it will inspire some fancy parties! Note: The price of picture books seems to have taken a jump, making this one a bargain at $3-$4 less than the others.

Numeroff, Laura. What Brothers Do Best/What Sisters Do Best. Il. Lynn Munsinger. Chronicle Books LLC, 2009, unpgd. Ages 2-5. ISBN 9780811865456 $15.99 P9 Q8
Two books in one and a fun gimmick make this a good book for reading to kids. It is the kind of book that parents will grab off the shelf, even if the young ones don’t. Parents are always searching for ways to help the siblings get along, and this is a great way for the youngest to learn to appreciate their brother and or sister. I liked that the good things that brothers can do, sisters can do also, with maybe a twist! This will be popular, and worth the slightly high price for a picture book.

Norman, Geoffrey. Stars Above Us. Il. E.B. Lewis. Penguin Young Readers Group, 2009, unpgd. Ages 4-7. ISBN 9780399247248 $16.99 P8 Q9
This is a sweet, touching book about a Dad who teaches his daughter not to be afraid of the dark by going outside and looking at fireflies and stars. Then he puts glow in the dark stars on her bedroom ceiling, and tells her that he has to go away for a long time, but to look at the North Star on her ceiling and know that he is looking at it, too. The dad is gone for a long time, and the reader sees him dressed in camo and looking up at the stars. The gorgeous watercolor illustrations portray the sadness that the little girl and her mother are feeling. The girl creates a surprise for the dad when he finally comes home. The theme of this book will be a comfort to any child who is missing someone and would be especially good for a calming bedtime story.

Banks, Kate. What’s Coming for Christmas? Il. Georg Hallensleben. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009, unpgd. Ages 3-6. ISBN 9780374399481 $15.99 P6 Q8
With a title like this and a cover that shows a child decorating a Christmas tree, the reader automatically assumes the answer to the question is “Santa Claus” or “a child in a manger,” but there is a gentle surprise at the end. The text is written in verse and the suspense mounts as the theme “something was coming” is repeated throughout the book. The descriptions of the winter days are wonderful: “You could feel it in the stiff winter air that hovered around the doors and window frames, begging to come in….” The illustrations, done in oil, are simple, but beautiful, and would be very effective in a story time setting. The plot may also inspire some discussion with the children. This book would be a good buy for your library.

McNaughton, Colin. Not Last Night But The Night Before. Il. Emma Chichester Clark. Candlewick Press, 2009, unpgd. Ages 3-7. ISBN 9780763644208 $16.99 P8 Q8
This delightful book’s cover depicts animals and human rushing off to a party of some sort. The rhyming verse tells us that “not last night, but the night before,” a little boy is visited by odd and sundry characters from Mother Goose rhymes and well known stories. At first, he is excited to see them, but, as they blast past him on that way to a party, he starts to look increasingly hesitant. Finally, when the last guest has barged through the door, they sing Happy Birthday to the boy and the party begins. The illustrations are quite charming, even if the nursery rhyme characters look a little deranged and the main character bears an uncanny resemblance to Sideshow Bob of “ The Simpsons” fame. This book would be an excellent companion to a unit on Mother Goose, as the children would have a good time guessing the characters and the rhymes. Even older children will have fun with this quirky book.

Lerner, Sharon. Black Beauty. Il. Susan Jeffers. Random House, 2009, unpgd. Ages 6-8. ISBN 9780375858925 $16.99 P7 Q8
I was so excited to see a new book illustrated by Susan Jeffers, I totally forgot that I hate the book “Black Beauty.” Reading or seeing movies about the mistreatment of horses is something I try to avoid like H1N1. However, the illustrations ARE beautiful, as can be expected, and the story doesn’t go into very much detail about the mistreatment of Black Beauty. He still looks fairly healthy, even at his worst, with hooves trimmed and polished. I can only assume that the very abbreviated text follows the original story accurately. For young children, I would stick to Jeffer’s other books. All the Pretty Horses comes to mind as a beautiful book for horse lovers. Leave the original story of Black Beauty by Anna Sewell for the older kids, who can decide if they want to read it or not.

Teen Books
Waterman, Lauren. The Teen Vogue Handbook: An Insider’s Guide to Careers in Fashion. Penguin Group, 2009, 277 pgs. Ages 14-22. ISBN 9781595142610 $24.95 P6 Q9
A surprisingly comprehensive book on careers in fashion, with sections on designers, editors, stylists, models, beauticians, photographers and their assistants, this book covers it all. With advice from over 50 professionals in the fashion industry, you would think that the advice would be all over the map, depending on how they got their break in the business. But the reader finds that they agree on a number of steps: working in retail, grabbing an unexpected opportunity, going to fashion school, the importance of apprenticing, being willing to do anything and “don’t play the star before you are one!” As well as the interviews and advice, there is an appendix with a description of design schools, essential tools for the work, a glossary of fashion terms, lots of fashion photos and several pages for reader’s notes. The only drawback of the book is the constant references to Vogue and Teen Vogue magazines, but aside from that, this is an excellent resource for someone considering a career in fashion.

Juvenile Books
Van Draanen, Wendelin. The Gecko & Sticky: Villian’s Lair. Il. Stephen Gilpin. Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, 201 pgs. Ages 10-13. ISBN 9780375843761 $12.99 P7 Q8
Dave is a thirteen year-old boy with a pet gecko who speaks—in Spanish, Spanglish and his own very colorful dialect. This gecko is sticky-fingered, hence his name “Sticky,” but also in reality. He brings Dave an ancient Aztec powerband, which, in concert with a special power ingot, can give the wearer special super-powers. This is a fun, adventurous book, and it manages to poke fun at the plot, by insisting twice that this is a “real” story about a “real boy.” If the reader can forget about the Spanish speaking gecko, it does seem like a story about a real boy—he fights with his little sister, has a bike delivery job and works hard at it and gets tongue-tied when a cute thirteen year-old neighbor talks to him. The illustrations seem a little naïve and cartoony for a story about a “real boy” and Sticky is not nearly as loveable looking as the Geiko gecko, but still, an enjoyable read.

Beard, Darleen Bailey. Annie Glover is NOT a Tree Lover. Il. Heather Maione. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2009, 120 pgs. Ages 9-12. ISBN 9780374303518 $15.99 P6Q6
Annie Glover has an activist grandmother who chains herself to trees and an uncle who is part of a group of parachuting, singing Elvis impersonators. Together they save a giant elm in their town from being felled to make way for a swimming pool parking lot. The characters in the book are pretty interesting, but I am not sure the average 4th grader will empathize with the passionate grandmother or the wacky Elvis guys. Do 4th graders even know about Elvis’s signature “thank you, thank you very much” line? The illustrations are simple and effective, particularly capturing expressions on faces. At $3.00 more than many juvenile chapter books, I’m not sure I would recommend this as a purchase for a library. It might make a good gift for a 4th grader who is also an Elvis fan.

McDonald, Megan. Judy Moody & Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Treasure Hunt. Il. Peter H. Reynolds. Candlewick Press, 2009, 118 pgs. Ages 9-12. ISBN 9780763639624 $14.99 P8 Q8
Judy Moody and her pirate-obsessed little brother, Stink, are on a ferry boat arguing about the name of the island they are going to visit. This opening did not bode well, as it seems that there are plenty of young reader books about siblings who cannot get along. However, it takes a turn for the better when the whole family arrives at the island and are invited to play a game involving clues and prizes of pieces o’ eight, doubloons and a ride on a pirate ship. The siblings work together to solve the clues and win the prize, but what is great about this plot is that it is a totally realistic story of a family vacation. The readers may not be able to afford a vacation like this, but they will enjoy the armchair adventure. The abundant color illustrations are engaging and humorous. Young readers will enjoy this book whether they are pirate-obsessed or not.

C.S – Siletz Public Library November 2009 Reviews
Root, Phyllis. Ill. Matthew Cordell. Toot Toot Zoom! Candlewick Press, 2009. ISBN 9780763634520. $15.99. Unpaged. Ages 3-6. P8Q8.
A very cute book about friendship. While driving around in his little red car looking for a new friend, Pierre picks up some passengers. They have a few interesting adventures before Pierre discovers that his passengers have become friends during the ride. The idea of accepting rides from strangers is a problem for me, so despite how cute the book is, I’m not sure about recommending it.

Dennis, Brian, Kirby Larson & Mary Nethery. Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, and a Miracle. Little, Brown & Co., 2009. ISBN 9780316053181. $17.99. Unpaged. Ages 4-8. P9Q7.5. This true story about a stray Iraqi dog rescued by a US Marine is really touching. It uses photographs to tell about how the marine, Brian, found the dog, developed a relationship with him, and finally sent him home to California with the help of other marines. I think that many children will find the story interesting, and will provide good points for discussion about compassion for animals, how a friendship with an animal can enrich our lives, what stray animals suffer, etc. The authors use simple text, sample emails, and interesting snapshots to tell this very engaging story.

Nirgiotis, Nicholas. Emma Stevenson, ill. Killer Ants. Holiday House, 2009. ISBN 9780823420346. $17.95. Unpaged. Ages 4-10. P8Q8.
Who knew killer ants were so interesting? The author teaches about the various kinds of killer ants in the world: army ants, driver ants, fire ants, and bulldog ants. He talks about the differences between ordinary ants and these strange and dangerous ones. We also learn why killer ants are necessary in the world’s ecosystems and the important role they play. The illustrations, described as “field guide-like” are detailed, animated and colorful, and are very helpful in understanding the points the author discusses.

Loizeaux, William. Anne Wilsdorf, Ill. Clarence Cochran, Human Boy. Melanie Kroupa Books, 2009. $16.00. ISBN 9780374313234. 152 pgs. Ages 7-10. P7.5/Q7.5.
This was an entertaining book that plays on the old Metamorphosis idea, except this time, a young cockroach named Clarence wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into a cockroach sized boy. There are some funny scenes when the other cockroaches have to make a big adjustment to accept Clarence in his new form- they find him quite disgusting. The climax of the book comes when Clarence discovers that the exterminators are coming, and he manages to get the young girl who lives in the house to support the cockroaches’ cause and save the community (which lives in the kitchen, of course). I can picture a certain type of child liking this book a lot.

Latta, Sara L. Ice Scientist: Careers in the Frozen Antarctic. Enslow Publishers, 2009. ISBN 9780766030480. $31.93. 128 pgs. Ages 10-17. P7Q9.
This is a fascinating book about working and living in the Antarctic. It looks at the history of exploration of the region, and the goes on to discuss what it’s like to live there as an explorer or scientist including lots of information about the dangers of working in this environment. There are sections about the various kinds of scientists who spend time there- ecologists, geologists, paleontologists, etc. and how to get training in these fields. I highly recommend this book.

Ross, Stewart. Moon: Science, History, and Mystery. Scholastic, 2009. ISBN 978054512732. $18.99. 128 pgs. Ages 9-12. P9Q9.
I really enjoyed this book. It has good basic information about moon science, describing the Apollo 11 mission from preparation to landing on the moon. In addition, there are sections about lunar gravity, the moon’s effect on our tides, its physical characteristics, etc. My favorite parts were the sections on moon symbols, mythology and religion, science fiction dealing with the moon, its influences on world cultures through music, theater, literature, and more. This book would be popular and useful in any public or school library.

Sandell, Lisa Ann. A Map of the Known World. Scholastic, 2009. ISBN 9780545069700. $16.99. 273 pgs. Ages 13+. P8.5/ Q8.
I enjoyed this novel. It deals with Cora’s need to find closure after her older brother, Nate, died in a car accident, and how making art helped her find that. She develops a relationship with the boy who was with Nate in the car when he died, and while a relationship develops, they explore their artistic talents and creative spirits. Over the course of the book we see how grief has crippled her parents to the point that they really can’t help Cora, so she has to help herself. This book will be popular with teenagers, especially those who have lost someone close to them.

Kelly, Jacqueline. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. Henry Holt and Co., 2009. ISBN 9780805088410. $16.95. 340 pgs. Ages 9-12. P8Q10.
This is a wonderful novel about a curious, joyful, intelligent girl, Calpurnia Tate, who, in 1899, is rebelling against her family’s and society’s expectations of young girls. Callie, with the encouragement of her grandfather, is a budding naturalist, and together they explore the natural world around them, despite pressure from her mother to master sock knitting and embroidery. By the end of the book, Callie begins to find a way to balance these areas in her life. We don’t get to find out how Callie’s life turns out, but I was left hopeful. I think that any reader (especially a girl) who feels out of place in her life will love this book.

Breen, M.E., Darkwood. Bloomsbury, 2009. ISBN 9781599902593. $16.99. Ages 10-14 or older. P8Q8.
This fantasy novel tells the story of Annie, a young woman dealing with some difficult circumstances: an evil uncle, horrible monsters- kinderstalk, and conflict in various forms (between the king and the people, people and animals, children and adults). Annie is a great character. She’s curious and brave, but quiet as well. She’s very admirable without being unbelievable. Through her adventure, she learns to trust in her skills and instincts, and finds that the kinderstalk, which she had thought were enemies, can’t be classified so simplistically. I enjoyed this book a lot and would suggest in highly for high school libraries.

Briggs, Andy. Villain.net: Council of Evil, Walker & Co., 2008. IBSN 9780802795175. $7.99. Ages 11-15. P8Q6.
Jake Hunter is a school bully who, by interacting with a website, gains superpowers like radioactivity and laser vision. He is a very angry boy, and channels that anger into his new powers in very negative ways. He has a “villainous mentor”, Basilisk, who encourages this negative use of his powers until the future of the planet is in question. While the book was funny at times, I didn’t enjoy it very much. I couldn’t see that Jake learned very many lessons, except that evil is more fun than good, and that you can justify any action if you are devious enough. Any growth in his character seemed negative, as he became more twisted by his own fears and need for power. Needless to say, I can’t recommend this book, but I’m sure that there are plenty of teens who would find it very funny.

November Reviews by JV
Ferrari, Michael. Born to Fly, Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2009. ISBN 978-0-385-73715-9
This is a well written fictional story that builds around historical events during the 1940’s. This 11 year old girl is different than all the other girls in her school as she wants to fly. There is friendship, family, spies, trust and sadness all put together into an exciting story as this heroine sorts out the sequence of events. The book description is accurate and encouraging to readers. I highly recommend this book for middle school. Being different is OK. I hope Michael Ferrari will not stop with this, his first work.

Wilkins, Kim. Unclaimed Heart, Razorbill, 2009. ISBN 978-1-59514-258-0
This is a well written story is of a 17 year old girl in 1799 England on a search of her long vanished mother. She becomes a stowaway on her father’s ship and travels to Ceylon. She meets a French orphan with an unusual upbringing and romance begins. The story is exciting and fun with unexpected turns which keeps the reader’s attention.
In reading the back cover of the book I would have put it aside but for doing this book review. The cover is misleading giving to expect a cheap soap opera. Nothing I would want my daughter to read. I fail to see betrayal of her father’s trust and a sinister past of the French orphan. I do not see anything maliciousness in the characters. Quite the opposite. There are rules and social restrictions from the era that in breaking result in direct consequences. I would highly recommend this book for junior high and up.

Meminger, Neesha. Shine coconut moon. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4169-5495-8
Life after 9/11 changes for some kids, especially if they are a minority. This 17 year old girl soon is in a quest to discover her Sikh heritage that has been kept from her. She uncovers things about herself and her family. She writes “Is it possible to feel completely American as well as completely un-American?” I recommend this book to high school as a good story to get a glimpse at how it feels to be a minority. The book description is inviting. And suggested age is 14 and up.

Ryan, P.E., Saints of Augustine, HarperTeen, 2007. 320 p. ISBN 978-0060858100
This is the story of 2 best friends. Sam and Charlie are about to enter their senior year in high school. Their friendship had mysteriously ended and unexpectedly they are thrown back together again. This book touches on drugs, alcohol, heterosexual and homosexual relationships. The book description is inviting. I would recommend this to older high school students.

J.K. Lincoln County Juvenile Detention Center November 2009
Bray, Libba. Going Bovine. Delacorte Press, 2009. $17.99. 480 pages. ISBN: 9780385733977. Ages 16 – adult. P9Q9.
The acknowledgements pages are almost worth the price of the book. The author is funny and smart and without making assumptions about her lifestyle, I have to say she has really got the teen stoner thing down, including the language and mannerisms. Cameron is a going-nowhere stoner who hangs out in the 4th floor bathroom with the other stoners. When he starts hallucinating giant fire throwers, he decides he should either quit smoking pot or start smoking more. The fire throwers begin to disrupt the classroom and Cameron is in major trouble until he becomes very sick and is diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease. An angel appears to him while he is in the hospital trying an experimental drug and tells him there’s a cure. All he needs to do is find Dr. X. At the urging of Dulcie the angel, Cameron invites his hospital-room-mate and fellow 4th floor bathroom buddy, Gonzo the dwarf, whose mother is an over-protective hypochondriac, to find the mysterious Dr. X. This book is a metaphysical acid trip to Disney World that keeps the reader wondering whether it’s the journey that’s real or the hospital room with all the machines and Glory the nurse. Along the way, they have many adventures and meet up with many colorful personalities, including Balder the grumpy yard gnome. It’s one of those books I didn’t want to put down, but I also didn’t want to finish it too fast and have it end. There are so many levels in this story which makes it an absolute pleasure to read. “Maybe we’re all part of the same unconscious stew, dreaming the same dreams, hoping the same hopes, needing the same connection, trying to find it, missing, trying again – each of us playing our parts in the other’s plot lines, just one big ball of human yarn tangled up together.”

Newbery, Linda. Catcall. David Fickling Books, 2008. $15.99. 179 pages. ISBN: 9780385751643. 6th grade and up. P8Q9.
The only reason I didn’t rate this book higher than P8 is because I think that the British English can be difficult for some readers to grasp. Other than that, this is a beautifully written book. Unassuming in it looks, I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed as I was. The plot line itself might seem a bit far-fetched, but the author’s observations about life from a kid’s perspective are powerful and very visual, and illustrate how the turn of a word can transform the ordinary into something special. “Outside was so different from in, on this cold, cold night. We’re like cave people, barricading ourselves in with our lights and our fires against the chill and the dark, but it’s still out there, bigger than we can imagine. Same as it’s always been, always will be. We’ve got central heating and television and the internet, but we’re still living on this little spinning planet in the middle of all that dark, just like the earliest humans did.” On every page, the author reveals the universal connection of many of our shared feelings. “Friday turned out to be one of those days when nothing seems to go right. One of those days when everything gangs up on you. One of those that seems bad and unfair from the start. When anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Once you know you’re having that kind of day, the only thing is to get through to bedtime and hope tomorrow will be back to normal.”

McDonnell, Margot. Torn to pieces. Delacorte Press, 2008. $15.99. 258 pages. ISBN: 9780385735599. Ages 13 – 17, P8Q8.
A terrific little mystery that kept me turning the pages in order to get the full story. The story keeps jumping back in time through a letter written by Anne’s mom in the event she should disappear. The time has come for Anne to know the truth about the life that she has known for seventeen years as it begins to crumble. Being an independent, resilient, likeable young woman of courage however, enables her to uncover the truth, and do it in way that keeps us rooting for her. Very enjoyable.

Book Reviews for Nov. 2009 A.G.
Bowler, Tim. Blade: Playing Dead. NY: Philomel Books (Penguin Young Readers Group), 2008 (orig. pub. in UK). $16.99 231 pp. ages 12 up ISBN 978-0-399-25186-3 P7/Q6 Blade is the nickname of the 14-year-old street boy who lives by his wits, his sixth sense of danger, and his knife. This story is action-packed and fast-paced, a quick read, but the ending is unsatisfying. You don’t know if he lived or died, who his enemies are, and what happened to them. There’s an implication but it just fades out. Perhaps there will be a sequel. The book is written in an interesting first person form, naming the reader as “Bigeyes”, and the style works. The prose is filled with English slang that won’t mean anything to American readers, but is fairly easily figured out by guessing.

Cross, Sarah. Dull Boy. NY: Dutton Books (Penguin), 2009. $17.99 308 pp. ages 12 up ISBN 978-0-525-42133-7 P7/Q7
Avery tries to seem like your average, dull boy, an everyday kind of teenager. However, he’s been developing super powers that confuse him and cause unintended damage. Trying to help others isn’t always easy when he’s trying to keep a low profile. Then someone who knows about his superpowers shows up and the game gets dicier. This book is full of action and should appeal to fans of the TV series “Heroes”.

Higgins, Jack, with Justin Richards. Sharp Shot. NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Young Reader Group), 2009 (c. held by Harry Patterson. First pub. in UK). $16.99 214 pp. ages 12 up ISBN 978-0-399-25239-6 P7/Q7
This action adventure thriller is not particularly deep in philosophy, character, or social relevance. It’s an escapist roller coaster ride where the action never stops. Teenage (older years) twins Rich and Jade live with their newly-found father, when he’s home and not off around the world on some dangerous spy mission. Carried off by a man claiming to be an old friend of their father’s, the two narrowly miss extermination and are always in the thick of action and danger. The dialogue and character development are not a large part of this story, just relentless action. It should appeal to kids who like frenetic video games and thriller movies.

Springer, Kristina. The Espressologist. NY: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2009. $16.99 184 pp. ages 14 up ISBN 978-0-374-32228-1 P8/Q7
A teen barista wonders if love matches can be made based on what the people order at their local espresso bar. Keeping notes and trying a match or two, she finds that it works. Her boss pounces on the idea as a store promotion, but Jane the barista finds that matchmaking on demand can be tough. This entertaining romance novel is a quick read, one that could be imagined as a “date flick”. It’s pure fun, not dealing with any knotty social issues, with social situations that could fit virtually any group across the country.

Sturtevant, Katherine. The Brother’s Story. NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009. $16.99 275 pp. ages 12 up ISBN 978-0-374-30992-3 P7/Q8
Twin brothers in England struggle to survive the worst winter in history, that of 1683-4. Identical in looks, one is bright and the other is “simple” (not an idiot, as they say, but probably oxygen-deprived during birth). Both were given the same name, Christopher, as they expected one of them would die. Instead they both lived to be teenagers and are called Kit and Christy. Left with only their mother and 3-year-old brother and no means of income, they must beg. The story follows Kit as he tries to find a way to survive and help his family during that one awful winter. It reveals the hardships of the lower classes, including the need to beg or to resort to prostitution, and their lack of an organized support system either through the government or the church. The ending is fairly satisfying. For a historical novel, this one is more likely to appeal to both boys and girls than the average, and the reader will learn a lot about English society of the day along the way.

Wells, Pamela. The Heartbreakers. NY: Point (Scholastic), 2007. $16.99 296 pp. ages 12 up ISBN 978-0-439-02691-8 P7/Q5
This story starts out with the bad news—broken relationships for the 4 girl protagonists. Daughter of psychologists, one of the girls thinks of putting together a “Breakup Code” that they adopt in hopes of getting over their pain. The rules are pretty sensible. This is a frothy girl-buddies book that might be upbeat enough to cheer up a teen who’s recently broken up. It is not particularly deep or unpredictable; it’s even a bit formulaic. But as the equivalent of comfort food, the happy ending might be just the thing for spending time with the book. Anyone who can make it past the valentine hearts & birds on the cover will get about what they expect.

Gill, David Macinnis. Soul Enchilada. New York: Greenwillow Books (Harper Collins), 2009. $16.99 356 pp. ages 13 up ISBN 978-0-06-167301 P8/Q8
Bug is a young adult living in El Paso, on her own and broke since her grandfather died after selling his soul for a Cadillac car. She’s a smart-mouthed, jive talkin’ basketball player, down on her luck and being repo’ed by the devil. Lots of allusions to the variations on demons; her particular foe is Beals a.k.a. Beelzebub. It’s Bug vs. The Lord of the Flies. The supernatural story line is relieved by the off-hand, comic voice of Bug. A fast moving story, readers will likely stick it out to the end to find out who wins and who goes to hell. Her budding romance with Pesto, a hopeful demon-catcher in a sort of ghostbusters bureau, also adds a love interest.

Giff, Patricia Reilly. Wild Girl. NY: Wendy Lamb Books (Random House), 2009. $15.99 146 pp. ages 10 up ISBN 978-0-375-83890-3 P7/Q7
Lidie is a 6th grader now, living for 4 years with her grandparents in Brazil after her mother died and her father and older brother left for America. Now she is finally going to join them, trying to find her place in a new world of race horse training. She’s got talents that, because she’s young and only speaks Portuguese, may go unappreciated for a while, but her determined spirit is undampened. To any girl who likes horses, this story should appeal. It’s a very quick read, but has a satisfying course.

Book Review November 2009 – C.B.
Abbott, Ellen, Watersmeet, Marshall Cavendish, Tarrytown, NY., 2009, 341 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0761455361, Gr. 7, P 8, Q 8,
Abisina, a 13-year-old girl, lives in small village, Vranille, with her mother who is a healer. In this society Abisina is also an outcast as her father is unknown and her skin and hair are both dark. These are things that go against the villages belief in Vran, a man who led them across the mountains and is now seen as a God. The village is in war against the beings that the village sees as unclean, the dwarf’s, the fairies, and the centaurs. Abisina escapes capture and death by the villagers who have been thrown into turmoil by the evil Charach, who is out to destroy the world. Abisina herself must overcome her prejudices towards those beings out side her village gates if she is to survive, meet her father and save the world. This fantasy adventure will appeal to older students in middle and high school.

Cooney, Caroline, If the witness lied, Delacorte Press, New York, 2009, 213 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0385734484, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
Jack Fountain is now living with his brother, Tris a three year old and his aunt who helps to take care of the family. Tris the baby is directly involved in both of his parents deaths. The mom who had Cancer, she chose not to take treaments while carrying Tris, and the father from a car accident, because Tris released the parking break. His two sisters have left the house Smithy to a boarding school and Madison to the parents of the children she has cared for. Jack discovers that Aunt Cheryl is meeting with a T.V. producer who wants to feature their family in a reality show. The four siblings must come together while overcoming their own fears to protect the family from Aunt Cheryl and the reality show. This is a book that will appeal to students in 5th grade and higher.

DiCamillo, Kate, The magician’s elephant, illustrated Yoko Tanaka, Candlewick Press, 2009, 201 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0763644102, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 9,
Peter Augustus Duchene is ten-years-old, both of his parents are dead and he lives with an aging soldier, Vilna Lutz who is his guardian. Peter’s life is dark and dismissal he trains every day with Vilna so he be a good soldier like his father. Every day he goes to the market to buy the oldest bread and smallest fish so that they can have supper. One day he chooses to use the money at a fair to have his fortune told. With this choice his life is changed forever. The fortune teller tells him to follow the elephant and that night in the Bliffenendorf Opera House a elephant falls through the ceiling after a magician calls him forth in spell he is casting. Teeming in magic but a tale that is also strong in love and mystery this book will appeal to all ages as Peter follows the elephant to his long lost sister. The illustrations, in black and white, by Yoko Tanaka, make this dark story, and characters come to life leaving you with a feeling of warmth as the siblings are reunited.

Haddix, Margaret, Sent, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2009, 308 pgs., $15.99 ISBN:1416954228, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
Jonah Skidmore is a 13 year-old boy who was adopted along with 36 other children who mysteriously appeared one night in a jet plane. Now he and the others are being gathered so that they can be replaced from the times in the past that they were taken from. In this the book the sequel to “Found” Jonah and his sister, Katherine, fall through time after Chip and Alex who have been sent back time to the year 1483. Set in England Chip and Alex are really King Edward and Prince Richard and their Uncle they discover has imprisoned them in the Tower of London. Jonah and Katherine must help Chip and Alex to set time right and then return with them to the future. This book will appeal to those in upper elementary and above.

Halpern, Jake, and Kujawinski, Peter, Dormia, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, Massachusetts, 2009, 506 pgs., $17.00, ISBN:0547076657, Gr. 7+, P, Q,
Alfonso Perplexon is a normal 13 year-old boy who lives in World’s End, Minnesota with his widowed mother and grandfather. That is until he starts doing things that are in his sleep and his world starts to change. Alfonso soon discovers that he is a descended from the sleepers of the ancient city of Dormia, which is located in the Ural Mountains. Alfonso with his Uncle Hill must return to Dormia with the Founding Tree which will save Domia and its inhabitants from freezing. The plot is one that will attract middle school and high school student as the plot thickens and twists with every chapter.

Park, Barbara, Junie B.’s essential survival guide to school, Random House, New York, 2009, unp., $12.99, ISBN:0375838112, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 7,
The school I once worked in has been changed from a middle school to one that now houses 4 grade through 8th grade. The younger students are clamoring for Junie B Jones books. Much to my surprise I found one and was able to finally read all about Junie B and the obstacle’s that she felt that she knew about and what was needed to survive school. This mischievous and adventurous young girl is a wonder and one that I can see that appeals to younger girls. This book will be one that will be snapped up as soon it is out on the shelves.

Paulsen, Gary, Notes from the dog, Wendy Lamb Books, 2009, 132 pgs., $15.99, ISBN:0385738455, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
Fifteen-year-old Finn has always had trouble talking to people and has only one friend Matthew. His father is busy morning his mother who passed away years before and working. Finn knows he needs a job and that it needs to be one away from people as he has so much trouble dealing with them. So when beautiful Johanna moves in next door Finn is immediately drawn to her. Ten years older than Finn, Johanna, who is suffering from breast cancer, hires Finn to create a garden for her. Finn’s garden is a comedy of errors but one that helps him to learn how to deal and talk with people. Finn’s dog Dylan is used as a note carrier between Finn and Johanna. This is a book that made me cry and laugh and is sure to appeal to Gary Paulsen followers.

Petersen, P. J., Wild river, Delcorte Press, New York, 2009, 120 pgs., $14.99, ISBN:0385737246, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
At the age of twelve Ryan has found his niche in life that of one who loves video and computer games. His older brother Tanner is a athlete who excels at all the sports he has ever played. Tanner is also well liked and thought by his family and friends. Ryan has always stood in his brother’s shadow until the day he comes to Tanner’s rescue.
Kayaking down Boulder River and staying over night is something Tanner thought up to get Ryan out of the house. He never dreamed that the he would be injured and that it would be Ryan who had to save him. It also the lessons that Ryan learned through his games that helps him to rescue Tanner. This is a novel that will appeal to those who love adventure and also those who like to see the underdog win.

Phelan, Matt, The storm in the barn, illustrated by Matt Phelan, Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts, 2009, 201 pgs., $24.99, ISBN:0763636185, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 9,
Jack Clark is an eleven-year-old boy who lives in Kansas on a farm with his family in 1937. A drought has hit Kansas and his family almost leaves because of all the dust that is wind blowing. Dust storms hit the area and the sky is black with the earth that the wind is carrying away. Jack’s younger sister is ill as a result of breathing this polluted air. It is the illustrations however that make this story come alive. Black and white drawings show the desperation of the people and the effect that the dust storms have on their lives. This is a book that should be placed in all school and public libraries.

Rinaldi, Ann, My Vicksburg, Harcourt Houghton Mifflin, Boston, Massachusetts, 2009, 154 pgs, $16.00, ISBN:0152066241, Gr. 5+, P 7, Q 8,
If you are a fan of historical fiction this is the book for you. Set in Vicksburg in 1863 a a southern family has taken to the caves to escape the Union bombardment of their city. Claire Louise Corbett is 13 years-old the year that her brother, Robert, becomes a doctor in the Union Army. Her well to do family has a hard time excepting the fact that he chose the Union over the Confederate Army, but to Claire he is still her beloved brother. It is by chance that Claire finds her brother during a lull in the bombardment and brings him back to the family’s cave. Robert has rescued a young Confederate soldier and ask his family to tend to him. The young soldier carries a secret and Claire must decide to help him escape or to let Robert turn him to the Confederate Army.

Slayton, Fran, When the whistle blows, Philomel Books, New York, 2009, 162 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:0399251898, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 10,
What a superb book which offers a unique plot of looking at one family from 1943 to 1949 and set on the same day each year, Halloween. The story is set in a remote town of Rowlesburg, West Virginia where Jimmy dreams of the day that he can become a railroad man like his father. His father is determined that Jimmy won’t become a railroad man he will instead stay in school and make something of himself. Jimmy has always seen his father as a remote and unemotional man who he can’t talk to. That is until the day his Uncle Dick dies and on All Hollow’s Eve the society, a secret organization, holds a wake for Uncle Dick and he sees his father cry. This books a offers the reader a journey through Jimmy’s life that will appeal to any who reads it. I loved it. It made me laugh, cry and finally celebrate Jimmy and his family life.

Vernon, Ursula, Dragonbreath, Dial Books, New York, 2009, 140 pgs., $12.99, ISBN:0803733631, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 7,
Written in comic book, graphic novel, style the adventures of Dragonbreath and Wendell under the sea are told. Dragonbreath visits his cousin a sea serpent after he receives a “F” on his sea report. Dragbreath is also worried that he will never gain the ability to breath fire. It is the report and his adventures under the sea though that he finally gains some success in fire breathing.

Verrillo, Erica, World’s end, Random House, New York, 2009, 322 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:037583950X, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
This the third book in the Phoenix Rising trilogy and where the answers to this fantasy adventures are finally answered. I loved this series and enjoyed seeing Elissa grow into such a strong young woman. She was resourceful and independent enough that she stood up to her father, he was planning her marriage, to escape and take her destiny into her own hands. Those who loved the first two books will love this final one too.

Uehashi, Nahoko, translated by Cathy Hirano, Moribito II : guardian of the darkness, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, Arthur A. Levine Books, New York , 1999, 245 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:0545102952, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 9,
I loved the first book of this strong woman’s character Balsa and found this one to be even better. Balsa is now alone as her mentor died in the last book. She now makes her way home to reunite with her aunt and to discover the truth of why her father was killed. The secret that has been kept from the people in the valley and the twist and turns of the plot will keep all the readers on the edge of their seat at read this rousing adventure. If you like the first book you will love the second. I look forward to the Balsa’s further adventures.

Yohalem, Eve, Escape under the forever sky, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2009, 218 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:081186653X, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
Set in Addis Ababa the capital of Ethiopia Lucy, 13-years-old, is the American ambassador’s daughter and has a very confining life. She dreams of returning to America and a much freer life. Her in Ethiopia is severely restricted as she in danger of being kidnapped. The one day she defies her mother she is kidnapped and must escape in to the wild bush of Ethiopia. Her wish for adventure finally comes true as the kidnappers follow her through the bush. This adventure story will appeal to older elementary students.

Bial, Raymond, Ellis Island : coming to the land of liberty, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Boston, Massachusetts, 2009, 56 pgs., $18.00, ISBN:0618999434, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 9,
Waves of immigrants flowed through Ellis Island. This book is one that shows the despair as well as the joy of reaching America. This book is full photographs and actual articles that were left behind by the immigrants. Ellis Island went through many changes: a fire destroyed the building, a school and hospital were built. The history of the Island and previous locations for debarkation were all included in the book. This is a must for all public and school libraries.

Chaiken, Andrew,and Kohl, Victoria, Mission control, this Apollo: The story of the first voyages to the moon, illustrations by Alan Bean, Viking, New York, 2009, 114 pgs., index, $23.99, ISBN:0670011568, Gr. 5+, P 9, Q 10,
I remember sitting in front of a black and white T.V. in Jackson, Wyoming and seeing the Neal Armstrong step foot on the moon. This historical occurrence came in as a grainy image hard to see but still one that conveyed so much of this historical event. Reading this book brought that time back again but in more detail. The space race was on again and as you turn the pages you are able to see what it took to get man into space. The illustrations which are actual oil paintings by astronaut Alan Bean are beyond believable. Painted from memory Bean’s rendition of space and his time on the moon make you feel like you are there. This is another book that needs to be on the shelves of both public and school libraries.

Harley, Avis, African Acrostics: a word in edgeways, photographs by Deborah Noyles, Candlewick Press, 2009, $17.99, unp., ISBN:0763636215, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 10,
Every year in school I had to come up with words that would describe my last name Chambers. It always seemed to be such a struggle to find words that would describe myself. Now in the pages of this book not only did I find new ways to write an acrostics but finally realized that it was fun and enjoyable too. I sure wish it would have been available back in grade school. Who would have thought to write a double acrostics or one that went in different directions. This book would be a great addition to any library.

Low, Alice, The fastest game on two feet and other poems about how sports begin, illustrated by John O’Brien, Holiday House, New York, 2009, 40 pgs., ISBN:0823419053, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
Every sport that I could think of was represented in this book. There is not only a poem about it but also the history of the sport is included too. Little known facts are incorporated in the history such as: the king of France declared that Tennis was gambling and it could no longer be played. The cartoon style illustrations will draw the reader in as you see football and basketball players run to score some points. A fun book that sports enthusiasts and poetry lovers will enjoy.

Mack, Stan and Champlin, Susan. Road to Revolution!, Bloomsbury, New York, 2009, 121 pgs., $10.99, ISBN:1599903717, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 8,
The format of this book, graphic novel, makes the study of history fun. The first page captured my attention as Penny, becomes a spy and works to foil the British. It’s 1775 in Boston and turmoil is boiling against England’s suppression of the colonies. It is up to Nick, a orphan of Boston, and Penny to deliver information to the rebels so that the British can be defeated. Any student would love this book.

Scherer, Glenn and Fletcher, Marty, Who Earth is Aldo Leopold? father of wildlife ecology, Enslow Publishers, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, 112 pgs., index, $31.93, ISBN:1598451154, Gr. 4+, P 7, Q 8,
Aldo Leopold as a young man collected things from the forest and dreamed of working in the there as an adult. His dream came true as he later worked for the U.S. Forestry Service. It was because of the things that Leopold learned on the job that we now have conservation practices in place that are followed in national parks, national forests and national reserves. It was this man who has insured these areas for future generations. While the book will not sail off the shelves this book is an easy to read and the story of Leopold’s life is one that will capture the reader’s attention.

First Thursdays Book Review Group Dec. 3, 2009 L.R. for Siletz Library
Picture Books

Castrovilla, Selene. Upon Secrecy. Il. Jeff Crosby and Shelley Ann Jackson. Calkins Creek, 2009, 32 pgs. Ages 8 and up. ISBN 9781590785737 $17.95 P5Q8
Selene Castrovilla has done an extensive amount of research on this little known story in American history: the Culper Spy Ring who gathered information about the British and relayed it on to General George Washington during the Revolutionary War. The heart of the ring was Robert Townsend, who wrote for a loyalist newspaper and was a pacifist Quaker. The story and the beautiful acrylic paintings convey how the spies went about gathering and transferring information and the danger they were in. Almost more interesting than the story is the afterward, where the reader learns that the identity of Townsend was only discovered in 1930 and what happened to the members after the war. There is also a timeline, places to visit and a bibliography. This book would be a good purchase for a library or a gift for a student who is very interested in early American history or spies.

Stein, Janet. This Little Bunny Can Bake. Random House, Inc. 2009, unpgd. Ages 4-6. ISBN 9780375843136 $15.99 P8 Q8
The illustrations in this book are very interesting, with shades of black and gray drawings, only accented by the red text and the pink (unnamed) bunny, who is the main character. The bunny and assorted other creatures enter “Chef George’s School of Dessertology,” where they approach the studying with varying degrees of interest and tastes. Readers will enjoy the chaos and the recipes on the face pages.

Stead, Philip Christian. Creamed Tuna Fish & Peas on Toast. Roaring Brook Press, 2009, unpgd. Ages 3-5. ISBN 9781596434011 $16.99 P7Q8
For any child who hates one meal more than anything, this book will bring smiles. It could serve as an easy reader book, as many of the words and phrases are repeated over and over, or it could work as a story time book, with the children screaming out the catch phrase “’cause I hate it the most!” The illustrations are a bit odd, with faint imprints of old rubber stamps in the design as well as a collage effect with old newspapers and postage stamps. I am not sure the design really adds anything to the story, but it doesn’t detract, either.

Chen, Yong. A Gift. Boyds Mill Press, 2009, unpgd. Ages 4-6. ISBN 9781590786109 $16.95 P6Q8
If your library is doing a Chinese New Year theme, this would be an excellent purchase. It is the story of a woman from China who misses her family back home. The family sends a gift to the woman’s little girl which turns out to be a necklace made from a stone found by one brother, carved by another, and sent by a sister. The watercolor illustrations are gorgeous and large—perfect for story time. This book would also be an excellent pick for an American family with adopted Chinese children.

Chapter Books
Barrows, Annie. Ivy & Bean: Doomed to Dance. Il. Sophie Blackall. Chronicle Books, 2009, unpgd. Ages 8-11. ISBN 9780811862660 $14.99 P8Q9
Ivy and Bean are two precocious, but loveable second graders who are bent on taking ballet lessons. When cast as “friendly squids” in their recital, they dream up crazy plans for escaping that recital—including getting lost in an aquarium. Lots of kids (and adults) will relate to this pair and the simple, black and white illustrations are perfect for enhancing the storyline. The text may be too difficult for second graders, but it would be a really fun read-aloud book. This is book six of a series and would be especially relevant to libraries on the Oregon coast, but I would buy the whole series for a library.

Kneen, Maggie. Hamlet and the Tales of Sniggery Woods. Henry Holt and Company , 2009, 76 pgs. Ages 5-8. ISBN 9780805077018 $16.95 P5Q9
Reminiscent of Beatrix Potter’s books, this is the story of a pig who inherits a café in a little English town and turns it into a cooking school. Just as Potter’s illustrations draw the reader into another world, so do Maggie Kneen’s. The animal characters are sweet and the desserts in the pictures are even sweeter! Stories about woodland creatures may not be for every reader, but those who do enjoy them will love this book.

Teen Books
Leal, Ann Haywood. Also Known as Harper. Henry Holt and Company, 2009, 246 pgs. Ages 10 and up. ISBN 978088816 $16.95 P7 Q9
Harper Lee Morgan was aptly named, as she is an aspiring poet with a little brother named Hemingway. Her dream is to enter the Whaley County Poetry Contest this year. Her drunkard father blocked her entry last year and told her that she would never be a poet. But this is only the beginning of Harper’s troubles. She, her brother and her mother deal with abandonment, homelessness and the death of a new friend. Harper is a very real character, and easy to like. She may hate her next door neighbor, Winnie Rae, but shows her humanity when she sits with Winnie Rae and holds her upon learning about the death of Winnie’s newborn sibling. Although the language in the book is simple, the characters and their surroundings are easily imaginable and sympathetic. The ending is realistic, with no magic fixes, but leaving the reader feeling everything will be okay for this family. It is a very touching story and one that will appeal to practically all ages.

Brooks, Laurie. Selkie Girl. Alfred A. Knopf, 2008, 262 pgs. Ages 14-18. ISBN 9780375851704 $15.99 P7Q8
The legend of the selkies from the Orkney Islands north of the Scottish mainland is an old and fascinating story. It is the story of seals who come ashore one night out of a year and shed their sealskins to become human. If their skins are taken by a human, they are trapped on land, never to return to their undersea home. This is the story of Elin Jean, a young woman with webbed hands who can’t understand why the other islanders treat her as an outcast. The language in the book, though not in a Scottish dialect, is authentic sounding and reveals the simple, hardscrabble life on the islands. The reader has no clue what time period the story takes place in except for a reference to white satin gloves with pearl buttons, but that doesn’t matter as the story is timeless, magical and thoroughly engrossing. This book will enthrall any reader who loves mythology, but also anyone who just loves to read and escape to another world.

Winick, Judd. Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss & What I Learned. Henry Holt and Company, 187 pgs. Ages 15 and up. ISBN 9780805089646 $16.99 P3Q7
This graphic novel is a reprint of a book written in 2000 about an event that occurred in 1994. That isn’t so very long ago, but the teens who would be reading this book were only toddlers at the time and won’t remember the reality TV show involved, or the panic that AIDS caused in the general public. The author auditioned for, and became a cast member of an MTV show “The Real World.” The cast members lived together for six months and the author’s roomie was a young gay man with HIV. Pedro was still feeling healthy at the beginning of the six months and kept a hectic schedule of educating youth about AIDS. But his health declined rapidly and the author, who came to cherish and admire his roommate, took over the speaking and education duties. Pedro died not long after the reality show ended, but the author is determined that his friend’s courageousness not be forgotten. At first, the cartooning style is a little off-putting to the story, but one rapidly gets drawn in and the pages fly! It is an interesting, historical story but I am not sure it will hold the interest of today’s teen. As assigned reading, it may get good, educational results.

December 2009 Book Reviews Newport Prep Academy and High School Student Reviewers
All Fiction Selections

Brennan, Sarah Rees. The Demon’s Lexicon. Margaret K. McElderry Books, New York, 2009. $17.99 ISBN: 9780416963790 322 p. HS Nick and Alan are brothers who run from magic. They have a stolen charm that magicians are after. Already, their father is dead and their mother is crazy. The stolen charm keeps their mother alive but the magicians want power. Bad luck for them gets even worse once Alan is marked by a demon, which will turn him into a magician. Nick has to save his brother and they know the only way is to kill a magician. Lies begin to show, and so distrust grows between Alan and Nick. The truth comes out and it shocks the entire family. I liked this book; it’s very much a fantasy, but I was able to get into the book really fast. You have to be patient in some long areas, but the book’s ending was pretty good and it built right up to it perfectly. Review by C.L.L., NHS 11th grader

Mitchell, Saundra. Shadowed Summer. Delacorte Press, New York, 2009. $15.99 ISBN:9780385735711 183 p. MS-HS
Fourteen-year-old Iris lives in Louisiana, and up until now, she’s led a boring, average life. This summer starts our arm and dull, but begins to change for Iris when a ghost begins to haunt her. Before Iris was born a boy named Elijah went missing from her town and was never found. Yet Iris seems to have found him and a lot of the stuff that he begins to cause. However, she doesn’t understand why she has to witness it all. Even though she’s sort of scared, she’s is curious and wants to know the cause of his disappearance and his ultimate death. I sort of liked this book: I liked the main idea of the book and Iris as a character, but I didn’t really get into how she solved the death mystery. I felt it was a little too typical and sort of similar to other teen ghost books. Review by C.L.L., NHS 11th grader

Oaks, J. Adams. Why I Fight. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York, 2009. $16.99. ISBN:9781416911777 228 p. MS-HS
Wyatt starts right off by telling you he hates the name ‘kiddo.’ His uncle, who he’s been living with since he was 12, acts like Wyatt has no real identity and basically uses him to earn money in his “business deals.” But Wyatt wants his life to be his own, so he starts to fight. Through the course of the book, Watt discovers himself as a person, how good he is at fighting, and how much his family matters. It doesn’t end too good for them, but Wyatt learns a lot along the way and you’ll notice it. The book is believable, the storyline is pretty developed, though some might not like it for the memory jumps or simple writing, but it shows a side of life that isn’t all that common. Review by C.L.L., NHS 11th grader

Sanchez, Alex The God Box. Simon & Schuster, New York, 2007. $16.99 ISBN: 9781426908999 248 p. MS-HS
I liked this book; I felt this was a good and respectful book that should be read by all. I agree with reviewer Micheal Cart, when he said: “with candor, conviction, and compassion, Alex Sanchez dramatizes the plight of teens who struggle to balance their homosexuality and their deeply felt religious beliefs.” Review by A.C., NPA 7th grader

Kaye, Marilyn. Gifted, Book 1: Out of Sight, Out of Mind. Kingfisher, New York, 2009. $6.99 ISBN:9780753462836 240 p. HS
Stuck in someone else’s body isn’t the best thing in the world for Amanda Beeson, especially if you are the most popular girl in the school. After one day, waking up in hot-too-cool Tracy Devon’s body, Amanda goes haywire. She tries to find help from Tenna Kelley, after Tenna found out about her secret. Tenna was always the weird one out, but she never minded until her long-lost dad showed up. He made her feel like she never felt before; he even made her biggest dream seem more than a possibility. That’s all she ever wanted to have a normal family, living a normal life. The storyline of this book is good, but some of the characters weren’t that strong. The author seems to forget which character acted a certain way, but then again, I’m reading the uncorrected proof copy, so maybe the editing hasn’t happened yet. Review by A.C., NHS 11th grader

Harris, Charlaine, et al. Wolfsbane and Mistletoe. Berkley Publishing, New York, 2008. $24.95 ISBN:9780441016334 340 p. HS+ Wolfsbane and Mistletoe is a collection of short stories about werewolves, vampires, and creepy Santas. The best book to read around the holidays: it will make you want to not eat any of your sister’s homemade cookies this Christmas. I had mixed feelings about the book; some of the stories were really good and others just didn’t make sense. I think it would have been better if they sectioned the book by age level, as many of the stories were for younger readers and others were too sophisticated for my level.

Avasthi, Swati. Split. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2010. $16.99 ISBN:9780375863400 240 p. HS. Jace Witherspoon comes from a broken home. His father, a respected judge, beats him and his mom in violent, out of control spurts of anger. One night Jace has to leave, and he goes to see his older brother who ran out on them, or so Jace feels. But his brother Christian has build an entirely new life around himself, and what Jace brings threatens to break all Christian has worked for. Jace wants to free his mother, but he has to learn that some people don’t to (or can’t) be saved. I loved this book; stories like this happen all the time in real life. I loved the characters, the story structure, and the relationships. However, I found 5 typos – but I was reviewing an uncorrected proof copy. Review by K.J., NHS 11th grader

Prose, Francine. Touch. HarperTeen, New York, 2009. $16.99 ISBN:9780061375170 262 p. HS This book takes its point of view from Maisie, a freshman. One day she is riding in the back seat of the bus when three of her ex-best friends (all boys: Chris, Kevin, and Shakes) attack her and start to touch her breasts. This book takes place in the aftermath of the whole mess, with the lawyers, judges, and family. At first she denies what happened, then she tells them all the truth. This book shows what it’s like to be a girl teen and how confusing it can all be during your freshman year. I liked this book because it is different than the whole vampire, fairies fantasy thing that ‘s so popular right now in young adult lit. It is an addicting read. Review by M.S.O., NHS 11th grader

December 2009 Book Reviews L.F., Newport Prep Academy & High School
All Non-Fiction Selections

Lang, Glenna & Marjory Wunsch. Genius of Common Sense: Jane Jacobs and the story of The Death and Life of Great American Cities. David R. Godine, Boston, MA, 2009. $17.95 ISBN: 9781567923841 127 p. MS-HS A meticulously researched biography of an amazing woman, this book details the career evolution and community activism of Jane Jacobs. Jacobs’ work has been heralded as the greatest influence on urban planning and this book pays homage to her diligence in changing the way planners think about cities and their development. The many photos, maps, and illustrations help make this book more enticing and readable for a young audience. Contains T of C, notes, bibliography, and index. P5 Q9

Ginsberg, Blaze. Episodes: My Life as I see it. Roaring Book Press, New York, 2009. $16.99 ISBN: 9781596434615 274 p. Young Adult
Blaze Ginsberg doesn’t think, cope, or communicate like “normal” kids. As a high functioning autistic teen, Blaze views his existence as series of daily scripts, complete with soundtracks and trivia. This is a memoir he wrote of his high school years, all in script. While at times it’s disjointed and repetitive, teens will appreciate the drama and humor Blaze has put into this and be inspired by his struggle to overcome obstacles. P7 Q8

Meltzer, Milton. Willa Cather: A biography. Twenty-First Century Books, Minneapolis, MN, 2008. $33.26 ISBN: 9780822576044 160 p. MS –HS In this outstanding biography, Meltzer has presented a thoroughly engaging and comprehensive tour of a great author’s life. Cather’s unconventional approach to writing and life make an interesting story. Meltzer’s nonjudgmental narrative and the accompanying photos illuminate the biography and make it easy for young readers to relate to Willa. Though this book is appropriate for grades 7-12, the large type font selected makes it appear to be for younger audiences, which might be a turn-off for HS researchers. Contains T of C, chronology, source notes, bibliography, list of Cather’s works, internet resource, and index. P6 Q8

Berne, Emma Carlson. Helen Keller: Courage in Darkness. ISBN:9781402751479
Borzendowski, Janice. Marie Curie: Mother of Modern Physics. ISBN:9781402753183
Mullin, Rita Thievon. Anne Frank: Hidden Hope. ISBN:9781402751486
All by Sterling Publishing, New York, 2009. $5.95 124 p. MS-HS
It’s hard to imagine any biography series that gives more information bang for the buck than these pocket-sized Sterling biographies. The writing styles are succinct but engaging and the text is illuminated with abundant photos, illustrations, and maps. Sidebars illuminate and help frame the settings of the biographies. Of the three that I reviewed, the Curie biography is the most detailed; without a doubt this is one of the better YA biographies on Marie Curie I have read, and I have read many. Contains T of C, glossary, bibliography, source notes, and index. P6 Q8

December 2009 Book Reviews C.S. Siletz Public Library
Resau, Laura. The Indigo Notebook. Delacorte Press, 2009. ISBN 9780385736527. $16.99. 324 pgs. Ages. P8.5Q9. I enjoyed this book by Laura Resau, who has a background in cultural anthropology and ESL-teaching, and knows Latin America very well because of her travels. It tells the story of Zeeta, a 15 year old girl who accompanies her ESL teacher/ hippie mom Layla around the world- a different country every year. Zeeta longs for a more traditional life, and a traditional family. This book is interesting because it explores the idea that you should be careful about what you wish for, and that sometimes you get what you need instead of what you want. It combines a travel account, rich in cultural details, with a mystery and a romance, and well-chosen quotations from the mystic poet Jelaladin Rumi are thought provoking. I found that I really liked the characters of both Zeeta and Layla and found the developments in their characters very interesting. I think that teenagers who are developing the travel bug, have an interest in other cultures, or wish for a different kind of family will love this book.

Graber, Janet. The White Witch. Roaring Brook Press, 2009. ISBN 9781596433373. $17.95. 152 pgs. Ages 10-14. P7.5 Q8. This book is set during the plague years in 17th century England. Gwendoline Riston is girl who has a way with plants and animals, and has a gift for healing. The villagers are suspicious of her because of these gifts and because of her odd looks (she’s unusually fair). As the plague comes to her village, she is left alone (her mother is dead) when her father goes looking for her older brother. The villagers call her a witch and blame for the outbreak of disease in the village. We follow her story as she hides out in a secret room above the church while the village is devastated. I found the story interesting, especially the internal conflict when she has to decide whether to keep herself safe or help her brothers fiance, but the author’s attempt to use language from the time didn’t work very well for me. She used archaic language, trying to evoke an atmosphere, but somehow it seemed forced and inconsistent. Despite this problem, the story carried me along to the end. I think it might make the black death more real to a student who is studying these years.

Finn, Mary. Anila’s Journey. Candlewick Press, 2008. ISBN 9780763639167. $16.99. 309 pgs. Ages 13-18. P7.5 Q9. This beautifully written novel is about an orphaned Anglo-Indian girl in 18th century India. Her Irish father and Indian mother were not married- biracial marriage was difficult because of cultural factors in India at the time. After Anila’s father returns to Ireland, her mother ends up a “bibi,” or mistress to a foreigner in order to support her daughter. Anila ends up working for an open minded naturalist as an assistant draftsman on a river journey to find an unnamed bird species. Chapters alternate between her river adventure, her search for her father and flashbacks to her childhood and how she ended up alone. Anila is an interesting character- she is bilingual in Bengali and English, a very talented artist, and a brave and curious girl. I really enjoyed this book for its lovely, evocative language, and descriptions of an interesting time and place in history. I think high school students (or maybe mature middle schoolers) will like this book. Some may find it a bit slow paced, but I think thoughtful readers will enjoy it. Anila’s Journey is Mary Finn’s first novel, and I’m eager to read more.

Juvenile Fiction 
Roy, James. Max Quigley: Technically Not a Bully. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009 (US edition). $12.95. ISBN 9780547152639. 202 pgs. Ages 8-12. P7Q8. Here is another book about bullying, but this one is fairly amusing, and the main character, who is the bully, changes over the course of the book. The change comes about because of forced contact with a nerdy kid (the parents make them spend time together)- not very believable, maybe. The author uses a funny, conversational tone that made it easy for me to get past the Australian vocabulary and slang, but some kids may have a problem with this.

J.K Lincoln County Juvenile Detention December 2009 Book Reviews
Preller, James. Bystander. Feiwel and Friends. New York. 2009. ISBN 139780312379063. 223 pages. $16.99. Grades 5 – 7. P9, Q8. Read this book to a group of incarcerated kids. It held their attention throughout and they were looking forward to reading time. It’s basically a good coming of age story about twelve year old Eric who gets in with a crowd of bullies at the beginning of 7th grade. He grapples with the difficulties of fitting in with a new group in a new school and learns how far he’s willing to go for friendship, and at what point he’ll stand up for himself and others. My initial reaction was that this is a timely subject and I was excited at the prospect of the direction the author could take the story line in terms of educating young people about bullying. Unfortunately, we found the ending to be anti-climactic and somewhat of a let-down. The author states it himself at the end of the book: “So just like that, it was over. No final curtain. No big letters, THE END, flashing across the screen”. Bottom line, this IS a timely subject. In the acknowledgements, the author refers to Martin Luther King, Jr’s words regarding the “appalling silence”, “In the end we’ll remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends”. James Preller concludes with “Let’s all make some noise”.

The following 2 reviews were written by a 17 year old girl incarcerated for various offenses:
Volponi, Paul. Rooftop. Viking, New York. 2006. ISBN 0670060690. 199 pages. $15.99
This book was a good book until the end when the cops did not get put in jail for shooting a kid who did not do anything wrong. Plus the book left me hanging so I could not know what happens next. I would have kept reading the next book if they had one.

Hautman, Pete. How to Steal a Car. Scholastic Press, New York. 2009. ISBN 139780545113182. 170 pages. $16.99
I thought the book was boring and did not have a point.

Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Eternal. Candlewick Press, MA. 2009. ISBN 9780763635732. 307 pages. $17.99 Appropriate for high school age readers. P9, Q8.
The story is presented from dual perspectives: Miranda, a typical seventeen year old girl and Zachary, “heaven’s bad boy”. Zachary is Miranda’s guardian angel and it’s his fault Miranda has been seized by a vampire. He tried to prevent events from occurring and has been kicked out of heaven, only to find some time later he’s been given a second chance to fix things and save Miranda’s soul. I’m not a huge fan of vampire books, but I liked Zachary’s bumbling manner and his innocence in the face of things evil and holy. The story builds on itself and draws the reader in (whether they like it or not) and it’s a fine work of suspense.

De La Peña, Matt. We Were Here. Delacorte Press, New York. 2009. ISBN 9780385736671. 356 pages. $17.99. High School. P10, Q10.
This is easily the best book I’ve read this year. I almost don’t know how to review it. Where to even start. Finished it 2 days ago and am still raw. The story introduces us to Miguel who has just left Juvi and is entering a group home. When reading most books for young adults that I find to describe kids in a realistic way, in the back of my mind I’m thinking: “Boy, this author really has the kid lingo down”. Throughout this book, I never once forgot I was reading the journal of a seventeen year old ‘Juvi’ kid. To summarize the story would be to trivialize it. Suffice it to say this book has the magic of being able to take me form bust-out laughter to incredible sadness. It’s been many books ago that I sobbed through the last few chapters.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers
December 2009 Reviews by N.W.

Curlee, Lynn. Trains. Atheneum, 2009. $19.99. 978-1-4169-4983-3. 44p. Ages 9-12: Following a remembrance of the trains that clickety-clacked through the author’s North Carolina, the author presents a chronological account of the monsters that rode the rails in the United States, connecting the information with important historical events such as the Western expansion and then describing their gradual disappearance with the popularity of cars and planes. The writing is clear and competent but not terribly exciting, and the book would have benefitted from an index. What makes this book valuable are the awesome art deco-style geometric acrylic paintings. Their perspective, often against the vastness of where they traveled, and the emphasis on blue and gray creates a strong visceral feeling. (The text is Q7 and the illustrations are Q9, averaging Q8.) P6

Krull, Kathleen. Albert Einstein. Il. Boris Kulikov. [Giants of Science Series] Viking, 2009. $15.99. 978-0-670-06332-1. 141p. Ages 10-13: Krull has hit a fifth homerun in this series of witty, personal biographies of such greats as Marie Curie and Leonardo da Vinci. Through her writing she succeeds in bringing the subjects to life and yet explain complex concepts in terms that young readers can understand. In this case she pursues the adventures of a scientist-celebrity who decided, after he created an explosion in a laboratory, that he should spend his life thinking. And that’s what he did, while holding other jobs such as inspection clerk in the Swiss Patent Office. The result of his thinking was not only a personal Nobel prize but also the seeds that led to other scientists’ achieving Nobel prizes. The author shows how Einstein escaped from Jewish-phobic Germany to the United States, overturned Newtonian physics, and—much to his dismay—perfected the formula that led to the atomic bomb. Another good read. P6Q9

Murphy, Jim. Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting. Scholastic, 2009. $19.99. 978-0-545-13049-3. 116p. Ages 10-14: Almost 100 years ago in the war to end all wars (or so they thought at the time), the troops on the front line of World War I, fed up with the futility of war, spontaneously celebrated Christmas with their “enemies.” In this magnificent book filled with haunting images of the devastation of the war and the men who fought it, a stunning narrative begins with the events that led up to the war—a mistaken communication—and follows through the four years of misery, murder, and stupidity that finally resulted in Armistice Day on November 11, 1918. Quotations from men on both sides of the fight make this book very personal, and the epilogue shows how the emotions and events of this war parallel those set in motion on September 11, 2001. Extensive notes and sources, an index, an extensive timeline, and “before and after” maps make this book a great resource as well as a fascinating read. P7Q10

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Secrets behind What You Eat. Adapt. Richie Chevat. Dial, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-8037-3415-9. 298p. Ages 13+: The proliferation of corn as an ingredient in our food, the danger of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in everything, the horrifying contents of animal feed—these are only small pieces of information in this book filled with scary facts about how America prepares the items found in the grocery stores. Adapted from Pollan’s NYT bestseller for adults, this shows the personal and global health implications of everyone’s food choices as the author travels the US to farms and food lots to investigate the processing of what goes into our mouths. Reading this accessible and entertaining book will put almost anyone off their diet for a while and may even make dietary changes. An extensive index, lengthy list of resources, and an informative glossary add to this book. P6Q8

Ehlert, Lois. Boo to You! Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster, 2009. $17.99. 978-1-4169-8625-6. unp. Ages 3-6: It’s harvest time, and the mice are planning a costume party. But they also need plans to trick Scary Cat if he should show up. The minimal rhyming text sometimes gives way to the delicious collage made from fall objects combined with twine, string, and handsome papers. The boldness of the illustrations, primarily on orange and black backgrounds, provides for a better view from a distance, excellent for reading aloud. Pages in the back identify the objects from the collages, making for fun in finding these on the pages, explain how to make roasted pumpkin seeds, and mix photos of jack ‘o lanterns with those of Ehlert’s grandchildren. P8Q8

Florian, Douglas. Dinothesaurus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings. Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster, 2009. $17.99. 978-1-1469-7978-4. unp. Ages 4-9: Known for his witty poetry and collage art about insects, lizards, and other critters, Florian has tackled one of young readers’ favorite subjects in these 20 playful paleontologic performances filled with useful facts. The middle 18 poems each concentrate on an individual species; the first and last cover the age and the end of dinosaurs. The muted illustrations are done from gouache, colored pencils, stencils, and rubber stamps on brown paper bags.From verses about the tiny (20-inch) Micropachycephalosaurus (the name with the largest number of letters) to the ninety-foot-long Barosaurus, readers young and not so young will delight in this marriage of information and literature and be inspired to provide their own art. Bonuses are pronunciation guides with each poem, websites for dinosaur museums and fossil sites, and a “Glossaryaurus.” A joy in all ways. P8Q10

Le Guin, Ursula K. Cat Dreams. Il. S.D. Schindler. Orchard/Scholastic, 2009. $16.99. 978-8-545-04216-1. unp. Ages 3-5: In this sleepy-time picture book for young cat-nappers, a tortoise-shell cat dreams of its fantasies in the ideal cat world including one in which “All the dogs have run away . . . and all the birdies will sing to me.” The curving text imitates cat movement, and the carefully-executed watercolors mimic the variety of expressions and cat characteristics. All cat lovers will enjoy the book, and dog lovers can then create their own! P8Q8

Thomas, Jan. Rhyming Dust Bunnies. Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster, 2009. $12.99. 978-104169-7976-0. up. Ages 3-6: As three dust bunnies—Ed, Ned, and Ted—try to teach their friend, Bob, how to rhyme, they cannot understand why he keeps saying things like “Look!” and “Look out! Here comes a big scary monster with a broom!” Their education stops for the four black-outlined neon creatures when they end up in a vacuum cleaner. That’s when the no-long smug trio turn to Bob for the right answer instead of putting him down. Rhyming wordplay will delight
pre-schoolers who might want to make up their own simple rhymes. A true joy especially for a read-aloud. P8Q8

Picture Books
Na, Il Sung. A Book of Sleep. Knopf, 2009. $15.99. 978-0-375-86223-6. unp. Ages 3-6: Only the owl watches throughout the night but sleeps in the day. Against subdued nighttime grays and blues, the brightly-tinted sleeping animals are shown with flourishes and their dreams outlined in white behind them. The text provides interesting details about their nocturnal habits: the elephant makes noise when it sleeps, the whale moves, some stand, others keep one or both eyes open without even blinking, and penguins sleep “huddled close at night.” Gentle humor is sprinkled throughout the book, for example when the giraffe rests its head on a cloud. Intricate details in digitally-generated layers are a delight from this Korean author/illustrator who works in mixed media. This book, already published in a number of other countries, is destined to be a classic. P10Q10

Pickering, Jimmy. Skelly & Femur. Simon & Schuster, 2009. $12.99. 978-1-4169-7143-6. unp. Ages 4-7: In this sequel to Skelly the Skeleton Girl, the residents the haunted Skelly Manor have lost the buttons on Skelly’s dress, Femur’s dog bone, spoons, umbrella, dishes, and more. The scary trip to the attic reveals that a mad scientist mouse has taken them to make a cheese-making machine, and the family makes a new friend. Black makes the perfect backdrop for the dark colors of the skewed mixed-media illustrations with characters and setting reminiscent of Tim Burton, making the book ideal for readers who like a bit of scary in their lives. a delicious surprise for everyone.

Proimos, James. Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace. Little, Brown, 2009. $15.99. 978-0-316-03292-6. unp. Ages 4-7: Although achieving world peace might seem like a difficult task for a seven-year-old boy, Paulie begins in easy ways such as being kind to animals, tending the earth, reading to trees, and listening to the river. He even apologized to his little sister for something he did two years earlier. Then he proceeds to his school and helps settle an understanding with a cupcake. The cupcakes made their way to different retail places before Paulie became very tired and his father took him home. Although the story of an unpopular kid who couldn’t whistle and got picked last for everything becoming class president seems unrealistic, the author/illustrator’s humor in boldly outlined cartoon characters, the text, and the details (“Often his socks did not match.”) carry off the message of being kind to others lacks the saccharine, moralistic touch that some books use for this message. It’s both a fun read and a beginning to a discussion about how world peace can be achieved. P9Q9

Graphic Books
Cammuso, Frank. The Dragon Players. [Knights of the Lunch Table series] Scholastic, 2009. $9.99. 978-0-439-90323-3. 127p. Ages 8-12: Artie King is back with pals Wayne and Percy still fighting the school bully Joe and his Horde. In this sequel to The Dodgeball Chronicles the trio finds themselves forced to compete in the dueling dragon robot tournament with the dilemma of whether to cheat or win fairly. Bright, colorful, action-packed illustrations accompanied by comic dialog again provide lots of fun with an ending that points to the third in this series. P8Q8

Dunbar, Polly. Hello Tilly. [A Tilly and Friends Book] Candlewick, 2009. $12.99. 978-0-7636-4109-2. unp. Ages 3-6: “Tilly and her friends all live together in a little yellow house . . . .” And thus begins all the books in this delightful series about a little girl surrounded by Tiptoe the rabbit, Hector the pig, Doodle the alligator, Pru the bird, and Tumpty the elephant. All these charming creatures are introduced in this joyful celebration that begins with a feast, continues in a parade, and culminates in Tilly’s reading her friends a story. The demonstration of gentle caring for each other is combined with the humor of the character’s appearances and actions—all showing distinct personalities. More about Tilly and her friends is available in Doodle Bites (978-0-7636-4327-0) in which the alligator must be restrained from biting everything—and everyone—around him and learns to apologize. P9Q9

Heuvel, Eric. A Family Secret. Trans. Lorraine T. Miller. Farrar, 2009. $9.99. 978-0-374042265-3. 62p. Gr. 9-12: The scrapbook that Jeroen finds in his attic provides the catalyst for his grandmother, Helena, to talk about her experiences in German-occupied Amsterdam during World War II. Her family is torn by the experience: her policeman father collaborates with the enemy, her older brother enlists in the German army only to be killed in Russia, and Helena joins the resistance after her Jewish best friend, Esther, runs away because she sees her parents taken to the labor camps. This simple, clearly-told description of the horrors of the Holocaust is a good beginning for talking about this tragedy. Although fiction, the book presents characters that ring true to the heart. When Jeroen attends the annual memorial to remember victims of the war, he hears his grandmother’s friend, Esther, speak and takes her to Helena. Esther’s story is told in The Search (978-0-374-46455-4) from her family’s search for a safe place to live to her survival and then the closure to her parents’ death through Helena’s scrapbook. These books were originally published by the Anne Frank House. P7Q8

Kibuishi, Kazu. The Stonekeeper’s Curse. [Amulet Series] Graphix/Scholastic, 2009. $10.99. 978-0-439-84683-7. 217p. Gr. 10-15: Emily and Navin’s mother is still in a coma from Book 1 of the series (The Stonekeeper Amulet) and the Elf King’s son, Trellis, is still in pursuit of them. In trying to find an antidote for the poison in their mother and escape from Trellis and his guard Luger, the brother and sister meet a helpful but mysterious fox, Leon Redbeard, who offers to lead them to the cure. The Japanese creator of the book provides great adventure, action, and suspense in his magnificent manga-like illustrations, and the innovative science fiction/fantasy robots, walking stone house, and beautiful city of waterfalls will continue to fascinate readers. “Stellar artwork, imaginative character design, moody color, and consistent pacing,” Publishers Weekly said about the first book, descriptors that apply to this one. It’s not necessary to read the first in the series to follow the excitement and Emily’s attempt to loose the power of the amulet without losing herself, but readers of this one will certainly go back to find the first one. P9Q9

Townsend, Michael. On the Move. [Kit Feeny Series] Knopf, 2009. $5.99. 978-0-375-85614-3. 96p. Ages 7-10: A new face has appeared in graphic books for children—this one describing his books as “totally stupid and completely awesome adventure.” In the first of this series, Kit Feeny must move to another home and lose his best friend, even if he does try to smuggle Arnold with him. At first Kit tries to find a friend exactly like the old one, a friend who likes ninja fishing, graphic novels, making things out of cheeseballs, and dreaming of being a monkey. After several mistakes, however, Kit finds a friend and settles into his new life. The book has similarities to others for the same age: coping with bullies, handling an obnoxious principal, and dealing with horrible siblings, in this case twin sisters. Drawings are basic with orange the only accent color for black and white outlines of events. The plot provides lessons with the appropriate way to solve difficulties. Solutions are simple, but Kit does find his own independent way by being himself. In the sequel, The Ugly Necklace (978-0-375-85615-0), Kit struggles with finding the perfect birthday present for his mother. P8Q*

Appelbaum, Susannah. The Hollow Bettle. [Book One, Poisons of Caux] Knopf, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-375-85173-5. 401p. Ages 11+: In the kingdom of Caux, everything has gone awry since the evil King Nightshade has taken over from Good King Verdigris. An obsession with poison, requiring the multitude of tasters, has replaced the healing apotheopathy which has now been made illegal. Enter 11-year-old Ivy who sets out to find her uncle, missing for a year since he went to heal King Nightshade’s club foot. Accompanied by a failed teenage taster, Rowan, Ivy flees from pursuers who know, unlike Ivy, that only she can save the kingdom from destruction. Witty, wry humor spices the fascinating characters and their adventures in Ivy’s odyssey through the magical realms in the ancient land. The complex plot with unexpected twists and turns make this first novel a quick read with readers wanting the second volume. P7Q9

Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Shines My Shoes. Dial, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-8037-3460-9. 274p. Ages 9-12: What is the connection between autism, baseball, and yellow roses? Twelve-year-old Moose Flanagan, a resident of Alcatraz Island in 1935 when it housed the worst criminals, tells about his adventures after his autistic sister gets into a school on the mainland thanks to the help of infamous Al Capone. Warm family drama and comedy accompany the tense adventure as Moose feels responsible for keeping his sister in the school because it helps her, making sure that his prison-guard father keeps his job, and caring for the warden’s daughter after she decides that she hates her new baby brother. Sequel to Newbery Honor-winning Al Capone Does My Shirts, this historical novel stands alone, but readers unfamiliar with the first one will seek that out. As in the first one, the author shows compassion for her characters and provides believable dialog. P8Q9

Coombs, Kate. The Runaway Dragon. Farrar, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-374-36361-1. 292p. Ages 10+: One would think that Princess Margaret would settle down to a pedestrian royal life after driving away the pesky princes that have come to the kingdom of Greeve for her hand in The Runaway Princess. But, no, she is off on a quest to find her adolescent dragon after he gets upset with her. Armed with a wizard, a magic carpet and scarf, various friends, and the nuisance ten guards, she finds herself going through an enchanted forest and being imprisoned by Malison, an evil sorceress. Through the separation of the five teenagers after the guard has been turned into squirrels, the adventure never stops as some of them are made tiny, the wizard is bemused by the sorceress, and Meg, whose magic is usually unsuccessful, must defeat Malison. The characters are delightfully drawn, the droll action makes a page-turner, and the warmth that the author has for the protagonist is obvious. Coombs’ interest in fairy tales and folklore is obvious through her twists of Rapunzel, the giant, the princess in the tower, etc. Lively, entertaining—a must for readers of Gail Carson Levine and Patricia Wrede. P8Q9

Diamand, Emily. Raiders’ Ransom. Chicken House/Scholastic, 2009. $17.99. 978-0-545-14297-7. 334p. Ages 12+: England has lost all its technological knowledge in the 23rd century, and the people have reverted to the violence and poverty of medieval times. Because of climate change that results in flooding, much of what was once the country is underwater; fishing and raiding are the major professions. The plot centers around 13-year-old Lilly Melkun masquerading as a boy to rescue the kidnapped 7-year-old daughter, Lexy, of the Prime Minister while protecting a mysterious talking “jewel” from the past and fighting off the pirates who want her famous seacat. Diamond has made up many of the words, others are British, and the shift in point of view from Lilly to Zeph, son of the pirate boss requires attention to this funny, clever adventure. This first novel is the winner of The London Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. The author plans a sequel in which Lilly and Lexy seek safety—unsuccessfully—in Greater Scotland. P7Q9

Ferguson, Alane. The Dying Breath: A Forensic Mystery. Viking, 2009. $16.99. 978-0-670-06314-7. 232p. Ages 14-16: Cameryn, 17, is an assistant to her father, the coroner in a small southwest Colorado town. In the first three books of this series, beginning with The Christopher Killer, she has shown her smarts and love of forensic science so much that everyone accepts her on the job—the gruff ME, the small-town sheriff, and certainly Justin, the 21-year-old deputy recently arrived from New York City and head over heels in love with Cameryn. Her problem in this book is that the serial killer-exboyfriend, Kyle, from The Angel of Death has returned and is determined to do her in. Good blood and gore, but the thin plot concentrates too much on Cameryn’s reactions to Kyle and Justin, and the ME’s change of heart toward her is not believable. With the resolution of The Dying Breath, hopefully Cameryn can get back to business. All in all, however, readers of the first three will want to continue the series. P8Q6

Hearn, Julie. Hazel. Atheneum, 2009. $17.99. 978-1-4169-2504-0. 389p. Ages 11+: Hazel’s dull, safe life in posh 1913 London quickly ends when her father has a mental breakdown from excessive gambling debts and Hazel is led into trouble with a friend purporting to support the suffragist cause. Banished to a sugar plantation in the Caribbean with her grandparents, she discovers the skeletons in the closet. The dark humor and quirky characters are reminiscent of Dickins, similar to Ivy, the
novel about Hazel’s iconoclastic mother. This historical novel richly details the culture of Victorian England. P7Q8

Klimo, Kate. The Dragon in the Driveway. [Dragon Keepers series] Il. John Shroades. Random House, 2009. $14.99. 98-0-375-85589-4. 169p. Ages 7-10: “The world is talking to us. Everything in it has a story to tell. All we have to do is sit quietly and listen. This story begins with two trees in a rainstorm….” Thus Klimo explains the catalyst for this second book in the series, in which Daisy and her cousin, Jesse, work to save trees and hobgoblins while they protect their beloved dragon, Emmy, from St. George the dragon slayer. There’s even more excitement than in the first book, The Dragon in the Sock Drawer, and Klimo keeps up the word puns and other humor throughout. This adventure would make a perfect read-aloud for a cold, rainy day. Having read the first in the series is not a requirement to understand this one, but there is useful character background information in Sock Drawer that is not present in the Driveway. P9Q8

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Intensely Alice. Atheneum, 2009. $16.99. 978-1-4169-7551-9. 269p. Ages 13-15: Alice has finished her junior year in this 24th title of the series and packs as much into her summer vacation as she has in all the other books: bridesmaid at her cousin’s wedding, volunteer at a homeless shelter, visitor to her boyfriend in his college dorm—overnight. The first 23 books covered her growing up with her brother and father after her mother dies, her efforts to connect her father with her teacher, and her struggle to cope with a new stepmother. The series appears to be growing a bit stale, and except for a brief love scene between Alice and her boyfriend has more of a feeling of the 50s. Followers of Alice will want to continue to see what she is doing, but hopefully Alice’s senior year will provide a more contemporary feel. Books in the past have addressed a variety of issues: this one doesn’t do that until the end and then in what feels like a didactic manner. P7Q6

Westerfeld, Scott. Leviathan. Simon Pulse, 2009. $19.99. 978-1-4169-7173-3. 440p. Ages 12+: Every year or two, I find a book that I want to recommend to every person who reads YA novels—and some people who don’t. This is one of those books. Magnificent descriptions of imaginary technology in this alternative history of 1914 Europe at the beginning of World War I comes from the difference between the warships developed in England by Darwinists who have developed amazing new species to do their bidding and the mechanical approach of the Germanic Clankers, huge tank-like machines that walk rather than operate on treds. But the magic of this book goes far beyond these details into the characters. In a dual point of view, Deryn Sharp pretends to be Dylan, a male, in her training as an airman with the British Air Service; Prince Aleksandar, the son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife and orphaned after they are assassinated in Serbia, must escape from the Austrians who don’t want him to lead the country. Dylan’s and Alek’s paths cross when the Leviathan, a massive biological airship similar to a whale, crashes on a glacier near Alek’s Swiss hiding place. With Thompson’s period black-and-white drawings and the nonstop action, this steampunk adventure is a sure winner, hopefully with a sequel as the granddaughter of Charles Darwin must get her valuable cargo of eggs to Constantinople. P8Q9

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Dec. 2009 Reviews by M.D.
Winerip, Michael . Adam Canfield: The Last Reporter. Candlewick Press, Massachusetts, 2009. $ 16.99 ages middle school. 377 pgs. 978-0-7636-2342-5 p 8/ q 8
Last month I read one of the other Adam Canfield storie. I believe Michael has written two other books about this character Adam. Adam and his co-editor of the Slash the junior high school paper are excellent journalists and end up being detectives in the process. This book starts with the Slash being shut down by the school board. Adam and his team are determined to find the funding to print the paper themselves. They contact the Ameche brothers – they found them on the internet but they are just middle school kids like themselves. But the Ameche brothers are expert money makers and have several side businesses and help the Slash come up with the money in the nick of time to print the paper before the end of the school year. Maybe the Slash is no longer dead. Adam learns the importance of being a great reporter and friend. Both middle school girls and boys would love this book because it has twists and turns and would be great for budding journalists to read.

Mackel, Kathy. Boost. Dial Books. New York. 2008. $16.99. ages middle school. 248pages. 978-0-8037-3240-7 p8/q7
Savvy a 13 year old six foot two girl is an excellent basket ball player. She’s new in town but she has a chance to play on the senior basketball team if she can learn to control her strength. Things get crazy when the older players push her around. Her sister starts acting strange when she is deemed too heavy to be a flyer on the cheerleading squad. Savvy decides to work out hard and get stronger so no one can push her around but people start to think she is using steroids. Things really get out of hand when someone discovers pills in her gym bag. How did they get there and now no one believes her that she is clean. I think this is a great book for young girls who may have issues with body image and coming into their own. It also deals with forgiving your family members.

Vega, Denise. Fact of Life #31. Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 2008. $16.99 ages high school. 374pgs. 978-0-375-84819-3 p8/q8
Kat is sixteen-years old and is feeling neglected because her mother a home-birth midwife is building a relationship with a teen mother from Kat’s high school. Kat isn’t sure she wants to follow in her mothers footsteps as a midwife. Her mother throws her into things as she asks her to help with a birth. Kat’s mom gives her a midwife fact of life book and tells her to read it. Kat decides it is not her thing so she is going to write her own fact of life book and she learns to become her own person and not judge people by what they act like in high school. This is a great story for girls who may be struggling with what they want to do in life and if their relationship with their mother is strained. It deals with teen pregnancy and giving up your baby for adoption.

Angle, Kimberly Greene. Hummingbird. Farrar Straus Giroux. New York. 2008. $16.95. ages middle school. 243 pages. 978-0-374-33376-8 p 8 q/ 8
March Anne a twelve-year-old lives on her family pumpkin and watermelon farm in Jubilee, Georgia. Her grandmother “Grenna” has helped to raise her since her mother died when she was only three years old. Grenna is sick and dying and befriends a little hummingbird who stays around even when winter comes. This story deals with illness, dying, hard work, relationships and learning to grow up and be self reliant.

Miller, Kirsten. Kiki Strike: The Empress’s Tomb. Bloomsbury Children’s Books. New York. 2007. $16.95. ages middle school. 369 pages. 978-1-59990-047-6 p 8q/ 8
There is a part of this book that seems fantasy, magic, intrigue, and adventure. It took awhile to get into the story but once I did it was so exciting. Ananka, Kiki, and the other Irregulars are all fourteen years old and have been in their own little gang for years. They have discovered the Shadow City under New York City which is an underground tunnel maze. These kids have discovered giant squirrels, a haunted mansion, and a run away that lives in the city park. The kids save the day as they help to rescue kidnapped children and a long-dead Empress and put Oona’s father in jail. This is a very fun and exciting story.

McGhee, Alison. and Pascal Lemaitre. Always. A Paula Wiseman Book. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. New York. 2009. $15.99. ages 4-8. 18 pages. 978-1-4169-7481-9 p 8/q8
Very cute and simple pictures and words to tell this story about a little girl and her dog who protects the castle ( their home) from the wind, beasts etc.

Luebes, Robin. Please Pick Me Up, Mama! Antheneum Books for Young Readers. New York. $15.99. ages 3-5 18 pgs. 978-1- 4169-7977-7 p8/q8
This story is about a baby raccoon and his mother having a fun day. The pictures are very bright and cute and the words are simple and few. The baby raccoon uses very polite manners “please put me down” so it will teach little children to say please. The funny thing is the baby keeps say put me down, pick me up over and over again.

McDonnell, Christine, illustrated by Jeff Mack. Dog Wants to Play. Viking, New York. 2009. $15.99. ages 3 and up, 16 pgs. 978-0670-01126-1. p 8/ q8
A little dog wants to play with lots of different farm animals. Simple words and bright colorful pictures make up this book that would help pre-schoolers learn their animal names.

Koontz,Dean. Illustrated by Janet Cleland. I,Trixie who is dog. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York. 2009. $16.99. ages 4-8. 18 pages. 978-0-399-25196-2 p7/q7
This is a crazy story about a dog in a poetry format. It gets a little confusing but has cute and funny pictures. It is a bout a dog that loves being a dog and explains what other animals are and how they relate to dogs. But in the end the dog decides he shouldn’t drive a car. This makes the story more of a silly fantasy book.

Jenkins, Emily and Giselle Potter. Sugar would not eat it. Schwartz & Wade Books. New York. 2009. $16.99. ages 4-8. 23 pages. 978-0-375-83603-9. p7/q7
This is a story of a cat that would not eat. The drawings are interesting but look they are from the 50’s or 60’s. The people’s faces look a little strange. But it is a cute story about a boy who finds a kitten without a home. But Leo didn’t know what a cat would eat – he tried to feed it birthday cake and things didn’t work out. This book would be a great book for a story time and then the kids can have fun talking about things a cat would eat.

Heo, Yumi. Ten Days and Nine Nights: an adoption story. Random House Children’s Books. New York. 2009. $16.99. ages 4-8. 25 pages. 978-0-375-84718-9/ p7/q7
This book has a count down on a calendar it starts “I have ten days and nine nights” and goes from there. This would make a great counting book. Very cute drawings and this book gives Asian children a story about them and their family. It is a count down to the day they get their adopted baby. There is also an author’s note in the back with a few facts about adoption of Korean babies.

Patricelli, Leslie. Higher!Higher! Candlewick Press. Massachusetts. 2009. $15.99 ages 1-3 years. 18 pgs. 978-0-7696-3241-0. p8/q8
Very simple words that are repeated over and over again which will help children learn to read. This book has excellent bright colorful pictures about a little girl swinging higher and higher.

Coffelt, Nancy. Big, Bigger, Biggest! Christy Ottaviano Books, New York. 2009. $16.95. ages 2-5 years. 25 pgs. 978-0-8050-8089-6. p7/q7
This is a cute animal book as well as size comparisons and other progressive words. It also has new words like minuscule. At the end of the book it talks about “I’m sleepiest!” and good night. This would be a fun bed time story.

Holmes, Janet A., Judith Rossell. Me and You. NorthSouth. New York. 2008. $14.95 ages 2-4 years. 18 pgs. 978-0-7358-2250-4. p 8/ q 8
This is a cute little bunny that can do all kinds of things like run, climb, and reach ect. This would be a great book for little babies to listen to and learn what their body does.

Saltzberg, Barney. I want a Dog! Random House, New York. 2007. $11.99. ages 2-4 years. 8 pages. 978-0-375-85783-6. p 8/q 7
This is a book has flaps to lift, and tabs to pull so it probably not be for a library but would be a great book for moms and children to use together. It is a little book about a girl who wants a dog but talks about different animals she may want but no she wants a dog.

Seeger, Laura Vaccao. Dog and Bear Three to Get Ready. Roaring Brook Press. New York. 2009. $12.99. ages 2-5 years. 18 pgs. 978-1-59643-396-0. p7/q7
The story seems to jump around a bit – from a dog and bear getting their head stuck in a bucket to the bear organizing all of the dogs toys. I think the pictures are cute and simple but the end may get a little confusing for a very young child.

Hughes, Shirley. Olly and Me 1.2.3. Candlewick Press. Massachusetts. 2009. $16.99. ages 2-4 years. 18 pgs. 978-0-7636-4016-3 p8/q8
This is a counting book of a little girl who adds a brother, a friend and from one to ten people on a crowded bus. At the end of the book it talks about there are too many things to count like blossoms falling from a tree or raindrops. It shows that numbers go on forever. The pictures are really cute and fun pictures of children.

Gray, Rita, illustrated by Ponder Goembel. Mama Mine, Mama Mine. Dutton Children’s Books. 2008. $15.99. ages 3-5 years. 978-0-525-47206-3 p8/ q 8
Beautiful pictures of a farm are a part of this story about what a mom does when she is away. It also has pictures of lots of different farm animals and sounds the animals say. This would be a great book to read with a pre-school and do animals sounds. Very fun and colorful book.

Reynolds, Peter H. The North Star…Ask yourself where it is you want to go. Candlewick Press. Massachusetts. 2009. $16.99. ages 2-5 years. 25 pgs. 978-0-1636-3677-7 p 8/q8
The illustrations are just wonderful in this book and Peter has done many other children’s book such as The Dot, Ish and So Few of Me. The pictures are simple and helps the reader want to divert from their lives path and follow their dreams. Parents will enjoy reading this book over and over again to their children. There is a letter in the beginning of the book to the reader by Peter that explains what a wondrous thing a book is.



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