2011 Reviews

February 2011 Book Reviews
Newport Prep Academy and High School Student Reviewers
Krulick, Nancy. World’s Worst Wedgie (George Brown, Class Clown #3). Grosset & Dunlap, New York, 2010. $4.99 ISBN: 978-0448453699 128 p. Gr. 2-3.
This book is about George Brown and his friends trying to earn money to buy a new toy. George and his friends try many things to make money, such as a circus, a lemonade stand, and working at George’s mom’s quilt shop. However, most of those plans fail because of George’s MEGA burps that cause him to go crazy and act funny often destroying things and ruining their plans. Throughout the book George finds himself in situations where he tries to not let the burp take over, so he can earn money. I liked this book; it’s very easy to read. It gives you a laugh and depicts funny situations. P5 Q8 Review by S.B., NHS 11th grader

Arnosky, Jim. The Pirates of Crocodile Swamp. Putnam Juvenile, New York, 2009. $15.99 ISBN: 0399250689 240 p. Gr. 3-6.
The story begins with two brothers, Sandy and Jack, at their younger brother’s funeral. Their drunken father killed their brother. A few days after the service the father picks the boys up from school and drives south, from Pennsylvania to Florida. The boys don’t know what is going on and they fear that their father has killed their mother. Finally, they arrive at a hotel in Key Largo, Florida at the end of the Florida Keys. The boys need to get away from their father. In the early morning they steal his money and run. They plan to hide in Crocodile Swamp, an off-limit area. They buy supplies and steal a small boat and hide in the swamp. The boys catch fish and make friends with an old man that lives in the swamp. Their father tracks them down but in an effort to get the boys he falls overboard and is bitten by a shark and bleeds to death. The father does manage to make peace with his boys before he dies and the boys are reunited with their mother who wasn’t dead, after all. This book was very easy to read and it had great detail. It was a great story and told very well. The author knew a lot about the area where the book was set and it made you feel like you were there. P7 Q8 Review by S.B., NHS 11th grader.

Applegate, Katherine. Spring Break (Summer). Simon Pulse, New York, 2010. $8.99. ISBN: 978-1416990949 240 p. Gr. 9-12.
So the main character, Summer, is going on a spring break with her friends Diana and Marquez. They are going to stay on a yacht in Florida. But about 1 ½ months before spring break, Summer’s brother Diver takes off. No word from him. When Summer boards the plane to go to Florida she meets a mysterious guy named Austin. He takes her to Disneyland and shows her a whole new side of herself she didn’t know. I liked this book; I think it’s very believable and easy to read. The book seemed fairly realistic. Also, the girls were my age and into the same stuff as me, so it was very easy to relate to the characters. P7.5 Q8 Review by S.H., NHS 11th grader.

Barnholdt, Lauren. Watch Me. Simon Pulse, New York, 2010. $9.99. ISBN: 978-1442402553 304 p. Gr. 9-12.
Ally (main character) is going off to college in Syracuse, New York. Everything seems to be perfect, except the fact that her long-term boyfriend is going to play college basketball at the University of Miami. Ally auditions to be on a reality show, called “In the House.” After being on this show Ally goes through heartbreak when she and her boyfriend break up, mainly because she begins to have feelings for her roommate, Drew. Ally learns which friends she can trust and also learns that relationships come and go, but you take something from it with you. I liked this book; it was really appealing from the beginning. This book seemed so real, and it was hard not to sit for hours and read it. It’s super easy to read. It’s almost like you’re actually listening to the character’s thoughts. P9 Q8 Review by S.H., NHS 11th grader.

Wilkomirski, Binjamin. Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood. Schoken Books (an imprint of Random House), New York 1997. $14.99 ISBN: 978-0805210897 160 p Gr. 9-12.
Binjamin is awakened in the middle of the night by people in uniforms who end up killing his dad right in front of him. Binjamin and his brother escape from the chaos and arrive at a barn. They are then taken from there by more people in uniforms to a Nazi death camp where Binjamin’s mother was. A little bit later she dies and he gets moved to another camp. He then tries to escape from there and gets caught and taken to an orphanage. During all this, he is exposed to some extremely gruesome scenes. I loved this book. It was hard to get past the first 2 chapters but it was overall very good. The images that it drew were vivid and detailed. P5 Q8 Review by H.M., 11th grader Note: Since this book has been accused of being a falsified account, it’s written in memoir form and is similar to Spinelli’s Milkweed. Thus, I’m including it in fiction.

Mayer, Melody. Tainted Love. Delacorte, New York, 2007. $8.99 ISBN: 978-0385733526 259 p. Gr. 9-12
Kiley and Jorge are two main characters; Tom, Esme, and Jonathan are three minor characters. The theme of the story centers on one relationship that ties into other people and their lives. Kiley and Jorge are dating, though Kiley is still involved with Tom, which causes problems with Jorge and Kiley’s relationship. Lydia is just another girl who cheats on her boyfriend. Jonathan and Esme are two characters that live in L.A. who have a tattoo business. Each character has their own point of view on life; all of them cheat on each other or have been cheated on. The book’s plot is made up of different relationships where cheating is involved. I wasn’t crazy about this book, I thought it would be more realistic. It’s really repetitive, all just cheating stories. P7 Q9 Review by A.R., NHS 11th grader

Rosenthal, Lorraine Zago. Other Words for Love. Delacorte Books for Young Readers, New York, 2011. ISBN: 978-0385739016 368 p. Gr. 11-12.
Ari is growing up in the ‘80’s, where opinions rule your life and can ruin it. Whether concerning college standards or what she has to watch out for with boys and friends, she’s being controlled involuntarily , and she wants it to stop. With her pregnant sister, teaching mother, shallow best friend, and a new school, it’s too much for her to handle until a boy comes to change her life. Ari has many hard choices to make and a lot to just accept as wrong and the only way to move on is to embrace her art, her passion, and let struggles come to her. I liked the way this book spoke. It was clear to understand Ari’s emotions and it was very believable. P8.5 Q9 Review by C.L., NHS 12th grader

Gerber, Linda. Trance. SPEAK (a Division of Penguin Group), New York, 2010. ISBN: 978-0142414156 277 p Gr. 9-12 Trance is a post-tragedy accident book told by highschooler , Ashlyn. She and her sister both fall into trances that show them small snippets of visions and cryptic codes. If put together, these two girls can save lives. But first they have to figure out how to deal with past mistakes and weaknesses that ultimately lead to the death of their mother. This is a very relatable book that takes you into Ashlyn’s world. Her heartbreaking, miserable world, full of issues that people go through every day. But it has a happy ending and a mystery that is enticing and captivating. P8 Q8 Review by K.L.M., NHS 10th grader

Shittenberg, Allison. Tutored. Delacorte Books for Young Readers, New York, 2010. ISBN: 978-0385738699 192 p. Gr. 9-12 Wendy grew up with her widowed father, who was basically racist against his own race (African American.) He managed to work his way out of the ghetto at a young age. Wendy, now 18, has lived a good life and is grateful, but has different values and opinions than her father. Against her father’s wishes she volunteers at a tutoring center, helping drop-outs get their G.E.D. She meets a young African American at the center named Hakiam, who is from the Ghetto. He lives at his cousin Leesha’s in exchange babysitting her infant Malikia. When Malikia seriously injured and Hakiam runs with her to the E.R., Wendy’s father sees the boy in a new light and overcomes some of his racist attitude. Hakiam and Malikia end living at his aunt’s home and reconnecting with Wendy at the tutoring center, where their love continued to grow. It’s easy to relate to this book in some parts, and I really like how the story represented all sides of the Black community. P6 Q5 Review by D.T., NHS 9th grader.

Christopher, Lucy. Stolen. Chicken House Publishing, Somerset, UK, 2010. ISBN: 978-0545170932 304 p. Gr.10-12 There is a girl named Gemma, and she and her family are on a family vacation, waiting for a plane in the airport. Gemma goes to get coffee and meets this boy she has never met, though he looks familiar. He ends up drugging her and kidnapping her. Taking her to the middle of nowhere – a hot, sandy desert – he tries to be good to her, but she is too scared and freaked out to give him anything. Later, she finds out really how much he truly cares about her. I liked this book; the story is a little farfetched, but it’s totally entertaining and it was hard to put down. P9 Q10 Review by M.S., NHS 11th grader

Hopkinson, Deborah. Susan B. Anthony: Fighter for Women’s Rights. Illustrated by Amy June Bates. Alladin Publishing, North Richland Hills, TX, 2005. $3.99 ISBN: 978-0689869099 32 p. Gr. 1-3.
This book is a general timeline of Susan B. Anthony’s life. It goes through her life as a young girl to her death, highlighting the main events of her life and her passion for women’s suffrage. It shows her journey from fighting for women’s rights, in particular, the right to vote and helping the abolition of slavery during the Civil War. This book was easy to read and would make a good research book for younger kids. P2 Q9 Review by S.B., NHS 11th grader

Macauley, Michael. The Inheritance Almanac. Knopf Books for Young Readers, New York, 2010. ISBN: 978-0375866722 224 p. Gr. 7-12.
This book is a guide of the world that Christopher Paolini made. Every detail (in A-Z order) is covered. No facts left out, and a few additional commentaries and unknown tidbits from the author. The book is fairly useless if you haven’t read the Inheritance series, or if you aren’t a huge fan of the book. Personally, I found this guide very interesting. It holds many minute points and acts that are easily forgotten about Eragon. Very clearly written and stated: a good companion to the whole Eragon series. P6 Q8 Review by S.V., NPA 8th grader

Walls, Jeannette. The Glass Castle. Scribner, New York, 2006. ISBN: 978-0743247542 288 p. Gr. 7-adult.
This book is a memoir based on Jeannette Walls’ life as a child and throughout her adulthood. The characters include her brother and sister and her mom and dad. She is raised out of a car and her family is always struggling, moving from town to town. Their father keeps them optimistic by telling them they have to go through all their troubles so they will eventually be able to live in the glass castle of their dreams. The Walls family gets to such low points that the only thing they have left is their hope and faith. It’s an amazing journey they take together; a very loyal family. I loved this book; it made me cry at points. This book really makes you appreciate and accept things in life.

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

Resau, Laura. The Indigo Notebook Delacorte Press. New York. 2009. $16.99. ages: middle & high school. 324 pgs. 978-0-385-73652-7. P 8/ Q 8
Zeeta is fifteen and lives with her mother but they move every year. Her mother is a free spirit and teaches English in whatever country they land in. Z wants a normal life and when her mother has a near death experience she makes some changes. Zeeta is no longer sure she wants her dream, she misses her real mother. She is busy helping Wendall a boy who has come to Ecuador to find his birth parents and needs a translator. The adventure begins as Wendall’s real father is an evil man. Zeeta gets her mother back and learns that she prefers her life to what she thought she wanted in a normal life. I thought the book was going to be about India because of the cover and the title. The title makes reference to Zeeta’s journal where she writes down all of her adventures. The book has an author’s note how this story is based on a true story.

Jones, Traci L. Finding My Place. Farrar Straus Giroux. New York. 2010. $16.99. ages: middle & high school. 181 pgs. 978-0-374-33575-1. P7/ Q 8
This is a story of Tiphanie the only black girl at her new high school in Brent Hills, Colorado. The story takes place in 1975 at the end of the civil rights movement. She has to deal with prejudice and trying to live up to her parents expectations of her as an example for her race. She makes her first friend Jackie Sue a girl from the trailer park “poor white trash”. Tiphanie’s mother is insistent on inviting Jackie and her mother for Thanksgiving, which turns out to be a major mistake. Jackie’s mom is an alcoholic abusive ex-beauty pageant queen and soon Jackie Sue is taken from her mother and put in foster care. This book deals with race, prejudice, abusive family situations but shows how these girls get help to deal with their life problems.

Bloom, Ronny. Justin Bieber Get the Scoop… Sweet and Soulful From YouTube to the top of the charts… unauthorized biography. Viking. Price Stern Sloan. New York. 2010. $4.99. ages: middle school. 128 pgs. 978-0-8431-9903-1 P9/Q7
This book has four pages of color photos as well as a section on how to find Justin online. It was an interesting story I never knew how he had his start or who he sang with. I even checked out a few of the YouTube videos. The writing is very elementary and simple so the audience could be elementary as well as middle school.

Elya, Susan Middleton. Pictures by David Walker. No More, Por Favor. G.P. Putnam’s Sons. New York. 2010. $16.99. ages: pre-k -1st grade. 35 pgs. 978-0-399-24766-8. P7/Q7
The book starts out with a glossary and pronunciation guide for the Spanish words into English. The story is of two little monkeys in the jungle and it mixes Spanish and English words throughout the text. The pictures are simple and colorful. The story has a sing song tone to it but then uses words like “lame” – not sure I would want little children picking up these bad language habits. The birds spit seeds and burp as well.

Havill, Juanita and Christine Davenier. Just Like a Baby. Chronicle Books. California. 2009. ages: preschool. 30 pages. 978-0-8118-5026-1. P87/ Q8
This is a story of a brand new baby who is visited by relatives and they are convinced baby Ellen will grow up to do things just like them. In the end she screams because of all of the commotion and her mother says she will grow up to do just what Ellen wants to do. It would be a fun read aloud if children were talking about what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Joosse, Barbara and Illustrated by Tomaso Milian. Friends (Mostly). Greenwillow Books. New York. 2010. $16.99. ages 4-8. 30 pages. 978-0-06-088221-1. P 8/ Q 7
A story about Ruby and Henry who are usually friends but sometimes “unfriends” – I really don’t like when a book uses made up words because it teaches this to small children and makes the English language confusing. But I like how it explains things they do for each other that makes them friends. When the dialogue changes between Henry and Ruby the book makes this very clear – “Ruby:” This is a great story and example about being best friends.

Banks, Kate, pictures by Lauren Castillo. That’s Papa’s Way. Frances Foster Books. New York. 2009. $16.95. ages pre-school. 30 pages. 978-0-374-37445-7. P 8/ Q 8
The pictures are rich and warm. This is a story about a little girl and her Papa who gets earth worms and goes fishing. I really like that the book talks about a daughter and her father having such a great day fishing together.

Reviews by P.D. Oceanlake
Ursula Vernon. Dragonbreath: Curse of the Were-Wiener. Dial Books, 2010. ISBN 978-0-8037-3469-2. 204 pgs. $12.99. Grd: 2-5 Wendell was bitten by his hot dog at lunch. After sneaking past the lunch lady into the freezer, two friends Wendell (the dragon)and Danny (The iguana) find that they have only three days before Wendell turns into a werewolf. In the freezer they discover that the hot dogs were in fact were-wieners a product of Transylvania. They call the 1-800# to find that they needed to find the alpha wurst and skewer it with silver skewers before Wendell becomes one of the alpha wurst’s minions. With the help of the Potato salad that bit Big Eddy and then escaped into the sewer they confront and slay the alpha wurst. Wendell and Danny save all the other students that were turning into minions but get two weeks detention for starting a food fight which along with the potato salad’s army of rats helped get the boys into the freezer. School was closed for 5 days because the health department needed to get to the bottom of the rat infestation. A lot can happen in five days. Graphics and speech bubbles help tell this cute story. P. 8, Q. 8

Sara Pennypacker. Clementine, Friend of the Week. Hyperion Books, 2010. ISBN 978-1-4231-1355-3. 161 PDS. $14.99. Gr. 1-4.
It’s Clementine’s turn to be friend of the week. This means that all her classmates will write something about her to put in her book. She wants them all to say nice things so she begins a campaign to do and say nice things for them so they will write nice things for her book. This suggestion came from her friend who had very few things in her friend of the week book. Clementine’s kitten disappears and she finds it with some unexpected help from all the friends that she has tried to help for her book. P. 8, Q. 8

. A. J. Stern. Frankly Frannie, Check Please! Grosset & Dunlap 2010. ISBN 978-0-448-4532-1. 128 pgs. $4.99. Gr. 2-4.
Frannie wants to be a food critic and when she goes to dinner with her parents to the new French restaurant in town she mistakes a plate of snails for bugs. She takes action signs go up on the restaurant windows a review is sent to the local paper. Everything is cleared up when her parents find out what she has done. Frannie has to apologize to the restaurant owner and the food critic. The newspaper’s food critic who has not been to the restaurant invites Frannie to join her as she does her review. Together they taste new foods (including snails) and give it 4 ½ stars. Nice engaging story, bold words make easy reading. Kid language, ex: concentratey, scoldish, horrendimous, overwhelmified, is found throughout the story. P. 8. Q. 8

David Sinden, Matthew Morgan, Guy Macdonald, illustrated by Jonny Duddle. An Awfully Beastly Business, Bang goes a Troll. Alladin 2009. ISBN 978-1-4169-8651-5. 202 pgs. $9.99. Gr. 3-5
Ulf (the werewolf) is off the save the day when the trolls are captured by the baron to be hunted by paying customers. Ulf works with Dr. Fielding and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Beasts at the Beast Park. The trolls are saved and the hunters are arrested. This is the third book in a series but can be read alone. Kid friendly beasty story. P. 7, Q. 8

Dean Koontz. Trixie & Jinx. G. P. Putnam’s Sons 2010. ISBN 978-0-399-25197-9. $16.99. Gr . K-2 Rhyming story about two puppy pals Jinx and Trixie. Jinx has to go away for a week so Trixie is left to find someone else to do something with. We meet pet spiders, the mouse in the house & imaginary Dixie. Alas Jinx returns from his vacation with stories to tell. P. 7, Q. 8

Loretta Krupinshi. Snow Dogs Journey. Dutton 2010. ISBN 978-0-525-42246-4. 29 pgs. $16.99. K-3.
Great winter story. Two children build a snow dog instead of a snowman. The little girl loves the dog as if he were real. The Frost King who comes from the north bringing snow sees the snow dog and takes him back to the castle to be his friend. Snow dog misses his children and leaves the castle to return to them. The little girl wakes to find her wishes answered when snow dog is back. She brings him into the house by the fire and instead of melting snow dog turns into a real dog. The Frost King finds that the children have a magic power that he doesn’t. The children make a snow cat on the last page of the story. Good illustrations. Very nice story. P. 9, Q. 9

Cynthia Smith. Holler Loudly. Dutton Children’s Books 2010. ISBN 978-0-525-42256-3. $16.99. Gr. K – 2.
Holler Loudly has a very loud voice. Everyone in town is always telling him to hush. He is loud at the movies, school, fishing with grandpa and at the fair, so loud that is caused destruction everywhere. The towns people finally had had enough and together told him to “HUSH” that’s enough. Holler was sad until he realized how much he could hear when he was quiet. A tornado was going to hit the town but Holler threatened it with his loud voice until it went away. He realized that there time to be quiet and times to be LOUD. Fun read aloud. P. 9, Q. 8

Devon Kinch. Pretty Penny sets up shop. Random House 2011. ISBN978-0-375-86735-4. $16.99. Gr. K – 3
Penny has very big ideas, now she needs one to earn some money to have a birthday party for her grandmother. She decides to create a small mall in the attic of her grandmothers building to sell the many things she has stored up there. She earns enough to buy cupcakes and surprises her grandmother with the neighbors for her birthday. P. 7, Q. 8

Mo Willems. We Are in a Book! Hyperion Books 2010. ISBN 978-1-4231-3308-7. $8.99. Gr. K-2 Piggie & Elephant realize they are in a book being read by a reader. Piggie decides to make the reader say a word then Elephant takes a turn at it. Before the book ends they decide to ask the reader to “please read us again”. A must for all Piggie and Elephant fans and to add to Mo Willems collection. P. 9, Q. 10

Kristin Kladstrup, Tim Jessell. A Night in Santa’s Great Big Bag. Viking 2010. ISBN 978-0-670-01165-0. $16.99. Gr. 2 – 4.
Louis’ stuffed lamb is curious about Santa’s big bag of toys so he decides to take a closer look and does not notice when Santa scoops up the bag with him inside. Inside the bag lamb meets all the toys, the backhoe, whom he shows how to use his bucket for digging and pushing. The jigsaw puzzle who is assured by lamb that it will be put back together. Lamb says “goodbye” to the toys as they are taken from the bag. Then there are only two, lamb and a little bunny who is practicing going to sleep because that is what it is going to do with the little girl that Santa is giving it to. After all the presents are gone lamb has a terrible thought: What if Santa mistakes him for a present and gives him to someone else? Santa’s hand reaches into the bag to get lamb they talk about why he is in to bag. Santa returns lamb to Louis’ stocking all is well. Good book for Christmas collections. P. 8. Q. 8

Debi Gliori. Stormy Weather. Walker & Company 2009. ISBN 978-0-8027-9419-2. $15.99. Gr. K – 2.
A bedtime rhyming story with good illustrations. Animals of all kinds snuggle up to sleep and no matter the weather, oceans roar, thunder tore, a gale, heavy rain, big snow a parent will not be far away to keep them safe while they sleep. P. 7, Q. 8

Marsha Hayles. BUNYON BURT. Simon & Schuster 2009. ISBN 978-1-4169-4132-3. $16.99. Gr. K -2
Bunyon Burt has feet that hurt. He tries many cures that don’t seem to work until he talks to Pappy Spurt who explains that he has big feet like him and all he needs is new shoes. Rhyming story P. 6, Q. 7

Julianne Moore. Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully. Bloombury 2009. ISBN 978-1-59990-316-3. $16.99. Gr. K-2.
Freckleface Strawberry goes to school early sometimes. When it is sunny they go outside but when it
rains in is scary dodge ball. A bully (Windy Pants Patrick) get all the kids out by hitting them very hard. Freckleface ends up the last student standing against Windy Pants who scares her. Freckleface scares him back by roaring like a monster. They end up friends and play on the monkey bars together the following day. Good illustrations the monster throughout the story adds to the story. P. 7, Q. 7

Jeff Jarka. Love That Puppy. Henry Holt & Company 2009. ISBN 978-0-8050-8741-3. $12.95. K – 2.
Peter was an ordinary boy who one day decides to be a dog. He was being good at being a dog, but his parents had had enough so Peter was no longer a dog he was an ordinary boy again. Weeks passed and then one day “Meow”. Comic book style illustrations. P. 7, Q. 7

Judy Sierra. Ballyhoo Bay. Simon & Schuster 2009. ISBN 978-1-4169-5888-8. $16.99. Gr. K – 2
A big apartment and casino development is coming to Ballyhoo Bay but the inhabitants are not going to stand for it. They band together with the local art teacher to make banners to take to Ballyhoo Hall the night of the vote for the development. Everyone is convinced that Ballyhoo Bay should be for everyone not just those who could pay. Very colorful illustrations are present in this Rhyming book. This would be a good read aloud. P. 7, Q. 8.

First Thursdays Book Review Group L.R. for Siletz Library
Juvenile Books
Dilkes, D.H. I See Squares. Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2010, 24 pgs. Ages 3-6. ISBN 9780766038028 $15.95 P8 Q 6
A part of a series of books about shapes, this book features photos of square shapes that are encountered in everyday life. Each photo has an accompanying a three or four word sentence describing it. The text is very matter-of-fact, and not at all whimsical. It is fine for getting the idea of a square across to a preschooler, but not very fun!

Goeller, Dorothy. The 4th of July. Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2010, 24 pgs. Ages 3-6 ISBN 9780766038066 $15.95 P8 Q5
This is a different series about holidays, featuring pictures of the American flag. The theme is very simplistic, telling the reader that we celebrate the 4th of July because our flag is red, white and blue. It serves the purpose of a beginning reader, as there is a lot of repetition and ends on a high note with an exclamation of “Happy 4th of July to You!”

Enslow, Brian. My Body. Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2010, 24 pgs. Ages 3-6. ISBN 9780766038110 $15.95 P8 Q5
My Body is the beginning book in a series about parts of the body, with photos of the human body compared to animal bodies. It is a beginning reader with lots of repetition. Again, nothing whimsical about the book, but it accomplishes its goal of introducing 56 words to the reader. The previous three
books have reinforced library binding, (at a library discount) but seem a little expensive for what you get.

Harper, Jamie. Miles to Go. Candlewick Press, 2010, unpgd. Ages 3-6. ISBN 9780763635985 $12.99 P8 Q8
Miles is a preschooler who drives his own sporty little yellow car to school, with mom not far behind! The end papers show his route back and forth, as he goes half a block, across a street and into the school. Preschoolers would regard this situation with great delight and envy and will thoroughly enjoy his morning commute. The illustrations are bright and simple, with plenty of sound effects to engage young children. Miles is wearing a shirt with an imprint of a road map, a detail that will surely be lost on a preschooler, but the adult reader will enjoy. This is a reinforced trade edition, and a bargain compared to the three previous books.

Teen Books
Haddix, Margaret Peterson. The 39 Clues, Book Ten: Into the Gauntlet, Scholastic Inc., 2010, 327 pgs. Ages 11-16. ISBN 9780545060509 $12.99 P8 Q8
A series of interactive books which include packets of clue cards, a website to unlock the clues and play online games, and cash prizes, The 39 Clues certainly uses every “hook” to get the reader involved and wanting more. Each book in the series is written by a different author, which is a good way to expose kids to other authors they might like to explore and doesn’t seem to be a hindrance as far as enjoying the story. Book Ten brings the series to an end when the youngest generation of a 500 year old family battle it out for a serum that can give the owner unlimited talents and power. Amy and Dan, the protagonists, also discover that in order to win the treasure hunt, they must bring the extended family together, which seems an impossible task. There are lots of good lessons in the series about the corrupting power of greed, the personal destruction of hatred and learning to forgive and move on. Book Ten is action-packed and seems as though it drags out the action a few too many scenes. Just as action-packed movies can get tiresome, so does a book that brings the characters time and time again to the brink of death and destruction. This series will appeal to both male and female readers and should be considered for purchase.

Nayeri, Daniel & Dina. Another Pan. Candlewick Press, 2010, 393 pgs. Ages 13-18. ISBN 9780763637125 $16.99 P7 Q7
No, this book isn’t about a bride opening redundant wedding gifts, rather, it is a vague and updated version of Peter Pan. This version has teenage Wendy, John and Peter caught in a race to find bones from five ancient mummies, which, when mingled, give everlasting life. (Remember Peter Pan wants to be young and carefree forever.) Peter even has a posse of teen boys called the “LBs.” The characters are challenged by puzzles extracted from ancient Egyptian myths and they must use all their intelligence to solve the puzzles. It reminded me of playing a computer game where you try different options to get to a goal, all the while dodging traps and bad guys. It also serves as a teen romance as Wendy falls for Peter and his ever-faithful minion Tina (Tinkerbell) hovers jealously. The cover is a bit provocative, and maybe misses the mark by branding it a romance and not emphasizing the adventure in the book. Teen readers should enjoy this tale, whether they take the time to think about the similarities to an old childhood favorite, or not.

Bondoux, Anne-Laure. A Time of Miracles. Delacorte Press, 2010, 180 pgs. Ages 12-18. ISBN 9780385739221 $17.99 P8 Q10
Opening quote: “My name is Blaise Fortune and I am a citizen of the French Republic. It’s the pure and simple truth.” By the 180th page, the reader understands that it is the truth, but the story was not pure and simple. The story starts with a seven year-old boy traveling in the Republic of Georgia with his loving caregiver, Gloria. They are fleeing from war when the Soviet Union collapses and she tells him that she is taking him to France to find his birth mother. What starts as a simple story becomes more and more complicated with their five year journey and the hazards and joys that are encountered along the way. The characters are well-crafted and the reader experiences what it is like to be a refugee from war, forming relationships which can end with the ring of a warning bell. But most of all, the story is about a mother-son relationship of absolute love and trust. The theme of the story is hope and the ending reinforces that theme, leaving the reader feeling satisfied and wanting more from this French author.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by N.W.
Adler, David A. Time Zones. Il. Edward Miller. Holiday, 2010. $16.95. 978-0-8234-2201-2. 32p. Ages 7-10:
An astronaut and his robot dog guide readers through the mysteries of changing time zones that result from the rotation of the planet. Also included is a history of standardizing time with Greenwich (England) as the start for the 24 zones. Adler includes maps and diagrams to show the boundaries and bold cartoon-style collages to explain the concepts. As in his other books, the creators of Fun with Roman Numerals and Money Madness provide information in a clear and simple manner. P6Q8

Beccia, Carlyn. I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History’s Strangest Cures. Houghton, 2010. $17.99. 978-0-547-22570-8. 48p. Ages 7-10:
During the past several centuries, healers tried a wide variety of cures, some of them very “icky” such as drinking urine and applying blood-sucking leeches all over the body. Eight maladies (including “every sickness”) are each assigned a section that begins with a list of cures asking the reader to guess which ones might be effective. (Wounds get nine choices!) Witty explanations of the levels of success, reasons, and history are accompanied by semi-realistic colorful digital illustrations. The bibliography adds to the information in this detailed book. P9Q8

Fleming, Candace. Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart. Schwartz & Wade, 2011. $18.99. 978-0-375-84198-9. 115p. Ages 8-12:
Detailed information about the 16-day search for the famous aviatrix, presumably lost in the Pacific Ocean provides the framework for this chronological view of her life childhood in Kansas to her tragic disappearance in early July 1937 a few days before she would have been 40 years old. Unlike earlier biographies of Earhart, Fleming demythologizes some of the tales about her, showing that she was an inveterate searcher of celebrity and wealthy sponsors. The gray-tone background for the July 1937 chapters creates a distinct difference between these narratives and that of the biography, allowing easy reading, and the visuals—photographs, archival materials, maps, and sidebars—do not interrupt the book’s flow. The divisions of the bibliography and the extensive resource notes demonstrate Fleming’s typical research for the subjects of her books, which includes Our Eleanor. This is highly recommended for school and public libraries. P7Q9

Golio, Gary. Jimi Sounds like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix. Il. Javaka Steptoe. Clarion, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-618-85279-6. 32p. Ages 7-10:
Most people today think of Hendrix as a rock ‘n’ roll superstar who died at 27 of a drug overdose. But Golio brings out the love and determination that young Jimmy had for painting pictures with his music that began on a one-string ukulele before progressing to a cheap second-hand guitar and later an electric one. The text is as rich as the wild colors of the mixed-media illustrations in this book that shows a passionate love for its subject. Although Golio concentrates of Jimmy’s youth in Seattle, he includes an author’s note about Jimi’s death and a list of resources about substance abuse. The “Illustrator’s Note” by John Steptoe’s son shows the intensity that Javaka employed in his research “about the creative process of an artist.” Jimi Sounds like a Rainbow works on many levels from a simple story of a poor child who made good to an analysis of the star’s music for those who are familiar with his music. P8Q10

Krull, Kathleen. Charles Darwin. Il. Boris Kulikov. [Giants of Science] Viking, 2010. $15.99. 978-0-670-06335-2. 144p. Ages 8-12:
From a poor student to an aging invalid beset all his life by illness, the man who contributed the theories of evolution and natural selection was a meticulous researcher and a all-consuming curiosity about life around him. Using the same simple prose as in her books of this series, Krull tells about the man who hates controversy and how he used earlier scientific findings, cautiously presenting to the world an idea that would unleash unbelievable struggles between science and religion, the idea that humans are descended from the same ancestors as non-human primates. Whimsical ink drawings, an in-depth index, and a well-selected list of resources including websites make this book useful for both casual reading and curriculum study. P8Q5

Krull, Kathleen. Kubla Khan: The Emperor of Everything. Il. Robert Byrd. Viking, 2010. $17.99. 978-0-670-01114-8. unp. Ages 8-10:
Kubla Khan, first emperor of China’s Yuan dynasty, ruled over the largest empire in the world during the thirteenth century, yet very little is known about him except for the writings of Marco Polo. From the small pieces of knowledge, Krull, known for picture book and juvenile biographies, has created fascinating story about the grandson of Genghis Khan with the help of the magnificently detailed illustrations from award-winner Robert Byrd. According to Krull, Kubla Khan moved from a nomadic Mongolian warrior to an enlightened ruler with the support of his ambitious mother and his ambitious wife. Through the knowledge of 40 brilliant advisors from Confucian scholars to Tibetan lamas, he created a civilized society with modern-day Beijing as its center. The concluding list of sources help make this picture book useful for reports as well as pleasure reading. This book about the Yuan dynasty shows the contrast between its openness before the new Ming dynasty closed China to foreigners in 1368. Lush, Eastern, and fascinating. P7Q8

Martin, Jacqueline. The Chiru of High Tibet: A True Story. Il. Linda Wingerter. Houghton, 2010. $17.99. 978-0-618-58130-6. unp. Ages 5-8:
Prized for their warm, super-soft, strong wool, shahtoosh, the tiny antelope-like animals living in the mountains of Tibet breed only in Tibet. When they became an endangered species because they must be killed for their skins, George B. Schaller determined that he would find their hidden breeding grounds in order to protect them. Because he could not finish his quest, four experienced mountain climbers completed the 200-mile journey following the chiru. Their success gave Schaller the information he needed to ask the Chinese government to protect the area. The account of their trek is told through free verse, and the accompanying pastel acrylics are completed by a mandala and a spread of photographs from the expedition. The bibliography provides sources for additional reading. This picture book combines a gentle adventure story with a conservation message about the importance of saving a species from extinction. P7Q8

Rice, Condoleezza. Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary Ordinary Family and Me. Delacorte, 2010. $16.99. 97-0-385-73879-8. 319p. Ages 12-15:
Rice’s glowing narrative of her golden family life and her personal strength and courage is taken from her autobiography for adults. Rice grew up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama during the placid 1950s and the violent 1960s. Adored by her parents, John and Angelena, Rice got whatever she wanted no matter how much her parents had to sacrifice for her desires. An interesting view of a very headstrong girl who was determined to be successful at any cost. P5Q7

Rynback, Iris Van and Pegi Deitz Shea. The Taxing Case of the Cows: A True Story about Suffrage. Il. Emily Arnold McCully. Clarion, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-547-23631-5. 32p. Ages 7-10: One-hundred years after the American Revolution, women could not vote—but they could be taxed. Sisters Abby, 72, and Julia, 77, Smith believed that this was taxation without representation, especially when town leaders taxed them an additional amount because they were single female landowners. Their fight that began in 1869 lasted seven years during which the sisters continually lost their cows and bought them back at auction. They also had to sue the town for confiscating their home; supporters helped them financially by selling bouquets of flowers and hair from the cows’ tails with a black ribbon with the words “Taxation without Representation.” McCully’s lively illustrations and the text showing the women’s bravery bring to light little-known heroes in the fight for women’s suffrage who toured America for women’s rights after their victory. An “Author’s Note” tells about the two sisters’ incredible achievements in a time when women were regarded as lesser beings. P8Q9

Silvey, Anita. Henry Knox: Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot. Il. Wendell Minor. Clarion, 2010. $17.99. 978-0-618-27485-7. 40p. Ages 7-10:
Heroes come from need, and Knox is a prime example of this. In her second book, Silvey, former publisher and critic of young reader books, shows the development of a likable bookseller who went from discussing military theory with British soldiers to the leader of a group of patriots during the American Revolution who transported heavy artillery over 300 miles from Fort Ticonderoga over snow-covered rough terrain to Boston. Handsome illustrations of acrylics on wood panels show Knox from a chubby child to a determined 25-year-old soldier “who saw possibilities when others saw problems.” The book’s division into 16 short chapters makes this a very easy chapter book using the same format as biographies for adults and young adults. P6Q9

Vernick, Audrey. She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story. Il. Don Tate. Collins, $16.99. 978-0-06-134920-1. unp. Ages 6-9:
An activist who believed that black people should own the businesses where they shopped and worked, Manley took on the male-dominated field of baseball, co-owning the Newark Eagles, a Negro League team. Born near the end of the nineteenth century, she refused to accept the mantra of racism, “That’s just the way things are” throughout her 84 years. The brief narrative vividly conveys her spirit and drive as she fought for black rights. As a result, she was the first—and only—woman to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Bold, stylized acrylic paintings often featuring facial expressions create the feeling the first half of the twentieth century. P7Q9

Nelson, Marilyn. Snook Alone. Il. Timothy Basil Ering. Candlewick, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-7636-2667-9. unp. Ages 8-11:
Sometimes magnificent and other times whimsical two-page spreads combine acrylic and ink illustrations with lyrical free verse to tell the story of a beloved dog that is lost and found again. The story of Snook, a small rat terrier, that lives on an island with a monk Abba Jacob, tells about the life of this simple man and the dog’s simple pleasures. It is on the trip to other islands where Abba Jacob is to catalog plant and animal species that Snook is separated from his beloved master and forced to survive on his own. The exquisitely illustrations show the dog’s adventures there, including attacking
sharks and the creeping turtles who come up on shore to lay their eggs. Deceptively simple language is touched with metaphors: “his ears awash in noise,” “only faint sips of his friend’s scent,” “the sky unfurled a sea of stars.” Nelson demonstrates loyalty and friendship in a picture book perfect for sharing aloud.

Razka, Bob. Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys. Il. Peter H. Reynolds. Houghton, 2010. $14.99. 978-0-547-24003-9. unp. Ages 5-9:
The haiku, a simple form of poetry with 17 syllables in three separate lines, also requires a connection to nature and season, something that Razka does in the division into the four seasons of the year. The playfulness of the poetry is carried out through the cartoon-like line drawings with subdued colors and the hand-written text. Everything about the book sings except the title. The illustrator’s statement, “my mission is also to help people defy stereotypes,” is belied by the way that girls are omitted from the idea of having fun in nature. P6Q6

Rosen, Michael. Tiny Little Fly. Il. Kevin Waldron. Candlewick, 2010. $15.99. 978-0-76636-4681-3. unp. Ages 3-5:
Tramping, squashing, and snatching are just a few of the ways that the elephant, hippo, and tiger try to get rid of a pesky fly that avoids all these dangers. The repetition is charming: each animal “winks one eye, says to him(her)self . . .” as does the fly in the end when it escapes. Large-scale digitally-enhanced pencil-and-gouache art uses savanna-like grays, browns, oranges, and greens. A book that little ones will want read to them over and over. P9Q9

Picture Books
Allen, Jonathan. “I’m Not Sleepy.” Hyperion, 2010. $14.99. 978-1-42313421-3. unp. Ages 3-6:
The newest book about Baby Owl shows him refusing to sleep during the daytime—his bedtime—because other animals stay awake then. He becomes increasingly “grumpy” as the other animals tell him that he’s sleepy because he keeps yawning. It’s his smart father who starts to tell him a nighttime story only to have Baby Owl immediately fall asleep. This is a delightful bed-time read for little ones who are “not sleepy” and an excellent view of a father parenting a little one. Bold black outlines for the simple watercolors make the illustrations as easy to read as the narration. P9Q8

Christelow, Eileen. The Desperate Dog Writes Again. Clarion, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-547-24205-7. 32p. Ages 5-8:
Emma, who first appeared in Letters from a Desperate Dog, is distressed that a woman visitor refuses to let her go to her owner’s, George’s, hand and that she has brought her dog, Hankie, who takes over Emma’s rightful place on the couch. Funny panel illustrations show Emma going to use the computer at the library to ask her favorite canine columnist for advice, help that turns out to be counterproductive. The characters, who all seem to think it’s natural that Emma can use a computer, and the quirky solution to the problem make this a fun book for young readers who have a new member in their families and everyone else. P9Q8

Frazier, Craig. Lots of Dots. Chronicle, 2010. $15.99. 978-0-8118-7715-2. unp. 3-6:
The world is full of dots, as this award-winning graphic designer demonstrates, in this celebration using brilliant colors to show traffic signals and ice cream cones before he expands into elaborate whimsy with a final montage that all the dots of the book. The Adobe illustrations allow for the fluidity of the person who hosts the dots, for example holding balloons and blowing bubbles. The brief narration uses a variety of concepts that young children can expand upon as they search their worlds for dots. P10Q10

Freeman, Don and Roy Freeman. One More Acorn. Viking, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-670-01083-7. unp. Ages 3-6:
Almost 50 years ago, the noted author of Corduroy created the bones for this story, but he was so crushed by the assassination of John F. Kennedy that he put it aside. His son, Roy, inherited his father’s archive of stories and illustrations in 1978 but just recently found the basis for this book and completed it with the help of illustrator Jody Wheeler. The story is simple: in searching for his stash of acorns, Earl the squirrel crosses busy Pennsylvania Avenue and finds himself blocked by a parade until he bounces off the heads of children to return to his three little ones and their mother. The rich fall oranges of the watercolors combine with the gray of the brave, inquisitive squirrel for a very simple book about responsibility. The reason for the parade is left to the reader’s imagination although Freeman had gone to Washington, D.C. to cover the Senate hearings on the Civil Rights Bill. P8Q8

Graves, Keith. Chicken Big. Chronicle, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-8118-7237-9. unp. Ages 5-8: Cross “Chicken Little” and “Blind Men and the Elephant” (“the sky is falling” and “what is it?”), and you get this zany story of clueless pint-size poultry trying to identify the giant fowl that has hatched in their midst. Comic panels and cartoon bubbles with quirky fonts enhance the story of the crazy creatures that Chicken Big protects from the rain, the cold, and the fox as they learn to accept him. It’s a laugh-aloud read. P9Q8

Heide, Florence Parry and Roxanne Heide Pierce. Always Listen to Your Mother. Il. Kyle M. Stone. Hyperion, 2010. $15.99. 978-1-42311395-9. unp. Ages 5-7:
Perfect Ernest resembles a short, squat middle-aged man who cleans, does whatever his mother says, and lives a very dull life until the Munster-like neighbors next door show him a very different lifestyle that includes swinging from the chandelier and drawing all over the walls. Mixed-media illustrations move from the light, pastel environment of Ernest’s home to the dark, downright creepy home next door. Parents may wish to avoid the theme that free-spirited activity is far more fun than obedience, but children will probably agree with the idea. Stone’s art is an excellent introduction to Neil Gaiman. P9Q9

Lee, Suzy. Shadow. Chronicle, 2010. $15.99. 978-0-8118-7280-5. unp. Ages 4-8:
From the creator of Wave comes another wordless book, this time a secret world caused by shadows in a room holding such objects as a ladder, bicycle, vacuum, and stack of boxes. The shadows begin with the girl’s turning on a light. The shadows become more and more wild as a jungle of scary animals emerge before someone calls the girl to dinner. Primarily black and white with charcoal, spray paint, and pencil, watercolors add deep yellow before the illustrations are digitally manipulated. This ingenious book is a jumping off place for children’s imaginations. P9Q10

Ludwig, Trudy. My Secret Bully. Il. Abigail Marble. Tricycle, 2005. $15.99. 978-1-58246-159-5. unp. Ages 5-8:
The solution to this problem is presented in a rosy fashion as Katie, estranged from her friend Monica, confronts the girl who embarrasses her in front of classmates after receiving advice from her mother. The approach is more mature than most children can manage, and the friend’s response is not typical in this biblio-therapeutic offering. Muddy illustrations and excessive text make this book one that would be used more in a professional setting than one which children would choose to read. P3Q5

Obama, Barack. Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters. Il. Loren Long. Knopf, 2010. $17.99. 978-0-375-83527-8. unp. Ages 4-7:
Once again a famous person writes a picture book, this time the 44th president of the United States. Booklist calls is a beautiful package, and indeed it is, with the Norman Rockwell-like illustrations of children brought into the world of 13 famous Americans. Each of the two-page spreads begins with “Have I told you . . .” before it lists the qualities that Obama sees in his daughters: creativity, kindness, beauty, intelligence, etc. The selected Americans vary from Billie Holiday to George Washington, and end notes provide a brief paragraph about each of them. It is a lovely book, suitable for a coffee table, but not of great interest to young readers without adult involvement. P4Q8

Say, Allen. The Boy in the Garden. Houghton, 2010. $17.99. 978-0-547-21410-8. unp. Ages 5-8: Illusion meets reality for a small boy, Jiro, after his mother tells him the story of “The Grateful Crane” before Jiro goes with his father to visit Mr. Ozu. Bored with adult company, Jiro wanders the garden and becomes humiliated when he thinks that the statue of a crane is alive. This feeling is overcome when he discovers a beautiful woman living in a cottage and wonders if she might actually be the woman from the story about a woodcutter who frees a crane before he marries a woman who changes into a crane because he breaks his promise to her. From Caldecott-medalist Say’s memory comes another book in which the protagonist is isolated and lonely except in his imagination. With its quiet essence, the picture book is suited to a more perceptive or older child. P6Q10

Smallcomb, Pam. I’m Not. Il. Robert Weinstock. Schwartz & Wade, 2010. $15.99. 978-0-375-86115-4. unp. Ages 3-6:
All of us sometimes feel that our friends are far more talented than we are, and this book provides the answer to this problem. With sly humor, the quiet crocodile lists all the things that friend Evelyn can do (including climbing an apple tree!) before Evelyn turns the tables and lists the things that her friend can do. Simple text with delightful watercolors and woodcuts provide a starting place for talking about how everyone is special. P8Q8.

Snickett, Lemony. 13 Words. Il. Maira Kalman. Harper, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-06-166485-6. unp. Ages 4-8:
Thirteen words that appear to have no relationship are each highlighted at the top of a page as the story goes from a BIRD, DESPONDENT, who finds a CAKE. Accompanied by a DOG, they are BUSY eating and painting until the dog takes a CONVERTIBLE driven by a GOAT to get a HAT in a HABERDASHERY with a SCARLET door owned by a BABY who shows them headgear with PANACHE. In the end the dog and bird are serenaded by a MEZZO-SOPRANO. From a somewhat depressing start, the book moves through its craziness, with recurring ladders, to the end of a good day although the bird “is still a little despondent.” Illustrations with surreal watercolor landscapes and playful figures give clues to the mood of the characters, such as the bird standing under a rain cloud with some clues more for the parents—the book of Kafka next to the bird, for example. Sometimes the vocabulary explaining the words and story are difficult such as “spiffy” and “verve.” Yet there is an irresistible charm, the extension of the language through the images, and the idea that children can be given a list of seemingly unconnected words to make up their own stories. This book is one that requires repetition with more meaning coming from each reading. The reader does not have to understand everything! P8Q10

Willems, Mo. Can I Play Too? [An Elephant & Piggie Book] Hyperion, 2010. $8.99. 978-1-42311991-3. 56p. Ages 4-7:
Different kinds of normal is the theme of the new early reader as Elephant and Piggie try to teach Snake to play catch. Although some of the scenes where the two with “arms” throw the balls at Snake’s head, the ending is positive when they play catch by throwing Snake between them. Line drawings filled in with just green, gray, and pink—and matching colors for the dialog balloons—make for a very simple book that shows the importance of accepting differences and defending friends. P9Q8

Willems, Mo. Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion. Balzer + Bray/Harper-Collins, 2010. $17.99. 978-0-06-192957-1. unp. Ages 4-6:
Anyone who has ever lost a special toy friend will understand Trixie’s pain as she leaves her Knuffle Bunny on the plane when she and her parents fly to Holland to visit her grandparents. Encouraged to be brave because she’s “getting bigger,” Trixie finally has a good time after she imagines all the fun that her rabbit is having as it meets other children. The surprise ending is that the rabbit magically reappears in the pocket of her seat, and she gives it to the crying baby behind her. With its photograph-album style and limited text, the story seems very simple, but Willems provides a wide range of emotions and humor as Trixie moves from toddler to child. Loves of Knuffle Bunny will regret that this book concludes the series. P9Q10

Graphic Narratives
Black, Holly. Kind. [The Good Neighbors, Book Three] Il. Ted Naifeh. Graphix/Scholastic, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-439-85564-8. 110p. Ages 12-15:
Half-human and half-faerie, Rue struggles with her place in the world as her fey friends are determined to wipe out the humans. The issues that Rue faces would probably be clearer if the reader knows the first two books in this series. P7Q7

Hayes, Geoffrey. Benny and Penny in Just Pretend. Toon Books/Candlewick, 2008. $12.95. 978-0-9799238-0-7. 32p. Ages 4-6:
In this blend of early chapter book and graphic narrative, a younger sister follows her older brother who tries to escape her in order to play pirate. After he calls her “a dumb, bad little sister,” she cries and then disappears, frightening her older brother into understanding how much she means to him. Hayes adds the dimension of Penny’s bravery in the face of a fearsome dragonfly which has terrified Benny. The portrayal of a healthy sibling relationship is enhanced by simple language and layout. Created by Art Spiegelman and his wife Francoise Mouly, the Toon imprint features graphic narratives with simple story lines designed for beginning readers created by respected comics artists. All have two- to four-panel pages to introduce young ones to the format and charming humor to keep them reading. In addition, their website (toon-books.com) authors’ reading their books, ways to create cartoons, and much more. Toon books are also available in Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, and other languages. P8Q8

Hinds, Gareth. The Odyssey: A Graphic Novel. Candlewick, 2010. $14.98. 978-0-7636-428-6. 248p. Ages 12-15:
Magnificent art that uses texture and hue follows the story of Homer’s epic poem about how Odysseus, King of Ithaca, is prevented from returning home after his victory in the Trojan War by Poseidon who forces him to years of wandering while schemers work to marry his queen and take his country. The graphic narrative starts out slowly, using a great deal of dialog and static illustrations before moving occasionally into the action of shipwrecks and other dangers. The use of classic language also makes for a slower read. P5Q8

Kibuishi, Kazu. The Cloud Searchers. [Amulet, Book Three]. Graphix/Scholastic, 2010. $10.99. 978-0-545-20885-7. 200p. Ages 9-12:
With Leon Redbeard as their guide, Emily, Navini, and their crew of resistance fighters search for Cielis, a mythical village believed to be on an island high above the clouds. As in the first two Amulet books, expect adventure and action-packed illustrations. P7Q8

Krosoczka, Jarrett J. Lunch Lady and the Bake Sale Bandit. Knopf, 2010. $6.99. 978-0-375-86729-3. Ages 7-9:
Excited about the upcoming bake sale to raise money for a field trip, the Breakfast Bunch are crushed when the snacks are stolen. Follow the crumbs to find the villain, and check out Lunch Lady’s newest kitchen-like inventions. P9Q8

Sfar, Joann. The Little Prince. [Adapted from the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery]. Trans. By Sarah Ardizzone. Houghton, 2010. $19.99. 978-0-547-33802-6. 110p. Ages 10-14:
Remaining true to the classic, Sfar re-tells the story of the curious little boy from a far-away planet who encounters the pilot stranded in the desert. The relationship and its conversations about beauty, nature, and the oddities of adult behavior are probably more for adults than young people, but these illustrations make the story accessible. P6Q9

Smith, Jeff. Little Mouse Gets Ready. Toon Books/Candlewick, 2009. $12.95. 978-1-935179-01-6. 32p. Ages 3-5:
A somewhat typical story of how a mouse struggles to dress himself, complete with details from wriggling into his briefs to the technical issue of getting his jacket buttoned, ends with a delightful twist of his mother’s saying that mice don’t wear clothes. The creator of the Bone series has launched himself into a new age level with an understanding of the development of small children. P8Q8

Spiegelman, Art. Jack and the Box. Toon Books/Candlewick, 2008. $12.95. 978-0-9799238-3-8. 32p. Ages 5-7:
A hyperactive and argumentative jack-in-the-box named Zack keeps its bunny owner, Jack, guessing as he bounces out of the box at inopportune times. The story gets even wackier when Mack pops out of Zack’s hat with a duck and lots of ducklings. Bright colors in the fantasy scenes when Jack talks to Zack vary with the more muted illustrations while Jack interacts with his parents, providing a beginning education to understanding graphic narratives. P8Q8

Spiegelman, Nadja & Trade Loeffler. Zig and Wiki in Something Ate My Homework. Toon Books, 2010. $12.95. 978-1-935179-02-3. 32p. Ages 5-7:
Sensible one-eyed Zig and irresponsible computer-screen being Wiki set out to find a “pet” for their homework assignment and encounter all sorts of creatures—flies, dragonflies, frogs, and raccoons—when they land on Earth. The book is a mix of science fact, humor, and friendship. P8Q8

Stroud, Jonathan. The Amulet of Samarkand: A Bartimaeus Graphic Novel. Adapt. Jonathan Stroud and Andrew Donkin. Il. Lee Sullivan; color by Nicolas Chapuis. Hyperion, 2010. $19.99. 978-142311146-7. Ages 9-12:
At five, Nathaniel’s parents sold him to the government to become a magician’s apprentice. At 12, the boy has taught himself far more than he has learned from the dour, pedestrian magician. The book begins when Nathaniel summons the 5,000-year-old djinn Bartimaeus to avenge his hatred for Simon Lovelace by stealing a powerful amulet. The story switches back and forth between the djinn’s first-person narrative and the third-person narrative about Nathaniel, showing the witty, sarcastic, frequently rude voice of Bartimaeus and the danger that both the djinn and his master find themselves in as Lovelace works to take over the country. Some of the tale about an alternative London where the magicians in the Parliament rule the British empire may be confusing for young readers, but the page-turning plot will keep them involved. Publishers Weekly said about the original book from 2004: “A sophisticated, suspenseful, brilliantly crafted, dead-funny book that will leave readers anxious for more.” Stroud wrote a trilogy about Bartimaeus; hopefully the next two books will also appear in graphic form. P8Q9

Yoyo. The Rukan Prophecy. [Vermonia 4]. Candlewick, 2010. $9.99. 9978-0-7636-47950-0. 208p. Ages 10-14:
When the four pillars supporting life in the Turtle Realm—fire, wind, water, and thunder—are threatened by General Uro’s army and Mel remains imprisoned in the castle of Captain Acidulous with her guardian, Ruka, her three friends (Naomi, Doug, and Jim) must dive into the Oritsa Ocean to get help from the Aqami People. As in the three earlier episodes, the black and white illustrations provide lots of action with strongly feminine drawing although the characters’ eyes are more like buttons and the large, accented ones typically found in manga. Yoyo is a consortium of artists creating “a new type of manga.” P7Q9

Avi. Crispin: The End of Time. Balzar + Bray/HarperCollins, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-06-174080-0. 223p. Ages 9-12:
In the last book, Crispin and his friend Troth lost for Bear, their fatherly protector, and begin their wandering through the 14th-century French countryside. Badly scarred and unable to speak properly, Troth finds a home as a healer in a convent, and Crispin proceeds alone until he falls in with traveling musicians who turn out to be murderous thieves planning to use him as a scapegoat. Crispin’s mental and physical suffering combined with his strong spirit that leads him toward escape make for a rich book about medieval times, complete with its dangers. Crispin’s sense of loyalty to another prisoner of the thieves raises questions of ethics and morality amidst the page-turner plot. P9Q7

Blume, Lesley M. M. Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblin & Other Nasties: A Practical Giude by Miss Edythe McFate. Il. David Foote. Knopf, 2010. $16.99. 97-0-375-86203-8. 242p. Ages 8-12: Looking for advice and answers to questions about these mystical creatures? This is the book for you. In addition, you’ll find eight “true” stories about children with fairy sight in New York that include an ugly mermaid that sings poorly, the rejection of brownies in the historic Algonquin Hotel, a secret door in the Lincoln Tunnel that leads to disaster, The style is conversational, the content dark, and the black-ink illustrations haunting. This makes for a fun read-aloud because of the sections’ brevity. P8Q9

Bow, Brin. Plain Kate. Arthur A. Levine, 2010. $17.99. 978-0-545-16664-5. 314p. Ages 10-14:
Left to support herself after her father’s death, Kate tries to continue the woodworking business while she lives in his former market stall. Forced to leave her village because of the cruel villagers, she sells her shadow to a stranger, a loss that leads her into disaster. On her ensuing journey through danger she matures physically, mentally, and magically. In this debut novel, Bow creates memorable images of the plague, the medieval roamers, and the human fear that drives people. Taggle, Kate’s talking cat, provides a sense of lightness to the drama in this sometimes bleak tale. Simple poetic prose creates a sense of music in the author’s writing. P7Q8

Carter, Ally. Only the Good Spy Young. Hyperion, 2010. $16.99. 978-142312920-5. 265p. Ages 12-15:
In the fourth of the Gallagher Girl books, Cameron Morgan, a junior in an elite spy school, is now being pursued by a beloved teacher, supposedly a member of the Circle composed of evil terrorist operatives. As in the other three books, there’s lots of danger and mysterious journeys while the Cammie and her friends manage to foil those against them. As always, the question is who to trust, this time the possibility that boyfriend Zach may belong to the Circle because his mother does. And as always, good reading without serious consequences. P8Q8

Cole, Henry. A Nest for Celeste: A Story about Art, Inspiration, and the Meaning of Home. Katheryn Tegan Books/HarperCollins, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-06-170410-9. 342p. Ages 7-10:
In the early 1800s, John James Audubon visited the Louisiana bayou to paint the indigenous birds. It is a tiny brown mouse, Celeste, living in a rural plantation house who teaches him that he doesn’t have to kill the birds in order to pose them. Cole combines the attempts of Audubon and his assistant Joseph Mason to immortalize the birds with Celeste’s struggles to survive in a hostile world of humans, cats, and rats. Charming pencil illustrations enhance the understanding of a small creature to find a home for herself while she helps others. A simple, easy-to-read book from the perspective of a small creature. P9Q9

Coman, Carolyn. The Memory Bank. Il. Rob Shepperson. Arthur L. Levine, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-545-21066-9. 263p. Ages 8-11:
When Hope Scroggins loses her beloved younger sister because her awful parents leave the child along the road and tell Hope to forget her, she is so devastated that she doesn’t bother to get out of bed in her garage room. But before Hope’s memories fade, she is taken to the World Wide Memory Bank because of her wonderful dreams where she learns about the battle between keeping dreams and memories safe and the Clean Slate Gang that wants to destroy all of them. Amidst this adventure is a nurturing environment and long black-and-white series of Hope’s dreams and impending dangers replete with twists and turns in her journey to find Honey. From the winner of a Newbery Honor and Printz Honor comes this joyful chronicle providing hope for all. P9Q9

Coventry, Susan. The Queen’s Daughter. Holt, 2010. $16.99. 97-0-8050-8992-9. 373p. Ages 13+: As the only daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitane, Joan is either neglected or used as a pawn by her feuding parents. In this rich historical romance, Coventry follows Joan from the age of seven when she first notices the man who will become her second husband until she dies of childbirth with her third child while in her thirties. In between she suffers a loveless marriage with William, King of Sicily, and experiences brutality of the Crusades when her brother goes against the Saracens, or Moslems. Because so little is known about Joan, most of the information about her life is fictional, but the author has included extensive 12th-century history including the wars between England and France, in which the latter is supported by the English king’s eldest sons, and the vicious politics that keep Eleanor imprisoned for much of her marriage. With the emphasis on detail, the book is not suitable for light reading, but it is delightful for those who love history and a strong protagonist. P9Q6

De Lint, Charles. The Painted Boy. Viking, 2010. $18.99. 978-0-670-01191-9. 431p. Ages 11-14:
In the imaginary setting of the United States Southwest, 17-year-old Jay Li, a Chinese-American boy from Chicago, searches for his future. At 11, the image of a dragon grew on his back, a mark that he is an actual dragon destined to protect mankind. This quest leads him into a town where he decides to discover his dragon nature and free the town from the bandas, gangs, led by El Tigre. The novel moves between his first-person journal and omniscient narration about Jay, his new friends, his “cousins”—animal spirits in human form—and an alternate world set in an unpeopled desert. Those familiar with the culture and geography of the area will notice discrepancies, and characterization is sketchy. Those new to de Lint may find the storytelling slow and overlong, heavy on exposition, but those who enjoy books on shape-shifters or books by de Lint may find the book of interest. P7Q5

D’Lacy, Chris. Dark Fire. [Last Dragon Chronicles] Orchard, 2010. $17.99. 978-0-545-10272-8. 567p. Ages 9-12:
Clever little dragons, mystical polar bears, and the magical characters surrounding them people this series featuring ecological adventures. In this fifth book of the Last Dragon Chronicles, David Rain returns from the Arctic after being lost there for five years, his young daughter Alexa is responsible for saving her father from the Ix that wants to harness the Fire Eterrnal for evil, and Lucy goes with the journalist Tam to free the buried dragon from its sleeping imprisonment in a rock. Despite sometimes silly characters, such as a shape-shifting cat, fast-paced plotting and lots of danger caused by a selfish sibyl and terrifying darklings that appear as ravens keep the reader in suspense throughout the book and wondering what will happen in the next one. P7Q8

Fletcher, Susan. Ancient, Strange, and Lovely. [The Dragon Chronicles] Atheneum, 2010. $16.99. 978-1-4169-5786-7. Ages 9-12:
After her mother disappears in Alaska while investigating weird changes in weather and diseases and her father is missing while searching for her mother, high-school freshman Bryn is left with the discovery of a dragon egg in her mother’s things. A cross between dystopian and magical fantasy, the plot follows Bryn as she tries to save the egg from poachers and scientists who want
to steal the egg from her. As always, Fletcher’s book is believable with smooth writing and fast-paced adventure. This book crosses realism and fantasy. P8Q8

Friesner, Esther. Thread and Flames. Viking, 2010. $17.99. 97-0-670-01245-9. 390p. Ages 12+:
The tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 always makes for good drama in an historical novel, and this particular book fleshes out the characters more than other books have. The drama leading up to the disaster follows 13-year-old Raisa as she travels from Poland to the United States in search of her sister, becoming caregiver for a small girl on the way. In her jobs with the textile industry she faces the drudgery and horrible working conditions before the gruesome description of the fire and the follow-up as friends and family walk among the bodies, trying to identify people. Additional information is provided by the stories of the thrill-seekers who also visit the gory scene and the final scenes of the home where a wealthy woman has given sanctuary to those whose minds were damaged by the horrific scenes. Friesner describes the chaos, frustration, and fear of immigration, sometimes to excess, and the well-developed characters stand out. Readers of historical novels will appreciate Friesner’s new novel. P8Q7

Fussell, Sandy. White Crane. [Samurai Kids #1]. Il. Rhian Nest James. Candlewick, 2010. $15.99. 978-0-7636-4503-8. 237p. Ages 9-12:
Cleverness, humor, accomplishment, improbability—these are words that would describe the first in a series about five young people, each with a disadvantage, in Cockroach Ryu, a samurai school led by an ancient sensei who teaches best because he appears to not teach. Niya, White Crane, is missing a leg; Mikko, Striped Gecko, lost an arm in another samurai school; Taji, Golden Bat, cannot see; Yoshi, Tiger, cannot bring himself to fight despite his huge size, and Kyoko, Snow Monkey, has pink eyes and extra fingers and toes. The setting seems to be feudal Japan, and the background of training and weaponry holds true. The joy of the book is the characters’ willingness to continue, no matter what problems they encounter. The sensei teaches them forgiveness and determination, and black-and-white illustrations extend the narration. Despite the aphorisms scattered throughout the book, it moves quickly because of the fast-moving plot that moves toward the games with other ryu and that five will face. P8Q8

Haberdasher, Violet. Knightley Academy. Aladdin, 2010. $15.99. 978-1-4169-9143-4. 469p. Ages 10-14:
Combat training is illegal, horse-drawn carriages are common despite the existence of electricity, and the schools are exclusively for the elite. Such is the alternative Edwardian world of 14-year-old servant and orphan Henry Grimm who becomes the first commoner to be allowed in the academy which trains police, detectives, and other public protectors. The author provides a detailed view of British school life ala Harry Potter without the magic but replete with cruel and kind characters, a world in which Henry doesn’t know who to trust. The style is simple, the plot exciting, and the humor wry. Characters are appealing, and the reader will cheer for them. The first in a series about bullies and heroes, the book will make readers look for the sequel. P8Q8

Hahn, Mary Downing. The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall. Clarion, 2010. $17.00. 978-0-547-38560-0. 153p. Ages 10-13:
Prepare yourself for a truly creepy Gothic horror novel complete with orphans, gloomy nineteenth-century mansion, and a ghost determined to kill off anyone she dislikes. Twelve-year-old Florence tells the story of going to live with her kind uncle and vicious nasty aunt (the uncle’s sister), her invalid ten-year-old cousin, and three servants. Oh yes, and the ghost of 11-year-old Sophia who is determined to destroy both her cousin Florence and her younger brother who should have died instead of her. Hahn is a master of terror in her creation of manipulative and vengeful characters in a chilling atmosphere. And just when Florence thinks that she’s solved her problems with Sophia, along comes another. P8Q8

Harland, Richard. Worldshaker. Simon & Schuster, 2010. $16.99. 978-1-4169-9552-4. 388p. Ages 12-15:
The huge roving juggernaut, more than two miles long and nearly one mile wide, is the setting for this steampunk look at a classist society in which Great Britain’s lower classes lost the revolution in the nineteenth century and are not called Filthies, subhuman beings who perform the manual labor to keep the juggernaut moving. The slow bonding of 16-year-old Col Porpentine, grandson of the chief advisor to Queen Victoria, and 14-year-old Riff, an escaped Filthy girl, begins an overthrow of the social conditioning allowing some of the juggernaut’s inhabitants to assume that they are automatically superior to the Filthies. The exciting plot of the teenagers’ meeting and their eventual determination to change their society blends with the fine character development as Col loses his superior attitude and Riff begins to accept an Upper Deck citizen. Mixed with the message about class structure is one of environmentalism and the weight of leadership.

Hyde, Catherine Ryan. Jumpstart the World. Knopf, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-375-86665-4. 186p. Ages 14+:
Banished to her own Manhattan apartment when her mother’s boyfriend rejects her, 16-year-old Elle begins her journey of trust, first with her next door neighbor, Frank, and then with a group of outcasts at her new school. The path becomes rocky after she develops a crush on Frank, who she then discovers is a transman. Elle’s experiences with her new friends, both gay and straight, help in her questioning about her own sexual identity and her personal values, especially after Frank is seriously injured. The end result is an understanding of friendship and her personal role in making the world a better place. Although the book is not always realistic, Hyde, author of the adult novel Pay It Forward, provides a readable novel for young people. P8Q8

Klein, Lisa. Cate of the Lost Colony. Bloomsbury, 2010. $16.99. 978-1-59990-507-5. 329p. Ages 13-16:
One of Queen Elizabeth’s favorite attendants, Lady Catherine loses this favor because of her growing attraction to Sir Walter Ralegh and is banished to the Roanoke colony in the New World. Klein combines the story of a lovelorn Elizabethan maiden, life at court, and the adventures of the man who explored the world and defeated the Spanish Armada with the characters of the Native Americans and the new settlers as they all vie for power. In this combination, the book seems to lack focus. At some points it is a romance; at another a rather dry look at settling the New World; and in other cases the diary of the explorer. Cate’s character is also not always realistic: there seems to be a stretch in analyzing her reactions toward Ralegh and Manteo of Roanoke. The characters also seem to be somewhat flat. Those who love historical fiction of this period will find the book interesting. P5Q5

Larkin, Jillian. Vixen. [The Flappers Book One]. Delacorte, 2010. $17.99. 978-1-385-74034-0. 421p. Ages 13-16:
This description of the 1920s uses the tradition of blending the lives of three very different female protagonists. Wealthy 17-year-old Gloria goes back and forth between her ordinary life with its engagement to a boring man to the secret night-life of illegal speakeasies; Clara appears to be lily-white pure while she hides her past that includes a pregnancy out of wedlock and a night in jail; and social-climbing Lorraine tries to take over Gloria’s fiancé. This debut author has brought the energy of the times into this first book of the series. A fun romance that covers mixed-race relationships, mob activity, and a striving for independence. P8Q7

MacColl, Michaela. Prisoners in the Palace: How Victoria Became Queen with the Help of Her Maid, a Reporter, and a Scoundrel: A Novel of Intrigue and Romance. Chronicle, 2010. $16.99. 978-09-8118-7300-0. 367p. Ages 13-16:
The year before Victoria became queen, she lived under the thumb of her controlling mother who shared a conspiracy with her lover to make them regents for the young woman when she becomes queen. The fictional 17-year-old Liza enters the household after the accidental deaths of her well-to-do parents that left Liza in serious debt. The two girls slowly bond and develop as
Liza begins to feel responsible for the unhappy Victoria and eventually is responsible for saving her from disaster. The characters of the early nineteenth century—the king and queen who love Victoria but distrust her mother, a pickpocket, a budding journalist, and the other servants—help bring this time period to life. MacColl also works serious issues such as sexual abuse of servants, poverty, and murder into a plot that also includes a romance. P7Q8

Messer, Stephen. Windblowne. Random House, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-375-86195-6. 289p. Ages 12-15:
In a place of two moons, Oliver lives in the Oak Trees, dreaming only of winning the kite-flying contest at the upcoming festival, but his attempts lead only to disaster—as usual. Seeking help from his Great-uncle Gilbert, he finds himself on a dangerous quest, fighting mechanical kite-killers and the evil man who controls them. His search for his great-uncle and his desire to defeat the power-hungry lord leads him through a variety of parallel worlds, aided by a kite who also searches for a way to destroy the kite-killers. Reminiscent of Diana Wynne Jones, the simple lyrical language and the rich descriptions combine with growth of character and determination as the protagonist discovers his hidden talents. Messner has created a fascinating world. P7Q9

Nolan, Han. Crazy. Harcourt, 2010. $17.00. 978-0-15-205109-9. 348p. Ages 13-16:
When he was six, Jason’s mentally ill father tried to bury him alive. At 15, after his mother’s death, Jason is totally responsible for the man who wears a metal helmet to protest him from the Furies. Jason survives with no friends except the four voices in his mind who give him conflicting advice until he develops a relationship with the three other members of a school counseling group. The growing friendship is a mixed blessing, though, because they try to help Jason get care for his father, something he doesn’t want to do. As always, Nolan delves deeply into the mind of the adolescent and communicates the pain through a true voice. Although the structure is a bit jarring at first, the skill of its presentation contributes to Jason’s confusion and development. Both Booklist and Kirkus Reviews starred this remarkable book about mental illness. P8Q9

Pratchett, Terry. I Shall Wear Midnight. Harper, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-06-14304-7. 355p. Ages 12-15:
Tiffany Aching, 15-year-old witch, spends her time with the messy, menial activities of a witch as she cares for the people of the Chalk Hills and tries to keep the tiny blue Nac Mac Feegles, sometimes known as the Wee Free Men, out of trouble. But there is evil growing around her, a force that she cannot ignore because it is attacking her and set on destroying all the witches. The fourth and final book of this series can stand alone, but readers will fall in love with the characters from in the Discworld series. Humor and fear follow Tiffany as she searches for The Cunning Man looking for host bodies to keep him moving toward her and the other witches who protect humanity. Despite the help offered by other witches, she knows that she must solve the problem herself or lose all respect. A great joy with the sadness that Pratchett will not be able to write again. P9Q7

Riley, James. Half upon a Time. Aladdin, 2010. $15.99. 978-1-4169-9553-7. 385p. Ages 8-12: Classic fairy tales tumble over each over as May, a human magically transported from her own world, persuades Jack, of the Beanstalk, to search for her kidnapped grandmother who may—or may not—be Snow White. Along the frenetic path that they follow in their search, they encounter the Wicked Queen, the huntsman, the wolf, Red Hood, and much more as each adventure gets them into more problems than the last. The hilarity and pacing in this tale as fractured as the magic mirror make this a great read-aloud. P8Q8

Rinaldi, Ann. The Last Full Measure. Delacorte, 2010. $17.00. 978-0-547-38980-6. 218p. Ages 12-15:
The town of Gettysbury during the three-day battle surrounding it in the heat of July 1863 is the setting for the author’s latest historical novel about young people’s struggles. This time it’s rebellious 14-year-old Tacy Stryker trying to cope with her two brothers and father in the Union Army, her other brother left in charge of the family because of a leg injury, her free Negro friend, and her confused friendship with her brother’s ex-fiancé. As always, there’s adventure, danger, and grief aplenty as Tacy finds herself helping to bury the corpses in the battle’s aftermath. Rinaldi has less factual background than usual for her characters, the action seems a bit frenetic, and the end notes seems padded with a book summary. Fans, however, will enjoy this as much as her other books. P7Q6

Walliams, David. Mr. Stink. Il. Quentin Blake. Razorbill, $9.99. 978-1-59514-332-7. 265p. Ages 8-11:
With an overbearing mother who prefers her older sister, sweet-natured 12-year-old Chloe becomes friends with a tramp who chooses to bathe only once a year. The problems start when she provides him with food and shelter in the family’s backyard while her mother is running for office on a platform to rid the town of their homeless. Reminiscent of Roald Dahl in its exaggeration—the mother appears on television with the tramp who is not what he seems, this book from a British comedian/writer contains memorable characters and scenes as the author pokes at pompous attitudes with the humorous drawings from the incomparable Quentin Blake. This book received a starred review from Booklist. P8Q8

Westerfeld, Scott. Behemoth. Il. Keith Thompson. Simon Pulse, 2010. $18.99. 978-1-4169-7175-7. 485p. Ages 12-15:
In this steampunk sequel to Leviathan the fiercest creature in the British navy is still on the move with Alek and Deryn, both keeping secrets and allegiances to different governments and philosophies. Alek is the heir to the throne of the Austrian empire, and the midshipman Deryn is actually a girl. The second book in this trilogy shows their relationship developing, perhaps beyond just friendship and the high-action adventure shown in the first book as the two teenagers are on their own with a revolutionary group overthrowing the sultan of Istanbul. Factual events of early World War I blend with the magical elements of biological and mechanical technology combine with super storytelling and full-page black-and-white illustrations to keep the reader entranced. P8Q7

Lincoln County Juvenile Detention Center by J.K.
Mills, Tricia. Heartbreak River. Razorbill, New York, NY. 2009. PB 248 pages. $8.99. ISBN: 978-1-59514-256-6. P7Q8
Kind of a corny teen romance novel where you get tired of the heroine (in this case, 16 year old Alex) being so wishy-washy. “He loves me. No. He couldn’t possibly. What can I do to make him love me?” Almost nauseating. However, the underlying story about the grief Alex is dealing with over the death of her father really got to me. The family owns a river rafting business. Dad had to go fight in Iraq with the National Guard and came home a broken man after watching a young girl he had befriended in the village get blown up. I suspect this book is aimed at older girls because the topic of sex is broached, however, I feel the level of sophistication would appeal more to younger “tweens”.

Goodman, Shawn. Something Like Hope. Delacorte Press, New York, NY. 2011. HB 193 pages. $16.99. ISBN: 978-0-385-73939-9. P8Q9
Cringingly horrifying to realize the cruelty performed on already damaged children by a system that is supposed to be in place to protect them. Yet hope…. I have always felt a bond with Canada Geese and loved their symbolism in this story. They represent HOPE to seventeen-year-old Shavonne, who has been completely beaten down not only by her life as the daughter of a crack whore and a foster system that often allows unspeakable abuse of children; but by the Juvenile Justice system whose goal should be to help kids get out of it yet so often accomplishes the opposite. The author’s experiences working in juvenile detention facilities has given him a compassionate voice that sounds and feels authentic. I found it interesting that he chose a girl to give voice to.

De La Peña, Matt. I Will Save You. Delacorte Press, New York, NY. 2010. HB 310 pages. $16.99. ISBN: 978-0-385-73827-9. P9Q9
By far my favorite author of literature for youth. Especially for at-risk youth. I’ve never been a boy and both my kids were girls, so I would say I don’t speak ‘boy’. But Matt De La Peña’s words strike a chord of authenticity with me. I don’t even know how to start reviewing this book. I wish I could read it again, knowing how it ends – so many books, so little time. De La Peña draws the reader so close to his characters emotionally that you feel like them to the point that nothing else exists – not subtleties of plot, nor imagery – just emotional connectedness. Kidd Ellison runs from a group home he’d been placed in when his mother shot and killed his abusive father, then turned the gun on herself. He ends up in Cardiff, working in a campground managed by Mr. Red, the friend of one of Kidd’s former counselors. His ‘best’ friend from the group home, Devon, somehow finds him and tries to sabotage his efforts at a ‘normal’ life, and threatens to hurt his girl, Olivia. The story starts out with Kidd pushing Devon off a cliff after seeing Devon and Olivia together. Protecting lovely, innocent Olivia has become his priority. From there, Kidd’s story is told in flashbacks. Shifting back and forth between the past, from his mom telling him she’d had a moment of clarity after being hospitalized as a result of his dad’s last visit, to his experiences with Devon, and his musings from his prison bed where he’s being kept strapped down and in the dark. A compelling testament to the lasting effects of child abuse.

Schroeder, Lisa. Far From You. Simon Pulse, New York, NY. 2009. HB 335 pages. $15.99. ISBN: 978-1-4169-7506-9. P9Q9
When Alice’s dad remarries some time after her mother’s death from cancer, Ali shuts him and new wife, Victoria, out of her life. She resents the baby girl that has just joined her family until Ali, Vic and baby Ivy get stranded in the snow in a remote area. The enforced togetherness causes all the negativity Ali feels to erupt, and emotional chasms are healed. A fight for survival ensues and, in the end, Ali realizes life is good after all. I did not want to read this book, written in free-verse style, which is my least favorite style; and I certainly did not want to love this book, but once I read the dedication, I was hooked: “For my mom, with love – While other kids went to Disneyland, you took me to Grandma’s house and the library. What a lucky little girl I was. Thank you”. I loved how the author conveys so much emotion – almost intuitively – in just a few words that can be unbearably sad on one page and laugh-out-loud funny on the next. Beautifully written.

March 2011 Reviews
Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers by D.T
Picture Books:
Ichikawa, Satomi, My Little Train Penguin Group. New York. 2010. $15.99
A little toy train invites toy animals to take a ride. Although this story has been told in various different ways before, the dialogue (with sound effects: “huff-a-puff”) and watercolor illustrations take you through a childs’ imaginary journey through a living room that becomes a magical terrain. A bowl of fish becomes a pond for the toy duck and the sofa pillows become mountains and tunnels. This endearing picture book is a perfect addition to any train-lover’s elementary-level collection. I recommend this book. Ages 3-7. P8 Q8

Garland, Michael Super Snow Day Seek and Find Penguin Young Readers Group. New York. 2010 $16.99
It’s about a snow day, after all, and so I was hopeful about this book. The illustrations are very unique and vibrant. The story, however, is just confused and disappointing. There are interesting ideas, but someone forgot to tell this author to keep things simple. Try ideas one at a time, especially for children. There are 17 symbols for winter sports activities, nine different animal track’s in “Tommy’s forest”, 27 hibernating animals, and the word for “snow” in 16 languages appears in hiding places throughout. It’s just too much. The boy goes on a scavenger hunt that is somehow set up with sticky notes, but once he’s met Old Man Winter, Jack Frost, and the Abominable Snowman, then somehow finds himself with a band of climbers on the side of an icy mountain, and then at a grand hotel made entirely of ice… I felt lost. I have to think that young readers would be distracted as well. Ages 7-12. P7 Q6

Elya, Susan Middleton Rubia and the Three Osos Disney-Hyperion. New York. 2010 $16.99
The three bears with a South-of-the-border twist. This is great for kids learning English who are already familiar with the story and with Spanish, because they can recognize a few familiar words, and fill in the logical blanks. The illustrations are fun and appropriately colorful. The writing is just musical enough to help it ring off the page for reading aloud. The changes to this classic story are this: several Spanish words which you can look up in the convenient glossary in the back, and in the end Rubia (Goldilocks) is invited to stay with the family of bears. This is only appropriate since, “Mi casa es tu casa,” in Spanish. Ages 3-7. P8 Q8

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by N.W.
Aslan, Reza. No god but God: The Origins and Evolution of Islam. 2011. 166p. Delacorte, $16.99. (978-0-385-73975-7). Ages 12+:
Using parts of his book with the same name published in 2005, Aslan begins the story of Islamism with the world into which Mohammed was born and then follows its rituals and traditions throughout the centuries to current times. He takes a liberal view toward the religion explaining that it is one that elevates women and works toward peace and democracy with human rights. The book is difficult to understand with many obscure (to the Western society) terms. Despite a glossary young readers will not be attracted to this explanation. Libraries should look for books that are written for young readers and that provide a more unbiased view of the religion. P2Q6

Cline-Ransome, Lesa. Before There Was Mozart: The Story of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George. Il. James E. Ransome. 2011. unp. Schwartz & Wade, $17.99. 978-0-375-83600-8. Ages 7-10:
In eighteenth-century France, the musical celebrity was the child of a white man and his African slave. Born in the West Indies, Joseph studied in Paris where he was ridiculed for his racial background, but he continued to excel in playing the violin, eventually becoming an orchestra director and reached his mother’s ambition of meeting the king and queen. An author’s note provides additional information including his extensive composing which made him known as the “black Mozart,” his leading a regiment of black soldiers in support of the French Revolution, and his later struggles to abolish slavery in the American colonies. Large colorful illustrations follow this story of Joseph’s life. P5Q7

Griffin, Kitty. The Ride: The Legend of Betsy Dowdy. Il. Marjorie Priceman. 2010. unp. Atheneum, $16.99. 978-1-4169-2816-4. Ages 6-9:
Betsy Dowdy may have never existed, but the story of her famous ride to save the Colonial troops from the British Regulars is representative of many brave actions during the Revolutionary War. The deep colors of gouache combined with ink, sometimes in swirling backgrounds, create the feeling of movement described by the narrative of Betsy’s 50-mile ride through freezing water, packs and dogs, and dangerous highwaymen. The galloping of the plot makes for an energetic read-aloud on a dark and stormy day. Young readers will delight in this tale of a girl who made a difference in our country’s history. P8Q9

Marrin, Albert. Flesh & Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy. 2011. 182p. Knopf, $19.99. (978-0-375-86689-4). Ages 10-14:
Glancing at the title of this book, one might think that a library has enough books about the tragedy of March 25, 1911—one hundred years ago. But Marrin’s approach and information makes this book a necessary purchase. Only eight pages are devoted to the tragedy of the fire that killed 146 people, most of them young women immigrants, who were trapped in the building sewing shirtwaists. The rest of the book covers the history that led up to this moment in time: the story of immigration, the story of horrible working conditions and greedy bosses, the story of no regulations or unenforced ones that allowed the fire. The author does not finish the narrative with the fire: he continues with the mob control of the unions in the ensuing decades and the current sweatshops around the country today including those in New York City. Accessible layout with large photographs, drawings, and sidebars make this book highly readable. In fact it might even be a read-aloud if the reader can bear to narrate the book aloud. Notes, bibliography, index. P7Q9

Mavor, Salley. Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. 2010. 62p. Houghton Mifflin, $21.99. 978-0-618-73740-6. Ages 6-10:
For ten years Mayor embroidered, crocheted, and sewed fabric reliefs from felt and embellished with found objects such as shells and driftwood to create the illustrations for these 60+ nursery rhymes. With no white background, the pages seem somewhat heavy, and the illustrations will have more fascination for adults than young readers. This book would be useful for libraries with large nursery-rhyme collections or with an interest in needlework. P5Q8

Rubin, Susan Goldman. Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto. Il. Bill Farnsworth. 2011. 40p. Holiday House, $18.95. 978-0-8234-2251-7. Ages 7-10:
Rubin returns to her previous theme of Jewish Holocaust victims in this biography about a Polish social worker who helped rescue over 400 children from the Warsaw Ghetto. Wanting to reunite families after the war, she kept the names of the children hidden in two jars buried under a tree. The author’s note explains that Irena’s contributions were kept secret until 1989 when the anti-Semitic Communist regime in Poland collapsed. The full-page oil paintings show the pathos, fear, and love the people suffered during this tragic time. Useful are the list of resources, source notes, and index. P7Q9

Rusch, Elizabeth. For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart. Il. Steven Johnson & Lou Fancher. 2011. unp. Tricycle, $16.99. (978-1-58246-326-1). Ages 7-9: Mozart is a famous name in the music world, but because of Wolfgang and not his older sister. Yet at 12, Maria was a musical prodigy who toured with her younger brother until the family moved her to the ordinary life of a woman in the late eighteenth century. Segments of this biography are organized by musical terms designating parts of a sonata, finishing with the “Finale.” The two-page author’s note, called “Encore,” discusses limitations of women during this time. The artists have created an antique feel with the crumbling-appearing pages and the rich brocade costumes. The writing appears as stiff as the dresses, but very little has been written about Wolfgang’s beloved sister Nannerl and the women’s history is invaluable. P5Q8

Schroeder, Alan. Ben Franklin: His Wit and Wisdom from A-Z. Il. John O’Brien. 2011. unp. Holiday House, $16.95. 978-0-8234-1950-0. Ages 7-10:
Using the unorthodox convention of an alphabet book, this tribute is stuffed with knowledge bites about one of our founding fathers. Amusing drawings with watercolors match the humor of the subject who invented the armonica and approached all his projects with zeal, including the humorous piece about Z “complains about being stuck at the end of the alphabet.” P8Q9

Stauffacher, Sue. Tillie the Terrible Swede: How One Woman, a Sewing Needle, and a Bicycle Changed History. Il. Sarah McMenemy. 2011. unp. Knopf, $17.99. 978-0-375-84442-3. Ages 6-9: Tillie Anderson wanted to race bicycles and set out to do it, a difficult task at the end of the nineteenth century. But before 1900 she had become the fastest bicyclist in the world. The text and the humorous hand-painted paper collages with India ink show the absurd reactions to Tillie’s dreams: “’Two man-like and that is a great sin,’ [the men in the Associated Cycling Clubs] said.” P8Q8

Waring, Geoff. Oscar and the Bird: A Book about Electricity. [A Start with Science Book]. 2011. 29p. Candlewick Press, $6.99. 978-0-7636-5302-6;
Oscar and the Snail: A Book about Things We Use. 978-0-7636-5302-6. Ages 4-6: Two more books add to the fun of the first five books in this series. Oscar learns about electricity when he accidentally turns on a tractor’s windshield wipers, and Bird answers his questions. Snail tells him why certain materials are chosen for specific jobs and how these materials are useful. This series for little ones is also helpful in teaching the use of the index. P8Q8

Winter, Jonah. Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx. Il. Edel Rodriguez. 2009. unp. Atheneum, $16.99. 978-1-4424-0303-1. Ages 5-8:
A Supreme Court justice for almost two years Sotomayor once lived with her single mother in poverty. Winter shows how she overcame this background as well as her diagnosis of diabetes and the prejudice she faced at college with a loving family and hard work. Winter uses the theme of “flowering” throughout the text and the warm pastels and acrylics that show Sotomayor’s growth from a small child to being the first Latina on the highest court in the nation. On each page the English narrative is paired with a Spanish translation making this book accessible to a large audience. A full-page author’s note is provided on the endpage. P6Q8

Katz, Alan. Stalling. Il. Elwood H. Smith. 2010. unp. McElderry, $16.99. 9978-1-4169-556702. Ages 4-6:
Time for bed? Nope. Dan has too much to do: visit the Nile, munch on noodles, swat a grand slam, and much more. Just following the enthusiastic protagonist will make the reader tired, and the mix of cartoon characters and cutout photos provides an excellent background for the action.

Raschka, Chris. Little Black Crow. 2010. unp. Atheneum, $16.99. 978-0-699-84601-4. Ages 3-6:
A young boy asks Little Black Crow a number of questions about its family, patterns, and thought processes that begin with concrete inquiries about where the crow goes in the snow and ends with philosophical ones about the stars and the boy himself. Soft salt-texture watercolors provide the isolated rural backdrop for abstractions of the small crow inked in thick black. This thoughtful book will do well for reading aloud and discussions. P7Q9

Picture Books
Chast, Roz. Too Busy Marco. 2010. unp. Atheneum, $16.99. 978-1-4169-8474-0. Ages 4-7: 4
A red parrot has so many ideas of what he wants to do that he can’t go to bed. Painting underwater, bowling, skateboarding, inventing, practicing his banjo—these are a few of his plans that his human mother forces him to give up until he falls asleep and continues his dreams then. As a bedtime book the watercolor, gouache, and ink illustrations are so busy that little ones will probably be much more awake after the book than before. The type used for Marco’s begging will also get everyone revved up. The style leans toward an older audience, but the message is for the younger. P7Q6

Falconer, Ian. Olivia Goes to Venice. 2010. unp. Atheneum, $17.99. 978-1-4169-9674-3. Ages 4-6: In Olivia’s sixth adventure, the typical charcoal and gouache illustrations of this series are laid over digitized photographs of the famous Italian city, resulting in a cluttered feel. As always, Olivia is selfish, constantly begging for ice cream. The ending is somewhat weak also, as Olivia pulls a stone from a tower that then—according to her mother’s prediction—falls down. Young people might benefit from re-reading earlier Olivia tales, particularly the initial one. P7Q6

Fox, Mem. Let’s Count Goats. Il. Jan Thomas. 2010. unp. Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster, $16.99. 978-1-4424-0598-1. Ages 4-6:
Silly-looking brown goats outlined with wide black lines (ala Rhyming Dust Bunnies) perform very un-goat-like things such as flying, boating, and trumpeting. There’s even an “over goat” bicycling over the goat “going under” and a fireman goat. In this counting book the boldly-colored illustrations show the number of goats growing from one to ten, but the reader has to find the goats themselves—no help from the text. In addition to the counting lesson, young readers will be invited to discuss seasons and activities when asked to find different kinds of goats such as “pilot,” “crossing,” and “rescued.” All in all, a very satisfying book if it’s shared with an adult. P9Q9

Frazee, Marla. The Boss Baby. 2010. unp. Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster, $16.99. 978-1-4424-0167-9. Ages 4-7:
Imagine a baby with a square head and corporate suit onesie directing his parents to comply with all his needs, and you have the “boss baby.” Although young children will not appreciate the 1950s flavor of the setting, adults reading the book to children will delight in the pencil and watercolor illustrations. Any child with a younger sibling will enjoy the familiarity of Boss Baby’s antics as he provides schedules for his parents of feeding, diaper-changing, lounging, etc. Or parents can talk with their children about how they behaved when they were babies. The twist at the end in which Baby
figures out how to get his staff to continue their work after they seem to have quit adds to the charm of this story. P8Q8

Kaplan, Bruce Eric. Monsters Eat Whiny Children. 2010. unp. Simon & Schuster, $15.99. 978-1-4169-88869-8. Ages 4-7:
For secure children, particularly those with an off-beat sense of humor, this picture provides a story with an edge. After the nasty whining Henry and Eve are taken to a monster’s hideout, they are forced to hear the monster and his wife whine even more than the children as they argue about how to make the children into food. On the white background, minimalist thick black line drawings highlighted with bits of color are reminiscent of Quentin Blake as the children sit in a wooden bowl on the kitchen table waiting for their fate. In the midst of the hullabaloo when the monster’s aunt recommends cucumber and whiny children sandwiches on fluffy white bread, Henry and Eve work together and escape, losing their whininess—mostly! The voice of the dialog in Kaplan’s first book rings true, making for a great readaloud. P8Q9

Knudsen, Michelle. Argus. Il. Andrea Wesson. 2011. unp. Candlewick, $15.99. 978-0-7636-3790-3. Ages 5-8:
A classroom assignment in which all the children are given eggs to hatch ends up in disaster for Sally when her huge spotted green egg turns out to look like a dragon that threatens to eat first the other chicks and then the children. The story is one of learning to accept differences: Argus is very different! The author of Library Lion has depicted a classroom with an innovative teacher and involved students who, despite their negative feelings about Argus, help Sally search for him when he gets lost. Humor with absurdity comes not only from the plot but also the soft ink-and-watercolor artwork in which green and scaly Argus complete with big yellow eyes stands out. P9Q8

Savage, Stephen. Where’s Walrus? 2011. unp. Scholastic, $16.99. 978-0-439-70049-8. Ages 4-7: When the walrus walks out of the gate, it is pursued by the confused zookeeper throughout the city. In this wordless book, simple clear cutout-like artwork created in Adobe Illustrator show Walrus hiding in plain sight with several people at a soda counter, in a department-store display window, with a crew of men laying bricks, in a line of firefighters spraying a building, etc. In each of the places that Walrus hides, there’s the headgear that makes it fit into the scene—a plume, a firefighter’s hat, It’s the diving competition that does him in as he stands out, winning a gold medal, especially after Walrus takes off the bathing cap. Muted shades of beige, gray, and aqua in the background against the white pages are accented with bright reds, as in the display window and the brick wall, and the constant presence of the blue-attired zookeeper. The incongruous chase throughout the urban scenes will appeal to the silly in everyone, and young readers will enjoy telling the story of the book.

Graphic Narratives
Gownley, Jimmy. True Things (Adults Don’t Want Kids to Know). [Amelia Rules!] 2010. 163p. Atheneum, $18.99. 9978-1-4169-8611-9. Ages 9-12:
Each book in this series just gets better as Amelia continues to face problems, this time difficult decisions and an 11th birthday. Her aunt and mother remain a constant despite the fight that they have over Tanner’s romance with Amelia’s teacher. With Amelia’s transition to a ‘tween, she leaves the clubhouse and moves to the mall for entertainment. As always the cartoon drawings match the story lines. Fortunately the book can stand alone or invite readers to read earlier ones in the series. P8Q8

Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief. [Percy Jackson & The Olymians]. Adapt. Robert Venditti; il. Attila Futaki; colorist Jose Villarrubia. 2010. unp. Hyperion, $19.99. 978-1-4231-1696-7. Ages 11-14: The fast-paced action of Riordan’s earlier book is perfect for this first Percy Jackson adventure as the 12-year-old discovers he is only part human. As the son of the Greek god Poseidon, he should be educated at Camp Half-Blood with the other children of humans and gods, but he ends up trying to stop the war among the gods with a trip to Hades with the goal of finding Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt. In addition to the adventure of the book, Percy has to face his love for his mother and hatred for his good-for-nothing stepfather, making him just as human as superhuman. P8Q8

Rosenstiehl, Agnes. Silly Lilly in What Will I Be Today? 2011. unp. Toon Books, $12.95. 978-1-936-17908-5. Ages 3-5:
This beginning graphic narrative is carefully crafted for young readers with each box numbered to identify its sequence. It also provides an introduction to chapter books because the seven days of the week are divided into different activities. What should she be? A cook-artist? Or an acrobat who tumbles? The simple stories open the world to a child about some of its possibilities. Sequel to Silly Lilly and the Four Seasons; originally published in France. P9Q9

Almond, David. Slog’s Dad. Il. Dave McKean. 2010. 57p. Candlewick, $15.99. 978-0-7636-4940-1. Ages 9-12:
As much illustration as narrative, Almond’s latest book addresses the question of life after death. Slog believes that the tattered man sitting on the bench is actually his father who has returned to visit him. Slog’s friend Davie doesn’t think so. Based on the runner-up to the British National Short Story competition in 2007, the narrative follows the journey of loss, grief, and hope. Illustrator of Neil Gaiman’s Wolves in the Wall and the Newbery winner The Graveyard Book, McKean uses graphic narratives of ink and Photoshop to provide a parallel story which begins and ends in a version of heaven with the paper doll visuals in between showing the father’s body’s deterioration as more and more of him is amputated before his death. According to the artist, “the images . . . illustrate interpretations of the story, and in doing so, completely rewrite the book.” This is a brilliant piece of fiction that requires a special reader. P6Q10

Frazier, Angie. The Midnight Tunnel: A Suzanna Snow Mystery. 2011. 283p. Scholastic, $16.99. 978-0-545-20862-8. Ages 9-12:
First in a proposed series, this historical mystery follows intrepid wanna-be detective Suzanna as she follows the staff and guests at an isolated summer resort. The 11-year-old ends up solving the mystery of a missing child after her famous—and obnoxious—uncle from Boston fails. A delightful complement of characters and setting makes for an enjoyable read.

Book Reviews by K.R. WHS
Harlow, Joan Hiatt, Secret of the Night Ponies. Margaret K. McElderry Books: New York, 2009. (Grades 4 and up)
Jessie Wheller lives with her family on the coast of Newfoundland. In order to “get to town” she relies on a boat, or occasionally can walk miles along a trail through the mountains. When she discovers that abandoned horses from nearby islands are being caught to be sold to the knacker, she and her friends plan, then execute a daring rescue to take the ponies overland, to her farm. She then swims them across the channel to a nearby island where they will be safe. Jessie has the support of her family, several friends from town, and her own Newfoundland pony, Raven in this adventure. Based on a historical incident, this is one of many stories of how the Newfoundland ponies were rescued and saved from certain destruction when the government funded and even required people to move their homes from islands to the mainland. The entire breed was about to be destroyed when people like Jessie gathered together to save the horses.(Good for horse-lovers and girls who need a strong role-model in a young girl their own age.) Q. 8 P. 8

Condie, Ally, Matched. Dutton Books: New York. 2010.
I seem to be gathering a lot of science fiction/dystopian novels lately for high schoolers; but, I haven’t found a “bad” one yet. Condie has created a very real world where science and government direct the lives of youth through their education, marriage, and careers. Cassia, who has never been a rebel, but one day her curiosity is triggered when on her Matching Day she receives a computerized disk that reveals to her the picture of a young man she has always known and assumed she would marry. However, just prior to seeing his welcome face, there is the picture of another young man. Why is he there, she wonders and decides to investigate. Now she must choose between Zander and Ky and face the consequences—which include exclusion from her family and Ky, whom she loves. Here is another strong female character, deeply in love with the boy who is right for her and who is willing and capable of making that desire come true. Q. 8 P. 8

Reeve, Philip. Fever Crumb. Scholastic Press: New York., 2009.
Because of the title, this book is likely to be missed by the students who would enjoy reading it. Fever Crumb is an orphan who has been raised by a group of Engineers, highly intellectual men who are also very practical and have taught her to keep her emotions under control. Eventually, she is sent to the home of a family to help Kit Solent with his research. Never having been outside the Engineers home, she is unaware of the Scriven, aliens, whose memory terrorizes the people in the community. Unfortunately, with eyes of two colors and her shaved head, Fever is mistaken for one of them because of her “otherness.” Her life is constantly in danger until she finally comes to know her real parents whose love story is as passionate as she has been taught to be unemotional. A good page-turner for science-fiction/mystery buffs. Q. 8 P. 8

Bachorz, Pam. Drought. Egmont: New York. 2011
The Congregation, among whom Ruby lives, is a religious sect, that has chosen to live virtually as slaves, captured by an overseer in 1812. Even though the setting is modern, these people live cloistered in a forest where they are challenged every day to gather enough water to sell it to a mysterious man who comes once a year to buy it. The water they gather has a mysterious quality to it: those who drink it can go long periods of time without eating and live for centuries. The water they gather in small pewter cups with spoons has drops of blood from their missing leader. During the story, Ruby discovers that she has the same genetic ability to provide blood in the water as her father had resulting in her entrapment; if she leaves the community will die. And yet, the desire to follow Ford, the only kind overseer, away from the forest is irresistible. The novel is unusual and will probably have a sequel; however, it moves too slowly in parts repeating Ruby’s thoughts about Ford which have already been established. Q. 7/8 P. 7

Plum-Ucci, Carol. Fire Will Fall. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: New York. 2010.
I have read several of Plum-Ucci’s novels and am very impressed by her ability to evoke strong settings that are easy to visualize. I often feel that the setting is a character in the story inasmuch as the events couldn’t happen anywhere else. In this case, a terrorist group calling themselves Shadow-Strike, has poisoned the water of Trinity Falls. Four teenagers have survived, albeit with symptoms that will eventually kill them if their government handlers cannot find a cure. I enjoyed the very real relationships between the teens and their rescuers. Brother/sister, boy/girl friend relationships develop that are tenuous because of the ever-present possibility of death. Scott, Cora, Owen, and Rain also have two computer buddies who are working on finding the location of Shadow-Strike who continue to pursue the teens and develop an even more terrifying virus. Although the book is not a quick read, all the words belong there. The evolving conclusion is logical and entirely appropriate with no dues ex machina events to interrupt a smoothly-flowing story. Q. 9 P. 8/9

Clayton, Emma. The Roar. Chicken House: New York. 2009.
Unfortunately, this novel will probably lead to a sequel or two when actually, the ending is so satisfying, that I really wish there weren’t going to be any more. This is one of the most involving sci-fi novels I have read lately and plan to recommend it to my students who are Orson Scott Card fans. Mika’s sister Ellie has been kidnapped and is, supposedly, dead. He, however, can “feel” her presence as twins often can do. Their bond is strengthened because they are both “mutants” among children who have been born 30 years following the Animal Plague which sent civilization running to colonies behind The Wall. This is a very engaging story that also includes environmental issues along with the expected themes of personal identity, sacrifice, and family loyalty. A good novel for students looking for action and adventure. Q. 8/9 P. 9

Carol Bernardi Book Reviews
Buyea, Rob, Because of Mr. Terupt, Delacorte Press, New York, 2010, 269 pgs., $16.99. ISBN:9780385738828, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 8,
Seven students who come from different lifestyles and social economic situations come together at Snow Hill School in Vermont. All are in the fifth grade with first year teacher Mr. Terupt. He believes that they will learn through experiences in life and not just from their textbooks. During each month of the school year the seven students narrate a brief chapter bout the happening s and interactions going on in the classroom. When a snow ball fight gets out of hand Mr. Terupt ends up in the hospital. Each student must face his or hers involvement in the accident and accept the faults of the others involved.

Duble, Kathleen, Phantoms in the snow, Scholastic, New York, 2011, 226 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:9780545197700, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
Noah Garrett is 15 years old the year his parent s die of smallpox in Texas. He has been raised as a pacifist and World War II is being fought in Europe and the Pacific. Set in 1944 Noah is sent to live with his mother’s brother, a man he has never met. Arriving in Camp Hale, Colorado Noah steps into a military life where he is soon taking part in military exercises. At 15 years of age young men were allowed to join the military, with a guardian’s permission, and this is the only way that Noah will be allowed to stay on base. Learning to ski and joining forces with the Phantoms of the Tenth Mountain Division is totally against all that Noah believes, he must decide what course he is going to take. This historical novel is based on historical events and is sure to appeal to those who love history.

Jacobson, Jennifer, Andy Shane: hero at last, illustrated by Abby Carter, Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts, 2010, 58 pgs., $14.99, ISBN:9780763636005, Gr. 2+, P 7, Q 7,
Andy Shane is a series of books that offer the budding reader a chapter book that is longer in length. In this story Andy is determined to win the best decorated bike in the parade or to be a hero. He feels sure that his bike will win with his bird Swallow entry. When Andy saves the day by returning the dropped drummer’s baton to him during the parade he becomes the town hero. The black and white illustration’s by Carter demonstrates Andy’s determination to enter and win the contest despite any thing that gets in his way.

MacDonald, Bailey, The secret of the sealed room, Aladdin, New York, 2010, 208 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:9781416997603, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
In 1721, Patience Martin lives in Boston, Massachusetts and works as an indentured servant to the widow Mrs. Worth. Patience is the orphaned daughter of a sea captain who died at sea and was indentured to Mrs. Worth after her mother’s death. When Mrs. Worth dies of arsenic poisoning Patience indentured papers are transferred to Mrs. Worth’s brother in law. He plans to sell her to anyone who buy her papers. Patience with the help of young Ben Franklin runs away and she tries to solve the mystery of who killed Mrs. Worth. This historical mystery offers the reader a closer look at colonial America and the life of young Ben Franklin.

McKissack, Patricia, McKissack, Fredrick, McKissack, John, Cyborg, Scholastic Press, New York, 2011, 127 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 7,
Cyborg is the second in a trilogy series and will stand on its own merits as a fast paced sci-fi adventure. In the future man has the ability to replace limbs, internal organs and eyes with computer generated parts. In the year 2130 the Cyborg Act is passed making those with 3 or more cyborg parts no longer a full person but 3/5 a person. Those who are cyborg must now register with The World Federation of Nations and their rights are taken away. It is up to Leanna and Huston to rescue cyborg supporters on Earth and to show that this law is wrong.

Osborne, Mary, A crazy day with cobras, Random House, New York, 2011, 112 pgs., $12.99, ISBN:9780375868238, Gr. 2+, P 8, Q 8,
Siblings Jack and Annie are on a magic tree house adventure again, this time to ancient India. Here they must find a secret jewel that will restore their pet Penguin Penny back into herself. She has been changed in to a cube when a magic spell goes wrong. Teeming with the life and customs of the ancient court of the Great Mogul of India, who built the Taj Majal, Jack and Annie give the mogul a gift that surpasses all others. The great gift is a story written on paper that Mogul rewards with the gem that the siblings are seeking. Through a series of misadventures the two return to the tree house and are transported back to their own time. This is another journey for Jack and Annie that ends well.

Pfeffer, Susan, This world we live in, Harcourt, Boston, Massachusetts, 2010, 239 pgs., $17.00, ISBN:9780547248042, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8 ,
This is the third book in the series “The last survivors” which finds a world that is now releasing the food that is left to central populations. It is winter and many people have starved and their bodies are stacked waiting to be disposed of. Miranda, her two brothers and her mom are still living living in Howell, Pennsylvania barely staying alive on the food allotment and stores that they find in vacant homes. When her father returns he brings his wife, new baby and 4 more stretching the food reserves even further. After a hurricane hits Miranda, who narrates the book, falls in love with one of the boys, Alex, she must decided to leave or to stay in Howell. I look forward to the following books in this series.

Voight, Cynthia, Young Fredle, illustrated by Louise Yates, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011, 227 pgs., ISBN:978-0375864575, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 8,
Fredel and his family of mice live in the walls of a house in the country. When Fredel eats a peppermint chocolate he becomes sick and is pushed out of the family nest to fend for himself. What he discovers is a world outside completely different from his own, which was a safe and predictable world. Outside he is challenged to survive and to fit into a world he knows nothing about. He does recognize that in his new home only the fittest and those that can adapt will survive. All the wonders of this new world are not lost on Fredel from the stars to the water from dew left on a blade of grass all bring Fredel a sense of freedom. Making his way home Fredel is eager to have his family join him in this new world. If you love an adventure story with a happy ending then this is a book that you must read.

Weyn, Suzanne, Empty, Scholastic, New York, 2010, 183 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:9780545172783, Gr., P, Q,
In the not to distant future, 10 years from now, all the oil in the world will slowly disappear leaving people desperate for most commodities. In America most goods, food, medicine and gas are shipped by truck and with no gas this will stop. People will become almost savage as they fight for survival. Weyn’s cast of characters: Gwen, Tom, Carlos, Brock, Hector, Niki and Luke are all teenagers who attend the local high school and whose lives become embroiled with each other as they face the changes in the world. America, desperate for oil invades Venezuela seeking their last oil reserves, a hurricane hits leaving people with no food or medicine and electricity, run by oil turbines. Only those who have money can afford anything. When a house that was built to be “green is discovered the people of the valley also discover that their future is not so grim and that their city can become a green model for the rest of America. The ending was a little to convenient to be believable but does point the world in the right direction.

Cerullo, Mary, Shipwrecks: exploring sunken cities beneath the sea, Dutton Children’s Press, New York, 2009, 64 pgs., ISBN:9780525479680, $18.99, ISBN:9780525479680, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
What make this book so appealing are the colored photographs of the underwater world of the oceans and seas of our world. When the author describes the murky water off the Florida coast, due to the swift current, the reader is able to see exactly what the diver is seeing and experiencing. The three sunken ships, Henrietta Marie, Cerullo and the steamship Portand, are the shipwrecks that are found and discussed. Oceanographers were able to use new technology to now find these wrecks on the ocean floor. Side-scan sonar and magnetometer are two of the instruments that were used to locate these three wrecks . The wrecks have slowly become part of the ecosystem of this under water world where fish and organism have made the wrecks their home. The most disturbing wreck was that of the Henrietta Marie, a former slave ship, where chains and bars of iron were found, a grim reminder of this awful trade. Students will soon become lost in the pages of this book as they read of these three wrecks.

Osborne, Mary, and Boyce, Natalie, Snakes and other reptiles, Random House, 2011, 120 pgs., index, $4.99, ISBN:9780375860119, Gr. 3+, P 7, Q 7,
The sisters Natalie Boyce Osborne and Mary Osborne have again joined their talents to produce this nonfiction guide to the book “ A crazy day with cobras.” Jack and Annie the main characters in the “magic tree house series” tell the reader that they too will learn that reptiles come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Snakes, frogs, lizards, turtles, alligators and crocodiles are a few of the creatures featured in this book which gives detailed clear information on all of them.

Williams, Marcia, Greek myths, illustrated by Marcia Williams, Candlewick Press, Singapore, 1991, 2011, unp., $8.99, ISBN:9780763653842, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
Clear visuals, graphically appealing, engaging colorful illustrations and borders all make this a book that will capture the reader interest. The text is easy to follow and understand as the reader explores eight Greek myths. This is a book that should be included in all school libraries.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by M.D. ASPIRE
Perkins, Lynne Rae. As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth Greenwillow Books, New York, 2010. $16.99. ages middle & high school. 352 pgs. 978-0-06-187090-3 P 8/ Q 8
I think this is a book that young men would enjoy reading because it is about a story about a young boy who is stranded when he gets off his train in the middle of nowhere. The book as some fun black and white drawings of some dogs Peg and Olie who kind of mimic the story. The boy finds himself traveling by train, car, plane, boat and feet to get to his parents. It is a story of adventure and worry about family members. The story goes back and forth between different stories about different characters which may be a little confusing.

James, Kelle. A Memoir Smile for the Camera. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. New York. 2010. $16.99. high school. 392 pgs. 978-1-4424-0623-0. P8/ Q 8
This is a story about sixteen year old Kelle and how she survived her family and moving to New York to be a model. This is a true story of escaping abuse from home to only encounter more in the big city. I think the audience that reads this story should be mature as it has inappropriate language and graphic descriptions. The story ends with Kelle talking about how important it is to know when things need to be changed for the better.

First Thursday Book Reviews by J.C., Lincoln County Library District
Picture books
De Roo, Elena. Illustrated by Brian Lovelock. The rain train. Candlewick Press, 2011. Unpaged. $15.99 ISBN 9780763653132 Ages 3-5. P7Q9
A New Zealand picturebook, The Rain Train, uses poetic, repetitious sounds of rain and trains in bedtime poetry to lull sleepy children to their dreams. The clear, stylized watercolor and ink illustrations carry the story well, though I was surprised to see one spread featuring the full moon shining through driving rain. Highly recommended for preschool, primary and public library collections.

Middle grade books
Carris, Joan. Illustrated by Noah Z. Jones. Magic at the Bed & Biscuit. “Bed & Biscuit series, book 3.” Candlewick Press, 2011. 103 p. $15.99 ISBN 9780763643065 Ages 7¬-10. P7Q7
When her magician owner leaves Malicia, the performing chicken, at Grandpa’s animal boarding house, she uses her magical powers to disrupt the resident animals. After several days of magical bullying, the other animals come up with a plan to foil Malicia at her own game. Watercolor and pencil illustrations add to the emotional impact of the story. Recommended for elementary and public library collections.

Viorst, Judith. Luly and the brontosaurus. Illustrated by Lane Smith. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2010.113 p. $15.99 ISBN 9781416999614 “Ages 6-10.” P6Q8
Lulu demands a pet brontosaurus and runs away into the woods when her parents do not comply with her demands. Her lack of manners defends her from various predators. An actual brontosaurus finds Lulu and decides to keep her as a pet. This dryly amusing story of an unmannerly girl who suddenly has to widen her world view when she herself is adopted as a pet is leavened by Lane Smith’s stylized pencil drawings. Recommended for elementary and public library collections.

YA books
Atwater-Rhodes, Amelia. All just glass. “Den of Shadows series, book 5.” Delacorte Press, 2011. 246 p. $15.99 ISBN 9780385737524 Ages 12-up. P7Q6
In this sequel to Shattered Glass, the despotic head of a vampire hunting family assigns one daughter the task of killing her younger sister who had been turned into a vampire by the boy she loved. Taking place over 24 hours, told in multiple voices, this is an action-packed story, with a surprise ending. Occasionally, though, the jumble of characters detracts from the story, though the clever ending makes up for a lot. Recommended for high school and public libraries.

Durst, Sarah Beth. Enchanted Ivy. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2010. 310 p. $16.99 ISBN 9781416986454 “Ages 12-up.” P7Q7
High school junior Lily Carter’s ambition is to attend Princeton like her father and grandfather. When her grandfather offers her the chance to take the mysterious Vineyard Club’s “Legacy Test” which, if successfully solved, assures admittance, Lily agrees at once. Along the way, Lily discovers an alternate fairy realm Princeton, good and evil gargoyles, two boys, the cure for her mother’s vanishing memory, as well as a hoary conspiracy, swashbuckling heroes, a few dragons, and evil in the hearts of powerful men. Essentially, this fantasy is a love story, with a fairly clueless heroine and men and boys willing to save her from other men and boys. Lily solves her quest, but more in spite of herself than through her own efforts. However, this book will appeal as a romantic fantasy story and is recommended for public and middle and high school libraries.

McKinley, Robin. Pegasus. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2010. 404 p. $18.99 ISBN 9780399246777 Ages 12-up. P6Q6
Sylvi, human princess, is magically bound to Pegasus Ebon on her twelfth birthday per the human-pegasi treaty. The fact that she and Ebon can communicate telepathically is an affront to the court magicians who have been the official translators for the thousand years since the treaty’s signing. McKinley’s world building is stunning, complete with court customs for both humans and pegasi, but the book—over 400 pages—contains little action, little conflict, an obvious villain, and ends without a final resolution, foretelling an inevitable sequel. Recommended for public and school libraries with strong YA fantasy collections, but be prepared to purchase both this and its sequel(s).

Pierce, Tamora. Tortall and other lands: a collection of tales. Random House, 2011. 369 p. $18.99 ISBN 9780375866760 Ages 12-up. P8Q7
A collection of 11 short stories, most related to Pierce’s various Tortall fantasy series, includes a preview excerpt from the beginning of Mastiff, the third book in the Beka Cooper series. For readers familiar with Pierce’s various series, the stories will be a pleasant diversion in the long wait between new books. For readers unfamiliar with the characters and locales, some of the stories will be difficult to decipher. Half of the stories include characters from the various Tortall series. Among the others, “Testing” is a token non-fantasy story of a housemother in a home for girls; and “Huntress,” a previously published story, is a nod to the mean girl books, set in New York, with a gory twist. Recommended for high school and public library collections.

C.S.- Siletz Public Library
Lee Curtis, Jamie. Laura Cornell, ill. My Mommy Hung the Moon: A Love Story. Joanna Colter Books, 2010. $19.99. ISBN 9780060290160. Unp. Ages 4-8.
This book is the 9th one written by Jamie Lee Curtis and illustrator Laura Cornell. It’s a celebration of the relationship between a child and mother, and that period of time when a child thinks her mom can do absolutely anything. The text is simple, sweet, and joyful, and the colorful illustrations make the text easy to follow. This would be a great read-aloud for a mom with young kids. P9Q9

Gore, Leonid. The Wonderful Book. Scholastic Press, 2010. $16.99. ISBN 9780545085984. Unp. Ages 4-6.
This book is a simple story about a book in the woods, and what the animals who encounter it think about it. For the rabbit it’s a cozy house, for the bear it’s a hat, for the fox a bed, etc. Finally a boy finds it and reads it out loud. The animals gather around to listen and agree that it’s a wonderful book. The children in my story group didn’t have much to say about the story, but they really liked the illustrations, which have a real charm (watercolor and ink on textured paper). P7Q8

Lewison, Wendy Cheyette. Hans Wilhelm, ill. There’s a Mouse in the House. Scholastic, Inc., 2010. $3.99. ISBN 9780545178556. Unp. Ages 4-6.
This Level 1 Scholastic reader is another simple story, this time about a mouse who has come into the house and refuses to leave. It’s is told in rhyme and illustrated with clear, colorful pictures (watercolors, I think). The story leads the readers along, and makes a very good readalong for small children. My group enjoyed it very much. P8Q8

Bozzo, Linda. Imagining the Future: Getting Around in the Past, Present, and Future. Bailey Books, 2011. $21.26. ISBN 9780766034372. 24 pgs. Ages 4-8.
This book looks at some major kinds of transportation, from bicycle to airplane, to ship, and compares how they looked and functioned in the future and present, and how they might be in the future. I like the idea, but the information seemed a little thin on the page. There are lots of illustrations- old photos, modern photos, and drawings of ideas for future transportation. I didn’t like the color theme chosen- the background color is a kind of sickly greenish yellow that didn’t work for me. P7Q6

Juvenile Fiction
Marrone, Amanda. The Multiplying Menace: A Magic Repair Shop Book. Aladdin, 2010. $5.99. ISBN 9781416990338. 272 pgs. Ages 9-12.
Maggy has magical skills that get her in trouble- the things she wishes for happen, though not with a lot of accuracy (butterflies end up as caterpillars for example). When her talent gets her kicked out of school, she ends up living with her grandmother while her parents are out of the country. Here she gets a part time job in a magical repair shop. Everything is wonderful until the evil Milo the Magnificent shows up and causes trouble. The story gets kind of complicated- I felt like it was going in a lot of directions at once, but the funny situations and lively characters are fun. Junior high kids will enjoy this book. P9Q8

English, Karen. Laura Freeman, ill. Nikki & Deja: The Newsy News Newsletter. Clarion Books, 2010. $15.00. ISBN 9780547222479. 91 pgs. Ages 9-12.
This is a fun chapter book featuring two African-America friends. The story is about their experience writing a neighborhood newsletter, and what it means to be responsible for what you write. I found this book interesting- the girls have a nice friendship, are excited about delving into journalism, and begin to see the difference between writing news and gossip. I think later elementary school girls will find this book a fun read. P9Q9

Stauffacher, Sue. Priscilla Lamont, ill. Animal Rescue Team: Special Delivery! Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. $12.99. ISBN 9780375858482. 164 pgs. Ages 9-12.
This is a fast paced and fun book. It is the second in a series following the adventures of the Carter family, who run Carters’ Urban Rescue (a non-profit that rescues and treats wounded animals). There are an assortment of children and generations in this multicultural family (Nigerian and Swedish-American) and each has his or her own adventures and friends. Several animal rescue scenes are involved, and the author gives a lot of information about the animals. In this book, crows and skunks are prominent. At the end of the book, there are several pages of animal information from the “Carters’ Urban Rescue Files.” Pleasant black and white drawings illustrate the story. I think any child who loves animals will enjoy this book. P8Q8

Young Adult
Nielson, Sheila A. Forbidden Sea. Scholastic Press, 2010. $17.99. ISBN 9780545097345. 296 pgs. Ages 13+.
This fantasy novel follows the life Adrianne, whose father has been killed and who struggles to support her sister and weak mother. After several frightening encounters with a mermaid, she is faces a difficult choice- to marry a wealthy prince of the merpeople, or to continue living her life and marry a human man for love. There is a thread of something similar happening 100 years previously that enriches the story. I found the book interesting enough to keep me reading, though I wished for more character development along the way. However, I think young readers will enjoy it. P8Q7

April 2011 Reviews
Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers
Reviews by SJ and the students of Isaac Newton Magnet School
Diego Vega, a descendant of Zorro as told to Jan Adkins. YOUNG ZORRO: THE IRON BRAND. Harper Collins Publishers, 2006. ISBN 978-0-06-083945-1. 233 pgs. $15.99. Gr. 4-8.
Diego and his best friend, Bernardo, live on a cattle ranch. Diego Vega is a descendant of the Legendary Zorro. When the cattle start disappearing, it’s up to this twosome to crack the case and save the cattle. Will Diego and Bernardo be able to help the cattle, save the ranch, and keep out of danger themselves? It is a thrilling tale in the tradition of Zorro, but not always authentic and engaging. P 7, Q 7

Hans Christian Andersen. Translated by Naomi Lewis, Philip Gough, illustrator. HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES. Puffin, 2010. ISBN 978-0-141-32901-7. 182 pgs. $4.99. Gr. 4 – 7. This book is a collection of many of Hans Andersen’s classic fairy tales such as The Princess and the Pea, Thumbelina, The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, and many more. All of these tales provide entertainment, and tell tales of love, adventure, sorrow, and foolishness. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fairy tales. P 8, Q 9

Josh Berk. THE DARK DAYS OF HAMBURGER HALPIN. Random House Children’s Books, 2010. ISBN 978-0-375-85699-0. 250 pgs. $16.99. Gr. 6-9.
A deaf, fat guy transfers to the regular high school and is shocked by the other students. On a field trip to the trademark local mine, the popular star football player is found dead. Will Halpin, the deaf, fat guy, is pulled into the strange, small town mystery. I found book to be a real bore, unlike most mysteries I’ve experienced. It wasn’t as suspenseful as it should be although it did have its moments. I got a few laughs from this book, though, so I’d recommend it for grades 7th through 9th. It’s not hard to read, and it may be good for a first-read, but I didn’t like it much. P 7, Q 5

Chelsea M. Campbell. THE RISE OF RENEGADE X. Egmont, 2010. ISBN978-1-60684-060-3. Pgs. 304. $17.99. Gr. 7 – 12.
Damien is the son of both a super-hero and a super-villain. In his world, a hero is born with an “H” on his thumb and a villain is born with a “V” on his. Damien is born with an “X”, a half-villain, half-hero hybrid. While his father is confident of his son’s destiny to be a super-hero, Damien spends his teen years trying to explore the life of a super-villain. The book is recommended to 7th graders and older students. It does contain some rough language. P 8, Q 6

James Dashner. THE THIRTEENTH REALITY: THE JOURNAL OF CURIOUS LETTERS. ISBN 978-1-4169-9152-6. 506 pgs. $7.99. Gr. 5-8.
Atticus “Tick” Hingbottom lives in a land from the future: The Earth of Realities. Whenever you make a choice with a consequence that takes a toll on life, a new reality is created. Now the Realities are in danger, and it’s up to Tick to save the world, his reality, and everything. P 8, Q 7

Kathleen Duey. HOOFBEATS: LARA AND THE GRAY MARE. Dutton Children’s Books, 2005. ISBN 0-525-47332-7. 140 pgs. $15.99. Gr. 4 – 7.
Ireland is at war. Lara’s dad is away where the fighting is. In Lara’s stables, a gray mare is about to foal when men come and steal away the horses. Will Lara be able to get the mare back? Will the mare foal safely? Will Lara have the courage to do what is necessary to save her town? I would recommend this book to girls between the ages of nine and thirteen. P 7, Q 8

Kathleen Duey. HOOFBEATS: LARA AT THEENRY CASTLE. Dutton Children’s Books, 2005. ISBN 0-525-47340-8. 140 pgs. $15.99. Gr. 4 – 7.
After delivering the filly Dannsair several weeks before, Lara must journey to Athenry castle. She must disguise herself as a boy, for that is the only way to save Dannisar and herself. Will Lara be able to pull off this deception? How long will it be before she is discovered? P 7, Q 8

Sally Gardener. THE RED NECKLACE. Dial Books, 2007. ISBN 978-0-8037-3100-4. 376 pgs. $16.99. Gr. 7-10.
A magic automaton spells death for a member of a trio of magicians when it catches the eye of the famed Count Kalliouski. It is left to the remaining ones to solve the mystery of Topolain’s death, and eventually rescue the count’s bride. Sido de Villeduual is thrown into a marriage with Kalliouski to atone for her father’s debts to the man. But when the French Revolution begins, everyone’s plans are thrown away. Three desperate races begin; Sido’s to escape Paris with her father before the rebels kill them, and later to escape prison; and Yann Margoza’s and Kalliouski’s to race to Sido. Kalliouski wishes to reclaim revenge and his bride. Yann wishes to save her. P: 8, Q: 9

Adele Geras. OTHER ECHOES. Random House, 2004. ISBN 0-385-75054-4. 139 pgs. $15.95. Young Adult
Flora is at an English boarding school. While recovering from an illness she begins writing a story about when she was younger. As she writes, she discovers secrets from years ago. When she discovers a house on a hill she finds out things that have affected the community. P 7, Q 9

David Gilman. ICE CLAW. Delacorte Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-35-73561-2. 438 pgs. $16.99. Gr. 6-10.
Max Gordon is a super athlete, competing in the French Pyrenees, when he witnesses an event that puts him in the most dangerous competition of his life. While he is skiing, he witnesses the death of a monk who uses his last breath to give Max clues to a mystery that could change the world. Now he must race to stay ahead of the vicious people sent to stop him at all costs. The struggle is pitched even higher whey they snatch his friend Sayid, who held the last most important keys to the puzzle. Max’s clues take him all over to many people from Sophie who is a mystery herself; to a man so twisted he is barely human, to Aladfar, a tiger king of the jungle. With the loss of Sayid, and the threat of destruction becoming even stronger, Max is racing against fleeting time to save a corner of the world. P: 8, Q: 9

Julia Golding. CAT O’ NINE TAILS: A CAT ROYAL ADVENTURE. Roaring Brook Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1-59643-445-5. 373 pgs. $16.99. Gr. 5-8.
Cat Royal, while waiting for her home to be rebuilt, hears that her friend Syd is missing. In an attempt to save him she races down to the docks in Bristol, and finds herself on a boat, pretending to be a cabin boy, working hours at a time. Cat learns how to work on a ship pulling ropes until her hands are raw, taking her hourly watches, and even getting herself drunk! When Cat gets off the ship in America, she meets the family she has always wanted. Cat is faced with a choice —should she live with her new family or go find her friends that she left on the boat? P 8, Q 10

Julia Golding. THE DEN OF THIEVES: A CAT ROYAL ADVENTURE. Roaring Brook Press. 2009. ISBN 978-1596434448. Pgs. 432. $16.95. Gr.5-8.
Cat Royal is an orphan living in the costume shop of a theatre, but when her beloved theatre is knocked down, Cat must find a new home. Her patron finds the perfect place-Paris, where she will act as a ballet dancer and be a spy for him. However, the tables turn when the king miraculously disappears, and the government blames Cat! Along with some friends, new and old, can Cat persuade the people of Paris that it wasn’t her or her friends’ fault? I think this would be a good book for mature readers who like European culture, theatre, and plenty of adventure. P 8, Q 10

Chris Grabenstein. THE SMOKEY CORRIDOR. Random House, 2010. ISBN 978-0-375-86511-4. 323 pgs. $16.99. Gr. 5-8.
When Zack has to go to his new school he can not enjoy it—too much home work, nasty school food, and more. The biggest problem is he has no friends. He soon discovers there is a zombie living under the school. He runs into mazes and horrible booby traps in order to stop the zombie. I recommend this book to middle school readers. It’s a little complicated and sometimes hard to follow, but once I was into it, it proved impossible to put down. P 9, Q 8

Melissa Glenn Haber. DEAR ANJALI. Aladdin, 2010. ISBN 978-1-4169-9599-9. 280 pgs. $16.99. Gr 5-8.
Meredith and Anjali were friends for nine years, until Anjali’s death at age thirteen, leaving Meredith to deal with everything on her own. Terrified of letting Anjali go, Meredith begins to write her letters. Most of the letters deal with Noah Spivak, the boy that both of them have liked for two years. As Meredith and Noah begin to get to know each other, Meredith learns more about Anjali that she hadn’t known before. She also begins to learn to deal with the ”Mean Girls” and other middle school events on her own, while learning to accept Anjali’s death. I would recommend this book to middle school girls. P 8, Q 8

Stephanie Hemphill. WICKED GIRLS: A NOVEL OF THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS. Balzer + Bray, 2010. ISBN 978-0-06-185328-9. 406 pgs. $16.99 Young Adult.
What would you do if a game turned into a mania that ended in death of innocent people? This is the situation of seven girls in Puritan Salem Village. A semiserious game of “witch affliction” started by one of the girls turns deadly when the people that the girls accuse of bewitching are thrown in prison and eventually hung. Shared knowledge that their afflictions are faked turn the knot of girls inside out. Anyone who even looks at them sideways is declared a witch. Soon, the witch hunt mania spreads beyond the girls’ tenuous control. Will they confess? Or remain silent? P: 7, Q: 9

Odo Hirsch. SOMETHING’S FISHY, HAZEL GREEN. Bloomsbury Children Books, 2000. ISBN 1-58234-928-2. 207 pgs. $15.95. Gr. 3-6.
Hazel Green is a very curious girl. She has a determined personality, and has set out to find the person who stole Mr. Petruscas’s prize lobsters that he had been saving for his long-time customer, Mr. Trimbel. In order to discover the culprit, Hazel must find out one of the two unknowns in the problem. Hazel’s plan does not meet success, and she must do things the hard way. She has many friends willing to help her solve the problem, but Hazel can’t tell them exactly what the problem is. Hazel finally finds out who stole the lobsters. When everyone believes everything is well, it’s not. Mr. Petruca admits he never learned to read, which Hazel solves by teaching him herself. I would recommend this book to girls aged 8 to 13, because the main character is a girl, and it is a very easy read. P 6, Q 7

Anthony Horowitz. RETURN TO GROOSHAM GRANGE: THE UNHOLY GRAIL. Puffin Books, 1988. ISBN 978-0-14-241571-9. 214 pgs. $7.99. Gr. 5 – 8.
Return to Groosham Grange: The Unholy Grail is about a competition to win the school’s most coveted prize, the Unholy Grail. David Eliot sets his sights on it and his main competition is Vincent King who is proving a bit too good to be true. The story is humorous and adventurous and even has elements of horror. This book will appeal to 8 – 12 year olds who like stories with mythical creatures and magic. P 8, Q 8

Marthe Jocelyn. FOLLY. Wendy Lamb Books, 2010. ISBN 978-0-385-73846-0. 249 pgs. $15.99. Gr 8 and up.
Mary finds herself unmarried and pregnant in a time and place when there were few options for women in that situation. She gave her baby, James, to be raised in a Foundling Hospital. When James was six Mary returned to take her role as his mother while working as a housekeeper. This story is told from the two character’s, James and Mary’s, points of view and contains a lot of details about life in London in the 1880’s. I would recommend this for mature readers who like historical fiction. P 8, Q 9

Sabrina Jones. ISADORA DUNCAN: A GRAPHIC BIOGRAPHY. Hill and Wang, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8090-9497-4. 125 pgs. $18.95. Gr. 4-7.
As the mother of modern dance, Isadora Duncan had her share of problems. She wore “unnatural” clothes and other “inappropriate” items of clothing. She believed in many rights for women that hardly anyone agreed with. She danced and fell in love. Then again, she would dance and fall in love. Her tale is one of happiness, tragedy, and many other elements that defined her amazing life. I would recommend this book to girls with a strong sense of independence. P 7, Q 10

Kathryn Lasky. CHASING ORION. Candlewick Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-7636-3982-2
Georgie hasn’t gone swimming all summer, not even at a private pool. This is due to the recent polio outbreak in America. Georgie believes that they make too big a deal out of polio: until she meets Phyllis. Phyllis is a polio victim who lives next door. She can’t leave her iron lung, and that makes Georgie question everything she ever thought about polio and opens her mind to brand new ideas. I would recommend this book to middle-school readers. P 7, Q 9

Leslie Margolis. GIRL’S BEST FRIEND. Bloomsbury, 2010. ISBN 978-1-59990-525-9. Pgs. 261. $14.99. Gr. 5-7.
Maggie loves dogs. She also loves a guy named Milo. Maggie is too shy to talk to him much especially about her dog walking job. But when dogs start disappearing one by one, Maggie must uncover clues to who the dognapper is while attracting Milo’s attention before it’s too late. I would recommend this book to realistic fiction and mystery lovers of the female gender. P 7, Q 8

Wendy Mass. FINALLY. Scholastic Press. 2010. ISBN 978-0545052429. 296 Pgs. Gr. 4-7.
Finally is a funny, ironic book filled with revelations that things are rarely what you want them to be. Rory Swenson has waited her whole life to turn twelve. Her parents always say, “You can do that when you’re twelve”. She even has a whole list of things she wants to do. Getting a cell phone, staying home alone, starting to IM, and getting her ears pierced are only a few, but these things aren’t all they cracked up to be. Situations go wrong and customers from a pizza parlor keep calling her. The first time she gets a makeover her face swells up. When she gets her ears pierced she discovers she is allergic to gold! Rory learns that staying home alone is the scariest thing she’s ever done. Her cell phone is semi-dorky. Shaving her legs is a fiasco, and her bunny, Kyle R., a.k.a. Bunny, seems to have a hidden agenda. The only good thing is that teen hottie Jake Harrison is filming a movie at her school and she is an extra. But even that’s not all cameras and starlight. I would recommend this book to sixth and seventh grade girls. P 9, Q 10

Haya Leah Molnar. UNDER A RED SKY: MEMOIR OF A CHILDHOOD IN COMMUNIST RUSSIA. Farrar Straus Giroux. 2010. ISBN 978-0374318406. Pgs. 320. $17.99. Gr. 6-9.
Seven- year- old Eva is the only child in a family with seven adults. She lives in Romania and World War two has just ended. Eva has never known her family’s religion, but when her parents tell her they are Jewish, she considers this: Isn’t that a BAD thing? Isn’t that what so many people died from? The author of this story takes us through a dangerous adventure through her own childhood in Romania in the late 1950’s. I would recommend this book to a mature reader who enjoys historic fiction. P 7, Q 10

Tyne O’Connell. PULLING PRINCESS. Bloomsbury, 2004. ISBN 1-58234-957-6. 214 pgs. $16.95. Gr.7-10.
This is the story of Calypso Kelly. She is attending an all girl British school and is treated terribly by all the other girls. She has only one friend, Star. She is determined to find a prince, to make herself seem, well, ‘cool’. When she “pulls” Prince Freddie she begins to be popular, but is also hated by jealous girls. When she gets in the tabloids with a picture of her kissing Freddie, things take a turn for the worst. Can she save her reputation? I would recommend this awesome book to middle school girls. P 9, Q 10

Charles Ogden. EDGAR AND ELLEN: TOURIST TRAP. Tricycle Press, 2004. ISPN 1-58246-111-2. 153 pages. $12.95. Gr. 4 – 7.
It is tourist season in the great town of Nod’s Limbs, and Edgar and Ellen are out on the loose creating trouble again. The twins love playing in Gadget Graveyard. Unfortunately, the mayor decides to turn the Graveyard into a hotel. So Edgar and Ellen do everything they can do to scare the tourists out of Nod’s Limbs. I would recommend this book for kids in grades 4-6 who enjoy adventure stories. P 8, Q 9

Laura Quimby. THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS. Amulet Books. ISBN. 978-0810989801. 342 Pgs. $16.95. Gr. 5-10.
Jack, an orphan boy, is put into a new home with a professor he thinks is pretty cool. Turns out the professor sells him to some dead people in exchange for his soul to get out of a severe punishment. Everyone in the town is dead and his new master wants him to perform for them. On several occasions, Jack’s master tries to kill him so he will have to stay with him forever. Jack tries to escape several times and, on Halloween, succeeds and goes home. I think 7th-9th grade readers would like this book. P 7, Q 8

Gary Soto. THE AFTERLIFE. Harcourt, Inc. 2003. ISBN 0-15-204773-3. 158 pgs. $16.00. Young Adult.
Chewy went to a nightclub and was murdered on the bathroom floor. Now, as a ghost, he finds himself disappearing bit by bit as he’s summoned to the afterlife. After joining up with two other ghosts he learns to exist in this disappearing limbo. Chewy eventually falls in love with one of the ghosts. They must band together to reach the afterlife. I think 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will enjoy this book. P 8, Q 8

Dr. Cuthbert Soup. Jeffrey Stewart Timmins, illustrator. A WHOLE NOTHER STORY. Bloomsbury, 2010. ISBN 978-1-59990-435-1. 264 pgs. $16.99. Gr. 4-7.
This is the tale of a widowed scientist along with his three smart, polite, and “relatively odor-free” children are on the run from all sorts of evil people. They encounter many bizarre but friendly people as they try to make the LVR, a very sought after time machine, work. However, super spies, government agents and Henchman guys are about to catch up. Can they make it? This book is annoying at times, and occasionally the author’s sense of humor can become a nuisance; however, the story always seems to save itself. Overall it is a very good book that will keep you laughing, cheering, and possibly make you experience emotions about a fictional character, good or bad. P 8, Q 7

Sarah deFord Williams. PALACE BEAUTIFUL. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2010. ISBN 978-0-39925298-3. 230 pgs. $16.99. Gr. 6-9.
It’s a big change, moving from Texas to Utah, for Sadie. Especially when her stepmom’s pregnant, and her tantrum-prone sister is making everything worse. But everything changes when Sadie discovers a new friend among the neighbors, and her sister discovers a secret room in the attic. Together, the three explore their newfound Palace Beautiful, and reunite one of the room’s founders with her old diary. I would recommend this book for 6th and 7th graders. P 7, Q 7

Cynthia Chapman Willis. BUCK FEVER. Fiewel and Friends, 2009. ISBN 978-0-312-38297-1. Pgs. 228. $16.99. Ages 9-12.
Joey is expected to be a great hunter, just like the long line of fathers and sons behind him in his family. There’s only one problem-Joey can’t bring himself to pull the trigger. With his mother always away, his best friend competing with him, and his father staying out late and always being depressed, Joey sets off to do what will make his father proud-shooting the biggest deer around, the deer he would much rather sit and draw. However, when Joey goes out to kill the old buck, he finds himself protecting the deer instead. In the process of doing so, something happens that changes Joey’s life forever. I would recommend this book to animal lovers, hunting lovers, and hard-core lovers of real-life problems and responsibility. P 9, Q 10

Brian Yansky. ALIEN INVASION AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES. Candlewick Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-7636-4384-3. 227 pgs. $15.99. Young Adult
Ten seconds. That’s all the time it takes for the Lord Vertenomous and the rest of the Sanginians to take over Earth. Jesse is one of the special few who can ‘hear’-read the thoughts of the aliens. He is placed in the very heart of the takeover: Lord Vertenomous’s mansion. There he meets Michael, a previous high school football star; Lindsey, an attitude-packed model; Lauren, the first other ‘hearing product he meets; and Catlin, the girl who meets him in his dream. Together, the five kids escape the house and set out for a rebel human base in Taos. I would recommend this book for 6th and 7th graders. P: 8 Q: 8

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by N.W.
Brown, Monica. Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People. Il. Julie Paschkis. Holt, $16.99. 2011. unp. 978-0-8050-9198-4. Ages 5-6:
As Nobel prize-winner Neruda grew up in Chile, he wrote about all the simple things around him, both natural and human-made. Paschkis’ spirited and colorful folk-art-appearing watercolors show his world there and later when, as an activist, he shared the stories of “all workers who struggled for freedom.” The lyrical language romanticizes the man’s youth although an author’s note does refer to the fact that “his father didn’t approve of his poetry. This is a lovely book for younger people about a fantasy perspective of Neruda’s life, but Pam Munoz Ryan’s The Dreamer is a more complete view of his experiences. P7Q9

Cardilla, Margaret. Just Being Audrey. Il. Julia Denos. Balzer + Bray/HarperColllins,$16.99. 2011. unp. 978-0-06-185283-1. Ages 6-8:
Most young readers will not be familiar but Audrey Hepburn, but they will enjoy the story of her as a survivor—first the ridicule from other children because she wasn’t physically suitable to reach her dream of being a dancer and then the trials of World War II for her in Belgium. The majority of the book, however, covers first her career and then her role as a parent and Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. Quirky watercolors of her appearance and movements show the beauty for which she was known, and her kindness and bravery shine through the entire biography. This book will provide great memories for those who love her movies and introduce a delightful person to those who do not know her films. P7Q9

Collodi, Carlo. Pinocchio. Il. Quentin Greban. NorthSouth, $19.95. 2010. 82p. 978-0-7358-2324-2. Ages 7-10:
Most young people who know only the Disney version of the beloved wooden puppet who becomes a boy through his good deeds are in for a treat. Even with the harsher elements of the original tale removed in this abridgement, the nineteenth-century story follows the character through his scary misadventures that come about because of his poor choices. Greban’s subtle watercolors hold true to the originals with Pinocchio’s flowered paper shirt and his hat made of bread. Because of the book’s beauty and clear translation of the original, this version is an excellent choice for libraries. The page-long chapters also make it perfect for daily reading. P7Q9

Houston, Gloria. Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile. Il. Susan Condie Lamb. Harper, $16.99. 2011. unp. 978-0-06-029155-6. Ages 6-8:
Through her memories of a childhood librarian, the author follows the story of how a woman was forced to change her career plans to the culmination of her coordination of a library in her village in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. In between these events Miss
Dorothy (Thomas) drives her bookmobile throughout all the seasons with books that she has personally provided through the rugged terrain as shown by the gentle watercolors. The romantic story will probably appeal more to adult readers, but among young ones will be someone with a dream to start a library. Miss Dorothy is a blend of The Library and That Book Woman. P6Q9

Macy, Sue. Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women’s Hoops on the Map. Il. Matt Collins. Holiday House, $16.95. 2011. unp. 978-0-8234-2163-3. Ages 7-9:
Lively, action-packed paintings help tell the story of Agnes Morley, sent from her New Mexico ranch to Stanford University to become a lady. Told from Agnes’s point of view, the book describes the first women’s intercollegiate game in 1896 between Stanford and Berkeley. The author’s note gives information about the game, the history of women’s basketball, and Morley’s life, including her writing the award-winning memoir, No Life for a Lady. An excellent addition to picture books about women’s accomplishments. P7Q8

Preus, Margi. CelebriTrees: Historic & Famous Trees of the World. Il. Rebecca Gibbon. Holt, $16.99. 2011. unp. 978-0-8050-7829-9. Ages 7-9:
Each of the 14 trees, half in the United States, is memorable in some way—oldest, tallest, thickest, etc. One sheltered the Buddha when he gained enlightment, another Queen Aragon and her soldiers during a rainstorm. Colored pencil and watercolor illustrations on each of the two-page spreads use humans for relationships in size. Useful notes at the end of the book describe ways to nurture and preserve these giants. P6Q7

Ramsden, Ashley, retold. Seven Fathers. Il. Ed Young. Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, $16.99. 2011. unp. 978-1-59643-544-5. Ages 5-8:
Caldecott-winner Ed Young has outdone himself in these collage illustrations of fur, cloth, paper, etc. blended with colored chalk and powder showing the snowy surroundings of this Norwegian folktale. In his search for refuge from the cold, a traveler courteously asks a man for a room for the night. Six times he is sent to an older man that the one he addresses to find the father of the house; the seventh father is so old that he is a speck of dust. In a happy ending, the traveler is given not only a room but a banquet attended by the seven fathers and wakes the next morning to a rainbow. The magical elements of the story will be past young readers, but the artwork is absolutely fantastic! P2Q10

Rubbino, Salvatore. A Walk in London. Candlewick, $16.99. 2011. unp. 978-0-7636-5272-2. Ages 8-10: Intricate, detailed paintings reveal a girl and her mother exploring the largest city in Europe, beginning their tour on the classic double-decker bus. The lions at Trafalgar Square, the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, the whispering gallery at St. Paul’s, the crown jewels at the Tower of London—these are only a few of their experiences before they take a boat along the Thames. Most young readers will not understand much of the text; A Walk in New York would probably be more enjoyable for them. The book seems more for adults and English children. P4Q9

Bauer, Marion Dane. In like a Lion Out like a Lamb. Il. Emily Arnold McCully. Holiday House, $16.95. 2011. unp. 978-0-8234-2238-8. Ages 4-6:
The time-honored saying about March shows the lions and lambs with the assurance that winter is over by the end of March while the beautiful watercolors show the lion snoring away until the next March. From the oranges of the lion illustrations come the pastel blues and greens of the lambs in charge. An excellent book of poetry for young readers who understand that, in Oregon, the lion will return in April. P8Q8

Hines, Anna Grossnickle. Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts about Peace. Holt, $16.99. 2011. unp. 978-0-8050-8996-7. Ages 5-8:
Exquisitely jewel-bright handcrafted quilts provide the backdrop for 28 poems about friendship and peace and how these are related to everyday life. She shows an understanding of the travails of young children in her poem about a child saying that her father was changed after he went to war. Brief bios of eight peacemakers, used on one of the quilts, are in the back of the book. Hines also adds notes on quilting and the quilters’ gatherings. As in most collections, some of the poems are stronger than others. P6Q8

Sandall, Ellie. Birdsong. Egmont, $16.99. 2011. unp. 978-1-60684-193-6. Ages 3-6:
Having long been interested in birdcalls, Sandall incorporates these sounds in a book about colorful birds being joined by friends in a peaceful fashion until the last one wants his screech to control all the others. The weight of one butterfly causes him to fall from the branch, a lovely irony that demonstrates the value of even the slightest action. Repetition and a strong sense of rhyme combines with a fun plot that will call for many re-readings. Illustrations are textured crayon trees, bold watercolored birds, and flower collages set against a white background with lots of space.

Wardlaw, Lee. Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku. Il. Eugene Yelchin. Holt, $16.99. 2011. unp. 978-0-8050-8995-0. Ages 3-7:
Imagine the story of an angular cynical cat adopted from a shelter and taken into a strange home with a boy who tries to win him over—all told in senryu, a poetic form in three lines and 17 syllables. The structure is highly similar to haiku, but Wardlaw explains that senryu focuses on personal and behavior instead of the nature in haiku. (One example is “letmeoutletme/outletmeoutletmeout./Wait-let me back in!”) Combine graphite and gouache illustrations to show Won Ton’s attitude, and the tale superbly captures the feline personality with great humor. The chapter names follow the events in adopting a pet: The Shelter, The Choosing, The Car Ride, The Naming, The New Place, The Feeding, The Adjustment, The Yard, and Home. The final revelation, showing that Won Ton has accepted the boy, is when he tells his real name—Haiku. P9Q9

Picture Books
Czekaj, Jef. Cat Secrets. Blazer + Bray/HarperCollins, $16.99. 2011. unp. 978-0-06-192088-2. Ages 3-6:
Anyone who loves cats will appreciate the boldly-colored cartoon-like illustrations and the dialog, in bubbles, among three felines who try to guarantee that no non-cats hear the reading of Cat Secrets, a book normally kept in a glass case. The recurring appearance of a small gray mouse around the edges of the action will result in giggles from all when they aren’t trying to meow, purr, and stretch to prove that they are cats. The mouse finally succeeds in reading the book because the last test of being a cat is taking a nap. Lovers of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie series will feel right at home with this book. P9Q9

MacLachlan & Emily MacLachlan Charest. Before You Came. Il. David Diaz. Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins, $16.99. 2011. unp. 978-0-06-051234-7. Ages 3-7:
Small children who cannot imagine their parents’ lives without them will enjoy this comparison of a world before and after the birth. The Newbery award-winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall, and her daughter have joined Caldecott award-winner Diaz for this poetic view of waiting for the baby’s birth. Deep pinks of skin and browns of the mother’s hair are surrounded by luminous purples, reds, greens, and blues as the protagonist describes the cats, dog, and birds in the flower garden by the house at the edge of the river. This is a book for new parents and young children, one that can be read over and over.

Kimura, Ken. 999 Tadpoles. Il. Yasunari Murakami. NorthSouth, $16.95. 2011. unp. 978-0-7358-4013-3. Ages 4-8:
A pond that holds 999 eggs and 999 tadpoles is too small for 999 frogs, which requires moving to another pond. Kimura details—with humor—the danger from first a snake and then a hawk as Murakami delivers the images of these adventures with varying perspectives set against a white background, beginning and ending with aerial views and supplying a distance shot of 999 little frogs clinging onto each other in a series of curls swaying through the sky under the hawk. P10Q10

Lester, Alison. Running with the Horses. NorthSouth, $16.95. 2011. unp. 978-0-7358-4002-7. Ages 6-8:
As World War II neared the end, the few Lizizzaner stallions left in the famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna were in danger of being eaten by the starving Soviet army but were rescued by the U.S. army. Lester uses this true story as the background for this story about ten-year-old Nina who lived at the Royal Academy of Dancing Horses with her father after her mother died six years earlier. But the story is actually about Nina’s desire to save Zelda, an old carriage horse that had been left in the city, when her father and a groom set out across the snow-covered mountains with Nina to save the four remaining horses. This is a story about compassion and recognition of value in something that others may think has passed its prime. The mix of black-and-white drawings against the colored illustrations makes this a visual as well as a literary joy as the books combines excitement, war, and danger with history as Zelda may be too weak to make the entire journey. P9Q9

Loth, Sebastian. Clementine. NorthSouth, $14.95. 2011. unp. 978-0-7358-4009-6. Ages 4-8:
A little snail loves everything round so she determines that she will fly to the round moon. Her dream leads her from the warm orange colors through the gray and dark blues of storms and night before she views the world from space in the blackness and unexpectedly lands in her village pond. Readers will enjoy her inventive approach toward travel from a trampoline to a rocket as well as her friendship with a long, round, legless creature named Paul who tries to help her. A bonus comes from the short list of facts about the earth and moon in the endpapers. P9Q9

Yamashita, Haruo. Seven Little Mice Go to School. Il. Kazuo Iwamura. NorthSouth, $16.95. 2011. unp. 978-0-7358-4012-6. Ages 4-7: The seven little mice are afraid of going to school, but Mother Mouse creates a “mouse train” with yarn, giving them the courage to go. The details of mouse clothing and household items are charming, and Mother’s gentle caring is very special. Yamashita’s book shows that many against one can overcome fear. P8Q8

Graphic Narratives
Bertozzi, Nick. Lewis & Clark. First Second, $16.99. 2011. 138p. 978-1-59643-450-9. Ages 12-16: Most young people see the brave scientific explorers who blazed the trail from Missouri to the Oregon Coast in an attempt to find a water route as iconic figures, not as actual people with their own personal problems. Lewis, however, was known during his time as having a terrible temper, deep depressions, and alcoholism. Both his courage and his negative side are shown in this sometimes humorous retelling of the search, beginning with Thomas Jefferson’s recruitment of Lewis. Other individuals are also well-delineated such as Clark, York, Charbono, and the people they meet on the journey. Bertozzi makes good use of white space in his black and white cartoons of the preparations, the departure in 1804, the dangers from nature and Native Americans, the stupidity that some of them suffered of some of the explorers, and their return, culminating three years after the end of the expedition in 1809 with Lewis’ tragic end and suggestions about Sacajawea’s location. Generous headings and dates provide useful guides to the exploration, and many of the cartoons have no words, lending to the feeling of action throughout the book. This is not only a great addition to the U.S. history curriculum but also a fun and enlightening read. P7Q9

Lee, Tony. Excalibur: The Legend of King Arthur. Il. Sam Hart. Candlewick, $11.99. 2011. 144p. 978-0-7636-4643-1. Ages 12+:
Raised in obscurity, Arthur Pendragon cannot stay in the shadows when he faces danger. Lee follows him throughout the adventures of growing up, Avalon, love for Vivianne, forced marriage to Guinevere, Lancelot’s betrayal, and the return of Excalibur to The Lady of the Lake. This vividly colored, action-packed view is based on Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur written in 1485. A fun read for comic-book lovers. P7Q7

Tan, Shaun. Lost & Found. Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, $21.99. 2011. unp. 978-0-545-22924-1. Ages 12+:
In The Red Tree, a girl finds just one bright thing in her dark, dark world when a brilliantly red tree appears in her bedroom. In The Lost Thing, a boy discovers a mysterious cross between a crab and a pot-bellied stove on the beach that he takes home with him. In The Rabbits, small peaceful creatures describe what happens when the rabbits come with their technology and run their their homeland, devastating it. Lost & Found includes these three previously-published books in a work that visually explains what we find important and the bleakness of losing this. The artwork uses collages of such odd objects as gears and old textbook pages, dark backgrounds, space, and torn edges on illustrations. At times Tan’s spare words create an overwhelming sense of despair that can evolve into hope. The Rabbits is authored by John Marsden; the animated film from The Lost Thing won an Oscar in 2011. An earlier Tan book is The Arrival, considered “a wordless tour de force” by Time Out New York Kids. P6Q10

Rylander, Chris. The Fourth Stall. Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins, $15.99. 2011. 314p. 978-0-06-199497-8. Ages 8-12:
An innovative look at bullying comes from this book about two sixth-graders who provide “assistance” for classmates for a fee. The humor of the sometimes grim situation comes from such far-fetched pieces of the plot such as the fact that they’ve been operating the business since they were kindergarteners in a little-used school bathroom because of the favor they did for the janitor. Woven into the story of their attempts to save grade-schoolers with gambling debts to a high school student is the sometimes long-winded dialog regarding their fascination for the Chicago Cubs, a plus if the reader is also a fan. A large piece of the book is also the friendship between Mac and Vince, which undergoes serious strain when one thinks that the other one has stolen the money they are saving to attend the World Series game if the Cubs get that far. The delights of this book are the descriptions of the multiple characters and the crisp narrative reminiscent of Dashiell Hammett. The protagonist—along with the author—knows that there is no way to eradicate bully but also recognizes that it can be diminished. This debut novel has strong doses of humor, action, and respect for others. P8Q8

Turner, Ann. Father of Lies. HarperTeen, $16.99. 2011. 247p. 978-0-06-137085-4. Ages 12+: Fiction for young people has relied on the Salem Witch Trials from time to time, but Father of Lies takes a new look at the subject, using a girl who may be suffering from bipolar disorder. Fourteen-year-old Lidda sees and hears Lucien, a handsome, silver-eyed man who insinuates himself into her life, making her laugh inappropriately and agrees with her beliefs that the “bewitched” children are playing a dangerous accusing game because they are bored with their Puritan life and enjoy the attention. End notes describe bipolar symptoms and background information about this tragic piece of American history. Although Lidda exists only in this piece of fiction, her perceptions are timely in showing the ability of people to destroy others. The contemporary appearance of the cover will lead readers to the book, and the protagonist’s narrative will interest readers. P9Q9

Wilkinson, Lili. Pink. HarperTeen, $16.99. 2011. 309p. 978-0-06-192653-2. Ages 13+:
Tired of playing dumb in school and wearing Goth black to please her jaded girlfriend, Chloe, Ava changes schools and considers switching from being a lesbian to going straight at a posh private school. Her involvement with the drama group, led by a new friend’s encouragement to try to date a high school hunk, turns out to be disastrous because she can’t sing well enough to get a part in the school musical. Ava’s answer to staying in touch with her friends is to join the outcasts of the stage crew where, much to her surprise, she finds acceptance and friends. Her character development follows twists and turns as she hides her new fascination with pink clothes from her feminist mother and the new interest in boys from her girlfriend, creating a world of dishonesty in her effort to conform. Several other books use drama as a vehicle for showing the lives of lgbtq teenagers, but this book about a young woman searching for her identity avoids trite clichés in its fresh approach. Ava’s struggles come with a strong dose of humor and heart that keeps the angst from weighing down the narrative, and the conclusion isn’t the simple one that might be expected. P8Q9

Newport High School Student Reviewers
Scott, Kieran Geek Magnet. Speak, New York, 2009. $8.99 ISBN: 978-0142414170 320 p. Gr. MS-HS.
Stage manager KJ has the unpleasant ability to attract geeks, each claiming they love her. With three geeks constantly following her, KJ finds it hard to win over the school jock, Cameron. If only KJ could ditch the geeks, maybe , just maybe Cameron would look at her. That time comes to KJ when she stars in a play. Tama Gold starts showing an interest in KJ and offers to help her boost her confidence and ditch the geeks. Is Tama using KJ or does she really want to be friends with KJ? It was a fun book with some serious issues, like bullying, family abuse, and peer pressure. P10 Q10 Review by A.C., NHS 11th grader

Supplee, Suzanne. Somebody Everybody Listens To. Dutton Juvenile, New York, 2010. $15.99 ISBN: 978-0525422426 304 p. Gr. MS-HS..
“It was the kind of moment most people would want to last forever, but I couldn’t wait for it to be over so I could get on with my real life, the one I’d been staring out the window and daydreaming about all through high school.” Settled in Tennesee, Suzanne Supplee takes her readers on a journey with Retta Lee Jones in her coming-of-age novel, Somebody Everybody Listens To. After gradating form high school, Retta plans to make it big in the music industry. She moves to Nashville in hopes to be “discovered.” Instead, she discovers herself and many new, yet amazing friends that help her through her journey. Using direct and indirect characterization, Supple shows how Retta grows as a character. At the beginning of the novel, Retta wanted badly to fulfill her dream of being a singer but her parents made it hard for her to with her mom’s affair and her dad’s hard working and bad back. Retta didn’t want to leave her responsibilities, but her best friend helped her realize that leaving may be the best thing for her. And leaving did. While away from home, Retta accoutered many new people that helped her with her dream. Taken through the twist and turns of life, Retta is pushed and pulled through many conflicts. Upon her leave, her parent’s love for each other has been growing smaller and smaller each day, and her own financial problems were just the surface of her
problems. The real climax was when she met Chat, a bartender at a hotel she sang at for a while. It was when he told her that her singing was not original enough, and that if she wanted to get better she would need to find her own voice that caused her to write more of her own songs. “Nashville doesn’t need another girl singer. I’m just one more fish in a barrel, waiting to be shot at.’ Chat came to mind when I said this.”( With the use of foreshadowing, Supplee hints that Retta will fulfill her dream of becoming a country singer ate the end of the novel. The journey ended with a call to Chat about her recently made song “Home.” Written with some nonfiction elements, Suzanne Supplee’s novel Somebody Everybody Listens To, shows what it takes to follow your dream. To be on your own and discover who you really are meant to be. P9 Q9 Review by A.C.., NHS 11th grader.

Schrefer, Eliot The Deadly Sister. Scholastic Press, New York, 2010. $17.99 ISBN: 978-0545165747 352 p.
Abby decided to go for a run with her dog one day in the woods. Her dog went crazy and decided to run down to the river bend. Abby followed behind her dog. She found Jefferson Andrews dead on the river shore. She had also found her younger sister Maya’s cell phone by him. Abby couldn’t help but notice that Andrew must have bled to death on the top of his head. There were fire ants there to eat the water-soaked flesh of Jeff’s body. Abby went to go find Maya and save her from being the murderer. Maya has to soon hide from the cops and liver her life as a lie. She can’t have contact with anyone till the cops find the killer. I liked this book; it was so believable! I could read this book for hours, I loved how the author made the book so understandable. P8 Q8 Review by M.C., NHS 9th grader (???/))

Scott, Mindi. Freefall. Simon Pulse, New York, 2010. $8.99 ISBN: 978-1442402782 336 p. MS-HS The story is told from the point of view of Seth McCoy, who found his best friend dead from drinking. The plot involves Seth breaking down and his counseling, as well as Rosetta, a girl he meets. He must then balance his band and stage fright, Rosetta and her problems, as well as his own recovery from finding his friend dead. It was an interesting story that avoided cliché while still bringing in new ideas and reasons for the actions of characters. P7 Q8 Review by N.A., 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

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by M.D.
Shields, Carol Diggory, Illustrated by Sophie Blackall . Wombat Walkabout. Dutton Children’s Books. New York. 2009. $16.99. ages pre-school -1st grade. 25 pgs. 978-0-525-47865-2 P 9/ Q 9
The book starts out with a section and definition section “ Some Australian words you will encounter in this book”. It also has pictures of the items the six different Wombat’s wear to distinguish who they are. This is a counting book and a story about how if you doddle on a walk you may get “eaten by a dingo” – this is what it appears but the dingo is just putting the Wombat’s in his “swag” pack and the other Wombat’s out smart the dingo and get their friends back. This book has very engaging phrases, rhymes and soft pictures with the great opportunity to teach new words and about a different part of the world.

Rylant, Cynthia, Illustrated by Brian Biggs. Brownie & Pear, See the Sights. Beach Lane Books. New York. 2010. $13.99. ages pre-school. 20 pgs. 978-1-4169-8637-9. P 8/ Q 8
The pictures are clear and bright with very bold and simple words on the pages. It is about a girl named Brownie who goes shopping down town in a the winter time. Her friend she takes along is a cat that carries a mouse instead of a purse which I thought was funny. It would be a perfect story to read before a nap because they curl up in a chair when they get home and take a nap.

Holmes, Janet A. and Jonathan Bentley. Have You Seen Duck? Scholastic Inc. New York.2009. $8.99. ages pre-school. 20 pgs. 978-0-545-22488-8. P8/ Q9
This is a story about a little boy who has a stuffed Duck as a friend. They do everything together eat, take baths, sleep etc. One day Duck was gone and the little boy looks everywhere. He tries to go about his day with out his friend but he doesn’t feel like eating or bathing. His parents try to cheer him up but to no avail. He is lying on the couch and he smells something like a blanket – it is Duck. Children with a favorite toy friend will enjoy this story.

Spelling, Tori, Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton. Presenting Tallulah. Aladdin. New York.2010. $16.99. ages k-3rd grade. 25 pages. 978-1-4169-9404-6. P8/ Q8
I enjoyed this book because it is really about Tori Spelling when she was little and I enjoy reading pop culture. The back of the book has a website where you can meet the author and illustrator and get activities at KIDS.SimonandSchuster.com. The illustrations look just like Tori Spelling especially the eyes. In the story “Tallulah was not supposed to get dirty, talk loudly or make a mess. She had to take a limousine to school and where fancy party dresses and shoes to school. She is shunned by the other students and is lonely. Finally Max moves to the school and he is just like her so they are friends. Tallulah and Max save a puppy who is floating on a log in the pond – this part is far fetched as most schools would not have open water. But this is how Tullulah get’s dirty and rescues her puppy “Mimi” – I believe Tori has a pug dog named Mimi in real life. I like the bright pictures and story in this book.

Travesty, Shrill. Illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins. The Taking Tree: a selfish parody. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. New York.2010. $16.99. elementary school/parents. 30 pgs. 978-1-4424-0763-3. p7/q8
This is a book along the lines of the book “The Giving Tree”, but this is totally opposite about a boy and tree that are selfish. It really doesn’t have a twist or a good ending so you would need to discuss the book because the tree and the boy are both bad examples. I think this book is for adults who have read the other book and would maybe be good for a class discussion group but in and of itself it is very negative.

Watson, Wendy. Bedtime Bunnies. Clarion Books. New York. 2010. $15.99. ages pre-school. 20 pgs. 978-0-547-22312-4. p7/q7
This is a cute story about a family of rabbits and the book has lots of “sound words” such as chomp, munch, gobble and crunch. The pictures are a little drab with yellow and brown colors but I think it would be a great book to help babies with sound words or action words such as snap, button, pop, and zip. It may also serve as a bed time story book as the last page says “good night, bunnies. The author was also the illustrator.

Wood, Audrey and Don. Piggy Pie Po. Harcourt Children’s Books. New York. 2010. $16.99. ages pre-school. 25 pags. 978-0-15-202494-9. p7/q7
The book is written by Audrey Wood with pictures drawn by her as well and her husband Don Wood painted the pictures. This book has three little stories so it is a “baby chapter book” which may make things a little confusing. There are large numbers on the pages to depict when a new story starts but it could probably be just one story. Piggy Pie Po like to dance and he is so smart and in the third chapter it talks about when no one was home he “pigged out” and accidently ate a hot pepper. In the end he runs home and just goes to bed after his mishap. The words are simple with bright colorful pictures on white back drops so it is easy to focus for younger readers.

Frederick, Heather Vogel, illustrated by Amy Schwartz. Babyberry Pie. Harcourt Children’s Books. New York. 2010. $16.99. 20 pgs. 978-0-15-205927-9. p 8/ q 8.
This is a fun make believe story about how to make a “babyberry pie”. First you pick the baby from the “tree swing” and then you bath and sprinkle the babies’ toes with sugar and tuck the baby in a “crust or warm blankets.” The pictures are colorful and bright and the baby gets into the real pie and makes a mess so that is why the baby needs a bath. It would be a fun night time story as the baby ends up tucked into bed. The words are in a fun rhyming pattern.

Vamos, Samantha R., Illustrated by Santiago Cohen. Before You Were Here, Mi Amor. Viking. New York. 2009. $15.99. ages pre-school. 25 pgs. 978-0-670-06301-7. p 7/ q 7.
The last two pages of this book have a glossary with over 80 Spanish words and their English meaning. The story is about a family who is preparing for the arrival of a new baby. If you aren’t good at pronouncing Spanish words this may be a difficult book to read. The reader would maybe need to read threw this book before they read it aloud to a reading group or classroom. The pictures are bright and colorful and it is a great way to help teach Spanish words and meaning.

Buzzzeo, Toni, Illustrated by Amy Wummer. Adventure Annie Goes to Work. New York. $16.99. ages pre-school. 978-0-8037-3233-9. p 8/ q 8
Annie loves adventures and it is Saturday the day she and her mom get to have fun together. Annie gets dressed in her adventure outfit and cape but her mom gets a phone call and now her mother has to go into work. Annie is disappointed but gets to go to work and help her mother look for the lost documents. Annie makes a treasure map and a mess in the process but amidst the mess finds the “golden envelope”, missing document. Adventure Annie comes to the rescue and if you were reading
this story to your young child you would probably point out that it was great she found the envelope but to be careful not to make more of a mess in the process.

Korda, Lerryn. Rocket to the Moon…playtime with Little Nye. Candlewick Press. Massachusetts. 2009. $8.99. ages 1-3. 978-0-7636-4652-3. p8/q 9
There are several other Little Nye books – “Millions of Snow”, It’s Vacation Time”, and “Into the Wild.” The pages are cardboard and would be great for babies. This story is about make believe and using things around the house to make a rocket that goes to the moon. Great for imagination, make believe and easy reading.

Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux, Illustrated by Sean Qualls. Who Will I Be, Lord? Random House. New York. 2009. $16.99. 20 pgs. Ages pre-school thru 2nd grade. 978-0-375-84342-6. p7/q 8
This story is about a young black girl who wonders that she will be when she grows up. She talks about her Great-Grandpa who was a mailman, her Great-Grandma who is a housewife, and how her Great-Grandma was white and how her family disowned her because she married a black man. The story also tells how her grandma was a teacher. Her grandma would tell her about slavery and how important it is for her to learn to read because so many were not able to read. In the end her mother, who is a mama, tells her to remember that whatever she is, it is up to her.

Denise, Anika & Christopher. Bella and Stella Come Home. Philomel Books. New York. 2010. $16.99. 25 pgs. Ages pre-school 978-0-399-24243-4. p8/ q8
The artwork is stunning in this picture book, using pencil, Adobe Photoshop and Wacom Intuos graphics tablet and pen. This combination helps to bring three dimensions to the story and it is very vibrant and bright. This is a story about a little girl and her favorite elephant stuffed animal that have to move to a new house and how she adjusts. In the end she meets another little boy and his giraffe stuffed animal so it has a happy ending.

Cronin, Doreen & Schott Menchin. Rescue Bunnies. Balzer & Bray. New York. $16.99. 20 pgs. Ages 4-8. 978-0-06-112871-4. p8/q8
Adults will enjoy reading this book to children as there are word bubbles that have more adult jokes such as “ Surely you can’t be serious… I am serious and don’t call me Shirley.” The new bunny rabbit who is learning to be a rescue bunny is also called “Newbie” these references will probably go over most children’s head. The pictures are engaging and bright and in the end Newbie do not give up and rescue the giraffe who is stuck in the mud. The story also show what would have happened to the giraffe if Newbie would have given up so this story is probably best for an older child who can understand that tragic things may happen if Newbie doesn’t come to the rescue.

Kolanovic, Dubravka. Everyone Needs a Friend. Price Stern Sloan. New York. 2010. $9.99. 20 pgs. ages pre-school. 978-0-8431-9918-5. p8/ q 8
Jack is a little dog who makes jam every fall to fill his pantry and the pictures of his pantry are warm and colorful. Jack is lonely and one night Walter a mouse comes to Jack’s because he is cold and lost. The strange thing is Walter the mouse looks more like a miniature bear. Walter is very cute but I think it might be confusing because he looks nothing like a mouse. Walter gets into Jacks jam without asking and Jack kicks him out of the house but then realizes he is lonely and forgives him and invites him back. I love the very cute and inviting pictures in this story.

Rex, Michael. Furious George Goes Bananas… A Primate Parody. G.P. Putnam’s Sons. New York. 2010. $15.99. ages pre-school – 2nd grade. 978-0-399-25433-8, p8/ q 8
This book has very bright and vibrant pictures of a “purple ape” who everyone keeps mistaking for a gorilla. He is captured by a man in a hat and sold several different times to a zoo, side show etc. George keeps escaping and is resold several different times. George is finally sold to scientist who wants to send him into outer space but George tricks the man in the hat and sends him into space instead. In the end George ends up back in his jungle with his parents. This is a silly story and children will enjoy reading and laughing at this parody of the classic Curious George.

Horowitz, Dave. Buy My Hats! G.P. Putnam’s Sons. New York.2010. $16.99. 25 pgs. Ages pre-school – plus. ISBN 978-0399252754. p 8/ q 8
The dedication stats “For my father, the greatest businessman I know”, which is a good start to this cute children’s story about a bear and fish who try to sell hats at a road side booth. The pictures are made with black pencil and charcoal on newsprint and the color was added digitally – which makes for a very vibrant cartoon look. It also discusses the different things that happen on the days of the week Monday thru Friday a work week so this could help with teaching the days of the week. I also believe it would be a great way to introduce sales and marketing to a high school class.

Lloyd-Jones, Sally and Sue Heap. How to Get Married by Me, the Bride. Schwartz & Wade Books. New York. 2009. $16.99. 25 pgs. Ages k – 2nd grade. 978-0-375-84118-7, p 7/ q 8
This is a story of a young girl who is reading her own book to her friends “How to Get Married by Me the Bride”. The strange thing most of the information she shares is based on truth but it begins by saying you can marry your best friend – true, your teacher – not appropriate, your pet – not true, your daddy – against the law, and sometimes you can marry a flower – not possible then it goes on to talk about more real possibilities like someone just like you, someone who lives near your house etc. I think when stories mix fact and fantasy this can be very confusing to young children. It also talks about how “usually, you’re not allowed to marry lots of people at once. Except sometimes you are” – not in the United States that I am aware of are you aloud to marry lots of people at once.

Smith, Charles R. Jr. illustrated by Bryan Collier. 12 Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali. Candlewick Press. Massachusetts. 2010. $10.99.30 pgs. Ages 10 and up. 978-0-7636-5002-5. p7/q8
I wish this book was hard cover as it will make a great tool for any library and classroom who is looking for a biography of Muhammad Ali or a book with poetry that tells a story. This book won a Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor Book. The pictures are collage with drawings and are very artistic in nature. I enjoyed this book because I love Muhammed Ali as a boxer. The book has a contents page where the chapters are outlined as “round one – twelve” and a time line. It also has a Career Record stats at the end of the book.

Archer, Peggy. Illustrations by Stephanie Buscema. Name That Dog! Puppy Poems From Ato Z. Dial Books for Young Readers. New York. 2010. $16.99. 25 pages. ages pre-school. 978-0-8037-3322-0. p8/q 8
The pictures are cute and whimsical as the puppies do things like drive cars and have the name “Indy” for the letter I. Some of the dog names are a bit of a stretch to cover the whole alphabet but it is a great poetry book. At the bottom of each page they also state the kind of dog such as Basset Fauve De Bretagna. The book ends with a cute poem about “The Perfect Name” for cute little puppies.

Levine, Arthur A. Illustrated by Julian Hector. Monday Is One Day. Scholastic Press. New York. 2011. $16.99. 25 pgs. Ages pre-school. 978-0-439-78924-0. p8/q8
This is a cute book about a love note from a working parent to a child about saying good-bye on Monday for a busy work week. It talks about counting days till we are both at home with a special thing to do on the weekend. The book has pictures of all different kinds of families – grandparents with gray hair, a mother and father and a family with two fathers so some parents would not want to read this story to their children depending on their views of same sex parents. The cover of the book has pictures of the families but you can not tell the two dads are together but in the pictures in the rest of the book you can definitely tell they are a couple.

Derby, Sally. Illustrated by Nicole Tadgell. No Mush Today. Lee & Low Books Inc. New York. 2008. $17.95. 25 pages. Ages Pre-school. 978-1-60060-238-2. p7/q7
This is a story about a little African American girl who is mad because she is sick of her little baby brother. She packs her bag and runs away to her grandma’s house. Her grandmother makes her feel special and all grown up as she goes to church with her. Her parents let her figure it out herself but they show her special attention at the church Sunday picnic. In the end her mother tells her that her little brother missed her and she wants to return home. Very simple words and nice water color pictures make up this book.

Bell-Rehwoldt, Sheri. Illustrated by David Slonim. You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy? Chronicle Books. California. 2007. $15.95. 25 pgs. Pre-school. 978-0-8118-5460-3. p8/ q8
This is a fun fantasy book about the tooth fairy who has bright orange hair and flies with the fireflies on a jet powered tooth. She has many gadgets that help her do her job like the “tooth-o-finder” and “spy-o-binoculars”. There are rules to follow such as placement of teeth that are lost with a complete list of things to do and “do not”. The pictures are simple bright and comical.

Walker, Anna. I Love Birthdays. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. New York. 2010.  $9.99. 15 pgs. Ages pre-school. 978-1-4169-8320-0. p8/ q8
I like this book because the character is a little striped zebra whose name is Ollie and my daughters name is Olivia. The pictures and words are simple with muted colors and a white back drop. Anna Walker has three other books about Ollie “I Love My Dad”, “I Love Christmas.” And “I Love My Mom.” The cover is also white and does seem to collect some dirt smudges this may be a problem for a library or classroom.

Wallace, Karen. Illustrated by Barbara Firth. Bears in the Forest…Read and Wonder. Candlewick Press.2009. $6.99. 25 pgs. Ages pre-school. 978-00-7636-4522-9. p8/ q 8
There is an introductory paragraph about how the bears in this book are black bears. It also explains that that is the species name not always the color of the bear they can be reddish, silver, yellow, light brown or dark brown. The Read and Wonder books tell stories, take the reader on adventures and show you how big and wonder-full the natural world is. The story talks about mother and baby bears how what they do on a daily basis. At the bottom of each page it gives additional facts in very short simple sentences – this would make it easy to read the story to a much younger audience and then expand the story for a more mature audience by reading the full paragraphs on each page. The book also has an index at the end of the book for easy reference about specific topics. The only problem is the book has a soft back cover and might not last in the classroom or library.

DiCamillo, Kate, Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig. Candlewick Press. Massachusetts. 2008. $12.99. 72 pgs. Ages 6-8. 978-0-7636-3265-6. p7/q8
The fifth pig tale in the series by Kate DiCamillo she has also written Mercy Watson to the Rescue, Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride, Mercy Watson Fights Crime, and Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise. The pictures are very bright and funny. The old ladies who are sisters are called “Baby” and “Eugenia” which are unusual names for this day and age but I think children will think they are interesting. Mercy Watson is a pig who eats all of the old ladies flowers and then the Animal Control Officer is called in to fix the problem. This is a easy chapter book with 15 chapters and large print for a beginning reader.

Beaumont, Karen. Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Shoe-la-la! Scholastic Press. New York. 2011. $16.99. 25 pgs. Pre-school. 978-0-545-06705-8. p 8/ q8
The cover has beautiful glitter paint on the girls’ dresses which makes for a very inviting book. The pictures of the store keeper and the little girls who go and try on many different shoes are a bit old fashioned. The thing is the girls make such a mess while they are trying on shoes and don’t even help clean up. In the end they don’t buy any shoes but decorate their old shoes to be fancy for the party. This is the fun part because they are creative and make do with what they have.

Katirgis, Jane. Celebrating The Obama Family in Pictures. Enslow Publishers, Inc. New Jersey. 2009. 31 pgs. Elementary school. 978-0-7660-3653-6. p8/q8
The book is one of many books celebrating the Obama family in pictures – First Lady Michelle Obama, The Inauguration of Barack Obama, President Barack Obama are just a few. The book begins with a contents page with corresponding pages and the book talks about how they met, and some of each girl’s activities, and ends with them choosing a dog. The last page has a further reading section with internet addresses and books as well as an index. The pictures are nice and each page has only about one paragraph worth of words so it can be read to even a very young audience.

Dodd, Emma. I Love Bugs! Holiday House. New York. 2010. $16.95. 25 pgs. Pre-school. 978-0-8234-2280-7. p8/q8
This is a book about bugs and it talks about “springy, jumpy leapy bugs” etc. so young children can talk about some of the features and activities of the different bugs. The only disadvantage as that it will enforce a child’s fear of spiders at the end of the book with a “hang-from-the-ceiling bugs and send-me-squealing bugs”. The pictures are simple and cute with the little boy taking up most of the page so it would be a great read aloud book.

Malone, Marianne. The Sixty-Eight Rooms. Random House Children’s Books. New York. 2011. $16.99. 269pgs. Middle and high school. 978-0-375-85710-2. p7/q8
I picked up this book because of the cover and the fact that I used to have a recurring dream about tiny rooms that I would visit. Ruthie is a sixth grader who finds a magic key when she is on a field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago where she and Jack her friend figure out they can shrink themselves with the key. They want to get tiny so they can visit and explore the famous Thorne Rooms, a collection of 68 miniature rooms from different time periods. I like this book because it has suspense, magic and fantasy in a easy to read and enjoy story line.

Holm, Jennifer L. Turtle in Paradise. Random House. New York. 2011. $16.99. 191 pgs. Middle and high school. 978-0-375-83688-6. p8/q8
I enjoyed this book because the story is about Key West Florida and I was raised in south Florida so I have a connection to the location. This story is placed in the 1930’s so there is some historical fiction involved and the names of the characters are interesting. “Turtle” is eleven years old and must leave her mother who needs to stay behind and work as a maid for a rich family but doesn’t want any children to be in the home. Turtle must live with her relatives she has never met and this is a story about fitting in, learning to get along with others and growing up. I love to read historical fiction because I learn at the same time I’m entertained.

Sirleaf, Ellen Johnson. This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa’s First Woman President. Harper. New York. 2009. 353 pgs. High School. 978-0-06-135347-5. p7/q 8
This is a great historical book about Ellen and the Republic of Liberia and how she became the first woman African president. I enjoyed this book because I felt like I was learning a great deal about the history of politics in Africa and how Ellen survived and stood up for what she thought was correct and good for the people of Liberia. This is a powerful book for women, politicians and those who are interested in survival. There is an appendix in the back which is her inaugural speech and there is also an index, bibliography and contents section.

L.R. for Siletz Library
Teen Books
Blundell, Judy. Strings Attached. Scholastic Press, 2011, 310 pgs. Ages 15-Adult. ISBN 9780545221269 $17.99 P5 Q8
Any teen (or adult) who likes to watch old movies from the ‘40’s and ‘50’s will love this mystery-romance novel. Kit Corrigan is a red-headed teen who has a talent for dancing and a thirst for stardom. She leaves her town in Rhode Island for Manhattan where she falls under the “protection” of an old family friend, who is revealed to be a lawyer for mobsters.
The author has done her homework and includes some historical details and events that give the book some authenticity and depth. Kit finds some sophisticated clothing that belonged to her aunt who mysteriously disappeared a few years ago and the descriptions of the luxurious styles are evocative. The details of nylon and silk stockings in a green quilted box prodded this reader’s memories of my mother’s lingerie drawer. Although part of the plot involves a jealous boyfriend that reads a little like a 1950’s romance, the book has some gritty details which will satisfy a modern reader used to more graphic incidents. For example, Kit’s soldier boyfriend isn’t killed in the Korean war, but is decapitated in the Long Island Railroad crash on Thanksgiving in 1950. There are also references to the deadly New England hurricane of 1938.
If the book piques the reader’s interest in the 1940’s and 50’s, the author includes some of her research in the ending Acknowledgment section. She recommends E.B. White’s This is New York, as well as some YouTube videos of famous dancers Gwen Verdon and Bob Fosse. But even if the reader is not much interested in history, the plot will keep ‘em reading.

Frederick, Heather Vogel. The Mother Daughter Book Club: Pies and Prejudice. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2010, 378 pgs. Ages 14-18. ISBN 9781416974314 $15.99 P6 Q6
Four girls, their mothers, and a couple of older family friends have a book club, and this time around, are discussing Pride and Prejudice. Surprise, surprise, some of the characters in the book have the same names and characteristics as Jane Austen’s famous tome. But these characters seem distinctly modern in their cruelty and cattiness. The girls perceive a couple of characters as being snobs, and therefore they decide to destroy them, not just using words, but using the internet. There are no suicides, as a result. Nothing really awful happens in the book, but the reader can’t help but wish these girls would just grow up. There are some scenes that take place in England which are nice and actually made me get out a book on England and look at photos of the places the characters went. So if it piques a reader’s interest in Austen’s books or in another country, it may have some redeeming value.

Juvenile Books
Clements, Andrew. Benjamin Pratt & The Keepers of the School: Fear Itself. Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 2011. 204 pgs. Ages 7-10. ISBN 9781416938873 $14.99 P6 Q8
It is not necessary to have read book one of this series, (this is book two) but probably advisable. The book explains, early on, that the two main characters, Jill and Ben, have found a message in their school from the “Keepers of the School” back in 1791. Their school is slated for demolition, as developers want the beautiful sea view location for their tourist attractions. Jill and Ben know that the sea captain donor of the school had made it a condition of the donation that the site would always be a school, and they try to figure out how they can try to figure out how they can foil the developers. The kids visit a friendly lawyer where wills and codicils are explained, and wrestle with their consciences, as the sentiment in the town is all for the new theme park and the jobs it will bring. The story is fairly engrossing, with clues around the school, and a hidden treasure of gold coins. However, the ending is disappointing, as even though the kids find a new ally in their fight to save the school, there is no resolution…only a prompt to watch for book three in the series. The cover is inviting, with both a boy and girl obviously involved in a mystery and the black, red and gray illustrations by Adam Stower are perfect for establishing the mood.

Knapp, Ron. Bloodsucking Creatures. Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2011, 48 pgs. Ages 10-15. ISBN 9780766036710 $23.93 P7 Q 8
This book should carry a caution on the cover: “Do not read after consuming a meal!” A scary looking photo of a vampire bat graces the cover and will certainly draw in lots of readers of the targeted age, but they may get more gory details than they really wanted. There are close-up photos of other such lovelies as mosquitoes, head lice, lampreys, fleas and leeches. The text explains in detail how each bloodsucker goes about getting its meal and it is pretty fascinating. Lampreys will grab onto a fish and suck on it for four or five hours, until it is dead. They rarely attack people, but the next time I dip my feet into our local river, I will be thinking about them! The book is colorful and each chapter is broken up into sections, if the reader wants to stop and come back for more. There are glossary, further reading and index sections in the back, and a heavy duty, washable cover in case a stray leech crawls across it! This would be a good buy for a library.

Gibson, Amy. Around the World on Eighty Legs. Il. Daniel Salmieri. Scholastic Press, 2011, unpgd. Ages 9-14. ISBN 9780439587556 $18.99 P7 Q8
The animals in this book of poems about fascinating creatures around the world are somewhat more cuddly than the previous book. It separates them according to continent, with a handy map on the first couple of pages. The whimsical poems manage to convey quite a few facts about the animals, and if the reader wants to know more, there is a “Menagerie of Facts” on the last three pages of the book. Some of the poems are quite long, which may discourage a reader trying to decide if they want to check the book out. But it would be great for reading in sections to a classroom. The illustrations are not strictly accurate, but are large enough and humorous enough to engage a group of children. It also tells the reader how to pronounce the name, if it is a tough one like Proboscis Monkey!

Easy Reading
Rabe, Tish. Now You See Me. Il. Christopher Moroney. Random House, 2011, 32 pgs. Ages 3-6. ISBN 9780375867064 $3.99 P9 Q8
This “Step 2” easy reader for those who can recognize familiar words and sound out new words teaches the meaning of the word “camouflage.” It rhymes in the style of Dr. Seuss and has familiar Seussian characters, but doesn’t quite reach the delightful whimsy of the original. However, there is nothing wrong with it, and the story will keep the reader interested. For the money, it is a good purchase.

Corse, Nicole. Sea Horses. Scholastic Inc., 2011, 32 pgs. Ages 5-6. ISBN 9780545273336 $3.99 P7 Q8
On a different publisher’s scale, this is a “Step 1” easy reader. It uses some pretty sophisticated words, such as “camouflage,” (The word of the month, I guess!) “currents,” “gills,” and “predators.” So it may actually appeal to readers a little older than the recommendation on the book. The photos of the sea horses are gorgeous, and include some interesting facts that made me want to know more about this fascinating little animal. It may just be more effective with an adult reading it to a child and discussing the photos. Either way, it is well worth buying for a library collection.

Picture Books
Killen, Nicole. Not Me! Egmont, 2010, unpgd. Ages 2-5. ISBN 9781606841235 $13.99 P8 Q9
The illustrations in this high quality book are an interesting combination of paper stencils, collage, rubber stamps and potato prints! It has a simple story with lots of repetitive questions and answers. I can hear them being shouted out at a story time with great gusto. The pictures are large and simple, so would work for that purpose also. It may even inspire an art project, as the reader could point out the rubber stamped tricycle track and potato print handprints and then create something similar with the children. The cover is very inviting and will be snatched off a display in no time!

Rand, Betseygail and Rand, Colleen. Big Bunny. Il. By C.S.W. Rand. Random House Children’s Books, 2011, unpgd. Ages 2-6. ISBN 9781582463766 $14.99 P8 Q8
Just in time for Easter and spring displays in the library comes this tale told in the style of a Native American creation story. It involves a giant bunny who is too big to paint eggs or weave Easter baskets, so ends up carrying its smaller siblings in a giant basket-backpack to deliver Easter eggs all over the world. The illustrations clearly make the book interesting. They are reminiscent of Native American and Aborigine in their simplicity. The author’s mother is the illustrator and the author is a professor of mathematics. This was clearly a labor of love for the two of them, and it would be interesting to see more books forthcoming from the partnership.

Na, Il Sung. Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit. Alfred A. Knopf, 2010, unpgd. Ages 2-5. ISBN 9780375867866 $15.99 P8 Q 9
The beautiful illustrations in this book follow a bunny who watches what various animals do in the winter to survive. Then, suddenly it is spring and the white bunny has changed from snow white to brown to match its new surroundings. Another very subtle lesson in camouflage! The pictures are created by combining handmade painted textures with computer composing and it is highly effective. The “textures” are so interesting, that it makes the reader want to touch them. Although the book would work for a story time, it would be a really great lapsitter book, where the reader and child could scrutinize the technique up close. It might even serve as an easy reader, as there are only five to ten words on a page and easily sounded out. Even though the cost is getting up there on this book, it would be a great addition to a library.

C.S.- Siletz Public Library
Iwamura, Kazuo. Hooray for Fall. North South, 2009 (English version). $16.95. ISBN 9780735822528. Unp. Ages 4-8.
Three young squirrels enjoy the changing of the seasons- summer to fall. Their mom knits them matching red sweaters, and they recognize similarities between themselves and things they see in the forest (red berries, mushrooms, etc.). The illustrations are gentle and sweet, and make the story very enjoyable. This book was very popular with my story group. P9Q9

Thompson, Carol. I Like You the Best. Holiday House, 2010. $16.95. ISBN 9780823423415. Unp. Ages 3-6.
Dolly the Pig and Jack Rabbit are best friends, until they have a misunderstanding. This simple, lovely book explores friendship, conflict and making up. The illustrations are really nice- soft colors and sweet pictures that convey the story very well. P9Q9

Smith, Alex T. Foxy and Egg. Holiday House, 2010. $17.95. ISBN 9780823423309. Unp. Ages 4-8. This funny story has been very popular at storytime. Egg rolls up to Foxy DuBois’ house one day and is invited in for a “bite” to eat. Foxy loves eggs, cooked any way, and has big plans for keeping Egg there overnight to fatten it (him? her?) up for breakfast. But Foxy is in for a big surprise in the morning- egg has grown enormous and hatches into a crocodile (?). The illustrations are very funny with lots of clever detail- chicken motifs on the wallpaper, for example. P9Q8

Gorbachev, Valeri. Dragon is Coming. Hartcourt Children’s Books, 2009. $16.00. ISBN 9780152051969. Unp. Ages 4-8.
A good book for story groups. It begins with Dog watching clouds in the sky- when he says one looks like a dragon, mouse overhears and his imagination gets away with him, leading him to run around yelling that a dragon is coming. This is a nice story that shows how sometimes create problems out of nothing in our minds. P8Q8

Omololu, Cynthia James. Randy DuBurke, ill. When It’s Six O’Clock in San Francisco. Clarion Books, 2009. $16.00. ISBN 9780618768271. 31 pgs. Ages 6-12.
This book gives examples of what various people are doing at the same time in ten different time zones. It would be a good resource for a classroom teacher working on telling time, time zones, and geography. There are colorful illustrations that give a sense of the time in each section. At the end there is a simplified time zone map and more detailed explanations about telling time with the sun and about the 24 different time zones. P7Q8

Thomson, Ruth. Terezín: Voices from the Holocaust. Candlewick Press, 2011. $18.99. ISBN 9780763649630. 64 pgs. Ages 12 and up.
Terezín is a very well written book documenting what happened in the small town of Terezín, Czechoslovakia during WWII. The town became a ghetto and then a transit camp for Jews being moved to death camps by the Nazi authorities. There is fascinating and terrible information here- artists and writers were forced to fool the world into believing that their situation wasn’t so bad- and prisoners were made to “beautify” Terezín before the Red Cross came to inspect the camp. Red Cross representatives were amazed at how normal life was for the Jews there, so the ruse worked. I liked how the author used journal entries, artwork and memoirs from the people who experienced this life to tell their sad stories. I think this book would be excellent in school libraries and as a resource for history classes. P7Q9

Juvenile Novels:
Cochran, Thomas. Running the Dogs. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2007. $16.00. ISBN 9780374363604. 154 pgs. Ages 9-12.
This is a heartwarming story about a boy facing his fears. It takes place just before Christmas during a bad winter storm in Louisiana (usual in this part of the country). Ten year old Tal has
a lot to worry about- his father might not make it home for Christmas because of the storm, and his three beagles are missing. He realizes just how afraid he is of looking for them alone in the woods, and over the course of the novel he learns to face his fear. Another theme in the book is how we view childhood beliefs (in this case Santa Clause) differently as we grow up. Tal realizes that you can know that something isn’t true and continue to believe in it anyway. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the book and the way the family relationships were portrayed. The book is suitable for ages 9-12, but there is a bit of mild swearing in it. I can think of several young readers to whom I will be recommending this book. P8Q9

May 2011 Reviews
Howell, Simmone, Everything Beautiful. Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books: 2008
Riley Rose, a troubled teen, is tricked by her father into attending Spirit Ranch, a camp for difficult adolescents. Although she feels abandoned at first, she soon meets a collection of (unfortunately) stereotypical youths who are also facing crises in their lives. Fortunately, the writing is better than the plot so as Riley evolves into being able to see the silver lining of her life, the controlled plot doesn’t come across as boring or typical. “This story is more than just a story about a teenager; it’s a story about the gaining of self-worth in adolescence. I felt I could relate to Riley, with all her struggles. Like her, I have been in situations that were nowhere near good for me, and I’ve learned from them,” commented B.P. after reading the book. I am a strong believer in having novels available for students to see themselves and to grow having learned from a character’s choices. P: 8 Q. 8

Smith, Sarah, The Other Side of Dark. Atheneum Books for Young Readers: New York; 2010. ISBN 9789-1-4424-0280-5 ($16.99)
Everyone knows Katie Mullens is crazy. She talks to dead people and sometimes loses awareness of where she is or what’s going on. While the more generous individuals attribute this to the death of Katie’s mother, which had a terrific effect on her. Other students at school, one of whom is Law, an African-American, are concerned about Katie and tries to help. Meanwhile, the neighborhood is fighting about whether to tear down a local mansion that once was used to house slaves. It isn’t until near the end that the reader discovers what its real purpose was. Smith has managed to include issues of mental health, environment, prejudice, and women’s issues in an interesting and focused novel. While it dragged occasionally because of the number of themes, the plot was strong enough to keep the reader’s attention. P: 8 Q. 8/9

Kendall, Anna. Crossing Over. Viking: New York; 2010. ISBN 978-0-670-01246-6 ($17.99)
Roger Kilbourne has the power to cross over into the land of the dead where he communicates with some of the spirits who are there. However, he must arrive quickly, because the peaceful calm of “life” on the other side quickly envelopes those who arrive and leaves them unwilling to acknowledge the living who may want to talk to them. Unfortunately, Roger can also change events on both sides–the land of the living as well as the dead—and his desire to “help” others nearly destroys both worlds. Roger is also oblivious to the romantic feelings of the queen’s servants and this error gets him into trouble from a different angle. There are too many crises and plot twists to begin to write them for a review; but, it is one of the most unusual and engaging novels dealing with death, lives of royalty, politics, and power that I have ever read. P: 9 Q: 9+

Lore, Pittacus. I Am Number Four. Harper: New York; 2010 ISBN 978-0-06-196955-3 ($17.99) Here is a book in search of a sequel if there ever were one! It has already been made into a movie (which I didn’t see), but this just gives credence to the quality of this piece of science-fiction. A collection of children from the planet Lorien have been sent to earth after their planet is destroyed by greedy aliens. These same aliens have followed them to Earth and are systematically destroying each of the children as the aliens continue to prepare to annihilate Earth. Although the children don’t know where they each are living, as they are destroyed, a burn scar suddenly appears around an ankle of the living children to warn them that they might be next. Each child has a mentor who is with them to move them to other places and provide each one with a new identity. On top of all this, each child, upon reaching adolescence begins to evidence “magical” abilities to help them survive and which will be useful if they are able one day to return to Lorien. I enjoyed this piece of science-fiction and am looking forward to the next one(s) in the series. P: 8/9 Q:9+

Beaudoin, Sean. You Killed Wesley Payne. Little, Brown and Company: New York; 2011. ISBN 978-0-316-07742-2 ($16.99)
I am not certain I liked this novel, for but students who enjoy satire (like Reflections of a Wallflower) this may just be up their alley. Dalton Rev, seventeen years old, and a self-taught private-eye, has arrived at Salt River High because he has been hired to find out who killed Wesley Payne who died under suspicious circumstances that don’t fit the “suicide” label he’s been given. Goodness knows, there are innumerable suspects among the students and the staff at the criminally-run school. It seems that all of the teachers and principal are taking graft money and the Cliques range from “The Balls” (athletes) to “Foxes” (gorgeous girls) to “Lee Harvies” (known as snipers) on campus. There are no fewer than a dozen groups who are out to “get” each other using the “talents” that bind them together. Dalton has a huge task ahead of himself, but he has connections, an analytical mind, the ability to snap back after a misstep, and a sense of humor. Did I mention this is satire? The book is better than its reading public will probably affirm—just get it into the right hands. P: 7 Q. 8/9

Kessler, Jackie Morse. Hunger. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company: Boston; 2011. ISBN: 978-09547-34127-8 ($8.99)
Lisabeth Lewis is not your ordinary example of Famine, one of the four riders of the apocalypse. However, because of her anorexia and the encouragement of a friend to deny her illness, she is perfect for the role. She even meets Death and the other horsemen. Fortunately, she has a few good friends who see beyond her denial, beyond her parents’ inability to see, and who are willing to rescue her, even if Lisabeth doesn’t want to be saved. This is a unique perspective on the struggles anorexic and bulimic teens face that discusses these issues without humor and without even a hint in tone that this might be a fable. Some of those teens considered unreachable may see themselves in this short book and be able to take their lives into their own hands and get the help they need. P. 8 Q. 8/9

Reeves, Dia. Slice of Cherry. Simon Pulse: New York; 2011.
I am sorry I read this book, for many reasons. First of all, it was appalling that the two main characters, Kit and Fancy, the daughter of a man convicted of mutilating and killing his victims, deal with their own stress by carving up their own victims. Nothing socially redeeming about this at all! Neither of them is remotely apologetic nor deserving of the “pro” in protagonist. They are simply evil (though I suspect their author wouldn’t agree.) Second, Fancy has a “happy place” where she goes to hide from reality; eventually the two girls use this happy place as the depository for their victims. And the victims are NOT happy there as they continue to be abused by Kit, Fancy, and the “minions” who serve them. Fourth, the sex scenes read like soft porn. Finally, the novel tries to be socially acceptable by dealing with such themes as feminism, injustice (for the dad), sexual abuse, romance, sibling relationships, and others. Too much to carry for a book as icky as this one. P. 2 Q. 1

Henry, Nathan L. Good Behavior. Bloomsbury Publishing: New York; 2011. ISBN 978-1-59990-471-9 $16.99
This memoir, told in alternating chapters between Nate’s life before jail and his life while incarcerated, offers hope for students who might be headed down the same path. Although he grows up with a neurotic father who is constantly making him afraid and encouraging him to join the gun culture, Nate gradually evolves into a young man who can think logically and can make better choices. The language is rough. Henry’s descriptions of his characters are based on stereotypes and yet each of them has a trait or caution about them that helps Nate to grow beyond his narrow perspective until he is reading a wide range of philosophies that build his background so he can exercise thoughtful agency. By the end of his year in jail, he is no longer responding to “gut feelings;” he is not closed in by the smallness of his earlier life. It is not likely he will return to jail. P. 7/8 Q. 6/7

Malley, Gemma. The Returners. Bloomsbury: New York; 2010. ISBN 978-1-59990-443-6 $16.99 Will seems to be followed by a group of people who insist that they know him from “before.” Gradually, through dreams and experiences that trigger memories of past lives, Will becomes aware of the role he has played during other “big events” such as the holocausts in Germany and Rwanda. His is a spirit that dies and returns to carry on again either to swallow evils and pain or to create them. His father is a bigot who has caused Will’s mother’s death and is about to falsely accuse one of Will’s immigrant friends of murder. Will is a very conflicted character who, on the one hand, wants to be part of his father’s “team” and to feel like he belongs. On the other hand, he has a strong will (pun intended as I think the author did, too) to change things, to keep a future holocaust from happening. This novel emphasizes the very real agency we have to make choices and also helps the reader to realize that one should never give up on oneself or others. P. 8 Q. 8/9

Miller, Barnabas and Jordan Orlando. Seven Souls. Delacorte Press; New York. 2010. ISBN 978-0-385-73637-2
I don’t know how a novel so badly written could have such a terrific plot, but this one manages both. The frustrating part begins with the characterization of Mary, the most insipid, shallow character I have ever read about. The authors don’t help her by name-dropping brands of clothing and going into such never-ending detail about the expensive clothing and living arrangements she and her friends share. I don’t mind her character’s emphasis on these things as much as I mind the way these elements only serve to slow down the plot and to cause the reader to really dislike the protagonist and her friends. Fortunately, about two-thirds of the way through, the novel begins to pick up when Mary “dies” and has the opportunity to see herself and her shallow, using/abusing personality, from the perspective of seven other characters, her friends, who match her in shallowness, but who turn out to be angry, frustrated, and even mean. Also, the character who is manipulating the others turns out to have a very unrealistic motive for injuring Mary. In many respects, Mary doesn’t deserve the death sentence she receives and certainly not from these characters. Magical elements enhance the attractiveness of the plot, however; and the ending, understood, is crucial to appreciating the novel. I have two students for whom this book would be a perfect read. The others? I dunno. P. 7/9 Q. 7

North, Pearl. Libyrinth. Tom Doherty Associates’ New York. 2009. ISBN 978-0-7653-2096-4
I picked up this book because I generally enjoy books about the value of reading and writing. Additionally, this novel has the advantage of strong female characters who, with very different statuses in life and unique skills, share their abilities to keep all the world’s knowledge hidden in a great library-like building safe from the Eradicants, who would destroy all the books there. Haly, clerk of Selene, a “librarian” in the labyrinthine Libyrinth, can actually hear the books speak. (As a fine addition, the author credits the texts from which she quotes in the novel.) Clauda, a kitchen servant is a friend whose loyalty and creativity are stretched when Selene’s mother, the queen, refuses to come to the aid of the libirians against the Eradicants who not only want tribute of books to burn, but who actually expect a redemption when the “Book of the Night” is read aloud prior to the destruction of the library. Instead, in a move similar to the plot in “The Dark Crystal,” a “muppet” movie, the enemies are brought together and a new world understanding is created when all people learn to read. My only disappointment was in the character Nod, who seemed based too closely on the house-elf, Dobby, that J.K. Rowling created. P. 8 Q. 7

Children’s Books
Funke, Cornelia. The Wildest Brother. The Chicken House: 2004. ISBN 0-439-82862-7
Ben, Anna’s little brother, imagines himself to be a heroic hunter of monsters that resemble the wardrobe and other pieces of furniture in the house. He is as creative and wild as can be as he keeps her safe from “wolves,” “bears,” and the “monster” that licks the batter from the bowls in the kitchen. But at night, he is glad to have a brave big sister who keeps him safe from the dark. This is a cute story about brother/sister relationships and is already helpful in my own family where littler ones need the security of an older sibling. P: 7 Q: 7/8

Walter Dean Myers. Looking for the Easy Life. Harper: 2011. ISBN 978-0-06-054375-4
Want to teach children the value of working? This may be one of the books to help. Uh-Huh Freddie, leader of the monkeys on the island is challenged by Oswego Pete who wants to take all the monkeys to the easy life where they don’t have to work hard for their meals. Two females and one male are willing to give Pete’s plan a try, but each time he thinks he’s found the easy life, a hungry lion, a nasty shark, or boredom set in. What’s more, Pete’s tail turns out to be a tasty morsel for the hungry animals. Eventually, of course, Uh-Huh wins the vote and takes them all back to the island where they were happy, but hard-working. A couple of notes: I could not see a good reason for the light dialect and poor grammar for the dialogue. And I was concerned when the lion says, “I had to run after you and catch you. . . I ain’t giving up no tail.” And then the lion went off to “mess with his girlfriend.” Kids may like the double-entendre, but sharp parents may be offended. On the good side, the book does have a map of the monkeys’ world on the end papers, and, judging from the names of the wilderness and ocean surrounding it, children will know immediately that the monkeys are in for trouble. P: 7 Q: 7/8

Pulver, Robin. Happy Endings: A Story About Suffixes. Holiday House: New York; 2011. ISBN: 978-0-8234-2296-8
Except for the awful illustrations of the children and the teacher, this is a really cool book. The story is about children who do not want to study suffixes. As the words are written on the board or spoken, the endings appear in red. When the children finally go off to lunch, having been told they will “tackle” the word endings, the suffixes all head to the gym to work out so they are strong enough to endure their supposed punishment. When the children arrive back in the room, the suffixes are not on the board and so they create “wanted posters” which, of course, are missing the word endings. The suffixes see the posters and make up their own clues for the children to find each of them, mixing up the letter order so the children have to put the suffixes where they belong. Eventually, everything is set to rights. The book ends with rules and some meanings of the endings and reassurance that the suffixes are actually easy to read and use. Cool book—wish there had been a different illustrator, however. P. 8/9 (for teachers, anyway) Q. 8/9

Crimi, Carolyn and David Roberts. Dear Tabby. Harper: New York; 2011. ISBN 978-0-06-224—114245-1
Among young adults, books written by main characters with alternating chapters are popular. Crimi and Roberts have done the same kind of thing with this book of letters from various cats, a parrot, bear, skunk a ground hog and a dog sent to Tabby D. Cat who replies with what is actually very good advice. The theme that runs through the stories comes from letters sent from Boots who is too finicky and a complainer. Eventually, Tabby moves in because she appreciates the good care Boots has been receiving while he just wanders off to find something better. (Not likely). Children are able to see the results of Tabby’s good advice and help. This would be a nice read aloud with two people reading: one for the original letters and Tabby’s response. The illustrations are simple but help convey the story. Children could follow reading this story with pair-share writing where one write a letter to another student asking for good advice. P. 8 Q. 8

Bell, Marvin. A Primer About the Flag. Candlewick Press; 2011. ISBN 978-0-7636-4991-3
I’m not sure there’s much point to this book. Maybe an elementary school teacher will find it useful. “A Primer about the Flag Or certain ones,” begins with flags over Bed & Breakfast flags, ship’s flags, state and state fair flags. “Enemy flags are not supposed to be beautiful, or long-lasting.” The story ends with how people would probably not follow someone carrying a small tree unless they knew it was meant to be a flag. None of the illustrations is of a recognizable flag and implies that there are several kinds on the moon. Perhaps if a class were dividing up into larger, semi-permanent groups the book would be useful in getting them to design their own flag (because the flags are pretty, though the rest of the illustrations look like they were done with marker and smudged smoke), but aside from that, I don’t know that this is a book I would need in my school. P. 5/6 Q. 5

Frazee, Marla, The Boss Baby. Beach Lane Books: New York; 2001. ISBN 978-1-4424-0167-9
Boss Baby shows up at a couple’s house, dressed in a “suit-and-tie” with “onesie-type” drawers. The illustrations do more than the words can to make frazzled parents laugh at the “meetings” the baby calls at all hours of the day and night and the fact that he says nothing that makes sense. The temper-tantrum is classic as are the executive perks like the sauna and the gym. One day, when the parents are too exhausted to respond, Boss Baby says, “Ma-ma” and “Da-da” which certainly improves things, but, as the book ends, it is still obvious Boss Baby is still in charge. I have a new grandchild who is the bossiest thing around. I am sending this book to cheer up his parents who, judging from our weekly phone calls are definitely frazzled and could use a laugh. P. 8 Q. 9

Wade Bradford. Why Do I have to Make My Bed? Or a History of Messy Rooms. Tricycle Press: Berkeley; 2011. ISBN 978-1-58246-327-8
“Why do I have to make my bed,” I said. I already put the dishes in the dishwasher. I dusted off my video games. I even picked up my dinosaurs, my racetrack, and my robot-monkey action figures. S0 why do I have to make my bed? It’s just going to get messed up again.” From this question comes a “shaggy dog” story of children asking throughout the ages (and using appropriate old-fashioned and older-fashioned words) the same question. Until back in cave-man days, “His mother just stared at him and said, ‘Because I said so.’” And each of the children, going back to the little boy, makes his/her bed. Following the story is a collection of chores represented by the eleven historical time periods shown in the book. The illustrations fit very well with the story/time periods. While some parents may not have time for shaggy-dog stories, I know that children may enjoy them. Though probably not a book for libraries for young school children, libraries would find this a good one to keep on hand for frustrated parents to read to their children. But, I must say here, that “because I said so” never did work very well in getting my children to do their chores.

Brett, Jan. The Easter Egg. G.P. Putnam: New York. 2011. ISBN 978-09399-25238-9
Jan Brett has always been one of my favorite children’s authors and illustrators. Once again, she tells two stories, the one with the large illustrations and the other story in the picture borders. Hoppi wants to create the most beautiful egg so that he can have the honor of helping the Easter Bunny hide his eggs. (By the way, the white Easter Rabbit looks a lot like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.) As Hoppi visits the other rabbits in the community, he finds them making eggs from chocolate, wood, metal, and coloring them in a wide variety of styles. Each of the other rabbits gives Hoppi tools so that he can make an egg just like theirs. When he returns home, and is thinking about what to do with his egg, he decides that just making one he can be proud of is enough. Suddenly, a mother robin begins chirping because an egg has fallen from her nest. Hoppi immediately comes to the rescue to sit on and protect the egg until it hatches and momma robin can take care of her little bird. Of course, it is Hoppi who wins the contest. Children seem to enjoy books like this where the smallest or the weakest or least-likely to win a competition does so. What makes this book of special quality are, of course, the illustrations, but also the lessons it teaches about sharing gifts/talents, accepting one’s own abilities, and then following through with a commitment. Better in many ways than Horton Hears a Who, which has only one theme. P. 10 Q. 10 (for certain!)

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by N.W.
Barnard, Bryn. The Genius of Islam: How Muslims Made the Modern World. 2011. 38p. Knopf, $17.99. 978-0-375-84072-2. Age ?:
History shows that many of our innovations came from the Islam world, and this brief text and full-color artwork is intended to show this. The information is great, but the vocabulary is too advanced for the ages 8-12 that the books appears to focus on—cachet and extirpated are two examples. There is a vital need for youth books describing the Islam culture. This is a beginning but needs to make the language more accessible. P4Q7

Burleigh, Robert. Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic. Il. Wendell Minor. 2011. unp. Simon & Schuster, $16.99. 978-1-4169-6733-0. Ages 6-10:
Many books have followed the female aviator’s progress and then disappearance almost 80 years ago, but this book is a lovely addition to the collection. Two-line stanzas of free verse are accompanied by vivid gouache and watercolors in a third-person description of Earhart’s first solo flight in 1932 with predominantly red and blue perspectives from the cockpit to sweeping panoramas. She suffers a storm, ice buildup on the wings, a plunge toward the menacing ocean, and a cracked exhaust pipe before her famous landing in an Irish farmer’s field. The map of the flight in the endpapers will cause young readers to address the courage required for her attempt to circle the world; endnotes extend the narration with bibliography and inspirational quotes from the flyer. P7Q8

Lee, Spike & Tonya Lewis Lee. Giant Steps to Change the World. Il. Sean Qualls. 2011. unp. Simon & Schuster, $16.99. 978-0-689-8615-3. Ages 4-8:
Intended to be inspirational, each two-page spread provides a description of 12 unnamed heroes’ deeds and abstract collages that might represent them—Jesse Owens, Jean-Michael Basquiat, Mother Teresa, Barack Obama, etc. Terms used for recommended actions are somewhat trite: “Press on,” “made a plan,” etc., and the heroes are not identified except in the endpapers. But the book may encourage young people to go beyond the dragon shown at the end of the stairway that the boy climbs. This is a book that needs to be shared by a knowledgeable adult. P5Q7

McAllister, Angela. Little Mist. Il. Sarah Fox-Davies. 2011. unp. Knopf, $16.99. 978-0-375-86788-0. Ages 4-8:
Guided and protected by his mother, a sweet-faced snow leopard cub discovers his world—snow, streams, and forests. Soft watercolor and pencil illustrations follow the closeness between kit and mother in their world. P8Q8

Rosenstock, Barb. Fearless: The Story of Racing Legend Louise Smith. Il. Scott Dawson. 2010. unp. Dutton, $16.99. 978-0-525-42173-3. Ages 5-8:
Louise Smith started driving at age seven when she crashed a car into a chicken coop, and she didn’t quit for the next 83 years. Starting at a time when girls were kept from driving, she moved into the thrills of stock-car racing. Brief, fast narrative and action-packed illustrations show the way that Smith fearlessly followed her dreams across the country to become the first woman elected to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. “[Her] legacy is the gift of independence, a heart full of courage, and the chance to prove that being a girl should never stop anyone from going anywhere they want . . . as far and as fast as they can.” P8Q8

Silverman, Erica. Liberty’s Voice: The Story of Emma Lazarus. Il. Stacey Schuett. 2011. unp. Dutton, $17.99. (978-0-525-47859-1). Ages 7-10:
Born into a wealthy New York family in the mid-1800s, Lazarus was privileged to meet such luminaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson who inspired her poetry. Bright illustrations show the pensive side of the young woman who ultimately wrote the poem “The New Colossus,” a part of which was placed on the Statue of Liberty. This verse that includes the clause, “Give me your tired, your poor,” has been memorized by millions of school children. Silverman tells also of Lazarus’ humanitarian interests and pride in her Jewish heritage. The poem excerpts included in the book will be difficult for many young readers, but the biography of a well-known American writer is interesting. Schuett has detailed the time in which Lazarus lived and the culture that shaped her—fashion, house furnishings, etc.

Stone, Tanya Lee. The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie: A Doll’s History and Her Impact on Us. 2010. 130p. Viking, $19.99. 978-0-670-0687-2. Ages 11-14:
Author of the feminist books about Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the women who were refused the right to be astronauts in the 1960s now defends those who love the anorexic, hour-glass-figured doll that made Mattel millions during the past half century, claiming that she was a scapegoat . Although she attempts to provide both sides of the love/hate relationship for this 11-inch-tall plastic icon, the narrative leans toward strong support for how this figure led generations of young women to leave the mother/wife stereotype to find careers which gave them higher salaries. Beginning with a passionate introduction from Meg Cabot about how much she loved her Barbie, the book traces the life of Ruth Handler, who found the doll’s prototype in Germany and made—before losing—a fortune with Barbie and her burgeoning family. The book might have been more interesting to Barbie fanatics if there had been less attention to the biography in the early chapters and if the color photographs had not been concentrated on eight center. One of the more gross chapters describes the ways that the doll owners showed pride in abusing the doll—tearing off the heads, dismembering it, burning it, etc. Some of the more salient aspects of Barbie’s development are also missing, such as the prototype being a “sex doll” based on a comic trip about a prostitute and the problem with the Bratz dolls in the early 21st century. The most interesting aspect of people’s love for Barbie is the reference to their growing desire to purchase all Barbie’s things for themselves. It seems that Barbie not only created a desire in young women to have a figure that made men attracted to them but also to participate in the extensive materialism sometimes leading to financial disaster. P7Q6

Winter, Jeanette. The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps. 2011. unp. Schwartz & Wade, $17.99. 978-0-375-86774-3. Ages 5-8:
From her childhood in London watching a robin on her windowsill to her solitary years in the Tanzanian forests observing chimpanzees, Goodall’s love for these animals led her crusade to save the primates from extinction. Stylized acrylic paintings that accompany the text are reminiscent of Winter’s The Librarian of Basra. P6Q9

Gibbs, Edward. I Spy with My Little Eye. 2011. unp. Templar Books/Candlewick, $14.99. 978-0-7636-5284-5. Ages 3-6:
Spy holes reveal the animals attached to the colorful animals in the book: readers look at the eye and then see the animal complete with the eye after turning the page. In bright digital illustrations, seven colors and animals and colors are revealed before the reader is also invited to show his/her eye. An inviting interactive book for young readers. P9Q8

Raczka, Bob. Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word. Il. Nancy Doniger. 2011. 44p. Roaring Brook, $16.99. 978-1-599643-541-4. Ages 6-10:
“I/ran/in” is the complete poem entitled “Rain.” Looking at the letters, the reader will realize that all the letters in the poem can also be found in the poem’s title. Thus the author has embarked on a new poetic form—part anagram, part rebus, part riddle—in these 22 clever poems that vary from thoughtful to funny. Although the poems are shown in a convoluted concrete poetic form that requires the reader to piece them together, they are also printed by line on the back of the page. Whimsical gray illustrations with heavy black lines are highlighted with orange-red touches. Great for curriculum or just reading and pondering. P6Q9

Picture Books
Gravett, Emily. Blue Chameleon. 2011. unp. Simon & Schuster, $16.99. 978-1-4424-1958-2. Ages 3-5:
Known for Orange Pear Apple Bear and The Odd Egg, Gravett has produced another simple book about colors and shapes. Using gentle colored pencil lines she follows the despondent chameleon who fits in everywhere but cannot make friends until meeting another as colorful as it is. Expansive white background highlights the pink cockatoo, the stripy sock, the brown boot, and the other “creatures” encountered on its way to find a friend. Full of charm, Gravett’s latest book is sure to become another hit. A simple book about self-acceptance, this book finishes with the chameleon finding a like creature. P9Q9

Grey, Mini. Three by the Sea. 2011. unp. Knopf, $17.99. 978-0-375-86784-1. Ages 5-8:
Dog gardens his bone garden, Cat cleans and catnaps, and Mouse cooks cheese fondue, a very agreeable situation for the three of them until a fox questions whether they’re really happy in what they’re doing. Mixed-media collages show the struggles that the three friends have as they first squabble after the fox’s ploy and then discover that they are happy in their roles. The book shows a remarkable friendship that cannot be destroyed even by someone intent on breaking them into unhappy parts. Bold watercolor and collage artwork with its clever details showing the characters’ personalities will delight young readers as they ponder the philosophical issues in the fox’s attitude toward Dog, Cat, and Mouse. P9Q9

Hall, Michael. Perfect Square. 2011. unp. Greenwillow, $16.99. 978-0-06-191513-0. Ages 3-5: Brightly colored backgrounds highlight the adventures of a square that is torn into different colored strips, crumpled, and punched with holes to make a different illustration for each day of the week. From Monday through Saturday, the square was manipulated into different shapes; on Sunday nothing happened, “So it made itself into a window . . .” The next two pages summarize the book, showing the connection between the different experiences of the square. Hall provides a delightful view of how one object can be changed into another—and another—and another! P9Q9

Hoffman, Mary. The Great Big Book of Families. Il. Ros Asquith. 2011. unp. Dial, $16.99. (978-0-8037-3516-3). Ages 3-6:
Families come in many different combinations, and Hoffman has treated the reader with the entire gamut, beginning with the mythical one of father, mother, son, daughter, dog, and cat. Two-page spreads in this treasury describe homes, schools, jobs, holidays, food, clothes, pets, birthdays, hobbies, transportation, and feelings. She treats subjects with great sensitivity, for example children and no homes and parents with no jobs. The detailed cartoons from Ros Asquith, cartoonist for the UK Guardian for 20 years, help make this a book that young children will want to pour over time after time. A great addition to any library dealing with children. P10Q9

Runton, Andy. Owly and Wormy, Friends All Aflutter! 2011. unp. Atheneum, $15.99. 978-1-4169-5774-4. Ages 4-7:
Two critters take the dive from the Owly comics into this first wordless picture book about them. When the florist tells Wormy what kind of plant would attract the butterflies that he wants, the flower houses two green bugs. At first disappointed, Owly grows to love them only to have them disappear—into butterflies. Charming and cheerful, the story and visuals give non-readers a chance to tell the story themselves and identify with Owly’s ups and downs. P9Q9

Travesty, Shrill. The Taking Tree: A Selfish Parody. Il. Lucy Ruth Cummins. 2011. unp. Simon & Schuster, $17.99. (978-1-4424-0763-3). Ages 7+:
Parodies are not for all young readers, but this one based on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree shows the same end result for the tree—cut down by a selfish boy. The attitude in Travesty’s book is far different, however, because the tree hates the boy who forces her to give and give and give until she has nothing left. The debut illustrator uses charcoal drawings reminiscent of the original touched up with mostly muted colors and bright red for accent. Her visual jokes include one about the 2008 Republican presidential candidates. The ending does provide a comeuppance to the destructive jerk who never learns his lesson throughout the book. Adults will love the book, and some young readers who like the darker side of life—think Roald Dahl—will enjoy it as well. P8Q9

Graphic Narratives
Cosentino, Ralph. Wonder Woman: The Story of the Amazon Princess. 2011. 34p. Viking, $16.99. (978-0-670-06256-0). Ages 5-8:
With this book about the famous comic book star, the author/illustrator finishes his trilogy beginning with Batman and Superman. The simple style for a young audience use boldly-colored illustrations similar to the original comic-book art with a Grecian twist to tell of how the daughter of an Amazon queen grew up to become a protector of humanity and teach peace and kindness throughout the planet. Treachery, rivalry between the Greek gods, men pitted against women—it’s all here. P9Q8

Hatke, Ben. Zita, the Spacegirl. 2011. 184p. First Second, $10.99. 978-1-59643-446-2. Ages 8-11: Zita has not gone into an alien world voluntarily, but once there she is determined to save her friend Joseph, abducted by one of the worst creatures on the planet. Fortunately she has the assistance of a giant mouse, the blob-like Strong Strong, a Heavily Armored Mobile Battle Orb known as One, and Robot Randy. Alternately helped and sabotaged by Piper, another earthling, she carries out her mission, but she has to let Joseph return to earth alone because the portal cannot stay open long enough for both of them. The beginning scenes with the meteoroid crater and the discovery of a red button set the scene for this new series from this debut graphic novel author. Bizarre creatures and exotic settings are sure to delight, and the humor throughout—including the ability to create an escape by drawing on a wall with “doorpaste”—will charm the reader. Timid Joseph makes a perfect foil for the confident Zita; he will be missed in the future unless Hatke manages to work him back into the plot. This epic adventure combined with an intergalactic zest makes for a winning combination which readers will want to follow. P8Q8

Holm, Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm. Squish #1: Super Amoeba. 2011. 90p. Random House, $6.99. 978-0-375-84389-1. Ages 7-10:
Stand aside, Babymouse—there’s a new graphic novel series on the block, this lime and black. Squish is just as loveable and bumbling as Babymouse, however, as, inspired by his comic book hero, Super Amoeba, wants to save his friend Peggy from bullying. The distinct personalities of the characters come both from their appearance—insecure Squish wears a baseball cap on his large body, happy Peggy (the paramecium) is long and chubby, and Pod has jaggy edges, showing that amoebas don’t all look alike. There there’s Dad, who hates to wear a tie; the school principal, a flatworm who wears a tie; Lynwood, who is determined to eat Peggy; and Fluffy, the slime mold pet who saves the day. And much more! Amidst the adventure and angst about school and friendship problems is scientific stuff made easy for the young reader. Squish is sure to be a hit as the heroes take on the world, one cell at a time. P9Q9

Parker, Jake. Missile Mouse #2: Rescue on Tankium3. 2011. 146p. Scholastic, $10.99. 978-0-545-11717-3. Ages 7-10:
Bright action-filled pages and breakneck plotting follow the adventures of the daring agent as he fights to free a planet forced into slavery by the evil King Bognarsh who hires the Blazing Bat to take out the intrepid space cadet. Lots of fun, especially for a reluctant reader. P8Q8

Beam, Cris. I Am J. 2011. 326p. Little, $16.99. 978-0-316-05361-7. Ages 13+:
Born Jennifer, J knows that he is a boy forced into a girl’s body and fights to become a transboy. Frustrated that he won’t wear the frilly dresses, his Puerto Rican mother tells him that his father won’t allow him in the house. An argument with his best friend, Melissa, forces him to live on his own. He starts classes at a school for LGT students but stumbles when he begins to date a straight girl who does not know his biological background and he becomes determined to start testosterone treatments. J’s journey shows the darkness of escaping self-hatred and anger if a path diverges from what is considered the norm. Another piece of the book concerns Melissa’s cutting and her attempts to conceal this syndrome from her mother and friends, at first even J. Although the narration continues its heaviness without relief throughout the novel, the possibility of J’s success when he is accepted as a transgender man to study photography at a college gives a small concluding hope. The author has a background of working with transgender teens that she has described in her nonfiction book published for adults, Transparent. P7Q8

Chibbaro, Julie. Deadly. Il. Jean-Marc Superville Sovak. 2011. 293p. Atheneum, $16.99. 978-0-689-85738-6. Ages 12-15:
The story of Typhoid Mary—the woman who carried the typhoid bacillus but never got sick—has always fascinated, and the treatment of the subject from the perspective of a 16-year-old girl is particularly intriguing. Prudence is an intelligent girl who is haunted by her father’s disappearance in the Spanish-American War and wants to make money to help her mother. Her job as an assistant to an epidemiologist in the New York City health department leads her into dangerous places and puts her together with an older man who attracts her. Her journal shows the family’s poverty, memories of her brother’s painful death, and her loneliness. But her assistance in the pursuit of a solution for solution of the typhoid disease beginning in 1906 gives a feeling of optimism, and line drawings, supposedly Prudence’s sketches, lighten the narrative. Exciting narrative, well-developed characters, and an accurate sense of the background make this an excellent book. In a time when science is for men, Prudence proves to everyone that a woman, even a young woman, belongs in the field. P7Q9

Grisham, John. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer. 2011. 263p. Dutton, $16.99. 978-0-525-42384-3. Ages 11-14:
Noted author of adult books has begun a series about a 13-year-old whose desire is to be a great lawyer—or perhaps a great judge. Theodore shows such an extensive knowledge of the law that not only do his classmates ask him for help but also adults seek him out for advice. A high-profile murder case in his small town leads him into keeping a killer from going free because a friend confides in him. Grisham obviously loves the law and spends much of the book providing information about it in detail. Also Theodore knows far more than can be realistically expected of someone his age. The result is a pleasant mystery about a boy who knows everyone and everything in his town. P7Q7

Lane, Andrew. Death Cloud. 2011. 309p. FSG, $16.99. 978-0-374-38767-9. Ages 12-15:
Sherlock as a young adult appears for the first time in this first book in a series, and it’s a great read. Lonely and unpopular at his private school, the 14-year-old budding sleuth is sent to stay with his eccentric uncle and aunt during summer break in Hampshire where two men die from what appears to be the plague. With his new tutor, an American named Amyus Crowe, and a new friend, an urchin named Matty, Sherlock finds an evil villain determined to take over the world. A bonus is Crowe’s daughter, Virginia, who refuses to stay with the ladylike demeanor necessary in the mid-nineteenth century. Lane works for the British Civil Service and has written, among other things, audio dramas for Doctor Who. He knows how to write a page-turning adventure with heart-pounding fight scenes, great period detail, interesting scientific facts, and rational plotting to make one read non-stop through the book. P8Q9

Masson, Sophie. The Madman of Venice. 2010. 276p. Delacorte, $17.99. 978-0-385-73843-9. Ages 12-15:
This accessible blend of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet features Celia, the daughter of English merchant Master Ashby, and Ned, his clerk. The three journey to Venice in 1602 to solve the mystery of pirates plundering the merchant’s ships. Once there they are caught up in more mysteries with the murder of Ashby’s agent and the disappearance of a young Jewish girl. Their attempts to solve these lead them into the danger from a cruel, conniving countess, determined to remove them from this earth. An alchemist friend, Dr. Leone, helps them navigate the water and political canals that lead to romance on several levels. The engaging story has some realism and coincidence flaws, such as Ned’s unrealistic romantic tongue and the ease with which the good people escape danger, but it’s a fun read for history and geography buffs with great descriptions of a fascinating city and its diverse population at the turn of the seventeenth century. P7Q7

Rsau, Laura and Maria Virginia Farinango. The Queen of Water. 2011. 352p. Delacorte, $16.99. 978-0-385-73897-2. Ages 11+:
Slavery is still alive and well in the world as proved by this autobiographical tale of Virginia, a seven-year-old indigenous Ecuador girl who is taken from her earthen dwelling by a mestizo family of Spanish descent. Because of the class system, the women in her new home is allowed to beat her when she has trouble with her tasks, and the man begins to molest her when she arrives at puberty. Virginia’s strength shines the book as she teaches herself to read and write in secrecy so that she can perform the science experiments in the only book that she has. Throughout the book, she struggles with the decision to return home or stay as a servant. She is told that the family doesn’t want her, and when she has the chance to be reunited, she finds that her parents are strangers to her. Uncomfortable at being with them in the mud shack and embarrassed by their lack of sophistication, she returns to the abusive couple before she finds a way out through contact with her older sister. The poignant novel is made possible by her collaboration with a published author as, together, they tell the story of Virginia’s journey from poverty to a world of education. P8Q8

Ryan, Patrick. Gemini Bites. 2011. 231p. Scholastic, $17.99. 978-0-545-22128-3. Ages 12-14: Sixteen-year-old twins Judy and Kyle both fall for Garrett, the boy who briefly moves in with them so that he can finish the school year when his parents move. Kyle has just told his parents that he is gay, and Judy is pretending to be a born-again Christian because she wants to land a boyfriend who heads a bible study. Is Garrett a vampire? Which one of the twins will land him? Told from both twins’ points of view, the book is filled with glib humor and typical teenage angst. P7Q5

Sanchez, Alex. Boyfriends with Girlfriends. 2011. 217p. Simon & Schuster, $16.99.
978-1-4169-3773-9. Ages 13-15:
In this message book, gay Lance wants a boyfriend, bisexual Sergio has had only a relationship with a girl, Kimiko is a lesbian who falls hard for Allie, and Allie has always been straight—until she meets Kimiko. The narration concentrates on the evolving relationships, and the characters lack any development except for Allie’s decision to tell Kimiko about her attraction. The book is predictable with no dimension. P6Q5

Whelan, Gloria. Small Acts of Amazing Courage. 2011. 217p. Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster, $15.99. 978-1-4424-0931-6. Ages 10-14:
India at the end of World War I is the setting for this novel about 15-year-old Rosalind who finds herself caught between two cultures—the pretentious, arrogant colonial Brits who run the country and the poor, downtrodden natives who are working for independence. The story is one of a rebellious young woman who does not want to follow the role assigned her, who wants to help the indigenous peoples following Gandhi at the same time that she feels great pity for a loving aunt who is completely controlled by another one. Whelan’s vivid, sensory writing places the reader in the midst of the girl’s and the country’s revolutions as Rosalind tries to keep her father’s acceptance
while following her own path. This coming-of-age story set against a turbulent time in the past rings true in the present. P7Q9

Wood, Frances M. When Molly Was a Harvey Girl. 2010. 226p. Kane Miller, $15.99. (978-1-9352279-51-8). Ages 12-15:
When Fred Harvey started hiring women for his restaurants, paced approximately every 100 miles on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad to feed the passengers, he required them to be between the ages of 18 and 30 and of good character. Molly fits the second but not the first because her older sister gets both of them jobs after their father dies in Illinois. Life in Raton, New Mexico, during the late 1800s is at first strange and frightening for Molly, but she learns to love the people around her and the rhythm of her life next to the railroad. When the French chef working there teaches her how to cook, she is even happier, a happiness marred by her employer’s discovery of her age. Wood creates solid, interesting characters who face adversity and adventure head on. To spice up the story based on her great-grandmother’s life, the author adds an outlaw, revealed as a person one would not suspect, a train caught in a snowstorm, and the prejudice of the townspeople toward the Indians and Mexicans. Molly is a memorable character, and the book’s setting is a fascinating part of American history. P7Q9

L.R. for Siletz Library
Teen Books
Carman, Patrick. Ghost in the Machine. Il. Joshua Pease. Scholastic Press, 2009, 205 pgs. Ages 13-17. ISBN 9780545075701 $14.99 P9 Q9
A sequel to Skeleton Creek, also written in 2009, this book completes the mystery that two teens in Oregon are trying to solve. The action mostly occurs on an abandoned gold dredge on the outskirts of their very small and isolated town. (It is probably based on the real town of Sumpter.) The first book was in the form of a diary by one of the teens and had a website and passwords that were posted by the other teen as a tool to show the dialog between the two. If the reader goes to the website and enters the passwords, the story is further enhanced and revealed. The same format is followed in this book, except that the reader really has to visit the website to follow the story. This is a drawback if the reader doesn’t have access to a computer, but the drawback is much outweighed by the ingenious interactivity of the book. The videos are very well done with a hand held camera and keep the reader anticipating what is next. The author has really hit on an ingenious way to combine old-fashioned reading and interactivity that so many teens expect today.

Carman, Patrick. Skeleton Creek: The Crossbones. Il. Joshua Pease. Scholastic Press, 2010, 209 pgs. Ages 13-17. ISBN 9780545249942 $14.99 P10 Q9
Patrick Carman manages to involve his two mystery-loving teens in a new adventure and this one extends from Oregon to Boston and back, with stops in Chicago, Springfield, Austin and San Jose, with a side trip to the Portland Underground. The teens are investigating haunted places (which are real and have paranormal reputations) and pursuing clues just like Nancy Drew but with the added dimension of cell phones, e-mail, Google, uploading videos and texting. This third book definitely requires a computer or cell phone to acquire the videos on the website so one wouldn’t want to check it out to read on a backpacking trip. But with access to the internet, it makes an exciting, interactive read that the reader won’t want to put down. One caveat: just as readers of Nancy Drew had to suspend their disbelief that a teen girl could be allowed to drive her car all over the countryside and visit haunted and dangerous places back in the ‘40’s and ‘50’s, one has to believe the same thing here. It will appeal to teens for this very reason.

Juvenile Books
Bauer, Marion Dane. The Golden Ghost. Il. Peter Ferguson. Random House, 2011, 86 pgs. Ages 8-12. ISBN 9780375866494 $12.99 P5 Q5
The cover pretty much tells the plot of this very simple book about a girl who longs for a forbidden pet. Delcie and her friend Todd discover a homeless man living in an abandoned house on the edge of town and he has a golden retriever ghost dog. When the man hurts himself and ends up in the hospital, the ghost dog adopts Delcie. The pencil drawing illustrations are adequate at conveying the story, but lack in emotion. They also don’t break up the text very much. There are lots of pages that have about 140 words to the page, and the book seems like it would be daunting to a beginning reader. Somehow the whole book seems gray, just like the pictures. Fortunately, the cover is in color and will draw some readers.

Cronin, Doreen. The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery. Il. Kevin Cornell. HarperCollins Publishers, 2011, 119 pgs. Ages 8-12. ISBN 9780061215322 $14.99 P6 Q6
While the previous book involving a dog was serious, this mystery starring a search and rescue dog is a humorous story about two dogs, a mother hen and her missing chicks. The main character, J. J., is a bit like “Hank the Cowdog,” with his lovable, gruff, but proud personality. He dispenses wisdom such as: “The sad truth about search-and-rescue work is that there isn’t always a rescue.” The author uses some very descriptive language to enhance the personalities of the animals, stating that the mother hen’s left foot “was bouncing up and down like she was standing on a hot plate.” He also depicts the villain dog in the story as having a funnel over his head with a black tag hanging down that J. J. thinks is the lamp switch. The illustrations, done in pencil, are an interesting mix of realism and cartoony effect. The dogs and surroundings are depicted realistically, but the chicken characters are fantastical, with one of the chicks wearing big, round glasses. But beginning readers should enjoy this brief mystery, and with lots of white space and not too many words to the page, they shouldn’t be discouraged.

Picture Books
Sarcone-Roach, Julia. The Secret Plan. Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, unpgd. Ages 3-6. ISBN 9780375858581 $16.99 P6 Q5
A baby elephant, three kittens and their parents all reside in one multi-story duplex house. Um. OK. The four friends are constantly finding creative activities, just as their human counterparts would do, and they are constantly called away to dinner or bed or chores, just like kids. They hatch an elaborate plan to sneak out after bedtime and spend as much time as they like, playing in the attic of the huge house. The story is very cute, once you grasp onto an elephant and kittens being best friends, but the illustrations, which are acrylic paintings, are a little hard to decipher. The illustrator captures the kittens quite well, but the elephant doesn’t look quite right. I had to look at one page for a couple of minutes before I could figure out what it depicted The cover pages also depict blueprints of the duplex by the architect “Mouse,” which has nothing to do with the story. The book would work fine for lapsitting, but not for a story time or even to read to a group of children. Since the book is a little more expensive than most picture books, I would not urge libraries to buy it.

Lamb, Albert. Tell Me the Day Backwards. Il. David McPhail. Candlewick Press, 2011, unpgd. Ages 2-6. ISBN9780763650551 $15.99 P8 Q9
A momma bear is tucking her baby bear into bed and they play a game of “tell me the day backwards.” They describe a delightful day, except for the swarm of bees which resulted in baby bear’s jump into a deep pool and encountering a scary fish. Before long they are at the point where baby bear got out of bed in the morning. This is a very sweet, short story with just enough excitement for toddlers. David McPhail’s pen and ink and watercolors are dreamy and comforting. This would be a great book for story time or for bedtime. The text is extra large, which makes it great for grandparents, but also for pointing out words to emerging readers. Repetitive phrases and fairly simple words make it useful for a beginning reader. This is a winner all around.

Willis, Jeanne. The Bog Baby. Il. Gwen Millward. Schwartz and Wade Books, 2008, unpgd. Ages 3-7. ISBN 9780375861765 $16.99 P9 Q9
Narrated by two young sisters, this charming book tells the story of an unapproved visit to a pond in the woods, where the sisters find a magical blue creature—“a bog baby.” They bring him home and try to take care of him in secret, but eventually, he gets sick and unhappy. Fortunately, the mother finds out what happened and is unflappably understanding, but makes the girls return the bog baby to the pond. The light-hearted lesson here is clear: wild things should stay in the wild. The charming language in the narrative captures little girl talk: “Long ago, when we were little, me and Chrissy did something bad. We said we were going to Annie’s house to play, but we didn’t.” The illustrations are just beautiful and fanciful, capturing an early spring day with wild flowers and bugs galore. The only drawback to the story might be the lack of a reprimand from the parent on disobeying. The story, without any adult interpretation, may give children the idea that if they go to forbidden places, they will find something magical. But this is a beautiful book and belongs in every library!

Guest, Elissa Haden. Harriet’s Had Enough! Il. Paul Meisel. Candlewick Press, 2009, unpgd. Ages 3-6. ISBN 9780763634544 $15.99 P8 Q8
Harriet and her mother have a little tiff over picking up toys, and Harriet decides to move out. Anyone who has been around little kids will love the perfect characterization of a small child’s sudden fury when asked to do something she doesn’t want to do. “You need to cool down,” says the mother. “YOU need to cool down,” retorts Harriet. But the love and understanding that the adult raccoons (Oh, by the way, Harriet is a raccoon!) show the child make it a fun, comforting story for both child and adult. The adults gently remind Harriet, that they, too, have messes that they have to clean up and it is just part of life. The illustrations are charming and colorful and large enough to display in front of a group. The cover is enticing, as the illustrator perfectly captures a stubborn, angry look on the face of a raccoon girl!

Book Reviews P.D. Oceanlake
April Pulley Sayre. Pictures by Jackie Urbanovic. If Your’re Hoppy. Greenwillow Books, Harper Collins, $16.99. 2011. 978-0-06-156634-9. Gr. K – 2. P. 8. Q. 8
If you’re hoppy and you know it you’re a frog or a ?. If you’re sloppy and you know it you’re a hog or a ?. If your growly and you know it you’re a dog or a ?. If you’re flappy and you know it you’re a bird or a ?. If you’re slimy and scaly and mean, you’re a? oh never mind, BUT if you’re….. Wonderful read aloud allowing the students to move with the how to show it parts invites them to be part of the story. I think this will be a very popular book.

Tammi Sauer. Illustrated by Jeff Mack. Mr. Duck Means Business. Simon & Schuster Books. $15.99. 2011. 978-1-4169-8522-8. Gr. K – 3. P.9, Q.9.
Duck lived by himself at the pond and followed a very tight and peaceful schedule, day after day, week after week, year after year, until one hot summer day pig followed by cow, goat, sheep, hen and chicks decide to visit and play in the pond. Duck does not like this, he finally gets the point across that he means business and that they should all leave. Peace comes to the pond again. Day after day it is quiet until Duck comes up with a plan. He makes a new sign “Noise Welcome from 2:00 PM to 4:PM” especially with friends. Cute story with wonderful illustrations.

Liz Garton Scanlon, Illustrated by Arthur Howard. Noodle & Lou. Beach Lane Books. Simon & Schuster. $15.99. 2011. 978-1-4424-0288-1. Gr. K – 1 P. 8, Q. 8.
Noodle the worm is having a bad day. His best buddy Lou, the bird continues to tell him positive things until Noodle lifts his chin crawls out of his rut and gives his sorry old slither a jaunty new strut. His biggest surprise is seeing himself through his best buddy’s eyes.

Ellen Rosenthal. Illustrated by Marc Rosenthal. I Must Have Bobo. Atheneum Books. $14.99. 2011. 978-1-4424-0377-2. Gr. K – 1 P.8, Q. 8.
Willy woke up and Bobo (the sock monkey) is missing. Bobo helps with everything from figuring out if it is a bitey bug to holding hands when walking past that big dog. Earl (the cat) also likes Bobo. When Willy isn’t looking Earl sneaks away with Bobo. Neither Will nor Earl like to share Bobo. Used as a read aloud is could lead to a discussion about sharing.

Jeff Mack. Hippo and Rabbit in Three Short Tales. Scholastic 2011. $3.99. 978-0-545-27445-6 GR. K – 1. P. 8, Q. 8.
Hippo and Rabbit and friends, Rabbit tries to get Hippo to eat healthy, not be afraid of the swing and not be afraid to sleep in his own bed. Friends helping each other to work through things. An Early Level 1 chapter book with engaging characters and illustrations.

Ted Arnold. Buzz Boy and Fly Guy. Scholastic 2010. $5.99. 0-545-22214-5. Pg 28. Gr. 1 -3. P.8. Q.8.
Buzz has written a book, he reads it to his friend Fly Guy. They are super heroes in Buzz’s book. During the night pirates had taken their house to a dragon’s cave on an island far away. Being super hero’s it is not a problem for them to turn the dragon guard around to use his fire to scare the pirate guards away. They run into more pirates on the beach who take them captive, good thing they can fly. They return to the island, make friends with the dragon who takes them and their house back home, they ask the dragon to join their team. Written in graphic novel form this will be popular to Fly Guy fans.

Lexi Ryals. Teeny Tiny Animals. Scholastic 2011. $3.99. 978-0-545-24982-9. Gr. K- 2 P. 8, Q. 8. Tiny animals are featured with one page descriptions along with real pictures of each animal. Early
reader that could be used for beginning reports. Students like to read about animals and these cute little ones will engage them in reading.

Shana Corey. Illustrated by James Bernardin. Barack Obama Out of Many, One. Random House 2009. $3.99. 978-0-375-86339-4 Pgs 46. Gr. 1 – 4. P.8, Q. 8
Meet Barack Obama. This easy to ready book tells about his life, growing up, going to college and how he learned to think of the world as one America and how he would create change. It follows the steps it took to become the 44th President of the United States. This book would be good for early report writing.

Edwin Brit Wyckoff. The Cornflake King: W. K. Kellogg and His Amazing Cereal. Enslow 2011. 978-0-7660-3448-8. Pgs 32. Gr. 2 -4 P. 7, Q 8.
One of fourteen children Will Kellogg knew the meaning of hard work. Will’s parents were very generous people helping whomever they could however they could. As a teenager Will was responsible for an entire broom factory. As years went by Will went to business school to become an accountant, then worked for his brother who was a doctor. After a falling out with his brother Will went into business for himself, cornflakes cereal was born. Will became rich but he didn’t forget about helping people. Great story of how this cereal came to be and who Will Kellogg was. A timeline, words to know, and more facts about W.K. Kellogg and an index will help students use and enjoy this book.

Megan McDonald. Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Stink and the Ultimate Thumb-Wrestling Smackdown. Candlewick Press 2011. $12.99. 978-0-7636-4346-1. Pgs 128 Gr. 1 – 4. P. 8, Q. 8. Stink has a problem. He received an unsatisfactory in P.E. on his report card , so now mom and dad have told him that he needs a sport. After watching the sports channel on T.V. he decides on thumb wrestling. Mom and dad tell him that thumb wrestling is not a real sport but Stink does not want to give it up. His friend comes to the rescue when she introduces him to karate. He loves it. After his graduation to a higher belt for which he has practiced and practiced he is rewarded with an ultimate thumb wrestling party. The large type in this book makes it an easy and entertaining read. Student will want to read more adventures about Stink.

Brandon Mull. Beyonders: A World Without Heroes, Aladdin, New York, 2011 $19.99. 978-0-4169-9792-4. Pgs 454. Gr 5+. P. 9, Q. 9.
Twelve year old Jason has always wanted to feel that he was important and that his parents cared about him. His older siblings are very smart and want to follow in their father’s foot steps and become dentists. Both of their lives revolve around academics. Jason doesn’t want to be a dentist and spends all of his time pitching in baseball. While Volunteering at the zoo he hears music coming from the hippopotamus’s mouth, sending him ito a new, strange world, Lyrian. Lyrain’s time period is of the 1500’s, and isn’t lilke anything Jason has ever seen before. The people of Lyrian are afraid of the wizard Maldor that rules over the land. It is a very dangerous land. In his search to find a way home, Jason meets Rachel who was also mysteriously pulled to Lyrian from our world, earth. They’re both thrown into a quest to solve the word that will destroy Maldor, and hopefully allow them to go home. (This review provided by J. L. 5th Grade teacher, Oceanlake)

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by M.D.
Spillebeen, Geert, Translated by Terese Edelstien. Age 14: A Novel. Houghton Mifflin. New York. 2000. $16.00. ages middle and high chool. 216 pgs. 978-0-547-05342-4. P 7/ Q 8
The author lives in Belgium and this book was written after he saw a grave of an Irish boy with the inscription age 14 and he couldn’t figure out why someone that age would want to be in a war. He researched this Irish boy and found out where he came from and he found a file on him in London archives. The author’s own son was fourteen when he finished writing this novel. The story takes place in 1913 and is about Partrick Condon who leaves Ireland to fight in WWW I and dies at the tender age of fourteen. This story is based on a true story and Patrick was the youngest casualty in World War I. It is a very interesting story about war, peace and growing up.

Bolden, Tonya. Finding Family. Bloomsbury. New York. 2010 $15.99. ages middle and high school. 181 pgs. 978-1-59990-318-7. P7/ Q8
The photographs in the book are from the author’s private collection and are of black family members from the early 1900’s. The author and publisher made extensive efforts to identify who the people really are but the story is loosely based on the photos but the characters are imagined by the author. If a reader should recognize a photo the author would like to know and encourages the reader to write at the author’s web site. This is a story of a twelve year old girl Delana who is from Charleston, West Virginia around the turn of the twentieth century and is upset with her Aunt Tilley who has died because of all the lies she has told her about her relatives. I liked this story because being able to see some of the photographs helped to bring the story to light. This book is about a girl trying to connect to family after all of the misconceptions she has had about them are put to rest after her Aunt Tilley dies.

Martin, Ann M. Everything For a Dog. Feiwel and Friends. New York. 2009. $16.99. ages middle and high school. 211 pgs. 978-0-312-38651-1. P8/Q8
This story is written from the perspective of a dog and has parallel stories that are sometimes a little hard to keep straight. The stories are told by an orphaned dog (Bone) who loses several homes and (Sunny) a family pet. Sunny the dog helps Charlie the boy with his grief after the death of his brother. I had a hard time keeping the characters straight but I enjoyed the story of how the dogs and people relate and help each other heal.

Henry, April. Girl Stolen… please let me go, I won’t tell. Henry Holt and Company. New York. 2010. $ 16.99. Ages high school. 213 pgs. 978-0-8050-9005-5 p9/ Q9
I loved this book it was a very fast and interesting read. It takes place in the northwest – Portland area and is very relatable to young readers from Oregon. Cheyenne a young blind girl is accidently taken captive when an impulsive young man steals the car she is resting in while her step-mom is in the pharmacy getting her prescription. The story quickly turns into a kidnapping when Roy the father figures out that Cheyenne’s father is the CEO of Nike. This story has suspense but without being too graphic. I like the ending everyone gets what they deserve even the young man who accidentally took her captive.

June 2011 Reviews
C.S.- Siletz Public Library
Pelley, Kathleen. S.D. Schindler, ill. Magnus Maximus. A Marvelous Measurer. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2010. $16.99. ISBN 9780374347253. Unp. Ages 4-8.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book to my story group, and the children loved it! Magnus Maximus loves to measure things, and that becomes his job. He measures everything from time to temperature to size to stinkiness. His job is an obsession, and it isn’t until he breaks his glasses and can’t measure things that he learns to enjoy some basic things in life- the story ends with Magnus having supper outside while watching the sun set, the moon rise, and the stars shine. I like the basic lesson of this book- that you have to take time to enjoy the simple things. The illustrations are Victorian in style, and give a wonderful atmosphere to the story. P9Q9

Children’s Non-Fiction
Ruurs, Margriet. My School in the Rain Forest: How Children Attend School Around the World. Boyds Mill Press, 2009. $17.95. ISBN 9781590786017. 31 pgs. Ages 4-8.
This book introduces us to the wide variety of schooling around the world. The author chose 13 different types of schools in 13 different countries, ranging from home schooling in Oregon, to a floating school in Cambodia, to boarding school in a Scottish castle, to a jungle school in India. School children will be fascinated to compare their school experiences with those described in the book. Although Ruurs looks at some sad situations (a school destroyed in Afghanistan), the tone is cheerful and focuses on the widespread desire to learn and receive an education. P8Q9

Harley, Avis. Deborah Noyes, ill. African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways. Candlewick Press, 2009. $17.99. ISBN 9780763636210. Unp. Ages 9-12.
This fun book of acrostics (written lines with letters forming a new word) features African animals. The poetry is fun and original, and the photos are wonderful. There is an acrostic at the beginning describing this kind of word play (it spells Word In Edgeways), and a section at the end with more information about the animals and a page describing the photographer’s experience in getting the pictures. I really enjoyed the book, and I think it would be a wonderful addition to a classroom that is learning about concrete poetry or studying animals. P8Q9

Juvenile Novels
Smelcer, John. The Great Death. Henry Holt and Company, 2009. $16.99. ISBN 9780805081008. 166 pgs. Ages 10 and up.
I really enjoyed this story, which is based on true events in Alaska around 1920. Plague hit the region and decimated the native population- around 2/3 of all native people died at that time. The story follows the difficult journey of two sisters who, after burying their parents, leave their village (everyone but the girls is dead) to find living people. Their story is really touching, inspiring, and a bit gruesome at times. I think middle grade kids will enjoy reading this touching adventure. P8Q8

Juvenile Non-Fiction
Twist, Clint. Marco Polo: History’s Great Adventurer. Templar Books, 2011. $19.99. ISBN 9780763652869. Unp. Ages 9-13.
This beautifully illustrated book takes readers along on the voyages of Marco Polo. There’s a lot of fascinating information here and it is presented through booklets, foldouts, maps and excerpts from The Travels of Marco Polo. I think young readers will find this book very interesting. It would be useful in a history class- teachers would need to remind students how to take care of this kind of book. The loose bits could easily be torn or lost. Nevertheless, I would recommend it both for school and public libraries. P9Q9

Ryland, Cynthia. Carson Ellis, ill. The Beautiful Stories of Life: Six Greek Myths, Retold. Harcourt, 2009. $16.00. ISBN 9780152061845. 71 pgs. Ages 9-12.
Cynthia Ryland retells six Greek myths- the stories of Pandora, Persephone, Orpheus, Pygmalion, Narcissus, and Psyche. She uses simple language that won’t intimidate someone new to mythology, and the beautiful black and white illustrations are very appealing. This book will interest older children, some teens, and adults as well. P8Q9

Young Adult Fiction
Got, Hiromi. Jillian Tamaki, ill. Half World. Viking, 2009. $16.99. ISBN 9780670012206. 221 pgs. Grades 7+.
This fantasy novel was really interesting- it takes us to the “Half World” where souls are supposed to go after leaving the “Realm of the Flesh” and before entering the “Realm of the Spirit”. Something has gone wrong and the souls there aren’t able to move on. This is a dark an horrible place- there are lots of references to the art of Escher and Hieronymus Bosch, if that gives you a visual impression. People suffer terribly there, but since they’re already dead, they can’t die- they are just recreated and have to suffer the same awful tortures again and again. Our heroine is Melanie, an awkward, chubby girl who shows herself to be very strong in the end. There is a prophecy, a magical jade rat, sacrifices to be made, etc. I found the story a little confusing at times, but the atmosphere carried me right along anyway. I think this book will be popular with teens who like manga and fantasy. P9Q8

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by N.W
Lyon, George Ella. All the Water in the World. Il. Katherine Tillotson. 2011. unp. Atheneum, $15.99. 9978-1-4169-7130-6. Ages 3-6:
Although the water cycle may be taught in many ways, none would be as beautiful as this one, showing the steps through free verse filled with delicious sounds and great swirls of color. The energy of water comes through the vibrantly-colored illustrations of paint and paper collage amidst the words that flow across and down the pages. The tension builds when a child watches with the animals on brown- and cream-colored backgrounds to see if the approaching rain cloud will save them. The passion of the books creators for their subject comes through in grand movement. P9Q10

Picture Books
McGuirk, Leslie. If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet. 2011. unp. Tricycle, $15.99. 978-1-58246-370-5. Ages 3-7:
Years of rock-hunting on the Florida beach led to this imaginative alphabet book that uses these objects for both the letters and the objects described. The spacious light and dark backgrounds make the rocks and the objects used with them (for example, the nest for the “bird”) pop out. My favorite is the host of ghosts for “G.” Children of all ages will delight in seeing this found art and creating their own “alphabets.” This would be a great accompaniment to Kjell Sandval’s The Butterfly Alphabet. P9Q9

Schoonmaker, Elizabeth. Square Cat. Aladdin, $14.99. 978-1-4424-0619-3. Ages 3-6:
The feeling of isolation is a common theme for picture books; this book treats the subject superbly. Square Eula mourns her life in a world of round cats until round cat friends, Patsy and Maude, try to help her, first with a makeover before they put themselves in square boxes to show Eula comradeship. Ink and soft watercolor illustrations using simple square and round shapes with changes in the subtle facial expressions personalize the felines as the emotions change from depressed through dubious to delighted; minimal text matches the simplicity of the illustrations. Lots of circles and squares for the young reader to identify add to the fun reading in this debut picture book from Schoonmaker. P9Q9

Graphic Narratives
Gulledge, Laura Lee. Page by Paige. 2011. p. Amulet, $9.95. 978-0-8109-9722-6. Ages 10-14: Introverted Paige Turner suffers from the change in residence with her family from slow-moving Charlottesville, VA to bustling Brooklyn, NY, and she tries to follow her grandmother’s rule book that begins with “Buy a sketchbook and draw a few pages each week.” Through the next eight months she follows the nine rules, exploring such questions as how to make friends, how to trust people, and how to be open with everyone, including her mother. Gulledge shows a masterful ability in translating strong emotions into visuals that resonate with readers as Paige muses about her thoughts. Don’t judge this book by the cover: the magnificent black-and-white drawings are far superior to the garish colors found there. P8Q8

Holm, Jennifer L. & Matthew Holm. Babymouse: Mad Scientist. 2011. 96p. Random House, $6.99. 978-0-375-86574-9. Ages 6-8:
In the fourteenth book in this series, the quirky Babymouse introduces her readers to the new series Squish, an equally quirky new hero. Her focus is the science fair in which she competes, using her friendship with the talking amoeba to wow the judges. P9Q9

Torres, Alissa. American Widow. Art by Sungyoon Choi. 2008. 210p. Villard, $22.00. 978-0-345-50069-4. Ages 14+:
The confusion, shock, and pain which the author suffers in the aftermath of 9/11 and her husband’s death are blended with memories of her growing relationship, courtship, and marriage with Eddie, a Colombian stock broker who jumped to his death from the World Trade Center on that tragic day in 2001. From high hopes for the future as Eddie starts his dream job to the despair as Alissa searches for his body, the book delineates one person’s journey through the ensuing storm of politics. Pregnant with their first child, Torres has little strength to fight the bureaucracy standing between her and what she needs to survive. Angry, bitter, hopeful, striving, this widow shows a highly personal view of an event that has had never-ending consequences. Choi’s simple black, white, and light blue drawings aid in showing ordinary situations piled on top of each other and then toppled by Torres’ misery.

Goodman, Alison. Eona: Dragoneye Reborn. 2011. 638p. Viking, $19.99. 978-0-670-06311-6. Ages 13-16:
In Eon, a girl masquerading as a boy is revealed as the first female Dragoneye in centuries. Facing her destiny and forced to flee the false Emperor Sethon to find the true ruler, Kygo, she is the answer to saving the kingdom. That is her role in Eona, an epic filled with cruelty, murder, and love. As Eon fights to restore Kygo to the throne, she discovers that she has fallen in love, but as a commoner, she has no rights. The fantastical adventure, Asian in tone, is filled with magic and deception as Eon must find the black folio and keep Kygo from losing the magic pearl sewn on his throat. The fast-moving plot is accompanied by well-developed characters and rich descriptions that embroil the reader in all the battles—both emotional and physical—surrounding Eon. P7Q9

Holm, Jennifer L. The Trouble with May Amelia. 2011. 204p. Atheneum, $15.99. 978-1-41y9-1373-3. Ages 9-12:
A decade ago, Holm introduced the Finnish tomboy with seven brothers and a great penchant for getting into trouble as she describes her home along the Nasel River in southwestern Washington state. May Amelia has not aged since then; it’s still 1900. But the baby sister she wanted so badly has died, and May Amelia has trouble with her father because he thinks that she is a worthless girl. Her narration is filled with colloquial language and capital letters showing what’s important to her. The plot is a combination of humorous everyday activities and the grim events that push her to develop sisu, the “guts” to cope with disasters, especially when her Pappa loses his farm to snake oil salesman and blames May Amelia. Warm, witty, honest—this is a great read-aloud from a three-time Newbery Honor winner. P7Q9

Klimo, Kate. The Dragon in the Volcano. [Dragon Keepers #4]. 2011. 231p. Random House, $15.99. 978-0-375-86692-0. Ages 8-11:
The dragon born from a thunder egg in Book 1 of this charming series and threatened by St. George the Dragon Hunter is now headed toward puberty and is still being threatened—this time by a spell-induced crush on Jaspar, an older bronze dragon. Jesse and Daisy, the two young “keepers” of Emmy, who can change from a dragon to a sheep dog, once again need to rescue their pet in this boy-girl adventure that includes a trail of socks, an angry Fire Queen, a jealous and vicious dragon girlfriend, a volcano, St. George’s escape—the list goes on and on. Sometimes their rescues are too easy and the person/witch temporarily responsible for Jesse and Daisy too understanding, but it’s a great plot-driven read for young people and the characters are as delightful as ever. P8Q7

Milford, Kate. The Boneshaker. Il. Andrea Offermann. 2011. 372p. Clarion, $17.00. 978-0-547-24187-6. Ages 12-15:
The Devil and a traveling medicine show that he controls change Natalie Minks’ life the summer of 1913 when they arrive in her small Missouri town. The bright 13-year-old has always loved mechanical devices and learned lots about them from her mechanic father. There is still the remodeled bicycle that she can’t ride, however, and the automata at the fair. Although she has been taught that there are no such things as perpetual motion machines, these inventions defy that conventional knowledge. When the head of the traveling show promises to heal people with their magic nostrums, Natalie starts to see malignant forces in her mind and discovers that her mother is seriously ill, adding to the usual stresses of puberty. In her first novel, Milford shows herself as a magnificent storyteller as she delves into the unique magical characters and the horror that they bring to the town. Only Natalie can save the people from the evil, and she’s not sure she has the courage or the strength to do it. This cross between steampunk and gothic images of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, complete with delicately intricate black-and-white drawings, is a non-stop read.

Miller, Sarah. The Lost Crown. 2011. 412p. Atheneum, $17.99. 978-1-4169-8340-8. Ages 14-16:
In 1918, the five children of Nicholas II, deposed Russian tsar, and his wife Alexandra, were murdered with their parents and four people living with them in exile. Ages 13 to 19, the four daughters—Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia—narrate this fictionalized account of the last four years of their lives as they went from their life in a palace surrounded by servants to isolation under guard. The development of each personality accompanied with the tension of their growing awareness of their danger makes this a good read not only lovers of historical fiction but also those who enjoy seeing teenage girls mature under overwhelming odds. Adding to the rising fear are the pieces about Alexandra’s poor health, the hatred of the people for her spiritual advisor, Grigori Rasputin, and the hemophilia suffered by the younger brother in a time when there were no remedies for the disorder. Miller has done a superb job researching the imperial families’ lives through letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs of other people. The image of the family is entirely from the girls’ points of view, showing the father, who allowed bloody massacres, to be sympathetically pictured as mild-mannered and loving. The epilogue tells of the aftermath and the solution to the mystery of where two missing bodies were and who they were. P7Q9

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Incredibly Alice. 2011. 278p. Atheneum, $16.99. 978-1-4169-7553-3. Ages 14-16:
In the 26th book about Alice, a saga that began after her mother died when she was very young, Alice graduates from high school following a busy semester of acting in a play, finding a college, worrying about boyfriend Patrick who goes to school hundreds of miles away, and continues her work on the school newspaper. The characters have become almost stereotyped and the situations appear to represent different issues that Naylor thinks young people might face—pregnancy, sex, jealousy, confusion, etc. The primary characters are squeaky clean with no drugs, no drinking, no ditching school, etc., and the mystery of brother Lester’s new roommate fizzles out at the end. Perhaps it’s time for Alice the series to graduate. P7Q5

Peters, Julie Anne. She Loves You, She Loves You Not . . . 2011. 278p. Little, Brown, $17.99. 978-0-316-07874-0. Ages 15-17:
Dysfunctional families and the pain of coming out to the world are the focus of this novel about 17-year-old Alyssa force to move in with her young stripper/masseuse mother after being kicked out of her home with a homophobic father, weak stepmother, and loving younger brother. Peters, famous for her LGBT novels for young people, uses flashbacks to tell Alyssa’s relationship with Sarah and Sarah’s decision to date their gay friend at the same time that she tells about Alyssa’s job as a waitress, her mother’s traumatic issues, and her new friends, including her crush on the unreliable Finn. The characters stand out, especially Alyssa’s gruff, wheelchair-bound boss and the butch Finn, and the themes of wanting to live out and proud will resonate with young readers. Trust, rejection, hurt, betrayal, love—these issues are all addressed as Alyssa has to make decisions that are common to all youth, both straight and LGBTQ. P8Q8

Yang, Dori Jones. Daughter of Xanadu. 2011. 336p. Delacorte, $17.99. 978-0-385-73923-8. Ages 13-15:
The growing love between a girl in thirteenth-century Mongolia who wants to be the first woman to join the army and a foreigner who has traveled from Venice to explore the area results in sparks, not only between the two of them but also from the battle when the girl loses her beloved cousin to the opposing Burmans. Sixteen-year-old Emmajin, granddaughter of Khublai Khan, doesn’t want a husband until she meets 21-year-old Marco Polo, who has come with his father and uncle to the faraway land to begin trade with the Mongols. In turn, the Mongols want to take over all of Christendom—indeed all of the world—and use Emmajin as a spy to determine a strategy. As strong-willed Emmajin is permitted to train to soldier and then experiences the horrors of killing people, she begins to understand her father’s Buddhist perspective and words to persuade the aging Khan to work with Marco Polo rather than killing his people. Her shift in attitude is sometimes a bit too obvious and her growing control over the warrior Khan unrealistic, but this story about a the fictional historical figure provides excitement and understanding of different cultures. The glossary is helpful but not always necessary because terms are explained skillfully through the narrative. The novel begins slowly because the background of the story is in a prologue rather than an endnote where it would be more interesting. The novel is still a great read, and Emmajin’s desires ring true in today’s world. P8Q8

Book Review by Carol Bernardi
Bedford, Martyn, Flip, Wendy Lamb Books, New York, 2011, 261 pgs/,$16.99,  ISBN:9780385739900, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 9,
This is Martyn Bedford’s first novel and what a book it is. From the first page he captures your attention with a plot that has a young boy awakening in someone else’s body. Alex remembers the lights of a car coming towards him but that is all. Flip, is the name of the boy who should be in this body and not Alex. Alex starts to ask himself and others questions: How did he come to be another person’s body? Where is his real family? One of Alex’s questions is answered when a webs site on line discuss PE, Psychic Evacuation. He also finds a chat room where other people experienced the same thing that he has. A visit to his real family results with terrible consequences. Alex now knows what he must do to reunite his conscious with his body. This has never been accomplished by anyone who has experienced PE.

Bush, Penelope, Alice in time, Holiday House, New York, 2010, 196 pgs, $17.95, ISBN:9780823423293, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
Alice is a 14 year-old girl who life is tumbling of control. Living with her mother in a dump that they rent is just one of the things her mother is doing to her to ruin her life. Her father is planning on getting married and Sasha, a girl who use to be her best friend, now hates her guts. If she had a chance to change her life she would do so. An accident takes her back in time to the age of seven and she decides that she is going to change a few things. These changes result in better life when she returns to the present time.

Horowitz, Anthony, Scorpia Rising, Philomel Books, New York, 2011,402 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:9780399250576, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 8,
I hate to see that this is Alex Rider’s final mission and the end of one of my favorite characters. Anthony Horowitz has done it once again, captured my attention and taken me along on Alex’s last mission. 15 year-old Alex is on a mission full of suspense, plot twists and finally his retirement. Alex is now taller and filled out, has been given a break from all his missions and is back in England and in school. It is the man running across the top of a roof top that captures his attention and sends him diving towards his best friend. A sniper starts shooting into his class room and Alex is on the move again. Alex soon finds himself in Egypt working again as a spy for the British government. It is here that Alex must face danger and a death that he is not prepared for.

Kluger, Jeffrey, Freedom stone, Philolmel Books, New York, 2011, 316 pgs, $16.99, ISBN:9780399252143, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 9,
Set during the Civil War on a plantation in South Carolina, living as slaves are Lilly, her brother, Plato and her mother and father. The Confederate army has guaranteed any male slave who fights for them, will win their freedom and their families freedom at the end of the war. Lily’s father takes this challenge but is killed and his family is not given their freedom. He had a sack of gold that the confederacy believes that he has stolen so he has broken the terms of the agreement. Lillie is determined to prove that her father was no thief and to earn her family the freedom her father fought and died for. The only way she can do this is to runaway and find the farmer who they say her father stole from. It is the magic from a freedom stone given to her by an old slave that takes her back in time. Her she hopes to find her father and to ask the farmer for help clearing her father’s name.

Salisbury, Graham, Calvin Coconut: Hero of Hawaii, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers, Wendy Lamb Books, New York, 2011, 147 pgs., $12.99, ISBN:9780385739627, Gr., P, Q,
A huge tropical storm is on its way to Hawaii and is to hit at any time. Calvin Coconut is heading home from the store when the winds start to pick up and the rains come down harder than ever. The rain is so bad the river next to their house is rising over the banks and encroaching on to their house. Calvin and his friend Willy go out side the next day. Even though they were warned to stay away from the river they go there anyway and Willy is swept out to sea. It is Calvin who runs back to his house and launches his small boat to rescueWilly. The black and white drawings by Jacqueline Rogers help the reader to better visualize the terror of this story.

Stephens, John, The emerald atlas, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 417 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:9780375868702, Gr. 6 +, P 8, Q 9,
Forced to leave their parents at an early age Kate, Emma and Michael have spent the last 10 years moving from orphanage to orphanage, Now Kate, 14 years-old, Michael, 12 years-old and Emma, 11 years old are on their way to yet another orphanage which is said to be the last one that will take them. High in the mountains there is mysterious mansion that they are to live in what they don’t realize is that will take a journey into the past using a secret book that find in the mansion. This new series is packed full of magic, humor and a cast of characters who travel through time to save lost children and the world.

Vernon, Ursula, Dragonbreath: lair of the of the bat monster, Dial Books, New York, 2011, 202 pgs., $12.99, ISBN:9780803735255, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 7,
This is the 4th book in the “Dragonbreath” series by Ursula Vernon. The adventure starts when Danny and Wendal find a bat and they want more information about it. So off they go down to Mexico on a bus to find Danny’s Cousin Steve, who is doing bat research. The book is full of bat facts and lore adding to the appeal of the book. Students are sure to laugh at the antics of Danny and his best friend Wendal. When Wendal and Danny enter the creepy slimy dark cave and they hear the crunch of the bugs, that eat the bat poop, under their shoes, I found my self giggling. It is the also the huge giant bat that captures Danny and who walks on it’s wings as it is to heavy to fly that made me chuckle. The illustrations are in two colors, green and black, which are scattered thorough out the book, are in comic book panel form.

Picture Books
Watson, Jesse, Hope for Haiti, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, unp., 2010, $16.99, ISBN:9780399255472, Gr. 3+, P 7, Q 7,
We sat in front of television sets and saw the horror of the aftermath of Haiti’s disastrous earthquake. This picture book brings this terrible time back to the reader as they read this story of one boys survival. Though the young boy loses every thing in the earthquake, he also sees that there is hope when the men in the blue hats come to help. He also sees hope again in a simple kick ball made of rags that he uses as a soccer ball and forms a team with it. The realistic acrylic paintings show the devastation and the Haitians fight for survival.

Non Fiction
Barton, Chris, Can I see your I.D.? True stories of false identities, illustrated by Paul Hoppe, Dial Books, New York, 2011, 121 pgs.,$16.99, ISBN:9780803733107, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 9,
This book is a collection of 12 true stories of men and women who have assumed other peoples identities. There is a woman who convinces the people in England that she is royal princess who was kidnapped from India. Another story tells of a high school dropout who becomes a surgeon and a Jewish man who by joining the Hitler Youth survives World War II. Survival, greed and money were all the motivation that these people needed to carry out these hoaxes. The black and white illustrations by Paul Hoppe are in carton style for each person adds humor to a serious subject.

Bildner, Phil, The unforgettable season : the story of Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and record-setting summer of ‘41, illustrated by S.D. Schindler, G.P. Putnams’s Sons, New York, 2011, unp., $16.99, ISBN:9780399255014, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 9,
Two players on opposite teams neither well loved by their fans change all this during the baseball season of the summer of 1941. Joe DiMaggio, a member of the New York Giants and Ted Williams, a member of the Boston Red Sox both came to hold records that have yet to be broken. The records that they hold are Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak and Ted Williams earning a .406 hitting record. The colored illustrations by Schindler portray these two men’s careers for the summer of 1941.

Brown, Calef, Hallowilloween newfarioous silliness, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Boston, 2010, unp., $16.99, ISBN:9780547215402, Gr.3+, P 8, Q 8,
This collection of poems is sure to make the reader giggle as the read each of these whimsical silly poems. The paintings by Brown, are just as silly as his poem and help to express the mood of this favorite holiday. I can’t wait for Halloween to read this to my 4th grade classes.

De La Pena, Matt, A Nation’s hope: the story of boxing legend Joe Louis, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, Dial Books for Young Readers, 2011, unp., $17.99, ISBN:9780803431677, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 9,
In 1938 Joe Louis became the hope of America. Men, women and children all gathered their radios to hear the fight between and Joe Louis and Max Schmelling. Who would reign as the world champion
boxer, in America vs. Germany? Racial prejudice was not only found in America. Germany was stressing how the white Aryan race was superior to any one who was colored. De La Pena’s text has a rhythm to it that carries the reader through to the end. The colored illustrations in deep dark colors give life to Joe Louis not only as a young man but the fight too.

Manners mash-up: a goofy guide to good behavior, Dial Books for Young Readers, New York, 2011, unp, $16.99, ISBN:9780803734807, Gr. 2+, P 8, Q 9,
When I had a 4th grade teacher ask me if I had any books on manners I was at a loss, I had only one. Then I remembered that I had just read a new book on manners and was able to give her this book to share with her class. The results were laugher and comments that changed some student’s behavior in during recess, lunch line, on the bus and in her room. I knew that that I then that I had to make this book part of my library collection. Each of the locations where good manners are needed is illustrated by a different artist. Some of the locations are the school bus by Bob Shea, the cafeteria by Lyn Munsinger, the playground by LeUyen Pham. There are a total of 14 different who use animals and children in different situations to demonstrate good manners. The illustrations are zany, crazy and I know that made a 4th grade class enjoy a lesson that could have been really boring.

Reid, Margarette, Lots and lots of coins, illustrated by True Kelley, Dutton Children’s Books, New York, 2011, unp., $16.99, ISBN:9780525478799, Gr. 3+, P 7, Q 7,
As a young girl my two older brothers started a coin collection and soon I too was starting one of my own. The only problem with my collection was that I had a tendency to spend it. What a delight to find a book about coin collecting, the history of coins and the different currency that people had. These are just a few of the topics that I found while reading this book. Through out the book mixed media art, which is bright and colorful, shares the page with fact boxes, speech bubbles and photographs. If this book would been available for me, maybe my coin collection would have grown instead of eventually disappearing.

September 2011 Reviews
L.R. for Siletz Library
Teen Books
Rinaldi, Ann. The Family Greene. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. 250 pgs. Ages 12-16. ISBN9780547260679 $17.00 P4 Q5
This historical novel has an odd format. The first 11 chapters deal with the life of a girl named Catharine Littlefield in New England in the 1760’s and ‘70s. At the age of ten, she is sent to live with her married aunt, whom she soon learns, is rumored to have had a “romance” with Ben Franklin. The girl becomes obsessed with this rumor and confronts the aunt with the tale. Her aunt denies it, but tells (and teaches) the girl that a woman must learn how to flirt as that is the only way to have power. Catharine grows up and flirts with vigor, even though she is married to a powerful soldier of the Revolutionary Army.
The book then switches to the story of Catharine’s seven year-old daughter, who observes her mother kissing her tutor and thus begins a building suspicion of her mother’s infidelity. It strikes one as odd that a child growing up in the late 1770’s would have any idea what an “affair” is, or would worry about it for two decades. The reader does learn that a married woman does not have power over her money or even, her children, but this seems like an odd tale to bring home that lesson. The mother does not seem to flirt with men to better her position, in fact, does not flirt with, and marry, men who can “better” her position. She also goes through stages where she is very punishing and unkind to her children. Readers won’t find any characters in the book that are very sympathetic, and thus, it is hard to really care what happens to them. There are better stories of the Revolutionary War period for young teens to read and learn from.

Hall, Teri. The Line. Dial Books, 2010. 219 pgs. Ages 13-18. ISBN 9780803734661 $16.99 P7 Q7
This is Teri Hall’s first book and even though I am not a science fiction fan, I look forward to reading her next installment which comes out in September. The Line has a futuristic theme, in which a teenage girl lives on a rural property close to what everyone knows is an invisible, but tangible, border next to “Away.” “Away” looks just like her home, but carries a sinister reputation as a place where fantastical animals and otherworldly people live. Of course, being a teenager, she is curious and eventually manages to make a crossing which is a highly punishable offense with the government. The government in her world is highly restrictive, manipulating and punishing. People are taken away to work in labor camps for undisclosed reasons. Hall manages to convey the fear that the adults feel of their own government, and the teen’s creeping realization that things may not be as everyone pretends. The author also captures the love between the mother and teen and fairly explores the mother’s need to protect her only child from sinister forces. Teens of all ages will enjoy this tale.

Dixon, Heather. Entwined. HarperCollins Publishers, 2011. 472 pgs. , Ages 9-17. ISBN 9780062001030 $17.99 P6 Q8
Some books, like Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables, were just meant to be read aloud. This is one of those books and could be read to almost any age. But the audience is a little more restricted, as this is an expanded version of the fairytale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” It includes magic, descriptions of beautiful enchanted places, a villain who progresses from a charming escort to a chilling fiend and humorous descriptions of the suitors who try to guess where the princesses dance every night. It even has action and danger as the oldest princess jumps on horses and rides out in snowstorms, and fights the villain to save the king’s life. This book isn’t for everyone, but those who love fairytales and magic will love it. The cover, with its depiction of a girl in a voluminous ball gown and shiny silver leaves, accurately hints at the story.

Juvenile Books
Paulsen, Gary. Liar, Liar. Random House Children’s Books, 2011. 120 Pgs., Ages 11-15. ISBN 9780385740012 $12.99 P8 Q8
It seems that it would be hard to create a character who is a 14 year old boy and a compulsive liar and make him loveable, but Gary Paulsen has mastered it. Kevin admits that he lies about everything to make his life easier, but when he lies so he can have the time and opportunity to show a girl at school that he would make the best boyfriend ever, he gets into big trouble. He finally realizes what a mess he has made, and goes about rectifying the matter in a very grown-up way. This is the only problem with the book. It is hard to imagine a 14 year old boy writing out apologies and proceeding to follow through on all his broken promises to everyone he has hurt, without any adult advice. But if this book can illustrate how lies can hurt and what to do about it, it belongs in every library. In the very touching ending, the boy is now free to focus on showing the girl what a great guy he is. The reader suspects that the girl has already noticed! The cover, in bright attention-getting colors will interest young teens.

Mone, Gregory. Fish. Scholastic Press, 2010. 241 pgs. Ages 10-13. ISBN 9780545116329 $16.99 P7 Q8
Even though the cover for this juvenile adventure story is attractive, I don’t think it conveys much about the story. Hence, young readers may not pick it up and that is a shame, because it is a good yarn. “Fish” is a young Irish farm boy who ends up being on a pirate ship because the family horse died and he needs to send money home. His nickname is Fish because he finds out that he is a natural swimmer and thus, becomes handy to have on a pirate ship. He is a good-hearted, honest and nonviolent lad and uses his intelligence to defeat evil without seriously hurting or killing anyone. The characters in the book are all well fleshed out and interesting. It incorporates light humor and has the added attraction of a treasure hunt woven into the plot. This is the author’s first children’s book. Look for more by this author!

Picture Books
Rave, Friederike. Outfoxing the Fox. NorthSouth, 2010. unpgd. Ages 3-6. ISBN 9780735822955 $16.95 P9 Q9
This is one of those delightful picture books where the reader just drinks in the illustrations. A little fox dreams of making chicken fricassee for dinner and goes to the hen house to “demand a chicken.” The crafty chickens invite him in to discuss the matter, and all pretend to be sick. They convince him to come back later, but they are always still sick. By the time he catches on to the ruse, they have packed their eggs and suitcases and left for a tropical vacation! This is an egg-cellent lapsitter book, as there are lots of little details in the illustrations that are fun to discover. The characters are quite lovable and no one suffers except for the hunter who misses his sausage sandwich! Buy this book for your library!

C.S.- Siletz Public Library
Wilson, Karma. Jim McMullan, ill. Hogwash! Little, Brown, and Company, 2011. $16.99. ISBN9780316988407. Unp. Ages 3-6.
This is a cute rhyming story about a farmer who wants to give his pigs a bath. And of course, they aren’t interested. He tries many ways to trick them into a bath, and finally ends up in the mud himself, at which point he decides playing in the mud is fun! He never tries to bathe them again, but instead goes out to the pig sty each day for a mud bath of his own. The watercolor illustrations are lively and fun and I expect story groups to enjoy this book a lot. P9Q8.

Juvenile Fiction
Baker, E.D. A Prince Among Frogs: Book Eight in the Tales of the Frog Princess. Bloomsbury, 2010. $16.99. ISBN 9781599903491. 211 pgs. Ages 8-12.
This is the finale of the Tales of the Frog Princess series. Princess Millie getting ready to get married to Audun, but Millie’s baby brother Felix is kidnapped. Millie and Audun have a series of adventures while trying to rescue Felix. There are a lot of typical fairy-tale events in the book- shape shifting into dragons, various experiments with magic, interactions with strange creatures, etc. make it a fun read. I haven’t read the previous books, and this made getting into the story a bit hard, but even so I think that kids who like a good fairy tale will enjoy this light book. P7Q7

Young Adult Fiction
Diamand, Emily. Raiders’ Ransom. Chicken House, 2009. $17.99. ISBN 9780545142977. 334 pgs. Ages 12 and up.
This is a fast-paced adventure set in the 23rd century, after an environmental disaster (related to climate change) called the Collapse leaves much of England underwater. There is a clash between different cultures- the English fisherpeople who live in a pre-industrial way, the people from Greater Scotland who still use some forms of computer technology (the English are superstitious about this, believing technology is wicked and caused the Collapse), and pirate groups who raid coastal villages. The fishergirl Lilly is the main character, along with her seacat. She is thrown together with an aristocratic kidnap victim called Lexy, and Zeph, a raider boy. It took me a while to get the feeling for who was narrating the story at times; but all in all, I found it a fun and exciting read. There will be a sequel… P8Q8

Jones Yang, Doris. Daughter of Xanadu. Delacorte Press, 2011. $17.99. ISBN 9780385739238. 336 pgs. Ages 13 and up.
This novel, set in the world of the Mongols, follows the story of the Princess Emmajin, granddaughter of the Great Khan Khubilai. She is extremely head-strong and is determined to become a great warrior, despite what her society and family expect of her. She is
asked to spend time with Marco Polo and find out what his countries plans are regarding Asia. As she spends more time with Marco, Emmajin begins to care for him, though he doesn’t excel at any of the three “manly arts”, horse racing, archery, or wrestling. I enjoyed this novel because of the high emotions- excitement, terror of battle, guilt over betrayal of a friend, love, and developing self-awareness. The setting is of course very foreign, but teens who love adventure will enjoy this book. P9Q8

Kraus, Daniel. Rotters. Delacorte Press, 2011. $16.99. ISBN 9780385738576. 448 pgs. Ages 16 and up??.
I found this novel extremely difficult. It is the dark, violent, grueling story of Joey Crouch whose mother dies in an accident- he then moves from Chicago to rural Iowa to live with his very strange, solitary father. After a while we learn that his father is a grave-robber, and that there is a small very secretive community of these people in the US, each covering their particular territory and following a strict set of “rules” of the trade. Joey is drawn into this life and begins to learn and appreciate the skills and culture of this group of people, all the while discovering more about the relationship between his father and mother and what drove them apart. It is well written, but so extremely gruesome and graphic that I put it down many times, deciding that I couldn’t finish it. But then I was drawn back to find out what was going to happen. I’m not sure what audience I would recommend this book for. Sensitive teens will definitely be upset by it, but they may feel like I did and continue anyway. Daniel Kraus has definite talent, and there may well be people who find the book intriguing. P5Q

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by N.W.
Blumenthal, Karen. Bootleg: Murder Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition. 2011. 154p. Roaring Brook, $18.99. (978-1-59643-449-3). Ages 10-14:
For 13 years during one of the wildest decades of American history, selling and manufacturing alcohol was illegal. The Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into affect in early 1920, just before the amendment allowing women to vote was ratified. The law resulted in a period of lawlessness and the increase in the number of gangsters. Photos and other illustrations mix with the text to show the events that led up to the amendment, including Carrie Nation’s destroying bars with her axe, the disaster of its execution, and the resulting repeal. Many of the same people who, with the best of intentions, petitioned to outlaw drinking came out in favor of Prohibition’s repeal, the only Constitutional amendment ever to be overturned. This book provides a different look at the “Roaring Twenties.” P5Q8

Blumenthal, Karen. Mr*Sam: How Sam Walton Built Wal-Mart and Became America’s Richest Man. 2011. 186p. Viking, $17.99. (978-0-670-01177-3). Ages 8-12:
Although most young people have no idea who Sam Walton is, he has played a huge part in their culture. As he grew wealthier and wealthier, small businesses disappeared from small towns, and employees made less money because he erased even larger retail companies. Blumenthal tells about Walton’s drive to win, beating everyone else out no matter what he did, and about his stinginess both in business and at home. Without bias, she explains the problems that some people see with the huge company and the controversies that it has caused because of Walton’s negative attitude toward promoting women and minorities. The muddy illustrations won’t create a lot of excitement in the book, but it does show the experiences of a man who cared only about acquiring more and more money. P5Q7

Christensen, Bonnie. Fabulous! A Portrait of Andy Warhol. 2011. unp. Christy Ottaviano Books/Holt, $16.99. (978-0-8050-8753-7). Ages 5-8:
As a child during the 1930s, the famous artist was often sick and alone. Even when he was well, he was bullied and ridiculed, often by his own family. His comfort came from drawing, an experience that he made into a fortune when he used his art to depict commercial items after a time of poverty. Each two-page spread in the book represents a chapter of Warhol’s life on his way to becoming the Prince of Pop Art who even met the Pope. Christensen gives an intimate view of a man who lived with his mother most of his life and whose paintings of dollar bills and Campbell’s Soup cans was misunderstood. Young readers will identify with the pain of growing up and delight in the ways that Warhol overcame his problems such as buying a wig when he became bald at an early age. P7Q8

Jackson, Donna M. What’s So Funny? Making Sense of Humor. Il. Ted Stearn. 2011. 64p. Viking, $16.99. (978-0-670-01244-2). Ages 8-11:
Author E.B. White once said, “Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.” In this case, the frog has died. The author attempts to explain what makes something funny, why people think something is funny, how to tell a joke, etc. Some of the explanations are slapstick; others are more aimed at adults. The drawings are all adult-centered. One review source suggested this would make a good book for a nonfiction book report. Another suggestion is to give this to a person with Asperger Syndrome for assistance in understanding the subject. P5Q6

Krull, Kathleen. Big Wig: A Little History of Hair. Il. Peter Malone. 2011. unp. Levine/Scholastic, $18.99. (978-0-439-67640-3). Ages 7-10:
This author has returned with more satirical comments about history, this time about hair. Queens wore fake beards in ancient Egypt as well as kings, Queen Elizabeth had more than 80 red wigs, hair was used in medicine during the Incan Empire, etc. From the dawn of history to present time (including the funny hairstyles during the past half-century), this hair lore will entertain and educate. A seven-page timeline at the end of the book can be used to connect these facts with other historical information during the different time periods. P8Q8

Sandler, Martin W. Kennedy through the Lens: How Photography and Television Revealed and shaped an Extraordinary Leader. 2011. 96p. Bloomsbury, $19.99. (978-0-8027-2160-0). Ages 8-12:
Although young readers are mostly unfamiliar with the nation’s youngest president, a handsome charismatic man with a beautiful wife, many adults will experience this book with a great sense of nostalgia. Despite a somewhat cluttered format, Sandler has pulled together magical photographs of John F. Kennedy throughout his short life before he died in 1963, his family, and others who were connected with him through events similar to his experiences. The age of lighter cameras, the growing popularity of television, and Kennedy’s willingness to have candid photos taken of him in the White House have allowed this amazing view of him growing up with eight siblings, winning the presidency through his tv appearance, and bringing his children into the White House with him. Each two-page spread contains a full-page photograph, a quote from Kennedy, and a page of text with a small insert of an image, either photo or document. The naturalness of the White House photos come from the ability of Cecil Stoughton, the first official White House photographer, to continually snap shots, usually communicating the mood with great accuracy. It is to Sandler’s credit that he points out negative issues surrounding Kennedy such as his mistakes with the Bay of Pigs and his sexual affairs. The book finishes with lists of places to visit, books and websites, and sources for the material in the book. Fifty years ago, the young people of the United States forged ahead into helping people through Peace Corps and other service volunteer opportunities. This book relives that time of hope with an intimate perspective through both visuals and narrative. P7Q9

Watterson, Carol. An Edible Alphabet: 26 Reasons to Love the Farm. Il. Michela Sorrentino. 2011. unp. Tricycle, $16.99. (978-1-58246-421-3). Ages 4-7:
Each one- or two-page spread of this colorful, busy book contains a collection of plant, animal, and farm machinery lore with wordplay, for example “Eager Ewes” that do not like to be left alone and have an excellent sense of smell. The joyful view of farm life with a bonus on the acrylic/collage illustrations of hidden ladybug for fun searching. P8Q8

Dodd, Emma. Meow Said the Cow. 2011. unp. Levine/Scholastic, $16.99. (978-0-545-31861-7). Ages 3-7:
Poetry, animal sounds, and the whimsy of the wrong sounds coming out of farm animals provide the basis for this giggle-producing read-aloud. After the cat puts a spell on the animals because the rooster wakes him up from his wonderful dreams, all the animals make sounds belonging to another creature: the rooster squeaks, chickens oink, sheep bark, the mice moo, the sheepdog goes baaa, and the cat goes “cock-a-doodle-doodle-doo!” The animals force the cat to remove the spell. He flicks his tale, and all is normal—except the cat who has kept his rooster cry. Digital illustrations look like a combination of brightly watercolored collages to match the fun of the text. P9Q9

Picture Books
Gleeson, Libby. The Great Bear. Il. Armin Greder. 2011. unp. Candlewick, $16.95. (978-0-7636-5137-7). Ages 5-8:
The value of freedom and dignity is beautifully told through the spare narration and strong charcoals and pastels in this story of a dancing circus bear forced to live in a cold, hard cage. Allowed out only when she performs, she faces boisterous crowds who sometimes poke her with sticks and throw stones at her. Her escape from this cruelty comes one night when she refuses to move and then, after a mighty roar, climbs up a flagpole into the stars. The author, who dreamed this tale, says that it is “a story of inhumanity and the need to set oneself free.” The second half of the book, which allows the illustrations to tell the story’s conclusion without any words, comes to a mythic conclusion of Ursa Major—the Bear constellation. As Robyn Ewing said, “The Great Bear is thus a timeless reminder that we all need to be valued, treated with respect, and allowed to be who we are,” a wonderful lesson for all ages. P7Q9

LeFrak, Karen. Best in Show. Il. Andrew Day. 2011. unp. Bloomsbury, $16.99. (978-0-8027-2064-1). Ages 4-6:
Abby, a little girl, follows the training of standard poodle Gem from puppy to the big dog show where the trainer hurts himself and Abby shows Gem in the final round. The purpose of the book seems to be more a demonstration of how a puppy becomes best of show, but young readers will enjoy the thought of being as important as Abby becomes. The pencil and watercolor wash illustrations of the poodles as puppies do not convey the feeling of the breed: they seem to be closer to Labradors. P7Q7

Nivola, Claire A. Orani: My Father’s Village. 2011. unp. FSG, $16.99. (978-0374-5657-6). Ages 4-7:
Nivoli’s father was born into poverty in Orani, a tiny village of the island of Sardinia in the center of the Mediterranean. After anti-Semitism and fasicm forced his move to the United States in 1939, he chose to return later to take his wife and daughter. The author depicts the simple, yet active life of her father’s homeland with its red-tiled roofs, cobbled streets, relatives, food, and hills, finishing with a final street illustration of her home in New York. Beautiful visual perspective and vivid prose welcome readers into Nivola’s experiences with readers invited to find her, in a red plaid dress on almost every page. P8Q9

Yeh, Kat. The Magic Brush: A Story of Love, Family, and Chinese Characters. Il. Huy Voun Lee. 2011. unp. Bloomsbury, $16.99. (978-0-8027-2178-5). Ages 5-8:
This low-key story of a lonely young girl, Jasmine, and her grandfather, Agong, follows their relationship as he shows her “magic,” the calligraphic connection between the written characters and the objects that they represent. Through her transportation into another world, Jasmine encounters traditional cut-paper illustrations of a dragon, a fish, a horse, a friend (monkey), and other objects in nature. After Agong’s death, Jasmine returns to her sadness until her younger brother comes to her, and Jasmine shares her magic with him. The gentle tale is one of relationships, kindness, and recovery from grief. The clear illustrations of Chinese characters are found on both the objects and in the page corners with the English terms. A wonderful book to share with little ones before they explore the world of Chinese characters themselves. P9Q9

Graphic Narratives
Brosgol, Vera. Anya’s Ghost. 2011. 221p. First Second, $19.99. (978-1-59643-713-5). Ages 10-13: Anya is miserable as an immigrant who is ridiculed by her classmates and self-conscious about her body, but life gets worse after she falls into a well where she meets the ghost from the skeleton, a girl who fell in ninety years earlier. At first, Anya’s friendship with the ghost helps her cope with her problems, but the more she finds out about the ghost, the more she fears her. Heavy black-and-white drawings add to the spooky atmosphere of the book, and the facial features are magnificent. This debut offering from a Portland (OR) resident born in Moscow, Russia, gives promise for great graphic narratives in the future. P9Q9

Craddock, Erik. Night of the Living Dust Bunnies. [Stone Rabbit Series $6] 2011. 96p. Random House, $6.99. (978-0-375-86724-8). Ages 6-9:
A lamp activates the huge collection of dust bunnies in Stone Rabbit’s house, creatures that turn the Happy Glades’ citizens into monstrous dust bunnies. Another zany, fast-paced adventure from our hero and his two friends, Andy Wolf and Henri Tortoise. P8Q8

Deacon, Alexis. A Place to Call Home. Il. Viviane Schwartz. 2011. unp. Candlewick, $16.99. (978-0-7636-5360-6). Ages 4-7:
In this beginning graphic narrative for young ones, seven junkyard rodent-like babies leave their dark hole to search for a larger home. At first timid, they develop ways to imitate the safety of their old home as they cross a sea, climb a mountain, face a huge monster, and have a variety of other adventures until they reach the edge of the world. Little ones will laugh at the crew who think that the world is so large when people will think everything they do is on a small basis. Deep colors against black and pastel backgrounds in the cartoon panels, number from one to four on each page, add to the joy of the story. The teamwork that they demonstrate will also show the readers the importance of working together without being didactic, and the images show the world in a new way. P9Q9

Jablonski, Carla. Defiance: Resistance Book 2. Art by Leland Purvis. 2011. 124p. First Second, $16.99. (978-1-59643-292-5). Ages 10-13:
By the end of Resistance, the first book in this series, siblings Paul and Marie, who live in rural France during World War II, have watched forced deportations and seen a resistance member shot. Deciding that he must take a stand against the Nazis, 14-year-old Paul joins the French Resistance movement in Defiance, in danger of being killed. Colorful daylight drawings blend with the dark images of night as Paul and his sisters work to save the lives of those fighting the Nazis. The Author’s Note gives a brief description of Charles de Gaulle and his work with the Resistance Movement. P7Q8

Lagos, Alexander and Joseph Lagos. The Sons of Liberty 2: Death and Taxes. 2011. Random House, $18.99. 978-0-375-85671-6. (Also paperback). Ages 11-14:
In the first book of this series, set in Colonial America, runaway slaves Graham and Brody develop magical powers after the son of Benjamin Franklin subjects them to electrical experiments. In Death and Taxes, they are faced with the growing rebellion against the English on the streets of Philadelphia and try to decide which side to help. Lots of action from the superheroes blend with depictions of historical figures, such as Benjamin Franklin and his partner David Hall, to present a view of events leading up to the American Revolution. Of interest is the accurate depiction of Franklin’s originally supporting the Stamp Act, a little-taught fact. Teachers might enjoy having students examine the story to see its accuracy. P8Q8

O’Connor, George. Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory. [Olympians Series]. 2011. 76p. Neal Porter Books/First Second, $16.99. (978-1-50743-724-1). Ages 10-13:
Fourth in this series of graphic narratives about Greek gods, Hera describes her success in marrying Zeus when no other being could and Zeus’ son, Heracles (the Greek version of the Roman god Hercules), driven mad and the murderer of six sons because of Hera. Over half the book follows Heracles through his 12 labors performed to atone for his sins. The action is fast and the drawings show a variety of perspectives, but the dialog sometimes tries to be too cute, for example, when Hera saves Zeus from the Gigantomachy and then says, “The things I put up with…. Honestly, I almost broke a nail.” P7Q8

Roman, Dave. Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity. 2011. 185p. First Second, $9.99. (978-1-599643-620-6) Ages 9-12:
In this first of a series, Hakata Soy, a former space hero, tries to keep a low profile at his new school, the Astronaut Academy, but the most popular girl at the school hates him, and a robot doppelganger is trying to kill him. Despite the futuristic setting, readers will recognize their own classmates in the characters on the pages of this humorous black-and-white graphic novel. P8Q8

Santat, Dan. Sidekicks. 2011. 218p. Levine/Scholastic, $12.99. (978-0-439-29819-3). Ages 9-12: As Captain Amazing gets old, he needs a sidekick, and his four pets want to apply because he doesn’t spend enough time home with them. Bold bright acrylic cartoon illustrations show the robots out to destroy Metro City as arch villain Dr. Havoc returns. The other fight in town is among the dog, the hamster, the chameleon, and the cat as they try to use superpowers to outdo each other in their attempt to get a super family.

TenNapel, Doug. Bad Island. 2011. 212p. Graphix/Scholastic, $10.99. 978-0-545-31480-0. Ages 9-13:
A highly dysfunctional family of Mom and Dad with teenager Reese and his younger sister Janie set out on a boating trip with Dad hoping that they’ll be able to get along better. Being shipwrecked on a strange island just makes things worse, however, as creatures are hellbent on killing them because the family accidentally has possession of a disc necessary to destroy a good monster. Characters are well-drawn with wonderful varying expressions, the pacing of the adventure is well-done, and the humor of Pickles, Janie’s pet snake that she smuggled with her on the vacation is delightful. The plotting, however, seems highly episodic with different dangers just thrown in, one after the other. Bad Island does not begin to match the magic of Ghostopolis, but the resolution is satisfying. P8Q7

Brezenoff, Steve. Brooklyn Burning. 2011. 202p. Carolrhoda LAB, $17.95. 978-0-7613-7526-5. Ages 12-15:
Life on the streets is painful, but sometimes not as bad as living at home. Kid tells about finding a place to stay, developing relationships, falling in love, and coping with an ex-girlfriend while on the run mostly during one fateful summer. A fascinating piece of this book is that the reader never learns the gender of either Kid or Kid’s love although the interaction between Kid and parents shows that the teenager can no longer live at home because of a non-traditional gender identity. In showing Kid’s pain and loss, the author knows whereof he speaks. A remarkable novel from a small press. P8Q8

Grisham, John. Theodore Boone: The Abduction. 2011. 217p. Dutton, $16.99. (978-0-525-42557-1). Ages 10-13:
The 13-year-old wannabe lawyer is back, again giving free legal advice to friends, coping with lawyer parents, and getting help from past-lawyer, current ne’er-do-well Uncle Ike. The focus of this second book in the series following Kid Lawyer is solving the mystery of a friend who disappears from her bedroom in the middle of the night. Definitely for the younger set, the legal explanations are simply stated but sometimes slow down the action and dialog because they are pervasive. The one case in the book, that of saving a pet bird, doesn’t fit with the rest of the plot; it seems to be more to extend the number of pages. Also the cover doesn’t fit the action. The interaction between Theo and the adults creates a bit of sparkle, but the rest of the book lacks adventure and danger. Grisham fans will, however, enjoy the read. P7Q7

Wright, Bill. Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy. 2011. 219p. Simon & Schuster, $16.95. 978-1-4129-3996-2. Ages 12-15:
Life is hard for Carlos Duarte, not only because his mother has lost her job and his sister’s boyfriend physically abuses her but also because Carlos is gay and has a dream of being a famous makeup artist. Pacing and characterization are right on target as Carlos works toward getting a job at the FeatureFace counter in New York downtown Macy’s only to face the jealousy of the man who hires him. Add his crush on another boy who may or may not be gay and the discrimination he faces, and Carlos has a lot to overcome—which he works at with panache. A fun read about a teenager with lots of drive to succeed. P7Q8

Book Reviews by P.D.
Tom Lichenheld, Cloudette. Henry Holt. N.Y. 2011. ISBN 978-0-8050-8776-5. $16.99 Gr. K – 2 Cloudette is a small could in a big sky. She doesn’t mind being small it has its advantages, but Sometimes she would like to do something big and important too. Afer a big storm she is blown away from anything familiar, but makes new friends and figures out how to make it rain and finally does something big and important. This book has good illustrations. P. 8, Q.8.

Daniel Roode. Little Bea. Greenwillow Books. 2011. ISBN 978-0-06-199392-3, $12.99. Gr. K – 1 Follow little Bea (a bumble bee) as she spends her day helping and playing with friends. The text used many sound words. Bright and colorful illustrations throughout. P. 8, Q. 8

Jane Rae. The Dollhouse Fairy. Candlewick Press. 2009. ISBN 978-0-7636-4411-6. $16.99. Gr. K – 2
Rosy’s dad has made her the best dollhouse ever, it was Rosy’s favorite thing. Every Saturday Rosy and her father would make things for her dollhouse. One Saturday morning grandma is there, Rosy’s father had gotten ill in the night and was in the hospital. Rosy went to play with her dollhouse alone she found her dollhouse topsy-turvy and the little bed occupied by a fairy. The fairy had hurt her wing and wanted to stay in Rosy’s house for few days to let it heal. Rosy’s mother came home from the hospital to say that her father was better and would be home in a few days. Rosy and her friend Thistle played while her wing got better. The day that her father returned she took him to show him her new friend only to find the dollhouse in perfect order and the little fairy gone. P 9, Q.9

Dian Curtis Regan, illustrated by Paul Meisel. Barnyard Slam. Holiday House. 2009. ISBN 978-0-8234-1907-4. $16.95. K-2
Yo Mama Goose is hosting a poetry contest and can’t wait to share her piece but first the other barnyard animals will have their turn on the stage. Entrants include Charley Horse, Cow, Hog, Duck, Lamb and Turkey. All contestants recite their poetry and just as it is Goose’s turn House Mouse announces that Farmer and Son are on their way “act normal” Goose continues with her poem. When Farmer and Son get to the barn they wonder “Who ruffled Goose’s feathers?” Cute animal poems that will be enjoyed by all readers. P. 8, Q. 8.

Janet Reed Ahearn, Illustrated by Drazen Kozjan. Don’t Call Me Pruneface! Hyperion Books. 2010. ISBN 978-1-4231-1918-0. $16.99. Gr. K – 2.
Paulie is a good boy until Prudence moves in next door. Paulie thinks that she is a lunatic. She calls him names, has a mean cat and generally isn’t very nice. Paulie is going to give her one week to change his mind. Each day Paulie is nice to Prudence until it get to be too much and on day 7 when Paulie asks her not to call him names anymore she comes up with different ones and Paulie can take it no longer and calls her “Pruneface”, the name that he has come up with for her. Paulie feels bad about calling her a name but that night a note arrives asking him not to call her “Pruneface” Paulie sends one back asking not to be called the names she has been calling him. The next morning Prudence is nice and Paulie has a new friend. Nice illustrations in this book along with lessons about name calling. P. 9, Q. 9

Michael Townsend. Monkey & Elephant Worst Fight Ever! Random House 2011. ISBN 978-0-375-95717-8. $15.99. Gr. K – 2.
A misunderstanding snowballs into a revenge filled argument between friends Monkey and Elephant. This argument is causing many problems for the other island residents so they come up with a plan to bring the two friends back together. Things on the island do return to normal, well almost. Colorful illustrations and speech bubbles create this early graphic novel. P. 8, Q. 8.

Rebecca Janni. Illustrated By Lynne Avril. Every Cowgirl Needs a Horse. Penguin Group. 2010. ISBN 978-0-525-42164-1. $16.99. Gr. K – 2.
Nellie Sue is a cowgirl from the top of her head to the tips of her boots and all she needs now is a horse. She has asked for one for her birthday and just knows that her birthday wish will come true. When the big moment arrives Nellie is surprised by a beautiful pink bicycle that her father describes as he would a horse. Nellie isn’t sure about riding this horse but finds that it will be just fine to have a horse with a shiny silver coat and a bright pink saddle and a pale pink mane. This is a cute story that will appeal to all students who have always wanted a horse. P. 9, Q. 9.

Elise Primavera. Illustrated By Diane Goode. Louise the Big Cheese. Simon & Schuster 2009. ISBN 978-1-4424-2066-3. $6.999. Gr. 2 – 4.
Louise Cheese wants to be the “big cheese”. She wants a big room and fancy lipstick like her big sister. She wants to be a star on Broadway. The school play “Cinderella” is coming up, Louise just knows that she will be Cinderella but instead her best friend gets the part and Louise is cast as a mouse. Louise gets angry and decides not to speak to her friend again. The day of the show Louise thinks that she is coming down with something, she finally tells her parents that she didn’t get the part of Cinderella but she will be a mouse in the play. Louise’s sister put some of her Divine Diva lipstick on her just before they leave the house. During the grand finale Fern (Cinderella) forgets her lines, Louise is there to help her friend remember. Together they finish the play, the audience cheers and they take their bows friends once again. A fun little quiz finishes out this story. “Do you have what it takes to make it on Broadway”? The use of speech bubbles throughout give this story a comic book feel. P. 8, Q. 8

Brett Helquist. Bedtime for Bear. Harper 2011. ISBN 978-0-06-050206-5. $16.99. Gr. K – 2.
Bear’s two friends want him to come out and play one more time before he goes to sleep till spring. Bear says “it’s bedtime for bears”. The raccoons don’t give up and finally Bear comes out only to be hit with a snowball, which does not make him happy. He stumbles, falls and ends up landing covered in snow and laughing. The three friends play until they are tired. The next day the raccoons try to wake Bear to play but they will have to wait until spring. Great illustrations help tell this wonderful story. P.9, Q.9.

Iris Wewer. My Wild Sister and Me. North South. 2009. ISBN 978-0-7358-4003-4. $16.95. Gr. K – 2.
This is a story of an older sister playing with her little brother until she goes off for the day with a friend. When she gets home she finds that someone has taken her toothbrush so the dangerous leopard (sister) confronts the bunny (brother). They play chase until bedtime, brush their teeth together and “maybe” sister will play “catch the bunny” again tomorrow. The illustrations will bring a smile to the readers of this wonderful story of time spent together between brother and sister. P. 9, Q. 9.

Cecil Castellucci, Illustrated By. Julia Denos. Grandma’s Gloves. Candlewick Press. 2010. ISBN 978-0-7636-3168-0. $15.99. Gr. 1 – 3.
This is a story about the passing on of knowledge to make a timeless bond. Granddaughter learns gardening from her grandmother and when grandmother is no longer there granddaughter teaches her own mother all that she has learned. A caring story about loss and how a pair of gardening gloves will continue to care for plants. P.9, Q.9

Aurore Jesset. Ilustrated By Barbara Korthues. Loopy. North South 2008. ISBN 978-0-7358-2175-0. $16.95. Gr. K – 2.
A series of “what ifs” are thought of by a little girl after she has left her favorite toy Loopy at the doctor’s office. Mom says it is too late to go and get him, he will have to wait until tomorrow. Suddenly the doorbell rings, the doctor found Loopy and knew that she needed him so he brought him to her. Everything is good now that Loopy is home. Throughout this story readers will be reminded of the importance of a child’s favorite toy. P. 9, Q.9.

Diane Z. Shore & Jessica Alexander. Illustrated by Owen Smith. This Is The Game. Harper 2011. ISBN 978-0-06-055523-8. $16.99. Gr. 1 – 3.
A history of baseball written in lyrical verse accompanied by wonderful illustrations make this sotry very appealing. From pick-up games in alleys to the major leagues this story mentions Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, the Hall of Fame, All-Stars, and the coming together of all for this most favorite game. P. 9, Q. 9.

Steve Voake. Illustrated by Jessica Meserve. Daisy Dawson at the Beach. Candlewick Press. 2010. ISBN 978-0-7636-5306-4. $14.99. Gr. 2 – 4.
Black and while illustrations add to each page as you read this great story of a girl who talks to all animals. We meet Daisy on the last day of school as she walks home she tells all her animal friends along the way how she is off to the seashore on vacation the next day. When she gets to the beach she meets Rabsy and Raberta, two young rabbits. They want to go surfing with Daisy. Daisy visits the seagulls and dances with Pinchy the crab as she explores the tide pools. The rabbits arrive to go surfing. After some safety lessons the rabbits are tired and decide to wait until the next day to go
surfing. While Daisy and the rabbits are surfing the following day Rabsy falls off. While Daisy is rescuing him she hears a “help me”. Daisy goes back into the water to save a young dolphin that has gotten caught in an old fishing net. With the help of the crabs the dolphin is saved from the net. The dolphin helps Daisy as she again has to rescue the rabbits from the rising tide. When Daisy returns home from vacation she brings her animal friends some very special gifts. P. 9, Q. 9.

Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser. Fancy Nancy Aspiring Artist. Harper 2011. ISBN 978-0-06-191526-0. Gr. 1 – 3. $12.99
From the Sunday her best friend Bree leaves for spring vacation Nancy keeps herself busy by creating works of art in her clubhouse that she has turned into an art studio. Nancy gets inspiration from the pictures on the wall at dance class, flowers in her neighbor’s yard, a visit to ta museum with her dad and a movie with a friend. Bree returns and they all make a piece of art together and have an art show in the back yard. Fancy words are used and defined throughout text ex: beret, French for cap. Fancy Nancy fans will enjoy this new story. P. 9, Q. 9.

Martha Freeman. The Case of The Rock’N’Roll Dog. Holiday House. 2010. ISBN 978-0-8234-2267-8. $16.95. Pgs. 116. Gr. 2 – 4. It is hard being the daughters of the President of The United States. Tessa and Cammie live at the White House with their mom “the President”, their dad, granny, aunt Jen and cousin Nate as well as Hooligan their big over excitable dog. Aunt Jen has set up a concert by the Song Boys at the White House to promote literacy and reading. The Song Boys are Cammie’s favorite band and her whole class at school gets invited. Then things start going missing all over the White House like the band conductors baton, flowers, cookies, place marker cards, dusting cloths. Cammie and Tessa become detectives to find the missing baton so the show can go on. Some interesting twists and turns as the story plays out. All is resolved by the end as the girls use logic to solve the mystery. The story is followed by an Afterwords and The Song Boys’ Greatest Hits. P.9, Q.9.

Lisa Railsback, art by Sarajo Frieden. Noonie’s Masterpiece. Chronicle Books 2010. ISBN 978-0-8118-6654-5. $18.99. Pgs. 208. Gr. 3 – 6.
Noonie just knows she is a brilliant artist, she just hasn’t been discovered yet. After losing her mother in kindergarten Noonie goes into her blue period. Her father decides that she would be “better off” living with Aunt Sylvia, Uncle Ralph and cousin Junior instead of being with him on archaeological digs in weird faraway places. Noonie calls her Aunt, Uncle and Junior her temporary family. Noonie loves art, and takes every opportunity to make art out of just about anything. Her school is having an art contest and she just knows that if she wins she will be discovered and her father will just have to come home. The theme for the art show is family. Noonie doesn’t know what to paint. She finally realizes that her temporary family is her family so she paints them as she sees them. Not everyone understands Noonie’s art but in the end Noonie is o.k. with that. This is the story of a girl dealing with the loss of her mother and the absence of her father. Many famous artists are referenced throughout the story. The pen & ink illustrations are great, colored pages bring interest to this wonderful story. P. 10, Q. 10.

Robert Kinerk, Pictures By Drazen Kozjan, OH, HOW SYLVESTER CAN PESTER and Other Poems More or Less About Manners. Simon & Schuster. 2011. ISBN 978-1-4169-3362-5. $16.99. 28 Pgs. Gr. 3 – 6
Each poem has an illustrated character. The poems range from the manners you should have at the movies, getting the giggles, being tardy, manners at the table, to end with the secret, which is simply “just be polite”. These poems put an interesting twist on the manners that they are written about. Individual poems could be used as conversation starters or writing prompts. P. 8, Q. 8

Poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Illustrated by Ponder Goembel. Give Me Wings. Holiday House. 2010. ISBN 978-0-8234-2023-0. $16.95. Pgs. 31. Gr. 3- With these poems your imagination takes over and you fly with the authors. Delightful, colorful illustrations bring the poems to life. P. 9, Q 9.

October 2011 Reviews
Book Reviews By V.M. NHS Student
Picture Books
Dipucchio, Kelly, Pictures by Campbell, Scott, Zombie in Love. Athenaeum, 2011, $12.99. 978-1-4424-0270-6, no page numbers. 4-8.
This is a very cute book and I loved it, the group age is 4-8 but I think some older kids will like this book too. I think it’s cute too. The pictures are done in watercolor. P7Q6

Boelts, Maribeth, illustrated by Cantor, Patricia, Sleeping Bootsie. Random House, 2011, $3.99. 978-0-375-86678-4, 48 pages, 3-6.
This is a twist on Sleeping Beauty instead of a girl poking her finger on a needle and a having to get a kiss from her love, it’s a kitten who can’t touch water and if she does she will fall in to a deep sleep and has to be woken up by her favorite sound. The illustrations look like they are watercolor or maybe color pencil, I liked this book I thought it was really cute. P7Q7

Young Adult
Cooper, Rose, Gossip from the girls’ room. Delacorte, 2011. $12.99. 978-0-385-73947-4. 198 pages, 10-15.
Sofia is a girl in the middle school and this is her notebook on the gossip she hears in the girls’ room and how she puts it on her blog on the her school website, what she thinks of people and her everyday life. I really didn’t like this book to me it moved slow but for kids in middle school I think they will like it.P6Q7

Harris, Carrie, Bad Taste in Boys. Delacorte, 2011, $17.99. 978-0-385-73968-9. 201 pages, 13-17.
Bad Taste in Boys is about a girl named Kate who is helping out her school’s football team, with her helping out she is able to be close to her quarterback crush Aaron, then she finds out that the football coach is giving some of the players steroids and it is turning them into flesh eating zombies, now she has to find a cure to save everyone, I loved this book, as soon as I picked it up I couldn’t put it down. P8Q7

Dessen, Sarah, What happened to goodbye. Viking, 2011, $19.99. 978-0142423837, 402 pages. 15 – 18.
Mclean has had a tough life with her parents getting a bitter divorce and her mom getting remarried and having twins, she feels like her life in her old town with her mom and stepfather is too different and doesn’t like it so she decides to live with her dad and since she picked to live with her dad her relationship with her mom is worse than ever. She and her dad have moved to four towns in the last two years because of her dad’s job, but the new town she and her dad moved to is different than the other towns because this time she is making friends and putting down roots. I liked this book it was slow at some parts but still a good read. P6Q6

Reviews by P.D. Oceanlake
Picture Books
Jonathan London. Illus. by Frank Remkiewicz. Froggy Goes To Hawaii. NY: Penguin Group, 2011. ISBN 978-0-670-01221-3. $15.99. Gr. K – 2.
Froggy and his family are off to Hawaii on vacation. Froggy can hardly wait, he has trouble standing in line at the airport, trouble sitting still on the plane. His parents tell him not to go bananas when they get to Hawaii, but that does not stop Froggy. Non- stop action as Froggy explores Hawaii. At vacations end Froggy’s father thinks he needs a vacation from their vacation. Froggy thinks, next time, “lets go for two weeks”. Good story that uses many sound words, as a read aloud this will make it more engaging. P. 9, Q. 9

David Soman and Jacky Davis. Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad. NY: Penguin Group. 2011. ISBN 978-0-8037-3419-7. $16.99. GR. K – 2.
Make believe abounds in this story of friends who make up the Bug Squad. Beautiful illustrations lead the reader into the story. Dragonfly Girl, Bumblebee Boy, Butterfly Girl and Ladybug Girl all have special powers to bring to the squad. They have a play date filled with fun and adventure. When Butterfly Girls feelings get hurt, Ladybug Girl knows just what to do and saves the day. The last mission of the day is to see what the “mean alien” in the house (Ladybug Girl’s big brother) is up to… Readers are going to want more Ladybug Girl stories, “I do”. P. 9, Q. 10.

Mike Twohy. Poindexter Makes a Friend. NY: Simon & Schuster. 2011. ISBN 978-1-4424-0965-1. $15.99. Gr K – 2.
Poindexter is very shy, he spends most of his time in his room reading to his stuffed animals or helping the librarian at the public library. One day a shy turtle named Shelby comes to the library for a book on how to make friends. The librarian asks Poindexter to show him where the “how to” section is. Selby tells Poindexter that he does not read big words well yet so Poindexter reads How to Make a Friend to him. Together they learn the four things you need to do to make a friend and they become friends at the same time. Great story about learning how to make and be friends with colorful illustrations. P. 8, Q. 9

Laurie Isop. Illus. Gwen Millward. How Do You HUG a Porcupine? NY: Simon & Schuster. 2011. ISBN 978-1-4424-1291-0. $ 15.99. Gr. K – 2.
Rhyming words about how to hug different animals brings us to the question “how do you hug a porcupine?” Reading and rhyming on about hugging many other animals still leaves the question unanswered. After padded clothes, a cardboard box and putting marshmallows on his quills the question, “how do you hug a porcupine?” is answered “CAREFULLY”. The title could be used as a writing prompt. The story has cute illustrations throughout. P. 9, Q. 9

Renata Liwska. Red Wagon. NY: Philomel Books. 2011. ISBN 978-0-399-25237-2. $16.99. GR. K – 2
Lucy wants to play with her new red wagon but mom needs her to go to the market to get some vegetables, this sounds boring to Lucy. The journey to the marked is anything but boring, from the wagon being shelter from rainstorms to a being a covered wagon she makes it to the market to get the vegetables. The adventure continues on the way home as imagination turns it into a train to pull it up the hill and a spaceship when it hits a rock and sends the vegetables flying, heavy equipment is needed to reload. With the vegetables safely home Lucy is free to “play” with her wagon, she curls up inside it for a nap. Imagination hard at work with illustrations to bring the story to life for the reader add to this story. P. 9, Q. 9

Tim Wadham. Illustrated by: Kady Macdonald Denton. The Queen of France. Candlewick Press. 2011. ISBN 978-0-7636-4102-3. $16.99. Gr. K – 2
Rose woke up and felt royal, the story takes you back and forth between Rose and the Queen of France as she makes her was through the day. When Rose puts on the necklaces, bracelets and the crown from the make-believe baskets she is the Queen looking for Rose and when they come off Rose is looking for the Queen. Cute story of make-believe. The last page leads the reader into the next make-believe day for Rose when she is feeling scary and she is holding a dragon costume from the make-believe basket. P. 8. Q. 8.

Peter Bently. Illustrated by Ben Cort. Shark in the Dark. Walker & Company. 2008. ISBN 978-8027-9841-1. $15.99. Gr. K – 2.
This rhyming story takes you past the flounders, turtles, mackerel, and all the fishes who are afraid of the hungry shark in the dark. All desperate to hide the fish find squid and ask him what to do, he works up a plan to make sure the shark never swims their way again. The fish got together to form the shape of a whale and as it swam closer to the shark the larger it grew, this made to shark feel small, so flees to the dark forever. Colorful illustrations throughout the book. P. 9. Q. 9.

Derek Anderson. Story Country Here We Come!. N.Y. Scholastic Inc. 2011. ISBN 978-0-545-16844-1. $16.99. Gr. K – 2
Together with pig, cow and chicken, the farmer and the dog make a farm complete with barn fields, scarecrow and last but not least the sky. Very colorful illustrations demonstrating teamwork to get the project done. P. 9, Q. 9.

Will Hillenbrand. Spring is Here. Holiday House, N.Y. 2011. ISBN 978-0-8234-1602-8. $16.96. Gr. K – 2
Mole wakes up to spring and now has to figure out how to wake up bear. He tries tapping, knocking swishing, and tooting a horn to wake him. Mole decides to make him a big breakfast and that finally wakes him up to spring time. Great illustrations and large print make this a wonderful read. P. 9, Q 9.

Frans Vischer. Fuddles. Aladdin. 2011. ISBN 978-1-4169-9155-7. $15.99. Gr. K – 2
Pampered house cat Fuddles yearns to go outside but his owners will not let him. One day while no one was looking Fuddles made a getaway to the great outdoors. Once outside he had a bath in the birdbath, tried to catch a bird and climb a tree then when he was tired he curled up in the neighbor’s yard for a nap. The nap was cut short by the appearance of a dog, he thought he could handle this but again he was wrong. After a short ride on the back of the dog he freed himself and felt dizzy and he now needed his litter box. As night fell and nothing seemed familiar Fuddles looked for his home and his family. After his family finds him in the night he realizes that he belongs in the house with them. Great illustrations. P. 9, Q. 9

Uri Shulevitz. When I Wore My Sailor Suit. Farrar Straus Giroux. 2009. N.Y. ISBN 978-0-374-34749-9. $16.95. Gr. 1-2
A sailor suit, hat, whistle and his imagination the adventure on the high seas begins. Through a terrible storm he sails and on a sunny island with a strange clump, clump, clump noise he runs into the horrible pirate of one hundred seas. He finds a treasure map but where does it lead? He feels like he is being watched by the man in the picture so he can’t go treasure hunting now. When he returns to the room with the ship he tells the man in the picture “You can’t leave this wall, you can’t leave this room, but I can go far away on an exciting journey”. Great tale of a child using his imagination. The use of higher level vocabulary is present in the book ex: provisions, valise, arduous, barrage. P. 8, Q. 8.

Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen. Illustrated by Linzie Hunter. A Small Brown Dog with a Wet Pink Nose. Little Brown and Company. 2010. ISBN 978-0-316-05830-8. $16.99. Gr. K – 2.
Amelia wants a dog but not just any dog her dog will be small, brown and have a wet, pink nose. Her parents are not ready to have a dog so Amelia comes up with a plan to achieve her goal. She asks her parents many question about if she had a dog could she walk it? Could it sleep at her feet? Could she feed it? And if it got lost would they find it. One morning indeed “Bones” the dog is missing and could they please go and find him? They drove around town, finally at the animal shelter they found him. Amelia’s parents looked at each other and said that yes they had found Bones. A delightful story of a little girl getting a small brown dog with a wet pink nose just like she wanted. P. 8, Q. 8.

David Milgrim. Santa Duck and His Merry Helpers. G. P. Putnam’s Sons. 2010. ISBN 978-0-399-25473-4. $12.99. Gr. K – 2.
Nicholas Duck puts on his official coat and hat to help collect wish lists for Santa. As he started off to collect the list he realized that he was being followed by his brothers and sister, they wanted to help. Nicholas explained that it was a very special position and you have to be selected by Santa but since there was nothing he could do to stop them they followed claiming that they were going to be better helpers than Nicholas. When they came to skunk Nicholas took his request with his brothers and sister promising something even better, it was the same with each animal that Nicholas visited. Nicholas had had enough, he explained that Christmas was not just about gifts, but that it was about love and goodwill and kindness and giving. His brothers and sister asked if it was like being nice to your brothers and sister and letting them help Santa even if he didn’t want to. Nicholas decided that yes that is what it meant so they all helped with the wish list for Santa. P. 8, Q. 8.

The Brothers Grimm. Illustrated by. Quentin Greban. Snow White. North South Books Inc. NY. 2009. ISBN 978-0-7358-2257-3. $16.95 Gr. 3-5.
A beautiful queen wished for a daughter. One day she pricked her finger and three drops of blood fell on the snow, oh she sighed “if only I had a child with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony I would be happy”. The queen had a daughter and named her Snow White. Soon after the child was born, the queen died. The king took another wife Snow White’s new step mother did not like that the magic mirror said that Snow White was the fairest in the land because she wanted to be. The new queen ordered a huntsman to take Snow White into the woods and kill her but the huntsman took pity on her and let her go. Snow White came upon a little house in the woods and went inside and there she found a little table set for seven, she ate a bit from each plate and grew tired and found a place to sleep upstairs. The masters of the little house came home and found Snow White asleep, they were overjoyed at seeing this beautiful child. After hearing her story the dwarfs invited her to stay. The queen hearing of this was angry, disguising herself three different ways to attempt to kill Snow White, the third attempt put Snow White into a deep sleep. Being so beautiful the dwarf could not bury her, they put her in a glass case in the woods, she was found by a prince who also thought her to be very beautiful. When the prince was having the case moved his servants dropped it and dislodged the bit of apple from her mouth and she woke from her sleep. The prince carried her to the castle where they married. The evil step mother attended the wedding and was punished for her wicked ways. P. 7, Q. 8.

Alison Jay. The Nutcracker. Dial Books. 2010. ISBN 978-0-8037-3285-8. $16.99. GR. 1 – 3
The night before Christmas Claira anxiously awaited the arrival of her Godfather Drosselmeyer for he was a famous toy and clock maker and gave her the best gifts ever. This year he gave her a beautiful toy soldier that was really a nutcracker. When she passed it around for everyone to try her brother accidentally broke it. Her uncle promised to fix it the next day. Claira could not leave it by itself under the tree so she went downstairs curled up with it under the tree and fell asleep. While she was sleeping she had the most wonderful dream about a prince whom she saved from the Mouse King and was rewarded with a feast filled with sweets and many dancers for entertainment in the Land of Sweets. When she woke on Christmas morning Claira was tucked safely in her bed, her nightdress no longer a magnificent gown but her Nutcracker was beside her perfectly whole. Wonderful illustrations go along with a very engaging story. P. 9, Q. 9.

C. Alexander London with art by Johny Duddle. An Unexpected Adventure. Philomel. 2011. ISBN 978-0-399-25487-1. Gr. 3 – 6. 355 pgs
Life is good for Celia and Oliver when they are watching television. True couch potatoes, they think that nothing is better than watching television for as many hours as possible per day. Their parents however are adventurers and part of the Explorers Club. Their mother has been looking for the lost Library of Alexandria for the better part of three years. When a letter is received from their mother after all this time Celia and Oliver’s father decides to go search for her. The children over hear a plan (by a not so honest member of the Explorers Club) to destroy their family once the library and their mother have been found and claim the discovery for their own. Celia and Oliver are swept into the adventure of a lifetime. Relying on each other, they save their father, find their mother and find out that there is more to life than television. This story has the reader wanting to find out what is next. P. 9, Q. 9.

Francis O’Roark Dowell. Falling In. Philomel Books. 2010. ISBN 978-1-4169-5032-5. Gr. 3 – 5. 245 pgs.
When Isabelle Bean opens the door to the supply closet outside the nurses office to find the whereabouts of the mouse that had just escaped within that she and her classmate were just talking about to her surprise she falls in. With her pointy, too big, red boots she arrives in a fairy-tale land. The people in this new world think the she is the witch, the witch who feeds on children. Isabelle has always believed that there was something special about her and that she was a changeling, now she was sure of it, so this Falling In was not frightening. As Isabelle explores this new world she meets other children who are hiding from the witch, but instead of running away from the witch Isabelle wants to find her. She with the help from Hen whom she meets along the trail they do indeed find the witch (Grete). Not only do they find her they meet her and learn from her and are told the true story about the missing children. Isabelle learns that Grete is really her grandmother and that is why she has always heard the buzzing sound. On her way back up from the cellar at Grete’s house with a bag on potatoes the door gets stuck, Isabelle pounds on the door for someone to let her out, when the door is open she falls out, back into her own time and own world. Isabelle can’t wait to tell her mother about her adventure. This is a wonderful story that keeps the reader reading. P. 9, Q. 9

Non Fiction
Gail Gibbons. GORILLAS. NY. Holiday House. 2011. ISBN 978-0-8234-2336-4. $17.95. Gr. 2 – 5 Fact filled book, giving the reader great information on the three kinds of gorillas living in the African rain forests. Book includes labeled picture diagrams, word definitions, easy to read information. This is a good book for early report writers. The last page has more about gorillas and provides websites for the reader to visit to find out more about gorillas. P. 9, Q 9.
AVD, Teacher-in-Training, NHS

Brande, Robin. Fat Cat. Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 2009. $16.99. Ages high school. 300 pgs. 978-0-375-84449-2
I love this book, I couldn’t put it down. It is about a smart, funny, fat girl who through a science class performs an experiment on herself in an effort to win the science fair. Her goal: to become hot! Throughout the book, because of this science experiment, she transforms herself, both physically and emotionally, into a better healthier person. While she is going through this transformation she gains important perspectives on her life and resolves her social problems. This book could lead to great discussions on nutrition and exercise in modern American society.

Han, Jenny. The Summer I Turned Pretty. Simon & Schuster Books for young Readers. New York. 2009. $16.99. Ages high school. 276 pgs. 978-1-4169-6823-8
This book is a light read that deals with some heavy issues, cancer, death, and divorce. The main character, Isabel, or Belly, as she is known, lives for the summer. For her the winter is merely a waiting period before summer arrives again. For each summer Belly with her mother travel to their friend’s beach house, the same beach house where Belly had her first kiss, fell in love, and experienced the joys and frustrations of growing up with three boys, one as a brother, one as a best friend, and one as her crush. The story takes place during one summer, with Belly having flashbacks to previous summers when major events in her life happened.

Summy, Barrie. I So Don’t Do Makeup. Delacorte Press. New York. 2010. $16.99. Ages middle and high school. 271 pgs. 978-0-385-73788-3
This book is a continuation of a series, but each book can stand alone. This was an enjoyable mystery romp involving ghosts, make-up, first movie dates, and several suspects. The main character, Sherry, is a young girl whose police officer mother died and become a crime fighting ghost. In this book Sherry finds a mystery all on her own and with the help of her friends, she proceeds to investigate. The characters in this story are engaging and I was able to picture them clearly in my head. With a surprise twist at the end and many good chuckles I would recommend this book to any girl who would like to have a fun read and learn a little make-up lingo along the way.

Bell, Cathleen Davitt. Little Blog on the Prairie. Bloomsbury. New York. 2010. $16.99. Ages middle and high school. 274 pgs. 978-1-59990-286-9
This highly amusing tale is set in modern times with an 1890 twist. When a teenage girl, Gen, is roped into working on an 1890’s farm with her family for summer vacation she is hardly thrilled at the prospect. When all her modern conveniences are locked away she manages to hide her new cell phone. Over the weeks, as she experiences life on the farm, she sends text messages to her friend who posts them on a blog, a blog which gains in popularity, and creates a bit of media frenzy. Gen has to find out how to deal with the blog and the secrets exposed, a mean-spirited girl, a cute boy and a fire that threatens lives.

Voelkel, Jon & Pamela Voelkel. The End of the World Club. Egmont. New York. 2011. $16.99. Ages middle and high school. 384 pgs. 978-1-60684-201-0
This book is the second in a series of action filled adventures of Mayan history, on scale with the Percy Jackson novels. The twelve Lords of Death set down the edict of how Max would repay them for releasing Max’s parents from the Mayan underworld. Max would need to find the lost Yellow Jaguar stone and bring it to the Mayan underworld, all in just seven days! Through a confusing riddle Max finds himself on a trip involving dangerous foes, both mortal and immortal, and more challenges then he can handle. Luckily Max has the loyalty of some good friends; a beautiful Mayan girl and two howler monkeys. In this book they are on a mission to save their friends, his parents, each other and the world.

Auseon, Andrew and David O. Russell. Alienated. Aladdin. New York. 2009. $16.99. Ages middle school. 344 pgs. 978-1-4169-8298-2
Alienated is a new look at how aliens could be present here on earth. Two boys, Gene and Vince, publish a weekly newsletter that features the aliens that Gene’s Uncle has in his address book. But when the aliens Gene and Vince interview start to disappear, Uncle Fred steps in and the boys are launched into a rollicking adventure. With characters that are a bit clueless and a dependence on over description the liveliness of the plot is dampened down which causes the book to be a slow read. While the plot is interesting I find the narration to have a negative effect on the book.

Downing, Erin. Drive Me Crazy. Simon Pulse. New York. 2009. $6.99. Ages high school. 210 pgs. 978-1-4169-7484-0
Mix three best friends, a long road trip, an annoying cousin and presto a humorous romantic book. Kate was looking forward to the road trip until she found out that Adam was riding along with them to get to a college interview. All Kate wanted was to have a fun road trip with her friends and a long summer with Lucas, the boy she shared a stunning kiss with at the end of last summer. I loved the feistiness of the characters and I found the dialogue to be very engaging. I enjoyed reading this book and even laughed out loud in several places. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like a fun romantic read.

Childs, Tera Lynn. Goddess Boot Camp. Dutton Books. New York. 2008. $16.99. Ages middle and high school. 264 pgs. 978-0-525-42134-4
This book is the second in a series of books about a teenage girl, Phoebe, who found out that she is a descendent of Nike the Greek Goddess. In this book Phoebe is learning how to control her new found powers. Because of Phoebe’s unpredictable powers the Greek Gods set forth an unknown test that she must pass of suffer the consequences. The main theme of this book is learning to trust, Phoebe has to learn how to trust herself and her family and her boyfriend. I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fast paced read involving the usual drama of high school mixed with descendents of the Greek Gods.

Barnholdt, Lauren. Rules for Secret Keeping. Aladdin. New York. 2010. $15.99. Ages middle school. 280 pgs. 978-1-4169-8020-9
Samantha Carmichael is a seventh grader who has a business where she passes notes containing secrets for one dollar. Her business is so successful that she is a finalist to win the tween entrepreneur of the year award. But when another girl opens up a rival secret passing business and Samantha’s own secret get out what is a girl to do? This was a very good read that brought back memories of the confusing times of middle school; note passing, friends, and crushes. I would suggest this book for any girl in middle school as well as for anyone who would like their middle school memories to be fresh in their mind again.

Nelson, Blake. Destroy All Cars. Scholastic Press. New York. 2009. $17.99. Ages high school. 218pgs. 978-0-545-10474-6
James writes in his journal and for papers for class, through these papers he writes tirades against different aspects of the culture around him, American consumerism taking most of the hits. While the essays are interesting and most bring up valid points of environmental concerns little is backed up by fact. This book does not have a clear ending which was disappointing. Overall this book is a depressing read, that unless back up with more information from other sources about the current environmental concerns in the world and what can be done to better them could lead people to be more indifferent towards the environment as they are portrayed in the book.

First Thursday Book Reviews by JC
Picture books
Rohmann, Eric. Bone dog. Roaring Brook, 2011. $16.99 Unpaged. ISBN 9781596431508 Ages 4-7. P8Q8
Under the full moon, Gus’s dog Ella promises him that no matter what happens, she will always be with him. But, when she dies, Gus is left alone. Then, on Halloween, Gus finds himself surrounded by skeletons. Ella—now a bone dog—comes to his rescue. The book has a lot going on—fear, Halloween, grief, dogs—and still manages to satisfy. One quibble: the bone dog illustration is complete with ears—not generally a part of the skeleton. Recommended for elementary and public library collections.

Juvenile fiction
Morris, Gerald. The adventures of Sir Gawain the True. Illustrated by Aaron Renier. The knights’ tales series. Houghton Mifflin, 2011. $14.99 118 p. ISBN 9780547418551 Ages 7-9. P7Q7
Morris once again tells the story of Sir Gawain and the magical green knight—this time for a younger audience, leaving out the squire Terence and the world of faerie. This is an adequate introduction to the world of chivalry, magic, and King Arthur, but lacks the depth and humor found in Morris’s Squire’s Tales series. Purchase for the younger audiences, but make sure to keep the Squire’s Tales available for them as they mature.

Juvenile nonfiction
Krull, Kathleen. Jim Henson: the guy who played with puppets. Paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. Random House, 2011. $16.99 35 p. ISBN 9780375857218 Ages 6-10. P7Q7
From a childhood in rural Mississippi before the age of television, Jim Henson developed a love of color and story, and, studied art instead of science to become a puppeteer creating groundbreaking shows for the new medium of television. After further study in Europe, Henson and his wife, Jane Nagel, created Muppets—a combination of marionettes and puppets—which became the backbone for shows such as Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, and films such as Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. The lack of conflict in Henson’s life is aptly shown in the softly focused illustrations of the lanky puppeteer. Unfortunately, the same soft-focus fails to portray the level of wit and whimsy that the Muppets shared with their audiences. Includes lists of sources and websites.

O’Connell, Caitlin, and Donna M. The elephant scientist. Photographs by Caitlin O’Connell & Timothy Rodwell. Scientists in the Field series. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2011. ISBN 9780547053448 Ages 9-15. P7Q9
Scientist Caitlin O’Connell observed elephants in Namibia and discovered that they use their feet and trunks to detect sub-sonic waves traveling through the earth to communicate. An introduction to the science of elephant behavior and communication framed by the life of a groundbreaking scientist, The Elephant Scientist shows some of the ways that scientists can generalize from observations of one species when faced with a different species demonstrating similar behaviors and can then use that information to develop practical ways to solve problems. Includes index, selected sources, resource list, and glossary. Highly recommended for elementary, middle school, and public library collections.

Young adult fiction
Roth, Veronica. Divergent. HarperCollins, 2011. $17.99 487 p. ISBN 9780062024022 Ages 14-up. P9Q7
In a dystopian Chicago, all sixteen-year-olds must choose among five factions–Amity, Abnegation, Erudite, Candor and Dauntless–to determine the jobs and life they will live for the remainder of their days. Tris–once Beatrice–leaves Abnegation for Dauntless and discovers the strength within herself to survive not only the hazing and tests given new recruits, but also a secret rebellion involving her new faction that is aimed at taking over Chicago. A plot-driven novel and love story, Divergent flashes from scene to scene, as engrossing as a noir film–including the adrenaline rush. However, throughout the tale there runs an unsettling theme of distrust of knowledge and learning. Still, this will be popular and is recommended for high school and public libraries.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by NW
Aston, Dianna Hutts. Dream Something Big: The Story of the Watts Towers. Il. Susan L. Roth. 2011. unp. Dial, $17.99. 978-0-8037-3245-2. Ages 5-8:
A magic thing happened in Watts (CA) when an Italian immigrant, Simon Rodia, who the children called Uncle Sam, spent 34 years between 1921 and 1955 creating towers from broken glass, tiles, seashells, pottery, cement, wire mesh, and rebar on his personal property. His vision is shown through the eyes of a fictional neighbor as the towers rise. Roth’s dazzling, detailed collages bring these towers to life for the reader, and the final photographs shows the U.S. National Landmark that they became after Rodia disappeared. The concluding “build-your-own-tower” activity encourages young people to follow their own dreams. The glorious towers have been used in a variety of films and books, most notably E.L. Konigsburg’s novel The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place, in which a young girl works to save them from destruction. Los Angeles actually tried to raze them in 1959, but private donors and then the federal government preserved the site in the name of art, history, and beauty. This wonderful picture book memorializes the triumph of creativity and perseverance. P8Q10

Gourley, Robbin. First Garden: The White House Garden and How It Grew. 2011. 36p. Clarion, $16.99. 978-0-547-48224-8. Ages 7-9:
Many people were shocked when the current First Lady Michele Obama planted a garden at the White House to encourage healthful eating, but she wasn’t the first to do so. After a brief description of the development of the president’s residence and some of the children who lived there, Gourley gives the history of presidents’ gardens, beginning with 1800 and John Adams. The most recent one before now was Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden, encouraging people to plant their own during World War II. More information includes the way that children helped Michele Obama to plant and care for the garden, information about making a garden, and recipes that use garden products. Entertaining entries are brief enough to not bog down the reader in the subject, and the illustrations are delightful, especially the one of President Obama trying to walk the First Dog. A fun, educational read. P7Q8

Krull, Kathleen. Lives of the President: Fame, Shame and What the Neighbors Thought. 2011. 104p. Harcourt, $21.00. 978-0-547-49809-6. Ages 8-12:
This update of the 1998 edition adds death dates and provides four pages on each of the presidents since then, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Unfortunately the additions are rather bland, and there isn’t enough information to purchase this book if a library has the first one. (Just write in the death dates for Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.) For libraries without the book, it’s a fun look at many of the presidents, especially the earlier ones, as it describes personality quirks of these men before, during, and after their presidencies and tidbits about their marriages and love lives. Andrew Johnson, the first president to be impeached, also made his own suits, and John F. Kennedy frequently barked like a seal for two minutes to improve his voice. Whimsical watercolor/colored-pencil illustrations add more perspective on these presidents with background scenery and dress suggesting the historical era and details; W. Bush is depicted as a cheerleader, which he once was. P7Q8

Webb, Sophie. Far from Shore: Chronicles of an Open Ocean Voyage. 2011. 80p. Houghton, $17.99. 978-0-618-59729-1. Ages 8-11:
The author combines her skills as a naturalist and artist to describe her four-month cruise to the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean to study seabirds and marine mammals for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Lovely detailed watercolor and gouache landscapes and sea creatures join the exciting, informative narrative of her life at sea and brief respites on land to show Sophie’s career, information about sea life, and field work for NOAA. This book is a must for local young readers, not only because of its wealth of information but also because it covers Newport’s latest addition, the Pacific Northwest NOAA fleet. P8Q8

Picture Books
Crum, Shutta. Mine! Il. Patrice Barton. 2011. unp. Knopf, $16.99. 978-0-375-86711-8. Ages 3-5: Anyone who has ever had a toy—or a lot of toys—that they really liked will understand the child’s need to keep all the toys away from a younger sibling and a dog. Except the dog ends up with all the toys! This wordless book, except for “Mine!” is filled with energetic actions and expressions as the two toddlers, the dog, the toys, and the dog’s water dish all together produce lots of laughs. Dizzyingly digitized pencil sketches follow all these throughout every gleeful moment as they show lots of surprise but no anger.

De Beer, Hans. Little Polar Bear and the Submarine. 2011. unp. North South, $16.95. 978-0-7358-4030-0. Ages 5-7:
In the latest of Little Polar Bear picture books, Lars meets a dachshund who has been traveling on a submarine in the bay. The dachshund tells Lars that his master is researching the melting of the ice and that there are two other polar cubs on the submarine because they have been separated from their parents because of the ice melting. With the dachshund’s help, Lars rescues the cubs from their fate in a zoo but only after the submarine has gone to a place strange to Lars. It will be his job to find the way home for both the cubs and himself. Soft-colored illustrations belie the danger of Lars’s adventures, and his parents are gently nurturing when he returns home. Climate-warming, helping others, and safety (the cubs wear life jackets!) are some of the topics that come out of this sweet read. P8Q8

Emberley, Rebecca and Ed Emberley. Ten Little Beasties. 2011. unp. Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press, $12.99. 978-1-59643-627-5. Ages 3-5:
Dancing beasties and bold illustrations provide the fun in this counting book, each page highlighting a different color. Little ones can sing along with the rollicking song at http://www.mackids.com/tenlittlebeasties#audio. P9Q8

Erlbruch, Wolf. Duck, Death and the Tulip. 2011. unp. Gecko Press, $16.95. 978-1-8775-79—04. Ages 6-9:
Death is a hard subject for young people and yet one that they must face. This heart-warming witty German book is an excellent introduction. An elegant running duck becomes friends with an eerie skeleton in a checked smock, and together they go for a walk, swim, climb a tree, and talk about the afterlife. When Duck fails to wake up one morning, Death carries her to the river and places her on the water with a black tulip on her chest. Duck sails away, and Death thinks, “But that’s life” before he walks off with a fox and a rabbit. There is great tenderness and respect in Death’s treatment of Duck and a feeling of inevitability, true in the subject. The advantage of the book is that Duck is allowed to discuss Death; it’s not something that just comes upon him. This is a brilliant book that needs to be shared. P7Q10

Grandits, John. Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the School Bus. Il. Michael Allen Austin. 2011. unp. Clarion, $16.99. 978-0-618-78822-4. Ages 5-7:
The first day of school can be the worst one, especially when an older sibling or friend warns of impending danger. Throughout the day, as Kyle, a Conan-O’Brien look-alike, tries to follow the rules of his older brother, James, his successes help him come up with his Eleventh Rule: “Never, absolutely never, pay attention to your big brother’s list of Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the School Bus!” The shifting perspective of the bold, energetic, acrylics relate the Kyle’s anxiety as he imagines people as animals—a wolf, bear, snake, and the beaked bus driver. Pure fun for experienced school bus riders and an initiation to beginners. P9Q8

Intriago, Patricia. Dot. 2011. unp. FSG, $14.99. 978-0-374-31835-2. Ages 3-5:
Simple illustrations composed almost entirely of different facets of a dot demonstrate opposite relationships: loud/quiet, happy/sad, hard/soft, hurt/heal, etc. The bold dots against a stark white background are a designer’s delight. Elegant and clever, this subtle concept book will make readers smile and think. P9Q9

Klassen, Jon. I Want My Hat Back. 2011. unp. Candlewick, $15.99. 978-0-7636-5598-3. Ages 3-5: Throughout bear’s search for his hat, he meets a variety of creatures including a fox, a frog, a snake, a deer, a turtle, and—wearing his hat—the rabbit. The polite bear doesn’t even notice the red, pointed, hat on the rabbit’s head at first; his realization culminates in a surprise ending. But did the bear really eat the rabbit to get his hat back? Young readers will have to decide. The understated dialog is set in different colors to show who is talking; for example, letters for the bear’s dialog is black, and the other animals’ responses are brown and green—except for the red answers from the rabbit hero’s polite refrain, and on he searches. Simple digital drawings from Chinese ink add to the humor and charm. This is a great book to talk about different kinds of animals and the personalities that they demonstrate in this narrative. P9Q10

Lehman, Barbara. The Secret Box. 2011. unp. Houghton, $15.99. 978-0-547-23868-5.
Known for her surreal picture-book adventures, beginning with the Caldecott Honor Book The Red Book, Lehman follows the growth of a rural town as it changes from a small farming community with trains and wagons over a century ago to an urban setting where students (or orphans?) find a box with a treasure map put there long ago by another student. The map and clues lead them from their barren attic home to a party at a magical boardwalk peopled by youth from different generations. Highly-detailed ink drawings colored with watercolor and gouache provide the story for this wordless book with an obscure ending, allowing “readers” to imagine their own stories. Lehman’s inspiration for the book was the discovery of an old candy box filled with tiny toys, cards, and papers from the early 1900s. This could be the inspiration for young people to make up their own stories. P7Q9

Maas, Robert. A Is for Autumn. 2011. unp. Holt, $16.99. 978-0-8050-9093-2. Ages 3-5:
Vivid photographs accompany the brief text which covers the season from A to Z. This would make a lovely coffee-table book, but the writing is pedestrian, and the people in the illustrations are all Anglo and probably upper-middle class. Libraries would benefit from alphabet books that display more diversity in its subjects.

McKee, David. Six Men. 2011. unp. North South, $16.95. 978-0-7358-4050-8. Ages 5-7:
After long searching, six men find a place where they can live and work in peace. This parable explores the causes of war in a struggle reminiscent of James Thurber’s The Last Flower. Black and white line drawings of short squatty figures belie the seriousness of the book and convince the reader to continue. P8Q10

Root, Phyllis. Scrawny Cat. Il. Alison Friend. 2011. unp. Candlewick, $16.99. 978-0-7636-4164-1. Ages 4-7:
The homeless cat who thinks that his name could be “Get out of here” finds a place where he can also make someone else happy. The desperation of his plight and excitement of his adventure in a storm-tossed dinghy are shown through the bold and expressive gouache illustrations and the lyrical narrative. The tale is comforting, not only for animal lovers but also for children searching for their own home. A lovely classic tale with great read-aloud potential. P9Q9

Stevens, Janet and Susan Stevens Crummel. The Little Red Pen. 2011. unp. Harcourt, $16.99. 978-0-15-206432-7. Ages 7-9:
Stevens’ typical dimensional cartoon-style animated illustrations of a variety of office-supply characters shows how “the little red pen” persuades Stapler, Scissors, Eraser, Pencil, Pushpin, Highlighter, and Ruler to rescue her from the Pit of No Return (aka the trash can)—with lots of help from Tank, the hamster. Paint, ink, and real supplies capture their personalities as they argue about the way to carry out their task. Lots of chaos and trial and error follow the team after they decide to work together. This wordplay in this book makes it great for a class play, readers theater, or puppet show. Pure joy for both kids and adults. P9Q9

Thurlby, Paul. Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet. 2011. unp. Templar/Candlewick, $16.99. 978-0-7636-5565-5. Ages 3-7:
This first picture book from a British graphic artist is stunning from awesome A to zippy Z, as each illustrations makes the letter memorable. The movement through the digital illustrations gives a great sense of energy: the K uses Chinese calligraphy to show a boy’s karate stance, while the goalie’s arms form the letter C to “catch” a soccer ball. The backgrounds also have a textured feel, for example the crumpled paper for I suggests land mass on the “island” and the background of the waves. I personally like the panicky expression on Q as it sinks into “quicksand.” Both upper and lower case letters are boldly displayed on faint graph paper, and the book’s cover unfolds into a poster with all the letters. In this alphabet book, knowledge meets aesthetics in humor and joy. P10Q10

Van Allsburg, Chris. Queen of the Falls. 2011. unp. Houghton, $18.99. 978-0-547-31581-2. Ages 8-11:
For over a century people have gone over the Niagara Falls, sometimes to their death. Over 100 years, a retired sixty-two-year-old charm school instructor, Annie Edson Taylor, did just that—and survived. The two-time Caldecott medalist was fascinated by her story as she sought enough money to live out her life in comfort through be the first person to successfully survive this venture. Narrative and sepia-toned drawings with the feeling of old photographs tell about her ordering a padded, reinforced barrel strong enough for her adventure and then completing her goal, everything except making money. The images of the inside of the barrel as Taylor goes down the falls as “the water drops from a height that is as tall as a seventeen-story building, roaring like a locomotive, and sending up an endless cloud of mist as it crashes onto the rocks and water below.” A great read-aloud as listeners wait to see the outcome. P8Q9

Woop Studios. A Zeal of Zebras. 2011. unp. Chronicle, $17.99. 978-1-4521-0492-8. Ages 5-9:
A Family of Porcupines or a Nest of Crocodiles sounds pretty ordinary, but who has heard of a Pandemonium of Parrots or a Troubling of Goldfish? Yet these collective nouns and those for the other 22 letters of the alphabet are used to give these unusual names and oddities about each set of animals. For example, each one in a Zeal of Zebras has a unique set of stripes, just like fingerprints, and King Cobras are the only snakes to build nests. Beautiful graphic full-page designs illustrate each letter, and humorous colored drawings highlight the large print of the information. Lovers of art will enjoy this exceptional book, and those searching for more collective nouns for animals can find them at http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/about/faqs/animals/names.htm P10Q10

Yamashita, Haruo. Seven Little Mice Have Fun on the Ice. Il. Kazuo Iwamura. 2011. unp. North South, $16.95. 978-0-7358-4048-5. Ages 3-6:
The charming septuplet mice have returned and want to go ice fishing. The problem is that their mother is afraid of slipping on the ice. They solve her problem, and she reclaims her title as the Ice-Fishing Princess. This warm story of understanding and team work is a wonderful choice for a read-aloud. P9Q9

Graphic Narratives
Dragoon, Leigh. Vampire Academy. Il. Emma Vieceli. 2011. 120p. Razorbill, $12.99. 978-1-59514-429-4. Ages 12-15:
Intrigue, danger, and romance fill the pages of this graphic novel based on a series by Richelle Mead at St. Vladimir Academy. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for best friend Lissa, a Moroi vampire princess, a mortal vampire with the gift of harnessing the earth’s magic. After they are caught and returned to the school for vampires and half-bloods, they face a ruthless social scene and terrifying night time rituals. Even worse, the Strigoi, the fiercest vampires who can never die, want to make Lissa one of them. Fascinating artwork by an English illustrator and fast-paced dialog from Dragoon based on Mead’s books makes this a good book leaving readers wanting more. P9Q8

Knight, Hilary. Nina in That Makes Me Mad! Based on text by Steven Kroll. 2011. 32p. Toon Books, $12.95. 978-1-935179-10-8. Ages 4-6:
Nina gets made at many everyday things, and children will understand her frustrations. In the humorous vignettes of this graphic novel, she gets to speak her mind which makes her feel much better. Knight is well-known as the author/illustrator of the Eloise books as well as magazine illustrations, record album covers, and posters for Broadway musicals.

Ottavani, Jim. Feynman. Il. Leland Myrick. 2011. 266p. First Second, $29.99. 978-1-596430259-8. Ages 14+:
Anyone who thinks that reading about quantum electrodynamics is boring needs to pick up this book about Nobel Prize winning scientist Richard Feynman. From developing the atomic bomb through the Manhattan Project to solving the reason for the Challenger disaster, Feynman worked with great minds in tackling some of the most important scientific issues of the day. He also played the bongo drums, cracked safes, and wanted to travel to the tiny country of Tuva while explaining the science that he so loved. This graphic biography covers his life in back-and-forth chunks from his childhood to his death, bouncing from year to year to cover his major accomplishments in science; the people in his life; his attitude toward himself, teaching and his work; his relationships; his awards, and Feynman, from every angle. Ottavani wanted to say more, so he included a recommended reading list of approximately books and films. There’s much more than biographical and QED information, however; Ottavani includes Feynman’s refusal to participate in destructive science after World War II and his frustration because his sister had a much harder path in education and culture because of her gender. The result is a balanced blend of science, personal life, and reflection filled with human drama and heart. P7Q9

Phelan, Matt. Around the World: Three Remarkable Journeys. 2011. 237p. Candlewick, $24.99. 978-0-7636-3619-7. Ages 8-12:
After the fictional character Phileas Fogg circled the Earth in Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days, several people copied him. Phelan, author of the graphic novel The Storm in the Barn, tells the stories of three adventurers: Thomas Stevens who took on the task in 1884 on a 50-inch bicycle,; Nellie Bly who beat Fogg’s record as a reporter for the New York World in the winter of 1889-1890; and Joshua Slocum who set out on his three-year sail around the world in 1895. Phelan began the chronicle of these journeys focusing on the “how,” but by the end of his task he decided to include the “why.” Gentle illustrations in this graphic narrative show the subtleties of the subjects’ changing expressions with just a dot or line, and the shifts between close-ups and scenic panoramas in a variety of angles and perspectives imitate fine filmmaking. The most exciting visuals are the ocean storms threatening Slocum’s small sailboat, The Spray. These stories follow the hopes, dreams, visions, and losses of these three lives. P9Q9

Reed, MK. Americus. Il. Jonathan Hill. 2011. 216p. First Second, $14.99. 978-1-59643-106-5. Ages 10-14:
Censorship, adolescent rebellion, and self-discovery are at the heart of this graphic novel about a rigid religious mother who puts together like-minded people in the small community to pull the Apathea Ravenchilde novel from the local library. Reed addresses a multitude of issues as shown by the characters: the uptight mother who sends her son to military camp when he says that he is gay, the reasonable single mother, the spinster librarian who meets a bachelor librarian during the challenge, and especially junior high student Neil who is so miserable in school that his own succor is reading. Hill has combined simple, black-and-white linework and lush inkwash to move back and forth from the novel’s basic story and the sword and sorcery narratives imbedded within the tale of the book’s challenge. Apathea’s struggles mirror the real-life battles as Neil participates in the war to keep the book in the library. Americus started life as a short strip in Tugboat Press’s long-running Papercutter anthology and then grew into a serialized webcomic before becoming a fully-fledged graphic novel. from (as the authors are proud to proclaim) a mainstream publisher. This funny, gripping, and relatable tale of life and local politics in middle America is currently being serialized online at saveapathea.com. P8Q9

Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Tantalize: Kieren’s Story. Il. Ming Doyle. Candlewick, $19.95. 978-0-7636-4114-6. Ages 12-15:
Based on the novel Tantalize, this graphic novel version changes the point of view from that of Quincie to half-werewolf Kieren, who is destined to join an urban Wolf pack and learn to master his shift. Before he leaves everything behind to do this, however, he resolves to help Quincie who doesn’t understand that the new vampire theme of her Italian restaurant has made it a lair for them. After the murder of her chef, Kieren becomes the prime suspect and tries to solve the mystery amidst a world of “were”—werecat, werebear, werevulture, wereetc. Kieren must keep his claws furled in this master gothic fantasy, but the handsome new chef wooing Quincie makes this difficult. Black and white drawings keep the pulse racing even if the lips on the people show way too much collagen. P10Q8

Varon, Sara. Bake Sale. 2011. 157p. First Second, $16.99. 978-1-59643-419-6. Ages 5-8:
Cupcake, part-time drummer in a band and bakery owner, searches for the joy that he used to bring to his craft and takes up the offer from his friend Eggplant to meet the renowned Turkish pastry chef “Turkish Delight.” Simple cartoon illustrations show his struggles to raise enough money for the journey with the ultimate sacrifice of giving up the money to his friend to visit his aunt. Varon shows the hard choices that people face in life through the humor of the colorful illustrations topped off with the sweetness (and fat) of the seven delicious recipes at the end of the book. The easy read and the difficulty of the recipes make for different ages of audience, but it’s a “sweet” book. P9Q9

Yang, Gene Luen. Level Up. Il. Thien Pham. 2011. 160p. First Second, $19.99. 978-1-59643-714-2. Ages 12-15:
In this magical-realist graphic novel about Dennis, an Asian-American young man wants to play video games instead of following the death-bed request of his father to become a gastroenterologist. Four mysterious angels tyrannize Dennis, forcing him into med school until he learns to overcome them. The charming illustrations are primarily gray and brown, but the angels bring brighter color to Pham’s watercolors. The delightful resolution shows that sometimes rebellion pays off. P8Q9

Conkling, Winifred. Sylvia & Aki. 2011. 151p. Tricycle, $16.99. 978-1-58246-337-7. Ages 8-11: World War II in the United States was a time of racial inequity as shown by the two protagonists in this lovely, simple book based on a real friendship. Hispanic Sylvia Mendez could not attend the local school that would give her a good education because of her last name, and Aki Muemitsu was forced to live in a internment camp in Arizona because her family was Japanese. There was no solution for Aki except the ending of the war, but Sylvia’s father fought for the right of her daughter to attend the school of her choice. His fight for justice was a landmark lawsuit, Mendez v. Westminster School District, that desegregated California’s schools and led to Brown v. Topeka Board of Education that integrated schools across the United States. Conkling does an excellent job of showing the injustices of segregation and internment through the characters of these two children two met because the one family rented a farm from the other one. Extensive interviews with Sylvia and Aki resulted in showing how two ordinary girls living in extraordinary times showed courage in the face of adversity. P7Q9

Cook, Trish and Brendan Halpin. Notes from the Blender. 2011. 229p. Egmont, $16.99. 978-1-60684-140-2. Ages 14-16:
Two authors present different points of view, one from unpopular Declan who loves music and video game violence and the other from popular Neilly who loses her equally popular boyfriend and her BFF. These two are brought together through the marriage of Declan’s widowered father and Neilly’s divorced mother. With that relationship comes a variety of relatives including Neilly’s gay father and his partner and Declan’s lesbian, pastor aunt and her partner. The two teenagers struggle with a variety of age-related issues: the boyfriend’s and BFF’s betrayal, the loss of a mother, the sexual desire Declan has for his new stepsibling Neilly; Declan’s father’s inability to understand that watching violence and porn doesn’t make someone violent; etc. Cook and Halpin have effectively blended the different perspectives of the two protagonists, and the issues are realistically and humorously presented. Assets to the book are the view of religion when teens attend a progressive church and the closeness of the families as they all work toward acceptance of each other. P8Q8

Dyrek, G.M. The Seer and the Scribe: Spear of Destiny. 2011. 258p. Luminis, $16.95. 978-1-935462-39-2. Ages 9-12:
In the first of the series set in a medieval monastery, the talent of the seer Hildegard to talk to dead people combines with the ability of the scribe Volmar to delve into places where a woman cannot, especially because the woman in this case has confined herself to a stone cell with two other women so that they can devote themselves to the love of God. The author provides a vivid picture of the violence and intrigue in the world of power-hungry noblemen and ambitious, deceitful clerics. Sometimes the footnotes explaining terms seem intrusive and geared more for a younger audience and the pacing is uneven, but the adventure of these two young people will keep history buffs reading. P7Q7

Haberdasher, Violet. The Secret Prince: A Knightley Academy Book. 2011. 503p. Aladdin, $16.99. 978-1-4169-9145-8. Ages 10-14:
In Knightly Academy,the first of this series, Henry Grim managed to get into the prestigious school; now he begins a secret battle society to save the Britonians from the encroaching
Nordlandians. Harry Potter fans will enjoy the mystery, excitement, adventure, and humor of this alternate history that has much more about knighthood that the first book. Even better, however, is the development of characters as they learn to relate to each other through their trials as well as the on-going revelations of Henry’s background. The third novel will surely resolve these as well as the growing romance between Henry and Frankie, the girl who spent the entire first book sneaking into Henry’s room that he shared with friends. P8Q8

Scott, Elizabeth. Between Here and Forever. 2011. 250p. Simon Pulse, $16.99. 978-1-4169-9484-8. Ages 13-16:
Abby can’t get over feeling inferior to her beautiful, popular sister, Tess, even after her older sister is in a coma. Despite the hopelessness of the situation, Abby refuses to quit and recruits handsome Eli to help with her efforts to bring Tess back. Scott deals with several issues in the book: Abby’s lack of self-esteem and her false view of her sister who is actually a closeted lesbian, Eli’s estrangement from his parents because of his obsessive-compulsive disorder, and the class differences between the two teenagers. The book is a blend of romance and growing understanding of people as Abby learns about her sister’s broken relationship with her first lover. In turn, Abby learns to accept herself. The author has created believable, well-developed characters who are all trying to navigate the exigencies of pain in a situation that brings them together. P9Q8

Carol Schramm- Siletz Public Library
Rubin, Adam. Daniel Salmieri, ill. Those Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door! Clarion Books, 2011. $16.99. ISBN 9780547429229. 32 pgs. Ages 5-8. If you read Those Darn Squirrels you will be thrilled to see that the story continues. Grouchy Old Man Fookwire still loves his birds and his relationship with the squirrels is still prickly. When a new neighbor’s cat begins terrorizing the neighborhood, the squirrels make a plan to deal with him. Like in the first book, the illustrations are wonderfully funny, the story is lively and fresh, and all is well in the end. My storytime group loved this book. P9Q9.

Griffin, Milly Beth. Anne Hunter, ill. Loon Baby. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2011. $16.99. ISBN 9780547254876. Unp. Ages 3-5.
This is a sweet story about a baby loon who is afraid that his mother won’t come back when she leaves him to catch his dinner. Many children have had a similar fear, and may relate to this book. The illustrations are quiet and soft, and the large but simple font gives the pages an uncluttered look. P8Q8

Demas, Corrine. John Manders, ill. Pirates Go to School. Orchard Books, 2011. $16.99. ISBN 9780545206297. Unp. Ages 4-6.
This fun book describes school, pirate style. The text is rhyming and silly (the rhymes come with an echo- the parrot repeats lines here and there), and the pictures have a lot of humor in them. My storytime group, which consisted of young school age kids, found it fun. P7Q7

Johnson, Lindsay Lee. Carll Cneut, ill. Ten Moonstruck Piglets. Clarion Books, 2011. $16.99. Unp. Ages 3-6.
This rhyming story is a fun romp with ten moonstruck piglets. They run, dance, swim, plunder, and loot under the light of the moon. Eventually they become afraid when the moon disappears and Mama rescues them. I loved the illustrations- there’s a lot of contrast and very dense colors which give a sense of moonlight. P8Q9

Lewis, Kevin. David Ercolini, ill. Not Inside This House! Orchard Books, 2011. $16.00. ISBN 9780439439817. Unp. Ages 4-8.
Livingstone Columbus Magellan Crouse, appropriately, is a child who likes to explore. He runs into trouble when he brings home a collection of critters- starting with a bug, but each time finding something more troublesome to bring home (mouse, pig, moose…). His mother finally sees that her son’s bug collection isn’t so bad. The story is told in rhyme, and the illustrations are detailed and fun. P8Q8

Ramos, Mario. I Am So Strong. Gecko Press, 2011. $17.95. ISBN 9780958278775. Unp. Ages 4-8. This book was popular with my storytime group. The conceited Wolf walks through the woods asking everyone he meets who is the biggest, baddest, strongest animal around. Various creatures tell him what he wants to hear, and he is convinced that, “Oh, it’s so good to be me!” He finally meets a “little toad of some sort” who won’t lie to him. We find that the “toad’s” mother is actually a dragon, and has the wolf out-classed in all ways. The illustrations are simple but expressive, and the character of the gloating wolf is very memorable. P8Q9

Messner, Kate. Andy Rash, ill. Sea Monster’s First Day. Chronicle Books, 2011. $16.99. ISBN 9780811875646. Ages 4-8.
This colorful picturebook documents Ernest the Sea Monster’s first day at school. It shows the excitement of starting school, but also the insecurity and fear that can occur. Ernest tries hard but doesn’t fit in at the beginning. By the end of the day, he creates a nitch for himself. This book would be good for children who are nervous about beginning school, and aren’t sure that they will fit in. P8Q8

Juvenile Fiction:
Lowry, Lois. Eric Rohmann, ill. Bless This Mouse. Houghton Mifflin Books for Young Readers, 2010. $15.99. ISBN 9780547390093. 151 pgs. Ages 9-12.
This is a fun story about a group of church mice led through a series of adventures by Mouse Mistress Hildegarde. The mice have to deal with the Great X (the exterminator), and under Hildegarde’s leadership they manage to come through unscathed. Despite the definite religious note and vocabulary specific to Catholic church, I think many young readers will enjoy this adventure for it’s pure fun. P7Q8

Updale, Eleanor. Johnny Swanson. David Fickling Books, 2010. $16.99. ISBN 9780385751988. 383 pgs. Ages 9-12.
Johnny Swanson, age 11, has come up with a wonderfully successful money making scheme. He sells advice in the newspaper–for a small fee, you can get the answers to questions like: what is the secret to instant height? Stand on a box! The money coming in doesn’t help, though, when his mother falls into danger. Johnny is forced to investigate the problem himself since the police don’t want to listen to him. The story is fast-paced and exciting, and Johnny learns some valuable lessons over the course of the story. P8Q8

Book Review by JV
Child, L. Maria (1802-1880); Illustrated by Tavares, Matt Over the River and Through the Wood Candlewick Press; Illustration copyright 2011; $16.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-2790-4 32 pgs Gr Pre K-2; P. 8., Q. 8.
Beautifully illustrated, this is the original published poem by Lydia Marie Child, (1802-1880). It was called “A New-England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day” published in the book “Flowers for Children, Volume 2, 1844. Nice to see the words of the now traditional song in text with pictures. The illustrations may help a child understand the words and meaning of the song better.

Martin, David; Illustrated by Gorbachev, Valeri; Little Bunny and the Magic Christmas Tree. Candlewick Press; 2011; $15.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-3693-7. Gr Pre K-2: P. 8., G. 8.
Little Bunny is not happy about being little. Then Magic happens Christmas eve and Little Bunny becomes even smaller. It is such fun in this magic world, but soon Bunny has to decide if he wants to stay, or go back to being Little Bunny again. Nice story.

Rubel, David; Illustrated by LaMarche, Jim; The Carpenter’s Gift; Random House, NY press; 2011; $17.99; ISBN 978-0-375-86922-8; Gr Pre K-2 P. 9., Q. 9.
Beautifully illustrated, historical story about the Christmas tree tradition at the Rockefeller Center. A
small boy living in the hard times of the depression goes with his dad to sell Christmas trees in NYC. It is a heart touching story of giving, receiving and giving back again. The last pages tell about the Rockefeller center and it’s connection to Habitat for Humanity.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by MD
Mortimer, Gavin. The Great Swim. Walker & Company. New York. 2008. $24.95. 325 pgs. Ages adult. 978-0-8027-1595-1. p 6/ q 8
This is a historical account from the summer of 1926 and the great excitement when four American women crossed the English Channel. The book has lots of photos, and notes with references to the author’s research and has a selected bibliography and an index. I enjoyed the book because I like reading historical fiction – even though this is not fiction there was a lot of story about the swimmers, coaches and people who helped these swimmers. I don’t think this book would be of interest to high school students but I think it would have appeal to the women’s movement because this was a great feat for women athletes at the time.

Strasser, Todd. Famous. Simon & Schuster. New York. 2011. $15.95. 259 pgs. Ages high school. 978-1-4169-7511-3 p8/q8
Sixteen year old Jamie is the youngest paparazzi photographer and tries to pursue her dream of being a celebrity photographer despite the dark side of fame. She is living with one of the famous to do a week long photo story but things get crazy when she discovers that someone has taken some very incriminating photos with her camera. It was a fast paced read with twist and turns a bit of a mystery.

Thompson, Lauren. Leap Back Home to Me. Margaret K. McElderry Books. New York, 2011. $15.99. 978-1-4169-0664-3 p7/q7
This is a cute story for a young child about a frog who goes out into the world but every night comes home to his mother. I especially liked when he leaped over a rocky hill and gets a crazy look on his face.

Watson, Jesse Joshua. Hope For Haiti. Penguin Young Readers Group. New York. 2010. $16.99. 978-0-399-25547-2 p 8/ q8
The story starts with an author’s note about how the author’s father was a member of the World Vision International. The author’s note provides a good start to a story about the earthquake in Haiti. It talks about how the boy was sad and crying after his neighborhood was destroyed. It talks about living in Haiti after such a disaster so some of the pictures are scary. One thing the story shows is how children can even be happy with a soccer ball made of tied together rags. It is a story of hope – when a man in the make shift tent city gives the children a soccer ball that was signed by Manno Sanon one of Haiti’s great soccer players.

Frederick, Heather Vogel. Hide and Squeak. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. New York. 2011. $16.99. 978-0-689-85570-2 p 7/ q 7
This is a cute story about a dad mouse and a baby mouse playing hide-and-squeak. The daddy wears reading glasses so we can tell he is the adult but it kind of makes him look like a grandpa mouse instead. The pictures are cute and simple words. This is a good night story as the dad is trying to get the baby to go to bed. This is an ok story nothing totally wonderful about the book.

Teague, Mark. Firehouse! Scholastic. New York. 2010. $16.99. 978-0-439-91500-7 p 7/ q 7
This is a story about a little “dog” boy who wants to be a fireman and visits the firehouse all of the characters in the story are dogs. The pictures are bright and engaging but the words are not very catchy.

Davis, Katie. Davis, Jerry. Little Chicken’s Big Day. Simon & Schuster. New York. 2011. $14.99. 978-1-4424-1401-3 p8/q8
I liked this story because the baby chick sleeps in a bed like an egg and rides in a car seat that looks like an egg. The story is about getting ready for the day. There are several cute pages without words that tell the story beautifully about a mother and her chick. The story ends with a good night story and being tucked into bed.

Walker, Anna. I Love Vacations. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. New York. 2011. $9.99. 978-1-4169-8321-7 p 8/q 8
This is a story about “Ollie” and I liked that because my daughters name is Olivia. It would be a popular children’s book in our area because they go on a vacation to the beach. The words rhyme so it is easy to read.

Newport High Students and Staff
Peters, Andrew. Ravenwood. Chicken House, New York. 2011. $16.99. Gr 6-9. 300 pgs. ISBN 978-0-545-30550-1.
An adopted plumber overhears a king’s councilor plotting rebellion, is overheard, chased, jumps off the side of the town (see book), is presumed dead but survives, confides in an acquaintance, tries to see the king but fails and is chased again, meets the people who live under city, reads the mind of a monster, goes back to the city to save his kidnapped sister, is caught, wounded, carried off by a giant raven, meets his mother, learns certain skills, goes back, unveils the plot to the king, drives an officer of the councilor’s invading army insane as the recruited underdwellers win the battle on the king’s side, mourns for the dead, goes back to his adoptive home, book ends. This book is not particularly believable, but it is quite fun to read and well-written. P5 Q8 By A.M., NHS 9th grader

Dilkes, D.H. Beans, Nuts, and Oils. Enslow Publishers, Inc., New York, 2012. $21.26. Gr. PreK-1. 24 pgs. ISBN 978-0-7660-3928-5.
Enslow’s flyer that accompaniesthe book says “Learning to read feeds young people’s minds. First, they must feed their bodies wit h a healthy diet of nutritious foods. Featuring basic text and vibrant full-page photos, these books will help them do both.” This book is obviously targeted at preschoolers, but the vocabulary used in the book is only appropriate for a read-along. It doesn’t really teach the kids what nuts, beans, or oils are or where they come from. There’s nothing that lets the reader know why they are nutritious, either. Also, some of the photos are a little misleading and the binding cuts a couple of them off. This book is one of a set of 6 that Enslow is peddling as “All about the good foods we eat.” I can’t help but feel like there are better series out there for a more reasonable price. P6 Q2 By E.F., NHS Staff

Landau, Elaine. What is St. Patrick’s Day? Enslow Publishers, Inc., New York, 2011. $21.26. Gr. K-3. 24 pgs. ISBN 978-0-7660-3928-5.
Enslow did a much better job with this book; it’s informative, interesting, and fun. The author covers the background of St. Patrick’s Day without letting the text get bogged down. Photos and illustrations supplement and engage the text without being cloying or superficial. The craft given is somewhat stupid and meaningless, but it’s not terrible. Not sure I would recommend this for a library purchase, as there’s a plethora of better St. Pat’s books out there for less money. Also included: t of c, pronunciation guide, bibliography, list of websites, and index. P6 Q6 By E.F., NHS Staff

Green, Carl R. and William R. Sanford. The Mysterious Secrets of Dreams Enslow Publishers, Inc., New York, 2012. $23.93. Gr.4-9. 48 pgs. ISBN 978-0-7660-3821-9.
Finally, this Enslow book is well worth the money: it’s nicely presented, well-researched, fairly comprehensive, and engaging as all heck. The authors discuss dreams in literature, brain-dream interactions, history of dream research, dream interpretation, and constructing a dream journal. This book belongs in every middle school and public library, for it succinctly presents a popular topic that far too few books aimed at that reading level do. Also included: t of c, glossary, chapter notes, bibliography, list of websites, and index. P8 Q8 By E.F., NHS Staff

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by NW
Morpurgo, Michael. The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Il. Emma Chichester Clark. 2011. unp. Candlewick Press, $16.99. 978-0-7636-4824-4. Ages 6-10:
This classic German legend has had several incarnations since its inception in 1300, and this richly-illustrated one has moved into the realm of economics. Simply put, the rich people of Hamelin have all the money while the poor and sick are forced to fight rats in the garbage that the rich allows to build up. Made distraught by the hordes of rats that come into their homes and bite their children, they hire a piper who promises to lead the rats out of town. When he does, the mayor refuses to pay him, and the piper takes the children into a mountain, asking a crippled boy to return to the town with the message that the piper will return the children in one year and one day if the town has cleaned up the garbage and provided for the poor and sick by then. With the happy ending, the town succeeds, the children return, and the piper accepts that there is no payment because the town has spent all its money to make life better for all its citizens. The pencil-and-acrylic illustrations are bright and beautifully composed, and the message is clear: The rich may ignore the poor, but the Piper must be paid. P9Q10

Say, Allen. Drawing from Memory. 2011. 64p. Scholastic, $17.99. 978-0-545-17686-6. Ages 8-12: Almost 20 years ago, 74-year-old Allen Say started creating his magical award-winning picture books drawn from his life experiences as the son of a Korean father and California-born Japanese mother who was born in Japan and moved to the United States with his estranged father when he was 16. In this memoir/graphic narrative/history, he has shown his personal path to drawing from early doodling criticized by his family to his discovery of his “spiritual father,” Noro Shinpei, a leading Japanese cartoonist who apprenticed young men. Watercolors, original cartoons, vintage photographs, maps, sketches and line drawings follow the sparse text of Say’s courageous trip from the World War II-torn country to one in which he didn’t even speak the language. His experiences will surprise the reader, for example when his grandmother and mother suggested that he find his own apartment when he was only 12 years old. Others will be dismayed at the fact that his father shunned him. Say seems to have put his heart into this book to show in words and images a lifetime that most readers cannot understand but will appreciate. Truly a brilliant book. P8Q10

Winter, Jonah. Wild Women of the Wild West. Il. Susan Guevara. 2011. 40p. Holiday House, $16.95. 978-0-8234-1601-1. Ages 8-12:
Full-page watercolor/sepia line drawings of 15 women who made a difference in the West of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries accompany the one-page description of their accomplishments from warriors to journalists. The selection is diverse with Sarah Winnemucca, daughter of a Paiute chief, and Mary Fields, African-American stagecoach driver as balance for the better known subjects such as Annie Oakley and Carry A. Nation. In the biographies, the author provides a good luck at life in western America and Mexico in past centuries, and the illustrations create a strong feeling for the women’s appearance and clothing. P7Q8

Picture Books
Frazier, Craig. Bee & Bird. 2011. unp. Roaring Brook, $16.99. 978-1-59643-66902. Ages 2-5:
Bold geometric designs in rich clear colors tell the story of a bee that attaches itself to the head of a bird before they move from place to place, sometimes using transportation and other times with bird’s flight before discovering bee’s hive. In wordless fashion, Frazier shows the value of teamwork and patience in the relationship between “bee & bird.” This is a book that young people can read before they put letters into words. P9Q9

Judge, Lita. Red Sled. 2011. unp. Atheneum, $16.99. 978-1-4424-3007-8. Ages 3-7:
Subdued watercolor shades provide the backdrop for the bright red of a child’s sled when a bear steals it from an isolated cabin and picks up a grand variety of other creatures as they sail through the moonlit night. The joy of this almost wordless books—only the scrunch scrunch of the snow and the diverse emotional expressions are given letters—bring readers back to their past experiences or let them see what they are missing. The final delight is seeing the young girl figure out who had taken the sled and then enjoy the nocturnal ride with all the other characters. P9Q9

Seuss, Dr. The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories. 2011. 69p. Random House, $15.00. 978-0-375-86435-3. Ages 4-8:
Seuss scholar Charles D. Cohen has unearthed seven more poetic tales from the late Ted Geisel by researching library collections of old Redbook magazines. A ten-page introduction discusses these stories and how they fit with Geisel’s other writings; illustrations demonstrate the whimsy that Geisel readers expect. Each story ends with a message: two of them involve greed which makes “The Bippolo Seed” relevant in today’s society when a scheming feline encourages a naïve duck to demand more and more until the duck has nothing. A fun addition for Seuss lovers. P8Q8

Thomas, Jan. Is Everyone Ready for Fun? 2011. unp. Beach Lane, $12.99. 978-1-4424-2364-0. Ages 3-6:
Chicken gets irritated when the three rowdy cow visitors decide to first jump, then dance, and finally wiggle on the tiny couch. The repetition of the first four words of the title throughout the text and the whimsical vibrant drawings of the animals provide exuberant energy in this book from the creator of dust bunnies for two of her other books. Great fun before sleep!

Graphic Narratives
Cammuso, Frank. The Battling Bands: Knights of the Lunch Table. 2011. 128p. Graphix/Scholastic, $10.99. 978-0-43990318-9. Ages 8-11:
In the third book of this series, Artie King impulsively decides to enter a talent show, dragging his friends Wayne and Percy with him as part of the band although they aren’t musically inclined. Action-filled, colorful cartoons show him being pursued by a strange girl, Melody, and a bullying competitor, Joe, while Principal Dagger (who lives up to her name) tries to take away money from the award for the talent show. Things aren’t what they seem, as Artie learns from the strange maintenance man, Melody (who wasn’t really pursuing him), and the meaning of the singing sword (not really a sword) and the cymbal (not really a cymbal). Great satire on Arthurian legends in the school of Camelot doesn’t require an understanding of the original quest although knowing it adds to
the fun. Witty text and energetic illustrations make for a fast-paced read. P9Q8

Holm, Jennifer L. & Matthew Holm. Brave New Pond: Squish 2. 2011. 90p. Random House, $6.99. 978-0-375-84390-7. Ages 6-9:
This sequel to Super Amoeba beings all the old characters back plus adding the bullying algae when Squish learns his lesson about trying to popular and part of the cool crowd. A slime formula and drawing lesson add to the fun in this “green” addition to graphic novel series for younger readers. Only six more months until The Power of the Parasite! P9Q9

Holm, Jennifer L. & Matthew Holm. A Very Babymouse Christmas. 2011. 89p. Random House, $6.99. 978-0-375-86779-8. Ages 6-9:
Holiday traditions blend with Babymouse’s obsession with PRESENTS, especially a whizbang, as she faces down the ghosts of mean girls past and tries to outsmart Santa Claus. Young readers of this graphic novel will learn some of the customs of the past, for example trading names for secret Santas in the classroom. The 15th in this series is as vibrant and caustic as the first; watch for Babymouse for President next summer just in time for the election! P9Q9

Kibuiski, Kazu. The Last Council: Amulet #4. 2011. 211p. Graphix/Scholastic, $10.99. 978-0-545-20887-1. Ages 8-12:
The whole gang is back, including the quirky pink mechanical rabbit Miskit as Emily and her friends to to help for Cielis where they discover that the Guardian Council, formerly composed of high-echelon Stonekeepers, has been replaced by evil creatures. As always in this highly-charged, exciting, colorful graphic novel series, Emily solves some problems but encounters others to be covered in the next installment. P8Q8

Krosoczka, Jarrett J. Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Fiasco. 2011. 96p. Knopf, $6.99. 978-0-375-86730-9. Ages 6-9:
Lunch Lady and her sidekick, Betty, are just as innovative as ever when the Breakfast Bunch (Dee, Hector, and Terrence) catch onto the art fakes on a field trip to a museum and then figure out that the museum director is the perpetrator. As always there’s an imprisonment followed by an exciting car chase—and of course, lots of magical high-tech criminal-catching tools. The characteristic yellow makes the book a stand-out. P9Q9

Almond, David. My Name Is Mina. 2011. 304p. Delacorte, $15.99. Ages 10+:
Before Mina there was Skellig, about 10-year-old Michael who faces Doctor Death with the help of his next-door neighbor, nine-year-old Mina. Almond’s new book, in Mina’s words, tells about her struggles with her schooling and her life before she meets Michael. More than a journal, this work is many times free-form, with her poems, short stories, and varieties of font that reveals all her insecurities and fears. Fortunately, her mother allows her a sense of protection while still encouraging her to participate in the world. Young readers will delight in Mina’s rebellion, her ability to separate herself from fearsome things such as when she climbs into her sheltering tree, and her willingness to search the world, even when she is afraid. The book stands alone with all its creative, adventurous intense, sensitive confidences that the gifted narrator shares with the reader in her love for the taste of words. The characters that move through Mina’s writing are misfits who somehow find their places, sharing their lives with Mina. This is truly a book about hope and joy that forces people to read it in one sitting from the first sentence, “My name is Mina and I love the night!” to the final “The creaking of the door.” P8Q10

Cuevas, Michelle. The Masterwork of a Painting Elephant. Il. Ed Young. 2011. 136p. FSG, $15.99. 978-0-374-34854-0. Ages 8-11:
“My name is Pigeon Jones, and I was raised by a painting Indian elephant.” This sentence begins Pigeon’s odyssey beginning when his parents left him at an orphanage because they cared too much for him and he crawled across town to find Birch, the white elephant who adopted Pigeon and let him live on Birch’s back for his first ten years. Young’s expressive brush strokes fit with the zany story, made believable by the graceful flow of the words that gives a magical sense of warmth even when their adventures might seem scary. Into this dreamlike world come close escapes, mistaken identities, and new beginnings of families and caring as Pigeon searches for his parents and Birch searches for his lost love, the acrobat from the circus as together, they travel across two continents. The ending shows the difficulty of letting go when Pigeon decides to move off Birch’s back and onto his own two feet. P8Q9

Donnelly, Jennifer. Revolution. 2010. 472p. Delacorte, $18.99. 978-0-385-73763-0. Ages 14+: Current teenage angst, historical fiction, and time travel meld together in this tale about Andi, depressed because she takes the blame for the death of her 10-year-old brother, and Alexandrine Paradis, caught up in the French Revolution because she is caregiver for the last dauphin of France. At first, Andi uses Alexandrine’s diary to show the story of the past, but then she accidentally travels to the past herself after attending a party in the bone-filled Catacombs. Through her experiences, Andi learns to cope with her depression and her self-imposed isolation from her father, a scientist who takes her to Paris so that she can research her senior thesis, a graduation requirement from her private school, about a (fictional) French composer. Music lovers will enjoy the connection between past classical music and current rock, and the strong character development makes this an engrossing read. Although sometimes contrived, Revolution is a rich, thought-provoking read with a thoroughly-researched setting, and the political issues of the French Revolution gain a closer connection to the problems in the United States with each passing year. The complexity of the writing makes for more challenging reading, but the blend of history, romance, music, and grief makes the effort well worth it. P9Q7

Dunlap, Susanne. In the Shadow of the Lamp. 2011. 293p. Bloomsbury, $16.99. 978-1-59990-565-5. Ages 12-15:
Fired from her position as a servant in a wealthy London home because another girl wants it, 16-year-old Molly tries to be taken to the Crimea to nurse soldiers with Florence Nightingale. Turned down because of her inexperience, she hides on board the ship that takes the 28 women on Nightingale’s venture and talks her way into being accepted. Dunlap provides an excellent description of the 1854 war with the excessive number of casualties while mixing in romance as Molly falls in love with both a young doctor and a soldier who had worked with Molly in the London house. The ending comes perhaps too easily, but the descriptions of living and fighting conditions are realistic as is the author’s note about Nightingale’s mix of common sense and her abrasive need to be controlling. The author’s earlier book The Musician’s Daughter was a stronger book, but those who enjoy romance and historical fiction will delight in this novel. P7Q7

Edwards, Eve. The Other Countess: The Lacey Chronicles #1. 2011. 335p. Delacorte, $17.99. 978-0-385-74089-0. Ages 13-16:
Lovers of historical romance will be charmed by this formula story of a poor but noble girl—Lady Eleanor Rodriguez, known as Ellie—and a poor but noble boy—William Lacey Earl of Dorset, known as Will as they fall in love with each other despite their need to marry into money to help themselves and their families. Ellie’s father is an alchemist, rejected because he fails to create the valued gold out of dross, and her uncle is a Protestant who beliefs in austerity and beatings to control children. Ellie is bright and beautiful; Will tries to hate her because her father took his father’s money. Into the mix comes Lady Jane Perceval, the woman with money who appears to be more in love with Will’s younger brother. Set in 1582, the story shows the control of Queen Elizabeth I’s court, the courtly traditions, and the conventions of the time. Good “beach read.” The sequel will concentrate on Lady Jane’s story. P7Q8

Haines, Kathryn Miller. The Girl Is Murder. 2011. 342p. Roaring Brook, $16.99. 97-1-59643-609-1. Ages 12-15:
It’s 1942, and 15-year-old Iris lives with her father, who has lost a leg in World War II, after her mother’s suicide. Determined to help him save his private-detective company, she lies, cheats, and cons her way through school while breaking the rules that her father set for her. The 1940s slang is sometimes jarring, and Iris comes across as a very goody-good girl, and sometimes the plot threads aren’t satisfactorily tied up. Yet the writing takes the reader back 70 years, and the mystery has the taste of Nancy Drew. P7Q7

Myers, Anna. The Grave Robber’s Secret. 2011. 196p. Walker, $16.99. 978-0-8027-2183-9. Ages 9-12:
Robby’s life changes the night that his father forces him to help the man steal a corpse to sell to a medical college. The 12-year-old swears that he will never steal another corpse, but he is fascinated by the work that the doctors do. Complicating his life are his family’s new roomers, a sweet young girl and her father, who Robby believes is a murderer. The journey through nineteenth-century Philadelphia and the mysteries of medical research are intriguing despite the ghoulishness of the plotting, and the characterizations bring the events to life. Middle-school readers can easily be sold on this book. P9Q8

Selznick, Brian. Wonderstruck. 2011. 637p. Scholastic, $29.99. 978-0-545-02789-2. Ages 10-14: The author/illustrator has followed the tour de force The Invention of Hugo Cabret (being made into a 3D movie) with an even longer and more cohesive work, again blending narrative and illustrations. Selznick uses the stories of two runaway 12-year-olds, Ben from Minnesota 1977 and Rose from New Jersey 1927, to bring together the American Museum of Natural History, the Deaf culture, silent films, and wolves to show both children’s search for their families in New York City. Recently deaf, Ben’s story in words, attempting to find his father after discovering clues in his dead mother’s possessions, is interspersed with long-deaf Rose’s story, escaping the safe cocoon of her home in Hoboken to search for her favorite actress, in cinematic pencil drawings that follow the characters and zoom in on details. Illustrator Chris Riddell said, “The two stories come together at the climax of the book, which manages to incorporate an impressive array of heartfelt issues: everything from education for the deaf to friendship, love of collecting, conservation, memories and dioramas.” The book is long, despite the many warm, heavily-shaded illustrations, but the brisk pace and variety of words and visuals accelerates the reading. Wonderstruck fits much better into this visual storytelling than Selznick’s earlier book, with the parallel tales create a careful symmetry. Cabret won the Caldecott in 2008; this book has already won well-deserved international media attention because of its stunning sequences. P10Q10

Book Reviews by CB
Barnhill, Kelly, The mostly true story of Jack, Little, Brown, and Company, New York, 2011, 319 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:9780316056700, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 9,
Jack who is almost 12 years-old has never fit into his family’s life, but how can you when you are literally invisible to this family. Jack is so invisible that there are no pictures of him hanging on the wall, they don’t say hi or goodbye to you and they don’t ever hug you. At a family meeting where your mother and father tell you they are splitting up. But why are there no plans made for you? A quick rush to the bedroom and your life is decided you will go to Hazelwood, and spend the summer with your aunt and uncle. These two your, aunt and uncle, remember you and love you and are so excited to see you. Strange things start to happen and it is Jack who is blamed for the strange things that are happening. When his uncle leaves a book besides Jack’s bed and tells him to read it he finally starts to understand. Can he really believe all that is in the book and why him?

Boyce, Frank Cottrell, The unforgotten coat, Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts, 2011, 42 pgs., $15.99, ISBN:9780763657291, Gr.5+, P 7, Q 8,
Emigration to any country is hard as the emigrant may have to learn new customs, a new language and new friends. So when Julie, who lives in England, enters her 6th year in school she is really surprised when two Mongolian brothers appear in her class. Julie who helps them in school is soon dubbed the “Good Guide.” They expect her to help them when ever there is a problem. Chingis is the older of the two boys and answers all questions even the ones asked of his brother. The two boys are a mystery and Julie is determined to find out all about them. She follows them home and each day they take different route. Why they do this adds to the mystery and it is up to Julie to find the answer.

Brooks. Martha, Queen of hearts, Farrar Straus Giroux , New York, 2010, 214 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:9780374342296, Gr.8+, P 7, Q 8,
There are rumors of TB, Tuberculosis, striking the cities of Canada. TB has not come to the prairies of Canada however and Marie Claire isn’t worried about getting sick either. No one they know has it. World War II is being fought in Europe and the young men she knows are starting to enlist. Tuberculosis, which Marie Clarie thought would never touch her family finally does when her long lost uncle shows up and affects her and others in her family. Marie Claire must for to local sanitarium where she and her younger brother and sister must stay till they are cured of TB. This is a remarkable read of a time period and setting that conveys the horror of this disease.

Draper, Sharon, Clubhouse mysteries: The buried bones mystery, illustrated by Jesse Watson, Aladin, New York, 2006, unp, $15.99, ISBN:9781442427105, Gr. 3+, P 7, Q 8,
Sharon Draper is one of my favorite authors and I was so glad to find a book for younger readers. Ziggy, who is from Jamaica, decides with his friends to form a club called “The Black Dinosuars” when their local basketball court is vandalized. They are determined to use their skills to find out who did it. What they find instead is a local mystery that someone else is also trying to solve. This is a fun book that students will love as they to go along on adventure with a cast of characters that are quirky and funny.

Falls, Kat, Rip tide, Scholastic Press, New York, 2011, 314 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:9780545178433, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
I recently did a book talk to 4th, 5th and 6th grade classes as a result there is now a waiting list for this book. This is the sequel to Dark Life in which Ty and his family are pioneer farmers under the sea. This futuristic story where the world has flood and what little land is left houses have been built on top of each other high into the sky. It is now three months later from where the first story left off and this one starts and Ty and Gemma have found a large submarine, which is as large as a city, in the depths of a sea. All the hatches have chained and the occupants of the large submarine city have not been able to escape. Ty with Gemma’s help must find his parents who have been kidnapped and also must try to solve the mystery of the sunken large submarine. This fast paced futuristic adventure will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Frost, Helen, Hidden, Frances Foster Books, / Farrar Straus Giroux, New York, 2011, 147 pgs., $16.99, ISBN: 9780374382216, Gr.7+, P 8, Q 8,
Wren is eight years old the day that she is kidnapped in her family’s’ minivan. Her mother had parked in front of a store and left Wren it. When a man jumps in and steals the minivan Wren hides on the floor behind the front seat. Not knowing that Wren is there he continues to his home and parks the minivan in his garage. Wren gets out and hides in a boat which is also housed in the garage. It is the man’s daughter Darra who listens to the news report that tells of Wren’s kidnapping. She knows Wren is the garage and leaves food and water for her. Years later after Wren has been found and Darra’s father has been sent to prison the two meet again. At a summer camp the two girls recognize each other at once and each has questions that they want answers to. The author has chosen to give each girl a very distinct lyrical poetic voice from which tells the story from alternating viewpoints. I found myself unable to put the book down as I read it into the night. [Editor’s note: A novel in verse.]

Fussell, Sandy, Owl Ninja, illustrated by Rhian Nest James, Candlewick Press, Berryville, VA, 2011, 250 pgs., $15.99, ISBN:9780763650032, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
This book is the sequel to White Crane, the first in the Samurai Kids series, and from the first page the author had me hooked. The Cockroach Ryu, in the first book, won martial arts competition against the Japans most powerful martial arts house, the Dragon Ryu. They now must now stop a civil war from starting in Japan. The Sensei, Ki-Yanga, of the Cockroach Ryu with the members of his house must travel across Japan with being caught by the Dragon Ryu’ Sensei. He is the one who wants a war because then the Dragon Ryu members will earn fame and honor for the Dragon Ryu. The Sensei from the Dragon Ryu feels that the Cockroach Ryu students, are talented but they who are handicapped, by winning the martial arts competition they have brought shame to his house.

Giff, Patricia Reilly, Star time, illustrated by Akasdair Bright, Random House, New York, 2011, 67 pgs., $12.99, ISBN:9780385738880, Gr. 2+, P 7, Q 8,
I work in a district where one elementary school was closed and students moved form one building to another. So my school now houses grades 4th – 8th grade, as a result I am on the hunt for better written children’s books. Giff has been one of my favorite authors and low and behold I found this fun book. The main character, Gina is a young girl who is spunky, vivacious, and who dreams of becoming the star of the Afternoon Center play. The only problem is best friend Destiny also wants to be the star. By the end of the story Gina has figured out how both can be a star in the play. The black and white illustrations are fun and add to the story. I especially liked those at the front of the book which show all the characters in the Zigzag School series.

Harrison, Michelle, 13 curses, Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2010, 2011, 486 pgs., $15.99, ISBN:9780316041508, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
Though this book was the second in the series, the first was the 13 Treasures, the author had my attention from the first page. This fantasy adventure now has all the 13 treasures found in the first are what become the 13 curses. When Red’s little brother is stolen by the fairies she must enter the fairies realm to bargain for his return. She must have all the charms, the 13 treasures found on Tanya’s bracelet, before her brother will be returned to her. Time differs in the fairies world when compared to the human world. Through a series adventures which are steeped in magic and discovery Red is able to collect all the treasures but will she be in time to save her brother and bring him home?

Hartnett, Sonya, The midnight zoo, illustrated by Andrea Offermann, Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts, 2010, 217 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:9780763653392, Gr.5+, P 7, Q 8,
Andrej and his Romany family always gather with other Romany families at the end of the summer. Here they cook, sing, play soccer, fly kites and visit each other. This year is no different except that they are also being hunted by the German army because they are Gypsies. Tomas and his brother run into the forest to retrieve the soccer ball. Finding it takes a long time so the boys are not there when the Germans attack the Romany encampment. They hide in the bushes and see their family marched off into the woods and they hear their mother yell to them “run and hide.” They run through the country side hiding in the day time and scavenging for food and whatever else they may be able to trade for food. When they enter a city that has recently been bombed and a battle had been waged close by they know they must hide again. Stumbling into a deserted zoo which still has animals in cages Andrej and his younger brother Tomas know they can’t just leave the hungry animals. Andrej and Tomas soon realize that the zoo is more then they could ever imagine as the animals start to talk to them. They tell of how they came to be in the zoo and how they hope that they can be returned to natural habitats.

Hughes, Pat, Five 4ths of July, Viking, New York, 2011, 278 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:9780670012077, Gr. 7+, P 7, Q 8,
During the Revolutionary War the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th, 1776. Around the colonies they celebrated this declaration and in a small coastal town in Connecticut Jake Mallory and his friends celebrated too. Jake is 14 years-old that summer and his friends gather at night to eat clams around a bon fire. For the next fours years life changes for Jake and his friends as the war grows closer to their small coastal town, New Haven. Jake who wants his father to easy up on him and at the same time to be proud of him becomes more entangled in defense of the city. When the British attack the town Jake and one of his friends are caught and sent to be prisoners aboard the HMS Bonhomme which is anchored in the gulf. For the next two years Jake, his friend, and comrades suffer from boredom, hunger, scurvy, the death of friends, diarrhea, and the lack of fresh water. Jake is finally able to escape from the ship. Injured he must stay with some loyalists, so that he can regain his strength, by deceiving them into thinking he is also loyal to the crown. When he returns home he is hopeful for American’s future.

Jones, Traci L., Silhouetted by the blue, Farrar Straus Giroux, New York, Harrisonburg, Virginia, 2011, 200 pgs., !6.99, ISBN:9780374369149. Gr.7+, P 8, Q 8,
Serena’s mother died 18 months before, leaving behind her younger brother and father. Serena must care for her younger brother and her father who is in a deep, deep depression. Serena must shop for food, do the laundry, cook supper, make lunches, take her brother to school and then home and to clean the house. All of this and go to school herself, try out for a part in the Wiz, keep her grade point average above a 2.75 and attend all rehearsals after she wins the part and still do all the things she needs to do at home. Serena knows that she can no longer do all this and calls her uncle for help. It is the climax of the story when Serena’s dad tries to take his own life and Serena finds him. Depression can have lasting effects for family’s this story gives a quick insight to some of these problems.

King, Caro, Seven Sorcerers, Alladin, New York, 2011, 324 pgs., $15.99, ISBN:9781442420427, Gr. 4+, P 8, Q 8,
This fantasy adventure will take the reader in to new realm, the Drift, which resides next to our own. The main character Nin and her little brother, Toby, live together in a home with their mom, dad, and grand parents. Nobody will listen to Nen when a she see small dwarf size man in the house at night. When Toby is stolen by the Bogeyman Skerridge nobody in the house even remembers who Toby is or that he lived in the house. The Bogeyman Skerridge returns that night for Nin and she escapes his clutches by running into and hiding in the Drift. The Drift is a realm that is slowing dying because of a plague that is destroying everything in. It is up to Nin to rescue her brother, stop the plague, avoid Bogeyman Skerridge, an also all the horrible creatures that reside in Drift. This fantasy adventure will have on the edge of your seat as the plot thickens.

LaFevers, R. L. The unicorn’s tale, illustrated by Kelly Murphy, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Boston, 2011, 153 pgs., $14.99, ISBN:9780547482774, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
Nathaniel Fludd and his aunt are at it again in the 4th book in this series. It’s October 1928 and Nate and his Aunt Phil, who is teaching Nate to be beastologist, are on their way to France. Here they must find the Quivre that is down Monsieur Poupon well. This is the dragon that went down his well two days before. Nathaniel and Aunt Phil must capture the little beast, he’s twice as long as Aunt Phil, in a net, place him their plane so that they can fly him to a little lake near by and dump him. All of this is typical good day’s work for any good beastologist. Nate is still looking for his lost parents and there is still more work to do. Aunt Phil and Nate must find out what is wrong with a sick unicorn in Ireland and try to find out where there arch enemy Cornelius might be hiding.

LaFleur, Suzzane, Eight keys, Wendy Lamb Book, New York, 2011, 216 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:9780385740302, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 9,
Elise and Franklin have been best friends forever and they are both now entering middle school. Franklin and Elise have also played swords together and now on the first day she covered in scabs. Not a cool thing to have in middle school and it also doesn’t help that there is a mean girl, Amanda, who makes hurt cutting remarks to her. Soon Elsie is no longer playing with Franklin something she regrets when she has something to tell him and he is no longer around. Elsie parents died when she was little and she now lives with her aunt and uncle. She has always received a letter on her birthday from her father. On this years birthday there is also a key one of eight that will open one of the locked doors in the barn. Each was built by her dad and in there are hidden treasures that will help Elsie to know herself, her parents, her aunt and uncle and what friendship really means.

Moss, Marissa, Daphne’s Diary of daily disasters: The name game, Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York, 2011, unp., $9.99, ISBN:9781442426764, Gr. 3+, P 7, Q 7,
Marrisa Moss has written other children’s books, Amelia Bedelia, and Max books in the same style of diary or log books. This is her latest book and again written in a diary format that will appeal to third graders and higher. I found Daphne ‘s character to be that of a little tough young girl who when she says things they can be hurtful or mean. I spoke about this to some friends and their comment was like any fourth grader would speak. I work in a school that is 4th – 8th grade and I started to think about this and yes they do speak this way to each other in such a way. I still felt disheartened by it though. I have shown the two books to students and they can’t wait to get their hands on one of their favorite authors. Yes, the book overall is great with doodles, pink paper and hand writing through out and a young spunk girl who will appeal to older elementary students.

Moulton, Erin, Flutter, Philomel Books, New York, 2011, 200 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:9780399255151, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
Maple and her family live on a farm out on Canton Creek Turnpike. Here she lives with her slightly older sister Dawn, mom and dad and their younger sister Beetle. Mom is pregnant with the family’s 4th girl who they will name Lily. When Mom goes into an early labor, Maple plans to get some miracle water that lays below the old Wise Woman face on the side of a mountain. If it could cure of their family’s dogs surely it will help Lily to survive. What she finds is a sister who will defend her, a ride down a strong river, poachers, injuries and an adventure that brings the two girls together. This is an adventure and of two spirited girls that conquer the wilderness together in an effort to save their baby sister Lily.

Murphy, Sally, Pearl verses the world, illustrated by Heather Potter, Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts, 2009, 73 pgs., $14.99, ISBN:9780763648213, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
What drew my attention to this book was the cover of a little girl sitting on the world, as though she could solve all problems of the world. What I found was young girl, named Pearl, who must face the death of her beloved Granny with whom she and her mother have lived with. When Granny starts to forget things and her mother can no longer take care of her Pearls world as she knew starts to change. Written in free prose the story of Pearl unfolds and you are able to see that she really does feel as though all the world’s problems are on her shoulders. This is a story that brought me to tears as I too suffered from a brother who died from dementia. The loss of a loved one is hard at any age but Pearl did it with such dignity and love that she inspired me too.

Myklusch, Matt, The secret war, Aladdin / Simon and Schuster, New York, 2011, 529 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:9781416995647, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 9,
Jack Blank is back again and with a new adventure in the Imagine Nation. In training to be a super hero he becomes involved with stopping Rustov’s from attacking the city. Jack has a secret what only two others know about in the Imagine Nation. This secret threatens his life in the city so Jack lies to protect himself. This lie keeps growing and when his nemesis, Jonas Smart, discovers that Jack has a Rustov virus planted him he will use this information to bring him down. With the aid of his company and new software, Net Smart, Jonas plans to let every one know about Jack. Jonas is sure the virus will lead to the destruction of the city. Jack who was seen as a hero in the beginning of the book soon finds that public opinion can be changed overnight. This book is filled full of adventure, plot twists, and a surprise ending which guarantees another book and more adventures for Jack Blank.

Shreve, Susan, The lovely shoes, Arthur A. Levine / imprint of Scholastic, 2011, 251 pgs., $16.99, ISBN. 9780439680493, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
My daughter Nicole loves designer shoes. When I went to Nordstrum’s with her and up the stairs to look at shoes. She as so excited to find several pair of Ferragamo shoes and exclaimed “Oh a pair of Ferragomo’s!” Being a bargain shopper myself I had to ask the price and I then exclaimed “Oh My God, are you kidding me!” So when I started to read this book about a young girl, Franny, who in 1955 goes to Italy so that her misshapen foot can be fitted for a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, I was excited as I finally knew who this was. It takes an accident at Franny’s first school dance to inspire her mother to write and ask Salvatore Ferragamo if he can help her daughter. Going to Italy and staying for three weeks is a dream in any young’s girl life. To go and get something that helps with your quality of life is even better. The story also offers a look into someone with a disability and their feelings about how they look and others perceive them.

Terlouw, Jan, Winter in wartime, Lemniscat, New York, 1972, translation 1975, 2011, 156 pgs., $9.95, ISBN9781935954026, Gr.8+, P 8, Q 8,
This story was originally written in Dutch and was then translated into English in 1975. It is the last winter of the World War II and Michiel, who is 15 years-old, finds himself getting involved in the resistance activities. Hiding a English pilot from the Germans puts himself and his family in danger. There are others that his family hides, two Jewish men who escape from a group of men that are be held for the next train. They also feed strangers and relatives who have over one hundred and sixty miles looking for food. They all have to be off the streets by nightfall or they will be arrested by the Germans. Through all of this Michiel that there is a spy in their house or someone who comes around and information is being given to the Nazis.

Treggiari, Jo, Ashes, Ashes, Scholastic Press, New York, 2011, 343 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:9780545255639, Gr. 8+, P 9, Q 8,
Lucy’s world as she knew is destroyed when a series of catastrophes with the environment take place and her world is changed forever. At 16 years-old she was in high school and only worried about things that affected this world, dances, boys, and her classes. Her mom and dad die first leaving just her and sister to fight against a plague that takes 99% of the survivors with it. Her sister is one of the ones to die leaving her in world that has changed so dramatically. She hides and survives for a year on her own and moves only when she realizes that a tsunami will hit after another devastating earth quake. For the first time in a year she finds humans that she can talk to and take shelter with. Aidan, a young man who saves her life, is among the human population in the small group that she shelters with. Sally, Aidan and others in the group ban together to rescue those who have been captured and taken to a facility that people have never returned from, until now.

Trueit, Trudi, Secrets of a lab rat, illustrated by Jim Paillot, Alladin / Simon & Schuster Children’s Division, New York, 2011, 142 pgs., $14.99, ISBN:9781416975946, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
This is the first time I have read a book from the Secrets of a Lab Rat series and I was not disappointed with Scab, the main character. Scab is determined to win his class election for class president. He only has to beat teacher’s pet Missy Malone. When she starts to win his class mates over to her side Scab knows that he has to come up something spectacular. When his plan backfires what’s a guy suppose to do besides end up in detention? I look forward t reading more conniving schemes that Scab and his friends come up with.

Non Fiction
Barretta, Gene, Dear Deer : a book of homophones, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2007, unp., $16.99, ISBN:9780805081046, Gr. 3+, P 7, Q 8,
A letter arrives for the Deer in the forest from his Aunt Ant telling of all that goes on in the zoo. Using homophones, words that sound alike but are spelled differently the Deer things such as: the Moose loves mousse, or you might see the ewe has been in a daze for days. At the end of the book Deer is writing a letter to his Aunt Ant asking for more news of her neighbor. The colored illustrations show a variety of zoo animals hanging by their tales, reaching high into the trees to eat, and even a crying whale under water.

Markle, Sandra, Animals Christopher Columbus saw : an adventure in the new world, illustrated by Jamel Akib, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, California, manufactured in China, 2008, 46 pgs., glossary, index, $16.99, ISBN:9780811849166, Gr. 3+, P 7, Q 9,
Markle, Sandra, Animals Robert Scott saw: an adventure in Antarctica, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, California, manufactured in China, 2008, 45 pgs., glossary, index, ISBN:9780811849180, Gr. 3+, P 7, Q 9,
Two explorers, Christopher Columbus and Robert Scott, each had an adventure that ended up helping man kind as they both explored the world. The Antarctica has a harsh environment that Scott had prepared for as well as could. It was the book on the Antarctica that I also enjoyed the most. From the animals that they used to the fossils that they found in the ice I learned to much I know want to investigate this explore even more. The illustrator used acrylic paintings and old photographs obtained from archives to showcase the two trips that Scott made to the Antarctica. Though Scott was did not reach the South Pole first he did eventually reach it in 1912. The Norwegian, Roald Amundsen, explorer beat him by 35 days and at the end of the book the two routes are shown and talked about.
The Christopher Columbus was good but not as interesting to me. This could have been because I have studied Columbus more than Scott. The wood eating worms was something that I knew nothing about. The illustrator shows an enlarged section that shows how the worms burrowed into the wood, weakening it and causing holes to form that could sink the ship. The Sargasso Sea was something else that I knew nothing about and I will be doing research on this topic as well.

Sobol, Richard, The mysteries of Angkor Wat, Exploring Cambodia’s ancient temple, Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts, 2011, 44 pgs., glossary, $17.99, ISBN:9780763641665, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 8,
I have always wanted to be a world traveler so that I could go and see the all ancient wonders. Angkor Wat was one of the places that when I retire I am going to go see. So until then I have to wait for books like this one. Colorful photographs taken by the author Richard Sobol have already started my journey to one of Cambodia’s oldest temples. The photographs are not only of the temple but of school children, local markets and dancers. I especially loved the children who promised that they would take the author to see their dee no soo if he would come back before he left. So at the end of his stay he went to their school, photographed too, and they guide him to the dee no soo. Hidden deep within Ta Prohm temple, part of Ankor Wat, the children take Richard Sobol into a region of the temple that has not yet been restored. Here carved into the stone of this temple is their dee no soo or a dinosaur.

Thomas, Peggy, Farmer George : plants a nation, paintings by Layne Johnson, Calkins Creek, Honesdale, Pennsylvania, 2008, 40 pgs., $17.95, ISBN:9781590784600, Gr. 3+, P 7, Q 8,
I have always read books about George Washington as a soldier, General and then the President of the United States. It was wonderful to see another side of him that of a farmer trying to approve the clay soil on his Mount Vernon farm. He was a scientist, an agriculturalist, who used scientific means to determine which soil mixture would be good for his crops. He also realized that to plant just tobacco it would leach out the nutrients from his land. Therefore he had to learn how to manage it. He owned slaves and invented a planting device that took one man instead of two or three to plant a field. His farm became self reliant so that he did not have to get things from England and he encouraged other farmers around to do the same thing. The book also mentions his time in the army and also as president. The author has also used quotes from Washington’s diaries and letters and at the end of each the year that he wrote them is provided. The illustrators use’s oil paintings to help illustrate this detailed life of George Washington, the farmer, the inventor, soldier and president.

Graphic Novels
Coudray, Philippe, Benjamin Bear in fuzzy thinking, Toon Books imprint of Candlewick Press, New York, 32 pgs., $12.95, ISBN:9781935179122, Gr.2+, P 8, Q 9,
This “toon” book features Benjamin Bear who does things with fuzzy thinking. Why catch a little fish? Instead catch a large fish and dump out all the fish that the large fish has eaten. When Benjamin needs to dry his dishes and there is no cloth just use the bunnies’ tails. This fuzzy thinking bear will delight any reader as he comes up with his zany solutions as he tries to solve the problems he encounters.

Picture Books
Egielski, Richard, The sleepless little vampire, Arthur A. Levine / Scholastic, New York, 2011, unp, $16.99, ISBN:9780545145978, Gr. 2nd, P 9, Q 8,
Why can’t the little vampire fall sleep. The little vampire hears sounds and thinks maybe that is what is keeping her awake. From spiders spitting, bats flitting, werewolf bawling, and ghosts booing the sleepless vampire eliminates them from keeping her awake. All of the spooking things also join her in trying to figure out what it is that keeps her awake. As the sun starts to arise that vampire realizes that she sleeps during the day and is a wake at night. The illustrations of the vampire sitting alone in front of a mausoleum, clutching her Frankenstein doll, as she listens to all the different sounds of the night will appeal to all who read this book. I couldn’t wait to turn the next page to see what would join the little vampire next.

LaRockelle, David, The haunted hamburger and other ghostly stories, illustrated by Paul Meisel, Dutton Children’s Books, imprint of Penguin Group, New York, 2011, unp., $16.99, ISBN:9780525422723, Gr. 2nd, P 8, Q 8,
Father Ghost has been left at home to take care of his two little ghosts Franny and Frankie. What do all little ghost and children want when they go to bed but a night time story. Of course they also promise to go right to sleep after the story has been told. Not Franny and Frankie however. No– Father Ghost must tell three stories so that they will go to sleep. To a ghost these three stories are horrible but to a human these stories will have the reader laughing out loud. The first story Father Ghosts becomes a baby’s diaper. The second story there is a hamburger that no matter how hard a ghost tries to scare it doesn’t move. The third is the worst as a visiting ghost plants kisses all over the Frankie and Franny. The colored illustrations add to the humor of the story as these too will make you laugh.

Pearce, Clemency, Frangoline and the midnight dream, illustrated by Rebecca Elliot, Chicken House / Scholastic, New York, 2011, unp., $16.99, ISBN:9780545314268, Gr., P, Q,
Frangoline during the day is always good as gold. When night comes however she becomes a little brat who states “I’ll do exactly as I please! I’m Frangoline.” She escapes in to the night where she wakes all those who are trying to sleep. Bears, foxes, birds, even those asleep in their church yard graves are awakened. When asked to stop she doesn’t and they all start to chase her. With no where to hide on Earth she goes to the stars and the moon where she finally turns and apologizes to those that she had disturb. She returns to bed and falls asleep, at least the animals think she has, they don’t hear her say “At least until tomorrow night.” The colored illustrations show this scheming little girl who once frightened herself knows she has to apologize to those chasing her.

Rosen, Michael, Night of the pumpkinheads, pumpkin carvings by Hugh McMahon, Dial Books for Young Children, New York, 2011, unp, $16.99, ISBN:9780803734524, Gr.2+, P 8, Q 8,
The pumpkinheads are tired of waiting around for some one to pick them and then to carve a silly face. They want to dress up and go out to this year The pumpkinheads decide to have a contest to see which of them can come up with the scariest and best of all of them. Of course when the vegetables want in the pumpkinheads tell them no. The carvings are intricate and are sure to have children wanting to try to carve one just like their favorite one. The surprise ending is sure to bring a chuckle to the reader and maybe they might want to try vegetable carving as well.

Smallcomb, Pam, Earth to Clunk, pictures by Joe Berger, Dial Books for Young Readers, New York, 2011, unp., $16.99, ISBN:9780803734395, Gr.2+, P 9, Q 9,
If you are planning a unit on letter writing then read this book to your class. In this case it is pen pal letters that are going to be sent to the planet Quazer. Of course there is one student who states “I don’t want a pen pal named Clunk from the planet Quazer.” When the teacher gives helpful suggest
sending something from Earth to Clunk, she didn’t mean his sister. Determined to stop Clunk from being his pen pal he figures what could be worse then to sending your snoopy sister to Quazer. Through a series of gifts exchanges the two become friends and a visit from Clunk. Of course, when his mother notices that his sister is gone and chores are not being done, he has to ask Clunk to return her to Earth. The colored illustrations show a conniving little boy determined to stink, gross out and frighten Clunk from being his pen pal. I can’t wait to read this one out loud to a class.

November 2011 Reviews
Book Reviews by P.D.
Picture Books
Fran Manushkin, illus. by Dan Yaccarino. The Belly Book. New York, 2011, ISBN 978-0-312-64958-6. $ 16.99. Gr. K- 1.
Bellies in all shapes and sizes everyone has one. This rhyming book takes us through many bellies smooth or hairy, groan and grumble when we are hungry. Animal bellies and human bellies alike. Colorful illustration takes us on a tour of bellies. P. 9, Q. 9.

Tiki and Ronde Barber, illus Barry Root. TEAMMATES. New York, 2006. ISBN 978-4424-1262-0. $6.99. Gr. 1-3.
Tiki and Ronde are on the Vikings football team an lately Tiki was having a hard time holding on the the football. After the game one day while waiting for their mom to pick them up they were talking to their coach about Tiki’s fumble problem. He told them that ‘Practice makes perfect’ but “if you’re not practicing the right way, you’re just practicing your bad habits”. They didn’t really understand this. Coach taught them a new way to carry the football, four contact points. The football team was upset about Tiki continuing to lose the ball and thought that he shouldn’t carry it anymore. Ronde came up with an idea to help his brother, they started meeting in the mornings at the park where they practiced the new way to carry the football. They continued their “Morning Practice Club” and the Vickings started to win. Saturday was the big game against the Knights, the game remained tied through three quarters, with five minutes left Tiki took the ball again and did not let go. He scored the winning touchdown holding tight to the ball. This is a great story of persistence and dedication and of the love of brothers. Inside the back cover give some facts about both brothers, real pictures are present on the outside back cover. P. 9, Q. 9.

Marguia, Bethanie Deeney. Buglette the messy sleeper. Tricycle Press, 2011. 32 p.  ISBN 978-1-58246-375-9.
Buglette was a tidy bug except at night when she dreamed then she was very busy. She was building mountains with bulldozers, swinging through the air and kicking balls high into the sky. Buglette’s family was worried that her messy sleeping would catch the eye of the crow so they put an acorn cap over her to try to keep her quiet. During the next nights dreaming she kicked the acorn off only to have it hit her brother Spot on the head. Spot’s “ouch” was heard by the crow and he came closer looking for a midnight snack. Buglette saw him and parachuted down with his blanket to place the blanket across the crow’s eyes. This frightened the crow away and it never returned. Buglette’s family did not mind her messy sleeping after that. Gr. K – 2. P. 9, Q 9.

Meadows, Michelle. Piggies in the Kitchen, New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2011. ISBN 978-1-41693787-6,  32 pgs.
It’s mother’s birthday and Piggies are busy in the kitchen when she goes out for a bit. They hear cars go by and check to see if it is mother but not until all the baking is done does she return to a surprise of pie and cookies. Illustrations show the messy business going on to make the birthday goodies happen. P. 9, Q. 9 Gr. K – 2

Weitzman, Jacqueline. Superhero Joe, New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2011. ISBN 978-1-41699157-1, 28 pgs.
Overcoming his fear of the monsters in the closet, of the dark, getting hurt and the fear of new things Superhero Joe comes t o his mom’s rescue when she needs help banishing the evil black ooze that was threatening to take over the world. Armed with his cape of confidence, Shield on Invincibility, and Torch of Radiance he retrieves the staff of power from the darkest depth to come to the rescue. Colorful illustration along with a graphic novel feel make this a very enjoyable story. Gr. K – 2, P. 9, Q, 9

Jenkins, Emily. Toys Come home: being the early experiences of an intelligent stingray, a brave buffalo, and a brand-new someone called Plastic. Pictures by Paul O. Zelinsky. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2011. ISBN 978-0-375-86200-7, 132 pgs.
StingRay, Lumpy and Plastic come to live with the Little Girl when she receives them as presents for her birthday. StingRay being the newest does not know why he know so much about everything he just does. He meets the rest of the Little Girls’ toys in her room where they talk and play games when no one is around. They occasionally go on trips with the Little Girl stuffed in her backpack. At night when all are asleep the toys take themselves on adventures get into some trouble and then out again. The toys continue to learn new things as they learn to exist in the world of humans. Wonderful pencil illustrations help bring the toys to life in this story. Gr. 3 – 5, P.10, Q. 10.

Jenkins, Emily. Toys go out : being the adventures of a knowledgeable Stingray, a toughy little Buffalo, and someone called Plastic. Pictures by Paul O. Zelinsky, New York : Schwartz & Wade, 2006. ISBN 0-375-83604-7, 116 pgs.
Adventure abounds for the Little Girl and her three favorite toys, Stingray, Lumpy and Plastic. Lumpy gets covered in peanut butter and goes to the basement to meet Washing Machine. Plastic goes on an adventure to the beach and manages not to totally get eaten by the shark said to be there (a dog that punctures Plastic). Plastic comes home for repair to return to the Little Girls’ room with stories for the others. Lumpy survives the washing machine and through it all Stingray continues to gain knowledge about the human world to help his friends whenever they need it. Great book about what might really happen if our toys came to life when we were not looking. Great illustrations help tell the story. Gr. 3 – 5, P.10, Q 10

Moss, Marissa. Amelia’s BFF: best friends forever, best friends fighting, best friends for now? New York : Simon & Schuster books for Young Readers, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4420375-5. 58 pgs. Gr. 3-5.
Writted in diary form with many colorful illustrations this story takes you into the world of best friends. Amelia’s BFF (Nadia) moved away but they still talk on the phone, send letters back and forth, text, instant message and post on Facebook Amelia has a new BFF (Carly) at school that she spends time with. In her recent letter from Nadia, Amelia learns that she is going to come and visit during her spring break and go to school with Amelia. Amelia is excited to get her two BFFs together, she just know that because she likes and gets along with them both so much that they will each like the other as much as she likes the both of them. Things do not go as smoothly as Amelia thought they would. They make it through the week but Amelia finds that having two BFFs is not as easy as she thought it would be. This is a great story with lesson to be learned by the reader. The illustrations and typeface make this a quick read. P. 10, Q 10.

Wallace, Rich. Kickers Book 2: Fake Out. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. ISBN 978-0-375-85755-3, 121 pgs.
Ben and his teammates on the Bobcats soccer team need to pull out of their slump. Ben knows that to stay in the race for the playoffs his team needs to win. As they practice they continue to get better but the wins still to not happen. Late in the season with the last two games approaching and the Bobcats needing to win both Ben and his team do win the first one. Ben has learned a move that he knows will work but has not been successful with yet during a game. As the last fame is ending Ben tries his move again and it works, he makes the final goal to end the bobcat season going on the playoffs with the win. This is a story of a boys’ determination and dedication to the sport he loves, the coming together of a team through hard work. This story is fast paced that will keep readers engaged. Gr. 2 – 4, P. 9, Q. 9

Graphic Novels
McGuiness, Dan. Pilot & Huxley : the first adventure. New York : Graphix, 2011. ISBN 978-0-545-26504-1,  62 pgs.
A very colorful graphic novel about best friends who are zapped to an alien world where the aliens want to enslave the planet earth. Battling many foes and pulling the golden nose hair

First Thursday Book Reviews by JC
Juvenile nonfiction 
Barnard, Bryn. Outbreak! plagues that changed history. Crown Books for Young Readers, 2005. 48 p., illustrated. ISBN 0375829865/9780375829864 $17.95 Ages 8-12. P7Q8
In Outbreak!, San Juan Island illustrator and author Bryn Barnard examines disease organisms faced with evolutionary opportunities that resulted in epidemics which changed the course of human history. Barnard pulls together meticulous research in the fields of bacteriology of disease organisms, human anthropology, history, and archaeology to highlight connections that are not obvious even to careful observers. Individual chapters examine the impact on human societies of six diseases: the Black plague (the collapse of the feudal system and the rise of the middle classes), cholera (development of a modern sewage system in New York City), yellow fever (the end of the slave trade), small pox (decimation of Native American tribes), tuberculosis, and influenza. A final chapter gives an overview of modern diseases, including Ebola, SARS, and AIDs. Includes a glossary of terms and bibliography (with works for young readers starred), though it lacks an index. Highly recommended for school and public libraries.

L.R. for Siletz Library
Juvenile Books
Ray, Delia. Here Lies Linc. Alfred A. Knopf, 2011, 308 pgs. Ages 11-14. ISBN 9780375867576 $16.99 P8 Q9
With a plethora of teen and juvenile books today dealing with themes of zombies, aliens, vampires, etc., it is refreshing to find a book like Here Lies Linc. Linc is an entirely normal human middle school boy who happens to have a mother who is a history professor specializing in burial customs. They live next door to a graveyard and this is where most of the action occurs.
Linc’s American Studies class is assigned an “Adopt-a-Grave” project and they are supposed to research the person buried in their chosen spot. This leads to some interesting expansions in the plot, as well as opportunities for adventure. At one point, the kids trespass in a crypt in their zeal to do research, but the author never resorts to supernatural beings or occurrences.
The author has done her own research into graves and cemeteries and at the head of each chapter is a different real epitaph from a gravestone and its location. She also includes a list of sources for readers with a piqued curiosity. It turns out that Linc’s “Adopt-a-Grave” project concerns a real grave near the author’s home and the facts that are revealed about the occupant are true. The book is appealing because the kids behave as real kids do and the adventures they have are believable, and yet, it is exciting enough to keep the reader engaged.
The jacket illustration of kids peering down into an open grave doesn’t exactly depict the story, but will grab the reader’s attention and he or she won’t be disappointed in the result.

Ibbotson, Eva. The Ogre of Oglefort. Il. Lisa K. Weber. Penguin Group, Inc. 2011, 247 pgs. Ages 9-12. ISBN 9780525423829 $16.99 P8 Q8
A band of magical beings adopt a human boy from an orphanage and set off on a quixotic quest to slay an ogre and rescue a young princess. The story takes a surprising turn when the would-be rescuers make friends with the ogre and end up defending him from other attackers.
Abbotson skillfully fleshes out the magical beings: a Hag, a troll, a wizard and sundry others. Lisa Weber’s black and white line drawings are excellent, adding to the humorous portrayal of the characters. That said, there are almost too many characters and although the author wraps up the story and doesn’t leave any character’s story untold, it seems like it could have used some editing. The ending is also a bit rushed, but it does wrap up nicely. A sweet touch to the ending is when the characters are speculating as to what will hatch from a character called “Clarence the Egg.” The reader can do some wondering of his own what kind of marvelous creature will emerge. The cover is suitably scary with the ogre looming over some frightened children, but has enough humor in it to entice young readers.

Hoffman, Nina Kiriki. Thresholds. Penguin Group, Inc., 2010, 243 pgs. Ages 12-14. ISBN 9780670063192 $15.99 P6 Q8
Maya is a middle-schooler who has moved from Idaho to Oregon and immediately starts having strange, other-worldly experiences in her neighborhood. First, a fairy visits her room, then she meets the next door neighbors who go through “portals” in their house and visit with aliens. Then a strange boy attaches a glowing, pulsing egg to Maya’s hand. She develops an attachment to the thing and feels like she has to protect it. This is a good fantasy story and the characters are well drawn, but the reader would definitely have to like fantasy to enjoy the book. The cover accurately gives a taste of the plot, as it shows a girl looking at her glowing hand with the caption: “What if magic lived right next door?”

Teen Books
Carman, Patrick. Trackers: Book Two Shantorian. Scholastic Press, 2011, 169 pgs. Ages 13-17. ISBN 9780545165013 $15.99 P10 Q9
Patrick Carman continues to come up with interesting plots in his books with interactive websites. This series is a techno-thriller with youngish teens caught up in a plot to shut down the whole internet and steal billions of dollars from banks. When the FBI catches them, they have to prove their innocence with videos of what really happened. Once again, this method of reading a short chapter in the book and then logging in with a password and watching a video is very entertaining and encourages the reader to keep reading to reveal the next video. The transcripts of the videos can be found in the back of the book, but it is really worthwhile accessing them by computer. The production values, while not Hollywood, are pretty good. Evidently, they were all produced in Walla Walla, Washington. Hurray for the Pacific Northwest! These books are a must-buy for libraries and should be recommended to reluctant teen readers.

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by MD
Gray, Laurie. “Summer Sanctuary”. Luminis Books, 2011. $11.95. 978-1-935462-34-7. 194 pgs. Middle-High school. P8/q8
I think this book would be a good read for either a teen boy or girl. Matthew is dealing with his mother having her fifth child and being the oldest home-schooled son of a preacher. He meets Dinah a homeless teenager who he helps to hide from Child Welfare while her mom finishes serving her prison sentence. I I like the way they become friends and help one another threw this difficult time.

Noel, Alyson. “Shimmer”. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2011. $7.99. middle & high school. 978-0-312-64825-1. 196 pgs. P8/ q8
This has a touch of historical fiction with a murder during a slave revolt in 1733. It is pure fantasy with a girl acting as a cross over for the souls of people who are not at peace after their death. I liked this book because it focuses on controlling ones memories and emotions to help the lost ghosts. I think ghosts are the new “vampire” theme of teen dramas and this story is interesting and suspenseful.

Pixley, Marcella. “Without Tess.” Margaret Ferguson Books, 2011. $16.99. middle-high school. 280pgs. 978-0-374-36174-7. p9/q9
I like this book because one of its subjects is mental illness. Lizzie is a fifteen year old girl who meets weekly with the school psychologist to forgive herself for her sister’s death who died when she was eleven. Tess was delusional and ended her life by jumping in the cold dark river one night when she “was turning into a seal.” Lizzie blames herself for believing her sister’s magic and watching her drown. I think the blame is with parents who didn’t get the proper help for their very sick little girl.

Altebrando, Tara. “Dreamland Social Club.” Dutton Books, 2011. $16.99. middle-high school. 389 pgs. 978-0-525-42325-6. p9/ q9
This book has some historical fiction included in the story of Coney Island from long ago. It is about Jane and her trying to learn about her dead mother who grew up in Coney Island and started the much secret Dreamland social club at the local high school. I have always been intrigued with side shows and this story focused on some of the “freaks” from the high school and their friendship with Jane. It is a story of accepting others and ones self.

Menchin, Scott. “What if Everything Had Legs?” Candlewick Press. Massachusetts 2011. $15.99. 978-0-7636-4220-4. 30 Pages. Ages: Pre-School. p7/q7
The cover has a sticker which invites the reader to download a free app from iTunes – This App Has Legs. The pictures in this book are a mix between photos and bright cute drawings. The little girl and her mom make believe that everything has legs and this helps them pass the time more quickly. This would be a fun book to the start a make believe conversation.

Child, Lauren. “My Best, Best Friend.” Dial Books for Young Readers, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-8037-3586-6. 30 pages. Ages: Pre-School. P8/q7.
This book is based on the original Charlie and Lola series. There is also a website CharlieandLola.com The text is written by Carol Noble and the illustrations are from the TV animation by Tiger Aspect. The pictures are a mix between photos, drawings, and collage. I think this story is kind of confusing if you are not familiar with the Charlie and Lola story- but it is a story about friendship at its basic premise.

McMullan, Kate & Jim. I’m Big. Harper Collins Children’s Books, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-06-122974-9. 30 pgs. Ages pre-school. P7/q7
This book is from the creators of I Stink! & I’m Dirty! This is about a dinosaur that has over slept and can’t find the rest of his group. One of the pages is written so you have to change the orientation of the book so you can see his neck go up and up so he can try and spot his friends. He runs into some mean dinosaurs’ so he must think big so he isn’t so afraid. Any child who likes dinosaurs will enjoy this book but I didn’t find the pictures very engaging and a little boring.

Long, Ethan. The Croaky Pokey. Holiday House, 2010. $14.95. 978-0-8234-2291-3. 30pgs. Ages pre-school. P8 / q 8
This is a fun book that is like the hokey pokey song but with little green frogs. I think children would enjoy reading/singing along with this book. The frogs are trying to whap a dragon fly and get their tongues all tied together. In the end the fish ends up getting the dragon fly. This is a silly fun book and would be a great read aloud for a classroom.

Bennett, Kelly. Your Mommy Was Just Like You. Penguin Young Readers Group, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-399-24798-9. 30 pgs. Ages pre-school. P 8 / q 8
I love this book because it is about a little girl, mother and grandmother looking at a scrapbook full of pictures of the mom when she was a little girl. At then end the grandmother reminds the little girl that her mom is her baby and that she will always be her baby no matter how big she will get. This is a fun book for children to realize that they may sometimes be just like their parents.

Minor, Wendell. My Farm Friends. Penguin Young Readers Group, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-399-24477-3. 30 pgs. Ages pre-school. P 8/ q 8
This will be a great book for children learning about animals and there are some facts included as well. For example it talks about how pigs can’t sweat so that is why they rub in mud. The end of the book has a “my farm friends fun facts” section for easy reference for a classroom or review.

Krilanovich, Nadia. Chicken, Chicken, Duck. Tricycle Press Random House, 2011. $14.99. 978-1-58246-385-8. 30 pgs. Ages pre-school. P 8 /q 8
This is a very simple book with only 3 or 4 words per page about a chicken and a duck and the noises they make as well as lots of other animals. The last page has a page of all of the animals so it would be a great review on animal sounds as well as guessing what animal the legs belong to. The pictures are very simple so it would be easy for a young child to focus on.

Willems, Mo. Pictures Jon J. Muth. “City Dog, Country Frog.” Hyperion Books for Children, 2010. $17.99. 978-142310300-4. 30pgs. Pre-school. P 8/ Q8.
I loved this story because a dog and frog become friends and enjoy all of the seasons together. It is about friendship and the pictures are beautiful and really show the differences with the seasons. The sad thing was that the city dog couldn’t find the country frog in the winter but the dog was able to make friends with someone new in the spring time – a chipmunk.

Korda, Lerryn. “Millions of Snow.” Candlewick Press, 2009. $8.99. 978-0-7636-4651-6. 20 pgs. Pre-school. P7/Q7
I like these stories with Little Nye but some of the character’s names are a little different – like Nella, Lester and Little Nye. The friends get together and make a fun snowman. The pictures are cute and block simple coloring. I also think it could be a little confusing to say “outside there is millions of snow.” – poor grammar which might be confusing to young children.

Buehner, Caralyn. Pictures by Mark Buehner. “Snowmen All Year.” Penguin Young Readers Group, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-8037-3383-1. 30 pgs. Pre-school-1st grade. P8/ q8
This is a fun book about what would happen if a little boy was able to build a snowman that would last all seasons. This is a great make believe book that would give a child lots of suggestions of fun activities such as pretending to be a pirate or fly a kite. The little boy is even missing his two front teeth so it has great detail in the colorful pictures that help to tell the story. They even go trick or treating together. He ends by wishing that this snow will be magic snow and this will be the snowman to last all year.

Reed, Lynn Rowe. “Color Chaos!” Holiday House, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-8234-2257-9. 25 pgs. Pre-school. P7/q7
This is a story about a little boy who wants to be an illustrator and is given crayons by his mother. The new principal hates colors and takes all of his crayons and throws them into the trash can where they mix and become the color wheel. The book has odd cubic looking pictures for the people and also has mixed media as some of the items are actual pictures. The pages turn black, white and gray when the principal throws away the crayons. At the end of the story a speaker comes to the school and talks about being an author and how important color is to him and that color matters. The end of the book has a section “Mr. Coleur’s Lesson on Color” and talks about the color wheel and it’s parts. This is an informative but odd book.

Ransome, James E. New Red Bike. Holiday House, 2010. $16.95. 978-0-8234-2226-5. pre-school. P8/ 8q
This is a good story to teach children about how important it is for them to not take things that don’t belong to them and the importance of apologizing. This is about Tom and his new bike and his friend Sam who takes teases Tom. Tom is an African American child so there is some diversity in this book. I like the drawings because they are simple and non-distracting.

Stein, Peter. Cars Galore. Candlewick Press, 2011. $15.99. 978-0-7636-4743-8. pre-school. P8/ q8
This is a funny kooky book with some very interesting cars and characters. The words have a rhyming pattern and remind me of Dr. Seuss books. I like the “fun-filled for car the best. The story ends with a little boy being told “Someday You’ll Drive!” There is a black road that is consistent threw out the book.

Rylant, Cynthia. Brownie & Pear Take a Dip. Simon & Schuster, 2011. $13.99. 978-1-4169-8638-6. pre-school p8/ q 8
This is a cute simple story about a little girl who goes swimming with her not too happy cat. This would bring up some conversation as a parent or teacher could talk about the fact that most cats don’t like water. I think the names of the characters Brownie and Pear may be confusing because they are also foods. I love the bright simple words and pictures. I don’t like the fact that the little girl laughs at the wet cat.

Codell, Esmé Raji. Fairly Fairy Tales. Simon & Schuster, 2011. $16.99. 978-1-4169-9086-4. pre-school – kindergarten. P8 / q 8
This is a fun book with cute pictures and simple words. It is a play on very popular fairy tales like the little three pigs but includes non seneschal items into the stories like solar panels, spaghetti ect. One of the funniest pictures is of Cinderella and the fairy god mother at a disco. It is a bedtime book as well and would be fun to read to a child.

Muldrow, Diane. We Planted a Tree. Random House Children’s Books, 2010. $17.99. 978-0-375-86432-2. pre-school-1st grade. 30 pgs. P8/ q8
This is a cute book that also teaches about how trees grow with sunshine and water for food and what things trees give us such as syrup. It also talks about growing there own food and how they are better because of it. It ends with the statement that planting just one tree can make the world better. It even has a family in Africa and one from the United States who planted trees.

Wilson, Karma. Illustrated by Marcellus Hall. “The Cow Loves Cookies.” Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2010. $16.99. pre-school. 978-1-4169-4206-1. 30 pgs. P8/q8
This story has a fun rhyming to it and repeats itself at the end of each refrain so it is a good read aloud book for a group and then the last page has a joke that is fun as well. This is story about a cow who loves to sit down and eat cookies and milk with the farmer for lunch.

Wilson, Karma. Mama, Why? Simon & Schuster, 2011. $16.99. pre-school. 978-1-4169-4205-4. 30 pgs. P8/q8
This is a story of a baby Polar bear who asks his mama why? The baby bear asks about the moon, star dust, dreams and many other things. It is a fun, magical story of answers to little kids questions of why. The pictures are very cute and beautiful.

DiTerlizzi, Angela. Illustrated by Joey Chou. “Say What?” Beach Lane Books, 2011. $15.99. pre-school. 978-1-4169-8694-2. 30pgs. P8/q8
The drawings in this book remind me of some of the pictures from story books when I was young. The eyes of the animals are very large and draw the reader in. It is a rhyming book of animals and what they say and what it really means. This is a fun different way for children to learn animal sounds.

Lieshout, Maria Van. “Hopper and Wilson.” Philomel Books, 2011. $16.99. pre-school. 978-0-399-25184-9. 30 pgs. P7/q7
Hopper and Wilson are little stuffed animals a blue elephant and a yellow mouse. It is a fun make – believe story of them sailing the ocean to look for a lemon tree. They leave behind their favorite cactus – which makes the story a little odd – but I like how they end back at home with their cactus.

Enslow, Brain. “Spring Colors.” Enslow Publisher, Inc. N.J. 2011. $21.26. pre-school. 978-0-7660-3906-3. 15 pgs. P 8/ q 8
I love this book that will teach colors with bright pictures and words pointing to some of the colors. I like the small size of the book as well.

Doman, Mary Kate. “Cool Cars.” Enslow Publisher, Inc. N.J. 2011. $21.26. pre-school. 978-0-7660-3930-8. 15 pgs. P8/q7
This would be a fun book for young boys who like cars. It is also a book with colors as well. It’s a fun small size book for little hands. Enslow books include table of contents, words to know, read more, websites and an index.

Ray, Jane. “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Candlewick Press, 2011. $16.99. pre-school. 978-0-7636-5735-2. 30pgs. P 8/q 8
There is great detail in the pictures with very simple words so a youngster could be asked lots of questions about details in the pages. The pictures are beautiful and the words follow the song word for word. Some of the pictures have an old timey feel from the 1920’s. This is a beautiful book.

Meltzer, Lynn. Illustrated by Carrie Eko-Burgess. “The Construction Crew.” “Christy Ottaviano Books.” Henry Holt and Company, 2011. $14.99. pre-school. 978-0-8050-8884-7. 20 pgs. P8/q8
This is a rhyming book of big construction vehicles. A little child would love to answer the questions after they have read the book once. Each page asks why type of machine is needed for certain jobs. The pictures are simple bright cartoon drawings. I like the fact that there is great diversity in the construction crew.

Balouch, Kristen. “The Little Little Girl with the Big Big Voice.” Little Simon, 2011. $12.99. 978-1-4424-0808-1. 30 pgs. Pre-School. P8/q8
The colors and graphics are very vibrant in this story about a little girl with a big voice who scares all of the animals away except the big lion. It made me laugh when the lion roared and the little girl responded by laughing.

Alter, Anna. “A Photo for Greta.” Alfred A. Knopf,. 2011. $16.99. 978-0-375-85618-1. 30 pgs. Pre-School. p8/q8.
Greta is a little bunny whose father is a photographer she pretends she is a ballerina and other things her father has been taking pictures of. I liked the way the mother got out the photo album when Greta was missing her father who was at work late. At the end of the wonderful bright story is an activity page with four ideas about photo journals, career exploration and the study of photography.

Underwood, Deborah. Illustrations by Laura Rankin. “A Balloon for Isabel.” Greenwillow Books, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-06-177987-9. 30 pgs. Ages 3-7. p9/Q9.
I love this story about a little porcupine that solves a problem so she can get a balloon at pre-school graduation. Isabel doesn’t give up and has many tries but finally solves the problem; it is a very cute and inspirational story with very engaging bright colorful pictures.

Engle, Margarita. Pictures by Julie Paschkis. “Summer Birds The Butterflies of Maria Merian.” Henry Holt & Company, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-8050-8937-0. 30 pgs. Pre-School – 1st grade. P7/q8
This is a children’s book with a historical note at the back that gives the whole story of Maria Merian, a thirteen year old girl who studied caterpillars and butterflies in the 1600’s. At that time people felt that butterflies and all insects and small animals came from the mud and were therefore evil. I like the way the author and illustrator used colors to tell a story of long ago. This is an inspirational book as it talks about a young girl conducting experiments to learn the truth. The story also has a magical make- believe component to it as well. It also talks about metamorphosis as natural and not evil.

Carson, Lucille and Philip M, St. Jacques. Math Smarts! Geometry Smarts! Enslow Publishers, 2011. $27.93. 978-0-7660-3935-3. 64 pgs. Middle and High School. p7/q8.
This book is one of ten math smarts books. The book includes a contents section, introduction, a further reading and index section as well. There are 28 chapters explaining concepts from points, lines and planes to volume of cones and cylinders. These books would be great for students and tutors and parents. The book is written by three veteran math teachers with step-by-step instructions and tips on mastering the skills for each topic.

Azzarelli, Aly. “Celebrity Biographies Justin Bieber Teen Music Superstar.” Enslow Publishers,  2011. $.23.93. 978-0-7660-3873-8. 48 pgs. Middle School. P9/q8.
The first chapter talks about Justin moving from a You Tube phenomenon to a big star. The story also includes Justin’s many charity activities, such as pencils of promise. The Enslow books have a contents section, chapters, photos with great captions, favorites, timeline, further info, discography, glossary, and an index.

Gibbons, Gail. “It’s Snowing!” Holiday House, 2011. $17.95. 978-0-8234-2237-1. 30 pgs. 1st-2nd grade. P7/q7.
This book includes several sections on how droplets form and evaporate to form ice crystals and snowflakes. There is a map of the seven continents where snow falls and how it falls to the ground in different ways. It even has a page on snow days and the meaning of such phrases as “A Winter Storm Watch.” It is also a preparedness book with a section on how to stay warm and prepare when a snowstorm is coming. The last page talks about the first person to take a photo of a snowflake and other fun facts.

Sierra, Judy, pictures by Linda Darick. “We Love our School!” “A read-Together Rebus Story.” Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. $7.99. 978-0-375-86728-6. 25 pgs. P7/q7. Kindergarten to 1st grade.
This is a very simple book that a parent and child can read together as the child “reads” the rebus pictures. Same of the pictures are a little distorted but the rhyming words make this a fun story about animals and their first day of school.

Wahman, Wendy. “A Cat Like That.” Henry Holt and Company. New York. 2011. $16.99. Pre-School. 978-0-8050-89424. 30 pgs. P8/q8.
This is a story about a cat who talks about the kind of friend it would choose. I think this would be a great book for teaching small children how to treat pets. It shows a picture of a cat that doesn’t look very happy when the little boy drags the cat around the house. In the end the cat chooses a nice little boy.

Gershator, Phillis. Illustrated by Giselle Potter. “Moo, Moo, Brown Cow, Have You Any Milk”. Random House. New York. 2011. $16.99. pre-school. 978-0-375-86744-6. 30 pgs. P8/ q8
This story has the popular phrases “Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool?” The little boy talks to a sheep, goose, chicken, cow and asks them if they can give him things like wool, milk etc. The animals are off too bed in their respective places like a shed coop etc. The story ends with the little boy going to sleep with the animals which are really stuffed animals. The pictures remind me of an “old timey look” to the little boy and animals.

Katirgis, Jane. “Day and Night”. Enslow Publishers, Inc. N.J. 2011 $21.26. pre-school. 978-0-7660-3915-5. 15 pgs. P7/q7
This is one of six of all about opposite’s series. There are small books with contents, words to know, read more, websites and an index. The book is a great book to use as a method for teaching new readers how to read with a word count of just 12 words. The book has bright colorful pictures and very simple words day and night that are repeated over and over. This will really help to explain this concept as it is repeated with several different pictures.

Enslow, Brain. “Counting Ants 1-2-3.” Enslow Publishers, Inc. N.J. 2011. $21.26. pre-school. 978-0-7660-3919-3. 20 pgs. P7/q7
This is one for four books on counting for beginning readers. This book is very simple with a picture of a cake and different number of ants that are different colors so s child could learn numbers and review colors as well. I’m not sure this book is worth the expensive cost of $21.26 per book.

Kornell, Max. “Bear with Me”. G.P. Putnam’s Sons. New York. 2011. $15.99. Pre-school. 978-0-399-25257-0. 30 pgs. P8/Q8
I love the format of this book. The backdrop of the pages seem to be painted and the characters’ are cut out drawings. So it gives the book an interesting look. This is a funny story about a little boy whose parents bring home a surprise – a bear. He didn’t want to do anything with the bear but eventually he changes his mind because Gary, the bear, is good at building blocks. This might be a good book for a child who is about to have a new sibling join their family.

Mayer, Mercer. “Too Many Dinosaurs.” Holiday House. New York. 2100. $16.95. Elementary school. 978-0-8234-2316-3. 30 pgs. P8/Q8
The characters in this story have very realistic faces that help to bring the story to life. It is about a boy who wants a dog but gets a baby dinosaur instead, when he buys dinosaur egg at a yard sale. The little boy blows a horn to find his run away dinosaurs, and others appear. This is defiantly a funny story as the boy ends up with his dog and the dinosaurs disappear when he blows the horn again.

Wick, Walter. “Can You See What I See? Toyland Express”. Scholastic Inc. New York. 2011. $13.99. elementary school. 978-0-545-24483-1. 30 pgs. P9/q9.
This book has a contents section as well as notes about the book and author. This is fun I spy book with a list of several items to find per page. The pages are filled with old timey toys. This is a story about a toy train that goes from workshop to attic, yard sale to being rescues again.

Wells, Rosemary. “Love Waves.” Candlewick Press. Massachusetts. 2011. $15.99. pre-school. 978-0-7636-4989-0. 30 pgs. P9/q9
I love the sparkly iridescent title and other little swooshes throughout the book – these represent the love waves. This is a Max and Ruby story with bunny characters of a dad and mom who send love waves while they are away at school. The story is also written in a very poetic from this would be a good story for a little child who misses their mom and dad when they go to work.

Hulbert, Laura. Illustrated by Erik Brooks. “Who Has These Feet?” Henry Holt and Company. New York. 2011. $16.99. pre-school. 978-0-8050-8907-3. 30 pgs. P9/ q9
This is a fun guessing book because each page asks who has these feet?, then the next page gives the answer and also an interesting fact about the animal as well. At the end of the book are two pull out pages with a big mural of all of the animals, so care will have to be used when read by young children.

Llanas, Sheila Griffin. “Easy Cookbooks for Kids, Easy Breakfasts from Around the World.” Enslow Publishers, Inc. N.J. 2011. $23.93. elementary & middle school. 978-0-7660-3707-6. 48 pgs. P8/q8
The contents page has actual pictures of food items. There is an introduction page, be safe section, cooking tips and tricks, cooking terms, cooking tools with actual photos and word captions. The food pyramid is included with a conversion table. Chapter 1 is Brown Bread from Turkey – I like that the book has a map of where the country is located, a recipe and cooks tips as well. I enjoyed the historical fact about each country that was featured and the book ends with a section on further on reading and internet addresses.

Baker, Keith. “No Two Alike.” Beach Lane Books. New York. 2011. $16.99. pre-school. 978-1-4424-1742-7. 30 pgs. P8/q8
This is a simple picture book about how two little red birds see that no two things are alike just like them. This is a great way to teach that we are all different in our own special way.

Rylant, Cynthia. Pictures by Brian Biggs. “Brownie & Pearl Hit the Hay.” Beach Lane Books. New York. 2011. $13.99. pre-school. 978-1-4169-8635-5. 30 pgs. P8/q8
In this bedtime story Pearl the cat likes the bed time story about the “Kitty” which made me laugh. This is a great book to read as a bedtime story.

Reynolds, Peter H. “I’m Here.” Atheneum Books for Young Readers. New York. 2011. $15.99. pre-school. 978-1-4169-9649-1. 30 pgs. P8/q8
A little lonely boy on a play ground finds a square paper that doesn’t want to be there – so he helps by folding it into a paper plane. He then imagines himself flying in the little airplane. When he fly’s the plane for real he is joined by a little girl – this is a good story about making friends so you are not lonely.

Gudeon, Adam. “Me and Meow.” Harper. New York. 2011. $12.99. pre-school. 978-0-06-199821-8. 30 pgs. P7/q7
The pictures are very simple drawings that look cut out and pasted on the back drop. The words are simple and there are little chapters with words at the top of the page. The pictures look like something a small child could draw so it may be inspiring for children who want to draw
Numeroff, Laura. Illustrated by Felicia Bond. “If You Give A Dog a Donut.” Balzer & Bray. New York. 2011. $16.99. ages 3-7. 978-0-06-026683-7. 30 pgs. P8/q8
I love this book because it is funny and similar to the book “An If You Give…Book”, about a mouse who does the same thing. This dog starts by getting a donut and then wanting apple juice ect. and things circle around and come back to the little dog wanting some apple juice again. This is a very cute book.

Wright, Johanna. “Bandits.” Roaring Brook Press. New York. 2011. $16.99. pre-school. 978-1-59643-534-4. 30 pgs. P 8/q8
This is a cute story about raccoons that come out at night and steal food from the villagers. The drawings are cute but the pages are a little dark. I’m not sure if this book teaches a bad moral of stealing – this would be a good discussion for a classroom.

NHS Student Review by NB
Dunrea, Olivier. Old Bear and His Cub. NY: Philomel Books, 2010. P7 Q7 $16.99 28pg ages 3-7 ISBN 978-0-399-2450-7-7
This book is about two bears, a father and his child. It started out very repetitive, in multiple ways—the theme, the pictures, and the two bears argument “no I won’t/yes you will/no I won’t”. But then it shows the similarities between the two bears, how, the child is almost a mirror image of the parent. What you put out to them they will mirror back and do to you. The book is about caring about each other, to remain healthy and safe (eat your food, wear your scarf, etc). At first it’s about the Big Bear caring about Little Bear, telling him why he should do particular things. But towards the end, it’s about Little Bear encouraging Big Bear to take care of himself. As a lesson, it shows there’s a reason for adults to ask children to do certain things, that it’s all about caring. Throughout the story, their love is repeated. Even though they have their conflicts, they still love each other. Some might think they just argue all day, but at the end it is about kissing on the head and holding all through the night; it’s purely about caring. The book is meant to be read to children (it’s repetitive, and listeners could join in). It could be read for any age from preschool to 7 years, though the younger children won’t get as much of the point. The illustrations are likable, made with colored pencils and goache. They’re simple, and centered, and a have generally sweet sense. They’re detailed but not overly so. Overall a decent children’s book.

Book Reviews by VM
Picture Books 
O’Connor, Jane, Illustrated by Glasser, Robin Preiss. Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas. Harper, $17.99, 978-0-06-123590-0. no page numbers. Ages 3-6. The illustrations look like they are paint; the colors are bright and pop out at you, the writing is big enough for little children to see. Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas had pretty pictures but I didn’t like the story, P6Q5

Cushman, Doug, Christmas Eve Good Night. Henry Holt, 2011. $12.99, 978-0-8050-6603-6. No page numbers. Ages 2-5. The pictures look like they are water color because of the shading. When you are reading the book it has a rhythm, it’s a book all about how to say good night to your mama or papa. P7Q6

Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by NW
Picture Books

Agee, Jon. My Rhinoceros. Michael D. Capua, 2011. unp. $16.95. 978-0-545-29441-6. Ages 3-6: Simple text and large illustrations—watercolors inside bold India-ink lines—tell the absurd story of a boy with a rhinoceros for a pet. Repetition shows all the things that his new pet can’t do like chase a ball or stick or Frisbee. The rhinoceros expert that the boy consults says that his pet will only “pop balloons and poke holes in kites,” skills that keep two bank robbers from achieving their getaway. Young ones will delight in the dead-pan voice and ridiculous actions. P9Q9

Nolan, Dennis. Sea of Dreams. Roaring Brook, 2011. unp. $16.99. 978-1-59643-470-7. Ages 3-8: Vivid paintings with no text follow the story of a child who builds a sand castle that then houses a family that must survive in the depths of the water after the tide comes in. Gorgeous illustrations show the moods of the beach during different times of the day, and the story begins to repeat itself at the end of the book. The gull on each page provides a watcher for happenings just as the reader is. A magical mystery of the ocean’s movements. P10Q10

Sendak, Maurice. Bumble-Ardy. Michael D. Capua Books, 2011. unp. $17.95. 978-0-06-205198-1. Ages 3-7:
It’s been 30 years since the famous author of Where the Wild Things Are has written a full-production picture book, and this one is typical of his earlier works with his grotesque approach toward the story. Bumble-Ardy, the piglet is forbidden to have birthday parties, but he gets his first one on his ninth birthday after the parents got too fat and were then eaten. Although he appreciates the party that his Aunt Adeline provides, he invites a group of tough-looking pigs and people after his aunt goes to work. The pigs’ costumes are a mix of dress-up and Mardi Gras giving the humans the appearance of puppets while the pigs remain closer to beasts. The book seems a return to the monsters of decades ago, again for the reason of having fun. This evolution from an animated piece for Sesame Street shows exuberance and unconditional love between a parental figure (his aunt) and Bumble-Ardy. P8Q8

Martin, Bill Jr. Ten Little Caterpillars. Il. Lois Ehlert. Beach Lane, 2011. unp. $17.99. 978-1-4424-3385-4. Ages 3-6:
Martin’s text, first published in 1967, returns with Ehlert’s vibrant watercolor collages of plants and different types of caterpillars providing the backdrop for this rhyming, counting book reminiscent of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. A different variety of caterpillar winds its way through the brilliant garden scenes on each two-page spread with identification of the flora and fauna in small print. The final pages show the caterpillar again, its food source, and the butterfly that each will become. This combination of counting book, nature book, and read-aloud poem is, as Publishers Weekly says, “A graphically sumptuous book.” Bill Martin died in 2004. P9Q9

Graphic Narratives
Bruel, Nick. A Bad Kitty Christmas. Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, 2011. unp. $15.99. 978-1-59643-668-8. Ages 4-7: In 2007 Bruel brought us Poor Puppy, an uproarious rhyming tale of havoc and holiday hysteria. This year he returns with Bad Kitty who doesn’t get what she wants for Christmas so she trashes her world in alphabetical order. Bad Kitty is not evil, however, because she rescues a lonely little old lady and takes her back to the family in a tour de force ala “The Night before Christmas.” Festive red letters highlight the alphabet’s progress, and cartoon panels enhance Kitty’s adventures. This is a great fun read for young people who understand that they should not repeat all of Bad Kitty’s actions. Poetic graphic narrative at its most charming. P10Q8

Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists. Intro. Leonard S. Marcus. First Second, 2011. 120p. $18.99. 978-1-59643-600-8. Ages 7-10:
The tradition of oral storytelling that passes these rhymes from parent to child is transferred in this book to the visual tradition of cartooning to provide an extension of the understanding of these classics. Each is between one and three full-color pages with simple panels and lettering for easy accessibility. This will be a treasure to keep. P8Q8

Abela, Deborah. The Ghosts of Gribblesea Pier. FSG, 2011. 232p. $16.99. 978-0-374-36239-3. Ages 9-12:
Bully, friendship, parental love, and ghosts are all a part of this story about Aurelie Bonhoffen who works in her family’s amusement park as a juggler, the rear end of a cow, and a dead girl on the ghost train. When she turns 12, she finds that her beloved uncles are both ghosts and that the mayor wants to destroy the pier holding up the amusement park because a developer wants to build condos. This fantasy adventure has a timeless feel although a reference is made at some point to cars. There are no cell phones or computers; the young people have to make their own way to solve their problems. Aurelie’s gentle approach toward the school bullies is refreshing, and the friendship that she gradually builds with a classmate demonstrates realistic character development. This old-fashioned fast-paced novel with its villains and independent female protagonist battling for justice is a delightful read. P7Q8

Larkin, Jillian. Ingenue. Delacorte, 2011. 351p. $17.99. 978-0-385-74036-4. Ages 13-16:
The first novel of the Flappers series, set in the 1920s, concentrated on Chicago’s high society for a setting; this one has moved to the speakeasies and mobs of New York. The three Anglo protagonists—Lorraine who wants revenge, Gloria who finds herself in a mixed-race relationship, and Clara who wants to keep out of her former wild ways—are joined by a fourth, Vera, the African-American sister of Gloria’s love. These four tell the story in alternating viewpoints, keeping readers updated on what happened in the previous book, Vixen. Contrived plotting and exaggerated characterizations don’t keep the book from being a guilty pleasure for those who enjoy romance, adventure, and historical fiction. Lots of action and an excellent sense of place and time make this a good “beach read.” Readers will be watching for Diva this next year. P8Q6

Morpurgo, Michael. An Elephant in the Garden. Feiwel and Friends, 2011. 199p. $16.99. 978-0-312-59369-8. Ages 9-12:
Combine the real rescue of a young elephant from a Belfast zoo during World War II and an autobiography from a German woman about how her husband was killed after he tried to help execute Adolf Hitler during the war, and you have the background for the plot in this novel. The narration comes from a woman in a Canadian nursing home who tells the story of fleeing with her mother, younger brother, and elephant when Dresden is bombed. As they join thousands of other refugees, they also rescue Peter, a Canadian navigator. As always, Morpurgo’s elegant writing moves the reader forward, and the resolution is upbeat despite the problems of survival as the four of them try to escape the Russian front headed toward them. Gentle, loving, and warm. P7Q9

Westerfeld, Scott. Goliath. Il. Keith Thompson. 2011. 543p. Simon Pulse, $19.99. 978-1-4169-7177-1. Ages 10-14:
First there was Leviathan. Then came Behemoth. Now Alek and Deryn finish their round-the-world odyssey to end World War I, this time coping with Nikola Tesla who is determined to use his death ray even if it kills everyone and encountering Pancho Villa and William Randolph Hearst. As in the two earlier books, the steampunk adventure shows opposing technological philosophies, mechanical and organic. The British perspective uses the Darwinist approach of manipulating living creatures, including the huge whale-zeppelin on which they travel, and the Germanic method uses steam-driven Clankers with metal engines. Goliath continues the budding romance between Alek, who should inherit the Austrian throne, and Deryn, a blue-collar girl masquerading as a boy. Great plotting and characterization join the author’s blend of adventure, fact, and history, and Thompson’s many detailed drawings add to the reading experience. The only problem with the book is that it is the last one in the series—unless Westerfeld decides to bring back these characters. P9Q10

December 2011 Reviews
Oregon Coast Preview Book Center for Young Readers Reviews by M.D. NHS ASPIRE

Alban, Andrea. “Anya’s War”, Feiwel and Friends, New York. 2011. 188 pgs. Middle and High School. 978-0-312-37093-0. $16.99 p8/q8.
This is a work for fiction but there’s a historical feel to it as it takes place in China during the Sino- Japanese war of 1937-1945. It has an interesting twist as Anya is a Jewish girl who has immigrated to China. Anya finds a throw away baby girl in a gutter and she brings her home. This story is based on a true story and the author’s family who were Jewish and living in China after fleeing Russia.

“Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists.” Edited by Courtney E Martin and J. Courtney Sullivan. Seal Press, 2010. 237 pgs. High School. 978-1-58005-285-6. $16.95. p7/q7
This is a collection of over twenty-five short stories or narratives of how the authors became feminists. The title click refers to their “aha” moment or when feminism “clicked” for them. I enjoyed most of the stories but I was disappointed with the first few stories as it made it seem that all feminists are lesbians or men haters which I know isn’t true. It helped me ponder when my feminism clicked for me. I consider myself a conservative feminist who enjoys learning about women’s issues and this book would be great for a women’s study course.

Roy, Jennifer Rozines and Johanna Haney. “Sharpen Your Essay Writing Skills”, Enslow, 2011. 64 pgs. Middle and High School. 978-0-7660-3903-2. $20.95. p7/q8.
This is one of six books in this series of sharpening your skills. The books have a table of contents, glossary, further reading and internet addresses section and index. This would be a great book for teachers as well as students. The book has a very young feel because of the graphics but the tips are easy understood.

Niven, Felicia Lowenstein. “Fabulous Fashions of the 1920’s”. Enslow, 2011. 48 pgs. Middle and High School. 978-0-7660-3551-5. $17.95. p6/q8.
This is the first in a eight book series about fashion through the decades. This would be an excellent resource book for a history or fashion merchandising class. The text is easy to understand and the pictures help to capture all aspects of fashion.

Walker, Jan. “Romar Jones Takes a Hike”. Plicata Press, 2012. 177 pgs. Middle and High School. 978-0-9828205-9-9. p8/q8.
I really liked this book because the story takes place in Waldport, Yachats, and other cities in Oregon and Washington so it is very relatable. Romar decides to leave school and just walk to Washington to see his mom who he has never met because she is in jail. Romar meets a new family and learns to rely on others for help even after being hurt by the deaths of his father and grandmother. The book has two pages of Readers Guide questions that can be used for discussion and homework for a classroom situation.

Book Reviews by C.B. NIS/INMS
Christopher, Lucy, Flyaway, Chicken House, 2011, $16.99, ISBN:978-0-545-31771-9, Gr.6+, P 8, Q 9,
Every year at the first of winter the swans have come and Isla and her father have always gone looking for them at the crack of dawn. It is freezing cold outside but this has never stopped Isla and her father from searching the skies for the swans. The swans are spotted; they park their car and run towards where they know that the swans will land, close to where the city has installed new electric poles. Realizing the swans will hit the wires Isla and her dad start to yell at them so they won’t hit the power lines but to no avail–they hit the wires and fall into the weeds along the bank of the lake. This story is told by Isla and is it packed with drama: her father suffers a heart attack, he has to have a heart valve replaced, he gets an infection, and Isla meets a Harry a boy who is dying from cancer. Through all of this Isla feels she must find the swans. What she finds is a swan that can’t fly, a true friend and a grandfather she thought didn’t care. This book is one that I know I my students want to read.

Cooney, Caroline, The lost songs, Delcorte Press, 2011, 251 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:978-0-385-73966-5, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 8,
Lucie Painter’s mother abandoned her as a little girl and she lived with her grandmother until her grandma died. Saravette, Lucie’s mother, calls Lucie and asks her to come to the city because she needs to talk to her. Lucie agrees, skips school and catches a bus to the city and then rides into the more seedy parts of the town. Even the bus driver questions her getting off in this section of town. Saravette is waiting for Lucie and the visit turns out to be a total waste of her time. Lucie is a gifted singer, just like her grandmother and great grandmother before her, when she gets back to school she is confronted by a stranger in her music class who wants access the last songs–spirituals, her great grandmother composed but did not write down. Lucie’s grandmother left the songs to Lucie as gift, for her to sing and use as she wants. Lucie doesn’t want to give them to the man and she also does not want to sing them in church. Miss Veola knows the songs will draw people to her new church and bring in much needed revenue so that her church can grow. Lucie meets a new girl, Doria Bell, who has just moved to the south from Connecticut. Her love of music and Lucie’s draws them together in a friendly but not close relationship. When Doria is faced with a dangerous situation it is Lucie who comes to her rescue. Through everything that is going on in Lucie’s life, she has to decide what to do with the lost songs before someone else gets hold of them.

Freymann-Weyer, Garret, French Ducks in Venice, illustrated by Erin McGuire, Candlewick Press, 2011, unp., $16.99, ISBN:978-0-7636-4173-3, Gr. 2+, P 8, Q 9,
Polina is a young woman who lives in Venice, California and works as a dressmaker. She has been befriended by two ducks Georges and Cecile, who believe they are really French, and that Polina is really a Russian Princess. Polina has a boy friend, Sebastian, who drives away one day and never returns. Why he never returns is never explained to the reader. This story of loss and acceptance will appeal to a younger audience. The digitally created pictures help tell the story of a loss, friendship and healing.

Graves, Keith, The orphan of Awkward Falls, Chronicle Books, 2011, $16.99, 346 pgs, ISBN:978-0-8118-7814-2, Gr. 7+, P 7, Q 7,
After having read this book I had to really question myself if I would put it in my school library. Would I want the 4th grade students in my building to read it? Would I have wanted my 4th grade son or daughter to read this book? I’m not sure, as I have mixed feelings about the book. It is well written and I know that it will appeal to students, after all at 57 years-old it appealed to me. Thaddeus is a mad scientist who happens to be a young boy. His father was killed by his devoted yet really crazy sidekick Fetid Stenchley, even his name made me shiver. Fetid ends up in the Asylum for the Dangerously Insane, where he is given treatments to help cure him. The doctors have removed a piece of his scull and replaced it with a plate that can be unscrewed, giving the doctors access to the frontal lobe of his brain. They then insert wires that they use to send micro waves into his brain. It is passages like this that are so grotesque that I question if it should be in the hands of lower grade students. The book goes on to discuss the operations that Thaddeus performs on all the dead animals that are brought to him. He uses his father’s book that tells how to use mechanical parts that help to bring these animals back to life. After Thaddeus’s father was killed it was a robot /human butler and a talking cat that took care of him and raised him. The illustrations remind me a lot of those found in the book The invention of Hugo Cabrett but these are dark and creepy. The first human friend that Thaddeus has had is the young girl, Josephine, who has just moved in next door to him. Josephine just has to learn all she can about Thaddeus, his Nobel winning father, and the secrets that the house holds. What she finds is a scary adventure that she at times feels she may might live through. Older students who are looking for a peculiar weird chilling book will find that this one is most definitely the one to read.

Lawrence, Ian, The winter pony, Delacorte Press, 2011, 246 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:978-0-385-73377-9, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 9,
The white pony remembers running free on the grassy slopes near the forest of Siberia and taking a whole year to travel back to the place where he was born. He also remembers the day he was captured and sold to the lumber men of Siberia. He worked hard for five years for these big burly men, as they whipped and beat. At the age of eight he was finally taken by one of the lumbermen to the city where he is sold to horse trader. The white pony by the end of the day is bought along with 19 other ponies by an Englishman, this was the first time man had ever showed any kindness towards him. Mr. Meares, was the Englishman’s name and he had bought us so that we could help in the expedition to the South Pole that Robert Falcon Scott was putting together. This story told from the horse’s point of view and takes the reader along on one of the most treacherous expeditions in history. Named James Pigg the white pony tells of the hazards that man and horse faced together as they raced to be the first to reach the South Pole.

Marsden, Carolyn, Starfields, Candlewick Press, 2011, 209 pgs., $15.99, ISBN:978-07636-4820-6, Gr. 5+, P 8, Q 8,
Rosalba is nine years-old the year that she meets Alicia, an 8 year-old ladino girl who is here with her scientist father. Rosalba lives in a rural Mayan village, San Martin, Mexico, with her family. Alicia tells Rosalba about the Mayan calendar that runs out in December of 2012 and is to bring on disastrous results to the world. Alicia thinks that this occurrence is what is partially responsible for the frogs that are dying and which her father is studying. Rosalba is also a dreamer who like her mother is able to see what could happen to their village. There is also a story within this story of a young male Mayan god who appears to Rosalba in her dreams. He is trying to help her see what the disasters are that could affect her village. It is up to Rosalba to get her village elders to listen to her so the natural disasters can avoided.

Newman, John, Mimi, Candlewick Press, 2010, 168 pgs., $15.99, ISBN:9780763654153, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
Mimi, is a young girl in elementary school and whose mammy we are told died 149 days ago. The story is narrated by Mimi as she tells of the implication that her Mammy’s death has had on her family. No communication takes place in the house, where she lives with her father, a professor, her older sister Sally, and her older brother Connor. The story makes you all feel that all who live here in their house as if they have just given up. Her brother Connor plays the drums really loud all night. Sally who wears nothing black now writes all her feelings in a diary, which Mimi secretly reads. Their father hasn’t returned to his job yet, he sits and watches TV all day. He pulls it together enough that he can serve them the nightly pizza for supper, which is usually burnt. The children are taken care of after school by Mammy’s family. As time goes on problems start to manifest in Mimi’s family before their father finally pulls himself together so that he can be a true parent again. This is a book that I would not hesitate to share with a child who has lost a parent.

Schur, Maxine, Gullible Gus, illustrated by Andrew Glass, Clarion Books, 2009, $15.00, ISBN:978-0-618-92710-4, Gr. 3+, P 7, Q 8,
Gus the Cowboy, believes every thing that he is told, he suffers from a serious case of gullibility. His doctor orders are to proceed to the city of Filbrock, the doctor feels this will cure his gullibility. He encounters Mr. Hokum Malarkey who promises Gus that he can cure him with his stories. He just has to pay him which of course being gullible, Gus does. Hokum tells him three outlandish tales each more far fetched than the other. By the third story Gus gushes as he slaps his thigh “I don’t believe you.” Hokum Malarkey shouts, “you’re cured Gus” and as Gus rides off on his horse he proclaims “I’m not Gullible Gus any more… I’m just plain Gus now.” The bright illustrations of oil crayons help to highlight each of the three stories. This would be a great read aloud to be used by teachers who are planning a tall tale unit.

Starmer , Aaron, The only ones, Delacorte Press, 2011, 321 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:9780385740432, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
Albert Einstein came up with the Theory of Relativity where gravitational fields can curve space time back on itself. In theory this could make time travel possible. Using this idea Starmer has written a post apocalyptic story that will keep the reader on the edge of their set as they read this book. Martin Maple and his father live on a small island where they live mostly alone all year. Every summer, brings those who have come to the island to spend their vacations. It is also the time when Martina and his father bring out the secret machine that they are building together. Martin finds a friend, George, among the vacationers and when George leaves for the summer they keep in touch. As time goes by Martin father’s leaves the island promising to return and it is the last time Martin sees his father. Martin stays for two more years before he leaves the island and discovers only one more person, who informs him that everyone disappeared on one day two years before. Martin makes his way to Xibalba, a city run by pre-teen children, whom each have something special that contributes to the cities survival. It is Martin and his secret machine, which the children build, that helps to bring back those who have disappeared. Has time been bent and those who are returned were they just waiting all this time back in history?

Summers, Laura, Desperate measures, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2010, 250 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:978-0-399-25616-5, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 8,
Vicky and her twin sister, Rhianna and their younger brother Jamie are abandoned by their mother and put into state custody. They are to be split up and put into different foster families’ homes. The social worker threatens to have Rhianna, who suffered brain damage at birth, placed in a state institution for special needs children. Vicky, Rhianna and Jamie all take to the road trying to get to their great-aunts’ home on a lake. Vicky who takes charge has a hard time keeping Jamie from always trying to fight and Rhianna whom she has to try to help her understand over and over what they are doing. They also are now trying to avoid the police and those who searching for them. Finally captured, they are turned over to their father with the understanding that there will be follow up visits to make sure the children are being taken care of.

Picture Books
Garland, Michael, Miss Smith under the ocean, Dutton Children’s Books, 2011, unp., $16.99, ISBN:978-0-525-42342-3, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
Miss Smith, the bright red haired teacher is again taking her class on a field trip this time to aquarium. With the use of the Incredible Storybook, which is a magical book, her students are transported into a wonderful new adventure. They are taken on board the pea-green boat, which belongs to the Owl and the Pussy Cat, where they encounter Moby Dick, the big white whale. They find the Little Mermaid in a net and they all help to save her. As more of the stories are read from the Incredible Storybook the students find more adventures even going below the sea in Jules Verne’s The Nautilus and are attacked by a giant squid. All the characters disappear once again with in the pages of the book as Miss Smith closes the story book at the end of the field trip. The really bright colorful illustration rendered by the author show students on the adventure of their life.

Lichtenheld, Tom & Fields-Meyer, Ezra, E-mergency!, Chronicle Books, 2011, unp, $16.99, ISBN:978-0-8118-7898-2, Gr. 2+,P 8, Q 8,
All the alphabets’ letters come together in a big house and when they all run down the stairs E falls  is not longer available. What to do, A of course takes action and to tell “J, walk across the street and get the numbers so that so we can call 911.” With E gone they must replace her with O, “as she is so well rounded.” This book was a hoot as students and myself all tried to read aloud the words that have had E replaced with O. E can’t be used until she “Rocovors.” The bright colored illustrations are done in ink, pastels, and colored pencils, and help the letter characters to show how important the use of E is. As my elementary and middle school students read this book we were all in stitches.

Manna, Anthony & Mitakidou, Soula, The orphan : a Cinderella story from Greece, illustrated by Giselle Potter, Schwartz & Wade Books, 2011, unp., $16.99, ISBN:978-0-375-86691-3, Gr. 2+, P 8, Q 8,
The authors of this book were inspired to write this tale from two other Greek versions of the folk tales. The first was The modern Greek folktale and the second was Modern Greek folk tales. Though I have not read either of these books the authors have written a wonderful tale of Cinderella. One of the differences that I noted was of Cinderella going to her mother’s grave and pleading for help from her. The mother answers her and tells her to return home “to wait to True fortune’s blessings there. The illustrations by Giselle Potter, are brilliantly colored watercolors that bring this fairy tale to life. And yes the slipper did fit perfectly and were happy.

Non Fiction
Schuman, Michael, Tina Fey : TV comedy superstar, Enslow Publishers, 2011, 112 pgs., index, $31.93, ISBN:978-0-7660-3557-7, Gr.6+, P 7, Q 8,
Tina Fey is truly a comedy superstar. She has written a script for the movie, Mean Girls and for the TV program Saturday Night Live. She is both a comedian and an actress, who has performed on TV for both TV programs Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. Included in the book is Fey’s impersonation of Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice President candidate in 2008, and which first drew my attention to Tina Fey. It made headlines around the world. Did this portrayal have a negative effect on Sarah Palin and the Republican campaign? Some people felt that it did and they dubbed it the Tina Fey effect. This is a very up to date biography of Tina Fey which uses many colored photographs depicting Fey in her many talented pursuits.

Book Reviews by P.D.
Picture Books

Dori Chaconas. Illustrated by Gillian Tyler. Hurry Down to Derry Fair. Candlewick Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-7637-3208-3. $16.99. Gr. K-2.
Dinny is in a hurry to get to the fair. Before they go mama needs to bake a pie, Ddaddy needs to chop wood and sister Lucy needs to brush the animals. Sound words accompany the things that need to be finished before they can go. Finally Grandma Patty says “yes it is time to go”. They all make it to the fair and enjoy their day. Two fold out pages finish the book. P. 8. Q. 8.

Lauren Child. Slightly Invisible. Candlewick Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-7636-5347-4. Gr. K-2. $16.99.
Charlie wants to play with Marv alone without sister Lola but Lola has different plans. When Charlie and Marv invent an invisibility potion for catching the strangest and trickiest creatures in the world sister Lola helps herself to it along with her imaginary friend Soren Lorenson, who from then on in the book is “slightly invisible” on the pages. With the help of Soren Lorenson and Lola, Marv and Charlie catch the most strange and tricky creature in the world. Lola gets to play, they have a tea party and everyone has a wonderful day. The “slightly invisible” image on the pages in a great addition to the story. P.9, Q. 9.

Kate Messner, art by Christopher Silas Neal. Over and Under the Snow. Chronicle Books, 2011. ISBN 978-0-8118-6784-9. Gr. K – 2. $16.99.
As father and child ski over the snow the story takes you to the action that happens under the snow as they glide over the top. This story includes animals during winter both over and under the snow, to end with gliding on skis over the snow home to under the covers to dream about the things they saw during their day of skiing. The colors used throughout the book make it feel like a cold winter day. P. 9, Q. 9.

Graphic Novels
Siena Cherson Siegel with artwork by Mark Siegel. To dance: a ballerina’s graphic novel. Aladdin Paperbacks, 2006. ISBN 978-1-4169-2687-0. Gr. 3+. $9.99.
Siena always turns big empty places into a place to dance. She takes her first dance class at the age of six, and shortly after saw the Bolshoi Ballet Group that was traveling from Russia. From then on she knew that she wanted to become a ballet dancer. Through hard work and dedication and many years of practice she accomplishes her goal and becomes part of the New York City Ballet. This story of a young girl’s dedication and passion for ballet is inspiration for all. P. 9, Q. 9.

Roland Smith. Storm Runners the Surge. Scholastic Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-545-08179-5. Gr. 3 – 6. $16.99.
Hurricane Emily has hit Palm Breeze, dubbed the storm of the century. Chase, Nicole and Rashawn were on the bus on their way home when the bus was swept into a lake by the surge of water. The children escaped and made it on foot to Nicole’s farm only to find the house destroyed and Momma Rossi weathering the storm in the barn with Pet, the pregnant elephant. Nicole’s family owns and operated the Rossi Circus so there are many wild circus animals on the farm and some have gotten out of their enclosures. With the birth of the baby elephant getting closer, a loose tiger, a trapped lion and water rising, the students manage to make it to the morning when Chase and Nicole’s fathers arrive at the farm to witness the birth of the new elephant. This is an engaging fast paced story that keeps the reader turning the pages. P. 9, Q. 9

Sara Pennypacker, Illustrated by Martin Matje. The Amazing World of Stuart; Stuart’s Cape & Stuart Goes to School. Scholastic, 2010. ISBN 978-0-545-17842-6. $5.99 Gr. 3 – 4
This book contains two Stuart stories. In the first story Stuart is worried about going into the third grade at a new school. Stuart had decided that with only a few days left he needs an adventure but realizes that nobody has an adventure without a cape. He searches the boxes of things the family is going to throw out after moving into their new home, finds some of his father’s ties and staples them together to make a cape, let the adventure begin. A horse, gorilla and dinosaur come to visit then he learns that he can fly. What great adventures his new magic cape brings. The second story takes us to Stuart’s first day of school, worrying about all the things that could go wrong on the first day,d dressed in the awful outfit his mother put out for him and taking his cape with him, Stuart heads off the school. While sharing his magic cape Stuart realizes that his earlier wish to have his awful outfit disappear has come true. Sitting on the bus on the way home Stuart thinks he will never make a new friend. The second day Stuart does have something wonderful to share but it doesn’t happen until he is stuck in the boy’s bathroom. He tries to share his discovery with his class but it doesn’t work the way he wants it to. Day three: while doing math Stuart found that he could finally do something to try to make friends at his new school. Colorful illustrations are present throughout this story. P.9, Q.9.

Obert Skye. Wonkenstein The Creature from My Closet. Henry Holt, 2011. ISBN 978-0-8050-9268-4. $12.99. Gr. 3 +
When the creature comes out of Rob’s closet he passes out. When he wakes up in the morning and
things seem normal he thinks it was all a dream until he see the funny little man outside when he goes out the play with his friends. After rescuing the little man from a giant hole in the ground Rob took him to his room explaining to his friends’ that he was just another toy his dad had brought home for him to test. The little man talked to himself and sang. The little man continued to get into mischief and Rob had to rescue him. Wanting to know more about him and what to do about him Rob and his friend made a chart of what they knew about the creature and what they didn’t. They decided that he was part Willy Wonka and part Frankenstein, so Rob decided to read both books to learn more about the little creature and how to get him to go back to where ever he came from. Everyday Rob stuffed Wonk into his backpack to try to keep him out of trouble, sometimes it worked but sometimes it got Rob into trouble instead. Eventually Wonkenstein (the name Rob came up with for the little man using Willy Wonka and Frankenstein) returns to the closet and the door locks behind him. Life finally returns to normal after Wonkenstein returns to the closet, then thump another knock from within the closet leads to the next book as Potterwookiee steps out of the closet. Readers will enjoy the graphics that accompany this entertaining story. P. 10, Q. 10.

T.A. Barron. Merlin’s Dragon, book 3: Ultimate Magic. Philomel Books, 2010. ISBN 978-0-399-25217-4. $19.99. Gr. 3 +.
A great evil has come to Avalon. All who live there have come together to defeat their unknown enemy. Avalon’s greatest hero, Basil (Merlin’s great green dragon), leads them into battle. Nearing the end of the battle Merlin himself reappears after many years of absence to dispel the latest wave of dark evil coming from the Haunted Marsh. Left with no other choices Merlin, Basil and two other dragons travel to the Hunted Marsh to once and for all kill the evil darkness that resides there. In their attempt they find that Merlin’s son Krystallis has also come to the marsh to find out what has happened to a friend who never returned. Together they defeat the being that the darkness was trying to become but the evil darkness escapes to challenge Avalon another day. Dragons, magic, friendship and the love of one’s home bring all the inhabitants of Avalon together for a common cause. Peace has come to Avalon once again, and according to Merlin the next great battle will not happen for at least 100 years. P. 8, Q. 8.

Joseph Delaney. The Last Apprentice: Rage of the Fallen. Greenwillow Books. 2011. ISBN 978-0-06-202756-6. Gr. 3+
War and destruction cause Spook, Tom and Alice to flee their homeland to Ireland where Tom was told by one of his enemies never to go. Once in Ireland as they help people banish evil spirits The fiend, Tom’s greatest enemy, finally catches Alice. After they help the residents of Dublin fight The Goat Mages, Spook and Tom imprison the fiend and a favor from the God Pan is returned by the release of Alice. In the end they are headed home to see what is left of their families and homeland. Fantasy readers will enjoy this story of ghosts, demons, witches and overcoming the creatures of the dark. P. 9, Q.9.

Simon Mason. Moon Pie. David Fickling Books,  2011. ISBN 978-0-385-75235-0. $16.99. Gr. 4 – 6. After losing their mother things go from bad to worse and Social Services step in to remove Martha and her brother to their grandparent’s house when their father is not able to take care of them. Martha knows that this is for the best and thinks that it will be easier to forget her father. Martha begins acting in the short films that she helps her friend Marcus with and discovers that like her mother she is a natural actress. Her father reappears in the children’s lives after he has taken some time to get his life together. He also has a new job at a T.V. studio and tells Martha about a part coming up that she would be perfect for. Against her grandparent’s wishes she auditions and gets the part. Martha and her brother continue to live with their grandparents while they work on their relationship with their father and try to become a family again. This is a nicely written story of children dealing with the loss of their mother and a father who becomes an alcoholic and disappears from their lives for a time for recovery to return hoping to bring them together again. Throughout the book Martha compares the moon to many things depending on what is currently going on in her life. P. 8, Q. 9.

Robert T. Jeschonek. My Favorite Band Does Not Exist. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011. ISBN 978-0-547-37027-9. $16.99. Gr. 7+
A teenager tightly controlled by his high powered absent parents through his life coach and tutor lead to two different personalities going parallel through this story until they finally come together in the end. Unknown to his tutor Idea has created an imaginary rock band online and now someone is impersonating it and it has taken on a life of its own. Idea decides to run away and travel to Maysville, Kentucky to stop whoever is impersonating his imaginary rock band and making money from something that is not real. As he tries to hide from his life coach and tutor who are chasing him he runs into Eunice a girl who agrees to help him get to Maysville. The story follows Idea and Eunice, the make believe band as well as the novel that Idea and the lead singer (Reacher), Idea’s second personality, are both reading called Fireskull’s Revenant, a novel about two leaders at war who have been advised to come together or be taken over by a third party. The story makes the reader feel that Idea is overcoming fears in his life and though Reacher overcoming different fears. The two come together in the end which leaves the reader rethinking the story and wondering if there is another book. P. 8, Q. 8.

James Buckley, Jr. and Jim Gigliotti, Year in Sports 2012. Shoreline Publishing, 2001. ISBN 978-0-545-33150-0. $9.99. Gr. 4 – 6. Review by M. Mora 6th grader at Oceanlake Elementary.
I thought it was awesome because it has about 15 pages of each sport. It also teaches you a lot about the players and teams with statistics and records. The book is written in column form and easy to read, the illustrations show a lot of action. The book has the top 10 sports moments from 2011. P. 9, Q. 10.

Book Review by CB

Hill, C. J., Slayers, Feiwel and Friends, 2011, 373 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:9780312614140, Gr. 7+, P 8, Q 8,
16 year-old, Tori Hampton has always dreamed of dragons and has also wanted to attend camp at St. George Dragon Camp. Being the daughter of a senator her parents have never allowed it they instead would in enroll her in French camp. This year they finally allow her to attend St. George camp. Here Tori learns that she is the descendant of the dragon slayers who kept the world safe from dragons. Tori has to be convinced that this true. There are others like her who have found their powers, and they have been coming to the camp since the age of eight. Their powers only become active when they are near a dragon egg. Tori and the others at the camp must work together to protect the earth from the dormant dragon eggs that are soon to hatch.

Hilmo, Tess, With a name like love, Margaret Ferguson Books, 2011, 249 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:9780374384654, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 9,
This is Tess Hilmo’s first book that she has written for middle school age students. From the first page this author captured my attention and my heart. Reverend Everlasting Love and his family travel the roads of the south bringing the word of God to all who will attend one of his outdoor sermons. Set in July 1957, Olivene Love is thirteen, the oldest daughter of Reverend Love and is tired of always being on the road. When the family arrives at Binder, Arkansas she just knows that this will be just another three day stint before they move on to the next town. Olivene soon discovers that this small town is not like all of the others. Jimmy Koppel, a thirteen year old boy, with whom Olivene makes friends, is shunned by the town’s people. His mother is being held by the local sheriff for the murder of Jimmy’s father. Jimmy’s father beat his wife and son and also tortured animals. Olivene is determined to discover who really killed Jimmy’s father before his mother is sent to prison.

Hobbs, Valerie, Maggie & Oliver or a bone of one’s own, illustrated by Jennifer Thermes, Henry Holt and Company, 2011, 181 pgs., $15.99, ISBN:9780805092943, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
Bernie, a dog, has always been well cared for by his old mistress. On the last day, he wakes up and wants her to get up and get his breakfast for him, but that was the day she died. The same day young Maggie, a ten year-old orphan, is discharged from her duties as a maid. Both are now on the street alone and wondering how they will survive. Maggie finds employment in a factory, where she works 10 to 12 hours a day and earns a few pennies a day for all her work. Fate brings Bernie and Maggie together and they try to survive together. The pencil drawings by Thermes’s helps in the telling of this story.

King, Caro, Seven sorcerers, Aladdin, 2011, 324 pgs., $15.99, ISBN:9781442420427, Gr. , P 7, Q 8,
The day that Nin wakes and she can’t find her little brother is the day that her adventure starts. Nobody else is concerned that he can’t be found; in fact they don’t remember him at all. It was the Bogeyman Skerridge who took him and he is now coming for Nin. Nin escapes into the Drift with the aid of boy called Jonas. He thinks he knows where her brother is in the drift and he also knows a lot about the drift. Jonas knows about the seven sorcerers who were fighting and caused the Drift to start to shrink.

McMann, Lisa, The unwanted, Aladdin, 2011, 390 pgs, $16.99, ISBN:9781442407688, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 8,
Quill has to be the most dismal place anyone can live. Dark, polluted, a place where gloom is the word of the day. No emotions or imagination are allowed. Quill is a place, where if you draw, sing, or even play an instrument you are in violation of the laws of the city and could be labeled an unwanted. Quill once a year has meeting where the unwanted are purged from the city’s population. Thirteen year-old twins, Alexander and Aaron Stowe, are in the selection this year. Alexander is chosen as an unwanted and will be taken to the great oil pool where he will burned with all the other unwanted. Riding a bus that is falling apart and on a hot day to their death all the unwanted reflect on the crimes that they were suppose to have done. They believe death awaits them and are surprised to find a world that exists but is hidden by magic from those in Quill. This is a world where color, beauty, songs and emotions exists and all the unwanted children of years before do too.

Paterson, Katherine, and Paterson, John, The flint heart, illustrated by John Rocco, Candlewick Press, 2011, 288 pgs., $19.99, ISBN:9780763647124, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 9,
An ancient magical charm, the Flint Heart, was created by a magical man and gives the person who possesses it incredible powers. The first man who gained possession was a kind husband and a wonderful father. This all changed as the magical charm changed him into a brute who is merciless to all. Upon his death he is buried with the Flint Heart and it is 1000 years later till it found bmy Billy Jago. He to becomes a brute and is mean to wife, children and all those around him. Young Charles, Billy Jago’s son, is determined to get back the father he loves. If he can remove the Flint Heart from his father’s possession all should be right again. The Flint Heart is flung into woods where someone else finds it and history repeats itself.

Snyder, Laurel, Bigger than a bread box, Random House, 2011, 226 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:9780375869167, Gr. 5+, P 7, Q 8,
Rebecca’s life goes into a tail spin the day that her mother packs all their suit cases and leaves her father behind. She doesn’t get time to say goodbye to anyone but her father. They leave Baltimore and drive all night to live with their grandmother in Atlanta. Here she faces a new school and new friends. At her old school she had her best friend to hang with but not here in Atlanta. When she finds a magical bread box she is able to wish for things and then she gives them away to kids at her new school, for the first time she is becomes very popular. The magic bread box though has taken things from other places and Rebecca is accused of stealing of stealing. She has to come to terms with her parents’ separation, and what true friendship is.

Venkatraman, Padma, Island’s end, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2011, 228 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:9780399250996, Gr., P., Q.,
Set in Bay of Bengal on the Andaman and Nicobar islands 15 year-old Uido lives with her family and fellow tribe members. Here on the island they live the way their forebears lived. They do not want the modern world to replace the one that they are living now. Uido is having visions and when she finally speaks of it to their leader, who is the tribe’s spiritual leader, he takes her as his pupil. When the monsoons come he takes Uido into the mountains where he teaches her the secrets of her tribe and the island. When the island is visited by strangers from the other islands, Uido forsees the dangers they will bring to the island. The reader is able to hear Uido thoughts as she thinks about what is going on, even through her visions. When Uido’s younger brother is injured it is to the modern world that she turns to for help.

Picture Books
Carbone, Elisa, Night running: how James escaped with the help his faithful dog, illustrated by E. B. Lewis, Alfred A. Knopf,  2008, unp., $16.99, ISBN:9780375822476, Gr., P, Q,
[Editor’s note: review missing from file.  James, a young slave, tries to leave his faithful hound behind when he runs away from the plantation, but when he is captured by slavehunters, the hound frees him.  The strong illustrations show not only the relationship between the boy and his dog, but the terrors of escaping though the dark night, only to be re-captured. Based on a true story. JC]

Cronin, Doreen, and Cornell, Laura, M.O.M. (mom operating manual), Atheneum Books for Young People, 2011, 54 pgs., $16.99, ISBN:978141961505, Gr. All, P 9, Q 9,
At the age of 25 I gave birth to my daughter and thought I knew all that I need to be a mom. Boy, was I wrong. In the pages of this book, you will roar with laugher and chuckles as you learn all that you didn’t know on how to be a good parent. This is a manual that is fills in all those missing gaps with such advice as “not to wash your mother with a hose” and not to “eat the things that are found on her” as you all help to groom her. I had to share this book with the other mothers in my school and they too commented on how they wish they could have had this book too. One is going to buy it for her mother for Christmas. The colored illustrated antics of a tired worn out mom are just what was needed to put his book over the top. I remembered lifting the couch to get some toy, sock and even the cat out from underneath. Be sure to check out the exercise section of this book and also the yellow triangle warning signs for further laughter.

Hawkes, Kevin, The wicked big Toddlah, Alfred Kropf, 2007, unp., $16.99, ISBN:9780375824272, Gr. 2+, P 8, Q 9,
On the coldest day in Maine, a baby, was delivered by the stork. When Jessica, came to see her “little” baby brother she was surprised when a big hand appears and grab hers. Uncle Bert whistles and proclaims “That’s a wicked big toddlah ya got theya, Jessie!” Toddie became the name of this ayah, giant baby. They say it takes a village to raise a child, this true in Toddie’s case. It takes a truck, and several people to load and unload him just to go to the doctor. To change his diaper it takes a large hose, a crane, a helicopter and several people in bio-hazmat suits. To sing him to sleep a chorus is needed. The colored illustrations show Toddie in his first year of life.

Joyce, William, The man in the moon, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011, unp., $17.99, ISBN:9781442430419, All Grades, P 8, Q 10,
As a young girl I remember being told all sorts of things about the moon. It is made of cheese and look there the man in the moon. I would look into the sky and see the glowing light around the moon and squint my eyes to see this man in the moon. I never was able to see him so I was told to look for his face I surely could see him then. This book about how the man in moon, Mim, came to the moon. As a great war was fought, Mim is whisked away by the Nightlight to safety, on the moon. Here the Moonbots, Moonmice and the giant Glowworms picked him up and carried him into the tunnels of the moon. Here he remained playing on the moon till he grew up to be a young man. He found by turning his ear to the earth he could hear hopes and dreams of the children of Earth. He helped Earth’s children: he found a man who loved to make toys, a rabbit who could make candy eggs, and a lovely lady who loved to tell them stories. To this day the man in the moon is there to here all of Earth’s children hopes and dreams. The multimedia illustrations of this book are fabulous and so beautifully illustrated that the story could be told just using them.

Moundlic, Charlotte, The scar, illustrated by Olivier Tallec, Candlewick Press, 2009, unp., $14.99, ISBN:9780763653415, Gr. 3+, P 7, Q 9.
I was almost eight the year my father passed away. I had no idea what death was and even shared with my class during show and tell that he had died. Scar is the story of a young boy who is overwhelmed when his mother dies. He knows that death means she will never come back. She will be put in a coffin and will be buried in the ground. He is sure that he can take care of his father but soon realizes that he can’t. He tries to hold on to her smell, he even tries to hold his nose to keep her smell in. Through all of story I was able to relate to him for I too felt things he felt, anger, fear, sadness and finally acceptance. The illustrations, mostly done with the color red, are expressive in showing the hurt, love, anger, and sadness of this young boy. The story is told from the young boy’s point of view. This book should be given to any one who has lost loved one.

Graphic Novels
Ford, Christopher, Stickman Odyssey: an epic doodle, Philomel Books, 2011, 200 pgs., $12.99, ISBN:9780399254260, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 8,
Zozimos, is determined to regain his throne. He was banished when his evil stepmother came to rule after his father’s death. He will do anything so that he can rule his kingdom, of Sticatha. Through his travels he performs a series of quests that are to help him regain his throne. This graphic novel’s illustrations are black and white stick men and women which will make the reader laugh as they go along with Zozimos on his many adventures.

Non Fiction
Borgenicht, David, Smith, Molly, Walsh, Brendan, and Epstein, Robin, The worst-case scenario: Survive-o-pedia, illustrated by Chuck Gonzales. Chronicle Books, 2011, 142 pgs., index, $16.99, ISBN:9780811876902, Gr. 6+, P 8, Q 7,
The students at my school love to look for books that discuss the scenario of “what if.” This book goes the extra mile by discussing topics of what to do in case a volcano erupts, a shark attacks, you run into poisonous plants, and how to fight off a lion. The book is chuck full of common sense ideas of how to avoid dangers or hazards that we could face in our daily live. The book also points out what many people believe to be true are really myths and not to believed. The colored pictures and fact boxes add to the overall appeal of this book.

Hardesty, Von, Flight, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2008, 64 pgs. glossary, index, $16.99, ISBN:9781442432772, Gr. 6, P 8, Q 8,
Hutchinson, Mark, Reptiles, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2008, $16.99, ISBN:9781442432765, Gr.6, P 8, Q 8,
Wade, Rosayln, Polar worlds, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2008, 64 pgs., glossary, index, $16.99, ISBN:9781442432758, Gr. 6, P 8, Q 8,
Flight, Reptiles,and Polar worlds are three new books in the Insiders series. My library collection has most of the books in this series and all are very popular with the students in my school. It is the colored pictures and detailed graphics that I think appeal the students most. The text too is clear and easy to follow and includes side bars, text boxes that add even more information for the reader. I look forward to more in this series.

Katz, Alan, Poems I wrote when no one was looking, illustrated by Edward Koren, Margaret McElderry Books, 2011, 152 pgs., $17.99, ISBN:9781416935186, Gr. 3+, P 8, Q 8,
I have read other poetry books, opps! by Katz and have always enjoyed his humorous poetry that either made me laugh or brought forth a giggle. I found myself again giggling at the antics of a child who “picks lint” from his brother’s navel. Topics about time, feeding, popcorn, tutu’s, letters, animals, moms, and families are all included and many more. The black and white ink drawings are simple not very complex and they too will have the reader giggling.

Livingston, Myra Cohn, Calendar, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand, Holiday House, 2007, unp, $16.95, ISBN:9780823417254, Gr. 1+, P 7, Q 8,
The illustrations of ink, acrylic, gouache and collage on canvas introduce the months of the year to elementary students. Accompanied by a very simple text the reader will learn the months of the year. [Editor’s note: The text, a poem originally published in Livingston’s 1959 collection, Wide Awake and Other Poems, introduces the seasons to a new generation of young readers.]

Talbott, Hudson, United Tweets of America: 50 state birds, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008, unp, $17.99, ISBN:9780399245206, Gr. 3+, P 7, Q 8,
I had a teacher who was looking for a book on state birds and I couldn’t find one. So this was the book that I was looking for. Not only are the birds noted of each state but also each state has other items included such as the state motto, flower, capital, and famous people. Humorous antidotes also appear throughout this book too. Each bird is colored and presented in a comical way.

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