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Pre2006 Reviews – B

Babbit, Natalie Jack Plank Tells Tales, 128 p. Scholastic – Jack Plank has been put off his pirate ship and, with the help of a kind village, is trying to find a place for himself. Each day he goes out and tries a new kind of profession and each evening he has a new story that explains why that profession is not right for him. Sorry, I just wasn’t very interested in this book. Maybe if I were to look at it from the point of view of a younger child who was fascinated with the Pirates of the Caribbean, but I’m not and I can’t. EL – WAY OPTIONAL

Baccalario, Pierdomenico The Long Lost Map, 261 p. – RELEASE: July 2006 When Julia, Rick and Jason run from a dangerous situation, Julia finds herself back in Argo Manor, leaving the boys behind in Ancient Egypt. While the boys befriend an Egyptian girl and follow Ulysses Moore’s clues, Julia and Nestor try to fend off Oblivia’s henchman, who is trying to break into the mansion. Very exciting and elementary students will love it. I however, still feel like I am being cheated and that there should be more of a feeling of completion at the end of the story. Instead you know that you are going to have to buy another book, because the action is really left hanging. Don’t get me wrong – I like series fiction – I read LOTS of series, but these books just don’t deliver a good single read -I feel trapped into reading the next book. Enough ranting. Buy the book. EL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Baccalario, Pierdominico Ulysses Moore: The Door to Time, 226 p. – Release: January 2006. Jason, Julia and their parents have moved to an awesome old house perched on a cliff on the coast of England. When the parents are away for the weekend, with the help of a new friend, the twins investigate the house from top to bottom and find mysteries to answer along the way – mysteries that will propel them into the depths of the earth and maybe through time itself. Very exciting – but this book is just a lead in for further adventures to come. You always have to wonder if they will live up to the promise. The illustrations look 1970-ish. EL-ESSENTIAL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bajoria, Paul The Printer’s Devil, 377 p. – Mog has been printing WANTED posters and such all his life, but one particular posters ends up involving him with real-life murderers and also digs up some very old secrets. Billed as a modern Dickensian novel, I found that it feel short. I don’t think students will connect to it or recommend it to friends. EL, MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Baker E.D. Once Upon a Curse, 244 p. – Princess Emma is expecting her in-laws-to-be at her castle so that she can announce her engagement to her Prince. But, she is about to turn 16, which will put her under the family surse. In order to get to the root of the problem, Emma goes back in time to here the original curse and she if she can break it forever. Yeah! The 3rd (and I think last) in the series and definitely better than #2. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Banerjee, Anjali Maya Running, 209 p. – Born in Canda, Maya is the daughter if Indian immigrants, making her the only dark skinned student at her middle school. The town’s “bad boy” has just started to show interest in Maya, when Pinky, Maya’s beautiful older cousin comes to town and attracts everyone’s attention. Maya prays to Pinky’s statue of Ganesh, who answers her prayers in unexpected ways. Lots of books coming out by Indian writers. This is not the best of the lot, but it si okay. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Banerjee, Anjali The Silver Spell 174 pages Mirror Stone. Language G- Sexual Content G- Violence G- Kellach and Driskoll’s mother, Jourdain, has been missing for years. Now she has finally returned. She’s not quite the same, though. Their father acts glassy eyed around her and, Kellach has caught her sneaking around and looking for something during the night. Now Kellach wonders, why is Jourdain back? This is a great book for elementary kids who enjoy a fantasy filled with demons, giants, and a strange spell. EL-ADVISABLE. Student reviewer: RH

Bang, Molly and Penny Chisholm Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life. Blue Sky Press (Scholastic), February 2009. PICTURE BOOK. The sun comes to life and explains how plants work with the sun to create the energy they need and the oxygen that humans needs to make the world work. An elementary teacher or a middle school teacher could read this aloud as an introduction or explanation during a science unit. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy – Library-Teacher

Bar-el, Dan Such a Prince Illustrated by John Manders, unpaged, Clarion Books, 2007. Finally a fairy tale with real attitude! To marry the princess, a suitor must present three perfect peaches to help the princess regain her health. Two brutish brothers fail in their attempts to win her hand because they irritate the fairy, Libby Gaborchick, with their rudeness. Finally, Marvin, the skinny third brother is helped by Libby because of his good heart. Despite the King’s best efforts to block the marriage, Marvin prevails. The illustrations promote the flippant attitude of the text right up to the final picture of the “less than princesseque” Vera in bridal attire holding Marin in her arms. This is a refreshing tone that enlivens what could have been yet another princess story. EL (2-4)- ADVISABLE. Reviewed by Susan Huff, Area Library Media Specialist

Baratz-Logsted, Lauren Secrets of my Suburban Life, 225 p. Simon Pulse, 2008. Lauren’s grief-stricken father has dragged her out to the ‘safer’ suburbs, away from her beloved New York City, after the sad death of her mother. Frozen out by the school’s Queen Bee, Lauren finds two possible friends. Then Lauren stumbles on to a shattering secret. Farrin, Miss QB herself, is exchanging emails with someone who may be a child predator. Lauren feels obligated to protect her rival, especially when she suspects the prep may be her own father. Too bad the characters in this book are fond of swearing (about 50, including some “f”) and the author includes a graphic sex scene. Its other downfall is that Lauren takes on confronting the predator by herself, instead of calling in the police. If you want to read a much better book on the subject, pick up Dear Jo : the story of losing Leah–and searching for hope by Christina Kilbourne (Lobster Press) instead. NO

Baratz-Logsted Angel’s Choice, 248 p. Simon Schuster – Feeling rejected by the boy she loves, Angel has a night of casual sex that she doesn’t even remember. Now she is pregnant and the boy wants her to have an abortion. Angel, however, decides to finally take charge of her life and instead opts to have the baby and keep it, causing everyone around her to make some very hard choices. Angel’s story is kind of idealized, but will still resonate with teens. The sex scene is not graphic, but the subject matter is sensitive enough that conservative communities should beware. MS-OPTIONAL, HS-ADVISABLE

Bardoe, Cheryl Gregor Mendel: The Friar who Grew Peas PICTURE BOOK Abrams – A simple, well-written picture book that explains a little about Mendel’s background and the protocol behind his early experiments with pea plants and genetics. This is a slightly long pisture book that would be good supplemental or pictorial material for a beginning heredity unit. EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Barkley, Brad and Heather Hepler Dream Factory, 250 p. Dutton (Penguin) 2007. All of the Disney World characters are on strike and Ella has taken the place of Cinderella. As handsome as her Prince Charming is, she kind of has eyes for Luke, Dale’s replacement. Could Cinderella and Dale ever work as a couple? Are you more than the character you are hired to play? Unfortunately, the authors have chosen to pepper their narrative with swear words – enough to make this book fairly un-charming. The chapters are told in alternating voices, but the voices are too indistinct and I had to keep checking to see whom as was actually “listening” to. Cute premise, bad execution. NO

Barkley, Brad and Heather Helper Jars of Glass, pgs. 246. Dutton (Penguin), October 2008. Language- R; Sexual Content- PG-13; Violence- PG; Chloe and Shana are going through some tough times. Their mother is going crazy, there dad just adopted a Russian boy,who only speaks a handful of English words. And Shana is going through a phase. And their little brother might be taken away from them. I loved this book!!! I must say, it is one of my favorites, but because of the language it should probably stay in the public library. MS,HS – NO. Student Reviewer: SH

Barner, Bob Dem Bones, PICTURE BOOK. Chronicle Books, 1996. Mr. Barner pairs his brightly colored collages with not only the original spiritual text, but also with short, accurate descriptions of each set of bones, from the foot up to the head. This book maybe be a bit old, but it is definitely not dated. If you don’t have it, even in the middle school, then you need to get it. EL – ESSENTIAL, MS – ADVISABLE

Barnholdt, Lauren The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney, 263 p. Simon and Schuster – Over the summer, Devon reinvented her self and her life for the benefit of a new friend she made at her grandmother’s house. Now her parents are done rekindling their relationship – and who should walk in to Devon’s old, real life? Lexi – Devi’s summer friend. Now Devon must figure out some way to do damage control – and FAST! Pretty cute and already in paperback. Another easy pick for tweens. EL, MS – ADVISABLE

Barkley, Brad and Heather Helper Jars of Glass, pgs. 246. Dutton (Penguin), October 2008. Language- R; Sexual Content- PG-13; Violence- PG; Chloe and Shana are going through some tough times. Their mother is going crazy, there dad just adopted a Russian boy,who only speaks a handful of English words. And Shana is going through a phase. And their little brother might be taken away from them. I loved this book!!! I must say, it is one of my favorites, but because of the language it should probably stay in the public library. MS,HS – NO. Student Reviewer: SH

Barretta, Gene Dear Deer: A Book of Homophones PICTURE BOOK Henry Holt, 2007. Aunt Ant writes a letter to her dear Deer, telling her all of the droll antics of the animals at the zoo. Each page is brightly illustrated with comical, but very clear representations of the homophones. Perfect for any level English class which needs to illustrate the concept. EL, MS – ESSENTIAL

Barretta, Gene Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin, PICTURE BOOK – A good look at the role that Benjamin Franklin’s inventions and ideas have played in the formation of our modern society. Bright illustrations are a little childish seeming for older students, but I think they will actually catch the eye of the middle school student. A class on American history, a science class or a Technology, Life Careers class could all use this book as a jumping off point to further studies. EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Barrie, J.M. Peter Pan: a pop-up adaptation by Robert Sabuda. Barrie’s story has been pardd down to its familiar basics and re-imagined in Sabuda’s clever pop-up style. How can you resist this one? EL – ESSENTIAL. Reviewer – Cindy, Library-Teacher

Barron, T.A. The Day the Stones Walked, illustrated by William Low. Philomel (Penguin), 2007. A young boy disdains the idea that the huge stone moais that his father carves can really come alive and protect his people. Then one day a gigantic wave engulfs the boy and sweeps him away. Only the strength of the moai can save him. With the sound of great feet and deep voices, the boy learns the truth of his father’s words. Stunning illustrations accompany the simple story of a boy learning to trust his father and his fathers. As I read this, I was reminded of the many times I try to tell my own children something that they just have to learn for themselves. While Mr. Barron adds an ecological note in the afterwards, for me the most powerful part of the narrative was the relationship between father and son – the ancestor story. Teachers at almost any level (social studies in the upper grades) could find something in this book to connect to their curriculum. EL, MS, HS – ADVISABLE

Barron, T.A. The Great Tree of Avalon – Avalon was created by Merlin from a single seed. Now, Avalon is in danger from an evil power. Tamwyn is sure that he is the great evil predicted hundreds of years ago. Elli lost both of her parents when she escaped from a troll slave camp. Scree is an eagleman who is also the guardian of Merlin’s staff, which can do great things in the hands of the heir of Merlin. The three of them, along with a larger cast of characters are destined to fight the great evil. Fans of the Lost Years of Merlin series will be drawn to this book, which will lead them to read many other fantasy books. EL, MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Barry, Dave and Ridley Pearson Escape from the Carnivale, 134 p Hyperion – Little Scallop is the most bored Mollusk maiden in Neverland. Together with her two mermaid friends, she sets out on adventure and immediately gets into hot water instead. Life-threatening danger. A perfect book for younger kids who enjoyed the Neverland Fairy books or who aren’t quite ready for Peter and the StarCatchers. EL – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Barry, Dave and Ridley Pearson Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, 482 p. Hyperion, 2007. Lord Ombra has not been defeated, but Peter and his friends do not yet know that important fact. They will have to journey to the slave country of Rundoon to find the truth of Peter’s parentage, the truth behind starstuff and the StarCatchers and for a final confrontation with Ombra. Back on Never Land, things do not stay peaceful. Pirates, natives and Lost Boys will have to band together in order to survive a deadly enemy – and the final defeat will take everyone’s cooperation. Stay with this finale through a slow start and you will be richly rewarded with an action-packed adventure. MS – ESSENTIAL

Barth-Grozinger, Inge Something Remains – Rating: PG Erich Levi and his family are some of the most respected people in their little town of Ellwagen Germany. But when Hitler and The National Socialist Party come to power, everything changes for the Levi’s. Because they are Jewish, Erich, his cousin and brother Max are being harassed every day at school. Plus, Erich’s father’s business is suffering. What will come of this family under Hitler’s power? I thought this book really reflected on how hard it was for the Jews in World War Two. I recommend it to everyone. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL Student Reviewer: LH

Baryshnikov, Mikhail Because, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky PICTURE BOOK Atheneum (Simon) – A young boy lives with his grandmother and is embarrassed by her constant twirling, spinning, leaping and cavorting. Until he relaxes and joins in on the fun. Mr. Radunsky’s vibrant illustrations leap off the page and will have young children leaping around the room or the field in imitation, inspiration. EL – ESSENTIAL

Baskin, Nora Raleigh All We Know of Love, 201 p. Language: PG (10 swears); Sexual Content: PG (implied sex only). Four years earlier, Natalie’s mom walked out without a word and without taking a single possession with her. Now, Natalie has embarked on a long bus journey to her mother’s new home, yearning to know what her mother was trying to tell her before she took off. Along the way she meets a cast of characters that each have something to teach Natalie about the nature of love. The point to this point is so mild and so weak that most kids won’t get it at all. This is another book that I read based on the reviews (I read four of them, I believe) and I feel cheated. When all was said and done, I didn’t care about Natalie and I don’t think she actually learned a thing. NO. Reviewer – Cindy, Library-Teacher

Baskin, Nora Raleigh In the Company of Crazies 176 p. Language-PG, Sexual Content-G, Violence-G – In 5th and 6th grade Mia was a perfect student. Then her 7th grade year went way downhill. The death of a fellow student had a major affect on her and she took it a little too far. Her mother places her in an all boy boarding school to hopefully make her a better student. Even though this book is a younger level, I liked it a lot. It shows a wide variety of personalities and situations. I feel that I could relate to Mia easily because of the author’s excellent descriptions. EL, MS – ADVISABLE Student Reviewer: KD

Bass, L.G. Sign of the Qin, 373 p. -The heir to the Emperor’s throne is marked with the sign of the Qin, a gang of outlaws. The king is determined to kill this new son before he can inherit, but the baby is spirited away to safety by a strange cast of characters before the deed can be done. It is not often that I give up on a book unless it has too much sex, violence or swearing. This one has none of those things, but I still couldn’t stand it. I like lots of fantast, but this one did not appeal to me. Maybe I will have to give it another try some other time, but for now it is a NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bath, K.P. The Secret of Castle Cant, 291 p – Lucy is the serving woman (read “slave”) to a spoiled, willful princess who gets Lucy in lots of trouble. Lucy become involved in a plot to overthrow the monarchy (who have become addicted to chewing gum) and discovers that she is the king’s long hidden eldest child and both sides want to manipulate her life. Gosh, I made this sound so good, but it really is pretty awful. I would hold out until this one comes out in paperback. OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Batson, Wayne Thomas The Door Within, 310 p. – Aidan finds the text of an ancient book that draws him into a parallel universe where kingdoms are in peril from an evil Lord who wants to control an entire world. Though the premise itself is a well-worn theme, Batson a does a great job of breathing life into it and giving it a fresh look. Schools that love MacHale’s work and Nimmo’s will also like this. I almost gave up on it, but my 14 year old took it from me and told me he really liked it. EL, MS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bauer, Marion Dane Killing Miss Kitty and Other Sins, 163 p. Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin) – Language: PG-13 (For discrimination); Sexual Content: PG-13; Violence: G – “Sometimes, you see, everything we know–even about ourselves–is untrue.” This is the biography of a girl living during the 1950’s trying to discover herself and figure out what the world truly is – through the mistakes of others, as well as her own. This story actually followed the format of a person’s life. People came and went, all changing her or leaving some imprint on her life. I enjoyed it, but at the same time I found times I was really bored with it. And for your sake, don’t read this if you’re a homophobic. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: KH

Baum, Loius The Mouse Who Braved Bedtime PICTURE BOOK Bloomsbury – A little Mouse hears terrible noises at bedtime, but neither his mother or father nor even his big brother can help his conquer his fears. This extremely cute book would be a great addition to the elementary library, but also a welcome character education book for middle school. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Beaumont, Karen Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin, Henry Holt & Company, 2008. PICTURE BOOK. “Eeny, meeny, miney, moe! Who ate all the cookie dough?” is repeated by various animals throughout this simple picture book as Kangaroo looks for the culprit. Kids will easily pick up the rhyme. The illustrations stand out delightfully on a white background. Good choice for children just learning to read. Gardes PreS – 1, ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Debby Herget, Elementary Library-Teacher.

Beard, Larleen Bailey Operation Clean Sweep 151 p. – The women of Umatilla Oregon have had the right to vote for four years and they are tired of the laziness of the men in office. Corn’s father is mayor of Umatilla and while eavesdropping he discovers the women’s plans. Now he has to decide whether to tell his father what is going on. Great for elementary students really about women’s suffrage. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bebris, Carrie Pride and Prescience, 287 p. – On the day that Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy wed, in conjunction with Jane and Mr. Bingley, Caroline Bingley announces her engagement to a gentleman from America, with the ceremony to be performed just one week hence. On her wedding night, Caroline is found by the Darcy’s, wandering the slums of London in a daze. This is the just the first of several mysterious happenings surrounding Caroline and her new husband. Okay – it’s not a bad book, but I have hard time buying the premise that Elizabeth nee Bennett might have supernatural powers. There is not as much depth to this novel as to the original, but it is still a good read. HS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Beck, Ian The Secret History of Tom Trueheart, 352 p. HarperCollins – The youngest of the adventuring Trueheart brothers, Tom sometimes feels weak and left behind. Then each of his brothers is caught in a trap when they set out to write new adventures, and only Tom is left to step up to the plate and save the fairy tale writing kingdom from disaster. Very cute and perfect for young children. It took me about an hour to read. EL – ESSENTIAL. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Becker, Bonny Holbrook a Lizard’s Tale, 160 pgs. Clarion Books. Language-G; Sexual Content-G; Violence-G; Holbrook is a lizard that is a new and becoming artist. When he travels from his desert home to the city, he learns how harsh the real world can be. This was a great book for Elementary School. The occasional picture made it more fun to read, and the easy to follow story will make it a good choice for an Elementary School library. ELEMENTARY-ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer- KD.

Beddor, Frank Looking Glass Wars 358 p. Penguin – In order to survive in the English world, Alyss Hart, must loose her identity as the heir of Wonderland and lose all of her memories of family and home. In the middle of her wedding of her wedding to an English prince, Queen Redd’s minions come to finish the job from years before of killing the true heir, catapulting Alyss back into the world she thought was a dream. Excellent version of the Wonderland mythos that takes the world from Disney silly into a beautiful, wonderful world. It will be best understood if you have at least seen the animated movie, if not read the original book. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Beddor, Frank Seeing Redd, 384 p. Dial (Penguin) – Since she defeated her evil Aunt Redd, Alyss Heart, queen of Wonderland, has tried to find time for herself amongst the hustle and bustle of rebuilding an entire land. However, Arch, king of a neighboring land, has other things in mind for Alyss, none of which include peace. Outright lies, subtle deceptions and vicious attacks take center stage in the latest Wonderland book. Quite dark and utterly fascinating with a completely gorgeous cover that will inspire many a Halloween costume, if I am not mistaken. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL

Beddor, Frank The Looking Glass Wars, 358 p. ; Language-G; Sexual Content-G; Violence-PG – Every one knows the story of Alice in Wonderland, but that story is a complete lie. Alice Liddel is really Alyss Heart, the heir to the Wonderland queendom. On Alyss’ seventh birthday her Aunt Redd attacks, kills her parents, and trys to kill her. To survive Alyss must go through the lake of tears and into London. But over time she is told that Wonderland was just a figment of her imagination. Will she start to believe it? I absolutely hate the book Alice in Wonderland, but The Looking Glass Wars is now one of my favorite books. It has action and romance and is never boring. It is also a little more realistic. Everything is explained. It shows you just how everything works. I think any one would like this book. MS – ESSENTIAL Student Reviewer, JB

Behrens, Andy Beauty and the Bully, 250, Dutton (Penguin). Language – PG-13; Violence – PG; Sexual Content – PG; Duncan Boone has a major crush on Carly to the point of obsession. He parks his car next to her, switched lockers with someone who had one by her, and even got into her classes. After he got hit by an amplifier at band practice, he went to school with a black and blue face and seemed to finally get Carly’s attention. When the bruises start to fade so does her willingness to keep him safe. His band full of best friends helps him find a way to keep her attention with includes a big bully, a new band member, and more wonderfully fresh bruises. I thought this book was really good! It’s way funny with unexpected twists. MS – ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: AA

Bell, Cece Bee-Wigged. Candlewick Press, 2008. PICTURE BOOK. Jerry is a big bee who longs to have friends, but when people see him, they run away, because he is such a big bee. With the help of a wig, Jerry starts going to school and making friends. He soon realizes, however, that being yourself is the best way to make friends. Cute illustrations, cheesy, fun text. Extremely cheesy, but a good read aloud to read to young children who are learning about friends and being yourself. EL(PreK-1). ADVISABLE. Reviewer-Kira, Youth Services Librarian-HUN Public Library.

Bell, Clare Clan Ground, abt 250 pgs. Firebird Fantasy. Language-G, Sexual Content-PG, Violence-PG; Clan Ground continues the story of Ratha, new leader of the intelligent, prehistoric cats, the Named. Ratha brought the power of fire to her clan, which is what brought her leadership. Now a new cat with strange, orange eyes comes to join the clan from among the obscure ranks of the Un-Named. He has very different views, as he learns the ways of the clan, and hungers for power of his own. Soon, Ratha and her leadership are in danger from the influence the newcomer holds in the clan, combined with the clans’ worshipping of the Red Tongue, forgetting that it was Ratha that brought it to them in the first place.–The characters and workings of the clan society were expanded and deepened in Clan Ground when compared to the first novel. I enjoyed the plotline much more in the second book! Really, the potential of the series has improved, and as it continues to do so, the series could possibly add variety to an school library, a good alternative when students are looking for something new. EL/MS–ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: KR

Bell, Clare Ratha’s Creature, abt 250 pgs. Firebird Fantasy. Language-G, Sexual Content-PG, Violence-G ;Ratha, a member of the Named–intelligent, prehistoric cat clans–is driven into exile after her discovery of the power of the Red Tongue (fire), and how to control it. This newfound power that Ratha alone seems to be able to control intimidates the current leader of the Named. She flees, seeking only a way to survive, her fire-creature lost. She meets one of the Un-named, who are believed to lack the intelligence the Named possess. But she learns that this particular cat is unlike the rest, and he has the light in his eyes, even if he follows the ways of the Un-named. Their companionship grows, but as Ratha travels with him, she learns that the Un-named are not as disorganized as they had thought in the clans. And now they are planning an attack on the Named, and Ratha must choose between her new companion, or saving the clan that exiled her.–I found this book to be enjoyable enough, though not perhaps spectacular. It had distinct similarities to other animal fiction series, especially the Warriors saga by Erin Hunter, though maybe a step up in its level of maturity. I liked Ratha’s Creature, though I would not be likely to race to pick it up again anytime soon. EL/MS–OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: KR

Bell Hilari The Wizard Test, 165 p. – Daven doesnot want to be a wizard, because wizards cheat nature by changing the fate of men. When his wizardly powers exert themselves, Dayven agrees to follow his mentor to spy on him, seeking proof that he means to betray the king. Dayven learns much about his enemy and about himself. As much as I enjoyed another of Hilari Bell’s books, this one is only mildly interesting. I ma holding out more hope for the second book in the Sorhab trilogy when it finally is published. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bell, Hilari Shield of Stars. 267 pgs. Simon and Schuster Language – G; Sexual Content – G; Violence – G; Weasel was a pickpocket until he was taken in by a justice he had tried to rob. When the justice gets arrested for treason, Weasel knows he must save the old man. With a young girl’s help, he goes to find the Falcon, a bandit who could be the justice’s only hope. This book was fun to read. I enjoyed it very much, although the plot was a bit predictable. It was very clean, though. EL, MS, HS – ADVISABLE – Student Reviewer: RG

Bell, Hilari Rise of a Hero, 460 p. – Second in the Farsala trilogy. Soraya is now working as a slave in the Hrum camp. Kavi is on the roads rallying the peasants of Farsala to acts of sabotage against the Hrum, Jiaan is trying to piece together a small army to fight the Hrum. The plight of the Farsalans looks desperate against the Hrum hordes. All of them must learn to trust each other if Farsala is going to free itself from the Hrum invaders. A solid addition to any fantasy collection. Ms, Hs – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Belton, Sandra Store-bought Baby, 245. Leah’s adopted older brother has died in a terrible car crash which he caused. Now Leah, her parents and her grandmother are trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. Leah become obsessed with searching for Luce’s birthmother. Luce’s girlfriend and Leah’s best friend agree to help her, if only to help her keep perspective. A poignant story of a family after the death of an essential member. Their grief is well portrayed without being melodramatic. MS, HS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Benedict, Helen The Opposite of Love. pg. 290 Penguin Group. Language- R, Sexual Content-PG, Violence-G. Madge lives in Hallowdale and is half black, half white, stuck between two worlds and is always made fun of. I did not like this book and wasn’t able to finish it. I only got to page 79 and it had said The “F” word seven times and used other swear words around twenty eight times.I couldn’t take any more. HS, NO. Student Reviewer- MP

Bennett, Cherie A Heart Divided 302 p. – Kate and her family move from the heart of New York to the southern town of Redford Tennessee, a town still divided by racial lines. She not only hooks up with the town’s most eligible young man, which incenses his mother, but she also interviews many characters on both sides of the controversy as research for a play she is trying to write. When someone publishes a false, extremely devisive play under Kate’s name, more people than Kate are caught in the crassfore. Unfortunately, this very good book starts with some gratuitous sex references. If you can handle that, buy it, but I won’t. HS – ADVISABLE, MS – NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bennett, James Faith Wish – The graphic sex talk and scene make this unacceptable for most, if not all, Utah schools. Anne-Marie is a senior who gets caught up in a cult and seduced by the leader. When she tells him she is pregnant, he takes her to a religious retreat. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bennett, Veronica AngelMonster Candlewick, 234 p. – When Mary meets Percy Shelley in her father’s bookshop, she is instantly attracted; even when she learns he is married, her passion is undeterred. Together with her stepsister, the 16 year old runs away to Europe with Shelley and the trio struggles to find any kind of life. Placing Mary’s writing of Frankenstein years after its actual publication, the author adds depth to the reasons such a young girl may have been able to imagine such a dark character. Though there are no particular words that are wrong in this book, the sheer number of adulteries and infidelities makes this book too salacious for the middle school. HS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bennett, Veronica Cassandra’s Sister: Growing Up Jane Austen, 227 p. Candlewick, 2007. Jenny and Cassie Austen are two young girls growing up in a rural English village in an age when women are considered property and window dressing and can have no lives of their own outside of home and marriage. Through a fictionalized narrative, the author introduces to the bare bones information that is known about Jane Austen Girlhood and womanhood. The novel can not be taken as a biography as the details in Austen’s life are somewhat distorted as Ms. Bennet tries to speculate the personal experiences that led to Ms. Austen’s novels. The author attempts to bring about the feel of the times with the dialogue and descriptions, but it comes out a bit awkward. The book may gather some readership from the hype surrounding the upcoming movie about Jane Austen’s life. Best for libraries with hardcore Austen fans. MS, HS – OPTIONAL

Benway, Robin Audrey, Wait, 313 p. Razorbill (Penguin), 2008. Audrey is sick and tired of playing second fiddle to her rocker boyfriend’s music, so she walks out on him when he tries to talk to her after she dumps him. Instead, he writes a hit single about her and the breakup, propelling him to stardom and Audrey to a type of notoriety that’s she wouldn’t wish on anyone. Now problems at home, at school, on the Internet, in the tabloids and with her best friend threaten to bury Audrey, just as she also found a sweet, cute guy she wanted to date. Unfortunately for Audrey’s story, it is filled with more than 200 swear words (35 “f’s” alone!), turning the entire book into a slamfest of foul language – so mush that I couldn’t see the story. NO!

Benz, Derek and J.S. Lewis Revenge of the Shadow King, 366 p. – Release: March 2006. Max and his friends are the Grey Griffins: a small group formed for mutual support and to play a intriguing card similar to Dungeons and Dragons. Then one day Max finds a magical book in his grandmother’s attic. From that day forward, the four are caught in a battle for the lives – to prevent the entrance of Oberon, the Shadow King, into their world. With them are Logan and Iver, Knights Templar, but against them are Morgan LaFey and a host of evil creatures. Awesome! Unlike a certain other 11-year-old who finds out he is magical, Max embraces his fate and works together with his friends to fight against evil. This is a great antidote to Harry Potter fever, as I think it is better written and much more exciting. EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Benz, Derek and J.S. Lewis Rise of the Black Wolf, 276 p. Orchard Books – Language: G; Sexual Content: G; Violence: PG – This book is about a group of 4 kids in a club called The Grey Griffins. They get a letter from Max(the leader of the club)’s dad saying that they would be going to go to Ireland for Christmas. They have some trouble getting there and then again when they are there. They eventually go out to search for the Spear of Ragnorok. That is when the adventure begins. This book is a great suspenseful book with many twists in it. I enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next one. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: RV

Bergen, Lara Drama Queen, 176 p. Scholastic, 2007. Her plum role in the school musical turns out to be the part of a squirrel in the chorus. But Charlie has a great time at rehearsals and manages to help out a lot and learn everyone’s part along the way. On opening night, the mean queen lead female loses her voice and Charlie is there to pick up the slack – opposite the hottest boy in school. Cute, fun and absolutely safe. The Candy Apple series is perfect for some light fluffy fun. And they come in paperback! EL, MS – ADVISABLE

Berne, Jennifer Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau, illustrated by Eric Puybaret. Chronicle Books, 2008. Jacques Cousteau loved the water and he also loved cameras. With hard work, patience and the help of friends, he was able to combine his two loves into a rewarding, profitable and educational enterprise. Puybaret’s illustrations are luminescent and beautiful to view. And Berne adds just enough text to keep it interesting without overwhelming. Art teachers would love this book as much as any teacher might. EL – ESSENTIAL, MS, HS – ADVSIABLE

Bial, Raymond Ellis Island: Coming to the Land of Plenty, 56 p. Houghton Mifflin, 2009. NON-FICTION. Full of photographs, documents, first person recollections and rich explanation, this book contains everything a student would need for a very worthy report or presentation on Ellis Island. If your previous Ellis Island books are getting old, this makes a welcome replacement. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Bertagna, Julie Exodus. pg. 336; Walker and Company (Bloomsbury). Language-PG, Sexual Content-PG, Violence-PG. Mara’s Island is drowning, but no one will except the fact that it is happening. But then the sea rises and floods the lower areas of the village. Mara still must convince her village that they must leave Wing, their beloved island or else they will all drown along with it. This book was absolutely amazing. I couldn’t put the book down because I just had to know what happened next. I would recommend this book to any reader who reads on a chapter book level, whether they like to read or not. HS, MS, ESSENTIAL, Student Reviewer-MP.

Bildner, Phil Busted, 244 p. Simon and Schuster, 2007. From getting caught red-handed on the senior class ski trip to a Youngman who is being incredibly abusive, Bildner tells the story of a year at Coldwater Creek High School. The only story that interested me was “Bullied”; the others seemed very self-indulgent. I can see this being enjoyed by high school students who are self-absorbed and sure that they are right, but there is no point to the stories except that teachers are mean and always trying to spoil your fun. Copious use of the “f” words, graphic sexual situations, ruin this book. I widh the author would take “Busted” and write a book that actually needs to be read. NO

Bitton-Jackson, Livia Hello, America, 230 p. – After surviving the atrocities of concentration camp life during WWII, Livia and her remaining family join other family members in the United States. There they try to rebuild their lives, while dealing with prejudice, not only from Gentiles, but also with in the Jewish communities. This is a non-fiction memoir, written in the first period. It is not a dry recounting of facts, but a well-written account of like after WWII. If you need another such book to support a Holocaust curriculum, this is a good purchase. It does not go into life during WWII, however, only life after. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Blacker, Terence Boy 2 Girl, 296 p. – Matthew’s cousin Sam is extremely obnoxious and is coming to live with the family. Sam alienates Matt and his friends. As penance, the boys challenge Sam to become “Samantha”, and dress as a girl for the first two weeks of school and infiltrate the “Bitches”, a group of girls who think that they rule the school. After the initial protests, Sam seems to become very comfortable in his daytime role. Meanwhile, Sam’s criminal father discovers that Sam has inherited a fortune from his mom’s first husband and wants to reclaim Sam in order to get control of the money. The action on the book is constantly told from different points of view, confusing the narrative. The constant referrals to the name of the girls’ group is annoying, as there isn’t any other swearing in the entire book. On reflection, I didn’t really enjoy reading the book very much and have no desire to buy it. If someone did want to, I would suggest it for the HS only. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Blackman, Malorie Naughts and Crosses, 385 p. – For 11 years, Callum and Sephy were best friends. Then Sephy’s Cross mother fires Callum’s Naught mother and the two must meet in secret. When Callum wins the right to attend Sephy’s high school – one of a handful of Naughts allowed the privilege – and things just go to pot from there. Persecution towards both teens from many sides and Callum’s rebel father and brother only make matters worse. A complicated novel that covers several years of action. The author tries to look at the world if it were divided on racial lines, with the Naughts, or white skinned people, being the oppressed. There is a mild descriptive sex scene. It works well, but is fairly sophisticated. HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Blake, Emily Little Secrets: Playing with Fire, 149 p. – Zoey’s “perfect” life is destroyed when her famous homemaker mother is arrested for tax evasion and multiple other monetary infractions. At the same time, Zoey finally realizes that her best friend, her cousin Kelly, is just looking for new ways to manipulate and hurt Zoey – like stealing her boyfriend Chad and turning everyone at school against her. I kept waiting to be turned off by the cattiness and sheer evilness of the characters and storylines, but the author actually did a good job of keeping my attention without overly disgusting me. The book is pretty short, though, being the first book in a series, and I just hope that the author can keep walking that fine line and doesn’t make the series too long. MS-PAPERBACK. Cindy, Library Teacher

Blank, Jessica Almost Home, 245 p. Hyperion, 2007. Danger at home and harassment at school send “Eeyore” to the streets, with the help of a long-time homeless girl. Together with a handful of other kids they form a dysfunctional family, alternating help and hurting each other. Then one day Eeyore’s sponsor leaves her behind and she slips further down the homeless scale. Dark, grim, dirty and in-your-face, this novel is compelling and honest about life in the dark corners of large cities. Let the public libraries pick this one up, however, because the language is full of every swear word you can think of, with multiple uses on every page. Too bad. NO

Block, Francesca Lia The Waters & the Wild. 113 pgs. HarperTeen, 2009. Language – PG; Content – PG; Violence-PG; Bee, 13, wants to eat the dirt in her mother’s garden; Haze believes that he is half-alien; and Stephanie thinks that she is a reincarnated slave girl from the 1800s whose name was Sarah. One day Bee sees a girl in her room who could be her twin. After the girl says, “You are me,” she disappears. Bee usually doesn’t talk to anyone, but decides to ask Haze about the vanishing figure. He explains that she is a doppelganger and that seeing one means your eminent death. Bee hears Sarah sing a Billie Holiday song about lynching and talks to her. The three loners become friends. They crash a party by deciding to be invisible and enjoy drinking and dancing before being caught. They grab hands, run out of the party, and fly away. When they land, Bee finds a poisonous plant in her pocket. The teens figure out that she is a changeling, and the real Bee is desperate to have her body back. The author does an excellent job of integrating background slices of paranormal history and poetry. This slim novel is comprised of short chapters, is quickly paced, and has a surprise ending. It will appeal to reluctant readers, fans of the bizarre, and teens who feel that they don’t quite fit in. MS. Optional. Samantha Larsen Hastings, Librarian-West Jordan Public Library.

Bloor, Edward London Calling, 304 p. Random House. Language: PG-13, Violence: G. Martin Conway is a shy boy with few friends. He is constantly bullied by the other 7th graders at the prep school that he hates, but is forced to attend by his mother. When his grandmother dies, leaving him a mysterious radio, his mundane life is filled with adventures both in the presnt and in the past. This book was entertaining and historically interesting, but I had a hard time staying interested. It moved a little too slowly to keep me engaged. MS – OPTIONAL. Teacher Reviewer: JS

Blos, Joan W. Letters from the Corrugated Castle, 305 p. Atheneum (Simon). Eldora has moved with her adopted parents from quiet Massachusetts to the rough and tumble Gold Rush-era San Francisco. There, unforeseen circumstances reunite Eldora with her long-lost mother, who wants Eldora to move to Monterey with her. Eldora learns much about life in the mining camps and about the tensions between the new-come settlers and the Mexicanos. Told in the language of the time, in letters between Eldora and other characters, this book will need help finding an audience. If you need historical fiction or study the Gold Rush it will be of more use for your school. MS – OPTIONAL

Bode, N.E. The Anybodies, 273 p. – 11 year old Fern discovers that she was switched as a baby. Her real mother died at Fern’s birth and her father just got out of prison. Bone, her father couldn’t be more opposite than the Drudgers who raised her. Not only does he believe that he can change his form at will, he also says he is being chased by an evil man called The Miser. The two take refuge, disguised, in Fern’s maternal grandmother’s boarding house. The other guest is The Miser, also disguised. Rompy fantasy, fun for younger readers. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bodett, Tom Norman Tuttle on the Last Frontier, 197 p. – Norman Tuttle may live on the Alaskan frontier, but this frontier is the dividing line between adolescence and adulthood. He gets a girlfriend and outgrows his best friend. He learns that even though he seems to mess everything up, his family still loves him. He learns that for him, the big city may not be the best place to be. Honestly, this book just wasn’t for me. OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Boelts, Marbeth Those Shoes, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones PICTURE BOOK Candlewick Press, 2007. Watercolor, pencil, ink. A young boy is obsessed with owning the same cool shoes as every other boy in his class. Even when he and his grandmother manage to find a way, he is disappointed. Finally his heart tells him what he needs to do with those shoes. A perfect little tale for anti-commercialism at any level. Share this with your TLC (Technology, Life, Careers) Teachers; I am sure they will know just where to use it. EL – ESSENTIAL; MS, HS – ADVISABLE

Boling, Katharine January 1905, 170 p. – Pauline and Arlene are twins who never speak to each and who harbor lots of resentment. Pauline goes off to a cloth mill everyday and envies her sister who she imagines stays at home sleeping in every day. Arlene resents her sister going off to work every day and helping the family, while she must stay home and cook, clean and wash all day. Though the book is interesting look at poverty and mill life, I have a hard time believing that the sisters NEVER talk to each other and don’t know how hard each other’s life is. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bolognese, Don The Warhorse – Boring historical fiction. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bond, Rebecca The Great Doughnut Parade Written and Illustrated by Rebecca Bond, Houghton Mifflin, 2007. PICTURE BOOK. Billy ties a donut to his belt and soon finds himself being followed by a parade of whimsical characters who will delight readers of this tale. Old-fashioned, watercolor illustrations add much to the story. Grades K-3, ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Debby Herget, Elementary Library-Teacher.

Bondoux, Anne-Laure The Killer’s Tears, 162 p. – Angel makes his way to the farthest most point at the tip of Chile and kills the farmer and his wife, but spares their young son. Living as father and son, they are relatively peaceful until a rich man fleeing his family shows up and forces the man and the boy onto a path that will expose them to the world. A sophisticated book that has a great title to catch a student’s eye. I don’t think it really works for middle school, though. HS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bone, Ian A Dangerous Secret, 179 p. – First in the Fast Forward series. Hamish has been accepted to the pretigious Capra Video High School , but he can’t seem to make any friends. One day he finds a DVD in his locker with a strange note. When he watches the DVD he finds himself believing his is in another world, more medieval in nature. Eventually he learns that he has been chosen to right great wrongs both in this other dimension and on his home turf. And other companions will be chosen for him. Pretty juvenile, including the storyboarded action sequences. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bone, Ian The Song of the Innocent Bystander, 262 p. – Crazy man holds a group of people hostage in a Denny’s-like restaurant. He doesn’t want anything from the government, he just wants to reproram the hostages’ minds, so that they will help him overthrow the “Family Values” restaurant chain. Ten years later, a 19 year-old still hasn’t moved on from the trauma and brainwashing of the 36 hour experience.  I did not enjoy reading this at all. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Boniface, William The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy 294 p. HarperCollins – Ordinary Boy is the only one in Superopolis that isn’t super. However, when a new trading card series comes out featuring everyone’s favorite hero (the Amazing Indestructo) Ordinary Boy and his friends are pulled into a complex plot involving money, insecure heroes, and enough trading cards to drown in. Literally. This book is imaginative, funny easy to read. The plot is interesting and fast, and reading each new hero’s special power is simply hilarious. A most excellent read. EL, MS – ESSENTIAL Student Reviewer: CG

Booth, Martin Doctor Illuminatus, 173 p. – Pip and Tom have moved to an ancient house in the English countryside. The strange knocking they hear in the walls is not a ghost but a real boy, who has been asleep for many years. The descendant of a great alchemist, Sebastian was left behind in order to keep fighting against an evil. With Pip and Tom’s help, he hopes to take care of it once and for all. Interesting, but yet another book that doesn’t live up to its hype. I wasn’t drawn in enough to release my skepticism and join in the premise. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bowers, Laura Beauty Shop for Rent…fully equipped. inquire within. 336 p. Harcourt. Abbey Garner’s life goes on as usual – school, squirreling away money, avoiding boys, working on the Gray Widows in her grandmother’s rickety, home-based beauty shop. Then, Abbey shows the shop to a stranger – a woman from out of town who will end up turning everyone’s lives upside down, creating new opportunities and teaching Abbey about strength – strength she will badly need when are absentee mother shows up to turn her world upside down. An extremely sweet but incredibly diverse cast of characters populate this inspiring novel. Four swear words do mar it somewhat, but Abbey and her ‘family’ tackle tough questions together. MS, HS – ADVISABLE

Bowler, Tim Storm Catchers – A ghost story – While he’s off playing, Fin’s little sister is kidnapped and he learns a deep family secret as he tries to rescue her. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bowsher, Melodie My Lost and Found Life, 311 p. Bloomsbury – Ashley’s perfect life ends the day that her mother disappears and she finds out that mom is wanted for embezzlement. No adult is wiling to step in and support the self-indulgent 18-year-old, so she finds herself alone, living in a trailer behind a mechanic’s garage and trying to devise a way to make ends meet. Ashley manages to cobble together a “family” of misfits, but still aches for someone to love her. As compelling as the story is, Ashley’s relationship with an 25-year-old man make this book most appropriate for the oldest teens and for public libraries. Fans of Sarah Dessen will love this. HS-OPTIONAL

Boyce, Frank Cottrell Framed, 311 p. – Language- PG; Sexual Content- G; Violence- G – Dylan’s Dad has to go away to get money for his family. Get Dylan and his sisters find a different way to make money and bring home his dad? I thought the book was boring until the end, then it got good. EL. MS – OPTIONAL Student Reviewer, LW

Boyce, Frank Cottrell Millions 247 p. – Damian finds a huge sack of money which he thinks has come from heaven. With the help of his brother Anthony, he tries to spend as much as he can before the pound changes over to the euro for good. Unfortunately, two young boys make a lot of mistakes, which brings them to the attention of some unsavory characters. I know, this book sounds interesting, but it really is not that great. Maybe I was just overly offended by the completely inaccurate portrayal of Mormons, or maybe Damian’s obession with talking about and to saints rubbed me the wrong way, but I just can’t back this one with any confidence. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Boyne, John The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, 224 p. David Fickling (Random) – Nine Year old Bruno is taken from his luxurious city home and transported with his family to a place where there is nothing – no shops, no friends, and only one servant. He can not understand why they are here. Life at Out-With is unbearable, until the day Bruno walks along the fence and finds another boy – on the other side of the fence. I had a hard time swallowing Bruno’s naïveté as the novel unfolded, but I persevered and, while I can’t really use the word “glad” to describe my feeling, the end was well worth the slog. I don’t want to give anything away – so you will have to read this for yourself. And you should. MS, HS – ADVISABLE

Bradley, Alex 24 Girls in 7 Days, 265 p. – Jack is a senior and he has no date to the prom. His best friends, already going with their steadies, hatch a scheme to find Jack a date – posting a online message and seeing who is willing to bite. They set Jack up with 24 dates for the 7 days before the rpom and hilarity ensues. For all of his brains, Jack is pretty insecure. When his best friend NAtalie decides to give him kissing lessons, they almost ruin their friendship, but Jack still has to come up with a date for the prom. Lots of plot twists, a pretty likable main character and a reasonably unpredictable ending will make this one popular. BUT – there is a scene where two drunk girls drive up to Jack’s house and show Jack their breasts, with his name written on them. If it had been a flash, I might have lived through it, but the scene is a little extensive, and then brought up again later, which changes my recommendation on the book. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker Leap of Faith, 185 p. Dial (Penguin), 2007. After stabbing a boy with a pocket knife, sixth-grader Abby finds herself in Catholic school. No one in her life is listening to her reasons for the attack, so in order to anger her parents, she enrolls in Catholic conversion classes. Along the way, she discovers a friend, a talent and the possibility of faith. She also finds the right voice to get her parents to actually listen to her. I’m not sure. Don’t get me wrong – I thoroughly enjoyed it, I’m just worried how the Utah audience would accept a book that has the lead embracing the Catholic faith; the other problem is that it feels like a middle school book, but the protagonist is too young. Catholic schools – embrace this; others, examine your audience. EL, MS – OPTIONAL

Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker The Lacemaker and the Princess, 196 p. Simon and Schuster – On an errand for her grandmother, a lacemaker, Isabelle catches the eye of Marie Anoinette, the Queen of France, and finds herself becoming the playmate of the queen’s daughter. Together, with Ernestine, Therese’s other companion, she learns the life of a royal and sometimes has difficulty going back to the hard life she comes from – the demands that her mother and grandmother make on her are the ordinary demands of life for a peasant of the time, but its some much easier to pretend to be a princess. Her brother George, who works in the palace stable, warns her that changes are coming, but Isabelle doesn’t want to see. Set in the few months leading up to the French Revolution, it is a wonder to see the events through Isabelle’s and George’s eyes. Bradley is just as skilled as Carolyn Meyer in her weaving of historical fiction. This would be a great read aloud if a teacher spends any time at all looking at these events. EL, MS – ADVISABLE

Bradley, Kimberly For Freedom – Historical Fiction – Suzanne, in her role as an opera singer in Nazi-occupied France, delivers messages for the resistance. Based on a true story. ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bradley, Kimberly The President’s Daughter 156 p. – After Teddy Roosevelt becomes President of the US, his family has a lot of adjustments to amke. Especailly his young daughter Ethel, who is sent away during the week to boarding school. The girls are not very friendly, but Ethel is also not very good at making friends. With her large family, she’s never had to. Good, fun information bout the Roosevelt White House. Ethel is very likable and it is hard to see her struggle for so long. EL MS – ADVISABLE

Bradshaw, Gillian Render Unto Caeser – Marc Antony and Cleopatra have been defeated by the Romans. Now Hermogenes, a Greek businessman, is in Rome to reclaim a debt owed to him by a major figure in Roman politics. Attempted murder is on the menu. This is a great read for adults, but the constant use of the “f” word as the shorthand for sexual relationships and the continual implications of homosexual relationships between masters and slaves make this a no go for school libraries. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Brashich, Audrey All Made Up, 147 p. Walker – Language-PG; Sexual Content-G; Violence-G – A girl tells of her experience with wanting to be the “It” girl. She also gives you inside background on what it really is like. This book didn’t really have a story/plot so my summary is weird. This was a book that made you feel totally confident after reading. It made you feel like you are worth it. She lets you know that modeling and stardom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I think that every girl should read it for that extra confident boost. MS-ESSETTIAL. Student Reviewer: KD

Breathed, Berkeley Mars Needs Moms! Milo is angry with his mother for interfering with his fun, so when Martians cart her off to their planet, he follows along just for the fun. When he encounters danger, however, she steps in and does what mothers do best. A perfect mother’s day tribute with the bright, funky pictures that Breathed is so well known for. EL – ADVISABLE

Brend, Dawn, et al. Ecocrafts: Jazzy Jewelry. 48 p. Kingfisher (Houghton), 2007. 15 cute and easy crafts are included in this book. I brought it home and my daughter took it away from me; she has already made three different items. Some of them are crafts I remember making as a child, others were things I had seen but never tried. If you need to beef up your craft section for younger children, this is a handy title to have around. EL – ADVISABLE

Brennan, Herbie Faerie Wars – series – Henry and old Mr. Fogarty help Prince Pyrgus, hiding him from Fairies of the Night in another dimension. Distracting subplot about Henry’s family, mediocre writing. MS – OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Brennan, Herbie Ruler of the Realm, 423 p. , Language G PG PG13 R (On several pages it said hell or hael but they were mostly talking about the place, because of demons that were causing problems) Sexual Content PG13 (They didn’t do it but they talked about it, because Henry and Blue were falling in love with each other. It’s confusing) Violence PG (It’s a book about a war that is starting so some people get stabbed and stuff. That’s really all) – Blue the new Queen of the Light Faeries must cope with the death of her father and rule the Realm of Faerie. Henry the human gets stuck in between it all. Henry and Blue fall in love. Lord Hairstreak, Blue’s uncle wants to take over the Realm for himself, but the demons from Hael come into the picture and ruin it all. This is a really good book but you must read the first two before you start this book like I did. MS, HS – ADVISABLE Student Reviewer: KC

Brian, Kate Inner Circle, 220 pgs. Simon Pulse. Language-PG-13 (a few “f’s”); Sexual Content-PG; Violence-G; Reed has arrived at Easton Academy for her second year. However, this time will be very different than last year. Her old friends are gone and all of the problems that followed with them. However, will she be able to escape everything from last year? Everything in this book was extreme. The whole time it felt like she was trying to out do any thing done by The Clique or Gossip Girl. None of the things that happened would ever happen in real life. It was too over done. Don’t get it, or the rest of the series, unless you think your library needs another set of novels for girls. HS-OPTIONAL Student Reviewer: KD

Brian, Kate Princess and the Pauper – Absolutely adorable book about a princess who convinces her poor girl double to trade places with her for a day. ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Brian, Kate Private, 227 p. Simon Schuster – Reed Brennan has wons a scholarship to an exclusive prep school, but is completely unprepared for the social scene and cut throst competition for grades. In order to prove a point, Reed sets her sights on joining the most exclusive clique on campus, no matter how she has to debase herself. I did not ever want to belong to a sorority (Billings is not actually a sorority, as this is a prep school, but it illustrates the point), so I can not be sympathetic with the mindset of someone who would do anything required to belong to this kind of elitist group. I am sick and tired of these brainless homages to the rich and powerful that seem to be so prevalent since Mean Girls came out! On the other hand, maybe just by reading it, a teen may also see the wrongness of it all and avoid the popularity trap. MS, HS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Brian, Kate Sweet 16, 258 p. – Fashion and image obsessed Teagan is about to throw her sweet 16 bash – the biggest and best bash of the social season. Fixated on making every detail perfect, she doesn’t care who she walks on to get what she wants. Teagan ends up being knocked out cold and taken on a “Christmas Carol”-like journey to show her what she is like, what her so-called friends really think of her and what her life may be like in the future. Filled with references to the current fashion trends in everything, this book will probably fell dated pretty quickly. Teagan does have a bit of a potty mouth (MANY uses of G–) and she is thinking about having sex with her boyfriend for the first time after the party. It will probably be really popular, but it is so fluffy. Can you hold out until it is out in paper? MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Broach, Elise Desert Crossing, 278 p. Henry Holt and Company – Language: PG-13 (there was a lot of swearing but I can see why because they are all high schoolers so it kind of had its own purpose), Sexual Content: PG, Violence: PG (there is a murder but its not graphic so I think its okay) – Lucy Martinez is going to Phoenix with her brother and her brother’s friend. Driving through a huge rainstorm in New Mexico, they accidentally hit something that they think is an animal. What they find instead is a dead girl. There are many more twists to this story. It was suspenseful and really exciting. Total mystery book it was really good. MS and HS- Optional (would try to get when its in paperback); Student Reviewer: AN

Brockmeier, Kevin Grooves, 199 p. – G – Dwayne Ruggles is just a regular kid until one day he finds a plea for help written in the grooves of his pants. He and his friends are sent on an adventure to help the people who are “losing the light” out of their eyes. This book was really interesting. It had a unique outlook. I also liked it because there were no inappropriate parts. This book is really an easy reader so probably best for elementary school. EL – ESSENTIAL; Student Reviewer: LW

Brooks, Kevin Kissing the Rain – I got 30 pages into this book and gave it the heave ho. I cannot connect to the main character, the writing style and theme of this book. Of course I didn’t read long enough to find a theme, either. That doesn’t surprise me, as I didn’t like Martyn Pig, by the same author. Though, I love Lucas. Maybe I only like every other novel by this author. We’ll see. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Brooks, Kevin Lucas  – Lucas is a free spirit wandering through Caitlin’s island, who gets caught up in local violence and is used as a scapegoat. Intense and tight. ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Brooks, Kevin The Road of the Dead, 339 p. – Release: March 2006. Ruben and Cole’s sister was brutally raped and murdered in a small English village. Now the boys have journeyed to the village in order to find the answers they need so that the police will release the body for burial. At the local pub they find the resident police officer in the back pocket of a mysterious power broker and no one wants to give the boys straight answers – even Rachel’s former best friend, who is intimately involved in the problem. Once again Kevin Brooks proved to me that he can write a book without resorting to a large amount of swearing or an incomprehensible narrative. This book is violent, though, reflecting the lengths that Cole feels he needs to go to deal with thugs and guns. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Brooks, Martha. Mistik Lake, 207p. Melanie Kroupa Books- Language: PG-13, Sexual Content: R, Violence: PG- Odella’s mother was the only survivor in the fatal crash into the Mistik Lake. Now Odella is trying to keep her family from falling apart. Finally, her mom goes away with another guy to Iceland. Odella and her family are heartbroken. Will she be able to accept that her mom is gone forever? I thought this book had a nice story, but the swearing and sex in the book ruined it for teens to read. I give this book a NO for the library. NO- ADULTS (definitely not for teens). Student Reviewer: CW

Brooks, Martha True confessions of a heartless girl  – A fairly boring book about a teenage runaway who gets pregnant, steals her boyfriends car and money and ends up in a sympathetic group in a small town. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Brooks, Terry Genesis of Shannara: The Elves of Cintra, 376 p. Ballantine, 2007. The demons have wither captured or cornered almost every human left on the face of the earth. Logan Tom is one of the few Knights of the Word left; his mission is to find the child that was created from the gypsy morph, who is the only one who can save the remnants of the human race. Angel Perez, another Knight, has a different destiny; she must find a legend – elves – and convince them to join the flight from the dying world. Terry Brooks is a genius. I reread the Knight of the Word series to prepare myself for this series – a bridge between the modern and the medieval, between our world and the original Elfstones of Shannara. I can’t imagine a middle school or high school without this entire saga. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL

The Brothers Grimm The Bremen Town Musicians. Illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger, Penguin Young Readers Group, 2007. PICTURE BOOK. This is a faithful retelling of a Grimm fairy tale. The art is watercolors with soft hues. The animal’s faces and poses are humanized and fanciful. There were some illustrations added to the main pictures that definitely had mathematical overtones, but they were not easy to decipher. For those interested in children knowing classical tales, this is a good addition to the collection. EL (2-4) – ADVISABLE. Reviewed by Susan Huff, Area Library Media Specialist

Brothers Grimm Little Red Cap, illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger. Penguin, 1987. PICTURE BOOK. This is a reissue of Zwerger’s beautifully illustrated edition of Grimm’s little tale about a girl and a wolf. If your copy is worn out from so many little finges, now is a perfect time to replace it. EL – ESSENTIAL

Brothers Grimm Hansel and Gretel, illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger. PICTURE BOOK. Minedition (Penguin), 1979. Here is a beautifully illustrated version of one of the most enduring fairy tales of all time. It makes for a great read-aloud, and the “ink-and-wash pictures reinforce the contrast between the innocent children and the dark backgrounds of betrayal and danger they encounter.” As always, the end is hopeful, and evil receives its just desserts. EL – ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Beverly Stout, Elementary Library Specialist.

Brown, Don Dolley Madison Save George Washington PICTURE BOOK Houghton, 2007. During the War of 1812, the presidential mansion is set on fire and Dolley Madison orders two men to save the large portrait of George Washington. This book is a little about the War of 1812, a little about the life of Dolley Masison and a little about the portrait of Washington – unfortunately doing none of them well. Dolley’s part in preserving the portrait seems to be ordering two men to take it to safety – whoopee. The author should be maybe try again and really decide what point he his trying to make. EL – OPTIONAL

Brown, Don The Train Jumper, 118 p. Roaring Brook, 2007. Dad is dead and “Collie’s” older brother has run away to join the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. Collie, 14, is determined to find his brother and bring him back home, but first he must learn how to survive life on the rails, along with the hoboes and bums and colorful characters roaming the USA looking for a job, a handout, or an unsuspecting mark. Along the way he will find betrayal and friendship, mistrust and kindness, from people of his own color and from the here-before unknown black man. Another good historical fiction about another aspect of the Great Depression. Though similar to Nowhere to Call Home, Collie’s story deserves to be read also. EL, MS – ADVISABLE

Brown, Jackie Little Cricket, 243 p. – Kia and her family flee their small village in Vietnam after the Communist Army takes away all of their men as soldiers and the village is by constant bombings. The small group makes their way to a refugee camp and years later three family members are allowed to go to the United States. Kia and her grandfather try to make money by growing and selling vegetables, even as they are targets of distrust in the local farmer’s market. Xigi, Kia’s brother, meanwhile, gets in with a group of gamblers and steals Kia and Grandfather’s hard earned money. Refugee is a subgenre that is a good teaching tool for ethnocentric youth. If you have a teacher who requires the students to read this kind of literature, this would be a good one to add to your collection. EL – ADVISABLE, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Brown, Peter Chowder Little, Brown, 2006. PICTURE BOOK. Chowder and his owners are very different from any other dog-human partnerships. When a petting zoo moves in close by, Chowder goes to great lengths, in his own special way, to find some friends to hang out with. The bright, vivid drawings are a joy to look at and the message behind the text is a perfect little lesson for any kid who doesn’t really feel like they fit in, but so relly want to find some friends. EL – ADVISABLE

Brown, Peter The Fabulous Bouncing Chowder Little Brown, 2008. PICTURE BOOK. Chowder is off the the Fabu Pooch Boot Camp for some recreation and adventure. His particular talents don’t seem to really be similar to any of the other pooches’, but when an irresistible prize is dangled in front of him, Chowder musters his talents and dazzles pooches and humans alike. A very succinct and fun lesson about being yourself. EL – ESSENTIAL

Browne, N.M Silverboy, 298 Pages. Bloomsbury. Language – PG (O=2); Sexual Content – PG; Violence – PG; A spellgrinder’s apprentice is almost guaranteed death. Tommo has nobody in this world to live for, so he might as well escape and try for freedom, even with his silver skin and white hair. But, little does he know that he will soon tip the balance that may restore the peace to Gildea’s fallen throne. Silverboy is a beautifully written tale of friendship and adventure. It may take a while to get through it, but if you stick with it, you shall not be sorry. MS/HS – ESSENTIAL.. Student Reviewer: KH

Browne, N.M. Basilisk, 319 p. – Donna lives above ground in a stale community ruled by the Ten. Rej lives a hand-to-mouth existence below ground, but escapes to above when his life is in danger. When he come in contact with Donna, the two of them become involved in a violent mystery that will bring them to the brink of death and change their society forever. Excellent Fantasy!!!! MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Broyles, Anne Priscilla and the Hollyhocks 29 p. Harcourt, Inc. PICTURE BOOK. When Priscilla’s mother is taken from her and sold as a slave, Priscilla remains at the plantation where she begins a life of servitude. She finds solace in a patch of hollyhocks her mother planted. A kind businessman makes her acquaintance at the plantation where he tells her she should be in school. She is sold to a Cherokee family and leaves the plantation with her pocket full of hollyhock seeds. The Cherokee family is forced to move and Priscilla accompanies them in the historical “Trail of Tears” march. Amazingly, she crosses paths with the kind businessman she had met before. He buys her freedom and takes her home to live with his family where she finds safety and a sense of belonging. She sows her hollyhock seeds and her words to the flowers reflect her own journey: grow, bloom, safe, home. The flat, simple illustrations complement the poetic text. The author’s note at the end gives an account of the actual incidents the story is based on. A good book to introduce young students to the lifestyle of a slave. Grades 2-4 – ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Debbie Herget, Elementary Library-Teacher

Bruchac, Joseph – Hidden Roots, 133 p. – Sonny and his mother are always afraid of his father’s unpredictable rages. When Uncle Louis shows up, sparks are sure to fly. Sonny learns many secrets about his family that might cause his father’s anger. While sized for a younger reader, the subject makes it more appropriate for older students. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bruchac, Joseph Jim Thorpe: Original All-American, 276 p. Penguin – Language G, Sexual Content G, Violence G. Jim Thorpe was a an book to read. Jim never gave up on any of his goals. He accomplished all of his dreams in a peaceful way, and without pushing to hard. I enjoyed every moment of this great book. ES, MS, ADVISABLE Student Reviewer: AB

Bruchac, Joseph The Dark Pond 142 p. – Because Armie’s parents are high-powered lawyers, he finds himself at boarding school with few friends. One cold winter night, he finds himself inexorably drawn to a deep, dark pond, where he sees many animal prints heading towards it, with no prints headed away. Through his affinity to the animals, he is drawn in to the mystery, uncovering an ancient evil. Wait for the paperback MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Brugman, Alyssa Walking Naked, 183 p. – Sent to detention for a week, Megan, the popular go-getter, gets acquainted with Perdita, The Freak, who really isn’t such a freak. When Megan’s friends find out about the friendship, they force her to amke a choice. And I am not going to tell you the choice she made! You must read the book. Don’t be put off by the title – it means being free of prejudices and preconceived notions. MS, HS –ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Buckingham, Royce Demon Keeper, 216 p. Putnam, 2007. Nat is virtually alone and totally responsible for a houseful of captured demons. Along with his three minions, Nat has things under relative control, until the day that the Beast from the basement escapes and has a young boy in his sights. Things are further complicated by the return of an evil apprentice and the appearance of a love interest. It’s hard to believe that a book about demons could actually be called “funny”, but that’s what this book is. Cute, funny, exciting, dangerous and almost impossible to put down. For a book about demons, it’s not what you would normally think of as being an evil book. If you aren’t avoiding demon-y books, then you really need this one. MS – ESSENTIAL

Buckley-Archer, Linda Gideon the Cutpurse, 400 p. Simon Schuster – The last time Peter saw his father he told him that he hated him. Now Peter has been flung back to England of 1763, along with Kate, whose father helped create the technology. Their rescuer, Gideon, was until recently a thief – and there is someone who would like to silence Gideon for good and also capture the teens from the future. The historical action is interspersed with small bits about the happenings in the present day. The teens have the ability to “blur” into their reality, but find themselves always back in 1763. Their blurring attracts the attention of those who can help them come home. First in the trilogy; I am looking forward to the second. EL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Buckley-Archer, Linda The Time Thief, 488 p. Simon and Schuster, 2007. Kate Dyer is safely back in the modern day, but not only has the dangerous villain known as the Tar Man also come along, but also young Peter Schock has been left behind. Kate drags Peter’s father along into the past to rescue Peter, but an accident has sent them to the same place, only 30 years later. Peter has been waiting all this time, but now he is a grown man, and he is determined to let the pair think that Peter has died, so that they will continue back into time and rescue himself as a young man. Meanwhile, the Tar Man is making allies and learning about the 21sy century so that he can make plans and wreak havoc of his own. Though more complicated than the first book in the series, it still has the power to keep your attention and make you want to know what is going to happen next. One more book to come in the trilogy! MS, HS – ADVISABLE

Budhos, Marina Ask Me No Questions, 159 p. – Nadira’s family can to America on a tourist visa and never left. Now, post 911, her father is arrested by US immigration after the family is turned away from the Canadian border. The family descends first into confusion and then Nadira is the one that finds the courage and the key to their last chance at an American life. With all of the different kinds of immigrants to the US, this book will ring true to many students. Regardless of your personal opinions on immigration, you will find yourself caught up in Nadira’s story. It would also be a good read-aloud for a unit on immigration. MS-ADVSIABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Buehner, Caralyn and Mark Buehner Goldilocks and the Three Bears PICTURE BOOK Penguin – The Buehners have added their special touch to another fairytale. The bright, fun pictures with their hidden elements make for a great update to the story. I especially love the look on Goldi’s face; it kind of helps you see why she might do what she did! EL – ESSENTIAL

Buehner, Caralyn Would I Ever Lie To You? Pictures by Jack E. Davis PICTURE BOOK. Dial (Penguin)2007. How do you know when someone really is telling you the truth? Sometimes the truth is hard even for a grownup to deduce. Cousin has told a young boy many whoppers and some outrageous truths in the past. Now the boy must quickly decide if Ed is pulling his leg or if he has divulged the truth. Can he figure out in time to turn the tables? Bright, fun illustrations compliment a silly story that has the ring of truth. A good lesson for the younger crowd; a great conversation starter about how to look for the truth. EL – ADVISABLE

Buffie, Margaret Out of Focus, 239 pages Language- PG-13, Too many pages to put, its all over the book; Sexual Content- G; Violence- G – Can Bernie get over her drunken mother, take care of her brother and sister and deal with her moms crazy boyfriends. I liked it, except it had a little too much swearing for my taste. It would be best in a public library. MS-NO Student Reviewer: LW

Bujor, Flavia The Prophecy of the Stones, 386 p. – Jade, Opal and Amber are joined by a mutual fate, completely unknown to them. Together, even though they have been warned that they are enemies, they set out to discover the power of their stones. The hype on this book is more than it warrants. Beginning fantasy readers will find it a good read, but more mature readers will probably notice the huge hole in the story development and logic. The girls get in and out of dangerous situations with too much ease. Once this 15 year old author matures a bit, she will probably write something much better. El, MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Bunting, Eve The Man with the Red Bag, 230. HarperCollins publishers. Language- G, Sexual Content- G; Violence- G; It is six months after 9/11 and Kevin is on a cruse. He is enjoying his cruse when Charles Stavros boards his cruse. Kevins cruse soon turns into a mystery when he assumes that Charles is an attacker and is carring a bomb in a bag that he holds very close to him always and even has a lock on. I thought that this book was very good. It had a very good plot line and a good mystery to solve. There was a lot of suspense that kept me wanting to know more and more. MS, HS- ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: MB

Bunting, Eve Our Library Clarion Books. 2008. PICTURE BOOK. When Miss Goose announces sadly that the library will be closing forever, Raccoon and his friends decide to do everything they can to keep the library by reading all the books they can on fixing up buildings, talking to grownups, and raising money. What will happen, however, when Raccoon and his friends come across their greatest obstacle yet, convince grumpy Old Beaver that a library would be the perfect thing to add to his home? The illustrations are colorful and fit well with the text. The text is easy to follow. It also has a fun message that teaches kids the power of reading. I would recommend this to any teacher, librarian, or parent who has young readers around to inspire. EL (PREK-1) – ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira, Children’s Librarian-WHI Public Library.

Bunting, Eve – The Presence – Catherine’s best friend died in a car accident. To deal with the guilt, she visits her Grandmother and encounters a handsome young man who tells her he is in contact with Kirsty’s spirit. Catherine comes off as very naive, because she can’t understand why no one else can see Noah. I guess you are supposed to make allowances for her gullibility because of her grieving. I actually liked it, but didn’t love it. ADVISABLE Clarion Books 0-618-26919-3. Cindy, Library Teacher

Burgess, Melvin Ghost Behind the Wall – David sneaks around the ventilation shafts in his apartment building, pulling pranks on the other residents. He encounters a ghost who is haunting a old man. OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Burgess, Melvin Sara’s Face, 272 Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. Language- pg-13, Sexual Content-R; Violence-PG; Sara is living in Jonathon Heat’s house now, and he is taking care of her. He offers to pay for cosmetic surgery, but will she find out his real intent for her? This book shows how desperate girls are to be the most beautiful and how badly most of us want to be stars. It was kind of confusing to read because it is written like information someone would gather in order to write a newspaper article. The whole surgery description bit grossed me out. HS-NO. Student Reviewer: KD

Burkhard, Daryl Riddle in the Mountain, 233 p. – Kathy and her family have just moved to Boulder, Colorado. No one in her family believes her when she says she is hearing voices. Then her brother David’s new friend Frank dares them to join him in a spooky place. There the kids find themselves propelled through time to Boulder’s mining hey day where the trio must quickly solve a mystery if they ever want to see their own time again. I read it all in one sitting and I think that the elementary crowd will enjoy it. EL-ADVISABLE, MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Burleigh, Robert Stealing Home: Jackie Robinson Against the Odds PICURE BOOKS Simon Schuster – Short bites of prose, celebrating the beauty of Robinson on the field, are off set with longer historical bits about the great man’s life and career. Mike Wimmer’s oil on canvas paintings enhance the experience and my favorite is the one near then end that is perfect Norman Rockwell. Could be read quickly as a starter or paired with other fantastic baseball books to make a history or P.E. unit. EL, MS-ADVISABLE

Burnett, Frances Hodgson The Secret Garden, illustrated by Inga Moore; 279 p. Candlewick, 2008. All of the text of the original work is there, but Ms. Moore has enhanced the text with beautiful full- color art on almost every page; I can’t imagine how long they all took to create. This gorgeous edition will enhance any library collection and I can see it being a favorite gift book for birthdays and other holidays; any young girl reading it for the first time will enjoy it, but also, almost every adult woman will want this version for their own enjoyment. MS – ADVISABLE

Burnham, Niki Breaking Up is Hard to Do. in conjunction with Clark, Terri; Hopkins, Ellen; Sandoval, Lynda. Sexual Content R, Violence G, Language R. This book is about four different relationships and they all have to do with breaking up. From gay to not pretty enough and some cruel jokes. This book may be a good story to read when you get dumped. This book is not really a bad book but when it comes to the swearing you really have to think of the people. HS-OPTIONAL. not for ms or elementary. Student reviewer: JG

Burnham, Niki Goddess Games, 282 p. Simon and Schuster – For various reasons, three disparate girls have taken summer jobs at a high-end resort. The unlikely roommates barely co-exist, but without each other, none of them can make any headway through their problems and insecurities. As much as I liked reading about the girls, I felt as though the book ended way too soon. It just felt rough and unfinished. HS – OPTIONAL

Burnham, Niki Scary Beautiful, 26 p. – When Chloe’s long-time boyfriend dumps her just before he moves far away, she finds herself cast adrift, in competition with her best friends, and smack dab in the middle of a huge misunderstanding created by someone out for revenge. Latest in the line of “teeny-trashy” romance novels. It does use the word ass quite often. HS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Busby, Cylin and John The Year We Disappeared, 271 p. Bloomsbury, 2008. Language: PG-13; Sexual Content: G; Violence: PG-13. When John Busby was driving to work one night, someone leveled a shotgun through his window and left John’s jaw on the seat next to him, literally. Now his family must go into hiding as he recovers from this terrible injury. But all the confusion and worry is tearing his family apart. with few choices left, they leave their home, severing all ties to the only life they’ve known. I liked this book. The emotion that came from the book was amazing. It was such an interesting story that it was hard to put the book down. It had a few swear words in it, but it was still great. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: KH

Butcher, Kristin The Trouble with Liberty – Val, eager to make friends with Liberty Hayes, begins to have doubts about the stylish new girl when Liberty accuses a favorite teacher of sexual misconduct. Another great book in the Orca Soundings imprint. MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Butcher, Nancy Beauty, 168 p. – Ana was young when she realized that her mother would love her more if she were ugly. So every day she works hard at looking bad and awkward. When her best friend is invited to go to an exclusive school, Ana is worried, until she is told by her mother that she is going too. At the school, all of the pupils, except for Ana are gorgeous – but they all also start acting very strange. Ana realizes that her own mother is the one behind it all, the woman who would do anything to be the most beautiful in the land. A great retelling of Snow White. Simon Schuster has another series of retold fairy tales that this would fit well with. A good book for older students who want something more like to original, dark Grimm versions. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Butler, Dori Hillestad Do You Know the Monkey Man? 193 p. – When Samantha was three, her twin sister drown in a boating accident. Ten years later, a psychic tells her that her sister is very much alive. Now Samantha wants to track down the father she hasn’t heard from for so long and clear up this mystery. The only things this book is lacking is a better title and cover. Help students see past those and they will pass it around amongst themselves. Feels like Cooney’s Whatever Happened to Janie – and you know that students are always looking for a new Cooney. I hope that Ms. Butler has more novels like this one in her! MS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Byars, Betsy Death’s Door (134 p.) and Dead Letter (147 p.) Penguin – Red-head Herculeah Jones finds herself constantly in danger as she stumbles upon mysterious happenings and can’t resist trying to solve the mystery. Along with her best friend “Meat”, she confronts murderers and professional assassins, willfully courting death at every turn. Herculean is a modern Nancy Drew; a teen sleuth that pre-teens will enjoy. EL – ADVISABLE, MS – OPTIONAL

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