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Pre2006 Reviews – C

Cabot, Meg Airhead, 352 p. Scholastic, 2008. First Emerson Watts is forced to go to a mega-store grand opening with her superficial little sister. Now, after a freak accident, she has awoken in a hospital bed, with no idea what has happened to her. I’m not going to give away the major plot point, but suffice it to say, Em is going to have to completely rethink her life and her goals and learn how to be a completely different person. Once I was able to wrap my head around the improbability of the plot twist, I was able to relax and just enjoy the ride. One of characters uses “Oh my G**” a little too much and there is some underage drinking and drugs. MS, HS – ADVISABLE

Cabot, Meg Avalon High, – When Elaine’s family moves to a new town, she is intrigued by a hot-looking senior, who also is very kind and helpful. As she gets to know him better, she finds herself playing a part in what seems to be a modern King Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot love triangle. But Ellie refuses to play her part – that of the tragic Lady of Shallot – and changes the course of destiny. Teen girls will love the romance. I am not sure whether they will care about the Arthurian parallels. But there is nothing wrong with a good romance. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cabot, Meg Being Nikki, 340 p. Pint (Scholastic), May 2009. Language: PG (13 swears), Sexual Content: PG (innuendo only). Em is getting the hang of being a supermodel, but she is still trying to stay connected with her real family, get the attention of the guy she wishes were her boyfriend and she still has to keep up Nikki’s very busy schedule. And she seems to be failing miserably in every category – except the modeling part. Nikki’s body knows what it is doing, so Em just has to follow it’s lead. Then Nikki’s brother appears in search of their mother – who disappeared just about the same time that Em became Nikki. Things are about to get weirder than you ever imagined – I didn’t see this one coming and I don’t think you will either. But by all means, sit back and enjoy the ride! How does Cabot come up with all of these fantastic ideas!! MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher

Cabot, Meg Best Friends and Drama Queens, 202 pgs. Scholastic press. Language- G, Sexual Content- G; Violence- G; Allie Finkle used to be the new girl in school, but not any more. This girl from Canada moves in named Cheyenne. Cheyenne immediately takes charge. She calls Allie a big baby for not playing the kissing game with her at recess. Allie doesn’t like Cheyenne and acts against her, which causes more problems for Allie. I really liked this book. All of the characters were really fun and enjoyable. There actions through the book were way fun to read about. ES, MS- ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: MB

Cabot, Meg Boy Meets Girl, 387 p. – Don’t be fooled by the author’s name nor the title. This is an adult novel, for adults with sex and swearing and is in no way appropriate for a school setting. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cabot, Meg Jinx, 262 p. HarperCollins, 2007. Jean “Jinx” Honeychurch has moved to New York City to live with her aunt, uncle and cousins, whom she hasn’t since she was little. Her cousin Tory, Jinx’s same age, should be a friend and mentor, but instead seems to harbor a huge grudge, even a hatred for Jean, instead. Things always seem to go wrong for Jean, and Tory wants the power that she thinks Jean has, even if she has to kill Jean to get it. As much as I had a great time reading this book, I can’t ignore the fact that chapter three contains a large amount of swear words and an healthy dose of alcohol use, drug and sex mentions and that throughout the rest of the novel “Oh, G-” seems to be the exclamation of choice. I guess Ms. Cabot wanted to adult up her novel, but instead she just put it out of the hands of a huge number of fans. You can definitely pick another witch book that is just as clever and not so “edgy” HS – OPTIONAL

Cabot, Meg Teen Idol, 291 p. – Jenny is the one at her high school that everyone thinks of as the “mayonnaise”, she blends everyone together. Until the day she is asked to escort the current teen heartthrob, who is visiting her school to do research for he upcoming film. Jenny finds out that she doesn’t need to fade into the background. She can still be the great person she is, make changes for the better, and find love, even though she will never be able to master “jazz hands” for show choir. More great, and not quite as light as you might think, writing from Meg Cabot. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cabot, Megan Pants On Fire 272 p. Harper – Rating: PG – This Chick Flick style of book was a joy for me to read! Katie Ellison has a big secret. And the only person able to find out has come back to town! Can Katie keep her secret swept under the rug, or will this person yank it out for the whole town to see? Don’t be fooled by the title, this book is not all that sexual. It has to do with lying. Just wanted you to know. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL (Put it in your libraries as soon as you can get your hands on it!) Student Reviewer: LH

Cadnum, Michael Blood Gold – In order to avenge the honor of a hometown female friend, William and his companion Ben follow Ezra from Philadelphia, through Panama City and on to the gold fields of Northern California, not knowing that a killer is also stalking Ezra. Not really a story of the gold rush, but a good story that uses that backdrop to its advantage. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cadnum, Michael The King’s Arrow, 208 p. Viking. Language – G, Sexual Content – PG, Violence – PG; Simon is the son of an English aristocrat and a Norman nobleman. He wants to find a place for himself in a divided kingdom, and one day, he is invited to hunt with the king. But the hunt goes wrong, and he’s on the run from the law. I found this to be an interesting book. It was well written, but there were a few questionable parts. While it was an enjoyable book, it was not one I would remember or recommend as a first choice. MS – OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer – RG

Cadnum, Michael Nightsong 133 p. – Language-G; Sexual Content-G; Violence-PG – This book is about the legend of Orepheus, a prince and bard, and Eurydice, his wife. After Eurydice dies on their wedding day Orpheus must travel across the river Styx and convince the god of the underworld to let him have his wife back. This book was okay. It stuck really close to the original myth. It was a little boring though. It was to long for the plot. If they had more detail it would be much better. EL – OPTIONAL Student Reviewer: JB

Cadnum, Michael Starfall: Phaeton and the Chariot of the Sun 124 p. – Embarrassed by the local bully, Phaeton is determined to prove that he is the actual son of the god Apollo. His fatal chariot ride causes problems all over the earth and only the intervention of Jupiter can halt the wreckage. I’m not sure on the audience for this one. If it is for young readers who are just learning mythology, then it is fine, but for older students it really doesn’t add anything. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Caletti, Deb Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, 308 p. – Ruby is The Quiet One, until she catches the eye of the new boy in the neighborhood, who when he meets her, thinks she is fearless. Travis drags her into more and more dangerous situations, and she gets so wrapped around his fingers that she helps her rob her own workplace. This shocks her so much, though that she starts realizing how bad he is for her. With the help of her mother, she is able to break free. Unfortunately, the amount of swearing and the large amount of sexual innuendo and Playboy references makes this unsuitable for younger grades. Keep this is the high school. It definitely has some lessons that HS girls probably need to read. HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Caletti, Deb The Nature of Jade, 288 p. Simon and Schuster – Language: R (says “f” a several times), Violence: G, Sexual Content: G – This story is about Jade, a senior preparing to go to college. Jade has anxiety and sees a counselor twice a week. Her family has their own problems, and she is trying to figure out what she is going to do after High school. She meets Sebastian, a single boy with a baby, and her whole life changes. I really enjoyed this book. It took a while to get into it, but it was amazing after the first few chapters. I would definitely have this at a public library, and the only reason I would hesitate to put it in a school library is because of the language. I would definitely consider it though. upper MS, HS – NO (revised)

Calhoun, Dia White Midnight  – Prequel to Firegold. Rose, a fifteen year old girl is sold by her parents to be the bride of a “monster” in order to beget a grandchild for the lord of the region. Because of her love for the land and the apple trees, she agrees. ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Canavan, Trudi The Magician’s Apprentice, 592 p. Orbit (Hachette Book Group), 2009. Tessia wants so badly to be a healer, just like her father, but women are not welcome among the healers’ ranks. A menacing magician from a hostile land is visiting Tessia’s Lord. When Tessia comes to this man’s attention, his unwelcome advances bring out her natural magic. Now she must be trained and her master will be her own Lord. But danger is coming to Kyralia and Tessia will be in the thick of it all. I could write pages of summary and still not capture a small part of the details and plot twists and important characters in this novel. I felt like I was reading at least three different books within this 600 pages. A library with a large fantasy collection and a large fantasy readership will best be served by this novel. It is much more ambitious than Canavan’s first trilogy – I hope she pulls back just a little in the next installment – a bit more aggressive editing would have been useful. HS – OPTIONAL.

Captain Redbeard Fundorado Island, 224 p. – Language G; Sexual Content G; Violence G – Redbeard, a mighty pirate who sails the seven seas, gets himself into a new adventure. When his crew leaves him alone on his ship, Picaroon, with the blasted jelly beans he must find a way to get to land. A mermaid appears and tells him of a land of wonder and mystery he wants to find it himself. He runs off into the wild jungle and finds out there’s more to life than sailing. This book is really funny and really gets you sucked into it. It is also a book for seven year olds. EL – OPTIONAL Student Reviewer: KC

Carbone, Elisa Blood on the River: Jamestown 1607, 218 p. – Sam Collier is taken from an orphanage to be the servant of Captain John Smith during his voyage to the New World as part of the first Virginia Company. There he meets intrigue and danger – not just from the savages on shore, but from within the ranks of the very English gentlemen. The author has completed very through research into the facts behind the tale and includes extensive afterwords and source materials to back up her narrative. An excellent addition to an historical fiction collection – especially if you can talk a history teacher into reading to the class or adopting it as a classroom novel. A great way to dispel Disney-fied misconceptions of American history. MS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Carbone, Elisa Last Dance on Holladay Street, 196 p. – 13 year old Eva has always known that she was adopted. When her “mother” dies, Eva decides to head off and find her birth mother. In the streets of wild west Denver, Eva finds her mother and half sister working in a dance hall and house of prostitution. Eva hates the life and knows that she at least has to get herself out of that house and if she can take her family, that would be even better. Without resorting to sex or swearing, this book shows another side of life on the edge more than 125 years ago. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Carbone, Elisa The Pack – Akhil the strange new transfer student, is befriended by Becky and Omar. Becky and Omar learn Akhil’s secret, and use his talent to thwart an attack at their school. Excellent! ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Card, Orson First meetings in the Enderverse  – A great set of short stories that give background on Ender’s parents and a reprint of the first Ender’s Game short story. ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Card, Orson Scott A War of Gifts: An Ender Story, 126 p. TOR, 2007. An innocent act of friendship starts a war of sorts within the halls of Battle School. Only Ender Wiggins and penetrate the lies – the deep lies we tell to ourselves to hide our true purposes from our conscience mind. Short and sweet and profound to boot, with a keen insight into the importance of the Dutch (okay – so I love the Netherlands). Add it right away to your Ender collection. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL

Card, Orson Scott Shadow of the Giant, 363 p. – Peter is HEgemon, but with no power. Bean must find a cure or he will die soon. Petra and Bean are frantically searching for their “lost children” whom they expect have all been implanted in host mothers already. Different members of Ender’s jeesh are poised around the world ready to take up armies against each other. Now that Achilles is gone, the stage is set for the final struggle for control of Earth. The last two books feel like window dressing this this one. Fans of the series will be happy, especially as the Ender books are all tied back in. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cardenas, Teresa Letters to My Mother, Groundwood. Language-PG; Sexual Content-PG; Violence-PG .Teresa lives in her grandma’s house with her aunt and two cousins. She writes letters to her dead mother. In these letters, they tell about her struggles with being Cuban and having her mom die. This book was a very good page turner. MS- ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer-MS

Carey, Janet Lee The Double Life of Zoe Flynn, 233 p. – The economy is so depressed in Zoe’s hometowm, that her family must sell everything they own, including their beautiful old house, and travel the West Coast, looking for jobs. They arrive in a small town in Oregon, but must live out of their old van until they can afford to rent something. Zoe is afraid to open up to anyone, in case someone finds out her secret. EL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Carey, Janet Lee Dragons Keep, Pg.302 First Magic Carpet Books. Language- Pg, Sexual Content- G, violence- G While Rosalind tries to heal her “curse”, her mother, Queen of Wilde Island, brings in Countless healers to get rid of her curse. When No cure comes, Rosalind keeps her Curse a secret and overcomes many ordeals with the simplicity of a broken ankle, to the trial of being kidnapped by a dragon and halfing to be the nursemaid for four dragon pips. I really enjoyed this book and I could picture everything in my minds eye. I loved almost every part of the book. ES, Ms, ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: MP

Carlson, Melody Blade Silver: Color Me Scarred – Ruth’s life is dominated by an emotionally and verbally abusive father and a completely cowed mother. The only way she is able to feel in control is when she cuts; the bright red blood gives her a sense of peace. Her false peace is shattered when her friends discover her addiction, and a kind school counselor takes major steps to get Ruth help. Another excellent True Colors addition. I especially liked the more realistic portrayal of school authority (tired of teachers always being the bad guys or inept). MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Carlson, Melody Burnt Orange: Color Me Wasted – Amber has always been the good

little preacher’s daughter. Now a new friend has introduced Amber to alcohol and she has a new mission in life – to get wasted as often as possible. She knows that she shouldn’t, but she kind of likes who she is when she drinks. Unfortunately, even with the love of good friends, it takes a near tragedy – the death of a best friend – to finally wake Amber up to the fact that she really does have a problem. Just buy the entire series – your students will eat them up. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Carlson, Melody Dark Blue: Color Me Lonely, 204 p. – When her best friend since kindergarten makes the cheerleading squad, Kara finds herself cast adrift. Her whole life was wraped up in making Jordan shine and now she is afraid she has no identity. When she is ready to pull herself out of her depression, she finds a loose-knit group of lunch buddies and one of them introduces her to the one being who is always there to fill your life with love. I thought I might be put off by a evangelical toned book, but I actually loved it. I even have given the first two books to my own daughter to read. I think any religious person would be interested in these. And someone who is not religious can still find a lot of truth in the pages. MS, HS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Carlson, Melody Deep Green: Color Me Jealous, 199 p. – Jordan has alienated the other members of the cheer squad by latching onto one of their former boyfriends – right after the breakup. Now the jealous ex is doing her best to make Jordan look like an idiot and manipulator. She tires to get her old friend Kara to be her fall back friend, but Kara has someone else she would like Jordan to meet. Just as good as the first. The author portrays the essential problem without devolving the coarseness or vulgarity. MS, HS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Carlson, Melody Torch Red, 207 p. – Zoe is tired of being the only virgin left in her group of friends, so she makes up a conquest from the summer to make them stop talking. Then she meets ultra-jock Justin, who gets her involved in some sticky situations and Zoe isn’t sure that losing her virginity to him is what she really wants to do. Meanwhile, during rehearsals for the school musical, Zoe catches the new girl Shawna first making out with and then having sex with her best friend’s boyfriend. Nothing is described, but many things are hinted at. This book definitely belongs in high school. HS-ADVISABLE NavPress (www.th!nkbooks.com). Cindy, Library Teacher

Carlson, Ron The Speed of Light – The summer between sixth grade and seventh is the most pivotal in a young man’s life, or so this author would have you believe. Too much sex talk and a bland narrative makes the funny parts of this book fall way flat. I wish someone would explain to me why this book is in the Children’s section of my local library. YA, maybe, but let me suggest Adult Fiction. There is not much appropriate about this book for children. If you want this kind of read for your students, I would suggest Swear to Howdy by Van Draanen. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Carman, Patrick Beyond the Valley of Thorns, 221 p. – Its been a calm year since the walls came down in The Land of Elyon When Alexa returns to Bridewell, her friend Yipes contacts her and they set off on a dangerous voyage beyond the Valley of Thorns to the city of Castalia, which has been under siege by an evil power for hundreds of years. The Jocasta will bring Alexa strange powers and she will be reunited with pld friends as she plays her key role in a great battle. These are very cute. Reminiscent of DiTerlizzi’s series in flavor. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Carman, Patrick Into the Mist, pgs- 281 Publisher- Scholastic Books Language- G, Sexual Content- G, Violence- G; Into the Mist is set right when Alexa Daley is on the “Warwick Beacon” on a long voyage with Yipes and Roland. Roland is taking Alexa and Yipes on a journey that they do not know the destination of. Alexa and Yipes have been asking Roland the entire journey where they are going just before they get to their destination Roland decides to finally tell them, but in order to tell them he has to tell them all about his life. Roland and Thomas Warvold are brothers who do not know where they came from or who their parents are. They live on in a small orphange with the evil Madame Vicker’s, her son, and the two ferocious dogs. The two brothers find a mysterious piece of parchment and decide to finally leave Madame Vicker’s House on the Hill forever. Little do they know they are in for the biggest adventure they will ever have to face. This book was amazing. I am a big fan of the Alexa Daley series and I was way excited to read this next book. You must read the first three before you read this one though or you will get very confused. This book gives you a new sight to Thomas and Roland Warvold. EL MS HS- Totally ESSENTIAL; Student Reviewer: AN

Carman, Patrick The Tenth City, 186 p.- RELEASE: May 2006 Alexa and her friends have set off in an attempt to reach the Tenth City, in order to find a way to save their friend Yipes and keep the last Jocasta out of the hands of Victor Grindall, the servant of Abaddon. I know many of you will have to buy this book because it is the third and (I hope) final book in the series. For me, though, the book is a poor attempt at creating a religious allegory. I enjoyed the first book so much, the second book almost as much, but this one not at all. I could not let me self go to enjoy it. Instead, I could only see its shortcomings. OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Carmody, Iosbelle Obernewtyn; Farseekers – When Elspeth’s mental powers are discovered, she is sent to be a test subject in the settlement of Obernewtyn, which is run by a scientist who thinks the powers come from demon possession.MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Carmody, Isobelle Night Gate, 255 p. – Rage’s mother is in a coma in the hospital. When Rage tries to walk to the hospital with her animal friends, she instead journeys through a portal to another world where she is charged with solving a riddle to deliver an hourglass to a wizard, with plenty of misunderstandings and danger along the way. OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Carranza, Maite War of the Witches, 341 p. Bloomsbury, 2008. Shy, short, awkward Anaid’s life changes forever on the day that her mother disappears. It quickly becomes apparaent that something is wrong, but Anaid never dreamed that it might be because her mother is a witch and the answer to an ages old prophecy. If she is going to save her mother, Aniad must quickly master her powers and find new allies. Fantasy lovers, especially girls, will jump right into this story. While the title will grab their eye, the story will grab their interest. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Reviewer – Cindy, Library-Teacher

Carrasco, Xavier Rumpelstiltskin, illustrated by Francesc Infante. PICTURE BOOK. Chronicle. Infante’s Don Quixote-esque illustrations are a real draw from this bilingual retelling of the classic tale. With English and Spanish on each page the books in this series would be very useful for any level of Spanish-language learner. EL, MS, HS – ADVISABLE

Carroll, Lewis Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, illustrated by Alison Joy, 203 p. Penguin – A beautifully illustrated version of the classic tale. This particular illustrator specializes in crackle-varnished paintings that bring an antique feeling to the novel. If your library needs a new copy of the book, or if you are looking for a giftbook, this version is a great choice, especially for elementary schools. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Carroll, Michael Quantum Prophecy: The Awakening, 264 p. Penguin – A decade ago, every superhero and supervillain on Earth disappeared in one brilliant flash of fire. Then, Danny, a teenaged boy wakes up one day able to do amazing things – he is the first of the new generation of superhumans. And someone has an evil plot – one that they have been working for ten years to put in motion. Nothing in Danny’s life, or in his friend Colin’s life is what it seemed to be. And between the two of them they have to potential to save the world or destroy it. While you might think you are going to read a novelization of The Incredibles, you will quickly forget that movie and fall in love with this book for its own merits. Fast-hitting action and twisted plots – I see TV show or blockbuster written all over this one. Read it now! MS, HS – ESSENTIAL

Carter. Ally I’d Tell you I Love you, But Then I’d have to Kill You, 284 p. – Cammie has lived at the Gallagher Academy for Girls with her mother ever since her father died. The locals think that Gallagher is for rich girls, but really it is a super secret spy academy. The girls may know everything about anything and in seven different languages, but when Cammie catches the eye of a town boy, she realizes that she knows nothing about being a girl in love. Okay – since these girls do see the “real” world every year during spring break, I did have a hard time believing their naivete. BUT, the book is so adorable and fun, that I really tried not to care. This is by no means Alex Ryder for girls, but many girls will enjoy the ride. EL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Carter, Dorothy Grandma’s General Store, 135 p. – When their father and mother head North to find work, Prince and Pearl are left behind to live with their Grandmother, who owns a small grocery store in the South. I haven’t read another book that covers the same topic, but if I had, I would let you know so that you didn’t buy this one. Maybe be appreciated by the lower elementary, maybe, but the writing style does not suit me. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Carter, Timothy Epoch 299 p. Flux, 2007. Vincent is innocently participating in the school science fair when he spots an elf. His curiosity leads him to discover that the epoch for humans is about to end. The humans were supposed to escape through magic portals, but an evil mega corporation has masked the portals, because the owner has a hidden agenda, which includes a major antipathy towards humans. The elves and fairies that Vincent encounters have been hiding from the demons who cleanse the earth at the end of each epoch, but they are willing to risk it all to help Vincent. I know the plot sounds kind of weird and demony, but if you like weird demony stuff, then you will like this one. In paperback now. MS – OPTIONAL

Casanova, Mary Utterly Otterly Day, illustrated by Ard Hoyt, Simon & Schuster, 2008. PICTURE BOOK. Language – G, Sexual Content – G; Violence – G; Little Otter is mischievous fellow who feels like a big otter now. He spends his days playing and narrowly escaping trouble. Soon, he finds himself facing a danger too big for him. Reading this book aloud for the first time proved a bit tricky due to the uneven rhyme, but the pictures and onomatopoeic words (whappity, slappity, SMACK!) are great. Plus, I practically had heart failure during the treacherous climax-watch out!!! After a bit of practice, I think I could use it in storytime. EL-ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kami, Children’s Librarian

Cassidy, Anne Looking for JJ, 319 p. Harcourt, 2007. Seven years ago, at the age of ten, Jennifer Jones killed one of her playmates. She has served her time and is trying to start a new life, but the press knows she is out and they are trying to find her. Details of JJ’s former life, with her negligent mother and the fatal steps that lead her to her choice, are interspersed with “Alice’s” tries at a life for herself. Be aware that there is an intimate scene that pushes the boundaries – some touching and feeling and removing of clothes. Fewer than five swear words and lots of tense moments. MS, HS – ADVISABLE (in the right school).

Cassidy, Cathy Dizzy, 247 p. – Dizzy’s mom left her and her father when Dizzy was just 4 years old. Since then, she occasionally hears from her mother around her birthday. This year, though “Storm” has come in person. Without telling Dizzy’s Dad, Storm takes Dizzy with her on a hippy summer hangout. Dizzy doesn’t know that her Dad is unaware of Storm’s plans, even innocently handing over postcards she has written to him for Storm to mail for her. As the summer goes on and her Dad fails to appear, Dizzy wonders if her Dad really wants her back. A nicely written piece of fiction. It also shows how easily a child can be manipulated through their emotions. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cassidy, Cathy Indigo Blue, 215 p. – One day everything in Indigo Blue’s life is cozy. The next her mother has taken the two girls, fled her boyfriend’s house and moved them into a tiny, dark, damp and ugly basement apartment. Indigo is so confused and her mother is not explaining. At school, Indigo’s best friend Jo doesn’t understand the changes in Indigo or herself and starts pulling away, while a new girl, Aisha, makes overtures for Indigo’s friendship. Then a major crisis brings many things in Indigo’s life into perspective. If you have Dizzy, you will also need Indigo Blue. Of this title, Chicks with Sticks or Julep O’Toole, this is my favorite. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cassidy, Cathy Scarlett, 261 p. Penguin – Scarlett’s mum has sent her off to live with her father in the far reaches of Ireland, because twelve-year old Scarlett has been kicked out of her 7th school since her parent’s divorce. Scarlett doesn’t want to see her father and the evil woman who stole his affections, but with fewer distractions, Scarlett finds what she really wants from her life AND a secretive, but lovely young man. For all of her toughness, Scarlett is also very naïve and young (what 12 year old isn’t). Like Cassidy’s other titles, the heroine is very likable and relatable. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cast, P.C. and Kristin Cast Marked (299 p.) AND Betrayed (310 p.). St. Martin’s Griffin, 2007. One minute Zoey Redbird is just a normal high school student, the next she has been told that she is a fledgling vampire. Her evangelical Christian step-father refuses to let her go for training, but she escapes and finds her way to her new school and her new life. The goddess Nyx seems to have marked Zoey for special favor and she has a hard road and a major destiny ahead of her – including making friends, making enemies and guarding against betrayal. As great these books are, they are not appropriate for almost any school, what with the large amount of swear words (including “f”) and a healthy smattering of sexual innuendo. Too bad; they would have been very popular. NO

Castellucci, Cecil Boy Proof, 203 p. – She calls herself Egg, after her favorite movie character and she works hard to make herself “boy proof” and friend proof, for that matter. Then one day a boy enters her school and he challenges everything she ever thought about herself and her life. Let’s face it, folks. Boys can be a big catalyst in a girl’s life. Whether the girl gets the guy or vice versa is really secondary to what happens to her as she changes or doesn’t change. Victoria is solitary overachiever who really does seem to need to be taken down a peg. The only weakness in the story seemed to be that she is SO angry, but there doesn’t seem to be a good reason why. But it is about teenagers, who really don’t need a reason to be angry. She does swear, using “f” a couple of times too, so be aware. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Castelucci, Cecil The Queen of Cool, 166 p. Candlewick, 2006. Libby Brin has it all, as a trendsetter and queen bee at her high school, but she is bored, so she signs up for an internship at the LA Zoo. Just as she learns that there is more to life than popularity, and more to people than their clothes or their looks, she loses her job. Devastation – because now she realizes she actually likes the place and the people. Unfortunately, Libby’s journey is punctuated by enough underaged drinking, casual sex and the “f” word, that I can’t recommend it for schools. NO

Castrovilla, Selene By the Sword PICTURE BOOK Boyds Mill Press – Benjamin is a young soldier in George Washington’s Army at the Battle of Long Island. When the soldiers are forced to flee across the river, Benjamin risks his life in order to return and rescue his beloved horse. Excellent support material at the end gives added detail into the historical material and into the research and writing processes. I gave the book to an American History teacher to read and she just loved it. The amount of text on the pages makes this more suitable for older readers and would be good, longer read-aloud in a unit about the American Revolution. MS – ADVISABLE, HS – OPTIONAL

Cave, Patrick Sharp North, 512 p. – When Mira sees a woman murdered, it sets her off on a long journey of discovery – that she was created as a spare for someone else. A long, boring look at the effects of human cloning on society. Read The House of Scorpions instead. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Chaconas, Dori Pennies in a Jar, illustrated by Ted Lewin. PICTURE BOOK. Peachtree, 2007. His father is off to fight during WWII and a young boy wants to send him the perfect birthday present. Big horses haul wagons up and down his street, but the boy is afraid. Then the day comes when he realizes what would be the perfect present and he must overcome his fear to get it. Any unit on World War II would be enhance by this picture book. It also has important lessons about how the value of money has changed rapidly since that war. I love it for the beautiful watercolor illustrations – and because I remember getting my picture taken dressed like a cowgirl on the back of a little pony that a wandering man brought around to my house one day, too. EL – ADVISABLE

Chambers, Aidan This is all: The pillow book of Cordelia Kenn 816 pages in all, I only read 200 pages before I had to stop- Language-PG, Violence-G, Sexual Content-R – Cordelia is sure that William is the boy for her. She tries to convince him of that. I couldn’t read very far in this book because it was way inappropriate. I didn’t feel comfortable. None of it is acceptable for middle school. HS- NO Student Reviewer: K

Chan, Gillian A Foreign Field, 184 p. – Ellen lives in Canada during WWII. Both of her older brothers are away serving in the armed forces. She meets a young English pilot-in-training and eventually they become interested in each other. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Chandler, Elizabeth Deep End of Fear – Another excellent ghost story in Chandler’s Dark Secrets series. You must have them all!  ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Chapman, Linda The Magic Spell, 112 p. – When Lauren goes with her mother to buy a pony, she finds a quiet, scraggly, and sweet gray one named Twilight. During a trip to a local bookstore, Lauren happens upon a book which leads her to believe that her pony might actually be a unicorn in disguise – if only she can find the magic words. A very quaint beginning to series meant for only the very young. I don’t think anyone older than third grade would read this. EL-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Chapman, Linda The Magic Spell, 112 p. – When Lauren goes with her mother to buy a pony, she finds a quiet, scraggly, and sweet gray one named Twilight. During a trip to a local bookstore, Lauren happens upon a book which leads her to believe that her pony might actually be a unicorn in disguise – if only she can find the magic words. A very quaint beginning to series meant for only the very young. I don’t think anyone older than third grade would read this. El-OPTIONAL

Charles, Veronika The Birdman PICTURE BOOK Tundra – A hard-working tailor in the dusty streets of Calcutta, India, Noor Nobi finds a small bit of relief from his grief by buying and releasing songbirds which have been captured and caged. Beuatiful illustrations with an Indian feel and a postscript about the author’s journey make this book. Young children especially will like the idea of releasing caged birds. (And I like that he does it legally instead of through sabotage). EL – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cheaney, J.B. The Middle of Somewhere. 218 p. Alfred A. Knopf. Language – PG (O=1); Sexual Content – G; Violence – G; It all started out with a hyperactive squirrel invading the house and finding it’s way to the toilet seat. Before you know it, Veronica Sparks is headed to Kansas in an RV with her grandfather and ADHD brother. This is the opportunity she’s been waiting for to accomplish her short term and some long term goals. But what if everything goes downhill…? MS-OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: KH

Cheripko, Jan Rat – Last year Jeremy saw the boys’ basketball coach molesting a cheerleader in his office and Jeremy had the guts to testify in court about what he saw. Now the season has started again, with a new coach and Jeremy is feeling the heat from those who felt he should have kept his mouth shut. A good basketball book and a great book about doing what is right. MS-ESSENTIAL. (not for EL). Cindy, Library Teacher

Cheripko, Jan sun moon stars rain, 160 p. – Danny’s father died years earlier after saving a dog caught in a roaring river. Now, Danny is back in his home town after quitting his prestigious music school. His friendships with the local, eccentric, real estate baron and the town drunk stir up old issues that will not only hurt feelings, but could also be very dangerous. A dozen swear words (one “f” and a half dozen “sob”) may cause you to pause when considering this as a purchase, but the book is an excellent read that many students will enjoy. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Chima, Cinda Williams The Warrior Heir, 426 p. – Jack has taken medication all of his life because of a heart condition when he was a baby. Now 16, he forgets one day and weird things start to happen – like being pursued by the criminal element, helping his aunt dig up an antique sword, and being able to do magic. Eventually Jack discovers that he is the central figure in an ancient power struggle, which includes a fight to the death. Excellent addition to the realm of fantasy. I hope that your students will latch onto it as much as they have the Pendragon series. I think its more along the lines of Tamora Pierce or Jane Yolen in quality! MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Chima, Cinda Williams The Wizard Heir, 458 p. Hyperion – Seph has been kicked out of school after school and his guardian’s lawyers tell him that this new school is his last chance. They don’t know however, that the school’s record is based on its headmaster’s qizardly powers of intimidation and control. Either Seph must join Master Leicester’s merry group, or he will be tortured day after day. And even if Seph escapes or is rescued, he doesn’t know of any place to go. Seph’s destiny is tied up with the destiny of the Wizard Compact and the wizarding world – something he knows almost nothing about. YIIPPEEE!!! I LOVE this series!! The heroes are actually heroic and interesting and intelligent. An excellent addition to any sized collection and a wonderful antidote to Harry-mania! MS, HS – ESSENTIAL

Choldenko, Gennifer Louder, Lili PICTURE BOOK Putnam (Penguin), 2007. Lili is so quiet in class and a much louder classmate has figured out how use Lili’s quietness against her, using Lili for her own ends. That is, until Lili finds her voice. Even in elementary school, kids can be mean to each other. This perfect little lesson is perfect for a young classroom and even an Advisory class in the middle school could use this to send an important message. EL – ESSENTIAL, MS – ADISABLE

Chotjewitz, David Daniel Half Human and the Good Nazi, 292 p. – Daniel is back in his hometown of Hamburg Germany as an interpreter for the occupying American Army. He relives his life growing up with the encroaching Nazi threat which becomes more dangerous when he learns that his mother is a Jewess. Though most of the boys at school turn on him, he thinks that his best friend, Armin, would never betray him and his family. I don’t mind the proliferation of Holocaust literature, especially when they are as well written (and translated) as this one. It highlights the insidiousness of Hitler’s scheming and the gullibility that anyone could be susceptible to, until maybe it is just too late. I think this has more to add to a study of WWII than Anne Frank. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Choyce, Lesley Refuge Cove – Greg and his mother have moved to tiny Deep Cove on the coast of New Foundland. While out sailing one day, Greg picks up three Asain refugees. A good title in the ORCA Soundings imprint. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Choyce, Lesley Sudden Impact, 104 p. – Tina’s best friend Kurt is injured in a soccer game and rushed to the hospital where they discover that Kurt needs a new liver. Tina does everything she can to help, but Kurt’s parents have never liked her and order her to stay away. Then when the perfect donor comes in, but the parents refuse to release the organ, Tina tries something desperate to save Kurt. Fast-paced and short, like the other books in the soundings series. It would be a good book to read aloud for a resource class or to recommend to someone who thinks they don’t like books. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Chozewitz, David Crazy Diamond Language: PG-13, Violence: PG, Sexual Content: PG. When Miara’s dad leaves for good, her mom doesn’t know what to do. Miara, a Croatian, is furious at her mom when she is sent away to get smuggled into Germany by her uncle. At fourteen she runs away and meets Krale and they instantly become friends. Miara then is discovered by O.K and he asks her to sing for him. Melody, though, is angry when O.K kicks her out to move Miara into the huge apartment. Krale finds Miara dead a couple years later. Did she commit suicide or was it a simple accident? I really didn’t like this book because it was just simply boring. I also didn’t like how the story went so fast and it was not put together very well. The author didn’t really develop the characters and he didn’t really introduce them. Not a good book for junior high and under. HS – OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: JG

Cirrone, Dorian Dancing in Red Shoes will Kill you, 213 p. – Quality of read- B-; Language- PG; Sexual content- R (it was really graphic about body parts); Violence- G – This book was about a girl named Kayla Callaway. She has danced in Ballet ever since she was small and when she auditions for the school production Cinderella she does not get a good part because she has big boobs. her sister likes to paint pictures of naked people and this hot new kid and her best friend tries to help her with her ballet problem. This book was really graphic I thought it was a good book besides the graphic parts. NO HS Student Reviewer, AN

Clare, Cassandra City of Bones 485 p. Simon and Schuster – Clary witnessed a murder last night. Now, Clary’s mother has disappeared and the Shodowhunters, a secret group dedicated to fighting against a demon take over of this world, are after Clary. And one of those Shadowhunters is the devastatingly handsome Jace, whom Clary is inevitably drawn to. A hot cover and a well-plotted fast-paced narrative make for an awesome book that will exchange hands quickly. Perfect for students who love Stephanie Meyer and other creepy fun books! MS, HS – ESSENTIAL

Clark, Catherine The Alison Rules 264 p. – Alison and her best friend have been stuck in neutral for the last year, since the day Alison learned that her mother had cancer. When her mother died soon after, Allison created an elaborate system of coping that also helped her not deal with her grief. Now a new boy has come to town – one whom Laurie likes, but he likes Alison. Patrick manages to shake up all of Alison’s rules and destroy her relationship with Laurie in the process. Alison’s numbness is understandable, especially as she nears the one year anniversaries of all of the bad times. Much enjoyed reading. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Clark, Mary Higgins Ghost Ship, illustrated by Wendell Minor, Simon and Schuster PICTURE BOOK – A young boy, digging on the shore near his grandmother’s home, unearths a belt buckle, calling forth the ghost of a young cabin boy, who knows the truth of a ages old town mystery. The beautiful gouache watercolor illustrations outclass the cumbersome narrative of this picture book. I can’t see the value of purchasing this for a school library. NO

Clarke, Judith Kalpana’s Dream, 164 p. – Neema’s great-grandmother has come from India to visit her American family. The two have a hard time communicating, as her Nani only speaks Hindi and Neema refused to take lessons. I am not going to waste any more of my time describing this book, as I really didn’t like it. If it had left out references to Dracula and not ended with a car driving up into the sky, it might have had a fighting chance. But, even a great portrayal of the students struggling with their latest essay and new boy at school who seems so familiar don’t bring this novel back around for me. I loved Starry Night so much, but I will give this novel a pass. MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Clarke, Judith Starry Nights – Jess’ family has moved to a new city. Her mother has had a breakdown; her brother spends all his time talking to a little girl; her sister is sure that a magic spell will cure all their ills. One of these people is not even really there any more. A ghost story, but more the story of a family dealing with grief. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Claybourne, Anna Volcanoes, 61 p. Kingfisher (Houghton), 2007. Step-by-step, Ms. Clayborne illustrates the stages of a volcano, the parts of a volcano, famous volcanoes and studies about volcanoes. The vivid illustrations will catch young eyes, but they are well-balanced by careful, useful research. Though short and simple, it is very valuable. EL – ESSENTIAL; MS – ADVISABLE

Clement-Davies, David The Telling Pool, 362 p. -Rhodri must take care of his mother and the farm because his father has gone off to join King Richard on his crusade. Lost in the woods, Rhodri meets an old man, Tantallon, who shows him the Telling Pool – an ancient devise that shows the horror of his father’s journey. It also shows Rhodri that his father has come under the spell of an evil enchantress during his journey home, which is why Owen Falcon is behaving so strangely. Rhodri must undergo a quest of epic proportions if he wants to not only save his father, but save the land. Rhodri is by no means perfect and he needs support of good people, but in the end he makes the choice that resolves the entanglement. This novel explores the idea that King Arthur will not return physically, as some versions of the legend go, but that he returns in the spirit of a person who will show heroic courage each time England is in danger. Since I am not an Arthur fan, I like this idea much better. I hope that Mr. Clement-Davies doesn’t spend too much time on Arthur, but that he will continue to use his great talent to produce more works on other subjects. MS, HS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Clements, Andrew Room One: A Mystery or Two, 168 p. Simon and Schuster – Language G, Sexual Content G, Violence G – Ted Hammond is a paperboy in Plattsford, Nebraska. It is a small town. So small that Ted, who loves mysteries, has to place holds on other mystery books from other libraries because he has read all the mysteries in the school library and the public library. On his paper route, he passes by the deserted Anderson places. Today, he saw a girl’s face in the window. Who is she? Does she need help? This book was well-written and intriguing. It is packed with suspense. EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: NM

Clements, Andrew Things Hoped For 167 p. Penguin – Gwen lives with her grandfather in New York so that she can pursue her violin dreams. The same day that she meets a interesting boy, her grandfather disappears. The two try to keep everything going normally, but Gwen is sure that something really bad has happened. A continuation of Things Not Seen, but you can understand this one okay without having read the previous novel. I especially loved how Robert dealt with another “vanished” person. EL, MS – ADVISABLE, Cindy, Library Teacher

Clements, Bruce What Erika Wants, 215p. – The judge in the family court has appointed Erika her own lawyer as her mother tries to wrest custody of her from her father, whom she has lived with for the past five years – ever since her mother took her older sister and left for Arizona. Erika is sure that she wants to live with her mother full time, but as the story unfolds, the real picture is much more complicated. An excellent look at the lies we tell ourselves in order to cope and the dynamics of a family in turmoil. Though the narrative seems disjointed and incomplete, it only adds to the piecemeal approach of Erika’s own thoughts and feelings. MS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Climo, Shirley Tuko and the Birds: A Tale from the Philippines, illustrated by Francisco X. Mora. Henry Holt, 2008. PICTURE BOOK. Nice telling of a Filipino fable that explains the searching of the gecko for a suitable place for practicing his obnoxious “TUKO” call. After completely upsetting the village waking and sleeping schedule, the gecko is lured away by Haribon, the eagle, to the swamp with gum-stuffed rhinoceros beetles, and the melodious songs of birds return the city of Maynilad to its former tranquility. Appealing multicultural narrative for older elementary students. EL – ADVISABLE. Reviewer: BS

Clinton, Catherine Phillis’s Big Test, illustrated by Sean Qualls. Houghton, 2008. PICTURE BOOK. Phillis Wheatley had written a book of poetry, but the printers of Boston refused to publish her works unless she went in front of a panel to prove that the words were her own. On her way to the examination, she remembers her capture and transportation as a slave and the Wheatley’s, her masters, who educated her and treated her so well. These remembrances and the love of the Wheatley’s give her the confidence she needs to face her examiners. Not a book about poetry, not a book about slavery, this is a book about finding the confidence to stand up for yourself. It’s about all of the little and big things that make us who we are and take us to where we are right now in our lives. Though the broad strokes are factual, the details, the dialogue and Phillis’ particular thoughts are fiction, as Phillis left no biography of her life, only two slim books of poetry. EL – OPTIONAL

Clough-Jahn, Lisa Me, Penelope, 200pgs. Language-G (3 swears,0 “f”), Sexual Content-PG13; violence-G. Penelope (Lopi) has a lot of things she wants to accomplish before she graduates, and she has figured away to graduate one year early. Lopi is an only child, who lives with her mom because her little brother died, and her dad left. Unfortunately her and her mom do get into a lot of fights although everyone else thinks her mom is so cool. They end up running into a lot of trouble, and don’t know how it is going to end up. I think this book is really good, and is also a little inappropriate (pretty heavy petting). HS- ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: MM

Coburn, Jake Love Sick, 228 p. – Honestly – Within the first few pages my eyes were assaulted by many more swear words than I could stand. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cohn, Rachel Cupcake, 248 p. Simon and Schuster -Shrimp has left for New Zealand; Cyd Charisse is in New York City, trying to move on a failing miserably. Instead of starting culinary school as she was supposed to, she finds a job of her own as a barista at a hole in the wall coffee shop. Just as she is settling in, Shrimp arrives and shakes everything to pieces. Cyd’s hormonal over drive in this third volume and a large sprinkling of swear words combine to make this unusable for school libraries. NO

Cohn, Rachel Cupcake, 248 p. Simon and Schuster -Shrimp has left for New Zealand; Cyd Charisse is in New York City, trying to move on a failing miserably. Instead of starting culinary school as she was supposed to, she finds a job of her own as a barista at a hole in the wall coffee shop. Just as she is settling in, Shrimp arrives and shakes everything to pieces. Cyd’s hormonal over drive in this third volume and a large sprinkling of swear words combine to make this unusable for school libraries. NO

Cohn, Rachel Pop Princess – Wonder’s sister died in a car accident before her girl’s singing group could make it big. Now Lucky’s former manager is back in town and wants to make a deal with Wonder. She has a lot to learn about the music industry and about herself. I really want to love this book, be cause I do, but I can’t recommend it for my middle school audience, because if the graphic sex scenes. If I were in a more liberal part of the country, I would go for it. And if I had a very active High School library, I would also buy it. But not, the southern Salt Lake valley. OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cohn, Rachel Shrimp, 272 p. – Cyd Charisse is back in San Francisco after her summer with her New York family. She is still feuding with her mother, though things are a bit more peaceful, but Cyd’s, or “CeeCee” as she now wants to be called, main goal is to get back together with her main squeeze Shrimp (real name). As much as I adored Gingerbread, the first Cyd book, I can not put this one in my library. Cyd’s obsession with sex or personal gratification if she can’t get any other way and her occasional use of the “f” word were too much for me this time around. If you already have Gingerbread in a high school, then you could probably add this one, but don’t put it in a middle school. NO

Cohn, Rachel The Steps – 12 year old Annabelle is off to Australia to visit her father Jack, his new wife, the wife’s two children and baby Beatrice, Annabelle’s new half sister. Annabelle is determined to hate the “steps” and convince her dad to move back to New York. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cohn, Rachel Two Steps Forward, 227 p. – Its been 18 months since Annabel has seen her Australian crush Ben. Now, Annabel is going to LA with her Mom to see all of the steps who have moved there from Australia. Even stepbro Wheaties will visiting – and Ben will be coming for a visit too! As much as Annabel loves all of the new steps in her life, misunderstandings will happen, tempers will flare and the kids will need to kiss and makeup. An extremely cute sequel. EL, MS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cohen, Caron Lee Digger Pig and the Turnip, Illustrated by Christopher Denise. Harcourt, Inc., 2008. LEVEL 2 READER. Another version of “The Little Red Hen,” this reader tells the story of Digger Pig who has no luck finding anyone to help her make a turnip pie. The illustrations are subdued and warm, lending support to the story. Written in English and Spanish, it would be a good beginning reader for students in grades 1 to 2. Includes activities that go along with the story. Grades 1-2 – OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Debby Herget, Elementary Library-Teacher.

Colasanti, Susane When It Happens, 310 p. – Sara is convinced that she will never find true love, until jock Dave pursues her. Just as she starts realizing that maybe Dave is a little shallow, she sees love in the eyes of Tobey – the guitar player with the killer blue eyes. Full of a large variety of swear words, including a hefty dose of “f”, rendering this unusable for school libraries. Even if all of the swear words were removed (which could be done without any harm to the story), this would still only be an optional purchase. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Collins, Yvonne and Sandy Rideout Girl v. Boy, 311 p. Hyperion, 2008. Language; PG, Sexual Content; PG-13, Violence; G. Luisa Perez suddenly finds herself in charge of an anonymous column in the newspaper writing about the fundraiser at her school. She shares the spotlight with an unknown boy who’s also writing from his point of view. They soon start a war with each other that might just bring Luisa’s world crashing at her feet. I liked this book. It was a little hard to get into and it wasn’t one of the books that I couldn’t wait to pick up and read, but it was well written and had an interesting, twisty, storyline. It’s not a book that I would keep with my collection. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: KH

Cole, Brock Good Enough to Eat PICTURE BOOK Farrar, Starus, Giroux, 2007. A town thinks that a poor orphan girl is the perfect sacrifice for the ogre terrifying their village. The girl, on the other hand, is much smarter than she has let be seen and has more than one trick up her sleeve to survive and to get her due. Mr. Cole has created a brand new fairy tale – it feels old, it looks old, but the story is new – with a plucky heroine who doesn’t need a prince to save her. Little girls will enjoy it and get the message on so many levels. EL – ESSENTIAL

Colebank, Susan Black Tuesday, 264 p. Dutton (Penguin), 2007. Jayne Thompkins has it all – rich family, straight A’s and a future at Harvard. That is, until, the day she makes a fatal traffic error that ends in the death of a child. Now her life is spiraling downward, ahe she fails to cope and starts questioning every value and thought she has ever had. Stuck is summer school and stuck with 1000 hours of community service, she acts out and lashes out in order to relieve her pain. Of course Jayne’s choices lead to partying and flirting with drugs and sex. It is her sister, however that brings out the scenes describe touching of body parts (lots of ‘boob’ talk and a reference to pleasuring a boy). This powerful book would be excellent in the right high school situation. HS – OPTIONAL

Coleman, Michael On the Run, 199 p. – Luke is constantly in trouble and gets accused of being an accomplice in a car theft. To stay out of Juvenile Detention, he must agree to be the running guide for the blind girl whose family he helped victimize. On the day of her biggest race, Luke is blackmailed into helping the neighborhood thugs steal a Porsche. This book is one bright spot in a slew of bad books I have read so far this break. Thank goodness it doesn’t fall into the usual British swear and sex talk that I have read too much of lately! MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Coleridge, Sara The Months: Fun With Friends All Year Round! Illustrations by Kathy Weller. Lobster Press, 2007. A short, cute poem goes through the months and seasons in the Northern hemisphere. Its bright illustrations and simple words are perfect for the little ones in the lower grades. El – ADVISABLE

Colfer, Eoin Airman, 412 p. Hyperion, 2008. Conor Broekhart was born in a hot air balloon and grew up beloved by his little island nation, especially after he saved the life of his best friend, the island’s princess, Isabella. After several wonderful years of education and friendship, however, an evil man frames Conor for the murder of his king and now Conor is stuck, at the island’s vicious prison. Targeted for death, he manages to somehow survive, always plotting a plan to escape, always looking for that perfect moment. That moment happens to arrive with the coronation of Isabella as Queen. But now Conor has to decide between just escaping and running off to America to build a new life, or staying and saving his Queen and his country. If you thought that Artemis Fowl was great – you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Colfer has hit a fantastic stride with this exciting and dangerous novel (not for elementary)! MS, HS – ESSENTIAL

Colfer, Eoin The Legend of Spud Murphy, 95 p. – Will and Marty’s mom has decided that they must spend two hours at the library for a couple of days a week this summer to give her a break for 5 little boys at home. Unfortunately, the librarian will only let them stay in the kiddie section of the library. After the boys finish the kid books several times, they take a chance at sneaking into the big people part of the library, even though they have heard that the librarian has a whole-potato potato gun behind her desk. Very cute! EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Coll, Susan Acceptance, 303 p. Picador (Farrar, Straus, Giroux), 2007. The students at Verona are High are over-achievers to the extreme. They are all gunning for admission to prestigious colleges, unfortunately all of the have the same Ivy League dreams. Everyone needs a safety school, and through a twist of fate, Yates University seems to be it. The voices are not only the students’ but their parents and the Yates Admissions officer too. The blurb on the back calls it a satire, but I think its probably hits closer to the bone of truth than that, unfortunately. A couple of unnecessary sexual references and a slathering of swear words push this book right out of the Utah high school library realm. You should purchase The Taker by J.M. Steele instead. NO

Collins, Pat Lowery Fattening Hut – Helen has been sent to the fattening hut to eat luxuriously and await her womanhood ritual. Written in a pseudo-poetic form, this book is difficult to read, as the poetry seems to have no purpose and lends nothing to the narrative. If this book were reformatted in normal paragraphing, it would gain much. Instead, try Rita Garcia-Williams No Laughter Here for a much better treatment to the same topic. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Collins, Paul The Earthborn 240 p. – 300 years ago a huge earthship was sent to colonize at Tau Ceti. When they arrived they found it to be uninhabitable, so they turned around. Now they are approaching earth and have decided that their destiny is to repopulate earth, as all that is left is small bands of “subhumans”, as the propaganda goes. When Welkin Quinn is abandoned on earth’s surface, he discovers something different, though it takes him awhile to work through his skyborn conditioning. The first two thirds if this book, as Welkin meets with and then takes a stand with the earthborn, are great. It kind of falls apart during the last thrid. I think my problem is that there are not enough time cues to keep the narrative flowing sensibly. I will wait for this one in paperback. MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Collins, Suzanne Gregor and the Marks of Secret, 341 p. – Gregor’s mother is finally getting healthier and is almost ready to come back above ground. Bane, the cute little furball, is now a gigantic, paranoid monster. Then Luxa discovers that something sinister is happening to the ‘nibblers’, problems caused by the rats of Underland. The duo’s reconnaissance and rescue mission ends up endangering many lives and only uncovers a larger threat. Book Four in the Underland Chronicles. A worthy successor to the series. EL-ESSENTIAL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Collins, Yvonne and Sandy Rideout Girl v. Boy, 311 p. Hyperion, 2008. Language; PG, Sexual Content; PG-13, Violence; G. Luisa Perez suddenly finds herself in charge of an anonymous column in the newspaper writing about the fundraiser at her school. She shares the spotlight with an unknown boy who’s also writing from his point of view. They soon start a war with each other that might just bring Luisa’s world crashing at her feet. I liked this book. It was a little hard to get into and it wasn’t one of the books that I couldn’t wait to pick up and read, but it was well written and had an interesting, twisty, storyline. It’s not a book that I would keep with my collection. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: KH

Coman, Carolyn The Big House 220 p. – Ivy and Ray’s parents have been convicted of embezzling and shipped off to the “big house” while the children are sent to live in the care of their parents’ accusers. The kids spend their days searching for a way to clear their mom and dad’s names and show the foster parents for the evil schemers they are. Unfortunately, the children in this book must be very young, though their ages are never mentioned, because they act extremely clueless about little things – like how long is 25 years. While it might be entertaining for younger kids, I don’t see anyone older finding it interesting. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Compestine, Ying Chang Revolution is not a Dinner Party, 243 p. Henry Holt, 2007. Ling was just a little girl when the Chinese Cultural Revolution swept through and reordered her entire life. For the next four years she witnesses and experiences the oppression of the revolution – with a “comrade” living next door and living in a building of doctors – most of whom a targets for abuse and re-education. Her own father is arrested and then kept close by as a doctor for party figureheads. Ling finally loses her faith in “Father Mao”. While the flow of the book may not be perfect, it fills a huge knowledge gap. I have not previously read any historical fiction from this time period and I can’t think of anything available for teens on the subject. It would be an excellent read-aloud for a world cultures class. Ms, HS – ADVISABLE

Connor, Leslie Dead on Town Line, 131 p. – A jealous classmate has killed Cassie and hidden the body. Cassie’s spirit watches the search and she also meets Birdie, who was killed and buried many years earlier. Together the two go over the events leading up to their murders and try to come up with away to help the searchers. A better free verse writing than most that I have seen. It does however talk about the preacher who killed Birdie because he got her pregnant “poking” her and using her because he gives her free room and board and dime for every time he does it. HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Conrad, Liza High School Bites, 219 p. – When Lucy nears her sixteenth birthday, she discovers that she is a direct descendant of the real-life Lucy portrayed in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Also in town are descendants of Stoker, Mina and, unfortunately, Dracula- one of them being Lucy’s own boyfriend. Hiding in the background, waiting to take Lucy out is Dracula himself. I thought this was going to be a bad Buffy rip-off, but I actually enjoyed it very much. The author is writing under a pseudonym. MS, HS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Constable, Kate The Tenth Power, 306 p. – Release: March 2006. Third of the Chanters of Tremaris trilogy. Calwyn and her companions have returned to Antaris and are almost taken prisoner by Calwyn’s old enemy Tamen, who has taken control of the chanters. Calwyn must find some way to regain her power to chant – to save Marna, to save Darrow, to save all of Tremaris. I did not like the first book in this series, so I did not read the second. I gave this one a chance, as it is tha last in the series, but I was confronted with the same problems that bugged me about the first – Calwyn’s entire life is actually manipulated by Samis and Keela. Time after time it is Samis who dictates what Calwyn and her friends do, for good or ill. None of them make actual smart choices for themselves, until the final scene and by then it is just too late to charm or impress me. MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cook, Sally and James Charlton Hey Batta Batta Swing! The Wild Old Days of Baseball 48 p. Simon Schuster – Watercolor and crayon drawings feel like they are right out of the 1950 funny pages in this book about the early days of baseball. Bits on slang terms from those days complement historical information on everything from uniforms and players to team names and equipment. In fact, there is too much information to read in one sitting with a class. But it would be a great to read a little bit each day in the spring, as baseball season starts to gear up. Best to buy if someone really is going to teach a baseball unit. EL, MS-OPTIONAL

Cooke, Jordan The Show: Pilot Episode (217 p. ) and Loose Lips (198 p.). Grosset (Penguin), 2008. Intelligent Corliss is ready to head home and get ready for college, but her Hollywood connected uncle gets her a “job” (free intern, anyone?) on the set of a new TV, The ‘Bu, as in Malibu. I can’t go on. This book and the plot is a tangled mess of stereotypical, flat characters without an ounce of brains (even Corliss) and both books wer painful to read. Save yourselves now! NO

Cooley, Beth Ostrich Eye – As summer starts and her friends head off to camps and trips, Ginger notices a man hanging around where she is. Thinking it is her long, lost father, Ginger starts talking to him and puts herself and her little stepsister in danger, instead. MS- ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cooney, Caroline B. A Friend At Midnight , 160 Pages, Random House. Language – PG, Sexual Content – G, Violence – G. Michael left for his father’s house two weeks and a half ago. Out of the blue, his 15 year old sister Lily gets a call from him at the airport with absolutely nothing with him, not even a bit of change. Lily must learn how to deal with her overwhelming hatred of her father and find a path to something that may once again bring her family together. This story was one I could relate to that inspires you to at least try to forgive even those that have severely hurt you. A Friend At Midnight is such a touching story, and everyone who has gone through a divorce (in some form) should read it. MS – ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: KH

Cooney, Caroline B. Enter Three Witches: A Story of Macbeth 288 p. Scholastic – Lady Mary is the daughter of the Thane of Cawdor and the ward of Lord and Lady Macbeth. As Macbeth and Babquo return from the battle against Macdowald, she overhears the prophecies of the three witches and even the telling of her father’s betrayal. Now, instead of being a wealthy heiress, she is now the daughter of a traitor and at the mercy of forces around her. Her story unfolds along with a different perspective on the events of Shakespeare’s play. Though the writing is fairly simple, the author adds richness and depth to the events of the play that have been lacking. Students not ready for Shakespeare will this novelization. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cooney, Caroline B. Hit the Road, pgs. 183 Publisher- Delacorte Press. Language-PG Sexual Content- G, Violence- G; Brittany “Brit” Bowman has just got her drivers license and has only had it for 11 days when her parents drop her off at her Nannie’s house while they go on vacation. But her parents don’t know that Nannie is planning to go to her 65th high school reunion with her four best friends. Nannie can’t drive and doesn’t have a car so she rents one. But there is only one problem, she needs a driver so Brit is to the rescue. Nannie and Brit go on a wild ride to a 65th reunion but they also have many surprises in store for them. This book was very good. At first I thought it would be kind of weird because its about Grandmas going to a High School Reunion but it turned out to be a really good book. Loved it. MS- ADVISABLE; Student Reviewer: AN

Cooper, Floyd. Willie and the All-Stars. Philomel, 2008. PICTURE BOOK – Language G, Sexual Content G, Violence G – Willie, a young African-American boy in 1942 Chicago, dreams of becoming a major league baseball player. When he hears about baseball’s color line, he is crushed. But then he gets tickets to an exhibition game between the Negro League and Major League All-Stars at Wrigley Field. Watching this game becomes a life changing experience when the Negro leaguers grit and determination lead them to victory. Cooper’s realistic sepia toned illustrations nostalgically depict this time period clearly and emotionally. A wonderful book for units on race relations and prejudice. EL – ADVISABLE. Janell Pearce-Mattheus, Youth Services Librarian, Whitmore Library.

Cooper, Ilene Sam I Am 252 p. – Sam’s mother is Christian, his father is a non-practicing Jew. When the “Hannukah bush” gets pushed over and all of his mother’s beloved ornaments get broken, it ignites an inter-faith struggle in Sam’s house. This is a denctly written book about the struggles that inter-faith marriages can cause, especially when the children become an age to actually “choose”. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Corder, Zizou Lionboy, 275 p. – Charlie Ashanti can speak Cat, his parents are famous scientists. Charlie returns home one day and finds that his parents have been kidnapped. With the help of the local felines, Charlie sets out to rescue his parents, joining a circus, rescuing the lions, and meeting the King of Bulgaria along the way. (First in a series-#2 is coming out soon). The “author” is actually a mother-daughter team who have done an excellent job of writing some good fiction! EL, MS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Corder, Zizou Lionboy: The Chase, 262 p. – Charlie and the lions have escaped to Venice, with the help of the King of Bulgaria. Hiding in the king’s palace, Charlie discovers that Edward, the king’s spy master, has other ideas for how to use them all. Meanwhile, Charlie’s parents are being held in the city of Vence, drugged through the air and their food. All of the previous villains are still around and the action is well-paced. Makes for a good sequel, but I hope the action does wrap up in the next book. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Corey, Shana Monster Parade, illustrated by Will Terry. Random House, 2009. $3.99. EARLY READER (Step into Reading level 2). Halloween is today. Join the monsters as they celebrate and move from house to house. Simple rhyming text accompanies bright, vivid pictures in this book for kids who are learning new words and trying to read with help. I kind of wish it were a regular picture book. I’d love to add it to my Halloween collection. EL (K-3) – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Cornish, D.M Foundling Pages: 433 (But 120 of those pages is a dictionary/ almanac at the back of the book. So really there is 313.)) Published by: The Penguin Group; Language: PG; Violence: PG 13; Sexual Content: G, – Rossamund is a young orphan boy with a girl’s name. He lives at Madame Opera’s Estimable Marine Society with many other orphaned girls and boys. Rossamund is finally chosen to leave the orphanage and go on his way, but instead of being chosen to be a sailor like the other girls and boy had been he was chosen to be a lamplighter at High Vesting. His journey to High Vesting becomes more and more difficult than he ever imagined. Will he still be a lamplighter or will he choose different? I loved this book. It was very hard to put down. Full of suspense, black trades, and many more monsters of all kinds. MS HS ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: AN

Cornish, D.M. Lamplighter, 715 (602 minus glossary), The Penguin Group, 2008. Language: G, Sexual Content: G, Violence: PG. Lamplighter is the continuation of the story started in The Foundling. It follows Rossamund through his first year or so working with the lamplighters. I’m usually skeptical about sequels because I’ve had some bad experiences with them but this book was better than the first. There’s everything from monster fights to corrupt officials. There are new faces, old friends, and the underlying mystery in the series begins to take shape. MS – ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: MR

Cornish, D.M. Monster Blood Tattoo 404 p. Penguin – Rating: PG – Rossamund has been an orphan all his life, and the day has finally come for him to take a job in a far away country! Follow Rossamund in his journeys with women who kill monsters, magic, and a lot of action! I personally, HATED this book. I’m sorry. The book alone is only 312 pages long. Yet the glossary in the book is over 100 pages long. There was far to much information in this book. It was VERY confusing. MS – NO. Student Reviewer: LH

Cornwell, Autumn Carpe Diem, 368 p. Feiwel. Vassar Spore is Ivy League material – focused, overacheiving with a 5.3 GPA. Her entire summer is planned around maximizing her potential. Then her wayward grandmother blackmails her parents into sending Vassar to travel SouthEast Asia with her for the entire summer. Vassar didn;t even know her parents were blackmailable! What is this dark secret? How will Vassar survive around all of those germs?? Cornwell’s voice is extremely funny and Vassar is so lost in this unsanitized world. This novel is a joy to read. MS, HS – ADVISABLE

Corrigan, Eireann Ordinary Ghosts, 321 p. Scholastic. Language – R, Sexual Content -R; Violence -G; This is the worst book I have ever read! It’s all about sex and drugs. The plot is Emil’s brother Ethan left home when his mom died of cancer. Now Emil has the key to his school from his brother to do whatever he likes. ) NO. Student Reviewer: MS

Corrigan, Eireann Splintering, 184 p. – Life in a family after their home is burglarized, written in prose style or free-verse if you want to push it. Maybe if the book had started out with a rehash of the climatic burglary scene I would have found it more interesting. But having to dig through all of the “poetry” to find that extremely important scene was way too much to ask of me. I gave the book to my teenager for a second opinion and he gave it the thumbs down too. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cote, Genevieve What Elephant? PICTURE BOOK Kids Can Press – George’s neighbors refused to acknowledge the elephant that has moved into George’s house, even when the elephant starts to take over the neighborhood. Then the elephant’s owner comes to town and wonders why no one was willing to notice the huge creature in their midst. I guess the author was inspirder by the phrase “an elephant in the room”, but the book doesn’t really seem to do much to further discussion of the phrase. While the drawings are pretty cute, I can’t find a use for the title in the secondary collection. Any ideas? EL-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Couloumbis, Audrey Summer’s End, 182 p. – As the Vietnam War rolls on, Grace’s brother burns his draft card and their stepfather kicks him out of the house. In order to escape the increasing animosity at home, Grace runs away to her grandmother’s very full house. There she is with her favorite cousins – Theo, whose brother ran off to Canada, and Dolly – whose brother is already at the front. Everyone in the family has to struggle with their feelings and Grace has to learn that you can’t ever predict where life is going to take you. The best scenes are the tension filled times at home. When all of the other family members are brought in, things get very confusing. I was a little let down in the final 3rd. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Coville, Bruce Oddest of All, 230 pgs. Harcourt, 2008. Launguage-G; Sexual Content-G, Violence- G; Oddest of All is a collection of stories written by Bruce Coville. There is nothing wrong with them, they are just very weird. Lots of them have cliffhanger endings that leave you puzzled. Others are better, like the story The Mask of Eamonn Tiyado which takes place in Bruce’s Elves Magic Shop. There are nine stories in all in this book. My favorites are The Ghost Let Go, The Mask of Eamonn Tiyado, In the Frog King’s Court, and The Boy with Silver Eyes. EL, MS, HS- OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: RH

Coville, Bruce The Weeping Werewolf 69 p. – Sequel to The Dragon of Doom. Moongobble is an extremely inept magician and will only be accepted into the Guild if he can perform three mighty tasks. For his second task, he is sent to the Forest of Night to get a bottle of tears from a weeping werewolf. The only way Moongobble will ever pass any of his tests is with the help of a little boy, a frog and miniature dragon. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Coville, Bruce William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. PICTURE BOOK. Dial (Penguin), 2007. Bruce Coville has taken Shakespeare’s original tale and simplified it, with beautiful pictures, so that someone unfamiliar with the Bard’s language can enjoy the tale and then hopefully go on to read or see the original. This is the fourth in series of such retellings by Coville. EL – ADVISABLE

Cowell, Cressida How to Train Your Dragon – Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III must first capture a dragon, train it and then use it to save the world, all in fine Viking style. This is a romp – hilarious! EL,MS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cowley, Joy Hunter 153 p. – Jordan and her two younger brothers are involved in a plane which also kills their pilot, stranding them on an island in a remote part of New Zealand. Hunter is the captured slave of a Maori tribe also living on the island, but 200 years before the children. Hunter can see the children in his dreams and tries to help them survive until they can be rescued, risking his own life as he runs away from his captors. Though slow to start, as the bond between Hunter and Jordan increases the narrative tightens and becomes more interesting. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cowley, Joy and Gavin Bishop Snake and Lizard, 85 p. Kane/Miller, 2008. Content: G. Snake and Lizard learn more about each other during their encounters and find that they may have more similarities than differences. The short vignettes are perhaps best for reading toa small child at night, but they don’t flow in a way that makes you want to read it at one go. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Coy, John Crackback, 206 p. – Only a junior, Miles Manning is a starter on his high school football team. When his coach is diagnosed with cancer and the assistant takes over, Miles is not sure he likes the messages he is receiving about how to play the game. Then he loses his starter spot after giving up a big score and is sent down with the bench warmers. If your students like “Friday Night Lights” then they will like this. A good, strong football book with a mix of on the field action and tough questions about the lessons football teaches high schoolers. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Creech,Sharon The Castle Corona, 336 p. Joanna Cotler Books (HarperCollins) – Language-G; Sexual Content-G; Violence-G – Two peasant children find a strange pouch and it turns their life around. The royal family also is affected by it. Normally I don’t read a lot of fantasy books, but this one I loved. It has beautiful pages because of the illustrator. The story held your attention all the way through the entire book. The twists and turns that it takes are very unexpected. Sharon Creech is an amazing author, and she has created another masterpiece. EL,MS-ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: KD

Crilley, Mark Miki Falls: Spring, 164p. HarperTeen. Language: G, Sexual Content: G, Violence: G – Miki runs into the new kid in town and realizes there is something mystic about him. Ten she can’t leave him alone and tries to figure out what is going on. It was a fast cute read. I enjoyed looking at the art. It was probably elementary level, ages…. 10 and up? EL – OPTIONAL; Student Reviewer: MW

Crook, Connie Brummel The Hungry Year 201 p. – Kate, her father and her two little brothers are Loyalists at the end of the American Revolution. Retreating to Canada, they are awarded a small piece of property from the British government and get a small cabin built just before winter sets in. As the food supply dwindles, Kate’s father doesn’t return one day after he has left to hunt game animals. Kate tries as hard as a twelve year old can to keep herself and her brothers alive until their father can return. As an American, I have never really given one thought to what happened to British loyalists after the Revolution. I thoroughly enjoyed this narrative and the descriptions of these colonists interactions with the Native populations. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Crook, Connie Brummel The Perilous Year 192 p. – Several years after the first book, in this one Father one day brings home a new wife and soon thereafter Kate gets married, leaving the twin twelve year olds, Alex and Ryan, to cope with the new mother. Alex gets himself involved with a group of men who have stolen a large amount of gold. Ryan braves a blizzard in order to fetch the midwife when his new mother goes into labor. Though not as charming as the first book, some students will want to read the further adventures. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cross, Gillian Phoning a Dean Man – Hayley’s brother John died in a terrible explosion in Russia. Annie, John’s fiancee, talks Hayley into joining her on a trip to see where John died. On the way, Annie reveals that she has received phone calls from John’s cell phone since his death. She wants Hayley’s help looking for him. Meanwhile, their only connections are the Russian mafia. Really great stuff, though Annie and Hayley seem very cardboard, while all the good stuff happens around John. Go for it! ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cross, Gillian The Black Room, 247 p. Penguin – Robert has returned to full size, but he still worries about the others who were left behind in the tiny cave. Then one day he finds a link to Lorn and finds that she is in a worse position than he ever was and he decides that he must rescue her at any cost. You can not pass up this series! MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cross, Gillian The Dark Ground 264 p. – Robert is in a plane high in the air when he blacks out. Waking, he find himself in a mysterious jungle. Some things seem familiar, but out of perspective. Snatched by a huge air beast, Robert fights for his life and then finds himself in the branches of a tall tree. Gazing out over the horizon, Robert sees in the distance a familiar scene – his own city and neighborhood and realizes, while their is no hole in reality, he does have a seemingly insurmountable problem. I don’t want to give away too much with this one, because it is just so AWESOME! Excellent writing, excellent plotting, tense and exciting! EL, MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cross, Gillian The Nightmare Game, 277 p. Dutton (Penguin), 2007. Hope has been reunited with her body, but she is still one of the tiny people trying to survive in a hole in the ground. Robert and Emma desperately want to rescue Hope, or at least help her survive the coming winter. Hope’s mother and brother have other plans and Tom has been granted special powers by a mysterious old man that have something to do with the entire mystery. While I am disappointed in the game part of this trilogy, I can’t deny the power of the tale. The history between Hope and her father is very compelling. I can only hope the Ms. Cross had a better explanation for the whole thing in her original manuscript and someone along the way made her cut it down, because it feels like about 50 pages is missing. MS – ADVISABLE (buy the entire trilogy)

Cross, Shauna Derby Girl, 234 p. Henry Holt, 2007. Bliss Cavendar is suffocating in her small Texas town, living with a mother obsessed with Bliss’ winning a beauty pageant title. Bliss, on the hand wants action, adventure and funky black clothing. During a trip to Austin, Bliss discovers roller derby and will lie any way she can to make the team and compete with her idols. Unfortunately, along with her razor sharp wit, Bliss and her friends have potty mouths. You will want to read this and it will be very popular, but send your students to the public library. NO

Croteau, Marie-Danielle Mr. Gaugin’s Heart, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault; translated by Susan Ouriou. PICTURE BOOK Tundra, 2007. Paul Gaugin’s father died during the family’s journey from Denmark to Peru. Inexplanation his mother tells young Paul that it was his heart tha took him away. In Peru, an older man teaches Paul the skills he needs to express his feelings on canvas, where he makes his first great painting of what may look like a big read ball, but is really his father’s heart. This evocative book is a wonderful lok at the power of art to express emotion and to heal. It is certainly well worth adding to any library collection. Make sure you share this with both your art teachers and your English teachers. There are so amny good picture biographies with which to pair it. EL, MS, HS – ADVISABLE

Crowley, Suzanne The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous. pg. 456, Greenwillow Books. Language-PG, Sexual Content-G, Violence-G. Merilee has her VOE (very ordered existence) and when a poet and his son come to her town, they start to mess up her VOE., This book had a good story but it seemed like it just kept on dragging on and on. It also had a good ending but I wouldn’t add it to my collection unless I could get it for free. ES, MS – OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer- MP

Crum, Shutta Spitting Image 218 p. – Jessie Kay has never known her father and really wants to find the truth. Also, Robert, her best friend, needs new glasses and Jessie causes lots of trouble when she escorts some reporters around her small town, in order to raise money, and the reporters twist all of Jesse’s words, hurting Robert and his family deeply. Jessie is just a little girl with good intentions, who also needds lots of people to help her grow up. Students who like Sharon Creech’s books, will enjoy this one too. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Crutcher, Chris The Sledding Hill, 230 p. – Eddie’s father has died and then less than a month later his best friend Billy is killed in a freak drywall accident. Billy is still around though, trying to get Eddie to listen to him; Eddie has stopped talking all together. It isn’t until the local preacher/English teacher works behind the scenes to ban the required reading in the Really Modern Literature class Eddie is taking that Eddie starts listening carefully – to Billy, to the people around him – and starts hearing what his father had always tried to teach him. Though I have to say that I wasn’t too thrilled with Chris Crutcher writing a book about a Chris Crutcher book, I still liked what the real novel had to say. I am trying to get my 9th grade English teachers to adopt it as a novel, because it covers all of those hot button censorship issues without actually giving anyone something that they could point at and say “This is BAD”. MS, HS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cullen, Lynn Moi and Marie Antoinette PICTURE BOOK Bloomsbury – Through the eyes of her pug dog, we see young Maria Antoinette grow from a carefree child into the Queen of France, just before the French Revolution. The storybook illustrations give the subject kind of a Cinderella feel. The events of the French Revolution are mentioned in an afterword, but not dwelt upon. I don’t know if this is a subject that elementary schools study, but the pretty pictures and the beautiful dresses will delight young girls. EL-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cummings, John Michael The Night I Freed John Brown, 251 p. Philomel (Penguin), 2008. Language: R (175+ swears!). Josh hates his town, he hates his home and he hates his father – though he tries so hard to please him. He knows his family used to live in a gorgeous old home and can’t understand why they now live in a falling down shack wedged between the church on one side and a replica of the old family home on the other. Plus, there are way too many tourists in Harper’s Ferry, who just come to gawk at the town and its historically infamous resident John Brown. John’s father is so angry at the world that every sentence he utters contains a swear word – I am not kidding. I got so tired of being sworn at that I could hardly see the message for the medium. When all is said and done, the message isn’t strong enough, nor compelling enough to overshadow the swearing. NO.

Cummings, Priscilla Red Kayak 209 p. – Brady Parks helps rescue a young boy who was lost when the kayak his mother was paddling went down in rough waters. When the boy dies he is deeply disturb and it doesn’t help that his best friends aren’t being too friendly. Remembering a conversation from months ago, Brady has his suspicions, but it isn’t until he finds the drill with the flecks of red paint, that Brady has to make some big choices. Excellent!! MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cummings, Priscilla Saving Grace 238 p. – Grace and her brother take turns eating so that the little ones won’t starve. When the family is turned on to the street for not paying rent, the children are sent to an orphanage until their parents can get on their feet again. Grace is invited to spend the holidays at a warm, loving house, where she is very much wanted and given more things than she has seen in her entire life. When her family leaves Depression era New York to live with relatives in Ohio, Grace has to decide where she wants to be. A good look at the hard decisions during the Great Depression. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cunnane, Kelly For You are a Kenyan Child, PICTURE BOOK- A Kenyan boy is supposed to be watching his grandfather’s cattle, but gets caught up in visiting friends and seeing sites all over his small village. A good book for a quick introduction to life in Kenya in a small village. By the end of the reading, your students will know at least two words in the language. I really like the quality of the illustrations. EL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Curley, Marianne The Key, 413 p. – Third of the Guardians of Time trilogy. The Nine are just about in place for the final battle against Lathenia and her plans for destruction. Matt, the prophesied King, is full of self doubt. Rochelle’s gifts make her a valuable asset, but also turn her into a tool and a target. All of the members of the Nine have more than their fair share of weaknesses to overcome and the revelation of the traitor in their midst is more shocking than anything. While I always enjoy reading the end of a trilogy, this one dsatisfied and disappointed in equal measure. There are so many characters that the author tries to flesh out and make important, that each character feels like their story has been rushed and there really isn’t any time left for plot. It is the last book in the series, though, so if you have the others you will need to get it. I wish that this were the third in a quartet, instead, so that the plot received the attention that it actually deserves. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Curry, Jane Black Canary, 279 p. – 12 year old James and his father are in London for the summer while his mother travels with her performance group. The first night there, James follows a mysterious sound to the basement where he finds a misty spot floating in mid-air – a portal to London of yore. Once back there, James is taken by the Children of the Chapel Royal, a performance group for Queen Elizabeth. James is allowed almost no time to himself and he is afraid that he will never find his way back to his own time – the RIGHT time, because the doorway doesn’t stay stable on either end. Thoguh well-written, this book will be of most interest to younger students. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Curtis, Christopher Paul Bucking the Sarge 259 p. – Luther T. Farrel has worked for his mom as chauffer, house boss and cleanup man since he was 13 – doing other odd jobs for her ever since he could remember. His slum lord mother has always promised Luther a free ride to college with all the money that he has earned working for her. One day, in a fit of pique, Luther discovers a secret safety deposit box key. Opening it, he discovers that his mother has not saved one penny for his education, among other secrets his mother tried to keep from him.. Now Luther has four days to decide what to do with his knowledge. Coming from my white middle class background, I have a hard time believing the circumstances that may have spawned this knowledge. But that doesn’t stop the story from being interesting. Teenage boy sex talk should keep this out of younger hands. MS, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Cuyler, Margery Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler, illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa, PICTURE BOOK Simon and Schuster – David isn’t so sure that he wants to do five acts of kindness in order to make up for his bad behavior in class. But as the other kids report back on their success and excitement, David starts to realize that “a slice of nice” does make “a mile of smiles” and joins in whole heartedly as the entire class works its way towards 100 acts of kindness. The brightly colored acrylic illustrations will catch children’s attention as they read or have read to them this book with its simple object lesson that is also so appropriate. EL – ADVISABLE

Cuyler, Margery That’s Good! That’s Bad! In Washington, DC PICTURE BOOK Henry Holt, 2007. The That’s Good! That’s Bad! Series head off to our nation’s capital, where it falls flat on its face. I you have ever been to DC or live in DC, this will probably give you a headache. The Good! Bad! Statements make little sense and the boy and his fieldtrip are all over the place – for example, he climbs up the steps to the Lincoln Memorial, but he then falls down the steps in the Washington Monument. They drive all the way out to Arlington National Cemetery and then come right back to where they originally were to visit Jefferson. A slap dash job that doesn’t work well. EL-NO

Cyrus, Kurt Tadpole Rex 36 p. Harcourt, Inc. PICTURE BOOK. A tiny polliwog grows into a tadpole then a spirited frog amid dinosaurs in a marshy swamp. At the end of the story the dinosaurs are extinct, leaving the frogs to survive them. The poetic text, written in different colors, and the luscious, colorful illustrations create a delightful world that dinosaur fans will treasure. Grades K-4 – ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Debbie Herget, Elementary Library-Teacher

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