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Pre2006 Reviews – E and F

Earnst, Kathleen, Danger at the Zoo, 171 p. American Girl. Language G, Violence – none; Kit is a reporter looking for news for a kids column. While looking for an interesting subject, she gets tangled up with a mystery at the zoo. Something fishy is up… what is going on? EL – OPTIONAL Student Reviewer: SL

Easton, Kelly Afterschock, 165 p. Simon Schuster – Adam is the only survivor of a terrible crash. Shell-shocked, he makes his way on foot towards his home, with detours along the way – confronting friendship, suspicion, violence and acceptance If you can ignore the huge flaw in the author’s logic, this is a pretty good book. Unfortunately, inappropriate situations, large amounts of swearing and liberal us of “f”, make this book inappropriate for schools. NO

Easton, Kelly Hiroshima Dreams, 198 p. Penguin – Language: PG-13, Sexual Content: G, Violence: G – Lin inherits her grandmother’s gift of seeing. She must learn to cope with her shyness and her family’s struggles.(Her grandmother coming from Japan and how her mother despises her early childhood) As she grows up, she learns many important things as her grandmother’s health steadily decreases until she must deal with the most tragic event of all. Since I am really into Japanese stuff, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would have liked it better if Lin’s sister hadn’t used some bad language, but it wasn’ t too bad. It is very interesting, I couldn’t put it down! MS – ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: KH

Easton, Kelly White Magic: Spells To Hold You. 193 Pages. Wendy Lamb Books. Language – PG-13 (O=21); Sexual Content – PG-13; Violence – G; Chrissie just moved to California from Vermont, her mom is going to be married to a guy she hates, and she has absolutely no friends. How is a girl going to survive? Out of nowhere on a walk to get away from everyone, she’s pulled inside a house with a witchcraft sign on the outside. Pulled into a world of friendship and magic, Chrissie may find exactly what she was looking for. White Magic is a great story of change and friendship, but not good enough to rank with the best. MS-OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: KH

Edens, Cooper (Compiler) Tales from the Brothers Grimm, 142 p. Chronicle Books, 2007. Cooper Edens has merged classis illustrations (1948 is the most recent) with classic versions of our favorite Grimm Fairy tales. In fact, I recognized many of the pictures from version I have read over the years. And he has kindly included the acknowledgments for every picture in a handy, easy to read list in the back of the book. So this is a perfect edition to buy to replace a tattered Grimm, to open a new library, or to buy for a favored child. EL, MS – ADVISABLE

Edwards, Jo Go Figure, 271 p., c. 2007. Go Figure is about a teenage girl named Ryan who is having trouble with her weight. Her ex-boyfriend is now a famous star and the new teen sensation. He is far away, but keeps in touch occasionally via email. This book follows the life of Ryan as she struggles with her looks, and her love life. Personally, reading this book was very offensive as far as the language goes. I didn’t have to read more than fifty pages to know that it wasn’t very clean. Almost every page had some kind of swear word, or dirty language written. If you don’t mind those things, then you’d probably enjoy this book very much. MS, HS-OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: JH

Edwards, Pamela Duncan The Bus Ride That Changed History: The Story of Rosa Parks, illustrated by Danny Shanahan. Sandpiper (Houghton), 2005 (paperback 2009). $6.99. PICTURE BOOK. In the style of “This is the House that Jack Built,” follow the journey of Rosa Parks as she decides not to stand up to make room for a white man on her bus. EL -OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher

Eeckhout, Emmanuelle There’s no Such Thing as Ghosts! Kane/Miller, 2008. PICTURE BOOK. A little boy moves into a neighborhood with a supposed haunted house and is determined to prove that there is no such thing as ghosts. He makes a determined search of every square inch and marches away confident in his pronouncement. What he doesn’t see, however, is the audience that he had every step of the way. The stalwartness of the boy’s attitude is a nice counterpoint to the antics of the friendly spirits every step of the way. Younger children will have a good laugh at his expense. EL – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Ehlert, Lois Oodles of Animals PICTURE BOOK Harcourt, Inc., 2008. The engaging illustrations are collages of colored paper. They are bright and big and downright cute. The book is a natural invitation to the readers to create their own favorite animals with bits of paper. Younger children may have fun guessing what the animal is. It is too bad that some of the little verses that accompany the art are awkward or forced: “Porcupine quills flick, and to you they will stick.” PK-K – ADVISABLE. REVIEWER: SH

Ehrenhaft, Daniel Tell it to Naomi 200 p. – At the encouragement of his older sister, Dave takes on the job of advice columnist for his high school paper. The newspaper advisor, though, thinks that the sister is writing the advice. When his sister starts taking credit for the column, Dave decides that it is time to step forward and tell the truth. Though a cute book, I couldn’t overlook the swearing enough to recommend this for purchase. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Ehrenhaft, Daniel The After Life p. Penguin – After 18 years, Will finally meets his father and his twin step brother and sister at a drunken, drug-using party. And the next day Will finds out that his father is dead – OD’d. Will scraps together the money to fly to the funeral in Florida and then finds out that he can inheroit two million dollars if he will just drive his father’s car back to New York. One problem – Will can’t drive. For reasons of their own, Will siblings decide to help him make the trip and I have spent way too much time summarizing a book that I didn’t even like. Well, I like a few pages, but the rest of it is just a screen of drugs, alcohol and swearing and I have no idea why Will is such a messed up rebel in the first place. Run far and fast away from this title. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Ehrlich, Amy The Girl Who Wanted to Dance, 40 pgs. Candlewick Press, 2009. Language-G, Sexual Content-G; Violence-G; Clara likes to dance a lot. When she sees a group of dancers she can’t help but be drawn to them. She even follows their wagon. When she is with the dancers she fills very much welcome there and doesn’t want to go home. She finds a surprise there that changes her forever. This was a pretty good book. It was not one of my favorites though. I found it a little bit hard to follow. I did like the plot line very much though. The pictures in this book were very beautiful. I enjoyed looking at them. EM-ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: MB

Ehrlich, Amy Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson, illustrated by Wendell Minor. Harcourt, 2003 (paperback, 2008). PICTURE BOOK. Before Rachel Carson wrote her ground-breaking book Silent Spring, she was a daughter, a student, a scientist and a profound observer of nature. This quick, simple book explores the different stages of Carson’s life, the building blocks to the book that spawned the modern environmental movement. EL – ADVISABLE

Einhorn, Edward Paradox in OZ 237 p. – The land of Oz has started to age. Ozma must recruit a Parrot-ox to help her travel back through time to find out the cause of the problem. Along the way she alters Oz’s future almost irreparably and learns more about herself. At least was well-written as the original Oz series, if not better. I don’t know if new readers will pick it up or not, but Oz fans will enjoy it. MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Elliott, L.M. Annie Between the States, 457 p. – On her family’s plantation in Virginia, Annie is in the middle of the conflicts of the Civil War. They tend wounded soldiers on both sides and work with their slaves to keep the home going. Though Annie is loyal to the Confederate cause, a certain Yankee catches her eye and complicates matters. This is much more than a love story or a war story. Good and bad perpetrated by both sides are illuminated. MS, HS – ADVISABLE

Elliott, Patricia Murkmere, 344 p. – Aggie has accepted a position of companion to the ward of the local Lord. Raised in a world ruled by the Ministration and the Lord Protector, Aggie is shocked to learn the revolutionary leanings of her master and his ward. But Leah’s secret and the other secrets run much deeper than a mere revolution. A little dark, a little weird, unfortunately not as enchanting as, say, Mercedes Lackey’s Black Swan. MS- OPTIONAL

Ellis, Deborah Jackal in the Garden: And Encounter with Bihzad, 179 p. Watson-Guptill – Language: G, Sexual Content: PG, Violence: G – Anubis was abandoned in the desert to be eaten by jackals when she was born deformed and ugly, something that her unknowing father and his harem would not accept. But her mother forced her to be taken back in and raised in secret. But years later, when her mother is killed in a bout of violence from her father, Anubis gains her revenge and kills him, then running away into the desert. She finds her way to the city, and after being ridiculed by many for her appearance, she is taken in by the gentle artist, Bihzad, who teaches her about friendship and accepting herself. This was a very well-written book, with amazing characters that had a lot of depth and personality to them. It had a good balance of exciting action but also some more pensive chapters as Anubis starts to think more about the world, and how things really are. It was interesting due to the fact that the artist Bihzad and his life were included. It also contained an interesting message about beauty and ugliness, and how we see ourselves. I really enjoyed this and would gladly read it again and again. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: KR

Ellis, Deborah Mud City – The third book in Ellis’ series about Afghan refugees. Shauzia had been living in a refugee camp for months. Now she has headed in to Peshwar, Pakistan to see if she can make the money she needs to head for France. A very gritty look at what war does to “displaced” persons. MS-ADVISABLE Groundwood Books 0888995180.

Ellis, LaRene R Stones’ Quest- In Search of its Master, Pages- 489, Publisher-Gathering Place Publishers, Language- PG Sexual Content- G Violence- PG Ghonllier is the best commander the I-Force Fleet has ever seen. He is fighting against the evil Suzair the Great and the KOGN forces. Ghonllier is doing just fine with his son Sooner, but still grieving about the loss of his wife, Jenny, whose ship was destroyed by Suzair the Great, until his ship rescues a young boy who in his pocket he carries without knowing a secret that will change Ghonllier forever and help him save the galaxy. This book was amazing it left me wanting way more and I am very excited for the next books to come. MS, HS- ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: AN

Elschner, Geraldine Max’s Magic Seeds, with pictures by Jean-Pierre Corderoch PICTURE BOOK Penguin, 2007. Max’s favorite uncle gives him a large bag of seeds for his birthday and tells Max to scatter them secretly all around the town. When the flowers bloom, people are excited and pleased with the results. A book for children

with bright illustrations. EL – OPTIONAL

Elya, Susan Middleton Bebe Goes Shopping 32 p. Harcourt, Inc. PICTURE BOOK. Bebe accompanies his mother to the grocery store where he selects enticing items from the shelves while she is distracted with her shopping. The text has a bouncy rhythm to it and features words in Spanish with a glossary at the back to assist with pronunciation and meaning. The illustrations are colorful but busy. Good selection for bilingual students or students who speak English only. Grades K-1 OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Debbie Herget, Elementary Library-Teacher

Elya, Susan Middleton Bebe Goes to the Beach, illustrated by Steven Salerno PICTURE BOOOK Harcourt, Inc. Mama takes Bebe to the beach in this little tale full of rhymes and rhythm. What makes this book different is the plethora of Spanish words sprinkled into the text. Most are nouns and even without knowing Spanish, it is easy to translate from context as you read the story. At the end, to help you out, there is a glossary. The colorful illustrations show so much happening on the beach that they will give the reader plenty to look at. EL (PK-1) – ADVISABLE. REVIEWER: SH

Ensor, Barbara Thumbelina, Tiny Runaway Bride. PG. 142: Schwartz and Wade Books. Language-G, Sexual Content-G, Violence-G. This book is the basic story of Thumbelina. She encounters many troubles, but in the end there is a twist to the story. This is a cute book that is great for beginning readers. I liked this book because it was well written and the twist in the ending was great. ES – OPTIONAL, Student Reviewer-MP

Enthoven, Sam The Black Tattoo – Rating: PG-13 – Jack and Charlie are best friends. But when Charlie’s dad leaves him and his mom, Charlie makes some stupid decisions. Being possessed by a powerful demon, Charlie is capable of the impossible. Will Jack be able to convince Charlie in time that he’s being stupid? I was captivated by this book! I couldn’t put it down! I recommend this book to all librarians! MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: LH

Enthoven, Sam Tim, Defender of the Earth, 282, The Penguin Group, 2008. Language: PG-13, Sexual Content: G, Violence: PG. Tim, Defender of the Earth is a dinosaur. Well… kinda. Technically, he is a genetically engineered T-rex. Which is awesome in and of itself. The book follows Tim and Chris as they attempt to stop a judgmentally impaired scientist from turning everybody and everything into nanobots. Chris isn’t your usually hero. He doesn’t want anything to do with Tim or the monster destroying London and it doesn’t really help that he shares a telepathic link with Tim. I adored this book. I love dinosaurs and I thought it was awesome to seethe world from the viewpoint of one. I related to Chris who just wanted to be liked by the popular kids and stay away from anything that is seen as hazardous to health and reputation (like sitting in front of millions of people in one’s boxers.) MS – ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: MR

Erickson, John R. Discovery at Flint Springs, 153 p. – Riley McDaniels leads a quiet life onthe ranch with his mother, brother and grandfather untila family friend brings an archeologist taround and ancient ruins are discovered. Uncovering ruins also brings thieves and a lot of hard work. A solid story with excellent information on archeological digs. El, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Ericsson, Jennifer A. A Piece of Chalk, illustrations by Michelle Shapiro. PICTURE BOOK. Roaring Brook, 2007. A little girl has a brand new box of colored chalk. Out on her driveway, she proceeds to draw exactly what she sees. When a sudden, short rain shower comes and smears her work, she has to think quickly in order to still enjoy her afternoon’s work. The chalk-like illustrations are cutesy, but I was disappointed that the girl spent so much time drawing everything that she could see, instead of using her imagination sooner. EL – OPTIONAL

Ernst, Kathleen Hearts of Stone 248 p. Penguin – First Hannah’s father dies as he fights with the Yankees during the Civil War. Now, her mother is dead after being brutalized by bushwhackers. Hannah decides to take her brother and young twin sisters on a perilous journey to Nashville, hoping to find their aunt. But nothing seems to go right in their young lives, especially after Hannah’s best friend Ben, does something that seems to break their friendship forever. Another look at a different dimension of the Civil War that is well-written and will fit well into most collections. El, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Esckilsen, Erik Offsides, 172 p. – As a Native American, Tom has always lived on and played for the reservation’s soccer team. That is until his mother moves them to the district of his biggest rivals. The rivals whose mascot is an “Indian” warrior. The rivals with the coach who has a big chip on his shoulder, who is sure that he can bend Tom to his will. As soccer season approaches, Tom finds his own ragtag team to play with, but a bet with the coach may find him playing out the season as a dreaded Warrior. Not a bad soccer book. It’s too bad that the soccer coach is so one dimensional. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Ewing, Lynn Barbarian 264 p.; Escape 254 p. – First two books in the Sons of the Dark series. Obie and his roommates have escaped from the evil Nefandus people and are trying to live in modern L.A. All of them were originally snatched from different time periods in earth’s history and taken to another dimension where they were made immortally young and into slaves, or servi. They all have the power to travel on shadow. Obie, Kyle, Berto and Sam are prophecies as the Four, who will end Nefandus’ cruelty, but other servi are in league with the Nefandus, trying to prevent the Four from banding together. Certain to be a series to catch the eye of a small but loyal dark readership. The writing is not excellent, but for students who like the dark side of magic and power, these will strike the right note. I just hope they come out in paperback soon. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Faber, David Because of Romek, 199 p. – David Faber was just twelve when his family tried to flee from Hitler’s invasion of Poland. After seeing all of his family members die in various circumstances, David is shuttled between various concentration camps, desperate to keep his promise to his mother to survive this evil and find his sister Rachel who much earlier immigrated to England. This is a true recounting of Mr. Faber’s life. It is gruesome and disturbing and necessary to read. It is stark and doesn’t pull its punches. I found myself gasping several times and on the verge of tears. Mr. Faber is coming to visit my school this summer and I am afraid that I am going to burst into tears when I meet him. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Falconer, Ian Olivia: The Essential Latin Edition, translated by Amy High PICTURE BOOK Atheneum (Simon and Schuster), 2007. Our good piggy friend Olivia has been translated into Latin. At first I thought what a silly idea it was, but I have already thought of two people I know who really need to see this book. More than just a novelty, especially if your school really does teach Latin. EL, MS, HS – ADVISABLE

Farris, Christine King March On! The day my brother Martin changed the world, illustrated by London Ladd. Scholastic, September 2008. Martin Luther King Jr.’s sister recounts the day of the March on Washington and her brother’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The book reads more like a non-fiction text for a young audience, with lots of text on every page. Except for adding colored pictures (drawings, not photographs), there isn’t much here that isn’t already in a history text on the March. Had it used actual photos, I would actually find it more necessary for an elementary classroom. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Farmer, Nancy 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

Farmer, Nancy The Land of the Silver Apples, 482 p. Atheneum (Simon), 2007. Jack’s little sister disrupts the midwinter fire-lighting ceremony by insisting that she is a princess and everyone should worship her. The family takes her on a pilgrimage to the monastery, but then the girl is stolen away by an entrapped elvish woman. Jack and a couple of companions must brave the world of hobgoblins and elves and other dangerous creatures to rescue his sister and return the water to the land. As much as I enjoyed the first tale, this one is harder to stomach until we finally get rid of the whining little sister; then the adventure can really start! EL, MS – ADVISABLE

Farmer, Nancy The Sea of Trolls, 450 p. – Jack and his little, spoiled, sister Lucy are kidnapped by Vikings. In order to save Lucy’s life, Jack takes on the quest of invading the home of the trolls. Very good, and in parts extremely funny. It reads much faster that the # of pages would have you believe. Even upper elementary students will be able to access this one. EL, MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Farris, Christine King March On! The day my brother Martin changed the world, illustrated by London Ladd. Scholastic, September 2008. Martin Luther King Jr.’s sister recounts the day of the March on Washington and her brother’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The book reads more like a non-fiction text for a young audience, with lots of text on every page. Except for adding colored pictures (drawings, not photographs), there isn’t much here that isn’t already in a history text on the March. Had it used actual photos, I would actually find it more necessary for an elementary classroom. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Feinstein, John Last Shot, 251 p. – Steven has won a press pass for the NCAA final four basketball tournament. Along with the other 8th grade winner, Susan Carol, he explores the world of sports reporting. But, the two teens also get caught up in what sounds to be a point shaving scheme involving one of the best college basketball players of the season, putting all of their lives in danger. Not so much a basketball book, but enough intrigue and ball playing to satisfy those who will pick it up just for the cover. MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Feist, Raymond Talon of the Silver Hawk – Talon’s people have all been killed, except for him. Rescued and nursed back to health by a magic user, Talon is molded into a weapon to be used against the enemies of Midkemia, as the great evil continues to try to find a hold upon the world. If you have the rest of the series, definitely get this one; if you don’t have the rest of the series, go back and buy the rest of them now. There are sexual relationships, but no sexual descriptions, so if you are in a MS, read it before you buy it. MS-ADVISABLE; HS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fensham, Elizabeth Helicopter Man, 159 p. – Vic and his father have been on the run since about the time Vic’s mother left or died – Vic is unsure which. They live wherever they possibly can – always hiding from the helicopters that Vic’s father hears. Then their safe place is discovered, the people they then hide with under a bridge turn them into the cops, Vic’s father is hospitalized and Vic is put into a foster home. As his life takes on a calm pattern, Vic realizes that his father is badly in need of help – that he has a problem that Vic can’t fix. The author wrote this book from the point of view of a child living with a schizophrenic parent. I had to read through the book twice in order to really get a feel for it. I don’t know if that bodes well for its success with students or not. I would wait for this one in paperback. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Ferguson, Alane The Christopher Killer, 274 p. Penguin – Cameryn is determined to follow in her coroner father’s footsteps. After he takes her on as his assistant, however, their second assignment leads her straight into a murder, and the victim is one of her best friends. A TV psychic claims to have predicted the murder and brings swarms of publicity into the little town of Silverton, CO. Cameryn may find herself to be the murderer’s next victim. The forensic scenes (two bodies and an autopsy) are graphic without crossing into voyeuristic. I wouldn’t put this in a 6,7,8 school, but it will probably fly in a 8,9 school. MS-ADVSIABLE, HS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Ferraro, Tina Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, 223 p. Delacorte (Random) – Last spring, Nicolette was asked to the prom and then rejected, when the guy’s former girlfriend came back to town. Now its time for the homecoming dance and Nic is still trying to figure out what to do with that perfect dress. Rascal, the prom guy, seems to suddenly be re-interested; Jared, her best friend’s brother, seems to be more interesting than ever before. And she still has to deal with problems at home. Nic has no idea where all of this is going to take her. Fun, cute and light – a couple of swear words makes it PG, instead of the G it could have been. Perfect for the Meg Cabot crowd. MS – ADVISABLE

Ferris, Jean Twice Upon a Marigold, 297 p. Harcourt, 2008. Christian and Marigold have been happily married for about a year, when rumors of the reappearance of evil Queen Olympia start circulating. And unexpectedly, dissension begins to enters the newlyweds’ happy lives. Unfortunately, Queen Olympia really is alive and her return to to power causes upheaval and danger for everyone at both castles. Only some very tricky thinking, stealthiness and fast work will save some lives and two kingdoms’ happiness. It’s been quite awhile since the first book in this series was published, but I am so glad that Ms. Ferris waited until she had a solid story to share. This is definitely the sweeter side of fantasy and very enjoyable. EL, MS – ADVISABLE

Ferris, Jean Underground, 164 p. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. Charlotte, 16, has been sold to a new master who owns Mammoth Caves in Kentucky. As long as they work hard and mind their business, the slaves are treated well and left alone to do their jobs. Stephen is another slave at the caves, who has created a name for himself exploring and discovering fantastic new site inside the caves. Charlotte wants nothing to do with the caves, but is coaxed inside when Stephen promises to secretly teach her to read. Then a desperate slave arrives, with determined hunters behind her and Charlotte has to decide whether it is time for her to also run for freedom. Except for the part about runaway slaves, most of the people and events in the novel are based on the truth, so it could be considered historical fiction. That being said, this would be a good optional choice for a large collection or for a school that has a yearly historical fiction assignment. EL, MS – OPTIONAL

Fiedler, Lisa Romeo’s Ex: Rosaline’s Story Henry Holt, 246 p. – Rosaline is too smart for Romeo and she recognizes that he is just a distraction. However, she has to standby and watch as her cousin Juliet falls head over heels in lust for the young man, and Rosaline herself finds that she actually has feelings for Benvolio. Both of them are powerless to stop the madness as two Verona families are headed towards tragedy. An awesome look at Romeo and Juliet from the outside! I especially love it when she calls the two lovers “…two beautiful, impetuous idiots…” MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fienberg, Anna Number 8, 275 p. Penguin – Rating – PG13 – Jackson suffers with OCD. He is obsessed with numbers. Now he and his mother are hiding from gangsters who want to kill them. Everything changes when Esmeralda an aspiring singer and his girlfriend gets kidnapped by the gangsters. This book was very dull until the end. I had a hard time finishing it and it swore when it didn’t need to. I did get more informed about OCD though. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: MS

Findlay, Jamieson The Blue Roan Child, 252 p. – Syeira, an orphan working in the king’s stables, becomes attached to a wild horse. When the horse’s twin colts are stolen by a ruthless man, Syeira and the Blue Roan set out to rescue them. Though the book was a bit hard to get into, the end is very exciting and I am glad I made the effort. Long paragraphs and tight formatting make the may turn off lower level readers. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Findlay, Jamieson The Blue Roan Child, 252 p. – Syeira, an orphan working in the king’s stables, becomes attached to a wild horse. When the horse’s twin colts are stolen by a ruthless man, Syeira and the Blue Roan set out to rescue them. Though the book was a bit hard to get into, the end is very exciting and I am glad I made the effort. Long paragraphs and tight formatting make the may turn off lower level readers. EL, MS – OPTIONAL

Findon, Joanne When Night Eats Moon – As Holly practices her recorder in her aunt’s old barn, she is drawn through a doorway to the Iron Age, when the original peoples of Great Britain are about to be overrun by the Celts. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Finn, Katie Top 8, 320 p. Point (Scholastic), 2008. Content: G. $8.99. While Megan MacDonald was away for Spring Break, someone hacked into her Friendverse account, said terrible things to all of her friends and broke up with her boyfriend via messages! Now she’s back and she has to pick up the pieces of her life, reconcile with her friends, placate her acquaintances and find out who did the dastardly deed. Of course, Megan did really say those things behind people’s backs, but who would hate Megan enough to tell everyone? Megan has some things to learn about herself while she’s solving her mystery. While Megan’s experience on the internet is kind of a sanitized version of cyberbullying, it certainly makes several good points. Especially about not talking behind people’s backs. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Fisher, Catherine Corbenic, 281 p. Harper – Language PG13 -R (14-h, 1-d, 1-b all were used not in a bad way except B), Sexual Content G, Violence PG. When Cal got off at the wrong stop and lands in a waste town named Corbenic, mysterious things start to happen to a point where he can’t tell fact from fiction. Now he has to solve the mystery of the bleeding spear and the cup that only he saw. This book was really good. It grabbed my attention and you can almost feel what he is feeling. This is one book that I could not put down, because of the mystery and the great cliffhangers. I loved it but it had tons of swear words. Even with all of the swearing, it was such a good book that if you are mature enough you will be fine reading it. plus the writer only used them as a way to describe how Cal felt when something bad happened like getting off the wrong train station. MS- ADVISABLE Student Reviewer CJ

Fisher, Catherine Darkhenge, 340 p. – Three months earlier Rob’s younger sister was knocked off her horse and she fell into a coma. Now Rob sees a mysterious man be “born” straight from ground during the chanting of a bunch of New Age druids. The stranger, Vetch, promises Rob that he can rescue Chloe, who is being held prisoner in Annwyn. Together they must climb down the sacred tree and solve the riddles to find her. I really enjoyed this book a lot UNTIL I realized that Chloe is just a spoiled little girl who is pitching a fit about not getting enough attention – even though her brother has come to hell to save her. For that I am reducing my recommendation. EL, MS-PAPERBACK. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fisher, Catherine Snow-Walker, 507 p. – Jessa and Thorkil have been raised to believe that Kari, the Jarl’s only son, was born a hideous monster. Now they are being exiled to the permanent-frozen wastes that are called Kari’s home. They know that Kari’s mother, Gudrun, is a powerful sorceress who can make them believe anything. Finally! Something I can be positive about today. A good piece of fantasy. It reads like a fairy tale. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fisher, Catherine The Oracle Betrayed 341 p. – Mirany is one of the Nine – the servants of the Oracle of the God. When the old oracle is sacrificed ina plea for water, Mirany is told by the God that he is ebing betrayed, by his own Speaker, who has a plot to take control. Mirany must find a few people to trust with her news, rescue the new host of the God and keep the plotters from taking power. Good stuff here, a sequel is forthcoming. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fisher, Catherine The Sphere of Secrets, 370 p. – Book Two of the Oracle of the Prophecies. Alexos is now Archon and Mirany is still the Bearer of the Oracle. But Argelin has neutralized them all by playing to their weaknesses. Then Alexos decides to make the ancient pilgrimage to the Well of Songs to restore water to the thirsty country. One of his companions has pledged to kill him, one is still a drunk and one is a thief lord determined to make a profit on the journey. And those are only the human threats to the expedition. I enjoyed this one as much as I did the first. If you have Will Nicholson’s books, your students will also enjoy these. MS- ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fisher, Jude Sorcery Rising and Wild Magic – Not worth your time. This author has a fixation with sex and sex driven plots. As a fantasy novel, there is nothing interesting about it, nor is there really anything in it worth calling fantasy. NO at any age. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fisk, Pauline Midnight Blue – Bonnie and her mother are trying to live on their own, but her domineering Grandmother (think “Mommie Dearest”) is coming back to take control. Bonnie escapes her misery by taking a trip in a hot air balloon, where she lands in a foreign world, where people who look just like her family are living a perfect life. This is a book that needs to be read again to appreciate its depth. It is worth the effort. HS, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fisk, Pauline The Red Judge, 201 p. – Rebellious “Zed” does something completely foolish that almost costs his sister her life. Now he has been banished to an old Scottish cottage in a tiny village to keep him out of his mother and stepfather’s way. There, in his grandmother’s former home, with only his child-like uncle for company, he must come to terms with who he is and what he has done. I know this sounds really promising, but it just falls flat on its face. When the supernatural stuff started happening, I was taken by surprise (and not in a good way). The book just does not hang together well. And besides that, even though Zed has a bad attitude, I don’t understand why he got the blame for what his sister did or what happened to her, except that he is also always the scapegoat. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fitz-Gibbon, Sally Lizzie’s Storm, 59 p. – When Lizzie’s parents die, she moves from a pampered life in England to the back-breaking work on the American frontier. It takes a terrible prairie storm for Lizzie to learn the value of her new family and to discover her courage. Lots of great descriptions of life on the prairie, but nothing that can’t be found in the Little House books also. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fitzgerald, Dawn Getting in the Game, 136 p. – Joanna loves playing hockey and is determined to make the boys’ team, because there are no more girls’ teams at her level. The boys on the team are against her presence and even her best friend Ben is not happy to have her along. But Joanna is determined to make it at the ice and at school. This pairs well with My 13th Season by Kristi Roberts. You read books like these and wonder while society STILL doesn’t seem to want to let someone do what they are good at. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Flaherty, A.W. The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster: A Tale of Picky Eating, illustrated by Scott Magoon. PICTURE BOOK Houghton Mifflin, 2007. A little girl leaves on a long trip to visit her grandmother in Scotland. Along the way, she keeps throwing her breakfast oatmeal overboard, which attracts the attention and appetite of a fast-growing sea worm, who follows her all the way to Loch Ness. This whimsical look at the origins of the Loch Ness monster and the importance of eating your oatmeal is fun to read for a younger audience. EL – ADVISABLE

Flake, Sharon Bang, 298 p. – Young boys are being shot to death at an alarming rate in Mann’s poor neighborhood – including Mann’s little brother. In order to toughen him up, Mann’s dad kicks Mann and his best friend Kee-lee out onto the streets, against the wishes of Mann’s mother. There the boys find their way in to deep trouble and Mann is the only one who slowly, very slowly, finds his way back out. This is an ugly, gritty book about an ugly, gritty life that there is too much of in our world. Life in the inner cities is just unfathomable for my suburban students, but reading this along with other books like “Monster” give them a look inside. Well written without excessive use of in your face language or graphic scense. In fact, I don’t remember the use of one swear word, but don’t hold me to that. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Flanagan, John Ruins of Gorlan, 249 p. – An orphan of the keep, Will is taken by the local ranger as his apprentice, even though his heart is set on being a warrior. As he learns the ranger skills, Will discovers that brut strength is not the only way to save a country. Great stuff! A perfect boy book. Much more intrigue and excitement than magic, so it strikes a happy medium. I am definitely looking forward to the next installment. EL, MS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Flanagan, John Sorcerer of the North (Ranger’s Apprentice #5), 295 p. Random House, 2008. Content: G. Will has graduated from apprentice status and is ready to take up his first assignment as a full-fledged ranger. Less than a month after his arrival, he must single-handedly save the slack castle garrison from being raided by Skandians. Soon after, Will must leave his post and take on a very dangerous undercover mission. Not only is his life in danger, but so is Alyss’. Dang it! Flanagan has written another half book! Personally, I am a little tired of this type of story division. Obviously I am going to have to wait for book number six to come out, but if there is a number 7, I hope that it is a full story on it sown and not just a 3000 page teaser for book #8. This type of series telling gets tiresome. It’s a good thing Flanagan is such a good storyteller that his books are worth the wait. Give me MORE next time! EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Reviewer – Cindy, Library-Teacher

Fleischman, Paul Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal, illustrated by Julia Pashkis PICTURE BOOK Henry Holt, 2007. Gouache illustrations. In celebration on the myriad Cinderella tales from around the world, author and illustrator weave together 17 stories into a coherent whole. Each piece is identified by country, but in a way that lets the narrative flow. Perfect at any level – in Geography class, Language Arts and Writing. EL, MS, Hs – ESSENTIAL

Fleischman, Sid The Giant Rat of Sumatra or Pirates Galore, 191 p. – Young Shipwreck was saved from death at sea by a pirate ship. Now the ship is back in port and the pirate captain is trying to go straight and find his lost love, even though someone else has other plans for the captain. A campy story that is light, fun reading. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fleischman, Sid The White Elephant, 95 p. – As retribution for spraying him with water, a local prince gifts a poor boy with a sacred white elephant – a beast which was never trained to do work and never expected to work – in order to break the boy’s spirit. Instead, the boy and his faithful old elephant teach the young elephant some new tricks. The beginning of the book seemed a little stilted in style to me, but the cadence improved as the story went along. All I can figure is that the author was mimicking in writing, the storyteller’s convention of getting his audience to picture things in their minds. Based on the origins of the phrase “white elephant gift”, but tailored to appeal to a young audience. EL-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fleming, Candace Lowji Discovers America, 146 p. – Lowji and his family have moved to America so that his mother can work for a computer company. Even though the stern old lady owner of the apartment says NO PETS, Lowji has all summer to find the good inside her, make an American friend and maybe borrow a pet or two a long the way. Cute is a good word for this book. You can that Lowji is a charmer. EL – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fletcher, Christine Ten Cents A Dance 354 Pages. Language – PG-13; Sexual Content – PG-13; Violence – PG; To feel the music inside you, pounding through your bloodstream and get paid for it in a time of desperatation. Nothing could possibly be better for Ruby Jackinski. Ruby lives during World War II and works at a “Taxi-dance” hall where men pay a dime a dance. Ruby takes on the financial troubles of her family only to find herself in a position between her family and a less than reputable lover. She has to decide what is more important: the man she loves, her family, or her own happiness. Wow. This book was just…wow. Everything that took place, every description, every word seemed so factual and honest that I was almost convinced Ruby actually existed. Even when I was angry with a character, I was still satisfied with their decisions because they seemed realistic. Ten Cents A Dance was a beautifully written piece, and I look forward to more work from Ms. Fletcher. MS/HS – ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Kaylin Halldorson

Fletcher, Ralph The One O’Clock Chop, 183 p. Henry Holt, 2007 – Matt is ready for a back-breaking summer, working on a clam boat to earn the money for a boat of his own. His is not prepared, however, to fall in love with his beautiful first cousin, who arrives from Hawaii for the summer. The two spend their nights smooching in secret, until another boy comes along and sweeps her off her feet. Now Matt has to pick up the pieces of his heart. Did you catch the fact that this is his FIRST cousin? YUCK! A decent book (OPTIONAL), ruined by a stupid, unnecessary plot point – why did she need to be his cousin? Don’t encourage this kind of writing. Vote no, by not wasting your money on this title. NO

Fletcher, Susan Alphabet of Dreams, 283 p. Simon Schuster – Mitra and her little brother Babak live in poverty in the caves outside a desert city. When a learned man discovers that Babak is able to read people’s dreams, the two try to escape, but are found and taken on a journey to find a newborn King. Susan Fletcher writes beautiful books and I personally enjoyed this unique look at the nativity story; my only worry is that the subject will not excite many readers. I am confused as to the intended audience; I think it would be best marketed to adults or as a Christmas book. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Flinn, Alex Diva, 261 p. – RELEASE: OCTOBER. Caitlin has no desire to try out for the cheerleading squad like her friends want her to and she really wants to get away from her ex-boyfriend who beat her, so she secretly applies for the local Performing Arts High School with her beautiful voice tailored made for opera. Once she blackmails her mother into letting her attend, she has to find a new friends and a new path as she tries to fit in a place where everyone wants to stand out. SOOOO well done! I read so many books about subjects that I know nothing about – and sometimes I just don’t get them. This time, though, even though I am not an opera fan, Ms. Flinn’s writing helped me enjoy the subject despite my personal lack of interest in opera. Readers will be drawn to the title and they will not be disappointed by the experience! MS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Flinn, Alex Fade to Black, 184 p. – Alex Crusan is HIV-positive and his family has moved to a small Florida town where the kids think that you can contract it just by breathing the same air. Alex has a personal tormentor, Clinton, who happens to be the older brother of Alex’s little sister’s only friend. One morning, someone approaches Alex’s car when he’s at a stop light and bashes in the windshield, sending Alex to the hospital with multiple cuts from all of the flying glass. A LD girl thinks that she saw Clinton do it, so Clinton is under investigation. Its amazing how people with HIV are treated, especially teens by other teens. Alex’s mom even tells everyone that Alex got the disease from a transfusion, even though that isn’t the truth. There is a smattering of swear words throughout the book ( no “f”) and a one sentence mention of undershirt groping. Many students should read this book. I think that middle school librarians should read it before they buy it, but all high schools need it right away! HS – ESSENTIAL; MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Flinn, Alex Nothing to Lose, 277 p. – Michael left his home just a year ago and run away to be a carny. Now the carnival is back in his hometown. Now he hears that his mother is in jail, awaiting trial for murdering his stepfather. One of Mike’s friends recognizes him and convinces him to talk to a lawyer. The present day is interspersed with flashbacks to the days leading up to Michael’s run from home. Great, tense, gripping! Consider it for a read aloud for a mature class. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Florian, Douglas Laugh-eteria, 150 p. Harcourt, 1999. This is the soft cover reprint of Florian’s poetry collection. The simple drawings and the funny poems combine for a nice, silly addition to a poetry collection. EL, MS – ADVISABLE

Fogelin, Adrian Sister Spider Knows All 209 p. – Every week Rox struggles through school; every weekend she joins her grandmother at the flea market to earn the money they need to pay the next bill. Let behind by her mother at the age of three months, Rox is now a 14-year-old who wants to know more about her biological parents – both a complete mystery to her. Her cousin’s new girlfriend and a hurricane that wrecks the flea market area upset Rox’s life even further and spurn many revelations and changes. A good piece of bildungsroman fiction. Adrian does a good job of writing fiction that feels like she is talking about someone you know. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fogelin, Adrian The Sorta Sisters 279 p. Peachtree, 2007. Anna (Anna Casey’s Place in the World) and Mica (My Brother’s Hero) have started exchanging letters and interesting objects. Both girls have unusual situations and they are trying hard to learn and adapt. Then Mica stops writing and Anna is afraid she may lose her only friend in the world. Adrian Foglein is a master of writing the good book. They are not flashy nor scary nor shocking – just spot on looks at the complexities of life. As such, this bok and her others need some help finding their audiences, but then the audience will be faithful. EL, MS – OPTIONAL

Fogg, K.L. Serpent Tide, 391 pgs. Covenant Communications, Inc. Language-G, Sexual Content-PG, Violence-PG; Wesley’s life consists of big secrets in a big mansion and only one friend. But soon his protected life will be filled with enough adventure to last him a lifetime. Once I got into this book I couldn’t put it down. There were so many conflicts that would turn the story in many directions. The adventure factor was high, and kept the story moving quickly. MS-ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: KD

Foster, Alan Dean Lost and Found, 248 p. – Marcus Walker is kidnapped from earth by a race of aliens so that he can be sold as decoration or slave. His only Earth companionship is a dog, which has been enhanced so that it can think and speak, even though at heart George is still just a dog. It is only with the help of one taciturn alien who believes that she is superior to everyone and a very dangerous alien who speaks in poetry but can kill with a flinch that the group has a chance to escape and find their homes in the vastness of space. Personally, I love Foster, but you know I love SFF. This should be added to a great SFF collection. Two more chapters forthcoming. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fox, Laurie The Lost Girls 274 p. – Four generations of Darling women have met Peter Pan, gone to Neverland and been permanently damaged by the experience. None of them are able to function well in reality, yet they continue their daughters to go with the experience. An interesting look at the fine line between fantasy, imagination, the supernatural and insanity. Only for your most mature readers. HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fox, Mem Where the Giant Sleeps, pictures by Vladimir Radunsky. PICTURE BOOK. Harcourt, 2007. Dreamy pictures take you through a magic world, where not only does a giant sleep, but all of the characters of fairyland are curled up tight for a good night’s sleep, except for the elves, who are busy making a quilt for a sleepy child. The fantasy drawings and I Spy-like narrative make this a perfect book for a small child. EL – OPTIONAL

Fox, Paula Traces, Illustrated by Karla Kuskin PICTURE BOOK Front Street, 2008. I wanted to like this book because I like the idea. A snail leaves a trace as it passes by. An airplane leaves a trace in the sky. But I didn’t understand the page with the row of children. It seemed out of context, and I wasn’t sure if the ending (the wind leaving traces of newspapers) was a statement on litter or if it was just part of the general theme. EL (1-3) – OPTIONAL . REVIEWER: SH

Frame, Jeron Ashford Yesterday I Had the Blues, illustrations by R. Gregory Christie. Tricycle (Ten Speed), 2003. PICTURE BOOK. The blues, the greens, the pinks, the greys, the yellows. A young boy and his family describe their days and emotions using vivid colors and poetic words. Their way of describing their emotions and making sense of their days is a great lesson for children and parents with an easy way to be in contact with each other emotionally. Even a Teacher Advisory class at the middle school level could use this as a quick and easy lesson. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher

Francis, Brian Fruit, 276 p. – Peter is 13, fat, insecure and just starting puberty, though he doesn’t seem to know it. When he notices his nipples reddening, he decides that the best thing to do is put bandaids on them so that no one will notice. His best friend (only friend) is an Italian girl who uses the “F-word” about twice per sentence. After reading too many pages of swearing, I decided to put this one down, though I would have preferred to toss it. At least I missed the part of the book here his nipples supposedly start talking to him. Maybe this is a good book to read as a young parent so that you can see the dangers of not explaining puberty to your children. I don’t know. It really seems like waste of paper to me. NO! Cindy, Library Teacher

Frank, E.R. Wrecked, 247 p. – Driving home from a party one night, drunk and not very coherent, Anna is in a terrible car accident which injures her best friend horribly. Then she finds out the driver of the car that hit her was her brother’s girlfriend – now dead. Even though Anna was not at fault, she stills carry horrible guilt that she must work through somehow if she is to continue on with a healthy life. Finally an E.R> Frank book that doesn’t rely on descriptive sex or something. Though there is some swearing, I think this book should be in every high school library and some middle schools. HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Frank, Hillary I Can’t Tell You 196 p. – Jake’s big mouth gets him in trouble with his best friend, so he solution is to stop talking and communicate strictly through notes. Told through notes, messages, scribbles, and body art with condiments, the story is full of book talk, sex talk and it really isn’t interesting enough to spend enough time carefully reading the random thoughts and conversational notes to get the plot. Plot?? NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Frank, John How to Catch a Fish, illustrated by Peter Sylvada. PICTURE BOOK. Roaring Brook, 2007. Thirteen short poems show thirteen different ways that people around the world catch fish. The impressionist paintings give the idea, while the accompanying poems give the heart and just enough detail. Included with each is the setting for each painting and the type of fishing. Every geography teacher should embrace this book as another way to show their students how we are all the same, even though we may seem so different. EL, MS – ADVISABLE

Frank, Lucy Lucky Stars, 295 p. – When Kira goes to live with her father, she finds herself singing in the subways with him and her two young half-brothers. When Kira puts her foot down about the subway, she goes to a regular school and meets Jake, whose severe stutter makes it difficult to communicate, and his wisecracking friend Eugene. The three join the magnet’s school chorus and Kira tries to hold things together as life with her father becomes a struggle. Perfectly safe to read and younger girls may find it interesting. I did love the descriptions of the chorus class, but that alone wasn’t enough to make me love it. MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Franklin, Kristine L. Cuss, 290 p. Candlewick, 2003. Why would I bring up a book from 5 years ago? Well, when it was first published in hardcover, it was called The Grape Thief and I couldn’t bring myself to read it. Now it has been retitled and repackaged with a great new look. Cuss lives in a tiny mining town with his widow mother, two older brothers and a sisterand a younger brother. When his brothers have to leave town to escape mobsters, and his sister marries, Cuss and his mother are hard pressed to keep their family alive. Bad luck seems to follow them. Cuss is the first scholar in the house, but he may have to quit to take a full-time job. Only Cuss’ own persistence and maybe a little luck will help Cuss realize his dreams of an education. If you missed the original, pick up the paperback.. It is a solid historical fiction read. MS – ADVISABLE

Franson, Scott E. – Un-brella PICTURE BOOK Roaring Brook Press – In the dead of winter, a little girl dresses in her summer best bathing suit and takes her umbrella into the yard. But, when she opens the umbrella, spring time appears. She carves a path through the snow to the pond and enjoys a dip. And when the summer sun beats too hot, what can she do, but dress up warm and take her “Un”-brella out to build herself a snowman. Colorful mixed media illustrations will spark children’s imaginations as they duscuss other things that they would be able to do with an “Un-brella” of their own. EL – ESSENTIAL

Frazee, Marla A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever PICTURE BOOK Harcourt, 2008. This is a little story about two friends, James and Emon, who stay with Emon’s grandparents at the beach so they can go to a nature camp. James and Emon do everything the same, so much so that Emon’s grandpa starts to call them one name, Jamon. Nature camp was more grandpa’s idea than the children’s and we don’t really learn much about what they did there, but the boys find they like the company of each other more than camp. Light-hearted pictures make the story much more fun. EL (2-3) – OPTIONAL. REVIEWER: SH

Frechette, Carole In the Key of Do – On the street, Vero sees a girl whom she is sure is Do, the wild, fun and crazy girl who filled Vero’s life and then disappeared in the middle of the night. ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Frederick, Heather Vogel Much Ado about Anne, 315 p. Simon and Schuster, 2008. $15.99. Content: G. The Mother-Daughter Book Club is back – this time concentrating on the Anne of Green Gables series. The moms have invited stuck-up Becca and her mother to the table and most of the girls are having a hard time with that. Cassidy is stressed because her mom is getting remarries; Jess is unhappy because it looks like her family may lose their farm to a tax problem. The girls must all make peace and work hard together in order to save the farm. I happened to read the reading club questions at the end of the novel, that first question asked which girl changed the most from the beginning of the novel – and I had a hard time deciding if any of the girls had done any actually real changing through the novel. Minor changes, perhaps, but nothing substantive. I did not enjoy this one as much as the first. MS – OPTIONAL.

Fredericks, Mariah Head Games 260 p. – Since becoming estranged from her best friend a year ago, Judith has been a loner at school, finding solace in an online game. Just as she is about to be killed off by one of her gaming companions, she realizes that the person behind the character is a deeply disturbed boy in who lives in her own building. The two try to come up with their own offline game, but Judith is forced to face her insecurities and her reluctance to have anything to do with girls, who she sees as weak. Not a great teaser for a book which I really enjoyed. The cover leads much to be desired, as it will probably turn off boys, who will also enjoy it. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fredricks, Mariah In the Cards: Life, pg. 262. Richard Jackson Book, Atheneum (Simon). Language-PG, Sexual Content-G, Violence-G. Syd is a ninth grader now and still doesn’t have any friends except for Eve, Anna and her cat, Beesley. When Syd’s dad starts having problems, she does a tarot card reading to see if everything will turn out okay. This book was a great book. I want to read the rest of the series now. Mariah Fredricks’ writing brings laughter and even tears. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: MP

Fredricks, Mariah In the Cards: Fame. pg. 274; Athenum Books for Young Readers. Language-PG, Sexual Content-PG, Violence-G. Eve wants to be famous. And when she did a tarot card reading, the cards told her that she would be famous. When Eve tries out for the school play but she doesn’t get the part that she wants. She’s jealous and acts bitterly towards the girl who got “her” part. But she learns that not always getting what you want is one downside to the art of acting. This book was pretty good. I didn’t like it as much as I liked In the Cards: Life, but I still liked it and it still had a good message to it.MS, HS, ADVISABLE, Student Reviewer-MP.

Fredericks, Mariah In the Cards Love, 270, Aladdin Mix, Language: G, no sexual content or Violence. Anna is a quiet and calm girl at school and is therefore labeled a freak. She has two wacky best friends that help her try to become an Uber cool and get the guy she likes. They use Tarot cards to tell her future and it says love is coming her way. But when she has finally snatched her lovers heart her life turns into total chaos. Will she chose the guy of her dreams or her two best friends? I liked this book because you can sort of relate to her in many ways like how the school is set up. In almost every middle school there is the Cool people and then the middle people, then the freaks. I like how for once a freak gets a cool guy! MS – ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: AA

Fredricks, Mariah Crunch Time, 317 p. – Four unlikely high school juniors get together to form a study group for the SATs. After the test, word gets out that someone cheated on the test. Now all anyone talks about is the cheater’s identity. The closer you are to the age of taking the SATs, the more you can relate to this book. It does have a nicely done love triangle included and the voice is very realistic when it comes to the thoughts, feelings and actions of middle and upper class high school students. One swear word and a single thought of wanting to touch a girl’s “chest”, but the rest is good and clean and well-worth reading. MS-ADVISABLE, HS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Freedman, Russell Who Was First? Discovering the Americas, 81 p. Clarion, 2007. In this straightforward and beautifully illustrated book, Mr. Freedman explores not just Columbus’ voyage to the new world, but also other peoples who actually arrived here first. While the book is short, it should be read by all US History teachers, as it is a wealth of pictures and facts. EL, MS, HS – ESSENTIAL

French, Jackie Hitler’s Daughter – At the bus stop each morning, Anna tells the imaginary story of Heidi, who believes she is the daughter of Hitler. Mark hears the story and wonders if being the child of someone who is evil makes you evil also; he also thinks that Anna’s story sounds more like history than fiction. Definitely EL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

French, Simon Where in the World 174 p. – Sari is a child violin prodigy who travels the world with his mother during their many vacations. When his mother remarries and they move to Australia, he decides to keep his talent hidden from the other children. Only after his beloved grandfather dies and his German cousins come for a visit does he realize he doesn’t need to hide his gift. Actually – this book is boring. EL, MS – optional or NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Friedman, D. Dina Escaping into the Night, 195 p. – Halina survived in Polish ghetto, but now has to make a desperate escape through a sewer tunnel. Accompanied by her best friend Batya, the two try to make a place for themselves in the bands of refugees hiding in the forest. While much has been written about people in concentration camps, this is a look into the grim forest life during WWII. An excellent addition to a collection of Holocaust fiction. Especially pair it with Run Boy Run by Orlev. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Friedman, Robin The Silent Witness: A True Story of the Civil War, illustrated by Claire A. Nivola. Houghton Mifflin, 2005. PICTURE BOOK. The William McLean family not only saw the first battle of the American Civil War fought at the very fields and orchards of their home, but after they moved the war followed them to their new home and the final surrender was signed in their front parlor. The only family witness to that final surrender was a small doll, left behind by one of the daughters as she fled the room. Any unit about the Civil War would benefit from adding this book to the collection. There are so many great picture books about the Civil War that a teacher could build an easy lesson into the unit. EL, MS – ADVISABLE

Friend, Natasha Bounce, 192 p. Scholastic, 2007. Evyn has lived with her dad and her brother as a trio for so many years. Now Dad is remarrying and the kids suddenly have more new siblings than they know what to do with. Evyn feels alone and left out and abandoned by her father – as if he’s has changed everything he ever was and has become a totally different person. As hard as the parents try to integrate the families, Evyn resists. Friend manages to write powerful books in simple words: Evyn doesn’t need to rebel or self-destruct in order to show her feelings of alienation. Fans of Friend’s other titles will not be disappointed. MS – ADVISABLE

Friend, Natasha Lush, 178 p. Scholastic – Samantha “Sam”, is trying to figure out life in high school with a newly “lush” body and life with an alcoholic father, or “lush”, so she sends an anonymous note to someone who she thinks would be able to mentor her. Someone else finds the note, but that person still has words that Sam needs to take control of her life. Two swear words and an excellent message. MS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fritz, April Young Praying at the Sweetwater Motel – Sarah Jane, her mother and her little sister flee from their drunken, abusive father and find refuge at the dumpy Sweetwater Motel. Sarah Jane has to deal with being one of the outcasts at school and still yearns for return to a normal family life. ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fromm, Pete As Cool as I Am – Lucy lives a small rural town, with a mother who still wants to be 17 and a truck-driver father who is always on the road. She has the best friend who is a boy, the cool populare kids at her school who she thinks she wants to be a part of, the boy who will be her boyfriend is she ‘gives it up’ for him, and all of those cliches from small town life. Between the swearing and the sex talk and the themes and characters drawn from every other book or movie about being a teen, give this one a pass. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Funke, Cornelia Dragon Rider, 523 p. – Firedrake, one of the few remaing dragons hiding in Northern England, is determined to find the ancient home of dragons – The Rim of the World. With the help of Sorrel, a brownie and Ben, a human, they take a journey across the world, pursued by an enemy of dragons the entire way. Funke just keeps getting better. This is my favorite. Well crafted, exciting, just a great read. EL, MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Funke, Cornelia Igraine the Brave, 212, Chicken House, Language – G; Violence – PG; Sexual Content – G. Igraine is stuck at her castle until Osmund the Greedy comes to steal her families sacred magic singing books. When the chance for Igraine to become what shes always wanted, a noble knight, will she take it? Better yet can she succeed? Cornelia Funke is one of my favorite authors so of course I loved it! My only concern is if it’s too young to have put in a Middle School library. EL – ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: AA

Funke, Cornelia Inkheart – A cute fantasy book with a whole lot of tension and a denouement in only the last few pages of the book. Meggie’s father Mo can read the characters right out the pages of a book. Now an evil character has returned to kidnap her father and force him to read a truly malicious henchman out of his story. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Fusco, Kimberly Newton Tending to Grace 167 p. – Cornelia is dumped at an ancient great-aunt’s home by her mother and boyfriend who are on their to Las Vegas to reestablish themselves. Cornelia has always been the strong one, the fixer, but Aunt Agatha wants no fixing. Cornelia is the one who actually needs the fixing. Short chapters, an intriguing cover and then a story that lets you sink in. This one pairs well with Sister Spider Knows it All. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

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