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Pre2006 Reviews – K

Kaaberbol, Lene Shamer’s Signet, 314 p. – Second Book in the Shamer Chronicles. Young Dina has inherited her mother’s ability to make people tell the truth. When she is kidnapped by a ruthless man, she learns that even the truth can be bent to cause great harm. Her brother Davin thinks that in order to be a man he must recklessly hunt down their enemies at all costs. The world may not be safe foe Shamer’s. A powerful enemy, a man with no shame, is setting himself up to take over the whole world. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kaaberbol, Lene The Serpent’s Gift, 377 p. – At a local market one day Dina sees a strange man who she quickly discovers is actually her father, Sezuan – the man that her mother has been running away from since before Dina was born. In their frantic flight from Sezuan, the family unthinkingly takes refuge in a Draconis Foundation house, where they end up deeper in debt. When Nico and Davin are taken prisoner by the Prince’s men, only Dina can save them by making a deal with her father. Only one more book to go in this quartet and it just gets better with more telling! MS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kaaberbol, Lene The Shamer’s War Henry Holt, 356 p. – Dina, Nico,and Davin all have important parts to play in the final confrontation with the Dragonlord. They are the only one’s who may finally have the strengths and talents to free the conquered Highlands. Dina must use her Shamer gifts and her Serpent powers before the battle is through. The beginning of this title was complicated enough that I got a little confused, but when I rediscovered my path nearer the end, the finish was well done. I thin that fans of the series will have plenty to talk about as the series draws to a close. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kaaberbool, Lene The Shamer’s Daughter, 235 p. – Dina’s mother can look into perople’s souls and see the truth and the lies about their life. Dina is staring to show the same power. An evil powermonger takes Mama and Dina captive in order to force them to help him claim a throne. Dina escapes and tries to use her new powers to help her mother. Though I still don’t quite understand the purpose of having dragons in this book, Dina and her mother’s power and how they use it helps this to stand out as a new twist in fantasy books. I am looking forward to #2. EL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kadohata, Cynthia Cracker: the best dog in Vietnam, 312 p. Simon Schuster – When his owners can’t keep him any more, Cracker is taken by the US Army in order to be trained as a bomb sniffing dog, destined for Vietnam. In training, Cracker meets Rick, her new master. While the two originally conflict, they become a loving team, headed straight into extreme danger. Kadohata does an excellent job of telling the story from both Cracker’s point of view and Rick’s. The harsh realities of life in Vietnam are carefully laid out without resorting to gratuitous use of language or violence. Appropriate for almost any age level. EL, MS, HS – ADVISABLE

Kagen Lesley Whistling in the Dark, 297 p. Penguin, 2007. A pre-teen girl, Sally, her sister and their friends are all caught up in a summer dominated by the assault and death of a neighborhood girl, the illness of Sally’s mom and the neglect of Sally’s step-father. I got burned with this one! I saw the review in VOYA and read the reviews online and bought it without reading it – bad me! The talk in the book is dominated by the sexual assault of the little girl and sex talk in general. I have read 94 pages into it and am kicking myself for wasting my school’s money on this one. This is a book for adults, but I don’t have any idea why they would even want to read it. NO. Reviewer – Cindy, Library-Teacher

Kalstein, Dave Prodigy, 322 p. St. Martin’s Press – William Colley has never fit into his high-tech, prestigious, and future-of-education boarding school, but he doesn’t hate it enough to kill anyone. But, that is what he has been accused of – and he will have to cooperate with his arch rival, the school’s valedictorian and student disciplinarian, in order to absolve himself. Both of them will face constant danger and betrayal and probably the destruction of the school in order to find the truth and administer justice. Even though this title is about schools, education and teenagers, its true audience is adults – at least that’s what I would surmise from the extreme amount of swearing (LOTS of “f” and assorted others) and graphic sex. As compelling a read as it is, it is not for the school audience. The tragedy is that the swearing and sex could be edited and nothing would be lost. NO

Kantor, Melissa If I have an Evil Stepmother, Where’s my Prince? Lucy Norton’s father has remarried, but is only home for the weekends, leaving her at the mercy of her “evil stepmother” and the two tween-aged “evil princesses”. Lucy lives in a basement room with no furniture and feels like a slave, so she figures she at least deserves a prince. One day at lunch she catches the attention of a handsome football player who seeps her off her feet. But as she and “Prince Charming” get to know each other, she begins to wonder if she is just in love with the idea of love. At home, meanwhile, things heat up as Lucy confronts her stepmother and later her father with all of the things she has been feeling. The night of the big ball (prom), Lucy is going to have to make a choice. SOOO cute. Add this one to your girlie romance books right away. The title will catch their attention and the book will not disappoint. MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Karasyov, Carrie and Jill Kargman Bittersweet Sixteen, 208 p. – Language PG13 (They only swore when they were mad or upset, because this book is about a big cat fight); Sexual Content PG; Violence G – This book was one of my favorites. I can totally relate to Laura. Well I need to back up and slow down. This story is about a teen named Laura whose best friend Whitney is the school’s queen bee. On their first day of school there’s a new girl from LA named Sophie. Whitney and Sophie are total enemies until Laura brings them together, but what Laura doesn’t know is that it will cause big drama. Whitney and Sophie become best friends and plan the biggest sweet sixteen birthday party, ever! While the planning the girls get into a big fight over; Jake, Laura, and who’s the queen bee. Both the girls go against Laura and Laura has the worst time getting over it, but Jake talks to her and tells her that she still has a friend. Well I can’t spoil the ending. You’ll just have to read it to find out. Because of the swearing, this book belongs in the public library. NO Student Reviewer: KC

Karasyov, Carrie and Jill Kargman Summer Intern, 208 p. HarperCollins, 2007. Kira has landed an internship at her favorite magazine, but finds herself pitted against the owner’s daughter. As cute as the book is, two dozen swear words mar the light feeling and flow. HS – NO

Karr, Kathleen Exiled: Memories of a Camel 240 p. – Ali was born in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, but taken from his homeland into the deserts of Texas, possibly to become part of the United States Army Camel Corps. I approached this book with much skepticism, but ended up enjoying it very much. A true story told from the unlikely perspective of the camel. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Karwoski, Gail Quake! Disaster in San Francisco, 1906, 143 p. – Jacob is returning a dog to his uncle early one morning, when the Great Quake of 1906 strikes, separating from all of his family. With the help of Sam, a Chinese boy whom Jacob and the newly named “Quake” rescue, they all find a way to keep things together, hoping that they will be reunited with their families. A good elementary level adventure book. If you want to cover this subject for HS, try Earthquake at Dawn by Kristiana Gregory. EL – ADVISABLE, MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kass, Pnina Moed Real Time, 186 p. – Teenaged Thomas, a German school student, is headed to a kibbutz in Israel to work for several months – and to see if he can find out the truth about his Nazi grandfather. Sameh and Omar are disgruntled Palestinians who have pledged their lives as suicide bombers to punish the Israelis. These three and a cast of others set up the fatal moments when hopes and desires collide. I’m not a big fan of the 1st person narrative (I not hip on reading screenplays either), the fact that you know something very dramatic is coming, tends to keep the attention. I think I like Light Years by Tammar Stein better. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Katz, Karen Can You Say PEACE? PICTURE BOOK – Brightly colored, lively illustrations for a book that has little children from around the world saying “peace” in their language. A nice change from the traditional “hello” or the “happy Holidays” that I have used in my class. 11 countries are illustrated and 11 others are included in the back of the book. Possible uses – research the word for peace in other languages; have students compile a glossary of important words from other countries; have the students map the country locations. EL-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Katz, Alan Don’t Say that Word, illustrated by David Catrow, PICTURE BOOK McElderry (Simon and Schuster) – Michael had a great time in school, but his mom keeps stopping him at the best words with each tale. Then at the end of the day, Mom uses one of those words that kids never want to hear! A fun bright book with watercolor and pencil illustrations that will probably never be used in the classroom. But kids will flock to it and hip parents will find it pretty funny! EL – NO

Katz, Susan Oh, Theodore: Guinea Pig Poems, illustrated by Stacey Schuett. PICTURE BOOK. Clarion, 2007. If you have ever lost a small pet animal in your house and agonized over whether you would ever find it again, you will love this darling book of bright illustrations and poetry. Any school room that has a class pet will want this book to read together. EL – ESSENTIAL

Kay, Elizabeth Back to the Divide, 384 p. – Felix is accosted by Snakeweed, his nemesis from the first book, who steals Felix’ Divide spell and turns his parents to stone. Felix heads back over the Divide and finds that his friends lives have been changed, and not always for the better, after Felix told them about the printing press. Snakeweed is back causing much havoc and despair and everyone must work multiple times to finally bring him down. This one is not as well wirtten as the first, but will still be well-received by its readers. It amazed me how many times and how many different ways Snaekweed could elude capture, just to be finally taken down by himself. EL. MS –ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kay, Elizabeth Divide  – An excellent piece of fantasy for the EL and MS! Felix, who is plagued with a severe heart condition, finds himself in another dimension. With the aid of Betony and a griffin named Ironclaw, he hopes to find a cure for his condition, a way back to his own home, and the means to stop an evil profitmonger from selling deadly “cures” all over this strange new world. MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kay, Elizabeth Jinx on the Divide, 368 p. – Betony comes to visit Felix in his world, but they must both return to Betony’s room in order to deal with a desperate djinn who has kidnapped one of Felix’ enemies in order to get his way. Felix feels responsible for Rhino as the boy is called and continues to try to free him, even when the party comes under the control of an evil jinx box, which has dire ulterior motives. All of the previous characters return for a pretty great ending to the trilogy. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kaye, Marilyn Penelope, 230, St. Martin’s Griffin, Language – PG; Sexual Content – G; Violence – G, Review- Penelope was born into the perfect life. The only draw back was that she was born into a cursed family. To remove the curse, she has the face of a pig, she has to find a blue blood who will marry her. A possible suitor comes along, Max, but disappears as quickly as he came. Fed up with it she decides to go outside and life on her own. I really liked this book. A cute quick read that is different. MS – ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: AA

Keene, Carolyn Once Upon A Crime 184 p. Language- G, Sexual Content-G, Violence-G – Nancy Drew volunteers to do some service work for a good cause and to meet one of her favorite mystery novel writer. But, is someone planning to steal the charity money? Can Nancy stop them before the ball? I really liked this book, it was short and sweet. It didn’t drag on at all. EL, MS – ADVISABLE Student Reviewer: LW

Kehret, Peg Abduction! 215 p. – Bonnie thinks that her mother’s second husband, the father of her little brother Matt, is dead. When their dog Pookie and Matt are kidnapped, no one thinks of Denny as a suspect. Bonnie and her mother struggle with police reports and newspeople. Matt struggles with pleasing a complete stranger now that he thinks his mother and sister are dead. Denny struggles with a little boy who he really doesn’t even want except to impress his sister. Good, tense excitement. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kehret, Peg Escaping the Giant Wave – Among with Kehret’s other adventure/nature mishap novels, this one rates high for high adventure! MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kehret, Peg The Ghost’s Grave, 210 p. – When Josh’s mother and step-father take off for a job in India for the summer, Josh is left with an eccentric aunt who lives in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. Exploring the woods, Josh encounters a “friendly” ghost who wants Josh’s help reuniting his bones. And then digging up the grave, Josh discovers a cash box full of $130,000 – a box a desperate someone will be coming to look for soon. All in all, the book hangs together pretty well. I was skeptical at the beginning when Josh’s aunt tried to tell him that her sister had come back as a peacock – and everyone knows that peacocks are male, but the gender confusion was acknowledge and explained so I felt better. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kehret, Peg Stolen Children, 165 p. Dutton (Penguin), 2008. Content: G (though there is suspense). Amy has stepped in to help during a babysitting emergency. Kendra, the baby, is adorable, but Amy’s babysitting class didn’t tell her what to do if two strange men came to kidnap her. Now Amy has to outwit two desperate men who want money – and who have no real interest in keeping Amy alive. My only wish is that the bad guys in this book were quite a bit smarter. It doesn’t seem fair that Amy had to outwit two completely unprepared guys. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Reviewer – Cindy, Library-Teacher

Kehret, Peg Trapped 177 p. Penguin – First the pig falls off the truck and then Pete the cat is stolen. Alex, his family and his friends are right in the middle of another mystery that Pete will attempt to help them solve, but since he’s a cat, his clues usually go unnoticed. Action and suspense, maybe, but the soliloquies by Pete are not my cup of tea. I am sure that younger students will find this cute. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kennedy, Marlane Me and the Pumpkin Queen, 192 pgs. Greenwillow Books. Language-G, Sexual Content-PG, Violence-G, Mildred has been trying to grow the biggest pumpkin for the Pumpkin Show, and has had four disastrous seasons so far. Nobody believes in her, especially her Aunt Arlene who is trying to get her to change into a normal eleven year old. It was a typical book that you would find in an elementary school library. It will show younger kids that they should believe in themselves even when everyone is betting against them. EL-ADVISABLE Student Reviewer: KD

Kennen, Ally Beast 217 p. PUSH (Scholastic) – Language: R (F three times, scattered lesser language), Sexual Content: PG; Violence: PG – Stephen has comitted plenty of crimes in the past…but nothing like this. He’s going to be sent to St. Marks as soon as he turns 18, so there’s no more time. It has to be done now. This monster has to be destroyed. And nothing, not even the evil girl in pink or his dad will be able to stand in the way. I love this book a lot because of the character flaws shown in Stephen. This shows life from a darker point of view, where teens are shifted from place to place without hope or real love. HS – OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: KH

Kerley, Barbara Greetings From Planet Earth, 243 p. Scholastic – Language: PG; Sexual Content: PG; Violence: PG; What makes Earth special, and what is the most important? It started as a school project, and turned into a mission of family discovery for Theodore. His father has been gone for about 7 years now, and nobody seems to know where he his or why he’s gone. It’s like he never existed…This was a good book and an easy read. It outlines family relationships and the fact that adults lie too. It was a book that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys pondering, and hearing of life through the eyes of a child. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: KH

Kerr, M.E. Snakes Don’t Miss Their Mothers – Follow the Christmas Break exploits of the pets from the Critters rescue center. Dogs, cats, a snake all are trying to find a place to call home. EL-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kerr, P. B. The Akhenaten Adventure, 354 p. – As they are both under anesthesia during a wisdom teeth extraction, John and Philippa Gaunt meet a strange man who says he is their uncle. Upon waking, the twins convince their parents to send them to him for the summer, instead of the dreary summer camp their mother had planned. In London with Uncle Nimrod, the twins learn all about their djinn heritage, wish fulfillment and test out their new powers. They also get involved in a life or death race to save the balance of good and evil from the clutches of an evil djinn. I know I am pretty late on reading this one, but I am glad I finally read it. It was fun to read and I know that especially the younger middle grades will enjoy it. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kerr, P. B. The Blue Djinn of Babylon – Release: John and Philippa are still learning to use their new powers when Philippa is abducted. John sets off to Philippa wherever she may be, while Philippa tries to resist the will of her captor. John’s is the better story in this particular book, but some familiar faces and a new cast of support characters still make this s fun book to read. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kessler, Cristina Our Secret, Siri Aang, 210 p. – Namelok’s Maasai family has moved close to one of the animal reservations. She is close to her womanhood initiation, she has adopted a baby rhino and its mother as her secret family and she is confused by the contradictions she sees in her family. Her oldest brother is supposed to be a Maasai warrior, but he is making money selling his picture to tourists. Her father lectures everyone on the duty the Maasai owe to the Earth and the animals, but he perpetrates the biggest betrayal to Namelok’s world. While the book is a very interesting look into the changes facing the Maasai’s way of life, I am worried that it won’t attract an audience. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kessler, Liz Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist. Pg. 204, Orion Children’s Books. Language- G, Sexual Content-G, Violence- G. Emily has gotten herself into trouble again. This time she has found a magic ring and she has been cursed by Neptune. She has to find the other ring before the curse is complete. I really liked this book because I felt like I was swimming and experienced everything that Emily experienced. ES, MS – ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: MP

Kessler, Liz The Tail of Emily Windsnap, 209 p. – Emily’s mother has never let Emily swim, even though they live on a boat. When her mother finally gives in, Emily discovers that she can turn into a mermaid. Secretly swimming in the ocean at night, Emily meets a mermaid girl. They discover that Emily merman father was imprisoned 14 years earlier for consorting with a human and that the human – Emily’s mother – has been given a potion every day since then to wipe her memory clean of info about mermaids. Now Emily must rescue her father and restore her mother. Loved it! EL-ESSENTIAL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kidd, Rob Jack Sparrow: The Coming Storm 135 p. Hyperion – A teen Jack Sparrow takes command of his first ship and his first crew when he joins a bar maid from Tortuga and a runaway Brit in the search of the Sword of Cortes – a sword with legendary powers. A perfect book for younger or lower readers who loved the Pirates movies. The cover is cartoony, unfortunately, but that won’t stop a determined fan. There are 6 books in the series now and they are in paper, so well worth buying. EL – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kidd, Ronald Monkey Town, 259 p. – A young high school teacher agrees to go on trial for teaching the theory of evolution. Even though it started out as a way to get publicity for the dying town, it instead turns into a media circus that almost tears Frances and her family apart. Before this book, I only knew the little snippet that most other educated students know about the Scope’s Monkey Trial. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and think it would be a good additional to a historical fiction library, and could be promoted for use in an American History class or a Civics class. MS, HS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody Lily B. on the Brink of Cool, 239 pages HarperCollins – This book was published in 2003, so it is already out. Lily thinks that her life is a drab until she meets the “Cool People”. They show her life as a vegetarian and as an environmentalist. She puts all of her trust in them and has it broken. She is a typical girl that just wants to be the cool one. She reminds me of my younger self. I have already read this book and I loved it again. EL, MS – ADVISABLE Student Reviewer: KD

Kim Dong Hwa – The Color of Earth, 312 p. The Color of Water, 308 p. First Second (Roaring Brook), 2009. Translated from Korean. These first two books of a trilogy bill themselves as exploring the sexual awakening of a young girl and a tender story of a mother and her daughter. I painfully read every clunky word of these graphic novels. I don’t know if they read more fluently in the original Korean, but I could not enjoy the reading. The books are definitely an exploration of sexual awakening – more graphic in their discussion of sexual matters than anything that I have read for YA outside of an actual non-fiction book on the subject. I would not recommend these for any age or type of school. If a public libraray buys them at all, they should be in the adults only section. NO. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Kimmel, Eric A. The McElderry Book of Greek Myths, illustrated by Pep Montserrat, 96 p. McElderry (Simon and Schuster), 2008. 12 Greek myths are simply, but thoroughly retold with full-color illustrations on every page. While not a exhaustive book of myths, it is still valuable for any collection. The stories are told in a logical order, in simple language without losing any of the flavor of the myths. Any level of school or even household would be proud to have this book on their shelves. EL, MS – ESSENTIAL

King, Donna Double Twist, 144 pgs. Kingfisher (Houghton). Language-G, Sexual Content-G, Violence-G, Laura is planning on ice-dancing in Montreal for the big competition with her partner. But when he is injured, who will she find to be her partner, and will they be able to learn the dances in just a few weeks? It was an easy read and very predictable. It would be a perfect choice for an elementary school library. EL-ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer:KD

King, Donna Kickoff, 168, Kingfisher (Houghton), 2007. Language-G, no sexual content or violence, A girl moves to England from Florida and is really sad! The only thing she has to look forward to is soccer. But one of the girls is jealous of how good she is and will almost stop at nothing to get her off the team. This book is ok but it didn’t really have very good soccer scenes in there, EL – OPTIONAL; Student Reviewer: AA

Kingsbury, Karen A Thousand Tomorrows, 238 p. Time Warner – Language: G, Sexual Content: PG, Violence: G – Cody had a horrible childhood with his father suddenly leaving him with his mother and down syndrome brother, so he takes out his frustration on bulls, making him one of the best out there. His mother hopes that he will one day learn to love, which he absolutely denies until he meets Ali. She is a beautiful barrel racer with a secret, she has cystic fibrosis. Will they both be able to overcome their issues together? The cover is very misleading. I had no idea the book had anything to do with rodeo until I read the summary. Even though it is a romance novel, I really enjoyed it, partly because it has horses in it, and partly because I don’t read very many of this particular genre. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: KH

Kirkpatrick, Katherine Voyage of the Continental – Emmy joins a group of women to start new lives in the new town of Seattle. What the women don’t know is that many of them have to bought as mail order brides. A good bit of historical fiction, especially if you know anything about the founding of Seattle. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kladstrup. Kristin The Book of Story Beginnings 360 p. Candlewick – Lucy and her family are forced to move from the exciting city and out to the ancestral homestead – a farmhouse in Iowa. In the house, Lucy finds a book titled The Book of Story Beginnings, not knowing that she has now started a tale that must be played out to its end – including the appearance of her long-lost great uncle Oscar, who doesn’t look a day older than when he disappeared. A cute fantasy book that will be enjoyed by younger readers. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Klages, Ellen The Green Glass Sea 318 pages – Language- PG-13 (Time Period) – Dewy’s grandma has been taking care of her since her dad is always off doing things for the government. But when grandma dies, Dewy moves with her dad to New Mexico. She moves into this camp where a whole bunch of professors and smart people are working on some kind of secret “gadget” for the war. (WWII). I really enjoyed this book. It has a really good plot. My only concern is the swearing – about a dozen, no “f”. MS-ADVISABLE Student Reviewer: LW

Klass, David Home of the Braves, 312 p. – Joe’s school is very rough, full of football players who think they are gods and who use intimidation to get what they want. Joe’s high school soccer team is not the greatest, but they work hard and have fun. Along comes “The Phenom” from Brazil – a soccer player extraordinaire. Not only does he make Joe jealous by turning around the soccer team single-handedly, but her also steals Joe’s best friend, Kris – the girl he is just starting to think of as more than a friend. Hazing and violence pepper this story – what I have described so far is just the tip of the action and themes in the book. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Klass, David Firestorm 287 pages – Language: PG-13, Sexual Content: STRONG PG-13 (WAY too many inappropriate references and situations, all within the first 50 pages), Violence: PG – I thought this book was supposed to be about a group of people who essentially must save the world from all of the harm and damage it has received throughout time. Unfortunately, what could have been a highly enjoyable storyline for everyone with an interest in futuristic stories, science-fiction or even an environmentally concerned reader, was instead a powerful disappointment. I felt I needed to stop after about the first 80 pages or so. This was due to two sexual situations that were exceeding the limits I feel would be comfortable for your average middle school reader, both in surprisingly quick succession. Also, there were far too many crude and completely unneeded sexual references from the main character as well as others, including a talking DOG. It wouldn’t have harmed the story in any way to leave any or all of those parts out. NO; Student Reviewer: KR

Kleven, Elisa The Apple Doll PICTURE BOOK. Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2007. Lizzy loves her fresh apple doll that she made from her apple tree, but as the doll gets older, she gets her mom to help her make a doll that will last much longer – and her schoolmates like the new doll so much, they want to make dolls of their own. Both of my children made apple-head dolls when they were in elementary school and this book is a cute introduction to the concept. EL – ADVISABLE

Kline, Lisa Williams Write Before Your Eyes, 175 pgs. Delacorte Press. Language- PG, Sexual Content- G; Violence- G; Twelve-year-old Gracie gets a journal from a yard sale in her neighborhood. As she starts to write in it she realizes that it is a magical journal and whatever you write in it comes true. She starts to write her wishes in the journal, but it starts to backfire on her. I thought that this book was ok, not the best but not terrible either. It had a few swear words and I did not like that very much. I thought that the plot line was a little bit predictable. Other than that it was a very good book. MS, HS- OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: MB

Klise, Kate Far From Normal 255 p. – When Charles writes a paper on his family from Normal, Illinois it gets published in a newspaper. It tells of his sisters, and brother, his parents and what they did on a normal basis. When Bargain Bonanza, a discount store, gets upset at Charles because he wrote on how he hated their stuff, they sued. His parents end up signing a contract to be the spokesfamily for Bargain Bonanza. He then changes from normal to famous. He and his family must find a way to escape. This was a good book for elementary students. It had some very strange parts in it, it was far from normal. EL – NO Student Reviewer: KC

Klise, Kate and M. Sarah Klise Little Rabbit and the Night Mare. Harcourt, 2008. PICTURE BOOK. Little Rabbit learns that worrying about a school project can even more fearsome than choosing a topic finishing it in the beginning. In a strange twist, the “night mare” becomes the subject of Little Rabbit’s successful report. An imaginative treatment of procrastination, this book is suitable for younger readers. EL – ADVSIABLE. Reviewer: BS

Klise, Kate Regarding The BEEs. 122 p. Harcourt Inc. Language – G, Sexual Content – G, Violence – G; The Basic Education Evaluations (BEE’s) are coming up, and the students of Geyser Creek Middle School are terrified. If you fail this test, you have to start middle school over again! The students are finding it hard to concentrate, though, because they’re all looking for their crushes. This book was very good. I enjoyed the unconventional writing style a lot. The characters were fun and the plot was O.K. I think it would be best to read the rest of the ‘Regarding The…’ series beforehand, though. EL – ADVISABLE; MS – OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: RG

Klise, Kate Regarding the Sink 132 p. – The students of Geyser Creek Middle School need a new sink in the cafeteria. So, of course they contact Ms. Florence Waters, who built the extremely elaborate fountain for the first book. The 6th grade students get worried when Flo doesn’t answer their letters. But meanwhile they must contend with beans every day for school lunch, raising money for the 6th grade trip, and a pushy state senator. The only reason you will need to buy this book is if you have some student who LOVED the first one and begs you to buy the sequel. And even then, wit for the paperback so that you don’t waste too much of your money. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Knister Sophie’s Dance with pictures by Mandy Schlundt (translated by Kathryn Bishop) PICTURE BOOK Penguin, 2007. A little girl join her grandmother at the town’s yearly dance. I don’t know if something got lost in translation (originally written in German), but I didn’t connect with the text of this book. It didn’t flow and it didn’t make sense. However, the pictures are lovely, especially those of Sophie Dancing. EL – OPTIONAL

Knock, Knock! PICTURE BOOK Dial (Penguin), 2007. Fourteen well-known children’s illustrators gather again (Why did the Chicken Cross the Road) , this time to give their take on the classic knock-knock joke. The variety of illustrations and the silly jokes make this a surefire hit for almost any library. EL – ESSENTIAL

Knowles, Jo Lessons From a Dead Girl, 215 p. Candlewick, 2007. In elementary school, Lainey’s best friend was Leah. Leah loved playing house, but she always made Lainey play the daddy. And Leah knew too much and showed too much of what mommies and daddies do together. In middle school Lainey managed to break away from Leah, though socially Leah is still there occasionally to make things difficult. Now Leah is dead and Lainey is not sure whether to be sad or to rejoice. This button is way too hot for school libraries. As compelling as the story is, it doesn’t compensate for the overt sexuality or the large amount of swearing

(including several “f”s). But there are some kids out there that need to find this book at the public library. NO

Knox, Elizabeth Dreamhunter, 365 p. – Laura and her cousin Rose are almost old enough to make their Try at crossing the border into the Place, where dreams are caught that can be shared with others. Laura succeeds, but Rose does not and the two of them find themselves working against a nefarious plot by the Secretary of the Interior, a man who is not content with a secondary role in their world’s governance. An extremely rich book that reads beautifully. I am going to read it again so that I can find those other dimensions that I don’t always appreciate in a first reading. Perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce and Patricia Wrede. MS, HS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Knox, Elizabeth Dreamquake, 442 p. FSG – Sequel to Dreamhunter. Laura has unleashed her terrible dream onto the unsuspecting upper class, without gaining any appreciable results. However, her actions set events in motion that will answer many questions, put Laura and her family in danger, and change the structure of her world permanently. Knox’ duet comes to a powerful conclusion that will leave lovers of epic fantasy well satisfied. This book is not for lovers of Harry Potter; this is for the more sophisticated reader. As the pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place, the reader will feel well-satisfied. You cannot understand book two without having read book one. MS-OPTIONAL, HS-ADVISABLE

Koertge, Ron Margaux with an X, 165 p. – Margaux has been very into herself and is just starting to realize that shoplifting, drinking, dating as many guys as possible and using her looks to get what she wants is not very fulfilling. She is intrigued by Danny, a scruffy boy who treats her like an individual and not just eye-candy. She uses him to escape her life of a TV-addicted mom and gambler father. Multi-layered, very suitable for HS. HS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Koertge, Ron Shakespeare Bats Cleanup – A poetry book I can relate too! Kevin is recovering from mono and finds his voice in poetry as he gets back his strength. He experiments with different poetic forms (some more successfully than others), and discovers that poetry and baseball are not mutually exclusive. ADVISABLE MS. Cindy, Library Teacher

Koja, Kathe Buddha Boy, 117 p. – When Jinesen arrives at Rucher High, he becomes an immediate target for ridicule as his strange ways, such as begging for change in the cafeteria, offend the “normalcy” of the school day. For some reason Justin, who has always been on the edge of the popular crowd, is drawn to the unique young man and befriends him, even as the tension surrounding Jinsen reaches a peak. Another great book showing the inanity of harassment. great read aloud potential! MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Koja, Kathe Talk, 134 p. – Kit has a lead in the school play, is hiding the fact that he is gay, and has a huge crush on a senior. Lindsay, the other lead, is extremely self-centered, has just broken up with her boyfriend and sure that Kit is the answer to her dreams. Meanwhile, the play itself is creating controversy in the town and entire production may be shut down. Okay, the name of the high school is Faulkner, which should tell you a lot about the writing style. I wish Ms. Koja would find her own style instead, because the obscurity of the narrative doesn’t work for me personally. HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Koja, Kathe The Blue Mirror – Last night was not a good night for me and books. Another book with potential, but no promise. This one brings up more questions than it answers. Maggy spends all of her free time hanging out at the Blue Mirror Cafe, drawing sketches of what she sees around her. She is attracted to, and befriended by Cole, the mysterious boy with the black lipstick, who has some kind of mysterious hold on two girls who also hang out with him. HS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Koja, Kathe. Going Under. 120 Pages. Frances Foster Books Language: R – (F=25 G=4 O=27 B=2); Sexual Content: PG; Violence: G; All Hilly and Ivan have are each other. That’s the way it’s always been. Pilot to copilot. But a friend of Hilly’s commits suicide and everyone starts fearing she will do the same. Ivan does everything in his power to try and help, but he just keeps doing the wrong thing. Going Under is an okay book. The way it was written is interesting where the main characters switch writing every chapter. However, the plot was very limited. I also got a bit frustrated with marking all the swear words. Interest Level – MS/HS – NO. Student Reviewer

Konigsburg, E. L. The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place – Margaret Rose Kane has been rescued from school camp horror by her beloved uncles. When she discovers that their 45 year old self-created towers are going to be demolished, she rallies the troops and saves the day. ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Konigsburg, E.L. The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World, 240 p. Atheneum (Simon), 2007. Amedeo is determined to discover something unusual and he thinks that his neighbor’s cluttered home is just the place. He volunteers to help sort through the decades of possessions as William Wilcox and his mother get everything ready for an estate sale. And somewhere in the piles is a bona fide discovery. A piece of art, an eccentric old lady and someone with a yearning to be great. Unfortunately, the premise doesn’t work as well as The Mixed up Files of Mrs.Basil E. Frankweiler. This mystery is more convoluted and it is both so obvious and so obscure at the same time (hard to do, I know). Sadness, because Ms. Konigsburg has created some masterpieces. EL, MS – OPTIONAL

Konow, David Bang Your Head: The Rise and Fall of Heavy Metal, 466 p. – A very detailed and uncensored history of Heavy Metal music. WHAT was I thinking when I bought this book! While full of details that any diehard heavy metal listener loves to know, it is also full of sex and drugs and swearing. I don’t know what I am going to do with this book now that I already have it cataloged on the library! I think that I thought I was buying Heavy Metal and You, which actually is a romance of sorts. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Koontz, Dean Odd Thomas, 400 p. – Language: PG, Sexual Content: PG13, Violence: R – Odd Thomas is having very strange dreams. His most recent one is that of a mass killing at Green Moon Bowling ally. Is Odd just having bad dreams, or is the quiet town of Pico Mundo about to be changed forever. I really enjoyed the book. It had chapters that slowed down and gave a good feel for the surroundings, then out of nowhere something very bad happens. It was very entertaining and I loved the action, romance, and especially the horror. I thought it was very captivating and a good read. HS – ADVISABLE Student Reviewer: SW

Koponen, Libby Blow Out the Moon, 206 p. – Libby and her family go to England for six months for her father’s job. She suffers through her six months at the local school. When she discovers that the family willing be staying for another year, she convinces her parents to send her to boarding school, where she grows up from a little girl into a young lady. Based on the author’s own life. EL-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Korman, Gordan Born to Rock, 262 p. – Just before high school graduation, Leo Caraway loses his scholarship to Harvard, is kicked out of the school’s Young Republican club and discovers that his father is the front man for the most notorious punk band in history. Leo decides to hit up “dad” for the money for college, but first agrees to follow “Purge” on their cross-country reunion tour. Very funny, very good. Add this to your collection right away! MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Korman, Gordon Chasing the Falconers and The Fugitive Factor – Aiden and Meg’s parents have been tried and convicted of international espionage and terrorism. The kids know that their parents are innocent and know that the only way to clear their parents names is to find “Uncle Frank,” the man who started the whole thing. To do this, they must escape from the high security juvenile detention facility they are housed in and then work their way across country, dodging police and FBI all along the way. Another high-action series by Korman. Reluctant readers will love them! From the official website it looks like there are at least four more to come. EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Korman, Gordon On the Run: Now You See Them Now You Don’t (146 p) AND The Stowaway Solution (149 p). Books number 3 and 4. Running from so many people, Meg and Aiden find temporary refuge with a motley group of teens. But one of them is willing to turn the fugitives in for cash. After yet another narrow escape, the Falconers stowaway on a freighter. Meg is captured while Aiden escapes, only to have to rescue his sister from the local police station, while Agent Harris, the man who put their parents in jail in the first place, is in the building. As interesting as each book is, I hope the series doesn’t drag on forever. Four books out and still the kids are just on the run. Reluctant readers will love them. EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher. Cindy, Library Teacher

Korman, Gordon Son of the Mob: Hollywood Hustle, 268 p. – Vince and his girlfriend Kendra are off to college at different schools in LA. Vince is joined by his older brother, who tells Vince that he wants to get out of “The Life”. Kendra is spending all of her free time filming a movie with one of Vince’s rivals. And Vince finds himself the target of a gorgeous senior, who happens to be his roomate’s girlfriend. Add a handful of of “Uncles”, a kidnapped union boss and a foreign exchanged student with a video camera, and hilarity ensues. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL

Korman, Gordon The Abduction, p. – (First in the Kidnapped series)Meg and Aidan Falconer are trying and failing to get their lives back together after finally proving their parents’ innocence just a few months earlier (see Chasing the Falconers series). Then one day Meg is kidnapped right in front of her brother as they arrive home from school. The Falconers have to let the dreaded FBI Agent Harris back into their lives. A great beginning to another action-packed series by Korman. EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kositsky, Lynne The Thought of High Windows 172 p. – Esther is a Jewish teen who is evacuated from Germany by the Red Cross at the beginning of WWII. Instead of bonding with the other refugees, she is on the fringes, because of her old Jewishness, her weight and her mousy looks. Showing a much more human side of WWII, including bickering, insecurity and unrequited love. It includes desperation and work for the underground in a compelling manner without resorting to melodrama or use of sex. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Koss, Amy Cheat – Four eighth graders get caught cheating on a test. I actually don’t like this book because the wrap up makes it so that the students get off lighter than they should have. But others may disagree. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Koss, Amy Goldman Poison Ivy, 166 p. – The American Government teacher’s bright idea is to have a civil trial of a bullying victim against the three girls who have tortured her for years. Using the students from the class as lawyers, judge and jury members, the teacher hopes to prove a point. Told from the point of view of the many different class members involved, the book also points out a fatal flaw of the judicial system and the power of the lure of popularity in fixing the trial. The worst flaw in the book is the author’s use of a crippling shy student as the lawyer for the prosecution. I think the point could have been made without such inept representation. Otherwise, the book is another compelling book about popularity and bullying. I was personally disappointed by the end, but not surprised that the author would choose that direction. Middle school girls will probably eat it up. MS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Koss, Amy Goldman Side Effects 144 p. Roaring Book Press – The lumps that appeared on Izzy’s throat have refused to disappear since her bout of the flu and now the doctors tell her she has lymphomic cancer that needs treatments over six months, will make her bald and puking up her guts. Izzy’s not sure that dying wouldn’t be the better option. A short, stark look at the life of a cancer patient without sugary sweetness or overwrought tragedy. Izzy is abrasive and sometimes naïve; she tends to swear and only listen to you when she wants to. In other words, she acts like an angry, normal teenager. Even though there is swearing in the book (18 times), I prefer this author’s look at the ordeal of cancer treatment much more than something like Brian’s Song or other books that have covered the subject. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Koss, Amy Gossip times three – I am very sorry I ordered this. I may be losing touch with the seventh grade mind, but a whole book written in this bizarre form was too much for me! NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kostecki-Shaw, Jenny Sue My Travelin’ Eye. Henry Holt, 2008. Jenny Sue’s teacher has said she needs to see an ophthalmologist to see if there is anything that can be done for her last eye. Jenny Sue loves her wandering eye that lets her see the world so differently, but Dr. Dave says that she needs to be set straight. Jenny is disappointed, especially because the other kids stare at her patch, but she finds a way to make it all fun. And after some hard adjustments, the patch is removed and Jenny can see the world with both eyes together. My husband is an optometrist and at his office they have their own Dr. Dave, also an opthamologist. After a trip to work, this book came back to me with everyone’s seal of approval, for not only being great fun, but also being eye-doctor-approved! EL – ESSENTIAL

Kostisk, Conor Epic, 364 p. Penguin – In Erik’s world disputes are settled in the realm of a planet-wide virtual reality game. Now Erik’s father has been captured and imprisoned – for an offense he committed twenty years earlier. Erik and his friends set out on an epic quest to save Erik’s father, pitting themselves against the richest and toughest characters in the game – the characters with the power to take someone out of the game forever. The quest quickly becomes more than the teens ever dreamed. Gamers and fantasy readers will revel in this tightly crafted novel. It reads so quickly that they will be stunned to discover that they have reached the end. The end of the book feels pretty final, so I hope the author has other plots and characters up his sleeve, because his talent is too good to waste! MS, HS – ESSENTIAL

Kowalski, William Adventures of Flash Jackson – Could someone please explain me to why an otherwise intriguing book about a girl discovering her magic and the magic of being a woman needs a detailed description of a boy’s penis in it?!! PLEASE spare me and mine the anatomy lesson. This is one trend in YA literature that really turns me off. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Krensky, Stephen Hanukkah at Valley Forge PICTURE BOOK Penguin – General learns the meaning of Hanukkah from a cold, but valiant soldier at Valley Forge and draws in his mind parallels to his own struggle for independence. Includes are very simple, but good explanation of the origins of Hanukkah. Short, simple wording. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher. Cindy, Library Teacher

Krishnaswami, Uma Naming Maya, 178 p.- Maya and her mother have returned to India to sell her grandfather’s house. The family’s longtime housekeeper and cook returns to help, but is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and needs care herself. Only 12, Maya must cope with memories of her parent’s divorce, try to help her housekeeper. On the flyleaf of the book it says that Maya is finally able to see what happened to her parents. Unfortunately, I don’t see anything very interesting about this book. NO

Krulik, Nancy Can You Get an “F” in Lunch (101 p.) AND Madame President (104 p.). Scholastic, 2006. The first day of middle school, Jenny finds out that her best friend Addie has ditched her for the popular crowd. Now Jenny must make her own way through the pitfalls of middle schools cliques, gossip and fashion errors. In book, two, only Addie is runnig for class president – until her new friends convince Jenny that she is the right woman for the job.

Krulik, Nancy How I Survived Middle School, 216 p. – Language: PG, Sexual Content: G, Violence: PG – Jenny is starting middle school with her best friend Addie. She finds out about new attitudes, behaviors, fashion styles, and how hard it really is to make friends at a new school. I think How I Survived Middle School is a good read for kids just about to start a middle school. It gives good pointers and quizzes. It’s also a fun reader for middle schoolers because it really proves a point about all of us teens. I really enjoyed the book and suggest you read it to. MS – OPTIONAL; Student Reviewer:ES

Kudlinski, Kathleen The Spirit Catchers: an Encounter with Georgia O’Keefe, 158 p. – Parker Ray is taken under Georgia O’Keefe’s supervision after he tries to steal one of her cameras. Parker is forced to help O’Keefe as she primes and paints in the desert of New Mexico, readying for her next exhibit. She allows his some space and time to see that there is some artist in himself. The book does a good of bringing up the controversy surrounding interpretations of the artist’s work without dwelling or making a spectacle out of it. There are several more books planned for this series. It has lots of great parts that art teachers could read aloud to their students about technique, composition, light and influences on the artist. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kuns, J. Irvin While you Were Out, 131 p. – Over the summer, Penelope’s best friend Tim died of cancer. Now she is facing the first days of fifth grade still in mourning and she doesn’t feel as if anyone understands. To make matters worse, her father is the tiny school’s new janitor. Penelope writes notes to Tim on a While You Were Out pad and wishes there were some way for Tim to hear her. A poignant book of friendship and death that would work well for any student that is facing the loss of a friend. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kurlansky, Mark The Story of Salt, 48 p. PICTURE BOOK Penguin – A well-ordered, detailed look at the history and importance of salt. Reading the entire book to a class would take most, if not all of a class period, but could be read in parts or facts could be extracted to show what the teacher needs of the book and the discussion of the importance of salt. Teachers at all levels, including geography, history and foods teachers, can find value in this book. EL, MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kurti, Jeff and Bruce Gordon The Art of Disneyland 128 p. Hyperion – A history of Disneyland told through the concept art through the years of the different theme areas inside the park. It also includes biographies of a few of the principal artists whose talents shaped the face of Disney. Disney Park fans will pour over its pages , but older art students can learn much from its pages. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kurtz, Jane The Feverbird’s Claw 295 p. – Moralin has lived a life of comfort in the city of her people, whose wealth derives from an exclusive knowledge of silk-making. One day she is outside the city on a dare and is captured by the enemy Arkera. First she struggles to escape and then pretends to surrender. One day she does escape, but is followed by Figt, a lonely warrior woman. On the journey back to Moralin’s people, she is given visions from her goddess, Cora Linga, which suggest a different destiny. Good, not great. This will be enjoyed by some, but will not attract a wide readership. Not as gripping as Nicholson’s books. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kurweil, Allen Leon and the Spitting Image – Leon’s fourth grade teacher is making them SEW!! And if Leon doesn’t learn to sew, he may be back in her class next year. Between painful dodgeball, a witchy teacher, and two best friends who standby through thick and thin, this is a fun read. EL-ESSENTIAL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kurweil, Allen Leon and the Spitting Image – Leon’s fourth grade teacher is making them SEW!! And if Leon doesn’t learn to sew, he may be back in her class next year. Between painful dodgeball, a witchy teacher, and two best friends who standby through thick and thin, this is a fun read. EL-ESSENTIAL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Kurzweil, Allen Leon and the Champion Chip, 332 p. Language:G; Sexual Content:G; Violence:G – Leon goes to school with a rag doll that’s the spitting image of Henry Lumpkin; the bully at school. If the doll works according to plan, Leon won’t have to watch out for Pumkinhead anymore. When Leon gets a new science teacher; Mr. Sparks, he discovers the great wonders of the potato chip, and a good thing too. Mr. Sparks lab work will come in handy when Leon enters the Chipapalooza Chip-Off. This book has lots of detail, which kind of drags the story on. Its a good story for younger kids. The whole over all story is pretty good though. EL – OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: TT

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