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Pre2006 Reviews – T

Taback, Simms I Miss You Every Day PICTURE BOOK Viking (Penguin), 2007. A young girl misses someone in her life so much that she wants to mail herself to them. This is the kind of book you might share with a child who is missing someone very badly. EL – OPTIONAL

 

Tal, Eve Double Crossing, 260 p. – Raizel’s Papa has borrowed the money to go to America and Raizel has been chosen to accompany him. She has no wish to leave her beloved Russian village, but knows she must obey. Even though she has promised her mother that she will quit dreaming or telling her stories, those stories are what help Raizel and her Papa ease their way. It is her Pap’s refusal to accept charity or bend any of his Orthodox Jewish traditions that almost send the pair back to Russia forever. I was quite miffed at Raizel in the beginning for the large amount of complaining that she was constantly making. It was only at the crux of the book, where she finally found her courage that I started enjoying the book. EL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Tales from the Brothers Grimm, Compiled by Cooper Edens. Chronicle Books, 2007. Using illustrations created from the 1850’s until the 1940’s Edens has crafted a beautiful new collection of the Grimm Brothers’ tales. These particular retellings are perfect for reading to elementary students. A great purchase if your previous Grimm compilation is tattered and you need to replace it. EL – ADVISABLE

 

Tamar, Erika Amanda’s Story, 196 p. – Amanda, the last of the Lighthouse Lane quartet is 13 and tired of acting like the mother of the family to her little sister and widowed minister father. At a local barn dance, she catches the eye of Jed, starting a a little romance, which her father is determined to stop cold. Amanda may have to defy her father in order to get what her heart wants. As well written as the other three, but it would be a better value in paperback. EL – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Tamar, Erika Katherine’s Story – 165 p. – The introduction to the Girls of Lighthouse Lane series. Kat is the daughter of a lighthouse keeper. Her cousin Lizabeth is rich and a more than a little spoiled. Their friend Amanda is the daughter of a widowed minister. In the first book, Kat is trying to keep up with her beloved painting, especially after she saves the lives of a grateful husband and wife from Boston, who find her a place at an art school, if only she can come up with $50 for tuition. Such an amount seems impossible for a poor girl. Like I’ve said before, the books are cute. Young girls will probably love them. EL – ADVISABLE; MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Tamar, Erika Lizabeth’s Story 167 p. – Lizabeth, the third story in the Lighthouse Lane series, is spoiled – with servants and beautiful dresses. When scarlet fever grips her town and forces her to live with her poorer cousin Katherine, Lizabeth slowly starts learning what is really important in life. I say slowly, because Lizabeth has to be repeatedly hit on the head with reality in order to lose her bratty ways. Cute, along the lines of the early Betsy-Tacy books. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Tamar, Erika The Girls of Lighthouse Lane: Rose’s Story, 183 p. – Rose’s mother is a suffragette. In the New York of 1905, mother is arrested and this has a negative effect on Rose’s father’s medicale parctice. In order to start a new, the family moves to Cape light, where Rose meets the other girls in town and takes on the task of training an abused horse. She also tries to hide her mother from the town and keep her from her embarassing suffragette ways. A good, light story, in the tradition of the Betsy-Tacy novels by Lovelace. EL-ADVISABLE, MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Tashjian, Janet Vote for Larry – Larry has been in hiding from his pseudo-suicide for two years now. Beth finds him and kidnaps him and drags him back into the limelight – this time running for the Presidency of the United States. Though I enjoyed reading it, the dependence in “betagold” as a continuing villain and the obvious plug for teenaged political activism make this book less interesting for me than the original. MS, HS, OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Taylor, Theodore Billy the Kid, 208 p. – 19 year old William Bonney is destitute. When is offered a share in a train robbery, he jumps at the chance to earn some quick money. What he doesn’t know is that his best friend is now the sheriff and is required to uphold the law, even is that means hanging Billy if he can catch him. The only thing this book shares with the real Billy the Kid is his name. This is instead a very sad story of wrong choices we live to regret, though in Billy’s case it is only a short time. Kids who like adventures or westerns will enjoy this, though, even if it isn’t historically accurate. Gunslingers and posses and shootings and robbers make it very exciting. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Taylor, Theodore Ice Drift, 213 p. – Inuit brothers Alika and Sulu are on a huge ice floe when it breaks away, sending them on a six-month survival journey down the Greenland Strait. They face the bitter cold, the possibility of starvation and a danger of polar bears, every step of the way. They can only hope that somewhere along the way someone will spot them and come to their rescue. Taylor writes ice as well of he does desert islands. The book stands up well to comparisons to Julie of the Wolves or Iceberg Hermit. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Teague, Mark Funny Farm. Orchard (Scholastic), February 2009. PICTURE BOOK. Edward the English bulldog goes to Hawthrone farm to visit aunt, uncle and cousin. Edward is busy helping around the farm all, having fun and causing a bit of chaos along the way. The human-ized animals are charming and quirky and the bright drawings are eye-catching and amusing for young children. Pre-K – ADVISABLE. Cindy – Library-Teacher

 

Testa, Maria Almost Forever – A very short book in free-verse about a little girl whose father goes off to war. One of the few poetry books I have enjoyed. OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Thomas, Jan What Will Fat Cat Sit On? PICTURE BOOKHarcourt, 2007. Fat Cat needs to sit, but no one wants him to sit on them. Short, sweet and bold drawings. Little kids will love the repetition. EL – ADVISABLE

 

Thomas, Jan A Birthday for Cow, Harcourt, 2008. PICTURE BOOK Pig and Mouse want to bake the perfect cake for Cow’s birthday, but Duck persists, to no avail, in his desire to add a turnip. Ironically, when the cake is presented, Cow sees only Duck’s turnip and completely ignores the cake. Brightly-colored line drawings and large text make this book appealing to preschoolers. EL (PK) – ADVISABLE. Reviewer: BS

 

Thomas, Jane Resh Blind Mountain, 128 p. Clarion, 2006. Rebellious Sam wants nothing to do with the hike his dad has dragged him on. Then, through Sam’s carelessness, Dad has been temporarily blinded and Sam must now lead them to safety. The Twelve-year-old protagonist is too young to pull off the attitude that he exudes If the lead were 16, this book would make much more sense. As it is, it is instead a mediocre adventure book. EL -OPTIONAL

 

Thomas, Jane Resh The Counterfeit Princess, 198 p. – Iris’s parents have been taken captive and sent to the Tower of London by the Duke of Northumberland during the reign of King Edward. Iris is taken in and trained as a spy; when she delivers a fateful message to Princess Elizabeth Iris is drawn into a deeper intrigue, passing herself off as the princess in order to help her escape Northumberland’s clutches until the power struggle for the throne is decided. A good companion to Carolyn Meyer’s books about the life of royalty. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Thomas, Peggy Farmer George Plants a Nation, paintings by Layne Johnson. Calkins Creek, 2008. PICTURE BOOK. George Washington, at heart, was a farmer first. As he nurtured his plantation and crops, he also answered the call to arms during the Revolution. Even while at battle, he still cared for his land. Even leading the new nation, he cared for his farm. He had less than two years after his presidency to enjoy the fruits of his care and labors. If you want to know about farming and farm improvements during the colonial periods and during the American Revolution, this book will do that much more than it will tell you about Washington’s military, political and personal life. It could be used in any unit about this time period, or as part of a unit on biographies. EL – OPTIONAL

 

Thompson, Kate Fourth World, 330 p. Bloomsbury – Language: PG, Sexual Content: G, Violence: G – Danny is this very different kid, who is thought to be a number of things (autistic, disabled, ect.) who lives with his father, stepmother and stepbrother Christie. When his real mom comes to visit, she takes him into the woods for a secret talk. After she leaves, Danny runs away from home, with Christie desperately trying to get him to return. They end up on a wild journey to Scotland, where his mother does scientific experiments. They meet up with a dog and bird who magically talk, and a strange homeless girl named Tina. When they finally reach his mother’s lab, they are in for a very interesting shock. Ok, I love this book, and I am usually not into science fiction related books. I got a little lost when I first started reading, but as soon as I grasped the situation I couldn’t put the book down! I would definitely recommend this book to a school library! MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: KH

 

Thompson, Kate The New Policeman, 416 p. Greenwillow (HARPER) – Time; where does time go? J.J. and everyone in his entire village, if not the countryside are all feeling as is there is never enough time to get anything done and the feeling just gets worse and worse. J.J.’s simple desire to buy some time as a gift for his mother sends him into a mystery that crosses into another world. I wish that the title of this novel were a bit more inviting and quite a bit less obscure. I mean, I get the reference, but its not going to encourage anyone to pick it up off the shelf. And, the first 100 pages of the book are obscure, too, making this title an exercise in patience that will turn off most readers. Those who persevere will not be disappointed, but I’m not so sure that they will be 100% satisfied with the experience. MS – OPTIONAL

 

Thompson, Kate Only Human 320 p. Language: PG, Sexual Content: G, Violence: PG – Only Human is a story of Christie and his family’s search for the Missing Link. Bernard, the leader of this family returns from a long voyage with a mysterious picture of a pictograph which seems to depict aliens and Bigfoot. Christie and a few others accompany Bernard on a trip to the Himalayas, hoping to find a yeti of sorts. While I believe this story had a lot of potential, it was completely blown. Apart from some interesting views of mythical creatures there was no point of reading the book. Most of the characters were flat and the twists of the plot were completely unoriginal. Overall Only Human is on the borderline between Optional and No. I know others that would enjoy it, but definitely not something that should be rushed to the shelves anytime soon. EL – OPTIONAL Student Reviewer: KH

 

Thompson, Lauren Hope is an Open Heart. Scholastic Press, September 2008. The author tries to put together a book that helps explain the circumstances and meaning of the word hope and how we use it in our lives. Hope makes a very nice gift book for someone who is going through difficult times. EL (K-3) – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

 

Thomson, Celia The Nine lives of Chloe King: #1 The Fallen 247 p. – After Chloe falls from the top of Coit Tower in San Francisco, she awakes quickly and without a scratch. Then she is followed by mysterious characters who seem to have a grand destiny in mind for her. Thank goodness I don’t have to bother reading about the rest of Chloe’s lives. Her foul mouth, her friends’ foul mouths and an unengaging story line that gives away absolutely no plot line to catch your attention for the rest of the series, makes this one and all the rest to follow a NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Thomson, Sarah L. The Manny, 181 p. – Justin is headed to the Hamptons this summer to be a nanny for a little boy. He goal is to find a hot girl to flirt with and make a load of money. However, he discovers that being a “manny” and having a girlfriend aren’t exactly what he thought they were. Justin is a cute character and he doesn’t have his head firmly stuck in the gutter. The book also shows a simpler side to nanny life in the Hamptons – not focusing on the drinking to excess and sex. Cute. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Thurlo, Aimee and David The Spirit Line – Crystal is almost finished weaving a beautiful Navajo rug, but without a “spirit line”,an imperfection, in honor of mother spider. Her rug is stolen and she is unable to weave without having visions. The local healer tells her that she must find the rug and weave in the spirit line or her life will always be out of balance. Not a bad piece of literature. El,MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Tiffany, Grace Ariel, 232 p. – From the dying wish of a shipwrecked sailor, Ariel is born with power and beauty, but confined to a small area and a bit of an island in the Bermuda Triangle. Centuries later another lost soul washes up on Ariel’s beach: a pregnant woman who curses Ariel when she must labor through child birth alone. And then Prospero and Miranda come to the island and the stage is set for a Tempest. A look into the origins of Ariel and Caliban of Shakepeare’s play. I loved the back story and the in-depth look at how Ariel uses her power to twist Prospero’s mind. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Tiglearr, Liz Playing with the Boys, 278 p. Penguin, 2008. Lucy Malone has been dragged from her familiar hometown to the bright sunshine of Southern California. Then she doesn’t even make the local soccer team. Her new (possibly) friends and the soccer coach all encourage her to try out for the open position of place kicker on the varsity football team, but when she actually makes the cut, Lucy has no idea what she is actually in for. Tigelaar’s second book about Beachwood High doesn’t work as well for me as the first one. I am actually waiting to hear Morbid’s tale (read the books if you want to know), but I don’t know if Tigelaar can craft it without the larger amount of swearing that this title had (about three dozen). HS – OPTIONAL

 

Tilly, Meg Porcupine, 233 p. Tundra Books, 2007. After their father is killed by friendly-fire in Afghanistan, Jacqueline :Jack” Cooper’s mother falls apart and abandons Jack and her sibs at their great-grandmother’s home – a Gran that they didn’t even know existed. Uneasily the group tries to figure out each other and how to cope with everything that life throws their way. A smattering of swear words is the only thing that mars this novel. Especially a large amount of the “B” word, which Jack directs at her grandmother, though I actually kind of understand the purpose in that scene; other wise, the usages are pretty much throwaways. Best add this title to a larger collection is it fairly average for this type of a book. MS – OPTIONAL

 

Tinkham, Kelly A. Hair for Mama, illustrated by Amy June Bates. PICTURE BOOK Dial (Penguin) 2007. Marcus knows that his mother is unhappy. Chemotherapy has taken away all of her hair and it is almost time for the annual family photo. In order to help his mother, Marcus decides to sacrifice his own hair, but the results aren’t quite what he expected. Marcus’ concern for his mother is very sweet and the portrayal of his mother is realistic without being extreme. An excellent read aloud for a yong class – especially if a parent is going through this event. EL – ADVISABLE

 

Tobin, Tobi Door to Door – No matter how compelling Tobi’s story might become, even if it were to receive rave reviews from the ten people I respect most (and there is NO guarantee of either of those happening), I would not be convinced of the worth of this book enough to wade again through the depths of foul language the first few chapters of this book possessed in order to finish it. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Toksvis, Sandi Hitler’s Canary, 190 pages, Roaring Brook Press – Language- PG – Bamse is living in Denmark at the time of WW2. His soldiers are everywhere, but what he doesn’t understand is why there is no fighting? The British radio are calling Denmark Hitler’s Canary’s because they will just sit in his cage and chirp any song he wants them to. Basme, his Jewish friend Anton, and his brother join a rebellion group organized by teenage boys. This book was OK. It didn’t really have all that much action but the plot was really good so it kept me interested throughout the book. MS – ADVISABLE; Student Reviewer:LW

 

Tolan, Stephanie Listen! 197 p. – RELEASE: April 25 2006. Charley was injured in a terrible car accident caused by her best friend’s brother. The girls have barely spoken since and now Amy will be gone all summer. To fill her days, Charley works to gain the trust of a beautiful chow-shepherd dog that has been running wild around the lake for several weeks now. Both Charley’s physical and mental recovery and “Coyote’s” path towards trust are long and complicated, with several set backs. Once the two learn to “listen” carefully to each other, then the breakthrough is made. Young readers will enjoy this book as it chronicles Charley’s careful steps to gain Coyote’s trust. Slightly older readers may enjoy Charley’s personal journey. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Toliver, Wendy The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren 281pages, Simon Pulse. Language PG13- Sexual Content PG- Violence G- Roxy is a band geek. She can barely get cute guys to notice her, much less date her. Then on her birthday she turns into a Siren: incredibly beautiful with the power to control all men. Now she can get a guy to do anything she wants with just a few notes from her flute. There are two rules though; you can’t tell anyone about being a Siren, and you can’t fall in love. When she starts dating Zach, the guy everybody’s crushing on she realizes she could get used to being a Siren…but how can she not fall in love? A great book for teens that enjoy a fun romantic comedy. MS-HS ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: RH

 

Tomlinson, Heather The Swan Maiden, 292 p. Henry Holt, 2007. As the younger sister to two powerful swan maidens, Doucette has barely resigned herself to a life of service and a wealthy husband, even though her heart yearns for wings. Then one day her world turns upside down when discovers her parents have lied to her all these years: she finds her cloak of feathers and works hard to discover her destiny. A sweet, exciting book that embroiders upon existing fairy tales. Girlie girls will love it. MS – ADVISABLE

 

Torrey, Michelle To the End of The World – Mateo is recruited to join Magellanes ships as he searches for a western passage to the Spice Islands. This book is SO much better than Stowaway (Hesse)! The action is pretty tight and keeps the interest up. There is also a good historic explanation at the end. I bet your US history teachers would like this one for when they discuss exploration. ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Townley, Roderick The Red Thread, 294 p. Simon and Schuster – Because of her increasingly bad dreams, Dana has been seeing a therapist. Just when they seem to be making a break through with regression therapy, Dana’s dreams seem to be getting worse – it actually feels as if she is in the past. Now that past seems to also be threatening her future – and Dan’s life or the life of someone she loves may be in danger. She will have to muster courage and plunge into her dreams in order to discover the truth and save a life. A richly woven tale of past lives and future consequences that will engage readers. While it reads like a fantasy, it would actually be considered science fiction or science fact. MS, HS – ADVSIABLE

 

Trent, Tiffany In the Serpent’s Coils, 304 p. Mirrorstone, 2007. Innocent young Corrine has angered her guardian and he sends her off to boarding school, but trouble seems to follow. A mysterious man is haunting her days and her dreams. No one seems to be as they should and danger lurks in the woods. Two girls have already disappeared and Corrine has a knack for doing exactly the wrong thing. As first books in a series go, its not too bad. It can’t really stand one its own, as it raises way too many question. The author relies too much on keeping the main character and the reader in the dark, losing a chance to create a fine bit of fantasy. I did enjoy this more that Libby Bray’s books, however. It is released in paperback, so go for it. MS – ADVISABLE

 

Townley, Roderick Sky, 265 p. – Alec “Sky” Schuyler is an aspiring jazz pianist in New York City at the end of the 1950’s. His father can not understand and makes the deperate move of throwing out their piano in order to get Sky to stop dreaming. Sky takes to the street to escape his father and finds refuge in the apartment of a reclusive jazz legend. He also has to deal with the fact that one of his teachers is making inappropriate moves on his date for the prom. Over the years, Sky has talked less and less, but in order to straighten things out, he is going to have to find his voice and take a stand. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Triana, Gaby Back Stage Pass, 217 p. – Desert’s father is the lead singer of a famous old school rock band. For the first time she enters a regular school, hoping that people will just treat her normally. Even though the school finds out pretty fast, she manages to find one girl and one boy who treat her like a human being and not just a ticket to back stage. Meanwhile, her father’s band is going through a crisis – and Desert finds out that the problems were encouraged by a person close to the band who is trying to ruin everything (H*** has no fury like a woman scorned). Pretty fluffy, but still fun. If you have Guitar Girl in your collection, you probably need this one too. MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Trottier, Maxine Sister to the Wolf, 348 p. – The story of Fort Detroit told through the eyes of a fictional girl, Cecile, who accompanies her father to the fort along with a Pawnee who, she bought and freed back in Quebec. Tensions at the fort lead Cecile to live with the local tribes, which precipitates an uprising that comes close to destroying the fort. If you need another book for a U.S. historical fiction project, this is an okay one to add. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Trueit, Trudi Julep O’Toole: Confessions of a Middle Child, 165 p. – Julep feels invisible at home and at school. Her older sister is perfect and beautiful. Her younger brother is a brat, but he has really bad allergies, so Julep has to move out of her beloved room with its hardwood floors and into her brother’s scummy carpeted room. She thinks her luck may be changing when she invited to a Halloween party by the most popular girl at school. Then an emergency occurs that helps Julep understand what makes her special and how much she is appreciated. A pretty classic middle school “I don’t fit in” book. Not as unique as Stargirl or Pinballs, but well worth having in paperback. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Trueman, Terry Inside Out – Zach needs his medication to hold his schizophrenia under control, but the coffee shop he is waiting in is held up by two young gunmen. Zach looses control over reality. ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Trumbore, Cindy The Genie in the Book, 119 p. – Will is sure that this summer is going to be the worst, because his parents’ business is in danger of going under so they can’t go to Grandma’s with Will and his sister Maddy. Then, while leafing through Arabian Night, Will releases a genie who must grant Will’s wishes until he attains his heart’s desire. Flying, traveling the world, saving his parent’s business are a small part of what might make Will happy. Extremely cute. EL – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Truss, Lynne The Girl’s Like Spaghetti: Why You Can’t Manage Without Apostrophes!, illustrated by Bonnie Timmons. PICTURE BOOK, Putnam’s (Penguin), 2007. With the same humor that they brought to commas, author and illustrator now tackle the apostrophe. They even have a clever page devoted to It’s vs Its, which just may help even me to remember the rule! Excellent for any level of Language Arts class. EL, MS – ESSENTIAL; HS – ADVISABLE

 

Tullson, Diane Red Sea, 169 p. – Libby’s mother and step-father have dragged away from home and her boyfriend for a year of sailing around the Mediterranean Sea. Libby’s bad attitude and rebellion do nothing for her when the boat is attacked by modern pirates with automatic weapons. Duncan is killed and Libby’s mom is going to die unless Libby can pull it together and find her way to safety. She has the skills, but does she have the nerve? The action is great and will keep boys’ or girls’ attention. Only the back story about Libby’s rebellion is weak. There is one spot of implied sexual contact, but only the closest readers will catch it. MS, HS-ADVSIABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Tullson, Diane Saving Jasey – Gavin’s father is a drunk and now his older brother is a drug user and abusive. The only good thing in his life is his best friend Trist and Trist’s family – especially Jasey, Trist’s older sister. Jasey seems to be on the path to self-destruction along with Blake and Gavin is sure he can save her. Another excellent selection from the same publisher who does the ORCA Soundings imprint. This one, though, is longer, for those readers with a better attention span! ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Tunnell, Michael O. Moon Without Magic, 218 p. Dutton (Penguin), 2007. Aminah has been creating happiness with her judicious use of the genie’s powers. Her latest project needs a lot of attention, but all of her plans are derailed when Idris comes back and steals the never-empty chest of gold and Jinni’s lamp. Not Jinni, however – he is stuck outside the lamp, and his original, evil, human is trying to exert control over his new Uncle Omar personality. Meanwhile, the Princess has enlisted the help of a demon hunter to track down Aminah so that she can take control of the lamp, rid herself of Aladdin and dominate her father’s kingdom. A delightful sequel to Wishing Moon, though I wish Mr. Tunnel had emphasized the ‘fairy godmother” aspect of the original novel, but it works just as well as a look into life without magic. MS – ADVISABLE

 

Tunnel, Michael O. Wishing Moon, 266 p. – Aminah is starving to death and decides to appeal to Aladdin’s new wife, the daughter of the Sultan, for a little help to survive the night. In return, the Sultan’s daughter throws a old piece of bricabrac at the girl, knocking her in the head and knocking her out. Of course the useless weapon is Aladdin’s lamp and the genie reluctantly helps Aminah as she uses her three wishes each new moon. Very well done! With a great little twist at the end. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

 

Turner, Megan Whalen The King of Attolia, 390 p. – Language- PG-13; Sexual Content- G; Violence- G – The thief of Eddis has won the heart of the queen of Attolia. As the new king, he has to earn the respect of his people, and most of all his guards and attendants, before they kill him! I didn’t like this book that much. The beginning was really slow but through the end and the middle it picked up a little bit. MS- OPTIONAL Student Reviewer: LW

 

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