RSS Feed

Pre2006 Reviews – W

Wahl, Mats The Invisible, 186 p. FSG – When Hilmer walks into class that morning, he discovers that absolutely no one can see him. Only by sticking close to the police detective assigned to find him does he have any hope of discovering what happened to him. The detective, Fors, does not have an easy time, because no one wants to help expose the town’s dark secrets. Translated from the original Swedish. A dozen-ish swear words (no “f”) make this book a hard choice for middle schools. It would be great in paperback for high schools, though. A movie version is due out at the end of April, but the protagonist is an adult instead of a kid, so cross promotion may not work well. MS, HS – OPTIONAL

Wait, Lea Wintering Well, 181 p. – Will loses a leg in a farming accident and must find a new place for himself in the world. Set in the 1820’s, Will’s father makes him feel like a burden to be suffered. It is only when he moves to town with to live with his older sister’s family that Will finds that his options are only as limited as he lets them be. Paperback imprint of the 2004 novel. Buy it in paper. EL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Waite, Judy Forbidden, 249 p. – As a member of True Cause, Elinor’s days are well regulated. As one of the Chosen, she also knows that it is her destiny to be a Bride of True Cause’s founder. Then one day in the woods, Elinor meets Jamie; meeting him starts all kinds of Bad Thoughts in her head and brings up memories that she suppressed long ago. An excellent book about brainwashing and cults. There is one scene after Elinor is “wed” where she is thrown on the bed, stripped and use, but it is describe without fanfare or elaboration. Loved it. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Walden, Mark HIVE: The Overlord Protocol, 376 p. Simon and Schuster, 2008. When Wing’s father dies, Otto accompanies him to Japan for the funeral. Little do they know that the whole thing is a ruse in a two-pronged attack in an evil mastermind’s scheme to take control of the world’s evil. Unfortunately, this mastermind underestimates the skills and talents of Otto and his friends, who are more than happy to thwart anyone’s plans that include killing them. Another non-stop thrill ride that any kid will love. Get it now! MS – ESSENTIAL

Waldorf, Heather Fighting the Current, 224 p. Lobster – Ever since Theresa’s father was badly injured in a drunk-driving accident, she has lived with her famous, mystery-writing aunt, trying to keep going with school and still visit her father in the rehabilitation home on the weekends. The new boy in school, Ethan, catches her attention and also helps her struggle through the many curves the life throws Theresa’s way. There is enough material in this book for an entire series. In fact, it is divided into 5 part and each part could have been its own book with a bit more writing. Fast-paced action keeps coming at you and Theresa is a very sympathetic main character. There are a half dozen swear words, mostly in the scene where Theresa’s dad has a bad reaction to his medication and swears at her (two f’s) and one reference to sex. MS-ADVISABLE (but think about it), HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Walker, Melissa Violet on the Runway, 228 p. Special Scholastic Edition (originally released by Penguin), 2008. First – please be aware that you SHOULD NOT confuse the Penguin original edition with the Special Scholastic Edition of this book. Her is a link to my review of the original. That being said, here is the review for this edition. Violet Greenfield is super tall, super skinny and super not-fitting-in at her high school. Oh, she has her friends, but not much more than a couple. At her movie theater job, one night, she catches the eye of a high fashion model agent, who hands Violet her card and starts her on the road to supermodel-dom. Violet makes a huge splash on her very first trip down the runway and as soon as possible she heads off for a life in the big city to see if she can really make it. Violet is dazzled by the bright lights, hurt by her callous model roommates and drawn into the party life of seeing and being-seen. Then an ugly confrontation with last best friend wakes Violet up to the fact that she had better make some hard choices, or the model lifestyle may very well eat her up. Scholastic has managed to scrub away every swear word, drug and alcohol reference in the book. Though the book lost its “edginess”, it didn’t lose its main message about the model lifestyle. The cover is ultra pink, a bit sparkly and definitely attention-catching. If you choose this particular edition for your school library, you can do so without wincing and know that it will make the rounds. I don’t think you can get in anywhere except at the Scholastic book fairs, so you’d better find your closest warehouse and pick up a couple today! MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Walker, Melisaa Violet by Design, 205 p. Penguin, 2008. Violet has pretty much given up the modeling thing, except the temptation of a fabulous modeling job in Brazil. Once there, she gets involved with a designer who only breaks her heart, but also gets sucked right back in to the entire model craziness, jetting off to Spain and then to Paris, while nursing a heartbreak. She manages to hurt her best friend’s feelings (again) and succumb to the lure of the spotlight. While there is less swearing in this second title of the series (about 2 dozen, 5 “f’s”), Violet was driving me a little crazy with her yo-yo attitude about the whole fashion biz. But she is a typical young person, trying to find her place, lacking self-confidence and unsure what being in love really means. While probably not appropriate for school libraries, I am sure it will do well in the public market. NO

Walker, Sally M. The Vowel Family: A Tale of Lost Letters, illustrated by Kevin Luthardt, Carolrhoda (Lerner), 2008. PICTURE BOOK. The importance of vowels are explored in this happy tale of a couple whose speech becomes clearer as each well-vowelled child is born into the family (Alan, Ellen, Iris, Otto, Ursula). When a crisis hits the family, Aunt Cyndy steps in to help save the day. Younger children may enjoy deciphering the vowel-less early pages and the supporting story is kind of cute. EL (K-2) – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Walker, Sally M. Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland, 134 p. Carolrhoda (Lerner), 2009. Ms. Walker worked along a team of forensic scientists as they evcavated the gravesites of people buried in and around James Fort in Jamestown, Virginia. Her detailed explanations of the excavation methods and the insights gain into the lives of the colonists are fascinating. Many photographs on every page give much more than a glimpse into the lives of the colonists, from a teenaged boy, a captain, a servant and a few others. The book is gorgeous, but I am unsure how it would be used in the classroom. While the time period is extensively covered at almost every grade level, the details are not the sort that lend themselves to a typical research topic. Older students of science or anthropology may ge the most out of this book. MS, HS – OPTIONAL.

Wallace-Brodeur, Ruth Heron Cove, 138 p. – When Sage’s mother goes away for a summer retreat, Sage is sent to live with her great-aunts in quiet Heron Cove. As she finds a best friend and falls more in love with her life, Sage is also worried that her mother may not ever want her back. Adorable is a good word for this book. Charming, cute. Chalk it up as a squeaky clean read. EL-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wallace, Bill The Legend Of Thunderfoot,150 p. Aladdin Paperbacks. Language – G, Sexual Content – G, Violence – G; On the day of his Naming, the young roadrunner accidentally lands right on top of a baby rattlesnake. It bites, and his feet swell. They are HUGE! What other choice did his parents have but to name him Thunderfoot? After meeting some new friends, he learns that he can deal with the challenges he has and move on. This is a very cute book, and very clean. I enjoyed it, but it is definitely meant for younger audiences. It is well written, and easy to understand. An excellent book all around for younger kids. EL – ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: RG

Wallace, Bill Skinny-dipping in Monster Lake, 209 p. – Kent and his friends are ready for another summer of hanging out at the lake and playing any kind of war game they can. This summer, though, they have personal contact with the monster in the lake. Typical of 12 year olds, the book does contain some suggestions only of boy body parts. The discovery of the identity of the monster and the action after the huge windstorm makes this a great adventure book – maybe even a good read-a-loud, if you can get through the snickery parts! EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wallace, Rich Dunk Under Pressure, 119 p. – Cornell “Dunk” Duncan is not the greatest sixth grade basketball player, but he has practiced his freethrows enough to make it on a traveling team. He fells he has ruined his team’s playoff chances when he chokes under pressure, but understanding coaches and friends help him to bounce back. Wallace’s Winning Season for younger and reluctant readers has another strong addition. I personally appreciate the up beat tone of the writing, compared against the many cut throat sports novels for teens I usually read. EL-ESSENTIAL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wallace, Rich Technical Foul 118 p. – Jared’s sixth grade basketball team is doing very well – partially because Jared isn’t a very good team player. After he is benched due to technical fouls, Jared is able to reassess his place on the team and help the entire group make it to the playoffs. Although I have a hard time believing that 6th grade B-ball is so intense, this was an okay book that will appeal to the same kids who read the Matt Christopher books. El- ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Walsh, Ann Flower Power, 107 p. – Callie wakes up to find her mother chained to their neighbor’s tree in order to keep him from cutting it down. Callie calls all of the news outlets like her mother asks her to and in the accompanying storm of interest, her grandmother shows up in support. The three women, all names for flowers, cause a controversy that polarizes the neighborhood and only quick thinking may extract them all before the police arrest Callie’s mother. One of the more mild books of Orca’s soundings series, but still a fun, fast read. MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Walton, Jo Tooth and Claw – Ben Agornin has died and at his funeral, his son-in-law eats more than his fair share of the corpse, setting off many problems for the entire family. Think Victorian romance with dragons playing all of the parts. Not a bad read. ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Warner, Sally Long time ago today – 12 year old Dilly has been living with the death of her mother for 6 years now and she’s tired of her mother’s memory running her life. Now she has been given a letter that her mother wrote to her on her death bed. Before she decides to read it, Dilly has to find out a lot more about herself. OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Warner, Sally Super Emma. 90 p. Viking. Language- G; Sexual Content- G; Violence- G. Emma is sick of the school bully Jared. So she does something about it. She takes EllRays toy from Jared. Now everyone is calling her Super Emma and Jared is making EllRay be rude to her. Will Emma ever fit in? I didn’t really like this book. It shows you how early bullying starts and it shows you very few people like it. EL-OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: SH

Warner, Sally Twilight Child, 216 p. Viking – Language- G, Sexual content- G, Violence- PG – This book was about a girl named Eleni. She was born on Twilight on the longest day of the year. Meaning that she is supposed to gain some sort of special powers, but she doesn’t really want them. She goes through a time of hardships and then she gets to this little town called, Tobermory. She gets lots of good times there and some bad ones as well. I loved this book I thought it was amazing, but it was also really sad at some parts too. Really adventurous and sort of a romance nearing the end. It was amazing! MS HS ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: AN

Wasserman, Robin Hacking Harvard, pgs- 320 Publisher- Simon Pulse Language- R, Sexual Content- R, Violence-PG 13; Three High School seniors love to hack and play pranks on everyone who messes with them. They are the masters of all pranks until they bet against some other prankers. They have to hack and get an unqualified slacker into the hardest school in the country, Harvard. The stakes keep getting higher and higher as time goes on. Will they do it or will they lose? This book had a very good idea and plot. I like the whole idea of people trying to get someone into Harvard. But the way this book was I did not like at all. The swearing was on every page and non stop. The sexualness was horrible it described alot and I didn’t like it. If this book didnt have the swearing and the sexual content that it did I believe that it would have been a very great book but because it did, it is not a good book at all. HS, NO; Student Reviewer: AN

Watson, Elsa Maid Marian, 307 p. – Marian wasmarried at the age of 6 to a boy who turned cruel as her matured. When her “husband” dies, Marian is hard-pressed to feel sorrow, but she does have to stand up to the boy’s mother as she tries to take everything away from Marian. When the lady tries to marry Marian to her other son, Marian is saved by none other than Robin Hood. Marian finds herself falling in love. But she also decided she must take decisive action in order to regain her inheritance. A very “girl-power” look at the Robin Hood story, but well-written and intriguing. Not for the casual reader, but many students will love it. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Watson, Jude Star Wars: Legacy of the Jedi/Secrets of the Jedi Pages: 204 (Legacy)/ 227 (Secrets) – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Qui Gon Jin and other Jedi are placed in some of the most dangerous situations ever devised as they strive to bring justice back to the galaxy. However, their inner emotions may be the cause of their downfall as they struggle with love, hate, and many others forbidden by the Jedi code. Written as a two-books-in-one book, it’s hard to write a definite plot for it, but rest assured, it’s full of Jedi goodness. Just like any Star Wars book, this book has its fair share of assassination plots, lightsaber battles, spaceships shot down, etc. This would make the violence page longer then the review itself if I listed them all, but I did not believe it to be excessive or gory, so it is a G rating. Those who walk the path of the Jedi lead dangerous lives; may the Force be with them. MS – ADVISABLE Student Reviewer: CG

Watson, Richard Jesse and Benjamin James Watson The Boy Who Went Ape. Blue Sky Press (Scholastic), September, 2008. PICTURE BOOK. Benjamin is the naughtiest boy in his class – so naughty, in fact, that when he trades places with an ape at the zoo, his class doesn’t even notice for almost all of the rest of the day. While the chimp scatters havoc wherever he goes, Benjamin remains behind with the apes, integrating into the group. I can just imagine zookeepers up in arms about a book promoting children walking into the cages at the zoo! As for me, this book just doesn’t work. EL – NO. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Watt, Melanie Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend PICTURE BOOK Kids Can Press – Scaredy Squirrel wants a friend very badly, but he has a very strict list of high standards. He’s found the perfect candidate, but a dangerous looking character stands in his way. Scaredy Squirrel can stick to his plan, or take a chance and maybe find a different kind of friend. A cute book for elementary school and Teacher Advisory programs to get kids talking about what really makes a good friend. EL, MS – ADVISABLE

Watts, Irene N. When the Bough Breaks, 145 p. Tundra Books, 2007. During the Great Depression, Millie’s mom announces that she is going to have another baby. The loving family is prepared for another member, but they are not prepared for the upsets, stress and danger that arrive when mom dies in childbirth and a mysterious female drifter has an unhealthy interest in the baby. This quiet, powerful book is well-written. I am just unsure how it will find its audience. If Anne of Green Gables and Little Women are well read in your school, then this will also be a good choice. MS – OPTIONAL (is in paperback).

Watts, Irene Finding Sophie – Sophie was sent to a family friend in England during the kindertransport of children out of Germany before WWII. Now the war is over and Sophie is not sure she wants to go back to her parents. Good flashbacks to Sophie’s journey on the transport, plus tie-ins to Watts other book, Goodbye Marianne. ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Waugh, Sylvia Who Goes Home? 213 p. – Companion to Space Race and Earthborn. Jacob’s father Steven is a facilitator for the planet Ormingat. Jacon was dedicated to Ormingat as baby in order to survive. When Thomas and Nesta stir up things on earth, the powers that be force Steven and Jacob to make some hard choices. All three books are well worth having. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

We Are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures, 60 p. Frances Lincoln, 2008. 28 illustrators each tackle part of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and illustrate the principles so that even a young child can understand its meaning. Each article has been simplified by Amnesty International, the originators of the declaration. The book is worth buying just for the illustrations, but getting the message of the Declaration out is even more important. I can’t imagine a school which couldn’t use this book – its message is applicable at every level. EL, MS, HS – ESSENTIAL.

Weatherford, Carole Boston Before John was a Jazz Giant, illustrated by Sean Qualls. PICTURE BOOK. Henry Holt, 2008. Before John Coltrane became a fames jazz musician, he started out in a world and home filled with sounds to tantalize his ears. While the book is short on biography, it has plenty of sights and sounds to stimulate the imagination. I can see an elementary or a music teacher using this title as a springboard for a fantastic lesson on the richness of sounds all around us. EL – ESSENTIAL

Weatherford, Carole Boston Birmingham, 1963. Wordsong (Boyds Mill), 2007. PICTURE BOOK. Told through the eyes of a fictious ten-year-old, the Birmingham Church bombing of 1963 comes quickly alive, in a tear-jerking rush of poetry and photographs from the day. This short, dramatic reading is a perfect introduction to any unit of study about the Civil Rights Movement, or a novel about that era. MS, HS – ADVISABLE

Weatherill, Cat Snowbone, 336 p. Knopf Books – Language: G; Sexual Content: G; Violence: G – She’s made of wood and has a craving for adventure. Ashenpeakers are real people made of wood, and they’re considered to be great slaves. Snowbone and her gang go on a quest to save her people. Every step closer to victory is more tiresome than the last, but that’s not stopping this leader. This story reminds me of Pinocchio on account of the wooden people. To me, its a little far-fetched but it is creative. I think this book would be better for younger students. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: TT

Weaver, Will Defect, 199 p. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2007. David was born with buggy eyes, a pinched up face and wings. No one knows about the wings, but the eyes and face are enough to make him a target at school. He has no friends until he winds up at the local alternative school, where he meets Cheetah, a dwarf with a giant-sized personality. David’s secret is revealed and he has to choose whether to remain as he is or to have surgery to make him “normal”. There have been several books written about teens with wings and this offering is just as good as any of them. MS – OPTIONAL

Weber, Elka The Yankee at the Seder, illustrations by Adam Gustavson. Tricycle Press, 2009. $16.99. PICTURE BOOK. Jacob, ten, is angry at the Yankees for beating the South. But when Passover arrives, a Yankee Jew happens along their family farm and in the spirit of Passover, they welcome him. That night both sides learn good things about each other. Based on a true story from the Civil War. I love a good story that reminds us how much more similar we are with each other than we are different. This would blend nicely with either a unit on the Civil War, a lesson on Judaism or Passover, or even a Teacher Advisory lesson about getting to know someone before you judge them. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher

Weeks, Sarah Jumping the Scratch, 167 p. – Jamie and his mother live with his Aunt Sapphy, who was in a bad accident. Since that day, she has not been able to form any new memories. For her it is always the day of the accident. For Jamie it is the opposite. He has something that he desperately wants to forget. At school he is virtually friendless, keeping everyone at more than arm’s distance. Only Audrey, who won’t take no for an answer, is willing to try to find a way inside. In the end, Jamie and his aunt both need a break through in order to save them. If you enjoyed So B. It, you will also enjoy this. El, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Weeks, Sarah So B. It – Heidi’s mother is incapable of taking care of Heidi or herself, so Heidi has been raised by her next-door neighbor, Bernadette. Heidi one day finds some mysterious photographs of her mother’s previous life, which leads her on a cross-country quest to find her roots. Heidi’s character is very likable. Though there is no compelling drama, or crucial tension in then plot, this is an engaging book that reads quickly and is hard to put down. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Weeks, Sarah and Betsy Lewin Two Eggs, Please PICTURE BOOK Simon Schuster – Nine diverse characters walk into a restaurant and all order two eggs, but each prepared different ways. Ms. Lewin’s bright watercolor illustrations compliment an effective character lesson that Ms. Weeks learned from her son’s kindergarten teacher. A must have title for all Teacher Advisory programs! EL, MS, HS – ESSENTIAL

Weeks, Sarah Bunny Fun, illustrated by Sam Williams. PICTURE BOOK. Harcourt, 2007. Bunny is stuck inside on a rainy day, but that doesn’t stop him and his friends from having a whole lot of fun and an equal share of mischief. And when the rain disappears, the fun continues outside. Not only bunnies, but small children and their mommies can learn much from this book about have fun with a few props and a lot of imagination. EL- OPTIONAL

Wein, Elizabeth E. The Lion Hunter, 216 pgs. Penguin Books Ltd. Language- PG, Sexual Content- G; Violence- G; Telemakos loves both lions and his new born sister, Athena. He is required to go off to school, but he doesn’t want to leave Athena, so he takes her with him. This book is all about him and his journey through school with his little sister and the challenges he faces. I really enjoyed this book. I liked how it showed how much love was felt between Telemakos and Athena. I also liked how this book wasn’t graphic when it would have been easy to. I think that the author did a very good job with this book and I really liked it. MS, HS-ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer:MB

Weiner, Jessica Life Doesn’t Begin 5 Pounds from Now, 198 p. Simon and Schuster – Language: PG (Some scattered swearing), Sexual Content: G, Violence: G – This is another book that will walk you through your feelings about your body, what you love and hate, and then tell you one method you can use to erase all of the negative and hateful feelings you have about it, focusing specifically on the language we use to describe it, called “The Language of Fat”. I thought this book might have some interesting ideas in it to help you be more positive in general about yourself and others, and it did. However, it began to repeat facts again and again, and started to bore me, as I felt as though I had read the same concept many times over. Helpful, yes, but not the best one out there. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Student Reviewer: KR

Weinheimer, Beckie Converting Kate, 312 p. Penguin – Kate has played the dutiful daughter all of her life, following her mom to church and doing everything asked of her. After the divorce and after her father’s death, however, Kate is questioning all that she used to believe and do and she is also questioning her mother’s motives and tactics. Moving across the country into her great aunt’s bed and breakfast gives her that chance to try her wings, even if it means confronting her mother. Thought the author says that there is no Church of the Holy Divine, the church references in the novel feel like a strange twisting of the LDS (Mormon) religion. In spite of that, the novel is a very good look at the need for teens to work things out for themselves and take charge of their own lives. There are references to pornography and homosexuality, not in a titillating fashion, but as issues in religion that need to be discussed. Altogether, this title would be a fine addition to a YA collection. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL

Wells, Martha The Wizard Hunters – Tremaine is a the caretaker of a magical sphere that just might be able to save her country from destruction by hostile invaders from another dimension. Propelled to a third dimension, with some of her countrymen, she contacts natives of the world that the hositles are using as a homebase for attacks. Very exciting and a great new fantasy world. MS-ADVISABLE, HS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wells, Pamela The Crushes: Love Struck, 347 pgs. Scholastic inc. Language-PG-13(a lot of swearing), sexual content-PG: Violence-G; Alexia, Raven, Kelly, and Sydney are best friends who make up a list of rules on how to get their crushes. This book shows them trying to follow those rules. I like this book because it plays on your emotions a lot. It is really fun to see how the different characters act to different things. MS,HS-ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: MB.

Wells, Pamela The Heartbreakers, 304 p. Scholastic, Dec 2007. Best friends Raven, Kelly and Sydney all breakup with their boyfriends on the same night. Sydney, the only BFF without a boy, tries to help the girls through the pain by creating The Breakup Code. All four girls have their own problems adhering to the rules of the code, but in the end they realize that together they have made it through. A dozen swear words and a night of teen drunkenness tipped the scale for me from ADVISABLE to OPTIONAL on this one. Though pretty cute, it is not powerful. MS, HS – OPTIONAL

Wells, Rosemary Red Moon at Sharpsburg, 236 p. Penguin – India Moody and her family live in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley at the beginning of the Civil War. The next several years will see their lives and their land torn apart during many of the war’s bloodiest battles and burnings. India’s desire for higher education, her love for her family and fear for their safety carry this beautifully written novel through the ugly scenes of war. Rosemary Wells has crafted a fine piece of historical fiction, which is a worthy addition to any sized collection. MS-ESSENTIAL

Welsh, T.K. Resurrection Men, 214 p. Penguin – Yong Victor is an orphan, trying to survive on the streets of London in the 1830’s. First he finds a place with a “family” of beggars. Then he catches the eye of a London surgeon, who believes that Victor had the innate intelligence and talent to learn the craft. Unfortunately, these two situations plunge Victor into the seedy world of body-snatching and grave-robbing. And some doctors are note content with already dead bodies. One doctor in particular is willing to snatch children and keep them around until he needs a fresh specimen. As intriguing as the subject is and as good as the writing is, these things don’t compensate for the unnecessary scene of a nubile girl sitting naked on a carousel for the cruel man’s pleasure. Buy Fleshmarket buy Nicola Morgan instead. NO

Weltig, Matthew S. Pol Pot’s Cambodia, 149 p. Twenty-First Century (Lerner), 2009. You will torn whether to file this book under the biographies or whether to place it with your Cambodia books, as it shows the interweaving of Pol Pot’s life with the history of his country. While the information is detailed enough for a high school research project, the color, sidebars and formatting make this accessible to a well-educated middle student also. It’s nice to have books that don’t talk down to the students. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Cindy, Library-Teacher

Werlin, Nancy Double Helix – Eli has taken a summer job with Wyatt Transgenics, a company lead by Dr. Wyatt, whom Eli’s father hates. Since his mom entered the final stages of Huntington’s disease, Eli has been angry and searching for answers. There are three scenes that I can remember off hand that imply Eli and his girlfriend are having sex, and one scene talks about condoms. MS-ADVISABLE (read it yourself, first), HS-ADVISABLE. . Cindy, Library Teacher

Werlin, Nancy The Rules of Survival 259 p. Penguin – Since he was little, Matthew has tried to shield his sister’s from their mother’s eccentricities and abuse. Though their aunt lives downstairs and there is close by, neither of those adults seem to take any interest in what truly is happening to the children. Only persistence from Matthew and the intervention of a stranger start major changes for everyone. Without resorting to shock and awe, Werlin has written a brilliant book that teenagers will devour and then tell their friends about. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Westerfeld , Scott Peeps 312 P. Penguin – language- R; sexual content- PG- 13; Violence- PG 13 – The book Peeps is about a guy named Cal Thompson. His life is going like a normal teenagers life would. Until he gets infested with a disease. And he has to find all of his former girlfriends that he infected. When they get this disease they become sort of vampires. Cal is only a carrier which is someone with out all of the symptoms but it makes his horny all the time. This book was a good book except for the horny and sicking parts. There was a lot of bad language in this book. I was almost disappointed with scott westerfeld with this book because I am a big fan of him. this book was okay except for the bad parts. MS, HS – OPTIONAL Student Reviewer: AN

Westerfeld, Scott The Last Days 286 p. Penguin – language- R; sexual content- PG 13 ; violence- PG – This book is a sequel to Peeps. This book is about a group of teens who want to start a band. They have trouble finding people for the band and when they finally get everyone their band is great. But Manhattan is not. Things are going weird with people all around town and in the band. I liked this book except for the sexual content where the characters are horny. I thought that this book was a lot better in content than the first book but it still had a lot of swearing. MS,HS OPTIONAL Student Reviewer: AN

Westerfeld, Scott Touching Darkness, 330 p. – Second in the Midnighters series – Jessica Day has discovered her powers during the secret hour, but now someone is stalking her. That someone may be part of the same group that caused the disappearance of all of the other midnighters almost 50 years ago. The same group that may be trying to kill all of this generation also. A well done sequel. Make sure you have the series! EL, MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Westerfeld, Scott Uglies, 426 p. – Tally is almost 16 and just waiting for the day that she can become a “Pretty,” genetically altered to remove any inconsistencies from her looks, body and mind. In the days before the change, she meets Shay, who goes with Tally on her excursions into the forbidden zones. Shay doesn’t want to become Pretty and Tally gets caught up in a group of rebels who may threaten Tally’s chance for change forever. A good book about a society that tries to remove social ills by making everyone equal. A great commentary on our current culture of beauty and non-acceptance. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Weyn, Suzanne Night Dance, 193 p. – Rowena searches for a way to the outside world after her father has imprisoned her and her eleven sisters behind high stone walls – to keep them from running away like their mother did. One night the girls find a passageway under the castle that takes them to a huge underground lake where stag-headed men dance the might away on a beautiful island. Rowena knows that this is just a distraction to keep her from finding her mother, but she too is caught up in the enchantment. Only when Bedevire, the former Knight of the Round Table, comes to the mansion to discover the girls’ secret, does she have enough strength to make a move to break free. A wonderful mixing of the stories of the 12 Dancing Princesses and the Lady in the Lake, with Morgan LeFey complicating matters. I love this entire Simon and Schuster imprint. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Weyn, Suzanne Reincarnation, 293, Scholastic Press, Language- G; Violence – PG; Sexual Content – PG; Review: They first meet at the beginning of civilization and love each other at the end. There is such a strong pull between these two souls that they don’t stop being reincarnated until they can live a life together. I liked this book. It’s way different like I have never read anything like it. Its a little weird but its still pretty cool. Interest Level – MS – OPTIONAL, Student Reviewer: AA.

Weyn, Suzanne Water Song 189 p. Simon Schuster – Emma and her mother made the terrible mistake of seeking refuge at their Belgian estate in the early days of WWI. Now she is caught between the opposing forces. She rescues an American who has fallen in to her well after he was caught in one of the first poisonous gas attacks – the same evening that the Germans capture her family home. More historical fiction than retold fairytale – the bones of the The Frog Prince are there, but take back seat to the highly engaging history. You need the entire Once Upon a Time Series. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Whelan, Gloria Chu Ju’s House, 227 p. – Chu Ju leaves home when she learns that her new baby sister is supposed to be sold to an orphanage. She finds her way to a poor, but well-kept farm, where she helps an old woman with her rice padi, as her son leaves for the big city of Shanghai. As well-written as Homeless Bird, also by Whelan, it is a treat to read. EL, MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

White, Ruth Way Down Deep, 197 p. Farrar, Strauss, Giroux – Ten years ago, a little girl mysteriously appeared in the town of Way Down Deep and was adopted by the town’s boarding house proprietress. Now, a new family in town may have the key to Ruby’s birth family. But sometimes, knowing your roots is not is not better than knowing the people who have raised you like your own. Fans of Sharon Creech, Cathy Cassidy and D. Anne Love will enjoy this delightful book. EL, MS- ADVISABLE

Whitesel, Cheryl Aylward Blue Fingers: A Ninja’s Tale – Koji is the weaker and lees-skilled of a pair of twins. After failing as the apprentice of a dyemaker, he runs into the woods and is captured by a local band of ninjas. EL-ADVISABLE; MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Whitesel, Cheryl Aylward Blue Fingers: A Ninja’s Tale – Koji is the weaker and lees-skilled of a pair of twins. After failing as the apprentice of a dyemaker, he runs into the woods and is captured by a local band of ninjas. EL-ADVISABLE; MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Whitlock, Dean Raven, 240 p. Clarion, May 2007. Raven fled her owner’s estate four years ago and has trained in her bird mage talent. Now she returns to the estate to check on her mother and other friends that she left behind. The home is in chaos and Raven’s life and many other lives are in danger because of the power struggle for control of the lands. The non-stop action and ever increasing danger is so non-stop that there is no time to recover and the pace becomes very wearing. MS – OPTIONAL

Whitney, Kim See You Down the Road, 188 p. – Bridget and her family are “Travelers”, the USA version of gypsies, complete with RV’s and con games. She is engaged to marry a Traveler boy, but gets caught up in a $100,000 scam that could land her in jail. Sorry, I can’t say I was very interested in the title. I couldn’t connect with the character or her situation. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? PICTURE BOOK Penguin – Fourteen popular children’s illustrators come together, each with their own answers to that infamous questions. A delightful contrast of opinions and artistic styles that can be very amusing to students, besides being useful for English teachers and Art instructors. Very short, simple wording, but the pictures need time for exploration. EL, MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Whybrow, Ian Little Wolf: Terror of the Shivery Sea, 140 p. – Little Wolf wants to go home to his mom and dad, he hates his little brother and his best friend is annoyed with him. Then he discovers that one of his ancestors was a big, bad pirate and he takes little bro and friend off to the seven seas to find the family treasure. This being the 5th book in the series, maybe I am missing something here. Or maybe I’m just not a good judge of books written for young children. But I found this book, well, juvenile. Like what an adult may think a kid would like. All of the books are written as letters Little Wolf write to his mom and dad, which I find to be very constricting as a medium. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Whyman, Matt Boy Kills Man, 152 p. – The streets of Medellin Colombia are viscious. First Sonny and his best friend Alberto take a job running cigars across town. Then Alberto gets a secret job that brings in a load of money. He murders people for the drug lords, because the Colombian officials won’t prosecute minors. One day Alberto disappears and Sonny steps into the void. Then he learns firsthand how evil the drug lords are and that whoever has the money is the one in charge. Stark, grim, and very descriptively violent. There are no happy endings. HS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wilce, Ysabeau Flora Segunda Harcourt, 448 p. – RELEASE: JAN 2007 Flora’s ancestral home has fallen into disrepair, ever since her mother banished the family’s magickal Butler. While taking an ill-advised shortcut, Flora discovers the missing Butler and gets way too involved in matters way beyond her strength, bust she also discovers a few allies. The story also involves a dead sister, a crazy father, a mother with too many responsibilities, and infidelity of the heart. If the book hadn’t touched on the parents’ infidelities, I would have an easier time recommending this book. Flora is pretty likable, and I enjoyed her and her friends, but not so much her parents and their problems. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wilcox, Leah Waking Beauty, illustrated by Lydia Monks. Putnam’s (Penguin), 2008. PICTURE BOOK “Everyone knows Sleeping Beauty has to be woken with a kiss, except Prince Charming.” This humorous twist on the Sleeping Beauty tale features a rather dense prince who employs various tactics, including shooting the princess into the castle mote from a cannon, to awaken the princess. He has to be told flat out that only a kiss will work. Reluctant to experience 100 years of morning breath, he finally complies only to be knocked unconscious by the offended royal who must now return the favor. Definitely told from a feminist point of view, this book is fun as well as cleverly and brightly illustrated; it would be great for reading aloud. EL – ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: BS

Wild, Margaret One Night – Helen and Gabe hook up for a one night stand and Helen ends up pregnant. Bare bones, but there you have it. If the young men in this story didn’t use the “f-word” and a scattering of some other swear words, I would buy this book in a minute. The prose style is very readable and it is a great story of growing out of self-centered childishness. If I were in a high school, I would buy this one in a heart beat. For a middle school? Look at your clientele and see if you can make it work. HS-ADVISABLE, MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wilkins, Rose So Super Starry, 230 p. – Octavia goes to a private school in London populated by the kids who get their names in a ll the trendy tabloids. Octavia hates it all, until the night she meets the brother of one of the “pygmy blondes,” and she starts wearing trendier clothes and trying to be cool. She knows that the sister, India, is only using her so India can meet the latest hunk from the US who is starring in Octavia’s father’s new art movie, but Octavi wants to give all of this a try. Okay – this one is much better than the other two school books I read this weekend, but it still is fluff. MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Willard, Dale C. The Linnet’s Tale – After attempting to read this book, I have a greater appreciation for he phrase “birdbrain”. The author’s overblown prose from the mouth of the protagonist makes this a difficult book to swallow (or even finish) NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Williams, Carol Lynch Pretty Like Us 183 p. Peach Tree Publishers Language- PG; Sexual Content- PG; Violence- G; Beauty is extremely shy. She lost her best friend over the summer. She gets a new girl in her class and starts out making fun of her, because she has an aging disease. She knew it was wrong, but she just wanted to fit in. She becomes friends with the Alane. They go through some hard times but they get through it. I liked this book. It wasn’t my favorite book of all time, but it was pretty good. EL, MS – OPTIONAL Student Reviewer- SH

Williams, Dar Lights, Camera, Amalee. Pg. 311, Scholastic Press. Language-G, Sexual Content-G, Violence-G. When seventh grader Amalee inherits a large amount of money from her grandmother, Amalee decides to make a movie about endangered species. I really liked this book and I will add this to my personal collection. It is a moving story that let’s people know about our endangered environment and how it is at risk. ES,MS – ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: MP.

Williams, Maiya The Golden Hour, 255 p. – Rowan and Nina’s recently widowed father has sent the children to live with their eccentric aunt’s for the summer. A house with no electricity! A town with almost no electricity! The children find Xanthe and Xavier, who invite them to explore a mysterious ruin of a hotel, where they find a man who can take them back to any time in history. Overnight Nina disappears and the other try to follow her back to where they think she has gone – the day before the beginning of the French Revolution. This book is so well done because it is much more than a time-travel novel. It is also about confronting grief and finding yourself. It is so well done, that though I look forward to another book in this universe, i am also afraid that the author might not be able to live up to the promise. I will cross my fingers! EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Williams, Maiya The Hour of the Outlaw, 327 p. Amulet (Harry Abrams), 2007. Third in the series. Xanthe, Xavier, Rowan and Nina are going back to the age of the Gold Rush in order to find the son of Archibald Weber himself. Xanthe and Xavier must learn to deal with attitudes towards blacks, Rowan is struck with gold fever and Nina seems to be the only one who can hold the group together. Not only is the elusive Balthazar Weber there, but he seems to have changed destiny, by dragging his own grandfather to the gold fields. Rowan must refocus everyone’s attentions and get them to come up with a plan to gain Balt’s trust and correct history. The time travelers are in fine fettle in this chapter of the series. If Ms. Williams continues to treat the characters and stories with care, she could have a long-lasting series. EL, MS – ADVISABLE

Willis, Jeanna Naked Without a Hat, 218 p. – Will has moved out of the house and lost his Burger King job. And he has absolutely no redeeming nor endearing qualities. So just put this book down and walk away. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wilson, Diane Lee Firehorse, 325 pages Simon and Schuster – It is 1872, and the horse-loving girl Rachel has been forced to move from her beloved horse and home into Boston. She is miserable until she begins to care for The Governor’s Girl, a horse that has been burned terribly at her work pulling a fire wagon. Rachel just knows as she cares for the Girl; she wants to become a veterinary and save lives. But her father is opposed to women working anywhere men work already. Rachel resolve strengthens as thousands of horses fall ill — including the life-saving firehorses — and an arsonist has been causing barely contained disasters in Boston. Firehorse was far from being the typical Girl-and-Horse story that I expected. It did have some of those elements, but even those were changed until they were a story that was unique and absorbing. What’s more this book contained an important storyline about the rights of women, and how their lives were before they could vote and were treated as equals. This book brought these two parts together wonderfully. I assumed it would be a good book, but nothing notable from the rest. I think that it will be a pleasant surprise for anyone who reads it, just like it was for me! MS – ESSENTIAL; Student Reviewer:KR

Wilson, Jacqueline The Illustrated Mum, 282 p. – Dolphin’s mom, Marigold has always been different from all of the other moms. It’s not just her many tattoos, but her wildness and funky attitude; Dol and her half-sister Star sometimes don’t know when they will see Marigold again. Then one day Star’s dad shows up and takes Star away to live with him. Marigold goes off the deep end and Dol, still in elementary school, doesn’t know where to turn to for help. Even though the main character is a child, the book is still catchy enough for older students, especially one with a substance-dependant parent, though that is not a requirement to enjoying the book. Similar to Haddix’s “Don’t you dare read this, Mrs. Dumphrey” book, expanding the choices for kids who like edgy writing. EL. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wilson, John And in the morning – After his father is killed during World War I, Jim takes his place in the trenches. OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wilson, John Flames of the Tiger – A good story of World War II from a German teenagers perspective. It even includes the 1936 Olympics. OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wilson, John Four Steps to Death, 206 p. – Sergei, a police commandant in post-Soviet Russia, is thrust back in his memories to the year 1942 and the Battle of Stalingrad, as he is called in to investigate two dead bodies that have been unearthed. His story of his 8-year old struggle for survival is interwoven with the stories of Vasily, a Communist and Conrad, a German, top paint a complicated picture of the war. John Wilson does not try to glorify war in his writing. You know that you have gone through something horrifying when you are done. His brutal honesty about a soldier’s life make all of his books fascinating to me. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Winnick, Karen B. Lucy’s Cave: A Story of Vicksburg, 1863. Boyds Mill Press, 2008. PICTURE BOOK. For more than six weeks, the civilian residents of Vicksburg hid in the caves in the hills surrounding their city. One of those civilians was a little girl, Lucy, who left behind her remembrances of the dark and scary and even the boring days. The tone of the text and the drawings of the book make this book most accessible for elementary students. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Winthrop, Elizabeth Counting on Grace, 221 p. RandomHouse – Grace is excited to go work with her mother and sister in the local textile mill, even though her teacher hates what the mill does to people. When she actually goes to work, however, she finds that the lure of extra money for the family may not be enough to make up for the hardships of mill life. Then her friend Arthur decides to write a letter to people who might care about children working in those dangerous conditions, which brings a photographer out to the mill. Inspired by Lewis Hines’ photographs of children for the National Child Labor Board, the book is good, but doesn’t live up to the original, Lyddie. If you need to expand your historical fiction collection, it will be a good addition. MS- OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wiseman, Eva Kanada, 241 p. Tundra Books – Jutka, a Hungarian Jew, dreams of Kanada, which she learned about in a book from relatives who fled to that country, as she and her family transported to Auschwitz during WWII. Barely surviving the war, Jutka learns that surviving life can be even harder. She is months in a resettlement camp before she finally makes the choice of where to be. A good addition for libraries that need large Holocaust fiction collections. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wishnisky, Frieda Queen of the Toilet Bowl, 104 p. – Renata and her family moved to the US from Brazil several years ago, but when she wins the lead in the school musical she becomes the target of a jealous classmate. Karin uses the fact that Renata’s mother cleans houses for a living as a way to intimidate and coerce. This book addresses a subject that is so typical of school bullying and it does it well. MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wittlinger, Ellen Blind Faith, 280 p. Simon Schuster – Language: PG, Sexual Content: G, Violence: G – This book was about a girl named Liz Scattergood. She has a good life until her Grandmother Bunny dies after that things go really weird. Liz’s mother barely gets out of bed and doesn’t do anything. When she starts attending this Spiritual Church her dad goes ballistic he doesn’t want either of them going. He starts getting farther away as her mother goes to that church. When Liz has no one to talk to she turns to her new neighbor Nathan who is dealing with his sick mother who has cancer. I thought that this was an amazing book it was so good. It really said a message about what happens when you lose a loved one and how u have to cope with it all. I thought it was amazing i would recommend it to everyone i know! MS- ESSENTIAL; Student Reviewer: AN

Wittlinger, Ellen Heart on My Sleeve – Chloe and Julian meet at a college preview weekend. Their relationship continues online, along with interaction between family members and friends. They arrange a date to meet during the summer and discover that life on line has nothing to do with real life. This is the best that I have seen of the “email” books that are a popular style nowadays. Unfortunately, the main character’s older sister uses extremely “hearty” language when she talks about her parents’ sex life. and there is quite a smattering of swear words and diety references all the way through. The older sister coming out as a lesbian goes over very well and I really enjoyed that part. If your school climate can tolerate a little strong language and the occassional “screw” reference, than go for it! My school-NO, other schools MS, HS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wittlinger, Ellen ZigZag – I loved this book once Robin got started on her raod trip with her aunt and her dysfunctional children, but the beginning does mention casual sex at the beginning, though it isn’t descriptive. HS-ADVISABLE, MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wizowaty, Suzi A Tour of Evil, 196 p. – Alma has been abandoned by her foster family, though she ran from them first. Drawn to a majestic cathedral, she hopes to find a secret place. Two old men – one harmless but not right in the head and the other dangerous and evil – step in to take a hand in Alma’s fate. Alma needs to find some way to save the children who are under the spell of the evil one. I know – it sounds like it’s a good story, but it falls short in execution. When I asked my 11-year-old daughter how she liked it, she gave me the so-so hand movement and wrinkled her nose. She said that it was confusing. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wolf, Joan M. Someone Named Eva, 208 p. Clarion – Milada is separated from her family and taken to a facility where she, along with other girls, are given new names, taught German and other skills that they will need, in order to be ready for adoption by true German families. “Eva” tires desperately to hold on to her old identity, but with each passing month, she remembers less and less about what life used to be like. Based on the true story of a little discussed German program from WWII, I was especially struck by this novel as I had just been to a Holocaust museum and studied a displayed showing the different instruments the Germans used to grade people’s “Aryan-ness”. A perfect addition to a Holocaust lesson and collection. El, MS – ADVISABLE

Wolf, Joan Someone Named Eva, 208.Clarion Books. Language – G, Sexual Content – G; Violence – PG-13; Eva was taken away from her family into a Nazi camp because of her blonde hair and blue eyes. She is forced to change her name, language, and get a new family. She is struggling to remember who she really is. This book is so good. I loved it! EL, MS – ADVISABLE; Student Reviewer: MS

Wolfe, Gillian LOOK! Seeing the Light in Art PICTURE BOOK Frances Lincoln – Gillian Wolfe has applied her unique eye to the way artists use light. 18 paintings, with historical notes and engaging discussion points make this book a must have for every art teacher any one else who would like to draw their students into art. The lessons learned from this book could be used in every discipline. EL,MS,HS – ESSENTIAL

Wolfson, Jill Home and Other Big, Fat Lies Henry Holt, 281 p. – Whitney finds herself packed off to another foster home, this time in the timber country of Northern California. This time she is not alone; because of an economic downturn, several town families have taken in fosters also. Whitney’s ADHD makes it hard for her connect, usually, but something about the woods and the kids calls to her – and her passion for the Mother Tree leads her to take a great risk when the permission to cut the forest again comes through. A cute mix of foster kid story and environmentalism. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wollman, Jessica Switched, 240 pgs. Delacorte Press. Language-PG; Sexual Content-G; Violence-G; Willa Pogue is the screw up in her rich, well-to-do family, and Laura Mellon is trying to earn money for college by cleaning houses. The two look-a-likes decide to switch lives, but will they be able to go back to their normal ones? I loved this book, tons! It was sooo good. The characters were written really well, and it was easy to follow the switching of point of views. It shows that it is ok to be not a size two and that you can be friends with everyone. MS-ESSENTIAL Student reviewer: KD

Wong Li Keng Good Fortune: My Journey to Gold Mountain, 127 p. – Li Keng has only met her father twice since she was born. Now, at the age of seven, her father decides that it is time to bring the entire family to America. Because of the Chinese Exclusion Act, the girls all have to pretend that their mother is their aunt in ordet to pass the tests and leave Angel Island. Once they make it to shore, life is not easy for the Gee’s, but they persist and make a place for themselves in “Gold Mountain”. Mrs. Wong memoir adds to the body of immigration literature. In communities where this particular immigrant experience is studied, this would be a good addition to the collection. EL, MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wong, Joyce Lee Seeing Emily, 268 p. – Emily Wu has always tried to be a good student and a good daughter, but gorgeous Nick, a new student, catcher her eye and her feelings and she starts rebelling against her good girl status. After the couple share their first intimate night, however, Emily feels dissatisfied and goes off to visit her relatives in China for summer like her parents want her to. I don’t care that this book was written s pseudo poetry, even though it would be just as well in regular novel form. In fact, there are only a couple brilliant places where the poetic form really means something. I really just dislike this book because it really has nothing to say. Try Finding My Voice by Marie Lee instead. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wooding, Chris Poison, 273 p. – Foxglove renames herself Poison when she comes of age because of the terrible effect her presence has on her family and especially recover her from the King of the Phaeries, setting in motion consequences which will change worlds and dimensions. She is aided by an old trader, a timid young girl and a cat. The cover of this book will draw the attention of many students. Unfortunately, unless they are true fantasy lovers, they will be disappointed by the reading. This is a book about destinies and fairies, not witchcraft and mischief. MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wooding, Chris Storm Thief, 320 p. Scholastic – Rail and Moa live in an enclosed city where unpredictable Probability storms sweep through sporadically and change life randomly. One day they meet a cyborg construct as the pair are fleeing a thief boss who wants an artifact that only Moa can use. The three have the unknowing power to upset the entire system. At interesting look at one version of a dystopian society, setup with humanity’s best interests at heart (supposedly). There are so many good novles out there now dealing with these types of societies. A sampling of them would be an interesting area of study for a political science class. HS, MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wooding, Chris The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray, 292 p. – Thaniel, in his job as a wych-huner has seen many dangerous creatures, but when he finds Alaizabel, lovely and possessed by some great evil, he finds his world has changed. He and his mentor Cathaline put their lives in danger to help the girl find he cause of her troubles, with puts them all on the path to even greater danger. Excellent! This alternate timeline England is definitely worth exploring and I hope that there is much more to come. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL

Woods, Brenda Emako Blue 124 p. – Emako Blue has everything going for her. She is beautiful, she is kind, and she can sing. But she also lives in South Central LA, where life is cheap and a bullet doesn’t always hit the person it was intended for. Awesome! This is about a life that so many kids live, but it is accessible to everyone. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Woods, Brenda My Name is Sally Little Song 182 p. Penguin – Sally and her family escape into the night when their father learns that the two children are to be sent south to another plantation. They will face many dangers before they might find safety with the Seminoles of Florida. And even then they may not truly be out of harm’s way. Another well-written historical fiction novel about the many ways slaves searched for freedom. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Woods, Michael and Mary B. Woods Environmental Disasters, Lerner, 2008, 64 p. The many different ways that human beings have mucked up the earth are explored in this non-fiction that explores the nature of environmental disaster, where they occur, how they are measured and what we might do to learn from and prevent future disasters. Excellent information and lots of colorful pictures with a depth that is accessible to upper elementary and to middle school students and their teachers. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Woodson, Jacqueline Behind You – Jeremiah was mistakenly gunned down in the park. His girlfriend, Ellie, and other important characters from his life can’t seem to let go, so “Miah finds himself still attached to this world. As they reach out to each other for comfort and healing, “Miah finds the power to move on. As hort, excellent, powerful book about the effects of death on those left behind. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Woodson, Jacqueline Feathers, 118 p. Penguin – The new boy in Frannie’s class says he is just as black as any kid in the school, but to them he looks as white as all of the kids on the other side of the tracks. Calling him “Jesus Boy”, the kids try to figure him out. Frannie has some thinking of her own to do as the normal order to the school yard hierarchy seems to be turning on its head. The story seems to be set in the 1970’s, but its really immaterial to the narrative. There is a lot of discussion about the nature of religion, which shouldn’t keep it out of schools, but probably would keep it out of classroom discussion. I was hoping it would be a good companion to Larger-Than-Life Lara and Firegirl, but I think many feelings would be ruffled except in Christian schools. EL, MS – OPTIONAL

Woodworth, Chris Double-Click For Trouble, pgs. 162 Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Language- G; Sexual Content- PG; Violence- G; Eddie is a good kid. He does everything he’s told, but his mom won’t let him on the computer, and he’s almost 14. When his mom finds out he was on the computer she sends him off to her brother’s house in Sheldon, Indiana. He doesn’t have anything to do and he’s bored out of his mind. Although, Indiana has some surprising stuff for him. I thought that this book was…okay. I thought that the author could have picked a better subject to write about. The book was weird. It was…well…I didn’t really like it. Interest Level- EL, NO. Student Reviewer: SH

Woolfe, Angela Avril Crump and Her Amazing Clones, 209 p. – Language G; Sexual Content G; Violence PG – Avril Crump is a lonely and belittled scientist at Leviticus Laboratories, who has never known what its like to have a friend. But when she discovers the leftover equipment of the expelled scientist Gideon Blut, she suddenly finds herself in charge of the well being of three clones-clones Blut doesn’t want around. I found this to be an interesting and likable book, with some very endearing characters. However, the plot seemed a little dark at times, and it was almost difficult to get into. However, still a very good book: long live Mr. Dog! MS – ADVISABLE Student Reviewer: CG

Wrede, Patricia and Carole Steveremer Sorcery and Cecelia, or, The enchanted chocolate pot – Kate is in London for official coming out into the Ton. Cecilia is back at home in the country missing Kate and all of the trouble they seem to get into together. As the letters fly back and forth, it is clear that a little magic can cause a lot of trouble and the girls’ need each other in order to solve their mutual problems! ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wright, Betty Ren Crandall’s Castle – Charli had a new dad, Sophia has just moved into her cousin’s house across the street and Uncle Will wants to buy the town’s haunted mansion and start a bed and breakfast. I read about 100 pages and got tired of Charli’s whining and called it quits on this read. I have read much better from this author. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Wyss, Thelma Hatch Bear Dancer, 174 p.- Elk Girl, the sister of Chief Ouray, is kidnapped by Cheyenne warriors and enslaved. Later she is passed on to Arapaho and then is rescued by the White Enemy. In the three years it takes for her to make her way back to her tribe, her homeland and her people are irrevocably changed by the coming of white settlers to their territory. A great book to read aloud to a Utah studies class to teach the changes forced upon any Native American group as European settlers swept through. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

%d bloggers like this: