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Pre2006 Reviews – H

Ha, Thu- Huong Hail Caesar Pages: 292 Language: R (there were only a few pages without swear words, F-bomb over three times.) Sexual Content: R, Violence: PG-13 (fights) – John’s nickname is Caesar because everyone at school worships him, even though he doesn’t care about any of them. Well, all except for one new girl who shows up and makes Caesar realize that it’s not always about him. This book is the dirtiest book I have ever read! I put it down on page fifty, and there had already been over three F-bombs, and too much sexual content. I had read enough to write a report on it, and I would not read anymore, I had folded about every corner of each page because of swearing. Interest Level: I don’t know why anyone would like this book; Buying Recommendation: NO Student Reviewer: JH

Haarsma, P.J. Virus on Orbis 1 262 p. – Candlewick – When the perfect computer that is the planet Orbis 1 makes a series of dangerous mistakes, many associate it with the arrival of Johnny Turnbull-a softwire who can use computers without any physical contact. However, Turnbull knows it isn’t him, so is the computer dying, or are more sinister forces at work? This was a good book, with some interesting ideas behind it. It is a little difficult to understand at the beginning, but it soon immerses you into a scientifically advanced, interesting world. Like I said, an interesting and good book. Student Reviewer: CG

Haber, Melissa Glenn Beyond the Dragon Portal – Sadie’s little sister Phoebe has always made up fantastic stories about Dragon World and the family has always indulged her. Then one day Sadie wakes up and finds out that Phoebe is gone – really gone; she has been stolen by Barbazions – the enemy of the Dragon people. She also discovers that her next door neighbor, Mrs. Fitz Edna is from the Dragon World and together they set out to rescue the “Princess”. Sadie finds herself in the middle of a war with no clear sense of good or bad – in fact she gets deeply involved with both sides. In the end, only she can rescue her sister. A good antidote to fantasy books where good is always good and evil is always well defined. Even younger children should get the concept. The writing is a little messy in places, but I still enjoyed the whole package. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Haddix, Margaret Among the Barons – The latest book in the hidden children series – great tension and some wonderful future possibilities, though the action is more improbable than before. ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Haddix, Margaret Double Identity, 218 p. – Bethany parents drag her off to the house of an aunt whom she has never met and promptly disappear, leaving Bethany no way to contact them. Aunt Myrlie is startled the first time she sees Bethany, but won’t give her any reasons. Even the few townsfolk Bethany runs into have only startled glances for her. Then a package arrives from Bethany’s father with four different birth certificates and a large amount of cash. The mysterious man stalking Bethany doesn’t help matters either. A well-written piece of the science fiction that Ms. Haddix is so good at. You’d better get this one quickly. MS- ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Haddix, Margaret Peterson Escape from Memory – Kira is hypnotized during a slumber party and sees things that could in no way (she thinks) be her memory. She confronts her recluse mother, and then her mother disappears and another woman appears who says she is Kira’s aunt. Kira finds herself in a life and death situation. I don’t think this one is as well put together as Haddix’s other novels, but it is still a good read. El, MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Haddix, Margaret The House on the Gulf, 201 p. – Britt’s brother Bran gets a job housesitting for the summer, which means that their single mother can concentrate on her college work for the summer instead of trying to balance work and school. Britt is immediately suspicious of her brother when he locks away all of the family’s personal possessions and doesn’t let anyone else pick up the mail each day. Something fishy is going on. While this is a good mystery, it is not on the level of “Running out of Time” or “Among the Hidden”. EL – ADVISABLE, MS-OPTIONAL (wait for the paperback). Cindy, Library Teacher

Haddix, Margaret Peterson Uprising, 330 p. Simon and Schuster, 2007. Yetta and Bella are poor immigrants, while Jane is a wealthy socialite. All three of their lives intersect in New York City in 1910, during the shirtwaist garment strikes and most importantly the day of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that killed 146 people and changed the way America felt about factory safety forever. While Ashes of Roses, the first book I read about this fire is perfectly adequate, Uprising takes the whole picture and adds more detail and more pathos to the narrative. Unlike anything that Ms. Haddix has written before with depth of detail and depth of feeling that needs to be brought to the attention of your history teachers who teach this era. If you know a teacher who has Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle ontheir reading list, then they should add Uprising too. MS-ADVISABLE, HS – ESSENTIAL

Haddon, Mark Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Christopher, a young man with Asperger’s syndrome (autism related), decides to investigate when he finds his neighbor’s dead dog in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, he finds more than he bargained for. A friend of mine teaches students with Asperger’s and says that it is very true to the thinking patterns that she sees in her students. The swearing and the adultery themes means I have to give it a NO for MS. But I would say ADVISABLE for HS readers. Cindy, Library Teacher

Haft, Erin Meet Me at the Boardwalk, 190, Point (Scholastic), Language – G; Violence – G; Sexual Content – PG; Review: At Seashell Point three best friends Jade, Megan, and Miles, work the booths, hang out on the boardwalk, and mock the snooty tourists. At least that’s what they did last summer. This summer is full of new changes including a house all to Jade’s self, Megan’s huge crush on Miles, a secret kiss, and Miles falls for the kind of girl that they all scorn. It was just the same old same old with no climax what so ever. I had to push myself to finish it. MS – NO. Student Reviewer: AA

Hahn, Mary Downing The Old Willis Place 199 p. – Lissa and her father are the new caretakers of the old Willis mansion. She meets two young children who are wandering wild through the woods and she is drawn to the old house almost against her will. The makings of a good ghost story, but it falls a little flat, failing to keep the tension high. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Haun, Mary Deep and Dark and Dangerous, 192pgs. Clarion Books. Language -G, Sexual Content -G; Violence -pg;This book was really good. Ali goes to her mom’s old cabin to baby sit her little cousin Emma. A ghost named Sissy is haunting her family and its ruining her life. Some how her aunt knows this ghost and why she is haunting but, won’t tell her. This is a way good book. EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: MS

Haig, Matt Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest, 316 p. Penguin – Language: PG Sexual Content: G Violence: PG – Samuel Blink and his sister, Martha, have just seen their parents die in a terrible car accident. After this happening, they’re forced to live with their aunt Eda, the last of their relatives. Eda gives strict rules about the Shadow Forest and after his parents’ deaths, he doesn’t feel like obeying. Samuel finds a book and heads off into an unknown adventure. Who is the Changemaker? Will he be able to save his sister? I really enjoyed this book. I was hesitant at first, but after starting I couldn’t let go. I can’t wait for the next book. EL, MS, HS -ADVISABLE Student Reviewer: CW

Halam, Ann Taylor Five 197 p. – Taylor lives on a wilderness preserve in the heart of a small tropical country sandwiched between Indonesia and Borneo. One day rebels attack the compound, killing all of the great apes and capturing or killing the scientists. Taylor, her brother Danny and one ape, Uncle, escape into the forest, though Danny has been wounded. They will try to make it to the coast, where they are hoping for rescue, as Taylor knows that Pam Taylor will move heaven and earth to find her, as Taylor is Pam’s clone. Good stuff here. A very interesting and well-written intermingling of two great issues – saving the rainforests and the morality of cloning. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hale, Marian Dark Water Rising Henry Holt, 221 p. – Seth and his family move to Galveston Texas just in time to get caught by the biggest storm disaster in Texas history. While Seth struggles to prove his worth as a carpenter to his father, he is also struggling to just stay alive. Heart-wrenching moments and slightly grisly descriptions of true events in Texas history. I am sure that every school in the state of Texas should own this book; other schools should buy this if their students are fans of Willo Roberts or Patricia Giff. It does start a little slow, but the disaster and its aftermath are well worth reading. MS- ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hale, Shannon Book of a Thousand Days, 320 p. Bloomsbury – Because her mistress refuses to marry a domineering and evil Khan, Dashti and her Lady Saren are walled up into a tower to live for seven years, or until Saren gives in. For almost three years, the women survive heat and cold and visits from the Khan, but for the last year and half of that time, they have heard absolutely nothing outside their prison. Fortuitously, Dashti finds a way out and the women emerge into a world that isn’t how they remember it. They still have many miles and trials before their lives can be put back in order. In a book totally unlike those before, Hale gives us another work of art to be thoroughly enjoyed. EL – OPTIONAL (mature themes), MS – ESSENTIAL

Hale, Shannon Enna Burning 317 p. – Enna, the good friend of Isi from Goose Girl, watches her brother burn to death in front of her eyes, as he looses control of a mysterious power. Enna vows to never touch the hidden powers, but when her country is threatened by foreign invaders, she takes the risk upon herself. Gripping in its own way, but not the essential fairy tale of the first book. This is more a fantasy read. EL, MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hale, Shannon Princess Academy, 314 p. – The young girls of Mount Eskel have been ordered to attend a princess academy. The prince of their country must choose a bride and the priests have declared that she will be from that province. Miri and her fellow villagers don’t really want to be there, but as they attend the academy, they learn many things which can help their families prosper and they discover strength to help all of them outlive hardship and danger. Though I must admit the prince doesn’t really come off as a winner of a husband, his story has very little to do with the story of Miri and her village. Thank goodness. Very cute. EL, MS – ADVISABLE, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Halilbegovich, Nadja My Childhood Under Fire, 120 pgs. Kids Can Press Ltd., 2006. Language- G; Sexual Content- G; Violence-PG; NON-FICTION. This is a diary of a young girl who survived the Sarajevo Genoside, and tells of the trials which she overcame. I loved this book because it made me feel the feelings she felt, and it even had pictures and sayings which she had written in her diary. This book reminded me of the Diary of Anne Frank, but easier to understand. When I read it, I realized how luck we are to live in a free country. Every once in a while, she wrote comments in as she was putting this book together. I loved it! Upper EL/MS- ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: KD

Hall, Barbara The Noah Confessions, 215 p. Delacorte. Language- G, Sexual content- G Violence- G: This book was about a girl named Lynnie Russo. Her mother died a few years back, and she has just turned 16 years old and was expecting to get a car like everyone else did in Los Angeles, California. Instead she received an old bird charm bracelet. In rebellion for not getting a car she cut school and decided to take surfing lessons from one of her friends. When her father finds out that she cut school he hands her a packet. In this packet there are papers, papers that will change her life. She will find out many secrets about her mother, her family, and many other things. I loved this book! Lynnie has to read a letter that her mother wrote at the age of 16. This letter is for a man named Noah, and her mother tells Noah all sorts of things that happened to her when she was young. This book was fabulous and had many surprises. I would recommend this book to everyone in need of a great story!! MS, HS- ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: AN

Halliday, John Predicktions – Josh was born in a carnival tent in the middle of a summer storm. Together with Bill, the football player-built chess player; Kate, the stuck-up (maybe) rich girl; and Rainy, used-to-be-home-schooled love of Bill’s life, He manages to change the destiny of the town. The saving of the town is actually a subplot in a cute book about a group of kids getting to know each other. EL-ESSENTIAL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Halliday, John Shooting Monarchs – Danny is disabled and likes to take photographs of butterflies and Leah-the towns most beautiful girl. Macy is a psycopathic killer whose life is about to intersect with Danny and Leah. The story is not the flowy prose that most people are used to in excelent books, but the tension and the action make the book. MS-ESSENTIAL, HS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Halpern, Julie Get Well Soon, 208 p. Feiwel (Holtzbrink), 2007. Anna Bloom is sitting in the hallway of a mental hospital and must learn the ropes and the rules to earn back her privileges and her life. While Anna’s story is just as interesting a read as Cut, the author uses almost 50 swear words, including “f” in order to make her point. And while that may be how some teens talk, its not what I want to read. Borrow this one from the public library! NO

Halpin, Brendan Donorboy, 209 p. – Rosalind’s moms have died in a terrible accident and now she is living with the sperm-donating father whom she has never met. Sean’s not even sure how to be a father. Through her grief journal, phone messages, emails, IMs, we see both of them struggle to come to terms with Ros’s grief, with their new situation and with each other. Ros veers off into some dangerous territory and Sean realizes that he has never come to terms with his own mother’s death. The book is excellently plotted; it is the first books written in this email, etc style that I have actually liked. Unfortunately, Ros swears ALOT! She is in love with the “f”-word. It seems to be her favorite adjective. It’s too bad, because I lived the book. The sheer amount of swearing (and some would be unhappy with the underaged drinking, smoking and all the class cutting) means I can not recommend this for schools. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Halpin, Brendan Forever Changes, 181 p. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2008. Briana and her father have been dealing with the consequences of her cystic fibrosis on their own ever since her mother left them years earlier. As she enters her senior year of high school, Briana’s figures that death is waiting for her anyway and is not sure she can look beyond to a life in college. A chance comment from her math teacher starts Briana thinking and reconnecting with the world around her. Though Briana is faced with death, her helplessness and feelings of futility are all too typical of some high school students. I can only hope that this book will attract students who can use it. MS – OPTIONAL, HS – ADVISABLE. Reviewer – Cindy, Library-Teacher

Halpin, Brendan How Ya Like Me Now, 201 p. Farrar, Strauss, Giroux – When Eddie’s mother goes into rehab, he is sent to live with his Aunt, Uncle and cousin in New York. Though they live close to some of the rough parts of town, the boys go to a private school built on a business model. Alex, Eddie’s cousin learns that being cute isn’t the only thing in life. Eddie discovers that in some places its okay to be smart, but he still worries about the day that his mother gets out. If ever there were a book for boys that had the same feel as a “chick flick”, this is it. I don’t mean that its girly – I mean that it is about boys helping in boys in a kind and caring manner. Unfortunately, the kids use swear words with alarming frequency to express themselves (3 dozen-ish). Too bad. NO

Halverson, Deborah Honk If You Hate Me, 243 p. Random House – Language PG13 (21 words) Sexual Content: G, Violence G – Everybody in the town of Muessa Junction hates Monalisa Kent. When she was six she accidentally blowtorched the futon factory A.K.A. the heart of the town. She put almost the whole town out of jobs. So as her >>>life begins the crumble she cant seem to take everybody confronting her so she cracked in a restaurant. And it doesn’t help that her best friend >>>wont talk or hangout with her anymore. During this whole time she began to get flashbacks on the big fire and questions “Was is really me that burnt the factory down”? I liked this book alot because it was different from everything else out there. I think and hope people will enjoy this as much as I did. MS – ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: AA

Hamley, Dennis Without Warning: Ellen’s Story 1914-1918, 326 p. Candlewick, 2007. World War I has arrived and the world will never be the same. Ellen lived in a quiet little English village, but now her world is expanding and changing rapidly. Her brother joined the service and came back minus a leg; her greatest desire to care for soldiers on the battlefield, but she is afraid that her mother will never allow it. This quiet book masterfully weaves together many of the crucial issues of World War I. While it is not as bloody or action-packed as some war novels, it is still well worth reading, especially if you have an interested history teacher or English teacher. MS – ADVISABLE

Hancock, Karen Arena – Callie’s best friend Meg talked her into participate in a science experiment. Callie finds herself alone in a very inhospitable dimension. She has to put her trust in the aliens in charge in order to find her way back home. Very allegorical, but that won’t stop many students from enjoying the read. MS, HS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hannah, Julie and Joan Holub The Man Who Named the Clouds, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye. Albert Whitman, 2006. Luke Howard loved clouds, as a young boy and as an adult. His father insisted that Luke apprentice to a chemist, but Luke never turned from his personal fascination. In 1802, Luke created a system for classifying clouds, based on the work of Linnaeus, who first classified plants and animals. Luke’s system eventually won out in the scientific community over the work of a French man during that same year. This highly informational book contains not only Luke Howard’s story, but also scientific information and experiments for the budding scientific observer. EL, MS – ESSENTIAL

Hanson, Wil Smoke in the Wind, 438 p. – Sam Guest, an architect goes from opening his own firm one day to finding himself in a mysterious castle of his own design, in another dimension, the next. He is told that he is destined to be the next great wizard of the world. But first he must survive his training and the animosity of other wizards who are out to kill him. The premise of the story is good, if a bit worn, and the action is great in some few parts. BUT the swearing and the sex should keep this out of schools. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hapka, Cathy French Kissmas, 191 p. Speak (Penguin), 2008. Content: G. Nicole has been asked to come back to Paris to shoot a series of commercials for the S.A.S.S. (Students Across the Seven Seas). Not only will she be reunite with a few of her friends, but she’ll get a chance to see Luc again – and maybe kindle an actual romance. I found this particular title not as interesting as the others in the series, but still a fun girlie romance. I did like that the romance was light, as is more appropriate for these years. MS – OPTIONAL

Hapka, Catherine Something Borrowed, 252 p. Simon, 2008. Ava’s BFF is abandoning her for a fabulous internship, just before Ava’s bride-zilla older sister’s monstrosity of a wedding. Even worse, Ava’s boyfriend just dumped her with a text message! Now Ava is scrambling to find a date for the horrible fete, quite willing to fall madly in love with any slightly hunky guy who crosses her path. When all of her maneuvering and frantic scheming come to naught, she is stuck borrowing her best friend’s boyfriend for the big day, suddenly seeing Jason through new eyes. The Romantic Comdies series from Simon Schuster is a neat little set of adorable, light romances for early teens. Something Borrowed is a great addition and bonus – it’s already in paper! MS – ADVISABLE

Hardinge, Frances Fly by Night, 486 p. – RELEASE: April 25 2006. Mosca Mye wants to escape her existence in her uncle’s home more than anything. So one night she frees a con-artist, Clent, from the local stocks and insists that he take her along as repayment. This starts a fast-paced adventure involving a hidden printing press, a defensive goose, Locksmiths, misunderstandings, double crossings, intrigue, lying, murder and every trick in the book. It is a complicated book where Mosca makes huge assumptions that cause a lot of problems and is the catalyst for destroying the shaky foundations of the entire society. Very much a younger reader book, even for its size. EL-ADVISABLE, MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Harley, Avis The Monarch’s Progress: Poems with Wings. WOrdsong (Boyds), 2008. PICTURE BOOK. Through a wide variety of poetic forms, as well as realistic illustrations, Avis Harley lyrically teaches the reader some of the history, science, and art surrounding monarch butterflies. Her factual section at the end adds factual information. Suitable to readers of all ages. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Reviewer: BS

Harlow, Joan Hiatt Shadows on the Sea – 1942, Jill is stuck in Maine with her grandmother, while her father’s band tours in California, and her mother makes a dangerous journey to New Foundland to be with her dying brother. Jill and her new friend Quarry, discover that WWII is right at their front door. Based on true events. ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Harmon, Kate Sorority 101: The New Sisters, 256p. Penguin Group- Language: PG-13 (couple of “f” and a few assorted), Sexual Content: G, Violence: G- Roni, Lora-Leigh, and Jenna have just found out that they are new Zeta Zeta Tau sisters. They are ecstatic about it, yet all of them have other things to deal with. Jenna has to control her Diabetes and balance her schedule. Roni has to let go of her parents dislike towards her choices in life. Finally, Lora-Leigh has to settle the argument with her mother. Can they do that and Zeta Zeta Tau? A great sequel to the first. You couldn’t stop reading because you wanted to know what happened. The book was like a drug to me that I couldn’t let go of. MS, HS- ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: CW

Harness, Cheryl Just for You to Know, 308 p. – As Carmen’s family moves to a new town, she tries to make new friends, but she is embarrassed by her large, loud family of little brothers. When her mother dies giving birth to a new little sister, Carmen and her family need everyone they have come to know in order to hold the family together. A bittersweet story of a family dealing with loss and grief and all of the craziness of growing up. I read this book after a long couple of days of reading a lot of vampire, horror, creepy stuff and it was a good antidote. El, MS –ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Harrar, George Not as crazy as I seem – “Kissing Doorknobs” was a girl with OCD; this book follows a boy. Loved it. ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Harrar, George The Wonder Kid, 234 p. Houghton Mifflin. Language – G, Sexual Content – G, Violence – G; Polio, a disease that cripples children, is scaring parents, and Jesse Maclean isn’t allowed to go anywhere. He can’t ever seem to please his father, who wants a stronger son. Then Jesse gets polio, and his legs are paralyzed. With his new friend’s help, he starts drawing comic strips about his life, reinterpreting it as The Wonder Kid who can do things with his mind. I found it to be a very interesting book, showing you the difficulties a boy who got polio might have faced. It was well written and very enjoyable. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in historical fiction, or just enjoys a good book. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: RG

Harris, Jay M. The Moon is La Luna: Silly Rhymes in English and Spanish, illustrated by Matthew Cordell. PICTURE BOOK, Houghton, 2007. Poems are hard enough to write in just one language. Mr. Harris manages to weave English and Spanish together in witty rhymes to explain the meanings of many words. The silly pen, ink, watercolor illustrations are perfect additons to the meanings of the words. I am going to give this to our Spanish teachers and see if they would like to share it and then have their students try their hand at it. EL, MS – OPTIONAL

Harris, Joanne Runemarks, 526 pages, Knopf (Random) – Language G, Sexual Content G, Violence PG-13. Maddy was born with a mark on her hand that condemned her in the sight of the village people. With the mark, she is able to discover a vast and complex world is which she is tied to. I adored this book. It’s a little complicated and it twists a lot but all that means is you get to read it a second time. I was drawn into the story and refused to put it down. MS, HS. ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: M.R

Harrison, Mette Ivie Mira, Mirror, 314 p. – As the apprentice to a witch, Mira adored her sister apprentice up to and even after the her “sister” turned Mira into a magic mirror. Even after the sister fails to return, Mira finds a way to survive, convincing a young girl into taking Mira with her on a perilous journey. Flashbacks to her life before she became a mirror are somewhat gory, considering magic is acquired in this realm through death – the bloodier the better. Because of that, I can’t really recommend this for elementary, though the cover will catch many a reader. Just remember, this is not a cute, gentle fary tale! MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Harrison, Mette Ivie The Princess and the Hound Pages: 410 HarperCollins – This is a very cute fantasy story. It started out fairly stereotypical, and I wasn’t impressed at the beginning, but it got better. I wouldn’t recommend it for being a brilliant, unique novel, but it was good in a cute sort of way. EL – ADVISABLE. MS – OPTIONAL Student Reviewer: JH

Harrison, Mette Monster in Me – Natalie is living in a foster home and slowly coming to grips with her drug-addicted mother. OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Harshman, Marc and Barbara Garrison Only One Neighborhood, illustrated by Barbara Garrison PICTURE BOOK Dutton (Penguin), 2007. Teach the concept of one versus many by strolling through a cozy neighborhood, working our way up to the world, culminating in the idea that whole world is one neighborhood. You need to read the information about the art work in this book! Perfect for an art class and a great message to boot. EL, MS, HS – ADVISABLE

Hart, J.V Capt. Hook, 337 p. – Young James Matthew is a scholar in the halls of Eton, where he sets himself up as a target and does his best to thwart the viscious upperclassmen who are always trying to break him. At every turn, “King Jas” manages to get the upperhand and embarrass Arthur Darling, his chief rival. I’m just going to say it – I hate this book. Hook is creepy and off-putting. Though no one deserves the hazing that goes on in English boarding schools, I have not one sympathetic urge for Jas. The quote on the back of the book says “Even the darkest of villains can have a heroes heart.” Well, this book doesn’t do anything to advance that theory. Why did the author give Jas yellow blood? It’s just too freaky. And if you have read many of my reviews, you know that I usually like creepy. I wish I hadn’t purchased this book. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hart, Lenore The Treasure of Savage Island, 272 p. – Molly Savage’s father lost everything to gambling. Now Molly and her father labor in their former home under the direction of Mrs. Ben, the widow of the debt’s holder. One day Molly finds a runaway slave, Rafe, who is the only survivor of a terrible shipwreck and she helps him hide. While helping Rafe, Molly espies Mrs. Ben talking to mysterious men. Molly sets in motion events that lead to danger, but also may lead to freedom, for Rafe and Molly, and to riches. The book’s cover is a very cool and dangerous looking pirate. Unfortunately, kids that pick up the book for the cover will be disappointed, as I was, because the “pirates” were minor characters and not very interesting. A less misleading title and cover would help this book find a more appropriate place on the shelves. It’s a fine book, but I have to grade it down for the deception. EL, MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hartinger, Brent Geography Club – Russell has kept his being gay a secret. When he finds a few other GLB teens at his school, they form the “Geography Club” as a cover for meeting and talking about their feelings. This is a good book, but for my school it won’t at all. The gay kissing scenes and lusting after naked boys just won’t fly in my community. I think it would be perfect in a HS. MS-NO; HS- OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Hartinger, Brent The Last Chance Texaco – Lucy is her last group home; if she gets kicked out of this one, it is off the “Eat-Their-Young Island” for her. Lucy has to deal with rejection at school, pecking orders at the group home, and an arsonist. Excellent! MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hartinger, Brent The Order of the Poison Oak, 244 p. Harper – Rating – R – I have one word to say. Ew. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to read about anyone “fooling around” naked in a lake. I do not recommend this book to any school. There is sexuality and language. And frankly, it grossed me out. I got to page 142 and stopped. Ew. This book should not be put in ANY library ANYWHERE. NO; Student Reviewer: LH

Haseley, Dennis Trick of the Eye – Richard finds himself being physically drawn into specific paintings and talking to the characters. As he follows his instincts, he finds a world of hurt and betrayal. The disjointed writing, following Richard’s disjointed thinking is so bad, but the whole plot devovles into a bad “mom’s stupid love affair causes permanent emotional scarring in a little boy” plot. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hassinger, Peter Shakespeare’s Daughter, 310 p. – Susanna, Shakespeare’s oldest is discontent with her quiet life in Stratford, so she takes off on her own to join her father in London. She is saved on the way by a beautiful woman, whom she later discovers is the love of her father’s life – but Susanna also discovers love herself. Don;t confuse this book with “My Father had a Daughter”, which is about Judith, Hammet’s twin. With its talk of secret liaison’s, this book is more appropriate for the MS or HS crowd, but either way, I would wait for it to come out in paperback first. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hathaway, Barbara Missy Violet and Me 100 p. – Viney is eleven the year she is taken on as the apprentice to the local midwife. She learns all about the birthing bag, roots and herbs and does her part in birthing a baby. When Missy Violet is away on a trip, Viney is called in to help with an emergency and must use all of her smarts to save two lives. This book is too short. It could easily be twice its length and still be interesting to read. It does lack those details that make The Midwives Apprentice so interesting., but the main character’s voice is very enthusiastic. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hausman, Gerald Escape from Botany Bay – Everyone knows that prisoners from England started the first English colonies in Australia. This is a little known story of a small group of prisoners who escaped and made their way back to England. ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hautman, Pete Invisible, 149 p. – Teenaged Doug spends all of his free time working on his model railroad and talking to his best friend Andy, a popular football hero who talks to Doug every night about the happenings on the day. At school Doug is a loner, an outcast, picked on by all. Doug sees a counselor each week and is supposed to be taking medication; he also sneaks out at night to peep at Melissa, a girl he is obsessed with. When Doug gets caught peeping, circumstances start spinning out of control. He stops taking his medication, he starts obsessing about his matchsticks which he originally used to build an important bridge for is train set. And even though Doug knows that Andy was killed years earlier in a fire that Doug himself started. The book is very good and would be a great addition to a high school collection. Unfortunately, there is a scene in the cafeteria where Doug ruminates on the size, color and shape of girls’ nipples, so keep that in mind when you make your decision to purchase. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hautman, Pete Rash Simon Schuster, 249 p. – Bo has lost his temper one too many times and has been sentenced to work camp in the high arctic at a McDonald’s Rehabilitation and Manufacturing plant. There, in a society that prides itself on orderliness and manners, he finds himself on an illegal football team. There Bo learns about himself and about his society, and his high school computer programming assignment which has become self aware and is trying to spring him from jail. Two swear words and a wickedly funny look at future society. Best at the High School, unless your middle school is fairly sophisticated. HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hautman, Pete and Mary Logue Skullduggery, 186 p. Penguin, 2007. Second in the Bloodwater Mysteries Roni and Brian aren’t looking for a new mystery to solve, but have one thrust upon them when they answer a cry for help during a summer school field trip. Now a local archaeologist is close to death and babbling nonsense. All of this may be wrapped up in the reappearance of the family Bloodwater, who are making a multi-million dollar deal to build condos on what may be a sacred native burial ground. Roni is smitten by the handsome Bloodwater teen, but that would never stop her from discovering the truth. Another well-crafted mystery novel. MS – ADVISABLE

Hautman, Pete and Mary Logue Snatched 200 p. Penguin – G – Roni and Brian have nothing, but are brought together by a mystery. One of there classmates Alicia was snatched. They are sent on a wild adventure to find her, completing this while they are grounded. This book was really good. It had no inappropriate parts which made it ten times better. I recommend it to every age group! EL – ADVISABLE, MS – ESSENTIAL; Student Reviewer: LW

Hautman, Pete and Mary Logue Snatched, 200 p. Putnam (Penguin) Language: G; Sexual Content: PG; Violence: PG13 – Alicia is the captain of the tennis tea, and the girlfriend of the captain of the basketball team. She has also been attacked. Roni, a reporter for her school newspaper is trying to find out the details of Alicia’s attacker. The problem is that Alicia won’t talk. Then, only days after Alicia’s attack, Alicia goes missing. Roni, teamed up with Brian Bain, the son of the head investigator of Alicia’s case, try to find out what has happened to Alicia. I enjoyed this book; it kept you thinking. With each new piece of evidence, you try to figure out who Alicia’s kidnapper is, and then with the next piece of evidence, your accusations change. Also the end is nothing that you would expect. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Student Reviewer: ED

Hautman, Pete ansd Mary Logue Doppelganger, 159 p. G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin), 2008. Brian Bain made a huge splash and got his name and picture into the newspaper. Unfortunately, several other people saw the picture and think that they know who Brian is. At the same time, Brian’s best friend Roni finds a picture of a missing boy on-line – a boy who looks an awful lot like Brian. It doesn’t help that Brian’s parents are being a little mysterious about the details of Brian’s adoption. Roni thinks she may have found herself another sweet little mystery, forgetting that her mysteries are as much trouble as they are rewarding. A little mystery, a little dangerous and another solid entry in this duet’s series. EL, MS – ADVISABLE.

Havil, Juanita Eyes Like Willy’s, 135 p. – French born Guy and Sarah have met German born Willy at Lake Constance each summer for years, until World War I tears the two countries apart. A simply told story of friendships divided by one of the great world wars. EL-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hawes, Louise The Vanishing Point, 218 p. – Lavinia Fontana’s father is a well-known artist in Bologna during the Renaissance. She secretly burns to paint, but her father will only see the work of men and the boys he takes on apprentices. With the help of one apprentice, who is in love with her, Vini hopes to bring her talent to her father’s notice. Lavinia is truly one of the few famous female painters of the Renaissance. Her story if well presented here, but will have a hard time finding an audience. This would be good for a collection that has specific interest in books about artists, or wait until it comes out in paperback. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Haworth-Attard, Barbara Theories of Relativity, 230 p. – Dylan’s mother kicked him out onto the streets so that she could make a better impression with her new boyfriend. Now he is trying to survive life on the streets without succumbing to drugs or prostitution. He is wary of the few adults that cross his path and try to help, and he also knows that no one on the street is really your friend. This book is such an excellent look at a kid on the streets; it shows pimps and prostitutes and strong arms and the mentally disturbed. Unfortunately, one of the characters can’t open her mouth without using the “f-word”. And that character isn’t even the one the author calls Swear Lady. Because of the sheer volume of this word (A LOT), I can’t recommend this for school libraries. But pick it up from the public library and read it!! NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hearn, Julie The Minister’s Daughter 263 pages – Language- PG, It talks alot about God and Satan; Sexual Content- PG, it mentions it but never describes it; Violence- G – Grace is the minister’s daughter. She is expected to do everything right and perfect. When she is finds out that she is pregnant, she has to cover it up somehow. So she blames it all on the cunning woman’s grand daughter, Nell. Grace pretends to be taken over by Satan and says it’s all Nell’s fault. Nell is then charged of witchcraft. Can she escape? I didn’t like this book. It was too hard to understand. It was like this was a sequel to another book, or that the author just expects you to know too much. NO; Student Reviewer: LW

Hearn, Julie Sign of the Raven, 328 p. – When 12-year-old Thomas goes with his mother to visit his grandmother in London, he is drawn through a gap in the basement to London of the 1800’s. There he encounters the freaks of Bartholomew Fair, who need his help in protect one of their own from exploitation and degradation worse than normal. Thomas also discovers another threat that he is desperate to halt. Though I have heard many good things about Ms. Hearn’s Ministers Daughter, this book did nothing for me. It’as not a bad book, it just has no spark for me. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hearn, Lian Across the Nightingale Floor – In a Japanese-like medieval setting, Takeo has been adopted by a Lord of the Otori. OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Helgerson, Joseph Horns & Wrinkles 357 p. Houghton – Language G, Sexual Content G, Violence G – This book, Horns & Wrinkles, was a good book, but it is also for little kids. There are river trolls, rock trolls, and Blue Wing Faries. Claire and her cousin, Duke, meet a little old lady and Duke grows a horn. He runs away and his parents end up turned to stone. Claire meets three river trolls that are trying to find their fathers. They go and find stars and takes them to Bodasious Deepthinker, a rock troll who has crickets that know where their fathers are. Duke was taken by Bo and he turned into a rino. The three water trolls and Claire must save Duke before he becomes dinner. I liked this book but I would rather read it to my younger siblings. It’s good but not really for Middle School. EL, MS – OPTIONAL Student Reviewer: KC

Heneghan, James Hit Squad – Brigit recruits a few boys to help her get revenge on kids who have been terrorizing the school. Another solid ORCA Soundings publication. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Heneghan, James Torn away – Declan’s family has all been killed in the violence in Northern Irelnad. Captured py the police, he has been forcibly (WOW-great action) sent to his uncle in Canada. All Declan can see is the need to return to Ireland to revenge his family. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Herrick, Steven The Simple Gift 188 p. – Sixteen year old Billy walks out of his dad’s house and into a homeless life, except that he finds a home in an abandoned railway car in a small town. He falls in love with Caitlin, a rich girl and gets help from “Old Bill”, another homeless person. When Welfare Services starts nosing around, Old Bill must look at his past to help Billy with his future. Written in poem form, with simple language, the book is very accessible. Unfortunately, Billy and Caitlin do have sex, so I would keep this one in the high school. HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Herrick, Steve The Wolf, 214 p. Front Street – Language: R- bad language through out the book, Sexual Content: PG, Violence: PG – This book is about two teenagers who have to deal with life. One character is a girl whose name is Lucy Harding. She lives out in the country with her mom, brother, and her alcoholic dad. She has a lot of troubles with her dad and she really does not like him at all because he drinks and hits her and no one does a think about it except for her grandmother. The other character is Jake Jackson. He is Lucy’s next door neighbor. He has a pretty good life he lives with his mom and dad on a farm. Ever since he was born his father has talked about how he saw a wild wolf and there are no wolves in Australia. He is now fascinated with the wolf. When Lucy and Jake take a trip to try and find the wolf they find something far more greater. I thought that this book was amazing! Except for the swearing in it. I thought that it was amazing I would recommend it for public libraries and even some school libraries but it does swear a lot. MS and HS- OPTIONAL (because of swearing). ; Student Reviewer: AN

Hershey, Mary The one where the kid nearly jumps to his death and lands in California, 275 p. Penguin – Language- R, Sexual Content- G, Violence- G – Alastair Hudson is spending the summer at his divorced dad’s house in L.A. California while his mom is doing a summer program for alcoholics. He is not to excited for this trip and goes with an attitude. Will he be able to live in the same house with his surfing, bleached hair dad? This book would be a really good book if not for the swearing. It had a really good plot but reading a swear word every other page kind of ruins it. MS – NO. Student Reviewer: LW

Hesse, Karen Aleutian Sparrow – I don’t like most poetry form books. I wish this subject were treated in prose. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hesse, Karen Spuds, illustrated by Wendy Watson. Scholastic, September 2008. Three children want to help their Mom during a very difficult time, so they hatch a plan to go to a farmer’s field in the middle of the night and harvest the potatoes that the harvester left behind. While the children want to do something kind, their plan doesn’t quite work out the way the planned. But they also learn that good things can happen when you do things the right way. The story is poignant, the illustrations complimentary. I can see this supplementing a unit about the Great Depression, but not standing on its own. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Heuston, Kimberley Book of Jude, Pages: 217, Publisher: Front Street books, Language: PG, Sexual Content: PG, Violence: PG, Review: Jude lives a good life with plenty of friends and loves her soccer and hockey teams at home. But when her mother decides to tell the family of a plan her world feels like its going to chaos. Her mother wants the family to go live in Czechoslovakia which she studies a famous Czech artist. Knowing she is going to be watched at all times by people she doesn’t know, and having violence around her all the time. She begins to suffer psychologically. She begins to do some crazy things and her family takes action. I really like this story. It tells all about a girl and her suffering through a psychological illness but still tries to find her way back to where she knows she is supposed to be. Great book. A must read for everyone. Higher MS, HS- ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: AN

Hickey, Caroline Cassie Was Here, Roaring Brook. Language-pg, Violence-g, sexual content-g This book is all about Cassie and her imaginary friend Joey. Cassie’s mom is never home her brothers mad at her and she is eleven wanting to be thirteen. This book was okay for kids who are eleven. OPTIONAL – EL. Student Reviewer: MS

Hicks, Betty Out of Order, 169 p. – Lily used to be the oldest, but with a new step family, she is stuck in the middle. Her new older brother is stand-offish except to Lily’s younger brother; her new older step-sister is a full-blown brat. The two start a war and then Lily tries to make peace with a Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament that involves the whole family, plus a few small disasters. In a growing era of mixed families, I bet a lot of kids can relate. Especially cute for elementary. EL-ADVISABLE, MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hightman, Jason The Saint of Dragons, 291 p. – Simon Saint George has lived at a boarding school with no contact with his family since he was two – he has no memory of his parents. Now he finds out that his father fights dragons for a living – the modern, sneaky kind who run mafia groups and huge corporations, but still breathe real fire that can devastate entire towns. His father thinks that they are after the last dragon of all, but instead they find out that there are still hundreds out there, all wanting to kill the last of the great St. George line. This one has lots of violence and narrow escapes and misunderstandings betwwen son and father. EL,MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hill, Anne E. Tyra Banks: From Supermodel to Role Model, 42 p. Lerner, 2009. Tyra Banks was once a shy young girl – but not any more! Follow her from her beginnings, through her rise to supermodel status and right through her problems with her weight and on to her present day success. This biography may be short, but it is just enough for a student who might be Tyra-crazy. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Hill, Kirkpatrick Do Not Pass Go, 229 p. Simon Schuster – Deet’s father has been arrested and over the protests of his mother, he visits his father every day after school. There he meets other people who have loved one imprisoned and learns that no one’s life is simple and no one can be judged by wither their looks or their circumstances. Similar in theme to Glennis, Before and After, this book is more powerful and more accessible. MS – ADVISABLE

Hill, Stuart Blade of Fire, 640 p. Scholastic – Twenty years have passed since Icemark was invaded and now Scipio Bellorum is back to grind Icemark under his heel once and for all. Thirrin and Oskan and their allies are all older (expect the vampires), but still willing to risk it all for their beloved country. Unfortunately, while three of Thirrin’s children are heroes and one is the country’s savior, one of the brood may prove to be Icemark’s greatest traitor. Fascinating, well-paced and sure to keep every reader’s attention. The length will not daunt any lover of the first in the series. Release: Feb 2007 MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hill, Stuart The Cry of the Icemark, 472 p. – At 13, Thirrin is a strong warrior princess ready to lead her country. When a superpower enemy moves to invade her country, Thirrin finds herself doing just that, as her father is killed holding off the first wave so that the population can get to safety. With the help of new friends – a young warlock, werewolves, vampires and giant snow leopards – Thirrin may be able to help her tiny country to victory. Richly drawn and perfect on so many levels. I like the fact that Thirrin and Oskan sometimes admit that they are just young and that they are tired. The only thing I didn’t like was that it took the allies so long to arrive to help once spring thaw arrived. There is plenty of dramatic tension and movement from excitement to excitement. Almost any student will love this. MS, HS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hillman, Laura I Will Plant you a Lilac Tree, 241 p. – In 1942 Germany, Hannalore is off at boarding school when she finds out that her family is about to be rounded up for deportation,. She rushes home to join them. Almost immediately she loses track of every family member and endures eight different concentration camps, finding love among the horror, until she becomes one of Schindler’s Jews near the end of the war. Most memoirs are written as stilted non-fiction, but this one reads almost as smoothly as a novel. Hannalore’s being a Schindler Jew is less important than the agonies that she survived. The narrative does fall short a little right at the end, but it is still very compelling. I think you will enjoy ( can I use that word for a book about WWII) the reading more if you don’t compare it to what you saw in the movie. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hines, Anna Grossnickle, 1, 2, Buckle My Shoe. Harcourt, Inc., 2008. PICTURE BOOK. This is a rendition of the old rhyme. The illustrations are done completely with fabric, buttons and trim. The art is colorful and big and the book is obviously meant for pre-school readers. There is one small bothersome part. On the “Buckle my Shoe” page the illustration unfortunately shows 2 shoes. The final illustration shows the numbers 1 through 10 next to hands that have the correct number of buttons on the ends of the fingers which could be a fun counting exercise for young ones. PRESCHOOL – OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Susan Huff, Area Library Media Specialist

Hinton, S.E. Hawkes Harbor, 251 p. – Jamie Sommer was raised in an orphanage and then escaped to live on the sea. In Hawkes Harbor, though, he makes a discovery that sends him deep into a desperate psychotic state and then into a very long period of recovery. All of Jamie’s fear and happiness is based around his mysterious boss, Grenville Hawkes. It’s really too bad that I can’t recommend this book for school. Hinton dragged me through a skillfully woven narrative that untimately caught me happily off-guard with its ending. Sadly, there are graphic sex scenes and large amount of “salty” language. Don’t buy this one just because of the author’s name. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hirsch, Odo Have Courage, Hazel Green 256 p. Bloomsbury – Hazel Green heard an important man say terrible things to a poor Jewish man. She tries in her own way to right the wrong, but instead she just get into a lot of trouble. I haven’t read the first two books in the series, so was a bit confused. But Hazel tackles huge questions about our behavior towards others, almost making the book too deep for young people to actually understand the point. The parent characters are extremely weak-willed and virtually void of personality. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hirschi, Ron Our Three Bears, photographs by Thomas D. Mangelsen. Boyds Mill Press, 2008. North America’s three bears are celebrated, compared and contrasted in this compact, yet extremely detailed book chockfull of photographs. Whether used as a way to introduce info about North America’s native animals or as a simple lesson on comparisons and contrasting, any class that covers animals or North America will benefit from this book. EL, MS – ADVISABLE

Hite, Sid – The King of Slippery Falls – On his 15th birthday Lewis learned that he is adopted. Now, for the last year he has struggled through a funk of uncertainty AND is obsessed with a huge fish hiding in a deep pool behind a waterfall. What he doesn’t know is that with the coming of his 16th birthday, the mystery of his parentage will just deepen. Lewis and his friends and fun and supportive and there are some interesting town characters fleshing out the characters. MS,EL – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hobbs, Will Crossing the Wire, 216 p. – RELEASE: April 4 2006. Victor’s father is dead and his mother is about to lose the family farm. She is thinking of going to one of Mexico’s big cities in order to earn a life as a beggar. Victor convinces her to let him take a chance at “crossing the wire” – making the long, dangerous trip illegally across the border to the United States. The book feels like an updated version of Paulsen’s The Crossing. It includes “minutemen” and other things that have changed these last few years. It certainly paints a realistic picture of the dangers people face during that crossing. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hobbs, Valerie Anything but Ordinary, 168 p. FSG – Winifred and Bernie were inseparable through high school, but Bernie flunks out after his mom dies and Winifred heads off the college without him. There she meets a group of roommates who persuade her to become an ordinary, clothes horse and status conscious girl, whom Bernie doesn’t even recognize when he follows her across the country. Both of them have a lot of growing up to do. Situationally, this book really isn’t appropriate for schools. I’m really not sure that it has much value for schools anyway, except maybe large, large high schools. Leave it for the public library to buy. NO

Hobbs, Valerie Letting go of Bobby James, or how I found my Self of Steam 136 p. – Bobby James leaves his new bride at a gas station the day after he smacks her in the face. Picking herself up, Jody finds herself a place (sneaking into the movie theatre) and a job and struggles to find her place in the world. A bit fantastic, but I loved the cast of characters. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hoestlandt, Jo Gran, You’ve Got Mail! 107 p. Delacorte (Random), 2008. Content: G. Annabelle is supposed to be learning how to use a keyboard, so she types letters, prints them off and mails them to her grandmother. Eventually Gran answers back, but not always fast anough for Annabelle. While I appreciate the sentiment, the book is a bit contrived. Its best audience may be as a subtle hint for grandchildren to pay better attention to their grandparents. EL -OPTIONAL. Reviewer – Cindy, Library-Teacher

Hoffman, Alice Green Angel – A short, quick read about a young girl who must find a way to survive after her family has been killed in a bomb. Very prosaic and beautiful, but not necessary. OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hoffman, Mary Stravaganza: City of Flowers, 478 p. – Sky receives beautiful blue bottle which sends him to Giglia, the Talian version of Florence. Disguised as a monk, he helps to mitigate a deathly feud between the city’s two main families – one of them the family of Falco, who has been living in Sky’s world as Nicholas. Only a sword fight and a betrayal will resolve this tale. Third in the series. All of the stravangati are involved and the tale is wrapped up. EL-ADVISABLE, MS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hoffman, Mary Stravaganza: City of Stars – Georgia buys a little wooden horse from an antique shop and finds herself transported to the world of Talia. She finds out that she is a stravaganti, someone who can transport between two worlds during their sleep. But if she stays too long, she will die in her real world. She become involved with a boy who had been terribly crippled and with a stolen real horse with wings. Second in the series. EL-ADVISABLE, MS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hoffman, Nina Kiriki Spirits that Walk in Shadow Pages: 306 Penguin – Language: PG, Violence: G, Sexual Content: G – Narrated from the view points of two students just starting college, you get two very opposite people. One is, in our words, a witch or sorceress. The other is a victim of depression, but it’s not her fault. AS they meet, Kim finds that she is the victim of a Viri who is feeding off her depression. Through the book, you get a wide range of characters and an interesting plot. Jaimie and her friends and family are determined to help Kim. I liked this book quite a bit. It wasn’t a favorite, but I would recommend it for an easy, simple read for a rainy day. MS,

ADVISABLE; Student Reviewer: JH

Hofman, Alice Blackbird House, 225 p. – The history of Blackbird Hill and the houses built upon its crest are told through short stories in the lives if the occupants. Most are poignant or pathetic and not a little bit chilling. It seems like anyone who lives there is destined to more than the normal tragedy in their lives. The book won’t work at all in middle school, too obscure. I wonder how much of an audience high schools would have for it. I think it is best left on the public library shelves with their bigger budgets. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hogan, Mary The Serious Kiss, 256 p. – Libby has always lived with a lot of tension in her home, but now she is dead broke and living with her family in a retirement trailer park in the middle of a California desert. Her father’s alcoholism isn’t getting any better, her grandmother’s (who she never knew existed until the move) entire trailer is a kitchen, and her “best friend” is the largest girl on campus. How will Libby ever find that boy for her first serious kiss with a life like this. There is a part in this book where I started laughing and just couldn’t stop. Unfortunately, it is also the only questionable part of the book. Libby and her new friend are walking across campus when some kids start yelling “lard ass”. Libby’s friend decides to show one of those boys just how big her “ass” is, by sitting on him. So, if you object to that word used a few times on those four pages, then this book won’t work for you. But the scene is out right hilarious! And I enjoyed the rest of the book too. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Holder, Nancy Spirited, 252 p. – Isabella and her father are traveling through the New World’s wilderness when their caravan is attacked by natives seeking revenge. Almost every soldier is killed and scalped, but Isabella and her father are taken prisoner, rescued for some un fathomable reason by one of the braves. Wusamequin rescues the girl even though he is still grieving for the loss of his and wife and baby son by white invaders just a year earlier. The shaman of his tribe, Wusamequin starts to see the magic in “Mahwah”, as he calls Isabel, but wants to resist the force that is drawing them together, especially as the girl is causing problems within the tribe just by being there. Not my favorite of this retold fairy tale series. I really wish there had been no magic involved so that I could just classify this as historical fiction. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Holder, Nancy The Rose Bride, 245 p. Simon and Schuster – Rose’s father dies and leaves her with a nasty stepmother and stepsister. When her mother died, she wrestled a promise from the goddess Athena that Rose would one day know what it feels like to be truly loved. Before that day, however, she will feel deprivation, desperation and find herself on the brink of a choice between life or death. She will have to face evil and enchantment in order to find love. The only flaw I could find in this retold fairy tale is that I had little sympathy for the True Love character; his change of heart didn’t work well for me. Besides that, however, this is an excellent addition to the Once Upon a Time series. MS – ADVISABLE

Holm, Jennifer Boston Jane: The Claim 229 p. – Jane has started a new life her herself on the coast of Washington Territory. Her peace, her security, her sanity is threatened when her old nemesis appears along with the Biddle family, bring jealousy, greed and speculation to the frontier. And Sally Biddle is good at thwarting Jane, that Jane manages to alienate all her friends as she tries to expose Sally. A good follow up to the first two in the series. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Holm, Jennifer The Creek – Caleb Devlin is back in town and Penny’s neighborhood is on edge. As creepy things stat happening, Caleb is the main suspect, but he is nowhere to be found. Creepy and perfect for mystery lovers. ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Holmberg, Bo R. A Day with Dad, Illustrated by Eva Erikson, Candlewick Press, 2008. PICTURE BOOK. Tim’s dad arrives on the train to spend the day with Tim. He lets Tim choose the things they do and Tim makes sure everyone he meets knows that this is his dad. At the end of the book, Tim’s dad must return home on the train with the promise that he will be back again for another visit. Children of divorced parents may relate to this story, especially if their dad is as interested in them as Tim’s dad is in him. Colored pencil drawings are done in muted shades. Grades K-3. OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Debby Herget, Elementary Library-Teacher.

Holmes, Victoria Rider in the Dark, 304 p. – Helena is the pampered daughter of the town magistrate, who usually gets what she wants, including talking her friend James, the stableboy, into helping her secretly train a damaged horse. On her forbidden midnight rides, Helena discovers a gang of smugglers – men from her own village, and becomes involved in their plots. While this book is billed as an epic horse story, it is really more along the lines of Lawrence’s “Smugglers” book, as I found the smugglers much more interesting than the horse. But, horse lovers will enjoy it too. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Holub, Josef An Innocent Soldier, 231 p. – At the beginning of Napoleon’s march to Russia, the farmer that Adam works for sends Adam to war in his son’s place. Answering to “Georg,” because he doesn’t feel like there is anything else he can do, “Georg” is caught up in the war and bullied and tossed to and fro as he tries to survive the “Grand Armee’s” march across Europe. There is no evidence that “Georg” is mentally challenged, but he is SO utterly innocent acting even when he is in the middle of a war horrific on so many levels. I liked the book because of the information about Napoleon’s failed march, but I couldn’t stand “Georg” by the end. I will probably buy it because so many boys like a good war story, but I wish I were getting it free instead. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hoobler, Dorothy and Thomas In Darkness, Death – Seikei and his adopted father, Judge Ooka, follow the trial of a murderer through the towns of ancient Japan. Third in the series, I am persuaded that I should go back and give the first two a second chance. THe descriptions of life inancient Japan are a nice compliment to a simple, tight and exciting mystery. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hoobler, Dorothy A Samurai Never Fears Death, 192 p. Philomel (Penguin) – Language – G; Sexual Content: G; Violence: PG – Seikei, a samurai, is on a trip with his adopted father, judge ooka, to the town Osaka, he grew up in before he was adopted. His father was there on business and he sets out to see his old family where they go to the puppet theatre where a murder happens, seikei is now supposed to figure out the murderer. I thought this was an excellent book. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good mystery. EL, MS – ADVISABLE Student Reviewer: RV

Hoobler, Dorothy and Thomas The Sword that Cut the Burning Grass, 208 p. – The young emperor of Japan has run away from his duties. Judge Ooka and the shogun set Seikei the task of finding the emperor and returning him to his duties. Other powerful men in Japan want Seikei to fail and that don’t care if he dies along the way. A mysterious man and a persistent girl join Seikei on his journey. I didn’t start reading this series until In Darkness, Death came out. I don’t find Seikei a particularly strong character without the judge or someone else to tell him what to do. Should I make allowances for his age. If you have the rest of the series and the kids like it, I don’t think this one will disappoint. EL, MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hooper, Mary Amy – Amy has been shut out by her two best friends and turns to “Zed,” whom she meets on the internet. After going to hang out with him at the beach, she begins to have disturbing dreams. A short, but powerful book. MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hooper, Mary At the Sign of the Sugared Plum – Hannah has gone to live with her sister in exciting London town. Unfortunately for their growing sweets business, the plague hits and they have to find a way to escape. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hooper, Mary Petals in the Ashes, 184 p. – Hannah and her sister Sarah escaped the black plague in London and 40 days in a pesthouse to prove that they didn’t have the plague. Now, Hannah has headed back to London with her younger sister Amy to rebuild their sweets business. Unfortunately, they are headed straight into the Great Fire of 1666. While not the best fire book I have read, it is a decent sequel. MS-OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hoover, H.M. This Time of Darkness – Amy lives in “The City,” where she lives with an antagonistic mother. She is always being monitored, because she has the forbidden skill of reading. She meets a boy named Axel, who insists that he comes from a place called “Outside”. Together they set off to explore the upper levels of Amy’s “home”. Originally released in 1980. If you haven’t read any of Hoover books, you need to. Especially in the EL and the MS, Hoover’s post-apocalyptic visions are still interesting and relevant. The new covers through the Starscape imprint by TOR make them more attractive to today’s readers, who probably won’t even notice the original copyright.  EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hopkins, Cathy Brat Princess, 193 p. Kingfisher (Houghton Mifflin), 2007. Teenaged Leonara is a full-blown, wealthy brat. Spoiled rotten, bad-mannered and bad-tempered, she is only concerned with what the world can give her. Then one day she is whisked off to teen boot camp, with the blessings of her parents. She tries every trick in her Leo brain, but the leaders of the Zodiac Girl program have bigger tricks on their side. Leonara has some very hard lessons to learn, including the need to open up and let someone else in. The Zodiac Girls series are perfect little paperback “pink books”; a little fluffy, but the message is really there. MS – ADVISABLE

Hopkins, Cathy Discount Diva, 167 p. Kingfisher (Houghton), 2007. Tori loves to shp with her friends, but they have money and she doesn’t have quite as much. She’s managed to hide this fact from them for a long time, but now her family is in deep trouble and her Zodiac Girl mentor is telling her to come clean – that her friends are the key to solving the family crisis. But Tori isn’t quite ready to place that much trust in them. The Zodiac Girls books are quick and sweet, but have a good message about finding the best in yourself and solving your problems. Plus, they are in paperback already. MS – ADVISABLE

Hopkins, Ellen Glass, 681p. ; Simon and Schuster; Rating – PG13 (a lot of swearing, including “F”). Kristina, to put it bluntly, is a crackhead. Addicted to meth, with a baby and living in home, she’s trying to do her best. But, the monster pulls her back in, yet again. What can Kristina do when her mom kicks her out and she has nowhere to go? Her baby is staying with her mom. can she get off crack, or will the monster consume her forever? VERY GOOD BOOK! It’s very opening to the life of an addict. One of my favorites, but again with the swearing! MS, HS – NO. Student Reviewer: LH

Hopkins, Ellen Impulse 666p.Simon and Schuster-07. LANG:R SEX:R VIO:PG Impulse is the invigorating story of three teens that tried to commit suicide. The book switches off between characters as they reach to pull their lives back together after being sent to Aspin Springs. I absolutely loved this book; the words just seem to flow from the book, making it a very easy read. The format of the pages is like a poem, capturing the tone perfectly. Very compelling.HS-NO, though I’d strongly recommend reading it.Student Reviewer:JN

Hopkins, Ellen Impulse, 666 p. McElderry Books (Simon and Schuster) Language: R; Sexual Content: R; Violence: PG – Three Kids in Rehab, in for different things, that don’t even know each other become best friends. They have all kinds of problems and help each other through them. They end up going on a survival camp that will hopefully let them get out of there. That is where things star to happen. I really enjoyed this book even though it was pretty suggestive. I liked the plot. NO. Student Reviewer: RV

Hopkins, Lee Bennett America at War, illustrated by Stephen Alcorn. McElderry (Simon and Schuster), 2008. 52 poems, 8 wars. Mr. Hopkins has brought together poems about 8 major wars involving America and paired them with simple but evocative full-color art work. I am assuming that each poem was written during time period of the war, but that is never actually expressed and the poems are not dated, so I could be wrong. While not a powerful as War and the Pity of War, consider this a fitting companion. None of the poems repeat from War; I especially liked the poem Kilroy by Eugene McCarthy. MS, HS – ADVISABLE

Hopkinson, Deborah Sweet Land of Liberty PICTUE BOOK Peachtree – In 1939, Marian Anderson sang to a crowd of 75,000 at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. But without the help of a couple of key players, Ms. Anderson’s concert would have never come to pass. The book begins with a very interesting story of a boy being expelled from school for hanging a picture of Abraham Lincoln. That boy went on to champion Marion’s right to sing in our nation’s capitol. The text is siple and wuickly read, containg some powerful messages about race relations. The mixed media illustrations are kind of distracting, but make the story feel very modern – almost like graffiti.

Horowitz, Anthony Evil Star, 317 p. – RELEASE: June 2006. Matt just really wants a normal life. The boys at his exclusive school won’t accept him and the powerful people of the Nexus won’t leave him alone. When he goes to meet a secretive man with a dangerous book, Matt is almost killed and then is sucked back into the gate mystery – this time headed off to Peru, where he meets the second gatekeeper and a larger group also trying to save the world. Even better than the first. Lots of great folklore and better action. MS, HS-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Horowitz, Anthony Raven’s Gate, 254 p. – Matt’s parents died several years ago, leaving him with an unloving aunt. Now he has been caught in the commission of a crime and has to choose between jail or a new foster program. His new foster parent is a creepy old woman who lives in a creepy little village full of mysterious happenings. And after desperately searching for a way out, Matt finds out that his blood is what’s needed to bring the big bad to fruition. A worthy following to Horowitz’ Alex Rider series. This one does include modern witchcraft, which will continue into the sequel. MS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Horowitz, Anthony The Falcon’s Malteser 191 p. – Nick Diamond’s older brother Tim is an idiot and also a private detective. They are barely making it and so they can’t refuse the $500 offered to them by a dwarf to keep an eye on a small package. That package turns out to be the key to a fortune if they can only unravel the mystery and avoid being killed. Hokey, mindless, the older brother is much too dumb. I think fans of Horowitz’ Alex Rider series will be disappointed. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Horowitz, Anthony Horowitz Horror – Language G; Sexual Content G; Violence G – This book was a horror book full of a few stories that lead up to something scary and then the story stops. I think this might be to kind of leave you on a cliffhanger. Well, I think that these stories are pointless and they aren’t even scary! I did not like this book and you definitely shouldn’t buy it! NO Student Reviewer: AA

Horowitz, Anthony Nightrise, 320 p. Scholastic – Twins Scott and Jamie can read each others’ mind. What they don’t know is that they are two of the five who must meet and make a stand against evil. Scott is kidnapped by the notorious Nightrise Corporation, a business dedicated to unleashing that evil. Now, with the help of the Five from ancient history, Jamie must find the courage to help his twin break free. The series gets a little more complicated as it comes closer to is conclusion, flipping back and forward in time to enrich our understanding of the big picture and nicely setting up the next novel. MS – ESSENTIAL

Horowitz, Anthony Snakehead, 385 p. Philomel (Penguin), 2007. Just back from space station Ark Angel, Alex Rider wants a break from the spy business, but when he offered the chance to work with his father’s best friend who is also Alex’s godfather, he just can’t pass it up. Now Alex’s life is in danger all over SouthEast Asia, posing as a impoverished refugee, which also means he has very few gadgets at his disposal. And a very nasty surprise awaits Alex at the end of this adventure. I really loved the low-tech-ness of this particular adventure; it helps the story become instantly more intense and more real. Fans will not be disappointed!

Horrocks, Anita What They Don’t Know – After Kelly’s sister Hannah does a science fair project about blood-typing, Hannah starts acting extremely rebellious and belligerent towards her parents. Kelly searches through Hannah’s room to see if she can figure out what is going on. I actually read this one a long time ago and forgot about it. When I read it again, I was reminded how much I liked it. Your hard to please kids will like this one. MS- ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hortna, Joan Math Attack! Pictures by Kyrsten Brooker. Melanie Kroupa (Farrar), 2009. A young girl is asked one too many multiplication problems and numbers burst from her brain – going on to cause problems all over town – until the young lady and clear her mind and reign all of the errant numbers in. While I really like the idea behind this book – because who didn’t have a hard time learning the times tables when they were little – BUT, why did the little girl get stuck on “seven times ten”? Everyone learns the tens so very quickly – nothing is easier except for maybe the 11’s. SO, I found that to be a major flaw in the book, making this really only useful for reading at home, not so much at school. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Hostetter, Joyce Blue, 195 p. – Quality of read- A; Language- G; Sexual content-G; Violence- G – This book was set in the year of 1944 the year North Carolina got infected with Polio and Hitler was on a war. A girl named Ann Fay Honeycutt tells all about that year and the Hickory, North Carolina miracle. – This book was amazing I could hardly put it down with polio, the war, and racism this book was full of tear jerking surprises. This book was one that will make you cry but it is a stunning book. I loved it! EL, MS – ESSENTIAL Student Reviewer, AN

Hostetter, Joyce Moyer Healing Water, Pages: 217, Publisher: Calkins Creek; Language: PG, Sexual Content: PG (mentions of man on settlement that uses girls for his own purposes (sex) never comes right out and says it though but it still mentioned); Violence: PG Review: Healing Water was a surprising book. Told in the point of view from a thirteen year old boy Nam Pia. He never thinks that his childhood friend Kamaka will ever have to leave him. Until he gets the dreaded Leprosy. He is sent to the island of Moloka’I which is on an isolated island with other leprosy carriers. Life gets hard for him and many surprising things happen. Pia must decide if he is going to stay with anger and hatred or find the true meaning of aloha. Joyce Moyer Hostetter never ceases to amaze me. All of her books have been amazing and I always look forward to reading them. This one is no exception. She tells an account of real events that happened in the past and tells them with such detail you feel like you are really there on that settlement with Pia. Great book. MS, HS- ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: AN

Houston, Julia New Boy, 281 p. – Release: November 2005. 16-year-old Rob is the first African American to attend the exclusive prep school in Connecticut. Meanwhile, back home in Virginia, Rob’s friends are becoming involved in organizing protests against segregation. While everyone at school, while not welcoming, are at least cordial, instead expending their effort persecuting another boy who doesn’t fit in very well. The narrative lacks emotion except at the times when Rob is involved with important characters and events from the time period. Plus it uses “m-f-er” and “nigger” several times throughout. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Howe, James Totally Joe, 192 p. – After their success with the No-Name Party campaign, Joe finds himself with a boyfriend – Colin the jock. But though Joe is “out” to the school, Colin is not and wants to keep things quiet. Then on Halloween, two loud mouths see them holding hands and it stirs up all kinds of problems and anxiety. And Joe and Colin need to decide what they want to do with their relationship. This is a very good book about a young homosexual going through the pains of first love. It does use the word faggot a lot and there is nothing graphic nor suggestive. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hughes, Carol Dirty Magic, 418 p. – Language-PG ; Sexual Content-G; Violence-PG13 – This is a story about a boy named Joe Brooks. He goes to the dimension between life and death thinking that his little sister Hannah is there. But there is a war going on. He has to get a guide, pass giant machines designed to kill, and meet with the man who is responsible for the entire war. I really liked this book. The first two chapters are a little slow. It gave me a lot of things to think about. I would recommend this book. EL – ADVISABLE Student Reviewer, JB

Hughes, Monica The Isis Trilogy, 560 p. Tundra – Olwen Pendennis had lived her entire life as the Keeper of the Isis Light, a beacon to space-faring vessels. Now colonists have come to her planet and she learns in the cruelest manner that she was altered as a child so that she could survive the harsh environment. Two other books follow the fate of Olwen, The Guardian and her settlers of Isis. I have always enjoyed the first in the trilogy, but never even knew there were sequels. The only flaw I found was that the events follow each other too closely for the huge changes that happen in the community. Otherwise I enjoyed reading this look at the manipulation of an entire community. HS-ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hughes, Pat Open Ice, 271 p. – When Nick receives his second major concussion in less than a year, his parents decide to take him off the ice for good. Nick’s anger threatens to overwhelm any good judgment, especially as hockey is his life. But he has to deal with the changes in his health and the changes in his friends. As much as I would love to recommend this novel, I was totally put off by the descriptions of Nick’s hands constantly up his girlfriend’s shirt and his open desire to have her in his bed, but if she won’t do that, he’ll settle for something else. Spare me. Without all of that, the novel would still have been compelling and well-worth reading. I don’;t understand why authors feel this is so necessary. NO. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hughes, Pat The Breaker Boys 247 p. – Nate’s grandfather and father own huge coal mines in Pennsylvania. Still angry about his mother’s death and his father’s new marriage, Nate is kicked out of his boarding school and comes home to no friends and no fun. One day, however, he meets one of the breaker boys – boys who sort the mined coal from slate. He doesn’t tell them he is the son of the boss and the boys have a lot of fun until Nate’s secret is exposed. The book is set at the time of a huge worker unionizing push and disaster in Pennsylvania history. A much better book than I was expecting. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hulme, John and Michael Wexler The Seems: The Split Second, app. 300 p. Bloomsbury, Oct 2008. The Tide is on the move and Fixer Chiappa is only four days from retirement. When Chiappa disappears and his Briefer is damaged during their assignment, Fixer Becker Drane is called in to solve the mystery and to save the world again. They must find and repair the Split Second, or Time will wreak havoc on the World. This book is long on action and drama, with lots of cool gadgets and constant tension and quick-thinking. Its biggest weakness for me was that the book is short on information on The Tide, the villains in the series. While its not a book you could recommend for teaching literature in the classroom, kids who like reading series and enjoy a sci-fi feel, will enjoy this very much. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Hurst, Carol Otis Killing in Plymouth Colony – From the cover you would expect this to be about a girl and the action to be along the lines of “Blair Witch”. Instead, the title is misleading, because the compelling story is about a boy trying to get the acceptance of his father; the killing is a subplot. EL OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hurwin, Davida Farther you run – Continues the story of “A Time for Dancing”, with Samantha going off to college and quits dancing. Includes non-graphic sex scenes.  OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Hussey, Charmain The Valley of Secrets, 370 p. – Stephen, an orphan his whole life, one day receives a mysterious inheritance that sends him to an isolated mansion on the edge of the English countryside. There he finds an empty house, a dense forest and strange happenings. When he discovers his unknown uncle’s journal of a long ago trip to South America, he finally starts putting the pieces together. YAWN. This book drags along and that’s all I really want to say about it. OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

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