Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Dill loves her dog named Dead-End. He only listened to her mom though, and now her mom is ... well, she's not around any more. Dead-End keeps disappearing and rumor has it there's a pack of dogs running around their rural community killing sheep. Dill hopes it's not her dog doing the killing, but she hardly has time to go look for him when she's cooking for her dad who spends all his time at work, and taking care of her grandpa, who hasn't been the same since her mother...left. Not to mention her job at the barn where she does her horseback training. If only her mother were still here. Action packed with tense sadness as its climax driving force, DOG GONE by Cynthia Chapman Willis will have you reluctantly reading through some pretty emotional situations just to find out what happens. For 4th -8th grades.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The only reason Lancelot wants to become a knight is so he can wear a shiny armor and have everyone admire him. Of course he also becomes the best knight and soon everyone wants to fight him and claim that they are better than Sir Lancelot. But Lancelot soon tires of the fights and retires to a life of a hermit until a jealous knight challenges King Arthur's throne and charges Queen Guinevere with treason. Lancelot must come out of retirement and battle to save the queen and kingdom!

This is a fun and light-hearted Arthurian tale retold by the writer of many other previous Arthurian novels for kids. The Adventure Sir Lancelot the Great by Gerald Morris is under 100 pages and perfect for a reluctant reader or one who loves adventures with a big dose of humor. For readers in 3rd - 4th grade.

A new and upcoming series, Knights' Tales.


Meet Diana! She is fun, full of live, observant and energetic. She enjoys everything in life, from big things to small. She loves the fact that she is able to wave at her best friend everyday since their windows are facing one another. She is loved by her parents and peers.

Slowly, the laughter disappears from her house and her parents stop talking to each other the way they use to. She finds out that her parent's are not getting a divorce... however, a family situation is forcing them to change their way of living.

WHERE I LIVE by EILEEN SPINELLI and the illustrations by MATH PHELAN is written in free verse and is a bittersweet story about all things that life offers.

For grades 4th and older.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Though based on real facts dug up from the National Archives and conversation with his father and other relatives, Laurence Yep spins another vivid story of how his father came to settle permanently in San Francisco. Despite the fact that his father was a U.S. citizen, anyone entering the country from China in the early 1900s was interrogated thoroughly down to the most minute details about their home and family in order to prove they were who they said they were. Although the journey to Gold Mountain (that's what Chinese workers called California) was difficult it was worth it to find work and send money back to their families in the very poor villages of southern China.

The Dragon's Child: A Story of Angel Island by Laurence Yep, a memorable and heartbreaking story of one child's immigration experience. For readers in 4th and older and those looking for a great California story.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Twelve-year-old Angela is not thrilled about summer this year because she is being sent down to Los Angeles to spend it with her grandparents and aunt. While there she is expected to spend time working in the families flower shop and helping fold the origami cranes for the 1001 crane displays for newlyweds. All of it is a lot harder than she expected specially the folding part. What she did not expect was the news her mother gave her about her family before she left her with the grandparents.

Over the summer Angela learns not only to fold cranes that pass grandmother's inspection but also how to make it in a new situation in 1001 CRANES BY NAOMI HIRAHARA. For grades 5-8.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Living in the United States is a privilege that so many people take for granted. There are wars, hunger, displacement and violence all over the world that affects the human spirit in ways that one can not describe. Children especially are the once that suffer the most in this horrible situations. GIVE ME SHELTER: STORIES ABOUT CHILDREN WHO SEEK ASYLUM is edited by TONY BRADMAN and is about just that. Children that tried to escape war-torn countries in treacherous times are captured very vividly in these thought provoking chapters that will change your mind not only about immigration but also about the strenght of the human spirit.

For grades 4th and up.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Hildy Biddle and the other reporters on her high school newspaper are young but not stupid. Knowing something rotten is going on with the town newspaper and the Ludlow property, the teen reporters are determined to get to the core of the "mysterious haunting" at the old abandoned house and reveal the truth before fear overtakes the whole town. A uplifting story of growth, determination and and justice in the face of daunting odds.
Peeled by Joan Bauer is an engaging story for 6th - high schoolers looking for something different yet inspiring to read.

Friday, December 05, 2008


In ONE SMALL STEP by P.B. Kerr thirteen-year-old Scott is obsessed with flying and dreams of one day becoming an astronaut. His father, a pilot for the Air Force, feeds that dream and teaches him how to fly. Scott has a natural talent for flying and when his father takes him up in one of the super-fast jets and lets him handle the controls it is the start of the biggest adventure of his life. An adventure that involves him in one of NASA's biggest top secret missions.

For grades 5-8.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Logan has a reputation that preceeds him at his new school because of something terrible that happened with his old best friend Zyler. He tries to act like everything is normal, but the bullying he experiences and the way his parents act around him just makes his life miserable. As his school year progresses, Logan learns ways to escape his tormentors and process his feelings. I find that I really like books that don't tell you too much information at the beginning of the story. Books that have a personality you have to get to know before you finish the story are always more entertaining for me than those that tell you everything you need to know about a main character before the end of the first chapter. THIS IS WHAT I DID by Ann Dee Ellis is one of those books. The theme is similar to the book SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson as far as it's controversial subject matter, but is reflected through the eyes of an eigth grade boy. Definitely worth reading, but this book is really only appropriate for 7th and 8th grades.