New Book Reviews
Reading Level: Ages 9 - 12
Eleven-year-old twins, Nick and Tesla, are sent to spend the summer with their comical, mad scientist uncle while their parents are out of the country. Instead of the boring time they expect, they encounter a spooky deserted mansion guarded by ravenous dogs, a mysterious girl at the window holding a "GO AWAY" sign, ill-tempered construction workers, and black van that keeps following them. The twins are science geeks themselves who use everyday objects to build what they need to solve the mystery and survive. Interspersed in the book are great directions for building the gadgets. Have fun!
Reading Level: grade 7 & up
Pulitzer Prize winning author, Sonia Nazario had adapted her adult book for teens. It's the story of sixteen-year-old Enrique whose mother left her children in Honduras to come to the U.S. 12 years earlier with the promise she would return. When she doesn't, Enrique decides he will go to his mother. The journey is fraught with danger as he rides the tops of trains while hiding from the authorities, thugs, and bandits. Enrique's journeys across Central America and Mexico are a study in determination and the strength of love. His story will give readers a new perspective on illegal immigration and some things to think about. WARNING; Nazario does not gloss over beatings, rapes, maimings, and even murder.
Reading Level: Ages 9 - 12
In 1854 there was a cholera outbreak in London. Hundreds died. There was no cure and no one knew the cause of cholera. Hopkinson 's hero is a thirteen-year-old orphan, Eel, who scavenges the filthy Thames River and works odd jobs. One job brings him in contact with Dr. Snow, a real historical figure who was an early epidemiologist. The fast-paced novel combines a medical mystery, a race against the clock, evil child snatchers, and an assortment of characters. You'll love Eel and his friends and want to them to triumph.
Reading Level: Ages 8 - 12
Set in Seattle, Washington in 1944, this is the home front story of Hobie Hanson, a fifth-grader whose father is flying B-24s in Europe. It's a time of great patriotism and sacrifice even for those at home. Hobie is expected to step up and help at home, on the family fishing boat, and with his younger sister. There are ration stamps for sugar, meat, and shoes. Everyone is urged to do all they can to help in the war effort. When Hobie learns about the real life organization called Dogs For Defense, he decides to donate his beloved German Shepherd, Duke. It never occurred to him that Duke might be sent into combat or that Duke might bond with his Marine handler. Will his father and his dog survive?
Reading Level: Grades 2 - 4
In this Spanish picture book a young girl meets the neighbors who have moved into the new building next door. Each neighbor she meets is a bit strange. For example, the first neighbor she meets has umbrellas for hands...
En este libro una chica les conoce a los vecinos en el edificio nuevo al lado de su casa. Cada vecino que le conoce es un poco raro. Por ejemplo, el primer vecino tiene paraguas como manos...
Reading Level: Ages 3 - 8
The lakes and rivers have dried up and all the thirsty animals agree that whoever digs to water will be their king. When it is gecko's turn to dig all the other animals all laugh at him and call for him to give up, but gecko won't listen.
Reading Level Grades 4-6
11-year-old Arlo has lived with his only relative, his grandfather Poppo, since Arlo was two. But in the last couple of years Poppo's mind has started slipping. Arlo now takes care of his grandfather making sure no one knows how bad Poppo is getting.
On the night Poppo is found trapped in a dumpster, life as Arlo knows it disappears. After one night in the children's home, Arlo knows he must escape. Armed with $68 and courage he sets out on a journey to find his missing grandmother, the one he has just recently learned is alive.
Other stories of kids seeking family are:
Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt and
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Reading Level: Grades 7 - 10
When Isadora was little she loved to hang out with her father. He was calm and gentle and very proud of her artistic talent. Both her parents were. Her mother Isis gave Isadora a beautiful set of paints and her father Osiris gave her an entire room all her own to decorate any way she liked. Isadora loved to show her parents her progress on her room. Until the day she discovered she was not going to be imortal like her parents...she was going to stay mortal...and the room would be her tomb.
Other godly adventures include:
The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton
The Reluctant God by Pamela Service
The Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda and
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs