New Book Reviews for Kids

New Book Reviews

Endangered

by Eliot Shrefer

Grades 7 & Up

Sophie's mother runs a sanctuary for bonobo chimpanzees in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Africa. While visiting from America for a few weeks, Sophie rescues a bonobo from a man in the markets of Kinshasa. Otto, the badly abused bonobo, quickly bonds with Sophie, but she knows she must leave him soon to return to her father in the United States. 

When the Congolese president is assassinated, and armed revolution breaks out across the entire country, Sophie's status as U.S. citizen means she can safely be extracted and returned to her home in the States... but it also means she must leave her Congolese friends at the sanctuary... and she must leave Otto.  

Forced into a UN rescue van against her will, to be returned home, Sophie makes a daring decision and jumps from the van to return and care for Otto. A dangerous choice... especially when the sanctuary is attacked.  Sophie and Otto miraculously escape into the gated bonobo enclosure while everyone else there is brutally murdered. Sophie and Otto must survive both the wilds of the jungle enclosure and the wild anger of revolutionaries trying to destroy the country. 

Gripping and beautifully written, this powerful novel about survival in the face of many types of danger may redefine your definitions of human and animal.

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Reading Level: 7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Animals--Real, Don't Miss These, Family, Friends, In Other Lands, Read-Alikes, Survival Location: JY Fiction
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The Dogs of Winter

by Bobbie Pyron

Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8

Truth can be much stranger than fiction and fiction based on truth can make a great story.  Inspired by the life of Ivan Mishukov, Ivan Andreovich is a five-year-old boy who was orphaned in post-Soviet Russia, left on the streets to fend for himself, and adopted by a pack of wild dogs.

Life for street children is a battle to survive.  Hunger, cold, roving gangs of both adults and older children make survival tenuous.  Ivan finds his place with a family of dogs.  Ivan and the dogs share what food they have and provide warmth and protection for each other.  But more than that, the dogs love Ivan as he loves them.   Ivan becomes more and more like his dog family.  While humans can be uncaring or cruel, it is the dogs who show the most "humanity."

Ultimately, Ivan Andreovich , like the real Ivan, is rescued.

 

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Daylight Saving

by Edward Hogan

Reading Level: Grades 7 - 10

Daniel, who hates all things sports, is taken to the Leisure World Holiday Complex, a family sports camp, by his father for autumn break. While trying to avoid another of his father's drunken episodes, Daniel bikes to a lake where he meets a girl named Lexi, who has a slight black eye and seems to be at the camp alone. Each time they meet she has more and worsening injuries, and, as he spends more time with her, Daniel begins to develop weird wounds of his own. What is happening and how can he help both of them before he has to leave at the end of the week?

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Break My Heart 1,000 Times

by Daniel Waters

Reading Level: Grades 7 - 10

The biggest consequence of The Event (other than billions of people being killed at once) is that ghosts have become an everyday part of life. Veronica is used to her father's ghost showing up each morning at the kitchen table silently reading the same paper, drinking the same cup of coffee and smiling at the area by the sink right before he vanishes. Walking to school each morning means seeing a murdered girl show up on the creepy teacher's doorstep, and the ghost of an old woman hobbling down to get her mail. Then one February morning the ghost of a teenaged boy shows up in Veronica's bathroom, more ghosts start popping up all over town, and the creepy teacher starts paying a lot of attention to Veronica.

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Goldilocks and Just One Bear

by Leigh Hodgkinson

Reading Level: Ages 4 - 8

A bear wanders into the city and becomes lost, so he enters an apartment and makes himself comfortable in this silly fractured fairytale with a surprise ending.

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Toads on Toast

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Reading Level: Ages 3 - 9

Fox was bored with his same old boiled toad meals day in and day out so he buys himself a cookbook and discovers most toad recipes call for YOUNG toads not old ones. After catching a bag full of young toads he gets ready to try a new recipe when the toads' mother suggests she teach him a secret toad family recipe instead.

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The Price of Freedom: How One Town Stood Up to Slavery

by Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Brindell Fradin

Reading Level:  Grades 2-4

This is the remarkable true story of  John Price, former slave, and the citizens of Oberlin, Ohio.  In 1856, Price and two others managed a daring escape from slavery, and settled in Oberlin, then home to many abolitionists and former slaves.  Two years later, Price was snatched from the road by slave hunters.  His cry for help was heard by an Oberlin college student.  This is the inspiring story of the response to that cry.

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Illustrator: Eric Velasquez Reading Level: 2nd Grade,3rd Grade,4th Grade Subjects: Non-Fiction Location: J Non-Fiction
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by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Reading Level: Ages 3 - 9

A bunch of baby animals tell what they do on their first day of life, such as fighting their way out of shells or being pushed up to the ocean's surface for his first breath in this cute science book.

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This Moose Belongs to Me

by Oliver Jeffers

Reading Level: Ages 3 - 7

When Wilfred finds a moose, he decides it is meant to be his pet and names it Marcel, but Marcel has a secret.

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Joshua Dread

by Lee Bacon

Reading Level: Grades 4-6

Starting a new school is never easy.  It is even harder when you have to remember your new alias and make sure you never even hint at the fact that your parents are supervillians intent on destroying the world.

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Other villianous tales include:

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Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks anThe Cloak Society by Jeramy Kraatz

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Books for Boys, Fantasy Location: J Fiction
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