New Book Reviews for Kids

New Book Reviews

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom

by A. C. Crispin

Reading Level: Grades 7+

First Mate Jack Sparrow, an employee of the East India Trading Company, is somewhere in the Caribbean when his cargo ship is attacked.  Luckily, the pirate captain of the attacking ship is a friend of Jack’s, and doesn’t steal his entire cargo.  Unluckily, Captain Baimbridge, furious at being attacked, boarded, and stolen from by a female pirate, tries to attack la Dona Pirata.  In the ensuing swordfight, Baimbridge suffers from a heart attack and dies, leaving Jack in charge of the ship (though not officially captain… yet.)

Across the ocean, a princess and her brother set sail from a magically hidden island in search of their missing father.  They are captured and sold into slavery, but not before Princess Amenirdis casts a protective spell over herself, altering her appearance to that of an old ugly hag.  Separated from each other by the cruel slave trade, Amenirdis (now calling herself by the name Ayisha) longs for her brother and hopes for a chance at freedom. 

Back at port, EITC employee Cutler Beckett comes into possession of a few pieces of golden jewelry he believes are connected to the legendary island of Kerma - and if he can locate the slave these pieces were stolen off of, he can locate Kerma’s treasure.  His hunt soon leads him to suspect Ayisha’s involvement with the royal Kerman family, though her disguise and self-imposed language barrier deter Beckett’s ability to question her further.

Upon Jack’s return to shore with the pirate-lightened cargo ship, and explanation to Cutler Beckett the events of the pirate attack, he is promoted to Captain (huzzah! huzzah!) and given command of the vessel Wicked Wench.  Beckett, ironically convinced that Ayisha was once a slave on the island of Kerma, tells Cap’n Jack to offer the woman escape from Beckett’s ownership and then charm her into giving up the location of the island.  Then, Jack is to return to Beckett with the coordinates and the fabled Kerman treasure - and Beckett will set sail for Kerma with a dozen slave ships, prepared to snatch up the citizens.

Of course, we all know Cap’n Jack to be a moral man.  Don’t we?  And of course, Cap’n Jack has another plan up his sleeve - one that doesn’t involve stealing an entire population to be slaves or giving Cutler Beckett any treasure at all.

In The Price of Freedom, Pirates of the Caribbean fans will get to know Jack in an entirely new light than the four movies and love him all the more for it.  His wobbling morality and quick wit, paired with his prowess at the helm (of both a ship and a woman) make him an entirely lovable, dimensional character.  Yet one doesn’t have to have seen the movies to fall in love with this adventurous naval romp.  It's not one to miss.

Check availability of this book

More books by A.C. Crispin

Pirates of the Caribbean movies

Reading Level: 7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers,Adults Subjects: Adventure, Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Don't Miss These, Fantasy, Folktales, Friends, Historical Fiction, Humor, In Other Lands, Mythological, Read-Alikes, Relationships, Supernatural Location: JY Fiction
Reviewer:

Doodleday

by Ross Collins

Reading Level: Ages 3-8

Harvey’s mom tries to tell him about Doodleday, but he doesn’t listen. Soon, his drawings are coming to life, and mom’s nowhere to be found! Harvey draws more and more, trying to get rid of everything… but as you can imagine, things get out of hand pretty quickly.

Check availability of this book

More books by Ross Collins

 

 

Reading Level: Preschoolers,Kindergarteners Subjects: Family, Fantasy, Read-Alouds Location: Picture Books
Reviewer:

Borderline

by Allan Stratton

Reading Level: Grades 7-9

Mohammed Sami Sabiri stopped using his first name the day his father reacted angrily when Andy and Marty nicknamed Mohammed "Prophet." Sami, Andy and Marty have been best friends ever since. Sami's father is not so happy with the friendship. He even sent Samis to a private high school to get him away from their influence. As the only Muslim at the school, Sami is harrassed almost every day. Sami didn't realize how good his life was.

Check availability of this book

More books by Allan Stratton

For another story of 21st century prejudice include:

Saving Sky by Diane Stanley

Location: JY Fiction
Reviewer:

The Brain Finds a Leg

by Martin Chatteton

Reading Level: Grades 4-6

No one had ever linked the bizzare incidents before Theophilus Nero Hercuke Sherlock Wimsey Father Brown Marlowe Spade Christie Edgar Allen Brain showed up in Sheldon's 6th grade classroom.

Sheldon McGlone has pretty much been on autopilot ever since his father was killed in the whale attack. But the Brain was sure that the whale attack, the bird poop incident and the possum car theft ring were all connected. The Brain is also certain that he is a greater slueth that all the detectives he was named for.  Since all great detectives he needs a sidekick. He picks Sheldon.

When Sheldon encounters a serverd human leg and an enormous salt water crocodile barking like a dog in the Brain's bedroom, he should have run. Instead he finds himself drawn into a mad cap adventure to thwart an international villian.

Check availability of this book

More books by Martin Chatterton

If you enjoy this zany adventure try:

Whales on Stilts by M.T. Anderson and

We Are Not Eaten By Yaks by C. Alexander London

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Humor, In Other Lands, Mysteries, Science Fiction Location: J Fiction
Reviewer:

The Chaos

by Rachel Ward

Reading Level: Grades 7 - 9

In this sequel to Numbers Adam has inherited his mother's ability to see people's death dates when he looks in their eyes. To make matters worse, when he and his grandmother move to London he discovers that most people he meets have the same date, 01/01/2027, and the girl he likes has been having nightmares about him, her baby and fire for months.

Check availability of this book

More books by Rachel Ward

Reading Level: 7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Adventure, Fantasy, Misfits, Mysteries, Relationships Location: JY Fiction
Reviewer:

Notes from a Totally Lame Vampire: Because the Undead Have Feelings Too!

by Tim Collins

Reading Level: Grades 6 - 8

Nigel is about to turn 100 and he has yet to have a girlfriend. His problem is that, although he is a vampire, he does not have super strength, preternatural speed, or hypnotizing beauty. In fact he is weaker and slower than most of his classmates, and sunlight gives him a bad case of acne. In short, he is forever trapped in the body of a geeky 15 year old boy. How will he ever be able to impress the beautiful new girl and maybe, someday, get to bite someone?

Check availability of this book

More books by Tim Collins

More books illustrated by Andrew Pinder

Illustrator: Andrew Pinder Reading Level: 6th Grade,7th Grade,8th Grade Subjects: Books for Boys, Fantasy, Humor, Misfits, Relationships, School, Self Image, Supernatural, Vampires Location: JY Fiction
Reviewer:

The Summer Before Boys

by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Reading Level: Grades 4-7

Julia and Eliza are best friends. They are also family. Even though they are the same age, Julia is Eliza's aunt. Of course, Eliza doesn't call her best friend "Aunt Julia" but still...they are more tied together in ways most friends are. That was never a problem...until the summer they turned twelve

Eliza still likes to pretend, just the way she and Julia have done all their lives. But Julia finds it harder and harder to enter that make-believe world. There are too many distractions in the real world. Some are terrible, like worrying about whether or not her mother will survive her tour of duty in Iraq. Others are much more pleasant, like a certain very cute boy named Michael.

Where do your loyalties lie when you find yourself changing, pulling away from a best friend who is so much more than just a friend?

Check availability of this book

More books by Nora Raleigh Baskin

For other tales of changing friendships try:

The Secret Language of Girls by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Eleven by Lauren Myracle and

Gossip Times Three by Amy Koss

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade,7th Grade Subjects: Books for Girls, Family, Friends, Realistic Fiction, Relationships Location: J Fiction
Reviewer:

Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales

by Tamora Pierce

Reading Level: Grade 6+

Attention all Tortall lovers! This collection of short stories is an offering of  further adventures in Pierce's world of Tortall

Check availability of this book

More books Tamora Pierce

Other engrossing series set in fantasy worlds include:

The Damar series by Robin McKinley

The Ranger's Apprentice Series by John Flanghan and

The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix

Location: JY Fiction
Reviewer:

Lark

by Tracey Porter

Reading Level: Grade 8+

He was the father of one of the younger kids on her gymnastics team. How was 16-year-old Lark supposed to know that he was a predator? Lark died of exposure after he assaulted her and left her tied to a tree in the winter woods.

Lark's ghost begins visiting Nyetta soon after. Lark needs Nyetta to do something for her, something Nyetta is afraid to do. If Nyetta does not do it, Lark will be condemned to a horrible fate for eternity.

Check availability of this book

More books Tracey Porter

Other ghostly tales include

The Sledding Hill by Chris Crutcher

Elsewhere by Gabrielle by Zevin and

The Everafter by Amy Huntley

Reading Level: 8th Grade Subjects: Books for Girls, Fantasy, Horror, Relationships, Supernatural Location: JY Fiction
Reviewer:

Press Here

by Herve Tullet

Reading Level: Ages 2 - 6

An analog version of a tablet computer, this clever book is perfect for anyone's digital era child.

Check availability of this book

More books by Herve Tullet

Reading Level: Preschoolers,Kindergarteners,1st Grade Subjects: Read-Alikes Location: Picture Books
Reviewer:

Pages