Wednesday, October 26, 2011


This book is written from the viewpoint of Addie who is struggling with many problems teenagers face. I like the frank discussions about diversity, homosexuality, being slow to reach puberty, being in the "popular" group while staying true to her values, dating a popular guy, and trying to maintain friendships with girls and boys she knew from childhood. As a grandmother, I find her close relationship with her grandmother heart-warming. My favorite quotation from the book is: "You never tell a star: Hey, tone it down." In this book Addie gains the self-confidence and maturity to be a star in her own way. If I had a teenager or preteen, I would like to read and discuss this book with him/her. It is truly a "coming of age" book that is well-written. $16.99 Antheneum  Reviewed by: Julie Hoch.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WAITING FOR THE MAGIC By: Patricia MacLachlan

WAITING FOR THE MAGIC  By: Patricia MacLachlan
Going to my mailbox today I discovered this wonderful package. In this envelope was a magical book. It is the story of a troubled family. William and Elinor's father has decided to leave, writing a note for each child that he will be back soon. Their mother takes the children to an animal shelter to get them a dog after their father leaves, only they come home with four dogs and a cat. Elinor can hear the animals talk! And thus begins the most magical tale of talking animals and bringing a family back together again. Not to missed. Ages 8-12 $15.99 Atheneum

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meeting authors, Brian Selznik Malie Malloy, Kadir Nelson

Just had the most incredible weekend. I went to a booksellers convention and was fortunate enough to meet and hear so many authors.
Brian Selznik author of Wonderstruck was one of the most dynamic speakers I have ever heard. The way he writes his novel with little references to the book, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Farnkweiler.
How his wonderful characters are derived, to how he draws all those fantastic illustrations.Brian even went to the musuems in New York City to make sure all of his pictures were accurate too! A book and author your children should not miss. Also his movie for the Invention of Hugo Cabaret will be out on Thanksgiving, should be a wholesome family treat.
Malie Malloy author of  The Apothecary was another speaker. Her novel takes place in England and all the references are accurate. Malie's talk took us through all the thought processes, so you actually felt like you were watching her compose the book.
Kadir Nelson was another speaker who showed us how he wanted to trace the real African American experience. His stunning painting are works of art, not to be missed. 
There were many more authors, and hopefully I will blog about them soon. Please look for the blogspot about these fabulous books. Not to missed. 

WONDERSTRUCK By: Brian Selznick Ages 9 and up Fabulous Read

WONDERSTRUCK  By: Brian Selznick
Just like the title of the book you are struck with wonder as this story unfolds. Ben has lost the only parent he has ever known and is now living next door to his old house. While searching his mother's room for clues of his father he discovers a bookmark with the name Daniel on it. He tries to call the number on the bookmark and lightning strikes the phone line and renders Ben deaf. Thus begins his journey that takes him to New York to find out about Daniel.
Another story unfold throughout the book in pictures taking place in 1927, here you see a young girl climbing out her window to go into the city. She too is deaf.
When Ben arrives in the city his is robbed immediately and has to survive without hearing. Many things happen along the way to find his father. He ends up in a museum and finds a friend in Jamie a boy whose father works for the museum. With Jamie's help Ben begins to live in the museum.
Will Ben ever find his father, you must read this book to find out. If I had one book to give for the holidays to my grandsons this would be it. Ages 9 and up. $29.99 Scholastic Press  Coming September 2011

APOTHECARY By: Maile Meloy

APOTHECARY   By: Maile Meloy
Let me start by saying this book is like nothing I have ever read. So intriguing is the plot that I couldn't put it down.
It starts off with a family in the year 1952 that is moving from Los Angeles to London. Janie is so angry with her parents that she has to leave her friends behind. Her parents are actors and Janie is left to take care of herself most of the time. So enters Benjamin the apothecary's son. He is in Janie's class at school and he is intrigued by Janie and begins to follow her. His mission in life is to become a spy, so they begin by spying on a man in the park. When Benjamin's father the apothecary is spotted with this man life takes a sudden turn. Benjamin's father tells him to guard a book called the Phamacopoeia and then he disappears. Benjamin and Janie must find out where he is and help save him. With the help of the Parmacopoeia they become invisible, turn into birds and stowaway on a ship all to find Benjamin's father. A must read for everyone. $16.99 Ages 10 up $16.99 Putnum 

LOST VOICES By: Sarah Porter Young Adult

LOST VOICES  By: Sarah Porter
Luce for fourteen-year-old Luce has never been easy. Her mother is dead, her father is missing, and her uncle is an abusive drunk. But Luce was still hopeful that one day she would be reunited with her father and that her life would return to normal again. That is, until one night when a storm hits and Luce is thrown into the sea. She expects to die, but instead she undergoes an amazing transformation and wakes up a mermaid. Suddenly, it seems as though Luce has found where she truly belongs, She loves her life among the mermaids until she discovers that she has an extraordinary talent, a talent that she is expected to use to murder humans. As the other mermaids begin to recognize Luce's skill, they begin to pressure her into using it to their advantage. Now Luce is struggling between loyalty to her new found family and her conscience. Ages 12 and up. Harcourt $16.99 Reviewed by Maggie age 16. Visual, language.


The only thing that Vivien, Shirin, and Ingrid have in common is that they are being forced to spend the summer together at some swanky boarding school in Switzerland. At first that divides them and their first summer turns into a disaster. But the next summer as the girls navigate through their first loves, individual successes, and their first tragedies, it is their differences that ultimately bring them together. And when the girls return for their third and final summer at camp, they create a bond that would last a life time. Ages 12 and up. Simon and Schuster $16.99 Reviewed by Maggie, age 16. Sex and language.

CIRCLE NINE By: Anne Heltzel

CIRCLE NINE  By: Anne Heltzel
When Abby wakes up, she is lying outside a burning building, covered in soot and embers, with absolutely no idea who she is or how she got there. But there is a mysterious boy named Sam by her side. He swears that he will take care of Abby and Abby believes him. But no matter how charming Abby's new life with Sam may be, she still can't remember who she is. Then Sam begins to fall ill and tension begins to build as Sam falls deeper and deeper into darkness. Amidst the turmoil, Abby begins to see glimpses of their past. And what she sees leaves her questioning her relationship with Sam and wondering who he really is. Ages 14 and up. Candlewick $16.99 Reviewed by Maggie age 16. Implied drug use, some sex

Sunday, October 9, 2011

13 GIFTS By: Wendy Mass

13 GIFTS  By: Wendy Mass
Tara is caught stealing a goat from the principal and spraying pepper spray in his eyes. As punishment she is suspended from school and sent to Willow Falls to stay with relatives she hardly knows. All she remembers is the last time she saw her cousin she ate an entire glue stick. Tara has moved a lot over the years and starts to make many friends in Willow Falls, but another lapse in judgement makes her beholden to an old woman in town. With the help of her new friends and some very hilarious events Tara learns a lot about herself and her family.
A must read. I laughed and cried. Ages 9 up. $16.99 Scholastic

CAT FOUND By: Ingrid Lee

CAT FOUND  By: Ingrid Lee
Billy lives in a town that has lots of stray cats. But one day he finds one that is hurt and takes it home to hide in his bedroom. Everything is going okay until he realizes that Conga is pregnant and he has to find a new home for Conga before she delivers or his parents will find out he has the cat. Then things get more complicated as the town bullies and folks decide to get rid of the cats that are overpopulating their town. Will Billy and two of his friends manage to change their minds in time. Great read.
$16.99 Scholastic Ages 8-11

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Del is a good kid, a good kid that made a mistake. In the eyes of the law Del is a felon. He can't go to college, he can't get a license, and everyone treats him like a social pariah. The only job Del can get is working as a grave digger at a local cemetery. Del doesn't have much of a future, but when he meets Fairy Girl everything begins to change. Suddenly Del has something to look forward to in life. But Del can't look forward to a bright, happy future just yet. He still has that criminal record hanging over his head. Before Del can even think about starting a new life for himself, he has to make amends with his past and the mistake that cost him everything. Ages 14 and up $16.99  Bloomsbury  Reviewed by Maggie age 16.

DAVID By: Mary Hoffman

DAVID  By: Mary Hoffman
All Gabriele wanted was to come to Florence, make an honest wage as a stonemason, and return to his hometown to get married. But that was before he caught the eye of the famous sculptor, Michelangelo. Everyone knows who Gabriele is now, the model who posed for Michelangelo's David. Young, handsome, and naive, he could never have guessed how much his life would change because of  one statue. But change it does. Suddenly Gabriele finds himself trust into a world of spies, secrecy, and murder, where being in conspicuous is a matter of life or death. But it's hard to stay hidden in a city where everyone knows your name. Ages 14 and up. *Sex- not graphic. $17.99  Bloomsbury  Reviewed by Maggie age 16.

MOMENTO NORA By: Angie Smibert

MOMENTO NORA  By: Angie Smibert
Terrorist attacks happen all the time in the city. Someone sees a building explode, a shot rings out in the night, it's nothing new. Only Nora can't seem to forget the attack she witnessed, so it's off to the TFC (Therapeutic Forgetting clinic) she goes. There she can describe her memory, take one tiny pill and forget. But after an encounter with a mysterious boy, Nora decides she wants to remember. She doesn't take the pill and that is when everything starts to spin out of control. Ages 13 and up. *Some strong language. $16.99 Marshall Cavendish Reviewed by Maggie age 16

AFTER OBSESSION By: Carrie Jones and Steven Wedel

AFTER OBSESSION  By: Carrie Jones and Steven Wedel
Everyone thinks Aimee has the perfect life. She gets good grades, she hangs out with the right people, and she has the perfect boyfriend. No one knows that Aimee is haunted by an evil spirit called the River Man. Alan is rugged, sexy, and mysterious. He's new in town and he's the only one who knows Aimee's secret. Neither of them could have known that dark forces were stirring in their own backyards. Maybe if they had they could have stopped them, but now it's too late. A terrible monster is wrecking havoc on the town and no one is safe. Aimee and Alan are the only ones who can stop the terror from spreading, but it could mean destroying themselves in the process. Ages 12 and up. Bloomsbury $17.99 Reviewed by Maggie age 16.

PIE By: Sarah Weeks

PIE  By: Sarah Weeks
Alice has a wonderful, generous Aunt Polly. Aunt Polly is the best pie maker in all of Ipswitch, Pennsylvania. Everyone loves her pies. So one day after winning the Blueberry award for best pie she opens a pie shop. Not an ordinary pie shop, but one the will not take money for a pie. So people leave her things, like peaches, nuts, flour to name a few. Alice goes over everyday and sits on a stool and watches her Aunt make pies. They talk and laugh, have lunch together and life is wonderful. But something unexpected happens. Aunt Polly dies and leaves her cat Lardo to Alice. And her pie crust recipe to Lardo. Her mother is so upset, for she said Aunt Polly was selfish for leaving the recipe to a cat. Then terrible things begin to happen, everyone is hounding them for the pie crust recipe, and things are being destroyed. Can Alice and her friend Charlie solve the mystery. A great read. $16.99 Scholastic Ages 9-12


What would you do if you found a bread box in the attic of your grandmother's house and it was magical. Anything you wished for appeared. Well twelve-year- old Rebecca has found such a box. When her parents became separated and her mother moved her from Baltimore to Atlanta, Rebecca was really angry. So when this bread box appears she feels it can solve her problems. Only it doesn't seem to work that way. Find out what happens to Rebecca and the challenges her life has taken on. $16.99 Random House Ages 9-12