Recent Staff Reviews
Not sure what to read next? Check out what the staff at WPL have been reading. You might get some ideas! Click the title of each book to check its availability in the WPL catalog.
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The Hard Kind of Promise|
A promise Sarah made with Marjorie in kindergarten is hard to keep now that they are in seventh grade. Sarah appreciated how different Marjorie was, her interest in old movies, the way she dressed, even the way she ate with chips in her sandwiches. Now it means that she is weird and a loser for hanging out with Marjorie. It is impossible to remain best friends so Sarah decides to make new ones in choir but tries to include Marjorie, too. This realistic view of social life in junior high will be appreciated by those ages 10 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Willner-Pardo
Interesting quick read about a high school girl who feels overshadowed by her smart and athletic older brother. Her own special talent comes to light when one of her stories causes a splash in the school newspaper. But this soon leads her to another investigation, and a moral dilemma: Should she write a story that will reveal the widespread cheating at her school? Junior high readers will enjoy this thought-provoking book.
WPL Call Number: Y p BU
The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester|
Owen's not too happy about his family's move to his grandfather's house. His best friends are across town, and there's a nosy, know-it-all neighbor girl, Viola. But some bright spots appear--he catches the biggest frog in the pond and names him Tooley. And he finds the mysterious something that fell off a passing train in the middle of the night. Soon Owen's got a big project on his hands. Will he be able to keep it a secret from Viola? And can he keep Tooley happy all summer? To find out Owen's secret, read this fun summer adventure. It will appeal to kids in about third and fourth grade.
WPL Call Number: J O'Connor
Words in the Dust|
Zulaikha's name comes from an ancient Afghan poem in which a girl with her name is described as "the brightest star," but Zulaikha doesn't know any of that yet. All she knows is that she was born with a cleft lip and the children call her "donkey face," and her stepmother doesn't seem to like her very well. And she knows that she desperately wants to learn to read like her mother who was murdered. Reedy's story about Zulaikha is especially vivid, and his knowledge of details of a Muslim family's life comes from his tour as a soldier in Afghanistan in 2004. Fans of Deborah Ellis would like this. Highly recommended for girls 6th grade and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Reedy
Tales from Outer Suburbia|
Intriguing collection from the Australian who recently won the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Prize. It's hard to describe this book, which is a mix of story and poetry set in a quietly surreal landscape beautifully illustrated by the author. This would make a great discussion book for ages 12 or 13 through adult. Highly recommended.
WPL Call Number: Y Tan
Close to Famous|
Foster McFee and her mother drive quickly out of Memphis and end up in a small town in West Virginia. Foster is used to starting at new schools and making friends. She cannot read but she bakes amazing desserts and has dreams of becoming a famous television baker. She memorizes recipes and impresses everyone with her baking skills. Now she has a unique opportunity to earn some money with her baked goods and learn to read before starting at her new school. How the townspeople come together and help Foster makes a great story. For ages 10 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Bauer
Far From Home|
The brave and adventurous Zita finds herself on a strange planet after following her friend Joseph through an interdimensional portal. Upon her arrival Zita witnesses Joseph’s abduction by a bizarre tentacled creature and discovers that the very planet she finds herself on is doomed for destruction. Zita manages to assemble a rescue team consisting of a flute-playing inventor, a horse-sized rat, a robotic battle orb, and others determined to find her friend before it’s too late. This is a must-read comic for 3rd through 5th grade fans of Jeff Smith’s Bone and Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet.
WPL Call Number: J Comic HA
Miku and her family have moved from Japan to London... and it seems they've been followed by malevolent spirits! First there's the sinister knock at the door that leaves Miku's little brother, Kazu, mysteriously ill. Then there's the freaky substitute teacher who might just be a child-eating demon. And then Kazu vanishes during a snowstorm. It's up to Miku and her best friend, Cait, to face down the spirits and rescue Kazu. This fantasy adventure is a true page-turner with lots of genuinely creepy bits, and the information about Japanese folklore is fascinating. Recommended for grades 3 and up.
WPL Call Number: J Burne
Sugar Changed the World|
Sugar will never taste quite the same again after you read this page turning story which begins in New Guinea, 9000 BC. The authors have done an exciting and scholarly job telling the complex history of what our love (and addiction) for the "white gold" has set in motion: the good, the evil, the frivolous and the profound. Recommended for kids 6th grade and up and for grownups.
WPL Call Number: Y 641.3 AR
Ella has always felt out of place because she's the only black kid in her class. Worse, the class bully calls her "camo face" because of her patchy skin. Now Ella's only friend is Z, who is even more of an outcast than she is and truly depends on her. But when Bailey, a new boy -- a black boy! -- moves to town, he befriends Ella and shows her she has more allies than she thought. If Ella starts hanging out with the "normal" kids, will it mean betraying Z? The kids in this book have real problems -- Bailey and Z both have big secrets they're keeping -- but the story never gets too dark or heavy. Suggested for grades 5 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Magoon
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