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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It's just after World War II in the Soviet countryside, where no one has seen a dog in years. Mikhail is very surprised when he meets a wounded stranger--with a beautiful German shepherd. The stranger dies, leaving Mikhail and his family with the dog, Zasha. Mikhail grows to love Zasha, but he has to keep her hidden, as anti-German sentiment is still strong. Little by little, Mikhail finds that his neighbors miss their dogs. But will he be able to reveal his secret pet? And will dogs ever return to Russia? Dog lovers and history buffs in about 4th-6th grade will enjoy this book.
WPL Call Number: Y Barrow
Every Soul a Star|
Ally's parents have spent ten years preparing this campground for the solar eclipse. Thousands of people will come to see and celebrate the actual event. Bree's scientist parents drag her along even though Bree would rather focus on her future modeling career. Jack is there because his teacher offered him a chance to help with a tour instead of attending summmer school for a failed science class. These unlikely friends discover a lot about their problems and their place in the world. For ages 10 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Mass
Exciting tale of a girl who moves into a big spooky house with her pre-occupied parents. She soon learns that there is something strange about the paintings in the house; with help from a pair of old spectacles, she is able to enter the landscapes of the paintings, but something dangerous is lurking within. The first in a projected series, this is recommended for boys and girls in grades 3 or 4 and up.
WPL Call Number: J West
I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History's Strangest Cures|
Can frog soup really cure a cold? Can spider webs cure a wound? In this book, you'll learn about all sorts of crazy-sounding folk cures for common ailments, from around the world and throughout history. Some of them actually work! Others...not so much. This entertaining and informative book is organized like a quiz so you can guess the effectiveness of each cure before learning the truth. Recommended for grades 3 and up.
WPL Call Number: J615.8 BE
Fans of Anthony Horowitz and James Patterson will enjoy this adventure/suspense thriller. 14 year-old Zach finds himself pulled into a web of dangerous international intrigue when his father (who works in a CIA-type role for the U.S. government) is killed under mysterious circumstances. The story ends in a way that promises a sequel. Recommended for grades 6 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Lupica
Hide and Seek|
Chase, age 14, is enjoying his new GPS, a gift from his father. He's excited to find a geocache, but he notices that it's been muggled and there's a strange message inside: "Help We ne," the message reads! Is it a joke? Is someone really in danger? If so, who? The whole thing feels a little scary. Chase decides to follow some clues and find out- in spite of danger to himself. A fast paced story that kids, especially boys, will like. Recommended for grades 6 and up.
WPL Call Number: J Grant
The PS Brothers|
Don't be fooled by the comic artwork on the cover of this interesting book. It's about 2 sixth-grade boys who live in bleak circumstances and start a dog walking business (the "PS" stands for "pooper scooper") so they can buy a dog for protection. Some plot elements involve a parent in prison and a dog-fighting ring. Overall, it's a well-written and ultimately hopeful book for grades 4 and older (and also offers a welcome change from the middle-class suburban setting of so much realistic fiction for this age group).
WPL Call Number: J Boelts
Sky Sailors : True Stories of the Balloon Era|
True stories about pioneers of ballooning. I never knew that, in 1897, a Swedish explorer tried to be the first to reach the North Pole, in a balloon equipped with sails. The chapter called "The Children Are Gone!" is about two rural Illinois children who accidentally took a terrifying overnight balloon flight in 1858. These accounts and many others make for absorbing reading for ages 10 and older. Illustrated with photographs and prints.
WPL Call Number: Y629.133 BR
After Ever After|
Jeffrey's story continues from Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie except this time it is about him and not his older brother. Life after cancer is not easy for Jeffrey. The drugs and treatments affected his leg causing a limp as well as his brain, making math extremely difficult for him. As he starts eighth grade, his challenges include dealing with his best friend, a fellow cancer survivor, feeling abandoned by his brother and meeting a beautiful new classmate. Not having his older brother around makes it hard for Jeffrey to focus on his problems. An emotional story for ages 12 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Sonnenblick
Jake's widowed mother falls on the ice and breaks her leg at the beginning of this funny and poignant story. Jake's grandfather, whom he doesn't know well, comes north to Baltimore to help care for him. The story unfolds with loving detail as Jake, Grandad Ned, and his dog, Max come to care about and for each other. This story will appeal to readers from 3rd to 5th grades.
WPL Call Number: J Couloumbis
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