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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Cleopatra Rules!: The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen|
Vicky Alvear Shecter
Who knew that Cleopatra was a brilliant and caring woman? This lively biography reveals that she became queen at seventeen and outsmarted many of her enemies. By trying to promote Egypt as a possible partner with Rome, she campaigned and charmed many foreigners, preventing wars. As the mother of four, she cared deeply about her children and risked her own life to save theirs. This is a fascinating and humorous look at one of the most powerful women who ever ruled. Filled with pictures of artifacts and fun facts, this is suitable for those 11 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y921 Cleopatra
Sig and his family live in an isolated cabin in the Arctic. One day Sig finds his father frozen, dead on the ice. Soon after his sister and stepmother go out to find help, an imposing stranger shows up at the cabin, demanding that Sig give him his father's gold. Sig doesn't know anything about the gold. He realizes he's alone in the cabin with the stranger--and his father's revolver. Soon Sig can think of nothing but the revolver, but he's not sure if he will have the guts or the opportunity to use it. Will Sig escape the stranger's wrath? Will he use the revolver? And what about that gold? If you liked Hatchet or The White Darkness, you'll be riveted by this suspenseful and shivery tale. If you read Revolver in winter, be sure you have an extra blanket! This Printz Award Honor book is best for kids in about seventh grade and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Sedgwick
Letters to Anyone and Everyone|
This is the book for you if you enjoy books of an epistolary nature - that is, a book about letter writing! Here are unique whimsical, dreamlike stories in which animals write letters to each other that will make you smile. They are most delightfully illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg. This book can be read on many different levels so that kids from grades 2-5 can enjoy it. Letter writing has never been so much fun.
WPL Call Number: J Tellegen
Pee Wee and Plush|
Pee Wee the guinea pig and Lexi the squirrel live in Central Park and are good friends. Pee Wee gets advice from Lexi to convince Plush to be his special friend by demonstrating to her that he can enjoy opera music like she does. They have a family together. They manage to learn how to cope with the winter cold (by hiding in a rain forest indoor habitat). A charming read for those in grades 2-4.
WPL Call Number: J Hurwitz
The Kneebone Boy|
Since their mother mysteriously disappeared years ago, the three Hardscrabble children -- Lucia, Max, and silent Otto -- have led a boring, lonely life in their English town of Little Tunks. But when a mix-up leaves them stranded in London, they take the opportunity to track down their mum's Aunt Haddie and get some answers about their mother's whereabouts. Many surprises follow, including castles (one fake), a crazed taxidermist, a five-legged cat, and, of course, the mythic Kneebone Boy. This mysterious adventure has a gothic feel and will appeal to imaginative readers who don't mind a little darkness. Suggested for grades 5 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Potter
Me and Rolly Maloo|
When Rolly, the most popular girl in fourth grade, asks Jenna for an answer on an important math test, Jenna is torn between doing what's right and wanting to please Rolly. This short chapter book is about more than peer pressure and cheating; overbearing parents and the politics of standardized testing are also issues in the story. Even so, kids will want to read this simply because Jenna is so likable and the plot is involving and interesting. Told as a mix of straight text, comics, and emails to Jenna's favorite teacher, this is recommended for grades 3-5. It also has potential for classroom or family discussion.
WPL Call Number: J Wong
Sharing Our Homeland: Palestinian and Jewish Children at Summer Peace Camp|
Inspiring true account of a summer camp where kids have fun as they learn about the broader goals of communication and understanding. It's told through the eyes of two young people, Alya (an Israeli Palestinian girl) and Yuval (an Israeli Jewish boy). The text includes some historical information about the Holy Land in the 20th century. There are lots of color photos as well as much to think about and discuss in this interesting book. For grades 3-6.
WPL Call Number: J956.04 MA
Driven: A Photobiography of Henry Ford|
This new biography of Henry Ford has many photos and quotations from this leader of industry. From his early designs of a car for the average man to his creation of a factory where workers were treated well to produce quickly, Ford was an innovative but complex man. Many of his creative ideas were exceptional but others were destructive and dangerous. A fascinating look at a very intersting 20th century American.
WPL Call Number: J921 Ford
A Tale Dark and Grimm|
If you think you know your fairy tales, think again! In this darkly humorous mash-up, twins Hansel and Gretel encounter not only the usual house of sweets (and its cannibalistic inhabitant) but weave their way through other, less familiar Brothers Grimm stories as well. The narrator -- who breaks into the story at various times to issue warnings to sensitive readers -- spares not a gleefully gory detail; beheadings abound. My favorite episode was the one in which Hansel dresses up as the Devil's grandmother. While not for the faint of heart (or weak of stomach), this quick-paced fantasy will appeal to many readers in grades 4 and up.
WPL Call Number: J Gidwitz
The Good, The Bad, and the Barbie|
Tanya Lee Stone
Everything you ever wanted to know about the Barbie doll, her inventor, and the company that makes all the Barbie products is in this book. The history of the company is included with interviews from Barbie fans and haters. Many photographs show Barbie and all of her styles through the years. I found it fascinating and I think other Barbie doll owners and collectors will enjoy reading this as well.
WPL Call Number: Y688.7 ST
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