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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Seeds of Change|
Inspiring picture book biography of Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan woman who worked courageously to plant trees in her native land. In doing so, she battled big corporate interests and was imprisoned for a time. She was the first African woman and environmentalist to win a Nobel Peace Prize. The scratchboard/oil illustrations are vivid and beautiful.
WPL Call Number: J921 Maathai
A teen named Josh who loves riding his dirt bike in the woods accidentally runs into the local hermit who hates kids and their noisy bikes. Their initial hostility slowly develops into mutual understanding, but before long Josh finds himself in a dangerous, life-or-death situation. A short, quick read for 7th and 8th graders.
WPL Call Number: Y Choyce
Linus has just moved to the African country of Liberia with his diplomat dad and the rest of his family. Linus, who has a history of being a "scaredy-cat", keeps seeing black mambas, an unusual but deadly kind of snake, everywhere he goes. Is the black mamba Linus's kaseng, or spirit animal? Suddenly, Linus finds himself taking all kinds of risks -- down to keeping a black mamba in his laundry hamper! This realistic story has lots of interesting details about being an American living in a foreign country. Suggested for grades 5 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Scaletta
Do you enjoy reading about the lives of the rich and privileged but hate reading about the cattiness that often goes with them? Do you lust after Prada shoes but find that reading The Clique gives you a massive headache? Then The Daughters is for you! Best friends Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson all have rich and famous parents. These girls have it all--expensive clothes, fabulous homes, great vacations, and an exclusive school. But unlike the Clique and their ilk, these girls are refreshingly nice to each other. That's not to say they don't have their problems. Bookish Lizzie has always felt like the ugly duckling to her supermodel mother. After a photographer discovers her quirky looks, Lizzie finds her face, labeled the New Pretty, splashed all over fashion magazines. Lizzie loves the confidence she feels in front of the camera. But can she handle the pressures of being the latest fashion It Girl? With the support of her good friends, she'll make it through. For chick-lit lovers in grades 6-9. Written by the daughter of Regis Philbin, who knows a thing or two about having a famous parent.
WPL Call Number: Y Philbin
Once Upon a Marigold|
A troll finds a young boy in the forest and raises him as his own son. When the boy grows up, he falls for Princess Marigold who lives in the castle on the other side of the river. Before long they're exchanging romantic notes via p-mail (notes delivered via carrier pigeon, that is). This combination of light fantasy and comedy also has a few good villains thrown in the mix. Recommended for grades 5 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Ferris
The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School|
Funny sequel to an earlier book about rambunctious students, their eccentric teacher, and the bizarre situations they encounter at their school. Each chapter relates to the moral of a different Aesop's fable. Episodic in nature, this would make a fun classroom or family read-aloud, especially for kids and adults who enjoy broad humor. For grades 3 and older.
WPL Call Number: J Fleming
Based on The Diary of Anne Frank, this is Peter Van Pels's story. He describes how the eight came to the annex, how they managed and what their days were like. Living together in close quarters gave Peter and the others very little privacy. Peter is at first annoyed and then amazed at Anne's cheerfulness and her constant writing. He admires her outlook and later values her ideas. This continues with a fictionalized version of what Peter must have endured in the concentration camps. It is a realistic portrayal of the Nazi horrors written for mature readers.
WPL Call Number: Y Dogar
The Ugly Truth |
Everyone's favorite middle schooler is back, and he's wimpier than ever. Greg Heffley is on the outs with his best friend, Rowley. His mom has gone back to school, leaving Greg and his male family members in charge of household chores. To make matters worse, Greg is growing up--no one thinks he's a cute little kid anymore, and people keep expecting him to be more responsible. And everyone wants to give him a "facts of life" talk. Can Greg face the ugly truth? This one's not as laugh-out-loud funny as some of the other books in the series, but it's sure to get a few chuckles from practically everyone.
WPL Call Number: J Kinney
The Stuff of Legend|
This graphic novel, set in Brooklyn in 1944, begins when the Boogeyman steals a boy from his bedroom. He is taken into a dangerous region called the Dark, and several of his toys decide to go on a mission to save him. This scary and affecting story has a large cast of characters, many of whom are convincingly flawed. This is more sophisticated reading than the plot summary would indicate, and the artwork is just as wonderful and complex as the storyline. Themes of loyalty and betrayal will resonate with both boys and girls. Highly recommended for junior high age on up.
WPL Call Number: Y Comic RA
My Fake Boyfriend Is Better than Yours |
When Tori's best friend, Sienna, comes back from summer vacation looking fabulous and bragging about her new boyfriend, Antonio, Tori knows something's not quite right. Antonio sounds just too good to be true. In response, Tori comes up with a fake boyfriend, Sebastian. As seventh grade goes on, Tori and Sienna's relationship strains. Then a school dance comes around. Will Tori have to admit that Sebastian is fake? Will Antonio come with Sienna? Find out by reading this funny realistic fiction book that will appeal to kids in about fifth through seventh grade.
WPL Call Number: Y Springer
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