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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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Book Cover Once Upon a Marigold
Jean Ferris

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
Reviewer: Lyn P.   (11/21/10)


Book Cover The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School
Candace Fleming

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
Reviewer: Lyn P.   (11/21/10)


Book Cover Annexed
Sharon Dogar

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
Reviewer: Alice J.   (11/15/10)


Book Cover The Ugly Truth
Jeff Kinney

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
Reviewer: Janet P.   (11/12/10)


Book Cover The Stuff of Legend
Mike Raicht

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
Reviewer: Lyn P.   (11/10/10)


Book Cover My Fake Boyfriend Is Better than Yours
Kristina Springer

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
Reviewer: Janet P.   (11/8/10)


Book Cover Wolf Brother
Michelle Paver

Set 6000 years ago, this exciting and dramatic story follows Torak, a human who has a supernaturally close bond with an orphaned wolf cub, and an enormous demon bear who is threatening their civilization. This is the first in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series; Paver has just won U.K.'s Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for Ghost Hunter, the final book in that series. Great reading for grades 5 through 8.

WPL Call Number: Y Paver
Reviewer: Lyn P.   (11/3/10)


Book Cover NERDS : National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society
Michael Buckley

Jackson Jones was the most popular boy in school...until the day he got his braces. Jackson reluctantly falls in with the nerds, but these aren't your ordinary nerds. They have super powers and they're part of an elite espionage force that's trying to save the world from the evil Dr. Jigsaw and his assassin, The Hyena. Jackson slowly learns to fight off enemies with his now-enhanced braces. When the other nerds are kidnapped, Jackson knows he has to outsmart Dr. Jigsaw to save his friends. Can he pull it off? This humorous book will be appreciated by adventure lovers who have moved beyond Captain Underpants but aren't ready for Alex Rider.

WPL Call Number: J Buckley
Reviewer: Janet P.   (10/30/10)


Book Cover Bamboo People
Mitali Perkins

Chiko is a peaceful, studious boy tricked and kidnapped into the corrupt Burmese army. Tu Reh is a boy of the oppressed Karenni tribe, which the army has driven out of the country. This fascinating and exciting book about a real-world conflict tells the story from both Chiko and Tu Reh's points of view. It makes great food for thought; for example, are the two boys really each other's enemies? Recommended for grades 6 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Perkins
Reviewer: Lisa B.   (10/29/10)


Book Cover The Nightmarys
Dan Poblocki

Pick up this book because it has the creepiest cover ever; read it because it's a chilling action story. Around the time Timothy gets partnered on a school project with weird new girl Abigail, he starts having terrible nightmares. Soon, even during the day, he can't tell what's real and what's in his imagination. Timothy and Abigail find that they're the victims of an old curse. Can they stop the curse and the nasty old man who's perpetuating it? Kids from about fourth through seventh grade will enjoy this eerie mystery.

WPL Call Number: Y Poblocki
Reviewer: Janet P.   (10/27/10)


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