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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 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)


Book Cover Queen of Secrets
Jenny Meyerhoff

Essie Green is thrilled to be a cheerleader this year while her observant cousin has returned to town and joined the football team. Fearing that she won't be accepted by the popular crowd who tease him, Essie does not tell anyone the truth about her relationship with Micah. She has to learn how to cope with others' behavior towards Micah and his religion. Micah also holds the key to Essie's family history since her parents' deaths which has always been a mystery to her. A realistic story for ages 12 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Meyerhoff
Reviewer: Alice J.   (10/25/10)


Book Cover Countdown
Deborah Wiles

It is 1962, and Franny’s college-aged sister disappears from home. After snooping around like Nancy Drew, Franny discovers a set of letters in a locked chest that might explain her sister’s mysterious departure. When her friend Margie starts being mean to her, Franny feels stuck with her too-perfect brother and embarrassing Uncle Otts. As Halloween approaches, everyone fears that the Soviet Union will bomb the United States and disaster (both worldwide and personal) seems inevitable. This documentary novel features quotations, full-page black and white photographs and other documents from the past that teach as much as they entertain. Recommended for history buffs in grades 4 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Wiles
Reviewer: Elisa G.   (10/23/10)


Book Cover Brain Camp
Susan Kim

Neither Jenna nor Lucas is exactly thrilled to be sent away to Camp Fielding, a camp that supposedly turns kids into geniuses. Once they get there, their doubts magnify. What's with the horrible food and strange lessons? Why are their bunk mates acting so strangely, and why are there sick kids trapped in a cabin in the woods? Gradually Jenna and Lucas uncover the horrifying truth and must act quickly to save their bunk mates -- and themselves! Mysterious, creepy, and not a little gross, this graphic novel is a true page turner. Suggested for grades 6 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Comic KI
Reviewer: Lisa B.   (10/20/10)


Book Cover The Red Umbrella
Christina Diaz Gonzalez

As Cuba changes with Castro and the communist revolution, Lucia's family starts to lose their freedom. Jobs and possessions are taken from them. Their happy middle class family life is shattered. Her parents choose to send Lucia and her brother to the United States where they will be able to continue with school in the care of strangers. Unhappy with the separation, Lucia promises her parents to do her best and take care of her brother. Based on actual events in the author's family, this story reveals a sad chapter in history. For ages 10 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Gonzalez
Reviewer: Alice J.   (10/20/10)


Book Cover Waiting for Normal
Leslie Connor

Twelve year old Addie wants to have a normal family life, but her family is far from being normal. Her mother's irresponsible behavior causes a divorce between her and Addie's beloved stepfather, resulting in Addie having to live with her in a trailer park. Addie yearns to be with her stepfather and two sisters, for he has custody of them. She exhibits tremendous courage, kindness, and self-reliance through all of her struggles. For grades 5-7.

WPL Call Number: Y Connor
Reviewer: Sue K.   (10/13/10)


Book Cover The Cowgirl Way: Hats Off to America's Women of the West
Holly George-Warren

Fun historical facts about the girls and women who worked as cowhands, in rodeos, in wild west shows, and on stage and screen. I especially enjoyed reading about how their experiences helped break down the strict gender roles of the 19th century. Legends are separated from truth for characters like Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley. Illustrated with lots of photos and old advertisements, this is a lively and readable book recommended for 3rd-5th grade boys and girls.

WPL Call Number: J978 GE
Reviewer: Lyn P.   (10/13/10)


Book Cover Tell Us We're Home
Marina Budhos

Three eighth grade girls become friends in suburban New Jersey when they find out how much they have in common. As immigrants from Mexico, Trinidad and Slovakia, they are not as wealthy and are not accepted by the rest of their peers. Their mothers work as nannies and housekeepers for their classmates' families. Lola, Maria and Jaya realize they can belong and participate just like everyone else. Realistic family situations for ages 12 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Budhos
Reviewer: Alice J.   (10/12/10)


Book Cover Big Nate : In a Class by Himself
Lincoln Peirce

While you're waiting for the next Wimpy Kid book to come out, meet Big Nate. Middle schooler Nate knows he's destined for greatness. In fact, a fortune cookie tells him that "today you will surpass all others." Unfortunately, Nate just keeps getting detention after detention. How will Nate live up to his promise when he keeps getting in trouble? With its cartoon-like illustrations and slapstick humor, Big Nate will appeal to Wimpy Kid fans in about third grade and up.

WPL Call Number: J Peirce
Reviewer: Janet P.   (10/8/10)


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