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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 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)


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)


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