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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Only One Year|
A Chinese-American family send their youngest child, a 2 year-old boy, to spend a year in China with his grandparents. His two older sisters are busy with school, and his parents are busy working, so this works well overall but not without some emotionally wrenching moments - especially at the end of the year, when he comes home and barely remembers his parents and sisters. This well-written family story also includes tales of the older girls' various friendships. Recommended for second and third graders.
WPL Call Number: J Cheng
The Red Pyramid |
Anyone who was sad about the end of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series can take heart. Carter and Sadie Kane are here to fill the hole in your life. The siblings take turns narrating, at break-neck speed, their adventures after their father blows up the Rosetta Stone and disappears. Carter and Sadie discover their family has important connections to ancient Egyptian pharaohs and gods, and it's up to them to stop the evil god Set from plunging the world into chaos. Adventure lovers, budding Egyptologists, and Rick Riordan fans will love this book.
WPL Call Number: Y Riordan
A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend|
High schooler Cass has just lost her best friend, Julia. Their friends plan to perform the musical Julia wrote before she died -- Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad -- but Cass, not a theatre person herself, feels like she's on the fringes. When Heather, her middle school nemesis, is cast in the starring role, Cass can't take it anymore and sets out on a cross-country bike trip. This sensitive, sometimes painful, and often funny novel tracks Cass's journey toward self-discovery as she deals with grief over Julia and her evolving relationship with Heather. Highly recommended for grades 7 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Horner
The Summer of Moonlight Secrets|
Two lonely kids -- Allie Jo, who lives at the grand old Meriwether Hotel in Florida, and Chase, a guest -- become unlikely friends when they are drawn into an otherworldly mystery. Who is Tara, the strange, beautiful girl who swims with the manatees out in the springs? What has she run away from? Can her unbelievable story be true? Readers who enjoy the magical realism of such books as The Tail of Emily Windsnap will particularly enjoy this book. Suggested for grades 4 and up.
WPL Call Number: J Haworth
Sources of Light|
Sam and her mother move to Jackson, Mississippi after her father dies a hero in the Vietnam War. This is 1962 and the world is changing faster than this small southern town would like. Her mother's photographer friend gives Sam a camera and teaches her how to "see" things. As Sam witnesses racial injustice and violence, she realizes that her photos will tell the truth. An honest portrait of racial hatred for ages 12 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y McMullan
Little Blog on the Prairie|
Cathleen Davitt Bell
Gen's family is spending eight weeks at a family camp in Wyoming that reenacts life on the prairie in 1890. Not allowed any electronics, comfortable clothes, or modern conveniences, she struggles like the other teens to embrace this lifestyle. Gen does sneak in her new cell phone and secretly texts her best friends about this strange experience. Her friend publishes the blog which gains a huge following. How her family adjusts and adapts to one room living makes for a humorous story. For ages 12 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Bell
The Grimm Legacy|
Elizabeth's new after-school job at the library quickly proves to be anything but ordinary. Down in the basement is the mysterious Grimm Collection, which houses all sorts of magical fairy tale items, from the 12 dancing princesses' slippers to a flying carpet. Cool, right? Except that someone has been stealing objects from the Grimm Collection, people are going missing, and a giant bird is terrorizing the library staff! Elizabeth knows she has to help stop the thieves, but who can she trust? This light-hearted fantasy trips along at a merry pace and is full of humor and a bit of romance, too. The scenes with Snow White's stepmother's magic mirror are especially funny. Recommended for grades 6 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Shulman
Out of My Mind|
Sharon M. Draper
Melody was born with cerebral palsy. She's incredibly smart, but most people can't see past her wheelchair or the fact that she can't talk. They act as if she's stupid or doesn't have any feelings. Then Melody gets a computer that allows her to talk. It looks like her whole life is going to change for the better! Melody is ready to make new friends and show the world just how smart she is, but it turns out not to be that easy. Melody is a relatable, gutsy, and funny narrator. As well as being a plain old good story, this sensitive novel invites readers to think good and hard about the way we make assumptions about other people, especially those with obvious differences. Highly recommended for grades 4 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Draper
The Popularity Papers: Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang|
Fifth graders Lydia and Julie are determined to unlock the secrets of being popular by the time they start junior high. Taking notes and imitating the popular girls' behavior doesn't seem to translate to instant popularity, however. (In fact, it gives Lydia a bald spot!) Even worse, Lydia and Julie seem to be drifting apart. Will they solve the mystery of popularity and save their friendship before it's too late? This funny book filled with drawings and comics should appeal to fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Ellie McDoodle, grades 3-5 or so.
WPL Call Number: J Ignatow
The Big Swim|
Ethan's first experience at sleepover camp is a decidedly mixed experience especially as he gets to know Zach, whose reputation as a bad boy seems to be wildly exaggerated - or is it? Before long, he and Zach are contemplating the annual rite of passage, the big swim across the camp's lake. Thoughtful reading for 4th-6th grades, this presents a distinctive, non-stereotyped cast of characters. For instance, another boy who goes out of his way to befriend Ethan turns out to be not such a nice guy after all.
WPL Call Number: J Fagan
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