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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 Breathing Room
Marsha Hayles

Having tuberculosis in 1940 meant that patients might be confined to a sanitorium for treatment. These isolating residences kept the patients well rested, well fed and less active until they were well. Thirteen year old Evvy is sent to Loon Lake, away from her family until she recovers. Here she finds roommates who may not be too friendly, but are all suffering with loneliness as they fight this debilitating disease. Evvy learns that some patients go home, not nesessarily back to their families, but weaken and die despite the latest treatments since there is no cure. This sad time in our history is told with news articles and letters as well as conversations between the girls. A serious story for ages 10 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Hayles
Reviewer: Alice J.   (12/6/12)


Book Cover Ungifted
Gordon Korman

Donovan Curtis is an average student with an impulse control problem. His actions often have unforeseen and unfortunate consequences. His latest is a doozy and it leads to his accidental transfer to the gifted academy. Being a "normal" among the gifted leads to unexpected alliances and friendships. Ungifted is funny and touching. Readers in grades six through nine will enjoy this realistic story.

WPL Call Number: Y Korman
Reviewer: Kathleen O.   (11/18/12)


Book Cover The Girl Is Trouble
Kathryn Miller Haines

Iris Anderson longs to help her father with his private investigation business, but soon enough, she’s got cases of her own to solve. Who’s leaving anti-Semitic notes in the lockers of members of her high school’s Jewish organization? Did Iris’s mother really commit suicide—or was it murder? Iris and her friends Benny and Pearl explore 1942 New York, facing duplicitous teenagers, tricky relatives, and Nazi sympathizers. Along the way, Iris learns more about her Jewish background, tries to mend family divisions, and proves to her father that she’s ready to work with him. The sequel to The Girl is Murder will captivate historical mystery fans in grades 6 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Haines
Reviewer: Janet P.   (11/12/12)


Book Cover Eve & Adam
Michael Grant

When Evening Spiker's leg is severed in an accident, her mother insists on moving Eve out of the hospital to her own Spiker Biopharamaceuticals research facility. While recuperating, Eve is given a computer with a program that she can use to design the perfect person. An amazingly quick recovery forces Eve to accept the information a young worker there gives her explaining that her mom used her as a guinea pig. Young Solo Plissken explains that his parents were scientists who were Spiker's business partners before they were killed in a car accident. Solo tells Eve about all the bizarre and illegal experiments performed at Spiker. How Eve deals with this info and with Solo makes for an exciting saga. A great read for ages 12 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Grant
Reviewer: Alice J.   (11/8/12)


Book Cover Dreamsleeves
Coleen Murtagh Paratore

Aislinn (A) has to spend her summer vacation taking care of her four younger siblings, B, C, D and E. Her father is an alcoholic who is verbally and physically abusive. Her overworked mother is pregnant again but chooses to stay quiet to keep the peace. Aislinn feels like a prisoner since her father will not let her go out with her girlfriend or talk to boys. While dreaming helps A cope, she discovers a way to share her dreams and help make them come true. A realistic but sad family situation with a bright outcome for ages 10 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Paratore
Reviewer: Alice J.   (11/1/12)


Book Cover Animals Welcome: A Life of Reading, Writing, and Rescue
Peg Kehret

Author Peg Kehret and her late husband, Carl, loved animals. They had their home on an edge of a forest certified as a wildlife sanctuary and went on to rescue a wide array of animals both wild and domestic. In this warm and personal memoir Peg Kehret devotes a chapter to each animal and tells how they became part of her life and writing. Animal lovers in grades four through seven will enjoy this book.

WPL Call Number: Y921 Kehret
Reviewer: Kathleen O.   (10/29/12)


Book Cover How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous
Georgia Bragg

Details on the deaths of many notables including King Tut, Napolean, Marie Curie, Beethoven, and Charles Darwin are given as well as information on all their primitive medical treatments. The gross descriptions and facts are enough to make you sick! This is perfect for any readers who are not squeamish in grades 5 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y920 BR
Reviewer: Alice J.   (10/26/12)


Book Cover Ripper
Stefan Petrucha

When aspiring detective Carver Young ages out of his New York City orphanage, he lands an apprenticeship of sorts with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. His first assignment: find his father. At the same time, New York is rocked by a series of grisly murders. Carver soon suspects that his father is responsible for the murders--and that his father is Jack the Ripper, fresh from London. With lots of twists and turns, this book will appeal to mystery fans in sixth through eighth grade.

WPL Call Number: Y Petrucha
Reviewer: Janet P.   (10/23/12)


Book Cover My Family for the War
Anne E. Voorhoeve

Although her parents were not Jewish, Franziska Mangold had Jewish relatives. As the Nazis became more powerful in Germany in 1938, Ziska's family suffered like the Jewish families. Since her family was not able to leave Germany, Ziska's mother sent her on a Kindertransport to live safely in England for the duration of the war. Many children like her were settled with foster families with the intention of returning to their parents after the war. Ziska, who became Frances, was lucky to live with a middle class Jewish family. Her name, her religion and even her family allegiance changed during the war years. She grew up in England and lost contact with her family. This historical fiction tells the a story about the experiences many children shared. For ages 12 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Voorhoeve
Reviewer: Alice J.   (10/4/12)


Book Cover Harold's Tail
John Bemelmans Marciano

Is a squirrel just a rat with a bushy tail? That's the question facing Harold the squirrel. A sinister rat, Sidney, convinces Harold to shave his tail--and then Sidney attaches Harold's fur to his own tail! Sidney takes Harold's place in a pleasant New York City park, while Harold is forced out. Everyone thinks he's a rat! How will Harold survive? Can a squirrel live as a rat? This sad but ultimately heartwarming tale is for wildlife lovers in grades 3-5.

WPL Call Number: J Marciano
Reviewer: Janet P.   (9/21/12)


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