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Reviews by Lisa B.

Titles are listed alphabetically by the author's last name. You can click the title of each book to check its availability in the WPL catalog.

Book Cover Alabama Moon
Watt Key

Moon is an outlaw in the truest sense of the word. His father raised him away from society in the Alabama wilderness, teaching him to live off the land and hate the government. When Moon's father dies, Moon soon finds himself on the wrong side of the law -- but also discovers his first true friends. He can escape, but is freedom worth being all alone? Alabama Moon is an adventure/survival story with a lot of humor and heart. It's impossible not to cheer on irrepressible Moon, especially during his run-ins with crazy constable Sanders, who holds a dangerous grudge against Moon. Highly recommended for readers grade 6 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Key
Review Date: 1/22/07


Book Cover Amulet. Book 1, The Stonekeeper
Kazu Kibuishi

After tragedy strikes, Emily, her mother, and her brother Navin move to the ancient house that belonged to Emily's great-grandfather. On their very first night, Emily discovers a mysterious amulet -- and her mother gets carried away by a sinister, tentacled creature! The amulet guides Emily and Navin after their mother into a strange and dangerous land. But can they trust the amulet, or is it only leading them into more trouble? This graphic novel is beautifully illustrated in color and has an exciting fantasy plot that will leave you wanting more. In spite of some cute characters (e.g., a pink bunny named Miskit), the subject matter is on the dark side. Recommended for grades 4 and older.

WPL Call Number: Y Comic KI
Review Date: 3/4/08


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
Review Date: 10/20/10


Book Cover Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Jeff Kinney

“Let me just say for the record that I think middle school is the dumbest idea ever invented.” Greg Heffley is discovering the trials of being a short, skinny soprano in middle school, but he’s also finding plenty of opportunities for mischief. Plans to gain social clout, better grades, and muscle mass are miserable failures, but they are hilarious in the telling. Reminiscent of Calvin from the Calvin & Hobbes comics, Greg has a brilliant imagination and a wicked sense of humor. He’s often conniving (and sometimes plain old mean), yet Greg never comes across as any more mean-spirited than average kid. Told half in prose, half in cartoons, this quick-reading, wildly funny book is sure to be a winner with readers in grades 4 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Kinney
Review Date: 7/20/07


Book Cover Icefall
Matthew J. Kirby

Solveig, along with her siblings and a handful of servants and soldiers, has been sent to an Arctic stronghold to wait in safety while her father, a Norse king, fights a war. But as the winter wears on, it becomes clear the isolated party is not safe at all. There is a traitor among them, endangering their lives, and everyone is a suspect. Mixing historical fiction with mystery and adventure, this book explores remarkable characters in a fascinating landscape and time of history. It's also a celebration of the power of storytelling. Recommended for grades 6 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Kirby
Review Date: 6/1/12


Book Cover Johnny Boo: The Best Little Ghost in the World!
James Kochalka

Johnny Boo and Squiggle are two little ghosts who are the best of friends -- in spite of a little rivalry about who's got better powers! One thing they can agree is it's always time for ice cream. But when a pink and yellow ice cream monster comes after them, Johnny Boo and Squiggle must creatively use their powers to escape! This adorable comic book is very funny and not at all scary. Its vocabulary is friendly to beginning readers. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

WPL Call Number: J Comic KO
Review Date: 9/22/09


Book Cover The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
E. L. Konigsburg

When 12-year-old Margaret arrives at her uncles' house after a miserable summer camp experience, she is dismayed to learn that the three amazing "towers" in her uncles' yard have been condemned by the city and are slated to be destroyed. Her uncles built the towers over 45 years, but the neighbors care only about their property values, not the towers' beauty or history. A strong-willed individualist, Margaret is determined to save the towers. This is a realistic and inspiring novel about how young people really can change the world, one piece at a time. Recommended for readers grades 6 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Konigsburg
Review Date: 10/5/06


Book Cover Toots the Cat
Karla Kuskin

This picture book of poems will charm cat-lovers (and general pet enthusiasts) of all ages. Toots is a calico cat who naps, wanders, and naps again as she pleases. Kuskin perfectly captures the independent spirit that make cats so charming and yet so crazy- making. Each short poem is accompanied by a vivid, expressive watercolor illustration by Lisze Bechtold. The clever — and sometimes a little tricky — rhymes are especially suited to being read aloud. For preschoolers and up.

WPL Call Number: J811 KU
Review Date: 10/27/05


Book Cover Hattie Big Sky
Kirby Larson

Sixteen year old Hattie Brooks, an orphan, feels as if she has no place to call home. When her uncle wills her his claim to several hundred acres of Montana farmland, Hattie is eager to "prove up." If she can farm enough acres in time, the land will be hers! But running a farm by herself is a lot more than Hattie bargained for. Wolves, wild horses, and greedy ranchers are just a few of the problem she faces. Meanwhile, World War I and anti-German sentiment are making life miserable for Hattie and her neighbors. Still, with some help from her new friends, Hattie just might prove her claim... This historical novel tells the remarkable story of a strong, kind, and funny young woman facing incredible odds; what's more, it was inspired by a true story. Highly recommended for readers grades 6 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Larson
Review Date: 4/4/07


Book Cover Mercury
Hope Larson

After Tara's house burns down, it looks like she and her mom are going to have to move away from their Nova Scotia town for good. If only the local legends of buried treasure were true, Tara wouldn't have to worry! Or are they only legends? In this intriguing graphic novel told in the alternating viewpoints of modern-day Tara and 1859 Josie, readers are drawn into a story of treasure, treachery, and a mysterious pendant with the power to find gold. A great page-turner for grades 5 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Comic LA
Review Date: 6/28/10


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