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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 The Compound
S. A. Bodeen

When nuclear war hits, Eli's family flees to a state-of-the-art bunker-- except Gram and Eli's twin brother Eddy, who don't make it in time. Six years later, Eli is wracked with guilt and worry. Their food supply is dwindling, and Mr. Yanakakis is behaving strangely. He's the only one with the code to the exit. What else is he hiding from Eli and his family? This page-turner is packed not only with mystery and action, there's so much to talk about it would make a great book group selection. Recommended for readers in grades 7 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Bodeen
Review Date: 10/21/08

 

Book Cover My Last Best Friend
Julie Bowe

My Last Best Friend, by Julie Bowe Ida May is not looking forward to fourth grade. Since her best friend moved away, Ida has been the odd girl out. Then a new girl, Stacey, joins the class. Stacey seems to like Ida as much as Ida likes Stacey, but after what happened with her last best friend, Ida is scared to open herself up. Instead she writes notes to Stacey, signing her name “Cordelia.” Can Ida and Stacey ever go from being secret friends to being best friends? A satisfying friendship story, especially for girls grades 3 and up.

WPL Call Number: J Bowe
Review Date: 12/22/07

 

Book Cover Jim Thorpe: Original All-American
Joseph Bruchac

This is the story of Jim Thorpe, one of America's greatest athletes. Jim grew up on an Indian reservation and was sent to a number of government Indian schools -- but none of them suited him until he got to Carlisle School. Carlisle had an athletic program to rival all the great universities of the time. Soon Jim found he had a remarkable talent for football, baseball, and track and field. This book focuses on those Carlisle years, as Jim grew to become a professional ball player, Olympic medalist, and all-around sports legend. While many biographies suck the life out of their subjects, this biography is told in Jim's voice, humanizing him and making his story personal and fascinating. Recommended, especially for sports fans, grade 6 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y921 Thorpe
Review Date: 12/16/06

 

Book Cover Wabi: A Hero's Tale
Joseph Bruchac

Wabi begins life as an owl, but unlike his siblings, he has the gift of human and animal speech. Taking it upon himself to protect a human village from the ghastly monsters that roam the land, Wabi falls in love with a beautiful but stubborn human girl named Dojihla. Wabi learns he can become human, but winning Dojihla's hand turns out to be much harder. Meanwhile, terrible monsters continue to threaten the land. This adventurous fantasy draws heavily on Native American folklore. It is well-written and exciting, with lots of fight scenes and short chapters that just fly by. For grades 6 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Bruchac
Review Date: 7/11/06

 

Book Cover Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz
Eva Mozes Kor and Li Buccieri

This harrowing and heart-wrenching true story will open your eyes to more of the horrors of the Holocaust. Eva Kor and her twin sister were ten when the Nazis took their family from rural Romania to the Auschwitz death camp. The entire family was killed, except for the twins -- who were taken by Dr. Josef Mengele for his cruel medical experiments. Even as you weep for Eva and the other children of Auschwitz, you will be amazed by at her strength and determination to survive. A must-read for junior high readers on up.

WPL Call Number: Y940.53 KO
Review Date: 8/3/12

 

Book Cover The Manny Files
Christian Burch

Keats has trouble finding people who "get" his unique personality. He and his three sisters have had a series of female nannies and teachers, none of whom know how to connect with him. Life changes when his parents hire "the manny," a funny, unflappable male nanny who shakes up the household and, best of all, really understands Keats. Unfortunately, Keats' oldest sister is determined to get the manny fired, with her spiral-bound expose, "The Manny Files." Will she get her way? This warm and funny family story is recommended for readers grade 5 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Burch
Review Date: 10/17/06

 

Book Cover Northlander
Meg Burden

Ellin is a Southling, treated like scum in the Northlands for her red hair. Moreover, magic is forbidden in the Northlands, punishable by death-- and Ellin's father is a magic healer! When Ellin is forced to reveal her own magical talents to save the Northlands king from certain death, she and her father face imprisonment and possibly execution. Will her new friendship with the princes-- who have strange secrets of their own-- save them? This fantasy, the first in a series, is a page-turner with lots of intrigue and romance. I can't wait for Book Two to come out! Highly recommended for grades 7 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Burden
Review Date: 6/9/08

 

Book Cover Takeshita Demons
Cristy Burne

Miku and her family have moved from Japan to London... and it seems they've been followed by malevolent spirits! First there's the sinister knock at the door that leaves Miku's little brother, Kazu, mysteriously ill. Then there's the freaky substitute teacher who might just be a child-eating demon. And then Kazu vanishes during a snowstorm. It's up to Miku and her best friend, Cait, to face down the spirits and rescue Kazu. This fantasy adventure is a true page-turner with lots of genuinely creepy bits, and the information about Japanese folklore is fascinating. Recommended for grades 3 and up.

WPL Call Number: J Burne
Review Date: 4/22/11

 

Book Cover King of Murder
Betsy Byars

When Herculeah Jones meets creepy murder mystery author Mathias King, a.k.a. King of Murder, she instantly suspects that he's not JUST an author. After all, how can he write such realistic murder scenes from his imagination alone? The problem is, how can Herculeah catch the King of Murder without becoming his next victim? Although this story is not Herculeah's first mystery, you will have no trouble jumping in anywhere in the series. Fast-paced and funny, this mystery is a good bet for grades 4 and up.

WPL Call Number: J Byars
Review Date: 10/5/06

 

Book Cover Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism
Georgia Byng

Molly Moon hates her life at the orphanage. Almost everyone is mean to her. She's not pretty, talented, or smart. Then she finds a mysterious book at the library, called Hypnotism. Following the book's instructions, Molly finds that she has a real talent for hypnotism — and for using it to get whatever she wants! No one's ever going to treat Molly Moon like a nobody again… Offbeat and funny and full of meanies getting their comeuppance, this book will appeal to fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Harry Potter, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. For ages 9 and up.

WPL Call Number: J Byng
Review Date: 11/5/05

 

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