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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 I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You
Ally Carter

Cammie is a sophomore at Gallagher Academy, secretly a spy school for girls. All the students have genius IQs, speak 14 different languages, and know martial arts and tons of other tricky stuff. One thing they don't know much about, though, is boys. When Cammie meets a cute guy on a Covert Operations assignment, she has to go into spy mode, inventing a new identity to hide the truth about herself and Gallagher Academy. Let's just say things don't go exactly as planned. Not only does this book have plenty of hilarious moments, it's very well-written. A terrific read for grades 6 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Carter
Review Date: 11/15/06


Book Cover Discovering Nature's Alphabet
Krystina Castella

Slow down and enjoy Earth’s wonders, with this nonfiction picture book. Vivid photographs capture natural objects imitating letters of the alphabet: a dried seedpod becomes a C, the furled tail of a gecko a P, a stream biting into a snow bank a U. There are multiple images per letter. Although this book will be lost on the very young, children who are alphabet experts will find it startling and fun to find the letters and identify the objects that create them; a key at the back of the book will help with any stumpers. The authors also offer suggestions for making your own game of "discovering nature’s alphabet" with your family wherever you go. By Krystina Castella and Brian Boyl.

WPL Call Number:  JE508 Castella
Review Date: 9/1/06


Book Cover The Plain Janes
Cecil Castellucci

After a terrorist attack in Metro City, Jane’s family moves far away into a quiet suburb. Inspired by a victim of the bombing, Jane foregoes popularity at her new school in order to bring some beauty to her town – if only she can convince the other misfit Janes to help her. Unfortunately, the police – and Jane’s own mom – view Operation P.L.A.I.N. (People Loving Art in Neighborhoods) as a terrorist operation! Will Jane’s classmates cave to the new rules and curfews, or will they take a stand against the fearful adults? This well-written, well-drawn graphic novel is both fun and thoughtful. Recommended for grades 7 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Comic CA
Review Date: 7/5/07


Book Cover The End of the Line
Angela Cerrito

Robbie's a murderer. That's why he's at so-called Great Oaks School, which is more like a prison. He's locked in his room with barely anything but a pencil and paper, and how he answers Mr. Lester's weird assignments determines how much he gets to eat. But finishing those assignments also helps Robbie understand the events that led up to Ryan's death -- and maybe not everything is as simple as Robbie has thought. This book, told in brief chapters that alternate between past and present, is a moving page-turner for readers in grades 6 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Cerrito
Review Date: 3/28/12


Book Cover Total Constant Order
Crissa-Jean Chappell

Since her family moved to Florida and her parents divorced, Fin's started to feel like she's lost control of her life. The only way she can keep her anxiety at bay is with rituals: counting, tapping, washing her hands. Her new therapist thinks Fin has OCD, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. But OCD isn't like a cold; you can't just take a pill and get better. Will Fin figure out how to regain control of her own life? This realistic and interesting story about a girl coping with OCD is recommended for grades 7 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Chappell
Review Date: 6/4/08


Book Cover Medusa Jones
Ross Collins

Every age has its bullies, and in Ancient Greece, it's the beautiful, talented Champions. They don't ever stop picking on snake-headed Medusa or her friends Chiron the Centaur and Mino the Minotaur. Fortunately, Medusa and her friends have some things the Champions don't: brains, compassion, and plain old guts. And on a camping trip that goes disastrously wrong, it's their chance to be the real Champions. This humorous chapter book inspired by Greek mythology is a fun read for grades 2 and up.

WPL Call Number: J Collins
Review Date: 3/26/08


Book Cover Crunch
Leslie Connor

When a fuel shortage leaves Dewey's parents stranded hundreds of miles away, he and his siblings have to "be the parents" themselves! For Dewey, this means running the family's bike repair business -- which, thanks to nobody driving cars, is busier than ever. It's exciting, but the lines are getting longer and longer, and then bike parts start disappearing from the shop. How can Dewey keep pretending he's got everything under control? This gently humorous family story touches on issues of conservation without being overly political. Recommended for grades 5 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Connor
Review Date: 9/1/10


Book Cover If the Witness Lied
Caroline B. Cooney

Since the tragic death of their father, Jack has been struggling to protect his little brother Tris. You see, though just a toddler, Tris was responsible for their father's death. The only witness to the accident, their Aunt Cheryl, saw it happen. Now Cheryl has sold their story to their story to reality TV. If Jack doesn't stop her, Tris will never be able to escape his past. Meanwhile, troubling new evidence comes to light. What if the accident didn't happen the way Cheryl says it did? What if the only witness lied? This suspenseful yet thoughtful page-turner is a terrific read suggested for grades 6 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Cooney
Review Date: 8/27/09


Book Cover Carpe Diem
Autumn Cornwell

Overachiever Vassar Spore has her whole future planned, from graduating high school as valedictorian to winning the Nobel Prize. Until, that is, her flaky, artsy Grandma Gerd blackmails her parents into sending her to Southeast Asia for the summer! Grandma insists that Vassar learn to LIM (live in the moment), but how is Vassar supposed to do that when she's in danger of getting dengue fever or dysentery, or injuring herself on one of the crazy toilets? Only one thing keeps Vassar going: discovering the Big Secret Grandma used to blackmail her parents. Well, maybe two: there's also a very cute Malaysian cowboy along for the ride... This travel novel is full of local color and humor, with some mystery and romance thrown in. Recommended for grades 7 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Cornwell
Review Date: 4/4/08


Book Cover Elijah of Buxton
Christopher Paul Curtis

Elijah Freeman is the first child to be born in Buxton, a town of freed and escaped slaves in Ontario, Canada. Smart and sensitive, he's always getting into humorous scrapes. But when the money a neighbor plans to use to buy his family out of slavery gets stolen, Elijah finds himself sneaking into Michigan and risking his life to get the money back! Curtis has created a highly readable historical novel of equal parts humor and deadly seriousness. Readers will not escape without newfound appreciation for the importance and beauty of human freedom. Highly recommended for readers grades 5 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Curtis
Review Date: 1/11/08


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