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Reviews by Lyn P.

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 Big Swim
Cary Fagan

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
Review Date: 7/9/10


Book Cover Tyranny
Lesley Fairfield

Graphic novel account of a girl's struggles with anorexia, from early adolescence to adulthood. The visual format is especially vivid for this particular topic; you often see, for instance, the difference between her actual image in a mirror and the distorted way she sees herself. Disturbing yet ultimately hopeful reading for junior high through adult readers.

WPL Call Number: Y Comic FA
Review Date: 6/22/10


Book Cover The Curious Adventure of the Abandoned Toys
Julian Fellowes

A teddy bear named Doc lives in a hospital, befriending young patients. When a new boss comes around, the old toys are given away, and no-one wants Doc. He barely escapes being tossed into the furnace, and ends up living in a garbage dump with several other toys who've been lost or abandoned. This touching story has an understated edge to it, and is beautifully illustrated by S.D. Schindler. Recommended for grades 2 and older (younger kids might like it as a read-aloud).

WPL Call Number: J Fellowes
Review Date: 4/22/08


Book Cover Once Upon a Marigold
Jean Ferris

A troll finds a young boy in the forest and raises him as his own son. When the boy grows up, he falls for Princess Marigold who lives in the castle on the other side of the river. Before long they're exchanging romantic notes via p-mail (notes delivered via carrier pigeon, that is). This combination of light fantasy and comedy also has a few good villains thrown in the mix. Recommended for grades 5 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Ferris
Review Date: 11/21/10


Book Cover Understood Betsy
Dorothy Canfield Fisher

This classic was first published in 1917 by a well-regarded author of both adult and children’s books. Elizabeth Ann, considered very delicate, is being raised by her Aunt Frances. But when Aunt Frances gets sick, the only place to send Elizabeth Ann is Vermont, where she’ll have to live with the rough Putney cousins. Her adjustment to this new home makes for a wonderfully satisfying story that has been enjoyed by generations of readers. Grades 3 – 5.

WPL Call Number: J Fisher
Review Date: 12/1/06


Book Cover Graven Images
Paul Fleischman

Three longish short stories by a Newbery-Award winning author. The first is a spooky murder mystery set in a New England coastal town, the second is a comic romance set in Charlston, South Carolina, and the third is about an Italian sculptor who is commissioned to make a statue by a ghost. All three are literary and somewhat leisurely in pace. They are also well-written and engrossing, so worth a bit of patience. For grades 6 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Book on CD FL
Review Date: 12/12/06


Book Cover Lowji Discovers America
Candace Fleming

Engaging novel about a boy who moves from India to an Illinois suburb. It's summer, so he has a lonely few months ahead of him before school begins. Lowji's gradual adjustment to a new country and culture is both funny and interesting, as is the picture the author gives of his old life in India. Recommended for grades 3 - 5.

WPL Call Number: J Fleming
Review Date: 5/3/05


Book Cover The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School
Candace Fleming

Funny sequel to an earlier book about rambunctious students, their eccentric teacher, and the bizarre situations they encounter at their school. Each chapter relates to the moral of a different Aesop's fable. Episodic in nature, this would make a fun classroom or family read-aloud, especially for kids and adults who enjoy broad humor. For grades 3 and older.

WPL Call Number: J Fleming
Review Date: 11/21/10


Book Cover Heart to Heart With Mallory
Laurie Friedman

Sweet, funny story in diary format about a girl who's worried when one friend's father starts dating another friend's mother. Feeling left out is easy when your two best friends might become each other's family. Illustrated with simple cartoons and collages. Light accessible fare for Judy Moody and Amber Brown fans, esp. second and third grade girls.

WPL Call Number: J Friedman
Review Date: 8/30/07


Book Cover Lush
Natasha Friend

Samantha, age 13, has a family secret: her father's alcoholism. Meanwhile, her crush on an older boy leads her to drink to excess at a rowdy party, and as a result she comes close to being sexually assaulted. This interesting and well-written novel definitely has a message but avoids being preachy. For grades 7 or 8 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Friend
Review Date: 2/9/08


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