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.
Quid Pro Quo|
14 year-old Cyril's mother Andrea is a 29 year-old former street kid who has just graduated from law school. Soon after a man from her unsavory past appears, Andrea turns up missing and Cyril suspects a kidnapping. Lots of humor and a very contemporary style lighten this suspenseful, fast-paced read from a Canadian author. For boys and girls in grades 6 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Grant
The other books I've read by Griffin have been interesting, well-written, fairly downbeat novels for junior high age readers. This is definitely a change of pace: it's funny, spooky, and delightfully weird. The main characters are two sisters and a brother who've just moved to NYC - they're all vampires, albeit fruit bat/vampire bat hybrids, who in most ways resemble normal children. Their interactions with their classmates and neighbors (a scary purebred vampire couple) make for a fun yet substantial story for grades 3 or 4 and older.
WPL Call Number: Griffin
Where I Want to Be|
Set in a small town in Rhode Island, this is about 2 sisters. The younger, Lily, is a junior in high school, pretty, popular, and enjoying her first serious boyfriend. Jane, a year older, struggles with a mental illness. This audiobook uses two voices which lends itself perfectly to the book's structure of chapters that alternate from one sister's perspective to the other's. A combination of family story and romance, this is also a sobering look at the consequences when Jane decides to stop taking her medication. Griffin is a consistently interesting author, and this is a touching and well written novel. For grades 7 or 8 and older.
WPL Call Number: Y Book on CD GR
Witch Twins and the Ghost of Glenn Bly|
Twins Claire and Luna are the only witches in their family, except for their grandmother, Grandy, who is a five-star witch. In this fourth book in a series, all three of them travel to Scotland to help get rid of ghosts in a castle which belongs to one of Grandy's old boyfriends. This light read is often funny, only gently spooky, and will appeal to Junie B. Jones fans. For grade 2 and 3. Griffin has also written several outstanding young adult novels.
WPL Call Number: J Griffin
Page by Paige|
Laura Lee Gulledge
When high school student Paige Turner (so named because her parents are writers) moves from Virginia to New York City, she slowly finds a new circle of friends while also developing confidence in her artistic talents. This graphic novel, narrated in a first person voice, has great pictures and a compelling and believable main character. Recommended for junior and senior high readers.
WPL Call Number: Y Comic GU
Classic Fairy Tales|
Scott Gustafson, Illustrat
A beautiful collection, this would make a wonderful gift. Gustafson has chosen ten familiar classics, from Puss in Boots to Snow White to Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and has illustrated them with gorgeous pictures full of golden light and whimsical details that children will pore over. It's very refreshing to see a new fairy tale book that doesn't have an iota of irony!
WPL Call Number: J398.2 Classic
Emmaline and the Bunny|
Sweet little fable/fantasy about an untidy girl who lives with her parents in an ultra-tidy town called Neatasapin. She doesn't want a dog, she doesn't want a cat. She wants a rabbit - a messy, wild rabbit - which of course is not allowed in her town. Many first and second grade animal-lovers will enjoy this. Some younger children may enjoy hearing it read aloud, but be warned that there's a scary scene between a rabbit and a hawk.
WPL Call Number: J Hannigan
Bugs and Bugsicles: Insects in Winter|
Interesting informational account of how creatures both familiar (like ants and ladybugs) and exotic spend their coldest months. Kids will enjoy reading about how the Arctic Woolly Bear Caterpillar becomes a kind of bugsicle in the winter! Illustrated with lots of colorful and attractive acrylic paintings. Fun for primary grades and up.
WPL Call Number: J595.7 HA
The Tragic Tale of Narcissa Whitman, and a Faithful History of the Oregon Trail|
Another book written and illustrated by an author who has a knack for selecting interesting detail. Whitman and her husband were missionaries who followed the Oregon Trail in the first half of the 19th century. Hoping to convert the native Americans to Christianity, instead they suffered tragic consequences. A fascinating time line runs across the bottom of every page.
WPL Call Number: Y978 HA
Underpants on My Head|
In this funny family story, Cleo, a nine year-old middle child in a large family, travels to Colorado to visit Grandma and go hiking in the mountains. How they all deal with the plane ride, the "Clown Car" rental car, and a sudden August snowstorm in the mountains will make fun reading for 1st and 2d graders. And yes, at one point, it does involve underwear on heads - and even for a fairly good reason!
WPL Call Number: J Harper
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