Knightley Academy – book review

Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher Mystery * * * * Stars (Great!) Henry Grim, 14, was a servant at the exclusive Midsummer School up until recently. When one of the Midsummer professors caught him borrowing textbooks, he decided to tutor him instead of reporting him to school administrators for theft. Henry Grim then became one of the most promising students Midsummer School never had the privilege of teaching! Encouraged by his tutor to take the … Read more

January – book review

January Conspiracy 365 #1 by Gabrielle Lord Suspense Thriller * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) It is New Year’s Eve, and 15-year-old Callum Ormond is chased down the street by a staggering, sick man with a deadly warning, “They killed your father. They’ll kill you. You must survive the next 365 days”. Following the first attempt on his life Callum is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. He is hurled into a life … Read more

Chains – book review

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson Historical Fiction * * * Stars (Pretty good) It’s 1776 and Isabel Finch (who later becomes Sal Lockton) and her younger sister Ruth are sold to the Locktons when their owner passes away. They were to have been freed under the terms of the last will and testament of their owner, but with no copies of the document to prove it, the girls are stuck. The Locktons take them to … Read more

Line – book review

The Line by Teri Hall Dystopian Juvenile Fiction Tween * * * * Stars (Great!) More, more, more!!! That’s what I wanted after finishing “The Line” by Teri Hall. In this dystopian tale, Rachel learns that the area known as “Away” used to be a part of her own country. This area was shut off completely from the rest of civilization as a protection against a nuclear attack. Everyone living there was left to live … Read more

Crooked Kind of Perfect – book review

A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban Realistic Fiction * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Zoe Elias is ten, going on eleven, and she’s planning to be the next child prodigy playing piano at Carnegie Hall. Unfortunately, her father sidetracks her big plans by getting her an organ (the Perfectone D60) instead of the baby grand piano she’s got her heart set on. No matter. Zoe decides to become proficient at the Perfectone … Read more

Kira-Kira – book review

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata Realistic Fiction * * * Stars (Pretty good) I love how this book is sprinkled with Japanese words. And not just ones that you would hear anyway, but things like “kira-kira” – glittering – or “katsu” – triumph. This is the story of Katie’s family, how they move from a small Japanese community in Iowa to an even smaller Japanese community in Georgia. Katie, from the time she is born, is … Read more

Hamster and Cheese – book review

Hamster and Cheese Guinea PIG #1 by Colleen AF Venable illustrated by Stephanie Yue Funny Mystery Graphic Novel * * * * Stars (Great!) Sasspants the guinea pig lives in a pet shop with a bunch of other animals. The owner of the shop, Mr. Venezi, has really bad eyesight, though, and doesn’t know much about the animals he’s selling. As a result, most of their cages are grossly mislabeled – the hamsters are “koalas,” … Read more

Wimpy Kid Movie Diary – book review

The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary by Jeff Kinney Juvenile Non-fiction * * * Stars (Pretty good) Jeff Kinney has written a behind-the-scenes look at the Wimpy Kid Movie that’s just as entertaining as his bestselling book series. Not only does it capture the same humor and charm of Greg Heffley’s diaries, but it also provides a lot of insider information about how movies get made (and, of course, how this movie in particular was made). … Read more

Fablehaven – book review

  Fablehaven Fablehaven #1 by Brandon Mull Fantasy * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Kendra and Seth believe they are in for a long boring visit at their grandparents’ country home. The wooded property begs to be explored, but they are not allowed to enter the woods or go into the barn, and there are so many rules, they will never have any fun! Deciding to bend the rules, they venture out and discover … Read more

Emmaline and the Bunny – book review

Emmaline and the Bunny by Katherine Hannigan Realistic Fiction * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) This would make a delightful read-aloud for grades 1-4. Author/illustrator, Hannigan, embraces word play and fun in this charming story of a young girl’s quest to be true to herself and be lonely no more. The book’s short chapters and big illustrations make it a good transition to longer juvenile fiction. Reviewed by Debbie Luetscher, Youth Services Staff