Labyrinth

Labyrinth, by Israel Keats, is a juvenile fiction book in the science fiction genre that is fast paced and action packed.

The story begins with two teens, a boy from a dysfunctional family who feels that he has nothing to live for, and a girl from a caring home, but one in comparison where the . . . → Read More: Labyrinth

Black Holes: A Space Discovery Guide

Black holes, by there very nature cannot be seen. The only information about black holes is from observing how other objects in space behave around them. This book details many of the devices that are used to collect information about black holes. It also discusses the evolution of black hole theories over time. The complexity . . . → Read More: Black Holes: A Space Discovery Guide

Esquivel! Space-age Sound Artist

I love the illustrations. I like the idea of picture book biographies, especially more multi-cultural ones. From what I read, he certainly seems to have been a ground-breaking musician, so perhaps this book will help him become more well-known. I know I don’t have a huge musical background, but even the illustrator mentions in his . . . → Read More: Esquivel! Space-age Sound Artist

Will’s Words: how William Shakespeare change the way you talk

A really approachable and informative non-fiction picture book that I think has a wide grade-range of appeal. The illustrations are cartoonish enough to be inviting, but still do a good job of providing the reader with a visual context for the time period. The text is written with a chatty voice that makes it approachable . . . → Read More: Will’s Words: how William Shakespeare change the way you talk

The Haunted Mansion #5

Even though I have not read books 1-4, this was a good read. It helped to have a synopsis on the title page.

Danny went to the mansion to help his deceased grandpa. Danny is now trapped inside the mansion and needs to get out. He achieves this by jumping out of a window into . . . → Read More: The Haunted Mansion #5

The Mystery of the Sphinx

The sphinx and the pyramids in Egypt’s Sahara Desert have intrigued people for thousands of years. Scientists, archeologists, and scholars have studied, excavated, repaired, and wondered about the creation and purpose of the sphinx. Which came first, the sphinx or the pyramids? The sphinx is carved from a single rock. How old is it? Why . . . → Read More: The Mystery of the Sphinx

Charles Drew: Distinguished Surgeon and Blood Researcher

This biography is of Dr. Charles Drew and his amazing contributions to science concerning blood. Born in 1904 in Washington DC, Drew, an African American, had more opportunities for a solid education. Because of DC’s large African American population, schools were good. He excelled in sports, was a dedicated student, and received a scholarship to . . . → Read More: Charles Drew: Distinguished Surgeon and Blood Researcher

The Mesmerist

Jess and her mother make a living in Victorian England as fake spiritualists, ‘helping’ grieving people connect with their deceased loved ones. Jess and her mother discover that Jess can actually communicate with the dead – she is a mesmerist. Her mother contacts an old friend, Balthazar, who turns out to be rather magical himself . . . → Read More: The Mesmerist

Plastic, Ahoy!: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean is a giant pile of garbage. Scientists have studied the phenomenon, and the creators of this book journeyed to witness science in action. They focus on three scientists, and show some of the methods of study. Text is broken up with plentiful photographs of things found in the . . . → Read More: Plastic, Ahoy!: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Keep Me In Mind

When one of two star-crossed lovers full of teen agnst run falls off of a cliff in the 1st chapter, readers of Keep Me In Mind by Jaime Reed will be anxiously ready to turn the next pages. Alternating chapters between each, Ellia Dawson and Liam McPherson tell their side of the story in dealing . . . → Read More: Keep Me In Mind

Memoirs of a Sidekick

How appropriate my fortune cookie read, “An optimist is always able to see the bright side of other people’s troubles.”

Boris Snodbuckle and his sidekick Adrian are true optimists. They are seventh grade nerds or geeks at Bendale Public School, which is a K-8 school. As you might imagine, Boris’ last name gets quite a . . . → Read More: Memoirs of a Sidekick

The Icarus Show

The Icarus Show, by Sally Christie, is a tender and insightful examination of strategies used to cope with uncomfortable situations and how they can interfere with living a full life. Alex has devised the perfect coping strategy for his first year in secondary school: no matter what happens, do not react in any way. David, . . . → Read More: The Icarus Show

Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (Music Storybooks)

Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet is presented as a picture book with stunning mixed media illustrations by renowned Mexican artist Gabriel Pacheco.

In addition to beautiful telling of the story, the book includes information about the composer, background about the ballet, and descriptions and definitions of both the music and ballet moves of the performance. Readers . . . → Read More: Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (Music Storybooks)

Make me the Best Football Player

Make Me the Best Football Player is part of the Make Me the Best Athlete series which, in addition to football, also includes the sports of track and field, baseball, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and volleyball.

This non-fiction, easy to read text highlights five positions: quarterback, running back, wide receiver, linebacker, and defensive end. Each . . . → Read More: Make me the Best Football Player

Dallas

Dallas is part of a new series called Texas Fridays by sports writer Sam Moussavi. This series is football themed. Moussavi wrote the Hoops basketball series, and many non-fiction sports biographies.

In Dallas we meet Bobby Dupree, a backup quarterback who has been trying to make an impression on his coach, and also on girls . . . → Read More: Dallas

Stay in the Game

Megan Atwood’s short novella, Stay in the Game, is riveting from page one. The

overriding theme is that ”Is it okay to do harm for a good motive?” and “Does not knowing the

consequences of an action, make one not responsible?” James is desperate to get medical help

for his dying grandfather. He is contacted . . . → Read More: Stay in the Game

Team Awkward

Anna Huntley, Britain’s newest IT Girl, continues her zany adventure in this second installment of The IT Girl series. Anna continues to amuse and delight with her dog, DOG, her soon to be blended family, and her BFFs, Jess and Danny. The story picks up after spring break with Anna trying to prove that she . . . → Read More: Team Awkward

Saturday Night Live: Shaping TV Comedy and American Culture

Part history lesson, part biography, part social commentary, part of our lives — Saturday Night Live is an institution in American television history and author Arie Kaplan opens the doors of the who, when and what this sketch comedy show has done for American culture in the past 40+ years. After an opening chapter that . . . → Read More: Saturday Night Live: Shaping TV Comedy and American Culture

We Can Work It Out

Want an idealistic, goodie two shoes, happy ending story to make you feel warm and fuzzy as the hormones of high school begin pouring out in spring? Welcome to We Can Work it Out, the next part of Elizabeth Eulberg’s The Lonely Hearts Club. Penny Lane is a high school student whose Lonely Hearts Club . . . → Read More: We Can Work It Out

Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science

The story of how three young girls: Maria Merian, Mary Anning, and Maria Mitchell changed science. The stories are told separately, occur at different time periods, and are written in verse. Maria Merian observed and painted pictures of the life cycle of insects. Mary Anning looked for fossils. Maria Mitchell mapped the night sky. All . . . → Read More: Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science

Benjamin Franklin

A very readable, very informative biography of Benjamin Franklin, it includes discussion of his role as one of America’s Founding Fathers, but focuses on his role as scientist, in an era when the word scientist was not even yet in use. It tells about his curiosity and inquisitiveness, about his lack of formal education, but . . . → Read More: Benjamin Franklin

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the third wheel

Okay, so you don’t need me to tell you these books are recommended for school libraries. Their legendary popularity speaks for itself. However, let it be known that my recommendation has more to do with how popular I know them to be with kids than with my own opinion of the writing. When it comes . . . → Read More: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the third wheel

A Hundred Hours of Night

This adventure centers on a 15 year old Dutch girl, Emilia, who steals her father’s credit card and flies to New York City to escape the scandal he has caused as her school. Her father, the headmaster, fell in love with a student and was caught sending inappropriate text messages to the girl. Emilia had . . . → Read More: A Hundred Hours of Night

On Guard

On Guard, part of the Bounce (basketball) series, tells the story of a star point guard on her high school basketball team who is set to break the state record for shooting three-pointers. She’s being recruited by a prominent college basketball program, and is looking forward to a college scholarship. Her bright future is threatened . . . → Read More: On Guard

It’s Getting Hot in Here: The Past, Present, and Future of Climate Change

It’s Getting Hot in Here: The Past, Present, and Future of Climate Change is a solid non-fiction, informational text that would be an asset to middle and high school libraries. Filled with full color photos and illustrative text, this is an approachable book on the issue of global warming and climate change. The author presents . . . → Read More: It’s Getting Hot in Here: The Past, Present, and Future of Climate Change