Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott is the story of Kate, and how her life is falling apart. Her father quit his job to buy and operate a Perfect You vitamin booth. Kate is forced to work at this both after school, causing severe irreversible damage. Add the fact that her best friends is no longer speaking to her, and Kate has absolutely nothing positive going on in her life. Enter Will. Amazing, so out-of-her-league Will. Kate cannot stop thinking about him, and when he starts paying more attention to her, she thinks it is to good to be true. But the more he tries toRead More →

Ninth Grade Slays by Heather Brewer is an excellent follow up to her first novel, Eighth Grade Bites. Vladimir Tod is a vampire, but he’s also half human, the first of his kind. He lives on blood bags his aunt brings home from the hospital. He doesn’t feed off the source, humans. Vlad has just come out of an extremely eventful eighth grade year. Apparently, there is an entire community of vampires outside his little town of Bathory. But as for his start of high school, strange things are about to happen. Not only does Vlad have to deal with bullies and talking to theRead More →

In Special Topics in Calamity Physics, author Marisha Pessl spins an intriguing tale filled with mystery, teenage angst and dark humor. With a unique style of writing, narration peppered with references, similar to a research paper, Pessl’s novel takes on the unique world of Blue van Meer, an eccentric, introspective teenager whose life is interrupted by the death of a woman named Hannah Schneider. As the book unfolds, Blue jumps back in time and narrates the past year, which is filled with an array of interesting characters and mysterious circumstances that lead to a surprise twist at the end. Pessl’s novel is captivating, and whileRead More →

In my opinion this is Christopher Paul Curtis’s best novel yet.  He is a gifted storyteller, making you laugh one chapter and cry the next.  Elijah is the first child to be born free in Buxton, Canada, a town of freed and escaped slaves.  We see this period of time through Elijah’s eyes and ears, as he has adventures, welcomes escaped slaves to town, & overhears adults discussing their lives as slaves.  He learns to appreciate his freedom and so will the reader. This is a moving, beautiful novel.  I am recommending it to fifth graders and up.  It would make a great read aloud,Read More →

If you have any Michael Crichton books on your library shelves and/or your students enjoy Ender’s Game you need Bunker 10 by J. A. Henderson. At 8pm December 24, 2007, a secret military installation blows up. The book then flashes back to tell about the last day in the lives of the soldiers, scientists, and trapped teens of the complex. What I especially love is that it counts down like 24, with each chapter being a specific time. Just like a good Crichton book the science is there and gets stretched a little. Sections of the book start out with scientific definitions (imagine my excitementRead More →

I thoroughly enjoyed this book including Nicoletta Ceccoli’s beautiful illustrations throughout. The adventure begins when “rivery” magic gives Claire’s bullying cousin Duke a horn instead of a nose. Similar to Pinochio’s nose, whenever he bullies someone, his horn grows as he slowly transforms into a rhinocerous. Only an act of true kindness will return him to himself, but Duke is too mean and selfish to care. He runs away and gets involved with some mischievous trolls who turn his family into stone. Claire agrees to help the trolls so that she can save her stony relatives and attempt to save Duke from himself. It’s aRead More →

Lynne Reid Banks’ newest novel is historical fiction set in Rome around the 3rd century AD. Two tiger cubs are captured and brought to Rome. One is given to the emperor’s daughter to be raised as her pampered pet. The other brother is taught to be a vicious man-eating fighter at the Colosseum. There is description of the gladiators and animals slaughtering each other, and also innocent, forbidden love between the princess and a slave. It demonstrates the social structure of Rome very vividly and also demonstrates how Christianity was viewed by the Romans. Tiger, Tiger would be excellent to use if you are teaching ancient Roman historyRead More →

 This book was fun! I don’t really understand how Quantum Physics works, but the author seems to do a good job of explaining it and integrating a challenging scientific topic into the basis of the story. This book introduces the main character, “Tick” Atticus Higginbottom, and his journey to become a “Realitant” who travels to different realities. I was pleasantly surprised by Tick’s close relationship with his father. In other children’s novels I am often frustrated when the main characters do not communicate with the adults. In The Journal of Curious Letters, Tick actually confides in his dad, and dad listens and supports him. It’sRead More →

The Patron Saint of Butterflies was unique and fascinating to read from the point of view of teens raised on a religious commune. The story is alternately told from the point of view of Agnes and then Honey, best friends who have grown up together at the commune. Agnes believes the commune’s doctrine, while Honey questions everything. When Honey flees with Agnes’ grandmother, taking an unwilling Agnes along on an adventure to save her little brother’s life, they have a life-changing journey that is satisfying and heartfelt. Highly recommended realistic fiction! Recommended for junior high and up. Posted by MichelleRead More →