Neal Bascomb, author of The Nazi Hunters, is back again with Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy Hitler’s Atomic Bomb. This gripping non-fiction novel is complete with science, mystery, and suspense as it follows the true tale of Hitler’s plan to engage in total destruction. The novel begins in 1940, when Germany attacked Norway. Bascomb gives the reader a background and scientific knowledge about nuclear fission and surprisingly, the importance of water. Readers will learn how complicated and specific the recipe was to create this bomb and the tactic mission involved.  Ironically, scientists were not planning on creating this destruction, yet their discovery of it helpedRead More →

Maguire is a magnet for bad luck. Everywhere she goes, something horrific happens to the people around her. Her bad luck started when she was just eleven years old. She was riding in the car with her father, uncle, and older brother when her dad lost control of the vehicle and had a severe accident. Maguire was the only survivor of the car crash; in fact, she walked away from the accident with nothing more than a scratch. A year later, Maguire went to an amusement park with friends. While riding a rollercoaster, there was a sudden crash and every passenger was seriously hurt, exceptRead More →

Kelsey has always been taught to view the world as dangerous. Her mother was the victim of a brutal kidnapping seventeen years ago. When she was finally able to escape, she vowed to stay indoors and raise her daughter, who she was now pregnant with. Since her mother’s kidnappers were never caught, Kelsey learned from a young age to protect her identity and to always be cautious when she left the house. To protect them, Kelsey’s mother built their home into a protected fortress complete with iron bars, video security, and bulletproof glass windows. To enter the home, Kelsey must enter a secret code. AllRead More →

Adriana Mather’s How to Hang a Witch is about a girl who moves to Salem, Massachusetts from New York City with her stepmother and dad. One of their reasons for moving was because they wanted to make sure that her dad continued to get the care that he needed in order to stay healthy until he wakes up from his coma. When Samantha Mather moves to Salem, she realized because she is a descendant of Cotton Mather that her transition to Salem would not be that easy. After some research about her ancestors and the ancestors of the citizens she recognized some events that correlatedRead More →

“What do you do when your favorite teacher starts turning into a were-hyena?” (1). That’s the question raised in The Curse of the Were-Hyena by Bruce Hale, the first in the new Monstertown Mystery series. Smart, silly, and intriguing, this middle-grade novel is an all-around fun time. “Forget about homework habits and curriculum goals – this is the kind of practical stuff they should cover in back-to-school orientation” (1). Carlos and Benny are your average fourth grade best friends, “just regular, comics-nerd-type kids” with the best teacher in the whole school (61). Mr. Chu teaches in exciting and engaging ways and all of his studentsRead More →

When coping with emotional turmoil, our subconscious often takes us away as a kind of protection.  In the event that disassociation doesn’t occur, we find other ways to deal with or to control deep psychological pain.  Because physical pain can cancel out emotional pain, some people resort to self-harm to feel a sense of control over an otherwise uncontrollable situation.  This external way to express inner turmoil distracts the sufferer from painful emotions or helps the person who self-injures to actually feel again. Inundated with impressions of horror and hiding those impressions until they are unbearable, Charlotte Davis, the seventeen-year-old protagonist in Kathleen Glasgow’s debutRead More →

The Crown’s Game is a story about a woman named Vika, who has to decide between honor or love. She has a duty to her country to win the Crown’s Game, but she also wants to experience love and life. Vika encounters Pasha and Nikolai, who will have a great impact on the decision that will affect the rest of her life. Vika will soon know the meaning of love through the encounters that she has with Nikolai and Pasha as the games continues. The Crown’s Game reveals that magic can be found in all forms of the characters whether is performed or felt. AsRead More →

Three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer Holm shares a historical fiction account in Full of Beans about life during the Great Depression in Key West, Florida, where there was a tradition of nicknaming. Conchs, for example, were those who often ate conch chowder.  Ten-year-old Beans Curry is a Conch who mines the garbage bins for milk cans to recycle for coins so that he can watch his favorite Shirley Temple films or buy coconut ice cream since times are tough and money is scarce.  Because he’s “a good boy,” however, his money often purchases deworming medicine for his brother Kermit or hand cream for his mother,Read More →

With a recent surplus of fantasy novels for young adult readers, it’s rare for one to be completely unique. Catherine Egan’s Julia Vanishes manages to stand on its own, both delightful and surprising, while building a one-of-a-kind, magical world. The story focuses on Julia, currently serving as a housemaid for the wealthy Mrs. Och’s household. Julia serves tea and cleans sheets, but in actuality, she’s really a spy. After her mother was killed in a government raid against witches, Julia and her brother were taken in by Esme, the leading lady of crime. From Esme’s troop of criminals, Julia’s perfected the arts of thieving andRead More →