Zara suspects there’s a guy stalking her. She’s obsessed with phobias and saving the world.   She hasn’t been herself since her stepfather died and her mother has exiled her to frozen Maine to live with her grandmother in the hopes a change of scenery will help her recover. But is that really the reason Zara’s been sent north?  Once in Maine and starting a new school she discovers it’s not a sleepy, backwoods town at all – there are some scary secrets here, some of which are not human and are definately after her blood. Carrie Jones’ Need features suspense, romance and supernatural themes and fans of the Twilight saga willRead More →

Read Patrick Carman’s interview in PW Children’s online magazine about Skeleton Creek http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6629554.html?nid=2788  Check out the Skeleton Creek websites:  http://www.scholastic.com/skeletoncreek/ and http://www.skeletoncreekisreal.com/ for some more scary fun! Posted by CoriRead More →

Suzanne LaFleur’s debut novel, Love, Aubrey, will be released in June 2009, and I can’t wait to sell it to our customers.  It is honest, heartbreaking and hopeful and it brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion.  Truly a remarkable debut.  11-year old Aubrey’s little sister and father were killed in a tragic car accident. Her mother, who was driving, and Aubrey survived.  When the novel opens, Aubrey’s mother has slipped so deeply into depression that she has abandoned Aubrey in their Virginia home.  At first Aubrey enjoys the days of eating cheese & crackers and watching TV; but then she runs outRead More →

Mystery and magic abound in P.W. Catanese’s latest offering, Happenstance Found (The Books of Umber).  A boy awakens in a dark tunnel under a ruined city and realizes that he has no memory and no idea who he is or where he came from. A voice in the darkness hints at his future, and then he is found by 3 adventurers: Lord Umber, Sophie and Oates, and together they escape from the worm in the tunnels and the erupting volcano that buried the city long ago. Once they’ve escaped they return to Umber’s home and there Hap learns how amazing the adventurer Umber really is. Read More →

Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have come up with a great stand-along story about a boy who attracts trouble and somehow gets out of it all.  Barry and Pearson stick to their youth target by avoiding offensive language or situations.  I would consider this book good, clean fun.  Science Fair has enough action and movement to keep younger readers interested, but does not dwell too long on any activity.  There are a lot of individual events but everything is resolved clearly in the end.  The characters are fun and enjoyable to follow.  The main character, Toby, amazingly always seems to be getting in trouble. EachRead More →

Just One Wish is a romantic comedy, with a sensitive side.  All of the characters are likeable.  The main character, Annika, is a girl struggling with her brother’s cancer.  She feels like she can and must help her brother by granting him a wish from her imaginary genie.  His wish ends up being way more than she expected.  But since she is willing to do almost anything for him, she sets off to grant his wish.  Because of her “can-do” attitude, she gets into so many situations that almost force her back home without being able to grant her brother’s wish.  It is fun toRead More →

I hate cliff-hangers!! Grrr!!  But I am getting ahead of myself… in Skeleton Creek, Patrick Carman’s latest book, we meet best friends Ryan and Sarah right after a terrible accident that has left Ryan house-bound and forbidden from having any contact with Sarah.  They came too close to discovering something scary and sinister that’s happened (or maybe happening) in their small Oregon town, Skeleton Creek.  Separated and alone, Ryan works through his fear & trauma by journaling about what happened that lead to the accident and he communicates secretly with Sarah via emails and online videos.  They know whatever caused the accident is still outRead More →

Tales from Outer Suburbia is a collection of short stories, in which we meet an exchange student who’s really an alien, a secret room that becomes the perfect place for a quick escape, a typical tale of grandfatherly exaggeration that is actually even more bizarre than he says – it’s an assortment of the odd and magical details  that are brought to life in mesmerizing and fantastic illustrations. Combining the amazing drawing style from his bestseller, The Arrival,with eloquent prose, Shaun Tan weaves a scrapbook tapestry of our modern world that is at times both strangely familiar and unbelievable.  My favorite story is “The Nameless Holiday” whereRead More →

In her first novel for young adults, Shackleton’s Stowawayauthor Victoria McKernan captures both the peril and the beauty of the frontier West.  This action-filled book is engaging, accurate, heartbreaking and hopeful. In The Devil’s Paintboxwe travel from a ruined Kansas homestead to the logging camps outside Seattle, WA in 1865.  Aiden and Maddy Lynch are the 16 & 13 year old survivors of a family wiped out by the harsh homesteading life and when the story opens they are slowly starving to death after a long, frigid winter.  An unlikely savior appears to them in the form of Jefferson J. Jackson, who is searching forRead More →