Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Magic of Dawn by S.L. Farrell

Allesndra Ca'Vorl has become Kraljica of the Holdings of Nessantico. The country had been ravaged by war with the Tehuantin, and her only son, Jan, had only given her Nessantico as an insult. However, Allesandra rebuilt the city of Nessantico, making it nearly as beautiful as before. Now, the Tehuantin again threaten the Holdings, and Allesandra must take extreme measures to ensure the city's relative safety, even if it means using black sand in contraptions called sparkwheels, and naming her son as heir to the Sun Throne. But will these things be enough to save Nessantico? And will Allesandra, the Kraljica, survive the imminent war?

I was slightly annoyed when the back of the book said it was the third book in a series. Luckily, this was a book that worked fine on its own, and there was a timeline in the back to give a general idea of the first two books. A MAGIC OF DAWN doesn't seem to have a set genre, since it's part fantasy, part adventure, and part mystery, as well as a great many other things. This book was more of an adult book than I expected, but that didn't diminish the beauty of the writing. The way it was written made it seem like the author had actually interviewed the characters who provided the view into the story. I would recommend this book to older experienced fantasy readers who are used to following intricate plots.

Reviewer Age:12

Reviewer City, State and Country: Lake City, IA USA

Eye of the Desert by N K Bauer

Elizabeth Stanford's grandmother has been missing for five years. Many believe she is dead, but Elizabeth is certain her grandmother is just lost. She leaves for Egypt to look for clues as to where her grandmother Victoria might be, taking Victoria's journal with her. When she arrives, she meets Violet Teasdale, who allows Elizabeth to stay with her. Elizabeth finds a dirty old amulet in a store, and the moment she puts it on, it becomes like new. An earthquake occurs a few days later, after which Violet takes Elizabeth to see Unas and Iraeus, a pair of strange museum curators. These people tell Elizabeth her journey will be much more than rescuing her grandmother. With help from an oracle and a mysterious benu bird, Elizabeth must conquer a great evil. However, if Elizabeth rescues her grandmother, can she stop the evil from stealing Victoria away a second time?

I do not usually like books portrayed as mysteries, but Eye of the Desert was amazing, and seemed to be more adventure than mystery. The author chose an intriguing point of view to tell this story. I liked how each character had a different ability, such as Elizabeth bonding with the benu bird. It was an interesting twist when Elizabeth's friend turned out to be a powerful and evil magiana. I was only slightly surprised to learn that the Tetrad were forms of some of the Egyptian gods. I would recommend this book to anyone unless they truly dislike the supernatural or odd events, such as pouring rain in Egypt.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Lake City, IA USA

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Look Book: 50 Iconic Beauties by Erika Stalder

Have you ever wanted to explore a career as a makeup artist or just wanted to change up your look? If so, The Look Book: 50 Iconic Beauties And How To Achieve Their Signature Styles by Erika Stalder is the perfect resource for you! The book covers 50 beauties throughout the last 100 years and gives you a brief bio highlighting their achievements and beauty innovation. Even if you aren't interested in makeup design, the bios offer a fun and informative glimpse into the beauty standards of bygone eras, and also today. There are also illustrated run throughs with expert beauty tricks to help you achieve each beautys iconic style. From Marilyn Monroe to Kat Von D this book is the ultimate go-to beauty guide!

This book was a great read because of all the interesting facts and tips it provided! I learned so much about beauty of the past and present, and I had fun while doing it. Even if you never actually try out any of the makeup styles, I would suggest this book to you for a great reference in how to look your best!

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Virginia Beach, VA USA

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bloodline Rising by Katy Moran

Bloodline Rising is a companion novel to Bloodline by Katy
Moran that follows the story of Essa and Lark s son Cai.
Bloodline Rising picks up several years after Bloodline
when Essa s family is living in Constantinople after
escaping Britain. Cai is supposed to be looking after the
members of his family since Essa is away at war. But after
Cai s younger sister dies suddenly Cai cannot bear the
grief and so he becomes The Ghost, an expert thief.
Unfortunately being one of the most powerful thieves
naturally makes some other thieves your enemies. One of
the other thieves sells him onto a slave ship away from
his family and the great city he loves. Cai ends up in
Britain, the barbarian land that his parents left, where
he begins to uncover the dark past of his parents that he
never knew. Along the way Cai stumbles across old allies
and hated enemies of his father and unknowingly becomes
ensnared in a political war between different groups in
Britain. Will Cai go back to the ways of his sneaky past
or will he use his stealthy gift for good?

Bloodline Rising was even more interesting than the first
book, Bloodline. The character of Cai, Essa s son, is very
interesting to read about and very well written. Having
characters from Bloodline reappear was a nice surprise and
the writing about Cai s ways as a thief in Constantinople
was fascinating. The ending is similar to Bloodline as it
almost has a and they walked off into the sunset, happily
ever after feel, like the story wasn t wrapped up
properly. On the good side you learn some history about
Britain and other parts of the world at this time period.
I would recommend this book as long as you read Bloodline

Reviewer Age: 15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Loves Park, Illinois
United States

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Owl Ninja by Sandy Fussell

The book Owl Ninja is a book is about samurai in training kids that are disabled. Niya with one leg, Taji who is blind, Mikko with one arm, Kyoko who has six fingers and toes, but some of the kids have no problems. In this book, one day comes when the kids hear a drumbeat, calling them to war with the dragon Ryu, but the Cockroach Ryu goes to the emperor to stop the war. On the way, the kids meet Ghosts, acquire ninja skills, and meet a ronin with a battle strategy of losing his pants. What happens to the cockroach Ryu? Does the war stop? Find out in this awesome book!

Owl Ninja was interesting book with no bad language and a well-written storyline with a good bit of humor in it. In this book I think that the author's purpose was to provide an interesting adventure book and the author achieved that purpose. This was an interesting book that keeps you reading and wanting more once you' re into it, you won' t want to stop. I think this book would be good for ages 8-14 and might be hard those under eight. One of the effects of the writing that I noticed is that even though it s told from a boy s first person view, at times you think it could be from anyone, and that Niya, the narrator could at times be a girl. I don t mean that in a bad way, but what I' m trying to say is that it was interesting in a good way that you have to remind yourself who Niya is. I would recommend this book to some of my friends who like books about ninja and samurai warriors around my age, 11.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Dickinson, Texas U.S.A.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Forever Crush by Debra Moffitt

The Forever Crush by Debra Moffitt is a book about girls in their teen years. This book expresses how you can do something you later regret or think you want something but when the time comes you find out you really don't want it. Jemma has a forever crush on Forrest so when he asks her to be his pretend girlfriend she goes along with it. Later she finds out that she doesn't like how it's going and how she can't tell her friends. At the same time the Pink Locker Society is getting blackmailed. Read this novel to see who is blackmailing them and how the fake relationship with Forrest turns out!

The Forever Crush by Debra Moffitt in my opinion was a pretty good book. You get to see what it's like to get to have a fake relationship with someone you're crazy about and see how scary blackmailing and keeping secrets can be. I liked how you could see that everyone is scared about growing up but it all ends up fine. I also liked how they had a website to help girls out with the things they were scared of and get multiple people's opinions on it. I think that would've been very helpful for me when I was younger and scared about what would come as I grew older.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Sandy, Oregon U.S.A

Monday, May 23, 2011

What Comes After by Steve Watkins

Iris was raised in the loving family of a single father
who loved animals and led a vegetarian life. Her life
turns upside down when the death of her father and the
divorce of her best friends' parents (her guardians) cause
her to move from the sea side land of Maine to the cold
lifeless place of North Carolina. Her aunt(Sue) takes all
the money from her dad's estate and constantly smacks her
around when something isn't done right. Iris who can't go
anywhere because Aunt Sue is the only living relative,
finds comfort in the farm animals, which includes a few
goats and a dog named Gnarly. Iris feels like everything
is spinning out of control when the pregnant Goat has 3
little weathers (castrated goats) and they are going to be
sent to the slaughter house. Iris, after attempting to let
them escape is forced to watch as book slaughters a little
weather in an inhumane manner. The thing she does to save
them is like an adventure.
The book was interesting right from the beginning where she is forced to leave her best friend behind right up till the end! The suspense was great and it kept the story going. I loved it and I would recommend to everyone. It was very eventful and didn't have a part where the book was putting me to sleep. I thought it was age appropriate and all the words that would have been hard for a person that doesn't know about goats, had their definitions right within the text, so it didn't feel like I was reading a dictionary or a book about goats. The only thing was there was not a lot of information about what happened at the lake, and after
everything that happened, how did Book and Aunt Sue's trial go? Another question that was only partly answered was how and who found out and reported child abuse that occurred at the lake.

There were some swear word that some parents may not find appropriate for their kids of certain age to read
Age:13 Uxbridge, Massachusetts U.S.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Boondocks Fantasy

Boondocks is a collection of short stories about the backlots or boondocks of the USA. All of the stories hold a delightful taste of the strange and mysterious, the supernatural and extraterrestrial. There is quite a diversity between each story though. In some, there are the demons who help mankind to help themselves. However, there are some in which demons wish nothing better than to cause havoc and destruction. Some stories are about how the strange and the supernatural save humans because it is the right thing to do. While other stories are about how supernatural beings attack and maim because it’s fun for them. There may be a lot of change and difference between the stories, but there is always one ever-present detail that interlocks all of these stories together with a firm hand; they all start in the boondocks.

I found that the fervor of getting a new book quickly died while reading this storybook. The stories did not explain themselves well. Many brought in characters without explaining who they were or how they got there, and in quite a few of these stories nothing at all happened until the last page of the tale. If you’re looking for an exciting book with a good storyline and interesting characters, I suggest you pass this book by. However, it would be insulting to suggest that the language used to write the books was not well done. The main problem with this book is that many of the stories hardly ever explained themselves. Even though the overall book was not my cup of tea, there were definite high points. My favorite story was “The Devil Is a Gentleman” by Raymond Benson. It was interesting and fast-paced, plus it explained itself very well and was anything but boring. Another story I enjoyed very much was “Protection” by Timothy Zahn. I found it fast paced, exiting and well written. In complete contrast to my favorite stories are stories that I found so confusing and slow that I couldn’t even finish them. “Siren Tears” by John Lambshed, for instance, in which nothing much happened except that a man walked around town. “Black Rider”, by Brian Hopkins, started off well and then just seemed to drift into nonsense. All in all, not one of the better books I’ve ever read.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Monrovia, MD USA

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rex Riders by J.P. Carlson

Everything is going along fine at Zeke's uncle's ranch
until a Triceratops rages at a stagecoach and the town.
Zeke saves the town including Angelia and Maria from
certain death. Zeke then finds an unconcious stranger a
little ways from Dos Locos who is accompanied by a T-Rex.
When the stranger "comes to" he tells them that
D'Allesandro who does not like Uncle Jesse, is trying to
bring a Triceratops herd into Dos Locos. Zeke and Angelia
must travel to a prehistoric world to try to save the

I think Rex Riders is excellent. The book
draws you into its pages with its vivid descriptions. I
especially like how the author mixes dinosaurs with the
Old West perfectly. He makes it seem so natural. I
recommend this truly prehistoric book to anyone 12 and up.
This book will have you dreaming about dinosaurs for
weeks. I can't wait for the next book in this series to
come out!
Reviewer Age:12 Uxbridge, Ma USA

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review of Bug Island by Bug Island by RG Cordiner

Barely surviving a horrific shipwreck, not only do survivors have to try to stay alive, they also must deal with the bugs. They are toe biters, pond skaters and harvest men. Normal bugs right? Wrong. The insects are 7, 8, 10 feet tall at the minimum! Being trapped with a six meter giant centipede was not on the cruise itinerary! Now all they want is to get off without getting squished! (Or worse...)

To me, Bug Island reminded me of the stories we wrote in third grade. The characters seemed flat, and I didn't see a single comma anywhere in the whole story. I'm exaggerating, but when I read this book I couldn't get around the fact of the lack of commas.

But it was a wonderful idea and was mostly enjoyable. It would generally be categorized as "horror", but to me it is more of "horror lite". I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Thrillers/Horror/Action books such as Time Machine and the like, but not to those that don't like predictable plots.

Reviewer Age:11

Reviewer City, State and Country: Seattle, Washington USA

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming

In the novel Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming, Amelia's life story unfolds for all to see. Starting at her childhood and going all the way through the epic story of her disappearance. Amelia Lost also gives the inside story on her record setting flights . It not only tells the story from her point of view, but also through the eyes of her family, her instructors, friends, and her husband. Along with her life story, the story of the search for her is told. Through many perspectives, including stories from people who claim they heard Amelia calling for help in what may have been the last moments of her life.

Overall I thought this book was nicely written well-presented. It mostly gave new and interesting information that really helped to better understand Amelia's story. I think this book gave me a better respect for Amelia, and also a greater realization of her accomplishments. Amelia shows you how to really live life, with no regrets.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Leawood, Kansas United States

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kindred by Tammar Stein

Stein weaves a carefully crafted web of plot. The protagonist Miriam has visions where she encounters angels. She also supposedly has missions to fulfill for God. She makes it her primary objective to accomplish these tasks and even flees her hometown to try and escape her visions. Interestingly enough, her mother is a former nun, and her father is a rabbi. As for her twin brother Mo (short for Moses), he claims to have visions from the devil. The dichotomy of good versus evil and chance versus destiny are blinding. There is some swearing, but it is from a troubled character and only in a few instances of dialog. There is also some romance but it is not graphic. The notion of how Miriam thinks and how she thirsts for a man for fulfillment is more repulsing.

God is spoken of in this book. However, there is not really any heavy theology or even the notion of Jesus being brought up. Some ideas about God incurring wrath on a works (what you do for God) basis is also wrong. Themes like angels and demons and good versus evil arise. The story starts off kind of shaky, but eventually picks up and hooks the reader. Some little errors are in the book. It is stated that rabbis take the Bible to be true. Jews only take the Torah (Old Testament or first half of Bible) to be true since they deny Jesus Christ. Also, the angel Raphael is mentioned as being a "Christian" angel. In actuality, Raphael is not even mentioned in the Bible. His name appears in the apocrypha; these are books not in the Bible (due to heresies and obvious contradicitons).

Reviewer Age:19
Reviewer City, State and Country: Troy, NY USA

Friday, May 13, 2011

Alberic The Wise by Norton Juster

Alberic the Wise and Other Journeys is a compilation of several intricate short stories by Norton Juster, author of The Phantom Tollbooth. The first is a tale about a man who has success in his failures. The second is about a boy who gets pulled into a painting--maybe. The third is about two kings, one happy, one sad, who will soon switch places. Even though it was written in 1965, it still has many relevant morals for today.

I think that it is a great collection of short stories. The stories keep you interested because they have plot twists every couple of lines and the descriptions are so vivid that you can imagine yourself in the characters' places. The stories are slightly confusing, so you have to pay attention. My favorite of the three tales is the first one because, to me, it has the best moral. Overall, I strongly recommend this book.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sammamish, WA USA

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Women Heroes of World War II by Kathryn Atwood

Women Heroes of World War II is about twenty-six women and teenage girls who helped fight the Nazis. They joined Resistance groups, hid Jews, and distributed forbidden newspapers and pamphlets. This book starts with an introduction about the well-known heroes of World War II such as Winston Churchill and the troops who fought during that time. After the introduction, the book includes a background of each major country during the war. Finally, the book describes the individual stories of each woman or girl who acted as a hero during WWII with photographs beginning every account.

I highly recommend Women Heroes of World War II to anyone, especially women and girls of all ages. I learned so much about the Resistance organizations during World War II and about what was going on in each country.

Several times I got chills after reading what these amazing women did. I also learned more about the women that I already knew of, such as Irena Sendler, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and Sophie Scholl, who helped make and distribute pamphlets called The White Rose.

I have always been interested in the world wars so I know a lot about them, but I never knew women played such an important role, besides being nurses. Every time I read about the world wars, I am blown away by how a person can be as unbelievably evil as Hitler was. And after I've read this book, I am amazed that some people say that the holocaust never happened.

What these incredibly brave and courageous women went through is astounding, risking their lives for the safety and justice of other people. This is one of the most inspirational books I have ever read.

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: Rockford, Illinois [IL] United States

Monday, May 09, 2011

Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce

Tortall and Other Lands is a collection of short stories by fantasy novelist, Tamora Pierce. Each story shows the growth of the protagonist by the end of the story, and they have the common theme of an internal conflict, the ever epic battle between what you want and what is right. Although not all of them take place in the Tortallan universe (the one that she's most known for), they're all filled with Pierce's signature style - fantasy and feminism.

I absolutely love, love, love Tamora Pierce. If you have no idea who Tamora Pierce is and love fantasy, go check out Alanna: the First Adventure. You won't regret it! The style of her books is very similar to the style of Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore; there's a strong female protagonist, magic, and romance. She is one of the few authors for which I can proudly proclaim that I thoroughly enjoy every one of her novels, and this one's no exception. I love the creativeness of her worlds and how vividly she can convey them through writing. I love that she's one of the few authors who can write a good, strong female characters; most of the time, the strong female character that the author tries to create is too flawless - to a point where the book gets annoying to read.

However, I didn't enjoy this book as much as her other ones; that's probably because instead of one storyline in a book, there are multiple. I found that her stories to be a little formulaic at times. Another thing I didn't like about this book was the fact that it was disorienting to go from story to story (some are set in the real world, some in Tortall, and others in a fantasy world other than Tortall). I guess those things are to be expected since the stories are a compilation of her over-a-decade-long writing career.

This collection is a documentary of sorts; I could tell which ones were her earlier stories because her writing matured as time progressed. The two stories in this collection I found were the most enjoyable was The Dragon's Tale, which is set in the same world as her The Immortals quartet; it gave a glimpse of Daine and Kitten all grown-up. The other one is Nawat, which continues Ali's story from The Daughter of the Lioness. If nothing else interests you in this collection, at least read those two.

Overall, if you're not a die-hard Tamora Pierce fan in the I-absolutely-have-to-have-all-her-published-novels kind of way, you're not going to want to buy this. Most likely, you'll borrow it from the library, read it, and enjoy it that way.

Reviewer Age:17

Reviewer City, State and Country: Hinsdale, IL 60521

Baby Grape and The River Folk by Thom Rogers

The second book of the Baby Grape series, Baby Grape and the River Folk, follows the beloved teen Toby and his ever growing group of friends as they work the rivers around Pittsburgh in a steam boat. With the many immigrants searching for transportation and work, Toby has his hands full. Using the gold he accumulated in his previous journeys, Toby begins to create a wonderful living for himself, on the river and on land. However, life for Toby never seems to remain peaceful for long, and soon he is running from the law, encountering deathly illnesses, and dealing with some 1800's drama. Amazing adventures are the norm for Toby, Gina, Jaynee, and the rest of the gang as they fight for survival, once again.

Baby Grape and the River Folk, incredibly, has even more adventure and suspense than the first Baby Grape book. There is a great variety in the predicaments Toby encounters, which moves the story along at a fast pace. Characters, both old and new, are developed well with believable personalities and fun quirks. Like the first book, Baby Grape and the River Folk seems to move from one set of characters to another very quickly. There was a lot of thought put into the newest of Toby's friends, and I only wish they appeared for longer periods of time over the course of the story. I loved the ending, because it cleared up some confusion I had felt about character's thoughts in a cute, bittersweet way. I would recommend this book to tweens and teens who like historical fiction and adventure, along with a little drama and romance. If you read the first book and liked it, you will love Baby Grape and the River Folk.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: , Pennsylvania USA

Amos Daragon

Amos Daragon is a poor boy who never dreamed of doing anything but helping his family get the money they need to survive; however, Amos is compelled to leave home when he meets a mermaid princess, who gives him an ivory trident and a small white stone, and asks him to deliver a message to Gwenfradrille. When Amos reaches the city, he outwits a devilish innkeeper, and meets Beorf, a bear-man. Beorf was forced to hide from people, since the officials would burn anyone associated with magic, and humanimals like Beorf counted. Eventually, Amos reaches the Woods of Tarkasis and speaks to Gwenfadrille, who tells him the white stone is a stone of power. She places the stone in the mask of wind, which she then gives to Amos. Back in the city, Medusa, a foul gorgon, has turned Beorf to stone. Will Beorf be revived? How will Amos learn to control the powers of the mask?
The Mask Wearer is an original tale with elements from several other stories and myths. If you know the Greek myth about Medusa, you will understand why I can t believe Beorf thought Medusa had the most beautiful eyes in the world. It was surprising to learn that a snake-man, also called a naga, was Medusa s father. The fact that the mask made Amos a friend to birds and allowed him to speak to people far away was amazing. The author gave each of his characters individuality, like Junos, who gave the main character in all his stories his own name. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes gorgons, other fantastic creatures, or has at least basic knowledge of Greek myths.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Lake City, IA USA

Sunday, May 08, 2011

True Colours by Lucy Lemay Cellucci

True Colours Lucy Lemay Cellucci is a fantastic novel! This wonderful book is about a girl named Zoe. Zoe is very passionate about animals, which is why she ends up breaking into a neighbor's wood shed and into the Glam Girl building when animals are missing from the animal shelter. She turns to her troubled social studies partner Alex Fisher to help her in her adventure and she finds out he's not half bad. Read this marvelous novel to find out what happens and who is the person responsible for the animal disappearances.
I think this book was absolutely terrific! I admire Zoe and her passion for animals. I also admire how there's a background romance going on as the adventure is happening. I love the book and the how the author, Lucy Lemay Cellucci, writes it. She is really nice. I received my book and had it signed by her. All I have are positives about this book.  

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sandy, Oregon U.S.A

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Betrayal by Lee Nichols

Betrayal is about Emma Vaile, the most powerful ghostkeeper of all. Emma lives in Bennett Stern s house who is her boyfriend and soul mate. They are training to battle an extremely powerful ghost that is killing members of the Knell. The Knell is a ghost keeping society. When they realize that power is the only thing that will beat the ghost, Bennett is forced to leave her because when two ghostkeepers fall in love the weaker one loses all power and they have none to spare. Then, the Knell sends three other ghostkeepers to make a team with Emma to defeat the ghost. They form a bond and begin training restlessly to prepare for the fight. They only realize how powerful Neos the ghost is when they meet face to face.

The main characters in Betrayal are Emma Vaile, Bennett Stern, Neos, Natalie, Lukas, and Simon. The author does a very good job in making the reader feel as though the characters are real because they actually have real personalities that do not seem fake.

When this book ended I felt that I wanted to more of what happened with Bennett and Emma.

My overall response to this book is that I enjoyed it very much. It was never boring! I couldn t put it down because one thing would happen after the other. The ending was great and much different than I expected.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Valparaiso, Indiana USA

The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald

Three girls have spent their whole high school years without saying a single word to one another. However, all of that will change on this disastrous prom night. Bliss was having a perfect prom&until she found her boyfriend and her best friend in the back seat of their limo making out. Jolene is the bad girl with the bad reputation, even though the rumors aren't all true. She wouldn't be caught dead at prom, especially in pink ruffles. Yet, she's there waiting for a guy that's almost an hour late. Wallflower Meg Zuckerman didn't expect her blind date to stand her up and being stuck in the parking lot outside what she was hoping to be a night to remember. These girls form a surprising friendship when they team up for a night of revenge.

The Anti-Prom was a charming book. The way the author brings three unlikely allies together was enjoyable. However, the plot was a little predictable. I didn't like the ending so much because it wasn't very surprising. Although the book was a fun read, it could've been better.

Sexual Content, Drug and Alcohol Use

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Enon, Ohio United States

Iditarod by Andre Jute

      A story I recently read and enjoyed reading was

Iditarod. It was written by Andre Jute about a woman,

Rhodes. Her dog bites a young Olympians hand, but he

recovers just in time to win the gold medal in downhill

skiing. James, the Olympian, bets her $10,000 that he can

beat her in the Iditarod. She doesn't have that kind of

money, but a rich friend overhears James and puts up the


     From chapter to chapter the novel switches from

Rhodes to James to a pack of wolves, and it hints that

they are on a crash course. Throughout the story they are

chased by bears, overcome by storms, nearly trampled by a

moose, and last of all they run into the wolf pack.

     Iditarod starts out with Rhodes and James running

into each other while they are trying to pull out at the

start of the race. They don't care if they don't win a

prize for first place, just as long as the other one drops

out before they do. It doesn't get much better with Rhodes

fighting a bear and being chased by a moose. James knocks

his head and has a concussion. And they do run into a wolf

pack that is 60 strong.

     During the novel I thought a lot about why the

Iditarod was run, and of all the people that would have

died if the brave men had not delivered the serum to

Nome. Today mushers start in Anchorage and go to Nome

because that was the route that was taken by the serum

deliverers. I thought it was a good book because the

combination of all the elements makes it very

interesting. It will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country:  Leola, South Dakota USA

Rogue Oracle by Alayna Williams

"Rouge Oracle" is the second book in this series that follows Tara Sheridan on her adventures in the world of crime and oracles. Tara is a cartomancer, one who reads tarot cards, and they guide her. This book begins with Tara interogatting a suspected terrorist named Zahar Mouda. When she consults her cards they come out with the fool,seven of cups, and the lovers. About this time some one walks in on her and it turns out to be her own lover Harry Li coming to her for help. He is investigating the disapperance of operatives for a operration know as "Rogue Angel". But they are Special Projects, a branch of the DOD, is at a loss and Harry hopes that Tara can help them. She returns to the farm house of the order of oracles known as Delphi's Daughters so she can pack and tell Cassie she is leaving. Cassie is the future Pythia, or leader of the Delphi's Daughters. Soon another operative disappears but they find their first real clues. First a top of blood that contain DNA from the victims and inside the blood is large levels of radiation. The culprit is soon traced back to be a survivor of Chernobly with sinister plans. He is dying, but before he dies he wants to have the rest of the world feel his pain. To find out what his plans are and if he succeds read "Rouge Oracle" by Alayna Williams.

"Rogue Oracle" is an original story full of adventure, mystery, magic, and underlying tones of romance. This book was very well written and made me feel like I was actually in the story. It also had very memoriable characters who work together perfectly in the plot of this story. Tara is a daring heorine who cares greatly about protectting those around her no matter what the cost. Harry is a truely uniqe character he works to protect his country but is slowly having his job change him to the point it is almost frightening. Galen was born in Chernobly but radionion changed him until he bacame a monster who in his dying days wants to make others feel his pain. And last, but not least, is Cassie a 20 year old woman who is destine to be the next, even though the training can get a little gruesome sometimes. I would recomend this book to any teens looking for a good read.

There are sexual themes that are not suitable for children.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Makanda, Illinois USA

A Graveyard Romance by Jason Krumbine

What happens when you are forced on a date to a graveyard on Friday the 13th, under a full moon? You get A Graveyard Romance.

Michael is forced by his girlfriend, Danielle, on a date to a graveyard, but unbeknown to them, on this night the dead will wake and search for a couple to sacrifice; so that they may live again. In the battle for their lives they must escape the graveyard to survive, or so they think. As it turns out Danielle has stolen a ruby from the undead and now the "Others" are after them.

I loved it. The action is nonstop and kept me on the edge of my seat. I expected nothing less from Jason Krumbine, he is an amazing writer. There were a few spelling errors but nothing major. I also like his word choices such as "swell". Personally I agree with Jason,that opposites attract. With them being opposites made the book hilarious for me. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Reviewer Age:20
Reviewer City, State and Country: Az city, Arizona USA

The Grave Robbers Secret by Anna Myers

Robby Hare despises grave robbing more than anything. All he can think of is the day when he can finally escape, but sadly, he isn't brave enough to actually run away. His only enjoyment is spending time with their other boarder, a kindly Miss Stone. However, Robby knows Miss Stone won't live forever, and that makes Robby all the more depressed. Luckily for him, a wealthy man rents out two rooms in his family's boarding house, and that is seemingly the end of Robby's troubles. Unfortunately, Burke and his daughter are just the beginning of all his troubles.

This book is geared more towards younger children, this book is spell-binding, and older children will also enjoy this suspenseful story. The plot is a bit slow at times, but all in all, the story flows well. This book, however, is not for the faint of heart, as some scenes during the grave robbing can get a bit gruesome. While it is a bit gruesome, this book is still acceptable for younger kids. I couldn't put this book down, and I highly recommended it to anyone who enjoys a fast paced novel.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Nappannee, Indiana United States of America

Friday, May 06, 2011

Girl's Best Friend by Leslie Margolis

Maggie Brooklyn is a twelve year old dog walker. But when her life fills with conflict and mystery, it's harder than ever for her to focus on her studies and dog walking business. There's a dog thief on the loose, and Maggie is determined to get to the bottom of the crime. Plus, she never expected that her ex-BFF and secret crush may both end up getting involved. Will they be able to stop the thief?

I loved this book to death, and I hope the author keeps writing more. I would also love to see this book turn into a series, because the characters are well developed and I can see many more mysteries easily fitting into the theme. My favorite part about the book was how descriptive and unique it was. I also loved the author's sense of humor, which surprisingly didn't ruin any of the serious parts the book contained. One of the only things I didn't feel to be necessary was how the suspects kept changing, and it kind of started to get a little cheesy. Other than that, I think the book was great!

Reviewer Age:10
Reviewer City, State and Country: Evanston, IL USA

Tall Story by Candy Gourlay

Summary: Bernardo is tall. And being tall is great: gloating about your height, towering above your friends, and dunking the basketball. But Bernardo is tall. Very tall. Bernardo is 8 feet tall. And when you are 8 feet tall, things become difficult: walking, running, wearing pants, bathing yourself, and pretty much everything in life. And coincidentally, Bernardo lives in the Philippines in a small town where earthquakes are common; legend has it that a giant came to save the town from destruction. Common belief has that Bernardo is their hero. Andi, on the other hand, is short. Being short is great: staying hidden, sneaking around, staying dry (because tall people are the first to get wet). But a basketball player has no place being short; height is a necessity. Andi doesn’t need to be 10 feet tall to make the basketball team; her skills make up for her height (or lack thereof). Of course, as soon as the girls’ team recognizes her talents her family moves. The only thing that Andi can look forward to when moving is the chance of a new basketball team. But her dreams are shot out of the air when it turns out that her new school doesn’t have a girls’ program. Then one day, the phone rings; Bernardo, Andi’s older brother whom she has never met, is coming back to live with them. But Andi is simply told that Bernardo is tall. When they go to pick up Bernardo at the airport, Andi has no problem seeing him whatsoever. With a sibling who is nearly twice her height, she has large shoes to fill (literally); will she be able to fill them? Will Bernardo be able to fit in where people expect too much out of him? Will Andi be able to swallow her pride and let Bernardo into her life? Or will the family be torn apart. In a heartwarming tall tale, a family comes together, dreams will be made, and lessons will be learned.

Opinion: With 3 siblings, family is very important in my personal life. I find it amazing to hear about a fantastic family and their coming together. This book does just that, and does it wonderfully. Told from the point of view from the two main characters, the readers are able to experience both sides of a story. I love the writing style when comparing Andi and Bernardo’s thoughts. Tall Story is a perfect book for ages 10-13, both in vocabulary and content. I believe that readers between these ages will be able to connect perfectly to either Bernardo or Andi. I recommend Tall Story, by Candy Gourlay to any person wishing to read a book that they can actually connect with.

Content: 1
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7
Reviewer Age: 14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Oakmont, PA USA

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire

Toby is a changeling. Her mother is a Fae, and her father is a human. This means that most of Fae hate her. Toby is struggling to survive in a confusing mix of the mortal world and her Fae home. Life doesn’t get better when her fetch shows up. A fetch is an exact copy of the person that will soon be killed. Toby has to deal with her insane mother, an evil sorceress who will stop at nothing to kill her, her fetch (May) living as her roommate, and a bunch of backstabbing betrayals. How will she ever survive? And will she have to make a heart-wrenching choice that she already made, again?

'Late Eclipse' was a fascinating read. It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. I felt like I was watching the story play out through Toby's eyes, and really felt sorrow and anguish as she did. I came to love most of the characters in the book and couldn't have asked for a more complex cast. The detail was incredible and I would recommend this book to anyone. I loved the beginning, middle, and end!

There is mature language and content (profanity and violence). I do not suggest a specific age; just talk to an adult about anything you do not understand.

Reviewer Age:12

Reviewer City, State and Country: Coconut Creek, Florida U.S.A

The Day the Fortune Teller Died by Marianna Heusler

The Day the Fortune Teller Died is a book about three best
friends, narrated by one of the three-Isabella. This book
is about Vicky, Isabella, Lauren, and a new girl that
comes to them asking for help, by the name of Eva.

Eva comes to the three girls with a problem. Someone wants
to kill her! So the three girls go off on a mission of
finding who and why they would want to kill Eva.

They end up with a new mystery, though. Who killed the old
fortune teller who predicted Eva would be killed?

This is a great book for whoever is seeking an action-
packed adventure!It had many characters, but instead of
being someone who did nothing, they all had a big part in
the story. The story did have three main characters-Eva,
Isabella, and Vicky. There was some new vocabulary that I picked up.
I thought this book was written very well, especially
toward the end. I don't think it's good enough to be the next Harry
Potter, though.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Skokie, Illinois USA

Bloody Times by James L. Swanson

Bloody Times is a historical nonfiction account about
the manhunt for Jefferson Davis and the funeral procession
of Abraham Lincoln. It is about the long funeral train
that carried the 16th President home to Illinois. It is
also about the manhunt for Jefferson Davis. Jefferson
Davis was the first and last president of the Confederate
States of America. He decided to flee to the deep south to
evade capture from the federal troops that were searching
for him. The Funeral trains route was covered in black
crepe at each stop ,to mourn the fallen President of the
United States of America. Each major city hosted a great
arrival for the fallen president.

The book was very informative. It was some of the
best work I've seen by this author. It is a great
historical nonfiction for readers looking for a good book
on this period of American history. It was a great book
and I loved it.

Reviewer Age:11, Uxbridge, MA USA

Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Nick is a poor fourteen year old boy who has incredible powers that he can not yet control. He survived the zombies and getting shot by a gun, apparently in the previous book. Oh yeah, it appears he also played a big role in getting his mom fired from her job! However, soon enough, his mom got a new job working at a hang-out place named The Sanctuary, where we soon find out a bunch of shape-shifters work there, also.

Nick wakes to find out that he's been surrounded by demons and many more than he thought at first. Not to mention, he has a job helping his boss, who is a super-rich-shadow-hunter-in disguise, named Kyrian. Now, it ain't any better at school, either, with a newly hired football coach. About the same time this coach arrives, a series of thefts at school happen and even murders of some fourteen year old boys in New Orleans. Could the coach have to do any thing with this? The coach is willing to let Nick back on the team only if he helps him with some not-so-pleasant work that he has to have done.

Then there s the football star, Caleb. He also turns out to be a demon, but not quite such an evil one. Nick has demons hunting him because he's part of a prophesy that says he's a Malachai. So now every demon is out to hunt and kill him except his friends, Caleb and Kody, who are demons. Caleb is supposed to be Nick's physical protector. Kody is supposed to be his mental protector. However, when Nick starts to see visions of Caleb choking him, one wonders, is he really his protector, or just a fraud?

When I started this book, I didn't realize it was not the first book in the series of books by this author. This is the first book I have read by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I was a bit confused about the characters near the beginning, but I seem to have gotten it straightened out in the first half of the book. This helped me better figure out the main theme of the story. I love how the author put this book together. It's a fast read. I hope it will keep you on the seat of your pants the whole time you're reading this book, like it did me. I feel this book is just AMAZING! I really look forward to reading more of this series.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Memphis, TN USA

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Heir to Power: Book 1 by Michele Poague

Kairma lives in the colony of Survin. She is to be the next holder of the Crystal and will be in charge of healing her fellow colonists. Naturi will be her mate, and other girls, including her sister, wish that the handsome man could be their own mate. Kairma has different interests, however. She enjoys spending time with her brother and his friend Collin. Together, they explore an area in the mountain and come across a room filled with treasures left by the Ancient Ones. The gene pool of Survin is failing, and the colony will fall soon if people from outside cannot join. Will Kairma become the colony's next leader, or will her lack of interest promote her younger sister Kinter to the task of restoration?

I have always like fantasy novels, and this book does the genre justice. I like how modern technology, such as keyboards, is incorporated into the treasures of the Ancient Ones. Kairma's dilemmas grasp my attention as I turn from page to page and wonder if she will spend time with Collin and her brother or go study with her grandmother. I enjoyed reading her internal conflicts about the men in her life and who she really wants to mate with. The book is well written, and the imagery is fabulous. It makes it very easy for me to watch the novel in my head like a movie. I cannot wait to read the second book in the series, and I recommend it to others who enjoy fantasy novels.

Rating: 9

Reviewer Age:17

Reviewer City, State and Country: Carlisle, Pennsylvania United States of America

Young Fredle

In Young Fredle, by Cynthia Voigt, a young mouse named Fredle has been pushed out of his pantry home in the house kitchen and brought outside by a human. Once outside, he has to figure out a way to get back inside. Fredle goes on many adventures and learns a lot of new words he did not even know existed like porch, barn and snake. Outside, he finds out about good things like the compost pile that is a constant food supply, the bright stars and the wonderful flowers. There are also dangerous and scary things outside like snakes, raccoons, foxes and more cats! Fredle also visits the house cellar where he finds nice mice with an always filled food basket. So now that Fredle has seen the inside and outside worlds and the house cellar, and has friends in all of these locations, where will he choose to live?

I would recommend this book to any animal lover between the ages of 9-11. The story itself is not overly complicated and the vocabulary is fairly simple. This book was funny, entertaining and will keep you reading!

Reviewer Age:10

Reviewer City, State and Country: Rochester, New York USA


The Girl in the Steel Corset, by Kady Cross, is a book set in late 19th century England. Finley Jayne is sure that there is something wrong with her. Whenever she feels threatened, the thing inside her comes out and makes her more powerful and strong than the average man.  She has lost too many jobs due to her strange power, and she is tired of always running away. But after a chance encounter with Griffin King, Duke of Greythorne, she begins to learn more about the thing inside her. At his immense home, she meets others with strange gifts like hers, and she begins to see for the first time that her curse may not be such a bad thing.
I thought this was a very good book. The plot was interesting and kept me turning the pages. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen to the characters next. I quickly grew attached to them, and throughout the entire story, I was holding my breath in anticipation of what was to come. I couldn’t help but love Finley and the whole gang of misfits. I really like the style the story was written in, third person with a shifting focus on each of the characters. It made the plot that much more interesting, and the characters that much more lovable and real, being able to see them from multiple angles. Kady Cross uses words that are very descriptive and this helps me to imagine the streets of London in the steampunk era she has created.  The beginning of the book was a bit slow, and at times the ideas presented in the book were difficult to understand. Once I got into the book and got used to the strange inventions created within the pages, it was hard to stop reading. This was my first book of the steampunk genre. It took a bit of getting used to, imagining the nineteenth century world with modern-day gadgets. Cross did a wonderful job of explaining how those gadgets worked, and she made the world seem very believable.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Otsego, MN USA

Monday, May 02, 2011

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

Kate, Michael and Emma are orphans that get expelled from every orphanage that they stay at. That is until the next orphanage in Cambridge Falls, which is run by a wizard called Dr. Pym. They absentmindedly put a photo into a blank green book that they find. They suddenly get sent back to an older Cambridge Falls. They find out that the town is run by the countess and an army of screechers-after the same book that they found. They meet a man named Gabriel who helps them escape from the countess' grasp. They meet up with Dr. Pym who tells them that they have to thwart the countess' plans before it is too late.
     The Emerald Atlas is an awesome book. It starts off with hair-pulling suspense and ends with more. John
creates a book sure to leave fans wanting for a sequel. My favorite thing about the book is the writing style,
which is similar to Lemony Snickett's. I recommend this magic book to anyone.
Reviewer Age:12 Uxbridge, Ma USA

The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers

    This adventure book starts off when Grady and Floyd are running a He-Feechie (swamp person) act. They soon have to stop due to the crowds disapproval. For about a year they do various acts to make a living. Finally Floyd hits up on a big idea to make a lot of money. He calls it the Great Feechie Scare. They are going to get the people of Corenwald scared of Feechies. After that Grady is going to act as a feechie and put on a show for money.

     The Charlatan’s boy is a book sure to please readers. It is packed with adventure and surprises. The characters seem to leap out at you from the pages. The one thing I didn’t like was the ending: it was a cliff hanger. I'm looking forward to the next so I know what happens to Grady. I recommend this book to anyone 10 and up.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Shadowspell by Jenna Black

After it's discovered that Dana is a Faeriewalker, one who can bring magic into the human world and human technology into the Faerie world, she is the target of both assasins and abductors. Her father, an important Fae politician, keeps her under lock and key, and she can't go anywhere without a bodyguard. Naturally, however, Dana still manages to get into trouble, which culminates when she meets the Erlking and his Huntsmen. The Erlking, whose pleasure in life is to hunt mortals and Faeries, wants Dana's powers and will do anything to get them. Will Dana be able to outwit the Erlking, or is she just another pawn in this game of politics and court intrigue?
I was so excited to get my hands on Shadowspell because I absolutely adored its predecessor, Glimmerglass. I'm not a big fan of fantasy, but this series is really good. Dana, the main character, is only part Faerie, so she acts like a normal human teenager and thinks like my friends and I do. Regardless of her human characteristics, she is still a very strong and courageous character, and even when she gets herself into sticky situations, she is still willing to figure out how to save the day. A lot of the mayhem involves a new character, the Erlking. I really liked the parts with him because he is evil but actually seems pretty nice sometimes. It is an interesting dichotomy. All in all, I really enjoyed Shadowspell and I think all fans of fantasy will agree. I'm also excited to see what happens to Dana in the next book, Sirensong.
Reviewer Age:19
Reviewer City, State and Country: Aston, Pennsylvania United States

Baby Grape and The River Folk by Thom Rogers

When Toby and Jaynee are separated from the others, they try to find their way back. When they do, they continue to the city. But when they arrive, they discover it has burned down. So they continue on. They come upon and old house in the woods and get sick. Deathly sick. But the others find them, and they recover. Toby prospers in the trading business, and yet again make many new friends.

To me this was the least exciting out of the 3 books. I can hardly remember it, although I've read it recently. I can remember the events, but not the order they happened in. But anyway, it had an interesting plot that I feel was more complex then in the other books, which is something I like.Toby seems so overburdened in this book that it is unfair, but with a great start in a big business, it seems his luck is changed, something surprising I didn't expect. So the events balance each other out and it turned out to be a good book.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Santa Fe, TX USA

Baby Grape and Southern Exposure by Thom Rogers

The trading business is going good, so Toby and Jaynee take a vacation. On vacation, they visit Toby's parents but are interupted by a man named Wrestin. Taking shipments for Wrestin and another man, Mr.Connelly, they find themselves in court, accused of stealing both slaves and money. After all this trouble, when it seems things couldn't get much worse, Toby falls deathly ill, and Jaynee's Indian tribe is hunted by murderous men. As always, Toby and his new crew barely pull through, but new problems are sure to lie ahead.

This book was more exciting than the second, Baby Grape and the River Folk, but seemed like all the excitement and adventure was in one or two places. That left the rest of the book less exciting and more like building blocks for the exciting parts. Either building blocks for the plot, or building blocks for suspense! Don't get me wrong, suspense is brilliant in any plot, but you can have too much of a good thing. It was too drawn out, eventually leading to disinterest. But, the good parts were excellent,and that is why I liked the book.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Santa Fe, TX USA

Baby Grape and Huskey by Thom Rogers

Toby is wanted by the police for whipping a boy. When his employer gives him a chance to escape by delivering a still far north, he takes it. Going with a greedy and cold-hearted man named Lew, he sets off north, but the farther he gets, the more he suspects Lew. When Toby discovers Lew's plan to keep the still and delivery money, he and an abused girl Gina take the still and run. Trekking through the wilderness and avoiding danger, they make friends along the way, who help them deliver the still. When that is done, Toby and Gina head back to the city.

This is my favorite of the 3 books in the series. I've always liked books about surviving in the wilderness, (my favorite being Hatchet) becuase they almost always have great storylines and adventure. This book has both of those qualities, plus the detailed settings and well-planned characters that also frequently appear in books like this. Like I said before hand, great plot, and in a nice sized book. Not too long and boring or too short and choppy. A great read for testing day if you know what I mean, should last you a good 5 or 6 hours.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Santa Fe, TX USA

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Dertin

Violet has never been ordinary. She can sense the echoes of the missing dead, those who’ve been murdered. They call to her, wanting to be found so that they can rest in peace. She has only told a couple of her closet family members and friends about her special power. But, when she finds a dead boy and the FBI gets involved, many things could change. She doesn’t want her secret to get out for just anyone to know. She’s starting to feel as if there aren’t many people she can trust. She wants to talk to her best friend Jay, but now that they are in a relationship, she feels as if the rules have changed. And she is afraid talking to him will only make him more protective of her. Plus he has been spending a lot more time with his new friend Mike. Violet is beginning to wonder about Mike as he becomes closer with Jay. As she digs through his family history, she finds tragedy and a dark past. She isn’t sure anyone should trust Mike or his family. Is Mike really who he seems? Will Violet put everyone in danger if she keeps these dark secrets about Mike?

 Desires of the Dead is a very creative novel. This sequel to The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting is fantastic. Many times you will find yourself liking the first book in a series more than the second, but that was not the case in this series. I loved the first novel but I felt that Desires of the Dead was more focused and powerful with more emphasis on Violet’s powers than on the love story with Jay. It was a very exciting novel and I absolutely loved and enjoyed reading it. It was definitely one of those novels where you are kind of angry when it ends. I really hope that the story continues with a third book because Derting has a wonderful plots and ideas in this series. The romance, humor, action, and much more make it a perfect novel for any young adult reader.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Fairborn, Ohio USA