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PSLA TITLES FOR 2010

FICTION

Abdel-Fattah, Randa. Where the Streets Had a Name. New York: Scholastic, 2010. 978-0-545-17292-9. 312p. $17.99. Gr. 6-8. This is the story of a young Arab girl, Hayaat, who is willing to put aside her own safety in order to get a jar filled with soil from the land of her grandmother's ancestral home, so she can die peacefully. With her partner-in-crime Samy by her side, Hayaat reasons that the trip is attainable as it's just a few miles. What she doesn't count on, however, is the fact that, for a Palestinian kid to make the trip, it may as well be halfway around the world. An Arabic glossary is included. RealisticFiction Patricia Chialastri- Sandy Run Middle School Adams, John Joseph (ed.). The Living Dead 2. San Francisco: Night Shade, 2010. 978-1-59780-190-4. 496p. $15.99. Gr. 9-12. Zombie entertainment has been recently popular in all media (movies, video games, books), and Adams has compiled his second large volume of collected zombie stories, this time including many original as well as reprinted stories and new titles from some of the wellknown authors of the genre such as Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide), Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead), and David Wellington (the Monster trilogy). Most of the stories range from 10-20 pages, with a few even shorter. First person narration brings the reader quickly into setting, characters, and action as it unwinds usually from a single premise. Suspense is often provided through threats to human survival in a challenging situation. Adams provides a brief introduction to each story giving some background information about both the author and the particular story. If you expect heavy use, a hardback edition would be a more serviceable purchase but I could find none at Amazon.com. Science Fiction/Zombies/Story collections Eleanor Howe, Pine-Richland HS, retired Adler, Emily and Alex Echevarria. Sweet 15. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish, 2010. 978-0-7614-5584-4. 240p. $16.99. Gr. 6-9. This quirky book tells the story of a girl not ready to trade her skateboard and sneakers for high heels. Destiny is turning 15 and her mother announces the huge plans that are made for her quinceanera, which is a coming of age party for Latino girls. As if starting high school isn‘t hard enough, Destiny‘s sister is protesting the quince because she feels it is way too sexist, her friends don‘t understand her, and Destiny‘s family is having a hard time paying the rent. A love conflict thickens the plot when Destiny‘s best guy friend falls for her after she has given her hear t to someone else. Positive and realistic messages about growing up, changing, and coping with life‘s struggles. Recommended. Realistic fiction, Quinceanera Elizabeth A., Springfield Township Middle School Allen, Sarah Addison. The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel. New York: Bantam Books, 2010. 978-0-553-80721-9. 269p. $21.25. Gr. 10-12. After her mother‘s death, seventeen-year-old Emily Benedict moves in with a grandfather she never knew to a town, Mullaby, NC, that her mother never cared to mention. Julia Winterson left Mullaby with no plans of returning, until her father‘s death leaves her in charge of his failing restaurant. Julia helps Emily learn more about her mother‘s mysterious past and ill-involvement with the ruling family of their small Southern town, while coming to terms with her own troubled teenage years and the boy who left her life in shambles. Readers will fall in love with the quaintness of Mullaby and will come to find that there is more to the town and its inhabitants than meets the eye. Family Secrets/North Carolina. Melissa Daugherty – Sharon Middle High School Appelt, Kathi. Keeper. New York: Antheneum, 2010. 978-1-4169-5060-8. 400p. $16.99. Gr. 4-8. Ten-year-old Keeper has made a mess of a day that held so much promise for the people she loves. Her only option is to find her mother and ask her for help. Signe has cared for Keeper since her mother swam away seven years ago. Since then, Keeper has believed that her mother is a mermaid with magical powers. That night, Keeper takes the boat and her dog, BD, to find her mother. Magical things do happen though Keeper never knows about them. The frightening trip brings her to a more mature understanding of the world. Illustrations by August Hall compliment the text. Realistic Michelle Stone-Sandy Run Middle School Avasthi, Swati. Split. New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2010. 978-0-375-86340-0. 282p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. Split is a taut, psychological thriller for young adults about two brothers abused at the hands of their father who is a respected judge. Older brother Christian escapes to a new life with the help of a neighborhood family and leaves a much younger Jace behind to bear the beatings meant for his mother. But after years of enduring psychological torment and physical abuse, during which Jace lives a lie, the final straw is reached. Jace discovers his father has beaten his mother yet again and in his frenzied anger, Jace punches his father knowing he will be kicked out. With Christian‘s address given to him by his mother, Jace flees to a brother he has not seen or heard from in years. Split is such a great title on so many levels about the brothers‘ past and present and how they feel -split- not whole. Teens will be lining up for this drama filled book about the all too real issue of abuse in families. Abuse BJ Neary – Abington Senior High Bacigalupi, Paolo. Ship Breaker. New York: Little Brown Books, 2010. 978-0-316-05621-2. 336p. $17.99. Gr. 9-12. Wow, what a compelling terrific read! Nailer Lopez is a young teen who toils daily on the light crew stripping wires and fittings from the bowels of abandoned cargo and oil tankers in a post-apocalyptic America. He lives on the American Gulf Coast beach with his very frightening father; an alcoholic, addicted to glass sliders who kills and tortures anyone who gets in his way. The other members of Nailer‘s light crew (his REAL family) know their lives will be short, filled with hard work, and constant hunger. But there is another world beyond of the hydro-powered, sleek, beautiful clipper ships travelling in the seas beyond. After a terrible storm kills 1


PSLA TITLES FOR 2010

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many, Nailer finds a boat stranded with a swank (rich) girl whom he initially believes is dead. When Nailer decides to help her, he turns his back on his family, and begins an odyssey that is scary and adventurous. He is aided by Tool the half man (genetically engineered half dog) determined to return Lucky Girl to her father and the swank world. Teen readers will really enjoy the danger that lurks everywhere, Nailer‘s belief in the fates and luck as determining one‘s future and the meaning of family in this raw, uncertain future world. Adventure. BJ Neary – Abington Senior High School Bacigalupi, Paolo. ShipBreaker. NY: Hachette, 2010. 978-0316056212. 323p. $17.99. Gr. 7+. In his first YA novel, Bacigalupi presents a dystopian look at a future that could come true. The reader is plunged into the world of Nailer, a young boy who works on the light crew. The light crew is the group that works on the salvaging copper wire and other light materials from ships. They have to make their quota or they are kicked off the crew, which is a fate as bad as death. There is no other work in this poverty ridden community and Nailer‘s father is an abusive, drunk, so having this job is important. This fast moving adventure touches on many issues such as oil reserves, the BP disaster, poverty, and the differences between the haves and have-nots. Dystopia, Adventure, Fantasy, Friendships, Loyalty. Sandra Krieg- The Haverford School Balliet, Blue. The Danger Box. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-439-85209-8. 306p. $16.99. Gr. 7-10. Zoomy lives with his grandparents and has a different way of seeing the world. He is intrigued when his long-missing father, whom he dislikes, shows up with a mysterious package. When Zoomy starts to investigate, he finds something inside much bigger than he ever imagined – a real Charles Darwin journal. A friend whom he meets at the library helps him investigate, but neither of them expect the trouble and danger they get into or the fire that destroys Zoomy‘s grandfather‘s business. This is a great mystery with lots of clues, twists and turns with a very satisfying ending. Mystery Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School Library Balliett, Blue.The Danger Box. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-439-85209-8. 306p. $16.99. Gr. 6-8. Zoomy is a twelve year old boy who discovers a mystery.Zoomy‘s absent father, Buckeye drops off a box that contains a weathered notebook. Throughout the story Zoomy and his friend, Lorrol, try to figure out the importance of the notebook and to whom it belongs. This will be very entertaining for middle grade mystery lovers. Mystery Liz G. – Abington Senior High School Barnes, Derrick. We Could Be Brothers. New York, Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-545-13573-3. 164p. $17.99. Gr. 6-8. Robeson Battlefield, nicknamed ―Crease‖ for the crease in his perfectly pressed pants, gets to know Pacino Clapton when they are in detention together, a situation that Robeson hates because he was innocent and shouldn‘t even be there. He gets to know Pacino, who lives in a rough neighborhood and pretends to be tough, and suddenly he finds that his first judgment of Pacino was totally wrong. When a street thug named Tariq initiates violence against one of them, both boys find out who they really are underneath their very different exteriors. This is a good story with the message that violence isn‘t always the answer. Current Teen Fiction Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School Bauer, Joan. Close to Famous. New York: Viking, 2011. 978-0-670-01282-4. 250 p. $16.99. Gr. 5-8. Life has not been easy for 12-year-old Foster McFee: she has struggled through school not being able to read, her father was killed in Iraq, and her mom‘s creepy Elvis impersonator boyfriend turns abusive. Fleeing their home in Memphis with the boyfriend chasing them, mother and daughter land in Culpepper, WV, where Foster‘s baking skills and, in particular, her incredibly delicious cupcakes endear her to townspeople. Positive support from a quirky cast of characters fuel Foster‘s dream of having her own TV cooking show. This feel-good story is seasoned just right. Realistic Fiction, Baking, Literacy Ro Becker – Springfield Township Middle School Beil, Michael D. The Vanishing Violin. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. 978-0-375-86103-1. 329 p. $16.99 Gr. 5-8. Then Red Blazer Girls from St. Veronica‘s are back with a new mystery or two. On the serious side a valuable violin has disappeared from a seemingly locked room. On the lighter side someone is cleaning and redecorating the school much to the consternation of Sister Bernadette, the principal. Margaret, Sophie, Becca, and Leigh Anne ponder these situations at the Perkatory, the local coffee shop. The girls, this time, have permission of Sister Bernadette to explore the dank and dirty basement and also find an ally in grumpy Sister Eugenia. It is an interesting combination of teenage problems, friendship and forensics that will challenge and delight mystery fans. Many clues are presented in clever ciphers which will keep readers on their toes. Friendship; puzzles; Catholic schools Jeannie Bellavance Benoit, Charles. You. New York: HarperTeen, 2010. 978-0-06-194704-9. 223p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. Kyle Chase‘s sophomore year is average, ordinary even. That is, until the new kid, Zack McDade shows up at Midlands High. Zack has a way with people, students and adults. He knows how to push their buttons, get them to play his game, unfortunately for Kyle; he gets sucked in and becomes part of the game. Zack helps him out of a sticky situation and Kyle is now one of his pawns. Can Kyle get out before Zack decides he is tired of him and starts to try to push his buttons? The story is fast-paced and realistic; students will be waiting for more. Realistic Teen Fiction. Kathryn Gilbride-North Pocono High School Bessette, Alicia. Simply from Scratch. New York: Dutton, 2010. 978-0-525-95182-7. 313p. $22.06. Gr. 9-12. Zell is a young widow who, a year after her husband tragically dies, still cannot seem to move away from her grief. Nine-year-old Ingrid lives next-door with her father and is determined to find her mother, whom she believes to be the popular TV chef, Polly Pinch. 2


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The two form an unlikely friendship and join forces to enter the ―Desserts that Warm the Soul‖ baking contest: an apropos title since this book, indeed, has the ingredients to warm the souls of all. Funny and touching, this debut novel will especially appeal to high school girls.Grief/ Friendship. Mary Schwander – New Hope-Solebury High School Bick, Ilsa J. Draw the Dark. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda, 2010. 978-0-7613-5686-8. 336p. $16.95. Gr. 9-12. This cross between a supernatural horror story and contemporary fiction contains many themes including family, guilt, empathy, supernatural abilities, alternate realties, war, religion, and art. Seventeen-year-old Christian is an artist who draws other people‘s memories and possible futures. He has lost his mother, father, and aunt to his art and the ―sideways place‖. When he begins to dream about German prisoners of war form World War II the alternate reality bleeds over to his life. He begins to dream as if he were an eight-year-old boy in the war camps and through his dreams uncovers secrets of his small Wisconsin town‘s past. There are several plot twists and unexpected outcomes throughout the book that will leave the reader guessing until the last page. This book is recommended for older readers. Supernatural/Horror Robin Burns – Whitehall High School Bodeen, S. A. The Gardener. New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2010. 978-0-312-37016-9. 233p. $16.99. Gr. 7-10. A different kind of sci-fi eco-thriller which pits teens against a multinational corporation, which, as alluded to on the cover, is creating human beings that use photosynthesis like plants. Mason and his friend, Jack, help a strange girl escape from a nursing home, only to begin an endless series of narrow escapes from a very well organized group of searchers. Plenty of chase scenes – cars, trucks, snowmobiles – trying to escape the ubiquitous bad guys. Reluctant readers will be drawn to the fast paced plot and easy reading. The ending provides a plot twist, and leaves the door open for a sequel, with perhaps more insight into TroDyn‘s experiments. Science Fiction Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Boie, Kirsten. The Princess Trap. New York: Scholastic, 2010. 978-0-545-22261-7. 405p. $17.99. Gr. 7-12. Jenna hates her new boarding school, especially now that she is a princess. Everyone at the school hates her too. Perry also hates his life, because his father is insistent on sending him to military school. Jenna is secretly in love with Jonas, but when she finds him in the arms of another girl, she runs away to an old house, where she encounters Perry, who has also run away. Suddenly there is danger everywhere due to a plot to kill the king, who is Jenna‘s uncle, and Jenna and Perry are taken hostage in the middle of the mess. Jenna accidentally sent a picture on her cell phone that saves them all and brings Jenna together with her true love. Romance/Adventure Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School Bognanni, Peter. The House of Tomorrow. New York: Amy Einhorn Books, 2010. 978-0-399-15609-0. 354p. $24.95. Gr. 9-12. Sebastian is a quirky, socially awkward teenager who resides in a geodesic dome with his eccentric grandmother, Nana. Jared is a punk-rock-loving, sardonic sixteen-year-old who recently had a heart transplant and causes his mother constant anxiety. These two misfits connect when Jared and his mother take a tour of the dome and Nana promptly suffers from a stroke. From there, Sebastian is brought into the dysfunctional home of Jared, his overly-anxious mother, and his mysteriously seductive sister. Among many things, Sebastian is introduced to grilled cheese & grape soda, young lust and the independent philosophy of punk rock. Though there is strong language, the off-beat humor, intriguing characters and tender message of this novel make it a true delight and very worthy of the Alex Award. Coming-of-age Mary Schwander – New Hope-Solebury High School Bond, Victoria and T.R. Simon. Zora and Me. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2010. 978-0-7636-4300-3. 183 p. $16.99. Gr 5-8. This is a fictionalized story of author Zora Neale Hurston, and life in Eatonville, Florida, a town founded by blacks in the early 1900‘s. The community is very close, but many families struggle with poverty. Carrie, Zora‘s best friend, tells the story of how, at ten-years-old, they begin to understand the dangers of prejudice. Zora‘s imaginative and inquisitive nature leads the friends into adventure, as they discover the truth behind a murder. They want to do the right thing, but fear that racial tensions could hurt innocent people. Back matter includes a brief biography, timeline, and annotated bibliography of Zora Neale Hurston. Historical Michelle Stone - Sandy Run Middle School Bondoux, Anne-Laure. A Time of Miracles. New York: Delacorte Press, 2010. 978-0-385-73922-1. 180p. $17.99. Gr. 8+. Every night, young Koumail asks Gloria to repeat the story of how their lives connected at the sight of a train explosion in the Republic of Georgia. Gloria found Koumail as a baby in the arms of his critically injured French mother who implores Gloria to take and save her precious child. And so begins the tender relationship of Gloria and Koumail in the midst of a revolution in the Soviet Union. Translated from French, this novel is exquisitely told through the eyes of sweet, innocent Koumail. From the time he is seven into adolescence, Koumail and Gloria traipse across the Caucasus towards France where Gloria insists that a better life awaits. This is an exceptionally touching story which will surely capture the hearts of all readers. Soviet Union Revolution Mary Schwander - New Hope-Solebury High School Bow, Erin. Plain Kate. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books. 2010. 978-0-545-16664-5. 314p. $17.99. Gr. 6-9. Told in simple prose, Plain Kate is a very gifted woodcarver, which leads some townsfolk to believe there must be magic involved. When her father contracts the witch's fever and dies, she must leave the only home she has ever known. She sells her shadow to the mysterious stranger Lenay and strikes a deal with the Roamers to join them as they prepare to leave town. To her distress, the rumors and sickness follow her, casting doubt in the heart of her newfound friends. Ostracized once again, Plain Kate 3


PSLA TITLES FOR 2010

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realizes the only way to survive is to travel with Lenay, whose plans for revenge may end up costing Plain Kate more than she is willing to give. Fantasy Christine Massey – JW Parker Middle School Brenna, Beverley. Waiting for No One. Markham: ON: Red Deer Press, 2010. 978-0-88995-437-3. 187p. $12.95. Gr. 9-12. In this sequel to Wild Orchid, Taylor, the smart young heroine with Asperger's Syndrome, interviews for a job in a book store; but the conversation takes a strange twist when she mentions her pet hamster, Harold Pinster. Sure that she has bungled the interview, she struggles with contrasting feelings of disappointment and hopefulness at the idea of a possible job. She postpones making her decision by continuing to take university classes, visiting her father and his current girlfriend and forming a new friendship with Luke Phoenix. Her overbearing, protective mother continues to worry about Taylor and pressures her to return the call from the bookstore manager, but Taylor is more interested in gaining enough freedom to live her life independently and on her own terms. Realistic Fiction Christine Massey – JW Parker Middle School Brisson, Pat. The Best and Hardest Thing. New York: Penguin, 2010. 978-0-670-01166-7. 234p. $16.99. Gr. 9 and Up. Fifteen-year old Molly is tired of being known a ―Saint Molly‖ and sets out to do something about it. She makes herself over into someone she really isn‘t to attract the mysterious older boy, Grady. After noticing her, Molly fails her first test; a pregnancy test. This emotional story is told in verse using many poetic forms. Teen Pregnancy, Family Life. Jill Toye Jenkintown Middle/High School Brown, Carolyn. Come High Water. New York: Avalon Books, 2010. 978-0-8034-7766-7. 233p. $23.95. Gr. 7-12. An excellent historical romance, this is the story of Bridget, who is running a hotel by herself in Arkansas in the early 20 th century. When she has a rat in her kitchen one day, Bridget goes to the train station to hire a man with big feet to get rid of the rat. Wyatt, the man she hires for a dollar a day plus room and board is not a laborer looking for work, as she believes, but a very rich man who is avoiding his hometown because of a woman. Although Bridget drives him crazy, when she comes down with the flu, Wyatt stays with her to save her life and that of her baby. Sparks fly when Wyatt‘s former love interest shows up on the doorstep and gets quarantined right along with them. Historical Romance Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School Buffie, Margaret. Winter Shadows. Canada: Tundra Books, 2010. 978-0-88776-968-9. 336p. $19.95. Gr. 7-12. Two teenage girls living in the same house, but during different time periods, one living in modern times and the other in 1856, find they are able to communicate with each other through a special journal. Both girls are dealing with some heavy issues like deceased mothers, jealous stepmothers, ineffective fathers, and overt racism. The characters are interesting and the story offers insight into the history of Canada during the 19th century as well as current day issues that many young girls will be able to relate to and learn from. Family Jill Toye Jenkintown Middle/High School Bullen, Alexandra. Wish. New York: Point, 2010. 978-0-545-13905-2. 323p. $17.99. Gr. 7-12. Olivia‘s twin sister has just died, her parents have moved her across the country, she is dealing with a new school, and her parents‘ marriage seems to be disintegrating. Accidentally, Olivia becomes the owner of a magic dress, and with it, three wishes. Her first wish is for her sister to be back, and suddenly, Violet is by her side again – but no one can see or hear her except Olivia. Olivia has trouble deciding what her next two wishes will be, and accidentally uses one of them for something horrible. Another serious problem is that the boy Olivia likes is the very recent ex of the girl who is fast becoming Olivia‘s best friend. Teen/Romance/Ghost Story Nancy Chrismer, Juniata High School Bunting, Eve.The Pirate Captain’s Daughter. Ann Arbor, MI: Sleeping Bear, 2011. 978-1-58536-526-5. 201p. $15.95. Gr. 6-8. In this adventure novel, Catherine‘s father is captain of a pirate ship that rules the ocean. When she loses her mother, Catherine drops everything to join the crew. A woman on board a ship is bad luck, so Catherine changes her identity to Charlie. She encounters pirates who would kill to steal a secret treasure hidden in her home. Can Catherine keep her secret identity as ―Charlie‖ when pirates are working around her? And what will become of her feelings for William, the handsome cabin boy? For adventure on the high seas,this book is a winner! Pirates, Adventure Alexis W., Springfield Township Middle School Butcher, Kristin.Cheat. Custer, WA: Orca, 2010. 978-1-55469-274-3. 107 p. $9.95. Gr. 5-8. A cautionary tale? Laurel is discovering the power of the written word and investigative journalism. Her first story about a homeless man living in the high school is well received. However, the article she writes after observing cheating on a test in one of her classes turns her into a social pariah. Pursuing a tip on a scam involving Scantron answer sheets she makes some discoveries that make her question her personal motives for writing an expose. A poll of the students also reveals to her that cheating is not necessarily considered so terrible. Butcher offers an insightful look into the ethics and morals of high school students. In the end there is some resolution but the reader will ultimately have to make up their own mind. The short book really lends itself to a good discussion. Cheating/Brothers and Sisters Jeannie Bellavance Buyea, Rob. Because of Mr. Terupt. New York: Delacorte, 2010. 978-0-385-73882-8. 269p. $16.99. Gr. 4-6. A school year narrated in turns by seven students in a fifth-grade class with a new teacher. Right away the reader will get the impression that Mr. Terupt is no ordinary teacher. But as the action builds to a tragic incident, the real stuff that makes up Mr. 4


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Terupt—and his students—is revealed. Each character struggles with their own circumstances, and achieves personal growth by the end of the year. The short chapters might make this palatable for reluctant readers. Mary Fran Torpey—Friends’ Central School Cann, Katie. Possessed. New York: Point, 2011. 978-0-545-128131. 336p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. This book will appeal to anyone who enjoys a spooky and chilling read. It is the story of sixteen-year-old Rayne Peters who, in an effort to get away from her home in London, takes a waitressing job at the mysterious Morton‘s Keep. As she settles in she learns of Morton‘s Keep unfriendly history including the violence that occurred in the house under the original owner. Will the cycle of violence continue? Can Rayne stop it? This is a supernatural page-turner. Mystery/Supernatural Nora S. Neumann – Outstanding Student Librarian Carbone, Elisa. Jump. New York: Viking, 2010. 978-0-670-01185-8. 258p. $16.99. Gr. 8-10. Told in alternating chapters, this novel combines a budding romance for chick lit fans with a gripping adventure thriller. Two teens on the run from boarding school and a psychiatric ward respectively, meet at a rock gym and decide to strike out for the west (and some of the most harrowing climbs imaginable). Knowledge of rock climbing terms is not essential, but it does help to understand the danger and training needed for the sport. That said, readers with no knowledge of the sport will still be drawn in by the characters and tense plot. Realistic Fiction Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Castellucci, Cecil. Rose Sees Red. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-545-06079-0. 197p. $17.99. Gr. 9-12. Rose lives across from a real Russian dancer. Life is looking really bleak for Rose until one night, Vrena, the Russian dancer, breaks into her room and they begin a fast friendship. Castellucci does an awesome job with the characters who become Rose's new friends as they create meaning, acceptance, and support with Rose and Vrena. Since Rose was seeing and feeling "black, black, black," her night out with Vrena helps her to see "red" as in Vrena's Russian life (political and cultural differences), new friends: triplets Caleb, Caitlin and Callisto, and boyfriends (Free and Caleb). New York City here they come: jamming, dancing, and singing. This time spent with her new friends and Vrena, helps Rose to see how much dancing is the part of her life that she loves. With all the action piled into one night, all these young teens witnessed a real moment together, bridging any cultural gap, with love, laughs, and abandon. Multicultural, ballet BJ Neary – Abington Senior High Castrovilla, Selene. The Girl Next Door. New Jersey: WestSide Books, 2010. 978-1-934813-15-7. 240p. $16.95. Gr.9-12. Jesse and Sam are neighbors and have been best friends for fifteen years. Jess is diagnosed with non-Hodgkin‘s lymphoma during his senior year of high school. He should be having the time of his life rather than fighting for his life. Sam is mature beyond her years and truly helps him while he is fighting this deadly form of cancer with only a 4% chance of survival. This books deals with teenagers dealing with anger and insecurities and foremost: fear. Cancer, friendship, love. Jill Toye - Jenkintown Middle/High School. Chayil, Eishes. Hush. Walker Books for Young Readers, 2010. 0802720889. 368p. $16.99. Gr. 8+ Chayil offers us a rare peek into the life of a young woman in an insular, Chassidic Jewish community in Brooklyn. Through the current narrative and flashbacks of Gittel, who is 17 at the opening of the novel, we slowly explore the hushed story of the incest and rape that led to the suicide of Gittel‘s friend, Devory. In the present action, Gittel is realizing her best possible fate—to be married to a good man. Gittel struggles to reconcile her faith and her commitment to the community she loves with the truth she witnessed. Readers may have trouble with the frequent Yiddish words, unfamiliar customs, and this community‘s fear of anything gentile (goy). A glossary follows the story. This is a haunting and powerful tale, both in its views of the family life and customs of Chassidic society and in its explorations of faith, justice, and gender issues. Realistic fiction. Jewish fiction. Joyce Valenza – Springfield Township High School Chiang, Ted. The Lifecycle of Software Objects. Burton, MI: Subterranean Press, 2010. 978-1-59606-317-4. 150p. $25.00. Gr. 10-Adult. This short novel, a brave new world of computer science, raises important issues about the two paths to Artificial Intelligence (AI): one in which AI is programmed with a determined set of skills for a specific task and the other in which animated ―digients‖ are programmed to learn and develop new skills through training by adults. Ana and Derek take two digients home as pets and watch them learn language and thinking skills over the years. Both the humans and digients face typical computer challenges such as failed or purchased companies, incompatible or obsolete software, fundraising for endangered digients, and above all the question of how human a digient can become in terms of socialization, autonomy, responsibility, sexuality, decision making, and affection. Where is the line between a human and AI in digient form? There is also the issue of whether humans should take medications to make them more productive at work or more attentive to a less attractive variety of AI digients. Online discussion groups provide both sides of the moral questions and conflicting choices that arise in managing (or parenting?) a digient. There is some humor and romance too. Computer science /Artificial Intelligence/Robots Eleanor Howe, Pine-Richland HS, retired Childs, Tera Lynn. Oh. My. Gods. New York: Speak, 2009. 978-0-14-241420-0. 264p. $7.99. Gr. 8-12. Phoebe is eager to finish her senior year and go to USC on scholarship for her fantastic running abilities. Things take a drastic change for the worse when her mother announces that she is re-marrying and they are moving to a Greek island. Besides having to get used to a new stepfather, a new place, and a new track team, Phoebe has to deal with arrogant students at her new school, who are almost all descendants of the ancient Greek gods, and who hate her for not being ―one of them.‖ Still, Phoebe perseveres with her running, finds 5


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a few true friends, a hot boyfriend, and ultimately, she finds out some surprising things about herself as she overcomes the obstacles that are thrown in her path. A fun read and a good romance. Romance Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School Choldenko, Gennifer. No Passengers Beyond This Point. New York: Dial, 2011. 978-0-8037-3534-7. 256p. $16.99. Gr. 5-7. When a family loses their house in California, the mom sends the three kids to live with their uncle in Colorado. Their plane lands in a mysterious, dream-like place and the kids end up on a crazy adventure, eventually trying to get away from the place they landed. I couldn‘t figure out what was going on until the very end, which I liked, but some student readers might find confusing. There are symbols throughout the book that may have more meaning on a second reading. I couldn‘t put this one down. Fantasy/Adventure Toni Vahlsing, Abington Friends School Christopher, Lucy. Stolen. Chicken House, 2010. 978-0-5451-7093-2. 304p. $17.99. Gr. 9+. While traveling with her parents on a vacation to Vietnam, 16-year-old Gemma is drugged and kidnapped at a layover at the Bangkok airport. She awakens from her drugged fuzziness in a house in the remote Australian outback and discovers she is the captive of 25year-old Ty. As the full story unravels, Gemma learns that Ty has been stalking her in London for years, working on a plan to abduct and keep her. After a nearly tragic failed attempt, Gemma soon comes to recognize that escape is impossible. Ty, a complicated and handsome character, nearly wins us (and Gemma) over with his sad childhood, his gentle treatment of his captive, his practical capabilities, his art, and his appreciation of the landscape and the creatures that populate the outback. Christopher plays with the story of Eden and uses the capture and taming of a female camel to echo Gemma‘s own captivity. In the end, we discover that the book is composed in the form of a letter to Ty, now facing trial for his crimes. The letter format allows us to observe as Gemma grapples with the complicated nature of good and bad, as she deconstructs what she experienced. This complex, eerie, and lyrical debut novel will immediately grab your girl readers, especially those for whom bad boys have appeal. Realistic. Romance. Joyce Valenza - Springfield Township High School Clare, Cassandra. Clockwork Angel. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2010. 978-1-41697-586-1. 479p. $19.99. Gr. 8-12. In Victorian London we meet Tessa Gray. Tessa is arriving from the Americas to come live with her brother. But upon arriving she is kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters. In order to save her brother Tessa must allow the Dark Sisters to unlock her strange ability to change in to other beings, dead or alive. After months of training, the Dark Sisters declare Tessa to be ready for the Magister. When sent back to her room, Tessa tries to escape only to find Will Herondale in her way. Soon the shadow-hunters of Victorian London are helping Tessa find her brother and stop the Magister. With the help of the Shadow-hunters Tessa fights off a Clockwork Army, unruly vampires, and some romance issues; thus, Tessa begins to unravel the mystery surrounding her life. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clair meets all the expectations set by Clare's previous series, The Mortal Instruments. The first book in her Infernal Devices series will leave you thirsting for more. Clare successfully creates a world that others only wish they could jump in to and join. With twists in every chapter, and an unpredictable plot Clockwork Angel won't leave you bored. Containing action, romance, suspense, comedy, and a mysterious evil villain with a robot army, Cassandra Clare was able to write a noteworthy book for teens of all ages. Fantasy. Alycia B. Grade 12. Springfield HS (Delco). Cohn, Rachel & David Levithan. Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares. New York: Knopf, 2010. 978-0-375-86659-3,. 272p. $16.99. Gr. 9 -12. A red Moleskin notebook with mysterious clues left on a shelf at the Strand Bookstore in New York City launches a scavenger hunt, and possibly a Christmas romance. The book is narrated by two sixteen-year-olds: cynical Dash and optimistic Lily, who flirt, fight, and learn about themselves and each other through the notes they leave one another in the notebook. Their adventures sometimes border on the absurd, but teens will eat this one up—it‘s adorable. Mary Fran Torpey—Friends’ Central School Collins, Suzanne. Mockingjay. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-4390-2351-1. 400 p. $17.99. Gr. 6+. Suzanne Collins makes another great sequel in Mockingjay, but even though it has intense action, it puts a lot of emphasis on connecting to the reader in a more emotional way. After being rescued successfully from her second Hunger Games, an emotionally scarred Katniss is struggling to survive with being the ―Mockingjay‖ for the rebellion, and the realization that she may never see Peeta again. But after seeing what the Captol has done to her District, Katniss finds that once again she‘ll need to take a leadership role in finally overthrowing the Capitol. Doing so will result in agony, pain, and heartbreak, but it is something a ―Mockingjay‖ must do. The action is intense and well written as seen throughout all of Collins‘ books, but this one is noticeably sadder than previous ones. The emotion doesn‘t feel forced though, because doubtlessly readers have forged bonds with the characters, and this sadness humanizes the characters even more. Though it is difficult to say goodbye to the characters that have made such an influence on us, Katniss could not have gone out in a better book. Fantasy, Adventure A.B. The Haverford School

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Coman, Carolyn & Rob Shepperson. The Memory Bank. New York: Arthur A. Levine, 2010. 978-0-545-21066-9. 263p. $16.99. Gr. 4-7. Young Hope‘s parents are so cold they dropped her little sister, Honey, by the roadside and were happy to forget her completely. Hope also seems to be forgotten as she takes care of herself, spending most of her time dreaming about Honey. One night, she is taken to the World Wide Memory Bank (WWMB), a warehouse for memories and dreams, staffed by kind and loving adults. Meanwhile, Honey and other abandoned children are having fun with Tabby, the leader of the Clean Slate Gang (CSG) whose mission is to sabotage the WWMB. When the CSG attacks the WWMB, Hope and Honey are reunited. It happens that Tabby‘s father is the WWMB director, and she is jealous of his attention to his work. The two reconcile and the children are welcomed into the WWMB. Honey‘s experiences with the CSG and Hope‘s dreams are told in detailed black & white drawings by Shepperson. Fantasy. Michelle Stone -Sandy Run Middle School Condie, Ally. Matched. New York: Dutton Books, 2010. 978-0-525-42364-5. 384p. $15.29. Gr. 9-12. In this dystopian world, the Society makes all of your decisions for you, from where you work, what you eat, who you marry, and even when you will die. Cassia is delighted when her best friend Xander is chosen as her Match, but she begins to question everything she knows when another boy, Ky, pops up on her Match disk as well. Despite assurances that Xander is her real Match, Cassia becomes intrigued with Ky and slowly rebels against the limits put upon her by the imposing Society. I really enjoyed this book, despite the heavy comparisons with Lois Lowry‘s The Giver. The Sequel, Crossed, is set to come out November 1, 2011. Dystopian Society/Romance. Melissa Daugherty – Sharon Middle-High School Condie, Ally. Matched. New York: Dutton, 2010. 978-0-525-42364-5. 384p. $17.99. Gr. 7-12. Cassia lives in a Society that controls everything—who you love, where you work, and when you die. She has always trusted that the Society knows what is best, especially when she is matched with her best friend Xander as a life partner. But she starts to doubt the their choice when she looks for more information about her match on the matching screen, and sees Xander‘s picture flicker and a picture of another boy replaces it. Cassia‘s doubt about which one is her true match leads to serious consequences. This is a great (clean) romance and dystopia for students who loved Twilight or the Hunger Games. Mary Fran Torpey—Friends’ Central School Connelly, Neal. The Miracle Stealer. New York: Scholastic, 2010. 978-0-5451-3195-7. 240p. $17.99. Gr. 7+. Nineteen-year-old Andi Grant lives in a small town called Paradise, Pennsylvania with her mother and six-year-old brother Daniel. Daniel is known as the "Miracle Boy" by people around the world. He is believed to have the power to cure the sick, call home lost souls, and bring back the dead. More and more people are coming to Paradise to see Daniel and ask for his help. When one of those people becomes a dangerous stalker, Andi knows that all of this madness must be stopped. She will do anything to protect her brother from harm. This is a fantastic book that will appeal to middle and high-schoolers. Miracles. Healers, Faith. Grace M., Springfield Township Middle School Conrad, Lauren. L.A. Candy, A Novel. New York: Harper Collins, 2010. 978-0-0617-6758-6. 336p. $17.99. Gr. 8+. When nineteen-year old Jane Roberts and her best friend Scarlett move to Los Angeles, California, they did not know that they would be starring in a hit TV series with two other girls. The TV show is a reality version of Sex and the City called L.A. Candy. Follow Jane around as she deals with her boy troubles, friendship issues, managing a new internship and trying to please everyone. One night will change Jane‘s entire life! I would definitely recommend this incredible realistic fiction book to young teens. Reality television, Friendship. Gabrielle W., Springfield Township Middle School Cooney, Caroline B. Three Black Swans. New York: Delacorte, 2010. 978-0-385-907415. 276 p. $17.99. Gr. 7-10. ―Black swans: events that are hugely important, rare, and unpredictable and explainable only after the fact.‖ Cousins Claire Linnehan and Missy Vianello look alike. They are only 8 weeks apart and are only children. Living about 20 miles away, they spend every Friday together. When Missy‘s biology teacher discusses fake science and hoaxes such as the Piltdown Man, the class decides to create hoaxes using ―scientific research‖. Missy decides to create a hoax on her own. On the high school morning news she introduces her ―separated at birth‖ identical twin – Claire. She is going to reveal the hoax in class, but the resemblance is so astonishing that the young newscaster puts the broadcast tape on YouTube (before asking permission). It gets viral. Texts fly across cyberspace. Both Missy and Claire start to imagine what if – who are their parents, why is there an age difference, why would a mother give up her children? But the title is Three Black Swans. On Long Island Genevieve sees the video. Cooney explores three different girls and sets of parents and their motives in a very thought provoking book. The ending is only an edgy beginning. Family; adoption; sisters Jeannie Bellavance Corrigan, Eireann. Accomplice. New York: Scholastic, 2010. 978- 0-545-05236-8. 296p. $17.99. Gr. 7-10. In a novel reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials, Eireann Corrigan, presents the story of Finn and Chloe. The girls (Finn is Finley) have grown up together on Finn's farm since they were in first grade and have been best friends since early on. The girls are now in high school and are living the lives that they believe will set them on the upper echelon college track. This all changes when they begin their series of college preparation talks at the beginning of their junior year in which their counselor suggests that good grades and well rounded activities are not enough for Ivy League. Chloe becomes inspired to fake her own abduction in order to stand out and Finn helps her. The novel starts with Chloe abducted and Finn reminiscing about the plans as she lies to everyone in sight. Things get out of hand as the reader realizes that Chloe's part of the plot lies more in attention seeking, manipulative, behaviors and Finn cannot 7


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undo their actions. This is a good novel in illustrating to teens that actions that you may believe are not harmful can become harmful. This book should get consistent circulation but is unlikely to be a crowd favorite. Realistic Fiction. Karen Hornberger- Palisades High School Corso, Paola. Catina’s Haircut: A Novel in Short Stories. Madison, WI: Terrace Books, 2010. 978-0299248406. 103p. $21.95. Gr. 10+. Not for your average ―Twilight‖ series fan. There‘s nothing objectionable here: but the symbolism, folklore and history will likely resonate more with an AP student looking for something different, your faculty, or adult patrons. Eight short stories weave interconnected tales of dirt poor Italian farm families and their descendants who‘ve immigrated to the Pittsburg area, spanning prerevolution Italy to the present day. Well-written with complex, fleshed out characters. Novel in Short Stories. Kathie Jackson – Arcadia University Library Student Cummings, Gillian. Somewhere in Blue. Montreal: Lobster Press, 2010. 978-1-897550-84-7. $14.95 (pbk). 334 pp. Grades 9-12. Sixteen-year old best friends Sandy Rawlins and Lenni Finn are upset with the behavior of their single mother: Vivian who is a cold and distant branch bank manager, and Teresa who brings home questionable boyfriends from the local bar. Sandy longs for her kind and loving father who has just died, and Lenni wants to know her extended family and the father who left before she was born. Sandy increasingly suffers from depression and skips classes to walk along Lake Ontario near her home in Toronto. Her silence distances her from both Lenni and Dan, the boy next door who repeatedly tries to comfort her. She rejects the caring overtures of her biology teacher, Mr. Dipton, who gently encourages her to seek a way through her sadness ~ to ―find the blue sky‖ ~ and who suggests to Lenni that Sandy may need a friend to help although she can‘t ask for it. The author paints a sensitive portrait of a teen whose grieving pain is so overwhelming that her negativism is a cry for help that she won‘t accept even when offered. Teenagers /Friendship/Mothers and Daughters/Grief /Depression Eleanor Howe, Pine-Richland HS, retired Cummings, Gillian. Somewhere in Blue. Quebec: Lobster Press, 2010. 978-1-897550-84-7. 334p. $14.95. Gr. 7-10. Reeling in grief since the loss of her father, Sandy is beginning not to be able to stand any part of her life. Her emotionally unavailable mother only complains that she needs to get used to the fact that things have changed with no offers to listen to Sandy or understand her. Sandy's best friend is a good friend but is currently trying her best to deal with the fact that her own mother is bringing home scary strangers from the bar during late nights. Combined with her best friend, she also has a new relationship starting with the boy next door. Both Sandy's new boyfriend and best friend want to help her but love cannot conquer Sandy's grief; she needs a counselor and a mother. Grief. Karen Hornberger- Palisades High School Cummings, Priscilla. Blindsided. New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 2010. 978-0-525-42161-0. $16.99. 226p. Gr. 6-10. Natalie O'Reilly was a typical bright 14 year old girl living on a farm in rural Maryland, except for one difference, she was going blind. Natalie had glaucoma which was robbing her of her sight. Her parents felt it would be best for her to go to Baltimore to a school for the blind where she could learn to be an independent blind person. This is her story of learning to cope with her loss of old friends, loss of sight, and living in a new place and doing new things without the benefit of sight. Nat starts this journey as a scared, somewhat angry girl and comes out on the other side, after some very scary events, as a much stronger, confident young woman. You as the reader learn how difficult it is for a blind person to cross a busy street; Natalie has to listen for the cars to stop in one direction while listening for cars moving in the other direction and crossing at just the right time. She also has to adjust to walking with a cane when she has no idea of her surroundings. Great book for teenage girls. Blindness-Fiction BJ Neary – Abington Senior High School Dashner, James. Maze Runner. NY: Delacorte, 2009. 978-0385737944. 384p. $16.99. Gr.6-10. In James Dashner‘s book, The Maze Runner, one is taken on an epic journey through the world of non-belief and complete mystery. Dragged out of a dark box after what seemed like several hours of complete mystery and torture, Thomas, the main character, finds himself facing his first of many journeys. He makes new friends among the other children in the ―Glade‖ , including Teresa, the first girl to enter the Glade, silly Chuck, and Minho who helps Thomas in Thomas‘ main goal, to escape the maze the surrounds the Glade. What makes this story so great is that there is never a point where something is predictable. The excitement of figuring out the maze, the weird but cool new ideas introduced on almost every page and the fact that you never want the book to stop, all contribute to it being nothing but astounding. Fantasy, Adventure Logan, Student, The Haverford School De Goldi, Kate. The 10 PM Question. Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2010. 978-0-763-64939-5. 256p. $11.99. Gr. 8-12. This is a sweet novel which centers around thirteen-year-old Frankie, his friends, and his wacky but lovable family. The novel is set in New Zealand, so it offers a fun look into their culture and language. As Frankie's life unrolls and you see his family with their infectious fun, you also begin to see a flip side that there is something wrong that is not being addressed. The reader first hears that Frankie's mother hasn't left the house in a long time. Later, you see that Frankie, himself, has deep concern about his own genetics and his concerns begin to debilitate his life. While no answers come easily, help does come to Frankie offering hope that he will survive. The mix between happy interactions and more serious issues provided by Kate De Goldi offer a nice backdrop to the story.. Mental Illness. Karen Hornberger- Palisades High School

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De Goldi, Kate. The 10 PM Question. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2010. 978-0-7636-4939-5. $15.99 . 245p. Gr. 9-12. Frankie Parsons is a twelve year old who worries about everything, out loud and subconsciously, all day, every day, and every night, when he goes into his mother‘s room and pours out his fears and questions. Frankie‘s family has some issues which make them crazy and with his best friend, Gigs and Frankie speak Chilun, their complicated language of pig Latin, inverted syllables, truncated wordsand bits of Russian (BongaSwetso means ―goody‖). And then one day, a new girl comes to school, becomes Frankie‘s best friend and asks too many questions, but this friendship will begin to free Frankie‘s insecurities and shake up his very circumscribed world. Funny, heartbreaking and complex, Goldi does a superb job of sorting out Frankie Peterson‘s world of humanity. Young adult readers will learn about the language, idioms, and nuances of New Zealand. Family life-New Zealand BJ Neary – Abington Senior High De Goldi, Kate. The 10 p.m. Question. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2010. 978-0-7636-4939-5. 245p. $15.99. Gr. 7-Adult. This charming, coming-of-age tale is filled with eccentric characters and both poignant and laugh-out-loud moments. Each night at 10 P.M., Frankie, the 12-year-old protagonist reveals his fears and anxieties as he deals with issues of growing-up, friend and family relationships, and his place in the world. This moving, beautifully written, imaginative and sensitively insightful book can be enjoyed by both young adults and their parents. Highly recommended. Realistic Fiction Peter Olsho, Springfield Township Middle School DeLint, Charles. The Painted Boy. New York: Viking, 2010. 978-0-670-01191-9. 431p. $18.99. Gr. 9-12. Jay Li is a seventeen year old Asian American who is also a shape shifting yellow dragon. Jay and his family are part of the yellow dragon tribe and are chosen to protect people in society as they once protected the emperors. After his training is complete his grandmother sends him to Arizona to protect the people in a small border town from the gangs and their violence. Being raised in Chicago‘s Chinatown this is a fish out of water story with a supernatural twist. The book is rich in mythology of both Chinese and Mexican legends. A good fit for readers who enjoy werewolves and shape shifter stories. Supernatural Robin Burns – Whitehall High School De Quidt, Jeremy. The Toymaker. New York: David Fickling Books, p2010, c2008. 978-0-385-75181-0. 357p. $19.99. Gr. 6-9. In this spine-chillingly grim and creepy tale, a hapless boy named Mathias continually gets caught in the clutches of an assortment of malevolent characters, all of whom covet something that he has the great misfortune to have in his possession. A prologue introduces us to the sinister toymaker, who doesn‘t appear again until much later in the story, and readers will form their suspicions regarding the connection between him and poor Mathias‘s tribulations. This book is not for the faint-of-heart who favor cheerier fare, but it is highly recommended for middle schoolers with an appetite for the dark and gruesome. Horror Patricia Fischer, Edward Hand Middle School, Lancaster Dickerson, Melanie. The Healer’s Apprentice. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2010. 978-0-310-72143-7. 261p. $9.99. Gr. 9-12. Rose is a woodcutter‘s daughter who has been chosen to be the healer‘s apprentice at Hagenheim Castle. She feels very lucky to have this life and to work with Frau Gerushca, until both sons of the duke decide they like her. Wilhelm, the duke‘s successor and the one whom she truly loves, is already betrothed to a lady who has had to remain in hiding for years to avoid a sorcerer‘s curse. Rupert, the other brother, wants to be appointed a bishop in the Church, and only wants her as an entertaining mistress. In addition to this stress, Rose is also being stalked by an evil man who wishes her harm. Rose is torn between wanting to go with her true feelings and wanting Wilhelm to do the right thing for his people. An entertaining medieval romance with some surprising twists. Historical Fiction/Romance Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School Dionne, Erin. The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet. New York: Dial, 2010. 978-0-8037-3298-8. 290p. $16.99. Gr. 6-8. Hamlet Kennedy is starting eighth grade and her genius seven-year-old sister, Desdemona, is starting with her! What could be worse? How about two of Hamlet‘s enemies who befriend her sister, parents that think they are living in Shakespeare‘s time, the boy she likes who doesn‘t notice her, origami pigs in her locker, and finding out she has a talent for something she never wanted to do! Follow Hamlet through eighth grade in this humorous and touching story that will appeal to all middle school students. Realistic Fiction Nancy Eisele, Springfield Township Middle School Doctorow, Cory. For the Win. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 2010. 978-0-7653-2216-6. 475 p. $17.99. Gr. 9+. For the Win by Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother, is the story of several teenagers who ―farm‖ gold in online games in order to sell it for a profit. The novel deals with the issues of the three main teenagers, Leonard, Mala and Matthew, while they simultaneously tackle competition from in-game criminal organizations and legitimate governmental and corporate bodies. The book will appeal to those who play on-line games like those featured in the story, or to anyone who enjoyed Little Brother. Science Fiction P.C. The Haverford School Dogar, Sharon. Annexed. New York: Houghton, 2010. 978-0-547-50195-6. 341 p. $17.00. Gr. 7-12. Reader familiar with The Diary of a Young Girl will be fascinated to consider an alternative point of view to Anne Frank‘s account of life in hiding during the Holocaust. Dogar has imagined a different perspective in Annexed. What would 16-year-old Peter van Pels, 9


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who, with his parents, shared the now-famous Secret Annex with the Franks, think and feel about war and fear, daily irritations of living in close quarters, religion and faith, love and, most of all, Anne? Peter‘s first-person account parallels Anne‘s diary, but additionally the reader glimpses Peter in the Mauthausen concentration camp as he relays its horrors from his deathbed. Dogar‘s story is perfectly detailed and compels the reader to stop and remember that Peter‘s account is fiction. This book is a ―must-purchase‖ for Holocaust literature collections. Historical Fiction, Holocaust. Ro Becker - Springfield Township Middle School Dogar, Sharon. Annexed. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. 978-0-547-50195-6. 341p. $17.00. Gr. 7-11. In Diary of a Young Girl, Peter van Pels is depicted as the quiet, lonely boy in Anne‘s diary, but Dogar illustrates Peter perfectly in Annexed and really puts you inside his head. This story would make more sense if you read Anne‘s diary, which accounts for her experience in hiding during the Holocaust. Told from Peter‘s point of view, Annexed makes readers do a double take: is this book reality or fiction? The whole story is basically a flashback because Peter is recollecting his life in the annex while he is dying in a concentration camp. Readers see him as distressed and angry, and as a boy who falls in love with Anne. Dogar was spot on for her impression of what young Peter must have thought and felt. Bravo! Historical Fiction, Holocaust Christine C., Springfield Township Middle School Dogar, Sharon. Annexed. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2010. 978-0547501956. 352p. $17.00. Gr. 7- 12. You know the story of Anne Frank in the Secret Annex. Annexed is a beautiful book presenting a fictionalized account of Anne's friend Peter Van Pels. Believably rendered, Peter is traumatized, frustrated, loves and hates his parents and is initially completely annoyed by Anne. Peter's expression of sexuality has made the book slightly controversial, but it is authentic to a 16-year old male voice. Dogar skillfully tells the story by contrasting Peter's voice during his time in the Annex and after the 8 members of it are betrayed, when Peter is in Auschwitz and later on death marches. This is a worthy addition to Holocaust literature, as it adds a previously unheard voice to the discussion and highlights the heroism of flawed people. Sheila May-Stein - Karen Rachel Hurwitz Library Community Day School Dogar, Sharon. Annexed. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2010. 9780547501956. 352p. $17.00. Gr. 8-12. Dogar reimagines the story of Anne Frank told through the lens of Peter van Pels. We get a new sense of life in the secret Annex through Peter‘s everyboy teen. Peter enters the annex, nearly 16 in July 1942, grieving the loss of his girlfriend Liese, whose family has been taken by the Nazis. We get to delve a bit deeper into the personalities and relationships of that small community living in the tight quarters. Over the course of two years, Peter struggles with his interest in sexuality, his limited privacy, his conflicted feelings about Anne, his parents, whether or not he identifies as a Jew, what it means to be a man, how to behave when stripped of your manhood. Dogar‘s story allows us to follow Peter where the Diary could not—on the journey to the concentration camps, as a witness to the horrors of life in Auschwitz and Mauthausen, struggling for life on a final death march. This is a brilliant and devastating and completely engaging historical novel and a fine addition to Holocaust literature. Buy for all high school collections. Historical Fiction. Holocaust Literature. Joyce Valenza, Springfield Township High School

Donnelly, Jennifer. Revolution. New York: Delacorte Press, 2010. 978-0-385-73763-0. 471p. $18.99. Gr.9+. Andi is angry with her prestigious Brooklyn Heights high school for being so demanding while she is still upset about the death of her younger brother; she‘s mad at her father for putting his DNA experiments at the center of his world while she and her mother suffer from depression and anxiety. Andi accompanies her dad to Paris for winter break, where she must work on a research paper. While there she meets Virgil and finds the diary of Alexandrine, who lived in Paris during the French Revolution. Alexandrine‘s diary brings history alive with a sense of the real fears of Parisians, the rule of Robespierre, the terror of the guillotine, her connection to the young son of Lous XV and Marie Antionette, and more. This terrific book will hold readers‘ interest, providing some surprising history lessons along the way. Historical Fiction. Erica Thickman Miller, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School. Donoghue, Emma. Room. New York: Little, Brown, 2010. 978-0-316-09833-7. 321p. $21.24. Gr. 9-12. Room is the story of a mother and son living in captivity in an 11x11 foot shed. The mother had been abducted seven years prior and the story begins on the boys fifth birthday. The room is the only life the little boy has even known and he has had the company of his mother 24/7. The days they spend together are very detailed and presented solely from the little boy's perspective. While there is immense love, the suspense builds as the reader comes to understand that the life that has been working for them is likely to come crashing down at any moment: the boy is beginning to become more curious about the man who visits almost nightly as he hides away in ―Wardrobe‖. Ma decides that they must escape and develops a plan. The book takes us on a journey, not only physical but highly emotional. The author presents a very realistic view of struggles both mother and child must face upon entering the real world. Buy multiple copies. Abduction. Karen Hornberger- Palisades High School Donoghue, Emma. Room. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2010. 978-0-316-09833-5. 352p. $24.99. Gr. 9+. The world of Jack and Ma consists solely of Room: a single space containing simple furnishings such as Wardrobe, Bed, Rug, and Table. Ingeniously told through the five-year-old voice of Jack, we gradually understand that he and Ma are held captive in Room, and Ma is doing all she can to make Jack feel safe, protected and loved. When Ma realizes that escape from Room is imperative, a

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risky plan is put into action and Jack is surprised to learn that Outside actually exists. Although this is an unsettling and disturbing read, the author manages to tell Jack‘s story in a touching, emotional manner. Very deserving of the 2011 Alex Award. Kidnapping Mary Schwander- New Hope-Solebury High School Dowell, Frances O’Roark. Falling In. New York: Antheneum, 2010. 978-1-4169-5032-5. 245p. $16.99. Gr. 5-8. Isabelle Bean has always felt different from the people around her. Other kids were always unkind. So she wasn‘t terribly surprised when she fell into a hole and landed in another world. Here, children of all ages are on their way to a camp where they go annually to escape the evil witch. Isabelle believes she is a changeling, born in this world and taken to her world by fairies, so she decides to seek out the witch. She finds Grete, her grandmother, just a very kind woman with some special powers. Isabelle tries to convince the other children that they need not fear the witch any longer. It‘s not easy for them to overcome their life-long fear, but Grete‘s deeds prove that she is harmless. Isabelle eventually returns to her world and writes this book to convince her mother that her story is true. Fantasy Michelle Stone-Sandy Run Middle School Draper, Sharon M. Out of My Mind. New York: Simon and Shuster, 2010. 978-1-4169-7170-2. 295p. $16.99. Gr. 6-8. What if you knew all the answers but couldn‘t tell anyone, trapped in a body unable to communicate? Melody deals with this daily. Whether knowing the answers in class or calling for help for her gold fish, she is challenged with the frustration of expressing herself. This charming story is hauntingly realistic and inspires the reader to be an advocate for those with special needs. Realistic Fiction, Special Needs, Communication. Jane M., Springfield Township Middle School Draper, Sharon. Out of My Mind. New York: Atheneum, 2010. 978-1-416-97170-2. 295p. $16.99. Gr 5-12. Draper's book was awesome. Definitely different from all of her other books---getting into the mind of a girl with cerebral palsy is just the kind of book EVERYONE needs to read. Melody is feisty, she loved Mrs. V, she is very smart, but she cannot speak, she can‘t walk, and she can‘t write. Her teacher, Mr. Dimming, was horrible not giving Melody a chance. It was heartbreaking when they all conspired--even her friend,Rose---to leave her behind, yes I know what they all said, but their actions spoke louder than words, and I was rooting for Melody when she confronted them, then whirled around in her chair and sped off when she gave it to them! This book should be read by all teens from 5th grade on up---it would be a great form of sensitivity training---just by reading a book! Disabilities BJ Neary – Abington Senior High Elkeles, Simone. Rules of Attraction . New York: Walker & Company, 2010. 978-0-802-72086-3. 324p. $16.99. Gr.10-12. This book was so intriguing, I couldn't put it down. It involves a Mexican American teen, Carlos, who is shipped from his family home in Mexico, and placed under his brother Alex's watchful eye in Colorado. He is assigned a peer guide to help him the first week of school and Carlos mercilessly taunts this girl, Kiara by snubbing her, being rude to her and mocking her every chance he can. But Carlos also has a soft, vulnerable side; he protects people, he has a strong sense of family loyalty and when he is interested in a girl, watch out! Carlos is framed with drugs in his book bag and then recruited to sell drugs and if he won't his family in Mexico and Kiara's family will suffer. Kiara is a nice girl from a wonderful family (imagine that???) who loves a challenge, fixes cars, got textdumped by her boyfriend, has a gay best friend Tuck, and is falling for Carlos, despite his attitude, his Mexican ideas of macho and whatever he can do to turn her on and then turn her off. There are alternating chapters of Carlos and Kiara, this book will not disappoint and I think the reluctant readers and urban teens will enjoy the drug/gang connection. Multicultural, Romance BJ Neary – Abington Senior High Ellis, Deborah. No Safe Place. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2010. 978-0-88899-973-3. 205 p. $16.95. Gr. 7-10. Three teen refugees from different countries try to get across the English Channel from Calais to a new life. Abdul spent 4 months on the road from Baghdad; Rosalia, a Romany escaping from human trafficking; and Cheslav, a Russian orphan with phenomenal talent, trying to find where he belongs. The tone is frightening not only as each relives his past, but because of the unscrupulous smuggler whose rickety boat and high prices is the only recourse for those running without papers. This is a very current problem. Compare this book with other refugee and illegal immigrant stories. Refugees/illegal immigrants Jeannie Bellavance Engle, Margarita. The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2010. 978-08050-9082-6. 151p. $16.99. Gr. 8-12. In alternating voices, we learn about the true story of the Swedish feminist activist Fredrika Bremer who, on her travels to Cuba in 1851, journals about the injustices of women. In addition to the viewpoint of Fredricka, we hear from Elena, the Cuban daughter of Fredricka‘s host and Cecilia, the young African girl who is assigned to Fredricka as her translator. Each young woman has her own personal story to tell about longings for freedom and these stories are beautifully captured through the author‘s free-poetic verse. This is a memorable novel about the social conditions of Cuba, the women‘s rights movement, and the power of friendship. Historical Fiction / Novel in Verse Mary Schwander – New Hope-Solebury High School Eulberg, Elizabeth. The Lonely Hearts Club.New York: Scholastic (Point), 2010. 978-0-545-14031-7. $17.95. 290 pp. Gr. 9-12. Penny Lane Bloom, a junior at the suburban McKinley High School, has just suffered a broken heart from Nate, the son of close family friends: she unexpectedly found him and another girl in bed together. Her best friend, smart and pretty Tracy who is new to the school, has never been out on a date with one of the boys on her list of those she‘d like to date. Pen realizes that she and many other 11


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girls have been jerked around by guys who have lied, cheated, and otherwise used them for their own ends, so she decides to stop dating and to focus on herself and the benefits of being single. Pen decides to form the ―Lonely Hearts Club,‖ named after the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album; its goals are to attend couples events as a group, support female friends, meet on Saturday nights, and not to date while in high school. Pen finds herself in conflict as her friendship with Ryan deepens, other girls in the Club want to date, the nice guys at school are offended by the ban on dating, and the principal is outraged. Written in the first person, the dialogue is suffused with teen banter, wit, putdowns, and sarcasm, but the underlying ideas encourage girls to improve their self-image, to value female friendships, and avoid boys who don‘t treat them with respect. Highly recommended. Dating Girls Friendships High schools Eleanor Howe. Pine-Richland HS, retired Eulberg, Elizabeth. The Lonely Hearts Club. New York: Point, 2010. 978-0-545-14031-7. 290p. $17.99. Gr. 9-12. Penny Lane Bloom and her friends of McKinley High School are tired of dealing with boyfriends and heartbreak. Penny is one of the biggest Beatles fans and leader of The Lonely Hearts Club, and finds herself having feelings for ―one they swore never to date.‖ This was addictive and impossible to put down. You do not need to have had a boyfriend to fall in love with this book! If you are fan of the Beatles, this book is perfect for you. Dating Fiction. Caroline C. - Abington Senior High Eulberg, Elizabeth. The Lonely Hearts Club. New York: Point; Scholastic Inc., 2010. 978-0-545-14031-7. 304p. $17.99. Gr. 7-10. Penny Lane Bloom is fed up with the way the boys she has dated have cheated, lied, and ―stomped on her heart.‖ She creates a onegirl club, pledging to give up boys until after high school. The club snowballs, gathering exasperated girls from freshmen to seniors, and creating repercussions throughout the school community and echoing back into the individual lives of the girls themselves as potential boy-friends come forward. I loved the themes of self-esteem and social encouragement. Friendship, Interpersonal relationships, dating. Jill Toye - Jenkintown Middle/High School. Falkner, Brian. Brain Jack. New York: Random House, 2010. 978-0-375-84366-2. 349p. $17.99. Gr. 7-12. Sam Wilson is a teenage computer hacker who can‘t wait to get his hands on the newest technology- a neuro-headset that lets the user control his computer with his thoughts. When Sam hacks into the computer network at Telecomerica to get himself a headset, he brings the world to a stop with the viruses he throws in to the system while trying to avoid detection. All too soon, though, Sam is arrested and put into prison in Washington, D.C. where he is given the choice of working for the Homeland Security‘s Computer Defense Division or going to prison for life. When Sam chooses to work for the government and uses the neuro-headset technology, he finds much more danger than he expected when the bad guys can access people‘s minds. For all the techno-fans, mystery, and thriller lovers. Techno-thriller/Mystery Nancy Chrismer, Juniata High School Ferraiolo, Jack D. Sidekicks. New York: Amulet Books, 2011. 978-0-8109-9803-2. 309p. $16.95. Gr. 6-9. Scott Hutchinson, a.k.a. Bright Boy, has, since early childhood, been the sidekick to superhero Phantom Justice. Now that he has reached adolescence, those yellow tights he has been required to wear have become not only embarrassing, but downright obscene. When Scott discovers that his arch-nemesis is one of his classmates, the two sidekicks team up to rebel against their superpower ―dads.‖ Although it seems to start out as a Batman and Robin knockoff, there are original developments to the plotline. This book will appeal to fans of comic book heroes, and there is a love angle for those who enjoy a little romance mixed in with the action. Action Adventure. Patricia Fischer - Edward Hand Middle School, Lancaster Fixmer, Elizabeth. St. Training. Grand Rapids: Zonderkids, 2010. 978-0-310-72018-8. 242p. $14.99. Gr. 5-8. Mary Clare is determined to make life better for her family. Money trouble and a new baby cause insurmountable stress on her parents. Being a good Catholic girl, she turns to God for help. Her faith is tested as her life takes unanticipated turns and she struggles to understand God's will. Through correspondences with the Reverend Mother, this exuberant, dependable and sincere young lady learns how to trust herself and listen to her heart. An appealing story set during the turbulent 1960s when the Catholic church faced dramatic changes in the midst of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Women's Liberation Movement. Those with a parochial education will have a greater appreciation for Mary Clare's struggles. Historical Fiction Christine Massey – JW Parker Middle School Flood, Nancy Bo. Warriors in the Crossfire. Honesdale, PA: Front Street, 2010. 978-1-59078-661-1. 142p. $17.95. Gr. 5-9. During World War II, the Pacific island of Saipan became a battle site between Japanese and American forces, leaving the island natives, as the title denotes, in the crossfire. In this heartrending story, twelve-year-old Joseph, who hopes to one day be a Samurai, leads his family to safety and helps them survive during the violent weeks of the invasion. A historical note following the narrative presents information and statistics regarding the number of people killed during battles on Saipan and other Pacific islands and recounts the tragic history of ―Suicide Cliff.‖ Historical Fiction Patricia Fischer - Edward Hand Middle School, Lancaster Flores-Galbis, Enrique. 90 Miles to Havana. New York: Roaring Brook, 2010. 978-1-596-43-168-3. 292 p. $17.99. Gr. 5-8. In an effort to keep their children safe from the dangerous political environment during the Cuban Revolution, Julian‘s parents send him and his older brothers to a refugee ―camp‖ in Miami as part of Operation Pedro Pan. Here the boys are victims of severe bullying as well as the loneliness of refugee children. Enrique Flores-Galbis draws on his boyhood experience of being evacuated from his

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homeland to offer a heartfelt and gripping story. Julian‘s increasing maturity help him to become a risk-taker and a responsible contributor in a dangerous rescue mission. Highly recommended. Historical fiction, Refugee Camps, Cuba Ro Becker – Springfield Township Middle School Frazier, Angie. Everlasting. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-545-11473-8. 329p. $17.99. Gr. 9-12. In 1855, when 17-year-old Camille sets sail with her father for one last voyage before her wedding, she expects that it will be a typical enjoyable voyage for her. What she doesn‘t expect is to get shipwrecked and lose her father, nor does she expect to find that in order to save her father‘s business, she must marry a man she doesn‘t love. Oscar, the young sailor who saves her life, is the only person she can depend upon. As Camille experiences many adventures, she finds her true love. This is an exciting adventure featuring a heroine who does not want to be constricted by the society of her time. Romance/Adventure/Historical Fiction Nancy Chrismer, Juniata High School Frazier, Angie. Everlasting. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-11473-8. $17.99. 329p. Gr. 9-12. Camille is a seventeen year old girl living in San Francisco in 1855with her father, a sailor. Because her mother is dead, she goes with her father on all of his excursions. Camille must marry a young bachelor she doesn‘t love and begin her life as a ―lady.‖ But first she is going on one last journey with her dad and his crew, including Oscar, her father‘s first mate, someone always on Camille‘s mind. Tragedy strikes on the sea when a storm kills her father and most of the crew, but not before Camille learns a terrible truth about a family secret and an ancient curse. Shipwrecked in Australia, Camille and Oscar set off to find a mother who may not be dead, search for a treasure that could save her father, and discover the truth about her family all while outrunning her father‘s ruthless business rival who has his eye on the same treasure. Combines adventure, romance and a hint of mysticism. Adventure Maureen B. – Abington Senior High Frazier, Angie. Everlasting. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-545-11473-8. 329p. $17.99. Gr. 7-12. In this combination historical fiction, romance, fantasy and adventure story, seventeen-year-old Camille sets out on one last voyage with her merchant seaman father before her marriage. Her father is killed during a storm at sea, and Camille discovers that her ―dearly departed‖ mother has actually been living in Australia. The race is on to get to Australia to recover a map that leads to a magical stone with mysterious powers before her father‘s unscrupulous business rival can get his hands on it. Along the way she discovers that, of course, she is in love with the hunky first mate of her father‘s ship and not her wealthy, upper class fiancé. A light-hearted read for teenage romantics. Adventure Patricia Fischer, Edward Hand Middle School, Lancaster Frederick, Heather Vogel. Pies & Prejudice. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2010. 978-1- 4169-74314. 378p. $15.99. Gr. 6-9. When Emma's family decides to move to England for a year, the mother-daughter book club decides to read Pride and Prejudice in honor of Mrs. Hawthorne's favorite author, Jane Austen. Vowing to hold their meetings via video conferencing, the group continues to discuss the story as the girls enter their freshman year. As with her other books, Vogel's narrative is laced with strong references to the characters from the classic the girls are reading. Cassidy's relationship with Tristan reflects Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy's struggle. In contrast to his brother's abrasive personality, Tristan's younger brother Simon makes the young girls swoon, very similar to Mr. Bingley. Even Mr. Collins's equivalent materializes in England, much to Emma's dismay. Filled with secrets, surprises, and even a new queen bee, the girls realize that discovering their own story is oftentimes a grand adventure. Realistic Fiction Christine Massey – JW Parker Middle School Friend, Natasha. For Keeps. New York: Viking, 2010. 978-0-670-01190-2. 267p. $16.99. Gr. 8+. Josie, a junior in high school, and her mother are more like best friends than mother and daughter. Josie‘s views on men and relationships reflect that her mother was pregnant with her at the age of seventeen and was left by her boyfriend, Paul Tucci, before Josie was even born. Josie‘s life gets turned upside down when her mother gets a serious boyfriend and her estranged father‘s parents move back to town. As she tries to adapt to her mother‘s new life style she learns more about what happened between her mother and father sixteen years ago. Mothers and Daughters Melissa Daugherty – Sharon-Middle High School Friesner, Esther. Sphinx’s Queen. New York: Random House, 2010. 978-0-375-85657-0. 352p. $17.99. Gr. 7-12. When young Nefertiti is falsely accused of crimes she did not commit, she escapes with her slave, Nava and the young prince Amenophis to go to Dendara to tell the Pharoah, who is married to her aunt, what really happened. The three survive life-threatening events on their journey, only to discover that Nefertiti‘s accuser, crown prince Thutmose, has arrived before her, and has the Pharoah convinced that she is truly guilty. Nefertiti is determined to prove her innocence with the help of the one who loves her, Amenophis, brother to Thutmose, and her loyal former slave, Nava, but is thwarted at every turn by her evil aunt who wants her to beg the Pharoah‘s forgiveness and marry Thutmose, whom Nefertiti hates. Justice triumphs in an interesting way, and the reader will be very satisfied with this book. Excellent historical fiction set in Egypt in the time of the Pharoahs. Historical Fiction Nancy Chrismer, Juniata High School Galante, Cecilia. The Sweetness of Salt. New York: Bloomsbury, 2010. 978- 1-599-90512-9. 320p. $11.55. Gr. 9-12. Julia is a valedictorian who is heading to law school. Her absent older sister surprises her with a graduation visit, and gives her a car and a key to her apartment as a gift. Overwhelmed, Julia is grateful but doesn't know how to respond since her sister has been 13


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consistently terrible to her entire family; she continues to be on Julia‘s graduation night, claiming it will be her last visit home forever. Julia tries to ignore the drama, but later asks her parents about a part of the conversation that her sister brought up. A huge family secret is revealed and Julia runs to her sister for answers. The answers are not easy and Julia recognizes that her sister is in a great deal of pain as a result of the secrets. She makes the decision to pass up a prestigious internship and instead stay with her sister and help her renovate a new house that she bought and is turning into a bakery. What was once a difficult relationship where neither sister really knew the other, love and understanding begins to develop. The complete family secret comes out in time and is very emotionally difficult on Julia's sister. While Julia's sister is finally giving the events the attention that she must to move on, she is also pushing Julia to question the future that she has chosen for herself. This story of love and forgiveness is a tearjerker that ranks with books by top YA authors such as Sarah Dessen. I am not sure why Cecilia Galante hasn't received greater attention for this title, but she deserves excellent reviews and wide readership. Realistic Fiction. Karen Hornberger- Palisades High School Gidwitz, Adam. A Tale Dark and Grimm. New York: Dutton, 2010. 978-0-525-42334-8. 256p. $16.99. Gr. 5-8 Hansel and Gretel‘s adventures expand beyond the witch‘s house in this tounge-in-cheek take on many of Grimm‘s fairy tales, including Faithful Johannes, The Seven Ravens, Brother and Sister, The Robber Bridegrom, and The Devil and his Three Golden Hairs. Gidwitz provides almost Monty Python-esque commentary—regarding Hansel and Gretel, he warns the reader: ―They show up. And then they get their heads cut off. Just thought you‘d like to know.‖— that will surely elicit giggles and gasps. At root, though, these re-tooled fairy tales have morals that will resonate with modern readers. Mary Fran Torpey—Friends’ Central School Giff, Patricia Reilly. Storyteller. New York: Wendy Lamb, 2010. 978-0-375-83888-0. 165p. $15.99. Gr. 6-12. A mysterious painting of a Revolutionary War ancestor sparks a lonely girl‘s interest in family. Chapters alternate between Elizabeth, from the twentieth century, and Zee, from the eighteenth century. Both girls have lost a parent, but Zee is also dealing with feuding neighbors and the pressures of war. Elizabeth‘s search for evidence of Zee helps her establish a relationship with her dead mother‘s relatives. The story shows great examples of everyday life for rural colonists during the Revolutionary War. Historical MoinaFreeston-Sandy Run Middle School Gill, David Macinnis. Black Hole Sun. New York: Green Willow Books, 2010. 978-0-06-167304-7. 340p. $16.99. Gr.8-12. Gill has created a very humorous, action-packed novel, set on Mars with Durango as the young Regulator who commands a team of mercenaries who risk their lives for meager pay because it is ―their duty‖ to protect. Along with Durango as the Chief is his loyal sidekick, Viene, who he has growing feelings for, and Mimi, whose brain waves are implanted in Durango to control the nanobots in his body and however many other regulators he hires for each job. The reader enjoys a novel full of action, humor, and what life is like in this futuristic dystopian novel. You will laugh out loud with the constant bickering and repartee between Durango and his crew. Science Fiction BJNeary – Abington Senior High School Gist, Deeanne. Maid to Match. Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 2010. 0764204084. 368p. $19.99. Gr. 8-12. This enjoyable romance story is set in the early days of the 20 th century in Asheville, N.C. at the famous Biltmore Estate. This is the story of Tillie, the head parlor maid at the Biltmore. Tillie has been raised to believe that her role in life is to obtain a high position in the Vanderbilt home. When she falls in love she must choose between her dream of being appointed Edith Vanderbilt‘s lady‘s maid and the man she loves. What contributes to a very entertaining read is the snapshot Gist provides of the lives of the 20 th century working class. Highly Recommended. Romance Nora S. Neumann – Outstanding Student Librarian Gleitzman, Morris. Once. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2010. 978-0-8050-9026-0. 176 p. $16.99. Gr. 6-9. Each chapter begins with the word, ―Once,‖ and continues a story of Felix‘s life that becomes more and more frightening as he comes to the realization of what is going on in Poland at the hands of the Nazis. He begins by finding a carrot, which he sees as a sign that his parents are coming to take him out of the orphange where he has been living for the past 3 plus years. Readers realize what the real circumstances are, that his parents are probably dead and that the orphanage is probably the safest place for Felix. But, predictably, he leaves the orphanage and sets out to find his parents. What he finds slowly causes him to lose his naïveté and begin to understand the Nazis‘ real intentions include the annihilation of the Jews. Historical Fiction Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Godbersen, Anna. Bright Young Things. New York: Harper, 2010. 978-0-06-196266-0. 389p. $15.29. Gr. 10+. The glamour and glitz of 1929 New York City is too tempting for best friends, Letty and Cordelia. The two leave their small town in Ohio, with Letty chasing dreams of becoming a famous singer and Cordelia hoping to find her estranged father, a famous, wealthy bootlegger named Darius Grey. After a falling out, the two are off to chase their dreams alone. Letty discovers that making it in New York is a lot harder than she anticipated, while Cordelia is thrust into a high society life with Astrid, an upper class party girl, as her guide. Late night clubs, fancy dresses, handsome men, and an unspeakable tragedy teach the two that sophistication does not equal class or kindness and not to trust the smooth words of strangers. Romance, Prohibition Historical. Melissa Daugherty – Sharon-Middle High School Gosselink, John. The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter. New York: Amulet Books, 2010. 978-0-8109-8977-1. 231pp. $14.95. Gr. 4-6. An unfortunate series of events has landed Thaddeus in in-school suspension for the remainder of the school year. With the help of his uncle, an attorney, he builds his defense case. Told through emails, confidential student file sheets, journal entries 14


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and fun facts, Thaddeus explains the reasons and extenuating circumstances surrounding each incident. To his consternation, Principal Cooper stands by his decision. Good intentions on behalf of this defendant are misunderstood due to his egocentric and narcissistic nature, but readers will enjoy his refreshing honesty and his passion to achieve justice. Humorous Christine Massey – JW Parker Middle School Gosselink, John. The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter. New York: Amulet, 2010. 978-0-8109-8977-1. 231p. $14.95. Gr. 5-8. As punishment for the unauthorized safety drill he staged at his school, seventh grader Thaddeus Ledbetter has landed an in-school suspension for the rest of the school year. Instead of catching up on schoolwork, Thaddeus uses his time to build a defense for the transgression he has committed at Crooked Creek Middle School. Readers will be entertained by Thaddeus‘ self proclaimed intellectual superiority, his self-centered attitude, and his relentless pestering of the school principal. Told in letters, memos, journal entries, and school forms, this book‘s notebook format that include graphics and cartoons will appeal to fans who have outgrown the Wimpy Kid series. Recommended.Humor, School behavior Ro Becker – Springfield Township Middle School Grant, Helen. The Vanishing of Katharina Linden. New York: Bantam, 2011. 978-0-3853-4418-0. 320 p. $24.00. Gr. 9Adult. Pia‘s grandmother spontaneously combusting is only the beginning of her troubles. And Katharina Linden is only the first of the young girls to go missing from Bad Münstereifel. Pia, and outcast Stink Stefan set out to solve the mystery, fueled by Herr Schiller‘s stories of the supernatural. An evil twist precipitates a truly scary ending. Not for younger readers, but satisying and engaging for older ones. A 2011 Alex Award winner. A delightful horror story. Science Fiction Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Grant, Katy. Hide and Seek. Atlanta: Peachtree, 2010. 978-1-56145-542-3. 240 p. $15.95. Gr. 5-8. WE NE.‖ ―WE NEED FOOD‖. Fourteen-year-old Chase finds more that the usual items when he goes geocaching. He discovers two little boys who are in need of help. He further discovers that the boys were abducted a year ago when he visits a missing children website. Should he go to his parents or not? His decision results in Chase becoming more self reliant although not always using his best judgment. He trails the boys and their dad through some tough terrain in the Arizona Hills. This is a book of self discovery. Chase really weighs all his decisions carefully. It is interesting that with all the messages of family and trust, that Grant also makes a big point of trusting in yourself. Family life; Kidnapping; Survival Jeannie Bellavance Gray, Keith. Ostrich Boys. NY: Random House, 2010. 978-0375858437. 295p. $17.99. Gr. 8+. Initially the fifteen year olds, Blake, Sim and Kenny, want to get revenge against all the people who hurt their dead friend Ross, but Blake comes up with a better plan. He suggests that they steal Ross‘ ashes and take them on a road trip. Ross had always talked of going to visit Ross, Scotland. So off the boys go. Imagine that things can and do go wrong on this adventure but the boys grow closer in this coming-of age tale. Coming-of-Age, Adventure, Humor, Friendship, Loyalty. Sandra Krieg – The Haverford School Green, John & David Levithan. Will Grayson, Will Grayson. New York: Dutton, 2010. 978-0-525-42158-0. 310p. $17.99. Gr. 9+ This fantastic book is about two teenage boys with the same name, Will Grayson. They end up meeting at the weirdest place in Chicago. The first, Will we meet is the son of wealthy, physician parents .Will is friends with Tiny and has been since elementary school. Tiny‘s name is an oxymoron; he is a huge football player who stands a foot taller than everyone else. Tiny is also an amateur, musical director; he wrote a play about life in high school. We then meet the second Will Grayson, the son of a single mother who has no contact with his father. This Will Grayson is struggling with his sexuality. The two Will Graysons find their lives overlapping in a wild, series of events. Friendship, Family, Homosexuality. Jill Toye – Jenkintown Middle/High School Green, Tim. Rivals. NY: HarperCollins, 2010. 978-0061626920. 261p. $16.99. Gr. 5-8. Josh LeBlanc and his team, the Syracuse Titans, are one game away from winning their division and heading to Cooperstown to play in the Little League championship. At Cooperstown, Josh begins to notice some strange things happening. Tim Green knows what appeals to boys: action, friends‘ loyalty, mystery, and some intrigue and Rivals includes them all. Sports, Mystery, Friendship, Rivalry. Sandra Krieg – The Haverford School Greenwald, Lisa. My Life in Pink & Green. New York: Amulet, 2010. 978-0-8109-8984-9. 288p. $6.95. Gr.4-7. Lucy works at her family‘s struggling drugstore with her mother and grandmother. Lucy is also involved with the earth club at her school, which gets her to thinking about an eco-friendly spa at the drugstore. She is a typical teen who feels that adults just do not listen to teenagers. Lucy is a spunky 7th grader who will keep you turning the pages of this book. Family-life. Jill Toye -Jenkintown Middle/High School Greenwald, Lisa. Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes. New York: Amulet Books, 2010. 978-0-8109-8990-0. 304p. $16.95. Gr. 5-8. Most kids would be thrilled with an unexpected snow day, but Kate, Georgia, and Olivia are devastated that it occurs on Valentine's Day. They are called to Chen's, a Chinese restaurant, to help Georgia's mom bake homemade fortune cookies. Olivia forms a plan to distribute the cookies that she believes hold a little magic inside to the other tenants in their apartment building, hopefully to help develop a sense of community and kindle the romantic spark of Valentine's Day. The girls are struggling with their own underlying secrets and tensions, which threaten to escalate into a full-blown fight before the day is over. With secret crushes, boy crazy seventh 15


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graders, and the drama of teen life, Lisa Greenwald has written a delightful indulgence on friendship and love that mothers and daughters will both enjoy reading. Realistic Christine Massey – JW Parker Middle School Greenwald, Lisa. Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes. New York: Amulet, 2010. 978-0-8109-8990-0. 304p. $16.95. Gr. 5-7. When their Valentine‘s Day plans are canceled because of a snowstorm, three best friends, Olivia, Kate, and Georgia decide to bake fortune cookies and hand them out to their neighbors. The girls have a big fight along the way, which eventually brings them closer. Although this book is predictable, a lot of girls will be able to relate to Olivia, Kate, and Georgia and their experiences. Realistic Fiction, Friendship. Lexi P., Springfield Township Middle School Griffin, Adele. The Julian Game. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2010. 978-0-399-25460-4. 200p. $16.99. Gr.10-12. The Julian Game is a page turner full of irresistible high school drama. Raye is a sweet, smart and vulnerable high school student who just wants to be accepted by the popular crowd. When Ella, the ‗it‘ girl befriends Raye, a few poor decisions put her in over her head and longing for her old, boring, studious life. Raye learns the hard way about true friends vs. fake friends and how social media websites can create a whirlwind of trouble. This book has many powerful messages about twofaced friends, the desire for revenge and the damage of bullying. Bullies Lauren O. – Abington Senior High Grimes, Nikki. Dark Sons. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010. 978- 0-310-72145-1. 192p. $8.99. Gr. 7-10. This little book that appears basic is actually quite moving and inspirational. The book alternates between the story of Ishmael in the Bible and present day Sam. Nikki Grimes begins by presenting Ishmael's struggles as he and his mother are literally sent homeless into the desert by his father. Ishmael's story is then contrasted with Sam's similar story of the loss of his father to another marriage and son in subsequent chapters. Both boys are feeling lost, angry, and abandoned, however, both find strength and sustenance through God. This novel is written in verse and is flowing with human nature and emotion which is so evidently timeless, themes of religion, betrayal, and survival, and laden with symbolism. The timeless human message is an important one - it is rare that we can so easily identify with stories from so long ago. Nikki Grimes really targeted the human aspect of both characters and just as it doesn't matter how long ago Ishmael lived to identify with his story, it also won't matter in twenty years that Sam was "modern day" once the book ages. I also really loved the message of faith that the story gave, while it‘s faith that is based upon religion, it can easily be something that a person of another religious faith can identify with - the identification that while both boys were lost, they were taken care of and able to find it in their hearts to forgive deep betrayals. Please note: this is a reprinted title, originally published in 2005. Faith. Karen Hornberger- Palisades High School Grisham, John. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer. New York: Dutton, 2010. 978-0-525-42384-3. 263p. $16.99. Gr. 6-8. John Grisham ably takes on the challenge of writing a mystery for middle school readers. Theodore, 13, may not be a lawyer, but he knows enough to give advice to his friends. He loves to hang around the courtroom and watch Perry Mason reruns. (His parents are both lawyers.) There is a huge murder trial in which the defendant may walk due to lack of evidence. Theodore learns in strictest confidence that there is an eyewitness after all, but he is an illegal alien. How can Theodore come forth without compromising his ―client?‖ There is some resolution but you know there will be a sequel as the trial is unresolved. Grisham uses this mystery adventure to teach about the reality of litigation and courtroom procedure. Trials; lawyers; immigrants Jeannie Bellavance Gutman, Dan. Talent Show. New York: Simon & Shuster, 2010. 978-1-4169-9003-1. 211p. $15.99. Gr. 5-7. A town in Missouri has been flattened by a tornado, and the people of the town decide to put on a talent show to raise money and the spirits of the townspeople. The story follows many characters and their preparations to perform in the show. Surprises await both the audience and the performers when the big night arrives. Another tornado adds much excitement. The talent show changes many characters lives. Though not completely realistic, this is a worthy purchase for your Gutman fans. Toni Vahlsing, Abington Friends School Haber, Melissa Glenn. Dear Anjali. New York: Aladdin, 2010. 978-1-4169-9599-9. 282p. $16.99. Gr 5-8. Thirteen-year-old Meredith has just lost her best friend, Anjali, very unexpectedly. She turns to writing to Anjali as a way to process all that has happened as she attempts to deal with her confusion, anger, and sadness. Much of her correspondence is typed on an old typewriter and includes typos which might prove distracting to some readers. Most of her letters center on Noah Spivack, a boy that she has had a crush on for several years. As Meredith mourns Anjali, she finds out a great deal that she did not know about the girl she felt she knew so well. At the same time, she also learns a great deal about herself. This book is a moving tribute to friendship, the struggles that we have as we grow up, and finding our way after a great loss. As Meredith says "sometimes I think we're not remembering the real her only the her we want to remember." Helen Prichett, Library intern- Abington Friends School Haig, Matt. The Radleys. New York: Free Press, 2010. 978-1-43919401. 365p. $25.00. Gr.9+. The Radleys try to lead a normal suburban life, but soon their children, beginning with daughter Clara, realizes they are all vampires. After that some serious adjustments are required. This book adds some fresh and appealing humanity to the vampire fiction genre. Fiction. Erica Thickman Miller, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.

16


PSLA TITLES FOR 2010

FICTION

Hammerslough, Nancy. Almost Lost, Nearly Found: A Novel of Sisters and Secrets. Weston, CT: Brown Barn Books, 2010. 978-0-9798824-2-5. 229p. $9.95. Gr. 10-12. We learn about sisters, Peggy and Janice Rubinson, from their musings and diary entries as they grow up in the Midwest after World War II. Peggy is an imp while Janice is the older, obedient, beautiful daughter who finds it difficult to do her parents bidding. Janice is raped, ends up pregnant and leaves for college. Janice has an abortion, changes her name, and strikes out on her own before she becomes ill and returns home. A rewarding read about two sisters and their coming of age in a world with defined class constrictions. May be too mature for middle school/junior high. Sisters. Trish P. Abington Senior High Hautman, Pete. Blank Confession. New York: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2010. 978-141-691-3276. 176 p. $16.99. Gr. 8-11. Who is Shane Blank? Not until the middle of this multi-layered story of friendship and bullying, does the reader begin to ask, and all is not as it seems on the surface. The story moves back and forth, from the interrogation room and an uneasy policeman, to Mikey, a undersized high school student who is befriended by the mysterious Shane Blank. A drug dealer, his ―shadows‖ and girlfriend (who is Mikey‘s older sister), and the rooftop of a condo all collide in an ending that seems predictable, yet still manages to confound the reader. As with Invisible, readers will know that there is something not quite right about the altruistic Shane, but they will have to wait until the end to really find out who and what he is. Realistic Fiction Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Hemphill, Stephanie. Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. 987-0-06-185329-6. 408p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. Wicked Girls is a fictional narrative which revisits the young girls of Arthur Miller‘sThe Crucible. Mercy Lewis, Ann Putnam, and Margaret Walcott all express their deepest emotional struggles as they accuse their neighbors of witchcraft. Stephanie Hemphill‘s poetry is so powerful; the reader may second guess if the text is fiction. Hemphill includes theories to explain the group‘s motivations, and the power that was given to them as young women in the 1600‘s. A central theme throughout the book parallels a modern day ―mean girl‖ clique dynamic. .Historical. Jennifer Stern – Arcadia University Library Student Hemphill, Stephanie. Wicked Girls. New York: Balzer + Bray, 2010. 978-0-06-185329-6. 416 p. $16.99. Gr. 7-12. Hemphill, author of Your Own, Sylvia, once again presents a compelling novel in verse. Based on real characters, with some invented, and some name changes, this novel explores peer pressure and the involvement of a number of girls in the Salem Witch Trials. In alternating voices, each girl tells of her part as one of the ―afflicted girls‖ who sent 19 people to the gallows in 1692. An excellent novel, raw evocative poetry, and an intimate look at what can happen when small lies snowball. Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Holm, Jennifer. Turtle in Paradise. New York: Random House, 2010. 978-0-375-83688-6. 191p. $16.99. Gr. 5-8. As the housekeeper‘s daughter, eleven-year-old Turtle has never had it easy. But life is difficult for most everyone in 1935. When Turtle is sent to the Florida Keys to live with family, she doesn‘t expect much. She finds an economically strapped town full of family and history that give her the sense of belonging she never had. Her discoveries include pirate‘s treasure, people she can relate to, a grandmother she thought was dead, and possibly her father. When her mother and new step-father come to take her to a new life, her step father runs off with Turtle‘s money. Turtle and her mother decide to stay in Key West. Life isn‘t easy, but it‘s much more enjoyable with family. Newbery Honor book. Historical Michelle Stone-Sandy Run Middle School Hopkins, Ellen. Fallout. New York: Margaret K. McElderry, 2010. 978-1-416-95009-7. 655p. $18.99. Gr10-12. The stories of Autumn, Hunter and Summer, Kristina's three oldest children, are provoking, harsh, and sad. We see their childhoods from their point of view, and we feel their pain, their joy, and their ties, to a mother they don't really see or know. Hopkins tells us (shows us) how their mother's meth addiction fuels their dysfunction, how they are predisposed to alcohol, anger, anxiety---all because of the woman who brought them into the world. But this book holds out hope that these teens are strong, working against the odds to make their worlds a better place with each other, even including and accepting their mother, KristinaBree with all of her shortcomings. Addictions BJ Neary – Abington Senior High Hopkins, Ellen. Tricks. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2009. 978- 1-416-95007-3. 627p. $18.99. Gr. 9-12. In an author's note, Ellen Hopkins states, "Did you know that the average age of a teenage prostitute in the United States is twelve years old?" In an effort to explore how this devastating statistic has come to be, Ellen Hopkins fictionalizes the lives of five teens that ultimately end up prostituting themselves. Hopkins sets the background for their lives effectively, allowing the reader to easily sympathize with each character. It is how Hopkins humanizes situations that are so easily condemnable that make her consistently strong as an author. All five situations are believable and extremely sad; however, once their stories turned to prostitution, the novel became very difficult to read. I found myself overwhelmed by the situations and, as a result, skimming in areas because Hopkins' other trademark is not to shy away from graphic details. In the end, I'm glad that Hopkins approached another disturbing topic in order to raise awareness. For mature high school readers only. Realistic Fiction. Karen Hornberger- Palisades High School

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PSLA TITLES FOR 2010

FICTION

Horniman, Joanne. My Candlelight Novel. Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Allen &Unwin, 2010. 9781741754858. 185p. $8.99. Gr. 11-12. Sophie is a single mother living in Australia trying to survive. She lives with a lady who befriended her and is helping Sophie get on her feet. Sophie has many challenges, and is trying to find her place in the world, as well as how to be a good mom to her baby daughter. She finds love and rejection, as well as satisfaction and heartache, as she faces tough situations, including a catastrophic flood and the death of someone close to her. There are some mature situations in this novel. Teen/Realistic Fiction Nancy Chrismer, Juniata High School Hughes, Dean. Missing in Action. New York: Atheneum Books, 2010. 978-1-41691-502-7. 228p. $16.99. Gr. 6-9. Linda, the main character, is characterized by a special trait, the ability to physically taste each word as we watch her navigate a difficult experience growing up in a challenging family. While at first, this trait was problematic to grasp, it did actually prove to be an interesting parallel to each encounter that shaped Linda‘s unique life. In addition, to many of the traditional stories and experiences that many coming of age stories relate, there is also an element of mystery that really holds the readers‘ interest and makes it a compelling read. Family life BJ Neary – Abington Senior High School Hyde, Catherine Ryan. Jumpstart the World. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. 978-0-375-86665-4. 186p. $16.99. Gr. 10-12. Elle‘s world changes when at age 15, her mother makes her live alone in an apartment in NewYork City, because the new man in her mother‘s life doesn‘t want Elle around. Always a loner, Elle now knows what true loneliness is, until she befriends a couple in the apartment next door, and makes friends with a few people at school. Elle inexplicably finds herself very attracted to the neighbor, Frank, but her world tilts once again when she finds out Frank‘s big secret. Only when a tragedy happens does Elle realize how she truly wants to relate to Frank, and to the rest of the world. This is an excellent novel that deals with current-day issues. Realistic Fiction/Coming-of- age Nancy Chrismer, Juniata High School Jacobs, Jenny. Cold Hands, Warm Hearts. New York: Avalon Books, 2010. 978-0-8034-7775-9. 185p. $23.95. Gr. 9-12. When Char Simmons takes her daughter to a cabin in northern Minnesota to recover from brain surgery, she does not expect to be followed by her ex-husband‘s misdeeds. Nor does she expect to find an attractive, on-leave-from-his-job cop taking care of the house next door, especially one who might be investigating her. When Char and Max are forced to work together, they find out things about themselves and each other that lead to some surprises as well as a happy ending. Romance Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School Jaden, Denise. Losing Faith. New York: Simon Pulse, 2010. 978-1-4169-9609-5. 381p. $9.99. Gr. 9-12. This terrific first novel by Denise Jaden deals with real life issues of death, suicide, religious fanaticism, cults, cliques, family drama, and life as a high school student. Although the book deals with religion it does so in a way that is not preachy and gives a comprehensive view of what it means to be a person of faith in modern times. The main character Brie is dealing with the loss of her sister and people at school are not sure how to interact with her after the family‘s tragedy. This draws her away from her clique and introduces new characters to the story. Brie and her new Goth friend Tessa find clues that lead her to believe her sister‘s death was not an accident as she uncovers a link between Faith‘s death and a religious cult. I would highly recommend this book for students interested in contemporary fiction and coming of age stories. Young Adult Robin Burns – Whitehall High School James, Rebecca. Beautiful Malice. New York: Bantam, 2010. 978-055-380-8056. 272 p. $25.00. Gr.9-12. Katherine and her family need to move on after the events surrounding the death of her younger sister. Her friendship with the mercurial Alice, and the ―love-at-first-sight‖ relationship between Katherine and Mick, seem to help her come to grips with her loss, but this tale takes a frightening twist that will keep; readers on the edge of their seats. Realistic Fiction Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Jocelyn, Marthe. Folly. New York: Wendy Lamb Books, 2010. 978-0-385-73846-0. 249p. $15.99. Gr. 8-12. In a compelling narrative that combines three strands of the same story, this book is a great read. Set in Victorian London, it tells the story of Mary Finn, a housemaid who gets into trouble, Cayden Tucker, a charmer who causes many problems, and James Nelligan, who is in an orphanage at age six. Through many troubles, Mary is able to eventually pull herself up, as does James in his own way a few years later. Their intertwined lives give this story an unexpected extra layer. Historical Fiction Nancy Chrismer, Juniata High School John, Anthony. Five Flavors of Dumb. New York: Dial Books , 2010. 978-0-8037-3433-3. 338p. $16.99. Gr 8-10. Piper Vaughan seems to have nothing going right in her life. She is severely deaf, her best and only friend, has moved away, her parents have spent her college tuition money on an expensive operation for her baby sister so Piper doesn't know if she will be able to go to college the following year, her father lost his job. She also takes on the job of manager of an unlikely set of teenagers who start a band called "Dumb." We see Piper grow into a take-charge young woman who turns everyone's life around for the better. She discovers that everyone has positive and negative aspects of their lives and that you have to take the time to truly see who a person is to really know them. She stands up for what is right even if it isn't easy. It is a well written story with likeable characters and it finishes with happy endings for all. I really enjoyed this book. Rock Groups Marianne D. – Abington Senior High School

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PSLA TITLES FOR 2010

FICTION

Johnson, Christine. Clair de Lune. New York: Simon Pulse, 2010. 978-1-4169-9182-3. 352p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. Claire de Lune finds out when she turns sixteen years old that she belongs to a pack of ancient female werewolves. There is an evil wolf she must overcome, save her mother and her pack, and keep the boy she has fallen in love with. This author‘s debut novel was excellently written, kept me on the edge of my seat, turning the pages and will appeal to readers of Shiver and the Mortal Instruments! Werewolves Alexis T.- Abington Senior High School Katcher, Brian. Almost Perfect. New York: Delacorte Press, 2010. 978-0-385-73664-0. 360p. $17.99. Gr. 9-12. Logan Witherspoon is devastated when he finds out his girlfriend has cheated on him and he continues to mope around until he notices a new girl in school. As he becomes a good friend to Sage, Logan realizes he is falling for her as well. But it is at their first kiss that Sage confesses to Logan that she is a boy. Logan breaks all contact with Sage, but when they reunite Sage tells him how important it is to her that she be loved unconditionally. As Logan tries to make things work with Sage, she changes schools because she has been jumped recently. What teens will really enjoy is all the characters reactions, feelings, drama and the reality that life doesn‘t always give you happy endings. Dating Sean Lawrence, Abington Senior High School Kendal, Anna. Crossing Over. New York: Viking, 2010. 9778-0-670-01246-6. 370p. $17.99. Gr. 8-11. Crossing Over is a coming – of- age story, in which a fourteen-year-old boy struggles with his gifts. Roger‘s gift allows him to cross over from the land of the living into the land of the dead. His pain becomes a tool in his struggle to understand love, greed, and his world. Gothic Fantasy. Jennifer Stern – Arcadia University Library Student Kerz, Anna. The Gnome’s Eye. Victoria, BC: Orca, 2010. 978-1-55469-195-1. 224p. $9.95. Grades 5-8. The novel tells in first person the experiences of a pre-teen girl, Theresa, whose parents were in an Austrian refugee camp after World War II and then immigrated to Canada. Details in the settings, personalities, events, and feelings contribute to the reality of the story whose author, a retired teacher, immigrated to Canada in the 1950s. The novel is a reminder that immigration is a courageous act for both parents and children and that resettlement in a country with an unknown language presents many challenges. Theresa struggles with school and strict rules at home, adapts, and overcomes her fears with the help of her made-up stories and a departing gift from a friend in Austria ~ the gnome‘s eye that is to supposed to protect her from evil wherever she goes. Immigrants/World War II/Canada Eleanor Howe, Pine-Richland HS, retired King, A.S. Please Ignore Vera Dietz. New York: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2010. 978-0-3758-6586-2. 336p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. Vera has always been told by her father to ignore other people's problems, like the fact that her best friend and next-door neighbor, Charlie, has a father who beats up his mother constantly. On the other hand, in school, Vera wants to be invisible to her classmates since her mother left them for a shoe salesman and used to be a stripper; Vera wants no one to know this. But Vera is a nice girl, a good student, and is being raised by her dad. She is a little naive about some things such as going out, drinking, and kissing James, who is 23 years old while Vera is only 18 years old. She is missing Charlie, who has died, and she keeps seeing a thousand Charlie‘s bugging her to tell the truth about the night Charlie died. She is also working like crazy as a pizza delivery girl, volunteering at an animal shelter, and secretly in love with and hating Charlie. Even though they grew up together as best friends, Vera knew Charlie was a restless guy, who smoked too much and lived in a tree house during the summers to escape his dysfunctional family. In addition there is alcoholism in Vera‘s genes and since she has some bad things happen to her when she‘s been drinking, she knows what her father says is true. Ultimately, Vera decides to change her destiny, help her dead friend clear his name, and live life not ignoring things, even if it hurts. You really feel Vera's depression, pain, and agony at ignoring ―things‖. Vera is a strong teen protagonist who grows from her heartache and learns to handle things head-on and with pluck. Death BJ Neary- Abington Senior High School Kirby, Matthew. The Clockwork Three. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-545-20337-1. 391p. $17.99. Gr. 5-8. Since her father's accident, Hannah has struggled to support her family. She sacrifices her education so she can work in a luxurious hotel as a maid. Frederick has fortunately secured an apprenticeship with Master Branch, who treats him much like a son, yet he cannot let go of the past or learn to trust anyone. Giuseppe lives on the street playing his violin for money only to give each day's earnings to a cruel, heartless padrone. In his debut novel, Kirby joins these three astonishing young characters, connecting their lives through mystery and secret. In order to achieve their separate goals, they must come together and learn to trust each other. The reader joins the journey along with the characters as they discover the strengths and limits of true friendship. Historical Fiction Christine Massey – JW Parker Middle School Kramon, Justin. Finny. New York: Random House, 2010. 978-0-8129-8023-3. $15.00. 366p. Gr. 10-12. While this is an easy read, it is filled with a lot of messages and lessons that exist on a much deeper level than the book initially suggests. It is a story about a lovable character that we follow through her childhood. This includes her initial running away from home and spans the next twenty years of her life. This book is evidence that a person never really grows up and that growing up is a process that follows you throughout your entire life. I really enjoyed this book! Teenagers BJ Neary – Abington Senior High School

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PSLA TITLES FOR 2010

FICTION

Kwok, Jean. Girl in Translation. New York: Riverhead Books, 2010. 978-1-59448-756-9. 293p. $25.95. Gr. 9+. At the age of eleven, Kimberly emigrates with her mother from Hong Kong to Brooklyn, New York. With enormous pressures to fit in at school, perform well in classes, and help her mother at the sweatshop, Kimberly‘s translation into a young American woman does not happen without tears, pain, and hardship. This new author, a Hong Kong emigrant herself, tells a powerful coming-of-age story with an emotional and unexpected ending. This stirring novel is very deserving of ALA‘s Alex Award. Immigrants/Coming of Age Mary Schwander - New Hope-Solebury High School Lagos, Alexander and Joseph Lagos. The Sons of Liberty. NY: Random House, 2010. 978-0375856679. Unpaged. $12.99. Gr. 5+. This fast-paced adventure follows two runaway slaves, Graham and Brody, as they set out to find abolitionist Benjamin Lay but instead meet up with Ben Franklin. The boys are turned into super-heros and the adventure begins as they learn African martial arts. This look at the Pre-Revolution America will capture the student‘s interest. It will be motivational for my sixth grade students as the illustrations really capture the boys‘ interest. Historical Fiction John Suter, History Teacher, The Haverford School Landon, Kristen. The Limit. New York: Aladdin, 2010. 987-1-4424-0271-3. 304p. $17.99. Gr. 5-8. This sci-fi book seems appropriate in light of the economic problems that have plagued many people in this recession. Taking things to a more drastic level, the government monitors the debt limit of families. If a family goes over, one of their children (usually the first born) are sent to special workhouses to help pay off the debt. Thirteen year-old Matt is taken from his family and ends up on the ―Top Floor‖ of one of the workhouses. Life seems good – school, games, entertainment but it just doesn‘t feel right. He hacks into the system and finds some disturbing evidence. The children on the top floor are the elite and together they uncover scandal, brainwashing and just plain cruelty. There‘s good adventure that doesn‘t turn out as neatly as one might think, but the book does make the reader think! Conspiracies/Science Fiction/Financial Responsibility Jeannie Bellavance Lazar, Carole. Lucy Unstrung. Canada: Tundra Books, 2010. 978-0-8876-963-4. 236p. $14.99. Gr. 6-8. Thirteen-year old Lucy has to leave the only house and school she knows and move across town because her mother wants a different life. Lucy‘s mother feels as though she missed out in life because she had Lucy when she was fifteen years old. Lucy misses her best friend terribly, but finds solace in a little dog, which happens to be named Lucy too. Lucy relies heavily on her Catholicism to get through her life. This is a sweet book that will appeal to young girls. Family/ Catholic. Jill Toye- Jenkintown Middle/High School Leader, Jessica. Nice and Mean. New York: Aladdin Mix, 2010. 978-1-4169-9160-1. 261p. $6.99. Gr. 5-8. Middle school girls will love this quick read about the in crowd and the out crowd. The chapters alternate between the ―good girls‖ and ―bad girls‖, Marina and Sachi, as they work with each other on a video club project. The story centers on the girls fashion video, which get both girls into trouble for very different reasons. The two girls find out they have more in common than they originally thought and become friends. The characters are complex and it makes each page enjoyable and will keep readers engaged until the last page. Realistic Fiction Robin Burns – Whitehall High School Leck, James. The Adventures of JACK LIME. Tonwanda, NY: Kids Can Press, 2010. 978-1554533640. 126p. $16.95. Gr. 6-8. ―Detective, private eye, gymshoe,‖ Jack Lime is a high school student who ―fixes problems for people who need their problems fixed.‖ This old fashioned ‗just the facts‘ mystery is a quick and fun read. Jack, new to the school, starts helping solve other students‘ problems and along the way he makes friends and gets into some interesting situations. While the writing is more suited for middle school students, this slim volume could easily be given to high schoolers, especially reluctant readers. Mystery San dra Krieg – The Haverford School Levy, Andrea. The Long Song. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010. 978- 0-374-19217-4. 313p. $26.00. Gr. 11-12. Set during slavery times in Jamaica The Long Song is the story of July, a girl who has been taken from her mother at age nine to live in the big house with the task of attending one of the mistresses of the house. Initially, July runs away in an attempt to find her mother but never succeeds. After she is told that her mother has been sold, July succumbs to the world she must live in and life is relatively stable and without fear. Uprisings on nearby plantations happen which change July's life. Eventually a new overseer comes to the plantation and begins a relationship with both July and her mistress. Approximately one half of the novel is dedicated to this period of post-uprising and it is VERY interesting reading. Jamaican Slavery Karen Hornberger- Palisades High School School Little, Kimberley Griffiths. The Healing Spell. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-545-16559-4. 354p. $17.99. Gr. 7-12. Kimberley Griffiths Little‘s book The Healing Spell is about an eleven year old girl who believes that she is responsible for her mother‘s coma. She makes it her mission to ―wake up‖ her mother. She feels like everyone hates her, including her mother, and this makes her life very challenging. This book was captivating. Little did a great job keeping the story moving by continuously adding information and building the story until questions began to be answered for the characters as well as for the reader. She is not a predictable writer. The ending was not at all what I expected and was well written. I finished this book with a very peaceful feeling toward all of the characters, even the antagonists. Guilt Jodi H. – Abington Senior High 20


PSLA TITLES FOR 2010

FICTION

Lord, Cynthia. Touch Blue. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-545-03531-6. 186p. $16.99. Gr. 4-7. The State of Maine has threatened to close the school on Tess's island home due to a decrease in student population. As a result, Tess and her sister would have to move and attend a large school on the mainland; and their mother would lose her job. Reverend Beal steps in and formulates a plan in which a number of families volunteer to care for foster children. Now everyone prospers because the school will remain open and children in need of a loving family will find wonderful homes. The plan looks like it might work until 13-year-old Aaron, who is currently staying with Tess's family, learns of the town's true intentions. Now he feels more isolated than ever. Tess and her father are persistent, though, and spending time with them on the water in their boat helps Aaron confront his fears. The author‘s honest narration helps the reader connect to the nautical community and share in Tess's hopefulness. Realistic Fiction Christine Massey – JW Parker Middle Lord, Cynthia. Touch Blue. New York: Scholastic, 2010. 978-0-545-03531-6. 186p. $16.99. Gr. 5-8. ―Touch blue and your wish will come true‖ is one of many superstitions eleven-year-old Tess believes. She lives with her parents and little sister on a small island off the coast of Maine. When a few island families decide to take in foster children in order to the keep the school open, 13 year-old Aaron comes to live with Tess‘s family. This is Aaron‘s third foster home, so Tess is determined to make it work, despite the local bully‘s torment and Aaron‘s reluctance. When Tess discovers that Aaron is planning to run away, she deters him by inviting his mother to attend the talent show. When she is discovered, the foster arrangement is threatened. But Aaron comes to a painful realization and finally finds happiness with the family. Tess learns that it‘s not luck that brings good things, but hard work. Realistic. Michelle Stone - Sandy Run Middle School Lottridge, Celia Barker. Home Is Beyond the Mountains. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2010. 978-0-88899-932-0. 224p. $18.95. Gr. 7-12. This amazing book is based on the true story of Persian orphans who were forced to walk hundreds of miles to safety at the end of World War I. Told through the eyes of nine-year-old Samira, the story shows what the children went through when their parents were killed or missing and they had to walk from one orphanage to another to find safety before they were finally able to return home years later. It is a fascinating and compelling read, one that has many parallels with events happening in today‘s world. Realistic Fiction Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School Lottridge, Celia Barker. Home Is Beyond the Mountains. Berkeley: Groundwood Books, 2010. 978-0-88899-932-0. 224p. $18.95. Gr. 9-12. With the Turks impending invasion, the very young Samira and her family leave their home in Persia fora perilous journey in the hopes of finding refuge with the British Army. After the loss of her baby sister and mother, and being separated from her older brother and father, Samira finds safety in an orphanage where she makes friends and is reunited with her brother. It is with her brother and her newfound family of friends that Samira will travel a tough journey beyond the mountains and make her way home. Based on a true story, a young adult can empathize with the suffering and joy experience by the main character. Realistic Fiction Lisa Morein - Charter HS for Architecture+Design Lowell, Pamela. Spotting for Nellie. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish, 2010. 978-0-7614-5583-7. 296p. $16.99. Gr. 7+. As with any junior in high school, Claire is torn between the desire to seem cool among her peers and the desire to be seen as responsible and reliable by her parents. Younger sister, Nellie, a freshman, wants desperately to be accepted by her sister. This book tells the story of the tie that binds two sisters and how one unfortunate decision affected their lives. It is written for a mature audience, as it relays events involving drugs, alcohol, and hints of sexual activity. This is a very intriguing book that is sure to be a page-turner for any older middle school student. Realistic Fiction Mary Evans, Springfield Township Middle School Lupica, Mike. Hero. NY: Philomel, 2010. 978-0399252839. 289 p. $17.99. Gr. 6-10. Mike Lupica, known for his YA sports books, ventures into the world of adventure and fantasy. Fourteen-year-old Billy Harriman‘s father works for the President of the United States and often goes on secret missions. Billy‘s father is killed on his last mission and suddenly strange things are happening around him. Shadowy figures are attacking him and he manages to fend them off, a strange wizard type man appears and tells Billy that he has super powers, as his Dad had, and his Uncle John is acting strangely. After reading this, your students will be clamoring for a sequel. Adventure/Fantasy, Family Sandra Krieg – The Haverford School Lupica, Mike, Hero. New York: Philomel, 2010. 978-0-399-25283-9. 289p. $17.99. Gr. 6-9. Zach Harriman was your typical average 14-year-old boy. Then one day his father‘s plane mysteriously crashes, and Zach finds out that he has powers of a superhero. Zach needs to decide what to do with his powers, whether to use them for good or bad. I would recommend this action-packed fantasy fiction book to middle school kids who like an exciting page turner. Adventure Fiction, Heroes Luke Z., Springfield Township Middle School

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Lynch, Chris. Angry Young Man. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011. 978-0-689-84790-5. 167p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. In true Chris Lynch style, the subtleties and nuances that shape a child‘s life are brought front and center in this book. Alexander (Xan) is a misfit, and his brother Robert is a regular teenage boy attending community college. The boys are about a year apart with different fathers, both of them absent. Xan starts auditing a class at the community college about social responsibility, and he meets up with Harry, full of charisma. Harry has a passion for social responsibility and he needs some soldiers in his army. It takes Robert a while, but he finds out what Xan is up to, but can he stop him in time? Realistic Teen Fiction. Kathryn Gilbride-North Pocono High School Lynch, Chris. Angry Young Man. New York: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2011. 978-068-984-790-5. 176 p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. A realistic and engrossing look at anger, terrorism and family dynamics, this latest novel by Chris Lynch is sure to strike a chord with teen readers, especially boys. The tension is palpable as Robert narrates the story of his well-meaning and passionate younger brother, as he falls in with a radical group. Readers will wonder who is at fault - Xan, Robert, their struggling mother, or society at large. A fast-paced and creepy thriller, yet short and compelling enough for even the most reluctant reader. Readers will be on the edges of their seats as the story progresses, and will not be able to put it down until the realistic ending. Realistic Fiction Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Lynch, Chris. Hothouse. New York: HarperTeen, 2010. 978-0-06-167379-5. 198p. $16.99. Gr. 7-12. In this excellent novel, teenage friends, Russell and DJ, are sons of firefighters. They both lose their fathers in the same house fire and must deal with the consequences, consequences that are complicated when the town insists on treating the men who died, as well as their sons, like heroes. Things take a strange turn, however, when information comes out that may prove their fathers were not the heroes the town thought they were. This is a heartfelt novel that deals with the boys‘ grief, their tumultuous emotions, a town that turns nasty, and their own love for the career of firefighting. Realistic Fiction/Teen Story Nancy Chrismer -Juniata High School Library Lynch, Janet Nichols. Addicted To Her. New York: Holiday House, 2010. 978-0-8234-2186-2. 220p. $17.95. Gr. 9-12. Rafa is a high school wrestler who is determined to win a wrestling scholarship to college and make something of himself while making his mother proud. Suddenly, Rafa doesn‘t care about wrestling, about his friends, his little sister, or anything else when his dream girl, Monique, starts to pay attention to him. Monique, whose dysfunctional family is wealthy, does not understand Rafa‘s poverty, his success in school, and especially, the feelings he has for his family. Rafa is willing to set all of the good things aside, however, to have Monique in his life, until one day she does the unthinkable and puts his little sister in danger. Finally, Rafa is able to see Monique for the nasty person that she is. Realistic Fiction Nancy Chrismer, Juniata High School Maberry, Jonathan. Rot & Ruin. New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, 2010. 9781442402324. 458p. $17.99. Gr. 7-12. In post-apocalyptic, zombie infested America every teenager must find a job by the time they‘re fifteen or risk having their rations cut in half. Although Benny Imura doesn‘t want to become a zombie hunter with his boring older brother, Tom, he agrees. What he finds is a job that will teach him what it means to be human and that sometimes the most awful monsters are human. This isn‘t the typical blood and gore zombie story but rather a coming of age story that will keep you engrossed and rapidly turning the pages. Zombies/Coming of Age Nora Neumann – Outstanding Student Librarian Maberry, Jonathan. Rot & Ruin. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. 978-1-44240-232-4. 458p. $17.99. Gr. 8-12. Benny was just 18-months-old when his town, as well as all of America, is infested with a virus, which turns everyday people into flesh-eating zombies. The lasting memory he has of his parents isthat of his zombie-father attacking his mother as Benny is swept away to safety in the arms of his older stepbrother, Tom. At fifteen, Benny must find a job in order to continue to receive full government rations and so he reluctantly accepts Tom‘s offer to be his apprentice as a zombie killer. Slowly Benny learns that his brother‘s job isn‘t quite what he had thought and that zombies aren‘t quite the gruesome monsters that people believe. This has all the ingredients of a great YA novel: adventure, emotion and a perfect dose of tongue-in-cheek humor. Zombies Mary Schwander – New Hope-Solebury High School MacDonald, Bailey. The Secret of the Sealed Room: A Mystery of Young Ben Franklin. New York: Aladdin 2010. 978-1-41699760-3. 208 p. $16.99. Gr. 5-8. It is Boston, 1721. The Widow Worth has died in her locked bedroom. Moll Bacon, the midwife and Patience Martin, the indentured servant are suspect. Was it witchcraft that killed the poor woman in her locked room? Superstition and ignorance could condemn an innocent woman. Patience, a resourceful girl, with the help of young Ben Franklin cleverly works to solve the crime and reveal the guilty party. There are some tense moments! Readers will enjoy allusions to some of Franklin‘s eventual Poor Richard’ Almanac sayings and to hisfuture experiments. This is a locked room mystery with historical/biographical slant. It is too bad the author did not include some books for further reading about Franklin and even the Salem witchcraft scares. Mystery/Historical fiction/Benjamin Franklin/Indentured Servants Jeannie Bellavance

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Maldonado, Torrey. Secret Saturdays. New York: Penguin Group, 2010. 978-0-399025158-0. 208p. $16.99. Gr. 5-8. Sean and Justin are best friends who tell each other everything in this urban setting book. They both live in the projects with their mothers, where you have to be street smart to survive. Justin sees Sean sneaking out in the middle of the night on a Saturday and is really frustrated that he does not know where Sean is going. He cannot believe that Sean has not told him what is going on. He tries to trick Sean into telling him, but it is not working and Justin is not sure if he wants to continue his friendship with Sean. Family-Life/ Inner City/Friendship. Jill Toye -Jenkintown Middle/High School Margolis, Leslie. Girl's Best Friend. New York: Bloomsbury, 2010. 978-1-59990-525-9. 261p. $14.99. Gr. 5-7. Twelve-year-old Maggie Brooklyn accidentally starts an after-school dog-walking job. Never in her life did she imagine it would launch her career as a young Nancy Drew or reunite her with ex-best friend Ivy; but when Ivy's beloved mutt Kermit disappears, the girls are able to temporarily set aside their differences, somewhat, in order to find Kermit. Maggie closes in on suspects, including Jane the dog-walker and her secret crush Milo. When she flubs the plan to save Kermit, all seems lost, until she visits the vet. Readers will enjoy the conventional seventh grade characters and the drama of a‘ tween life, as well as the elements of a good mystery. Mystery Christine Massey – JW Parker Middle School Marks, Shirley. The Suitor List. New York: Avalon Books, 2010. 978-0-8034-7796-4. 186p. $23.95. Gr. 7-12. Lady Augusta Worth is preparing to come out in the London season with the purpose of finding a husband. Her father decides that she will wait until the final two weeks of the season, which does not please her. With the help of her younger sisters, she manages to reduce her suitor list by dismissing all of the men who are not suitable for her --- until she has no one left and realizes that she loves the young man who grew up next door. Romance Nancy Chrismer, Juniata High School Maurer, Shari. Change of Heart. New Jersey: WestSide Books, 2010. 978-1-934813-36-2. 289p. $16.95. Gr.9-12. Emmi, a sixteen-year old, star-soccer player, finds out in the middle of soccer season that she needs to have a heart transplant. She meets a boy who has already had a heart transplant and they form a bond. Emmi feels very isolated from her friends and understandably, very frustrated with her life. This is a moving story of Emmi‘s experiences that will have you thinking of her even after you put the book down. Family. Jill Toye- Jenkintown Middle/High School McCarthy, Maureen. Somebody’s Crying. Crow’s Nest, Australia: Allen &Unwin, 2010. 978-1-742-37024-8. 371p. $10.99. Gr. 9-12. Jonty and Tom were good high school friends who spent a lot of time with Jonty‘s Aunt Lillian who was auditing a class at their high school. Then, Lillian is murdered and Jonty is the prime suspect. Tom‘s father is a lawyer, and advises Jonty not to talk to the police, making the case impossible to prove. The police don‘t charge Jonty, but Tom distances himself from him. Fast forward five years, Jonty and Tom are thrown together again, with Lillian‘s daughter Alice in the mix. Tom, Jonty and Alice find themselves spending a great deal of time together. The unraveling of the case takes you on a roller-coaster ride, with a realistic ending. The Australian slang in this book may pose a problem for some students. Realistic Teen Fiction. Kathryn Gilbride-North Pocono High School McDaniel, Lurlene. Heart to Heart. New York: Delacorte Press, 2010. 978-0-385-90459-9. $12.99. 214p. Gr.9-12. Elowyn and Kassey were best friends since forever. In high school, they were the stars on the volleyball team. When Elowyn begins a relationship with Wyatt, Kassey feels left out but remains close to Elowyn and serves as the mediator with Wyatt (they fight a lot). One night after seeing Wyatt at the mall with another girl, Elowyn confronts Wyatt, and speeds off in her car in blinding rain. She gets into an accident and suffers severe head trauma. As she slips away, her family decides to donate her organs. Arabeth is the young teen who receives Elowyn‘s heart and some of her memories. A compelling, heartwarming, life affirming story reluctant readers will enjoy. Friendship BJ Neary-Abington Senior High School McKay, Sharon E. Thunder Over Kandahar. Canada: Firefly Books Ltd., 2010. 978-1-55451-266-9. 260p. $12.95. Gr. 7-10. This is the story of two young girls who are best friends, Yasmine and Tamanna. They are from different economic backgrounds in Afghanistan and are torn from their families while trying to escape the Taliban. Tamanna‘s twin brother was stolen as a young boy and is now a suicide bomber in the Taliban. This book realistically depicts family life in Afganistan and how the people love their country even through all of the violence and horror. Family/Violence/Survival JillToye - Jenkintown Middle/High School McNamara, Mary. The Starlet. New York: Simon &Schuster, 2010. 978-1-4391-4984-3. $15.00. 304p. Adult. This is a fictional glimpse into the life of Hollywood Stars. In particular, this book is about a drug and alcohol addicted young actress whose mother, who doubles as her manager, exploits her addictions to keep her in the headlines and pumps her full of drugs so that she can get through the 14 hour days that are required for filmmaking. The story takes the actress out of Hollywood and to a Tuscan retreat where she is finally able to acknowledge what her life has truly been about. Homicide BJ Neary – Abington Senior High School McNeal, Laura. Dark Water. New York: Knopf, 2010. 978-0-375-84973-2. 304p. $11.99. Gr. 8-11. This is a somewhat mesmerizing novel about a girl named Pearl whose life has just been upended by her father. He has left her and her mother virtually homeless and penniless. As a result, they move to Pearl's uncle's California avocado ranch. The relationship is a bit strained, but the reader soon sees that the strain occurred prior to their financial reliance upon her uncle's family and mainly lies with 23


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her aunt. Pearl has actually grown up locally and has been close with her cousin since childhood and the relationship between her and her cousin is quite idealistic. One day, Pearl notices a boy in a group of migrant workers looking for work and she eventually convinces her uncle to hire him. As if by fate, Pearl is drawn to Amiel and they begin a relationship that starts on a strained level and becomes more comfortable even though verbal communication is inhibited severely. A fire begins one day and Pearl knows she must try to save Amiel, who is in danger and she runs away to help him but disaster occurs which tragically changes the family forever. This National Book Award finalist has a beautifully crafted plot, however some of the character development with Amiel is lacking. Is it worthy of the award? I'm not so convinced. Was it a book that I happily read from front to back and enjoyed? Yes. Illegal Immigration Karen Hornberger – Palisades High School Meminger, Neesha. Jazz In Love. New York: Ignite Books, 2010. 978-0-9831583-0-1. 193p. $10.99. Gr. 9-12. Jazz is a normal teen with loving Indian parents who decide to put her on the "guided dating plan" after seeing her hug a lifelong friend. Jazz is a bright, obedient, smart alec-y student who is part of the genius club. Now that she is supposed to think about marriage at age 17, things get funny, desperate, and out of control. Readers of all kinds will enjoy this humorous, yet drama-filled look at a young teen and her world. Multicultural Fiction BJ Neary -Abington Senior High Meyer, Susan Lynn. Black Radishes. New York: Delacorte, 2010. 978-0-385-90748-4. 228 p. $19.99. Gr. 4-7. The Nazis have started to take over France. Gustave and his parents have fled Paris to the countryside, leaving behind his aunt and cousins. Country life is different and Gustave, who is Jewish, finds that he had better keep this to himself. Fortunately they are in unoccupied, Vichy France. The family waits for permission to immigrate to the United States, Money is tight, but his father develops a means of trading and bartering, even in the occupied zone. Gustave and his friend Nicole take mysterious, circuitous bike rides through the villages. Gustave learns that Nicole is scouting for her father who is part of the French Résistance. Pressure to leave before the Nazis take over their zone causes the family to plan a daring escape for their relatives still in Paris. With the help of the Résistance Gustave and his father must go into occupied territory. There are tense moments when they are stopped by the Germans. Papa‘s observations from his earlier journeys and the Germans‘ weakness for the black radishes – beer radishes help the mission succeed. The story is based on the author‘s father‘s family‘s escape. The author‘s note is very informative, especially about the problems Jews had in immigrating to other countries. World War II – France; French resistance; Jewish émigrés Jeannie Bellavance Mlynowski, Sarah. Gimme a Call. New York: Delacorte, 2010. 978-0-385-73588-9. 301 p. $17.99. Gr. 6-10. High school senior Devi has regrets about her high school years: she has squandered too much time on her cute former boyfriend Bryan; she neglected friends and slacked on studying. However, when she drops her cell phone into a fountain, she finds that the phone can only call her freshman self, setting in motion a plot that will test fate. Modern day time travel has older Devi drawing on her experience and advising her younger self. Can Devi change the course of her high school life and better balance boys, friends, and school? Light humor and chick lit fantasy will make this book popular with young teens. Fantasy Fiction, Chick Lit, Dating Ro Becker – Springfield Township High School Mone, Gregory. Fish. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-545-11632-9. 241p. $16.99. Gr. 7-12. When their horse dies and times get tough, Fish‘s large Irish family sends him to work in his uncle‘s business in a nearby seaport. Fish, nicknamed so because he can swim like one, soon finds trouble when the pouch he is sent to deliver gets stolen. In trying to recover it, Fish himself gets kidnapped by pirates and chooses to stay aboard their ship instead of trying to escape. He finds adventure, trouble, and even more adventure when he is able to provide the pirate captain with clues leading to a fabulous treasure, and is eventually able to save the day and the lives of the ‗good‘ guys. Historical Fiction Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School Morris, Paula, Ruined. New York: Point, 2010. 978-0545042147. 320p. $16.99. Gr. 7-10. Rebecca Brown is sent to live with her creepy aunt in New Orleans. As she adjusts to life in a new city she must deal with filthy-rich girls who treat her like she‘s invisible. Handsome Anton Grey gives her attention but she wonders if he has a hidden agenda. One night in the Lafayette Cemetery Rebecca meets her one true friend. There‘s only one problem. Her new friend, Lisette is a ghost, a ghost with a dark secret and a score to settle. This book was not only an enjoyable historic tale but also a delightful New Orleans ghost story. Mystery/Supernatural Nora S. Neumann– Outstanding Student Librarian Morrison, Boyd. The Ark. New York: Touchstone, 2010. 978-1-4391-8179-9. 420p. $24.99. Gr. 9-12. In this action-packed thriller, Dilara Kenner, a renowned archeologist, is contacted by an old family friend who tells her that her missing father has found the real Noah‘s Ark. When the friend is murdered right before her eyes, and attempts are made on her own life, Dilara embarks on a quest to find the truth. What she finds is a plot by religious fanatics to take over the world and kill off all humanity except themselves in brutal acts of bio-terrorism. Dilara is aided in her quest by Tyler Locke, a former combat engineer and modern-day James Bond. Together they must save the world, find the truth about what happened to his father and his archeological discovery of the Ark, and catch the bad guys. This story is intriguing and addicting, and will have readers turning pages as fast as they can. Mystery/Thriller Nancy Chrismer, Juniata High School Moss, Marissa. The Pharaoh’s Secret. New York: Amulet, 2010. 978-0-8109-9664-9. 308 p. $6.95. Gr. 5-8. Fourteen-year-old Talibah tells the story of her visit to her parents‘ homeland of Egypt with her younger brother Adom, and their 24


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father. Talibah receives small gifts from strangers and hears a woman‘s voice telling her to ―find him‖, in her dreams. As direct descendants of the pharaoh Hatshepsut, she and Adom must solve a 4000 year old murder. They visit the Cairo Museum, ancient ruins, and face danger in the murderer‘s tomb. Talibah briefly travels back in time to tell Hatshepsut the truth. Readers will learn about Ancient Egypt through the interesting and informative descriptions of the tombs, and drawings of the hieroglyphs. Mystery/Historical Michelle Stone -Sandy Run Middle School Mulligan, Andy. Trash. New York: Fickling, 2010. 978-0-385-75214-5. 232 p. $16.99. Gr. 6-10. ―Dumpsite boys,‖ Raphael, Gardo, and Rat, eke out a living by picking through the garbage collected from a whole city. They and so many others know only the life of scavenging through the muck of refuse and existing in desperate poverty. When Raphael finds a small leather bag containing a wallet, a map, and a key, he hides it from all but his two friends. So begins a mystery involving lying, stealing, corruption, and police brutality set against loyalty and goodness. Told from multiple perspectives and with clear, sincere voices, this novel draws the reader in and holds the imagination captive to its wonderfully redeeming end. Mystery, Poverty Ro Becker – Springfield Township Middle School Mulligan, Andy. Trash. New York: Fickling, 2010. 978-0-385-75214-5. 232p. $16.99. Gr. 6-9. Raphael, Rat and Gardo live in an unnamed South American garbage dump the size of a city. Their house is made of trash and they spend their days picking through mountains of it for valuable recyclables. When Raph finds something unusual one day, scores of police show up offering pesos in exchange for information. Raph is canny enough to know that if the corrupt police department wants something, he should hold on to it. Raph, Rat and Gardo live by their wits, and it is at this point in the story that their adventure begins. Through neighborhoods of unimaginable wealth to some even poorer than their trash dump home, through third world prisons and missions set up to help the indigent, the three boys search for clues about the importance of what they found. On The Day of the Dead, the mystery is dangerously revealed. This story is an eye-opener to Americans living in a world of comfort and safety. The three kids depicted are heroes for their ability to think on their feet and care about those around them. A wonderful ending makes Trash satisfying and enlightening, and useful in discussions of third-world politics, ecology and the gap between rich and poor. Fiction. Sheila May-Stein-- Community Day School Myers, Walter Dean. The Cruisers. NY: Scholastic, 2010. 978-0439916264. 123p. $15.99. Gr. 4-7. Davinci Academy is a school for gifted and talented students. It frustrates the administration that Zander and his friends, nicknamed the Cruisers, are happy with their B‘s and C‘s in this high achieving environment. The school has decided that for the Civil Rights unit, the students would be assigned to be the North or the South. The administration decides that Zander and his friends should be the peacekeepers in this social experiment and try to prevent the war. This leads to some expected and unexpected results. Realistic fiction, Friendship, Civil Rights, Civil War Sandra Krieg – The Haverford School Myers, Walter Dean. The Lockdown. NY: Amstead, 2010. 978-0061214806. 256p. $16.99. Gr. 6-10. Fourteen-year-old Reese is in Promises, a juvenile detention center, for stealing prescription pads and selling them. He has worked hard to stay out of trouble in the center and earned the right to leave the center for a work program at a retirement facility. Reese wants to break free of the life that has his brother in and out of prisons, his mother in the clutch of addiction and a life of poverty. He stands up for a weaker kid at the facility and his hard-earned freedom is in jeopardy. Realistic Fiction Sandra Krieg – The Haverford School Myracle, Lauren. Violet in Bloom: A Flower Power Book. New York: Amulet, 2010. 978-0-8109-8983-2. 366p. $15.95. Gr. 5-8. Four middle school girls with seemingly little in common but their flower names—are nurturing their new friendships and are busy building luvyabunches.com, their very own social-networking site. Their first ―flower-power task‖ is a doomed campaign to get their school to serve healthier snacks. This is the beginning of their troubles which include insecurity, secret journals and the test of strength of friendships. Realistic Patricia Chialastri - Sandy Run Middle School Myracle, Lauren. Shine. New York: Abrams, 2010. 978-0-8109-8417-2. 359p. $16.95. Gr. 10-12. 16-year-old Cat is horrified when her friend Patrick is left to die, beaten and tied to a gas pump, with the nozzle stuffed in his mouth. Cat and Patrick had been friends for years, until Cat was victimized by another teen and isolated herself from Patrick and everyone else. She feels like she has failed him, and after his attack, she sets out to find out who did it, since the small-town sheriff doesn‘t seem very interested in solving the crime. Cat stirs up some big trouble, and doesn‘t realize what she is going to find when she starts shining the light on the dark secrets of others in town. Cat surprises herself with her own courage, and finds out some surprising things about her own brother, as well. This book is destined for top billing on teen book lists. Teen Fiction Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School

Nelson, Jandy. The Sky is Everywhere. New York: Dial Books, 2010. 978-0-8037-3495-1. 276p. $17.99. Gr. 9-12. When Lennie's sister, Bailey, dies suddenly, Lennie tries to make sense of a world that was once safe and secure, to a world where she, her Gram and Big exist but don't talk. Lennie has never been popular , just a band geek who plays 2nd chair clarinet but with the loss of Bailey, Lennie now surprisingly finds comfort in the arms of Bailey's boyfriend, Toby and in the new boy, Joe Fontaine, an 25


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awesome trumpet player who visits her house every day, bringing comfort to Gram, Big and Lennie, dragging them back to life. How can these two guys help Lennie believe that life can go on without Bailey and that Bailey will still be everywhere, like the sky is everywhere? Grief Fiction. BJ Neary -Abington Senior High Neumeier, Rachel. The Floating Islands. New York: Knopf, 2011. 978-0-375-84705-9. 388p. $16.99. Gr. 7-10. Readers of Tamora Pierce will enjoy The Floating Islands. Set in a fantastical world of images, dragons, and islands that float above the sea, this book is told from the viewpoint of two characters. Trei is a boy who has lost his family suddenly and comes to the islands to find his uncle. He wants to become a kajutaihi, a man who can fly. His cousin, Araene, longs for the freedom that boys have in her world. Her resolve to get some of this freedom is tempered by a great loss. This seat-gripping adventure deals with themes of loyalty and belonging. Toni Vahlsing, Abington Friends School Nielson, Sheila A. Forbidden Sea. New York: Scholastic, 2010. 978-0-545-09734-5. 304p. $12.23. Gr. 7-11. Right from the start, first time author Sheila A. Nielson weaves a beautiful story about a girl and her family whose fortunes have changed and they are struggling on a daily basis to survive. The characters are exceptionally well drawn beginning with Adrianne, who stops at nothing to help her family (and others) obtain food and happiness. After her father's death, Adrianne is left with a beloved little sister (reminiscent of Prim in The Hunger Games), a loving yet meek mother, and a horrible aunt who ridicules and despises Adrianne. A family of friends is helping them to survive; Adrianne is appreciative but it is difficult for her to need help for survival. They live in a seaside village and a mermaid has come into to contact with Adrianne and her sister and appears to be trying to drown Adrianne's little sister whenever her sister enters the water. Adrianne and her sister begin to try to avoid the sea, but it becomes apparent that the mermaid will not stop until she gets her sacrifice. Boldly, Adrianne tries to save her family from the social ridicule and isolation they will receive as the village is learning that they are the prey of the mermaid. The story is really captivating with a setting and characters that are extremely solid. Watch for more from this author! Fantasy. Karen Hornberger- Palisades High School Nitz, Kristin Wolden. Suspect. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers, 2010. 978-1-56145-543-0. 199p. $16.95. Gr.7-12. Seventeen-year-old Jen goes to help her Grandma Kay for the summer at the bed-and-breakfast she owns, but finds herself investigating the disappearance of her mother, who left when Jen was just three years old. Her grandmother, who always believed Ellen was alive, now has the feeling that she is dead, and Jen‘s dad doesn‘t know if Grandma is just getting strange or if she really suspects something. Jen is also dealing with an attraction to Mark, who is her ―uncousin‖ by marriage. She finds out what really happened to her mother, experiences another family tragedy, and discovers what Mark‘s true feelings are for her. This is a very satisfying read – a combination of mystery and romance. Mystery/Romance Nancy Chrismer, - Juniata High School Nolan, Han. Crazy. Boston: Harcourt Children's Books, 2010. 978-015-205-1099. 348 p. $17.00. Gr. 7-10. Do you ever feel like your family is crazy. For Jason Papadopoulos his father is legitimately insane. Jason's dad goes around playing the violin, wearing a spartan helmet and bathing with a radio. The craziness is just getting to be too much for him to handle by himself. To add to his stress he gets sent to a group meeting with the school psychiatrist where he meets three other kids dealing with their own messed up issues. He slowly learns to accept people into his messed up life and to allow them to help him. Go with Jason on his journey of coping with his father‘s illness, relying on others, and discovering whether the voices he talks to in his head mean he's truly crazy like his father. This riveting book delves into the teenagers mind and life and the thought that always goes through our minds at least once 'am I crazy?‖. Han Nolan's characters are easy to relate to and their problems may touch kids close to home. This book is a must read for anyone dealing with issues bigger than themselves. Lauren C., Grade 11, Springfield High School (Delco) Norris, Shana. Troy High. New York: Amulet, 2010. 978-0-8109-9665-6. 264p. $6.95. Gr. 6-9. Cassie and Greg are best friends who attend different schools: Trojans and Spartans. When Eleana, who was a Spartan, switches schools and becomes a Trojan, a war breaks out. While this war is going on, Cassie must make a choice between her best friend or her family and school. The story is based on Homer‘s The Illiad. Best Friends/Family Jill Toye – Jenkintown Middle/High School O’Brien, Caragh M. Birthmarked. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2010. 978-159-643-5698. 368 p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12 In a dystopian future, precipitated by climate change, 16-year-old Gaia helps her mother deliver babies and dutifully delivers the first three each month to the Enclave within a walled city on the shores of what was one Lake Michigan. When her parents go missing, her search for them takes her within the Enclave, and causes her to rebel against the forces that have controlled her life for so long. Strong characters and a taut plot make this a novel that teens will not put down, and the cliff-hanger ending leaves them eagerly awaiting a sequel. Science Fiction Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Ockler, Sarah. Fixing Delilah. New York: Little, Brown, 2010. 978-0-316-05209-2. 308p. $ 16.99. Gr. 9-12. After losing her mother‘s trust through a series of mishaps, Delilah finds herself spending her summer in Vermont settling the estate of her grandmother. Delilah hasn‘t been to Vermont in over eight years after a huge blow out between her grandmother and mother occurred over something her mother‘s sister, Stephanie, who died as a teenager. What Delilah thinks is going to be an uneventful

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summer turns into a soap opera when she rekindles a childhood friendship with her neighbor, Patrick, and after finding Stephanie‘s long lost diary learns that her aunt‘s death was more complicated than she was told. Family secrets/depression Melissa Daugherty – Sharon-Middle High School Oliver, Lauren. Before I Fall. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. 978-0-061-72681-1. $17.99. 470p. Gr. 9-12. Samantha Kingston is a popular girl who is a big follower of her best friends Lindsay, Elody and Ally. One night as they leave a party, there is a car accident caused by their carelessness and drinking. Sam loses it all and dies but awakes the next morning and the next, and the next, until she replays her last day 7 times! Each time she awakens she really goes through a myriad of changes until she finally gets why she is granted this reprieve and how she needs to make things RIGHT. I really enjoyed how she went from a mean girl to the nice girl she was back when she was a child and was friends with Kent. Each time she wakes up, Sam works hard to help herself and those she has wronged over the years. Her redemption involves saving Juliet Sykes, befriending Tara, Courtney and Bethany, and warning Anna and Bridget about their two timing boyfriend. Death BJ Neary – Abington Senior High Omololu, Cynthia Jaynes. Dirty Little Secrets. New York: Walker, 2010. 978- 0-8027-8660-1. 212p. $16.99. Gr. 7-10. We have another book which falls under the category of shock title. It is, however, very appropriately named. Lucy is the youngest child of a hoarder. She is living alone with her mother and has suffered consequences like forgoing friends coming over, sleepovers, etc. Lucy is now sixteen and works carefully to keep her few friends away from her house. She returns home to a big surprise; her mom is dead under a stack of magazines and newspapers that have fallen upon her. Lucy spends much of the novel trying to cover up any evidence of hoarding so that the paramedics do not see the home and have the media get wind of the situation. As soon as the author charts familiar territory (hoarding - because she works with hoarders and children of hoarders) the novel becomes really interesting and unique enough to read and not want to set down. Much of the novel covers the emotional aspects that a child of a hoarder encounters and is really interesting and well done. This is a good novel for teenagers to begin to understand the emotional impact various illnesses have upon individuals. Illness Karen Hornberger- Palisades High School Oppel, Kenneth. Half Brother. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-545-22925-8. 375p. $17.99. Gr. 8-12. Thirteen-year-old Ben has a lot to deal with in his first year as a teenager: a new home, a new school, romantic feelings for a girl, and a new brother who just so happens to be a baby chimpanzee. Ben‘s father, a behavioral scientist, has brought the chimpanzee, Zan, into their home to be brought up as a family member and to be taught sign language. What begins as a nuisance experiment to Ben slowly turns into a strong loving relationship. Ben grows up quickly as he stands up to his father and others in order to save Zan from being brutally abused. This compelling tale about animal experimentation in the 1970‘s is also a touching coming-of-age story about family relationships and young love. Family relationships / Animals Mary Schwander – New Hope-Solebury High School Oppel, Kenneth. Half Brother. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-545-22925-8. 375p. $17.99. Gr. 7-12. Half Brother presents a contemporary perspective on the themes of humanity, family, and choice. Ben, the protagonist, has spent thirteen years being an only child. The family ―adopts‖ Zan, a cuddly baby chimp, to raise in their home as part of his Dad's research program. Ben's dad is a critical and demanding parent and seems to show more compassion and affection to Zan than to him. Instead of being jealous Ben falls in love with his new "half brother." What follows is a story that poses some hot ethical questions. What makes a person a person? Is it language that sets us apart from non-humans? What is language? Can animals communicate or do they just mimic? Is it ethical to use animals in human experiments? While all of this is going on Ben's also trying to fit into a new upper class private school where he's making some not very smart decisions about how to make friends with the cool kids. Half Brother makes us consider the way humans behave toward other humans as well as the many species that share our planet. Human-Animal Communication Judi P. – Abington Senior High School Oppel, Kenneth. Half Brother. New York: Scholastic, 2010. 978-0-545-22925-8. 375p. $17.99. Gr. 7-10. On Ben Tomlin‘s 13th birthday, his parents bring home a baby chimpanzee named Zan. According to Project Zan, an experiment run by Ben‘s dad who is a behavioral psychologist, the plan is to raise Zan like a human child and teach him American Sign Language. Told through Ben‘s eyes, this novel tells about his experiences with Zan and his struggles to adjust to a new life after his family moves across the country. Realistic Fiction, Human/Animal Communication Mike J., Springfield Township Middle School Oron, Judie. Cry of the Giraffe. Canada: Firefly Books Ltd, 2010. 978-155451-271-3. 194p. $12.95. Gr. 8+ This amazing short story based on Wuditu's survival in Ethiopia during the 1970‘s will appeal to the audience who enjoy realistic fiction. Wuditu is a thirteen year old girl who has experienced more horror than anyone her age should. After being separated from her family she is involved in a world of slavery and prostitution. Wuditu is forced to lie about being Jewish to survive. Family, Violence, Survival Jill Toye - Jenkintown Middle/High School Osborn, Carolyn. Uncertain Ground: A Novel. San Antonio, TX: Wings, 2010. 978-0-916727-673. 184p. $16.95 (pbk). Gr. 9-12. On a return visit to Galveston Island, Celia recalls the summer month in 1953 that she and her cousin Emmett, then both 20 years old, spent there living with Aunt Bertha and Uncle Mowrey. Emmett‘s parents sent him away from home to break rodeo and romantic ties, 27


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and Celia was to keep an eye on him. Galveston, however, offers its own challenges as ―sin city.‖ The cousins meet and get together with other college students there but Emmett continues his wild ways. Celia explores and matures as she makes important decisions in her own life as well as observing and commenting on her family members, social norms and mores, and issues of interest to young adults ~ prejudice, religion, drinking, sexuality, promiscuity, abstinence, and the mysteries of inner conflicts and inconsistencies. Osborn offers a low-key but compelling description of the commonplace and momentous events of the summer that suits both the 1950s and the slower pace of southern summer life. The title is a metaphor for the Galveston Island, a vulnerable island set on shifting sandbar, for human relations, for what is known and not knowable, and for what can and cannot be asked. Highly recommended. College students Summer at the beach Texas Eleanor Howe, Pine-Richland HS, retired Park, Linda Sue. A Long Walk to Water. New York: Clarion, 2010. 978-0-547-25127-1. 121p. $15.99. Gr. 5-8. Based on the inspiring true story of Salva Dut, who was separated from his family during the Sudanese civil war in 1985, when he was eleven years old. Salva walks with others through Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya, facing many dangers, including starvation and crocodiles. After immigrating to the United States in 1996, Salva founds Water for Sudan, an organization that drills wells in Southern Sudan. His story is told in alternating chapters with the story of Nya, a Sudanese girl who spends eight hours each day fetching water for her family. This is a moving tale with lots of potential for curricular tie-ins on Sudan, refugees and immigrants, serving others, and perseverance. Mary Fran Torpey—Friends’ Central School Patt, Beverly. Best Friends Forever: A World War II Scrapbook. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corp., 2010. 978-0-76145577-6. 92p. $17.99. Gr. 5-9. Louise and Dottie are fourteen-year old best friends in 1942 when Dottie is ―relocated‖ to Japanese internment camps. The girls vow to stay best friends forever and Louise keeps a scrapbook of all their letters, ticket stubs, and anything else that marks their friendship. Louise is also faced with prejudice because her family is German; even though her brother is in the United States Navy. This is a heartwarming book about true friendship. Friendship, Realistic Fiction Jill Toye - Jenkintown Middle/High School Paulsen, Gary. Woods Runner. New York: Wendy Lamb, 2010. 978-0-385-73884-2. 164p. $15.99. Gr. 6-12. Thirteen-year-old Samuel faces multiple obstacles as he tries to rescue his parents from the Redcoats. The story takes place at the start of the Revolutionary War, and each chapter is followed by a page containing interesting historical facts about the time period. This book will appeal to both boys and girls, especially American history buffs, or those who enjoy fast paced suspense. There is some brutality so I wouldn‘t recommend it for children younger than sixth grade. This book would make an excellent companion to or alternative for Laurie Halse Anderson‘s Fever 1793. Historic Mary G.-Sandy Run Middle School Perkins, Mitali. Bamboo People: A Novel. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2010. 978-1-58089-328-2. $16.95. 272p. Grades 7-12. The lives of three quite different middle-teen boys intersect as they face life-threatening challenges from the highly repressive Burmese regime. Chiko‘s family lives in fear of even going outside after his father, a doctor, was put in political prison. A good student, Chicko is arrested and forcibly recruited into the Burmese army while applying for a teaching position in order to earn money to support his mother and sister. In boot camp he meets Tai (also 15), a canny and tough orphan who had lived with his sister on the streets and who was also abducted by the army. The two Burmese teens become friends and look out for each other under the oppressive and unfair army officers. Chiko voluntarily takes Tai‘s place on a dangerous jungle mission, and, severely wounded, he is rescued and saved by TuReh, a Karenni, one of the ethnic groups persecuted by the Burmese military regime. From their opposing sides in the political-military conflict, Chiko and Tu Rey each narrate the story in this novel of personal loyalties and honor overcoming social class differences and ethnic prejudice. The author, who had visited refugee camps along the Burmese border while living in Thailand for three years, provides background information on Burma and Aung San SuuKyi who was recently released from house arrest. More information on this ALA and IRA award-winning book is available at www.bamboopeople.org. Highly recommended. Teenagers Soldiers Refugees Ethnic groups Myanmar Eleanor Howe, Pine-Richland HS, retired Perkins, Stephanie. Anna and the French Kiss. New York: Dutton, 2010. 978-0-525-42327-0. 372p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. Anna was supposed to be enjoying her senior year in Atlanta with her friends and family; however her writer father ships her off for a year in Paris, France. Anna is forced to make new friends in a foreign country as well as continue her studies which happen to be mostly in French. This story follows her senior year through ups and downs; friends falling out of touch, as well as a crush that leaves her while she is away. Anna learns to let go of her uptight ways and enjoy life. She finds amazing friends as well as true love. Author, Stephanie Perkins adds teen drama and life lessons that any teen will love. Dating BJ Neary – Abington Senior High School Philbin, Joanna. The Daughters. New York: Little, Brown, 2010. 978-0-316-04900-9. 275p. $16.99. Gr. 7-10. Fourteen-year-old Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson are three best friends living in New York City. They also happen to be the daughters of a supermodel, pop icon, and media mogul, respectively. They support each other‘s struggles with paparazzi, tabloids, and stepping out of their parent‘s shadows and expectations. Carina feels nothing like her glamorous mother, famous supermodel Katia Summers and hates being photographed with her. After a frustrating red carpet event, a reporter taunts Lizzie into saying something she regrets. While her mother‘s publicist scrambles with cover control, Lizzie receives a bizarre offer from a photographer who is starting a modeling agency with ―real‖ models. Going against her mother‘s wishes, Katia gets swept up into the world of modeling and goes 28


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from small magazine adds to being the new face of the a world famous designer. Katia struggles as she realizes modeling is not as easy as mother makes it look and begins to question if it‘s really worth it. Celebrities/New York City Melissa Daugherty – Sharon-Middle High School Phillips, Wendy. Fishtailing. Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada: Coteau Books for Teens, 2010. 978-1-550-50411-8. 196p. $14.95. Gr. 9-12. Four lives collide in this fast-paced novel in verse. Natalie, Tricia, Kyle and Miguel are all teens at the same high school. Their checked-out English teacher, Mrs. Farr evaluates their journal writing and is consistently sending names to the Miss Nishi, the guidance counselor. The two educators are not paying enough attention to the very important clues about impending tragedy. Natalie is a girl with a broken spirit, who longs to strike out at others. She stages a play using the other students and her performance has a harrowing effect on everyone involved. Novel in Verse Kathryn Gilbride-North Pocono High School Pierson, D.C. The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To. New York: Vintage Books, 2010. 978-0-307-47461-2. 226p. $14.00. Gr. 9-12. Soon after Darren and Eric become friends in high school, Darren learns that Eric has a secret ―thing‖. He can‘t sleep. OR, as Darren would rather think of it, he doesn‘t HAVE to sleep. This would imply that Eric has a superpower, and if Eric has a secret superpower, well that means just about anything is possible! As the two boys join forces to write a screenplay for a sci fi series, they also perform experiments to explore Eric‘s sleepless abilities. Although this novel itself is a work of science fiction, it feels more like an insightful and witty coming-of-age novel. Use caution when recommending this Alex Award winner as it is interlaced with profanity and sexual escapades. Science Fiction / Coming-of-age Mary Schwander, New Hope-Solebury High School Preus, Margi. Heart of a Samurai. New York: Amulet Books, 2010. 978-0-8109-8981-8. 301p. $15.95. Gr. 5-8. Fourteen-year-old Manjiro dreams of someday being a samurai. But, alas, one must be born into the proper station, and a fisherman‘s son could never become a samurai. However, the winds of fortune are as unpredictable as the storm winds that shipwreck Manjiro and his fishing companions. After they are eventually rescued by an American whaling ship, the captain takes Manjiro to America, where he becomes known as John Mung, attends school, rides a horse and learns to farm. Yet, he longs to one day return to his beloved homeland and family. Based on a true story, this book offers up a rollicking whaling adventure, a moving tale of coming-ofage in a strange new world, and a glimpse into the Japan of the mid 19th Century. Historical Fiction Patricia Fischer - Edward Hand Middle School, Lancaster Preus, Margi. Heart of a Samurai. New York: Amulet, 2010. 978-0-8109-8981-8. 301p. $15.95. Gr. 6+. Manjiro, is a 14-year-old Japanese boy in 1841. At that time the Japanese refused to accept the changing world and called all foreigners barbarians. While Manjiro is fishing, a giant wave takes him and four friends to a deserted island. After a few weeks they are rescued by Americans on a whaling ship. Manjiro is given the name John Mung while on the ship, and he begins to learn English. Manjiro agrees to go back to America with the captain to be his son, where he experiences prejudice and many challenges. This exciting adventure is based on a true story. Historical fiction, Japanese Joey D., Springfield Township Middle School Quick, Matthew. Sorta Like a Rock Star. New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2010. 978-0-316-04352-6. 355p . $16.99. Gr. 8-12. Amber Appleton is one of The Five - a group of misfit, "freak" students who have been friends since they were put together for counseling in the fifth grade. After school, you can find Amber drinking green tea with a Vietnam vet who is fond of writing haiku's, tutoring Korean women in English by leading them in Motown songs, or visiting a retirement home where she and Joan of Old entertain residents with their optimism vs. pessimism battles. At night, Amber sleeps (often alone) on the Hello Yellow bus which her mom drives for a living. Her mom is often "out fishing" at bars, looking for her next Prince Charming. Readers will smile with delight at the positive, vivacious attitude of Amber as she spreads hope among her various, eccentric friends. However, when she struggles to come to terms with a tragic, life-changing event, we find that Amber is not as capable of receiving help as she is at giving it. This is a truly delightful book which will have readers both laughing and crying throughout. Highly recommended! Homelessness/ Friendship Mary Schwander – New Hope-Solebury High School Quick, Matthew Sorta Like a Rock Star. New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2010. 978-0-316-04352-6. 355p. $16.99. Gr. 8-12. Amber‘s only home is the school bus that her mom drives. The eternal optimist, Amber manages to do lots of good in the world, befriending a loveable, but strange cast of characters along the way. She teaches English to a church group of Korean women, befriends a Vietnam Vet who writes poetry and works in a nursing home as well as dealing with the life of being a teenager who needs to find a place to take a shower. When tragedy strikes Amber is sent into a downward spiral. The cast of characters that she has been helping turns around to help her. This is a feel-good book that also gives readers a glimpse into the realities of homelessness. Toni Vahlsing, Abington Friends School Quimby, Laura. The Carnival of Lost Souls. New York: Amulet, 2010. 978-0-8109-8980-1. 341p. $16.95. Gr. 5-8. Twelve- year-old orphan Jack Carr‘s love of magic and Houdini help him bond with his new foster dad. Jack finally feels like he belongs when he finds out a secret about his foster dad that leads him into the hands of the Amazing Mussini. Jack tries to 29


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escape from the Forest of the Dead where Mussini has his carnival show, but Mussini always stops him. Jack must perform in the show and becomes friends with other kids who are carnival workers. Laura Quimby‘s use of detail makes the characters come alive. Recommended. Orphans, Magic tricks, Supernatural, Adventure Carolynne W., Springfield Township Middle School Raven, Nicky. Dracula. Somerville, MA: Templar Books, 2010. 978-0-7636-4793-3. 96p. $19.99. Gr. 5-8. This version of Brahm Stoker‘s Dracula, with gorgeous illustrations by Anne Yvonne Gilbert, is well adapted for younger readers. The plot develops very rapidly; keeping the focus on the relationships that exist between the narrators, and of course, the growing threat posed by Count Dracula. Recommended for middle grade readers who can handle spooky stories but are not ready for Stoker‘s text. Mary Fran Torpey—Friends’ Central School Reed, Amy. Beautiful. New York: Simon Pulse, 2009. 978-1-4169-7830-5. 232p. $16.99. Gr. 10-12. Beautiful is about a thirteen year old girl named Cassie beginning seventh grade at a new school. Cassie wants to leave her good girl, quiet self, behind and so she takes up with a more fast-paced, older crowd. Cassie soon finds herself in a world of sex, drugs, and lies. This book is told with incredible realism, based on today‘s high school pressures and accurately captures the thoughts and feelings of a girl who wants to feel nothing at all. But things begin to get too real for Cassie and she finds it too hard to escape the new image she worked so hard to obtain. This book was really enjoyable because the voice was real and the scenarios were completely relatable. There is questionable subject matter and language, but it is completely necessary to the plot. Self-esteem Maureen B. – Abington Senior High Reinhart, Dana. The Things a Brother Knows. New York: Wendy Lamb Books, 2010. 978-0-375-84455-3. 242p. $16.00. Gr. 9-12. Levi's older brother Boaz has returned from war. Boaz, a high school athlete, enlisted in the Marines and has been away for over a year. Now he's come home, but he is not the brother who left a year ago. This is the story of Levi's struggles to understand his brother. He has two good friends who try to help Levi; Pearl and Zim. When Boaz returns, he is so different; he stays in his room for days, refuses to get in a car, and if that weren't enough, he leaves home again, saying he is going to walk the Appalachian Trail. Levi, in an attempt to figure his brother out, meets up with him to join him on his walk, not on the Appalachian Trail, but to Washington DC. You begin to understand how hard it is to come home from war and fit into the routines of daily family life. A great book for both boys and girls. BJ Neary – Abington Senior High School Richards, Jame. Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood . New York: Knopf, 2010. 978-0-375-85885-7. 293p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. What a great way to learn about the Johnstown Flood of 1889 by soaking up a novel in verse! Richards‘s novel is powerfully told through protagonists Celestia, a young teen whose family are members of the prestigious South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club and Peter, who works summers at the club rather than joining his father in the mines in Johnstown. We learn about the rigid class system that exists in this society that would never agree to a relationship between Celestia and Peter. A compelling time in our history, Richards also includes an Author's Note, South Fork Dam Chronology, and Further Reading to bring this disaster to today's young adults. Highly recommended. Floods BJ Neary -Abington Senior High Richards, Jame. Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood. New York: Knopf, 2010. 978-0-375-85885-7. 293 p. $16.99. Gr. 8+. The Whitcomb family spends its summer at the exclusive South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club on Lake Conemaugh in the Alleghenies, not far from Johnstown, PA. Estrella, nineteen and a beauty, is already engaged to a suitable match. Celestia, sixteen, is bookish and serious. Both sisters have secrets. Estrella is compromised by a philandering womanizer. Celestia has become more than a friend to Peter who is one of the ―help.‖ In this precarious upper class society, both girls‘ actions are detrimental to the family‘s reputation. The girls are quickly dispatched to Europe. In May 1889 Celestia returns from a Swiss finishing school determined to find Peter. The rains have come. What started as a tender love story now turns in to a struggle for survival. We follow the waters minute by minute and people are saved and lost. Celestia finds Peter, ill with fever and his father, ill with black lung. They are literally torn form each other by the torrent. The ―under current‖ of the story tells of the brave and generous people who do come through to rescue and then aid the survivors. These are subtly contrasted with some of the ―elite‖ society members who still show disdain for those ―beneath‖ them. The tale is told mostly by Celestia and Peter, but other characters emerge - Kate the nurse who lost her true love; Maura, the wife of the engineer whose warning whistle saved many lives, and Mr. Whitcomb. The flood while disastrous is at least in this story, is an agent in the redemption of some of the characters including Celestia and Estrella‘s parents. The author provides background including a timeline of the disaster, and offers several titles and websites for further exploration. Pennsylvania history; floods; social classes; romance Jeannie Bellavance Roy, Jennifer. Mindblind. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2010. 978-0-7614-5716-9. 251p. $15.99. Gr. 6-9. Nathaniel is an incredible fourteen -year old boy with Aspergers syndrome. Throughout the book we see Nathaniel‘s quirky interactions with his friends. He is considered a genius because he has an IQ of 182, but Nathaniel read somewhere that to be considered a genius, you have to make a contribution to the world. Nathaniel plays keyboard in a band and likes the vocalist, Jessa.

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His parents are divorced and his Dad really does not like him that much. His Dad prefers his half brother who is ―normal‖. You want to see Nathaniel excel the entire read .Family-life, Special Needs Jill Toye - Jenkintown Middle/High School. Russell, Rachel Renee. Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl. New York: Aladdin, 2010. 978-1-41698008-7. 278p. $12.99. Gr. 4-6. Seventh grader Nikki Maxwell has two best friends, Chloe, and Zoey, and a crush on the most popular boy in school, Brandon. Her problem: the most popular girl in school, Mackenzie Hollister happens to be in love with Brandon also. Clever, cute illustrations throughout this book help make this story more fun to read. Any pre-teen girl could relate to Nikki‘s experiences! Friendship, Middle School, Diaries Kate G., Springfield Township Middle School Ryan, Pam Munoz; ill. By Peter Sis. The Dreamer. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-439-26970-4. 372p. $17.99. Gr. 7-12. Neftali Reyes is a young boy growing up under the controlling iron fist of his father. This gentle boy is in love with nature, animals, reading and writing, and has an eye for beauty. His father is always displeased with him and disregards his nature and talents and tries to change the boy to meet his standards. Despite his father‘s despotic grip, Neftali continues on his path and blossoms into one of the most famous poets of Chile. The reader simply falls in love with the imagery seen through the eyes of Neftali. Beautifully told with drawings that make the reader pause and think of what the big picture of life is all about. Multicultural Fiction Marianne D. - Abington Senior High Sachar, Louis. The Card Turner. New York: Dealacorte Press, 2010. 978-0-385-73662-6. 336p. $17.99. Gr.9+. In this story Sachar opens the door to the world of competitive bridge, told through interaction between the protagonist Alton and his bridge teacher, his rich, blind Uncle Lester Trapp. The story features some drama between Alton and his best friend Cliff who seems particularly interested in the same girls as Alton. An engaging read, even for those who know nothing about this fun, challenging card game. Realistic fiction. Erica Thickman Miller, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School. Sáenz, Benjamin Alire. Last Night I Sang to the Monster. El Paso: CincoPuntos Press, 2010. 978-1-933693-58-3. 239p. $16.95. Gr. 9-12. From the start of this gut-wrenching novel, we know just a few things about 18-year-old Zach: he has an alcoholic father, a clinically depressed mother and a violent, drug-addicted brother. When Zach woke up in a rehabilitation center for his alcohol addiction, he can‘t remember (or chooses not to remember) how exactly he came to be there. Zach‘s first-person narrative is poetic and compelling. He imagines that God writes words on people‘s hearts to determine the type of person they will be and on Zach‘s heart is written ―sad‖. He also imagines conversations with people which he is not brave enough to have in reality. This is a heart-wrenching novel with mature material and language. The realistic characters, Zach‘s artistically brilliant personality, and his poignant, hopeful journey make this a truly unforgettable story. Addiction / Relationships Mary Schwander – New Hope-Solebury High School Sauder, B.L. Year of the Golden Dragon. Regina, Canada: Coteau Books, 2010. 978-1-55050-428-6. 224p. $9.95. Gr. 7-12. Hong Mei‘s father disappeared mysteriously, but left behind a piece of jade. Ryan‘s and Alex‘s parents died in a mysterious fire, but each boy was left with a piece of jade. The three pieces of jade belong to a sacred necklace, one which will be claimed by a dragon in the year of the golden dragon. The three teens must put their pieces of jade together to fulfill their destiny, but there are fierce enemies trying to kill them to prevent that from happening. This is a good adventure filled with drama and fantasy and one that is good for all ages. Adventure/Fantasy Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School Sawyer, Kim Vogel. A Hopeful Heart. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 2010. 978-0-7642-0509-5. 347p. $14.99. Gr. 9+. Tressa is a big town city girl who finds herself in a hopeless situation. Her aunt and uncle suggest a change of scenery at a country school where she will learn to cook, clean, brand and milk a cow all in preparation to become an outstanding wife of a rancher. The new routine is challenging, and Tressa doubts her abilities until she meets a certain young man. Abel fell for an eastern girl once, only to have his heart broken. Now he finds himself torn between protecting his already tattered heart and taking another chance on love. With a mix of historical information and romance, Sawyer presents a heartwarming story about true love, faith and hope. Historical Fiction Christine Massey and Leah Pilewski – JW Parker Middle School Schroeder, Lisa. Chasing Brooklyn. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. 978-1-416-99168-7. 412p. $15.99. Gr.9-12. Schroeder's 3rd book in free verse is achingly poignant as Brooklyn and Nico still mourn the death of Lucca. Brooklyn was madly in love when Lucca was taken from her and she is still missing him, writing him letters and buying their favorite comic books. Her mother has left with her two brothers and Brooklyn remains with her father. Nico was Lucca's younger brother, but they were very close. Nico's best friend, Gabe dies of an overdose and both Brooklyn and Nico are stunned. They knew he was suffering, but they were in pain themselves. Now Brooklyn has nightmares about Gabe and Nico is being haunted by Lucca to help Brooklyn. That is easy for a ghost to say since Nico is still running away to handle the pain. To honor his dead brother's wishes, he encourages Brooklyn to change, start running with him and participate in a marathon. I was compelled to read this book, I felt so badly for Brooklyn and Nico, Will they find that they can go on without their beloved Lucca? It has all the elements YA's will love--drama, suspense, fear, anger, loss and longing, a must read. Death BJ Neary – Abington Senior High 31


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Scieczka, Jon. Guys Read: Funny Business. New York: Walden Pond Press, 2010. 978-0-06-196-374-2. 268p. $16.99. Gr. 7-12. This is a great collection of stories by guys written for guys, but girls will enjoy them, too. The stories are funny and have the ability to hook reluctant readers. These books could help those readers move on to longer works by the same authors. An excellent addition to the short story section of the library.Story Collection Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School Scott, Elizabeth. Grace. New York: Dutton, 2010. 978-0-525-42206-8. 203p. $16.99. Gr. 8+. This book can be read and understood on many levels and contains many surprising plot twists. It is a story about a teen girl trying to discover her value and place, along with the meaning of life. The setting is an unusual political setting and the story borders on sci-fi. It is an easy, enjoyable read. Fantasy Jill Toye - Jenkintown Middle/High School Scott, Elizabeth. The Unwritten Rule. New York: Simon Pulse, 2010. 978-1-4169-7891-6. 210p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for a long time. They spend some time together at a party, and she thinks that Ryan is going to ask her out. She ends up surprised when he asks out her best friend Brianna. Sarah‘s keeps her feelings to herself, because we all know the unwritten rule: Don‘t Crush on your Best Friend‘s Boyfriend. Except that she does and Ryan also has an interest in Sarah. The kind of interest that makes something we all think is wrong, feel so right. Ryan and Sarah try to stay apart, and Ryan desperately wants to break up with Brianna to be with Sarah, but how will it ever work out? The story is compelling and real, and heartbreaking and fastpaced. Realistic Teen Fiction Kathryn Gilbride-North Pocono High School Sedgwick, Marcus. Revolver. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2010. 978-159-643-5926. 224 p. $16.99. Gr. 7-10. A Jack London-like tale, set in 1910, but accessible for today's readers, in a style much like Gary Paulsen's. Fans of both will delight in this chilling tale, set 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Still reeling from the death of his father, Sig is little prepared for the arrival of Gunther Wolff, who threatens Sig with the claim that his father stole gold from the man, and a colt revolver. Fast-paced and engrossing, this will appeal to even the most reluctant reader, and will be popular with teen boys. Historical Fiction Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Sedgwick, Marcus. Revolver. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2010. 978-1-59643-592-6. 204p. $16.99. Gr. 7-12. ―Even the dead tell stories‖. This is what Sig‘s dad had always said and now, as Sig finds his dead father on the frozen lake, intriguing stories indeed are revealed. In an isolated cabin in the freezing Arctic Circle, 14-year-old Sig is confronted by a large, menacing stranger as his dead father lies on a table awaiting burial. Threatening Sig with his revolver, the intruder insists that his father has hidden a fortune in gold and expects Sig to lead him to it. In alternating flash backs ten years prior to the Alaskan Gold rush in 1899, we begin to learn the events of Sig and his family that lead up to this terrifying event. Can Sig somehow get to his father‘s revolver kept in the back room? More importantly, does he have the knowledge and bravery to use it? The frigid and bleak location of the cabin adds to the intensity and suspense of this novel. Suspense/Adventure Mary Schwander – New Hope-Solebury High School Sedgwick, Marcus. Revolver. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2010. 978-159-643-5926. 224 p. $16.99. Gr. 7-10. A Jack London-like tale, set in 1910, but accessible for today's readers, in a style much like Gary Paulsen's. Fans of both will delight in this chilling tale, set 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Still reeling from the death of his father, Sig is ill prepared for the arrival of Gunther Wolff, who threatens Sig with the claim that his father stole gold from the man, and a colt revolver. Fast-paced and engrossing, this will appeal to even the most reluctant reader, and will be popular with teen boys. Historical Fiction Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Seigel, Andrea. The Kid Table. New York: Bloomsbury, 2010. 978-1-59990-480-1. 306p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. What does it take to leave the kid table? Ingrid and her five cousins haven‘t really thought too much about it, until Brianne, the oldest cousins, lands a seat at the coveted ―adult table‖. Throughout five various family functions, we watch the cousins encounter weddings, divorces, eating disorders, addictions, and possibly worse of all, family betrayal. When one of their own takes a sudden downward spiral they come together and realize that maybe the kid table is where they were supposed to be all along. Readers will be able to relate to the complicated relationships the cousins have. Family life/cousins Melissa Daugherty – Sharon-Middle High School Senzai, N.H. Shooting Kabul. New York: Simon & Shuster, 2010. 978-1-4424-0194-5. 260p. $16.99. Gr. 5-8. Fadi and his family have to get out of Afghanistan as the Taliban takes over. His American-educated father and mother sell all of their belongings and one night pay every cent they have to escape with Fadi and his two sisters. As they sneak to a meeting point with those who will smuggle them to America, the Taliban swoops down-- and Fadi's six-year old sister Mariam gets separated from the family. Unable to go back to get her, the family arrives in the San Francisco Bay Area traumatized, grief-stricken and broke. Fadi's father drives a taxi to support the family and even his big sister Noor helps out by working at McDonald's-- but Fadi is paralyzed by guilt. He blames himself for letting go of his little sister's hand. In spite of all of this, Fadi must begin American middle school. And then September 11th happens. This wonderful story examines the effects totalitarianism and terrorism have on a Muslim family in America before, during and after September 11th. A much needed inside-look at a Muslim child's perspective will find readers opening their hearts and minds to the possibility that extremist Islam does not paint the entire picture of the Middle East and those Muslims among them. A heartfelt and satisfying conclusion makes this book gentle enough for children on the younger end of the range but believable enough for the older ones. Fiction Sheila May-Stein, Community Day School 32


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Shulman, Mark. Scrawl. NY: Roaring Brook Press, 2010. 978-1596434172. 230p. $16.99. Gr. 6-10. Todd Munn and his dooogs did something really bad, bad enough to get them kicked out of school. For some reason, his bully friends are assigned to clean up the school and Todd has to go to detention and write a journal. This first person narrative works because Shulman has captured the voice of the teenager. It is believable, even the silent proctor who gains Todd‘s respect feels real. Give this book to those who read Chris Crutcher. Realistic Fiction Sandra Krieg – The Haverford School Shulman, Polly. The Grimm Legacy. New York: Putnam, 2010. 978-0-399-25096-5. 325p. $16.99. Gr. 6-9. Fear not, Harry Potter fans, here is a new magical novel to sink your teeth into. Elizabeth Rew leads a Cinderella-like existence until she lands a job as a page at the New York Circulating Repository, where librarians loan out objects, rather than books. When articles and staff go missing from the magical Grimm collection, Elizabeth goes on a quest to find them, and finds more than she bargained for. Humor, magic, and luciously descriptive prose make this novel a true delight. Fantasic Realism Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Smith, Andrew. The Marbury Lens. New York: Feiwel& Friends, 2010. 978-031-261-3423. 368 p. $17.99. Gr. 10-12 Escaping from serial killer Freddie Horvath is only the beginning of a nightmare for Jack. After accidently killing the killer, Jack and his friend Connor leave for London, where he is given a strange pair of glasses that transport him to grim post-apocalyptic world called Marbury. Jack‘s oft-repeated thought, ―Freddie Horvath did something to your brain and you better get help, Jack,‖ resonates throughout the narrative, linking his abduction by the serial killer to the alternate reality of Marbury and Jack‘s tenuous hold on sanity. Dark and creepy, it combines horror and science fiction in a way that readers, like the protagonist, Jack, will not be able to put the Marbury Lens down. Horror Fiction Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Soup, Cuthbert Dr. Another Whole Nother Story. Illustrations by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins. NY: Bloomsbury, 2010. 9781-5999-0436-8. 290 p. $16.99. Gr. 5-9. Dr. Soup has given the reader a fun, enjoyable fantasy story. Ethan Cheeseman decides to travel back in time with his children to find his murdered wife and discover a way to save her life. They set out in their time machine with a crew of circus performers and end up crashing as a meteorite puts a hole in the top of their time machine. Things to go from bad to worse as the murderer, who killed Mrs. Cheeseman, escaped prison. Do the Cheesemans end their family curse, do the circus performers rescue the White Chalice and can they all return to the twentieth–first century? Humor, Fantasy, Adventure Sandra Krieg – The Haverford School Springer, Nancy. Possessing Jessie. New York: Holiday House, 2010. 978-0-8234-2259-3. 88p. $16.95. Gr. 9-12. This ghost story is a short read but packs a lot into a mere eighty-eight pages. When Jessie‘s younger brother dies street racing she is left feeling guilty and isolated even in her own family. In order to gain attention from her distant mother she cuts her hair and begins to wear Jason‘s clothes. Jessie soon discovers she is losing time and that Josh is trying to regain his life through her body. This story will appeal to reluctant high school readers who are looking for a slim book. Ghost Stories/Horror Robin Burns – Whitehall High School Springstubb, Tricia. What happened on Fox Street. New York: Balzer + Bray, 2010. 978-0-06-198635-2. 218p. $15.99. Gr. 5-8. Mo lives on the best street in the world with her little sister, Dottie, and her father. Since their mother died, Mo takes care of her sister the best she can, but Dottie carelessly wanders the neighborhood each day. The summer is hot and dry. Change is threatening, and Mo doesn‘t like it one bit. Her father wants to move; it‘s not fair that she has to watch Dottie; and her best friend, Mercedes, is moody and doesn‘t understand. But the rain finally comes and Mo sees that some change is necessary. When she thinks Dottie is in danger, Mo realizes that she‘s not the only one grieving for her mother. She also underestimated her father and now realizes she can depend on him. Mercedes has a lot going on in her life and also needs a good friend. Realistic Michelle Stone-Sandy Run Middle School Standiford, Natalie. Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters. New York: Scholastic, 2010. 978-0-5451-0710-5. 313 p. $17.99. Gr. 8-11. Three sisters believe that they have made their Grandmother, Almighty Lou, angry enough to exclude their family from her will. The story is told in confession letters from each sister whose different points of view add interest to the book. Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters is centered around romance, immortality, and loyalty to your family. Even better, the surprise twist at the end will surely make you smile. Recommended. Family Life, Inheritance LilyB., Springfield Township Middle School Stapleton, Rhonda. Stupid Cupid. New York: Simon Pulse, 2009. 978-1-4169-7464-2. 244p. $9.99. Gr. 9+. When Felicity first applied for an after-school job at Cupid's Hollow, a local matchmaking company, she never imagined herself as a modern-day cupid. Equipped with her new pink PDA and uploaded files of classmates and friends, Felicity ditches the official manual and relies instead on her gut instinct to create matches. Considering herself doing a good deed, she matches her dear friend Maya to three different guys at the same time giving Maya the power to decide. Spending so much time helping others find love doesn't allow much freedom to focus on her own crush, Derek, but does ignite the romantic spark between her parents once again, although she has to witness their newfound infatuation firsthand. When Felicity uses her new cupid influence against her high school nemesis, she may have taken revenge too far. The ramifications of imperfect matches materialize in the school halls, and Felicity begins to 33


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question her ability and intentions. Candid humor and a sweet disposition create an endearing character who learns that love can flourish in the most unexpected situations. Romance Christine Massey – JW Parker Middle School Stone, Mary Hanlon. Invisible Girl. New York: Philomel, 2010. 978-0-399-25249-5. 279p. $16.99. Gr. 7+ Fourteen- year old Stephanie has been abandoned by her abusive mother. She is sent to live in LA with family friends. After moving to LA, Stephanie tells lie after lie. When her ―friends‖ find her in a few lies, they turn on her, and make her feel unwelcome. When the new girl, Amal, shows up at Stephanie‘s school, Stephanie finally lets someone in and tells her about her past. This book is a fastpaced, enjoyable read and will be enjoyed especially by teenage girls. Family Life/Friendship Jill Toye- Jenkintown Middle/High School Stork, Francisco X. Last Summer of the Death the Warriors. New York: Arthur A. Levine, 2010. 978-0-545-15133-7. 344p. $17.99. Gr. 8-12. 17-year-old Pancho arrives at an orphanage in Las Cruces after his father‘s recent death in a terrible work accident and the possible murder of his mentally disabled older sister, Rosa, who is found dead in a motel room. At St. Anthony‘s he meets and is assigned to help D.Q., who is dying of a rare form of brain cancer. When Helen, D.Q.'s mother, forces him into experimental chemotherapy, the boys must stay as a Ronald McDonald-type residence, where Marisol--the light of D.Q.‘s life (and Pancho‘s too eventually)--works. While Pancho packs a gun and plots revenge on his sister‘s married boyfriend, D.Q. tries to teach his new buddy the way of the Death Warrior—only when you love, do you truly live. The novel explores the nature of friendship, coming of age, Anglo-Mexican relationships, young love, faith, and how to die—while it subtly references Don Quixote. Stork knows how to create believable and memorable teen characters. A satisfying and beautifully written coming of age story. Realistic fiction. Buddy novel. Joyce Valenza - Springfield Township High School Strasnick, Lauren. Her and Me and You. New York: Simon Pulse, 2010. 978-1-4169-8266-1. 208p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. Sixteen year old Alex lives with her mother who numbs herself with alcohol in an effort to forget that Alex‘s father has a girlfriend and their marriage is over. Alex meets Fred, who has an obsessive anorexic twin sister, Adina. Adina is obsessed with Fred and Alex is not sure how to pursue the relationship with either twin. Alex has left her best friend back at home and is trying to stay best friends with her by long distance. This is a fast-paced book that you will not be able to put down as you watch Alex maneuver through life. Divorce, friendship, family-life Jill Toye - Jenkintown Middle/High School. Stratton, Allan. Borderline. New York: Harper Collins, 2010. 978-0-061-45111-9. 320p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. I loved Stratton's Chanda books and Borderline is another example of quality multicultural writing that teens will be drawn to. It has espionage, bullying and being Muslim in a private school. Sami has two great friends since fourth grade, Andy and Marty, yet he feels that his summer spent without them (his father wouldn't let him go on vacation with them) and having to return to his private school, has made Sami feel that his friends don't really need him. Things have been tense between Sami and his dad but when his father is arrested and charged with aiding in a terrorist plot; Sami begins his own investigation, and starts to find some damning evidence against his father. As Sami digs deeper and deeper he is bullied repeatedly in school and judged because he is Muslim. The plot thickens and the suspense is unnerving. With the help of Andy and Marty, Sami hatches a plot to get to the truth, and hopefully help his father. A gripping read about a teen who because of his religion is looked at differently when a life threatening situation develops. Stratton crafts a totally believable story about how unfair the legal system can be toward those with a different skin culture or culture. Keeping his wits about him, being beyond brave, and learning to find his voice, all describe Sami, who must rise above prejudice to save his family name. Prejudices BJ Neary – Abington Senior High Summers, Courtney. Some Girls Are. New York: St. Martin’sGriffin , 2010. 978-0-312-57380-5. 246p. $9.99. Gr. 8-10. Regina, once the most popular girl in the top clique in her high school, falls out of grace because of rumors about her and her best friend‘s boyfriend. Her friends cast her off and want revenge. Regina befriends a boy who was once the object of her own fearsome bullying tactics. As she tries to redeem herself, her ex-friends are watching and waiting. This will grab the most reluctant of readers, and keep them turning the pages of this relatable bullying novel all the way through to the tense, mind blowing conclusion. Bullies Trish P. – Abington Senior High School Supplee, Suzanne. Somebody Everybody Listens To. New York: Dutton, 2010. 978-0-525-42242-6. 245p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. Retta Lee Jones has always dreamed of using her amazing talent to become a country singer. After high school, she begs her aunt to lend her a car, takes her meager savings, and heads to her future in Nashville. However, when she arrives, she is mugged, she wrecks her car, has no place to live, no money, and no job. Thanks to a soft-hearted tow-truck operator, Retta gets on her feet, starts singing at a local hotel, and then has misfortune strike again when there is a crisis at home that calls her back. Despite her setbacks, Retta is strong-willed and determined, and eventually gets her big break. Realistic Fiction Nancy Chrismer, Juniata High School Tashjian, Janet. My Life as a Book. New York: Henry Holt, 2010. 978-0-8050-8903-5. 211p. $16.99. Gr. 4-6. Derek, who hates to read, becomes curious when he ―accidentally‖ reads an article about Susan James who drowned and died many years ago. Susan had been Derek‘s babysitter, and he read that she drowned trying to save him. He spends the rest of

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the summer investigating the real cause of her death. Illustrations for vocabulary words will help readers understand this very touching and humorous story. Realistic Fiction, Books and Reading, Family Life Katie L., Springfield Township Middle School Teller, Janne. Nothing. New York: Atheneum, 2010. 978-1-4169-8579-2. 227p. $16.99. Gr. 7-12. When Pierre Anthon sits down for his first day of seventh grade, he immediately declares, ―Nothing matters. I have known that for a long time. So nothing is worth doing. I just realized that.‖ All of his peers think he is just being dramatic, but what they don‘t know is that there is something deep inside Pierre. After stating that nothing matters, he stalks out of the room and sits in a plum tree. Every day on their way to school, his peers are pelted with plums and heckled about how there is no meaning to life. One day, the children grow tired of his games and decide to build a ―Pile of Meaning.‖ But, when things go too far and someone gets hurt; everyone pays for it. This was an interesting and twisted story. It touched upon difficult topics such as adolescence, death and the meaning of life. Interpersonal relations. Casey H. & Autumn W. – Abington Senior High School Thompson, Ricki. City of Cannibals. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills, 2010. 978-1-59078-623-9. 266p. $18.95. Grades 9-12. Dell, sixteen, lives with her younger brother and drunken nasty father, both dwarfs, in a mountain cave where they receive monthly supplies from a monk. When she can no longer tolerate her father‘s abuse, she leaves with her puppet in her pocket to go to find the monk in the very place her father has strongly warned her against, the City of Cannibals. She indeed sees there the horrors of poverty, filth, disease, trickery, and murder but ultimately also finds some friends who help her survive. She also learns how her mother was killed. The City is, as the reader discovers later, London in 1536, just after Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic Church in order to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry and then behead Anne Boleyn. Dell becomes unwittingly caught up in the King‘s drive to increase his power and wealth by suppressing the Church and beheading its advocates. Oliver Cromwell rides through the streets and the pages of the story taking the names of ―traitors‖ in his little black book. Metaphors fill the novel: the City of Cannibals is human civilization; the Garden of Eden is a monastery; Adam and Eve are the story of every child‘s passage from innocence to adult civilization, sexuality, and the redemption of sin through the power of friendship and love; and the rebirth of life after passing through fire. The author includes a note on the historical setting. Highly recommended Coming of age Teenagers Runaways London 1536 Henry VIII Romance Eleanor Howe, Pine-Richland HS, retired. Truong, Monique. Bitter in the Mouth. New York: Random House, 2010. 978-1-40006-908-8. 282p. $25.00. Gr. 9-12. Linda, the main character, is characterized by a special trait, the ability to physically taste each word as we watch her navigate a difficult experience growing up in a challenging family. While at first, this trait was difficult to grasp, it did actually prove to be an interesting parallel to each encounter that shaped Linda‘s unique life. In addition, to many of the traditional stories and experiences that many coming of age stories relate, there is also an element of mystery that really holds the readers‘ interest and makes it a compelling read. Family life BJ Neary – Abington Senior High School Tuttle, Cameron. Paisley Hanover Kisses and Tells. New York: Dial Press, 2010. 978-0-803-73287-2. 360p. $12.74. Gr. 9-11. High School students will gravitate towards this trendy little book filled with high school drama. Paisley Hanover is a fighter for the unpopular kids and begins the book by winning a student government election, yet not being awarded with the title. Her classmates are in an uproar because they know she won and go to the vice principal's office to demand a recount. He allows a recount by handing them the shredded ballots. They stage a protest and in the meantime Paisley and her friends have a ton of additional drama that they are going through. There is a sexting incident which doesn't look good for Paisley's friend, Jen. Paisley has more than one boyfriend that she is juggling and doesn't know what to do about and Paisley and her protesters are getting slammed in the school newspaper. Drama does not bring Paisley and her friends down. Together, they outwit it all in a funny, cute, drama packed book. Realistic Fiction. Karen Hornberger- Palisades High School Van Draanen, Wendelien. The Running Dream. New York: Knopf, 2011. 978-0-3758-6667-8. 352p. $16.99. Gr. 7-12. Jessica is a star runner, until she loses part of a leg in a bus accident. Her recovery and emotional trauma are just the beginning of the story. Jessica finds a new friend in Rosa, a girl who is difficult to understand because she has cerebral palsy. When Jessica gets a prosthesis and can walk again, she dreams of running. Her track team works together to raise money to buy a special prosthesis designed for running. Jessica chooses to take on an even bigger challenge than a normal race, in order to give Rosa her own chance to participate in a race. This is a heart-warming story full of interesting characters with themes of teamwork and overcoming all odds. Toni Vahlsing, Abington Friends School Vivian, Siobhan. Not That Kind of Girl. New York: Scholastic, 2010. 978-0-545-16915-8. 322p. $17.99. Gr. 9-12. Natalie Sterling is determined to make the right choices: good grades, preparation for a good college, and becoming the next female president of Student Council. She is determined to avoid the boy jerks who can ruin a girl‘s reputation with one comment, and she is even more determined to fight against the double standard of behavior for boys and girls that permeates everything. Suddenly, Natalie is starting to find herself attracted to one of the boys she is determined to hate, and her life starts to spiral out of control as she tries to keep some big secrets. To save herself, she is going to need to change her attitude and behavior, and Natalie is not sure she can do that. Romance/Teen novel Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School

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Volponi, Paul. Rikers High. New York: Viking, 2010. 978-0-670-01107-0. 247p. $16.99. Gr. 9+ This story takes place over a period of seventeen days and is about the life of fifteen-year old Martin. Martin ends up in jail after telling an undercover cop where the cop can buy drugs. Martin goes to jail thinking he will be out very soon, yet we next meet him after he has been in jail for five months. On the way back from court, Martin is slashed down the entire side of his face because he gets caught in a fight between two other inmates. We see what a good kid he really is. Even in agony from the injury, the most fearful part of the incident to Martin is telling his mom what happened to him. He does not want to upset her. There is a teacher in the jail who wants to help Martin, but will he accept the help? The dialogue is understandable street slang. This is yet another remarkable novel by Volponi and does not disappoint. Violence, Juvenile Delinquency Jill Toye -Jenkintown Middle/High School Vrettos, Adrienne Maria. The Exile of Gigi Lane. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2010. 978-1-4169-24333. 340p. $16.99. Gr. 10-12. Gigi Lane attends Swan Lake High School. There are many different cliques and Gigi is in the ―Hot Spot‖ and poised to be head honcho senior year. When the Founders Ball comes around, Gigi does something that she is not supposed to and is exiled. As an outcast, life can‘t get much worse for her but Gigi Lane is not the kind to lie down and accept her fate. The ending is totally unexpected and it was a great all girls book with no boy drama. Cliques Diane T. – Abington Senior High Wagner, Hilary. Nightshade City. New York: Holiday House, 2010. 978-0-8234-2285-2. 262 p. $17.95. Gr. 5-8. The Catacombs under a modern city were the refuge of the rat population that had developed its own society, but Killdeer with his unscrupulous, vicious cohort, Billycan organizes a Bloody Coup, overthrowing the democratic government and creating a cruel dictatorship. Many rats flee and begin secretly to create the new city, Nightshade. The remaining rats live in constant fear, paying tribute to the now decadent, obese Killdeer; living under the threat of Billycan‘s unpredictable temper. Soldiers are everywhere. Orphaned boys are taken into the army while girls are practically enslaved as domestics. The society is eroding fast. A new generation has escaped to Nightshade City and is willing to help Juniper, the leader of the rebels, rescue the remaining rats. Their unusual allies are the earthworms, who themselves have been oppressed. Together they engineer a new city. There is much action and intrigue. Redwall and Warrior fans will find this book compelling. This allegorical adventure of good rats vs. evil rats could lead to a discussion about modern governments. The end is a bit unsettling or is it? Fantasy; dictators; rebellion Jeannie Bellavance Ward, Rachel. Numbers. New York: Scholastic (Chicken House), 2010. 0545143004. 325p. $17.99. Gr. 8-12. Fifteen-year-old Jem Marsh has an eerie gift—the ability to see a person‘s date of death when she looks into their eyes. Now a foster child, after the overdose of her drug-addicted mother, loner Jem reluctantly begins to build a relationship with another outsider, Spider--a tall and smelly misfit of a boy--despite the fact that she knows he is doomed to die soon. On a day trip to the London Eye ferris wheel, Jem realizes that a number of people in the line have the same date of death—that very day. Because they flee the scene, Jem and Spider are now suspects. They escape and are chased through the English countryside. This gritty page-turner, with convincing teen characters, ends with a clever twist. Adventure. Realistic. Romance. Joyce Valenza - Springfield Township High School Weber, John R. Orphan. New Jersey: WestSide Books, 2010. 978-1-934813-38-6. 301p. $16.95. Gr. 9-12. When Homer learns that he‘s adopted, he sets out to find out who his ―real‖ family is by heading off to New York City in hopes of finding them along with his best friend Jamie. This story is set during the depression and we get to see a real picture of traveling the rails with the hobos. The boys find themselves in danger immediately and a kind hobo, called Smilin‘ Jack saves them and proceeds to watch out for them. The adventures of Homer and Jamie will keep you reading until the last page. Family, Friendship, Survival Jill Toye - Jenkintown Middle/High School Wells, Rosemary. On the Blue Comet. Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2010. 978-0-7636-3722-4. 329p. $16.99. Gr. 5-8. This interesting adventure blends history with time travel. Eleven-year-old Oscar and his father are model train enthusiasts, with an extensive layout of Lionel trains. When the depression hits in 1931, they lose everything and Oscar is sent to live with his demanding aunt. His train layout is then on display in the local bank, so Oscar visits each evening to play with it, until one night when robbers break in. As they shoot at Oscar, he jumps onto the layout and becomes tiny enough to enter the trains. In this new dimension, he meets a young Ronald Reagan, and when the train gets to his father in California, it is ten years later. WWII is underway and Oscar looks 21 though he is really still 11. Threatened with being drafted into the army, Oscar again jumps onto a model train layout and into another dimension. This time he goes to 1926 and he looks like he‘s 5 years-old. Here he meets other historical figures, but when they come to take him to an orphanage, Oscar jumps onto another model train layout and finally travels back to 1931. He arrives ten days after he left and identifies the bank robbers. A reward allows Oscar and his father to live together once again. Several color illustrations by BagramIbatoulline compliment the text. Historical Adventure Michelle Stone-Sandy Run Middle School Wells, Rosemary. On The Blue Comet. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press 2010. 978-0-7636-3722-4. 329p. $16.99. Gr. 4-7. A unique combination of historical fiction and time-travel fantasy, this book should appeal to boys who are fans of either genre, as well as those who like trains or model trains. Young readers of today will learn of the impact of the Great Depression on the lives of ordinary Americans, as well as the impact of Pearl Harbor on the citizens of the U.S. as well as meeting historic figures of those times. The protagonist, Oscar Ogilvie is immensely likable, and his time traveling adventures are filled with excitement and suspense. Historic Fantasy Peter Olsho, Springfield Township Middle School 36


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Wenberg, Michael. Stringz. New Jersey: WestSide Books, 2010. 978-1-934813-33-1. 216p. $16.95. Gr. 6-10. Jace Adams, a half African American, half Irish fourteen-year old boy moves so much that he has been in four different schools in one year. Things change when he and his mom move into his Aunt Bernice‘s house. Jace finds comfort in his cello, Ruby. While playing on the streets to make extra money, a man leaves a $100 bill along with a business card. This man is a well-known cellist and wants to help Jace in a competition to win $10,000 and a full scholarship to a music college. Interpersonal relations, Family Jill Toye- Jenkintown Middle/High School. Werlin, Nancy. Extraordinary. New York: Dial Books, 2010. 978-0-8037-3372-5. 393p. $15.29. Gr. 8-12. Phoebe Rothschild leads a life of wealth and privilege as the descendent of a famous banker, but she does not quite fit in with her ―extraordinary‖ family. When she meets Mallory, unkempt and slightly bizarre, in seventh grade she immediately attaches herself to the girl in hopes of finally finding a true friend. The pair remains best friends all through high school, but what Phoebe doesn‘t know is that Malloy has actually been sent by the Faerie Queen to settle a debt earned by Phoebe‘s ancestor. When Mallory is unwilling to deceive her friend, her manipulative brother, Rylan, is sent to trick Phoebe with romance. When Phoebe finally learns of the debt she must choose between saving her family with her death or ending the world of Faerie by refusing to give in. I really enjoyed the combination of folklore and modern day society in this novel. Faeries/Friends Melissa Daugherty – Sharon-Middle High School Wesselhoeft, Conrad. Adios, Nirvana._Boston: Houghton Mifflin Books, 2010. 978-054-736-8955. 240p. $16.00. Gr. 8-12. Jonathan, a talented guitarist and award-winning poet seems to be on the road to self-destruction, as well repeating his junior year, after the death of his twin brother. His one chance is to write the memoirs of a World War II veteran in hospice. Music and poetry, caring teachers and friends, and a delightful assortment of hospice patients help Jonathan come to grips with his grief and survivor guilt. Realistically and satisfyingly written, with real and imagined musicians, this quick read will engage music fans and reluctant readers alike. Realistic Fiction Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Williams, Carol Lynch. Glimpse. New York: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman, 2010. 978-1-416-97454-3. 496p. $16.99.. Gr. 9-12. I read this novel-in-verse and couldn't put it down. It was compelling to see the main character, Hope, telling her story about her beloved sister, Lizzy, who attempts suicide and has been institutionalized. Hope doesn't know why Lizzie has done this and it is her process of getting to the truth that is particularly sad. Her conscious mind recalls a fairly normal life with her mother and Lizzie. It is only with her revelations as she recounts her life, that we see a mother who has truly been neglecting her kids (but Hope sees this as her normal life, the way it has always been). Hope's bond with Lizzie and vice-versa is truly unbreakable because they have always looked after each other although they do not talk about their dysfunctional mother. We come to root for Mrs. Freeman, who has watched the girls when their mother is "occupied" and hope Mrs. Freeman continues to be involved; even after the shouting match with her mother. This prompts Hope's mother to flee with Hope to live in a mobile home trailer, where there will not be "eyes" and judgments. You want Hope to open up to Dr. Martino, so they can find out why Lizzie tried to kill herself. It was a sad, depressing book and there is hope and resilience at the end, but at what cost? Two wonderful girls as children are like two wounded bird as teens; who did not deserve what "life" has given them in the form of a self-serving, lying, deceitful mother. Prostitution BJ Neary – Abington Senior High Williams, David. The Boy in the Dress. New York: Razorbill, 2009. 1595142991. 232p. $15.99. Gr. 7-9. 12-year-old Dennis is sad and lonely because his mother left him, his brother, and his dad. His dad is not coping well, his older brother is not comforting, and Dennis is left alone to deal with his loneliness, despite being the school‘s star soccer player. Dennis loves fashion, a hobby he has to keep hidden from his father, who throws away his treasured Vogue magazine, the only one that Dennis ever bought. When his friend Lisa persuades Dennis to dress up in an orange-sequined dress and go to school as ―Denise‖ to try to fool people, Dennis gets expelled and is not allowed to play in the soccer championship game. Lisa feels guilty about causing Dennis‘s expulsion, so on game day, she comes up with a plan to rescue the situation and save the day. A funny and touching novel about a boy who is trying to find out who he is. Coming-of-age/Humor Nancy Chrismer, Juniata High School Williams, Gabrielle. Beatle Meets Destiny. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2010. 978-0-7614-5723-7. 342p. $17.99. Gr. 9-12. Beatle, a twin whose real name is John Lennon,,is a likeable but superstitious eighteen-year-old who is in his last year of high school in Melbourne, Australia. Despite already having a girlfriend, he is immediately attracted to Destiny when they first meet. Things get complicated when Beatle‘s twin sister, who is his girlfriend‘s best friend, secretly starts seeing Destiny‘s older brother. Beatle‘s attempt to fix all the things that are going wrong causes everything to blow up in his face and all his secrets to come out at once. This is a funny teen romance that will appeal to a wide variety of teens. Teen Romance Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School Williams-Garcia, Rita. One Crazy Summer. New York: Amistad, 2010. 978-0-06-076089-2. 218 p. $16.89. Gr. 4-7. A month-long visit to California to see their mother who abandoned them seven years earlier offers hope to 11-year-old Delphine and her younger sisters for a rekindling of motherly love. They are met, however, with a cold, disinterested Cecile who cares more about her work as a poet and printer than she does about her daughters. With no food in the house, Cecile sends the girls for Chinese takeout and then will not allow them in the kitchen to eat because they may disturb her work. It is 1968, and Cecile (aka Sister Inzilla) is involved with the Black Panthers. She sends the girls to a Black Panthers‘ summer camp where they learn about revolution. Delphine‘s capacity to understand her mother and the needs of her sisters is greater than one would expect from a child her age. 37


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However, Williams-Garcia has expertly drawn her character with a maturity that has come from her experience as a substitute mother to her sisters. Poignant and touching, this novel belongs in every middle school library. Historical Fiction Ro Becker – Springfield Township Middle School Woods, Brenda. A Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2010. 978-0-399-24683-8. 164p. $16.99. Gr. 10-12. Woods takes the reader on a thoughtful look into the world of teenagers by using multiple perspectives on teen life by alternating narrators for each chapter. As if high school isn‘t hard enough with peer pressure, fitting in and getting good grades, Woods incorporates the topics of interracial dating, poverty, absent parents and sexual abuse. Their teacher, Mrs. Hart challenges her students to take a deeper look at themselves and consider if they could get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for anything they‘re good at, for anything good that they‘ve done, or plan to do. What would their star be for? As the students contemplate their assignment, their stories and personalities unfold, creating a heartfelt and engaging novel. High Schools Lauren O. – Abington Senior High Woods, Elizabeth. Choker. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011. 978-1-442-41233-0. 234p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. Cara and Zoe were best friends in fifth grade until Cara moved away. Ten years later, something terrible happens at Zoe‘s house and she runs away to hide out Cara‘s. During the time Zoe is hiding in Cara‘s bedroom, terrible things are happening: the next door neighbor is found drowned in her own pool! This is the first of many events to get this psychological thriller going! This is a wellwritten book by a first time author and it will keep you in suspense until the last page. Thriller/Friendship. Jill Toye – Jenkintown. Middle/High School Wright, Denis. Violence 101. New York: Putnam, 2010. 978-0-399-25493. 221p. $16.99. Gr. 8 and Up. Hamish Graham is a dangerously disturbed fourteen-year old boy. He is too young to be in jail for the atrocities he has committed; at eight years old, sneaking into his school and destroying everyone‘s science fair projects, at ten years old, pushing an elderly man off of a dock, resulting in the man hitting his head and drowning. We meet him two and a half hours into his first day in his third institution when he sticks a fork in another student‘s cheek during dinner. It is almost impossible to read because of the horror he has inflicted on others. We also see that Hamish has no idea why people get upset with him. This is a fascinating book and it will keep you in suspense until the last page. Violence, Juvenile Delinquency. Jill Toye – Jenkintown Middle/High School Yovanoff, Brenna. The Replacement. New York: RazorBill, 2010. 978-1-59514-337-2. 343p. $17.99. Gr. 9-12. The Replacement is an unconventional fairy tale set in the unlucky town of Gentry. Mackie is a teenage boy who at birth was placed in a family‘s crib to replace the child a mysterious figure took. ―Allergic‖ to iron and blood, Mackie must navigate high school and keep his secret. But he‘s at risk of being exposed when yet another child-sister of his could be crush, Tate, goes missing. Mackie must face his past if he is to uncover Gentry‘s secret. This book was great because it flawlessly combined modern, teen issues with a fantasy aspect. Mackie‘s voice is strong and different than other YA heroes. This book is appropriate for all genders. Horror Maureen B. – Abington Senior High School Youme, Landowne. Mali Under the Night Sky, A Lao Story of Home. Texas: CincoPuntos Press, 2010. 978-1-9336-9368-2. 40p. $17.95. Gr. 1-4. Mali loves her lush and beautiful home in a Laotian village, but imminent war forces her family to flee. Sneaking across the Mekong River and hiding in a banana grove only lead to capture by authorities. Mali and her family are jailed for their homelessness. It is only when Mali tells stories about the beauty of her home and the richness of her culture that she, and the others in the jail cell, regain hope. This is a lovely story of a child in a war-torn country whose memories of home bring strength to those around her. A gentle look at the issues of refugees and war for younger children. The addition of Lao language and Youme‘s soft paintings make this a unique and special book. Sheila May-Stein – Community Day School. Yu, Charles. How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe. New York: Pantheon, 2010. 978-0307379207. 239p. $24.00. Gr. 8+. Fascinating, satirical and hilarious with a ton of plot twists, this sci-fi tale introduces Charles Yu, a time travel technician who prevents people from changing their past. It‘s a grunt job, he doesn‘t have much of a life unless you count Ed, his virtual dog and travelling companion, his time travel device‘s computer interface TAMMY with low self-esteem, and his boss Phil, a Microsoft operating system who thinks he‘s a human with a wife and three kids. But when Charles‘ future self appears and gives him a book he himself wrote in the future, which may help or hinder his quest for his disappeared scientist father, things get really interesting. The sci-fi comedy setting is really just a fun wrapper for examining depression, regret and disappointment, family drama and love. A fun ride and totally worthwhile read for middle school through adult. Science Fiction Kathie Jackson – Arcadia University Library Student Zombies vs. Unicorns. Compiled by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2010. 978-1-4169-9853-0. 415p. $16.99. Gr. 8-12. This is a collection of short stories meant to convince the reader that either zombies or unicorns make better stories. There are ―teams‖ made up of authors and there are twelve stories each written by a different popular teen author. The stories were 38


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entertaining and ranged from funny to serious. My favorite story was Love Will Tear You Apart by Alaya Dawn Johnson about a boy who had been infected with a zombie virus but was half cured. He escapes the lab with the urge to eat human flesh. He meets a boy who he finds smells particularly appetizing and falls in love with him. This story was hilariously funny. This is a fun, refreshing collection of short stories that raises important issues while making an interesting competition between the teens. Short stories Alyssa W. – Abington Senior High Zweig, Eric. Fever Season. Toronto: Dundurn, 2009. 978-1-55488-432-2. 254p. $10.99. Grades 6-12. Zweig creates the story of a boy‘s life from his involvement in the three major historical events of his formative years: World War I, the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, and the Stanley Cup playoff games of 1919. Young David Saifert, the son of parents who work in Montreal factories, experiences and overcomes bullying at school, goes to ice hockey games with his formerly distant father, hears of the horrors of poison gas and trench warfare from the letters of a friend‘s brother, and shakes his father‘s hand as he boards the train that takes him to the war in Europe. His world, however, is turned upside down by the arrival of the deadly flu. With help from other adults in his life and a bit of good luck, David puts his own skills to good use and manages to surmount the challenges he faces. The author, who wrote earlier young adult nonfiction titles about sports, develops very realistic settings from interviews and research; he includes a bibliography. Interesting details paint an excellent picture of early 20 th century life in Montreal neighborhoods, the impact of sending soldiers to fight in Europe on family life, professional hockey teams and games, and the public health measures taken to hold the Spanish Flu in check. There is no questionable material, and the plot has suspenseful elements. This book will be enjoyed by those with an interest in history and ice hockey ~ its professional players, arenas, travel, and play of games. Highly recommended. Boys Ice hockey World War I Canada Influenza epidemic of 1919 Eleanor Howe, Pine-Richland HS, retired

FICTION SERIES AND SEQUELS Anderson, Laurie Halse. Forge. New York: Atheneum, 2010. 978-1-4169-6144-4. 304p. $16.99. Gr. 6-10. Curzon is on the run. He‘s a fifteen-year old runaway slave who just got separated from his dear friend Isabel who risked her life to free them both. He happens upon the Battle of Saratoga, saves a soldier‘s life, and falls in with the ragtag patriot army in 1777. Curzon joins the march onward to the encampment at Valley Forge where he endures the brutal winter, starving conditions, disease, lack of supplies and sometimes cruel, racist treatment. Anderson does an amazing job contrasting the story of early Americans‘ fight for freedom with the lack of personal freedoms people of color experienced. She does this with crisp, easy prose, believable dialog and personal stories that ring true. This sequel to Chains contains an appendix reviewing facts and terminology used. Historical Fiction. Kathie Jackson, - Arcadia University Library Student Anderson, Laurie Halse. Forge. New York: Atheneum, 2010. 978-1-41696-144-4. 297p. $16.99. Gr. 5-9. Using well-researched historical detail Anderson has crafted a winning sequel to the much acclaimed novel Chains. Former slave Curzon is on his own and finds himself enlisting in the Continental Army where he and other soldiers endure the hardships during the Valley Forge winter of 1777. While Curzon‘s narration gives a detailed account of the wretched conditions that soldiers endured including frostbite, filth, and lack of food, it is his personal story that gives heart to Forge. Friendship, cruel racism, longing for Isabel, and a dangerous escape will engage readers. Historical quotes at the beginning of each chapter parallel Curzon‘s account and add authenticity. An appendix with historical questions and a glossary of vocabulary words add value for curricular tie-ins. An enthusiastic recommendation from one who is anxiously awaiting Ashes, the final installment of the Seeds of America trilogy. Historical Fiction, Valley Forge (PA),African Americans, Slavery, American Revolution Ro Becker – Springfield Township Middle School Avi. Crispin: The End of Time. New York: Balzer + Bray, 2010. 978-0-06-174080-0. 233p. $16.99. Gr. 5-8. The exciting third adventure in the Crispin trilogy takes place in 1377 AD France. Crispin and Troth are traveling north trying to reach mysterious Iceland, in search of freedom. When they beg food and shelter at a nunnery, Troth decides to stay on as their healer. Sadly, Crispin goes on alone. He soon meets with a family of musicians who turn out to be thieves and murderers. Young Owen is their servant. He and Crispin plan their escape though they are closely watched. Crispin secretly arranges for a ship bound for Iceland, and the boys make their escape pursued by the family and soldiers who believe them to be murderers. Historical Adventure. Michelle Stone-Sandy Run Middle School Baccalario, Pierdomenico. Star of Stone. New York: Random House, 2010. 978-0-375-85896-3. 287p. $16.99. Gr. 7-12. This is the second book in the Century Quartet series. Four teens, Sheng from China, Harvey from New York, Mistral from France, and Elettra from Italy, are destined to save the world. It‘s been a year since they found the Ring of Fire in the previous book. Each has a special gift, and in this book Harvey discovers that he can speak to and heal the earth. They come together in New York City to solve the mystery of the Star of Stone. They discover the city‘s history as they follow clues and evade the evil Dr. Nose. Mystery Michelle Stone-Sandy Run Middle School Brennan, Sarah. The Demon's Covenant. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2010. 978-1-4169-6381-3. 440p. $17.99. Gr. 9+. Less than a month has passed since Mae and Jamie were in trouble, but once again Jamie finds himself entangled with the magicians, the same group who recently tried to take his life. Mae cannot rescue him alone, so she elicits the help of Nick and Alan once

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again. While both brothers concede without much hesitation, the strain on their relationship is obvious, even if neither will discuss it. In the sequel to The Demon's Lexicon, the danger and mystique of the magicians and market place are still very real, and Mae must confront the secrets and potential betrayals in order to save the ones she loves. Fantasy Christine Massey – JW Parker Middle School Brooks, Terry. Bearers of the Black Staff. New York: Del Rey/Ballantine Books, 2010. 978-0-345-48417-8. 353p. $27.00. Gr. 10-Adult. Fans of Shannara will welcome this ―sequel‖ to The Gypsy Morph. Out of the devastation that concluded with the Genesis of Shannara series, Hawk led the remaining elves, men and other races to a mountain valley where a wall created by their combined magic has kept the evil demons without at bay for 500 years. Now that magical wall has been breached, allowing evil creatures to enter the valley. Once again, a magical quest must be undertaken to save the fragile world. Sword and sorcery fanatasy at its finest. Fantasy Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Card, Orson Scott. Pathfinder. New York: Simon Pulse, 2010. 978-1-4169-9176-2. 662p. $18.99. Gr. 7 to adult. Fans of Orson Scott Card‘s work will be delighted to discover this book, the first in a new series. Card is well known for his powerful portrayals of children suddenly faced with adult decisions and moral responsibilities, such as Ender Wiggin in the Ender series of books. Rigg is another strong, young character. However, unlike the Ender series set in a technologically advanced world, Rigg lives in a pre-machine world. Rigg has certain powers, which he uses to help his father in the wilds, trapping animals. But Rigg‘s father is no ordinary trapper, and he has taught Rigg the skills necessary for a very different life. Rigg needs all of these skills, and more, when his father suddenly dies in the woods, sending Rigg on a quest with his dying words. The dramatic quest story would be worth reading by itself, but Card has interspersed it with an apparently unrelated story of a high tech earth that is seeking to secure the future of the human race by colonizing a distant planet. As the book unfolds, the connection between the two stories becomes clear, as does the identity of the man Rigg has called Father, setting the scene for additional books that will explore issues of human biological and social evolution, and raising the question of what it means to be human. Fantasy and Science Fiction. Russ Bellavance Carter, Ally. Heist Society. New York: Disney Hyperion, 2010. 978-1-42311-639-4. 291p. $16.99. Gr. 6-10. Kat has spent her childhood at famous museums, not visiting, but helping her father, a famous thief, steal paintings. Kat decides to get out of the family business and forges her way into the prestigious Colgan School, only to be set up by a past colleague, sixteen-yearold billionaire Hale, and kicked out. Kat makes the decision to return to her roots after discovering that her father has been framed for stealing paintings from an Italian mob boss and that his life is in danger. She gathers a team, including the charming, yet cunning Hale, and travels across Europe in search of the paintings and real thief. The sequel, Uncommon Criminals, is set to be release June 21, 2011. Art and Crime Melissa Daugherty – Sharon-Middle High School Chatterton, Martin. The Brain Full of Holes. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers, 2010. 978-1-56145-527-0. $16.95. 250p. Gr. 7-10. Sheldon and his new stepbrother, Theophilus Nero Hercule Sherlock Wimsey Father Brown Marlowe Spade Christie Edgar Allen Brain, aka ―The Brain‖, have just moved to Switzerland when things begin to vanish mysteriously. The holes in Swiss cheese, a driver, and a huge truck simply disappear. In one hilarious episode the boys and their friend Helga find what is missing, although not without great confusion, danger, and a two-headed butler from another dimension. Science Fiction/Mystery Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School Clare, Cassandra. Clockwork Angel. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2010. 978-1-41697-586-1. 479p. $16.99. Gr. 8+. Set in Victorian London, this new series titled Infernal Devices is the prequel to Clare‘s Mortal Instruments series. Sixteen-year-old orphan, Tessa Gray, has set off to find her brother but finds herself kidnapped by the evil Dark Sisters. Through their experiments and torture, she discovers that she has the power to shape change and that they intend for her to marry their master, the diabolical Magister, who hopes to exploit her power. After a dangerous rescue, Tessa finds herself at the Institute among a team of struggling Shadowhunters. Though they are wary of Tessa and her powers, the group work together to discover the secret identity of the Magister and find Tessa‘s brother. Fans of the Mortal Instruments series will enjoy seeing familiar characters, like Magnus Bane, and learning more about the history of the Shadowhunters. The sequel, Clockwork Prince, is set to be released December 6, 2011. Fantasy/Steampunk Melissa Daugherty – Sharon-Middle High School Collins, Amberly& Collins, Brandilyn. Final Touch. Michigan: Zondervan, 2010. 978-0-310-719335. 210p. $9.99. Gr. 8-12. This fast-paced book is the third in the Rayne Tour Series. You can read this book without reading the others because the beginning of the book quickly catches you up. Shaley‘s mother is finally marrying her teen crush, Shaley‘s father and Shaley is thrilled! Her mother was a teenage mother and is now a famous rock star. Shaley‘s dream life is coming true. Right before the wedding Shaley is kidnapped by a crazy man who wants her to be his bride. This contains a very religious theme. Christian family Jill Toye – Jenkintown Middle/High School Collins, Suzanne. Mockingjay. New York: Scholastic, 2010. 9780439023511. 400p. $17.99. Gr. 7+. This final volume in the Hunger Games trilogy does not disappoint! After her second victory in the Games, Katniss joins the rebels. She becomes their revered icon, their television star (as well as their pawn) as they plot to destroy the Capitol and remove President 40


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Snow. While Gale fights with Katniss, Peeta is being held and brainwashed in the Capitol. The book is filled with Collins‘ depictions of a most violent future war with an astonishing death toll and her harsh satire of media‘s role in fueling it. Katniss, is a powerful female heroine who searches her soul to understand the value of the war she is fighting, her own complicity in the violence, and to determine who is the true enemy. This great read would be challenging as a standalone. Readers need the background and understanding of character only possible by reading the first two titles. Dystopian fantasy. Adventure. Joyce Valenza, Springfield Township High School Dashner, James. The Scorch Trials. New York: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2010. 978-0385738750. 368p. $17.99. Gr. 7 and Up. The Scorch Trials builds on the ―survival‖ formula started in the Maze Runner, but adds more action; more suspense, and more twists and turns. Readers should not walk in expecting the same old thing. After being successfully ―rescued‖ from the maze, Thomas and the others think all their troubles are over. But when their building is suddenly attacked by Cranks, zombie-like people who will do anything to take a bite out of you, and Theresa goes missing, the Gladers must once again struggle to survive. The Scorch Trials doesn‘t waste any time getting into the action, and once it does, it never stops. But at the same time, the story doesn‘t get pushed to the back burner. Readers beware: the Cranks are described very vividly. So those who are easily scared or a little squeamish may have a tough time. All will enjoy this exhilarating novel filled with action, suspense, and heart break. A. B. The Haverford School

David, Keren. When I Was Joe. London: Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2010. 978-1-84780-100-5. 364p. $16.95. Gr. 7-10. After witnessing a murder, Ty and his mother assume new identities in the witness protection program. Ty‘s new persona, Joe, enables him to be everything he wasn‘t before – popular, athletic, and a chick magnet. But, inevitably he and his mother once again find themselves in danger. The excellent characterization and taut plot will keep teens on the edge of their seats. The cliff-hanger ending is supplemented with the first chapter of the sequel at the end of the book. Sure to be popular with even reluctant readers. Realistic Fiction Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Feinstein, John. The Rivalry: Mystery at the Army-Navy Game. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. 978-0375865701. 266 p. $16.99. Gr. 5-9. Feinstein, who wrote A Civil War: Army vs. Navy, now brings this famous rivalry to life for Middle School students. He takes Susan Carol Anderson and Stevie Thomas into a world where honor is a way of life. Stevie and Susan Carol are allowed into the inner sanctum of the West Point and the Naval Academy football teams…they get to meet with the coaches, players and security details. Stevie even manages to meet and anger Bobby Knight at West Point. Susan Carol writes a scathing piece for the Post and starts getting threats, and the security heightens as the President is to arrive for the game. And once again, these two teenagers are thrust into a world of adventure, mystery and danger. Adventure, Mystery, Friendships. Sandra Krieg – The Haverford School Fisher, Catherine. Sapphique. New York: Dial, 2010. 978-0-8037-3397-8. 462p. $17.99. Gr. 9-12. Sapphique is a magnificent tale about a living Prison and its yearning to experience the Outside world. The Outside World is caught in an unchanging Era, under the rule of the Protocol and a deceptive Queen hell who are bent on staying young and in power. The book begins where Incarceron left off. Finn is living in the uptight Realm as its Prince with Claudia Arlexa, the Warden of Incarceron‘s daughter, trying to find a way to save the Realm and free the inmates of Incarceron. Meanwhile Finn‘s oath brother and Attia manage to find a magical glove that the Prison would kill for. This well written steam punk novel will appeal to fans of Narnia, The Mortal Instruments, and Harry Potter. This book is absolutely amazing. Fantasy Brandy R. – Abington Senior High School Fisher, Catherine. Incarceron. New York: Dial Books, 2010. 978-0-8037-3396-1. 442p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. In spellbinding language, Fisher creates the harsh world of Incarceron. To Claudia, the daughter of the warden of Incarceron, her world is considered outside Incarceron and contains beauty but her whole life has been training and preparing to marry the heir of Incarceron. To Finn, an inmate, Incarceron is a hell of deprivation, fear, mutants, and darkness and to be escaped at all costs. Finn believes he was not always a part of Incarceron, he has seizures and speaks to Sapphique who was the only one who ever escaped Incarceron. Claudia and Finn separately find keys that unlock doors of Incarceron. Together with Finn, his oath brother, Keiro, slave girl, Attia and Sapienti, Gildas use a key to flee Incarceron. Adventure and suspense keep the pages turning and the story ever unfolding as Claudia and Finn and their keys plot to help each other escape. Fantasy BJ Neary – Abington Senior High Fletcher, Susan. Ancient, Strange, and Lovely. New York: Antheneum, 2010. 978-1-4169-5786-7. 315p. $16.99. Gr. 6-9. Bryn‘s family all have vivid green eyes, the sign that they can communicate with birds. This secret makes socializing difficult. The story is set in an extremely polluted future where Bryn‘s mother, an environmental scientist, has been missing for months. Bryn‘s father goes to search for her, leaving Bryn and her little sister with Aunt Pen. Among their mother‘s research items, a strange egg suddenly hatches. Knowing Aunt Pen will call authorities, the girls keep the strange hatchling a secret. Bryn makes a difficult journey to protect the hatchling from poachers, but also makes her first true friend. This is the fourth book in the Dragon Chronicles. Fantasy Michelle Stone-Sandy Run Middle School 41


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Fussell, Sandy. White Crane. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2010. 978-0-7636-4503-8. 237p. $15.99. Gr. 5-8. This is the first book in the series Samurai Kids, which is about a group of children, who each have some type of adversity to overcome while training to become samurai at a school run by a wise old sensei. This installment is told from the point of view of Niya, a boy with one leg, whose spirit totem is the white crane. The kids encounter various adventures during their training and on their journey to the annual Samurai Games. The story, enhanced by Rhian Nest James‘s illustrations, is a charming testament to the power of friendship The subject matter will appeal to manga fans, who may be enticed to expand their horizons past the graphic novel shelf. Adventure Patricia Fischer - Edward Hand Middle School, Lancaster Grant, Michael. Lies. New York: Katherine Tegen Books, 2010. 978-006-144-9116. 447p. $17.99. Gr. 7-10. In Michael Grant's third installment in this semi-apocalyptic society of super-powered minors, things take a turn for the hectic. Amidst a dwindling food supply, tempers are running high and rivals are heading off in a high-wired series of confrontation. Humans vs. Freaks, Astrid vs. the Council, and Sam is dealing with the impossible reality that someone is back from the dead. In the craze of all of the madness, someone spreads a rumor that death is in fact an escape from the FAYZ, sparking some to contemplate suicide. This fast-paced thriller asks a haunting question: is it worth it to keep the struggle to live going? Turning puberty into something much more than just a few mood swings, Lies offers an impossible nightmare of reality, in which these teens can't wake up. While a bit overbearing at times, it is thoroughly worth the read for the thrills and chills alone, not even the gossip ―he said, she said‖ quality of action it possesses. Science Fiction Kyle C. Gr. 12. Springfield High School (Delco) Gutman, Dan. The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable. New York: Harper, 2011. 978-0-06-182764-5. 293 p. $16.99. Gr .5-8. The first title in Dan Gutman‘s new series, The Genius Files. This story is about almost thirteen-year-old twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald and their family road trip across the USA. Assassins are trying to kill them, and they escape many close calls with death without their parent‘s ever suspecting danger. Although this is a story of fiction, all of the places they visit are real. This action-packed book features occasional pictures showing highlights of the trip. Readers who like exciting adventures will love this book. Adventure, Twins, Assassins. Emma C., Springfield Township Middle School Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Sabotaged. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. 978-1-4169-5424-8. 377 p. $16.99. Gr. 5-8. This is the third book in The Missing Series. Earlier in the series children have been kidnapped from other places in time. J. B. is helping send these children back to their original time to restore the balance of history. Now Jonah and his sister Katherine are being sent back to The Lost Colony of Roanoke in 1587 with Andrea who is actually Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the colonies. Things do not go as well as they did in the previous book, Sent. A mysterious, perhaps well meaning man named Second has made Andrea change the setting to the Elucidator. (A device which helps time travel) Will landing in a different place cause a ripple in time and change the future? When Andrea discovers her grandfather, John White, who in fact did return to the Lost Colony, she questions the necessity to make corrections. There are some serious ethical dilemmas and adventures. A sequel will be needed to straighten things out. Author includes information about lost colony, John White and the Dares Science fiction; time travel; modified historical fiction Jeannie Bellavance Johansen, K. V. The Shadow Road. Victoria, BC: Orca Book Publishers, 2010. 978-1-55469-165-4. 216p. $12.95. Gr. 7-12. Followers of The Warlocks of Talverdin will relish this fourth book, while those new to the series can jump right in with very little confusion and become fans themselves. Readers will be hooked from the first few pages when the main character, Nethin, awakens from poison-induced dreams to find himself imprisoned in a coffin. His captors compel him to use his powerful magic to craft the spell which will open the Shadow Road, but doing so could have catastrophic consequences. Fantasy Patricia Fischer - Edward Hand Middle School, Lancaster Johnson, Angela. Sweet, Hereafter. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. 978-0-689-873851-0. 118p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. This is the final book in the Heaven trilogy and like Heaven and First Part Last; Johnson weaves a compelling story of family, love, and loss. Sweet is not happy at home and school in Heaven, Ohio. She really has always had the kind of free spirit where she never really lets anyone know her and she ―has been leaving her family since she was born.‖ It is when she meets and really connects with Curtis, an Iraq war veteran that she feels she has finally come home. Sweet moves out to a cabin with Curtis and loves their solitary life together, but Curtis is haunted by his war experience. Just as her family and friends don‘t truly know the real Sweet, she doesn‘t truly know Curtis. Sweet must lose him and suffer the effects of war with someone she desperately loved and needed. Heartbreaking; a definite read, especially for the reluctant reader. Interpersonal relations BJNeary – Abington Senior High School Johnson, Maureen. Scarlett Fever. New York: Point, 2010. 978-0-439-89928-4. . 336p. $16.99. Gr. 7-12. In this sequel to Suite Scarlett, Scarlett Martin is back and still dealing with the demanding Mrs. Amberson, who is insisting that Scarlett help her with her talent agency. Scarlett is still working in her parents‘ rather seedy art deco hotel but there are many more problems cropping up. She must deal with her brother‘s sudden fame as an actor, her sister‘s love life, an ex-boyfriend with whom she is obsessed, a selfish starlet that Mrs. Amberson insists Scarlett be nice to, and her lab partner Max, whom she thinks is out to make her completely crazy. It is humorous and insightful, and readers will enjoy meeting Scarlett again. Teen Story/Romance Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School 42


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Johnson, Maureen. Scarlett Fever. New York: Point, 2010. 978-0-439-89928-4. 336p. $14.44. Gr. 7+. Continuing shorting after the conclusion of Suite Scarlett, the novel picks up with the Martin family as Spencer‘s play is ending and Scarlett is heading back to school. Scarlett continues to work for the eccentric Amy Anderson and finds herself babysitting the teenage brother of a new client. She still hasn‘t quite gotten over Eric, the actor and almost boyfriend who broke her heart over the summer. Meanwhile, Spencer has finally got his big break and lands a spot on a popular TV show, but the family finds themselves the target of his crazy fans. The plots livens up as Spencer‘s new found fame becomes too much to handle and the Martin‘s face the depressing reality that they cannot afford to maintain their home and livelihood, the Hopewell Hotel. This charming novel lives up to the quality of the first book. Readers will relate to Scarlett‘s angst over letting her first love go and crack up over Spencer‘s witty dialogue. New York City/Sibling Relationships Melissa Daugherty – Sharon-Middle High School Johnson, Maureen. Scarlett Fever. New York: Point, 2010. 978-0-439-89928-4. 336p. $16.99. Gr. 10-12. A fun story about a unique family living in a hotel in New York City. Each of the four siblings have different story lines ranging from an actor with a controversial role, a younger sister on a nice streak, an older sister hastily marrying into a wealthy family and Scarlett offering her light perspectives on both typical and atypical teenage dramas. Family BJ Neary – Abington Senior High School Kate, Lauren. Fallen. New York: Delacorte Press, 2009. 978-0-385-73893-4. 452p. $17.99. Gr. 8-12. Calling all supernatural romance readers! The first book of Lauren Kate‘s series, Fallen, will keep you on the edge of your seat. Due to a mysterious fire that killed her boyfriend an extremely confused, Luce, is sent to Sword & Cross a reform school in Savannah. The school is depressing and dark, however; from the minute Luce meets Daniel Grogori she feels her world has been turnedup-side-down. Luce wants to know Daniel‘s secrets even the truth may kill her over and over again. Fallen is a creepy, romantic, and exciting novel that conveys a story of true love, demons, and death. Fantasy Jennifer Stern – Arcadia University Library Student Kingsley, Kaza. The Three Furies. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. 978-1-4169-7990-6. 564p. $16.99. Gr. 6-12. In the fourth book in the Erec Rex series, Erec goes on a quest to the nightmare realm where the evil Baskania has taken Bethany, Erec‘s best friend. All the while, Dumpling Smith is trying to force Danny and Sammy, Erec‘s brother and sister, to come to the Clown Kingdom. Later, Erec helps Wandabelle, the clown fairy, restore order to the clowns. They also find out that Danny and Sammy are the true rulers of the Kingdom. Erec gives himself to the furies to help free them from Tartarus, and surprisingly, he lives. This is a great series, and this book is very well written. Fantasy Faith G.-7th grade, Sandy Run Middle School Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth. New York: Amulet, 2010. 978-0-8109-8491-2. 217p. $13.95. Gr. 4-7. This book goes through yet another stage of Greg Heffley‘s preteen to teen years and is the 5th book of Jeff Kinney‘s popular series. It will not disappoint readers. Greg is still going through middle school as he begins to mature and realize his childhood is coming to an end. He starts to get invited to parties, learns about the ―Facts of Life,‖ and tries to find a new best friend. This hilarious book, full of cartoon illustrations, will have you laughing and will make you want to keep on the lookout for the next book! Humorous Fiction. Sharra H., Springfield Township Middle School Larkin, Jillian. The Flappers: Vixen. New York: Delacorte Press, 2010. 978-0-385-74034-0. 421p. $15.29. Gr. 9-12. This novel follows three young girls as they enter a life style of short dresses, fringed hair, smooth men, and speakeasies in the roaring 1920‘s. Gloria, a seventeen year old socialite, knows that there is more out there than her impending marriage to the prim and proper banker, Sebastian Grey. Clara has been exiled to help her cousin Gloria plan her wedding, much to Gloria‘s disgust. Really, she is posing as a stuffy, country girl in attempts to hide from her dangerous and questionable past as the most popular flapper in New York City. All Lorraine wants is a boy she‘ll never have and for everyone to stop goggling over her best friend, Gloria. The girls‘ lives shift when Gloria breaks away from her good girl ways and not only starts singing at a speakeasy, but falls for her piano player, Jerome, who is black. Lorraine struggles to keep her jealousy in check and get her guy, Gloria juggles planning the wedding of the century and keeping her flapper life a secret, and someone from Clara‘s past is out to expose her. This new series is similar to a 1920‘s version of Gossip Girl. Light and slightly unrealistic, but very enjoyable. The next book, Ingenue, is set to be release August 9, 2011. Prohibition/Historical Melissa Daugherty – Sharon-Middle High School Larson, Kirby. The Fences Between Us: The Diary of Piper Davis. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 2010. 978-0-545-22418-5. 320p. $12.99. Gr. 4-8. This recent addition to the Dear America series begins in November 1941, shortly before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Seventh grader Piper Davis is the daughter of a Baptist minister in Seattle whose congregation consists of Japanese-Americans. When the members of his congregation are sent to a ―relocation camp‖ in Idaho for ―their own safety,‖ he and Piper also make the move to Idaho. The details of Piper‘s everyday existence – eating her favorite Sky Bar candy, listening to 78 records, receiving censored letters from her brother in the Navy – bring to life the world of a teenager living in the early 1940s, while the events depict a regrettable segment of American history. Included at the end of the book are historical notes, photographs, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s speech to the U. S. Congress on December 8, 1941. (The audio book features a recording of the speech). This book is recommended for its engaging story and appealing characters. Historical Fiction Patricia Fischer, Edward Hand Middle School, Lancaster 43


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Lee, Y. S. The Body at the Tower (The Agency 2). Somerville: Candlewick Press, 2010. 978-0-7636-4968-5. 337p. $16.99. Gr. 79. Mary Quinn has returned as a prominent operative for the Agency, a detective unit staffed entirely by women and run by the prestigious Mrs. Frame and Miss Treleaven. Accepting one of the most challenging cases in its history, Mary must pose as a young boy, beginning his first job as a builder's assistant. Gaining the confidence of the men proves more challenging than Mary thought, and her mistakes, though small, are costly. Living the life of a poor desolate boy reminds her of the past she has struggled to forget and compels her to reconcile with her Chinese heritage. Her cover is jeopardized when she is suddenly reunited with a close friend from the past. The intensity of the case as well as the passion between Mary and James heighten the danger as she continues to seek answers and uncover the truth. Lee's sequel to A Spy in the House will keep readers engaged to the last page and longing for the next book. Mystery Christine Massey – JW Parker Middle School Lloyd, Saci. The Carbon Diaries 2017. New York, Holiday House, 2010. 978-0-8234-2260-9. 326p. $17.95. Gr. 9-12. In this sequel to Carbon Diaries 2016, written also as a diary, Laura is still trying to survive the effects of carbon rationing, as the British government imposes more and more taxes and regulations on daily life. Laura goes to the university and also tries to keep her punk rock band together for a tour on the continent. The hardships she faces take her from a difficult but somewhat safer life in London through France and Italy and into real danger, as wars over water and food are breaking out everywhere. She also continues to have boy troubles, as her boyfriend decides to join a guerilla group, and almost loses his life, while his replacement in the band suddenly becomes very attractive to Laura. The most important and frightening aspect of the book, however, is how close our Earth is to becoming like the one in this novel. Science Fiction/Futuristic Novel Nancy Chrismer, Juniata High School Lore, Pittacus .I Am Number Four. New York: Harper, 2010. 978-0-06-196955-3. 440p. $15.29. Gr. 9-12. They are the last of their kind and the only hope of saving their world, a distant planet called Lorien. Nine children, now extraordinary teenagers, and the guardians sent to guide them. They are divided for protection and always on the run from the evil Mogadorians, a race set on destroying the Loriens. So far, three have been captured and destroyed. Fifteen year old John Smith is Number Four and next on the list. After fifteen years of paranoia, hiding, and constant moving, John has to put his newfound powers to the test. The Mogadorians have found him. Popular among boys in grades 8-10. The sequel, The Power of Six, will be released August 23, 2011. Science Melissa Daugherty – Sharon-Middle High School Lore, Pittacus. I Am Number Four. New York, NY: Harper Collins, 2010. 978-0-06-196955-3. 440p. $17.99. Gr. 7-10. John is Number Four. He is an alien from another planet called Lorien, but he looks human. John and his guardian have come to Earth, a few of the only survivors from their planet after the Mogadorians (a race set on destroying the Loriens) invaded. All of the aliens, including John, have various superpowers, called Legacies. Number Three has been killed and John and his guardian, Henri, move to Ohio, where the story takes place. John goes to school, has a girlfriend, struggles with making friends, and dealing with bullies. Slow parts give way to twists and turns in the plot that make the story enjoyable. This is an original, action-packed story. Recommended. Science Fiction. Monique H., Springfield Township Middle School Marr, Melissa. Radiant Shadows. New York: Harper, 2010. 978-0-06-165922-5. 340p. $16.99. Gr. 9-12. This book is a companion to the Wicked Lovely series. Ani is the half-human, half-faery daughter of Gabriel, leader of the Dark Court‘s Wild Hunt. She is ruled by her desires and emotions, which lead her to Devlin, an assassin who is the brother of the High Queen and her twin sister, Bananach, the embodiment of war. Devlin was created by his sisters to be a balance between order and disorder, which means disposing of potential problems, like Ani. Ani has the ability to feed on the emotions and touch of faeries and mortals. This dangerous talent is something that all the fairie kingdoms would fight to have access to, which is why the High Queen wants her killed. Devlin normally has no qualms on assassinating someone on behalf of his sister, but for some reason, he cannot kill Ani. When Bananach also becomes interested in Ani‘s abilities Devlin takes her into hiding leading the two on a dangerous quest to save the Faerie realm. This book is especially popular among junior and high school girls who enjoyed the Twilight series, but makes little sense if you have not read the first books in the series. Faeries/Fantasy Melissa Daugherty – Sharon-Middle High School Myklusch, Matt. Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation. New York: Aladdin, 2010. 978-1-4169-9561-6. 468p. $16.99. Gr. 5-8. Jack Blank is whisked away from his tortured life in an orphanage and taken to the Imagine Nation, a floating, secret island nation that is packed with superheroes, aliens, and advanced technology. Jack‘s superpowers slowly reveal themselves and Jack eventually learns more about himself and his role in the island‘s history. The battles and tests that Jack endures have just the right amount of action and intrigue to keep the reader involved in the first of this trilogy. The next two books will not have to set up the background of the Imagine Nation and promise to be filled with even more action and adventure. Toni Vahlsing, Abington Friends School Ness, Patrick. Monsters of Men. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2010. 978-0-7636-4751-3. 608 p. $18.99. Gr. 9-12 Ness concludes his Chaos Walking trilogy with a massive volume that never seems long, and propels the reader into the world of war. Three factions, the megalomaniacal Prentiss, the terrorist Coyle and the Spackle army are all poised for the total destruction of one another and the planet, as the new colonists begin to arrive from Viola‘s planet. As in the previous novels, the voices of Todd and Viola provide the narrative, but in this volume a third voice, Spackle 1017, also known as The Return, provides a voice for the enslaved indigenous population. Fans of the series will grab this off the shelves. Science Fiction. Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) 44


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Meyer, Stephenie. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella. New York: Little,Brown, 2010. 978-03161-2558-1. 192p. $13.99. Gr. 7-9. Bree Tanner's life will all change after she's turned into one of them-a vampire. Bree‘s life as a vampire, her decisions, and her final fight to survive in a world where no one is safe create an appealing story. Stephenie Meyer fans will enjoy this novella that is full of vampire details. Vampires, Horror, Mystery Mia R. Springfield Township Middle School Patterson, James. The Gift. New York: Little, Brown, 2010. 978-0-3160-3625-2. 341p. $17.99. Gr. 6-10. The Gift is the captivating sequel to James Patterson's book, Witch and Wizard. It is about two siblings, Whit and Wisty, and their adventure through the New Order. The New Order, or NO, is the new form of government that is run by The One Who Is The One. He puts all of the children in jails or labor camps, or worse, executes them. Whit and Wisty try to free as many children as possible and overrun the NO using their magic powers. Outstanding fantasy. Recommended.Fantasy Fiction, Magic. Bridget O., Springfield Township Middle School Peters, Kimberly Joy. Maybe Never, Maybe Now. Montreal, Quebec: Lobster Press, 2010. 978-1-897-55064-9. 192p. $9.31. Gr. 7-10. Caitlin, who is self reflective after coming out of an abusive relationship is trying to do things right and go slowly. She goes on a student exchange in place of her best friend even though she isn't certain she is ready. While she is nervous about it, Caitlin begins a new relationship with Conner, a boy who has become a good friend to her. Kimberly Joy Peters does a good job of presenting what is often true in our lives. That opportunity doesn't always come up at the exactly right moment, but we must take calculated risks. There is a side story going on in which Caitlin's birth father, who left her at age four, contacts her. Much of the book is dedicated to Caitlin's struggles on what she should do. However, the book is not brought down by the struggles. Instead, a very honest and vulnerable Caitlin is presented who readers will easily empathize with. Painting Caitlin won many accolades and this sequel (which does not require that the reader has read the first novel) is bound to be as popular as the first. Note: there are also two books out about Caitlin's friend Ashley (Posing as Ashley and Definitely not Camelot) Realistic Fiction. Karen Hornberger- Palisades High School Reeve, Philip. Fever Crumb. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-0-545-20719-5. 325p. $17.99. Gr. 6-10. In this prequel, we are introduced to Fever Crumb: a young, orphaned girl who is driven by all things rational, forever keeping her emotions in check. As a baby, she is adopted by Dr. Crumb who takes her in as the only female in the Order of Engineers. In a journey filled with whimsical characters, imaginative technology, and a good dose of humor, Fever gradually discovers who she is and from where she came. Whether you are a fan of Mortal Engines or a newcomer to Reeve‘s novels, this well-written tale will have you completely entertained throughout. Science Fiction Mary Schwander – New Hope-Solebury High School Riordan, Rick. The Lost Hero. New York: Disney-Hyperion, 2010. 978-1-4231-1339-3. 557p. $18.99. Gr. 5-9. The Lost Hero begins when 15-year-old Jason wakes up on a school bus with no memory of his life. He and his two friends, Piper and Leo, soon discover that they are demigods- children of one mortal and one Greek god. The trio travels on a quest to save the goddess Hera, and in turn, the world. This book is great for anyone who has read the author‘s previous series because it features characters and settings from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books. However, The Lost Hero is good enough to stand on its own for readers who aren‘t familiar with Percy Jackson. This story is action-packed and fast paced. You won‘t want it to end! Fantasy Fiction, Mythology. Lizzy M., Springfield Township Middle School Riordan, Rick. The Red Pyramid. New York: Disney Hyperion, 2010. 978-1-4231-1338-6. 513p. $17.99. Gr. 6-12 Dr. Julius Kane, a well-known globe-hopping Egyptologist, uses his professional status to take his adolescent children, Carter and Sadie, to the British Museum after hours to see the famous Rosetta Stone, which was used by a French linguist to decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. While there the Stone mysteriously blows up and Dr. Kane disappears. From then on, Carter and Sadie are involved in non-stop adventures and challenges that take them around the world to try to prevent an evil force from achieving its destructive goals. The novel is the text transcription of an audiotape recorded later by Carter and Sadie, and the reader is asked to judge whether it is a true story. Along the way Carter and Sadie, as well as the reader, learn about ancient Egyptian astronomy, culture, and mythology as well as meet the current hosts of some of the old gods and goddesses. They encounter Egyptian ideas about the creation of the world and the role of god/s in human life. They see the tensions between order and chaos, good and evil, and they have to make a difficult choice between two important goals in a moral dilemma: whether to save their father or to save the world. This page-turner is the first installment in the new Kane Chronicles series by the New York Times best-selling author of The Olympians. For those with an interest in ancient Egyptian mythology and culture who love adventure and fantasy. Adventure Fantasy Egyptian mythology Eleanor Howe, Pine-Richland HS, retired Scott, Michael. The Necromancer. New York: Delacourt, 2010. 978-0-375-89660-6. 389p. $18.99. Gr. 7-12. This fourth book in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series is another action packed fantasy about the struggle between good and evil. Mythical gods, goddesses, and creatures in existence before humans, want to take back the world. Sophie and Josh may be the twins‘ prophesized to save humanity. They return home from their life threatening adventures in Europe with powerful magical abilities, but their challenges are far from over. They don‘t know if they can trust their mentor, Nicholas Flamel, having discovered

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that many sets of twins have tried and failed before them. The story will continue in the fifth book of the series, The Warlock. Fantasy&Adventure Michelle Stone-Sandy Run Middle School Silberberg, Alan Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze. New York: Aladdin, 2010. 978-1-4169-9430-5. 275p. $15.99. Gr. 4-7. Milo is hilarious, but also has a bittersweet side. Not only does he deal with the day-to-day life of being a seventh grader, but also being without his mom, who died a few years before this story. Milo will appeal to your fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. However, I like Milo much better as he is actually a nice kid who is a complex character. The cartoon illustrations that are interspersed throughout the book are hilarious in their own right, not just illustrating the story. I laughed and cried within 3 pages of this book. The good news is that another Milo story is in the works. Toni Vahlsing, Abington Friends School Smith, Roland. I,Q. Ann Arbor, MI: Sleeping Bear Press, 2010. 256p. $8.95. Gr. 5-8. Book One: Independence Hall. 978-1-58536-325-4. Book Two: The White House. 978-1-58536-456-5. When thirteen year old Q‘s mother remarries a fellow rock star his life is turned upside down. Q (whose given name is Quest) learns that in addition to traveling for a year on tour with his parent‘s band he and his new stepsister Angela are being followed by terrorists. Angela confides to Q that her believed to be deceased mother was a secret agent. A former spook and current roadie Boone aides the two teens in finding out who is following them and with Q‘s magic tricks they are able to outsmart their enemies and continue on to the next leg of the tour, Washington DC. The first book takes place in a short six day period in the city of Philadelphia while the second volume is in real time taking place in a single twenty-four hour day in the nation‘s capital. These books will be a sure hit for middle school students who like adventure and mystery. Adventure Robin Burns – Whitehall High School Sonnenblick, Jordan. After Ever After. New York: Scholastic, 2010. 978-0-439-83706-4. 260p. $16.99. Gr.5-8. Sequel to Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie. Eight years after being diagnosed and now in 8 th grade, Jeffery Alper is cancerfree. However, the cancer treatments left his brain a little slower than others. He has to pass a standardized test at the end of the year to move up to 9th grade. To make matters worse Jeffrey‘s brother Steven has left for Africa and his best friend Tad (who had cancer but is still in remission) is frequently missing school. Readers who want to find out about Jeffrey‘s life as a cancer survivor and an 8th grader won‘t want to miss this book. Cancer, School stories, family stories Quinn P., Springfield Township Middle School Stiefvater, Maggie. Linger. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 978-054-123-297. 368 p. $17.99. Gr. 9 -12. The second book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series adds not only voices to the narration, but layers of problems to this compelling supernatural romance. Add to the mix, narration in two new voices – Olivia, whose brother did not survive the ―cure‖ in Shiver, and Cole, a bad boy rocker, who voluntarily became a wolf to escape his downward spiral. Each character adds depth to the tale, and each makes readers ache for a workable resolution to the story. Sensual, bittersweet, and compelling – readers are left wanting more from Stiefvater. Supernatural Romance Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Strahan, Jonathan (ed.). The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Four. San Francisco: Night Shade, 2010. 978-1-59780-171-3. 516 p. $19.95 (pbk). Grades 10-Adult. Award-winning Australian anthologist has put together a collection of the science fiction and fantasy short stories he deems the best and most delightful of those published in 2009. Most of the stories range from 10 to 30 pages. Authors selected include Stephen Baxter, Andy Duncan, Ellen Kushner, Robert Reed, Geoff Ryman, and Bruce Sterling. Strahan introduces each story with a brief overview of the author‘s prior important works and includes a bibliography of other highly recommended speculative works published in 2009. If you expect heavy use, a hardback edition would be a more serviceable purchase but I could find none at Amazon.com. Science Fiction Fantasy Story collections Eleanor Howe, Pine-Richland HS, retired Stroud, Jonathan. Bartemaeus The Ring of Solomon. New York: Disney/Hyperion Books, 2010. 978-1-4231-2372-9. 398 p. $17.99. Gr. 6+. The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud tells of a spirit‘s journeys in and around Jerusalem in 950 BCE. Set as the prequel to the popular Bartimaeus trilogy, this novel centers on a wise-cracking, heavily sarcastic, quick-thinking djinni (genie) named Bartimaeus who is not very powerful, but his weaknesses are very much offset by his outstanding wit. After being punished by a ruthless magician working for King Solomon, Bartimaeus is recruited by a young guard from Sheba named Asmira. She uses Bartimaeus to help her kill Solomon and take his Ring, which he uses to rule like a tyrant over Jerusalem and all the neighboring kingdoms in the surrounding area. The chapters are set in different points of view, usually between Bartimaeus and Asmira and offer a good perspective on the entire situation. This is an adventure book, with a few humorous moments, and I would recommend it to people who enjoy fantasy books. C. K. The Haverford School Tanner, Lian. Museum of Thieves. New York: Delacorte, 2010 . 978-0-385-73905-4. 312p. $16.99. Gr. 4-8. Fear! This book hyperbolizes over-protectiveness. Children until they are 12 must always be attached to a parent or Blessed Guardian by a silver chain! It is the law. Goldie is looking forward to Separation Day and being able to be somewhat more independent. When she learns that Separation Day has been cancelled she does the unthinkable breaking loose and running away. A voice guides her to the Museum of Dunt which holds all the history and more of the city of Jewel. Here she meets Toadspit, Sinew, Herro Dan, all 46


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thieves of a sort with special abilities. There are unusual animals as well – Broo, the last Brizzlehound and Morg, a slaughterbird. The museum is like a living organism or perhaps Mother Nature, moving, shifting, and trying to unleash its force. There is constant struggle to keep the world in balance and harmony. The evil Fugleman has usurped power in the city and is bent on destroying the museum. This disturbance in the force (so to speak) will bring doom to all existence. The band of thieves and animals together must thwart both the Fugleman and the museum. The battle and struggle are nearly overwhelming. Of course not is all resolved as the Fugleman escapes. Tanner brings a lot of food for thought into this book with the ideas of overprotection, conformity, dictatorship. The book will appeal to fantasy and adventure fans who like books about dystopias and books by Tony Diterlizzi and Ingrid Law. This is the first book in the Keepers Trilogy. Fantasy; adventure; dystopias Jeannie Bellavance Turner, Megan Whalen. A Conspiracy of Kings. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2010. 978-0-06-187903-4. 316p. $16.99. Gr.9+ Book Four in the Attolia series, this sequel tells the story of Sophos, heir to Sounis, who is sold into slavery, his mother and sisters attacked, and his father gone. Sophos manages to escape, but his country is still about to be destroyed by the neighboring Medes if he cannot save it. He enters into a pact with the Queen of Attolia, whose husband was his former best friend, and finds that pact to be very dangerous as well. He finds himself attracted to another queen, the Queen of Eddis, but does not want to act on his feelings because of the situation with his country. Sophos manages to save the day, rescue his mother and sisters, win the hand of the lady he loves, and at long last, earn the respect of his father. Despite being part of a series, this book can be a satisfying read on its own, but readers who have already visited Attolia will get much more from it. Fantasy Nancy Chrismer, Juniata High School Turner, Megan Whelan. A Conspiracy of Kings .New York: Greenwillow Books, 2010. 978-006-187-0934. 336p. $16.99. Gr. 7-10. Once again, Turner has produced a gem. A parallel novel to The King of Attolia, this novel focuses on the kidnapped King of Sounis. Political intrigue, romance, plenty of action and a satisfying ending all combine in this very readable offering. One can only hope that Turner will continue to give us more novels of Sounis, Eddis, and Attolia. Fans of the previous novels (The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia) will line up for this one. Science Fiction Pat Naismith – Springfield HS (Delco) Verday, Jessica. The Haunted. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. 978141697854. 467p. $ 17.99. Gr. 9-12. After losing her best friend Kristin and recovering from a breakdown Abby returns to Sleepy Hollow to try to forget Caspian, the boy she fell in love with who cannot exist because he is dead. She hangs out with Ben her cute science tutor and spends the rest of her time making perfume. But she cannot forget Caspian and he cannot forget Abby. The two begin spending time together and find their destinies are linked to the town of Sleepy Hollow. This is the second book in ―The Hollows‖ series but one doesn‘t have to have read the first to enjoy this exciting, paranormal romance. Fantasy/Romance Nora Neumann – Outstandsing Student Librarian Walls, Jeannette. Half Broke Horses. New York: Scribner, 2010. 978- 1-416-58629-6. 288p. $15.00. Gr. 11-12. Half Broke Horses is the somewhat fictionalized story of Jeannette Walls‘ grandmother from childhood to adulthood and serves as a prequel to The Glass Castle. Lily (Jeannette's grandmother) lived an exceedingly interesting life that was mostly impoverished yet always full of adventure (which in the style of this family is often jaw dropping and hilarious). This novel was constantly engaging to read, full of nonconformity and dysfunction. I very much admired Lily Casey Smith's honesty and gutsy approach to life. This is a must read for anyone who has already read The Glass Castle. For high school students, start with The Glass Castle because it is more gripping (astonishing) to get them into the family story and then move them on to Half Broke Horses. For others, start with Half Broke Horses and then move on to The Glass Castle to follow the proper sequence. Both are highly recommended for mature high school readers. Realistic Fiction. Karen Hornberger- Palisades High School Wasserman, Robin. Wired. New York: Simon Pulse, 2010. 978-1-4169-7454-3. 383p. $15.99. Gr. 9-12. Although I did not read the first two parts of the trilogy, I enjoyed this sophisticated, high-tech sci-fi thriller. Lia Kahn is a ―mech,‖ a machine with the thoughts, feelings and memories of the adolescent girl she once was. In this volume Lia discovers the truth about the car accident that killed her ―org‖ self and the secret agenda of BioMax, the corporation that created the mechs. A must-read for those who loved Skinned and Crashed. Those who haven‘t should start at the beginning. With its strong teenage heroine and elements of romance, tragedy and heartbreak, this is science fiction that girls can appreciate. Science Fiction Patricia Fischer, Edward Hand Middle School, Lancaster Wasserman, Robin. Wired. New York: Simon Pulse, 2010. 978-1-416-97454-3. $15.99. 388p. Gr. 9-12. This is the third and final book in the Skinned trilogy. There were so many tense moments in this book but all were on the plus side. For example, Lia and Zoe forge a bond and enjoy being sisters. I loved the new Riley, then I missed him. Jude was as impudent and annoying as ever. The BioMax threat, Lia and Zoe's parents, and Lia and her friends having to always try to outsmart whoever was trying to destroy the mechs was awesome, scary, and sad, because you never knew who was going to turn against them. Lia and Zoe really grew as characters. Lia had opinions she voiced, but her inner stream of consciousness was always up and down, good and bad, and she kept the reader totally enthralled with the reality and the unreality of her life, the mechs, their future, and their well being. I was totally unprepared for the ending....a gripping read. Science Fiction BJ Neary – Abington Senior High

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Wiles, Deborah. Countdown. New York: Scholastic, 2010. 978-0-545-10605-4. 400p. $17.99. Gr. 5-8. The first book in the Sixties Trilogy, Countdown is set in 1962 and centers around the drama in Franny Chapman‘s life. She has typical issues for a pre-teen—a fight with her best friend, family troubles, and a crush on a cute boy—but her problems take on a more worldly tint at the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis. A great deal of the interest and charm of this documentary novel come from the juxtaposition of the chapters with black and white photographs and excerpts of news articles and broadcasts from 1962. This context will make the story come alive for readers, even those who are not normally historical fiction readers. Back matter includes a note on the Cuban Missile Crisis and a ―beginning bibliography‖ for readers who want to explore this era. Mary Fran Torpey—Friends’ Central School Yancey, Rick. The Curse of the Wendigo. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. 978-1-4169-8450-4. 424p. $17.99. Gr. 8-12. The story of Will Henry and his guardian, the monstrumologist, continues as the two set forth to search for the monstrumologist's good friend in Canada. Could the Wendigo, a vampire-like creature, be responsible for his friend‘s disappearance and the horrific death of his guide? This sequel to the Printz Honor Book, The Monstrumologist, does not disappoint in its suspense, horror and quality writing. Whether one is a reluctant or an avid reader, male or female, young or old, this book is sure to appeal to all! Horror/Monsters Mary Schwander – New Hope-Solebury High School

GRAPHIC NOVELS Campfire Graphic Novels Series. New Delhi, India: Campfire, 2010. 68p. $11.99. Gr. 5-12. Stahlberg, Lance, adapted by. Moby Dick. ill. by Kumar Singh. 978-93-80028-22-4 Mann, Roland. AdaptedbyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. ill. byNaresh Kumar. 978-93-80028-35-4. Taylor, Sean, adapted by. The Invisible Man.ill. byBhupendraAhluwalia. 978-93-80028-29-3. Wagner, Lloyd S., Adapted by. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.Ill. by Naresh Kumar.978-93-80028-24-8. Johnson, Dan, adapted by. Robinson Crusoe.ill. byNaresh Kumar. 978-93-80028-20-0. McCullar, Scott. A Christmas Carol.ill. byNaresh Kumar. 978-93-80028-32-3 Josdal, Matt. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.ill. by Brian Shearer. 978-93-80028-34-7. Odell, Anne Modell. The Lost Continent. ill. by Ricardo Sanchez. 978-93-80028-31-6. Harrar, Andrew. Treasure Island.ill. by Richard Kohlrus. 978-93-80028-21-7. Helfand, Lewis. Gulliver’s Travels.ill. byVinod Kumar. 978-93-80028-33-8. Welsh, C.E. L. Harry Houdini. ill. byLalitKujmar Singh. 978-93-80028-25-5. Wagner, Lloyd S., adapted by. The Prisoner of Zenda.ill. byLalit Sharma. 978-93-80028-28-6. Helfand, Lewis, adapted by. The Time Machine.ill. byRajesh Nagulakonda. 978-93-80028-26-2. This is a great series for those students who enjoy graphic novels and those reluctant readers who are daunted by the thick classics. Each work has interesting facts following the story; in Moby Dick, there is whale and whaling information and a Did You Know? Section. The graphic novels have wonderful illustrations and the works are easy to read and understand. A great addition to any library housing the classics. BJ Neary – Abington Senior High School Classic Graphic Novel Collection Jane Eyre: The Graphic Novel. New York: Lucent Books. 2010. 978-1-4205-0375-3. 144p. $15.00. Gr. 6-12. Classic Graphic Novel Collection presents Charlotte Bronte‘s classic story of Jane Eyre. The comic depicts the same suspense, despair, and romance from the original novel, however; the colorful images enhance the reader‘s comprehension of the story. In the back of the book readers can find a glossary, Charlotte Bronte‘s biography, the Bronte family tree, and a chronology. Gale Cengage Learning‘s Classic Graphic Novel Collection illustrations and scripts allow all learners to get a glimpse of the British classics and understand the crucial themes within each book. Jennifer Stern- Arcadia University Library Student Classic Graphic Novel Collection. New York: Lucent, 2011. $33.45. Gr. 6-12. Dickens, Charles; adapted by Sean Michael Wilson. A Christmas Carol: The Graphic Novel. 978-1-4205-0630-3. 158 p. Shakespeare, William; adapted by John McDonald. Romeo and Juliet: The Graphic Novel. 9 78-1-4205-0631-0. 167 p. These books are good additions to both middle and high school graphic collections. Though the original language is replaced by easy to understand text, these adaptations maintain the overall meaning of the original story. Illustrations are detailed, engaging and easy to follow. Each book includes a two page spread introducing the characters. Each volume includes a glossary, an author biography, and information about the time period and setting of the story. Romeo and Juliet also includes a list of important quotations cross referenced with their adapted text. Michelle Stone - Sandy Run Middle School Dembicki, Matt, Ed. Trickster: Native American Tales A Graphic Collection. Golden: Fulcrum Books, 2010. 978-1-55591724-1. 231p. $22.95. Gr. 5-8. In this notable collection of Native American trickster tales, the trickster comes to life in different guises. From the selfish raven to the cunning raccoon, the trickster is portrayed as a unique, free spirit in each story. Illustrations range from bold, vivid colors to light

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sepia hues. Cartoon drawings embellish some stories while others are filled with humans and naturalistic animals. Through the sequential format, humorous tales with an underlying lesson relate the history of the earliest people of North America. Christine Massey – JW Parker Middle School Graphic Library: Graphic Expeditions Series. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2010. 32p. $21.99. Gr. 4-7. Biskup, Agnieszka. Exploring Titanic: An Isabel Soto History Adventure. 978-1-4296-3410-0. Biskup, Agnieszka. Uncovering Mummies: An Isabel Soto Archaeology Adventure. 978-1-4296-3412-0. Collins, Terry. Building the Great Wall of China: An Isabel Soto History Adventure.978-1-4296-3411-0. Collins, Terry. Tracking Bigfoot: An Isabel Soto Investigation. 978-1-4296-3409-0. Sohn, Emily. Rescue in Antarctica: An Isabel Soto Geography Adventure. 978-1-4296-3408-0. Isabel Soto—improbably but entertainingly—uses a space/time portal to investigate mysteries and observe historical events in this series of graphic novels. Each volume provides facts and definitions to balance out Isabel‘s fanciful adventures. She investigates the causes and results of the Titanic disaster to help produce a present-day museum exhibit. She leads a daring rescue in Antarctic which includes a history lesson on early Antarctica. She travels far and wide (and across time) to learn about mummies in Ancient Egypt, South America, the present-day British Museum, and natural mummies encased in ice and peat bogs. Isabel takes a skeptical but curious approach to cryptozoology in general and Bigfoot specifically, and (of course) exploits ensue. She inadvertently allows a young boy to use her space/time portal see the origin and development of the Great Wall of China, thus inspiring his interest in history. These are fast-paced stories that will engage students while hopefully teaching them something new. Depending on your collection, Isabel may provide a refreshing change from many graphic novels featuring male protagonists. Back matter in each volume includes facts about the subject, glossary, recommended reading, index, and a reminder to check out related websites using facthound.com. Mary Fran Torpey—Friends’ Central School Johns, Geoff, Frank, Gary and Sibal, Jon. Superman Secret Origin. New York: DC Comics, 2010. 978-1-4012-2697-8. 224p. $29.99. Gr. 5+. While I loved Superman comics as a kid, I‘m still not 100% on the graphic novel bandwagon. But if I knew they were all this good I‘d be a convert! Superman Secret Origin is beautifully illustrated and written with all the BAM! POW! and KABOOM! that keeps comic book lovers coming back. The illustrations, plot and sympathetic characters are very much a tribute to the 1978 movie version of Superman starring Christopher Reeve. We learn how Clark Kent got here; take a peek at his teenage life and his early days in Metropolis as a mild-mannered reporter. We also see his first clash with LexLuthor. A few new surprises are thrown in. A real pageturner. Graphic Novel. Kathie Jackson - Arcadia University Library Student Van Lente, Fred & Koontz, Dean, ill. By Chan, Queenie. Odd Is On Our Side. New York: Ballantine/Del Rey, 2010. 978-0-3455-1560-5. 186p. $10.99. Gr. 6+. Horror-master Koontz collaborated with graphic novelists to create this fun little tale of teenager Odd Thomas, who sees dead people. His girlfriend and partner-in-crime-solving Stormy Llewellyn knows about his gift, and she‘s always up for a ―butt whooping‖ when it comes to the bad guys. As the un-dead appear to Odd, he and Stormy must unravel their clues and survive plot twists to solve a mystery. Chapter 1 of Koontz‘s ―Forever Odd,‖ a non-graphic novel that‘s second in this series, is included in this book. Another nifty feature, ―Artist‘s Sketchbook,‖ shows the characters‘ sketch development. Graphic Novel. Kathie Jackson – Arcadia University Library Student

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Committee Members: Ro Becker - Springfield Township Middle School Jeannie Bellavance Sarah Braxton - Juniata Valley Elementary School Robin Burns – Whitehall High School Nancy Chrismer - Juniata High School Melissa Daugherty -Sharon-Middle High School Tricia Fischer -Edward Hand Middle School Kathryn Gilbride – North Pocono High School Karen Hornberger - Palisades High School Eleanor Howe, Pine-Richland High School Kathie Jackson – Arcadia University Library Student Sandra Krieg - The Haverford School Christine Massey - J.W. Parker Middle School Sheila May-Stein - Karen Rachel Hurwitz Library Community Day School Erika Miller- Plymouth Whitemarsh High School Lisa Morein – Charter School for Architecture and Design Pat Naismith -Springfield High School (Del Co) BJ Neary - Abington High School Nora Neumann - Outstanding Library Student Mary Schwander - New Hope-Solebury High School Jenni Stern – Arcadia University Library Student Michelle Stone - Sandy Run Middle School Mary Fran Torpey – Friends Central School’ Jill Toye - Jenkintown Middle/High School Toni Vahlsing- Abington Friends School Joyce Valenza - Springfield Township High School

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PSLA Top Forty (or so) Fiction