Friday, February 29, 2008

King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan

Shah Rukh Khan is a middle class Muslim boy from Delhi, India who has always dreamed of being a star. This is the story of how he is thrown out of his fatherless, friendless world into the enthralling and enticing land of Bollywood. He soon learns that not all that glitters is gold- from failing movies to violent mafia members, Bollywood is not for the weak of heart. The book gives the story of Shah Rukh Khan's life, from his birth to the present. It is a biography about Bollywood's number one star.

The first time that I started to read King of Bollywood, it bored me until around page 30 or so. The narrator's voice is purely factual, nothing more, so the book was a bit monotonous at times. It was gripping in a few spots, but dull the rest of the way. I haven't read many other biographies like this and therefore cannot compare it to others. From a reader's point of view, the main character was really full of himself. From this book, I learned that what we read in the papers and magazines is a smokescreen of what Holly/Bollywood really is. This book is perfect for Hindi movie fans and Bollywood fans. I would only recommend this book to people who are interested in filmmaking and the history of it.

Mild depictions of adult situations, violence, and explicit threats by the mafia.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Coleyville, Texas USA

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Two Moon Princess

This book is the story of a princess named Andrea who does not want to be a lady. Andrea mistakenly discovers a way to travel into our modern world. She loves life in California, but she accidentally returns to her world with a friend from California. The outsider is a threat to her secret world. Before Andrea can return her friend to our world, a war breaks out in her world. She must attempt to stop the war and save her friend. This story blends the modern world with a fairy tale. Its sole purpose is to entertain.

The ideas behind this book were unique. It mixes two opposite worlds in one story focusing on a princess's desire to fit in and find happiness. At times, the story got a bit too sappy for me. At the end, there is lots of confusion over who loves whom. It gets a little absurd. However, I am not into romantic novels of any type, so I am not the best judge. All in all, I liked the book and its unique setting.

Rating: 7

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Royersford, PA

Magic in the Mirrorstone

From Mirrorstone Publishers comes an anthology for young adult readers entitled Magic In the Mirrorstone. A collection of authors including Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, and Gregory Frost shape this entrancing new book of modern fairy-tales. From unicorns and water-spirits, to enchanted frogs and goblins, this book will keep readers on the edge of their seats. In all it's magic, slight hilarity, and pure ingenuity, this blend of authors creates a fresh, new look at the old-fashioned bedtime story. With editing by Steve Berman, Magic in the Mirrorstone is a surefire hit!
I highly enjoy modern fairy-tales, and this book is one of the reasons why. My favorite story, 'Princess Bufo Marinus, also known as Amy' puts a spin on the tale of the frog prince, as do many of the stories. I found it a refreshing read, and would reccomend it to any and all teen readers.
Some of the stories in this book, especially 'Virgin' by Holly Black, are for mature readers.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Boothwyn, PA USA
Rating: 10
Content Rating: 3

The Finnish Line by Linda Gerber

Maureen Clark, otherwise known as Mo, stepped foot in
Finland with two thoughts in mind: making a name for
herself instead of living in her family's shadow, and
jumping in the world-famous Lahti Ski Games. Between
studying for her classes and her ski practices, Mo realizes
that she isn't going to have as much free time to explore
Finland as she thought. After jumping during practice and
landing short of all of the others' distances, Maureen
decides that she needs extra practice. So therefore, when
her hot tough-guy teammate asks if she wants his help in
return for some recognition by the press, Maureen can't
decline his help. While at the ski trip to Kemi, Mo and
Leevi really hit it off, but how can she possibly date him
when he's her competitive teammate and an untrustworthy
Gypsy? What if she isn't ready in time for the televised
Lahti Ski Games and she can't live up to her family's
famous name? And if she doesn't, will she have to continue
living her life forevermore being called Mr. Clark's

I really enjoyed how The Finnish Line was full
of adventure and had just the right amount of romance.
This is a fantastic, action-packed novel with very
interesting scenes and characters. My favorite character
is Leevi because he had the best personality and he was
very unique from the rest of the people in this book. There
were a lot of surprises that kept me guessing until the
very end. I think that this would be a terrific story to
make a sequel to since there were still quite a few
questions about their futures left unanswered when the
story came to an end. This is just one of the many
fabulous novels in the S.A.S.S. Series written by various
authors. Each one is a young adult romance and I hope to
be able to collect them all.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country:
Upper Strasburg, PA United States

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Yozakura Quartet

Hime, the mayor of Sakurashin, is a superheroine. Kotocha can conjure up anything with the right word(s). Ao is able to read minds. They fight evil in the town to make it a better place. However, this is not done without Akina. He is just a regular guy that lives with the three supergirls. Together, they face a dangerous shooter, a demon dog, and other threats as well. Read Yozakura Quartet to find out how each individual helps keep the town safe.

I loved this book! To start off, it is a Japanese manga. However, it is translated into English. I loved how it was authentic to the way a traditional manga would be written; it is read from right to left. Also, the pictures are absolutely wonderfully drawn. This particular volume had five different sections, and each section contained a different evil they fought against. I really liked how the different characters were worked into the story. Although I was confused about the characters in the beginning I learned who each one was pretty quickly. The storyline is very unique, and it was a pleasure to read. I recommend this book to anyone seeking humor and action.

There is mild swearing and violence.

Reviewer Age:14

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

Keeper by Mal Peet

Paul Faustino was to get an exclusive interview with the top goalie in the world, but instead of a soccer story he got a ghost story. El Gato recants more than just his childhood, he tells about an apparition that trains him to be one of the most wanted players in the game of soccer.

It is a spooky story that has real human emotions and actions. I did find it intriguing, even though at times it was a bit slow, and I wanted to read to the end to see how the mystery would unfold. It was easy to visualize the small logging town that he grew up in and his travels to the bigger cities. I liked the book, not because of the sports angle, but because of the ghost mystery.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Baldwin, Maryland USA

Quo Vadis Israel? by H. Peter Nennhaus

Peter Nennhaus addresses a controversial subject when he talks about moving Israel to a different, possibly better, place in Europe. It would be a permanent place for Jews to settle, and where they would be able to live in peace. While such a radical move seems unrealistic, when you hear the arguments in its favor you will be forced to consider them and admit they are not as far-fetched as they seemed at the beginning. And if Israel were to move, would we finally have the peace in the Middle East that we have been wanting for so long?

Sorry Mr. Nennhaus, but to me your book was a total and complete YAWN! It was confusing and half the time I didn't know what you were talking about. Granted I am a thirteen-year-old girl, so it is possible if an adult read it they would enjoy it. But if you are under the age of eighteen, this book is sooooo not the book for you. And though I had trouble not sleeping while I read this book, you did have some good points and presented them really well. But seriously. If you are not an adult, stay away. This is NOT the book for you.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Casa Grande, Arizona United States

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Henry VIII's Last Victim

Henry Howard was born in 1517 to a noble, wealthy
family. He had a very privileged, yet difficult childhood.
At a young age he inherited the title of the Earl of
Surrey and soon became accustomed to the life of someone
of his stature. When he joined the King's court, he
developed a good reputation with his peers and was dubbed
Knight of the Order of the Garter. However, Surrey was a
very reckless, overconfident individual and through one
mistake after another, slowly lost his favor with the
King. After much plotting of his enemies, Surrey became
Henry VIII's very last victim.
I found this biography by Jessie Childs very hard to
read for someone my age. With all the Old English and
academic language it was, at times, difficult to
understand. However, it was incredibly researched down to
every last detail of Henry Howard's life. The author was
obviously very dedicated and well educated. I would
recommend this biography to young adults and up who really
enjoy history.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Chambersburg,
Pennsylvania United States
Rating: 8

Friday, February 22, 2008

Posh by Lucy Jackson

"Posh" centers around a high school girl named Julianne and her circle of friends, and their families. Julianne falls in love with Michael, who has his own struggles with his family and with bipolar disorder. The teens all attend an elite Manhattan private school where money equals status. The students need to decide what or who really matters to them. They all are figuring out how much they will take in the name of love.

This book has a lot of character development. You really feel like you are experiencing the characters joys and hardships and like you could be one of the gang. You get to know them like friends. "Posh" teaches the reader about bipolar disorder, and also how hard it would be to love someone who has it. This book has a fair share of sex, infidelity and violence and might be better suited for older teens.
Sexual Content, Drugs, Violence, Adultery, and Language

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Renton, Washington US

You Know Where to Find Me

Miles always felt second best to her cousin, Laura.
Laura's the skinny, pretty one, the popular girl with a
doting father and more wealth than she can ask for, while
Miles is the failure, overweight and underachieving. The
two may not be as close as they were in their childhood,
but Miles thought that she knew Laura, at least well enough
to predict and prevent her cousin's suicide. Now, with her
best friend gone, Miles is left alone, stranded on earth to
deal with the consequences of Laura's death. As her life
spirals out of control, Miles has to come to terms with the
fact that she isn't the only one who lost Laura, and that
life will go on regardless of who has left it.

Rachel Cohn strikes again with the beautiful prose and
risque topics that her readers know so well. Miles is the
perfect protagonist for this story, because she is well
aware of her problems. Thus, sympathizing with her is
incredibly easy. The entire novel is a masterpiece, a
perfect mix of different writing styles that keep the
reader intrigued and in awe. Cohn deals with an array of
difficult topics, but does so powerfully and clearly shows
the consequences of every action without being morally
superior. None of the characters are perfect, but they
aren't cliches, either. They're entirely believable and
wonderfully flawed. Overall, "You Know Where To Find Me" is
an incredibly moving book, worth devouring from beginning
to end.

This book contains mature topics such as
suicide, prescription drug abuse, and depression, as well
as mild sexual content.

Reviewer Age:15

State and Country: Maryland United States

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Silver Donkey

The Silver Donkey is a young adult fiction book written by Sonya Hartnett, and it takes place during World War I. The story starts one day when two sisters, Marcelle and Coco, find a runaway solider in the woods. The solider, Lieutenant Shepard, is blind and is trying to get back home to his dying brother. Marcelle, the oldest sister, realizes they can't get the solider home without help, so they tell their older brother, Pascal. Pascal creates a plan to help get the solider home. In return, the solider tells the children four stories about his good luck charm, a silver donkey.

The Silver Donkey is a great book. It is interesting and enjoyable. This book has a lot of strengths, but there is one that stands out the most. That strength is the fact that the author's writing draws the reader farther into the book, making it impossible to put down. The ending was okay, but I thought it left a lot of questions unanswered. The author could have put more detail into the ending of the story. Overall, The Silver Donkey is the best children's book I have read in a long time, and I recommend this book to anyone who loves to read.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sandy, Oregon United States

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Dragons of Babel

The Dragons of Babel is about Will, a young boy with responsibilities thrust upon him. Adopted by his Aunt as a young child, Will never knew his true identity. He was disowned by his village for events beyond his control, and thrown out into a world in which war is raging. Along the way, he encounters Esme, a girl with knowledge beyond her years, and Nat, a trickster who knows more about Will than Will does himself. Taken to Babel as a refugee from the war, Will will discover more and more about himself, fighting imaginary wars and dealing with bureaucrats, while the city's people await a new king to fill the throne. Will deals with staying alive and free, but all the while events are being put into motion behind his back. Falling in love with bureaucrats and making enemies with others, will Will be able to save himself from his fate? Will he find his true identity, and if he does, will he accept it? Read The Dragons of Babel to find out.

The Dragons of Babel is a fascinating story of adventure and romance. With dynamic characters and unique (if not strange) beings, it is a great read cover to cover. From the hardened soldiers down to sweet Esme, and from the trickster Nat to the bureaucrats of Babel, each character is unique. I would recommend this book to any fan of fantasy or adventure stories. The Dragons of Babel receives a nine out of ten from me.

Some sexual references, language

Rating: 9

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Chambersburg, PA USA

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 Pride and Prejudice - Seth's Comments

Hi Seth and Gary,

Just wanted to let you know that your wonderful post is live on Remotely Connected. We’ll be promoting on the homepage of on Sunday evening and Monday.

Thanks so much for being a part of the project.
Best wishes,


Seth's Post on

Geek Magnet by Kieran Scott

Everyone loves KJ Miller. Especially the geeks. See, KJ is super nice, smart, pretty, the stage manager of her high school's Grease...and a total geek magnet. She's like the geek pied piper of Washington High, drawing every socially clueless guy in a five-mile radius. If only Cameron Richardson, star of the basketball team and hottest guy in school, would follow her around and worship her the way her entourage of dorks do. Enter Tama Gold, queen of the popular crowd, star of Grease, and solution to all of KJ's problems. She insists that KJ is too nice, and the nice girl never gets the guy. Tama's ready to help KJ get cruel, ditch the dorks, and win Cameron's heart. But is KJ?

Geek Magnet was a hilarious page-turner about love and friendship. I really enjoyed reading this book because the characters and the plot were very unqiue and interesting. From page one, I was immediately drawn into the book and felt as if I were actually there, especially because the characters seemed really realistic and easy to relate to. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that it seemed very predictable. Overall, I loved reading Geek Magnet and would definitely recommend it.

This book contained some profanity, sexual comments, and teenage drinking.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Leopold, MO USA


Thirteenth birthdays in the Beaumont household are very exciting and Mibs is having hers very soon. Her family gets more than presents for birthdays. They get a special savvy, and that means that they get a special power. One of her brothers can cause hurricanes, another creates electricity, and Mibs knows hers will be exciting, too. However, the day before her birthday, her father is in a bad accident and goes to the hospital. The preacher's wife comes over with her children to watch the Beaumonts while their mother is in the hospital with their dad. Mibs doesn't wish for just any savvy. She wants a savvy that will save her Poppa and Mibs is certain that that will happen. She decides to secretly climb aboard a bus, with her siblings and the preacher's kids, to go to the hospital. However, the bus starts heading in the wrong direction. No one on it will ever be the same! What is Mibs' savvy? What will happen to the characters involved on the bus? You've got to read this book!

Savvy was a really interesting book to read. I loved how creative and original it was with the savvies. The vocabulary is just right for the ages of 10-15 because it is not too hard, but it does use some bigger words. My favorite thing about the entire book was the imagery. It was amazing that every paragraph would paint a picture inside my head! There was a great amount of detail in describing the setting and the characters' moods. Unlike some other books with 'magical powers', this one uses magic in a new and neat way. This book is probably best for younger teenagers in grades 5-8 because the writing seems to be designed for that age group. I do recommend it for tweens and early teens if they like reading something fresh and unique.

Reviewer Age:14

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

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mystery at Shildii Rock by Robert Feagan

When Robin Harris, a twelve year old boy, claims to have seen someone on the top of Shildii Rock, no one believes him. Not even his father will listen to him. Robin is determined to prove that someone is up there. He convinces his friends to help him discover who it is and what they want. This person is not friendly though. The person threatens their lives. The friends run into bigger problems then they had expected. Once they reach the top there is no turning back. Will the children live to prove that someone is up there or will the unknown stranger kill them first?

Mystery at Shildii Rock by Robert Feagan is an excellent mystery for a young reader. I think more advanced readers may find this story slightly predictable. Overall, it was an exciting story that was full of suspense. It keeps you guessing from beginning to end. I think that younger readers will really enjoy this book.

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: Lemoore, California US

How Not to be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler

Young Sugar had been a rolling stone all of her life, and never was stationary for more than a few months. She's always loved this way of life because the excitement of meeting new people was such an adventure. This time, it's not the same. Her free-bird parents uproot her life and move it from her beautiful home on the California coast, all the way to Austin, Texas. She leaves behind the only boy she has ever loved, Trevor and her beautiful set of A-list friends. Home sick and out of place, Sugar-Mags devises a plan to be an outcast. She doesn't want to have a reason to cry when she leaves her school this time so an anti-social life seems the way to go. When she finally arrives at school, she finds that her plan doesn't work so well against hot jocks or A-list gossip girls. Her plan gets harder and harder to maintain, and although her wacky outfits and carrying around shrubberies have worked mildly before, she's running out of ways to keep herself from caving in.

This book was well-written, and although Sugar-Mags's life was very different from mine, Ziegler made sure not to alienate her audience, and I must applaud her for that. I, more often than not, found myself laughing out loud and enjoyed this book VERY much. I loved the character Penny because she was so innocent and had her own little quirks that made you sick and love her at the same time. I can tell that the thought on each of these characters was in-depth and Ziegler did a fantastic job relating the characters and events to everyday teenage life. I love this book!

Brief language and/or mention of adult subjects or nudity.

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: , PA USA

Sachiko by Shizue Tomoda

Sachiko always dreamed of going to America. Enthralled by the sophistication and boundless opportunities offered by the western world, she devoted herself to making the dream come true. The challenge is more than she bargained for, though. Her parents do not support her ambitious aspiration, and refuse to let her go. In this story, the reader follows a young Japanese girl as she struggles to find herself and make her hopes realities.

I did not love this book. I was always waiting for the actual plot to start; I felt like I was reading a summary, not a story. There was very little dialogue to break up long, non-descriptive paragraphs. There was no emotion conveyed until the very end. Even Sachiko, the main character, was not developed very well. By the end of the book, I felt like I barely knew her. The author states the obvious too often, and she hints at future events in an all-too inconspicuous manner. I have to admit that the ending caught me off guard. I almost wish that there had been more. Overall, the book wasn't terrible; it simply needs more sensory details and some minor editing.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Tipp City, Ohio USA

A Rumor of Dragons by Michael A. Heald

A dragon that swims instead of flying. A prince with no hands. A wizard with a sword. A girl with a strange ability to talk to animals, or "senses" their feelings. They all work together to try to foil the evil plans of a great dark dragon, using their abilities to help themselves and each other. An adventure, a romance, a mystery... a classic page turner that even adds on as a cliff hanger, as it is a series

I loved how Micheal A. Heald kept the book going. It was very hard to put down, but its volume of pages often forced me to. His introduction is wonderful, a party for the youngest prince coming of age. That immediately told me the prince was not a normal one. The protagonist's nature is to go looking for trouble, so it was easy to slide from a castle to a slime-dripping cave. Heald's descriptions of the land and the characters were wonderful, only revealing certain things about the characters' appearances when the information was related to something in the plot. His writing style shows an adventure with plenty of description, which I was pleased to find. I cannot wait for the next book in his series!

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Eagle Creek, OR USA

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin

The Year of the Rat signifies change. And Grace has plenty
of changes in her life, including her best friend Melody
moving across the country. Plus, she's beginning to
question her dream of becoming a writer and illustrator.
What if she should be something else? But what other
talents does she have?

This book is a sequel to The Year
of the Dog, but it can be read independently. One of my
favorite things about both books is all the tidbits of
Chinese Culture I learned about. It boasts a very
believable voice of a young girl as its narrator. The
writing is sparse, yet flowing. It's a sweet, comfortable
little tale that I enjoyed a lot.

Reviewer Age:17

Reviewer City, State and Country: Moscow, ID USA

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Bone Race

This book is historical fiction. Some of the characters
and events are loosely based on real people and events
that occurred in the 1800's and 1900's. This book is
about the contest of an eccentric millionaire named J.
Andrew Nagle. He is hosting a race for the first
contestant to bring back a complete dinosaur skeleton to
his new museum. The story takes place across the United
States as the contestants attempt to quickly retrieve
dinosaur bones. The contestants develop complex
relationships based on love, rivalry, and greed. In sum,
the book is an adventure novel with a focus on dinosaur

I enjoyed this book. It is not a very long read,
and the book idea is unique. The novel is exciting, and
the characters are fairly satisfying. However, the plot
seems underdeveloped at times. The story jumps between
settings in order to tell each character's story, so the
action feels rushed. I also wished the interesting
setting and corrupt government were described in more
detail. Despite these shortcomings, the book was still
pleasant. This book would probably be a good, fairly
quick read for anybody, especially if they have an
interest in dinosaurs or history.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Royersford, PA

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty

Geena Sloane starts her summer off with the perfect plan: working at Triple Shot Betty's by day and giggling and painting toenails by night at sleepovers with her best friend, Amber, and her cousin, Hero. Amber and Hero are finally going to meet and Geena knows they will hit it off. There's just one problem, once they do meet, Geena realizes that she was very wrong. Hero and Amber hate each other and Geena is caught in the middle, needing to be loyal to both, but not knowing how. Geena works hard trying to make them like each other, but it just isn't working.

Then there are the cute boys of the summer - PJ Jamieson, the unstoppable flirt who is way to loyal to his girlfriend to ever cheat on her, John "the Man" Jamieson, his older valedictorian brother who wants Hero, Claudio, the Italian intern with whom Hero is obsessed, and Ben Bataglia, Geena's archenemy and the one who has caused her to be called a "guy-basher." The summer progresses roughly, but by the end, it all works out for the girls, and Geena Sloane gets her perfect summer after all.

Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty by Jody Gerhman was an excellent book about friendship, trust, and love. It is the perfect book for a teenage girl. I couldn't put it down and read it all in one day. The fact that the novel was written in the form of a journal made it even more interesting. The characters are all very easy to relate to and there is a character that could fit any person who reads it. It felt as if I was the main character writing in the journal myself. As Geena Sloane might put it, this was truly a "fabu" book.

Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty contains material including sexual references and teen drinking and partying.

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: East Islip, New York United States of America

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World by E.L. Konigsburg

The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World by E.L. Konigsburg is about Amedeo Kaplan. He had moved from New York City to Malo, Florida with his mother. His parents are divorced and his father is an artist, so Amedeo knows a great deal about art and its history. Amedeo meets William Wilcox and his mother, who are the liquidators for Amedeo's neighbor, Mrs. Zender. Mrs. Zender is a colorful character. She is the last heir of the Tull family. The Tulls owned hundreds of acres of timberland in northern Florida and southern Georgia. Mrs. Zender's mother was an Italian and highly controlling of her daughter. She organized most of Mrs. Zender's life. Mrs. Zender was a minor opera star in Europe and local celebrity in the 1940s and 1950s. She knew Alexander Calder, Simone de Beauvoir, James Jones, Karl Eisenhuth, and Harper Lee. She is vain, smart, funny, demanding, and generous. She believes in the old class structure. She dresses up in costumes every day and she is used to having servants. She informs Amedeo that a person must remain ninety percent secret to even their friends. William Wilcox is aloof, quiet, smart, and nice. Amedeo tells William that he would love to discover something that has been lost for a long time. While cleaning the library, Amedeo discovers a drawing of a nude called The Moon Lady by a dead Jewish Italian artist named Modigliani. Mrs. Zender informs Amedeo that it was a wedding present from her Austrian husband. She keeps the drawing hidden and shows no interest in keeping it. He takes the drawing to his house and researches it. Amedeo's godfather, Peter Vanderwaal, is the Director of the Sheboygan Art Center. The art center is hosting an exhibition of art banned by the Nazis. Adolf Hitler wanted to be an artist but was not admitted into art school because his art was not modern enough. Hitler developed a strong dislike of modern art. When Hitler became the leader of Germany, he banned Modern and African Art. He banned art by Jewish, homosexual, and insane artists. Hitler banned Henri Matisse, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Marc Chagall, and Georges Braque. At the opening of the exhibit that Amedeo is attending, Peter's mother shows them Peter's father's autobiography. Peter's father, John Vanderwaal, grew up in Amsterdam, Holland and was raised by his older homosexual brother and his partner at their art store. One day, a Nazi officer arrived at John's brother's art shop; the next day John's brother was sent to a work labor camp. In a photo that Mrs. Vanderwaal shows them, Amedeo sees the The Moon Lady. What is Mrs. Zender's connection to John Vanderwaal's story?

I give The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World a nine. E.L. Konigsburg has the talent to make unexciting events fascinating. This is a rare skill. If a reader has enjoyed E.L. Konigsberg's other books, then the reader will truly enjoy this book. Konigsburg has a very similar writing style in this book to her other works. When I was in the eighth grade at school, I wrote a report on Konigsburg. Since then, I have felt that she is one of the best young adult realist novelists alive today. I found this book particularly interesting because I had just visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and I saw art by Vincent van Gogh, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, and Henri Matisse, who are all named in this novel.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Urbana, Illinois United States of America

Monday, February 04, 2008

Perilous Passage

OK... heres a basic summary of A Perilous Passage, by B. J.
This book is set in the New World between the years of
1810-1811. The main character ia a boy named Peter. He
suffers from a case of amnesia, and as a result, no one
knows him. He meets a man named Boulard. Boulard is an
explorer who works for David Thomson. Boulard takes him on a
journey to meet his boss, David Thompson, and Peter quickly
gets involved with an expedition to find the Columbia
River, headed by David Thompson himself. He meets many
different Native American tribes and animals as he travels
across the continent of America.

This book is a wonderful example of a good adventure
book. I felt immersed in the setting, and felt like I was
with the characters as they adventured throughout America.
The main character is Peter, an understanding boy of 15, who
has lost him memory to amneseia. I found this a good weekend
read. I would recommend this book to history buffs, and
people who enjoy adventure stories.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7

Reviewer Age:12

Reviewer City, State and Country: , Texas United States

Slippery Slopes

Slippery Slopes is about a group of friends who are
working at the Les Trois, the fabulous ski resort in Europe,
where the rich and famous people come to ski and socialize.
The main characters, Melissa and Dove, are covering for
another friend, Harley, who is on vacation in the Tropics.
Melissa is working as the host, greeting and meeting all the
famous people that come and stay at the resort. Dove, on
the other hand, is working in the kitchen as a chef,
preparing all the food at the resort. The biggest party of
the year is coming up soon and Melissa is in charge of
overseeing all the planning and events for the ball. Dove
is in charge with planning a spectacular menu that will live
up the other parties in the past. With all the pressure of
planning and throwing an equally spectacular ball, as in the
past, the girls must somehow find time for their own social
life. While working at the resort they meet plenty of
people and have many invitations to a lot of the parties,
dances and skiing events. To complicate the planning,
Melissa has a lot of the ski bums after her, and Dove is
trying hard to stay loyal to her boyfriend back home.

I thought the book was so-so. It was hard to stay
focused, it skipped around a lot. The author, Emily
Franklin, did describe the characters fairly well as she
made you feel like you were at the resort with the
characters in the story. I felt that the characters
sometimes over reacted in some situations that they had to
deal with in the story. Overall, the book pretty much held
my interest. I would recommend this book to others because
it did have a good story line.

This book has relational scenes and profane language.
The underwriter of this book was Liz Bloom.
Rating (1-10) 7

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Minooka, Il United States

Operation Red Jericho

Doug and Becca MacKenzie, two teenage orphans, are forced to
live with their uncle after their parents mysteriously
disappear. Their uncle, Fitzroy MacKenzie, is the sea
captain of a research ship named Expedient. Doug and Becca
over hear Fitzroy talk to an unusual passenger, and decide
to do some snooping about. As they learn, Expedient is not a
research ship at all. It is a World War II Q ship. As a Q
ship, the Expedient is disguised as a defenseless cargo
ship, but once an enemy ship comes within firing range,
cleverly hidden guns rise above the deck and open fire. Doug
and Becca are caught, but Fitzroy offers no explanation for
the guns. Soon after, he effectively removes Doug and Becca
from his ship. Doug and Becca, back on dry land, are
determined to find out if their parents are still alive.
They follow a mystifying set of clues that leads them on an
extraordinary journey.

Operation Red Jericho is an extremely well written book
with teenagers as the main character. Joshua Mowll, the
author, puts you in the character's head with incredible
detail. You can see the gears in Doug's head as he ponders
every new challenge. It is always comical when Doug or Becca
outfox the captain and other characters.
Rating (1-10) 8

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Hamilton, OH USA

The Dragon's Eye

When young Daniel and his sister Beatrice leave boarding school to go visit their parents, the siblings learn that their parents have gone to India. The siblings must travel to see Earnest Drake, one of their parents’ good friends. Upon arriving at Ernest’s castle, Beatrice and Daniel learn that they will be attending a new school where Ernest is the teacher. The main subject of study at this new school is Dragonology. While Daniel and Beatrice learn more about new dangers, the evil Ignatious Cook tries to steal the most important possession of the dragons and the dragonologists: the Dragon’s Eye. Can Beatrice, Daniel, and Ernest Drake defeat Ignatius Cook?

The Dragon’s Eye was pretty appealing, but I think the descriptions could have been more thorough. It was a particularly easy read, and I would have liked it more if it was a little more modern or realistic. If I was younger I may have liked it more, but it wasn’t too bad. This was a definite page turner, but it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read. I recommend this book to anyone who has a great imagination and would like an upper elementary leveled book. I wouldn’t recommend this for first through third graders, because it was pretty graphic. I think this book would appeal most to readers aged 8-10.
Rating: 7
Content Rating: 1

Reviewer Age:11

Reviewer City, State and Country: Osseo, Wisconsin United States

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Return to Zandria by Christine Norris

It’s been three long years since Ivy Peterson last saved the world of Zandria from total destruction by the evil witch queen, Zahara. Ivy is once again faced with the challenge of saving the Talisman and the future of Zandria, but this time it’s with a new twist. She has her best friend Lori with her and the empress’s fairly newborn daughter’s life is at stake. Without very much hesitation, Ivy and Lori, both agree to embark on the life-threatening adventure. A few days after setting out on their dangerous journey, they realize that they are being followed. As they prepare to attack the oncoming stalkers, they recognize the one person as Queen Siobhan and her guards. Queen Siobhan leads them to the Water Gate and from there they cross over into Otherside, where they have reason to suspect it as being the place that the Princess is being held captive by Duke Drake (the empress’s cousin.) After coming through the portal, they exit the cave that they were transported into, and waited for the cover of night to explore. They headed into the small village within a few days of being there, and asked a supermarket owner a few questions, and found out that Drake is somewhere in the premises of the “haunted” and abandoned beach house offshore. They leave the store and head back to the cave. On their way there, Ivy decides to wash-up in the restroom, and tells her friends to wait for her outside. When she comes out, no one is around and it is uncomfortably too quiet. Without warning, a man she doesn’t recognize comes around the corner of the building and chases her through the woods. She trips over a log, and falls to her destiny, which is being captured, tied up, blindfolded, and carried through the woods to his master’s secret lair. She doesn’t know where she or her friends are, who took her, or what the fate of her and her friends, the princess, and the whole world of Zandria will be. Everything rests in the very evil hands of her wicked captor and his psycho master; and whatsoever they choose to do with her is entirely up to them, no matter what it may be.

The Return to Zandria by Christine Norris is a wonderful story and it’s the sequel to The Talisman of Zandria, which also was a fabulous book. I think that this is about as awesome as the first one, but it doesn’t have quite as much adventure and action as the first one did. It was still an exciting read though, and it kept me guessing as to what would happen next the whole time. The plot was very interesting and the author chose a good conflict to write about. The climax was pretty intense and I wasn’t sure what was to become of the characters. I enjoyed how the author had Ivy’s friend go along on the adventure because it made it all the more interesting, definitely since she was a girlie-girl. Overall this novel is a remarkable and outstanding book and a great pick, if you want to add some excitement to your life.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 9
Reviewer Age: 14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Upper Strasburg, PA United States


Ryan Piccoli, a good-looking freshman, knows that a teacher is supposed to impart a love of learning--a thirst for knowledge. But it's different with Ms. Lori Settles. All the kids are talking about how hot she is. When she starts giving Ryan extra attention, he feels more than happy--at first. Ryan is used to being the class clown, but he's actually a loner. And then one day after school, the friendship with Lori Settles goes farther than Ryan ever expected. She's his history teacher. She's twice his age, yet it feels so good to have this special relationship. When Lori begins to make demands, Ryan feels overwhelmed. His attempts to deal with his situation also bring to the surface long-repressed emotions about his mother's suicide. Ryan's friend, Honey, can tell something is wrong, but Ryan refuses to admit that anything is going on. Even his busy father sees a difference in Ryan's behavior. In some ways, Lori Settles is more that Ryan bargained for, but the thought of not having her is almost unbearable. In this complex relationship, who is the predator and who is the prey?

Prey was a very well-written novel that demonstrated the dangers of romantic relationships between a teacher and a student. It also proved that the choices we make today can change our lives forever. Although this book was different than Lurlene McDaniel's other books, it still showed the challenges that today's teenagers face. I thought Prey was very insightful and informative, but the whole idea seemed a bit disturbing. Although the relationship between Ryan and Ms. Settles was startling, I thought Prey was very good and well thought out. I liked all of the characters and thought the plot was great. This book contained everything from romance, to comedy, to deceit, a little something for everybody. Prey was a great page-turner that I would recommend to everyone.

This book contained sexual content.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Leopold, MO USA

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Do The Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra

In the book, "Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra,
the main character is a girl named Tess. Tess' mother
works as an artist for a man named Rob whose wife, Nina,
has just died. Tess' mother lets Tess in on her secret
that she thinks Rob killed Nina. Tess' mother had heard
Rob's story but it wasn't convincing at all. However, Tess
is not to tell anyone of her mother's suspicion. Having a
secret is not easy for Tess and she ends up telling her two
best friends, Sammy and Miranda. Sammy lets it slip to
Lynn, the loud mouth at school, so the rumor is spread to
everyone! Tess realizes she can't trust Sammy with secrets
anymore. Tess' mom finds out that Tess told as well and
gets really mad. After many twists and turns, Tess leans
some valuable lessons. I guess you'll have to read the
book to find out what those lessons are and what really
happened to Nina!

I loved the book. The book was not a book that I
wanted to put down because something exciting happened with
each turn of the page. It was nice knowing that other
girls go through the same things I do at times. It also
reinforces the fact that people should not spread rumors,
especially when they don't have all the facts. This kind
of book is the kind that makes me happy and sad at the same
time. I felt sad that people were hurt for saying things
that weren't true, but at the same time, friendships were
made stronger. These are just some of the reasons why I
loved the book. I know if you are a girl like me, you will
love "Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra

Rating: 10

Content: 1

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and
Country: Newville, Pennsylvaina United States

When The Cat's Away

Jake Novak doesn't like cats, but the co-heir of the beach
house where he lives, Mary Katherine "Kate" Forrest, has
two, Jacques and Cleo. Jacques is a special cat and has
helped solve two mysteries. When White Sands, Alabama,
their hometown, is chosen for the location of an
international cat show, their owner, Kate, enters the
beautiful Cleo in the show. Then when a couple of the
favorite contenders disappear, one of them being Cleo, Jake
is hired to find out who is catnapping them. Later when a
murder takes place, things get serious and Jacques knows he
needs to investigate on his own so the case can get solved.

When the Cat's Away is the third book in the Jacques &
Cleo, Cat Detectives series by Gilbert Morris. I didn't
think this book had very much action even though it was a
mystery, so it was somewhat boring. I also found that since
this is the third book in the series, and I was already
familiar with the characters and their development that the
continued repetition of details drove me crazy. The book was
really more for adults but older teens might also enjoy it.
I didn't like the character of Jake very much because he
acted like a jerk a lot of the time, but once in awhile he
would do something nice for someone. Of the three books in
this series, I think this one is my favorite because Ocie
finally accepted Christ and Rhiannon met a new friend.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country:
Upper Strasburg, PA United States

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Astonishing Life Of Octavian Nothing

Octavian is a young boy that has been raised by a group of
philosophers. He has to learn about science, math, language,
and many other things like music. The rest of the people
living there are given numbers as their names have certain
meanings for each number. He is not sure why he and his
mother have actual names. Outside life is a mystery to
Octavian because he can not leave this place. There is even
a door within his house that he is forbidden to enter.
However, he enters it anyway and discovers that the
philosophers have been experimenting with a bad nature and
he has a bad role with them.

I liked this book even though it was really different.
The language is written in somewhat of an older English. It
makes it interesting when you are reading conversations
between people, so it is pretty cool. The beginning chapters
really introduces the story to you and gives the reader
enough background to support the plot. One of my favorite
things were the maps and graphs that were randomly placed
throughout the book. I was pleased to see that there were
several newspaper articles and letters in this story. They
brought a new look on the events that were taking place.
Overall, the ending pulled the whole story together and
finished it off with what it deserved. I recommend this book
to anyone interesting in reading something different because
it was really unique.
Rating: 7

Reviewer Age:14

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