Monday, March 30, 2009

Living With Ghosts by Kari Sperring

Graciel is a failed assassin priest and spy who doesn't accept his abilities. The ghostly shadows around him and even the sorceress who rules him can't be ignored by him. Thiercelin wishes he had his wife's love though she is devoted to the city of Merafi and the ruler. In this ancient city you can't always get what you want. In the city of Merafi their safety relied on a pact sealed by the blood between the land's first king and the land's elemental forces. When the city should be protected to the power of elementals it isn't because a sorceress and a prince have broken the pact. Terror and destruction are to come but the Merafiens don't believe in the elemental powers and are blind to the danger to come. Find out what happens when you jump into this book!

This book had a very slow beginning but if you are into these kind of books it picks up after a while. If you don't like to read a big book that doesn't pull you in, then this is not for you. Some parts were confusing but once you read the whole book you get it. Detail I believe is a big thing in this book. This is a good book to read on a bad day, though of course it depends on the person. Fantasy either like them or dislike them.

There were some parts where depends on the maturity of the reader. Also I recommend adult guidance.

Reviewer Age: 16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Northport, NY USA

Alligator Bayou by Donna Jo Napoli

Loosely based on a true story, and developed as an
exposition on cultural tensions in the nineteenth century,
Alligator Bayou traces the journey of a fourteen year old
Sicilian migrant who is thrust into a milieu hostile to his
very existence. The story revolves around Calogero, the
fourteen year old migrant, and the experiences and
occurrences in the racially-charged town of Tallulah,
Louisiana. During the course of the novel, Calogero attempts
to gain new friends, expire racial and cultural boundaries,
secure his budding love with an African-American girl, and
gradually ease into his transposed town. However, despite
these peaceful pastimes, he is also held beholden to the
violence present in Southern towns toward those of varying
heritage. This violence is visible almost immediately after
the exposition, and dramatically conducts the occurrences of
the preponderance of the novel. In the conclusion of the
novel, Calogero is forced to concede the town he has come to
love in spite of its flaws, and seek a destiny discrete.

It is clear from Donna Jo Napoli's prose and style in
Alligator Bayou that she intended to compose a counterpart
or sibling to To Kill a Mockingbird, or even Uncle Tom's
Cabin, in terms of illuminating racial conflicts typically
ignored in the face of larger calamities. All three novels
hold a surprisingly satisfying plot, richly detailed
characters, and a vividly created medium of venue through
which they are transmitted. It is also clear from Alligator
Bayou that Napoli invested a large sum of time in
painstakingly recreating and archiving the cultural syntax
of Sicilians in America. The novel proves both historically
accurate and emotionally subversive. The plot is compiled of
a multiplicity of domains, ranging from romance and drama to
action, allowing access and enjoyment to fans of all genres.
However, as with all novels, Alligator Bayou retains a
number of blemishes which mark the otherwise vibrant taste.
Although slower early on, the novel increases in pace
dramatically toward the end, creating what some readers
might find an uncomfortable channel which prevents the
attainment of full achievement. Although it is possible this
change in pace was intentional, it still serves as a
detraction from the overall gridiron of the story. Likewise,
certain elements of the novel feel half-baked and clunky
toward the end, as if they offer only superfluous enjoyment
and serve no genuine objective in the storyline. Again,
while this may be intentional to result in a more acute
finale and to sharpen the key themes of the novel, it serves
to disenchant the reader. However, while the novel does
preserve some weakness, it offers overall a wholly
gratifying experience for those willing to ignore the grain
and chuff in search of the diamonds at its

Violence, references to lynching may be
inappropriate for younger readers, but overall not a major

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and
Country: Shrewsbury, MA USA

Dark Destiny by Kym Hackenberger and Melody Lowe

Everyone knows the story behind Sleeping Beauty, but what about the wicked witch who curses the princess? Dark Destiny is the hidden Sleeping Beauty story. Never the favorite child, Princess Elspeth always lived an unhappy childhood. But when Elspeth finds herself betrothed to someone she despises, she finally decides that enough is enough. When Elspeth meets a handsome warlock, she finds herself falling in love and marries him instead. After many years of a happy marriage, a pregnant Elspeth suffers a blow when her former betrothed finds and kills her beloved husband. After that incident, Elspeth has to find a way to avenge her husband's death.

I hadn't really thought about how the story of a villain would be told, so it was great to read a book about just that. I never expected the tale to be told as it was, especially with how closely intertwined Elspeth's story was with Sleeping Beauty and her parents. There were so many interesting characters; including goblins, elves and other fairy tale creatures that added to the mystique of the story. I was expecting to dislike Elspeth throughout, but it's hard not to feel bad for her. For anyone who has wondered what it takes to become a villain, I would definitely recommend reading this book. It's always interesting to know the other side of a fairy tale, so hopefully there will be more novels like this in thefuture.

Age: 22

Reviewer City, State and Country: Philadelphia,
PA United States

Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell

Where y'at, Iris?
There is nothing to do in Odine, Louisiana, except maybe hang out at the cemetery, listen to ghosts, and cast pretend spells. The summer Iris and and her friend, Collette, turned fourteen, that's just what they do. It's all fun and games until Iris truly sees and hears a "ghost" at the cemetery. After an incident with a Ouija board (witchboard), the ghost reveals himself as Elijah, the boy who mysteriously disappeared several years before Iris was born. With the help of Ben-Colette's latest crush- and Collete, Iris must find out what really happened that night in 1989 and why her dad is so hesitant in shedding some light on the subject. It seems all of Odine wants to forget "The Incident with the Landry Boy", all that is, except Iris and of course Elijah's restless ghost.

Shadowed Summer was a short read and after 3 hours and a severe adrenaline rush, I can only say that this book not only made your skin crawl but was written quite well for a first time thriller writer.
The combination of a ghost story, friendship, and growing up made the story even more unforgettable. The characters were very well developed and there was more background than just the ghost haunts. The end really caught me off guard, I literally yelled, "What!" so loud it scared my poor cat. I even found myself re-reading the end just in case I missed something. (Personally I think the whole reason for Elijah's ghost to go haunting was a bit weird, but that's a physiological thriller for you).
Whew. I'm glad I'm done reading and writing the review for it. (Can you hear my heart beating?) Now I'm off to prepare the final resting place of Shadowed Summer-where else do you hide the boogie monsters?-in the closet. Yeah, people it was that spooky.
Mitchell does in fact have a knack for storytelling, but I don't think I could handle another ghost story. I would not recommend this book to you if you get scared easily or, better yet-to take care of the recommendation-read if you dare.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: , NM

Speed Demon by Erin Lynn

Kenzie is a typical teenager who just got grounded. The reason why? Levi. Her life was perfect before she accidentally dropped her acne medicine down the bathtub, that one accidental act prompted Levi, Levi the demon to pop out from the demon world below. Kenzie closed the portal from hell that Levi opened by driving the family minivan into the kitchen (hence the grounding) but, when Kenzie thinks her life will finally go back to normal, Levi tells Kenzie that when one portal closes another one opens. It's up to Kenzie to save the day again and close another demon portal, but this time she also has to stop the other demons from dragging Levi back to hell!

Never have I read a book about demons! Erin Lynn wrote her book Speed Demon in a very upbeat, enthusiastic way. Between the interesting story line and the fast-paced dialogue I had a hard time putting this book down. Though I would recommend readers to read the first book of this series before reading Speed Demon due to some confusion at the begining of the book. I would also recommend this book to readers who are bored to read about someone's typical everyday life.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Potomac, Maryland United States of America

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Truancy Origins by Isamu Fukui

The book, Truancy Origins was a well-written and designed book. It is about two brothers who learn terrible things about their father. One decides to rebel against his father, and the other decides to stop him. The brothers are seemingly complete opposites, but is that really so? In this action-packed adventure book, the two boys find out their hidden talents and where their true destinies lie. However, to find the truth, you must read this wonderful book.

In my opinion, this was a great book, with very few faults. The author was definitely able to bring this book to life as you read it. In the way the author wrote the book, you just had to like both the good and bad guy, which is very unique. Also, this book was very suspenseful. I almost stayed up a whole night trying to finish this. That's how good it was. Another quality of this book is how the author is able to convey the story, even if one had not read the first book in the series. Overall, I thought this was one of my favorite books ever.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Towson, Maryland United States of America

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happenstance Found by P.W. Catanese

As Happenstance opens his unique eyes, he realizes that he has no memory. Not knowing who he is or any details of his life, he ventures off with an interesting group of three: the explorer Umber, is the leader; Sophie is a timid archer; and Oates is a man who is both strong and honest. They leave for Kurahaven, Umber's home city, to relax. When they arrive, however, Happenstance finds that an evil force is after him. Umber was told in a mysterious note to keep Happenstance by his side and to watch the boy's powers grow. Will Umber learn why there is someone after Happenstance? Can Happenstance find his true identity?
Happenstance Found is a fantasy/adventure book. The story is well-written and could be read by a range of people. Although the vocabulary is somewhat scholarly, an avid reader may find the word choice too basic. This makes the book a quick read, and it is definitely a worthy one. I commend Catanese for the unique storyline. The main pieces of the story were intense and kept my attention until the next action occurred. I recommend Happenstance Found for any fantasy lover who is between the ages 10-18.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Carlisle, Pennsylvania United States of America

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Rule of Won

Caleb Dunne is a self-pronounced slacker. After his brush
with the law last winter, his overly-motivated semi-
girlfriend Vicky insists that he begin attending "craves".
These are meetings for the new club modelled after the
popular book The Rule of Won. At first, Caleb embraces
the way and is ready to "imanifest" until his brain falls
out, but before long, the group starts to take on an
almost cult-like appearance and Caleb opts out. This
seemingly harmless idea that you can get whatever you want
by just believing starts a movement that gains popularity
throughout Screech Neck High. It becomes apparent that if
you aren't with the club then you are against it.
Bullying, violence and stealing are just some of the
various tactics these club-members employ to get their
point across and it's time for someone to take a stand.

Stefan Petrucha has a wonderful ability to make the
characters come to life. Caleb, among others, has
wonderful depth and a witty manner that entertained me
throughout this book. Its language also drew me into the
book and allowed me to visualize the various settings. One
of the downfalls of the book is that I am unable to
connect with some of the references to other sources that
are made. Besides this, the book was an enjoyable read
and is suitable for both boys and girls.


Reviewer City, State and Country: Richmond,
Virginia United States of America


Deathwish by Rob Thurman is the fourth book to the Cal and Niko Leandros series following Nightlife, Moonshine, and Madhouse. Half-human Cal and Niko Leandros, the main characters in the series, continue their story of dealing with mythical beings with new problems in New York City. The brothers are yet again faced with the threat of their monster heritage, the Auphe (elf family), who are bloodthirsty for revenge. Worse still is the mystery surrounding their newest client, a vampire named Seamus, who was killed before the brothers could find out the identity of Seamus' stalker. This story, along with the past books, is a mysterious urban fantasy filled with twists.

This book has an awesome storyline and describes each page with detail. The storyline makes more sense, however if the previous three books are read first. Deathwish also has mature language and some disturbing details and therefore, is more for young adults. The storyline is very captivating overall. Deathwishs' genre is fantasy, mystery, and a bit of horror.

Note: Mature language and some disturbing details.

Content: 3
Rating: 7
Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Colleyville, Texas USA

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson

Martin Wilson's What They Always Tell Us is a story about the lives and formation of brothers who are living through the ordeal known as high school. James, a senior, knows exactly where he's going and who he is, and he's happy with this knowledge. Alex, James' younger brother, doesn't and isn't. This vast difference is the main reason James and Alex are no longer close. That is until their ten-year-old
neighbor befriends them both and pulls them together with the mystery of who keeps parking outside his house at odd hours.
What They Always Tell Us is a great book for boys, if a bit ordinary. Wilson really captures relationships between males of all types and ages. James' frustration with his ordinary life portrays any senior's feelings of being stuck in Small town, USA. And Alex's identity crisis could be that of any teenager's. An interesting read for those bored boys out there.
The rate of the book's content is a 3 for its graphic, semi-sexual scenes and mature content.
Reviewer Age:17
Reviewer City, State and Country: Penacook, New Hampshire United States of America

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Nation by Terry Pratchett

Mau was just coming back from his coming of age ritual when the big wave came. The wave wiped out everything in the Nation- people and animals alike. The wave also crashed the English vessel, Sweet Judy, into the Nation and killed all of her crew- all, that is, but Daphne. Daphne and Mau meet, and soon after that survivors from other islands in the chain arrive. They bring word that the Raiders- a cannibalistic tribe from the farthest island- are going to each of the islands in the chain, one by one, and looking for people to kill. They have a new chief, too: First Mate Cox, the leader of an attempted mutiny on the Sweet Judy which Daphne witnessed. Mau has to fight Cox in a battle to protect all the islanders from death and slavery- but Cox is a clever leader and a strong fighter.

Nation was a brilliant and detailed book which should be an addition to every library. It shows the shock and grief of losing everyone in his life and then the recovery and hope of starting over. The story is a bittersweet one with many good life lessons set into the foundation subliminally. And, despite the beginning of the story, the overall tone is actually joyful and in good spirits most of the time. Because: When much is taken, something is returned.

It is labeled as ages 12 and up, due to religious questioning and the initial subject of losing so many things.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Colleyville, Texas USA

WWW:Wake by Robert J. Sawyer

"WWW: Wake" by Robert J. Sawyer is a thrilling book. The
story mainly follows a girl with a unique case of
blindness that just so happens to be a polymath. She gets
in contact with a Japanese researcher that implants a
device in her left eye. Afterwards, she begins to see the
world wide web before she sees the real world. As Sawyer
explains, she sees the internet in its abstract nature,
not how regular people see browsers, websites, and
whatnot. Later, it becomes clear to her that the internet
she encountered was actually a being. The girl teaches
this being how to communicate and eventually finds solace
in its futuristic company. Intermittently dispersed
throughout the novel are sub-plots; the reader understands
the importance of these as the story progresses.

book is surprisingly good. Readers feel sympathy for the
main female protagonist and begin to identify with other
characters. However, there are sexual innuendos scattered
throughout the book that could have been omitted.
Additionally, there are some obscenities in the novel
related to certain characters' diction. If "WWW: Wake"
didn't have such a well-thought out plot, readers would
have had the urge to put it down.

Reviewer Age:17

Reviewer City, State and Country:
Staten Island, NY USA

Friday, March 20, 2009

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared To Dream by Tanya Lee Stone

Most everyone has heard of the Mercury 7, the first human spaceflight program in the Untied States. It lasted from 1959 through 1963, and the goal was to beat the Russians in putting the first human in orbit around the Earth. Everyone pretty much knows John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, and the rest of the crew that trained, but very few people know of the thirteen women who trained and never got to go into space. Jerrie Cobb was the first woman pilot to take all the same tests that the men took, and even scored higher than the men! Not only did they create a path for female astronauts, but they also played a very important role in WASP (The Women Air Force Service Pilots) and other rights for women in the 1960s. These thirteen women should be honored and remembered throughout American history.

This was an excellent book! Tanya Lee Stone did a great job in her research and interviews for this book. I am so glad that she wrote this book, because I never knew anything about these women who fought to be part of the space project with NASA. This book would be a good source for a book report or research paper for anyone. I would recommend it for ages eleven and up.

Reviewer Age: 14

Reviewer City, State and Country: NM, USA

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

MY BROTHER ABE by Harry Mazer

Have you ever wondered what Abe Lincoln's life was like when he was a kid? If so, My Brother Abe is a good book for you. In this book Harry Mazer writes from Sally Lincoln's, Abe's sister, point of viewand you are reading her diary. This book is easy for kids to understand because it is written like a kid would write something. You also get to see the problems the Lincoln kids had to face every day, from moving to bickering amongst themselves.

My Brother Abe was a pretty good book, but there were some boring parts. It was a good easy read. If anyone wants a book they could read in an afternoon, I would recommend My Brother Abe. If you aren't at all interested in history, don't read My Brother Abe. If you like historical fiction or enjoy learning about presidents then this book is the right book for you.

Reviewer Age:12

Reviewer City, State and Country: Harleysville, PA USA

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens knows he is different. But now, he's finally learning just how different he really is. After his family was killed one night by an ancient and secret organization, Nobody, now known as Bod, has been raised in the graveyard. He has gained some gifts from the inhabitants, such as the ability to Fade out of sight. But now, 13 years later, the same people who killed his family have set out to finish the job. Bod must save himself and his friend- but it comes at a price.

The Graveyard Book is full of fascinating components and dynamic characters. Neil Gaiman has done it again- another great book full of twists and turns. The people are so realistic and true that one can almost reach out and touch them; the settings make so much sense and give the story an easily identifiable background. Although the tone is dark and the beginning of the book is a bit scary, it just makes the book even better. I would recommend this book for those around the age of 10 because of this.
Attempted murder and advanced views.
Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Colleyville, Texas USA

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ben 10 Alien Force by Cartoon Network

Ben Tennyson is back and better than ever. Five years after putting the Omnitrix, a device that he uses to transform himself into an alien, away for good, he is called into action. Grandpa max has been kidnapped and Ben is the only one who can save him. With the help of the Omnitrix, his cousin Gwen, his former nemesis Kevin Levin, and an alien, he goes on a search for Grandpa Max.

This graphic novel is illustrated very well, but the actual story was written in a very choppy way. It is a very good book for younger kids who dislike reading, but want some form of entertainment. It was a short read, not much actually happened in this first book. This is good for anyone who likes the Ben Ten TV show and/or movies.

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: Shippensburg, Pennsylvania USA

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Chloe, who turns out to be a magical science experiment, can see and talk to ghosts. That's because she happens to be a necromancer. She runs away from Lyle House, where she was previously kept by members of The Edison Group, the group that actually genetically altered her. She's not alone. With her are Simon, a sorcerer; Derek, a werewolf; and Tori, a witch; not to mention her dead ghost friend Liz. Their goal is to find Simon and Derek's father, who could possibly help them retain their freedom. Along the way, Chloe and Derek run into a rather disgruntled pack of werewolves, the group has to evade capture, and injury, several times, and Simon and Chloe just may like each other.

Wow. After reading The Awakening, I was quite pleasantly surprised. The Awakening was even better than The Summoning, the first book in this amazing series. Twilight lovers that would have liked a little more action, or fans of the City of Bones series, would really enjoy The Awakening. It was well written, incredibly suspenseful, and there was never a slow moment. Overall, the plot is excellent and the characters seem like real people. I would definitely recommend The Awakening to anyone interested in a work of fiction with suspense, werewolves, and dynamic, well-thought-out characters. I can't wait for the next installment in this incredible series!

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Charleston, SC USA

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jane of Chelsea by J. J. Edwards

Jane is with her cousin, Edward, returning to her kingdom when a mysterious fog surrounds them. Soon it clears, ending their fear, but only to give them a new one. They find themselves in a different world where their adventure starts by being kidnapped. A huntress saves them and takes them to talking storks who think Jane is the missing daughter of their kingdom. Jane is taken to the kingdom, and automatically fits in, convinced she is the missing daughter. Edward, however, doesn't fit in and wants to return home. Jane has to see through challenges to prove she is the missing daughter, while Edward is tricked into going to a place where whoever goes into it never returns. Distressed, Jane goes in to save her cousin. Will they both get out of there alive?

I thought this book was pretty good, although sometimes I would get a little confused. My confusion was caused when I didn't know exactly who was talking. I thought it had a good plot, which consisted of twists and turns that the characters had to think a way out of. There were many good qualities to this book, it was very descriptive and it had good dialogue. However, the beginning was a little slow. This is a good book for readers who like fantasy and adventure all in one.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Carlisle, PA United States

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Prophets: Apotheosis: Book One by S. Andrew Swann

Something is going on with the supposedly uninhabited planet Xi Virginis. An egg sent out by humans to see this planet has disappeared without a trace. The Roman Catholic Church and the rest of the universe decide to intervene and see what is going on with this planet.

Enter Father Mallory, Nickolai, Jusuf Wahid and Julie Kagura, the team assembled to find out what is going on. Mallory is sent by the Roman Catholic Church and is posing as ex-staff sergeant Fitzpatrick. Nickolai is an alien prince who has super-human strength. Wahid and Kagura both posess exceptional skills with weapons.

This odd team of people will be the universe's only hope to figuring out what is happening on Xi Virginis... and may be the universe's only hope to not cause a full out war.

I thought that the book was all right. I thought that some parts of the book were rather slow while other parts were extremely interesting. I enjoyed the plot line and the diverse characteristics of the characters. However, I thought that the first half of the book was rather confusing because the author had the point of view switch with the characters; that is, the author had each character narrate a chapter or two and then switched narrators, which made it difficult to follow which character was doing what. Overall, I thought that the book was pretty good, but it was confusing during the beginning of the book.

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: Pottstown, PA United States

Hannah Pritchard: Pirate of the Revolution

Hannah Pritchard: Pirate of the Revolution is about a girl named Hannah who wants revenge on the attackers who killed her family. She goes out on an adventure and meets 2 women who give her work at an inn. Then she sees an ad in the newspaper for a cabin boy on a ship. She knows that girls aren't allowed on ships so she dresses as a boy. She barely gets the job as cabin boy. Dressed as a boy, she tries to keep her secret. She had trouble with another sailor named Lawson. Finally, they go back home. Then Hannah inherits her father's farm.
I loved this book because it told a good story. It was the best story I've heard in ages. Also, it told her emotions about her problems with Lawson and everything.
Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Leopold, MO United States of America

Sunday, March 08, 2009

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones, the first in the Mortal Instruments series, is an intoxicating and addictive novel told from the point of view of Clarissa Fray. Clary is an ordinary girl, living with her artistic mother. But Clary always thought she was different. Her suspicions became reality one night when she sees a blue haired boy being attacked and killed by a group of very attractive looking teenagers. Though it seems she is the only person to be able to witness such events. After this incident she is thrown into a world of paranormal magic and her life is never the same again. She befriends a group of shadow hunters (teenagers who kill demons etc) and finds that she is mysteriously connected to all the strange supernatural happenings around her.

I thought City of Bones was amazing. It truly caught your imagination and was hard to put down. Cassandra Clare used so much description in her words and in the way she betrayed her characters that City of Bones was a very interesting read. I was a little disappointed at the final twist in the story and was able to pick what was going to happen a while before it did. This would definitely be a great book to follow Stephanie Meyers Twilight series, if you are like me and a die hard Edward fan. Overall, City of Bones was an intriguing mix of urban fantasy, witty humor and romance.

Reviewer: SMill

Reviewer City, State and Country: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Anatomy of Wings by Karen Foxlee

When Jennifer looses her sister, she has no clue why this horrible thing has occurred. Her sister, Beth, was beautiful, popular, smart, and according to their grandma, could talk to angels. Plus, now that Beth is gone Jennifer has lost her stunning ability to sing. Every time that she opens her mouth, the words just will not come out. So now with the help of her best friend, Grace, Jenny is on a hunt to figure out what went wrong with her sister. In doing this, she thinks she will regain her ability to sing. Though, along the way, she finds a few secrets that she simply can't understand.

When beginning The Anatomy Of Wings, I thought I was going to love it since the summary made it seem like it was going to be fast paced and I loved the cover. Unfortunately, it was none of those things. The plot moved incredibly slow and sometimes showed little or no relevance to the main plot at hand. Also, the writing was, at times, too descriptive and had little action. For example, there is one time in this book when the author spends around seven pages describing all of Jenny's aunts and uncles who are not part of the story at all! The only part that made this book somewhat decent were the characters. They were well developed and Karen perfectly captured the feeling of their love for and loss of Beth. Though, in all, the cons out weighed the pros. Overall, The Anatomy Of Wings was a big disappointment to me. Even though, I felt that way, I still think Karen has the ability to get better over time and I look forward to possibly reading some of her future books.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Mountain Top, PA 18707

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

What It Do! by Natalya LaBauve-Williams

This is an exciting romance about a girl named Vicki whose biological mother shows up suddenly and wants Vicki to spend time with her. She has to leave her beautiful town and friends behind for the summer to live in Faye's (her mother) rough neighborhood that's filled with gangsters and drug dealers. She has to adjust to the new life and learn how to handle her problems. The main problem is that Vicki falls in love with a street guy who might just be a drug dealer. Can a drug dealer be the right guy for Vicki?

You will love Vicki, who is patient and loving. At first she's not too sure about going with her mother, but she soon learns to like the alternative lifestyle. You understand how Vicki feels through all her love difficulties with Terrence--and you find out that not all of the street guys are bad. Even some of the drug dealers aren't such bad guys, except of course for their chosen profession. Vicki's love problems and finding out about the real world will keep you from putting the book down.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Cedar Grove, IN U.S.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Other Side of Magic by Debbie Dadey

This book is about Natalie, Penny and Luke. They are all key holders. Key holders are people who protect the border between the non-magical world (or the place where the humdrums live) and the magical world. The magical world and non-magical world are referred to as this side of magic, and the other side of magic. When Natalie first finds out that she is a key holder, she really does not want to be one. Over time, she begins to enjoy her new role, and as she tries harder, she discovers her own strengths and makes many new friends along the way.

This was a book for small children. It would be an excellent bedtime story for a 5 or 6 year old. There are lots of fun characters, and opportunities for funny voices. This is also a good book for a 6 or 7 year old to read "all by myself" and be proud. Having said that, the plot was not very strong, and the entire story was not presented very realistically. I thought many parts of this book did not connect very well. A few examples of this include Luke and Penny not liking Natalie, and Natalie being a spoiled brat. Although they all circled around Natalie's trip from mean to nice, the scenes did not really go together very well. All in all this was a good book, but not worth reading if you are over 9.

Reviewer Age: 12

Reviewer City, State and Country: Exeter, New Hampshire USA

Operation Redwood

The book I read is called Operation Redwood. This book takes place in San Francisco and a Northern California town called Willits. The main characters are Julian Carter-Li, his uncle Sibley Carter, and a girl who lives in Northern California named Robin Elder. Julian's uncle is a CEO of a big company and his company has been planning to cut down a forest of old-growth Redwood trees in Northern California. This is how Julian meets Robin; Robin sent an email titled "SIBLEY CARTER IS A WORLD-CLASS JERK." to Julian's uncle, but Julian found it before his uncle and deleted it (but not before forwarding it to his best friend, Danny Lopez). Julian continues to contact Robin from Danny's house and together they think of a plan to get Julian to Robin's farm, Huckleberry Ranch. Unfortunately, Julian is supposed to be at math camp, so when his aunt finds out that he's not there, she’s upset, and goes to Willits to get him. It seems like this will be the end of Operation Redgrove, their plan to save Old Tree Grove (the forest of old-growth trees that Sibley Carter's company is going to cut down), but the story doesn’t end here.

I liked this book but it was not one of the best I have read. The book has some key things I liked and some I didn't. I thought the plot was good and I also really liked the author's ability to make me feel like I was actually looking at the settings. I also liked some of the characters, especially Julian, Danny, Robin, Nancy and Ariel because they seemed like real people. However, Sibley was not the typical uncle to me and he and his wife were way too harsh and evil for real relatives. Also, Bob Elder was nothing like I pictured him. I pictured him a balding sweet professor who loved the outdoors, but Bob was almost as harsh as Sibley and he wasn't anything like I thought he would be. He was critical of Julian and was a pretty mean father towards Robin. I think the author thought she achieved her purpose of writing this book but I didn't really get it. I thought most of the story was pretty powerful and definitely age-appropriate. I think the strengths are that the title is very captivating and the story has a good plot, but there are some parts that don't really work. There are a few parts in the middle of the book were I got really bored and the parts didn't make much sense. I don't read many realistic fiction books and even though most of this book really is fiction it is not the kind I personally read. I don't think this book will be as popular as, say, Twilight or Harry Potter, but it does target people who like to help the Earth because it is really environmentally-themed. I have not read another book by S. Terrell French and for a first book, I thought it was pretty good, although I thought some parts of it were dull. I really think this book needs a prequel, because a lot of the things discussed in the book refer to things that previously happened, and that makes it confusing. I did learn a lot about Redwoods and about old-growth trees and would recommend this book to others because I found it to be very interesting and captivating.

Content: 1
Rating: 9
Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Braintree, Massachusetts United States