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Archive for July, 2012

Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Anything but TypicalIn Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin, Jason Blake is just like any twelve-year-old that enjoys writing stories.  Expect for that fact that he is autistic, which he often describes in his stories as “differentness”.  He is smart and sensitive and often writes about what it is like to see the world through his eyes.  Jason particularly enjoys posting on a writing website.  He even makes a friend on this site, another young writer named Rebecca, who often posts positive comments about his stories.  However, when he might finally get a chance to meet Rebecca in person at an upcoming writing conference, Jason is terrified!  You will have to read the book to find out if he decides to go meet her or not. 


By bjones on July 30, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Realistic Stories

Mirrorscape by Mike Wilks

MirrorscapeIn Mirrorscape by Mike Wilks, Mel lives in a world sort of like ours, except where he lives the five Mystery organizations control “pleasures”, or everything to do with the senses. That means you have to pay extra for your clothes to have color in them, or to eat food besides bread, water, and homegrown vegetables. Mel has lived in the country his whole life, drawing pictures in his spare time, until a famous artist asks him to come to the city and be one of his apprentices. It’s a dream come true…until he gets there. The head apprentice is jealous of Mel’s talent and the High Bailiff of the Fifth Mystery has got it in for him. Then he discovers a secret world inside of paintings where fantastical creatures, talking houses, and mines that seek inspiration (instead of minerals) exist. Mel and his friends find themselves in the middle of an epic battle between the Fifth Mystery and the people who want to keep pleasures affordable for everyone. This book celebrates art and creativity, and makes me want to start drawing. It also reminds me of another story with evil forces, a two-boy-and-one-girl trio of friends, and adventures that can’t seem to be avoided… Harry Potter, anyone?

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Coordinator

By bjones on July 23, 2012 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Claire B

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

Mighty Miss MaloneThe Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis. The Malones of Gary, Indiana have a motto.  “We are a family on a journey to a place called Wonderful.”  Unfortunately, it is the Great Depression, and it seems to be taking awhile to get there.  Twelve-year-old Deza (otherwise known at the Mighty Miss Malone) is the smartest child in her class, but her father is unemployed, and the family must eat buggy oatmeal or go hungry.  First, her father leaves to find work.  Then when her mother loses her job as a maid, the family packs up and sets off to find him.  Deza’s journey is filled with adventures, which include riding the rails, staying in a homeless camp, and going to a night club to hear her brother sing.  Throughout it all, Deza  keeps her sense of humor and her belief that someday her family will be reunited and find their way to Wonderful.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By bjones on July 16, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S., Realistic Stories

Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not ReadingCharlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald. Charlie Joe does NOT like reading, in fact he will do practically anything to get out of reading. So how will Charlie Joe finish his big year-end project when his best friend won’t read his books for him anymore?  Not to worry, Charlie Joe comes up with a crazy scheme that will keep him safe from reading, for now at least.  Complete with tips about reading and how to avoid it! Recommended for fans of Big Nate, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, or anyone who enjoys a good laugh.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist

By bjones on July 9, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Keary B.

Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver

Liesl and PoLiesl and Po by Lauren Oliver. Since Liesl’s evil stepmother locked her in the attic, her days are all the same–boring and lonely.  Until one day Po, the ghost of a child, appears to her.  At the same time Will, the alchemist’s apprentice, makes a terrible mistake.  He accidentally delivers a box of powerful magic to Liesl’s house.  Thus, Liesl’s adventure begins as she escapes from the attic and must run from the people who want their magic back.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By bjones on July 2, 2012 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.