Review of Dodger

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Dodger by Terry Pratchett Middle School    Harper/HarperCollins    360 pp. 10/12    978-0-06-200949-4    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-200950-0    $18.89 e-book ed.  978-0-06-219015-4    $9.99 Who would have the skill, the sensibility, and the sass to put Charles Dickens into a novel and then proceed to write that novel in full-octane Dickensian style? Terry Pratchett, of course. Like his namesake […]

Review of What Came from the Stars

what came from the stars

What Came from the Stars  by Gary D. Schmidt Middle School     Clarion     293 pp. 9/12     978-0-547-61213-3     $16.99     g Schmidt brings high heroic fantasy and contemporary realism together in this novel of a bereaved family. In Plymouth, Massachusetts, Tommy grieves for his mother, who died eight […]

Review of A Certain October

a certain october

A Certain October by Angela Johnson High School     Simon     158 pp. 8/12     978-0-689-86505-3     $15.99     g e-book ed. 978-1-4424-1726-7     $9.99 At the start of the book, Scotty is an average high school junior living in East Cleveland. She hangs out with friends, makes plans for the homecoming dance, and avoids writing a book report on Anna […]

Review of Penny and Her Doll

Penny and Her Doll by Kevin Henkes

Penny and Her Doll by Kevin Henkes; illus. by the author Primary    Greenwillow    32 pp. 8/12    978-0-06-208199-5    $12.99 Naming things, whether children, pets, or toys, is serious business, and in this follow-up to Penny and Her Song (rev. 3/12) Henkes doesn’t take that task lightly. Gram sends mouse Penny a doll: “The doll had pink […]

Review of Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics

rush for the gold

Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics by John Feinstein Middle School, High School     Knopf     314 pp. 5/12     978-0-375-86963-1     $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96963-8     $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-375-98455-6     $10.99 Timed to coincide with the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Feinstein’s sixth sports mystery novel again features teen reporters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson—except that […]

Review of Boy21

Boy 21

Boy21 by Matthew Quick High School    Little, Brown    252 pp. 3/12    978-0-316-12797-4    $17.99 When Russ moves to decrepit, race-torn, Irish-mob-ruled Bellmont after his parents’ brutal murder, the school’s basketball coach (a family friend) turns to team leader Finley to help him acclimate, but also to convince former-phenom Russ to play ball again; since the tragedy […]

Review of A Confusion of Princes

A Confusion of Princes

A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix Middle School, High School    Harper/HarperCollins    337 pp. 5/12    978-0-06-009694-6    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-009695-3    $18.89    g Nix’s gaming-inspired, sci-fi fantasy is a pleasing mix of high-adventure space drama, total bunkum (e.g., “it’s functioning on the tertiary backup level, without a holo…”), and wry, boyish charm. Khemri’s coming-of-age story begins […]

Review of Summer in the City

Summer in the City

Summer in the City by Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel; illus. by Marie-Louise Gay Intermediate    Groundwood    151 pp. 4/12    978-1-55498-177-9    $15.95    g e-book ed.  978-1-55498-200-4    $15.95 Sixth grade is almost over, summer’s approaching, and Charlie’s parents haven’t revealed the family’s summer plans yet. What great adventure is in store? In the past, they’ve been caught […]

Review of Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein High School    Hyperion    337 pp. 5/12    978-1-4231-5219-4    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4231-5325-2    $16.99 Wein’s exceptional—downright sizzling—abilities as a writer of historical adventure fiction are spectacularly evident in this taut, captivating story of two young women, spy and pilot, during World War II. Wein gives us the story in two […]

Review of The Mighty Miss Malone

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis Intermediate, Middle School    Lamb/Random    309 pp. 1/12    978-0-385-73491-2    $15.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-90487-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-375-89736-8    $10.99 To her father, twelve-year-old Deza Malone is “my Darling Daughter Deza,” “that sassy, smart, beautiful, charming little girl…my Mighty Miss Malone.” But it’s 1936, and the Depression has hit Gary, […]