New Blog Address

I fully understand Edublogs need for advertisers to support their site, however, I am not comfortable with ads embedded in the text of my reviews. Effectively immediately you can find my Children’s Book Review blog at its new home:

http://bookapalooza.wordpress.com/

Thanks for visiting!
Yapha

Published in: Uncategorized on March 5, 2009 at7:26 am Comments (0)

Regarding the Trees: A Splintered Saga Rooted in Secrets

Regarding the Trees: A Splintered Saga Rooted in Secrets
by Kate Klise
grades 3 to 7

Another very punny book taking place at Geyser Creek Middle School. Principal Walter Russ is concerned because Leif Blite is coming to evaluate him. Russ decides that he needs to trim all of the trees on campus, and get rid of the weeping willow altogether. The sixth grade class gets involved to save the trees, doing research into their own family trees as well as the history of the trees on campus. The incomparable Florance Waters is involved again as well. The story is told through letters, notes, and newspaper articles. Only recommended if you like a lot of puns!

Published in: Realistic Fiction on December 10, 2008 at7:04 am Comments (0)

Drita, My Homegirl

Drita, My Home Girl
by Jenny Lombard
grades 4-6

This story of how friendship is the same in any language is told from alternate points of view. Half of the chapters are from Drita, who has just moved from Kosovo to New York City; and the other half are by Maxie, who is still trying to recover from her mother’s death three years before. When Drita joins their class, the teacher assigns Maxie to do a report on both Kosovo and Drita. The more Maxie learns about Drita, the more she appreciates all the challenges that Drita has overcome. In the process, Drita learns what it is like to make friends, true friends, from different ethnic groups, something that was impossible in Kosovo.

Published in: Uncategorized on December 5, 2008 at7:28 am Comments (0)

The Sacrifice

The Sacrifice
by Kathleen Benner Duble
grades 4-7

10-year-old Abigail Faulkner lives in Andover, MA in the late 17th century — right at the time of the witch hysteria in nearby Salem. She does not believe that anyone in her community could be a witch, until the girls from Salem are brought to Andover to “find” the witches. They begin accusing members of the community. It is not until Abigail’s own Aunt Elizabeth is accused and taken to prison that Abigail realizes the girls must be lying. Shortly thereafter, Abigail and her older sister are accused as well. How will they survive in the damp, rat-infested prison? How can they possibly prove their innocence against these horrible accusations?

Published in: Historical Fiction on November 24, 2008 at5:53 am Comments (0)

Clementine

Clementine
by Sara Pennypacker
grades 2-5

Clementine means well. Really she does. But somehow everything she tries to do does not quite work out as planned. Like when she tries to help out Margaret by trimming her hair. Really short. And then coloring Margaret’s scalp with permanent markers so it looks better. And she just can’t understand why everyone keeps telling her to pay attention. She IS paying attention — just to everything else around her. Clementine is fun, feisty, and friendly; a modern-day Ramona. Highly recommended!

Published in: Realistic Fiction on November 19, 2008 at6:02 am Comments (0)

H.I.V.E.: The Higher Institute of Villainous Education

H.I.V.E.: The Higher Institute of Villainous Education
by Mark Walden
grades 4-7

Do you ever find yourself rooting for the villains in a book or movie? Are you impressed by their diabolical plans? Do you ever wish that evil might defeat good, at least once in a while? Then this book, the first in a new series, is for you! It is the story of Otto Malpense and several other thirteen-year-olds who are taken to a secret location on an island in the middle of the ocean and enrolled in a boarding school for villains. Here they are taught not to be common criminals, but clever and ruthless evil-doers. If you enjoy books about superheroes and spy thrillers, this one is for you, even if it is about the other side of the coin.

Published in: Adventure, Science Fiction on November 18, 2008 at5:51 am Comments (0)

Ever

Ever
by Gail Carson Levine
grades 5-9

Kezi is a happy-go-lucky 15-year-old girl with an extraordinary talent for weaving until her mother becomes deathly ill. When her father makes a pact with Admat, their god, Kezi’s life changes abruptly. Meanwhile, Olus, the god of the winds, has been watching Kezi from afar. He wanted to learn more about mortals and has fallen in love with her as he watched. Can he come up with a way to save her from her fate? Will they each have the strength and courage to see it through? How much is too much to give up for someone you love?

Published in: Fantasy on November 13, 2008 at9:34 am Comments (0)

Counting on Grace

Counting on Grace
by Elizabeth Winthrop
grades 4-7

Grace Forcier is excited at first about the opportunity to work in the mill with her parents and older sister, to help bring in money for the family. She can’t sit still in school, and is tired of constantly being reprimanded. But Grace is smart and realizes that she can do so much more than work in the mill for the rest of her life. Her good friend Arthur, also 12, is forced by the mill owners to give up school and come work if he and his mother want to continue living in company housing. So Grace and Arthur hatch a plan with Miss Lesley their school teacher to try and end child labor in the mills. This exciting story is based on a series of photographs taken by Lewis Hines in the mills of Vermont in 1910. When you finish the book, be sure to read the author’s notes at the end, as she searches for the real “Grace” in the pictures.

Published in: Historical Fiction on November 11, 2008 at5:48 am Comments (0)

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You
by Ally Carter
grades 7-10

Cammie Morgan is starting her Sophomore year at Gallagher Academy, a very special type of boarding school. Unbeknown to the local community, who think it is a school for very wealthy, very troubled girls, it is actually a school for girl spies-in-training. They study a wide variety of languages, weaponry, and espionage tactics. The trouble begins when Cammie meets and falls for Josh, a boy from the local community. How can she continue to meet him without letting him know who she really is, and without letting her mother, the head of school, know where she is sneaking out to? That’s where good friends, training as spies, come to the rescue! A fabulous read! I can’t wait to read the sequel, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy.

Published in: Adventure, Realistic Fiction, Romance on November 10, 2008 at5:58 am Comments (0)

I, Coriander

I, Coriander
by Sally Gardner
grades 5-8

Coriander is living a wonderful life in London in the 1640s, until a mysterious pair of silver shoes turns up on her doorstep. They are like nothing she has ever seen before. Coriander cannot understand why her mother is adamant that she not wear them. But Coriander hears them calling to her, and searches until she finds them. This simple act of wearing the silver shoes begin a chain of events which includes fairies, witches, hate, fear, love, and true and unending friendship. A wonderful story set in Oliver Cromwell’s England. Highly recommended!

Published in: Adventure, Fantasy, Historical Fiction on November 8, 2008 at1:06 pm Comments (0)