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Recent Staff Reviews

Not sure what to read next? Check out what the staff at WPL have been reading. You might get some ideas! Click the title of each book to check its availability in the WPL catalog.

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Book Cover Invisible Inkling
Emily Jenkins

Lots of kids have imaginary friends, but it's pretty unusual to have an *invisible* friend! But that's what Hank Wolowitz gets when Inkling, an invisible, rare, and extremely cute (or so it claims) animal called a bandapat arrives at his family's ice cream parlor in New York City. Can Inkling help Hank survive fourth grade, especially the bully who keeps stealing his lunch? Can Hank keep Inkling supplied with his favorite food (squash) on zero allowance? Learn the answers in this funny novel for readers in about 3rd grade and up.

WPL Call Number: J Jenkins
Reviewer: Lisa B.   (10/24/11)


Book Cover Marty McGuire
Kate Messner

Marty McGuire is not a princess type of girl; she is a frog-catching type of girl. So when Mrs. Aloi casts Marty as the princess in a class production of "The Frog Prince," Marty is not pleased. Still, James, the acting teacher, begins to convince Marty that there's more to playing a princess than wearing a dress and tiara. And when an accident befalls the stuffed frog prop – well, let’s just say that Marty is more than ready to improvise! This funny, illustrated chapter book is a good bet for readers in second or third grade.

WPL Call Number: J Messner
Reviewer: Lisa B.   (10/17/11)


Book Cover OyMG
Amy Fellner Dominy

Ellie Taylor wants nothing more than to win a scholarship to Benedict so she can be on their ultra-competitive speech team. But there’s a problem. Ellie’s Jewish, and Devon Yeats – Ellie’s biggest rival, maybe-crush, and grandson of the woman who picks the scholarship winner – has warned Ellie that Mrs. Yeats is “a little weird about the Jewish thing.” Can Ellie make her dream come true without betraying her family? Humorous and thoughtful, this novel will appeal to fans of realistic fiction in middle school and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Dominy
Reviewer: Lisa B.   (9/28/11)


Book Cover Anna Hibiscus

“Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa.” So begins each of the four stories in this easy chapter book. Anna lives in a compound with her extended family. There’s always someone around to play with, to take care of the little cousins, and to cook. Spunky, curious Anna has adventures at the beach, welcoming her Auntie Comfort from the United States, and selling oranges. She loves her home in Africa, but she longs to see snow, something only her Canadian mother has experienced. These sweet, engaging stories will appeal to kids interested in learning about the lives of kids on other continents.

WPL Call Number: J p AT
Reviewer: Janet P.   (9/27/11)


Book Cover Mother Number Zero
Marjolijn Hof

Fejzo (or Fay) knows both he and his sister were adopted. He was told that his mother escaped from Bosnia during the war so he would have a better life while his sister was abandoned as a baby in China. A new girl he meets asks him questions and causes him to wonder why his mother would not want him. The decision to find his mother causes Fay and his family to think about their relationships. Translated from the Dutch, this book is suitable for ages 10 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Hof
Reviewer: Alice J.   (9/13/11)


Book Cover Alice in Time
Penelope Bush

Alice is not happy with her life. Her divorced mother expects her to help with her younger brother. Alice's father is about to remarry and has explained how her mother made him leave. The mean girl at school makes Alice's life so unbearable that she feels like she only has one friend. All of this changes when Alice falls off the merry-go-round in the local park one night when she runs out of the house after a fight with her mother. She awakes as her seven year old self and realizes that this is her chance to change her life. The story tells how she is able to change her life. A good read for ages 12 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Bush
Reviewer: Alice J.   (8/19/11)


Book Cover The Girl is Murder
Kathryn Miller Haines

After her mother commits suicide and her father comes home from Pearl Harbor missing a leg, New York teenager Iris must leave her private school, move downtown, and start public school. Iris feels uneasy in the chaos of public school. To make matters worse, she senses that her father's private-eye business is failing. After Iris's father starts investigating the disappearance of one of her classmates, Iris tries to help solve the mystery, even though her father warns her not to. This page-turner will appeal most to mystery-lovers in 6th grade and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Haines
Reviewer: Janet P.   (8/10/11)


Book Cover Aliens on Vacation
Clete Barrett Smith

David (a.k.a. Scrub) isn't looking forward to spending summer vacation at his kooky grandmother's Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast with a bunch of sci-fi nerds. Then he learns it's actually a secret hotel for space aliens! It turns out Scrub has a knack for working with the "Tourists," but things get complicated when his new (human) friend Amy starts getting curious about the B&B -- not to mention the town sheriff wants to shut the place down! When Scrub's camping trip with baby aliens goes awry, everyone ends up in hot water. This humorous science fiction novel is a fun page-turner for grades 4 and up.

WPL Call Number: J Smith
Reviewer: Lisa B.   (7/26/11)


Book Cover The Golden Ghost
Marion Dane Bauer

Delsie and her friend Todd visit an abandoned house near an old mill and find evidence that someone has been living there. In this gently supernatural novel, a dog-loving girl gets her wish in a most unusual way. Recommended for second and third graders.

WPL Call Number: J Bauer
Reviewer: Lyn P.   (7/19/11)


Book Cover Inside Out & Back Again
Thanhha Lai

It's 1975 and the war in Vietnam is ending. Ten year-old Ha and her family have to decide if they should leave the country and where they should go. Soon they leave the only life they know for the unknown, first traveling on a crowded boat to Guam, then to a refugee camp in Florida until they get a sponsor in Alabama. Life is difficult there, adjusting to the language, the customs and the food of their new home. Ha prefers wartime in Saigon to peace in Alabama. This novel in verse is based on the author's childhood experiences. For ages 8 and up.

WPL Call Number: J Lai
Reviewer: Alice J.   (7/12/11)


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