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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 Will Sparrow's Road
Karen Cushman

The latest from Karen Cushman and the only book she's written with a boy as the main character, Will Sparrow's Road is a lot of fun to read. Will wanders the Elizabethan market fairs, not knowing that he's looking for a real family to join. Cushman adds lots of colorful characters and one wonderful pig. If you are a historical fiction fan, this one's for you.

WPL Call Number: J Cushman
Reviewer: Martha M.   (2/25/13)

 

Book Cover My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer
Jennifer Gennari

A satisfying story of one girl's special summer. June, age 12, really hopes to win a blue ribbon in the Champlain Valley Fair Pie Contest. She and her mom have been happy running a marina where they sell pies and other food. June and her good friend, Luke, enjoy swimming and hunting blueberries together. Life has seemed perfect until Mom's friend, Eva, moves in and June learns that they intend to get married. Many in the community are very critical of these marriage plans. It is all very upsetting for June, who agonizes over who she wants to be and how to be loyal and loving to her mom and Eva. Recommended for girls 6th grade and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Gennari
Reviewer: Joanna N.   (2/19/13)

 

Book Cover Wild River
P. J. Petersen

Twelve year old Ryan is quiet and likes video games. His older brother, Tanner, is outgoing and good at everything- especially sports. Ryan gets talked into going on a camping trip with Tanner, never dreaming that a disaster will force him to do things he never thought he could. A fast paced easy read. Recommended for 4th grade and up.

WPL Call Number: J Petersen
Reviewer: Joanna N.   (2/5/13)

 

Book Cover After Eli
Rebecca Rupp

Three years after his brother was killed in Iraq, Daniel functions by keeping a notebook on how others have died. As his parents are lost in their grief, there is no one to console him. This summer he befriends a beautiful new girl as well as the school outcast. Refelecting on all that Eli has taught him and these new friendships help Daniel cope with the loss of his family as it was. A great story on dealing with death for ages 10 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Rupp
Reviewer: Alice J.   (1/17/13)

 

Book Cover The Apothecary
Maile Meloy

In 1952 Janie's screenwriter parents move their family from Hollywood to London to avoid charges of communism. But Janie doesn't escape trouble--instead she finds it when she befriends the local apothecary's son, who hangs around the park pretending to be a spy. Soon the two of them are embroiled in a real plot to stop the testing of a nuclear bomb. They use the apothecary's transformational and whimsical magic to further their quest. This intriguing story will appeal to fans of historical fiction and science fiction in grades 6-8.

WPL Call Number: Y Meloy
Reviewer: Janet P.   (1/13/13)

 

Book Cover The Academie
Susanne Dunlap

Imagine the excitement of Paris in 1799, at the dawn of Napoleon's reign. The girls at Madame Campan's Academie Nationale a Saint-Germain want to be at the center of everything. And with their connections, they are. Eliza, the daughter of soon-to-be United States president James Monroe; Hortense de Beauharnais, the daughter of Napoleon's wife; and Caroline Bonaparte, Napoleon's younger sister, sneak out of school to get a closer look at Napoleon's ascent to power. Along the way, each one falls in love, with varying results. Fans of historical fiction in grade six and up will be intrigued by this book, which is loosely based on real relationships.

WPL Call Number: Y Dunlap
Reviewer: Janet P.   (12/16/12)

 

Book Cover Breathing Room
Marsha Hayles

Having tuberculosis in 1940 meant that patients might be confined to a sanitorium for treatment. These isolating residences kept the patients well rested, well fed and less active until they were well. Thirteen year old Evvy is sent to Loon Lake, away from her family until she recovers. Here she finds roommates who may not be too friendly, but are all suffering with loneliness as they fight this debilitating disease. Evvy learns that some patients go home, not nesessarily back to their families, but weaken and die despite the latest treatments since there is no cure. This sad time in our history is told with news articles and letters as well as conversations between the girls. A serious story for ages 10 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Hayles
Reviewer: Alice J.   (12/6/12)

 

Book Cover Ungifted
Gordon Korman

Donovan Curtis is an average student with an impulse control problem. His actions often have unforeseen and unfortunate consequences. His latest is a doozy and it leads to his accidental transfer to the gifted academy. Being a "normal" among the gifted leads to unexpected alliances and friendships. Ungifted is funny and touching. Readers in grades six through nine will enjoy this realistic story.

WPL Call Number: Y Korman
Reviewer: Kathleen O.   (11/18/12)

 

Book Cover The Girl Is Trouble
Kathryn Miller Haines

Iris Anderson longs to help her father with his private investigation business, but soon enough, she’s got cases of her own to solve. Who’s leaving anti-Semitic notes in the lockers of members of her high school’s Jewish organization? Did Iris’s mother really commit suicide—or was it murder? Iris and her friends Benny and Pearl explore 1942 New York, facing duplicitous teenagers, tricky relatives, and Nazi sympathizers. Along the way, Iris learns more about her Jewish background, tries to mend family divisions, and proves to her father that she’s ready to work with him. The sequel to The Girl is Murder will captivate historical mystery fans in grades 6 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Haines
Reviewer: Janet P.   (11/12/12)

 

Book Cover Eve & Adam
Michael Grant

When Evening Spiker's leg is severed in an accident, her mother insists on moving Eve out of the hospital to her own Spiker Biopharamaceuticals research facility. While recuperating, Eve is given a computer with a program that she can use to design the perfect person. An amazingly quick recovery forces Eve to accept the information a young worker there gives her explaining that her mom used her as a guinea pig. Young Solo Plissken explains that his parents were scientists who were Spiker's business partners before they were killed in a car accident. Solo tells Eve about all the bizarre and illegal experiments performed at Spiker. How Eve deals with this info and with Solo makes for an exciting saga. A great read for ages 12 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Grant
Reviewer: Alice J.   (11/8/12)

 

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