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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 Dreamsleeves
Coleen Murtagh Paratore

Aislinn (A) has to spend her summer vacation taking care of her four younger siblings, B, C, D and E. Her father is an alcoholic who is verbally and physically abusive. Her overworked mother is pregnant again but chooses to stay quiet to keep the peace. Aislinn feels like a prisoner since her father will not let her go out with her girlfriend or talk to boys. While dreaming helps A cope, she discovers a way to share her dreams and help make them come true. A realistic but sad family situation with a bright outcome for ages 10 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Paratore
Reviewer: Alice J.   (11/1/12)


Book Cover Animals Welcome: A Life of Reading, Writing, and Rescue
Peg Kehret

Author Peg Kehret and her late husband, Carl, loved animals. They had their home on an edge of a forest certified as a wildlife sanctuary and went on to rescue a wide array of animals both wild and domestic. In this warm and personal memoir Peg Kehret devotes a chapter to each animal and tells how they became part of her life and writing. Animal lovers in grades four through seven will enjoy this book.

WPL Call Number: Y921 Kehret
Reviewer: Kathleen O.   (10/29/12)


Book Cover How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous
Georgia Bragg

Details on the deaths of many notables including King Tut, Napolean, Marie Curie, Beethoven, and Charles Darwin are given as well as information on all their primitive medical treatments. The gross descriptions and facts are enough to make you sick! This is perfect for any readers who are not squeamish in grades 5 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y920 BR
Reviewer: Alice J.   (10/26/12)


Book Cover Ripper
Stefan Petrucha

When aspiring detective Carver Young ages out of his New York City orphanage, he lands an apprenticeship of sorts with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. His first assignment: find his father. At the same time, New York is rocked by a series of grisly murders. Carver soon suspects that his father is responsible for the murders--and that his father is Jack the Ripper, fresh from London. With lots of twists and turns, this book will appeal to mystery fans in sixth through eighth grade.

WPL Call Number: Y Petrucha
Reviewer: Janet P.   (10/23/12)


Book Cover My Family for the War
Anne E. Voorhoeve

Although her parents were not Jewish, Franziska Mangold had Jewish relatives. As the Nazis became more powerful in Germany in 1938, Ziska's family suffered like the Jewish families. Since her family was not able to leave Germany, Ziska's mother sent her on a Kindertransport to live safely in England for the duration of the war. Many children like her were settled with foster families with the intention of returning to their parents after the war. Ziska, who became Frances, was lucky to live with a middle class Jewish family. Her name, her religion and even her family allegiance changed during the war years. She grew up in England and lost contact with her family. This historical fiction tells the a story about the experiences many children shared. For ages 12 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Voorhoeve
Reviewer: Alice J.   (10/4/12)


Book Cover Harold's Tail
John Bemelmans Marciano

Is a squirrel just a rat with a bushy tail? That's the question facing Harold the squirrel. A sinister rat, Sidney, convinces Harold to shave his tail--and then Sidney attaches Harold's fur to his own tail! Sidney takes Harold's place in a pleasant New York City park, while Harold is forced out. Everyone thinks he's a rat! How will Harold survive? Can a squirrel live as a rat? This sad but ultimately heartwarming tale is for wildlife lovers in grades 3-5.

WPL Call Number: J Marciano
Reviewer: Janet P.   (9/21/12)


Book Cover Mister Death's Blue-eyed Girls
Mary Downing Hahn

Nora and Ellie are ten minutes behind Cheryl and Bobbie Jo as they walk through the park on the way to school. When Cheryl and Bobbie Jo turn up in the park, murdered, Nora and Ellie are devastated. Ellie’s sent away for the summer, but Nora must stick around to deal with the aftermath. As the summer goes by with no killer caught, Nora questions her mortality, her faith, and her friendship with Ellie. She’s also the only person in town who doesn’t think that Buddy, Cheryl’s bitter ex-boyfriend, is the killer. That means that somewhere out there, Mister Death is on the loose. The narration in this 1950s suspense switches between Nora, Buddy, and the enigmatic Mister Death. For mystery lovers and questioning minds in seventh grade and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Hahn
Reviewer: Janet P.   (9/21/12)


Book Cover The One and Only Ivan
Katherine Applegate

Ivan the gorilla has lived for over 20 years in a run down circus themed mall with other animals. With minimal care, these animals are supposed to entertain visitors. When Ruby, a baby elephant joins them, Ivan realizes this is not how she should live. These animals talk and share their thoughts when humans are not around. This story is based on a real gorilla who now lives at the Atlanta Zoo, which gently teaches us about animal rights. For ages 9 and up.

WPL Call Number: J Applegate
Reviewer: Alice J.   (9/18/12)


Book Cover Dachshund Disaster
Tui Sutherland

Charlie longs for a pet of his own, a pet who likes him best, the way Bowser, his surly brother David's dog, only likes David. When he gets King, a dachshund, for his birthday, he thinks his dream has come true. But soon King is snapping at everyone, deepening divisions in the family. With the help of some friends, Charlie looks for a way to turn King from a one-kid dog to an everyone dog. For budding dog trainers in grades 3-5.

WPL Call Number: J paperback SU
Reviewer: Janet P.   (8/31/12)


Book Cover The False Prince
Jennifer Nielsen

Sage is living in an orphanage when he is bought by nobleman Bevin Conner. He soon learns that Conner has acquired a number of orphans in the attempt to have one of them recognized as Prince Jaron, long missing and presumed dead. Feisty, reckless Sage does not want to become the prince, but the boys not chosen at the end of the two weeks of training will most likely be killed, and he does want to survive. This book is full of intrigue and adventure, and you won’t want to stop reading until you discover Sage’s fate. Recommended for grades 5 to 8.

WPL Call Number: Y Nielsen
Reviewer: Keren J.   (8/13/12)


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