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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The Moon Over High Street|
If someone offered you a million dollars, would you take it? Even if it meant leaving behind everything you know... even your dreams? That's the choice Joe is faced with when Mr. Boulderwall, rich inventor of the swervit, decides to make him heir to the swervit empire. This quiet, cozy book by the author of Tuck Everlasting will make you wonder what you'd change about your life if you could -- and what the cost might be. Suggested for readers in grades 4 and up.
WPL Call Number: J Babbitt
Close to Famous|
Love Joan Bauer! She's got her wonderful down-on-their-luck scrappy heroines -- and Foster Akila McFee does not disappoint. Beautifully handled is Foster's inability to read at 12. So this is a worthy book for all those kids still struggling with reading past the 2nd grade. It is in Y fiction because of Foster's mom's boyfriend, who is abusive, though they are leaving him in the opening scene. One of the best parts of this book are the vivid, almost tactile, descriptions of each of Foster's fabulous cupcake masterpieces. Prepare for a great cupcake hunger by the end.
WPL Call Number: Y Bauer
Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy|
This book was great! I only wish it was longer. Carlos Duarte, a NYC high school student aspiring to become a make up artist to the stars, is a very compelling narrator with a pungent voice. How he works toward his dream and how he overcomes some of the many obstacles in his way makes for a really good read. This is LGBTQ literature whose main point is not a coming out; Carlos' sexuality is not the book's the main point. The real story is his daring and focus and determination in the face of tough odds.
WPL Call Number: Y Wright
The One and Only Ivan|
An incredible book. Moving, complex, beautifully written, elegiac and strong. Written from the perspective of a gorilla in a strip mall circus, based on a true story. The cover art is misleadingly cute; the writing is wonderfully muscular but NOT cute. Highly recommended by Gary Schmidt, Kathi Appelt, and Patricia MacLachlan. A cross over book -- adults will find a lot in the story for themselves. It reads in one sitting because each page has so few words (Gorillas don't babble.). Do yourself a favor and read this now. A Newbery contender.
WPL Call Number: J Applegate
This book is such a delight! It's a new offering in Hilary McKay's great series about the artistic Casson family. In this book we go back and catch Caddy (Cadmium) when she's 12 -- and her mom is giving birth to Permanent Rose. If you've never read this series, do yourself a favor and start with Saffy's Angel. There is nothing quite like McKay's writing about family.
WPL Call Number: J McKay
Summer of the Gypsy Moths|
Beautiful, nuanced story of a granddaughter (whose flighty mother is always gone) and a foster child who capably run a beach cottage resort to hide their grandmother's sudden death. The girls' rapprochement and slowly growing attachment shadowed by the fear of the foster care system is lovely. The book shines with a deep yearning for family and maternal love. A GREAT debut in older fiction for Pennypacker who has written the Clementine and the Flat Stanley series books. She's a new and powerful voice in upper elementary fiction. Can't wait for her next entry in this category.
WPL Call Number: J Pennypacker
The Great Cake Mystery|
Alexander McCall Smith
Fun and sweet story about how Precious Ramotswe first solves a mystery as a young school girl in Botswana. It is great to have a strong capable female African lead in a easy chapter book format; the only thing to compare is Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke. There is a shameless plug at the end for The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, but I would vote for LOTS more young Precious Ramotswe mysteries.
WPL Call Number: On Order
See You at Harry's|
Fern feels invisible to her family while her older sister and brother face their own issues and her adorable younger brother, Charlie gets everyone's attention. While her parents try to increase business at their restaurant, Fern resents having to be responsible for Charlie. When tragedy strikes, Fern has to come to terms with her feelings. An emotional family story for ages 12 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Knowles
Matthew J. Kirby
Solveig, along with her siblings and a handful of servants and soldiers, has been sent to an Arctic stronghold to wait in safety while her father, a Norse king, fights a war. But as the winter wears on, it becomes clear the isolated party is not safe at all. There is a traitor among them, endangering their lives, and everyone is a suspect. Mixing historical fiction with mystery and adventure, this book explores remarkable characters in a fascinating landscape and time of history. It's also a celebration of the power of storytelling. Recommended for grades 6 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Kirby
What if there was a better life waiting for you -- even if it belonged to somebody else? Runaway Chap, who's had a rough life, is at a shelter when he's mistaken for a missing boy named Cassiel. Cassiel had friends, family, a nice house, money. It's hard for Chap to turn it down. But can Chap keep up the charade, especially when it turns out that Cassiel was mixed up in some very dangerous business? This suspenseful page-turner is an exciting mystery suggested for grades 7 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Valentine
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