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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 Icefall
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
Reviewer: Lisa B.   (6/1/12)

 

Book Cover Double
Jenny Valentine

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
Reviewer: Lisa B.   (5/24/12)

 

Book Cover Remarkable
Lizzie K. Foley

In a sea of books about kids with super powers and mega talents, Remarkable is a refreshing read because of its very ordinary heroine. Jane Doe is the only kid in the public school in the town of Remarkable. All the other kids attend the Gifted School. The adults are all remarkably talented as well. Jane may be unremarkable, but it doesn't stop her from having adventures when four pirates and a set of evil twins come to town. And in spite of her averageness, she just might solve a mystery. Kids in third through sixth grade will laugh at this book.

WPL Call Number: J Foley
Reviewer: Janet P.   (5/13/12)

 

Book Cover Plain Kate
Erin Bow

A lot of bad things happen to Plain Kate. Her parents die, the drawer she lives in is smashed to bits, and the people in her town think she's a witch. So Plain Kate makes a bargain with Linay, a real witch. In exchange for her shadow, Linay lets Kate escape and gives her cat, Taggle, the ability to speak. Kate and Taggle find a home on the road with a group called the Roamers, but even that goes wrong when a mysterious fog and sickness take over the land. Plain Kate suspects Linay is behind the destruction and sets out to stop him. Will something finally go right for poor Plain Kate? This book is a downer, but fantasy fans will be intrigued by the magic it brews. For sixth grade and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Bow
Reviewer: Janet P.   (4/30/12)

 

Book Cover The Auslander
Paul Dowswell

Orphaned early in World War II, young teenager Peter is rescued from an orphanage in Poland because of his German heritage, blond hair, and blue eyes. He feels fortunate to land in the home of a Nazi scientist in Berlin. But soon Peter begins to question the ideas of the Nazis and the terrible way they treat Poles and other groups. Together with his girlfriend, Anna, he finds ways to work against the Nazis. Peter's dangerous work and the turning tide of the war lead to a thrilling conclusion. For historical fiction fans in about seventh grade and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Dowswell
Reviewer: Janet P.   (4/30/12)

 

Book Cover Chomp
Carl Hiaasen

"Mickey Cray had been out of work ever since a dead iguana fell from a palm tree and hit him on the head." The story that follows this irresistible first sentence is full of adventure, humor, and hijinks. Mickey Cray, a wildlife wrangler, and his son, Wahoo, are hired to help an inept reality television star deal with the Florida Everglades. They are joined by Wahoo's classmate, Tuna, who is hiding from her abusive father. TV star, Derek Badger, bungles every animal encounter with hilarious if sometimes painful results. The most serious threat, however, comes from a human. Chomp is a page turning adventure mystery with a lot of humor. Readers from grades 5 through 8 should enjoy the story.

WPL Call Number: Y Hiaasen
Reviewer: Kathleen O.   (4/24/12)

 

Book Cover Wonder
R. J. Palacio

Auggie Pullman is starting middle school after being home schooled his entire life. Born with facial abnormalities, he has endured 27 surgeries yet still has an unusual appearance. Even with coping strategies for the stares and comments, Auggie isn't sure how comfortable he'll be in school. Told by Auggie, his sister, classmates and others, this story of being different and fitting in is truly amazing. For ages 9 and up.

WPL Call Number: J Palacio
Reviewer: Alice J.   (4/7/12)

 

Book Cover How to Survive Middle School
Donna Gephart

David loved elementary school, but he has to give middle school mixed reviews. Losing his best friend, being targeted by the school bully, and having an out-of-state mom with no telephone or internet access? Two thumbs down. Having your Daily Show-inspired videos go viral on You Tube? Two thumbs up. Getting to know Sophie Meyers? Two thumbs way up. This sometimes poignant, sometimes funny, look at starting middle school is recommended for grades 5 to 8.

WPL Call Number: J Gephart
Reviewer: Keren J.   (4/6/12)

 

Book Cover Bounce
Natasha Friend

Evyn’s mom died when she was a toddler, and she has always wanted a mom. Well, actually, she has always wanted to get to know her mom. She is definitely not ready when her dad announces he is getting married to Eleni, a woman he’s only been dating for two months! Soon Evyn, her brother, and her dad are moving from Maine to Boston to live with Eleni and her six kids. Evyn is miserable. The girls at her new private school are mean, her old best friend doesn’t have time for her, and perhaps worst of all, her dad and her brother actually seem happy. Be ready to laugh and cry with Evyn as she adjusts to her new life. Recommended for grades 6 to 9.

WPL Call Number: Y Friend
Reviewer: Keren J.   (4/6/12)

 

Book Cover Turtle in Paradise
Jennifer Holm

Jobs are hard to come by in the Great Depression, so when Turtle’s mom gets a housekeeping job with a woman who won’t allow children in the house, Turtle is sent to Key West, Florida, to live with relatives she has never met. Turtle is not ready to live with a houseful of boys, but as she enjoys adventures with her cousins and meets a cast of colorful local characters, she begins to appreciate life in the place her mom has always called Paradise. Recommended for grades 4 to 6.

WPL Call Number: J Holm
Reviewer: Keren J.   (4/6/12)

 

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