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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 Then
Morris Gleitzman

Felix, age eleven and Jewish, and his little friend Zelda (whose parents, now dead, were devoted Nazis), have jumped off a Nazi death train and are fleeing on foot. "Then" is the story of their friendship and fierce devotion to each other amid the brutal circumstances of the Jewish Holocaust in Poland. Good reading for mature readers 6th grade and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Gleitzman
Reviewer: Joanna N.   (12/5/11)


Book Cover The Summer I Learned to Fly
Dana Reinhardt

Drew spends her summer helping out at her mother's cheese shop. Frequently alone, Drew dreams about the handsome surfer who works in the shop. She doesn't remember her father but is thrilled to discover his journal and learn about him although she does not tell her mother. A pet rat and a new friend help Drew grow into a confident teen who can handle all of life's challenges. A realistic story of small town life for ages 12 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Reinhardt
Reviewer: Alice J.   (11/29/11)


Book Cover Young Fredle
Cynthia Voigt

Curious Fredle Mouse smelled something delicious in the pantry and so he ate it. Since the delicious something was a chocolate peppermint pattie, it made him very sick! It's a law of mousedom that a sick mouse has to be "wented"- pushed out of the nest. Poor Fredle finds himself adventuring in a dangerous world which includes rowdy robber raccoons. But he also gets to see the stars; he wonders, has any other inside mouse ever seen these beautiful sparkles? Fun reading for grades 3 and up.

WPL Call Number: J Fiction
Reviewer: Joanna N.   (11/18/11)


Book Cover The Name of the Star
Maureen Johnson

Rory expected boarding school in London to be exciting, but she never imagined this. The night she arrives coincides with the beginning of a string of gruesome murders replicating the serial killer Jack the Ripper's "reign of terror." Not only that, the killer never shows up on film, and Rory's the only person who's seen him. Can she solve the mystery before she ends up dead herself? This chilling mystery will keep you turning the pages long past bedtime (not to mention make you want to visit London!). Suggested for grades 6 and up.

WPL Call Number: Y Johnson
Reviewer: Lisa B.   (11/17/11)


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)


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