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2013 Reviews

See index of all past Customer Reviews

Story of a Girl - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in DecemberStory of a Girl
by Sara Zarr [j Zarr or jPB Zarr]

Winner of the 2007 National Book Award, Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr is the sympathetic story of a teenage girl caught having sex in the back of a car by her father. Deanna longs to escape a life defined by that one mistake. Her former friends refuse to associate with her. Most boys now view her as a sex object; waiting in line for Chinese take-out, an older boy puts his hands between her legs from behind. What is perhaps most heart-breaking is that Deanna's dad hasn't talked to her or looked at her since that night. As I reread Story of a Girl, I tried to figure out why Sara Zarr is one of my favorite authors. An obvious answer is that Zarr creates interesting stories populated with realistic characters. I appreciated how Zarr dangled a hope in front of readers that Deanna could escape her life by renting an apartment with Darren and Stacey. It's a realistic goal, and potentially life-changing. I also appreciated how well Zarr understands relationships. One of my favorite scenes is between Deanna and her brother. Darren is trying to figure out why Stacey left. Deanna suggests perhaps it's because he didn't have the right reaction to Stacey's dyed hair. When he pushes for an explanation, Deanna says that with Stacey's new hair style, she could have become anyone. A less obvious answer to the question of why Zarr is one of my favorite authors is that she writes about faith in her books. Zarr never preaches, and none of her stories are salvation ones, but her positive view of God shines through. Compared to many other young adult books, Story of a Girl is shorter in length and quieter in tone. In some ways, therefore, it's less suspenseful. And yet perhaps it's that very essence, its everyday realism, that makes it resonate so strongly.

Score - 8
reviewed by Allison H.-F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
December 18, 2013

Freeze Frame - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 9
New in DecemberFreeze Frame
by Heidi Araybe [YA Ayarbe]

Impressive. This is the adjective that keeps popping into my mind when thinking about how to describe Freeze Frame by Heidi Ayarbe.Freeze Frame is about a teenage boy who kills his best friend with a gun. It's disturbing that Freeze Frame is about a tragedy caused by the main character. Furthermore, for the bulk of the book we don't even know if the death was intentional. Yet we still have to care for Kyle because we're constantly in his head. That Ayarbe is able to pull off such a novel is impressive. That isn't all. For example, how did Ayarbe write over one hundred pages about just one week in Kyle's life? Even if those chapters centered around the aftermath of the shooting which includes Kyle's arrest, trial, and initial meetings with his probation officer it still blew me away how masterfully Ayarbe stretched such a short timeframe into so many pages. Just as amazingly, once Kyle returns to school and tries to settle back into routine, how does Ayarbe keep up the momentum? Consider that Kyle frequently escapes to his friend's grave, thinks about ways to die, and relives that fateful day at the shed. Freeze Frame could have easily become a depressing and wallowing mess. Instead, Ayarbe introduces school bullies, an adult mentor in the form of a librarian, and Kyle's new goal of becoming a protector of his best friend's younger brother. Ah-ha, but here again Freeze Frame could have become another movie-of-the-week, wrought with heavy-handedness over its topic of teen violence. But it never did. In fact, even though Kyle's mind regularly revisits the shooting, Freeze Frame felt to be just as much about family, fitting in, books, movies, moving forward, choices, and a thousand other things. Eventually Kyle also starts talking to a school outcast who likes to take photos of everyday sights, believing each one has a story. Finally, how did Ayarbe write about such a disturbing topic and yet manage to so intensely pull the reader into Kyle's world? Whenever anything interrupted me during my reading of Freeze Frame, I felt a jolt as if Kyle's reality had become mine own. Even when the truth of that tragic day is finally revealed, I had no compulsion to shut the book. Because Freeze Frame is about more than that single life-changing moment. It's also about the life that follows. Freeze Frame is a stellar novel about the mental anguish one can face during tragedy. Ayarbe never hurries her story, but at the same time she keeps the pace quick, making for an addicting read. As such, she is a novelist to be watched.

Score - 9
reviewed by Allison H.-F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
December 17, 2013

After - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in DecemberAfter
by Amy Efaw [j Efaw or YA PB Efaw]

After by Amy Efaw is a disturbing story which deals with the phenomenon of "dumpster babies". It has the feel of an uneven musical composition. Sometimes the style turned me off. Other times, the character portrayal felt wrong. And, once in a while, the plot felt overloaded. Yet within the bulk of its pages is a story that I enjoyed. I'll get back to the parts I enjoyed later, but first let me address the style. The first several chapters with their rapid-fire sentences felt like the incessant tap-tap-tap of a staccato beat. Interspersed within those chapters were occasional scenes of frenzy, as if the composer were stumbling over notes in a panicked attempt to find the right rhythm. However, just when I felt ready to walk away, the melody evened out. From that moment forward, despite the occasional wrong note, the composition was pleasant. Efaw picked a challenging character in Devon Davenport. On the one hand, Devon is a teenage girl who vowed to never become her mom. She intended to first attend college and to establish a career. Then and only then would she allow herself to date, get married, have sex, and become a mom. But then Devon has a vulnerable moment. Allows herself to fall in love. And have sex. On the other hand, Devon is a young woman who denies even to herself that she has gotten pregnant and has given birth to a baby, and so she dumps her child. No matter how one frames it, Devon will be a tough character to understand. When Devon finally started showing herself as vulnerable, After became extremely moving and Efaw gave me many reasons to feel sympathy. She works hard to become a model prisoner. She builds new relationships. And she begins to search her soul for the truth of who she really is and wants to be. For these reasons, I ended up liking After.

Score - 8
reviewed by Allison H.-F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
December 16, 2013

Kit's Wilderness - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 9
New in DecemberKit's Wilderness
by David Almond [j Almond]

It's been a long time since I have read a book as unique in plot and style as Kit's Wilderness by David Almond. The story is set in an old mining town, where many stories abound about those who were trapped during cave-ins and other disasters. The theme revolves around memories, those which Kit is told by his grandfather, and those which help Kit's grandfather hold onto the present in his old age. Kit's Wilderness is a beautifully-woven tale which deservedly won the Michael Printz award for literary excellence. Kit's Wilderness is hard to classify, beyond calling it realistic fiction. Kit and his family have recently moved to the neighborhood to care for Kit's grandfather. Kit is troubled only in the sense that many of us are, in that he's haunted by the changes happening to someone he loves. Kit and his grandfather share a bond through stories. His grandfather tells him ones of the old mining town and Kit then writes them down and shares them at school. Through these stories, Kit earns admiration from both his teachers and his peers. One of those is Askew, who invites him to play his game of Death because the two can see into the spiritual world. When taking his turn in the abandoned den, Kit begins to see faces of those from the olden days. Another of these is Allie, who calls herself a bad kid but it's really more of a role than reality, as she reveals in her explanation about why she likes the theater: "Who's Allie Keenan? This almost-nice one or this truly bad one? It's like magic. I don't have to be me." Almond connects the mystical element to the theme of memories, because eventually Kit's grandfather must learn to sort through his past and his present (and figure out which is which) to stay grounded in reality. As part of this process, Kit's grandfather also has his own glimpses of the dead. In an interview with Teaching Books, Almond admits that when writing Kit's Wilderness he felt perhaps it was a bit too dark to write and maybe a bit too difficult for young readers. Indeed, death is an intense subject, but Almond masterfully handles it with many overlapping subplots involving Kit, Askew, and Kit's grandfather. Almond's reflective style hails back to the old classics, which means the writing may require a greater time commitment from readers. I am certain a reread of Kit's Wilderness is in my future, as I suspect it will feel richer each time it's read.

Score - 9
reviewed by Allison H.-F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
December 10, 2013

Harmless - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 7
New in DecemberHarmless
by Dana Reinhardt [YA Reinhardt]

Harmless by Dana Reinhardt is about three adolescent girls who try to avoid being caught in a lie by telling a bigger one. The difference in the two lies is that being caught in the first would have only resulted in their own suffering, while the success of the second brought suffering mostly to an innocent vagrant, but also to the girls' families, school, and even their community. As a result of the second lie, the girls are forced to face questions not only about who they want to be but also about the fuzzy lines that exist between right and wrong. Harmless is a somewhat slow-moving story that raises disturbing issues. The latter is what I most appreciate about Harmless. While certainly being caught at a guy's party would have resulted in unpleasant consequences, the act itself is not uncommon for teens and could have been easily forgiven. Saying instead that they were attacked at the riverfront, the girls' lie has a much greater impact. For starters, the police are called. While the three girls expected this to happen, none of them are prepared for being cast in the role of heroes. In becoming heroes, the girls are bombarded with questions questions that might have been tolerable if they had really been attacked. Or if the police had allowed the case to grow cold. Or if no one had been charged with the crime. On top of all of these mounting repercussions there's the issue of why Emma isn't happy with the attention, which is because something bad really did happen to her when the girls were sneaking off to parties. Yes, there's a lot going on in a book of only two-hundred pages, but Reinhardt masterfully weaves the subplots together to make a suspenseful and cohesive story. Before getting caught up in their web of lies, Anna and Emma were just your average smart, quiet, and obedient girls. Their parents never had reason to question them, nor did their teachers. And their classmates never took much notice of them. What I found interesting is how this changes after the lie. Just as intriguing is the reaction of the three girls when faced with the choice of telling the truth or allowing an innocent vagrant to be jailed for a crime that never happened. Although I guessed Emma's secret early in the story, Reinhardt did surprise me somewhat with how her confession plays out. And through it, she explores those fuzzy lines between right and wrong. The story only gains momentum when the lying begins, the story is perhaps too focused on that pivotal point. What this means is that I suspect I would not have any problem in reading it again in a few years. But the book is certainly worth reading once. It borders on being creepy, which is a compliment. Harmless will also stimulate much thought, because of the questions it raises about the lines between good and bad.

Score - 7
reviewed by Allison H.-F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
December 9, 2013

Hate List - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in NovemberHate List
by Jennifer Brown [YA PB Brown]

With school shootings occurring on a regular basis these days, Hate List by Jennifer Brown is timely. Because it is told from the viewpoint of the shooter's girlfriend, it's also daring. Winner of many awards, Hate List works on some levels and doesn't work on others, but overall it's an interesting and thought-provoking read.

What works well is Brown's exploration of the question of what makes a person bad or good, which she does not only through her main character, Valerie, but also through the shooter, his friends, and the bullies whose names were on the hate list. Let's start with Valerie. On one hand, Valerie's list helped set in motion the plan to kill half the population of her school. On the other hand, when she realized what was happening, she tried to stop the slaughter and got shot while trying to save another student's life. Is she a villain or a hero? And what about Nick, the shooter? On one hand, he was the one who took the hate list too far by opening fire on fellow teachers and friends, including some who weren't on the list but were simply protecting those who were. On the other hand, bullies made Nick's life both in and out of school a constant hell. Is Nick a bad kid destined for trouble? These are questions that Hate List raises and no doubt everyone will have their own answer, which is what makes a novel like Hate List so valuable.

In interviews, Brown indicates that for her, Hate List was never about a school shooting, but instead was about how Valerie (and everyone else) faced life in the wake of that tragic day. What worked less well for me is the portrayal of Valerie. On a large scale, while I understand that Valerie faced dilemmas of her own that arose from the tragedy, her struggle with guilt seemed to overshadow any kind of remorse for the victims of Nick's rampage. Her regular expressions of love for Nick also seemed inappropriate. Yet perhaps this isn't a fair judgment. Feelings aren't purely ones of hate and love, any more than people are completely good or bad. On a lesser scale, I don't even know why Brown brought up the psychiatric ward, because Valerie gained nothing from her time there, and that part of the story felt lacking in research.

Hate List isn't the first novel about a school shooting, and undoubtedly it won't be the last. But it's a good place for those interested in the subject to start.

Score - 8
reviewed by Allison H.-F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
November 13, 2013

Everfound - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in OctoberEverfound
by Neil Shusterman [j Shusterman/YA Shusterman]

As I finished each book in The Skinjacker Trilogy, my husband would ask me, "Are you planning to buy the set?" To that question, I always responded, "I won't know until I read the third book." He suggested it shouldn't matter given that I liked the first two, but far too many trilogies have let me down with their concluding volume. Thankfully, Everfound did not. As often happens with the final book, Everfound is the darkest and most complicated in the set. Nick and Mary are both building armies to destroy one another. Allie has not only discovered the ability to skinjack (hijack a body of a living person), but also what that means and how to use it to help or destroy the living. Having been stripped of his monstrous shape by Mary, Mikey McGill falls in love with her and is quickly rejected, which awakens a new power within him. He can use this power for good or for bad and it's anyone guess which he will do. There are also new characters introduced, such as a scar wraith who can permanently extinguish the souls in Everlost. And then there are familiar character who take on larger roles, such as Jackin' Jill, who used to be a love interest of Milos, who himself took a fancy to Allie until she rejected him. Oh, and by the way, the reason Nick wants to destroy Mary is because she wants to destroy our living world. Did I mention that Everfound is dark and complicated? Indeed, sometimes it felt a little too much like our own world, whereas I read fantasies to escape into a fanciful and imaginative place. Over all, though, I still feel Shusterman has successfully created a well-written and memorable trilogy.

Score - 8
reviewed by Allison H.-F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
October 14, 2013

Everwild - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in OctoberEverwild
by Neil Shusterman [j Shusterman/YA Shusterman]

The front inside flap of Everwild reveals that the limbo world is now at war, accounts of which are certainly engrossing. But there are other aspects of the second book in Shusteman's series that captivated my heart. For example, because in Everlost "all things that have earned immortality remain forever in glory", Shusterman puts himself in the enviable position of being able to offer recognition to real tragedies. Perhaps the most notable instance is that of the twin towers, whch are held forever in Everlost "by the memories of a mourning world, and by the dignity of the souls" who died that day. I'm struck by the number of historical events to which Shusterman pays homage. The most prevalent is that of the Hindenhurg, a German passenger airship that infamously exploded on May 6, 1937, while attempting to dock in New Jersey. Another is that of the space shuttle Challenger, about which Shusterman writes, "Ask anyone who was alive at the time, and they will still remember where they were the moment that the shuttle Challenger blew up just thirty-three seconds after lifting off from Cape Canaveral". (Indeed I do. On that dreadful day, I stood in the student union at Judson College, unopened mail forgotten in my hand as I stared aghast at the horrifying television images.) Other tributes are less tragic. The Grand Ole Opry, a weekly country music concert in Nashville that made country music famous, takes center stage in a few chapters. One of the quirks of the Everlost world is that its inhabitants soon start to forget who they are. The first memory to go is of one's name. Most other memories are eventually lost too, which may or may not be so bad except that one becomes whatever memory survives. When Nick wages war against Mary Hightower, his strongest memory is of the chocolate bar which he'd smeared on his face just before the accident, and soon it becomes his dominant memory and thereby endangers his very existence. As it turns out, it's hard to stay alive when one is slowly melting into a pool of chocolate! When another character, Mickey, finds himself sinking into the ground, his anger is what allows him to be successful where others fail. Unfortunately, his anger is what also causes him to develop claws and other monstrous features, until his very nature is corrupted and twisted. While no one can be killed (again) in Everlost, feel pain, or even get injured, one can be tied up, imprisoned, and made to endure other tortures from monsters such as The McGill.

Score - 8
reviewed by Allison H.-F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
October 11, 2013

Everlost - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in OctoberEverlost
by Neil Shusterman [j Shusterman/YA Shusterman]

The front inside flap of Everlost describes it as an imaginative novel that explores questions of life, death, and what might lie in between. As such, and especially because this is a book by Neal Shusterman, who likes to pose grand questions, I read Everlost with the afterlife on my mind. Meet Nick and Allie, whose families? cars crash head-on one fateful day, sending our hero and heroine hurtling down a tunnel towards a light. But instead of reaching that light, Nick and Allie bump into one another and awake in a forest clearing. Soon, Nick and Allie are introduced to the concept of inter-life, or that space between life and death. It isn't purgatory or Nirvana, but is rather a completely new kind of limbo. As the tale continues to unravel, we learn that God hears prayers in Everlost and that there are also evil spirits. While Shusterman doesn't, as I initially expected him to, pose questions about the specifics of heaven or hell or various recognized states of limbo, he does explore the BIG question about what happens after we die.

Score - 8
reviewed by Allison H.-F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
October 9, 2013

The Secret Keeper - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in AugustThe Secret Keeper
by Kate Morton [Morton]

Yes, I have read book reviews before but never written one, or thought that I might. My reading history almost exclusively consists of legal, police, forensic, or medical, mystery/thrillers. It's unclear why I would have suspended "The Secret Keeper" for checkout but an action that I was certain was an error, has turned into my favorite fiction selection in many years. I admit, in the beginning there were doubts about the book. It started in such an unusual format I felt certain it would involve a multitude of characters and their history to keep track of. (Senior aged reader here.) It also appeared as though it would be a slow paced read. This was definitely not the case. After the basic story begins, I found it to hold mystery after mystery, suspense after suspense. The writing is amazing and follows each character so precisely there was certainly no reason to be concerned about tracking from chapter to chapter. If you are a reader that enjoys unpredictable story events as well as endings, then you will love this book. It provides both, while seamlessly relaying an unusual and intriguing story. Forget the cover description. This novel is much more. For now the Deaver, Gardner, Jackson, Turow, and Hoag titles are on hold while I read the other three books in the library by The Secret Keeper author, Kate Morton.

Score - 10
reviewed by Cheryl H.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
August 28, 2013

Whispers at Moonrise - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in AugustWhispers at Moonrise
by C.C. Hunter [YA Hunter]

A great finale to the Shadow Falls series! I love how Kylie and Lucas end up together!!! Plus Mario and that creepy John guy have been defeated!!!! I wonder how Kylie's mom will take knowing about the supernatural world!!.

Score - 8
reviewed by Raven H.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
August 8, 2013

Gone - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in AugustGone
by Michael Grant [YA Grant]

This the first installment in the Gone series about everyone over 15 disappearing. It all starts with Sam in History class. One moment there's the teacher, then, poof! He's gone. A dome forms around the small California town trapping all the teens and kids inside. There is no TV, internet, or radio.At first everyone starts wasting food, rejoicing there are no adults around. Then people get hurt, there's the possibility they might run out of food, and they need a leader. Sam self-appoints himself, whit his friend Quinn, and a girl from his school, Astrid. Then, there's the academy up the hill. Up there people are already starving.Down in the town riots are breaking out, war is brewing with the academy and Sam and his people, and there is a feel of darkness in the air. Will they get out alive? Read the book to find out!

Score - 10
reviewed by Ashley A.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
August 8, 2013

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 6
New in JulyHold Me Closer, Necromancer
by Lish McBride [YA McBride]

This is a great book. My friend gave it to me and I totally love it. You should read this.

Score - 6
reviewed by Teresa G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 27, 2013

Secret Life of Bees - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JulyThe Secret Life of Bees
by Sue Monk Kidd [Kidd]

The Secret Life of Bees is a moving book. It is very descriptive and heartfelt, and a big tear jerker. It is set in the 50s and is about a girl named Lily who runs away with her African-American maid/step in mother, who is about to be killed, and finds a place where she truly belongs and gets to know more than she could hope for about her departed mother. They go to Tiburon SC, and stumble upon a house of 3 African-American sisters. They learn the ways of life and beekeeping. Lily gets love from them which she never got from her father, T. Ray. August, one of the sisters recognizes Lily the moment she enters the house and knows she is lying about who she is, but waits till Lily is ready to tell her the truth. This book covers all sorts of topics from religion, violence, and what it means to have a true family. i highly reccomend it if you like books that have very strong female leads.

Score - 10
reviewed by Lilly G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 27, 2013

Beneath the Glitter - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JulyBeneath the Glitter
by Elle and Blaire Fowler [YA Fowler]

This book is really good for any fashionista romance loving teen. It was so cool reading them after watching them on Youtube for so long. The name itself just sounds so girly! If you are a girly girl make this book the next on your list. This book is written so well. It made me feel like I was wathing it all happen. They did a terrific job. It is about two sisters who because famous on Youtube and they have a chance to have there own makeup line. The book is about their romanctic and sisterly struggles..

Score - 10
reviewed by Jetta T.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 27, 2013

A Long Way From You - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in JulyA Long Way From You
by Gwendolyn Heasley [YA Heasley]

Right now, I am totally loving this book and although I'm only halfway through, it's still really entertaning. I am kind of weird cause I didn't read the first in the series yet, but I am looking forward to reading it as soon as I'm done with this one.

Score - 8
reviewed by Teresa G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 23, 2013

Chomp - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 7
New in JulyChomp
by Carl Hiaasen [YA Hiassen]

This book was a book that took me awhile to get into. I had to admit, the beginning was a bit boring, but as you kept going into the book, it began to get more interesting. It's about a boy and his father, Mickey (father) and Wahoo (son) are hired to be on a show called "Expedition: Survival!" starring Derek Badger. The title of the book really relects on the book, because Derek has been "chomped" so many times by many animals, because he has no experience or skills with animals, even though in the whole plot of the show, he's supposed to be an animal expert.

Score - 6
reviewed by Amilia B.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 23, 2013

Read an earlier -- 2012 -- review of Chomp by Elanor J.

Score - 8
reviewed by Elanor J.
a customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
July 2, 2012

The Princess Diaries - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in JulyThe Princess Diaries
by Meg Cabot [YA Cabot]

This book is very different from the movie. I like it a lot better. It is very funny and is the first book in a great series. This book features Mia Thermopolis, a nerdy highschool girl who wants to fit in. She has a genius bestfriend,Lily Moscovits who doesnt care what people think. In this book Mia figures out a secret that will change her life when her grandmother come to her apartment in New York. Mia's grandmother tells her she is the queen of Genovia, her father is a prince, and she is next in line for the throne. In a flash her life changes. The popular crowd now adores her, her friends treat her differently, and she struggles to figure out her identity. She befriends a shy, rich girl named Tina and figures out she is just as normal and nice as her friend Lily. Mia doesnt want to be a princess though and has a hard time adjusting. If you love teen books that are funny and full of drama this series will be a great one for you to read.

Score - 8
reviewed by Lilly G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 23, 2013

The Hunger Games - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JulyThe Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins [YA Collins]

This book is amazing. What interested me in this book was that it seems like all ages are getting interested in it. She wrote it so well that I can imagine this happening in a hundred years or so. Even through all the violence she still manages to throw some romance. Which I'm sure every teenage girl loves. Katniss Everdeen is just a normal teenage girl dealing with boy problems, except she has to deal with something a normal teenage girl doesn't she had to choose between her sister fighting to the death or herself. She chooses to make herself fight to the death in the terrible arena. Also known as the Hunger Games. Set up by the Capital to make sure another war never happens. Katniss and Peeta Mellark are the ones from District 12 who have to fight int he arena. The rest you'll have to find out by reading it yourself!

Score - 10
reviewed by Jetta T.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 22, 2013

Read an earlier -- 2012 -- review of The Hunger Games by customer Ashley A.

Score - 10
reviewed by Ashley A.
a customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 7, 2012

Check out the libraries' If You Like...The Hunger Games booklist for additional reading suggestions similar to this title!

Chain Reaction - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in JulyChain Reaction
by Simone Elkles [YA Elkles]

It was a great end to the series. It is amazing, and i loved it and if you haven't read the first two, go read them. They are Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction. I loved them all, and hope you do too. This one is really really good in the first twelve chapters, so read away.

Score - 8
reviewed by Teresa G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 22, 2013

Smart Girls Get What  - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 9
New in JulySmart Girls Get What They Want
by Sarah Strohmeyer [YA]

This book does a good job of showing that you can change yourself for the better, no matter how deep you are into your current persona. The main character, Gigi, is a relatable girl that is instantly likable and someone you can root for. This book is somewhat unique in the plot but it isn't hard to understand. This was a really good book!.

Not currently owned by the Lincoln City Libraries!

Score - 9
reviewed by Taylor J.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 22, 2013

The Rules of Attraction - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in JulyThe Rules of Attraction
by Simone Elkles [YA Elkles]

It was amazing, the way she has you going back and fourth all the time. I loved it!

Score - 8
reviewed by Teresa G..
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 22, 2013

Dragonswood - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JulyDragonswood
by Janet Lee Carey [YA Carey]

Set on the same island in a time and place of dragons and fairies, Dragonswood is a companion book to the award winning novel, Dragon's Keep. Dragonswood takes place years after Princess Rosalind, the main character of Dragon's Keep, had her adventures, following the struggles of a seventeen-year-old girl named Tess. She and her friends are forced to flee from a ruthless witch hunter and a village that accuses her of all kinds of evil witchcraft. But even as she faces the hardships of her journey, she falls for a mysterious man who helps he and her friends, as well as learning more about her past than she had ever imagined. If you read Dragon's Keep, even if you didn't like it, I suggest you read this book. While the story and writing are similar, Dragonswood is more interesting and faster paced, making it an ideal novel for any teen or adult that enjoys fantasy.

Score - 10
reviewed by Sammy B.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 18, 2013

Deadly Little Secret - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JulyDeadly Little Secret
by Laurie Stolarz [YA Stolarz]

This is an amazing book! I love how the author keeps you on your toes about who "Jack" really is.... a must read!

Score - 10
reviewed by Raven H.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 18, 2013

Taken at Dusk - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JulyTaken at Dusk
by C.C. Hunter [YA Hunter]

I loved this book. It was very well written....kept me turning the pages. I never wanted to put the book down.

Score - 10
reviewed by Raven H.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 18, 2013

Sea - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in JulySea
by Heidi R. Kling [YA Kling]

It was a great book about a girl getting over her fears of flying and meeting a very nice guy, and helping him find his father after a terrible hurricane and tsunami.

Score - 8
reviewed by Teresa G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 18, 2013

Shadow of the Moon - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 4
New in JulyShadow of the Moon
by Rachel Hawthorne [YA Hawthorne]

It was a bit weird and very funny. I liked it enough but it really has the exact same plotish thing as all the others in this series.

Score - 4
reviewed by Teresa G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 18, 2013

Divergent - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JulyDivergent
by Veronia Roth [YA Roth]

This was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone with a sense of adventure and a love for romance. This book is set in the future and everyone lives in a faction. Each faction has a different reason that war destroyed the world. The two main factions are Abnegation who believes the cause was selfishness and they don't believe in doing anything for themselves. They also don't have any mirrors and only get to see themselves once a year when they get their haircut. The other main faction is Dauntless who believes the was fear. They aren't scared of anything. When each kid turns sixteen they have to choose a faction either the one they were born into or a different one. They get tests taken to find what faction they should be in. The main girl Tris gets results that only a few people get and she has to keep it a secret for her own safety and others. You'll have to read the book to find out the rest. I picked up this book because I heard some good reviews of it from Youtube. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down.

Score - 10
reviewed by Jetta T.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 18, 2013

Born at Midnight - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JulyBorn at Midnight
by C.C. Hunter [YA]

This book is written very well! I never wanted to stop reading!!!! I loved the dialogue, and i felt as if I was in the book with Kylie!!!

Score - 10
reviewed by Raven H.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 18, 2013

Full Moon - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 7
New in JulyFull Moon
by Rachel Hawthorne [YA Hawthorne]

This is a great book. I loved all the romance and havoc. It was really funny and sweet at all the right moments.

Score - 7
reviewed by Teresa G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 18, 2013

Royally Crushed - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 7
New in JulyRoyally Crushed
by Niki Burnham [YA Burnham]

The book was pretty good. The plot of the story was something that wasn't everyday but in the midst of it, the main character was going through things that were really relatable. The way that the story was written was really humorous and it was almost as if the main character was talking to you. Although the voice of the main character was funny, she could get kind of whiny, which proved to be fairy annoying. Overall, it was a good book, but it did have its flaws.

Score - 7
reviewed by Taylor J.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 18, 2013

Eragon - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in JulyEragon
by Christopher Paolini [j Paolini]

The book starts out with a discription of an elf named Arya riding through the forest and she appears to be carring a very important object. A shade, or a bad warlock, named Darza attackes Arya and trys to take the object but she uses magic to transport it far away. On the other side of the country a boy named Eragon is tracking a deer when a burst of blue fire scares the doe away. When the smoke clears he sees an oval shaped blue rock. He goes around trying to find out what it is but no one seems to know. One night the rock began to move and out popped a little baby dragon. As Eragon raised Saphira, his dragon, a local storyteller named Brom started to take a particular intrest in what happened to his rock. After a while the town started to become suspitious of Saphira and two creatures called the Raz'zac came and scared Eragon and Saphira enough to leave. Brom came with them after explaining that he could help. So they set off on a journey to kill the Raz'zac but there are a few complications, Eragon feels compelled to rescure a beautiful elf from a near by town, Brom doesnt think that is a good idea. When they go to resure her Brom is stabbed and a man named Murtagh saves Eragon. After a few days Brom ends up dyeing and since Eragon doesnt know exactly what to do he ends up headed to find the Varden along with Saphira, Murtagh, and the sick elf. It takes a long time but they finally reach the Varden and for some reason Murtagh is put in prison. When Eragon askes why they say its because he is the son of an evil man named Morzan. There is little down time though because almost as soon as they get to the Varden a bunch of creatures called the Urgals attack. The only way the Varden ended up winning was because, with the help of Arya (the elf Eragon had saved) and Saphira, Eragon killed Darza whom seemed to be controling the Urgals.

Score - 10
reviewed by Whitney L.
customer of Gere Branch Library
July 17, 2013

Read an earlier -- 2007 -- review of Eragon by customer Dragon Slayer.

Score - 4
reviewed by Dragon Slayer.
staff member of the Bennett Martin Public Library
February 12, 2007

Read an earlier -- 2012 -- review of Eragon by customer Dragon Slayer.

Score - 10
reviewed by Tyler P.
a customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 11, 2012

The Clique - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JulyThe Clique
by Lisi Harrison [YA Harrison]

I loved this series. It had humor, drama, romance, and was very captivating. Going into middle school, it was interesting to see how their friendship could overcome so many obstacles and hardships and still stay strong, for the most part, through it all. I loved this series and was sad to see it end.

Score - 10
reviewed by Peyton M.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 17, 2013

Stolen Children - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in JulyStolen Children
by Peg Kehret [YA Kehret]

This book,Stolen Children, is one of my favorite books, because the author shows lots of details. Which makes the readers like me, really feel like we are in the book. I would recommend this book to others because it always has interesting events that happen, and never in this book is it boring. I love this book and I hope others will consider it to be one of their favorites also.

Score - 8
reviewed by Karlie V.M.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 17, 2013

The View From Saturday - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 2
New in JulyThe View From Saturday
by E.L. Konigsburg [j Konigsburg]

I really did not this book. For starters, the author spent way to much time on explaining the characters. For another thing, the author kept saying they were going to compete in something but you don't find out until the end and it turns out to be a trivia! The book was also very confusing . It didn't tell you anything you wanted to know but they leave out what you do want to know!!! I strongly DON'T recommend this book to anyone.

Score - 2
reviewed by Felicity N.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 17, 2013

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JulyHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
by J.K. Rowling [j Rowling]

This book I thought had a good but slow beginning. then after the first few pages it really starts to pick up in a truly wonderful way. when I first started to read this I was automatically stuck to it.

Score - 10
reviewed by Felicity N.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 17, 2013

Check out the libraries' If You Like...The Harry Potter series booklist for additional reading suggestions similar to this title

Catching Fire - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JulyCatching Fire
by Suzanne Collins [YA Collins]

This is the second time I have read Catching Fire, yet I was holding my breath throughout the whole book. I love the plot in this book, because Katniss is torn between marrying Peeta, who loves her but she must act like she loves him also, or choosing Gale, who she is in love with and has known her whole life. Katniss has become the leader of the rebels without her knowing, ever since she had held up those berries at the end of the Hunger Games. Then, Katniss and Peeta end up in the Games again, and have to try to survive. Suzanne Collins is an amazing writer, with spectacular ideas for books. I love how in this book, opposed to The Hunger Games, Katniss becomes a rebel and shows more of her true side throughout the book.

Score - 10
reviewed by Helen L.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 17, 2013


In this second book of the Hunger Games trilogy Katniss and Peeta go on their district tour as they still try to keep up their star-crossed lover status. Everyone is happy until the Quarter Quell comes up. Tributes that have won are being put in the Games once again. Haymitch can't go so Katniss and Peeta train together. When they are in the Capitol Snow keeps a close eye on them. During the interview Peeta "proposes' to Katniss to make them look like they are in love. As the Games approach they meet past winners such as, Johanna Mason and Finnick O'Dair. When they are put in the arena they discover it is like a clock. Then when Katniss blows the force field it goes dark and she is in a helicopter with Gale. He says that Peeta and some of the other tributes had been kidnapped by the Capitol because they did not have time to save them. Then Gale says something that changes Katniss foeever. What is it? Read to find out!

Score - 10
reviewed by Ashley A.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 18, 2013

Check out the libraries' If You Like...The Hunger Games booklist for additional reading suggestions similar to this title

A Spy in the House - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JulyA Spy in the House
by W.S. Lee [YA Lee]

The first book in a successful mystery series, A Spy in the House was gripping, as well as having a well-thought-out plot. The mystery was very original, different from the normal robbery or murder that you find in most books, but still full of plot twists and revelations. You will fall in love with the main character, a young woman named Mary Quinn, as she works on her first case. Saved from being hung for robbery at the age of twelve, Mary had been taught at a school for girls who didn't have the chance for a proper education. But when she finishes her school, Mary finds herself hopeless at other careers, and is given the opportunity to investigate crimes as a part of the secretive, women-run organization called The Agency. Her first case leads her to investigate a case of smuggling goods from India. But along the way,she learns even more than she was expecting, not just about the case, but herself and the people around her.

Score - 10
reviewed by Sammy B.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 17, 2013

The Running Dream - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JulyThe Running Dream
by Wendelin Van Draanen [YA VanDraanen]

I really enjoyed this book. It's very realistic, and it was one of those books which I couldn't put down. I chose this book because it was a Golden Sower, but I also picked it up because it was a realistic fiction book. The title of the book really does reflect on what the book is about. It's about a girl who loses her leg in a tragic car accident, and is gaining confidence to learn how to run again, because she loves running and track, and wants to run again. It's her dream to run again. And she has these 'running dreams' where she is running in her dream, even though she can't in real life.

Score - 10
reviewed by Amilia B.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 17, 2013

Bad Island - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 7
New in JulyBad Island
by Doug TenNapel [YA TenNapel]

This book was a graphic novel. It was about a boy, Reese, and his family getting shipwrecked on a mysterious island on a sail boating trip that his dad had planned even though no one wanted to go on it. When they get there, it seems eerie and they find strange things and animals. When they find something like a strange tablet it leads them to a place where everything gets created from. At the beginning it can be a little bit confusing because they start in the middle of a story. It all comes together in the end. Read to find out how!

Score - 7
reviewed by Ashley A.
customer of Gere Branch Library
July 17, 2013

Falling for Romeo - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 7
New in JulyFalling for Romeo
by Jennifer Laurens [YA Laurens]

I loved it. It was the perfect amount of competition between them, and so sweet all throughout the book when they see eye to eye for a minute and then go back to being prideful.

Score - 7
reviewed by Teresa G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 17, 2013

Emma - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 7
New in JuneEmma
directed by Douglas McGrath [DVD Emma]

It was a very good movie! I think that it showed the time period very well! Overall very good!

Score - 7
reviewed by Ellie R.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 27, 2013

The Face on the Milk Carton - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JuneThe Face on the Milk Carton
by Caroline B. Cooney [j Cooney]

Kept me very interested throughout the whole book! Such a good pageturner! I loved it!!!

Score - 10
reviewed by Ellie R.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 27, 2013

Walk Two Moons - Cover
New in JuneWalk Two Moons
by Sharon Creech [j Creech]

This has to be the best book I've ever read . It had a healthy dose of romance, adventure , and mystery. I love all the characters and twists. I recommend this book to everybody with a good heart.

reviewed by Felicity N.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 24, 2013

Have a Hot Time, Hades! - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 9
New in JuneHave a Hot Time, Hades!
by Kate McMullen [juvenile book]

It was very well written. A great introduction of greek mythology for kids. Kids will have lots of fun reading it and getting the whole story and picture, while being taught classic and enjoyable tales.

[ Not currently owned by the Lincoln City Libraries ]

Score - 9
reviewed by Jocelyn M.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 24, 2013

Wuthering High - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 6
New in JuneWuthering High
by Cara Lockwood [YA PB]

I liked it. It was good but a bit weird and strangely addicting, and also funny when Dracula showed up. I do recomend it though.

Score - 6
reviewed by Teresa G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 24, 2013

Queenie Peavy - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
Queenie Peavy
by Robert Burch [j Burch]

When we first meet Queenie Peavy, we learn that she's the only girl in Cotton Junction who could chew and spit tobacco. That however isn't what lands Queenie in the principal's office in the first chapter. Rather, her action of throwing rocks at the boiler room door does. If you expect Queenie to feel fear or remorse at being in trouble, she acts just the opposite. She boasts of her deadly aim. And when Mr. Handley recites a long list of misdemeanors, Queenie simply informs him that he's left out a few. Until she's told that the judge wants to see her, nothing fazes Queenie. Yet deep inside exists another side to Queenie, one that is sorry that Queenie told the principal that she didn't care what happened to her. The problem is that Queenie has said "I don't care" for so long that now sometimes she actually believed it. We soon learn other harsh realities about Queenie, such as that she doesn't seem to feel bad for throwing rocks at kids who tease her or killing a squirrel for food. Life might have continued like this for Queenie if not for two incidents. One happens when she hurts a student in an act of revenge. The other happens when she's accused of breaking the window in the church bell tower. Both of these land her one step closer to jail or towards following in her other's footsteps, which Queenie initially thinks just might be fine by her. Except then her dad is released from jail, allowing Queenie to see an unexpected side to her dad. Then Queenie faces choices about who she will become. In Queenie Peavy, Robert Burch has created a troublemaker whom we grow to love despite Queenie's penchant for making bad choices.

Score - 10
reviewed by Allison H.-F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
June 24, 2013

The Lying Game - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JuneThe Lying Game
by Sara Shepard [YA Shepard]

GREAT BOOK!! Kept me guessing the whole time, such a page turner!!! I would DEFINITELY recommend this book and book series to anyone and everyone!

Score - 10
reviewed by Ellie R.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 23, 2013

The Boy Who Grew Flowers - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 9
New in JuneThe Boy Who Grew Flowers
by Jen Wojtowicz [jP Wojtowicz]

This was a charming little book about a boy who lived up in the mountains with his odd family. I say odd because his uncle tamed wild snakes and his brothers where shape shifters. His mom even used a bowling bag as a purse! Now Rink, didn't have any of those strange talents but by all means he wasn't normal either. His talent was that during every full moon he sprouted flowers all over his body. He met a girl at school who's left leg was a whole inch shorter that her right one. Rink liked this girl so much that he went home and took some of his uncles snakes left over skin and made shoes and the left foot had a heel one whole inch taller that the right one. He presented the shoes to her and she loved them, as they danced they told each other about their families. At last Rink told the girl about how he sprouted flowers every full moon. Instead of being grossed out like he thought, she laughed and liked him even more. Towards the end of the book, it stated that the two have been married for 25 years and had 7 kids. Rink has been making the girls shoes ever since.

Score - 9
reviewed by Whitney L.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 23, 2013

The Candymakers - Cover
Average Score:
New in JuneThe Candymakers
by Wendy Mass [YA Mass or j Mass]

I thought this book was a well written book. After I read this book, I went and read all the other ones by Wendy Mass. I never wanted The Candymakers to end because it was such a great book. I wish Wendy Mass would write more books like The Candymakers.

reviewed by Barrett P.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 23, 2013

The Guardians: The Girl - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in JuneThe Guardians: The Girl
by Lola St. Vil [young adult item]

This book is mainly about the gaurdian angels that come down to earth along with the 'bad' angels called Akons. The Akons' leader is Lucy, also known as the devil or Atourum. The gaurdians' leader is Omnis. Both sides' goal is to find the triplex. The triplex is a package that blends in with its surroundings. If the Akons find it the world will be destroyed; if the gaurdians find it the world will be saved. Overall, I think this book is really good, 'cause it has lots of action with just the right amount of romance. This book will be really good for fans of Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, the Heroes of Olympus, the Kane Chronicles,and other books similar to these. Since I happend to have read this book on Kindle it does have a few typos and misspellings.

[ Not currently owned by the Lincoln City Libraries ]

Score - 8
reviewed by Noha A.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 22, 2013

The Raft - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in JuneThe Raft
by S.A. Bodeen [YA Bodeen]

This book was recommended to my by Sarah D. at Gere Branch, when we were talking about another book we had read in the teen summer book group by the same author. We had read The Compound by S.A. Bodeen, and I enjoyed that book so much I decided to read The Raft. The main character Robie gets stranded in the Pacific when the plane she is on crashes, en route to her home on Midway Island. I was skeptical about this book because this route has been taken by many other authors and can seem repetitive since it has been, however, I was disproved quickly. Much like The Compound, the book moves at a fast pace, but not so fast that you can't keep up and get lost. The story line is solid and pleasing. I would highly recommend this read to any young adult looking for a quick and good read.

Score - 8
reviewed by Alex A.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 22, 2013

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 9
New in JuneHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
by J.K. Rowling [j Rowling]

This was one of the most exciting of the series. It was really good, except that too many people died. Rowling did a very good job with this book and she made sure that everything was explained from the past books. This book is not a waste of your time. I'm planning on reading it again.

Score - 10
reviewed by Felicity N.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 22, 2013


I picked up this book because it was the last book in the series and I had to finish it. I would definetly recommend this book because it's a real hooker. I couldn't put it down. I think the title really refers to the book, because many people die in the book. It also has a great ending! One of the best books I've ever read!

Score - 10
reviewed by Amilia B.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 18, 2013


This is the last gripping installment of the Harry Potter series. Voldemort is rising to power and Harry and his friends must find and destroy all Horacruxs. They leave Hogwarts to search. They try and discover the secrets of what really is happening. People are lost, war is in full swing. They must stop Voldemort form taking power. When they return to Hogwarts war is all over the school. When Harry agrees to surrender, he learns something: He is the last Horcrux. He will have to die to defeat Voldemort. What does he do? Read to find out!

Score - 8
reviewed by Ashley A.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 24, 2013

Check out the libraries' If You Like...The Harry Potter series booklist for additional reading suggestions similar to this title

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in JuneHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
by J.K. Rowling [j Rowling]

This was a good but sad book. It was not bad but it was my least favorite of the entire series. But I would still recommend this book to anyone who likes suspenseful stories.

Score - 8
reviewed by Felicity N.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 20, 2013

Check out the libraries' If You Like...The Harry Potter series booklist for additional reading suggestions similar to this title

Scary Stories - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 9
New in JuneScary Stories to Tell in the Dark
by Alvin Schwartz [j398.2 Sch or jPB]

Awesome! Just scary enough. My friends freak when they read these. I love it!!!.

Score - 9
reviewed by Teresa G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 20, 2013

Revenge of the Witch - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JuneThe Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch
by Joseph Delany [j Delaney or YA PB]

If you are a die-hard fantasy fan (Ooh! Ooh! Me! Me!) then this book is absolutely for you. Joseph Delaney has spun a tale full of mystery, excitement, and, you know, the little bit of blood that's almost inevitable in a fantasy. It was an awesome book that kept me up for days thinking about it. The pace never stopped and the plot never let up its guard.

Score - 10
reviewed by Brenton Z.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 20, 2013

The Reluctant God - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 7
New in JuneThe Reluctant God
by Pamela F. Service [j Service]

The Reluctant God is a book about a teenage king name Ameni. He is to guard the Egyptian treasures. A girl in present day named Lorna finds his tomb. Without explanation, Ameni comes back to life and asks Lorna to aid him on his journey to get back the sacred urns that Lorna's dad gave to a mueseum in London. They go on a crazy trip, meeting many obstacles along the way. Finally Ameni finds the urns in a house of criminals and he and Lorna fight for their lives. Ameni is given the chance to become a god but decides to live one more lifetime with Lorna. Overall the book is good, it does lack details though.

Score - 7
reviewed by Lilly G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 19, 2013

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JuneHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
by J.K. Rowling [j Rowling]

It's an amazing book. I totally loved it. If you haven't read it yet, go read it now. I strongly recomend it to any age group.

Score - 10
reviewed by Teresa G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 19, 2013


This book was clearly the best in the series. They have a little bit of every thing in this book from dragons to unicorns. I recommend this book to everyone.

Score - 10
reviewed by Felicity N.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 24, 2013

Check out the libraries' If You Like...The Harry Potter series booklist for additional reading suggestions similar to this title

So Yesterday - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JuneSo Yesterday
by Scott Westerfeld [j Westerfeld]

I LOVE this author! He writes such good books with great plots. This book kept me guessing. Such a great read!

Score - 10
reviewed by Ellie R.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 19, 2013

Anne of Green Gables - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JuneAnne of Green Gables
by Lucy Maud Montgomery [j Montgomery]

This book was amazing! I've read it several times and it's one of my favorites. My mom read it to me for school. Pretty soon my little brother and sister started listening to it also. When she was done we would all beg her to read another chapter. The main character is easy to fall in love with. The story is very well written. I love the author. There are also a couple of books that come after it. I would recommend this book very highly. It is definitely a classic!

Score - 10
reviewed by Abby S.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 18, 2013

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JuneHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
by J.K. Rowling [j Rowling]

This is my favorite of the Harry Potter series, because of the amount of adventure, excitement and peril. I love the twists. I would recommend it to anybody who likes adventure and magic.

Score - 10
reviewed by Felicity N.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 17, 2013


It's an amazing book. I love the whole series, and if you have liked the books you should totally read this. I, again, love these, and I recommend anyone to read these from age 10 to 107. You will love them.

Score - 10
reviewed by Teresa G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 18, 2013


This has to be one of my favorite Harry Potter books. This fourth installment in the seven book series is about how the Triwizard Tournament is at Hogwarts. Three schools come together: Hogwarts, Beaubaxtons, and Dumstrang to compete to see who can win the trophy. Three seventh years are selected: Victor Crum, Fleur Delacor, and Cedric Diggory. Then, when everyone thought everyone was chosen another piece of paper comes out from the Goblet, Harry Potter. Harry is a fourth and cannot compete. No one knows who put his name in, but Dumbledore says that if the cup picked his name he is competing. Competitions include: trying to get the egg from fierce dragons, going underwater with mermaids, and the final maze with obstacles galore! Who wins? What awaits the winner at the end of the maze? Is it really the Triwizard cup? READ IT TO FIND OUT!

Score - 10
reviewed by Ashley A.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 18, 2013

Check out the libraries' If You Like...The Harry Potter series booklist for additional reading suggestions similar to this title

Graceling - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 9
New in JuneGraceling
by Kristin Cashore [YA Cashore]

I loved this book. It has action, adventure, and magic, with a bit of romance. It's perfect for basicly anyone and I am glad I picked it up from my teacher's little library. I strongly recommend it for both guys and girls.

Score - 9
reviewed by Teresa G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 14, 2013

The Lightning Thief - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JuneThe Lightning Thief
by Rick Riordan [j Riordan]

I absolutly loved this book. I refused to read it at first, because I thought it was a boy's book, not a girl's book, and then one of my classmates did a review on it, so I thought, well, maybe it's okay but I am very strong willed so I stuck to my first decision, and refused to read it. But then my teacher said that we had to read it in the next three weeks, if we hadn't already, so I started it the next day, and didn't put it down for the next 6 hours. I just kept reading, and up till then I hated reading, and now I love it. It was this book that changed my mind about reading being bad. I think I have five books I am currently reading, and hope to finish soon. If you're able to read chapter books, this book is for you. It is for boys and girls and I love it.

Score - 10
reviewed by Teresa G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 14, 2013


This book takes you on a thrilling adventure while you learn about the greek gods. In this book Percy is claimed by Posiden, the god of the sea. Percy and his friends except a quest given to them by chiron to go and get Zeus's lightning bolt for Hades, the god of the underworld. This book leaves you wanting to read more. Once you get into the book you will not want to put it down. This is a fast and easy read and highly suggest that you read this book.

Score - 10
reviewed by Haleigh L..
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 18, 2013


This was a great book with mystery and an amazing troop to find their through. It had creatures with names that I can't pronounce. But for the most part I pronounced them just fine. I love this book because it had a lot of mythology. I think that all of you should read this book.

Score - 10
reviewed by Taylor V.O.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
July 23, 2013

I Am Number Four - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JuneI Am Number Four
by Pittacus Lore [YA Lore]

I really enjoyed this book, and would suggest it to any teen (or adult) who wants an interesting action/adventure type book. It was never boring, and combined action, danger, and a little bit of romance to make a very interesting novel. However, I did notice it was a little more geared towards teenage boys than anyone else, but I still enjoyed it. If you're looking for a good book, and aren't afraid of a bit of gore, I would definitely recommend this book to you. There is also a second and third book, with a fourth on the way, in case you are looking for a series.

Score - 10
reviewed by Sammy B.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 12, 2013

13 Reasons Why - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 9
New in June13 Reasons Why
by Jay Asher [YA Ash]

A friend recommended that i read this book. I was unsure of it just by looking at it but after I started reading, i could not put it down! I loved the format of the book as he listened to casette tapes. i also loved the suspense and creepy feeling you got as you read. If you like scary suspenseful novels, this is a geat book for you!

Score - 9
reviewed by Rachel D.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 12, 2013

Chinese Cinderella - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 7
New in JuneChinese Cinderella
by Adeline Yen Mah [YA PB Mah or jB M276]

Chinese Cinderella is an autobiography. This book takes place all over China and helped me learn about Chinese culture.In this book Adeline is treated terribly and is criticized on a daily basis because her mother died giving birth to her. She is a physical and emotional punching bag for her sister, dad, stepmother, and brothers. The only people who care for Adeline are her grandparents and Aunt BaBa. She is often sent to boarding schools and separated from those she loves. Fortunately, Adeline overcomes the odds and grows up to become a doctor, and a great author. I would reccomend this book for older kids and adults because I am a teenager and I bawled my eyes out! It is a very good book though.

Score - 7
reviewed by Lilly G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 12, 2013

The Vampire Diaries: Awakening - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in MONTHThe Vampire Diaries
by L.J. Smith [YA Smith]

The Vampire Diaries is obviously about vampires, so if your a huge fan then you've probably have already discovered this series and if not then, well, your in luck. Elena is beautiful, smart, outgoing, and you know, the typical protanganist. That is, until her parents died. She's still outrageously beautiful but not so much the outgoing part. She stops doing cheerleading(barf), and starts to write. Writing helps her deal with the sadness of her parents passing away. She then soon after that meets Stephan Salvator. Stephan is basically Edward Cullen. No offense to the writer, but come on, he's like a blooming replica. Moving on, Stephan and Elena start dating. But Elena starts to realize that he's been hiding things. Again with the obvious, he's a vampire. This book may seem like a,"Seen it. Know it" type of thing but believe me, you have never seen the Vampire Diaries. It grabs you by the first scene. You are compelled to watch it hour by hour. Start watching it, or you'll regret it.

Score - 8
reviewed by Vanessa L.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 10, 2013

The Outsiders - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in JuneThe Outsiders
by S.E. Hinton [j Hinton]

This book is an amazing read. It features characters Ponyboy, Sodapop Johnny, Dally, and other members of the gang. This book is set in the fifties and is about the greasers, or the lower class. When Ponyboy's friend accidentaly kills another teen in the upperr class they have to flee. They learn alot about life and different lessons. They hide in abandoned church. When a fire starts, Ponyboy and Johnny rush to get all the children who were having a picinic out. They and their friend Dally manage to get them out, but Johnny is badly injured. The gang grieves when Johnny and Dally both die. But they have learned the true meaning of family.

Score - 6
reviewed by Lilly G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 10, 2013


I'm so glad that folks are still reading this book. I've loved it for many years and recommended it to some foster children I knew. (They always seemed too busy to read it, though.) I think it deserves an 11!

Score - 10
reviewed by Judy G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 19, 2013

end - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JuneSend
by Patty Blount [YA PB Blount]

Send is the type of book that gets you hooked right away. It is very quick paced and the reader is never bored. It has a unique storyline about a bully's side of bullying rather than the bullied. Any person can love the writing because it has a bit of romance and really cheesy parts... but on the otherhand, Patty Blount was not one of those authors that gets too involved in the cheesiness. The ending was a little cheesy, but I was so sucked in, it didn't matter at all. As a matter of fact, I even cried... THAT is rare and a good thing every now and again.

Score - 10
reviewed by Cosette R.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 10, 2013


I totally agree with this review! I started it and could not put it down! The book was so hooking that I thought it was real.

Score - 9
reviewed by Alex A.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 20, 2013

Prodigy - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in MONTHProdigy: A Legend Novel
by Marie Lu [YA Lu]

This book is the second installment of the Legend triology. This is when June and Day find Razor the Patriots leader, Razor. Also, the Elecor Primo dies. They want to go to the Colonies to find refuge from the Republic. Razor wants Day and June on his team because Day is a crowd favorite, they listen to what he says. Razor's plan is to assanite the new Elector Primo who is the old one son. June goes undercover since she is now a criminal in the Republic's eyes. She is supposed to tell the Elector a fake assanation plan to lead him to the real one. But, the more she meets him, the more he seems like the leader the Republic needs during these tough times. Day doesn't believe it though. He thinks it's all a joke that he will let his brother go. What will happen.

Score - 10
reviewed by Ashley A.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 10, 2013

Of Triton - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 9
Of Triton
by Anna Banks

It was an awesome book. The second in the series. I loved it. It was serious but at the right time funny.

[ Not currently owned by the Lincoln City Libraries ]

Score - 9
reviewed by Teresa G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 10, 2013

City of Bones - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 9
New in JuneThe Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
by Cassandra Clare [YA Clare]

The book was really good. With the book being in a series, this being the first book, you could sense that there would be a love triangle in a later books without anything happening with it in the first. The ending was totally expected and made you want to read the series.

Score - 9
reviewed by Taylor J.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 8, 2013


The Book started with Clary (the main character) going into a club in brooklyn. She sees a couple of kids and follows them. Whats peculiar is that her best friend Simon doesn't seem to be able to see them. The kids go into a small room and MURDER a boy with blue hair! Her experiences only get wierder when a couple days later her mom calls her in a panic sayihng not to come home no matter what. One of the kids that had killed the boy at the club came and said they needed to talk. It turns out there is a whole world out there that Clary's mom was a part of that Clary herself was never aware of! The world of the Shadowhunters, or demon-hunters. Now Clary has to learn all about this world she was thrust into and try to save her mom from the evil Valentine.

Score - 10
reviewed by Whitney L..
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 27, 2013

Dragonet Prophecy - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JuneWings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy
by Tui T. Sutherland [j Sutherland]

This has to be one of the best books I've ever read!I love the story and its characters. Clay has to be my favorite because he is sweet ,loveable, and forgiving. You just fall in love with them!!! The only downside to the book is that there is a lot of violence.

Score - 10
reviewed by Felicity N.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 7, 2013

Touch of Frost - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
New in JuneTouch of Frost
by Jennifer Estep [YA Estep]

I loved it it was very very adddicting. I read it when I had the flu and I couldn't put it down. I must have read it in under 5 hours! I strongly recomend this book to teens or young adults.

Score - 8
reviewed by Teresa G.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 7, 2013

The Kiss - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JuneThe Kiss: A Witch & Wizard Novel
by James Patterson [YA Patterson]

I thought that The Kiss, by James Patterson, was an excellent book for the fantasy-minded reader, because of its well-plotted-but-not-gooey romance, woven in with fire, terror, magic, and the not-so-farfetched prediction of living under a terrible ruler..

Score - 10
reviewed by Brenton Z.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 7, 2013

Green Eggs and Ham - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 9
New in JuneGreen Eggs and Ham
by Dr. Seuss [jF Seuss]

I have discovered that you should give anything a chance, even if it is green meat. I would like to give my greatest thanks to Dr. Seuss!.

Score - 9
reviewed by Cosette R.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 7, 2013

Legend - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
New in JuneLegend
by Marie Lu [YA Lu]

This is truly a great book! It has a great mix of humor, action, and romance. It all starts off with Day, the Republic's most wanted criminal. He is watching his family, who thinks he's dead. Then, there's June, the Republic's prodigy who goes to school at Drake university. Her brother Metias is a great soldier. Then, one day Metias is murdered when he was chasing Day. Everyone thinks Day killed him. June hates Day. Then when she goes on a undercover mission she discovers the real Day. Day discovers that the Republic is poisoning people in the slum sectors with the plague, and his brother has the mutated one. The one that his brother is the first to have. Day's brother, Eden, is dying. June discovers the Republic's lies. And she finds out who killed Metias. Who did it? Read to find out.

Score - 10
reviewed by Ashley A.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 1, 2013


This book is good for anyone who loves action and suspense! It kept me guessing and guessing. I would definately recommend this book to anyone and everyone. This is just an amazing book!

Score - 10
reviewed by Ellie R.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 18, 2013

Kiss Me Again - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 5
New in JuneKiss Me Again
by Rachel Vail [YA Vail]

Cliches. We watch them, we read them, and sometimes we like them. This is one of those times where you're actually going to like it. Kiss Me Again caught my eye by just seeing the title. You know why? Because of the AGAIN. It means there's a past there. There's a story waiting to be unfolded. Which I then found out because this was the second book to a series. But that's beside the point! The point is, this book is a good book. If your looking for a quick read, grab it. If it's a rainy day and you just want some clicheness in you, steal it (don't actually steal it, I'm just trying to find a better word than grab but nothings coming to the mind). Happy Reading!

Score - 5
reviewed by Vanessa L.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 1, 2013

The Great Tree of Avalon - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 9
The Great Tree of Avalon: Child of the Dark Prophecy
by T.A. Barron [j Barron]

I was browsing at Gere for a good fantasy when I came across this great book. The plot was sort of slow at the beginning, but quickly heated up with elements of magic. It will really attract people who love magic and science fiction.

Score - 9
reviewed by Brenton Z.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
May 30, 2013

Saint Louis Armstrong Beach - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 7
Saint Louis Armstrong Beach
by Brenda Woods [j Woods]

An engaging story, Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda Woods is about an eleven-year-old who loves music and a neighborhood dog. The ending is somewhat abrupt, and with too many contrivances, but I still enjoyed this story set in New Orleans at the time Hurricane Katrina hit. Main character Saint endears himself to me, first because of his dream to save up for a clarinet. Second, there's the neighborhood dog. On the day Hurricane Katrina, their relationship is put to the test. The setting of New Orleans rings true because of the subtle details. Saint refers to the muddy Mississippi River, big-enough-for-dinner fish, big-mouth pelicans, and noisy seagulls. As he takes his rounds to play clarinet music for tourists, I can visualize his neighborhood because Saint both names and describes its streets and shops. Author Woods has roots in New Orleans and this shines through in her tale. The bulk of the action surrounding Hurricane Katrina also feels accurate. The action starts out innocently enough, with Saint's parents informing him that a tropical storm is supposed to hit Florida. The moment the storm is upgraded to a hurricane some families leave, which leads to a discussion between Saint and his dad about why some families choose to stay. The fear which the rising water and the destructive winds of Hurricane Katrina create in Saint make for a suspenseful story, which only slightly misses its mark due to the contrived and abrupt end. Despite this, Saint Louis Armstrong Beach is a powerful story about the New Orleans region, one of United States most damaging hurricanes, and the love of family. Recommended!

Score - 7
reviewed by Allison H.F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
March 24, 2013

The Compound - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 7
The Compound
by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen [YA Stuve-Bodeen]

The Compound is a great, quick read for any young adult. I read this for our teen book group at Gere and was finished with it in 2 days from the time I started it. The story line never hangs onto one scene for too long, and is constantly evolving and keeping you on your feet. The most apealing factor of this book, is that I can really see the plot of having to go into a underground compound after a nuclear weapons launch, and having to adapt to all the changes happening. I think that it is excellent because it is told from the point of view of a teenager and that they aren't set into stone about what should be and shouldn't be happening. I'm excited for the sequel to come out this September and I highly recommend this book for anyone.

Score - 9
reviewed by Alex A.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
March 24, 2013


Although the book has an interesting plot, it is out shadowed by a lack of intriguing characters. Overall, the plot is quite fun because it is set in a supposed post-nuclear bomb explosion. Although things are not as they seem in the world they live in. When the bombs went off, the father of the family, a wealthy business man drove his family to a compound he had built for such a disaster. Regrettably, the grandma and middle child's twin get locked out of the compound. The compound is set to open fifteen years after the explosion and the story begins after six years have already passed. The family in the book is not likable in any way, shape or form. The father in the story is actually mentally ill and incapable of caring for his family as he has locked them in a compound. The eldest daughter is completely loyal to her father, who doesn't have the family's best interests in mind. The main character is a teenage boy who simply isn't nice, in fact he just is a jerk to everyone he knows. The mother of the family has sort of been brainwashed by the father. She also spends part of the book feeding the father poisoned bread which makes him angrier than he already is. The youngest daughter may be the only likable character, but she is very bratty. It is a fairly easy read to pass the time, but nothing to read again and again.

Score - 5
reviewed by Monica S.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
June 24, 2013

Great Gilly Hopkins - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
The Great Gilly Hopkins
by Katherine Paterson [j Paterson]

When we first meet Gilly Hopkins, we learn that in the past three years she's already been in two different foster homes. When her caseworker Miss Elllis turns into the driveway of yet another home, she asks Gilly to get rid of her bubble gum before they get out. Gilly obliges -- by spreading her gum "under the handle of the left-hand door as a surprise for the next person who might try to open it". Seconds within her arrival at her new foster home, Gilly has sat herself down at a piano stool and is pounding out "Chopsticks". Before you think Gilly is just acting out, listen to some of her thoughts about her new foster mom: "What an awful smile she had" and "Listening to that woman was like licking melted ice-cream off the carton." Gilly is one angry girl! Yet underneath all the bravado and attitude, there's a girl who wants to be liked. You see, no family has kept Gilly long enough for Gilly to consider it worth her time to unpack her suitcase at each new place. As for that suitcase, Gilly carries a photograph in it of her mom -- and that photo is the only thing that remotely triggers tears. Unfortunately, just because Gilly has a heart that doesn't mean Gilly is easy to like. Quite the opposite! Gilly is a porcupine with her quills always bared. If this were any other book, Gilly's new guardian Maime Trotter might instantly win her over and the rest of the book would be about how love changed Gilly. But this is a realistic portrayal of a foster kid, inspired by Paterson's own experience of being a foster mom, and so love doesn't come easy to Gilly. In the process of learning to accept Maime Trotter, Gilly talks back to adults, tells the only girl at school who attempts to be friends with her that she makes Gilly sick, gets into fights, and steals from her neighbor. She also keeps writing her mom, telling her about how horrible life is, and asking to be rescued. The story takes an unexpected twist when Gilly receives a response to her letter. In The Great Gilly Hopkins, Katherine Paterson has created a brat whom we grow to love despite Gilly's best attempts to antagonize everyone.

Score - 10
reviewed by Allison H.-F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
March 24, 2013

The Peculiars - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 5
Peculiars
by Maureen Doyle McQuerry [YA McQuerry]

I have to say I really did like the story of this book and thought the writing was very good. The characters are wholly original and I thought to be very likable. I also thought the story flowed well with few stumbles. My only real complaint was the main character's development. I didn't think there was any and I never really felt conected to her. I actually much prefered the side characters over Lena. With subtle steam punk influences I'd recommend this story if you are looking for a fun fantasy.

Score - 5
reviewed by Wyatt P.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
March 19, 2013

A Game of Thrones - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 9
A Game of Thrones
by George R.R. Martin [Martin]

Game of Thrones is a highly political and filled with back stabbing and trickery. The story is at times very dark yet compulsively readable. I would want to put it down and then have to know what happend next. I loved the character work. I really liked some and then actively wished the demise of others (evil Lannisters). Everyone is flawed and has their own aspirations and longings. My only real issue is that their are so many characters which after a hundread pages or so I learned, but also there is so many little side characters that are easily forgotton of mixed up.

Score - 9
reviewed by Wyatt P.
customer of the Gere Branch Library
March 18, 2013

Otis Spofford - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
Otis Spofford
by Beverly Cleary [j Cleary]

One of these days you're going to go too far! Everyone cautions Otis Spofford about his misbehavior, but Otis is one of those boys who likes to make people laugh, doesn't like to take orders, enjoys stirring up excitement, and even finds it funny to make others mad. As for punishments, they're worth it if he had fun. More than Ramona, Otis is a bad kid. One day in dance class while preparing for a school performance, Otis finds himself bored and starts to complain. His teacher listens to him and offers him the part of a bull in a bullfight scene that will take place in the middle of the dance. If you think this satisfied Otis, think again. In barely any time, he's bored again and so now is poking the bullfighter with his fake horns. The day of the performance, he even steals the show from everyone by acting like a silly bull. Granted, none of these antics seriously hurt anyone, but then there's the day he threw spit balls in class. In what is my favorite episode in the book, Otis keeps spitting wads of paper at ones, despite the welt marks they create, until class ends. After all, what's the worst his teacher can do to him? Otis isn't afraid of his mom or the principal and so that means his teacher has to act far more resourceful is she is to stop him. Sadly, even when Otis learns his lesson about spit balls, he still doesn't change his daily behavior. Why then do I like Otis? Because of the reason that Otis creates mischief. He's not an evil kid; just a bored one. Then there's the fact he likes to do well at school, panics when trapped in a closet, and shows a love of animals. Otis has a likeable side. Last, there's the final chapter. In it, the tables are turned on Otis. For once, the tricks are being played on him. And let me tell you, he doesn't like it! Ultimately though, he takes it all in good fun.

Score - 10
reviewed by Allison H.-F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
March 16, 2013

Ramona the Pest - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
Ramona the Pest
by Beverly Cleary [j Cleary]

When Ramona the Pest first starts, Ramona is anxious to attend kindergarten. Ramona is so excited that she is proving a pest to everyone. She is singing and dancing to her older sister's great annoyance. She's also pushing her mother to hurry, hurry, hurry! Many of Ramona's actions are understandable when one knows her reasons behind them. For example, when her older sister and Mary Jane ask if they can walk Ramona to school, Ramona refuses because she knows full well they'll talk in a baby voice to her. And when everyone in her class takes a nap, Ramona lays down too but then starts to snore. No, she doesn't desire attention and laughs. Instead, Ramona wants to show her teacher how well she can sleep. She even has a reasonable explanation for all the black lines scribbled over her drawing of a house. You see, the house is on house. Ramona just seems like a misunderstood child. But is she? Ramona also chases a boy around the playground. When Ramona is told to sit on the bench because of her misbehavior, she actually tells the teacher: "No." Her reason? She wants to play Gray Duck. Ramona later pulls on a girl's curls even after being ordered to stop. When told she won't be able to return to school if she can't behave, Ramona thinks about those boing curls and becomes a kindergarten dropout. Ramona definitely has issues with rules! Yet the reason I like Ramona is because she is her own person. She stands up to boys who call her "Kindergarten baby!" When learning to print letters, in what is my favorite episode of the book, Ramona decorates the first letter of her last name with cat ears and a tail. As for her defiance of the rules, in reality, Ramona was being honest to herself and her teacher. She knew that pulling Susan's curls was a huge temptation for her. And she admitted it. Because these are books by Beverly Cleary, Ramona eventually figures out a way to handle herself in school. Yet she also remains uniquely Ramona.

Score - 10
reviewed by Allison H.-F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
March 15, 2013

Pippi on the Run - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 7
Pippi on the Run
by Astrid Lindgren [j Lindgren]

For Pippi fans, Pippi on the Run is a must-have addition to your collection. First, there are the half- and full-size photos which decorate most of this picture book. Second, of course, there is the "new" adventure (as of 1971, when this book was published), which starts when Annika gets mad at her mom and decides to run away from home. Yes, I said photos! Copyright by Semic International, the photos perfectly capture Pippi's wide smile, brilliant orange pigtails which stick out to her sides, and mismatched clothes. I also like the choices picked for Tommy and Annika. The two blonde-haired kids are merry but prim, fitting with how I envisioned them. I don't recall from the longer works what Pippi's horse looked like, but white with black dots seems like the perfect style for a girl like Pippi. Although running away does not seem to fit with Annika's proper character, she shows her true colors when she insists on cleaning the ears of a beggar, a farm pig, and even her brother. As for Tommy, he laughs and soaks in the escapades. Pippi decides to join Tommy and Annika on their road trip, which makes for an hilarious and imaginative adventure. The three children meet a peddler musician, lower themselves down a hill by rope into a river, and sing sad songs when their clothes are eaten by a cow. For readers who have yet to discover the novels, Pippi on the Run makes a good starting place for getting acquainted with this highly unusual Swedish girl. With the demeanor of a storyteller, Lindgren explains who Pippi is and recaps some of the highlights of her life at Villa Villekulla. Besides being the strongest girl in the world, Pippi is also the richest and strangest. The rest of Pippi on the Run is about the strangers that Pippi, Tommy, and Anika meet while on the run, the dangers they face, and the eventual decision to return home.

Score - 7
reviewed by Allison H.-F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
March 6, 2013

Jimmy the Greatest - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
Jimmy the Greatest
by Jairo Buitrago [jP Buitrago]

Jimmy the Greatest is a simple and sweet story about small towns, poverty, and change. Based on the text and the illustrations, one learns that Jimmy is from a coastal town that is so small that it only has a church and a gym. One might guess that the story is about a Latin American town, when one learns that the author and illustrator of this imported picture book are both from Columbia. There is also the reference to an alligator being eaten for lunch, which should signal to most American children that they are reading about another culture. Otherwise, because the location is never named, the story remains universal. The story is about a small poor town, the houses of which are spread far apart on the sandy coast. Its gym is a two-walled wooden structure with an adjacent boxing ring. Some of its citizens ride bicycles, many of them eat fish and fruit, and only a few of them have heard of Mohammed Ali. The gym figures largely in Jimmy's life, who one days tells his mom he wants to become a boxer and that he'll buy her a new icebox when he does. Boys especially will enjoy reading about Jimmy's dream to become a boxer, even if he doesn't have gloves and someone has stolen his shoes. The story is also about change, which is captured in the detailed illustrations The first spread reveals villagers wearing Western clothes, one boy eating ice-cream, and men using nets to hunt fish. As Jimmy grows up and more villagers read, the number of boxing spectators grows in size and a library is built. By the final spread, some villagers have moved to big cities, the town has also grown and become more crowded, and utility poles dot the landscape. There still aren't any elegant houses or fancy things, but villagers aren't sitting around waiting to go somewhere else and Jimmy plans to stay. What a wonderful message to instill in young people, that one's home can be the greatest place on earth.

Score - 8
reviewed by >Allison H.-F.
customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
March 6, 2013

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