Codes for Reviews

First Initial (Overall Rating):
E = Exceptional
VG = Very Good
G = Good
F = Fair
NR = Not Recommended

Second Initital (Reading Level):
A = Average Reading Level
E = Easy
M = Mature

“The views expressed are of individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective institutions.”

For more information about YAR, please email Dora Ho at

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Is It Night or Day?

E/A Chapman, Fern Schumer. Is It Night or Day? Farrar Straus Giroux. ISBN: 978-0-374-17744-7. 205p., $17.99. 2010.

An excellent coming of age story of a twelve years old Jewish girl leaving her hometown Stockstadt am Rhein, Germany and seeking a new life in America. Her parents feared for Edith’s safety and future when they encountered anti-Semitism in 1938 Germany. They wanted to send her to Chicago to live with her Uncle Jacob. During the journey on the sea Edith made some friends on the ship, however she was both seasick and homesick. She really missed her family and feared of their safety as well. After arriving in Chicago, she was faced with the antipathy of her Aunt Mildred, wife of Uncle Jacob, and her cousin Dorothy. Her sister Betty was sent to American only a few years ahead of her, they try to meet up and rekindle the relationship of sisters. Edith thought she would be living with Betty, however another family adopted Betty since Betty could not bear the treatment by Aunt Mildred, who treated Betty as their maid of the house. Now Edith is faced with the same treatment and she must bear it because she need Uncle Jacob’s help in getting her parents out from Germany. The war of Germany and United States had begun; many banners in the neighborhood were replaced with the gold star instead of blue ones (i.e. the soldiers in their family were killed in action). Edith also received news that her parents were killed in concentration camp; she shared the same feeling among her neighbors who lost their sons (i.e. love ones) in the Germany. She told one of her neighbor, “ You and I, both of us, have lost so much.” Dora Ho – LAPL Young Adult Librarian

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Kids Are All Right: A Memoir

G/A Welch, Diana, et al. The Kids Are All Right: A Memoir. Harmony, 2009. 352p. 978-0307396044. 24.99

This 2010 Alex Award Winner chronicles the lives of four young siblings who tragically lost both parents within a few years of each other. They write about their struggles to find a place they can call home and still remain a family. The book is written in short chapters by each of the siblings, allowing the reader to get four points of view on what happened. Although honored as an adult book with teen appeal, only older teens who like the memoir genre will truly enjoy it. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve


G/A Williams, Carol Lynch. Glimpse. Simon & Schuster, 2010. 496p. 9781416997306. 16.99

When Hope walks in on her older sister Lizzie with her finger on the trigger of a shotgun, everything in her life starts to unravel. Lizzie is sent off to the hospital for being suicidal and Hope has to live alone with her selfish prostitute mother. Told in free verse from Hope’s perspective, the reader will learn what has lead Lizzie to suicide and how the sisters formed such a tight bond throughout a tough childhood. This quick read is a bit depressing, but fans of Ellen Hopkins and Elizabeth Scott will love it. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Middle School Fiction

F/A Haddon, Mark. boom! Random House, 2010. 208p. 978-0-385-75187-2. 15.99
Jim and his best friend Charlie find themselves in trouble when they hear their teachers talking in a strange language and start to investigate. It turns out that there are aliens living all over England. When Charlie goes missing, Jim and his sister leave town to find him and discover much more then they expected. Readers will encounter a lot of British slang that could make it confusing, especially since it’s written for younger readers. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve