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

Thursday, December 11, 2014

This One Summer
Graphic Novel
E/A Tamaki, Jillian and Tamaki, Mariko. This One Summer. First Second, 2014. 319p. 978-1-59643-774-6. 17.99.

Rose and Wendy meet every summer at Awago Beach, the summer vacation spot for both of their families. In past years, they would swim and hang out and eat popsicles and basically just be kids. But this year, everything is starting to change. Author and illustrator team Jillian and Mariko Tamaki beautifully capture the awkwardness and anxiety of the start of adolescence. Rose’s crush on the older teen who works at the convenience store is subtle and brilliantly observed. Also, the boredom of long summer days and Rose’s powerlessness as her parents’ marriage becomes strained are exquisitely rendered.  Haunting, funny and true, this graphic novel should be strongly recommended to all teens. Philip Levie, LAPL, Panorama City Branch Library 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014



G/A  Kostigen, Thomas.  Extreme Weather.  National Geographic, 2014.  112p.  978-1-4263-1811-5.  12.99.  "Be prepared" for adverse weather conditions seems to be the underlying message that's given to readers of this title.  Mudslides, sandstorms, whiteouts and floods are a few of the mother nature conditions described.  Tips on how to recognize what might be forthcoming, advice on how to react and helpful interpretable gadgets to own are attractively presented in highlighted spaces along page borders.  Includes both a straightforward Table of Contents and a detailed index.    E.M. Roublow (ret.)



G/A  Helms, Antje.  Does This Happen To Everyone?  Little Gestalten, 2014.  160p.  978-3-89955-521-9.  24.95.  Questions related to youth's developing bodies, first love, sex and pregnancy are addressed with partial to full page responses.  Color photographs of middle school kids are generously spread throughout the book.  "Creative" images (i.e. flowers representing facial pimples and underarm hair; seeds seen as a mustache; a cucumber wearing a condom; etc.) are also included.  While some levity probably allows for comfortable discussions of these subjects, it might also instigate inappropriate giggles.  Yet the relaxed "personality" of this book could provide a good platform for parent -- pre-teen interaction.  You'll not find an index but there is a generous list of web links.    E.M. Roublow (ret.)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cheesie Mack is sort of freak out.

Middle School Fiction G/A Cotler, Steve. Cheesie Mack is sort of freak out. New York: Random House, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-385-36988-6 244p. $18.99. Cheesie Mack a.k.a Ronald Mack, ages 11. Cheesie and his best friend Georgie decided to pull a prank on their friends Oddny and Lana. It is going to be their “Massive Halloween Prank.” They decided that it will be about UFO and asked Cheesie’s grandpa to help them to get the supplies. However, the plan backfired and Oddny and Lana were really upset with Cheesie. Everyone in the middle school knew about their prank now and they were all mad at the boys. They tried to apologize and even did magic tricks to impress the girls again. Now that June a.k.a“Goon”, Cheesie’s big sister and rival, thinks it is time the two boys need to learn their lesson and pull the same prank on Cheesie and Georgie while they were at Diana’s Halloween party. They saw the light and object in the sky that night and truly believe that there was an UFO. Cheesie even recorded it to show their science teacher, Mr. Amato. Until they saw Goon holding a model of a flying saucer, they knew now that everything was a hoax; the joke was on them now. The boys learned their lesson about pranks and everyone became friends again. A great fun story for Halloween. This is Cheesie Mack’s fifth adventure! Dora Ho, Young Adult Librarian - Los Angeles Public Library