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

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Wager

Adult/YA Category

F/A Napoli, Donna Jo. The Wager. Henry Holt. 2010. ISN: 978-0-8050-87819. 259p. $16.99.

Napoli has always done an excellent job in YA Literature. However, this particular title was more suitable for adult than YA. Don Giovanni always has a very lavishing lifestyle. However, he lost everything after the earthquake hit Messina. A tidal wave washed away his wealth. He wandered off the country to look for food. He met a well-dressed stranger that offers him a wager – to remain in his clothes for three year and three month and three days. If he takes them off, he will lose the wager. It is a very unattractive wager, but as long as he complied, he can have all the wealth in the world. To him now, money is the most important thing because money can get him a place to rest, and food to feed himself. It he loses the wager, it is not only the money but also his soul. Without deep consideration, he entered into the wager and suffered three years, three months, and three days in his own clothes, unable to wash and clean his body. The best part of the book was the readers’ long expected happy ending. In a note to the reader Napoli mentioned that she chose to start the year in 1169 to correspond to the Mount Etna eruption. Dora Ho, Young Adult Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Ghost and The Goth

YA Fiction

G/A Kade, Stacey. The Ghost and The Goth. Hyperion, 2010. 288p. 978-1-4231-2197-8. 16.99.

When Alona Dare gets hit by a school bus and dies, she doesn’t go peacefully into the afterlife. She’s stuck in the middle as a ghost where the only living person who can see and hear her is Will Killian, the weirdest loser at school. These two people who would have never been friends in real life now must rely on each other; Alona needs Will’s help to find the light and move on and Will needs Alona’s help in controlling all the ghosts that are desperate for Will’s attention and driving him crazy. Unlike most paranormal books these days, this one is a fun, light, quick read that is sure to entertain. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve

Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All


F/A Schwartz, John. Short: Walking Tall When You’re Not Tall At All. Roaring Book Press, 2010. 132p. 978-1-59643-323-6. 16.99.

Being short often has a lot of negative connotations. Schwartz wrote this book, geared towards pre-teen and teenage boys, to challenge that negativity. He not only explains the science of being short, but teaches readers to question statistics and media reports claiming that being short is a problem. He is proof himself that being short has not ruined his life; in fact he is an extremely successful and happy short man. Even though this book is written with teenage boys in mind, it seems more like something a concerned parent would read. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve