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

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Clockwork Three

Middle School Fiction, G/A (Good, Average Reading Level)

Kirby, Matthew. The Clockwork Three. Scholastic, 2010. 400p. 978-0-545-20337-1. $17.99.

Three children, down on their luck, from different parts of the city, find themselves drawn together by circumstances that could change their lives forever. First, we meet Giuseppe, a street urchin and brilliant violinist. Will the gorgeous green violin he's found free him from the scheming Stephano or pull him into further debt? Then, we meet Frederick, a talented clockmaker's apprentice with a blurry past. A bright future may await Frederick, should he finish his secret project. Last, but not least, we are introduced to once wealthy Hannah, who now works as a hotel maid. Can these three trust each other to find the fortune and freedom that each of them seek? This adventure would appeal to tween fans of Pullman's His Dark Materials series and light steampunk.

-Candice Mack, Los Angeles Public Library

Friday, January 7, 2011

I Am Number Four

General Fiction

F/A Lore, Pittacus. I Am Number Four. Harper, 2010. 448p. 978-0-06-196955-3. 17.99.

Nine young planet Lorien survivors travel to Earth after their planet is destroyed. The invading aliens follow them there and have successfully tracked down and killed three of them. John Smith is number four on their list. But John is happy in Paradise, Ohio; he has a girlfriend, a new dog and an actual friend. His legacies (special Lorien powers) are starting to appear and it’s a good thing since he will soon have to battle the aliens. Although the book is action-packed and fast paced, the writing is mediocre and the story is full of holes. Teenagers looking for adventure with an interest in alien/conspiracy theory will still enjoy. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve.


High School Fiction

G/M Benoit, Charles. You. Harper Teen, 2010. 240p. 978-0-06-194704-9. 16.99.

In this dark novel, troubled teen Kyle recounts his life changing sophomore year of high school. Kyle is not really a bad kid, but he is having trouble with his grades, girls, bullies and his parents. When transfer student Zack shows up Kyle starts to come out of his shell, but Zack has ulterior motives. There are mature themes and violence, including fighting, drinking, sexual exploits and betrayal, so this is not for the faint of heart. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Prisoners in the Palace

High School Fiction

E/A MacCall, Michaela. Prisoners in the Palace. Chronicle Books, 2010. 364 p. 9780811873000 $16.99

Liza is just 17 when her parents die in a tragic carriage accident, leaving her orphaned, penniless and in debt. Everything changes when she gets a job as a lady's maid for Princess (soon to be Queen) Victoria. Suddenly she's uncovering a plot to keep Victoria off the throne and scheming with a journalist to try and stop the plot.

There is an historical note and the end and a list of recommended readings for additional information.

Sarah Mae Harper, CoLAPL- AC Bilbrew Library

Flirt Club

High School Fiction

VG/A Daley, Cathleen. Flirt Club. Roaring Brook Press, 2011. 288 p. 9781596435728. $15.99

Annie and Isabelle are best friends and just starting the 8th grade. They just have one problem, they have trouble talking to boys. The solution? Start Flirt Club where they discuss and practice flirting techniques. After they get parts in the school musical, Flirt Club grows and so do their skills. Told exclusively in notes, journal entries and Flirt Club minutes, this is a sweet story of first love, drama geeks and true friendship.

Sarah Mae Harper, CoLAPL- AC Bilbrew Library

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable

Middle School Fiction Category

G/A Gutman, Dan. The Genius files: Mission Unstoppable. Harper. 2010. ISN: 978-0-06-182764-8.. 304p. $16.99.

Coke and Pep (Pepsi) are twin. They are both twelve turning thirteen. One day they were chased by several guys with bowling hats, unfortunately, to escape the bad guys, Coke has to push his sister Pep off the cliff. Luckily they survived the fall when someone just handed them a wingsuits before their fall. The adventure continues when Coke and Pep are going on a family cross country trip from the west coast to Washington, DC in order to attend their aunt’s wedding. They drive in an RV and make stops at various famous attractions throughout the countries. These attractions/famous locations are real and can be visited via the http address given in the book. The plot thickens when more bad guys chase after the twins and they finally met up with the man behind the Genius File, Dr. Warsaw. A quick and fast read for tweens who enjoy adventures and a touch of spy/evil plot in the mix. Dora Ho, Los Angeles Public Library.

The Sixty-Eight Rooms

Middle School Fiction Category

G/A Malone, Marianne. The Sixty-Eight Rooms. Random House. 2010. ISN: 978-0-375-85710-2. 269p. $16.99.

One day sixth-grader Ruthie went on a field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, she felt in love with the Thorne Rooms that are a collection of sixty-eight miniature rooms decorated in design of various era and countries. Ruthie and her best friend Jack decided to come back and visit the rooms on their own. They discovered the keys that open to the Thorne Rooms are magical and they shrink into miniature size so they can visit the various rooms. This is a cross between Alice in Wonderland and the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweller. This book is full of adventure, mystery and history. Dora Ho – Los Angeles Public Library