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.”

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Monday, March 28, 2011

I Am J

High School Fiction

VG/A Beam, Cris. I Am J. Little Brown, 2011. 339 p. 9780316053617 $16.99

J has always felt like a boy in a girl's body but no one else seemed to see. He finally decides that to truly be himself he must leave his old life behind. When the truth comes out, his friends and family decide to support him in their own ways. This gritty, urban story addresses some issues of transgender teens in a candid manner. There are many resources at the end of the text for transgender teens as well as parents and allies.

Sarah Mae Harper, CoLAPL- AC Bilbrew Library

Thursday, March 17, 2011

You Killed Wesley Payne

High School Fiction

G/M Beaudoin, Sean. You Killed Wesley Payne. Little Brown, 2011. 368p. 978-0-316-07742-2. 16.99.

In this noir style novel, teen detective Dalton Rev is hired to solve the mystery of Wesley Payne’s death at Salt River High. In order to do that though, he has to play all the different cliques against each other. Nothing is as it seems at Salt River: students are double agents or flat out liars, faculty and police are running their own scams and the cliques have their own agendas. The language (lots of slang) is a little off putting, but if you can get past that the story is good. The book includes lots of extras too, a clique chart and index, slang glossary and Dalton’s writing samples. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

10 Miles Past Normal

High School Fiction

VG/A O'Roark Dowell, Frances. 10 Miles Past Normal. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011. 224 p. 9781411699582 $16.99

When Janie was was 9, being the "farm-girl" was totally cool but now that she's in high school it means sticking out for all the wrong reasons, like hopping on the bus with goat poop on your shoe. Things start to turn around when her longtime crush asks her to join the jam band that meets after school. Between the band and researching a local civil rights icon, Janie starts to find her voice and realizes that "normal" isn't all it's cracked up to be. Recommended for fans of Dairy Queen.

Sarah Mae Harper, CoLAPL- AC Bilbrew Library

Pick-Up Game: A Full Day of Full Court

Short Stories

E/A Aronson (ed.), Marc. Pick-Up Game: a full day of full court. Candlewick Press, 2011. 176 p. 978076364625 $15.99

This collection of short stories shows a day in the life of The Cage, the premier amateur basketball court in NYC. Photos and poems by Charles R. Smith, Jr. introduce each story which highlights a different player. With Walter Dean Myers, Rita Williams-Garcia, Bruce Brooks, Sharon G. Flake and more, every one of these stories is a slam dunk. Recommended for basketball fans and all high school collections.

Sarah Mae Harper, CoLAPL- AC Bilbrew Library


Middle School Fiction

F/A Myers, Walter Dean. Kick. HarperCollins, 2011. 208 p. 9780062004901 $16.99

Kevin is a young teen whose life is in limbo. He is a rising soccer star but some poor choices and anger issues have gotten him into trouble. Sgt. Brown has been brought in to figure out what happened the night Kevin was arrested. Will Sgt. Brown save Kevin from jail? This book is a collaboration between Walter Dean Myers and a teenage fan, Ross Workman, and it shows. We never really get to know the characters and the writing is not up to Myers' usual standard.

Sarah Mae Harper, CoLAPL- AC Bilbrew Library

Thursday, March 10, 2011


General Fiction

G/A Sedgwick, Marcus. Revolver. Roaring Book Press, 2010. 224p. 978-1596435926. 16.99

In the Arctic Circle in 1910, fifteen-year-old Sig Andersson has just discovered the dead body of his father on the frozen lake. While his sister and stepmother go for help, a strange man arrives at the cabin claiming to have unfinished business with Sig’s father. Through flashbacks, the reader learns why the man has come looking for the family and understands the fear they must feel. To make matters worse Sig’s only weapon, his father’s old revolver, is out of his reach. This 2011 Printz Honor Book is beautifully written, but finding an audience may be difficult. Jack London or Gary Paulsen fans would be your best bet. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve

Thursday, March 3, 2011


General Fiction

G/A Mulligan, Andy. Trash. David Fickling Books, 2010. 232p. 978-0-385-75214-5. 16.99.

Three boys who live in Behala, the city dump, spend their days sorting through trash for items to resell. One day they find a bag with a wallet, map and key inside. The police are desperately looking for the bag and the boys want to figure out why. It leads them on a wild chase through the city, where they discover the importance of their find. The book discusses some tough topics about society including friendship, education, poverty and corruption. Although not technically a dystopian novel, fans of that genre or realistic adventure seekers will enjoy. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Girl, Stolen

General YA Fiction

G/A Henry, April. Girl, Stolen. Henry Holt and Company, 2010. 213p. 978-0-8050-9005-5. $16.99.

Sick with pneumonia, Cheyenne is sleeping in the backseat of the car when her stepmother, Danielle, makes a quick stop at the pharmacy. Danielle leaves the keys in the ignition, and before Cheyenne realizes what’s going on, the Cadillac Escalade is being stolen with her in it. Griffin thought that it was going to be an easy score; he never bargained for getting Cheyenne in the process. His plan is to somehow set her free without getting caught, but once Griffin’s dad discovers Cheyenne’s identity, he quickly turns it into a kidnapping scheme. How can Cheyenne possibly escape? An accident three years ago left Cheyenne legally blind. Will she be able to use her blindness to her advantage or will Griffin become sympathetic enough to help her out?


High School Fiction

G/A. Cremer, Andrea. Nightshade. Philomel Books, 2010. 454p. 978-0-399-25482-6. $17.99.

On her eighteenth birthday, Calla, alpha female of the Nightshade pack, will be bound to Ren, alpha of the Bane pack as his mate and their two packs will be joined. But when she breaks the rules by saving the life of a human boy from a bear attack and exposing herself as a werewolf, her destiny is changed forever. The human boy, Shay, begins attending her school, unaware that it is unlike any other high school in Vail, Colorado, filled with wolves and witches where humans occupy the lowest order. However, there is something extraordinary and mysterious about Shay. He does not betray Calla’s secret; instead Calla finds herself ordered by her master to become his friend and bodyguard. Their mutual attraction develops quickly into love and friendship. Calla is torn between her loyalty to her pack and her feelings for Shay. Will Calla follow the course that has been laid out for her and become Ren’s mate or will she choose to follow her own path and her heart with Shay? Readers of paranormal romance will enjoy the elements of forbidden love and the love triangle between Calla, Shay and Ren. The second in the trilogy, Wolfsbane, is due out in July 2011. Recommended for fans of Blood and Chocolate, Shiver, and Raised by Wolves.