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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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition

General Young Adult Non-Fiction

VG/A Blumenthal, Karen. Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition. Roaring Book Press, 2011. 154p. 978-1-59643-449-3. 18.99.

This interesting book covers the history of Prohibition in the United States, from the time it was conceived until it was repealed. In what was ideally meant to help curb crime and strengthen the nation, the Eighteenth Amendment actually created a period of lawlessness, where gangsters and bootleggers prevailed. There aren’t many books that focus on this particular time period, especially for younger readers, and this one is a great start. It includes lots of archival photographs, a handy glossary and an extensive bibliography. It may require book talking to get it into the hands of teens, but the subject matter and style of writing should appeal to them (and adults too). Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


General Young Adult Fiction

F/A McEntire, Myra. Hourglass. Egmont, 2011. 408p. 978-1-60684-144-0. 17.99.

High school senior, Emerson Cole, can see dead people. Her brother hires handsome Michael Weaver, a consultant from Hourglass, to help Emerson overcome her issues. Michael can relate to her because he also sees dead people, although he explains that they are time ripples. Emerson and Michael have major chemistry, but she is a client so they cannot be together. The Hourglass organization is in turmoil though because their founder was recently murdered. Michael hatches a plan that involves him and Emerson traveling back in time to save the founder, but everything does not go as planned. Teens who like paranormal fiction will probably enjoy this book, but the twists and turns were confusing and sometimes pointless. None of the characters were particularly interesting or memorable either. The sequel comes out in 2012, but this reviewer won’t be reading it. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve

Friday, December 2, 2011


Young Adult Graphic Novel

G/A Reed, MK. Americus. First Second, 2011. 215p. 978-1-59643-601-5. 14.99.

Middle schoolers and best friends, Neil and Danny, live in the conservative and religious town of Americus, Oklahoma. When Danny gets caught reading book eight of the popular Adventures of Apathea Ravenchilde series, his mom goes on a rampage. Danny is grounded and then sent away to military school after announcing that he is gay. His mom pitches a fit at the public library where Danny checked out the book and starts a campaign to ban books at the library that she believes are corrupting children. Neil misses his friend, but gains confidence when he starts working at the library and helping the library fight against censorship. This graphic novel would be a great discussion starter on the topic of book challenges and censorship for all ages. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve


Young Adult Fiction

VG/A Meyer, Marissa. Cinder. Feiwel & Friends, 2012. 400p. 978-0312641894. 17.99.

In this sci-fi retelling of Cinderella, Linh Cinder is a teenage cyborg living with her adopted family in New Beijing. With the threat of the Letumosis virus spreading and the arrival of the evil Lunar queen, life has been exceedingly difficult. When Cinder is commissioned to fix the Prince’s android she receives a personal invitation to the ball from him, but she knows that if he found out she was a cyborg he would never like her. But being cyborg isn’t Cinder’s only secret. Although the book ends with a cliff hanger (two sequels are expected) and Cinder’s secret is pretty predictable, the story is original and fast paced. This book would appeal to sci-fi, dystopian fans as well as romance/fairy tale addicts. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve