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

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


G/A Hocking, Amanda. Switched. St. Martin's Press, 2012. 320 p. 9781429956529. $8.99

General YA Fiction

Wendy never felt like she belonged. Her mother, convinced she is a monster, tries to kill her on her sixth birthday. Even with her loving aunt and overprotective brother raising her, she can't seem to make it work. She doesn't have friends, she's very picky, she can't control her temper and she keeps getting kicked out of school. Then Finn shows up and changes her life forever. He tells her that she is a changeling, a troll and the heir to the throne of the Trylle, a powerful troll clan. It is time for her to return to her birth mother and live as a Trylle.

This is the first in the Trylle trilogy and it shows. It is well-written but leaves a lot of unanswered questions about the world of the Trylle.

Sarah Mae Harper, CoLAPL- AC Bilbrew Library

Saturday, March 10, 2012



G/A  Murphy, Glenn.  Stuff That Scares Your Pants Off!  Roaring Brook, 2011.  192p.  978-1-59643-633-6.  14.99.  Fears and frights are a part of all of our lives--some realistic and some imagined.  This is an enjoyable source for appreciating circumstances that trigger automatic reflexes which act as safety valves (i.e. quickly applying vehicle brakes).  Other scary experiences, however, can be figments of the imagination or the result of teasing.  Black and white drawings plus greenish pictures invite browsing.  Fun for sleep-overs and campfire circles.  E.M. Roublow, LAPL, San Pedro Branch.



V/A  Brimner, Larry Dane.  Black and White.  Calkins Creek, 2011.  112p.  978-1-59078-766-3.  16.95.  From opposite ends of the racial spectrum, two fiercely determined men deal with the difficulties of their day.  Both Fred Shuttlesworth and Eugene (Bull) Connor took center stage as they confronted segregation issues in Birmingham, Alabama.  A handsome text is supported with readable document reproductions, unmarred black and white photos and interesting side bars.  Can be a useful supplement to any U. S. History text and civil rights discussions.  E.M. Roublow, LAPL, San Pedro Branch.



V/A  Hart, Christopher.  Cartoon Cute Animals.  Watson-Guptill, 2010.  160p.  978-0-8230-8556-9.  21.99.  Since animals are the absolute cuties in cartoons, they are fun characters to create.  Hart prefaces each how-to-draw example with a short paragraph/commentary about techniques that make animals humorously appealing.  Step-by-step patterns are clearly drawn and fairly easy to imitate.  Both the beginning drawer and the experienced cartooist who's looking to improve their craft will find this title to be a comfortable tool.  E.M. Roublow, LAPL, San Pedro Branch.



V/M  Hample, Zack.  The Baseball.  Anchor Sports, 2011.  356p.  978-0-307-47545-9.  14.95.  Herein is practically everything one might like to know about the baseball itself.  Beside the manufacturing process, there's plenty of trivia about "the ball" and its connection with ball snagging fans.  There are tips on where to be at the hopeful right moment in the best/better stadiums for ballhawking.  This item is definitely for all fans whose love of baseball goes way beyond the games.  E.M. Roublow, LAPL, San Pedro Branch.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Young Adult Fiction

VG/A Cashore, Kristin. Bitterblue. Dial, 2012. 576p. 978-0803734739. 19.99.

Picking up 8 years after the events of Graceling, the sequel revolves around Bitterblue’s struggles as the Queen of Monsea. When Bitterblue starts sneaking out of the castle at night and meeting other young people, she discovers that she has been very sheltered and is not sure whom she can trust anymore. Her people are still recovering from Leck’s reign of terror and some people are determined to keep what happened in the past a secret. Katsa, Po, Raffin and others make appearances and there are some great new characters, including Bitterblue’s graceling librarian, Death (pronounced Dee-th). Readers should read Graceling and Fire first to really appreciate Bitterblue. The whole series is highly recommended. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve