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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Friday, June 29, 2012

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

High School Fiction

G/M  Saenz, Benjamin Alire.  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.  Simon & Schuster, 2012.  368p.  9781442408920.  $16.99.

When Aristotle meets Dante at the public pool the summer before sophomore year they form an immediate friendship. It’s a tough summer though for the boys, first dealing with illness then a terrible accident and to top it off Dante’s family is moving to Chicago for the next year. When Dante returns home to Texas the following summer, their relationship is a little strained, especially once Dante comes out and admits he has feelings for Ari. The book deals with some heavy topics, including anger, loneliness and sexuality, which makes it more appropriate for high school students. Since there are not many realistic fiction books dealing with these topics and with an entirely Mexican-American cast, it would make a great addition to any library collection that serves that community. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve

Monday, June 18, 2012

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone

High School Fiction

F/A  Rosenfield, Kat.  Amelia Ann is Dead and Gone.  Dutton, 2012.  288p.  978-0-525-42389-8.  17.99.

Everyone knows everyone else in Rebecca’s small hometown. So when an unknown young woman is found beaten to death on the side of the road everyone is affected. It especially confuses Rebecca (Becca) who had always dreamed of leaving her town and boyfriend behind to go away to college, but now that she’s graduated she’s confused about what to do. She also thinks that she might know what happened to the dead girl, but all of her actions have consequences. The narration goes back and forth between Becca, Amelia (the deceased) and a third person narrator a little too often to keep up the flow of the novel, but the different narrators let the reader see the similarities between Becca and Amelia. Rosenfield does a good job of keeping the reader confused about what really transpired the night that Amelia Ann died and who exactly killed her. Older teens or young adults with an interest in mystery books will enjoy. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve

Friends With Boys

Young Adult Graphic Novel

G/A  Hicks, Faith Erin.  Friends With Boys.  First Second, 2012.  224p.  978-1-59643-556-8.  15.99.

Maggie has been home schooled by her mother her whole life, but now it’s time for high school, and like her 3 older brothers before her she will go to public school for the first time. Maggie immediately befriends brother and sister, Alistair and Lucy at school. Lucy is the first girl she has ever been friends with. But Maggie is plagued by the ghost of an old woman in the cemetery and with Lucy’s help hatches a plan to hopefully solve the ghost’s problem and get her to leave. The plan goes awry and Maggie must fix it. With great artwork and a fun story, Hicks has written/drawn a good story for all ages. Hopefully this won’t be the last time that we get to read about Maggie and her brothers’ hijinks. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve