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, September 26, 2012

The Exceptionals

G/A  Cashman, Erin.  The Exceptionals.  Holiday House, 2012.  236p.  978-0-8234-2335-4.  $16.95.

At Cambrial Academy, an X-Men like school, the students all possess “specials.” Some are talented code breakers or science geniuses or mediums or telekinesis experts. The only one without a special is Claire, whose great-grandfather founded the school and whose parents both work there (they even live in a house on campus). Claire soon learns of a prophecy on campus about a particular student with a rare special (telepathy with animals) who dies while saving the school from an evil force. It’s not hard to figure out who that special student is. And it seems as though the prophecy is coming true as some of the school’s most talented students are disappearing. It’s a fun, adventure-filled read with interesting characters that will leave kids hoping for a sequel. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve

Monday, September 10, 2012

Attack on Titan, v. 1

Manga for Older Teens

VG/M (Very Good, Mature Reading Level)

Isayama, Hajime. Attack on Titan, v. 1. Kodansha Comics, 2012. 208p. 9781612620244. $10.99.

Eren will never forget the day that the gigantic, humanoid beings called Titans broke through the protective wall surrounding his village and consumed most of the townspeople.  Five years later, what remains of mankind has formed military groups to protect themselves, the village, and hopefully, discover a way to kill the Titans.  Obsessed with avenging his mother's death, Eren joins the "Survey Corp," a group of fighters that form the offensive against the Titans.

With its fast pacing and frantic illustration style, this thrilling, action-packed, violent, gory series is sure to appeal to older teens who are fans of horror, suspense, and science fiction.

- Candice Mack, Richard J. Riordan Central Library, Los Angeles Public Library

Saturday, September 1, 2012

HEY 13!


G/A  Soto, Gary.  Hey 13!  Holiday House, 2011.  197p.  978-0-8234-2395-8.  16.95.  The eye-catching book cover is a collage of middle school faces--most of which are wearing personality-plus expressions.  Thirteen stories, ranging from 5--23 pages, include a multi-dimensional bedroom, an embarrassing romance, and an unusual college campus tour.  This is a handy collection of assorted stories to offer to young readers.  Since the Table of Contents has no page references, readers should have fun flipping through to decide which story to read first.  E.M. Roublow, LAPL, San Pedro Branch.



V/A  Fogarty, Mignon.  Grammar Girl Presents the Ultimate Writing Guide for Students.  Henry Holt, 2011.  294p. 978-0-8050-8943-1.  19.99.  Illustratively drawn characters Aardvark and Squiggly assist the author in delivering tips and tricks for optimum writing.  The text is visually appealing with orange and black section headings and highlighted discussions of importance.  "See" references for relative pointers in different chapters are generously provided throughout the book.  Useful as a handbook for reviewing grammar rules and to address good writing skills or techniques.  E.M. Roublow, LAPL, San Pedro Branch.