Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Worth Dying For

This is an okay book written by Lee Child. There's deadly trouble in the corn country of Nebraska and Jack Reacher walks right into it. First he falls foul of the Duncans, a local clan that has terrified an entire county into submission. But it's the unsolved case of a missing child, already decades old, that Reacher can't let go. The Duncans want Reacher gone. They are awaiting a secret shipment that's already late – and they have the kind of customers no one can afford to annoy. For as dangerous as the Duncans are, they're just the bottom of a criminal food chain stretching halfway around the world.

This is the fifteenth book in the series.

Caddie Woodlawn

This is an okay book written by Carol Ryrie Brink. No one would accuse 11-year-old Caddie Woodlawn of being dainty and ladylike. In spite of her mother's best efforts, Caddie is as wild as the wind, playing freely and rambunctiously with her two brothers in the Wisconsin backwoods. There are rafts to build, and trees to climb, and pranks to play. Caddie especially liked to watch her friend Indian John build birchbark canoes at the river. Every day seems wide with possibility – as wide as the frontier. But living on the edge of civilization has its risks, too. And when Indians threaten to attack the settlers, it is Caddie's resourcefulness and bravery that save the day.

The author based her book on the true stories her grandmother used to tell her about growing up on the frontier. The story was published in 1936 and won a Newbery Medal. The house that Caddie lived in is now an historical site and tourist attraction. Most of the names in the book have been changed, such as Caddie's real surname is Woodhouse. There is a sequel called Magical Melons.

The Willoughbys

This is an okay book written by Lois Lowry. After being abandoned by their parents, the four Willoughby children decide they want a storybook ending and mold themselves into good old fashioned children, with a nanny to watch out for them. Will they get want they want, or will circumstances beyond their control get in the way?

The story is unique and told in a creative manner.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Wheel on the School

This is an okay book written by Meindert DeJong. Lina, a young schoolgirl in the small Dutch fishing village of Shora, wonders why the storks no longer come to their town. Her curiosity spreads throughout the school and soon everyone is asking what made them leave. And since storks are an ancient symbol of good fortune, the children have to wonder if Shora's good fortune left when the birds did. The students, along with their teacher, take it upon themselves to learn as much as they can about these magnificent creatures, hoping to find a way to encourage the storks to return.

The book was published in 1954 and won the Newbery Medal in 1955. The book was illustrated by Maurice Sendak. The author was born in the Netherlands in 1906, but immigrated to the United States in 1914.

The Journal of Curious Letters

This is an okay book written by James Dashner. Thirteen-year-old Atticus Higginbottom, more commonly known as Tick, receives a mysterious letter from Alaska. It warns the young boy that something catastrophic is about to happen and promises to send clues at a later date. Following the subsequent twelve clues, Tick embarks on a quest to prevent the unknown danger.

This is the first book in The 13th Reality.

The Hound of Rowan

I liked this book written by Henry Neff. Max is sitting next to his dad on a train to Chicago when he spies a man staring at him with one green eye and one eye as white and dead as stone. The train goes black when it enters a tunnel, and the man disappears without a trace. But Max's strange day has only begun. Hours later he happens upon a mysterious Celtic tapestry at an art museum – all the more intriguing because the tapestry hangs in a room that doesn't seem to exist. Max's life then takes a further turn for the bizarre when on his return home he is contacted by a Recruiter who wants to whisk him away to the fantastical Rowan Academy.

This is the first book in the Tapestry series. The author also illustrates the books.

Leven Thumps and the Eyes of the Want

I liked this book written by Obert Skye. The war to unite Foo and Reality is beginning. Humanity's only hope is Leven Thumps. Not only must Leven race across Foo to stop the whispered secret before the deadly truth is revealed, he must travel to the mysterious land of Lith. There abides the Want, the manic dreammaster who can give Leven the gifts he needs against a foreboding army of rants and other Foo beings.

This is the third book in the series.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Live to Tell

This is an okay book written by Lisa Gardner. A small Boston neighborhood is rocked when four members of a family are murdered and the only suspect, the family's patriarch, now lies comatose in a hospital. Elsewhere, investigator D.D. Warren pays a visit to Danielle Burton, who realizes the quadruple murder is linked to a devastating tragedy that befell her 20 years previously. Meanwhile, Victoria Oliver is fiercely protective of her uncontrollable young son and will keep him safe no matter the cost.

This is the fourth novel in the Detective D.D. Warren series.

These Happy Golden Years

This is an okay book written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Laura is teaching school, and it's terrifying! She is only fifteen years old and most of her students are taller than she is, and she must live away from home for the first time. Laura is miserable, but the money is needed to keep her older sister Mary in a college for the blind. And every Friday – no matter the weather – Almanzo Wilder arrives to take Laura home to her family for the weekend. Laura and Almanzo start courting, and even though she's not yet sixteen, she knows that this is a time for new beginnings.

This is the eighth book in the Little House (or The Laura Years) series.


I liked this book written by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Without warning, a plane materializes out of thin air and pulls up to an airport gate. No adults are onboard – just a baby in each of the plane's 36 passenger seats. And after the babies are removed, the plane vanishes as mysteriously as it had appeared. Thirteen years later, Jonah meets Chip. Both were adopted as infants, but Chip's parents never told him. Unbeknownst to the teenagers, the FBI has done everything in its power to cover up the bizarre landing during their early childhood. But cryptic letters start arriving in the mail telling both of them that they are missing and are being sought out.

This is the first book in The Missing series.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Into the Gauntlet

I liked this book written by Margaret Peterson Haddix. After crossing five continents and solving some of history's most perplexing mysteries, Amy and Dan Cahill are nearing the end of their adventure. As the final clue promises to reveal the truth about the Cahill family's awesome power, Amy and Dan must successfully complete a challenge that their ancestors have failed to do for nearly 500 years.

This is the tenth and final book in The 39 Clues novel series. The globe symbol on the cover is, unlike the first nine books, shattered into pieces. The 39 Clues: The Movie is scheduled to be released in late 2011.

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star

I liked this book written by Brandon Mull. At the end of the school year, Kendra and her brother, Seth, find themselves racing back to Fablehaven, a refuge for mythical and magical creatures. Grandpa Sorenson, the caretaker, invites three specialists – a potion master, a magical relics collector, and a mystical creature trapper – to help protect the property from the Society of the Evening Star, an ancient organization determined to infiltrate the preserve and steal a hidden artifact of great power. Time is running out. The Evening Star is storming the gates. If the artifact falls into the wrong hands, it could mean the downfall of other preserves and possibly the world. This is the second story in the series.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


This is an okay book written by Laurie Halse Anderson and based on true events. In 1776, as the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of her owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom. This is the first book in a trilogy.

Leven Thumps and the Whispered Secret

I liked this book written by Obert Skye. Leven, Clover, and Winter journey across Foo to release Geth from his existence as a toothpick and restore him as the rightful heir to the throne. It's won't be easy. Foo is in chaos, and Leven must overcome several adversaries and survive the Swollen Forest to save his friends and keep hope alive. As fate would have it, bad goes to worse when Leven digs up a buried secret – one that stalks him, determined to whisper a truth that could be deadly in the wrong hands. This is the second book in the series.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Storm Prey

This is an okay book written by John Sandford. Early one frigid Minnesota morning, three men break into a hospital pharmacy and rob the place blind. But during the getaway they hit a snag, and the thieves lose one of their number. Not only that, they also encounter a woman who may be able to identify them. To clean up their tracks, they'll have to take down this witness. There's only one problem: She's the wife of investigator Lucas Davenport. This is the 20th book in the Prey series.

Little House on the Prairie

This is an okay book written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Pa Ingalls decides to sell the little log house, and the family sets out for Indian country! They travel from Wisconsin to Kansas, and there, finally, Pa builds their little house on the prairie. Sometimes farm life is difficult, even dangerous, but Laura and her family are kept busy and happy with the promise of their new life.

This is the second book in the Laura Years series and was published in 1935.

Little House in the Big Woods

This is an okay book written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Wolves and panthers and bears roam the deep Wisconsin woods in the late 1870s. In those same woods, Laura lives with Pa and Ma, and her sisters, Mary and Baby Carrie, in a snug little house built of logs. Pa hunts and traps. Ma makes her own cheese and butter. All night long, the wind howls lonesomely, but Pa plays the fiddle and sings, keeping the family safe and cozy.

This is the first book in the Laura Years series and was published in 1932.

When You Reach Me

This is an okay book written by Rebecca Stead. By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it's safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know who to avoid - like the crazy guy on the corner. But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a kid on the street for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda's mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then a mysterious note arrives, scrawled on a tiny slip of paper. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows things that no one in the present could know.

The author wanted to show that kids do not have as much independence as they did 30 years ago. She based on the story on an article she read about a man with amnesia. The book won a Newbery Medal in 2010. The main character Miranda is often seen reading Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time because it was Stead's favorite book.