Kid's Advisory Board Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are reviews written by members of the Kids Advisory Board.

 

Click here for more information about the Advisory Boards. 

 

 

Pacey Packer: Unicorn Tracker Book 1 (Pacey Packer, Unicorn Tracker #1) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781984850546
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - August 4th, 2020

I expected this graphic novel to be kind of stupid and excessively girly, but it was really pretty good. Yes, it goes have unicorns, castles, and rainbows, so if you don't like those things, don't read it. Pacey always dismissed her sister Mina as having an overactive imagination, but when she hears a noise upstairs and checks on Mina, she finds there are actually unicorns in the room, and Mina's "plushie" is actually talking. They gallop across a rainbow to get to a castle, but she and Plushie fall off into a wilderness. From there, they have to find their way through the wilderness to the castle. Meanwhile, not everything is what it seems. The book has pretty broad appeal, with some really great characters in this story and a lot of plot twists at the end. I would recommend it to elementary readers, especially girls.

-Review by Michael, age 11


Doodleville Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781984894717
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - June 9th, 2020

This was fun and a fast read. The main character, Drew (a girl) likes to draw. She creates her own characters and a town for them to live in.  Drew draws differently than everyone else in her art club. They all seem better at art than she does, so she tries to do a big project. Then her drawings come to life, and they might just destroy all of her creations. The characters in this book were totally believable and very diverse. I would recommend the book for people who liked Chad Sell's previous book, The Cardboard Kingdom.

-Review by Michael, age 11


The Mystery of the Moon Tower (The Pathfinders Society) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780425291863
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - April 21st, 2020

This was a really good book, full of surprises. Kyle is a new kid who loves to draw. His mom wants to send him to Camp Pathfinder. There, he hooks up with five friends with different personalities. For example, there's a goof-off, one who's good with numbers,and one who comes up with swift solutions. As well as drawing, Kyle is good at figuring out patterns. As a team, they work together well. They set out on a treasure hunt for a treasure supposedly left behind by the local person who founded the Pathfinders. Looking for historical tiles in the community which could provide clues to the treasure's location, they discover some weird stuff about the town. I'd recommend this book for readers age 8 and up, especially fans of graphic novels and adventure stories.

-Review by Michael, age 11


Thieves of Weirdwood Cover Image
By William Shivering, Anna Earley (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250302885
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - April 7th, 2020

Wally and Arthur are thieves, trying to rise up in the ranks of a mysterious gang in Kingsport, their city. Both owe a lot of people money and are trying to raise enough to pay them back. Wally has a brother in a mental hospital he's trying to help get out, and Arthur's dad drinks too much, leaving nothing for them to live on. When they see some rich-looking people coming out of an apparently abandoned manor, they think they would be good targets. Little do they know, they've stumbled on Weirdwood Manor, which connects the real and imaginary worlds. As they learn more, they have to stop an evil organization from dissolving the veil between the two and letting chaos rain down on their world. At first, they don't even know which side is the good side. This is a great tale of adventure and magic for upper elementary and middle school-age readers.

-Review by Michael, age 11


The Accursed Inheritance of Henrietta Achilles: Book 1 (House Divided) Cover Image
By Haiko Hornig, Marius Pawlitza (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781541586925
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Graphic Universe (Tm) - April 7th, 2020

This was a good graphic novel with an original tale of a physical and magical war inside a house. The main character, Henrietta, was orphaned in a war 9 years ago and has been living in an orphanage when she suddenly learns she has inherited a mansion in an out-of-the-way village from her uncle, who apparently was a wizard. She has never heard of him. She's called to the rundown town where her uncle lived and the townspeople are glad to see her, hoping she can put an end to the magic and the magical creatures which keep leaking from the house and overrunning the village. Meanwhile, a whole lot of people have gone into the unbelievably huge mansion because of rumors of hidden treasure, and a physical war has erupted inside the structure. When Henrietta enters, she's mistaken for another treasure-hunter. No one believes she's the heir. So she sets out to try to find out what happened in the house and how to truly claim her inheritance. This is just volume 1 of a series, so I am eager to know what happens next. I'd recommend the book to fans of fantasy, graphic novels, and slightly wacky fiction.

-Review by Michael, age 11


City Spies Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534414914
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Aladdin - March 17th, 2020

I could not put City Spies down, I just wanted to stay in that world with Sara, Mother and the MI6 agency. It reminds you that you can turn from a criminal to a hero in a blink of an eye if you have the love and support you need. City Spies is a book that you will connect with, no matter what. It could be the things Sara has gone through, the home the MI6 agency made for her or just the interactions between characters. 

-Review by Krin


The Copycat Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062668332
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - March 10th, 2020

Copycat is a book that talks about things that kids go through every day, but then also, things that you would never dream of happening. The book was a little hard to get into, but by the end I couldn't put it down. I love the way Wendy Mcloed Macknight ties in fantasy with realistic fiction.

-Review by Krin


Letter to Pluto Cover Image
By Lou Treleaven, Lou Treleaven (Illustrator), Katie Abey (Illustrator)
$15.99
ISBN: 9781848864702
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Maverick Arts - March 3rd, 2020

This was a fun, fast read. The main character, Jon, is part of an interplanetary pen pal program and he gets assigned a pen pal from the farthest away, coldest, smallest, darkest, "stinkiest" planet, Pluto. He does not realize right away that his pen pal is a girl - even though it was kind of obvious to me - and apparently, he thinks that's bad. The book is told through the pen pals' letters.I didn't expect much of a plot from a book made up totally of letters, but it was actually pretty good. Together, the pair ends up having to save Pluto from a total ecosystem collapse. I would recommend this book to older elementary readers and people who like books like Annie's Life in Lists.

-Review by Michael, age 11


Zatanna and the House of Secrets Cover Image
By Matthew Cody, Yoshi Yoshitani (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781401290702
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: DC Comics - February 18th, 2020

This graphic novel was really good and really original. I'd definitely read more about this character. The main character Zatanna's dad is a magician. He does tricks by saying things backwards. Zatanna thinks it's all for show until she learns she can do this magic too - when she accidentally turns a bunch of bullies' faces red. She comes home to find her that her dad is missing, his pet rabbit can talk, and the house has been taken over by a witch.She has to use her newfound powers to help her pet/companion and to maneuver her way through her newly-expanded magical house. I love how it looked like M.C. Escher art except more comfortable. It looked really cool. I with there really were buildings like this.

-Review by Michael, age 11


Banned Book Club Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781945820427
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Iron Circus Comics - February 18th, 2020

This graphic novel tells the story of people in South Korea in the 80s under harsh military rule, where people who disagreed could be imprisoned or killed. It was really good and very educational. I liked the graphic novel format, which made it easier to understand. The main character wants to go to college, and she gets a recommendation to join a book club. She thinks it's going to be about the classics, but when she goes, she finds out they're talking about banned books. She doesn't want to get in trouble, so she decides not to join, but later, she ends up coming back. With this group of rebels, she learns that the government is hiding things and the situation is so much worse than she thought. The banned books relate to what the government is doing and they're full of ideas the government considers dangerous. Meanwhile, people are being "questioned" (read that as "tortured"), called "Commie rats" and pressured to give up the other members of the club. I would recommend this to older readers and people who are interested in political science.

- Review by Michael, age 11


Parked Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780399539039
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Dial Books - February 4th, 2020

Parked was a jaw-dropping book. I can't believe that the mother-daughter team made it through the times that they had less than $10.00 to spend. I love the way the Danielle Svetcov describes the friendship between two of the main characters (Jeanne Ann and Cal) so well. This book tells us that friendship can save our lives.

-review by Krin 


The Way Home (Owly #1) Cover Image
By Andy Runton, Andy Runton (Illustrator)
$10.99
ISBN: 9781338300659
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Graphix - February 4th, 2020

This is meant for audiences a little younger than me, with the ideal age being around 8 years old, but I still enjoyed it. The story was sweet and heartwarming. The main character, Owly, just wants a friend, but everyone runs away when he approaches because he's a predator and therefore dangerous. Eventually, he meets a poor, defenseless worm in a rainstorm. The worn has lost his home and Owly wants to help the worm find his parents. In the second part of the book, they meet up with some hummingbirds. I'd recommend it to younger readers who like graphic novels and sweet, traditional stories.

-Review by Michael, age 11


Catherine's War Cover Image
By Julia Billet, Claire Fauvel (Illustrator), Ivanka Hahnenberger (Translated by)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780062915597
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: HarperAlley - January 21st, 2020

This graphic novel would be good for those who liked White Bird, another graphic novel set in World War II, an interlinked story to Wonder. But where White Bird is fictional, this graphic novel tells a true story, loosely based on the life of the author's mother. The main character, Rachel, lives in Paris. She is Jewish and when the war starts, she has to change her name to the non-Jewish-sounding "Catherine." She goes into hiding and travels the country, in connection with the French resistance. A photographer, she documents the war through pictures. I found the story to be well-written, though aimed at a younger audience than White Bird, and the illustrations to be basic but well-done. I would recommend it to young readers interested in exploring this era of history and fans of historical graphic novels.

-Review by Colleen, age 15

 


Green Lantern: Legacy Cover Image
By Minh Le, Andie Tong (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781401283551
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: DC Comics - January 21st, 2020

This was a good book with original characters and a strong plot.

If you didn't know about the Green Lantern superhero, this book stands completely on its own. Tai, the main character, is 13. He just inherited a jade ring from his grandmother, and he discovers his gramma was part of a kind of superpower "space cop" organization to spread peace. He soon discovers he has powers of his own, which he can access with his mind. And as in all superhero books, he has to fight against an evil guy who wants to take over the planet, while dealing with normal teen problems like the local bully. Fans of other DC remakes that have come out recently will like this.

-Review by Michael, age 11


The Runaway Princess Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780593118405
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Random House Graphic - January 21st, 2020

The graphic novel was short and easy to read. It has a clever set-up and the stories are done in an interesting way. The main character is a princess, Robin, who finds her castle boring and runs away. She gets into a bunch of fun adventures, told in a series of three different stories. There's a little something for everyone in here. The book would be good for readers age 7 and up.

 

Review by Michael, age 11


From the Desk of Zoe Washington Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062875853
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - January 14th, 2020

 Friendship, worries, wonder, and baking.  From The Desk of Zoe Washington is a mix of all of these. I love baking, so I connected with Zoe as she was baking. The story reinforced that you can do great things if you are determined and have a friend to help you out. The book is about the life of Zoe Washington, and the things she is going through.

-review by Krin


Jinxed Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781492683742
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Sourcebooks Young Readers - January 7th, 2020

This was just a great book, very original, one of the best I've read recently. The characters are very individual and believable, and the story is amazing. It's set in a near future, where instead of Smartphones, everyone has a robotic animal companion that serves the same function, a Baku. Lacey, the main character, has wanted for her entire life to work for the tech firm that makes Bakus. She even has a little Baku repair workshop in a storage shed and she's a really good engineer. She has no "Plan B" and is sure her purpose in life is to work for that company. But she's rejected by their training school - she only learns later that it's because she wasn't able to afford a top-of-the-line Baku. Then she finds a smashed up Baku - a cat - and takes it home and fixes it up. Shortly after, she's accepted by the school that already rejected her. All signs point to something not being normal about this Baku, which seems to act independently rather than just giving programmed responses. Then Lacey learns some people would do anything to get their hands on this advanced Baku. I'd recommend the book to fans of cats, technology, and near-future sci fi.

-Review by Michael, age 11


Edison Beaker, Creature Seeker: The Lost City Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780425291962
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - November 19th, 2019

This graphic novel, the second in a series, was really good. The main character lives in the normal world but alongside it is another world, the Underwhere (joke intentional.) In the last book, there's a disturbance and The Night Gate gets opened, leading the main character and his sister into the world. In this book, they're trying to find the Lost City and to light its defunct beacon before the city gets destroyed by monsters. I would recommend this book for fans of the first graphic novel and everyone who likes comic adventures. It's good for young readers, but older folks can appreciate it too.
 
-Review by Michael, age 11


Black Canary: Ignite Cover Image
By Meg Cabot, Cara McGee (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781401286200
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: DC Zoom - October 29th, 2019

  I really thought it was a good book and I’d recommend it for 9 and up. The way it was set up was good, I don’t think it had anything I’d like to change.  The thing I liked most is that she had no idea about her powers and didn’t suspect a thing about her powers or her principal.

 

- Review by Harlan, age 11


A Time Traveler's Theory of Relativity Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781541555389
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Carolrhoda Books (R) - October 1st, 2019

This book was really original. It didn't go at all how I expected, but it was still really amazing, even better than I would have predicted. It rides the line between science, science-fiction and heartwarming family story. Finn, the main character, is having a tough time. His sister died when he was young and he still misses her. Now his mom has disappeared. His dad, who works in the history department of a college, is taking him to his grandma's while he works on a project. Later that night, Finn's grandma tells him the women in his family are secretly time-travelers, and each generation has gotten successively better. Finn sets off to try to find his mom, using a portal she made, which is located up a mountain. Finn and his friend Gabi travel to find the portal and things get really intense from there. Every action he takes could change his future, even the future of the world. I would recommend this book for readers who liked Time Traveling with a Hamster.

-Review by Michael, age 11


The Seventh Voyage: Star Diaries Cover Image
By Stanislaw Lem, Jon J. Muth (Illustrator), Michael Kandel (Translated by)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780545004626
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - October 1st, 2019

This graphic novel was really weird and cool. It was a fun fast read and I would recommend it to science fiction fans.
The story begins when this guy is on a spaceship alone and the steering rudder of the spaceship breaks, leaving him stranded directly in the path of a gravitational vortex. The problem is that it takes more than one person to fix the rudder, so he has no control over where he's going. Then weird stuff starts happening. He imagines he sees himself -  it winds up, there is more than one version of himself, from the past, present and future. He has to stop arguing with his past and future selves to fix the problem. It was really creative, and fun for readers who like science and/or science fiction.
 
-Review by Michael, age 11


White Bird: A Wonder Story Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780525645535
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - October 1st, 2019

This story was really moving. Julian, a modern boy, has to interview someone about an important moment in history. He asks his grandma to tell him about surviving the Holocaust. She doesnt want to tell him because it's painful, but ultimately she decides to share. Then the book moves to her perspective. She has a normal childhood - a good life- when France surrenders to the Nazis. At school, the teachers try to help the Jewish kids escape, but she stayed inside because she didn't want to get her shoes wet. The Nazis come into the school, but she's rescued by this boy Julian, who is crippled by polio so she's never really paid any attention to him, but he helps her escape through the sewers and gets her to a safe place on his family's property. The illustrations of this graphic novel were realistic and really brought the story to life. The characters were complex and really believable. It just was a really good story. I would recommend it to anyone interested in World War II.

Review by Michael, age 11


The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid Cover Image
By Kirk Scroggs, Kirk Scroggs (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781401290689
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: DC Zoom - October 1st, 2019

This book, meant to be the doodle-filled journal of a middle schooler, was really good and original. I zipped through it in about a day. The story didn't really resolve, though it ended on a good note. I'm not sure if that means there will be more books.
The main character is half-plant, half-animal. He's in middle school and he is pretty much a normal kid except for his looks. He has one giant arm, a carrot finger, and face tendrils. This makes him subject to a lot of insults and humiliation. Then one day in gym, they have a fitness test. The jockiest-slash-jerkiest guy in class decides to race him. The main character is about to lose when he seems to fall into a trance, and his big toe shoots out a tendril that reaches the finish line first. Wondering what's happening to him and why, he sets out to read old articles and visit the swamp to find out more about a local legend, the "Swamp Thing." I would recommend this book to readers who like notebook form stories. The story is actually pretty cool.
 
- Review by Michael, age 11


Legends of the Sky Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338349665
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: David Fickling Books - October 15th, 2019

An exciting and enjoyable story.  Although it was a bit violent, the amount of adventure and mystery leveled it out.   I liked Milla as a character because she was brave and loyal, and she stood up for what was right.  And any book with Dragons is a good book in my opinion!

-Review by Elli, 11 years old


Roll with It Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534442559
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - October 1st, 2019

Roll With It is an inspiring book that teaches the reader to keep pushing, no matter how tough things are. I loved this book because it shows us what an impact a couple of friends can have on your life. The author also makes you realize Ellie is an awesome character who loves to bake and is very brave, even though having cerebral palsy has its setbacks. I loved how Jamie Sumner put all that personality into Ellie. Because of all that personality, Ellie feels real. 

-Review by Krin


I Can Make This Promise Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062871992
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - October 1st, 2019

This is a book that I couldn’t put down. I loved this book because there is a lot of times when the characters are about to find things out, so you just want to keep reading. I also loved this book because Edie (the main character) is working with her friends to discover secrets about her family. I Can Make This Promise teaches readers to keep on trying, even if it gets hard. 

-Review by Krin


The Perfect Star (The Perfect Score Series #3) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781524764630
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers - October 15th, 2019

This is a very heart-warming story. The Perfect Star is a perfect balance between the bonding of students, teachers, adults and senior citizens and the friendship that is shared among students. I loved this book because it really showed that if we stick together and lift each other up when life is rough we can do great things. This book tells  that kids can make a difference, even if it is just helping a friend out. 

-review by Krin


Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks Cover Image
By Jason Reynolds, Alexander Nabaum (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481438285
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - October 8th, 2019

Look Both Ways is a book about ten different kids and ther friend groups.  This book follows what these kids have to deal with on their walk home from school, such as bullies, parents, money and much much more. I would recommend this book for ages 12+.

-Review by River


The Last Human Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781419736919
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - October 8th, 2019

This was an original, fast-paced story. It was really compelling and kept me reading. I finished the whole thing in less than a day, which is very unusual for me. In the story, robots have overthrown humans to prevent further destruction of the Earth. All of the humans have allegedly died off after the violent coup d' etat. The main character, XR_935, is a 12-year-old robot who works installing solar panels. He discovers a young human, Emma, who has left an underground shelter after everyone there got sick and is likely to die. Acting against protocol, he decides to protect her. This leads to his running away from his family, disobeying the rules of his society and going against everything he has ever known. But as he takes in more information, he winds up finding out way more than he could have anticipated. I would recommend this book for upper elementary and middle school readers, especially science-fiction fans.

-Review by Michael, age 11


Homerooms and Hall Passes Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062872142
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - October 8th, 2019

This book was uproariously funny. My brother (age 11) and I (14) read it together. It was so great we think it should be made into a play, and we're busy casting the parts in our brains! The plot is really original. It takes all of the elements of a traditional sword and sorcery adventure fantasy novel, as well as all of the elements of a typical middle school, and swirls them together in a past-paced, hilariously funny take that pokes gentle fun at the "Dungeons and Dragons" genre as well as the weirdness of middle school life. The story starts out in the realm of Briandalor, where the adventurers - a clever thief, a "gloom elf" assassin, a noble paladin and a fierce barbarian - take some time out of their adventurous lives to play a relaxing game of Homerooms and Hall Passes, run by their friend Albiorix, an apprentice wizard who has clearly devoted more time to the game than to learning spells. A latent curse takes effect, causing their "respite to become thy doom" and they suddenly find themselves in the real-life realm of Suburbia, where they have to act out the roles they've adopted from their role-playing game, stay out of trouble and somehow pass the dreaded subject of Algebra. Albiorix winds up in a worse situation than his friends. As "Hall Master" of the game, he is not actually a character and has to somehow prove his existence as a legitimate student - within one day. According to the curse, failure could mean death. He recruits fellow "new kid" June Westray to help him create a fake birth certificate, which passes cursory inspection. It seems the adventurers are headed off to a good start - except in Algebra - when Albiorix turns to the Malonomicon- an dark spellbook he happens to have with him from a previous quest- and somehow resurrects an evil sorcerer who could spell doom for the adventurers... and the entire realm of Suburbia as well. The characters are extremely funny. The book is full of great one-liners. The author manages to skewer both the sword-and-sorcery genre and middle school cliques and bullies, while still writing in an affectionate and very enjoyable way.

-Review by Colleen, age 14, and Michael, age 11


It's Me, Two. (Catwad #2) Cover Image
By Jim Benton, Jim Benton (Illustrator)
$8.99
ISBN: 9781338326031
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graphix - September 17th, 2019

It was funny but a bit young for me.  This would be better for first or second graders.  Its full of little short stories about a grumpy cat and a joyful cat with strange names.  All in all it was a funny book.

-Review by Elli, 11 years old


Hobgoblin and the Seven Stinkers of Rancidia Cover Image
By Kyle Sullivan, Derek Sullivan (Illustrator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781948931045
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hazy Dell Press - September 17th, 2019

This book was a funny take on Snow White, except instead of perfect beauty being valued, in this kingdom the most important thing is to be stinky. It starts when King Fiddlefart takes over a perfectly good democracy. He establishes himself as the sole ruler and declares himself the stinkiest of them all - which he is not. Then he finds this far-off hobgoblin who is smellier. Hobgoblin is the last of his kind. So the king sends his hunter-squirrel off to "scrub" Hobgoblin. (These guys are all about the size of squirrels. However, the hunter is secretly working against the king and tells Hobgoblin to flee to the safety of the Seven Stinkers. Then Hobgoblin has to decide whether to hide or to help restore the democracy. The book is amazingly messed up, but great and funny. I would recommend it for fans of wacky fairy tale retellings - age 8 and up.

- Review by Michael, age 11


Red Zone: An Earthquake Story Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781419733680
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - September 10th, 2019

This graphic novel was good and quite interesting. It's set in Italy at a time when that country was experiencing a bunch of earthquakes. The main characters, Matteo, Guilia and Federico, have to get through everyday life in the wake of an earthquake, helping with things like trying to find out where someone's lost dog went and who smashed someone's pots after the earthquake. I'd recommend it to fans of realistic fiction and graphic novels.

- Review by Michael, age 11


This is a really interesting story. I'd recommend it for people who like a little science along with their fun story. It comes recommended by Dav Pilkey too. One unusual thing about the book is that the narrator is the Earth. In this story, CO2 levels have gone over the "red line" so "NNASA" has sent bioengineered animals with special strengths to a possible exoplanet. There seems to be no intelligent life there, and there certainly aren't any animals, but the animal astronauts learn that not all plants can be trusted. It was fun, interesting and a little bit educational too.

- Review by Michael, age 11


The Okay Witch Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781534431454
Availability: Backordered
Published: Aladdin - September 3rd, 2019

THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!!!  I read it 15 times in a row.  I like how it mixed humor with the seriousness and fantasy of the story.  I love the way that the author foreshadowed with the history teacher telling about historical witches of the town.  All in all this is a glorious book.    

-By Elli, 11 years old


The Okay Witch Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781534431454
Availability: Backordered
Published: Aladdin - September 3rd, 2019

This graphic novel was really good: funny, interesting and diverse, with good art. It's about a 13-year-old girl, Maude, who's stuck between two worlds. In school one day she gets annoyed at two boys and starts thinking "Shut up." She was clenching her hands at the time and suddenly their mouths mysteriously disappear. The girl rushes home to tell her mom what happened and the mom tells her she might be a witch, revealing that she is one too. "Can I learn magic?" the girl asks, and the mom answers no, they're trying to lead normal lives. Soon, Maude meets the ghost/spirit of a friend of her mom's, who came back in the body of a cat and becomes her companion and co-conspirator as she vows to learn magic anyhow. Maude learns that her mom has left a magical realm where all of the witches now live. The witches retreated to this realm centuries ago because witches were hunted. But Maude wanted to live in the regular world, not just stay in some place that remains the same forever. As Maude explores her magical origins, however, she runs into trouble. The town where Maude and her mom live was founded by witch hunters, and it turns out the descendants of those people are still hunting witches today. Should she escape to the unchanging witch world or stay in this world and try and make it better? I would recommend this to fans of other graphic novels like Witch Boy.

 

-Review by Michael, age 11


More to the Story Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481492096
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for You - September 3rd, 2019

More to the Story is a realistic fiction novel by Hena Khan. Seventh grader Jameela Mirza is an aspiring journalist. She is chosen to be the ‘features editor’ of her school newspaper, which is a job rarely given to seventh graders. Jameela and her three sisters find out that their beloved father has to go overseas for a while in order to work and provide for his family. Jameela is intent on writing an article to make her dad super proud, but when her sister’s health weakens, Jameela’s “world turns upside down”. On top of this, Jameela’s work for the school newspaper may cost her one of her closest friends. This makes her question her beliefs and ideas of herself. Written by the author of Amina’s Voice, Jameela’s life is one a girl of any age would want to follow. I recommend this book to girls ages 8 to 12. This book is amazing!

- Nidhi, age 11


Best Friends Cover Image
By Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)
$21.99
ISBN: 9781250317452
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: First Second - August 27th, 2019

Fans of Real Friends will like this new graphic novel by Shannon Hale. The main character, a girl going into the sixth-grade, has been influenced by music her whole life - the folk music and bluegrass she's heard at the feet of her parents, the oldies tunes her older sisters favor ... Now she's trying to learn all of the popular music her best friends like. Having finally gotten in with the popular crowd, the main character is looking forward to being part of this group as she enters middle school. So she's trying hard to learn all of the popular music and watch all of the popular T.V. shows that the popular kids like. But along the way, she's learning how hard it is to keep these friends and still remain herself. I would recommend this for upper elementary schoolers and middle schoolers who like graphic novels, especially girls.

-Review by Michael, age 11


Dead Voices Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780525515050
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - August 27th, 2019

The sequel to Small Spaces, this book was really captivating. In the last book, Ollie and her friends are trapped in a world of evil scarecrows and the spooky Smiling Man. Having escaped that situation, all they want is a relaxing ski trip. Then a giant storm comes up and the power goes out. They can't leave until the storm is over. But there are ghosts in the lodge they're staying at, and a dream warns them that the ghosts want their bones back. Later, a "ghost hunter" appears and Ollie and her friends wonder whether to trust him. This story has a classic ghost-story feel, but it's also very original. It's interesting how the author ties everything in. I'd recommend it to horror fans and people who liked the first book.

- Review by Michael, age 11


Shadow School #1: Archimancy Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062838285
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - August 27th, 2019

This book, the first in a new series, was really compelling and original. The main character, Cordelia, moves across the country and has to attend a creepy old school. It looks like it's from another century and has secret passages in its walls. It turns out the building used to be owned by a family by the name of Shadows, and they donated it to the community for use as a school, but the architecture had to be maintained in its original style. Due to the weird layout, Cordelia is often lost. She meets a nice girl named Agnes who becomes her best friend. One day, Cordelia meets a little boy sitting under the bleachers. He brushes against her and a shiver goes through her spine. She realizes she's seen a ghost, and she teams up with Agnes and a depressed boy who can also see the ghosts to find out why they are here and to do something to put them at rest. Meanwhile, they come up against someone who wants the ghosts to stay at all costs. I'd recommend this book for fans of slightly-scary stories. It's best for age 9-12.

-Review by Michael, age 11


Cape (The League of Secret Heroes #1) Cover Image
By Kate Hannigan, Patrick Spaziante (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534439115
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Aladdin - August 6th, 2019

This book was very interesting.  I liked how it was kind of historical and used super heroes from World War II.  And in this way allowed readers to learn while still enjoying a fantasy story.  I was slightly frustrated that it ended with a partial cliff hanger but I guess that means that I am just going to need to read the second book!

- Review By Elli, 11 years old


Ghost and Bone Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780525643937
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers - August 13th, 2019

This story was really compelling, intense and action packed. Nobody likes the main character, Oscar.  He's kind of a loner. His dad died, allegedly in a car accident. His mom runs a funeral home, and he likes corpses better than loud, noisy people. Also, Oscar is cursed. He kills flowers if he touches them. One day while he's dressing a corpse, weird stuff starts to happen. Embalming fluid tanks and knives start flying at him. Later that night, ghost police arrive at his house, having determined that the main character has too much "ghost force." They threaten to wipe his memory. Oscar tries to ride on the ghost carriage and turns into a ghost himself. Then he runs around London trying to find out the origins of his curse, why he's turned into a ghost and what's happening with the dark figure who seems to be following him around. I loved the book, but there are some pretty dark bits that some people would not like. I would recommend this to readers who like thrilling, kind of spooky stories, from upper elementary through middle school.
 
- Review by Michael, age 11.


Each Tiny Spark Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780451479723
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kokila - August 6th, 2019

Each Tiny Spark is a reminder how hard it is on the kids that have parent’s that are deployed.  This book is about a girl, Emilia, who has a dad in deployment and is coming home.  I loved how the author gives all the detail and personality of the main character.  

-Review by Elli age 11


Marie Curie: A Life of Discovery Cover Image
By Alice Milani, Alice Milani (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781541572867
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphic Universe (Tm) - August 6th, 2019

This was a really good book. A graphic novel, it had a somewhat simple drawing style, but the story was interesting and important, detailing the life of scientist Marie Curie. It starts with the scientist's daughter explaining her life, then goes back in time to depict the scientist's own story. Moving from Poland to France, Marie researched radioactive material. They knew it was radioactive, but at the time, they didn't know it was bad - something that would eventually lead to her death. Marie faced a lot of barriers in her young life. As a woman, she was denied entry to a lot of places but later she was doing such important work a college had to accept her. Then she met her husband Pierre, who believed in her. The book takes the reader on a journey through Marie's life and discoveries, showing how her measurements and calculations changed the world. One more challenge she faced later in life was the depression she experienced after losing Pierre, but she carried on. She eventually won two Nobel prizes for her work. I would recommend this book to history and science fans and readers who like non-fiction graphic novels.

- Review by Michael, age 11


The 47 People You'll Meet in Middle School Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781524765132
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - August 6th, 2019

This is a GREAT book. It has a little bit of drama in it, so if you do not like drama this probably is not your kind of book. If you like a little bit of drama than you NEED to read it! I loved this book so much!!  It kept me wanting to come back to read it all the time. Personally, I think they should make a series out of this! Plus this book had a good meaning. You really need to read this book!! 

-Review by Sophia age 11


The Twelve Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062821270
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - July 2nd, 2019

This book had some good parts and bad parts, but more good parts than bad.  I didn’t like how Uma was angry with her big sister Usagi at the end.  I also didn’t like the treacherous parts with the traitor.  This is a lengthy and serious fantasy story, with some funny parts, but is not a lighthearted tale.  The parts I enjoyed were that the characters had animal abilities, like the jumping and hearing skills of a rabbit or the climbing skills like a monkey.  I also liked how loyal the characters were to each other.  I read this book only once, but just because I ran out of time.  I wish to read it again.  The ending was unpredictable and I like that in a story.

Review By Elli, 11 years old


Wolfie Monster and the Big Bad Pizza Battle Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781338186031
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - June 25th, 2019

This graphic novel was an easy read but still entertaining. This little kid, who's a monster, is running a pizza business with his family. It's inexpensive but a lot of heart goes into every pizza they make. Then a big corporation comes into town wanting to close down the small pizza business to eliminate the competition. Wolfie wants to save his business. He teams up with his two older brothers and a new girl in town. They discover a big secret and find they must stop "Lord Mudpant" from taking over the whole town. I'd recommend it to graphic novel fans age 6-9.

-Review by Michael, age 11.


Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home Cover Image
By Scott Morse, Scott Morse (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781338188097
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - June 25th, 2019

This graphic novel was really interesting and original. My mom wasn't really sure I'd like something with zombies in it, and I wasn't sure I'd like something with baseball in it. But I really did. The main characters, Stacy and her sister Gina, are on different Little League teams. Gina is better. They're also the youngest in a long line of witches. Stacy thinks Gina put a curse on her team so it never wins. Then they discover a much bigger secret and they have to help each other to put everything right again. I would recommend this for baseball fans, fantasy fans and graphic novel fans ages 8-12.

-Review by Michael, age 11


Marigold Star Cover Image
By Elise Primavera, Elise Primavera (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780060569495
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - June 18th, 2019

This book was AMAZING!!!  I strongly enjoy reading fantasy and adventure books and this was a mixture of both genres.  I also liked how she was helping others while mixing in Self Discovery.  All in all this book is truly wonderful.

 

-Reivew By Elli, 11 years old


Sea Sirens (A Trot & Cap'n Bill Adventure #1) Cover Image
By Amy Chu, Janet K. Lee (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780451480170
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - June 11th, 2019

I enjoyed this book and I like how it was very funny.  Bill was a funny cat.  I like how the first thing he mentioned when he could speak English was food.  Trot helped discover who the King of the Serpents is.  I enjoyed how detailed the pictures were.  A funny quick read.

 

-Review By Elli, 11 years old


Bad Order Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781454931065
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sterling Children's Books - June 4th, 2019

This book was swift, compelling and really good. The main character, Mary, has a brother who can talk to her in mind-speech. He calls her "Pearl." Then a red mist comes to their world and brings with it bad thoughts. If you breathe it in, it causes you to forget everything good in your life and think only of the bad. Mary had to work with Agent Saunters, a smooth FBI-type guy, and a bunch of SMHR units (data-collecting robots) to try to solve the problem. The robots are extremely perceptive but it's hilarious when they try to pass as human and it doesn't really translate. The whole story is bound together by a really good plot. It stands on its own but I hope there's a sequel because I want to read it.

- Review by Michael, age 11