Kid's Advisory Board Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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The Secret Dead Club By Karen Strong Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781665904506
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - August 20th, 2024

Wednesday Thomas sees the dead. Not only that, but she speaks to them. That is, until she has a traumatizing brush with reality, realizing how dangerous wicked ghosts can be. Now, she has decided that she will never, ever speak to a ghost again, until she eventually loses her ability to do so. Soon, however, after moving into the house where her grandmother, a skilled medium, once lived, Wednesday is recruited by a group of girls calling themselves the Dead Club. Somehow, they know what she can do, and want her as their medium. Wednesday grudgingly agrees, hoping she can find new friends. Before long, though, she realizes the dangers that come with the dead club. A wicked ghost haunts her town –  and it won’t stop until it devours her soul.
In this suspenseful novel, a girl fights her demons to protect all she holds dear. This is a wonderful novel about friendship and bravery. I would recommend this to anyone who loves paranormal fiction and mysteries.

 

-Review by Cassie, age 12


The Enigma Girls: How Ten Teenagers Broke Ciphers, Kept Secrets, and Helped Win World War II (Scholastic Focus) By Candace Fleming Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781338749571
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Focus - March 5th, 2024

In the spring of 1941, hundreds of young women in Britain arrived at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire. The random onlooker might have been confused, but dismissed it as some kind of family gathering. Little would they know, but these young women would be instrumental in the victory of World War Two. One of the government’s biggest secrets was this: Young women with intellectual talent would be drafted to break coded Axis transmissions. However, these codes were not average codes. These codes were made by a complicated cipher machine that became simply known as the Enigma Code. And so, these brilliant young women were nicknamed the Enigma Girls.
In this historical account of the entire war from the perspective of these women, you are shown an inside look at the hidden brains of the Allied forces.
This compelling story of bravery on the home front during World War Two will bring to light the stories of women who are not given enough credit for the victories they gave the Allies. I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants a factual account of World War Two.

 

-Review by Cassie, age 12


Paper Dragons: The Fight for the Hidden Realm By Siobhan McDermott Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593706114
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - March 5th, 2024

Yueng Zhi Ging is an outcast. After being adopted by a kind old woman, she is raised in Fei Chui – a community of glassmakers who use magic to sculpt beautiful things. But because of Zhi Ging’s unknown origins, she cannot use magic, and will be forced to work a dangerous job that Glassmakers are too good for. Her only chance for escape is to become a Silouhette. Silhouettes attend a magical school called Hok Woh, where they will gather knowledge and eventually compete for immortality. So when Zhi Ging is chosen as Fei Chui’s very first Second Sillouhette, she tries her hardest to fit in and win immortality. However, danger is brewing in Hok Woh. Fui Gwai, an evil spirit that transforms people into thralls, is returning. And Fui Gwai’s first target will be Hok Woh. In this thrilling adventure about belonging, Zhi Ging will learn to embrace who she is. Paper Dragons; The Fight for the Hidden Realm will keep you on the edge of your seat as Zhi Ging navigates a new world that she must save. This is a great book for anyone who enjoys adventures and fantasy.

 

-Review by Cassie, age 12


Uprising By Jennifer A. Nielsen Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338795080
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - March 5th, 2024

What would you do if, when you stepped outside, the world you knew was gone? From the moment Lidia sees the destruction from bombs dropped on Warsaw, she knows that her life will never be the same again. With her father gone, fighting for a Poland that may no longer exist, Lidia, her mother, and her older brother must move to a small apartment overlooking a ghetto. From there, she can see the horror that the Jews must go through. From there, she sees their numbers slowly diminish. That is when Lidia knows she must rise up against the Nazi occupation of Poland, no matter the cost.
Based on the true story of Lidia Durr, Jennifer A. Nielsen crafts a heartbreaking story that will give new meaning to the terrible things  that happened in Poland during World War Two – and the brave individuals who fought to give hope.
This is a great book for fans of historical fiction, specifically about World War Two. Uprising will keep you on the edge of your seat with suspense and will break your heart and, slowly, mend it again.

 

-Review by Cassie, age 12 


The Liars Society By Alyson Gerber Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781338859218
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - February 6th, 2024

Weatherby Walker was born to sail. There’s no place she’d rather be than out on the water, maneuvering her boat. So when the prestigious Boston School which her dad (who she’s never met) attended offers her a spot on their elite sailing team, what can she do but accept? Everything seems to be falling into place until Weatherby discovers a lie – one that she has unknowingly told, and that could ruin everything.
Jack Hunt isn’t enough. Thanks to his rich and powerful father, he attends Boston School, but so far, he hasn’t excelled nearly as much as the rest of his famous family. And when he goes to great lengths to win, like Hunts always do, he soon realizes what a deep hole he’s dug himself into. But when the money for a trip to Hart Isle, a private island, is stolen, Jack and Weatherby must put aside their differences and team up to win a deadly game they are forced to play by a secret society. Both have secrets. Both have a common goal. And both will one day very soon become part of the Liars Society.
The Liars Society is a fast-paced novel about the power of secrets. This is a good book for fans of the Inheritance Game series, or those who have enjoyed Alyson Gerber’s previous novels. If you like mystery and suspense, this is the book for you.

-REVIEW BY CASSIE E, AGE 12 


The Plot to Kill a Queen By Deborah Hopkinson Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338660586
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now--Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - October 17th, 2023

Emilia Bassano has a dream. One that’s probably impossible for a girl: to become a playwright in 1582 England. Even though a girl couldn’t possibly do it, even though she is an orphan, even though she is a lowly lute player, somehow, Emilia knows that somehow, she will (especially with the help of her new friend William Shakespeare). Her big dreams are just on the rise when she accidentally overhears two men speaking of a deadly plot to kill Queen Elizabeth I in the name of Queen Mary of Scots. With the help of Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, and Emilia’s adorable dog, Mouse, Emilia will go on a journey into the depths of Sheffield Castle to unveil the plot to kill a queen. In this high-speed novel set in the Elizabethan Era, a girl (based on a real historical figure) will take all the risks to save her queen – but at what cost? I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a mystery set in the time of Shakespeare and the Babington Plot.

-Review by Cassie, age 12 


Project F By Jeanne DuPrau Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593643808
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - October 10th, 2023

It’s been a long time since the world “ended.” After a global catastrophe following the vanishing of fossil fuels, the humans of the world learned to live without them. Now, there are seven giant cities in the world, and humans use electricity only as a necessity: from trains to horse-drawn carriages, people have fully changed their ways. But when a boy named Keith goes on a trip to take his newly orphaned cousin, Lulu, to his home, he discovers a wonder: Project F. A wonder that could change the world. A wonder that could either be a savior or doom. A wonder that Keith needs to be part of. So when the project’s leader, Malcolm, offers him just that, he can’t refuse. But what he doesn’t know is that Project F is a secret. A deadly secret that he has now roped himself and Lulu into. And if Keith becomes the face of Project F when it is finally revealed, he could put himself – and the world as he knows it – in grave peril. From the author of the critically acclaimed City of Ember series, Jeanne DuPrau, comes a story about the danger of risking everything for your desires. This is a good book for people who enjoy stories set in a post-apocalyptic worlds, and filled with danger and intrigue, coming from a deep and thoughtful tone.

 

-REVIEW BY CASSIE E, AGE 12 


The Golden Imaginarium (Hither & Nigh #2) By Ellen Potter Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781665910422
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now--Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - October 10th, 2023

Nell Batista feels like a failure. Not only was she forced to leave her brother in a hidden world called the Nigh a few weeks prior, but she can’t even muster enough magic to go back and save him. So when the Watchers (a mysterious group of magic users who control fate) make her and her friends enter initiation trials to become one of them far too soon, Nell is terrified. But when they discover that all of the evil Magicians are planning to attack the Nigh, Nell knows she has to do something. Enlisting the help of old friends and new allies, Nell goes back to the Nigh to save everything she loves – before it’s too late. In this stunning second installment of the Hither & Nigh series, Nell goes against impossible odds to save the worlds.This is a book I would recommend for anyone who enjoys fantasy or the previous installment of the Hither & Nigh series.

-Review by Cassie, age 12 


Adia Kelbara and the Circle of Shamans By Isi Hendrix Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780063266339
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - September 19th, 2023

Ogbanje. That is what Adia Kelbara is. A child possessed by a demon who has no purpose other than to cause suffering to her family. At least, that’s what Adia’s aunt has always told her, and in her small village filled with missionaries and their beliefs in the Bright Father, she is in no place to protest. When Adia is nearly taken away by a missionary and accidentally causes a disaster in her panic, she knows that her aunt is right. She is an Ogbanje. So when she is offered a job as a servant at the Academy of Shamans, she realizes that this is her chance to rid the demon from inside of her. But her plan instantly evaporates when she learns of a sinister plot to control her home,  Zaria. Adia must now team up with the most unlikely of companions to save Zaria – and little does she know, she plays a higher role in it all than she thought. This is a touching book about believing in yourself, bravery, and truth. Anyone who likes books about African culture and magic will love Adia Kelbara and the Circle of Shamans.

-REVIEW BY Cassie, age 12