New Book Reviews for Kids

New Book Reviews

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal

by Margarita Engle

Reading Level: Grade 6 & up

Written in verse from alternating viewpoints, this book gives the reader many different perspectives on the creation of the Panama Canal over a hundred years ago. We hear from howler monkeys, Theodore Roosevelt, a Cuban immigrant named Mateo, the trees, and many others who played a role in this large undertaking that connected the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

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More books by Margarita Engle

Reading Level: 6th Grade,7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Historical Fiction Location: JY Fiction
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Death's Academy

by Michael Bast

Reading Level: Grades 4 - 6

Midnight "Night" Smith is the son of the most infamous Death ever. Because of his father's bad reputation most other young hoodies (Deaths) are not allowed to associate with Night and he also cannot get a sponsor to help him practice for his entrance exams for Death's Academy. After being caught trying to illegally kill a chipmunk by a halo (Guardian Angel) Night ends up grounded. While sneaking out one evening Night accidentally stumbles across evil unicorns and overhears their plan to attack the Death's headquarters, but who will believe the son of a disgraced criminal?i

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More books by Michael Best

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Humor, Misfits, Mythological Location: J Fiction
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Constable & Toop

by Gareth P. Jones

Reading Level: Grades 4 - 7

Sam Toop has lived all his life above Constable & Toop. His father builds caskets for Mr. Constable, the mortician. Perhaps his close association with death is the reason Sam is a Talker (someone who can see and hear ghosts). Meanwhile the ghost Lapsewood has worked for many years filling out forms in the bureaucratic monstrosity of the afterlife. Little do they know that Sam's life and Lapsewood's afterlife will be forever changed by a mysterious disappearing of ghosts from haunted houses.

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More books by Gareth P. Jones

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade,7th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Fantasy, Mysteries Location: JY Fiction
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The Carpet People

by Terry Pratchett

Reading Level: Grades 3 and older

When the mythical Fray returns and destroys the Munrung's village with its terrible winds the entire tribe must make a perilous journey across the Carpet, battling the mouls who are said to control Fray, as they search for a safe new place to live. If you liked the Borrowers or the Littles you will enjoy this book about the microscopic beings that live in the wild jungle beneath your feet. (and it will make you look at your vacuum cleaner differently too.).

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More books by Terry Pratchett

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade,7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers,Adults Subjects: Adventure, Fantasy, Friends, Humor, Survival Location: J Fiction
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The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights

by Steve Sheikin

Reading Level: Ages 10 - 14

On July 17, 1944, an explosion at the Port Chicago naval base in California killed over 300 people and sank two ships.  All the men loading bombs and ammunition onto ships were black.  All supervising officers were white.  Black sailors who had never received proper training in the handling of munitions were afraid and refused to go back to work on the docks.  Some gave in under pressure from the navy until only 50 men held fast.  They were brought up on charges of mutiny, a charge that could mean the death penalty.  Sheinkin has crafted another book that brings history to life.  You'll be outraged, but you'll cheer for 50 new heroes in the fight for equal rights.

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Other books by Steve Sheinkin

Reading Level: 3rd Grade,4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade,7th Grade Subjects: Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Crime and Punishment, Don't Miss These, Non-Fiction, Social Issues Location: J Non-Fiction
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Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery With Eletromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself

by "Science Bob" Pflugfelder

Reading Level:  Ages 9 - 12

Eleven-year-old twins, Nick and Tesla, are sent to spend the summer with their comical, mad scientist uncle while their parents are out of the country.   Instead of the boring time they expect, they encounter a spooky deserted mansion guarded by ravenous dogs, a mysterious girl at the window holding a "GO AWAY" sign, ill-tempered construction workers, and black van that keeps following them.  The twins are science geeks themselves who use everyday objects to build what they need to solve the mystery and survive.  Interspersed in the book are great directions for building the gadgets.  Have fun!

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Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade,7th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Mysteries Location: J Fiction
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Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery With Eletromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself

by Steve Hockensmith

Reading Level:  Ages 9 - 12

Eleven-year-old twins, Nick and Tesla, are sent to spend the summer with their comical, mad scientist uncle while their parents are out of the country.   Instead of the boring time they expect, they encounter a spooky deserted mansion guarded by ravenous dogs, a mysterious girl at the window holding a "GO AWAY" sign, ill-tempered construction workers, and black van that keeps following them.  The twins are science geeks themselves who use everyday objects to build what they need to solve the mystery and survive.  Interspersed in the book are great directions for building the gadgets.  Have fun!

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Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade,7th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Mysteries Location: J Fiction
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Enrique's Journey: The True Story of a Boy Determined to Reunite with His Mother

by Sonia Nazario

Reading Level: grade 7 & up

Pulitzer Prize winning author, Sonia Nazario had adapted her adult book for teens.  It's the story of sixteen-year-old Enrique whose mother left her children in Honduras to come to the U.S. 12 years earlier with the promise she would return. When she doesn't, Enrique decides he will go to his mother.  The journey is fraught with danger as he rides the tops of trains while hiding from the authorities, thugs, and bandits.  Enrique's journeys across Central America and Mexico are a study in determination and the strength of love.  His story will give readers a new perspective on illegal immigration and some things to think about.  WARNING;  Nazario does not gloss over beatings, rapes, maimings, and even murder. 

 

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Books by Sonia Nazario

Reading Level: 7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Adventure, Biographies, Books for Boys, Books for Girls, In Other Lands, Non-Fiction, Social Issues Location: JY Non-Fiction
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The Great Trouble: a Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel

by Deborah Hopkinson

Reading Level: Ages 9 - 12

In 1854 there was a cholera outbreak in London. Hundreds died. There was no cure and no one knew the cause of cholera.   Hopkinson 's hero is a thirteen-year-old orphan, Eel,  who scavenges the filthy Thames River and works odd jobs.  One job brings him in contact with Dr. Snow, a real historical figure who was an early epidemiologist.  The fast-paced novel combines a medical mystery, a race against the clock, evil child snatchers, and an assortment of characters.  You'll love Eel and his friends and want to them to triumph.

 

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Other books by Deborah Hopkinson

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade,7th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Historical Fiction, Mysteries Location: JY Fiction
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Duke

by Kirby Larson

Reading Level: Ages 8 - 12

Set in Seattle, Washington in 1944, this is the home front story of Hobie Hanson, a fifth-grader whose father is flying B-24s in Europe. It's a time of great patriotism and sacrifice even for those at home.  Hobie is expected to step up and help at home, on the family fishing boat, and with his younger sister.  There are ration stamps for sugar, meat, and shoes.  Everyone is urged to do all they can to help in the war effort.  When Hobie learns about the real life organization called Dogs For Defense, he decides to donate his beloved German Shepherd, Duke. It never occurred to him that Duke might be sent into combat or that Duke might bond with his Marine handler.  Will his father and his dog survive?

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Other books by Kirby Larson

Reading Level: 3rd Grade,4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade,7th Grade Subjects: Animals--Real, Books for Boys, Friends, Historical Fiction Location: J Fiction
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