New Book Reviews for Kids

New Book Reviews

The Screaming Staircase

by Jonathan Stroud

Reading Level: Grades 4 - 8

England has always had ghosts, but ever since The Problem began hauntings have become more frequent and much more dangerous, with ghosts being able to kill people with a touch. Most people are born with the ability to sense ghosts, but they lose this skill when they reach adulthood so now children are employed to watch for and hunt ghosts under the supervision of an adult leader.Thirteen-year-old Lucy, who can hear ghosts, joins the rogue pair of ghost hunters known as Lockwood & Co. which has no adult in charge. Needless to say, nobody is terribly surprised when she and Lockwood accidentally burn down a house on one of her first missions. This new supernatural adventure series by the author of the the Bartemaeus books will leave the reader hoping book two comes out soon.

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More books by Jonathan Stroud

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade,7th Grade,8th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Fantasy, Horror, Misfits, Supernatural Location: JY Fiction
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The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi

by Neal Bascomb

Reading Level:  Ages 12 & up

This nonfiction book reads like a fast paced spy thriller. Israeli Mossad agents, German and Israeli government officials, and private citizens worked together to abduct  Nazi war criminal  Adolf Eichman and bring him to justice.  Eichman, responsible for the deaths of six million Jews, disappeared after the war ended.  Then there came  a report that he was living in Argentina.

All the elements of a spy novel are here: a dangerous mission, false identities, safe houses, and split second timing, but this is a true, well documented  history.

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Other books by Neal Bascomb

Reading Level: 7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers,Adults Subjects: Adventure, Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Crime and Punishment, The Holocaust, Non-Fiction, Spies Location: J Non-Fiction
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Fortunately, the Milk

by Neil Gaiman

Reading Level: Ages 8 - 12

Dad has been left in charge of the house in Mom's absence and  there is no milk for  his children's cereal.  Not much of a plot unless the author is Neil Gaiman.  In the ultimate "the dog ate my homework" story, Dad explains why it took so long to get the milk.  The story involves alien aduction, pirates, a dinosaur professor in a hot-air balloon, "wumpires," the space-time continuum- oh, you get the idea.  Illustrator Skottie Young 's illustrations manage to match the zaniness of the plot.  I'd write more, but I think Bigfoot needs help finding a book and there's the spell cast on the Youth Services Department and . . .

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Youth titles books by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman books, including books written for teens and adults

Books illustrated by Skottie Young

Illustrator: Skottie Young Reading Level: 3rd Grade,4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade,7th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Fantasy, Humor, Read-Alouds, Time Travel Location: J Fiction
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Proxy

by Alex London

  16-year-old Sydney Carton is an orphan.  As a baby he was rescued from the eastern wastelands by the Benevolent Society...for a price.  Syd must repay the cost of his rescue and education.  To recoop their costs the Society sold baby Syd's services to Mr. Brindle, an ultra-wealthy member of the ruling class, as his son's proxy. 

16-year-old Knox Brindle only thinks of Syd when he is forced to watch the screen that broadcasts Syd receiving Knox's punishments which range from violent electical shocks to weeks of hard labor. 

In two years Syd's debt will be paid and he will never have to worry about suffering for his unknown "patron" again.  Syd counts the days until he is free.  His hopes are dashed when Knox does the unforgivable, leaving Syd to face years in a brutal maximum security prison.  It is a fate Syd is determined to escape.

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Other books by Alex London

Other action-packed dystopian tales include:

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Coda by Emma Trevayne

Reading Level: 8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Dystopias Location: JY Fiction
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Jackie Robinson: American Hero

by Sharon Robinson

Reading Level: Grades 2 - 4

It's not that there's a lack of books about the racial barrier-breaking sports hero.  This biography, written by his daughter Sharon, is different.  Yes, this book about the racial divide in baseball and how Jackie Robinson was the first black man to play in the major leagues.  It also gives a clear and interesting picture of his early years, his family life, his career in the military, and his life after baseball.  Family photos throughout this short biography add that personal touch.  Sharon Robinson has every reason to be proud of her father and her work.

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Other books by Sharon Robinson

Reading Level: 2nd Grade,3rd Grade,4th Grade Subjects: Biographies, Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Non-Fiction, Social Issues Location: J Non-Fiction
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The Testing

by Joelle Charbonneau

Reading Level: Grades 6 - 9

A devastating world war has left the Earth ruined, nations destroyed, and survivors scattered in small colonies trying to restore the world. The United Commonwealth (formerly the U.S.A.) chooses the best and brightest to be tested for the University where they will be trained as scientists, educators and leaders. Cia lives in tiny Five Lakes Colony where nobody has been chosen for testing for years, until her graduation day when she and three other students are chosen. Although it is a great honor, being chosen means that Cia will never see her home again. If she passes all the tests she will go to the University and be assigned to a new colony upon graduation, and if she fails she will be removed from the testing and sent to a new colony to live. Or so the students are told...
Fans of the Hunger Games will not want to miss this new dystopian series.

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More books by Joelle Charbonneau

Reading Level: 6th Grade,7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Adventure, Dystopias, School, Science Fiction, Survival Location: JY Fiction
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Weight of Water

by Sarah Crossan

Reading Level:  Grades 6 -9

Told in free verse, this is the story of Kasienka, who has just left her native Poland for a tenament in England.  Her mother was determined to follow her father who left the family two years before and hasn't been heard from since.  Kasienka is miserable in her new life.  At her middle school the popular girls bully her and at home her mother is determined to continue the exhausting, fruitless search for her father.  Only when she's swimming does Kasienka feel good and empowered.

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Also by Sarah Crossan

Reading Level: 6th Grade,7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Books for Girls, Non-Prose, Realistic Fiction, Self Image Location: JY Fiction
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The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba's Greatest Abolotionist

by Margarita Engle

Reading Level:  Ages 12 and up

This inspiring free verse novel is the fictionalized story of the early teen years of  Cuban poet/abollitionist Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda (1814-1873.)  At thirteen, Tula uses her poetry and plays to express her views about freedom, both for the slaves of Cuba and for the young girls who are sold into arranged marriages to the highest bidder.  In defiance of her family's wishes  Tula is determined to live a free life.  Other poems give added dimension as the reader hear from her supportive brother, the nuns who nuture Tula, her disgusted mother, and the freed slave who has not  had the courage to leave. Tula's is a beautiful and powerful story.

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Other books by Margarita Engle

Reading Level: 6th Grade,7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Books for Girls, Historical Fiction, In Other Lands, Non-Prose, Social Issues Location: JY Fiction
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Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse

by Tamara Will Wissinger

Reading Level: Grades 2-4

It's obvious just from the cover that this book is going to be fun to read.  And it's all in poems so you can impress your teacher or your parents with your knowledge of different types of poems.  (Each one is labeled with the type of poem and at the back there's an explanation of what each type is.) The story is simple.  Sam has been looking forward to a father-son fishing trip, but then his pesky little sister horns in.  Tamera Will Wissinger's first book will have you hooked.

 

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Reading Level: 2nd Grade,3rd Grade,4th Grade Subjects: Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Family, Humor, Non-Prose, Realistic Fiction Location: J Fiction
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Cameron and the Girls

by Edward Averett

Reading Level: Grades 7 - 10

Cameron has schiophreniform disorder, a form of schizophrenia.  At fourteen, he decides he's old enough to make the decision to go off his meds.   Without medication Cameron hears voices.  He hears The Professor who gives good solid advice.  Then there's The Girl who is everything Cameron could want in a relationship except that she's not real.  Then a new voice called The Other Guy tells Cameron to be more macho and take risks.  When a girl in his special ed class shows an interest in Cameron an unusual love triangle develops. 

 

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Reading Level: 7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Misfits, Realistic Fiction, Self Image Location: JY Fiction
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