New Book Reviews for Kids

New Book Reviews

Deadly

by Julie Chibbaro

Reading Level: Grades 7-9

16-year-old Prudence Galewski knows she should be grateful to be a scholarship student at Mrs. Browning's School for Girls but she finds her lessons in typing, literature and deportment oppressive. Prudence doesn't want to be a wife and mother or a secretary at a bank. She wants to know what causes diseases and how to prevent them even though girls in the early 19th century were not supposed to be interested in such unladylike things.

Prudence gets her chance when she is hired as Mr. Soper's assistant at the New York Department of Health and Sanitation. But soon Prudence has reason to doubt the wisdom of her career path when an investigation of a string of typhoid cases leads her and Mr. Soper down a path of controversy and danger.

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Other historical stories of strong young women include:

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Parade of Shadows by Gloria Whelan and

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Reading Level: 7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Books for Girls, Historical Fiction, Social Issues Location: JY Fiction
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Orchards: A Novel

by Holly Thompson

Reading Level: Grades 8-10

Kana Goldberg gains a deeper understanding of herself and others when she is sent to Japan to spend the summer with her mother's relatives after a bullied 8th grade classmate takes her own life.

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Other engrossing novels told in verse are:

Karma: A Novel in Verse

Shark Girl by Kelly L. Bingham

Kaleidoscope Eyes by Jennifer Bryant

You Are Not Here by Samantha Schultz and

After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy

Other tales of American kids adjusting to life in foreign lands include:

Hannah's Winter by Kierin Meehan

The Heart is Not a Size by Beth Kephart and

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles

Reading Level: 8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Books for Girls, Family, Friends, In Other Lands, Realistic Fiction, Relationships Location: JY Fiction
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Johnny Swanson

by Eleanor Updale

Reading Level: Grades 4-6

When 11-year-old Johnny, the very shortest boy in his class, steals money from his mother and answers an ad promising to give him the "secret to instant height", he is dismayed to receive a note advising him to "stand on a box." Angry and ashamed, Johnny begins his own mail order scam thus setting a series of events in motion which may lead to his own mother's death.

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Other stories of questionable young entrepreneurs include:

The Great Brain by John Dennis Fitzgerald

The Year Money Grew on Trees by Aaron R. Hawkins and

The Beloved Dearly by Doug Cooney

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade Subjects: Books for Boys, Family, Historical Fiction, Mysteries, Realistic Fiction Location: J Fiction
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A Tale Dark and Grimm

by Adam Gidwitz

Reading Level: Grades 5-8

Gidwitz chronicles Hansel and Gretel's adventures through some of the Grimm Brothers most blood-thirsty stories in this hilarious, terrifying fairy tale send-up.

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If you enjoyed this terrifyingly funny fairy tale adventure try:

The Witch's Guide to Cooking With Children by Keith McGowan

Reading Level: 5th Grade,6th Grade,7th Grade,8th Grade Subjects: Fantasy, Folktales, Horror, Humor, Read-Alouds Location: JY Fiction
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The Hidden Gallery

by Maryrose Wood

Reading Level: Grades 4-6

The Incorrigibles are back in another howling adventure. Lady Constance (and Ashton Place) is still recovering from the Incorrigibles' disastrous Christmas Squirrel fiasco. The repairs are taking far too long so Lady Constance moves the entire household to London where plucky governess Miss Penelope Lumley strives to educate her unusual young charges and keep them out of danger.

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Other quaint tongue-in-cheek adventures include:

The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket and

Pure Dead Magic by Debi Gliori

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Family, Humor, Misfits, Read-Alouds Location: J Fiction
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The Great Wall of Lucy Wu

by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

Reading Level: Grades 4-6

Lucy is thrilled. Once her bossy older sister Regina leaves for college, Lucy will have their shared bedroom to herself. Lucy spends hours dreaming of the make-over she will give the room. Her decorating plans are ruined when her mother announces that Lucy's long-lost Chinese great-aunt (the one Lucy didn't know existed) is coming for an extended stay and will be sharing Lucy's room.

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IThe trials of another reluctant roommate are chronicled in:

The War With Grandpa by Robert Kimmel Smith

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade Subjects: Books for Girls, Family, Friends, Realistic Fiction, Relationships Location: J Fiction
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Vampire Crush

by A.M. Robinson

Reading Level: Grades 8+

When Sophie is assigned to interview four new students for the "Welcome Back" issue of the school paper, her curiosity is piqued when Vlad rudely refuses to speak to her. Her concern intensifies when Vlad takes an obsessive interest in Sophie's half-sister. As Sophie's investigations continue, she finds herself treading a path of dangerous horror.

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Other dark tales of supernatural creatures include:

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

Shiver by Maggie Stirfvater and

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich

Reading Level: 8th Grade Subjects: Books for Girls, Vampires Location: JY Fiction
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Karma

by Kathy Ostlere

Reading Level: Grades 7+

The year is 1984. Fifteen year old Maya packs a suitcase for a trip to India with her father. They are going to lay Maya's recently deceased Hindu mother to rest. Not long after they arrive, however, tumultuous religious differences between the Sikhs and Hindus explode into violence when prime minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated.

Maya and her father, a Sikh, are caught in the middle of the clash and separated when their hotel is attacked. Afraid for her safety because of her Hindu-Sikh parents and her sex, Maya quickly hacks off her long ponytail with a pair of scissors and runs, forgetting her mother's ashes in the hotel room.

The next hours are harrowing for Maya as the riots swell around her, Sikhs and Hindus fighting unrelentingly around her. When she finally emerges from the violence, rescued by a kind desert family but traumatized into muteness, it is only the 17-year old son, Sandeep, devoted to helping Maya find her father, that can save her again.

This historical fiction romance in diary-format free verse will have you turning pages back again and again to reread Maya and Sandeep's words and longing for more after the end. Karma is fraught with emotion, culture, violence, religion fear, but most importantly, family.

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Other novels you might like:

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger

Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth

For older readers:

Sold by Patricia McCormick

Reading Level: 7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers,Adults Subjects: Don't Miss These, Family, Friends, Historical Fiction, In Other Lands, Non-Prose, Read-Alikes, Realistic Fiction, Relationships Location: JY Fiction
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I Broke My Trunk!

by Mo Willems

Reading Level: Ages 3-7

When Gerald breaks his trunk, Piggie wonders how it happened. But if you know Gerald at all, you'll know that isn't a simple story to tell!

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Reading Level: Preschoolers,Kindergarteners,1st Grade Subjects: Animals--Talking, Don't Miss These, Friends, Humor, Read-Alouds Location: JP Fiction
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Cuddle Up, Goodnight

by Katie Cleminson

Reading Level: Ages 3-5

After a long day of fun activities, it's time for this young boy and his elephant friend to go to bed.

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Reading Level: Preschoolers Subjects: Friends, Read-Alouds Location: Picture Books
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