Below are staff reviews of select new books in the Youth Services Department.
For a list of all the new and forthcoming Youth books, click here.
New Book Reviews
Reading Level: Grades 7 and up
Kit's mother was a serial killer before she married. She had a drop box in London where people could request a murder and she marked each of her victims with a magic marker heart on their chest, but she never managed to reach the notoriety that most serial killers do. After "quitting" her mother uses her experience to train her only child to be a perfect killing machine. Kit takes over the drop box (with her mother's help) at age nine and, as she grows older and becomes independent, leaves her calling card, the letters cleaned of all DNA, with each of her victims. By the time she is seventeen she has reached Jack the Ripper status and is known to the public as The Perfect Killer. However, when she gets a request from a classmate to kill another classmate things begin to spiral out of control.
Reading Level: Grades 2 - 5
When Sylvia's family moved to a new town in California, her aunt took her and her brothers along with her cousins to register for school. The school secretary gave enrollment forms to her two light skinned, light haired cousins, but informed Sylvia and her brothers that they would have to attend the Mexican school. After getting the runaround from every branch of the local government in a town where it was not unusual to see signs that read, "No dogs or Mexicans allowed" Sylvia's father decided the only thing to do was sue the Westminster School District to prove that segregation was unfair; a point that had to be proven seven years later by the more famous Brown vs. The Board of Education case.
Reading Level: Grades K - 4
Elizabeth the elephant seal lived in a park in the middle of a busy city. The residents all loved her, but drivers did not because she had a tendency to take naps in the middle of the road. Eventually the government decided that Elizabeth needed to be relocated to an elephant seal colony well away from the city where she would be happy. However, Elizabeth had a different opinion about what would make her happy.
Reading Level: Grades 8 - Adult
In the not-so-distant future almost everyone is always connected online, and every phone, tablet, app, search engine and social network is made by Gnosis. Rory, like everyone else, allows her Lux app to decide everything, from what she should wear and eat to where she should go and when she should leave and then she posts her every move to Forum, after all, only those pitiful people with untreated APD listen to that tiny opinionated voice in their head (dubbed The Doubt by the drug companies). When she is accepted to a very exclusive college prep school, which guarantees she will get into the best college and find a high powered job, she is thrilled because the school is packed with all the latest Gnosis technology. But the more she learns about her family's past, Gnosis, and The Doubt the more she begins to wonder if Lux is really designed to help her lead the happiest life she can have or if The Doubt may be trying to tell people something important.
Reading Level: Grades 6 - 8
Shiloh is a Terminal. She has a terrible disease that sometimes requires operations to remove a lung or a kidney, maybe an arm or leg. That is why the Terminals live at Haven Hospital and Halls, so they can be protected and monitored by Dr. King who is the only one who knows when an amputation is necessary. If it wasn't for the Tonic which helps her sleep and remain calm, Shiloh doesn't know how she or the other Terminals would cope.
Reading Level: Ages 3-7
Morris Micklewhite likes Sundays when his mother makes him pancakes. He also loves Mondays because he gets to to go school, and there are lots of activities he likes there: painting, singing, snack time, the list goes on. The very best thing about school is the dress up box, where he always finds his favorite bright tangerine dress to put on. The other kids aren't very accepting of Morris wearing a dress, but he is able to find solace at home where he paints pictures inspired by his dreams and imagination.
Reading Level: Grades 8 - 12
Davy's life is wonderful. She lives in a wealthy suburb far from the city which keeps getting more and more dangerous. She is a senior at a private school where she dates the hottest boy on campus, and she is a musical genius who will be going to Julliard next year. Everything is perfect until the results of a mandatory DNA test come in and it is discovered that she has HTS, Homicidal Tendency Syndrome. The Wainwright Institute has shown that the majority of violent crimes have been committed by people with HTS and as an HTS carrier Davy is suddenly considered a danger to society, no longer welcome at her private school or Julliard, having to see a Wainwright Institute counselor (parole officer) on a regular basis, and worst still, being forced to finish her senior year in The Cage with other HTS carriers at the local public school. Her life couldn't get any worse, or so she thinks...
Reading Level: Grades 4 - 6
Alice is up past her bedtime when she hears her father arguing with someone about her. Peeking through the crack in the door she sees that the person he is arguing with is not a person at all, but rather a large, ugly yellow and black fairy. Four days later Alice is orphaned and is informed that she is to go live with her Uncle Jerry. Alice knows she doesn't have an Uncle Jerry, but what can she do other than move to a spooky old mansion with scary servants she can see, mysterious servants she can't, and a gigantic library she is forbidden to enter without an escort.
If you liked the Inkheart series you will enjoy this book.
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.