Friday, February 28, 2014

Spending Spree: The History of American Shopping by Cynthia Overbeck Bix-ADVISABLE


Bix, Cynthia Overbeck, Spending Spree: The History of American Shopping. Pgs. 88. Lerner Publishing, 2014. $33.27. INFORMATION.

These days, if you’re not shopping in-house, you’re shopping online, but how did they shop in the early days of America? How were new clothes and other goods obtained and how long would the trip to the store take? Follow this book through a journey through the evolution of shopping and discover the answer to these questions and more. An interesting and informative look at an American pastime. With primary sources, a decent layout, and useful extra sources like for more information, index, source notes, and a bibliography, readers interested in shopping or who need a non-fiction book will enjoy reading this book. EL, MS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.

Recentering the Universe by Ron Miller-ADVISABLE



Miller, Ron,  Recentering the Universe: The Radical Theories of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton. Pgs. 88. Lerner Publishing, 2014. $31.93. INFORMATION.

Many years ago, humans believed the Earth was flat, the universe revolved around our little planet, and religion was deeply ingrained in science. Challenging such beliefs was practically a death wish. Such scientists like Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, and Isaac Newton defied all odds, persecution, and threat of death to discover the true depths of the universe. This is the story of their discoveries and how our view of the universe was changed by them. A fun, informative book with great use of diagrams and illustrations as well as quotes. Useful for common core study of astronomy and other such concepts Readers interested in astronomy, philosophy, or who need to read a non-fiction book will enjoy reading this book. Included are a glossary, source notes, bibliography, index, and sources for further information. EL, MS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.

Carly Rae Jepsen: Call Her Amazing by Nadia Higgins-ADVISABLE


Higgins, Nadia, Carly Rae Jepsen: Call Her Amazing. Pgs. 32. Lerner Publishing, 2014. $26.60. INFORMATION

Who is Carly Rae Jepsen and how did she rise to fame? Being able to sing on key since she was three, Carly was never your typical teenager. She had starring roles in Annie, Grease, and The Wiz in high school. Her big break came when she was on Canadian Idol. Although she came in third, she got a record deal. It wasn’t until she created and recorded her single, Call Me, Maybe that things began to change. After hearing her song, Justin Bieber tweeted on his Twitter account how much he loved it. Before that, not many people had heard of her outside of Canada. Now, thanks to some luck and a fabulous song, she’s achieved her dreams. Read to find out more about how she did so.

The format is distracting, a little bright, and feels more laid out like a teen magazine, but the information is entertaining and interesting. Readers who are interested in learning about Carly Rae’s life will enjoy reading this book and perusing the supplemental fun The extras include a 2-page spread of pictures, source notes, places to go online for more Carly info, and an index. EL, MS. OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library

Shadowlands by Kate Brian-ADVISABLE


Brian, Kate, Shadowlands. pgs. 328. Hyperion, 2013. Content: Language: PG-13, Mature Content: PG-13, Sexual Content: PG-13.

After a mad man attempts to rape and kill her, Rory Miller and her family are put into witness protection. On their way there, Rory has a dream that the mad man serial killer, Steven Nell, caught up with her and her family and killed them all. Not, however, until Rory had killed him. When she wakes up, she finds herself crossing the ferry into Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation town cut off from the world. They soon fall into a group of care-free teens who like to surf and spend the day at the beach. When one of her friends goes missing, however, the disappearance is too coincidental. To make matters weirder, her sister, Darcy can’t remember the people after they’re gone and Rory keeps having violent dreams that involve her family’s deaths. What’s really going on on this small island? Could the violent dreams really be memories? Has Steven found her? Why can’t her sister remember those who’ve gone missing?

The characters are a little shallow and the plot has a lot of holes and parts where it drags. Readers, however, who enjoy Twilight Zone type books like Last Academy by Anne Applegate or who like mystery and suspense will enjoy reading this book. Recommended for most libraries. MS, HS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.

The Titan's Curse: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan-ADVISABLE


Riordan, Rick, The Titan’s Curse. Ill. By Attila Futaki. Pgs 126. Disney Hyperion, 2013. $19.99. Content: Language: G, Mature Content: PG, Violence: PG. GRAPHIC NOVEL.

In his third adventure, Percy has to go on a quest to save Annabeth and stop the cursed Titan. With the help of Artemis’ hunters and his friends, Grover and Thalia, he must not only rescue Annabeth, but save the goddess, Artemis as well before Winter Solstiice or all will be lost. Will he succeed?

Although not as good as the original book, this adaptation will appeal to a new audience as well as the old. The characters are true to the originals. The illustrations are a little dark in places, but detailed and fun to look at. The layout of the novel is easy to follow and won’t confuse readers. People who like the Percy Jackson series or who like graphic novels, fantasy, mythology, and adventure will enjoy reading this book.

EL, MS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.

The President Has Been Shot! by James L. Swanson-ESSENTIAL


Swanson, James L., The President Has Been Shot!: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy. Pgs. 288. Scholastic Press, 2013. INFORMATION. $18.99 ISBN 9780545490078

Gr 7 and up- What was going on in the world prior to Kennedy’s assassination? What’s the story behind his assassination? Why has his murder remained unsolved definitively? Learn the answers to these questions and more in this book.

The diagrams in this book are detailed and useful. The format is told like a narrative, much like teens like. The facts and background information are accurate and intriguing, especially the lesser known facts. A great addition to any American History lesson or for pleasure reading. MS, HS. ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Jessica Moody, Library Media Specialist, Olympus Jr. High.

Hereafter by Kate Brian-ADVISABLE



Brian, Kate, Hereafter. pgs. 306. Hyperion, 2013. $17.99. Content: Language: PG-13, Mature Content: PG-13, Sexual Content: PG-13.

After a serial killer brutally murdered them, Rory and her family wound up in limbo in a summer island called Juniper Landing without knowing they were dead. Destined to forever usher others into entering the afterlife, Rory is labeled a Lifer. Something, however, is not right. One of the Lifers is sick of wants out no matter the cost and is trying to put the blame on Rory. Forced to prove her innocence, Rory must find out who is sending spirits, good and evil, to the Shadowlands, the place where there’s no way back. If she fails, she will be she’ll be sent there herself. Can Rory restore the balance of good and evil and save herself? 

Although the characters are a little shallow and hard to keep track of, the natural dialogue helps to distinguish them and help readers to relate to them. Like the first one, the plot drags in places and isn’t quite as suspenseful, readers who like intrigue and mystery will enjoy reading this book. It is best, howeer, to read the first book before reading this one. MS, HS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.

Dualed by Elsie Chapman-ADVISABLE



Chapman, Elsie, Dualed. Pgs. 292. Random House, 2013. $19.99. Content: Language: PG-13 (4 swears, no “f”s), Mature Content: PG-13, Violence: PG-13

West Grayer has trained her entire life for the day she will receive her assignment to kill her Alt. In Kersch, every individual has an Alt (a genetic Alternate or Twin). The Alt is raised by a different set of parents and only the strongest can survive. In order to gain the advantage, West decides to train as a Striker. Striker’s kill other people’s Alts for them. West becomes confused with only a month to kill her own Alt. Can she kill someone who is virtually the same as her? Is she the best her? Is West worthy to survive?

This heart-pounding thriller will leave readers questioning their choices. The reader will ask could I do this? And am I the best me I can be? Though the story is at times creepy and dark, it is a great read for sci-fi and thriller fans. MS, HS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Jessica Moody, Library Media Specialist, Olympus Jr. High.