Monday, February 11, 2008

Dusssie by Nancy Springer

Springer, Nancy Dusssie, 166 p. Walker (Bloomsbury), 2007. Along with puberty, Medusa "Dusie" Gorgon has inherited a head of snakes. Though interesting and kind of cute, the snakes do not make for a fashionable hairdo. Now Dusie is stuck at home, trying to come to terms with her new "friends", while keep her real friends in the dark. She also needs to figure out how correct her biggest mistake - turning the cutest boy in school into stone. Extremely cute, with a great ending. A fine addition to stories based on mythology. EL, MS - ADVISABLE

Blood Brother by Malcolm Rose

Rose, Malcolm Blood Brother, 219 p. Kingfisher (Houghton), 2008. Still recovering from his last forensic investigation, Luke Harding is called in to investigate a series of mysterious death statistics at the hospital that saved him. Not only does he find his birth parents, but he also thinks his own father may be the culprit. But Luke and his MALC (Mobile Aid to Law and Crime) will investigate thoroughly and carefully all of the twists and turns and secrets before bringing the investigation to a close. There are now six books in this series, all in paperback; if your students love Horowitz, this is a good series to move on to. MS - ESSENTIAL

Airman by Colfer

Colfer, Eoin Airman, 412 p. Hyperion, 2008. Conor Broekhart was born in a hot air balloon and grew up beloved by his little island nation, especially after he saved the life of his best friend, the island's princess, Isabella. After several wonderful years of education and friendship, however, an evil man frames Conor for the murder of his king and now Conor is stuck, at the island's vicious prison. Targeted for death, he manages to somehow survive, always plotting a plan to escape, always looking for that perfect moment. That moment happens to arrive with the coronation of Isabella as Queen. But now Conor has to decide between just escaping and running off to America to build a new life, or staying and saving his Queen and his country. If you thought that Artemis Fowl was great - you ain't seen nothin' yet! Colfer has hit a fantastic stride with this exciting and dangerous novel (not for elementary)! MS, HS - ESSENTIAL

Ruby Key by Lisle

Lisle, Holly The Ruby Key, 368 p. Scholastic (Print Date: May 2008). Genna and Dan are desperate to find their father and save their mother, before she is forced to marry the village's new chieftain. What they don't know, however, is that their incredible journey is destined to save more than one race of peoples. Cunning will be needed and danger must be encountered along every step of the way as the two and their companions try to satisfy the demands of the nightling king without getting themselves killed or betraying those they love. A really hard-hitting start, a little slower in the middle and then a big rush to a fine conclusion, with a great setup for at least one sequel. This book can easily span all three levels of school libraries. Lisle has made a smooth transition into the teen fantasy market - check out her adult level fantasy if you haven't already. EL, MS, HS - ESSENTIAL