Friday, January 30, 2009

Savvy by Ingrid Law - ADVISABLE

Law, Ingrid Savvy, 342 pgs; Dial

Language~G; Sexual Content~G; Violence~G


The Beaumont’s have a secret. . . . Savvy . . . . No one knows why, but when a Beaumont turns 13, they are gifted with a magical ability they call savvy. Twelve year-old Mibbs has watched as one by one her older siblings leave school after their thirteenth birthday to learn how to get their savvy under control. Two days before her special day her Poppa is in a terrible car accident and the family is told he might not make it. On the morning of her birthday Mibbs realizes that her savvy just may be able to save her father.

In a story reminiscent of Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting, Law weaves together a story of love, family bonds, determination, and friendship that is sure to become a classic.

Allison Madsen~Teen Librarian-SJO Public Librarian

Shooting the Moon by Frances O'Roark Dowell - ADVISABLE

Dowell, Frances O’Roark Shooting the Moon, 176 pgs Atheneum

Language~G, Sexual Content~G; Violence~PG


Life is complicated . . . especially when your country is at war and your family is Army. The Vietnam War was a time of confusion and conflict for the United States and families all over the country. This novel brings readers into the heart of one career-army family and shows the effects of the war on their relationships. Jaime Dexter adores her older brother T.J. always has . . . always will. When he enlists and is sent to Vietnam, her dad nick-named, The Colonel isn’t happy with his son’s decision. Jaime always thought that her dad would thrill at another family member joining the armed forces. She eagerly awaits a letter from T.J. and when it comes it is just a roll of film. Jaime decides to learn how to develop the film herself. The pictures are not what she expects and she begins to learn that war is not all the glory it is made out to be.

Allison Madsen~Teen Librarian-SJO Public Librarian

Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor - ESSENTIAL

Connor, Leslie Waiting for Normal, 304 pgs Katherine Tegen Books



Addie is waiting for the moment when her life will be normal. Addie appears to be an average young girl. She has friends at school and seems happy, but her life is far from ‘normal.’ Addie’s mom, Mommers, isn’t the best at taking care of anyone but herself. The novel opens as Addie and Mommers are being dropped off at their trailer under a freeway overpass. There are times when Addie doesn’t see her mom for days at a time, but Addie makes do and knows that she must not tell or Mommer’s will get in trouble.

This is a moving novel about a girl who is making the most of the life she was dealt and finding friends and happiness where ever possible while she is “waiting for normal.”

Allison Madsen~Teen Librarian-SJO Public Librarian

Multiple Blessings: Surviving to Thriving with Twins and Sextuplets by Kate & Jon Gosselin

Gosselin, Jon and Kate with Carson, Beth Multiple Blessings: Surviving to Thriving With Twins and Sextuplets, 224 pgs Zondervan;

Language~G, Sexual Content~G; Violence~G


Jon and Kate Gosselin, the star family of the hit show on the cable network TLC Jon & Kate-plus 8, have written a very entertaining and thoughtful book on their experience having twins and then multiples (6!) In their book, not only do the Gosselin’s share the inside story behind their amazing family, but they share personal and sometimes spiritual insights on living through the process. Multiple births have fascinated humankind since the beginning of time and now due to fertility treatments they are much more common. Teens will enjoy reading about this family, especially if they like the show.

Allison Madsen~Teen Librarian-SJO Public Librarian

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Benjamin Dove by Fridrik Erlings - OPTIONAL

Erlings, Fridrik Benjamin Dove, 206 p. North-South Books Inc., 2007.

 Language- PG, Sexual Content- PG, Violence- PG-13.


Benjamin Dove is a normal twelve year old boy who longs for adventure. When a new kid, Roland, moves into town, Ben and his two best friends, Jeff and Manny, become impressed with Roland's fascination with knights. They join together and form the Order of the Red Dragon, a group of young knights who protect the neighborhood, do good deeds, and defend the helpless. The violent older boys of the neighborhood decide to form their own order and call themselves the Order of the Black Feather. They start to terrorize the younger boys and war breaks out. When the Order of the Black Feather decide they want to increase the violence, a tragedy occurs that will change the lives of the Red Dragon Knights forever.

This book is very uniquely written. Benjamin Dove is very powerful and will make you stop and think. I didn't like how descriptive some of the violence was so I marked it down on the recommendation level, but read it for yourself.

 Reviewer: Brenna Evans, college student.

Elissa's Odyssey by Erica Verrillo - ADVISABLE

Verrillo, Erica Elissa's Odyssey, 335 p. Random House, 2008.

Content- G


After escaping the evil Khan (which is in the first book, Elissa's Quest), Elissa is lost! In order to be reunited with her friend Maya and her donkey Gertrude she travels by boat to the city of Gravesport. While on her journey she realizes that there are more challenges she must face besides the prophecy of the Phoenix. Her journey is full of twists and turns with new friends and adventures at every turn of the page.

 Really good book! I loved that it had no swear words, no violence, and no sexual content and was still a great story. I'm excited for the next book in the series to come out.

 Reviewer: Brenna Evans. college student

Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier - ADVISABLE

Marillier, Juliet Cybele's Secret, 424 p. Alfred A Knopf, 2008.

 Language- PG; Sexual Content- G; Violence- PG


Six years after her adventure in the Other Kingdom, Paula travels to Istanbul with her merchant father to buy the ancient pagan artifact Cybele's Gift. Something shocking happens at the unveiling of the artifact, and it's up to Paula and her friends to solve the mystery surrounding Cybele's Gift, before they are killed by others who want the pagan relic for themselves.

 This book was a good read. I liked all of the characters and the story was fun and surprising. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would love reading it again.

 Reviewer: Brenna

Monday, January 12, 2009

On Rough Seas by Nancy L. Hull - ADVISABLE

Hull, Nancy L. On Rough Seas. 262 p. Clarion, 2008.


14yo Alec Curtis is involved in the accidental drowning of his cousin, Georgie. Alec's father, bitter from his war experiences, is harsh and disapproving of Alec. His father wants him to help with the family inn, but Alec's dream is to go to sea. He juggles his work at the inn with his job as a galley boy on the fishing boat Britannia. As World War II threatens England's shores, Alec finds himself surrounded by mysteries: what is the government doing in a castle closed off to civilians, what is the real mission of the soldiers staying at his family's inn, and what is hidden in his German friend Eva's past? Alec finds the answers to these questions and assists in the rescue of 300,000 British soldiers who are stranded on the beach in Dunkirk.

The book is a bit lengthy but the story will definitely appeal to those who enjoy historical fiction.

Reviewer: Debby Herget, Elementary Library-Teacher.