Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dancer, by Lorri Hewett

"Two words describe "Dancer": dedication and passion! This book has great promise and bursts out (with) pride. This is just the book for teens who are chasing their dreams and wish to suceed in their desires." Reviewed by Haejin, Loyal Hemphill Branch reader!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

When Science Goes Wrong: Twelve Tales From the Dark Side of Discovery, by Simon LeVay

"The book is a cavalcade of mistakes, all of them related to science in some way. (It) discusses what happens when scientific projects encounter unforseen accidents, and how they could have been prevented. The author states that this is not an attack on scientific values, but human error, both ethical and neglect for caution . . . (which) sometime ending in tragedy."

"The book is absorbing, but some readers will be inclined to skip chapters one, three and six because the incidents are retold with too much information. Beside that this is a good book. I rate it four and a half out of five stars. Check it out!" Reviewed by Micah ~ Homeschooled.

"Experimental brain surgery goes horribly awry; a dam fails catastrophically; a geologist leads an ill-equipped party to its doom in the mouth of an active volcano: these are the amazing and sometimes horrific stories of technical errors and scientific mistakes that LeVay relates." Publishers Weekly

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shakespeare Stealer, by Gary Blackwood

"This book is historical fiction, one of my favorite genres to read. It was exciting and suspenseful; I could hardly put the book down! I enjoyed following the journey of the main character as he overcame obstacles and made real friends." Reviewed by Hannah, Hemphill Branch Teen Reader!

"Blackwood excels . . . in the lively depictions of Elizabethan stagecraft and street life." Publishers Weekly

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis

"This last Narnia adventure was a battle twisted with tretchery and justice in the final days of Narnia." Five Stars! Reviewed by Brandon, Hemphill Branch Teen Reader!

"With Eustace and Jill at his side, the King, the noble unicorn Jewel, and a few remaining loyal subjects must stand fast against the powers of evil and darkness and fight The Last Battle to decide the future of this once glorious kingdom." School Library Journal

How I Saved My Father's Life (And Ruined Everything Else), by Ann Hood

"This book has been heart touching! The author has brought the main character - Madeline ~ into a world of obstacles she must face. But Madeline isn't being cooperative; after a lot of events and realizations she comes around, (becoming) a new sister, daughter, and a better person!" Reviewed by Haejin, Hemphill Branch Teen Reader!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer

"WOW - I have never read a book filled with such intensity! Its unique situation made me grip this book, and (I) raced to the end of the story. The author sure made me want to find out its secrets before anyone else." Reviewed by Haejin, Hemphill Branch teen reader.

"Farmer's novel may be futuristic, but it hits close to home, raising questions of what it means to be human, what is the value of life, and what are the responsibilities of a society." Publishers Weekly
Voyage of Slaves: A Tale of the Castaways of the Flying Dutchman, by Brian Jacques

"It was a tale of survival, wit, courage and seeking adventure!" Reviewed by Brandon, Hemphill Branch Teen Reader.

The third book in Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series continues the adventures of Ben and the black labrador Ned. Guided by the angel who spared them the fate of the Flying Dutchman's crew, they find themselves once again being used in heaven's fight against evil. ~ Booklist Magazine
The Last Dragon, by Silvana de Mari

"This was an incredible book! I love the mix of romance, adventure and fantasy." Reviewed by Amy, Hemphill Library Branch Summer Reading Program.

"Yorsh is the last of his kind, an elf child in a world that despises elves. He seeks warmth, food, and shelter but has found only cold, rain, and despair. When he meets two unlikely companionships - humans who help him in spite of their prejudices - Yorsh learns of a prophecy concerning the last dragon and the last elf: when these two break the circle there will be a new beginning." School Library Journal

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Dectectives, by Michael Buckley

"This book is an absolute must-read! Its unique combination of reality and fantasy results in hooking the reader with awe. P.S. - Fairy tale characters, princesses, and America's favorites make an appearance, but with a whole new personality, attitude and style. The author, Michael Buckley, looks at fantasy from a whole different level!" By Haejin, Jamestown Middle School
"Buckley has created a world in which humans and fairy-tale creatures live side-by-side in rural New York" School Library Journal
The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place, by E. L. Konigsburg

"It was in a way interesting. But I think that it was too slow, and it left you hanging in some places." Reviewed by Chris, Hemphill Branch Teen Reader!

"Konigsburg has created another spunky young heroine in The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place (Atheneum, 2004.) Twelve-year-old Margaret Rose Kane declares her independence when she politely, but firmly, refuses to "fit in" at summer camp. Fortunately, her great uncles Alex and Morris are happy to bring her to their home on Schuyler Place where she quickly learns about a dispute between the elderly men and a neighborhood group." ~ School Library Journal

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Finding Grace, by Alyssa Brugman

"This book was intriguing - the characters and the book's conflict started the mysteries that the caregiver, Rachael, finds out (about). Its definitely going to get you to flip the pages with rapid speed! The main character lacked passion - and in my opinion passion is a great factor. Reviewed by Haejin, Jamestown Middle School

Rachel is just starting college when a local attorney who met her during graduation hires her to care for Grace, his former coworker and friend, who has suffered brain damage. The teen approaches the job with her typical perfectionism, but without much compassion. However, as Rachel begins to unfold and piece together Grace's past, she discovers a woman who once lived and loved. As Rachel opens herself up to a new world of experiences, she is forced to admit that she doesn't know everything. Brugman has written a novel that is both funny and heart-wrenching. ~ Booklist Magazine

High Strung, by Quinn Dalton

"I give this book 3 out of 5 starts because it was interesting but it did not explain or give enough details about the main character and the situation that she was in. It left us hanging!" Reviewed by Chris as part of the Hemphill Branch Summer Reading program!

"A quietly moving debut novel" ~ Booklist Magazine

Monday, September 8, 2008

Code Orange, by Caroline Cooney

"Code Orange was a "one-of-a-kind." You'll never find a book that matches it . . . My only concern is that it may not grab and hook the reader first thing . . ." Reviewed by Haejin.

While conducting research for a school paper on smallpox, Mitty finds an envelope containing 100-year-old smallpox scabs and fears that he has infected himself and all of New York City.
Planet Pirates, by Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Moon & Jody Lynn Nye

"Hard working doctor Lunzie Mespil's life gets turned upside down when an accident leaves her in cyrogenic sleep for over sixty years. The book has an interesting plot, but I don't know why the authors McCaffrey and Nye wasted so much of the reader's attention on unnecessary plot details before getting into the more typical Science Fiction action. Besides this the book was alright, but far from the best."

I rate it 3 and 1/2 stars (out of five).

Reviewed by a Anonymous Teen Reader [Please remember to sign your book reviews! We are concerned with your privacy on the 'net, so we only share your first name and school here on Cool Books for Teens! ~ Robbie]