A Good Idea by Cristina Moracho

  A Good Idea by Cristina Moracho, Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 9780451476241, 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Mystery

What did you like about the book? A very realistic take on a teenage girl who investigates her best friend’s disappearance through a drug and alcohol induced haze. A Good Idea is an atmospheric mystery that brings to light the gritty life in a small Maine town.

Anything you didn’t like about it? This title is very realistic, making it pretty depressing.  However, the mystery keeps the reader wanting more.

To whom would you recommend this book? Older teens who like fiction about death, dying and drug addiction.  New Adults will also appreciate the well written mystery and it may be more age appropriate for this group.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries serving teens and adults.

Where would you shelve it? Young Adult Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? If you like dark mysteries with flawed characters, yes.  It’s also good to know what you are recommending to teens with this title.  It is for very mature readers.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Amy Dean, Stoughton Public Library, Stoughton, MA

Date of review: 9/21/17

 

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The Right Side – Spencer Quinn

   The Right Side – Spencer Quinn, read by Susan Bennett, Recorded Books, (9781501939327), 2017

Format: cd audiobook

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5+

Genre: Mystery/Military

What did you like about the book? I am a major Spencer Quinn/ Peter Abrahams fan. I have read everything he has written under both names. This one is edgy with a protagonist that is unforgettable along with the unforgettable and complex dog that adopts her. Expertly read by Susan Bennett, LeAnne was a sergeant in the military, having chosen that path right out of high school when her father abruptly dies. A disastrous desert operation in Afghanistan leaves her with a scarred face and only one eye. She is bitter, angry and confused. Her roommate at Walter Reed Hospital, Marci, also scarred from the war, becomes a good friend – but dies unexpectedly from a blood clot – leaving LeAnne feeling even more alone and bereft. She leaves the hospital, buys a car and heads for Washington State where Marci was from. Upon arrival, two major things happen: a huge, strange stray dog adopts her and she learns that Marci’s eight-year-old daughter has disappeared. LeAnne is brash with a faulty memory but she is determined to find Marci’s daughter. Her dogged intelligence combines with the astute qualities of the dog she names Goody to assist in the search and help her begin to heal.

Anything you did not like about this book? Absolutely NOT!

To whom would you recommend this book? Most high school students, both male and female, would be riveted by the character and story of LeAnne and Goody.

Who should buy this book? Public and high school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Audiobooks – Fiction

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Moderator, Youth Services Book Review

Date of review: 9/21/2017

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Eagle Strike:The Graphic Novel by Anthony Horowitz, Adapted by Antony Johnston, Illustrated by Yuzuru Takasaki and Kanako Damerum

     Eagle Strike:The Graphic Novel (Alex Rider: The Graphic Novel, #4) by Anthony Horowitz. Adapted by Antony Johnston. Illustrated by Yuzuru Takasaki and Kanako Damerum, Candlewick, 2017. 9780763692568

Format: Paperback

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre:  Adventure

What did you like about the book? I like that this exciting adventure series by Anthony Horowitz is finding a new life in a graphic novel format. Teenage spy prodigy Alex is on vacation in France with a friend/girlfriend when he sees a shady figure from his past. Things get rough pretty quickly as bombs explode, and Alex is forced to fight a bull and play a virtual reality game invented by a mad man. The James Bond-like spy gadgets are fun. I used to explain in reference interviews that Alex Rider is like a teen-aged James Bond, with the same high adrenaline escapades, but without the romance.

Anything you didn’t like about it? In the original series it is believable that this adolescent is crucial to high level international espionage. In this adaptation he just keeps happening on bad guys. There is a lack of substance to his character and to any of the supporting characters. The dialogue is trite and unbelievable. Also, there is a giant snake with eyelashes.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This might work as a hi/lo reader for teens. It is possible that this could introduce 10-12 yr olds to the fiction series.

Who should buy this book? Elementary and middle school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Graphic novels

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: September 20, 2017

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A Celebration of Beatrix Potter: Arts and Letters by more than 30 of Today’s Favorite Children’s Book Illustrators

    A Celebration of Beatrix Potter: Arts and Letters by more than 30 of Today’s Favorite Children’s Book Illustrator’s – Frederick Warne and Company, (9780241249437), 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Non-fiction

What did you like about the book?  This book serves as homage to Beatrix Potter and her work. Authors including Tomie DePaola, Chris Raschka, Rosemary Wells and Melissa Sweet are given a double page spread for an essay about Potter’s impact on their lives and an illustration in their own style of one of Potter’s beloved characters.  The book includes an introduction “About Beatrix Potter” giving background on her life and a list of her works.  Nine excerpts from Potter’s classics, including The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Two Bad Mice and The Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck, are followed by the illustrator’s essays and illustrations.  This is a lovely book that older readers and adults interested in Beatrix Potter will enjoy.  

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?   Hand this to readers and writers who love Beatrix Potter.

Who should buy this book?  Public Libraries

Where would you shelve it?

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? Yes if you love Beatrix Potter.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:            9/18/17             

 

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A Dragon’s Guide to Making Perfect Wishes – Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder, illustrations by Mary GrandPre

   A Dragon’s Guide to Making Perfect Wishes – Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder, illustrations by Mary GrandPre, Crown Books for Young Readers, (9780385392365), 2017  

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:   Fantasy

What did you like about the book?  Miss Drake and her pet, Winnie, are back for their third adventure.  In alternating chapters, Miss Drake ,a centuries old dragon, and Winnie, a young girl, tell of their time travel adventure back to the 1915 San Fransisco World’s Fair.  Miss Drake has brought Winnie there to allow her to see her great-grandfather Caleb, but they soon realize that someone has tried to trap them there.  Not only that but Winnie seems to travel back to the present as a wily wish granting stowaway.  This series is full of fun and adventure.  Each chapter includes a pen and ink illusion that brings the characters to vivid life.  A fun series for those who love a bit of magic mixed with their adventures.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Fans of the previous books in the series will enjoy this new adventure.  For readers who love stories about dragons and other magical creatures and time travel.

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:  9/19/17             

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 Letters to the Lost – Brigid Kemmerer

 Letters to the Lost – Brigid Kemmerer, Bloomsbury, (9781681190082), 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Realistic

What did you like about the book?  Two lost souls find each other and themselves through letters left in a cemetery in this heartbreaking yet hopeful novel.  Teenage Juliet lost her globe-trotting photojournalist mother when she was killed in a hit and run accident on the way home for the airport.  Since then, Juliet has been unable to take part in her own love of photography and she deals with her grief and guilt by writing letters to her mother that she leaves on her gravestone. Declan, a high school student with a reputation for trouble, is fulfilling community service hours at the cemetery.  Misunderstood and dealing with his anger towards his parents after the death of his younger sister, he finds one of Juliet’s letters and cannot help but pencil in a reply.  Writing anonymously to a fellow grieving person begins to help both Juliet and Declan. Although the two run into one another at school, neither knows who the other is as they use the aliases Cemetery Girl and The Dark in their letters and eventually online.  This is a wonderful story that captures the heart of teen grief and offers hope.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?   Readers who enjoyed books dealing with loss and feelings of  sadness,  such as Things We Know by Heart by Jessica Kirby and The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.  Hand it to readers who enjoy tear jerkers and realistic high school situations.

Who should buy this book?  Public Libraries and high school libraries

Where would you shelve it? YA fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles?   Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:  9/20/17    

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Captain Monty Takes the Plunge – Jennifer Mook-Sang and Liz Starin

   Captain Monty Takes the Plunge – Jennifer Mook-Sang and Liz Starin, Kids Can Press, (9781771386265), 2017

Format: Hardcover picture book

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

What did you like about the book? Captain Monty the Malodorous (a fox) was a fearsome pirate but had one fear – he would not bathe, as he did not swim, being afraid of the water. All the other pirates dove into the ocean every Saturday for their weekly scrub. But then he fell in love with a mermaid named Meg. They became good friends but Meg would not accept his dinner invitation because “Monty, you smell like stinky boots.” Monty was very sad but when a giant octopus grabs Meg, he braves all to save her, diving into the sea. Monty finds a way to free himself and Meg from the octopus but his own life is now at risk. This time Meg saves him – and teaches him to swim. A cute, charming story with bright, colorful illustrations rendered in ink, watercolor, crayon and colored pencil on press watercolor paper.

Anything you did not like about this book? No.

To whom would you recommend this book? This is a good recommendation for kids who like pirates and sea stories.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries and child care centers

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Not necessary.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Moderator, Youth Services Book Review

Date of review: 9/19/2017

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