I loved Kimberly McCreight’s first book, Reconstructing Amelia, so I had high expectations for Where They Found Her. Those expectations were definitely met, as Where They Found Her was a gripping book.
After the body of a baby is found on the campus of Ridgedale’s local university, reporter Molly Sanderson is put on the story. The story hits close to home for Molly, who is still pulling herself together from the pain of her miscarriage. However, Molly is determined to get justice for the unidentified baby, and chases down every lead. As she gets closer to the answers, Molly discovers that there are many buried secrets in Ridgedale, and there are many people who will do what they can to keep those secrets buried.
This is another well written mystery by McCreight, and one of my favorite adult books of the year so far.
After Alice’s father dies in a shipwreck, she is sent to live with her Uncle Geryon, a relative she has never heard of. Her new home, and the occupants, are very strange, plus Alice is still trying to deal with her father’s death. A late night trip into Geryon’s library, that is forbidden to Alice without permission, changes Alice’s life.
Alice finds out that she is a Reader, someone who can control magic through books. Geryon is a Reader as well, and begins to train her.
Between a relative she doesn’t know, talking cats, fairies, and a boy who is living in Geryon’s library, Alice doesn’t know who to trust. She needs to find the strength to do what she needs to in order to find out what happened to her father and protect herself from those who would want to use her.
The Forbidden Library is a great new fantasy book for children. I thought it was interesting, and a good start for a brand new children’s series.
Calder, Petra, Tommy, Zoomy, and Early are all kids who have experience in solving thefts of pieces of art. So, when thirteen pieces of art disappear from a small museum in Chicago, one of the trustees, Mrs. Sharpe, asks the children to investigate.
There is a multitude of suspects, including the trustees, Mrs. Sharpe's son who pops up in unexpected places, and a group of people in black jackets who seem to be following the five children. There are many pieces of the puzzle, but the children have help from a teacher, the ghost of the original owner of the museum, and the pieces of art themselves.
There are a lot of components to this story, which can make it tedious because it's difficult to tell what is actually important and what is a red herring. However, that makes it a great story for children who like puzzles. I really enjoyed the story because I think art heists are fascinating, and the thirteen pieces of art that are stolen in the story are actual missing pieces of art that were stolen from Boston in 1990. Pieces and Players reminds us that great pieces of art can teach and inspire us, and should be protected and shared.
Fifteen-year-old Naomi Malcolm disappears without a trace one night after her school play. Her mother, Jenny, doesn’t give up hope, even after a year goes by and the trail has gone cold. However, Jenny’s search for answers leads her to uncover tons of secrets that her family members have been keeping, especially Naomi. Jenny knew that her daughter had been acting differently, but the information she uncovers about who Naomi had become shocks her and makes rethink everything she thought about Naomi’s disappearance.
The Daughter is told from Jenny’s perspective, and switches back and forth from the past to the present. It could move faster, but it’s beautifully written and a great story.
Saturn has been getting tons of new games in, but one that really caught my eye was Geek Out. Geek Out is a trivia game about pop culture subjects that are considered to be geeky, including video games, television shows, and comic books. Not only do you have to be able to complete the challenge, like name four Batman villains, but players place bets that they can name more in order to "out geek" the other players. The questions are very diverse, so everyone who is playing has a chance to win.
I immediately took this game home to play with my family, and we had a blast. It's a game that's very easy to get lost in and play for hours (which we did). This is a perfect game to play with teenagers and adults.
Convicted of murder, John O’Malley is sentenced to death by Judge Lucas Biggs. But, O’Malley’s daughter, Margaret, knows that her father is innocent. Normally a thirteen-year-old girl won’t be able to do much against the law, but Margaret has a secret. Her family has a certain quirk that allows them to time travel. Even though she made a vow to never use this ability, Margaret feels that this is a situation where it is necessary, especially after her best friend’s grandfather, Joshua, encourages her to go back in time. Margaret and Joshua both hope that by changing the town’s history, they can change the events that led up to John’s conviction.
Saving Lucas Biggs is a really cute story. The characters are gutsy and full of determination to stand up for what’s right. Even though the plot is predictable, it’s still a good book about the classic battle between good and evil.
In a small village in Finland, it is tradition for a thirteen-year old boy to spend the night in the wilderness, where he must kill an animal and bring it back the next day in order to become a man. What animal is killed helps define who that boy becomes.
Oskari has always dreaded the day he would have to go out into the woods because he doesn’t feel he can kill something impressive. While hunting, Oskari comes across an escape pod from Air Force One containing the president. Air Force One was shot down, and the men who shot it down are now after the president.
Instead of hunting, Oskari and the president become the hunted as they try to avoid the group of men who are determined to capture the president at all costs.
Big Game is a really exciting book, filled with adventure and action. This would be a great book for middle school boys.
A chilling mystery, Finding Jake begins with every parent’s worst nightmare, a shooting at their child’s school. But, what happens when it’s your child who is accused of being one of the shooters?
Told from a father’s perspective, and jumping from the past to present, Finding Jake is an amazing story that I couldn’t put down. This is going to be my first permanent staff pick of this year.
When Stan and his mother head off to a lumberjack camp, Stan has to survive all sorts of scary things. For instance, his 100 percent evil grandmother, sharp axes, his cousin who is always getting him into trouble, Scary Geri, and a lumberjack who killed a man. But, Stan's long-lost father will understand everything Stan has been through-that is, once Stan finds him.
Alison DeCamp's family has lived in Michigan for several generations, and she pulled aspects from their lives to write My Near-Death Adventures. Told through letters, clippings from magazines, and Stan's overactive imagination and creative personality, this is a really fun book.
Alison DeCamp will be here on March 17th to visit several of the schools, and will be in the store from 3:30-5:30 to sign books. This would be a wonderful book to give a child (it's appropriate for ages 8-12), so to get more information or to order a copy, just click the link.
Ally Nickerson has managed to hide the fact that she can’t read from all of her teachers. She is convinced that she is dumb, and that she can never change that. However, her new teacher, Mr. Daniels, notices more than Ally is comfortable with. He asks questions and challenges all of Ally’s attempted distractions. With his help, Ally discovers that she is capable of more than she ever thought she was.
Fish in a Tree is a wonderful book. I didn’t want to put it down after the last page because I wanted to know what happened next with the characters. This is definitely one of my favorite books for the year so far.
When Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Rapunzel all decide that they are sick of their lives, they decide the best solution is to switch places. However, the switch shows them that maybe their lives aren’t quite as bad as they thought.
I thought this was a really cute and creative book. It’s hard to rewrite classics in a new and unique way, but author Stephanie Clarkson manages to bring a refreshing new angle to the stories. The whole book rhymes and is hilarious. Any little girl who loves princess stories is sure to be pleased with Sleeping Cinderella and Other Princess Mix-Ups.