Schools: Book Reviews

Book Reviews by Author, A-G

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Laurie Halse Anderson

Catalyst
Eighteen-year-old Kate is having trouble being the preacher's daughter, taking care of her younger sibling, trying to get along with her neighbors and, most important, getting into the college of her choice. Another great coming-of-age book by Anderson.

Prom
Ashley Hannigan doesn't care about the prom, but she is the exception: It's pretty much the only good thing happening in her urban Philadelphia high school. Good, that is, until the prom sponsor steals the money, and the prom is off. This book, another great one by Anderson, is very funny.

Twisted
Seventeen-year-old Tyler went unseen, until he spray-painted graffiti on the school walls. Now he has a new reputation, the school bullies are staying away from him and the most popular girl in school has noticed him. If you like this book, you should read Anderson's acclaimed novel, Speak.

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Terry Brooks

Armageddon's Children
This story follows a band of unlikely heroes struggling to survive in a near-future United States ravaged by nuclear fallout. The book starts slowly, but picks up after 40 to 50 pages. The library also has the next two books in the series, The Elves of Cintra and The Gypsy Morph.

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Jennifer Brow

Hate List
Valerie Leftman and her boyfriend Nick made up a hate list of students they wished would disappear. Nick takes the list seriously and starts shooting students in the school cafeteria. Valerie must decide if she will help the victims, possibly becoming a victim herself.

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Meg Cabot

Airhead
Sixteen-year-old Emerson Watts enjoys video games and hanging out with her friend Christopher, and hates anything to do with fashion. One day, a freak accident causes a "full body transplant," turning her into a fashion model. This is a cute, off-beat story by Meg Cabot.

Avalon High
Ellie, the new girl at Avalon High, is the daughter of medievalist parents on sabbatical to write a book. Ellie falls for senior Will Wagner, who not only is the star of the football team, but also might be the reincarnation of King Arthur. If you liked Cabot's Princess Diaries, you will like this, too.

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Cassandra Clare

City of Bones
City of Ashes
City of Glass

As this trilogy opens, 15-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, where she hardly expects to witness a murder, much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons.

City of Fallen Angels
Book Four in the Mortal Instrument series, this continues the story of Clary, Jace and Simon. If you liked the first three, you will like this one as well.

Clockwork Angel
This is a new series by Cassandra Clare. Sixteen-year-old Tessa's older brother suddenly disappears, leading Tessa to Victorian-era London's dangerous supernatural underworld. Another fine series for Clare.

Clockwork Prince
In this second book of the Infernal Devices series, the council attempts to strip Charlotte of her power. Meanwhile, orphan shape-changer Tessa Gray works with the shadowhunters to find the master and destroy the clockwork army, consequently learning the secret of her own identity.

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Mary Higgins Clark

I'll Walk Alone
Matthew, the 3-year-old son of Alexandra "Zan" Moreland, was kidnapped. Now, two years later, the police suspect Zan of the kidnapping, and someone is stealing her identity and her sanity. This book is full of suspense to the very end. If you like mysteries, this is the book for you.

The Shadow of Your Smile
At 82 and in failing health, Olivia Morrow knows she has little time left. The last of her line, she faces a momentous choice: expose a long-held family secret, or take it with her to the grave.

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Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games
In the future, rulers of a divided North America select teenaged "tributes" for a televised survival game. The winner's family is taken care of for life. Losers don't have to worry about their next meal. If you like this, you might also enjoy "The Lottery," a short story by Shirley Jackson.

Catching Fire
This is the second in the Hunger Games trilogy. Having won the Hunger Games along with Peeta, Katniss Everdeen should be happy. But disloyal subjects have chosen Katniss and Peeta as the symbols of their rebellion.

Mockingjay
This is the third in the Hunger Games trilogy. Katniss has survived, but her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss' family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol and District 13 does not exist. A truly explosive finish to the series.

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Caroline B. Cooney

A Friend at Midnight
After rescuing her younger brother, who was abandoned at a busy airport by their divorced father, 15-year-old Lily finds her faith in God and her family severely tested. Cooney is an excellent author and several of her books are available in the library.

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Simone Elkeles

Leaving Paradise
Caleb Becker spent the past year in juvenile detention. Maggie Armstrong spent the past year in hospitals and physical therapy. The two scarred teens will face their greatest challenge yet: meeting up with each other. This is an excellent book for teens.

Return to Paradise
The story of Caleb and Maggie continues: after a year apart, they are forced to participate in a group that talks about the effects of drunk driving on the driver and the victim. (Strong situations)

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John Flanagan

Kings of Clonmel
In the eighth book of the Ranger's Apprentice series, Halt, Will and Horace find out secrets to Halt's past when they set out for Hibernia, where a quasi-religious group, the Outsiders, is sowing confusion. Another good book for those who are fans of the the series.

Ranger's Apprentice: The Lost Stories
In 1896, an archeological dig unearths an ancient trunk containing manuscripts that confirm the existence of Araluen Rangers Will and Halt, and their first meeting. This book, the series finale, answers the questions about Will and Halt.

The Outcasts: Brotherband Chronicles, Book1
Hal never knew his father. A Skandian warrior, he died in battle when Hal was a young boy, but his reputation lives on long after his death. Hal, unlike his esteemed father, is an outcast, and his mother was an Araluen slave. This is a new series by Flanagan.

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Cornelia Funke

Inkheart
Meggie's father can "read" fictional characters to life, and one of those characters abducts them, to force them into service. Her father reads stories with truly bad characters, and when they come to life, all heck breaks lose. If you like Inkheart, you'll also want to read Inkspell and Inkdeath.

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John Grisham

The Confession
For every innocent man sent to prison, a guilty one remains free. Travis Boyette is such a man. In 1998, he abducted, raped and strangled a popular high school cheerleader. He got away with the crime, but an innocent man, Donte Drumm, waits on death row. This is an excellent crime drama.

The Litigator
Law firm partners Oscar Finley and Wally Figg see a chance for huge financial gain when they learn of a pending class action suit against the makers of Krayoxx, a cholesterol-reducing drug. If you like court dramas, then make your way to the library to check it out.

Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer
Thirteen-year-old Theodore Boone, who dreams of being a great trial lawyer, finds himself the only witness who can put away a serial killer.

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