Schools: Book Reviews

Book Reviews by Author, H-O

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Margaret Peterson Haddix

The House on the Gulf
A 16-year-old boy arranges a house-sitting job for the summer, but when he begins to act strangely, his sister suspects that they are not really supposed to be there. Another good book by the author of the Shadow Children series.


Found is the first in a new series by Haddix and Sent is the sequel. When 13-year-olds Jonah and Chip, both adopted, learn they were discovered on a plane that appeared out of nowhere, was full of babies and had no adults on board, they realize they have uncovered a mystery.

Torn is book four in the Hidden series. Time travelers Jonah and Katherine arrive in 1611 to rescue missing child John Hudson, son of the explorer Henry Hudson. But, just as the mutiny on the Discovery is supposed to start, Jonah and Katherine's knowledge of history is tested.

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Carl Hiaasen

Nick Underwood and his younger sister, Abbey, are trying to hold the family together after their father is arrested for sinking a boat that housed a casino and for illegal dumping of sewage into the Florida Keys. This is another good book by the author of Hoot.

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Kimberly Willis Holt

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town
During the summer of 1971, in a small Texas town, Toby and his best friend Cal meet the star of a sideshow act: 600-pound Zachary, the fattest boy in the world. Zachary is known only as a fat boy until Toby and Cal get to know him. This is a wonderful story for kids who feel they don't fit in.

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Ellen Hopkins

Kristen Georgia Shaw goes from being a senior on her way to college to meeting Adam and becoming a drug addict, whereby she descends into private torment. This book has strong language and harsh situations. If you do like this book, you might also like Go Ask Alice.

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Gordon Korman

Lonely after a midsummer move to a new town, 16-year-old high school quarterback Marcus Jordan becomes friends with a retired professional linebacker who is a great trainer, but whose childish behavior keeps Marcus in hot water.

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Michael Lewis

The Blind Side
This is the story of rising gridiron star Michael Oher. Oher was rescued from the ghettos of Memphis and placed with a wealthy family to help develop his football skills, but he winds up being a part of the family. This is a good book, but the excessive detail slowed down the flow.

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Mike Lupica

Million Dollar Throw
Eighth-grade star quarterback Nate Brodie's family is feeling the stress of the troubled economy, and Nate is frantic because his best friend Abby is going blind. So, when he gets a chance to win a million dollars, he is overwhelmed with the pressure to succeed.

The Big Field
Fourteen-year-old baseball player Hutch feels threatened by the arrival of new teammate Darryl. Hutch tries to work through his problems with Darryl and a silent father, who was once a great ballplayer too. This is another hit from Mike Lupica, who is a great sports writer.

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Rachelle Mead

Vampire Academy
Two years after a horrible incident made them run away, vampire Princess Lissa and her guardian-in-training Rose are found and returned to St. Vladimir's Academy. Although the princess is a vampire and Rose is half-vampire/half human, neither attacks and kills humans for blood.

Spirit Bound
This is the fourth in the Vampire Academy series. Rose returns to St. Vladimir's and to her best friend, Lissa. It's graduation, and the girls can't wait for their real lives outside of the academy's cold iron gates to begin. But, danger lurks outside of the gates and Rose is just the one to find it.

This is a spin-off book from the Vampire Academy. Sydney, the alchemist, is assigned to protect the Moroi, Jill, and pretend to be her sister. Those who loved the Rose-Dimitri-Adrian triangle will love this series as well.

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Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Dairy Queen
After spending her summer running the family farm and training the rival quarterback, 16-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, not realizing the effect it will have on the people around her. Sometimes doors are opened for you and sometimes you have to break them down.

The Off Season
D.J. is now a high school junior and the responsibilities of the farm, her family, football and a possible boyfriend threaten to  overwhelm her. This is the sequel to Dairy Queen.

Princess Ben
Princess Ben is a spoiled child. But when her parents are killed, her easy life is taken away. Instead of having the run of the kingdom and eating herself into obesity, Ben is trained in the proper ways of a princess and forced to sleep in a dungeon. This story has many twists and turns.

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Walter Dean Myers

The Game
Harlem High School center Drew Lawson is all about the game, until the coach brings in outside talent. Drew finds himself suddenly on the sidelines fighting for his place on the team and the attention of college scouts. If you like sports and books about sports, Myers is your man.

Teenage Reese, serving time at a juvenile detention facility, gets a lesson in making it through hard times from an unlikely friend with a harrowing past. This is a good book, but with some strong situations.

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Jenny Nimmo

Charlie Bone and the Red Knight
This is book eight in the series. Charlie and the Children of the Red King must call upon all of their strength to defeat the darkness and finally learn the fate of Charlie's family. This is another good book in the Charlie Bone series.

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Michael Northrop

The story begins with seven high school students who hide at school after classes are dismissed for snow. But this is not an ordinary snow storm — it is a week long blizzard that shuts down the power and the heat, freezes the pipes, and leaves the students wondering if they will survive.

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Lauren Oliver

Lena, 92 days away from her 18th birthday, waits for the surgery that will protect her from deliria, formerly known as love, which has been banned. Lena is afraid that she will become infected before she the surgery. Will Lena make it to her 18th birthday, or will the cure come too late?

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