Tag Archives: 5th grade and up


28954126Title: Ghost
Author: Jason Reynolds
Series: Track
Recommended for: Grades 5-8
Pages: 192
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION REYNOLDS, J.

Synopsis: Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds.

Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.

Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all starting with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success by using drugs, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing their shots at life

Review: I liked, but didn’t love this book. I’ve enjoyed Reynolds’ other books a bit more. However, I do think the kids will eat this one up. Ghost is a character you can relate to and he is far, far from perfect. You can’t help but root for him even when he does something stupid like steal something. There are some heavy topics of abuse, but nothing that late elementary/middle school can’t handle. I do adore the relationships between Ghost and his coach & teammates expands over the book. Bonus points for the book being about track, which there hardly ever seem to be books about. I’m highly interested to see where the series goes and look forward to reading future installments.

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Posted by on October 24, 2016 in Juv, Realistic


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Jacket (1)Title:: Resistance
Author: : Carla Jablonski ; illustrated by Leland Purvis ; color by Hilary Sycamore.
Series: Resistance trilogy
Recommended for: Grades 5-9
Pages: Unpaginated
Call Number/Link:  GN J JAB
Synopsis: A couple’s bucolic French town is almost untouched by the ravages of WWII. When their friend goes into hiding and his Jewish parents disappear, they realize they must take a stand.
Review:  This is a tough book, but important. It is about the occupation of France as told from the point of view of children. The authors work hard to make the story gripping without being melodramatic. The excellently capture the fear and uncertainty of war coupled with the power of family. End notes in the book talk a bit more about the war and reasonably discuss the idea that war is filled with shades of grey, explaining some of the ideas as to why people might collaborate with the Nazis.


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LumberJanes Vol 2 Friendship to the max

LumberJanes Vol 2 Friendship to the max


Title: LumberJanes: Friendship to the max
Author: Noelle Stevenson
Series: LumberJanes
Recommended for: Grades 4-8
Pages: Unpaginated
Call Number/Link:  GN J LUMBERJANES V. 2
“Five best friends spending the summer at Lumberjane scout camp…defeating yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons…what’s not to love?! Friendship to the max! Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!”
Review: I really, really wanted to love Lumberjanes, but frankly Volume two left me cold. Volume one started out strong with plenty of mystery and questions. Admittedly there was a gap in my reading of volume one to volume two, but frankly the skip left me mostly lost, and by the time I caught the thread of the adventure, the book was over. A decent recap and perhaps a Dramatis personæ of the characters is a must for the book, as the shift in art style leaves two of the characters looking very visually similar.
Volume two is exceptionally short, almost half the book’s run time is devoted to a mixture of art inserts and previews for other titles. What makes this even more annoying is that there is apparently a volume three. I feel that if there was enough material for a third volume, than two should not have had as much filler material. However, that there is a volume three makes me pause, because it gives me hope that there will be a big ending with a more reasonable conclusion. Missing this ending makes two feel a poor choice to recommend for now.

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Posted by on April 8, 2016 in Adventure, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Juv


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The Wee Free Men

The Wee Free Men
The Wee Free Men

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Title: The Wee Free Men
Author: Terry Pratchett
Series: Tiffany Aching/Discworld
Recommended for: 5th through 12th grades
Pages: 375
Synopsis: A young witch-to-be named Tiffany Aching teams up with the Wee Free Men, a clan of six-inch-high blue men, to rescue her baby brother and ward off a sinister invasion from Fairyland by the Fairy Queen.
Review: Terry Pratchett is known for his various series set in the exotic land of Discworld. With The Wee Free Men, Pratchett gives us a new series and a new hero: Tiffany Aching. Continuing through A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, and I Shall Wear Midnight this story follows young Tiffany from adolescent cheesemaker to Witch: Protector of the Chalk.

The writing is sharp and the protagonist interesting, as she struggles to rescues her brother. Young Tiffany stands in the shadow of her departed grandmother, a powerful and somewhat mysterious woman, whom may have been a witch herself. She struggles against her own sense of doubt as she faces an intrusion into her world by the Fairy Queen and the quest to bring her brother home. Her mixture of grit and determination and use of wits as her weapon makes me both enjoy the book, and also recommend it. I would recommend this book for boys and girls 5th through 12th grades.


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Posted by on September 1, 2015 in Adventure, Adventure, Fantasy, Fantasy, Funny, Funny, Juv, Teen


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22554204Title: Lumberjanes
Author: Noelle Stevenson
Series: Lumberjanes
Recommended for: 5th grade and up
Pages: 128
Call Number/Link:  GN J Stevenson, N 

Synopsis: At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.

This is just an amazingly, fun graphic novel. The four friends get into all sorts of trouble due to their adventures. I laughed the most at their poor camp counselor who they’re often giving the slip to. It’s very female positive, but it isn’t preachy in the least. The coloring and artwork are spot one. I love that girls have varying body types that were realistic and not sexualized.  It’s very fast paced and filled with tons of adventure, making it an excellent recommendation for everyone of all ages. It does end with a cliff-hanger that will have fans screaming for more. Expect to see this one on tons of best graphic novel lists in the future.


  • Bandette by Paul Tobin
  • Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks
  • Adventure Time by Ryan North
  • Cleopatra in Space by Mike Maihack


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Posted by on May 23, 2015 in Graphic Novels, Juv, Uncategorized


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Silhouetted by the Blue

19668526Title: Silhouetted by the Blue
Author: Traci Jones
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 5th grade & up
Pages: 208
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Jones, T. or J Jon

Synopsis: Seventh-grader Serena Shaw is trying to keep up at school while rehearsing for the lead role in the spring musical and dealing with a father so “blue” he is nearly catatonic. With the aid of a not-so-secret admirer as well as a growing sense of self-confidence, she faces the challenges of caring for herself and her ball-of-charm younger brother, all while attempting to lead the life of a normal pre-teen. .

I picked this book up thinking it was a new title, but in reality it was once that had been reprinted/repackaged for YA. However, I’m glad it was otherwise I may not have discovered it. It’s a fast read and would be PERFECT for those tweens/younger teens looking for something that edgier/issue novels, but not ready for the YA edgy stuff. Serena has a lot on her plate. She’s trying to deal with her mother’s death & taking care of her brother as her dad falls deeper and deeper into depression. This book handles mental illness so well. It shows how medication doesn’t “numb/kill the spirit” but can help a person function as normal. There is no shame in being depressed or needing the medication. In fact, Serena begs him several times to go to the doctor so that he could return to his old self. This is a stark difference how many YA books have been handling mental illness lately (thank goodness!)

How to sell/quick spiel: Serena Shaw just wants to be a normal 7th grader. She wants her biggest worry to be about starring in her schools musical and flirting with cute boys. Instead, she has to deal with all the normal teen worries and taking care of her brother as their father feels deeper and deeper into depression over their mother’s death. Serena may be pretending that everything is okay, but she knows that the blue is desperately taking over their lives. Can she find help in time before it’s too late or will the blue destroy what little normalcy is left of her life.

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Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Juv, Realistic, Realistic, Teen


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