From Erik Schmid
The Children of the Stones (7 part miniseries)
If you can get past the hokey 1970’s special effects this childrens’ drama has much to offer in terms of thrills and plot development. This was one of a few foreign children’s series that were shown on Nickelodeon back in its infancy in 1983 on a show called ‘The Third Eye’. All the shows dealt with children that had E.S.P. or had “visions”. This series deals with a father and son that are invited to do research on a small English town that has a circle strange stones surrounding it, much like Stonehenge. Upon meeting and investigating the townsfolk, they begin to realize that there is something not right with the town. With slowly building tension and a truly strange soundtrack, ‘Children of the Stones’ can be enjoyed by fans of Goosebumps and other childrens’ horror.
From Erik Schmid
author: Delaney, Joseph
Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice, Book 1)
Imagine you are a young boy who was indentured to the local “Spook” as an apprentice. A Spook is a lonely, dangerous job, shunned by most, and it deals with opposing evil supernatural forces that threaten the land. Would you be happy to do this? Thought not. Thomas Ward is the boy in this tale, the seventh son of a seventh son, who is apprenticed to the local spook in order to learn how one captures, contains and banishes witches, boggarts, ghosts, ghouls and other malevolent creatures of the dark. This is book one of an ongoing series that really grabs the faithful reader. The horror is dark, but there is nothing in this book that crosses into the terrifying, so children can read this without trepidation. If your kids read Goosebumps, this might actually seem tame at times! All in all, a truly gripping book, that leaves the reader running for the next installment.
From Alicia, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Harrison, Lisi
Lisi Harrison, author of the Clique series, has just released her new realistic fiction novel, Alphas. Alphas is about a group of girls that are selected to go to a special school called Alpha Academy in order to reach the highest of their abilities. Skye Hamilton however, has trouble trying to reach her inner alpha because there are no boys around. But when Skye runs into the sons of the owner of the school, she is willing to bend some rules to get to know them. Even though they are strictly off limits, the girls are constantly sneaking out at night and meeting the boys, but one night, things don’t go as planned. When Charlie, one of Skye’s housemates, tells the owner of Alpha Academy that the girls have been sneaking out at night, one of them gets expelled, crushing their dreams of ever becoming the best Alpha. The girls then refrain from their nighttime visits, but only for a little while. When Charlie finds a way around Shira, the owner, she helps her fri
ends meet the boys, all to prove that she is not Shira’s spy and that she wouldn’t turn another girl in.
In this fun and realistic story, girls of any age will enjoy it. If you liked the clique series, then I recommend this new series, Alphas, by Lisi Harrison. The only thing I really disliked bout this book was that the middle was very predictable and boring. Nothing important to the story happened in the middle. But towards the end of the middle was when the book really got interesting.
From Catherine Givens
author: Wittman, Robert K.
Priceless : how I went undercover to rescue the world’s stolen treasures
The new book, “Priceless”, by Robert K. Wittman is a fascinating memoir set in the dark world of art thievery and the black market. Wittman, a 20-year veteran of the FBI, founded the Bureau’s chronically understaffed Art Crime Team. Most FBI personnel, he explains, place a lower priority on the nabbing of art thieves, compared to the capturing of drug dealers and bank robbers. Meanwhile, deeply appreciative of the cultural significance of art, he immerses himself in the study of Art History, to sharpen his ability to act the part of an astute art dealer.
He colorfully relates the conflicts that arise when agents whose values
differ are pitted against each other by bureaucratic hierarchies. With
grace and wisdom, and a highly experienced eye on the prize, Wittman
navigates these obstacles, transcending would-be blockades to repeatedly recover the loot.
Time and again precious paintings and cultural artifacts, both domestic and international, are handed over by clueless crooks to undercover agents, as well as to Wittman. The effort expended by all the undercover law enforcement players is awe-inspiring. Meanwhile, the fact that our government places so little value on and assigns so few people to the recovery of stolen art is shocking. And it explains why art thieves and unscrupulous dealers abound, displaying increasing levels of audacity.
Full of action and suspense, this fast-paced book is bursting with
bigger-than-life villains, dumb and dumber criminals and unassuming heroes. It would make a fantastic movie. But I highly recommend the book: The author’s heartfelt revelations of his inner thoughts as he strives to return art to its rightful owners keep us rooting for him all the way.