From Rosemarie Jerome
author: Pope, Barbara Corrado
The Blood of Lorraine
It is France, 1894. The Alfred Dreyfus trial is causing anger and unrest throughout the country. Anti-Semitism is rampant. A Christian baby is found mutilated. Magistrate Bernard Martin must find the killer before the entire town riots. When two Jews are killed, is he searching for a serial killer or two separate killers? Are the cases linked or is a coincidence? Martin is pressured by his superiors to quickly solve these cases. He wants to solve them before more victims are discovered. It is a race against time, as Martin unearths truths about himself and the racism that has been lurking below the surface in his community. Tragedy strikes his family and brings Martin to the breaking point, as it slowly drives his wife insane. It is an intriguing time period, with a main character that you could relate to. The interaction between Martin and his sidekick, Inspector Jacquette, adds some comic relief to an otherwise grim historical mystery.
From Andrea Kalinowski
author: Harper, Molly
And one last thing
“And one last thing” by Molly Harper was an entertaining read, though some would class it as chick lit, I class it as affordable entertainment. A woman receives flowers which were incorrectly delivered and thereby discovers her husband’s true cheating nature. She wallows for a short time and then, in a moment of drunken insanity, sends an email newsletter which details her husband’s perfidy. Wrath rains down upon her head from her society pals and her mother-in-law. They argue that everyone does it and if you want to keep your lifestyle, turn a blind eye. She ignores their advice, and with the assistance of her irrepressible brother, finds a path of renewal. She is a stronger woman at the end and finds a new love interest who will stand with her and lend her wings when she needs them. A very enjoyable read, “And one last thing” details something which is quite common in today’s society, cheating and divorce. The revenge solution also has its roots in today’s technology, since it is with an email newsletter she tries to extract her revenge. Find a cat, a comfortable chair, a daiquiri and curl up with this book. You won’t regret it.
From Margie Hartough
author: Olsen, Timothy
The Teenage Investor: How to Start Early, Invest Often, and Build Wealth
Teens need to start saving money now. Tim Olsen bought his first shares of stock when he was in second grade. Now at 13, he is practically a Wall Street veteran. He has written this easy-to-read and fun paperback that gives simple explanations of the tools of investing. Investing and savings are subjects that high schools don’t spend a lot of time on but should. He explains the simple truth that time is money: the more time you have to invest, the more money you can make. It’s a lot easier to make a million dollars in 50 years than to make a million dollars in one year. This book gives basic explanations of key investment concepts for the stock market, mutual funds, index funds and bonds.
From Teen Blogger Sarah
author: Peck, Richard
A season of gifts
In the book A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck, twelve year old Bob moves next door to Mrs. Dowdel who is not your normal neighbor! As Bob deals with bullies, the holiday seasons, and helping his Dad (the new local Minister), somehow Mrs. Dowdel gets caught up in the action too! Luckily Bob doesn’t go through these problems alone, as he has his Elvis loving older sister and younger sister, who actually likes being with Mrs. Dowdel, to help him. As Bob, his family, and Mrs. Dowdel go through some hard times, you might wonder if things will turn out okay. Find out by reading “A Season of Gifts” by Richard Peck.
“A Season of Gifts” was a really good book that I enjoyed reading. I liked that the book took place in the 1950’s and was about what kids did for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I thought the book did a great job of making you feel like you knew what it was like to be a kid during that time period. The book has the family go through a number of issues which eventually get straightened out with an uplifting ending. I recommend this book for anyone ages eight to twelve.
From Rita Gross
author: Gruen, Sara
Humans share 99.4 % of our DNA with bonobo apes. In this novel, by the author of Water for Elephants, we are introduced to a group of bonobos who are kidnapped from a linguistics laboratory where they are learning English and ASL. They are then put into a reality TV show (similar to Big Brother) called Ape House. A journalist covers the story of their abduction and unravels the mystery of the apes’ disappearance.
From Chelsea, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Rachel Vincent
My Soul to Keep
My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent is the third Book to the other-worldly Soul Screamers trilogy. Kaylee has one thing to worry about and one thing only, her very hot, very popular boyfriend Nash. Both banshee, no one understands them like they do. No one can come between them. However, when a Netherworld Substance called Demons Breath enters the human world Kaylee’s world gets turned upside down. Its Nash and Kaylee’s job to cut off the source and protect their friends, one of whom is already hooked on it. When the epidemic hits too close to home, Kaylee will have to risk everything to save the ones she loves even though it might mean risking herself. I strongly recommend this book to any fans of science fiction. This book is a real page-turner and won’t make you disappointed in the end.
From Kyle, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Sonnenblick, Jordan
Zen and the art of faking it
Zen and the Art of Faking It by Jordan Sonneblick is about a boy named San Lee who moves into a new town and is attending a new school. Instead of trying to make new friends, or trying to be cool, San decides to try his best to be different from others. He tries to be different by pretending to be a Zen Master. He decides to pretend to be a Zen Master because he answers many questions correctly in History class that nobody else knows, and everybody thinks he is a Zen Master.
Besides pretending to be a Zen Master, San has to deal with many family problems at home throughout the story. San also meets a girl who he thinks is cute and her name is Woody. Woody loves listening to the same type of music as San and they often talk about lyrics from the songs they like. San is determined to impress Woody without letting her know that he is really not a Zen master. I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a book about a character who pretends to be who she or he is really not.
From Rita Gross
author: Udall, Brady
The Lonely Polygamist
Golden Richards has four wives, twenty eight children, three homes, a failing business and a major mid-life crisis. Just multiply the entanglements of the usual American family novel by the power of four (at least), and you will have the depths of the problems that Golden Richards encounters. The story is told from the point of view of Golden, one wife, one child and a narrative voice. Sad and funny, it is a look inside an atypical way of life.
From Carson, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Lynch, Chris
In Hothouse seventeen-year-old Russell had a father who was a fireman. Russell’s best friend, DJ, had a father who was a firefighter too, and Russell and DJ’s family became very close. Since Russell was little, Russell has always recognized himself as a firefighter too, because of some training and experience he received from the firefighter headquarters.
Russell’s and DJ’s fathers both die while fighting a fire. The whole community considers the two fathers as heroes, and the community pays their respects to both families often. Russell doesn’t like bragging, but does enjoy the respect he gets from many people after his father’s death. Then the respect Russell receives changes from positive respect to negative respect. Russell must face the fact that his father has maybe not been such a hero while fighting a fire. Even worse, the community that respected his father and his family now have shame towards them. Who would know what seemed to be so good could become so bad.
I would recommend this book to people who like to read realistic fiction books. Although this novel can be sad, at the same time it’s a well-written descriptive book of about a real life situation that can happen.
From Eileen Effrat
author: Eastland, Samuel
Eye of the Red Tsar
Inspector Pekkala, the Emerald Eye, was Tsar Nicholas’ most trusted detective—-“a man who could not be corrupted into surrendering his sense of right and wrong.” Now ten years later, Pekkala is imprisoned in the gulag of Siberia. Circumstances are now going to change. The “new Tsar Stalin” has need of his extraordinary detecting abilities and his intimate knowledge of the Imperial family. His mission is to uncover the men who killed the Tsar and his family, and to locate the Tsar’s treasure. If he succeeds –freedom. If he fails—death. The novel cleverly alternates between Pekkala’s past, and the paranoid and brutal Stalin era.