From Andrea Kalinowski
Author: Anthony Horowitz
The house of silk : a Sherlock Holmes novel
House of Silk is a good addition to the Sherlock Holmes mystique. Dr. Watson is as always, Sherlock’s faithful amanuensis. The House of Silk is a criminal enterprise which has its evil tentacles in the most unusual places. The whole trail begins when a client attempts to engage Sherlock in a case. The whole novel is a case of double crosses and false leads. Mycroft, Sherlock’s brother, who never stirs from his chair due to his corpulence, makes a guest appearance at Baker Street, to issue a warning to his brother, a warning which Sherlock disregards in a most blatant way. Sherlock is, as always, several steps ahead of the criminals and at the end of the novel, whatever remains, however improbable, is the solution. This book was very entertaining and demonstrated Anthony Horowitz’s understanding of Sherlock Holmes/Dr. Watson functionality. An excellent read for a wintery evening , when night is closing in and mimics England’s weather scene.
From Rosemarie Jerome
author: Bolton, S. J.
Warning: Do not read this book at night, might cause palpitations and the urge to hide.
The moors are a scary place, as Reverend Harry Laycock soon discovers after becoming pastor in the small isolated village of Heptonclough. It is a community seeped in dark rituals and even darker secrets where young children disappear or have mysterious deadly accidents and the truth is never discovered. When the Fletcher children, who are Harry’s neighbors and newcomers to the area, begin to be “haunted,” Harry investigates and strange incidences start to happen in the church. Is someone playing cruel pranks or will one of the Fletcher children be the next victim? A chilling mystery that will keep you guessing and shivering.
From Elaine Pasquali
author: Buchan, Elizabeth
The Good Wife
The title of this book caught my eye because of its similarity to the title of the popular TV program, The Good Wife. The similarities continues with the main characters: a career politician and straying husband (Will) and a wife (Fanny) who sacrifices her own passions and career to the demands of being a “good” wife and mother. Further complicating Fanny’s life are her ambivalent feelings about her live-in alcoholic sister-in-law. When Fanny’s father dies and her daughter leaves the nest, Fanny sets off on a journey of self-exploration and personal fulfillment. Set in England and Italy, this book flows easily and seamlessly as it navigates themes of imperfect marriage, family dynamics, and midlife crisis.
From Jackie Cantwell
The King’s speech [videorecording]
Based on the true story of Albert, Duke of York (played by Colin Firth), the second son of King George V and Queen Mary. His wife, Elizabeth, played by Helena Bonham Carter, is the woman we knew as The Queen Mother.
Albert became King George VI. The film opens with Albert stuttering his way through a speech at Wembley Stadium. When doctors fail to cure him of his stutter, Elizabeth finds an Australian speech therapist named Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush), in London. When Lionel meets Albert, he has the audacity to treat the man who would be king as an equal, calling him “Bertie”. Albert doesn’t want to continue treatment, but he is desperate. They continue their unconventional sessions, including rolling on the floor, loosening the jaw muscles and limbs, and reciting tongue twisters. Lionel notices that Bertie doesn’t stutter when he’s angry, so he’s encouraged to curse and to rage. Lionel knows that stuttering has an emotional basis, so he questions Albert about his childhood, which Albert finds impertinent. The scenes between Elizabeth and Albert are very touching, as she is very loving and supportive. The scenes between Lionel and Albert are sometimes funny, but often filled with tension. More dramatic tension is supplied as Albert has to make a speech when he is crowned king, after his brother Edward (Guy Pearce) abdicates to marry Wallis Simpson (Eve Best). The titular speech is the one that Albert must give over the radio on Sept. 3, 1939, that leads England to declare war on Germany. The performances are fantastic all around; Colin Firth won the Oscar for Best Actor. The film also won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Directing, and Best Original Screenplay.
From Lisa Kropp
author: Nicholls, David
This clever story follows the lives of Dexter and Emma by focusing on a single day each year for two decades. We meet the unlikely twosome the day they graduate from university in England in 1988, and see how that initial meeting will change both of their lives forever. Over the next twenty years, they run circles around one another as their lives intertwine in surprising ways. This was a very entertaining read that was written in such a way that the reader is left at the end of each chapter, or “year” wanting to know more. Dex and Em might be polar opposites, but their story is a classic tale of love that hits all the right notes down to the surprise ending.
From Edward, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Burgess, Melvin
“Kite” by Melvin Burgess is a fiction about two boys, and how they are trying raise a large majestic bird called a kite. They live in Britain and they are only a few kites left due to habitat loss and overhunting. They found the kite as an egg, named it Teresa and as it kept growing, it was harder and harder to keep. Maybe too hard.
“Kite” is an extraordinary story. The author did an amazing job bringing out the characters, the plot line, and the details. I highly recommend this book to anyone, bird fanatic or not. I can guaranteed that this book won’t disappoint.
From Matthew, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Horowitz, Anthony
Alex Rider: Crocodile Tears
For the first time in Alex Rider?s 14 years of life, he wants to be normal. For the last year, he has been a secret agent, and thwarting the plans of
evil masterminds for M-16, the secret organization that he has been working for. However, Alex knows very little that his life will be in great danger.
The story starts off when Alex and his friends go to a party in a Scottish Castle. A man there seems a bit suspicious, but Alex, at first, doesn?t seem worried. On the way home after the party, they are mysteriously shot at and their car crashes into a freezing lake. Alex barely makes it out alive along with his friends. They are taken to a hospital by a stranger. Alex tries to forget what happened, but new problems erupt. There is a greedy journalist who finds out about his identity, and wants to write about it in order to get rich. Alex is nervous, and forces himself to go to M-16 for help. They agree to help him if he does a “little mission” for them. They want him to get data from a computer at a place called Greenfields.
Since he is going on a trip there anyway, he gets in easily. However the “little mission” turns out to be extremely dangerous. Will Alex Rider survive his mission? Who will end up being behind this evil plot?
All I can say is that Alex’s adventure is impressive. There is, of course, lots of action. The story also gets to be very adventurous in the later chapters. Kids 10 and under wouldn’t enjoy this book. First of all, it may be too hard of a book for them to read, but also, some of Alex’s dangerous situations might scare some of the younger readers. Overall, this book is an outstanding action-packed adventure for kids over 10 years of age.