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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Book Review: Exposed by Kimberly Marcus

Exposed by Kimberly Marcus
Buy Exposed by Kimberly Marcus

by Kimberly Marcus

Random House Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0-375-86693-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-375-86693-7
Publication Date: February, 2011
List Price: $16.99

Review: Everything couldn't be more perfect for sixteen-year-old Liz. She has a promising future ahead of her in photography, a wonderful boyfriend, and most importantly, she has Kate - her best friend forever. But, in Kimberly Marcus's debut novel, Exposed, Liz's life is turned upside down in one horrific night. Through gripping free-verse poetry, Marcus relays the nightmare Liz faces when everything she knows about friendship, love, family, and most importantly herself is suddenly ripped open and torn apart.

"Brian calls me at noon and tells me
it's a good thing I stayed home.
'They're talking about it, babe.'
I hang up the phone and cry,
because knowing they would
doesn't make
knowing they are
any easier."

Liz and Kate, best of friends for years, have a monthly sacred slumber party. Everyone knows it's their time to be together, but this month, things don't go quite as planned. Liz pushes a little too far about Kate's decision to not be a professional dancer and her choice in boyfriends, and as a result they sleep in separate rooms. Now Kate is avoiding Liz at every turn. Liz tries everything to make it up to Kate, but nothing seems to heal the wound that has opened. Completely confused by Kate's resistance to resume their friendship, Liz tries to find a way to make it better until she finally realizes she can't. There is no way to take back what she said that night that left Kate alone allowing her to become a victim - a victim of rape. Suddenly Liz's "forever-best friend" will never be able to be her friend again. As her life spins out of control, Liz must accept Kate's decision and find some way to make sense of her beliefs before she completely loses everything.

Exposed is a gripping story. It takes a poignant look at a girl's worst nightmare. What makes Exposed different though is it's not told through the eyes of the victim, but rather through the eyes of a friend - showing just how much rape isn't merely about the victim, but rather how it's evil tentacles reach far beyond and change everyone's life involved. The free-verse poetry is perfect - hitting at the raw emotions that emerge in crisis. It cuts to the core and leaves plenty to the reader's imagination. It is heartbreaking to see Liz and Kate's enviable friendship shatter to pieces, the only evidence of their friendship found in Liz's photography which at one time used to be her life, but now is just a reminder of what she's lost. Kimberly Marcus is an author to watch, as her first novel has handled a emotionally charged topic with a natural voice that leaves readers holding on until the end. Exposed can easily be read in a few hours, but the impact it makes will last a lifetime.

Review written by Margo Nauert (6th grade teacher).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Exposed for this review.

Have you read Exposed? How would you rate it?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Book Review: Dial M for Mongoose by Bruce Hale

Dial M for Mongoose by Bruce Hale
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Dial M for Mongoose
by Bruce Hale
A Chet Gecko Mystery

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN-10: 0-15-205494-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-15-205494-6
Publication Date: December, 2010
List Price: $15.00

Review: Dial M for Mongoose is the greatest book ever and it was written by Bruce Hale! It combines a mixture of mystery and humor. Dial M for Mongoose is the 15th book in the Chet Gecko series. It's a real page-turner!

Chet Gecko is a detective that investigates mysteries that nobody can figure out. One day while Mr. Zero was teaching there was this bad stench coming from the air vent. Mr. Zero thought somebody dropped a stink bomb. (And you know what I mean!!) Since the stench was so bad everybody had to evacuate the school. While Chet's class was evacuating he stayed in the school to wait for Natalie who is his partner in detecting. Once all the students were out of the building, they went into the building to investigate. They found out were the stench was coming from, the heating duct.

When Chet and Natalie were in the building investigating and the building collapsed on top of them. Luckily they were able to get out safe. After the building collapsed they blamed Ms. Debree, the janitor for not having good structure on the building. They fired her and arrested her. When Ms. Debree was gone they had to interview Jerry Dooty to be the new janitor. He got the job. Chet and Natalie kept investigating and found a secret passage way underneath the cafeteria floor. Eggplant nose and Erik the spider planned the whole thing. That's where the stench came from.

In my opinion, the book was very well written. The characters were very funny, and they were different animals. My favorite part was when Natalie sneezed and another building fell down. That was funny. I also liked when Chet ate lunch, and he ate a worm and dirt sundae. Overall I give this book 5 out of 5 stars because of the humor, the characters, and the clues that they give you.

Review written by Brittani (5th grade student).

We would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy of Dial M for Mongoose for this review.

Have you read Dial M for Mongoose? How would you rate it?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book Review: Scared to Death by Norah McClintock

Scared to Death by Norah McClintock
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Scared to Death
by Norah McClintock
Chloe & Levesque Mystery

Kane Miller
ISBN-10: 1-61067-004-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-61067-004-3
Publication Date: March, 2011
List Price: $5.99

Review: It doesn't make sense. One day Tessa Nixon is on Chloe's porch, then two days later she is found dead floating in a pond. No one knows what happened. But Chloe can't shake the feeling that she could have helped Tessa. Why did this have to happen? What was it that day that made Tessa…

Scared to Death?

Scared to Death is the third book of the Chloe and Levesque series. Scared to Death is written by Norah McClintock.

Chloe is your regular seventeen year old girl who goes to East Hastings Regional. Chloe loves and is great at solving mysteries. Perhaps she gets this quality from her step father, Levesque, who is the chief of police in East Hastings. One day the most popular girl in school, Tessa Nixon comes to Chloe's house looking for Levesque. Tessa seems very frightened by something. Then two days later, Tessa is found floating dead in a pond. No one knows how or who could have done this. Why would anyone want to harm sweet Tessa? That's what Chloe is trying to find out. A lot of people are accusing both Jake Bailey, Tessa's boyfriend, and Ross, another friend of Tessa's. Chloe doesn't really think it was either of the two. That is why she is trying all sorts of things to find out who really killed Tessa. But the closer she gets to solving the mystery, the closer she gets to being harmed. Soon, Chloe is able to find out that it was really…

Scared to Death is a great book. It is suspenseful and has amazing descriptions. It is a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I especially enjoy the main character, Chloe. Chloe is an excellent detective who I admire for her intelligence. The author does an awesome job creating Chloe. The story is so magnificent and thrilling from the very beginning. You just never want to stop reading because it's so good; I was hooked from page one. Also the characters are so interesting and life-like. It's as if you're right next to Chloe trying to solve the mystery. I love that the ending of the story is very much unexpected and surprising. I am personally a huge fan of the Chloe and Levesque books. They are all awesome stories. I admire and enjoy Norah McClintock and her work. She has many great books and is a wonderful writer. No matter what your preferred genre is, I recommend Scared to Death to anyone looking for a good book to read.

Review written by Savannah (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Kane Miller for providing a copy of Scared to Death for this review.

Have you read Scared to Death? How would you rate it?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Review: Meet Einstein by Mariela Kleiner

Meet Einstein by Mariela Kleiner
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Meet Einstein
by Mariela Kleiner

Meet Books, LLC
ISBN-10: 0615389732
ISBN-13: 9780615389738
Publication Date: March, 2011
List Price: $15.95

Review: Einstein and preschoolers? Sounds incredulous, but Mariela Kleiner has found a way to bring to those precocious toddlers and preschoolers who are constantly asking, "Why?" in her book Meet Einstein. Complete with a question guide for parents, Meet Einstein is the perfect story to get young children thinking about the science that surrounds them.

Einstein and his dog greet the children on the first page as they begin their discovery of science and the scientists - who they are, what they do, and how they are just like the readers themselves. This is shown on a two-page spread of inquisitive children with question marks floating over their heads. Even at a very young age, children can identify with that! Then the book continues to focus on Einstein and his discoveries about light and gravity. Though these concepts are far above the children's cognitive development, the author does a nice job relating them to what the children see everyday - like lamps and food falling from the tables. And in the end, she invites all the children to one day be scientists too.

I wish this book had been around when my son was a toddler. It is absolutely charming and the illustrations are colorful and appealing. Inside the jacket of the book, it claims that Meet Einstein is intended for ages 2 - 4, however I think it is valuable beyond those years. Inside the front and back cover is a collection of scientific tools with proper names and purposes. I can see elementary school students having fun learning about them. And, I do believe that as children start to get into science at school, Meet Einstein might be a good introduction in the primary grades. Honestly, I don't think the book would appeal to all audiences, but if you know a child that seems to overwhelm people with questions and have a thirst for knowledge that is insatiable, the Meet Einstein is a perfect choice. Who knows, one of the readers just might be another little Einstein!

Review written by Margo Nauert (6th grade teacher).

We would like to thank JKSCommunications for providing a copy of Meet Einstein for this review.

Have you read Meet Einstein? How would you rate it?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Review: Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
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Other Words for Love
by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0-385-73901-X
ISBN-13: 978-0-385-73901-6
Publication Date: January, 2011
List Price: $17.99

Review: Ari Mitchell is just like any other teenage girl who, feeling she doesn't fit in, dons an invisibility cloak at her Brooklyn high school. She goes through the motions, but never seems to quite be the person that people will notice - unlike her best friend Summer. She's perfect and confident - every boy's dream. Ari's life takes a turn though when an unexpected inheritance has her attending Summer's school, an elite Manhattan prep school. Other Words for Love, written by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal is a heart-felt story of Ari's late teen years as she transforms from her mother's perfect daughter to the young woman she wants to be.

Ari is trapped. She's trapped in a complex friendship with Summer who has a full social life of her own, but who knows she is Ari's only real friend and resents her reaching out for more friends. She's trapped in a family where her older sister has been a disappointment to her mother by getting pregnant at young age and who is struggling with depression as she has her second child. And she's trapped in love. When Ari transfers to the Manhattan school, she feels completely alone. Summer has her circle of friends there, and Ari has no one - that is until she meets Leigh. Leigh is another outcast who lives a life of luxury with private drivers, night clubs, and black tie parties. Through a common interest in art, Leigh and Ari become friends, and Leigh opens Ari's eyes to a completely new world - and Summer is not thrilled. At one of the many parties, Ari meets Blake, Leigh's gorgeous cousin. Ari finds out there is so much more to life than what she'd imagined as she and Blake fall in love. But, while one part of Ari's life has taken off, another part comes crumbling down. Her sister falls into a serious depression, and her mother makes it more and more clear that Ari is expected to be the perfect daughter she didn't have with her sister. As Ari struggles with her family, her friendship with Summer, and a growing distance from Leigh, Blake's life takes a turn and he pulls away as well. Ari must find some way to pick up all the pieces and move forward, but sometimes that seems impossible.

Other Words for Love has all the components of a good teen novel. The friendship struggles Ari faces are common struggles for all girls. As Ari draws closer to Leigh, Summer pulls further and further away. Ari must face the fact that part of their friendship was based on the power Summer feels in being her only friend. And as Ari and Blake develop in their relationship, Leigh feels abandoned and draws away. That horrible struggle between friends and relationships is a common occurrence in a teen's life. Also, the family dynamics are compelling. Ari's mother is completely overprotective trying to hold a family together on her own, while her sister's life is a mess. Ari's father is in the home, but is so distant that she barely feels his support. She sums up her relationship with her dad when she reflects on seeing him holding his grandson. "That was what depressed me the most. More than the messy house and the puking and the snot. It depressed me because I only got that from Dad once, on a summer day when I was six years old. . . . he scooped me up and told me in a soothing voice that everything was okay until I believed him. That was the one and only time." But through all this, Ari is expected to be the one to make the right decisions, do the right things, get into a good college. As her world crumbles around her, Rosenthal shows Ari's struggle for identity and search for hope. The lessons she learns are priceless.

Review written by Margo Nauert (6th grade teacher).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Other Words for Love for this review.

Have you read Other Words for Love? How would you rate it?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Book Review: The Stowaway by R. A. & Geno Salvatore

The Stowaway by R. A. & Geno Salvatore
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The Stowaway
by R. A. & Geno Salvatore
Stone of Tymora

Wizards of the Coast Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0-786-95094-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-786-95094-2
Publication Date: July, 2010
List Price: $17.95

Review: Imagine that you are being chased by an evil fiend that is not going to leave you alone until you are dead. The Stowaway, written by R.A. & Geno Salvatore is the first in the Stone of Tymora series. It is exiting, scary and mystical.

There is a poor orphan boy who is being hunted down by a demon named Asbeel in a small town. Asbeel wants a magical gem that has cursed the boy. He jumps into a boat to escape. A few minutes later he is sailing across the sea where the ship is attacked by pirates who take their boat. The boy hides but a giant monster finds him and chases the boy all over the ship until the boy is finally able to escape. He sails off until he hits land where he must fight for his life and for the gem. Out of exhaustion, he falls asleep, and when he wakes up, the gem is gone. Will he ever find it? Or has he lost everything?

Stowaway is filled with a mixture of emotions. The problem is he is being stalked by a killer, but it is comical because that killer is a very short elf. This book sent my excitement to the extremes in the first few chapters. But, my mix of happiness and sadness at the end was a very unusual feeling. It made me feel good that I had read a good book, but it also was a bad feeling that it was over. At first it was just interesting but then it started to get exiting and wild. I felt like I was actually there running from a dangerous elf. The main idea is that this boy has to protect a magical item so that an evil elf can't take it and rule the world using its powers. If he fails then the world will crumple under the power of magic and an elf. If you really want to find out more about what happens and how the boy will recover, then read this phenomenal, extraordinary, book.

Review written by Carson (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Raab Associate, Inc for providing a copy of The Stowaway for this review.

Have you read The Stowaway? How would you rate it?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book Review: Break and Enter by Norah McClintock

Break and Enter by Norah McClintock
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Break and Enter
by Norah McClintock
Chloe & Levesque Mystery

Kane Miller
ISBN-10: 1-61067-005-1
ISBN-13: 978-1-61067-005-0
Publication Date: March, 2011
List Price: $5.99

Review: Imagine finding an extensive trail of blood leading to a man's murder! Break and Enter by Norah McClintock is a spine tingling story for people who like a spooky juvenile abstruse mystery. Break and Enter is the 4th book in a fantastic series of Chloe and Levesque. Chloe thinks the new substitute Mr. Green is a regular replacement for her history teacher, but is he framing Chloe for breaking his car and cheating. Break and Enter is an extremely terrifying page turner, but I recommend reading it in daylight.

When Mr. Green passes out a final history test, Chloe knows she is prepared. 5 minutes later Chloe is sitting in Mrs. Jeffries' office, the principal. Mr. Green had found a cheat sheet under Chloe's desk, but her problem is that she did not make that sheet. That is when Chloe realizes she is being framed, but she also realizes that all her so- called, "friends" are really her enemies. Chloe becomes even more interested in what is going on when she finds herself wrongfully sitting in detention supposedly for breaking into Mr. Green's car. That is when Chloe's father the, Chief of Police, comes into the plot to stop the framing of his daughter. One Saturday afternoon Chloe goes to the police station to see what the officer has discovered about the fingerprints she had collected. When Chloe finds out that the fingerprints are a dead end, she walks through the woods to get home. But, on her way she finds a cottage driveway with some sunglass lying on the ground. She decides to do her good deed of the day and return it to the owner. However, when she knocks on the door, it swings wide open and Chloe is greeted by a reddish- brown trail of splotches that lead Chloe into the garage where she finds a man inside the car reaching for a cell phone, dead and bloody.

I have read many creepy mysteries, but this is the best suspenseful mystery I have read. Norah McClintock has succeeded in writing another gripping mystery in the Chloe & Levesque series. The details on every page make you daydream the story in your head. Break and Enter is a very suspenseful book because the plot makes you read all the way to the last page to see who lives to breathe again. In this book I like how Chloe starts off hating everyone, but her relationships with her enemies change when they start to do things for each other. This book is special because from the first sentence the book is interesting and many books do not get to the point until the second chapter. Norah McClintock nailed this book with a boatload of creative writing and filled it with suspense along the way. In my opinion, the ending was exceedingly thrilling because of the detailed action and the dangling question of who will die next. To conclude, Break and Enter is a book that shows you the thrills of crime and murder. This book is great for people who like horror movies because it can create one in your head. Break and Enter will make you want to read all the other Chloe & Levesque books as well. Norah McClintock does a great job writing crime novels so do not read alone at home.

Review written by Ravi (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Kane Miller for providing a copy of Break and Enter for this review.

Have you read Break and Enter? How would you rate it?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Book Review: Spider Bite by Justin D'Ath

Spider Bite by Justin D'Ath
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Spider Bite
by Justin D'Ath
Extreme Adventures

Kane Miller
ISBN-10: 1-61067-010-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-61067-010-4
Publication Date: March, 2011
List Price: $5.99

Review: The red and orange flames of the engine were flaring into the balloon making us go higher and higher. This book titled Spider Bite, was written by Justin D' Ath and is the 5th book in the Extreme Adventure series. It is a realistic fiction book that is frightening, moving and thrilling. The main character is Sam Fox, a 12 year old boy with a strong will.

A red headed lady is stuck in a tree from a balloon crash, so Sam climbs the tree and gets the balloon out but, the engine lights back up with Jordan and Harry, Sam's little twins, and suddenly they are flying away. They get higher and higher, but Sam gets in and steers it. Jordan gets bitten by a Sidney funnel web in the balloon. It is a very dangerous spider. Sam has to get Jordan to the hospital, but Sam steers the balloon to close to a plane and gets blown off course. They end up at the zoo in the bear pit. He climbs out and goes through many different animal pits until he finely finds the antivenin. But, it just may be too late.

Around the first few pages I was already hooked. My excitement filled my own body with anticipation. The hurry and tension got higher and higher with each page, and the better it got the faster I read so I was reading pretty fast and I was kind of disappointed when I was done. The ending made me want to read more and see if the brothers ever get reunited. The genre is realistic fiction because this could have happened to anybody in Australia. Sam demonstrated good inferring and thinking skills. Sam's main goal was to land until Jordan got bitten and changed course for the hospital. Next chance I get, I am getting the next book in the Extreme Adventure series.

Review written by Carson (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Kane Miller for providing a copy of Spider Bite for this review.

Have you read Spider Bite? How would you rate it?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Review: Man-Eater by Justin D'Ath

Man-Eater by Justin D'Ath
Buy Man-Eater by Justin D'Ath

by Justin D'Ath
Extreme Adventures

Kane Miller
ISBN-10: 1-61067-011-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-61067-011-1
Publication Date: March, 2011
List Price: $5.99

Review: Imagine being stuck in Africa and forced to face killer hippos, elephants, crocodiles, ivory hunters, and a man-eating leopard. For half the time your only companion is a ten-year-old boy with a spear, otherwise you are alone. You get squirted in the eye with snake venom and you can barely see. What would you do in a situation like this? This is all Man-Eater is about. Man-Eater, written by Justin D'Ath, is the sixth book in the Extreme Adventures series. Sam Fox is in Africa for a youth conference and when his bus leaves him in the wild with an angry elephant, things go wrong. This is when all of the action begins in this fiction adventure story.

After getting left behind by the bus to face an angry elephant, Sam crawls down in a hole to protect himself from the elephant. This is where he gets squirted in the eye with venom from a snake and almost completely loses his vision. This becomes a constant problem for Sam, besides him being alone in the wild in Africa. Sam hears a car driving down the road but soon realizes that these men are Ivory Hunters and illegally hunt elephants for their tusks. They also leave Sam behind, and he soon finds a river to clean his eyes out, knowing hyenas are watching him down by the road. Then, after thoroughly cleaning his eyes, he sees the hippos. Escaping the hippos is how he runs into the crocodile. After he escapes the crocodile, he finds two Masai brothers that treat his eye and run a farm by themselves. One of the brothers, Olki, says he will go with Sam to the village and get his eye cured if the wants to keep his vision. The only problem is to get to the village, you need to go through the jungle. When in the jungle, Sam and Olki face many creatures and eventually become heroes.

I love Man-Eater. What I like about this book is as quickly as in the fourth paragraph action and problems start stirring up. This means the reader doesn't need to read a chapter all about the character or background before getting to the action. Also, Man-Eater includes multiple facts about the animals Sam goes against in the text. " It was a honey badger… they are the meanest animals in the world. Even though they're no bigger than corgis, honey badgers have been known to chase lions from their kills." I love this because not only am I reading a fiction adventure story, but I'm also learning some information from it. Next, I love the creative solutions the author thought of to get Sam out of trouble. I would never have thought of doing what Sam does for a solution to some of the situations. This is a fantastic book that anyone would enjoy reading.

I rate Man-Eater with five stars.

Review written by Abigail (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Kane Miller for providing a copy of Man-Eater for this review.

Have you read Man-Eater? How would you rate it?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Book Review: Dark Water by Laura McNeal

Dark Water by Laura McNeal
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Dark Water
by Laura McNeal

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0-375-84973-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-375-84973-2
Publication Date: September, 2010
List Price: $16.99

Review: By the middle of the night, the wind was like a day hurricane. It was furious with the house, furious with the trees, enraged by every last one of us. It threw things at the windows and it beat on the roof. I was reading For Whom the Bell Tolls and my mother was dreaming her sleeping pill dreams, and at 2 a.m., exhausted, I put the book down and covered my head with the blanket and repeated my mantra, Go to sleep go to sleep go to sleep." Forest fires ravage the state of California, but for many readers experiencing a forest fire is unimaginable. However Laura McNeal brings a California forest fire to life in Dark Water, a novel that combines deep-rooted emotions, love, and humor so adeptly that readers, when they reach the end, are left with a longing to read more.

Pearl DeWitt is a fifteen-year-old living with her mother in Fallbrook, California in a small decrepit home on her uncle's avocado farm. She has a strong sense of responsibility and devotion - that is until she meets Amiel, a migrant worker who lives in a self-constructed hut in the forest. Amiel, a young man who can barely speak, but who entertains others through circus acts, steals Pearl's heart and turns her world upside down. It doesn't take long before she sneaks out and goes to meet Amiel who is trying desperately to avoid being caught by la migra. Their relationship develops slowly throughout the book, and Pearl faces groundings for her behavior, but the feelings she has for him come to a head when the Agua Prieta fire looms nearby causing a mandatory evacuation. Pearl must decide between her family and Amiel who is bound to be killed in his shanty home that is right in line of the fire. Pearl learns a lesson in that fire, and it comes at a great price.

Dark Water is a wonderfully written book. Pearl grapples with issues at home as well as typical issues that teenage girls face. She has a father who has distanced himself from the family, but who is desperately trying to be a part of her life. Her mother is a woman who struggles with responsibility and who adds humor to the story. Her great goal is to harvest silkworms so that she can process the silk and weave it into priceless cloth. Readers are let into the life of the silkworm, and at one point Pearl concludes, "'Maybe you should get a puppy,' I said, afraid that she was getting too attached to creatures with what seemed to me a fairly high incidence of accidental death." However, the silkworms can be seen as somewhat symbolic of the frailty of life in general - which Pearl comes to realize later in the book. Pearl's uncle and French wife own the avocado farm and take good care of Pearl and her mother, and her cousin Robby is a strong companion. He's perfect in every way. Readers are charmed by their Franglish - as Robby was brought up speaking French in an effort to not lose his French heritage. But the real depth comes when she meets Amiel and experiences a completely new side of life - love. Though it is never really expressed - as their communication is very difficult, readers can sense the depth of her feelings that lead her into the most horrific event in her life. Deep Water is simply an excellent read on so many levels.

Review written by Margo Nauert (6th grade teacher).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Dark Water for this review.

Have you read Dark Water? How would you rate it?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Book Review: I Lost My Mobile at the Mall by Wendy Harmer

I Lost My Mobile at the Mall by Wendy Harmer
Buy I Lost My Mobile at the Mall by Wendy Harmer

I Lost My Mobile at the Mall
by Wendy Harmer

Kane Miller
ISBN-10: 1-935279-97-1
ISBN-13: 978-1-935279-97-6
Publication Date: March, 2011
List Price: $16.99

Review: Can any of you imagine your life without a cell phone? Without the texts, emails, calls, Facebooks, Twitters? This is basically what our generation depends on. I can't imagine my life without a cell phone. Well, this is what Elly Pickering has to go through for two whole weeks in I Lost My Mobile at the Mall by Wendy Harmer. That's TWO WEEKS without a cell phone.

The story takes place in modern-day Australia. Elly Pickering is a sophomore at Old Castle High School, and her life revolves around FacePlace, (what would be Facebook in America), texts, calls, and emails…that and her dream surfie boyfriend, Will. Elly and Will have been going out for ten months, and Elly stresses over the fact that Will never tells her that he loves her. Elly's best friend, Bianca, is buried in her own boyfriend, Jai, and never treats Elly the way she should. Elly's true friend, Carmelita moved a year earlier, and thus leaving Elly stuck with blonde-hair, blue-eyed Bianca. But Elly finds her life turning upside down when she loses her entire handbag at the mall, which contains her friendship ring that Will gave her, and her precious mobile. When Elly's parents find that Elly has lost her mobile, she gets the lecture of The Days Before Mobiles Were Invented. But Elly doesn't see an end to her misery - in fact, everywhere she turns it only gets worse! Will Elly survive her technological breakdown? Only time, and posts on FacePlace will tell.

All in all, Wendy Harmer did a great job in I Lost My Mobile at the Mall. Not only does she sound exactly like a teenager herself but throughout the entire book I found myself laughing, crying, and agreeing to everything that Elly goes through. The misunderstandings of parents with teenagers' technology, the mishaps with best friends, and going for two weeks without your mobile! This book is so amazing that I found myself dreading the end of it. On the author's information on the back of the book, it says that this book is the first book that Wendy Harmer has written for teenagers. I hope it won't be her last! One thing that attracted me to the book was the word "mobile". I knew it was the practical way of saying "cell", but I didn't know who used that word! When I learned that the book took place in Australia, then I knew, and as a result I really wanted to read it because everything about Australia is something that just catches my attention. I hope that Wendy Harmer wins an award for her book, because I certainly think she deserves it. This book is so interesting…so different. I have never really read a book before that connects with a teenage girls' mind and life so well. I felt as if some of the experiences that I have faced were in the book as well. I finished this book in a matter of three days…that is how much I loved it. I don't think any other rating of stars or reviews could cover my feelings for this book. As a young readers request, I ask Wendy Harmer to please…WRITE ANOTHER BOOK FOR TEENAGERS!

Review written by Amber (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Kane Miller for providing a copy of I Lost My Mobile at the Mall for this review.

Have you read I Lost My Mobile at the Mall? How would you rate it?