• Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library

    by Chris Grabenstein Year Published:
    I just finished this book and it may tie with Romeo Blue for one of my new favorite books.  Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library reminded me of a book and game version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, even before Kyle, the main character, made the connection. Mr. Lemoncello is eccentric and zany - he wears banana shoes which make noise when he walks, is full of book puns, and loves a good riddle, a book/game version of Willy Wonka.  I enjoyed playing along as Kyle and his friends solved puzzles to try and solve the bigger game.  There are also many modern day references too.  This book kept my attention to the very end. 
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  • Hold Fast

    by Blue Balliet Year Published: 2013

    Early, her brother, Jubie, and their mom, Summer, have no idea what happened to her father, Dash.  He was hit by a car and then vanished and now someone may be coming after them.  Forced to flee their home, which while not spacious, was at least private and theirs.  Living in a city shelter, Early strives to solve the mystery of what happened to Dash, while discovering what it's like to have no where to call your own and getting an inside look at the face of homelessness. 

    Honestly, I have intended to read this book for years, as I love mysteries and the poem "Hold Fast" by Langston Hughes, but the first few pages were a little confusing when I picked it up and therefore I never ended up finishing it.  Knowing Early was going to be in Pieces and Players along with the crowd from earlier Blue Balliet books gave me the motivation to finally read this cover to cover.  To my great joy, I discovered Hold Fast to be an exciting read and unlike most other books I've read.  Early's spunk and determination are inspiring because she not only cares about herself, but those around her, those who aren't even in her family.


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  • Mysterious Benedict Society

    by Trenton Lee Stewart Year Published:

    Currently reading: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey.  If you enjoy mystery, adventure, clever tricks and highly colorful characters you will enjoy this series.  After reading the first one years ago I read prequel last year and now I am finishing up the series!

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  • Romeo Blue

    by Phoebe Stone Year Published:
      My favorite book of the summer, Romeo Blue, is historical fiction and set on the coast of Maine during World War II.  Flissy is staying with relatives while her parents are doing their part as spies to fight the war.  There is a suspicious man who hangs around the area and Flissy doesn't know if she trusts him, but Derek, her "cousin" and friend believes he is his long lost father.  Lots of figurative language and colorful descriptions make this and exciting read.  (I also enjoyed the short chapters - there are a lot of them, but they kept the story moving.)
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  • Ungifted

    by Gordon Korman Year Published:

    I just started reading this book on the recommendation of both a current and former student after it sat in my "to read" pile for a year.  Right off, the author caught my attention when Donovan, the main character, smacks a statue of Atlas in the rear end with a stick and the giant globe he is holding rolls down the hill and into the big rivalry basketball game.  The superintendent is obviously not pleased! 

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