Friday, November 30, 2012

Funny Pick: The Quck Fix

The Quick Fix
By Jack D. Ferraiolo
Amulet
2012
291 pages

Spunky, funny, clever, and quirky, The Big Fix is a hilarious mix of middle school angst and super-sleuthing. Matt Stevens is back on the job doing what he does best: solving mysteries. Pretty cheerleader Melissa hires Matt to follow her basketball star boyfriend and try to figure out what he’s up to. She doesn’t suspect he’s cheating, but he’s clearly worried about something, and he gave her a certain something to hold onto and hide for him.

Vinny, a fat, brutal middle school scumbag thug, also hires Matt to find a certain something. Matt is confused. Is Vinny looking for the “thing” that Melissa was asked to hold? Vinny has quite a crime enterprise with his candy sales and gambling ring. He uses his “muscle” to force Matt into working for him.

Matt is a sarcastic wit with biting charm and a keen vocabulary to match. Vinny, try as he might, cannot keep up with Matt’s adept brain power. The worst thing that could happen for Matt is if Vinny or one of his thugs puts Matt on the “Outs”—basically kids on the “Outs” become social outcasts and whispers of their former selves. Adult supervision is non-existent at Matt’s middle school, so he’s going to have to watch out for himself.

As he gets closer to the truth and solving the cases, danger lurks everywhere. Just what is going on and who is calling the shots?

Highly, highly recommended grades 6-up. Reluctant readers will enjoy this one! You do not have to read the first book The Big Splash first, but readers will enjoy both books. If you know a reluctant reader, buy both books for him/her for Christmas.

Don’t forget I have 5 FREE copies up for grabs. Scroll down the blog. Deadline for comments is December 18, 2012.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Horror Pick: What the Night Knows

What the Night Knows
by Dean Koontz
Bantam Books
2012
442 pages

Read an excerpt here


An open letter to Dean Koontz:

Dear Dean,

You totally creep me out! I mean it—I have never been more terrified—What the Night Knows is your creepiest, most fantastical, bizarre, and terrible thing of beauty you have ever written. We have been through a lot over the years and over the many, many books. You were only toying with me with The Face and Dark Rivers of the Heart—playing with comedy through Odd Thomas, Forever Odd, Brother Odd and Odd Hours, introducing me to characters I could love with Seize the Night and Fear Nothing, painstakingly building your craft with The Vision and The Face of Fear, but toying no more, not with this opus—you have me as a fan forever.

What the Night Knows preys upon people’s darkest fears: evil in its most incarnate--evil able to enter anywhere and do anything. Evil that can enter anyone and use them. Evil that can lay dormant in a dwelling and wait. No one can escape it; no one can be saved.

John Calvino is a police detective with a wonderful, loving family, but twenty years ago, he was just a boy when his entire family was murdered by a man named Alton Turner Blackwood—a man with three names—just like all infamous murderers in history. Blackwood is the most savage killer the police have ever seen. Now, it’s twenty years later, and John Calvino discovers a family murdered in exactly the same fashion as twenty years prior. This time, the murderer is fourteen year old Billy Lucas who murders his own family. Calvino visits him at the state hospital to interview Billy. He leaves disturbed by Billy’s answer: “Ruin.”

Dean, the way you built upon the character of each of the children: dear, sweet Zach who wants to be a brave marine someday, fanciful and naïve Naomi who lives in a world of unicorns and wizards, and wonderful, all-knowing, all-seeing Minette, “don’t call me Mouse,” gives the reader hope that this family can be saved. The appearance of their trusty golden retriever Willard is a ray of sunshine that this family can depend upon. The strength of the marriage between Nicolette and John has to--just has to-- survive this ghostly and ghastly peril.

I must say, Dean, you had me at, “What year these events transpired is of no consequence. Where they occurred is not important. The time is always, and the place is everywhere.” This gentle and SCARY reminder that evil is always and everywhere is downright cryptic and horrible. I spent a few toss and turn-y nights while reading What the Night Knows. I slept with the nightlight on, and like Zach, I had a “weapon” at my bedside—although a baseball bat is no match for any ghost demon. I turned on lights before entering darkened rooms and I was careful not to peer too long into any mirrors lest I catch a glimpse of something I really didn’t want to see. I heard noises and thought of an evil so great that it could be anywhere and everywhere. Yeah, Dean, I lost sleep!

Dean Koontz, you are truly the master! I applaud your literary prowess. It’s a huge undertaking to mix a ghost story, a story of evil, a police drama, a fairy tale, a psychological thriller and a murder investigation, yet you do all of this with a deft hand and make the story plausible.

I have always loved your word choice and What the Night Knows is no exception. Just when I think I know your favorite, oft used words like ululation and susurration, you come up with seldom used words. What other writer uses words like louche, outré and effulgent? Reading your prose is a spectacular exercise. You never fail to amaze me.

Oh, and let me comment on your use as dogs as symbols of good. Your short piece written as an homage to Trixie, your beloved golden lab, brought me to tears. Trixie (and Willard) will always be an angel. Kinky Friedman once said that all your pets will come running to greet you in heaven; I know Trixie will be there for you, Dean.

So highly, highly recommended that I will shout it from the rooftops: Read What the Night Knows! Don’t miss this one. You’ll be sorry you did. Any fan of Koontz will love this latest scary tale.

Grade 9 and up. Not suitable for middle school due to adult themes, violence, sex, and language.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I purchased this book for my own reading pleasure. It was a pleasure that scared me nearly to death! I will send this book over to the high school.




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Giveaway: The Quick Fix--Middle School Pick

The Quick Fix
by Jack D. Ferraiolo

I have 5 copies of this very funny, in-your-face middle school crime noir.

Matt Stevens, middle school Private Eye, is on his newest case and he's about to make a whole bunch of enemies. Maybe the case goes deeper than just his school--could Matt find secrets from his own past? The deeper he digs, the weirder his case gets!

To enter: post a comment on the blog and include your first name, city, state, and email contact. Deadline for posts is December 17 at noon MST. Winners will be chosen randomly by Randomizer. Winners will be notified by email on December 17. Please check your email on that date. Winners will have 24 hours to contact me with their mailing address information. Books will ship from New York courtesy of Abrams and Laura--thanks, Laura!

More about the book:

From the publisher's website:

"In this much-anticipated sequel to The Big Splash, junior high detective Matt Stevens is back on the case, bringing us another hilarious middle school noir.
When the star of the basketball team is blackmailed, it’s up to Matt, the lone voice for justice in a morass of middle school corruption, to figure out who’s behind the scheme. Is it eighth-grade crime lord Vinny “Mr. Biggs” Biggio, who has made his name peddling forged hall passes and leading a crew of social assassins who send enemies to the Outs with a humiliating squirt-gun blast below the belt? Or is it his lieutenant and Matt’s former best friend, Kevin? Or a pair of scheming twins who sell Pixy Stix to sugar-addicted classmates? One thing’s for sure: There won’t be a quick fix for the trouble at this middle school." (Abrams website)

Start posting and good luck! Pamela


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

High School Pick: My Beautiful Failure


My Beautiful Failure
by Janet Ruth Young
Antheneum Books for Young Readers
2012
304 pages

After his father’s sickness, Billy longs to help others. He signs up for Listeners, a suicide hotline advertised on billboards. His job is to listen and only listen to the voice on the other end of the line. He is not to offer any information about himself. He is not to get involved emotionally or meet the person face to face. His is not allowed to know personal information like the person’s last name or address.

That is until Jenney. Jenney is struggling. She is remembering repressed memories of child abuse and a crime so impossible it’s no wonder she suppressed it as a child. Her parents are monsters. The more Jenney remembers, the more she wants out. Billy tries desperately to help her. He waits for her calls, he longs for her voice, he believes he is the only one who can help Jenney save herself.

Jenney is Billy’s beautiful failure. She is the girl he falls in love with. She is broken and beyond repair.

Poignant and compassionate, My Beautiful Failure is not a “feel good” read. Readers who love a tear-jerker with believable characters will love this YA novel. Girls will empathize with sensitive Billy and likely admire his bravery and capacity for caring.

Recommended grade 8-up. Adult themes. Child abuse, infanticide, and suicide.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wimpy Pick: The Third Wheel (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, book 7)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid
The Third Wheel
by Jeff Kinney
Amulet
2012
217 pages (paperback)

Greg Heffley is back again with his trusted sidekick Rowley. This time, love is in the air and the Valentine's Day dance is just a few days away. Greg doesn't want to be the only one who goes stag, but he doesn't know how to ask a girl out. His mooch of an uncle tries to help him out. Uncle Gary has "...been married something like four times already, so he's an EXPERT on relationships" Greg realizes. Greg asks for advice from wise old Gary.

The illustrations in the seventh installment are just as funny as the earlier books. Kinney seems to have a natural talent for all things boy and all things wimpy.

Manny (the younger brother) is growing up but still has invisible friends and Greg finds it impossible to tell whether one of the invisible friends is sitting on the couch or not, so he avoids "hurting" one of Manny's friends. Rodrick, the evil older brother, makes a brief appearance as does Greg's dad, but the story revolves around Greg and his funny attempts to appear "date-worthy." No matter what he does, Greg seems to lose.

Uncle Gary finally wins the lotto and is able to leave the Heffley's couch. Rowley gets the girl, but Greg is okay with it. Middle school is rough for the wimpy kid, heck, it's rough for everyone. Middle school--it's not for sissies!

Highly, highly recommended grades 5-up. No language.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I purchased this book for my library. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Picture Book Pick: Owly and Wormy, Bright Lights and Starry Nights!


Bright Lights and Starry Nights! (Owly & Wormy)
Written and illustrated by Andy Runton
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
2012
40 pages

Masterful storytelling uses few words and with vibrant artwork, Runton shows his genius through his characters’ facial expressions and gestures. When a picture book is this vibrant, no words are necessary. The story becomes what the reader makes it.

Owly and Wormy are out to look at the stars through their telescope, but they realize they are going to have to climb down the tree so they can get an unobstructed view to the stars. Scary noises in the forest have them shaking in their shoes. When Owly tries to find his telescope, he runs into a friendly bat. The bat brings his friends along and all the characters are amazed by the panorama of stars.

Owly is a fun character with heart. His expressions are joy, sadness, confusion, fright, wonder, and amazement. Runton accomplishes all this with just a simple position of Owly’s eyes or changing the way he holds his mouth!

This simple picture book has a lot going on. A great picture book can be studied for the art alone, and Bright Lights and Starry Nights certainly fills the bill.

Illustrations are easy on the eye in hues of violet, purple, blue, green, and black.

Highly, highly recommended ages five and up and for all art lovers.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Giveaway: The Jaguar Stones bookmarks!



Click here for more informatiion on the series


I have FIVE packages of 100 count bookmarks from The Jaguar Stones book series up for grabs. Simply post a comment on the blog and include your first name, city, state, and email contact address.

Deadline for posts is November 26 at noon MST. Winners will be chosen randomly by Randomizer and contacted on November 27. Please check your email. Winners have 24 hours to contact me with their mailing information.

The packs of bookmarks will ship from New York thanks to Egmont. Start posting and good luck! Pamela

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Paranormal Pick: Obsidian


Obsidian
Lux, Book One
By Jennifer L. Armentrout
Entangled Publishing
2012
335 pages with bonus material

The cover art of Obsidian will help sell this YA novel. That and the back cover, “The hot alien next door marks me…you heard me. Alien.” Who knew aliens could be so darn sexy?

Daemon is unforgettable and beguiling; the smoldering tension between him and Florida transplant Katy erupts the minute she sees him. He is beyond hot; he is a Greek god—the boy next door is seductive and scintillating, that is, until he opens his mouth. Then, he’s arrogant and rude. Katy is sorry she ever thought he was hot.

Daemon tries to keep his sister Dee from becoming friends with Katy. It’s like he has something against her. Katy soon realizes that this little town in West Virginia her mother moved her to is a strange community. The people are strange. They stare at Katy. They are secretive and untrusting.

Katy has a run-in with a “mugger,” and Daemon saves her. Then he saves her again from being run over. Katy sees there’s something out of the ordinary about Daemon. Is he a vampire? He laughs at this idea—really, Katy, a vampire?
Daemon tells Katy about his past and his family’s secrets. Will Katy be able to keep his secrets safe? And what if the Arum come after Katy? Will Daemon be able to protect her once more? Will obsidian save Katy?

Steamy kissing and make out sessions, language issues, violence.

Highly, highly recommended grade 9-up. Not for middle school due to adult theme and language.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I purchased this book for my library, primarily because I spotted it at Barnes and Noble, and it screamed off the shelf at me. I will send this book to the high school library due to language and kissing.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tween Pick: Genie Wishes

Genie Wishes
by Elisabeth Dahl
Amulet
2013
288 pages

Available April 2013 (exact date not yet available)

view the trailer here


Charming and sweet, Genie Wishes is sure to enchant younger readers.
Genie Kunkle begins her fifth grade year with excitement and anticipation. When she’s named 5th grade class blogger, she’s thrilled. She asks Mr. Saylor, her teacher, what to write about. He guides Genie to write about the class’s thoughts, wishes, and dreams.

Genie begins with Junk Food Lunch. All the kids are sad when the school stops Junk Food Lunch day, but the adults think it’s for the kids’ own good. A lot of kids post comments on Genie Wishes, Genie’s class blog.

Before long, Genie has to worry about bras, shaving her legs, getting her period, wearing make-up, and a thousand other things a girl should not have to worry about. Genie’s dad considers dating, and Genie pushes him to an Internet dating site. Ian, Genie’s older brother, is horrified and lets his feelings be known.

Genie and Sarah have always been BFF’s, but when mean girl, snooty Blair joins them, Genie feels like three’s a crowd. Blair is everywhere, too. Her opinion is usually loud and all the girls think Blair is right all the time. There is friendship drama and Genie feels jealous and sad.

Genie Wishes chronicles Genie’s entire school year. Genie says goodbye to elementary school and looks forward to middle school.

Recommended by the publisher for ages 8-12. Personally, I’m not sure how parents will feel having eight year olds reading about puberty and periods. Use you own judgment. I am adding it to my middle school library, and our school is grade 6-8. Genie Wishes is a light, girl-y read that is perfectly tame for ages maybe eleven and up.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Picture Perfect Pick: Here Comes Trouble!


This is the picture of Always in Trouble, an earlier book. The dog is the same one in both books. The cover of Here Comes Trouble not yet available.

Here Comes Trouble!
by Corinne Demas
Illustrations by Noah Z. Jones
Scholastic Press
2013
34 pages—page count of F & G from the publisher; final page count unavailable
Available January 2013 (exact date not yet available on Scholastic’s webpage)


Toby the dog doesn’t like cats—not slinky ones, or snooty ones, or snobby ones or spunky ones. He really doesn’t like the cat that lives next door. Pandora is all the things Toby hates, and worse, she never pays any attention to Toby. He tries all kinds of bad dog behavior but in oh-so-typical, detached cat behavior, she ignores him.

Then the neighbors go on vacation leaving their beloved Pandora in the care of Toby’s owners, Emma and her parents. Pandora soon becomes pet #1 with Emma who showers affection on her. Pandora does all types of nasty cat things like clawing the sofa and jumping on the kitchen counters. She never gets into trouble, but when she finds herself up a tree, literally, Toby comes to her rescue. His humans ignore his barking and running around in circles. They don’t realize that their dog is trying to communicate. Then Toby has to spell it out for them—again, literally!

Charming and heroic Toby is sure to have young readers laughing and cheering for the underdog (get it? underdog?) Colorful and comic illustrations are a perfect balance of whimsy and spunk. The author shows literary craft in choosing words that describe each character: Pandora “prances” and “pirouetted” ; she “slinked” and she “winked.” Toby “trotted,” barked,” “clawed,” leaped,” “chewed,” “grumbled,” and “growled.”

From the title, I thought the dog’s name would be “Trouble.” The cat’s name is Pandora, after all. Nothing like a little Trouble to go with Pandora, but maybe that’s too obvious.

Highly, highly recommended for early readers. This one is too cute to miss!

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the F & G from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Paranormal Pick: The Raven Boys


The Raven Boys
The Raven Cycle, Book One
By Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic Press
2012
408 pages

Read the free teaser here

Only in the capable hands of a superior storyteller like Stiefvater, could the Raven boys capture teen hearts. The author uses her writer’s chops and subtle finesse to tell a ghost story, a love story, a magical story, and the beginning of what is surely to become the most anticipated trilogy in years. Highly, highly readable and entertaining, teens will stay up until the wee hours frantically seeking what will happen to Gansey and Blue.

When Blue Sargent meets Gansey, a wealthy Raven boy, in a premonition, she knows he doesn’t have long to live. That’s not all, it has been prophesied that Blue will cause her true love to die. Her mother has been protecting her since birth, warning that she never kiss a boy and never fall in love. What’s a sixteen year old girl to do? Living in a house full of card readers and clairvoyants hasn’t been a real childhood, and now that she’s sixteen, Blue longs for a “normal” life.



She goes with her aunt to an old church on the corpse road on St. Mark’s Eve. No one ever celebrates St. Mark’s but the dead always do. Aunt Neeve wants to make contact with the other side and help the spirits of the deceased move on. She takes Blue along because when Blue is around, her magic is amplified. It is here that Blue meets and speaks to spirit Gansey. Later, she meets human Gansey and his rich boy crowd.

Just how rich are the Raven boys? Of Dick Gansey II (Gansey’s father) and Dick Gansey III (Gansey), Stiefvater writes, “Both of them could trot out logic on a nice little leash, wearing a smart plaid jacket, when they wanted to.” Gansey (the son) owns an abandoned factory which he lives in with his roommates (they live gratis) while he attends the Academy. He doesn’t realize that picking up the tab and offering to pay for everything may not sit well with others like Blue or Adam, who come from much humbler beginnings.

There’s something magical happening In the town of Henrietta; first, nearly famous Aunt Neeve shows up out of the blue (pun intended), then Gansey and his friends start poking around in the woods, a teacher at Aglionby Academy is looking for something magical and dangerous, and the ley lines are nearly buzzing with spiritual energy. Blue begins to meet the boys on the sly to help them hunt for a long lost legend of Welsh history that legend says slumbers somewhere near the town. To the one who wakes Glendower, that lucky person will be granted everything. The problem is that the kids aren’t the only ones obsessed with finding Glendower.

Gansey’s friends consist of Adam, a boy from the poor side of town who is working jobs to attend Aglionby, Noah—a quiet boy who has secrets of his own, and Ronan—an extremely foul, unlikeable misanthrope who is seriously deep and drew me back to him at the end of the book—with only seven little words of dialog. Now, I really like Ronan and want to know more. The novel sets up for book two nicely, and I can’t wait to read what Stiefvater has in store for Blue, Gansey and the boys.

The ending is a crash-bang in-your-face-world-gone-crazy ending that had me guessing until the very end. What a rollicking thrill! Several plotlines converged and a few unexpected zingers caught me by surprise. It’s refreshing when a book entertains and surprises at the same time. This one will leave readers breathless.

Highly, highly recommended grade 7-up. There is the mention of the B word—a child born illegitimately and the boys talk about “balls” as in grow a pair, but this is tame compared to most YA fiction. Ghost story fans will love this must-read!

FTC Required Disclaimer: I purchased this book for my library. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Horror Pick: What the Night Knows

What the Night Knows
by Dean Koontz
Bantam Books
2012
442 pages

read an excerpt here


An open letter to Dean Koontz:

Dear Dean,

You totally creep me out! I mean it—I have never been more terrified—What the Night Knows is your creepiest, most fantastical, bizarre, and terrible thing of beauty you have ever written. We have been through a lot over the years and over the many, many books. You were only toying with me with The Face and Dark Rivers of the Heart—playing with comedy through Odd Thomas, Forever Odd, Brother Odd and Odd Hours, introducing me to characters I could love with Seize the Night and Fear Nothing, painstakingly building your craft with The Vision and The Face of Fear, but toying no more, not with this opus—you have me as a fan forever.

What the Night Knows preys upon people’s darkest fears: evil in its most incarnate--evil able to enter anywhere and do anything. Evil that can enter anyone and use them. Evil that can lay dormant in a dwelling and wait. No one can escape it; no one can be saved.

John Calvino is a police detective with a wonderful, loving family, but twenty years ago, he was just a boy when his entire family was murdered by a man named Alton Turner Blackwood—a man with three names—just like all infamous murderers in history. Blackwood is the most savage killer the police have ever seen. Now, it’s twenty years later, and John Calvino discovers a family murdered in exactly the same fashion as twenty years prior. This time, the murderer is fourteen year old Billy Lucas who murders his own family. Calvino visits him at the state hospital to interview Billy. He leaves disturbed by Billy’s answer: “Ruin.”

Dean, the way you built upon the character of each of the children: dear, sweet Zach who wants to be a brave marine someday, fanciful and naïve Naomi who lives in a world of unicorns and wizards, and wonderful, all-knowing, all-seeing Minette, “don’t call me Mouse,” gives the reader hope that this family can be saved. The appearance of their trusty golden retriever Willard is a ray of sunshine that this family can depend upon. The strength of the marriage between Nicolette and John has to--just has to-- survive this ghostly and ghastly peril.

I must say, Dean, you had me at, “What year these events transpired is of no consequence. Where they occurred is not important. The time is always, and the place is everywhere.” This gentle and SCARY reminder that evil is always and everywhere is downright cryptic and horrible.

I spent a few toss and turn-y nights while reading What the Night Knows. I slept with the nightlight on, and like Zach, I had a “weapon” at my bedside—although a baseball bat is no match for any ghost demon. I turned on lights before entering darkened rooms and I was careful not to peer too long into any mirrors lest I catch a glimpse of something I really didn’t want to see. I heard noises and thought of an evil so great that it could be anywhere and everywhere. Yeah, Dean, I lost sleep!

Dean Koontz, you are truly the master! I applaud your literary prowess. It’s a huge undertaking to mix a ghost story, a story of evil, a police drama, a fairy tale, a psychological thriller and a murder investigation, yet you do all of this with a deft hand and make the story plausible.

I have always loved your word choice and What the Night Knows is no exception. What other writer uses words like louche, outré and effulgent? Reading your prose is a spectacular exercise. You never fail to amaze me.

So highly recommended that I will shout it from the rooftops: Read What the Night Knows! Don’t miss this one. You’ll be sorry you did. Any fan of Koontz will love this latest scary tale.

Grade 9 and up. Not suitable for middle school due to adult themes, violence, sex, and language.


FTC Required Disclaimer: I purchased this book for my own reading pleasure. It was a pleasure that scared me nearly to death! I will send this book over to the high school.

High School Pick: Out of Reach (finalist National Book Award for Young People's Literature


watch the book trailer here

Out of Reach
by Carrie Arcos
Simon Pulse
2012
250 pages

Out of Reach will grab teens up and take them along on a road trip to find a lost soul. Micah is Rachel's older and deeply troubled brother. Rachel feels guilty that she didn't try to stop Micah from falling deeper into the drug life. She knows he's headed for trouble, but she ignores it and then realizes that maybe...just maybe...she could have done something or said something that would have saved him.

Rachel reaches out to Tyler, Micah's best friend. Although Tyler hasn't been hanging around Micah much during his downfall, he may be her best bet in finding and saving Micah. They drive down to San Diego and search the beaches and streets looking for some sign of Micah. Everywhere they turn, they find people who don't want to talk. There are some dealers who may know Micah, but they won't talk to Rachel.

Rachel knows that Micah was in trouble--probably with one or more dealers. When she finds a woman who knows Micah, the news is not good. Rachel comes to the realization that sometimes people who get lost don't ever want to be found. She becomes closer to Tyler and learns to let her brother go.

Out of Reach is a touching and poignant story of a family broken by drug abuse. It is a story about a teen girl coming to grips with the loss of her brother and learning to forgive herself. She has to let him go in order to heal and live.

Recommended grade 9-up. Drug references, shady people, adult situations.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this novel from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)