Thursday, August 17, 2017

Middle Grade Pick: Rules for Thieves

Rules for Thieves
by Alexandra Ott
Aladdin
2017
320 pages
ISBN: 9781481472746

Alli Rosco escapes the orphanage by climbing the wall and escapes into the town square. She is excited to be free and alive, but quickly realizes she has no plan. What will she do now? Where will she go? How will she eat? Alli is smart and resourceful and knows she will have to steal to survive.

Alli runs into trouble in the market and is "wounded"  but lucky for her, she meets Beck. Alli has been infected with a poison curse and needs money for the cure before it kills her. Beck tells her that the only way she is sure to survive is to travel with him to the Thieve's Guild, an underground network that protects its own and whose members work to steal the kingdom's greatest treasures.

Beck is unsure whether Alli will be accepted but she goes along with him. They venture deep into the mountains and the cold where the Guild has their secret hideaway.

Alli and Beck are tasked with a dangerous mission--one that is nearly impossible. Alli is getting worse. They are racing the clock and the authorities.

Rules for Thieves is a delightful romp. Alexandra Ott sets up a believable world from the first pages. Alli is everything readers want from a heroine.

Highly recommended grade 5 and up. This book is likely on the Scholastic Book Fair.

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


Monday, August 14, 2017

Pamela's Picks for Book Club Titles: Middle School to Adult

Every year, librarians and teachers ask about books for book clubs. I have made this list from the last two years of book club reads at our school:

Suggested Books for Book Clubs:
These are books are members have read over the two years. 
Grade 6: 
Barnhill, Kelly. The Girl Who Drank the Moon. Algonquin Young Readers
Bell, CeCe. El Deafo. Harry N. Abrams, 2014. 978-14197121732014. 
Collins, Suzanne. Gregor the Overlander. Scholastic Paperbacks, 2004. 978-0439678131
Giff, Patricia Reilly. Pictures of Hollis Woods. Yearling, 2004. 978-0312674854
Grisham, John. Skipping Christmas, Dell, 2010. 978-0440422969
Sunny Side Up, Holm, Jennifer L. GRAPHIX, 2015.
978-0545741668
Horowitz, Anthony. Skeleton Key, Puffin Books, 2006. Skeleton Key, 978-0142406144
Palacio, R.J. Wonder, Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2014. 978-0375869020
Pennypacker, Sara. Pax.  Balzer + Bray, 2016. 978-0062377012
Grade 7:
Bodeen, S.A. The Compound. Square Fish. 2009. 978-0312578602
Carter, Ally. Heist Society. Disney-Hyperian. 2011. 978-1423116615
       Deuker, Carl . Gym Candy. HMH Books for Young Readers. 2008. 978-0547076317
       Doctorow, Cory. Little Brother. Tor Teen. 2010. 978-0765323118
Falkner, Brian. Brain Jack. Ember, 2011. 978-0375843679
      Hirsch, Jeff. The Darkest Path. Scholastic Press. 2013. 978-0545630627
      Morris, Paula.  Ruined. Point, 2010. 978-0545042147
      Sloan, Goldberg Holly. Counting by 7s. Puffin, 2014. 978-0142422861
Stiefvater, Maggie. Shiver. Scholastic, Inc. 2014. 978-0545682787
Volk, Lauren. Wolf Hollow. Dutton Books for Young Readers, 2016. 978-1101994825
Grade 8:
       Charbonneau, Joelle. The Testing. HMH Books for Young Readers, 2015. 978-0544336230
Dashner, James. Maze Runner. Delacourte Press, 2010. 978-0385737951
Fukuda, Andrew. The Hunt. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2012. 978-1250005298
Henry, April. Girl, Stolen. Square Fish, 2012. 978-0312674755
Lu, Marie. Legend. Speak, 2013. 978-0142422076
      Michaels, Rune. Genesis Alpha. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011. 978-1416965008Henry,
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Scholastic Paperbacks, 2000. 978-0439064873
Stand, Jeff. A Bad Day for Voodoo. Sourcebooks Fire, 2012. 978-1402266805
High School:
Arnold, David. Mosquitoland. Speak, 2016. 978-0147513656
Knudsen, Michelle. Evil Librarian. Candlewick, 2016. 978-0763676407
Kraus, Daniel. The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch . Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016. 978-1481411400
Ohanesian, Iline. Orhan's Inheritance. Algonquin Books, 2016. 978-1616205300
Smith, Andrew. 100 Sideways Miles. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2015. 978-1442444966
Smith, Andrew. Grasshoppper Jungle, Speak, 2015. : 978-0142425008
Smith, Andrew. Winger, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2014. 978-1442444935
Smith, Andrew. Standoff. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers , 2016. 978-1481418300
Weingarten, Lynn. Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls. Simon Pulse, 2016. 978-1481418584


Adult Titles:
Bick, Ilse. Ashes. EgmontUSA, 2012. 978-1606843857
Goolrick, Robert. A Reliable Wife. Algonquin, 2010. 978-156512977
Eugenides, Jeffrey. Middlesex. Picador, 2002. 978-03124277331
Eugenides, Jeffrey. The Virgin Suicides. Picador, 2009. 978-0312428815
Hadon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. Vintage Contemporaries, 2004.
978-1400032716
Roorbach, Bill. Life Among Giants. Algonquin, 2013.
978-1616203245
Rindell, Suzanne. The Typist. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2014.
978-0425268421
Sedaris, David. Naked.  Back Bay Books, 1998. 978-0316777735
Shapiro, B.A., The Art Forger. Algonquin, 2013.
978-1616203160
Zafon, Carlos Ruiz. The Shadow of the Wind. Penguin, 2005.
978-0143034902

Zevin, Gabrielle. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikrey. Algonquin, 2014. 978-1616204518

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Middle Grades Pick: Mrs. Smith's Spy School for Girls

Mrs. Smith's Spy School for Girls
Book 1
by Beth McMullen
Aladdin
2017
292 pages
ISBN: 9781481490207


Fast paced and fun, Beth McMullen has a sure hit on her hands. Middle grades and all grades will enjoy the antics and fun when Abigail Hunter is shipped off to a private boarding school for girls. Abigail thinks, "oh, yawn," but finds out that not only is her school anything but boring, it is a super exclusive school for training teen spies.

When Abigail tries sneaking out one night, she overhears a conversation she wasn't supposed to hear. Mrs. Smith has to make sure Abigail won't repeat what she's heard or figure it out. Later, she is accepted into the spy school and learns her mother is their favorite spy. She's shocked. She had no idea her boring mother could be an international spy! And now she's missing. Even the adult spies don't have a clue where to look for Abigail's mother (Teflon).

It is up to Abigail to follow the clues and find her mother. Abigail's mother's trail is hard to follow. The adults think she used her  skills to cover her tracks. But why? Why would her mother vanish and leave Abigail at the school? And who is after her?

A rollicking read in what is sure to be a bestselling series for girls grade 4-up. The writing and story are more exciting than the typical Babysitter's Club fare or fairy tale mash-ups. Readers are likely to read the entire series as it publishes.

Highly recommended grade 4-up. A must read! A must have for all MG libraries!

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