50. Scat

By: Carl Hiaasen
Level: J

Nick and Marta are afraid of their Biology teacher Mrs. Starch. Duane, aka Smoke, threatens Mrs. Starch and bites her pencil in half, eating the part he bites off. Then during a field trip to the Black Vine Swamp the next day Duane is absent, a fire starts in the swamp, and Mrs. Starch disappears. Nick and Marta feel they have to find out what happened. It gets complicated when Duane comes back to school a model student, Mrs. Starch leaves school for a family emergency when she has no family, and a strange man is driving Mrs. Starch’s car around with Duane inside. How do endangered panthers and a corrupt oil company figure in? You’ll have read this enjoyable book to find out.

Published in: on June 13, 2009 at 10:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

49. Dandelion Fire

By: N.D. Wilson
Level: J
Series: Book Two of the 100 Cupboards

Henry York is going home to Boston in two weeks. The problem is that Henry has found that he came from the cupboards and he wants to know where exactly he came from. Before he can start his explorations he is kidnapped by an evil wizard named Darius. Darius wants the secret of moving between worlds. Henrietta thinks that Henry left without her and tries to follow him through the cupboards but finds herself being chased by Faeren in a world that is being sucked dry by the evil Witch Queen of Endor. When Henry escapes from Darius, Darius arrives at the house in Kansas to find what he is looking for and ends up pulling the house into another world where it becomes stuck. Those who are stuck in this new world find they need basic necessities and so they go through the cupboard doors to find Uncle Frank’s old home. Everyone finds themselves in the middle of a war with the evil of Endor.

Published in: on June 8, 2009 at 8:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

48. Hunted

By: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Level: YA
Series: House of Night, Book 5

Zoey is hiding out with Stevie Rae and the red fledglings. Kalona, his Raven Mockers, and Neferet are aboveground wreaking havoc in Tulsa. Zoey is having nightmares with Kalona and her boy troubles aren’t any better than regularly with Zoey getting back together with Eric and then having Heath show up. When Zoey is mortally wounded it becomes clear that she has to go back to the House of Night but will she and her friends be safe there? This is another typical installment in this series with questions of what happens next at the end.

Published in: on June 8, 2009 at 7:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

47. Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House With Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog

By: Ysabeau S. Wilce
Level: YA

Flora is sick of being treated like a slave while Mamma has an important job, Popop is crazy, and her fourteenth birthday is coming. Flora wants to be a Ranger but Mamma expects her to go into the military like all Fyrdraaca’s. Then, Flora gets mixed up with the banished butler, Valefor, and has to find a way to save herself as well as the butler and the Dainty Pirate, who is a famous Ranger. Flora has to decide where she lives in her world and how to transition into an adult.

Published in: on June 8, 2009 at 7:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

46. The Last Invisible Boy

By: Evan Kuhlman
Illustrated by J.P. Coovert
Level: J

Finn Garrett is convinced that he is disappearing. It has been happening ever since the Horrible Day in June. His hair is going white and his skin is pale white, not pink. Everyone in the house has their quirks, Mom just blanks, Derek sleeps in Finn’s room, and Grandpa keeps telling Dad stories. There are lots of good and bad reminisces of Dad but Finn does not want to talk about the Bad Day. Finally, we learn what happened to the dad and Finn gradually begins to see life after Dad.

Published in: on June 8, 2009 at 7:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

45. Standard Hero Behavior

By: John David Anderson
Level: YA

Mason and Cowel come from a town bereft of all heroes but one. The one hero of the town, Duke Darlinger, tells fantastic stories of how he slays the goblins, orcs, trolls, and ogres. Then Mason finds out that the duke is a fraud and has been paying off the various monsters for years but now they want more money and the duke is broke. Mason sets out with a borrowed horse and one hundred gold coins as well as his best friend to find heroes to help protect the town from imminent doom. To pass the time along the way Cowel reads a book written by Mason’s father titled Quayle’s Guide to Adventures for the Unadventurous. The book gives all of the tips and advice you might need for SHB (Standard Hero Behavior). The quest for heroes has many false starts and not a lot of luck finding real heroes but more importantly Mason seems to be on the trail of his missing father. Finding out why Edmond Quayle left his family ten years previously is almost as important a question as how to find heroes who can help the town.

Published in: on May 19, 2009 at 9:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

44. The Truth About Horses, Friends, & My Life as a Coward

By: Sarah P. Gibson
Illustrated by: Glin Dibley
Level: J

Sophie Groves feels that it is her duty to warn all girls that horses are more than just a riding fantasy. She is always pestered by the girl that thinks she is so lucky because she owns three horses, and can that girl ride one of them? Sophie knows the truth about her horses though. Really is should actually be named Really Mean, Sweetheart is just that, a sweetheart, in the ring, but if you leave the ring watch out for tree branches. Fancy Free is the largest horse Sophie has ever seen with pie pan feet and no brain. Sophie becomes well aware of all the attributes of each horse be the negative or positive. She also will not enter the ring for anything. This is a funny book about a girl who grows up with eyes wide open and learns a lot about life through avoiding her horses as much as possible and ends up loving them.

Published in: on May 19, 2009 at 9:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

43. Necropolis

By: Anthony Horowitz
Level: YA
Series: The Gatekeepers, Book Four

All Five Gatekeepers were revealed in Book Three. In Book Four there is a race to gather all of the Gatekeepers together so that they can overcome the Old Ones. Scarlett grew up in London but shortly after she turns fifteen her father has her come to Hong Kong where he works. Scarlett is afraid because she knows that people are watching her. In the meantime, Matt and the other Gatekeepers are trying to catch up to Scarlett but the Old Ones always seem to be a step ahead and thwart any attempts at contact. Finally Matt, Jamie, and Richard arrive in Hong Kong to find that everyone seems to be sick and dying. When all of the Five come together the book ends on a doomsday cliffhanger.

Published in: on May 12, 2009 at 8:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

42. The Killing of Worlds

By: Scott Westerfeld
Level: YA
Series: Book Two of Succession

A self-proclaimed space opera the Succession series follows a futuristic empire where two people who love each other are trying to stay alive. Captain Laurent Zai is aboard the Lynx, a new type of battle scout ship. He has already rejected committing suicide after the Empress was murdered. The Emperor is not happy and has sent the captain and his ship on a suicide mission in retaliation. Meanwhile, Zai has fallen in love with Senator Nara Oxham, who is in the capitol, where she is on the emperor’s war council. Nara is fighting to keep Zai alive and thwarting the emperor who is so afraid that he will destroy worlds to keep one big secret. Nara is an empath, a side effect of a graphical implant called synesthesia. She can tell the feelings of those around her and sees a war with the Nix as inevitable when there is so much anger in the capitol. But what happens when that anger is aimed at the Senator because she reveals the Emperor’s secrets. This second installment in the series evolves the storyline to a much more complicated universe, I can’t wait to read the conclusion in the third book.

Published in: on May 12, 2009 at 8:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

41. City of Glass

By: Cassandra Clare
Level: YA
Series: The Mortal Instruments, Book Three

Book Three sees Clary broken up with Simon, Jace a distant angry brother, and Simon as a vampire who can go into daylight. Clary is also determined to travel to the Shadowhunter home of Idris. Jace is just as determined that she not get there. As a result Jace and Simon end up in Indris and Clary has to break the law as she forces her way into Idris. Once in Idris, Jace and Clary’s relationship is hard to ignore while Simon is in trouble. On top of it all, Valentine is waging war on the City of Glass itself with a new diabolical plan to wipe out the unpure. A satisfying conclusion to the Valentine problem, but will the series continue with new bad guys and new questions that are left unanswered?

Published in: on April 21, 2009 at 5:31 am  Leave a Comment