25. Babymouse: Puppy Love by Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm

            Babymouse is back in her eighth installment as a J-level graphic novel.  Babymouse is a mouse that lives in a house and goes to school with other various animals.  Her archenemy is a cat, her best friend Wilson is a weasel, and her locker is trying to eat her.  Babymouse has a great imagination, which the narrator tries to knock down to reality. 

In this installment Babymouse’s goldfish has died.  Again.  Babymouse asks to have a puppy but is told no.  So, she goes through multiple pets that seem to disappear and she does not know why (I wonder if you can find out what happens to them).  Finally, Babymouse gives up.  Of course, this is when a stray puppy comes into Babymouse’s life.  Her dream come true.  Find out if this is really true by reading the book.

Published in: on January 31, 2008 at 9:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

24. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

            I had not read this YA-level book since middle school.  It was great to re-read it again as a refresher for continuing on with The Lord of the Rings.  Bilbo has his own adventures.  Dwarves begin showing up at his door in the Shire assuming that he is a thief.  Bilbo is aghast, he has never stolen anything in his life.  Somehow, Bilbo begins his journey out of his nice comfortable Shire with 12 dwarves and Gandalf, a wizard.  Bilbo does not seem to be good at surviving terrifying events as trolls, goblins, spiders, and elves accost the party.  And yet, somehow, Bilbo always seems to get everyone out of trouble.  On the whole a refreshingly optimistic read even with the despair felt when things go terribly wrong.

Published in: on January 31, 2008 at 9:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

23. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

            This J-level book begins with a test.  Reynie Muldoon has found an advertisement in the newspaper to take a test for bright children.  It has strange questions like whether he likes to watch television and if he is brave?  After mastering the baffling tests Reynie meets the other children to pass the test.  There is Sticky Washington who is the most nervous boy Reynie has ever met but who also has a photographic memory.  There is Kate Wetherall who has a bucket attached to her belt and seems to be able to do anything using the contents of said bucket.  Lastly, there is Constance Contraire who only seems to be interested in napping and being contrary to one and all.  This team of children becomes the Mysterious Benedict Society.  Their mission is to save the world from one Ledroptha Curtain.  They are to infiltrate the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened (LIVE).  How can children save the world and a grown-up evil mastermind?  Read the book.  You will find out that they are the only ones who are actually capable of this giant task.

Published in: on January 30, 2008 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

22. Chaos Code by Justin Richards, read by John Lee

            This YA-level book is currently only available in audio format.  A print copy should be available soon.  Matt Stribling gets stranded.  His mom gets a great job offer and sends him to be with his father.  Matt’s father has disappeared and it looks like he is in trouble.  Matt finds hidden instructions to go to his aunts and then his adventure truly begins.  It seems that there is a crusader treasure that Matt’s father had been hired to find.  Or is older than mankind?  Through many twists, turns, adventures, and scares Matt must come to terms with his quixotic family and learn to believe the unbelievable.  There is more than one layer to this story and the mysteries unfold beautifully all the way to the last page.

Published in: on January 11, 2008 at 5:48 am  Leave a Comment  

21. H.I.V.E. Higher Institute of Villainous Education by Mark Walden

            This J-level book asks how black and white good vs. evil really is.  Otto Malpense is an exceptionally gifted boy who is kidnapped and taken to begin training at the H.I.V.E.  There he makes friends with another boy and two girls who don’t feel they belong there and are worried because they do not want to be villains.  They plan to escape, but as all villains know something must go wrong, and something goes wrong.  Look for more installments in this funny and twisting adventure between the blurred lines of evil, villainy, loyalty, and good.

Published in: on January 2, 2008 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment