17 year old Kaya is a Healer, but her parents kept that a secret as long as they could because they didn't want her to have to fight in the war. When her talent is discovered, she is sent to Shadow Academy, to learn to heal. She is almost killed before she arrives, and then shortly after that she is almost killed again, but luckily is saved by Darius not once but twice. Kaya decides she has to learn to fight so she can protect herself, but Healers are not allowed to learn how to fight so she decides to enlist some secret help. She asks both the boy she is bound to, and the teacher who seems to hate her, to train her, but only one will help her and the consequences are enormous.
Rosaline has finally figured out that she wants her best friend Rob to be more than her friend and things are just starting to heat up when her cousin Juliet, moves back to town. In a very gutsy move, Juliet manages to get Rob to take her to the Fall Back dance and after that, they're an item. There were a few things I didn't like about this book at all; the ending, and the fact that we never really get to know Juliet's true motivation for her actions - was she crazy, was she jealous, or did she really just find Rob irresistible? Warning to those who need it... the book does contain references to sexual activity as one of the characters decides to "do it".
What if Snow White never ate the poisoned apple given to her by her evil stepmother? She'd never have been placed in the glass coffin, discovered by the prince, revived OR lived happily ever after.
When Abby and her younger brother Jonah accidentally use a magical mirror left behind by previous owners of their new house, they are transported to the kingdom of Zamel. Without realizing the consequences of their actions, Jonah and Abby prevent Snow White from biting the poisoned apple, and set into play an entirely different series of events from the original fairy tale.
Fairest of All is a fun, light read and will be thoroughly enjoyed by all those readers who love to wonder "what if..."
Sage is one of four orphans purchased from orphanages by Bevin Conner, a regent with plans to produce a false prince to impersonate Prince Jaron, who perished during a pirate attack four years ago, but whose body was never found. Conner leaves the boys very little choice about acquiescing to his plan, and thus begins their two week training in how to impersonate nobility.
This book reminded me of "The Thief" by Megan Whalen Turner, and would be enjoyed by middle school students who are decent readers and enjoy books set in medieval times.
Not often do I not enjoy a book, but this one just didn't do much for me. My big problem with the book is that the author had NO idea how a grade six going into grade seven behaves, and as a result, his twelve year old character, Tad, was not at all believable. Carvell mixes things from the primary years (dinosaurs and drawing dinosaurs where people's faces would normally be) with actions and events from high school such as being the parents of an egg child in a health class or reading Animal Farm; both of those activities are done in high school here. So, because I didn't get the feeling that Tad was an authentic twelve year old, I didn't enjoy the story as much as I might have if his actions had been believable for a middle school student. Also, it's supposed to be a blog he's writing, so having it written in a book just seemed kind of fake. It did have some funny comments, but overall the book just didn't work. Having said that, I think kids who liked the Captain Underpants series as primary students will enjoy this book.
Radiate is the realistically written tale of a girl who, on the verge of becoming a sensational cheerleader, discovers a lump on her leg that turns out to be cancerous.
Radiate has it all; humor, heartache and romance. It will be eaten up by the middle school girls who love a little bit of angst coupled with a strong female character.
Thanks to Houghton Mifflin for making the ebook available for review.
Just finished The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost. It's a rousing adventure involving a young boy with special abilities. He ends up in a school with four friends who also have unusual talents that are different from his own. I had some questions about who and why these abilities were developed, but I suspect the answers to those questions will be provided in the second or third book. I think decent male readers from grades six to eight would enjoy this book. Thanks to Net Gallery and Random House Children's Books for providing an electronic copy. Look for it in stores this September.
Middle School Teacher Librarian - I believe there's a book out there for everyone!