December 27, 2004

Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy by Wendelin Van Draanen

Sammy goes to Hollywood in search for her mother to find herself tangled in a murder mystery. In solving the mystery, Sammy discovers the web that her mother has created and must save her from marrying her agent - its a matter of life or death!
Reed Reads Score: 3.5

October 27, 2004

Witness by Karen Hess

A free verse account of the Ku Klux Klan moving into a small Vermont town and its affects on its citizens as told through their voices. The story centers on Leonora, a 12 year old African American girl and Rachel a 6 year old Jewish girl. Okay, but not engaging. Good for story theater.
Reed Reads Score: 3.5

August 12, 2004

Island Boyz by Graham Salisbury

Coming of age short stories set in Hawaii. Following is a review of two of the stories
Mrs. Noonan - In a boarding school, a young boy gets a crush on a teacher's wife. He is tormented by two boys, one of whom gets kicked out, by being accused of his victim's crime - stalking and spying on a teacher's wife.
Waiting for the War - Two boys find all the military personnel based in Hawaii during W.W.II a nuisance until one befriends them making them realize that many of the soldiers are waiting for the war - waiting to die.

Reed Reads Score: 4

July 14, 2004

Loser by Jerry Spinelli

Donald Zinkoff is a loser. Follow his life from the first day of school through the 6th grade. Learn how this kid who is ostracized, teased and maligned maintains his self respect and dignity through the love of his family and love of life. I read this with a heavy heart, thinking of all the "losers" I've encountered as a child and as a teacher.
Reed Reads Score: 4

May 31, 2004

True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff

LaVaughn is 15 and learning what a teacher meant by "we will rise to the occasion that is life." A bright girl trying to understand life in the ghetto with all its inherent hardships and road blocks...trying to maintain old and new relationships that are divergent in nature...staying focused on a course to a college education...dealing with her mother and her relationships...all happening around her first love, a love that is a hard love.
Reed Reads Score: 5

April 23, 2004

Eight Seconds by Jean Ferris

John Ritchie meets Kit at rodeo school and forms a friendship that will totally change his life. When he finds out that Kit is gay, John doesn't know how to deal with it and begins questioning himself. Honestly deals with the inability to deal with ones own feelings and what it is to be gay.
Reed Reads Score: 4.5

February 12, 2004

The Memory Prisoner by Thomas Bloor

Fifteen year old Maddie has been a home bound recluse for 13 years. Memories have been locked away. The mystery of the Library Tower looms in the background as Maddie's brother goes to work there to unlock Maddie's and the library's secrets.
Reed Reads Score: 3.5

January 12, 2004

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

The Bad Beginning, is  book one of the Series of Unfortunate Events
The Baudelaire children; Violet, Klaus and Sunny are orphaned leading them to a most unfortunate series of events. Everything bad happens, with little relief. I didn't like this book as much as many, but I'm told the subsequent installments are better (there's eight so far).

Reed Reads Score: 3.5