Thursday, August 4, 2011

SPL Shelf Life [kids]

These reviews appeared in the Stratford Gazette on August 4th. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

Summer is a perfect time for kids to discover a new author or a new fiction series, such as the following:


Torn from Troy, by Patrick Bowman, 199 pages.
@ SPL: J FIC Bowma
‘The soldiers reacted instantly. One of them grabbed me by the shoulders and expertly kicked my legs out from under me, dropping me face-down onto the cobbles.”
Alexi, a 15-year-old orphan of Troy, has just witnessed - and survived - the horrific burning of his city by the Greek soldiers under Odysseus’ command. Now he’s been captured by the Greek army. He is given a choice of being killed or enslaved.
Alexi chooses to live.
Forced aboard a ship en route to Ithaca, Alexi and the other captives embark on a long voyage that seems cursed with danger and peril. They must do battle with the fierce Cicones; they fall into the clutches of the bewitching but treacherous Lotus Eaters, and barely endure a grisly encounter with a Cyclops. There are many casualties among the men on Odysseus’ ships. Over and over, Alexi finds that he must face his fears, and at the same time, he must decide who he can trust – and who he can’t – for his own survival.
Torn from Troy is the first title in a new action-filled trilogy, “Odyssey of a Slave”, which retells the classic Greek legend of the Odyssey. Boys will especially enjoy the suspense and the gritty, realistic action. Alexi is a brave, resourceful and likeable young hero, who misses his sister terribly. Did she survive or die when Troy was invaded and burned? This is left as a question for the second book in the series, soon to be published.
** Recommended for ages 10 to 13 years.

 Cloudy with a Chance of Boys, by Megan McDonald, 260 pages.
@ SPL: J FIC McDon 
Why is figuring out boys just as difficult as predicting the weather? Lately, questions about boys are always on Stevie Reel’s mind.
The middle sister in a family with three girls, Stevie’s never been very interested – or even at all interested – in boys. But things are starting to change now: her friends at school are beginning to pair up and one of the boys in her science class (“Wire Rims”) is interested in her. Stevie hasn’t a clue if or how she should respond.
Stevie’s sisters aren’t much help right now. Her older sister is preoccupied with her “crush”, Scott, and Stevie’s younger sister much prefers frogs to boys.
It had all started one night when the three sisters looked at the stormy sky and wished for something “amazing” to happen to each of them. Joey, the youngest, wished to see a rare blue tree frog. The oldest, Alex, aspired to a kiss from her new boyfriend. Stevie merely wished that something amazing would come along for her … but she certainly didn’t expect the “something” to be a boy!
Girls will breeze through this funny, entertaining story and the other titles in the new Sisters Club series, written by Megan McDonald, author of the popular Judy Moody books. (The first book, Rule of Three, is available at the Stratford Public Library, and subsequent titles are forthcoming.)
** Recommended for ages 9 to 12 years.

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