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Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Invisible by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

The action in this science fiction novel takes place in New York City. Many of the places will be familiar to people who live there and they are familiar enough that visitors will be able to recognize them also.  Stephen is an invisible boy who lives by himself in an apartment building.  His mother's father put a curse on Stephen's mother to make her children invisible. Stephen's father lives in California and comes to visit him but Stephen's invisibility is too much for his father to live with. 
Elizabeth, her brother Laurie, and their mother move into the neighboring apartment from the midwest where Laurie was beat up when he came out as a gay teenager. 
The story is told in alternating chapters by Stephen and Elizabeth.  That way you get to see the action unfold from both of their viewpoints. 

Sunday, January 04, 2015


Inferno by Sherrilyn Kenyon

New Orleans is the setting for this young adult science fiction book. Although the characters in the book are fictional, many places in the setting are recognizable in modern New Orleans and would be an interesting book to read on a trip there.  It is also a book that could be used during a unit on bullying.  The website: http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com/book/inferno/ even has a letter to a bully.
Nick Goutier is the son of an evil Malachi demon and a mortal who has friends, some hundreds of years old and are related to ancient gods, that watch out for him as he matures. He has many of the same issues as many sixteen-year-old students do today, only magnified because of his heritage.
This book is part of the Chronicles of Nick series and the ending sets the scene for the next book with a cliffhanger.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman

Mrs. Pollifax, a slightly overweight middle-aged woman, helps the CIA in this series of books.  In "The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax", she travels to Istanbul, Turkey to save a secret agent and through remarkable turns of events and people she meets along the way, accomplishes her goal.  The book is set in Istanbul, Ankara, and the land between the two cities.  It is a good escapist book to read on the plane while traveling to or from Turkey. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Murder Can Wreck Your Reunion by Selma Eichler

If you are looking for some light reading about New York City, this book might be for you.  It is one of the Desiree Shapiro Mystery series books and the setting is New York City.  Desiree lives in Manhattan and does her detective work there.  She is a middle-aged, queen-size private detective and in this book she looks into what at first looks like a suicide at her nieces, Ellen's, reunion of friends. When Ellen and then the police seem to think it might be murder and Ellen might be involved, Desiree has to become involved. Of course, she has a couple of other cases as well plus her personal becomes complicated. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Lara's Gift by Annemarie O'Brien

Lara lives in Czarist Russia and the story mainly takes place in 1914.  Lara is the kennel stewards daughter on Count Vorontsov's estate.  She helps her father breed and train borzoi dogs worthy of the czar.  Lara also has visions of what will take place in the future regarding the dogs. When a litter of pups is born, Lara begs her father to let her save the runt of the litter's life.  She takes care of Zar and he grows up strong. All is going according to her plan until her brother is born. Although she loves the baby, since he is a boy he will become the next in line to be kennel steward. With the help of her friend Alexander, a royal, she saves her father's life and earns his respect.  He also tells her the kennel stewards' secret.  This book keeps the readers' interest and is a quick book to read.  It would be a book that would add to a student's study of Czarist Russia.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


The Hypnotists by Gordon Korman

Jax Opus is a twelve-year-old boy who lives in New York City and has an exceptional ability to hypnotize people. This ability leads him to save his parents from whom he inherited his power, his best friend Tommy, New York State, and ultimately the United States of America.  Jax is recruited to go The Sentia Institute where he meets Dr. Elias Mako who is the founder and director of the institute.  Jax learns a great deal about controlling his powers from Dr. Mako and meets others of his age at the institute as well. At first, Jax thinks that Dr. Mako is working for good but, with the help of Axel Braintree and his friends, Jax discovers that Dr. Mako has evil intentions.  This book is a quick read and the ending gets the reader ready for the next book in the series.  

Thursday, October 02, 2014


Death at Sandringham House by C. C. Benison

This book is one of the Her Majesty Investigates series.  It begins with a map of the area around Sandringham House and would be a good choice of a book to read when traveling in Great Britain.  This murder mystery fictional book features the Queen of England and other royals but it told from the housemaid Jane Bee's point of view.  It explains a little of the history of Great Britain although its main purpose is to entertain. 

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