Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry

I was drawn to this book because of its beautiful cover. In this fairy-tale-like book, a well-to-do girl is forced to live with her evil aunt after her parents pass away. There is a magic stone, a witch, and a prince which all come together at the royal ball. So if you're a fan of fairy tales with happy endings, this book won't disappoint you! Review by Joyce Levine

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thank You, Lucky Stars by Beverly Donofrio

Ally is actually excited to start the fifth grade. She and her best friend, Betsy, are going to wear the same outfit on the first day, and this is the year that they can enter the 5 th grade talent show. But when she arrives at the bus stop, Betsy isn’t wearing the same outfit as her. Worst of all, she’s talking to Mona, a girl that Ally can’t stand. Betsy’s and Mona’s families had vacationed at the same place that summer, and now they are the best of friends. Ally had never had a lot of friends – just one had been enough for her. Now she doesn’t have any. But then she meets the new girl, Tina, who is super weird. Her clothes are odd, she says the strangest things in class, and sometimes she wears her hair like Princess Leia! But Ally has fun with her. Tina doesn’t make fun of Ally the way Betsy did when she gets the heebie-jeebies and needs to dance around to get rid of her pent-up energy. Tina thinks the same way Ally does, and even agrees to dance disco with her in the talent contest. But then Betsy and her band decide that Ally would make a great go-go dancer for their talent show act. Will Ally go back to her old best friend, or stay true to her new one? Review by Katie Corrigan

Monday, May 04, 2009

All Shook Up by Shelley Pearsall

I really love this book! I thought it was going to be a light read, and it is because it's funny and it is, after all, about a kid whose father becomes an Elvis impersonator, but it has a lot to say, too. Poor Josh! The summer he turns 13, his grandma breaks her hip, and his mom has to go to Florida to take care of her. So that means Josh has to go stay with his Dad in Chicago for a few months. What his father hasn't told anyone is that the shoe store where he'd worked for years went out of business, and since he won the Elvis singing contest at the mall, he's been working as an Elvis impersonator. I don't think I need to tell you how embarrassing that would be. Josh has to go to a new school, and his main concern is to fit in and not draw attention to himself. This plan works pretty well until he meets his dad's new girlfriend, and finds out that her daughter is one of the "losers" at school. She dresses in 60's clothes from her mom's vintage shop and starts leaving notes on Josh's locker signed, "Elvisly yours." Of course by the end of the book Josh learns not to be so concerned with what everyone else thinks about him, and to be more concerned about the feelings of the people around him. Review by Stacy Church