(Initiated with the Summer Reading Program 1998

and still going like that pink bunny.)




(Before printing, be warned that this is a lengthy list!)


Achebe, Chinua. Christmas in Biafra and Other Poems. Rating: +

I'd never read anything by this Nigerian author before. I like his poetry very much. I'd like to read some of his novels now.


Agard, John, editor. Life Doesn't Frighten Me At All: Poems. Rating: +

The title poem is one of my favorites by Maya Angelou. I also liked especially the poems by Grace Nichols, Nissum Ezekiel, Valerie Bloom, Anne Sexton, Jean Binta Breeze, Yansan Agard, Dory Previne, Zinzi Mandela, Lotte Moos, Miroslav Holub, Nurunnessa Choudhurry, Henry Dumas, Alonzo Lopez, and Nikki Giovanni.


Agosin, Marjorie. Toward the Splendid City. Rating: +

Excellent! I want to read more of her poetry. A lot of it has political undertones which I normally don't care for, but the great feeling she evokes makes them appealing. The poem about Anne Frank ("Amsterdam") and "Auschwitz" were outstanding.


Alegria, Claribel. Fugues. Rating:+

This poet form El Salvador writes of political events in her country and of feelings more personal--love, hope. I especially liked her poems from the point of view of characters from Greek mythology. I'd like to see more of her work available in English.


Anderson, Laurie Halse. Fever 1793. Rating +

What do you do when everyone around you is dying and you're all alone? The main character in this book survives a terrible fever and must figure out how to put her life back together again. Based on true events that happened in Philadelphia in 1793, this book makes you realize that one can go on even when the world seems to have fallen apart. Excellent!


Anderson, M. T. Thirsty. Rating: +

This vampire book was a thriller with an off-the-wall sense of humor! The suspense is kept up by never letting the reader know who Chris should trust. Should he try to keep the vampire lord locked up in order to keep from becoming a vampire himself? It sounds far fetched, but you'll be a believer.


Anderson and Moesta. Star Wars Young Jedi Knights. Rating: +

The author was very descriptive. I liked the wide variety of characters. The book, however, was difficult to get interested in at first.


Arrington, Fran. Bluestem. Rating: +

A powerful story of two girls in the pioneer Midwest, who struggled to survive in their sod house with their father away and their mother gone mad. Couldn't put it down!


Atkins, Catherine. When Jeff Comes Home. Rating: +

A gripping story of a boy kidnapped and held captive for 2 1/2 years and then returned to his family. Told from the boy's point of view, it reveals the mental and emotional turmoil of victims of such a crime. A must read!


Atwood, Margaret. Selected Poems II. Rating: ?

It was OK. I liked her The Journal of Susanna Moodie better. However, her way with words has prompted me to want to read her fiction, especially The Handmaid's Tale.


Auch, Mary Jane. The Road to Home. Rating: +

A grim story about abandonment of children with a happy ending, taking place in Rome, NY during the digging of the Erie Canal in 1815. Doesn't paint an appealing picture of Rome or the Erie Canal! I highly recommend this book, the third in a trilogy (Journey to Nowhere and Frozen Summer)All three books are excellent!



Bagdasarian, Adam. Forgotten Fire. Rating: +

A fictionalized account of the author's great uncle's true survival of the Armenian genocide in Turkey during World War I. A moving and gripping book, which should be read by everyone interested in the Jewish Holocaust of World War II. Highly recommended, especially in combination with David Kherdian's The Road to Home.


Barlow, Ronald S. The Vanishing American Outhouse. Rating: +

Very entertaining! This book is a history of the outhouse in America, including poems, building plans, folklore and anecdotes, and loaded with pictures. Loved the poem "A Ten Cent Can of Paint" - a real classic!


Barron, T. A. Ancient One. Rating: +

This book is great for people who crave to experience the fantasy world. Greatly written; and a great thought out plot.


Bat-Ami, Miriam. Two Suns in the Sky. Rating: +

A complicated, moving love story of two "star-crossed" teens, one a refuge from the Holocaust in Yugoslavia, and one a young girl from Oswego, New York. No easy or happy ending, but well written. Recommended.


Bly, Robert, editor. Forty Poems Touching on Recent American History. Rating: -

I guess political poetry is not my thing. I wasn't really touched by any of these poems, even though some were by poets I like.


Bly, Robert, editor. The Sea and the Honeycomb: A Book of Tiny Poems. Rating: +

An interesting selection, though I wonder why Sara Teasdale's short but powerful poems were not included. Robert Bly's introduction pointed out the difficulty of effectively writing short poems. I think the Japanese, with their haiku, are the masters of it. I especially liked the poems by Antonio Machado. I would like to read more by him.


Branford, Henrietta. The Fated Sky Rating: +

I liked this book even though it was a sad story. It showed how life was not easy - in fact, was constantly filled with danger - for people, especially, women, in the Viking culture. Most people back then, just like people now, only want to live their lives peacefully and be happy. A few always spoil it for the rest.


Brier, Bob. The Murder of Tutankhamen: a True Story. Rating: +

Fascinating! Brier makes ancient Egypt come to life and presents very convincing evidence that King Tut was murdered. The documentary he made for the Learning Channel based on his research was also excellent. You have to feel sorry for Tut and especially for Ankhesenamun, his young widow.


Buell, Janet. Bog Bodies. Rating: +

Sacrificial bodies found in English and Danish peat bogs! What especially interested me was the description of how ancient Celtic women used to twist their hair in a certain way to form a knot, which held together without any pins (called a Swabian knot). How did they do that?


Buell, Janet. Ice Maiden of the Andes. Rating: +

Fascinating! I'd not read much about the mummified sacrificial persons that have been found on the summits of mountains in the Andes in Peru. The author's description of the finding of the mummies and of Inca life and religious customs was particularly interesting. How sad that Pizarro and his fellows had to destroy such a unique culture!


Burnett, Frances Hodgson. A Little Princess. Rating: +

You could tell what it was like to be both rich and poor and how Sara dealt with it and how she coped with her father's death and went from rich to poor!



Cadnum, Michael. Taking It. Rating: -

What started as a promising story of a girl who is fighting kleptomania turns into a confused narrative of her search for help, with an inconclusive ending. Disappointing.


Clifton, Lucille. The Terrible Stories. Rating: ?

Generally, I didn't like this collection as much as I have her earlier collections of poems. I did like particular poems, especially "Hag Riding," "Rust," "Slaveships," "Entering the South," and "The Mississippi River Empties Into the Gulf."


Coman, Carolyn. Many Stones. Rating?

Berry and her father travel to South Africa to attend the dedication of a memorial to her sister Laura, who was murdered there. In the process, she begins to understand her estranged father and to come to terms with her own grief. The fascinating details of apartheid make this an interesting read, though not as good as some of Coman's previous books.


Cooper, Michael L. Indian School: Teaching the White Man's Way. Rating: +

I enjoyed reading this book, but felt sad that the Indian children had to leave their families and abandon their culture to go to school. I liked especially the pictures of the children before they got to school and after their arrival when they were made to look more like white men. I was also interested in the information about famous graduates of these schools like Jim Thorpe and Susan La Flesche. I'd like to read more about them.


Cummings, Priscilla. A Face First. Rating: +

Twelve-year-old Kelley has survived a terrible automobile accident and must cope with the pain and disfigurement of the burns she suffered. In a society where looks are so highly valued, she must come to terms with feeling alone and different. This is a novel of hope and the idea that you are more than what you look like. Recommended.


Cushman, Karen. Matilda Bone. Rating : +

I enjoyed the book even though I found the heroine a bit irritating at times, being so slow to catch on and learn from her experiences. Fascinating description of medieval medicine.




D'Arcy, Paula. The Gift of Red Bird. Rating: +

Beautiful! This is the true account of a woman who is trying to find her connection to God after the death of her husband and daughter. The answers she finds have given me insight into my own search.


DeGerez, Toni. 2-Rabbit 7-Wind: Poems from Ancient Mexico. Rating: +

Excellent translations from the Nahuatl! He brings the thought of these ancient people to life. Their basic concerns were much like ours--life, death, proper conduct, food, spirituality. It's a shame that much of their literature was destroyed by the Spanish. I would like to read more. some of the images are beautiful. My favorite is (p. 37) "the true storyteller uses words of joy/flowers are on his lips."



Edmonds, Walter D. Mr. Benedict's Lion. Rating: +

I thought it was going to be boring, but was pleasantly surprised. Part historical novel (1832, New York State), part romantic comedy, the book ended with the hero winning out and getting the girl! The author is from Boonville and brings 19th century New York State to life with his period details. A very enjoyable read!

Edmonds, Walter D. Wolf Hunt Rating: +

As with every book I've read by him, I enjoy and am fascinated by the historical details in the story. While reading it I felt I was really back in New York State in 1784, hunting a wolf in the snow. I felt bad that the wolf had to be killed though.




Farrell and Koch, ed. Talking to the Sun: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems for Young People. Rating: +

A very well put together book. The artwork chosen to illustrate the poems was perfect--I can't imagine how they matched up a poem and a painting or sculpture so perfectly. The poems were arranged by theme, which was handy, and some of the more obscure, difficult to understand poems had brief descriptions in unobtrusive lettering printed nearby. A pleasure for the ear and the eye.


Feinberg, Barbara Silberdick. Watergate: Scandal in the White House. Rating: +

I feel the book was very good at supplying enough information to me. It had all of the details and was very informational.


Fletcher, Susan. Shadow Spinner. Rating: +

So that's how Scheherezade told all those stories for 1001 nights! I liked the courageous crippled heroine and the theme of forgiveness throughout the book. Suspenseful, lots of plot twists, and a good companion read to Barbara Cohen's Seven Daughters and Seven Sons. Highly recommended.


Foster, David Skaats. Rebecca the Witch and Other Tales in Metre. Rating: +

This collection of narrative poems by a 19th century Utica author was so enchanting that I couldn't put it down. Foster loves to tell stories in his poems, and he does it well. Every poem had some kind of surprise twist at the end. I wish his books were still in print!




Galloway, Patricia. Truly Grim Tales. Rating: -

The title says it all - very depressing versions of famous fairy tales. The only standout was "The Good Mother", a futuristic Red Riding Hood story that ended on a positive note. Disappointing.


Garden, Nancy. Annie on My Mind. Rating: +

A beautiful love story! The subject of lesbianism is handled tastefully and the characters are realistically portrayed as well as the prejudices and attitudes surrounding them. Highly recommended.


Glenn, Mel. Foreign Exchange. Rating: +

Another mystery written in poems, I enjoyed the book but felt it was not as good a mystery as Who Killed Mr. Chippendale? and not as interesting psychologically as Split Image.


Glenn, Mel Split Image. Rating: +

His books get better and better! A clever story of a girl spiraling down toward suicide told in poem form.


Glenn, Mel. The Taking of Room 114: a Hostage Drama in Poems. Rating: +

Outstanding! I think this is the best of all his novels in verse. A whacked-out teacher takes his senior history class hostage. Very suspenseful, kept you guessing till the end. Two thumbs up!


Gregory, Kristiana. Earthquake at Dawn. Rating: +

Couldn't put it down! It made you feel as if you were right there during the San Francisco earthquake. I'd like to read more books by this author.


Grimes, Martha. Send Bygraves. Rating: ?

This was a murder mystery in poems. I liked the poems, but had trouble following the plot. I'm not sure who the killer turned out to be in the end either. Perhaps it needs a more careful, second reading?


Hoobler, Dorothy and Thomas. The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn. Rating: +

Excellent mystery, set in 18th century Japan. I learned a lot about samurai and the kabuki theatre, as well as enjoying the story. I hope these authors write more Judge Ooka mysteries. This book is comparable to and ranks up there with any of the mysteries written by Lensey Namioka.



Harris, Joel Chandler. Wally Wanderoon and His Storytelling Machine. Rating: +

I didn't know the author of the Uncle Remus stories wrote other stories for kids, until I found this book. Four children are entertained in the Reconstruction South by a mysterious little old man and his storytelling machine. Some of the stories are told in the black dialect, making them a little difficult to follow until you get used to it. I enjoyed them all, especially "The Tale of the Chrystal Bell" and "Miss Liza and the King".


Heneghan, James. The Grave. Rating +

This is the story of a modern-day foster child, who, with the help of time travel back to the days of the Irish potato famine, finds a family identity and a place to belong. An unusual description of time travel and fascinating descriptions of what life was like for the starving Irish make this a page turner. Highly recommended!


Herrera, Juan Felipe. Crash Boom Love. Rating: +

I started out not liking this novel in verse because the main character, a Chicano teen, is doing bad things. However, as I read along, I grew to feel sorry for him and then to feel good because he turned his life around in the end.


Herrera, Juan Felipe. Laughing Out Loud, I Fly. Rating : -

No enjoyment here. There were only two poems in the whole book whose meaning I could figure out. Words and phrases strung together with no logical connection is not my idea of poetry.


Hesse, Karen. A Light in the Storm. Rating +

This is the diary of a girl named Amelia Martin, who lives during the time of the Civil War. She works as an assistant lighthouse keeper with her father. She is torn by the fighting between her parents and the war. She is so confused, and she has only her uncle and a boy named Daniel to look to for comfort.


Hesse, Karen. Out of the Dust. Rating:+ Excellent!

Well deserved Newbery winner, 1998. I've liked everything I've ever read by her. This book was written in free verse poetry/diary style-very unusual, but effective in this case for bringing out the deep and sharp emotions of the Depression and the Dust Bowl.


Hurmence, Belinda. Slavery Time When I Was Chillun. Rating: +

Very, very interesting. I'd like to read more of these slave narratives. The most fascinating accounts were by those former slaves who were well treated and like slavery, and the account of the woman who had been owned by a Creek Indian.



I-to, Wen. Red Candle: Selected Poems. Rating: +

This poet lived in early twentieth century China, and was the first to write in vernacular Chinese instead of the formal language reserved for poetry. I like his work, much of it with political undertones. My favorites are "Look," "Dead Water," "Dusk," "Quiet Might," "The Song of the Laundry," "snow," and "Colours."



Jacobsen, Harold S. For the Freedom of the Mohawk Rating: +

I learned a lot about Fort Stanwix and the battle of Oriskany from this historical novel., The heroes were characters I could relate to, and the story was full of action. Highly recommended!


Janeczko, Paul, ed. Postcard Poems. Rating: -

These were, according to the subtitle, poems short enough to be written on a a postcard and shared with others. I wasn't moved by too many of them. The poems about death at the end of the book were real downers.


Johnson, Angela. Humming Whispers. Rating : ?

This story about a girl whose sister is schizophrenic was disappointing in that it was not as good as I expected it to be. The girl was worried that she, too, would become schizophrenic, but it was unclear whether she actually was or not. Still, I liked the story and recommend it.



Kessler, Cristina. No Condition is Permanent. Rating : +

A fascinating novel of a young American girl's view of village life in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where female circumcision is practiced. A good read in combination with Joan Abelove's Go and Come Back. Recommended!


Kirkpatrick Sidney D. Lord of Sipan Rating: +

After seeing a documentary on the discovery of an undisturbed burial of a Moche warlord in peru, I had to read more about it. The description of the discoveries was suspenseful. I would have liked more pictures of the beautiful artifacts uncovered.


Koertge, Ron. The Brimstone Journals. Rating : +

Willo there or won't there be bloodshed and carnage at the school? This novel in verse had me on the edge of my seat in suspense! It also showed me that teenagers can solve their own problems given courage, strength, and caring adults. Highly recommended.


Krasicki, Ignacy. Polish Fables. Rating: +

As good as Aesop. I'd never heard of this 18th century Polish poet until I picked up this book. His fables are told in verse, and often have overtones reflecting the politics of of the time. I hope he wrote more than this--I'd like to read on!



Lackey, Mercedes. The River's Gift. Rating : +

A delightful story! Kindness to the faerie folk ultimately rescues Lady Ariella from a very unwelcome marriage. Just the kind of story to read on a rainy afternoon. Recommended.


Levitin, Sonia. The Cure. Rating: +

The book is about a 16 year old boy named Gemm 16884 who lives in a Utopian society. Here he is labeled deviant, dangerous and different. As a "cure" he is sent back in time to live as a Jewish musician and money lender during the time of the Black Death.


Lyon, Mary E.. The Poison Place. Rating: +

Did painter and museum operator Charles Wilson Peale deliberately poison his oldest son Rafe? This historical novel, set in Philadelphia in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, makes you wonder. Told from the point of view of a slave, this story leaves you wanting to read more about Peale and his museum. Recommended.



McCarthy, John and Linda. The Finger Lakes Revisited. Rating: +

Beautiful photos of sights around the Finger Lakes! Makes me want to explore some of those places I've never been to before. I'd like to take a look at the McCarthys' first book on the Finger Lakes.


McDaniel, Lurlene. I'll Be Seeing You. Rating: +

It is now one of my favorite books. It's about a girl who had cancer in her head and had to have it removed and her left side of her head was deformed. Later on in her life she broke her leg and had to be in the hospital. While she was there, she met a boy and they both liked each other but the boy was temporarily blind and he couldn't see her deformity. When the bandages were removed, he still loved her. It was a really, really good book!


McDonald, Joyce. Swallowing Stones. Rating: +

A powerful book. You start out not liking the characters in the beginning, but by the end of the book you do, because you can feel how they all change and mature. Definitely a recommended read.


Merwin, W. S. Some Spanish Ballads. Rating: +

These poems, of course, are all about love, or what happens when you're not true to your man or lady! Several of them would make interesting short stories if fleshed out.


Mitchell, Stephen, translator. The Book of Psalms. Rating: +!

An absolutely beautiful translation, rendered in contemporary images as well as old ones. I must read more of his work.


Monfredo, Miriam Grace. The Stalking-Horse. Rating: +

An excellent historical mystery! I've liked all five of her books. The author, a librarian, does extensive research to make the 19th century come alive, and her heroines are brave, intelligent, and resourceful. I can't wait for the next one!


Mora, Pat. My Own Tree Name. Rating : +

I really enjoyed reading these poems. The author writes about the problems and pleasures of being Hispanic in American society. "The Desert is My Mother" is beautiful and I loved "Ode to Pizza"! I want to read more of her poetry.


Moss, Steve, ed. The World's Shortest Stories. Rating : +

So short and yet so good! I felt like trying to write a 55-word story myself by the time I finished reading this. Very entertaining.


Myers, Anna. When the Bough Breaks. Rating : +

This is the story of Ophelia, a teenage in a foster home, and Portia, an old lady who lives nearby. Both of them have a dark secret from their past, and when the two come together they are able to help each other deal with past tragedies and move on with their lives. This book was very suspenseful, as it gave hints along the way as to what terrible things had happened in their pasts. A must read!




Namioka, Lensey. Den of the White Fox. Rating :+

Another page-turning mystery featuring "detectives" Zenta and Matsuzo, two ronin (masterless samurai) in 18th century Japan. I've enjoyed every one of her books featuring this pair. Highly recommended!


Namioka, Lensey. Ties That Bind, Ties That Break. Rating: +

Ailin defies Chinese tradition by refusing to have her feet bound, thus making her unmarriageable. Find out how this courageous girl manages to make a good life for herself despite being a disgrace to her family. Excellent!


Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Jade Green: a Ghost Story Rating: +

A true Gothic mystery/romance, with a ghostly severed hand skittering about. Is it out to harm or help? The teenaged heroine must find out. Loved it!


Nixon, Joan Lowery. Lucy's Wish. Rating: +

It was a really good book. If you're into the older days, you should read it. It's a very moving book.


Nouwen, Henri J. M. The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom. Rating: +

The author wrote this journal during a time when he was suffering from deep depression due to the breakup of a relationship. The insights he gained about his feelings of abandonment and of being unloved were helpful to me in dealing with the same feelings. This book was a help and a comfort to me.


Nye, Naomi Shihab, ed. This Same Sky: a Collection of Poems From Around the World. Rating: +

I liked many of the poems in this collection, especially the title poem and "A Short Story" by David Escobar Galindo. I like to read what people are writing about in other countries, but it isn't easy to find translations. I wish the editor would make more anthologies like this!


Nye, Naomi Shihab. The Space Between Our Footsteps: Poems and Paintings From the Middle East. Rating: +

Excellent! I would love to read more of the poetry of many of these authors. The artwork did not appeal to me much. I found the poems written by/about people in exile from their homeland particularly moving.


Nye, Naomi Shihab. The Tree is Older Than You Are. Rating: +

This bilingual book of poems from Mexico was excellent. I especially liked the poems by Rosario Castellano, Alberto Blanco, Adriana Diaz Enciso, and Alberto Reyes. It has given me new poets to seek out and explore.



Osborne, Mary Pope. My Secret War. Rating +

This book is about a girl who is caught up in the world war. As she is worrying about her father she finds the courage to help the soldiers of the war and put aside her worries. She finds a little love along the way too.



Pascal, Francine. The Boyfriend Game. Rating: +

Jessica wants to be on the TV show at her school, but instead of her, her very own twin sister gets to be on it and Jessica is very mad.


Patneaude, David. Someone Was Watching. Rating: -

The plot was full of holes. First of all, with child abduction on everyone's minds these days, the police would have at least investigated the possibility rather than assuming on almost no real evidence that the child had drowned. And at the end, two boys running with a little girl would not have been believed so quickly by the police, without even questioning them. The abductors' motives were not dealt with, which would have made the book more interesting. An implausible story.


Paterson, Katherine. Parzival: The Quest of the Grail Knight. Rating: +

An excellent retelling of the Arthurian legend. I would like to read the poem it was based on. The list of characters in the beginning was confusing and not really necessary--I recommend skipping that. I hope she writes more retellings of Arthurian legends.


Philbrick, Rodman. Freak the Mighty. Rating: +

Kevin and Max are an unlikely, but then again likely, couple of friends. Kevin is little and smart. Max is big and believes he's dumb. The two team up for great adventures that help Max realize he's not so dumb after all. But being the son of a murderer is bound to make you feel bad. Is there hope for the son of Killer Kane? Look for the movie The Mighty coming soon to theaters starring Sharon Stone.


Philbrick, Rodman. Max the Mighty. Rating: +

Even if you haven't read the first book, Freak the Mighty, this is a great story of adventure. Max and Worm run from their hometown to find Worm's real father in Chivalry, Wyoming. They meet many interesting characters along the way; some help them and some try to hurt them. In the end, Max is a hero albeit a sad one. Kevin's friendship is most important to Max when Kevin is no longer there for him to rely on.


Phipson, Joan. Hit and Run. Rating:

Roland stole the Ferrari. He doesn't know why. The police chase him. Roland then rescued the only man who can convict him of murder.


Pullman, Philip. I was a Rat!. Rating : +

I haven't read anything by this author that I haven't liked. He's done it again with this novel of pure fun, about one of Cinderella's rats who, after being changed into a boy by her fairy godmother, never got changed back into a rat. The book details his adventures as he tries to figure out where a boy who was a rat fits into the world. I couldn't put it down!


Pullman, Philip. Count Karlstein. Rating: +

Another winner from this author! A thrilling, seat-of-the-chair adventure filled with an evil uncle, helpless orphans, a resourceful heroine and assorted other heroes and villains. Told from multiple points of view (which made it more interesting), this was a page turner from start to finish!




Resnick, Seymour. Spanish-American Poetry. Rating: +

An excellent selection of poets; a good introduction to Hispanic American poets. I especially liked the poems by Pablo Neruda, Antonio Machado, Juana de Ibarbourrou, Gabriela Mistral, Gertrudis de Avellaneda, and Jose Marti.




Shusterman, Neal. What Daddy Did. Rating : +

How would you feel if your father, who murdered your mother, was getting out of prison and coming to live with you? The boy in this story has mixed emotions about it and struggles to make sense of what happened on that day long ago. An emotional novel about forgiveness. Highly recommended.


Sleator, William. The Green Futures of Tycho. Rating: -

I didn't like this book. The author was not good at expressing his thoughts clearly. He was good with details, but after the description you were still confused.


Sones, Sonya. Stop Pretending. Rating : +

This novel in verse tells the story of a girl whose sister has a breakdown and must be hospitalized in the psychiatric ward. Based on the author's own experience with her sister, the feelings expressed ring true. The happy ending topped my overall enjoyment of the book.


Strasser, Todd. Give a Boy a Gun. Rating: +

A gripping story of two boys who plan to take their school dance hostage and kill everyone, told in the form of interviews with family, friends and teachers. I couldn't put it down! It sends a strong message about gun control and about teasing. Highly recommended!


Strasser, Todd. Beyond the Reef. Rating: +

I enjoyed this book. The author was excellent at describing details about Key West. It made you feel like you were there.


Sturtevant, Katherine. At the Sign of the Star. Rating : +

I enjoyed the strong female central character in this story of a girl in the 17th century London who wants to become a bookseller, like her father. An interesting look at what was considered "proper" for a girl then. Highly recommended.


Sykes, Shelley. For Mike. Rating: +

Is Mike dead? After his disappearance, he sends messages to his best friend via dreams. Will Jeff believe that dreams can be reality? Can he find someone to trust and help him figure out why Mike disappeared? Jeff will have to grapple with these questions and the dilemma of whether not to tell his police officer father about his hunches.




Temple, Frances. The Beduin's Gazelle. Rating: +

I read the first book, The Ramsay Scallop, a couple years ago, and also her book Grab Hands and Run. Both were excellent, and so was this. An Arabian love story! It's a shame this author, who lived in Geneva, NY, died so suddenly and so young. She was to have written a third book in this series.


Trueman, Terry. Stuck in Neutral. Rating: +

Everyone should read this book! The author vividly describes what it might be like to be a person who has no control over his/her body - can't talk or walk or write, confined to a wheelchair. To be in such a helpless condition yet aware that your father is planning to kill you! Highly recommended!




Voigt, Ellen Bryant. Kyrie : Poems. Rating: +

These poems describe the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919. This event holds particular meaning and interest to me because my grandfather lost her first husband and daughter to the flu. I've read a couple of children's fiction books dealing with this theme too. According to the author of VirusX, the last epidemic was in 1968, so we're overdue for another. Gives you something to think about.


Voigt, Ellen Bryant. The Lotus Flowers. Rating: ?

Her poetry is interesting, but it didn't particularly move me. Her poems consist of vivid images of scenes from her life. I enjoyed her descriptions and observations, but did not feel an emotional connection to them.




Walker, Alice. Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems 1965-1990 Complete. Rating: +

I knew that Alice Walker wrote novels, and enjoyed The Color Purple, but didn't realize that she also writes poetry until I found this book. She is a wonderful poet, similar in her manner of expression to Maya Angelou, whom I also love. Now I think I must read more of her fiction. Excellent!


Walsh John. No Mercy. Rating : +

If you like to watch "America's Most Wanted", you'll like this book! John Walsh talks about some of the many criminals caught through his show and gives behind the scenes details as to how each show is produced. I couldn't put it down. Excellent!


Walter, Virginia. Making Up Megaboy. Rating: ?

I don't know what to think about this. While I enjoyed the story, about people trying to find out why a 13 year-old would shoot and kill someone on his birthday, the ending was unsatisfactory, as no conclusion seemed to be reached. This book is supposed to be controversial, but I couldn't see why. A strange read.


Williams, Lori Aurelia. When Kambia Elaine Flew in From Neptune. Rating: +

Shayla's new friend Kambia seems crazy - or is she hiding a dark secret? Shayla must decide whether or not to betray her friend's trust and tell adults secrets only she alone has shared. A gripping book with a happy ending. Recommended!


Williams, Laura E. The Executioner's Daughter. Rating : +

How would you feel if you suddenly discovered that your father kills people for a living? This story, set in the 1450's, tells how Lily tries to overcome the prejudice against her because of her father's profession, and how she ultimately forges her own destiny. I couldn't put it down! Recommended.


Wilson, Jackie Napoleon. Hidden Witness. Rating: +

I enjoyed this book of old tintypes and ambrotypes of African Americans taken between 1850 and 1860. I like to imagine what their lives might have been like, what they were thinking, and if they have ancestors alive today. I also enjoyed looking at the hairstyles and clothing.


Wolff, Virginia Euwer. Make Lemonade. Rating: +

I couldn't put down this novel in verse! I admired both characters - the teenage mother for taking the courage to better herself, and her 14-year-old babysitter/friend for being loyal and kind. A good read!


Wolff, Virgina Euwer. True Believer. Rating: +

This novel in verse is the second in a trilogy, and it's even better than the first book Make Lemonade. LaVaughn faces many problems that teenagers have - first love, growing away from old friends, trying to decide on a career.... Her strength, and the way she stays true to her own beliefs, is an inspiration. Highly recommended!


Wong, Janet S. Behind the Wheel: Poems About Driving. Rating: +

I enjoyed these poems and could relate to many of them. The title poem was my favorite. I would like to read more of her poetry.




Yolen, Jane. Here There Be Angels. Rating: +

I like this book in Jane Yolen's Here There Be... series the best. I especially liked "Angelica" (surprise ending) and "Brother Kenan's Bell." I enjoy reading the introductions to these stories and poems because they tell how Yolen came to write each piece. That can be as interesting or more interesting that the story itself!


Yolen, Jane. Here There Be Unicorns. Rating: +

Another great collection! My favorites were "Li Po and the Unicorn," "The Unicorn and the Pool," and "The Hunting of the Narwhale."


Yolen, Jane. Here There Be Witches. Rating: +

I like this author's series of Here There Be... anthologies, but this one, though good, was m y least favorite of the bunch. I think it's because I'm not thrilled with witch stories. I did like "The Face in the Cloth."


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updated by Lisa Matte10/31/01