I started a project this past summer where I read one book from each bookshelf of the Children’s (Juvenile Fiction) section of the library. The book I choose has to be one I’ve never read before – and I can’t read a book in a series I’ve read part of. After I read each book, I write a short review and post it where I post all the other books I read, on my reading blog.
#21: All Of The Above (Shelley Pearsall)
Four kids from a run-down inner city middle school and their math teacher set out to break a world record by building the world’s largest tetrahedron. In the process, the project changes the way they see themselves and each other. I really enjoyed that each chapter was from a different person’s point of view, on a rotating basis. I was really able to connect with the characters – except for the teacher, Mr. Collins. He didn’t seem to have much substance.
#22: The Kneebone Boy (Ellen Potter)
Otto, Lucia, and Max find themselves stranded in London when their father goes off on one of his frequent trips, and their cousin who was supposed to take care of them is out of the country. The three siblings set off for Snoring-By-The -Sea, where they think a great aunt of theirs may be able to help them. They find her living in a miniature castle in front of Kneebone Castle, and begin trying to unravel the mystery of the Kneebone Boy, and the mystery of their absent mother. The children were great characters with interesting personalities, and I enjoyed the point of view the story was told from. Lots of twists and turns in the plot made it impossible to predict what would happen next.
#23: The Night Children (Kit Reed)
Castertown used to be poor and empty, say the adults, but then the Zozzco Corporation came to town, built the humongous Mega-Mall, and made everyone rich and everything wonderful.
But if everything is wonderful, why did Julie’s parents disappear when she was small? And why has Aunt Christy disappeared now, leaving Julie on her own?
Julie is trapped in the Mega-Mall after closing, and introduced to a whole different world – the underbelly of the mall, where gangs of kids live together, scrounging food and taking care of each other. But why do so many of the kids have similar stories of their parents disappearing? And what is Zozzco planning? It is up to the night children to find out.
#24: Annie Quinn in America (Mical Schneider)
It’s 1847, and the Quinn Family is struggling to survive the potato famine in Ireland. Twelve year old Annie and her younger brother Thomas are heading to America, where their older sister works as a lady’s maid in New York. They’ll work for the household as well, and save up enough money to bring their mother and younger siblings over. But things don’t work out as planned. Luckily, Annie finds friends who help her to navigate her new world.
#25: Shooting Kabul (N.H. Senzai)
Fadi and his family escape the Taliban and flee from Afghanistan to their new home in the Bay Area. In all the confusion, Fadi’s little sister Mariam is left behind. As his family settles down into their new life in the US, the terrorist attack of September 11th happens, and Fadi faces bullying and racism at school. Along with a good friend, he enters a photography contest through National Geographic, hoping to win a trip to India, and from there to travel to Pakistan to find Mariam.