Growing Bookworms Newsletter: July 22, 2008
The Diamond of Darkhold: Jeanne DuPrau

Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: July 22

Welcome to the latest edition of my Review that Made Me Want to Read the Book feature, in which I highlight the blog reviews that catch my eye. This week I have seven new titles on my list, though I'm on the fence about the last one (it looks quite disturbing).

GoneI read the following description of Michael Grant's Gone at Anokaberry, and it piqued my interest (of course): "In a small town on the coast of California, everyone over the age of fourteen suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school, as well as those who have "The Power" and are able to perform supernatural feats and those who do not." There are several positive mini-reviews in the comments, too.

The Brothers TorresPatti at Oops ... Wrong Cookie reviewed The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhees. She said: "Your male readers, Hispanic, African American, Caucasian, etc. - they are all going to be able to relate to this book. Voorhees has captured something essential about what it is like for males to grow up in America today... The cover will draw the boys in like flies and the story will keep them hooked." And although I don't fall into the target demographic, this struck me as a book that I'd like to be able to recommend.

The Mysterious Case of the Allbright AcademyThe Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy, by Diane Stanley, was recommended to Karen at Literate Lives by one of her students. She said "For one thing, I love the mystery genre, and this definitely falls into that category. I also love books where kids band together to stop something bad from continuing to happen, or happening at all. Again, this book does that! Finally, I like endings that resolve themselves happily, but realistically." That all sounded good to me!

My So-Called FamilyLittle Willow recently reviewed My So-Called Family by Courtney Sheinmel, due out in October. It's about a girl who was fathered by an anonymous donor. The girl uses an online match system to identify her half-siblings. Little Willow concludes: "My So-Called Family by Courtney Sheinmel gets my recommendation - and my appreciation. This is a great story about family values and valuing your family. This notable debut has earned a spot on my Best Books of 2008 list."

The Black CanaryThe Black Canary by Jane Louise Curry is the latest Timeslip Tuesday entry at Charlotte's Library. Here's the gist from Charlotte: "Woken the first night there by the sound of water running, James follows the sound down to the basement, where he discovers a shimmering lens of light--a portal back in time, to England in 1600. His journeys into the past become gradually longer, until after one trip he discovers, to his horror, that he has returned to the past of the present he left--his family hasn't gotten to London yet. So he passes through the portal again, hoping things will come out better, but this time, he can't find his way back. He is lost in Elizabethan England, where is he is pressed into the service of the Queen as one of her entertainers, the Children of the Chapel Royal." Sounds intriguing.

Silent in the GraveLeila from Bookshelves of Doom interested me in Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn when she said even though she gets a bit sick from reading in the car, she started and finished this book while on a trip. The book is a historical mystery with a main character who Leila compares to Amelia Peabody, and says has an enjoyable voice. And it sounded fun!

Living Dead GirlBecky from Becky's Book Reviews recently reviewed Elizabeth Scott's upcoming novel Living Dead Girl. I'm not sure if I really want to read this one - it looks very dark (about a 10-year-old girl who is kidnapped and kept prisoner, having unspeakable things done to her, for five years). But Becky said: "If I had just a handful of words to describe Living Dead Girl, they'd be: powerful, haunting, and unputdownable." Hmmm ... I'll have to think about this one.