Usually being a private investigator is boring work, but Scarlett finds herself pursued by members of a mysterious cult the moment she accepts the case. As Scarlett races to help Gemma, and protect herself, she learns this case is steeped in Islamic traditions and that her own family history is involved more than she could imagine.
If you are a fan of mysteries, “Scarlett Undercover” will not disappoint. It is well written and fast- paced. Scarlett herself is like a more modern version of Veronica Mars, somewhat world weary and more than a little bit of a smart alec. Even so, family is important to her and her Muslim heritage is a natural extension of who she is. Scarlett is definitely a strong, female character that I hope develops even more over time. I found the story and characters compelling and look forward to more of Jennifer Latham’s writing.
School Library Journal recommends this title for grades 6-10.
–Desiree S., Headquarters
Author Morgan Rhodes has a new spin-off series from his “Falling Kingdoms” series called “A Book of Spirits and Thieves.” While exploring her mom’s antique bookstore, Becca, is transported to a small Mystica village. With the help of a mysterious young man, she needs to find her way home. Get your copy of this exciting new series today!
Have you read “Paper Towns” by John Green? If you haven’t read it, reguest it now!! It is the story of Quentin and his night of adventure with his beautiful neighbor, Margo Roth Speigelman. The next day Margo is missing and Q sets out with his friends on an epic road trip to discover where she has gone. Ok, so you’ve read the book , now you can FINALLY see the movie this Friday. To get a taste of what the movie is all about, check out the trailer.
Have you seen the trailer for the awesome young adult book turned movie “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”? No?! Then it is a good thing I scoured the internet, found it, and left it here for you. Reserve your copy of the book here because you have to read the book before seeing the film. Duh.
A few weeks ago I saw a Jennifer Donnelly book peeking out at me off of a shelf and I couldn’t resist it. French Revolution? A mystery that has lasted generations? Time travel? A little romance? Yes please! “Revolution” was released in 2010 so it might be old news to some of you, but I thought it was fantastic and I really wanted to share a review with you!
Angry and grieving seventeen-year-old musician Andi Alpers is facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school after her life derails when her young brother dies in tragic accident. She travels to Paris with her Nobel-Prize winning father on his mission to check the DNA of a preserved heart believed to be of the young dauphin Louis Charles, son of Marie Antoinette. While in Paris, Andi uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress.
Alexandrine Paradis lived two hundred years ago, and dreamed of becoming a famous face on the Parisian stage. But when she was employed as an entertainer to the young dauphin Louis Charles, she was pulled into the lives of the French monarchy during the height of the French Revolution.
These two girls, two centuries apart, never knew each other, but when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she feels an immediate connection with her. Andi turns to the diary for distraction and comfort from her tumultuous life. Then, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris with the young handsome musician Virgil, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and the past becomes present for Andi.
This dual-narrative novel was meticulously detailed and well-researched; Donnelly pulled me into the vivid atmosphere of 18th century Paris in all of its stinking and sparkling glory. I loved this book. It was was rich, haunting, beautiful, and lyrical and I was completely enthralled.
When it was released in 2010 Revolution received enthusiastic praise, including:
An ABA Indies Choice Young Adult Book of the Year
An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book
#1 Indiebound pick for fall 2010
A School Library Journal Best Book
A Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book
A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book
Amazon.com Best Book of the Year
Check it out!
School Library recommends this title for grade 9 and up.
-Claire, guest blogger
I know what you’re thinking: a book about the history of tennis shoes won’t be a very interesting or exciting read. Well, you would be wrong, my friend! Author Amber Keyser has written a page turner of a book about everyone’s favorite comfortable footwear. The book is a quick read loaded with riveting bits of trivia and intriguing origin stories for some of the famous brands we all know and love. Keyser also discusses the history of the rubber sole, how the activity of jogging created a clamouring for tennies, and the culture of sneaker collecting. This title will appeal to teens and adults alike many of whom will find themselves reading passages out loud to share all of the random and bizarre facts with their friends and family.
I’ll get you started with a few of my favorite “did you know” tidbits:
- that Keds began in 1916 as a shoe for children? The shoe was made of white canvas with a rubber sole and that classic blue rubber rectangle on the heel. The product name “Keds” comes from a combination of kids and ped, which is the Latin root word meaning “feet.”
- the slang term for Converse sneakers comes from a young basketball player named Chuck Taylor? In 1921, Taylor was playing in the NBA which was not nearly as profitable as it is now! Taylor was hired by Converse to promote their shoe across the country to high school and college athletes. Along the way Taylor suggested improvements to the shoe, and in 1924 Converse added his signature to that iconic patch on the ankles of their high tops. Hence why everyone calls their Converse shoes Chucks or Chuck Taylors.
- that two large modern day tennis shoe manufacturers, Adidas and Puma, were created because of a disagreement amongst, two German brothers, Adi and Rudolf Dassler. The brothers had started a sports shoe company in 1924, to design cleats for runners. You’ll want to read the full account of how Hitler, the 1936 Olympics and Jesse Owens lead to two brands of iconic sneakers.
School Library Journal recommends this title for grades 5 and up.
–Emily M., Headquarters