Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Rotten by Michael Northrop

So I'm not fond of animal books, but I really enjoyed this one.  JD has just come home from a stint "upstate" to find that his mom has adopted a rescue dog, a Rottweiler he names Johnny Rotten, or JR for short.  When JR bites one of JD's friends, the boy's family sees dollar signs and sues JD's mom.  It's up to JD to save his dog from being put down and his mom from losing the house.  It's impossible not to cheer for JD and JR in this book boys (and girls) are sure to love.  Recommended for grades 7 - up.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher

           It all started because Sophie and Grace were nosey.  One of their favorite things to do is to spy on people.  Especially at night.  With binoculars and walkie talkies.  They love to spy at night and even though most of their trips end up being boring, it’s the thrill of sneaking out of their houses and creeping through the neighborhood that really appeals to them.  But then one night they find out much more than they ever expected.  While spying on Sophie’s weird guidance counselor (Grace is homeschooled), they see a figure through the window holding a meat cleaver in the air.  They are convinced that Ms. Agford has just chopped up a body and so they anonymously call the police using Sophie’s phone.  It turns out that Sophie is in a world of trouble because Ms. Agford was just chopping up beets. 
            It looks like an innocent mistake, but Sophie and Grace soon realize that although Ms. Agford wasn’t a murderer that night, something is just not right with her.  They have no idea how to convince their parents of this, so they set out to prove it on their own.  Little do they understand just how much danger they will find themselves in.
            This is a great mystery for kids who are ready to have a little more danger, a little more violence, but who aren’t ready for a full-fledged murder mystery.  I would say it’s about perfect for 5th or 6th grade.  It’s not any more scary or violent that a typical Trixie Beldon mystery (yes, I know that reference really dates me!).   I highly recommend the trailer – it will sell the book for you.