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    $16.47 $14.25 list($24.95)
    1. Pretty Birds : A Novel
    $5.39 $0.98 list($5.99)
    2. My Brother Sam Is Dead (Point)
    $5.85 $2.22 list($6.50)
    3. The Witch of Blackbird Pond (Laurel
    $16.47 $15.83 list($24.95)
    4. The Hummingbird's Daughter : A
    $5.39 $1.49 list($5.99)
    5. Out of the Dust (Apple Signature
    $10.20 $9.94 list($15.00)
    6. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster
    $7.15 $3.20 list($7.95)
    7. Daniel's Walk
    $12.56 $6.79 list($17.95)
    8. The Sea of Trolls
    $5.39 $2.26 list($5.99)
    9. Bud, Not Buddy (Newbery Medal
    $10.50 $9.05 list($14.00)
    10. Blood Meridian : Or the Evening
    $5.39 $1.50 list($5.99)
    11. Fallen Angels
    $6.29 $3.99 list($6.99)
    12. The Golden Goblet (Puffin Newbery
    $8.06 $5.66 list($8.95)
    13. A Northern Light
    $12.23 $5.50 list($17.99)
    14. The Land (Coretta Scott King Author
    $5.39 $0.45 list($5.99)
    15. Nothing But The Truth: A Documentary
    $6.29 $4.30 list($6.99)
    16. Red Scarf Girl : A Memoir of the
    $9.56 $7.95 list($11.95)
    17. The Ides of April (Ray, Mary,
    $11.56 $5.99 list($17.00)
    18. Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted
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    19. A Long Way from Chicago: A Novel
    $8.96 $6.05 list($9.95)
    20. A Smart Girls Guide to Boys: Surviving

    1. Pretty Birds : A Novel
    by SCOTT SIMON
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400063108
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
    Publisher: Random House
    Sales Rank: 2231
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    Download Description

    Praise for Scott Simon’s Home and Away

    “Home and Away may be the best memoir written by a fan I’ve ever read.”
    –RON RAPOPORT, Chicago Sun-Times

    “Extraordinary . . . a memoir of such breadth and reach.”
    –Sports Illustrated


    From the Hardcover edition.
    ... Read more


    2. My Brother Sam Is Dead (Point)
    by James Lincoln Collier
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 059042792X
    Catlog: Book (1989-01-01)
    Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 34948
    Average Customer Review: 4.07 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    All his life, Tim Meeker has looked up to his brother Sam.Sam's smart and brave -- and is now a part of the American Revolution.Not everyone in town wants to be a part of the rebellion.Most are supporters of the British -- including Tim and Sam's father. With the war soon raging, Tim know he'll have to make a choice -- between the Revolutionaries and the Redcoats . . . and between his brother and his father.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (235)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Historical-fiction book
    This book was an assigned as a 7th grade Knglish assignement. The teacher chose to read. Our class read this book in the fall of 1999. I read the most part of this book at home. I think this book is more of a kick back relax sort of book.

    This book is an historical-fiction which takes place in the Revolutionary War. The story gives the point of view of a young boy whose brother goes off to fight in the war. The boy is faced with a challenge, in which he has to decide whether to be a Patriot like his brother or a loyalist like his father. This book has a political conflict, character conflict, and a personal conflict. This book is a good example of irony because what I was expecting didn't happen. With the way the book started I didn't expect this ending.

    I liked this book because it kept you on the edge of you seat. It keeps the reader interested by throwing corners at you when you least expect it. It taught me about a historical period. It gave examples of how those people were living in those conditions. I thought it was good book because it told you everything you wanted to know about that period.

    4-0 out of 5 stars My Brother Sam Is Dead - A Cool Book
    My Brother Sam Is Dead is a very realistic book. It gives the reader an idea of how bad war really is. It shows what can come of war: death and sadness. In the story war is breaking apart families. The main character is Tim Meeker. His brother, Sam, is fighting on the side of the patriots while his father supports the English king. Tim doesn't know what side to be on. He's split between his brother and his father. Most people are used to reading books about the Revolutionary War that based on the patriots' thoughts and ideas. This book gives you experiences from both sides, Patriot and British. I recommend that you read this book!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Stupendous Book- A Must Read
    The book "My Brother Sam Is Dead" is a very heart-warming book. It is about family who is broken up by the Revolutionary War. The father is on the British side while his son, Sam, is fighting for the Patriots. It is very dramatic and has some older language. It is also gory and intense. This book is very descriptive in its war parts, which is awesome.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good book.
    My Brother Sam is dead was a good book. L liked the book becouse it took place in a setting was very discriptive. I liked the fact that a family in it fought for each other. Even when they disagrea on a lot of topics. The book has a good sence of humer for how seriose the topic of the story. Like when Sam was talking about stealing Old Bess (the gun) wile putting chicken eggs in a basket with holes in the bottom of it. The book is the third most favorite book I read this year. The book cept its carictors vary discriptive and interesting through the hole book. But the oldest sun Sam gets in trubble with the law. He gets exicuted. That was the only part of the story I was not interested in. Since the famaly was so close or becoase he was so nise he didn't even commit the crime.His father tries to help even though they don't always get along all the time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I didnt want to read it, but i loved it.
    I read, My Brother Sam Is Dead. I liked this book a lot. It is not the usual kind of books I read but I really enjoyed this book. It kept me just wanting to keep on reading it was so good. A lot of unexpected things happened in the story.

    All Tim Meeker's life, Tim looked up to his brother, Sam. Sam is very smart and brave and always knows the right thing to do. In fact, everyone in Redding admired Sam Meeker... until now.
    Now Sam is part of the American revolutionary army. He talks about defeating the British and becoming independent and free. However, not everyone in town wants to be a part of this new America. Most people are loyal supporters of the English King, especially Tim and Sam's father.
    The war is raging and Tim knows he'll have to make a choice. However, how can he choose- when it means fighting his father on one side and fighting is brother on the other?


    I would recommend this book to everyone. This is almost all the genres. Mystery, historical fiction, suspense and sad. It's a GREAT book. I hope you read... MY BROTHER SAM IS DEAD. ... Read more


    3. The Witch of Blackbird Pond (Laurel Leaf Books)
    by ELIZABETH GEORGE SPEARE
    list price: $6.50
    our price: $5.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440995779
    Catlog: Book (1978-06-01)
    Publisher: Laurel Leaf
    Sales Rank: 9905
    Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1867. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a
    family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit"s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.
    Elizabeth George Speare"s Newbery Award–winning novel portrays a heroine whom readers will admire for her unwavering sense of truth as well as her infinite capacity to love.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (293)

    4-0 out of 5 stars ThE wItCh Of BlAcKbIrD pOnD--a GrEaT bOoK--
    Kit Tyler was once a rich girl of Barbados, but upon her grandfather's death, she finds out that she now is poor. She goes aboard the ship, the Dolphin, heading for Connecticut Colony, and wishes to live a better life at her aunt's house. While on the way, she becomes friends with the captain's son, Nat Eaton, John Holbrook, a man planning on becoming a minister, and Prudence, a little girl. When she finally arrives at her destination, she tries to fit in with the Puritans, and to keep up with her lively cousin, Judith, and her gentle one, Mercy. After a number of different accidents in the family and outside, she finds becomes friends with an old Quaker woman named Hannah, that lives at Blackbird Pond, who is said to be a witch. Kit does not believe this, and she keeps on being friends with the old woman. But, the villagers see Kit as a threat to the community, since they do not trust her as being a friend to their witch, and she goes on trial. Just as she thinks she is doomed, Nat Eaton and Prudence save her. However, Kit discovers that she will never fit in with the Puritans, and planned on going on the Dolphin the next time the ship came. Finally, the ship docks, and she goes on it, for what seems to be a much better future.

    My favorite part of the book was where Kit goes on trial. I thought of this at my favorite part for I think it is very interesting to hear how other people act to problems and try to blame it on someone else. I think it is very funny how people think of small problems and turn them into what sounds like a major disasters performed by a witch. I like the part where Prudence comes in, and stuns her own parents by doing what they had never thought she would be able to do, which was reading the Bible and writing her own name. I think it is not right when parents think very little about kids and think they are still their little babies that always need their parents to help them.

    I recommend this book to kids the ages of 10 and up. I also recommend adults to read this book and learn the facts of how kids can do things without any help from their parents or any one else. I believe Elizabeth George Speare is a great author who has written many books that I have enjoyed. After reading this book, I came to really enjoy it. At first I thought it was very boring, but in the end, it became more interesting and fun. I also learned not to judge anyone by what people say about them, but you should always think about your judgement before actually thinking about if it is true or not. I now understand the meaning of "Never judge a book by its cover."

    4-0 out of 5 stars A FASCINATING TALE!
    A witch? Someone thinks you are a witch? When Kit leaves Barbados on the lovely Dolphin ship to live in America with her Uncle, she is unprepared for what she encounters. What a surprise when she discovers that being able to read, swim, wear fancy clothes, as well as befriending a kind old woman is odd behavior for this town. In The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Spears sends you on a reading adventure. The story includes a number of surprising and suspenseful events including a frightening witch hunt and a big outcry among some angry villagers against their government. Some parts of the story are a little boring, but the elaborate language and unpredictable moments bring you right back into the book. The climax of this book is the best part. It's unbeleivable and exciting. The main character, Kit, is very interesting. You will feel like you know her only after reading a few pages. Fiesty, wise, and stubborn are some of Kit's personality traits. You will also become very familiar with many of the other characters including Kit's two cousins, her Aunt and Uncle, Nat a seaman, and John and William two very interesting men, plus many more! This book has many hidden lessons in it. It teaches you about friendship, trust, bravery, genorosity, and happiness, It will fill you with sorrow and joy, and is a very adventurous story loved by many!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Diverse Religions, and History
    Kit comes over to the 13 colonies becuae her grandfather died. When she arrives, she finds a place very diffrent from her former home, Barbados. She is forced by her strict uncle to be a solemn as the puritans, and to set aside her silk gowns and wear homespun dresses. she feels completly stifled by her new life, and one day, after almost cuasing her crippled cousin her teaching job, she breaks. She runs to the "meadow" where she meets Hannah Tupper, a Quaker who is shuned and thought to be a witch by many. All she really is is a kind old lady. She takes kit home and feeds her, and helps her be brave and get her cousins job back. kit goes back to Hannahs house and eventually meets Hannahs seafaring friend, none other than Nat, the son of the man who brought her to America.And yes Nat was on the boat the whole time kit was. Then one day Kit is accused of being a witch. Something not to be taken lightly in the 1600's. She is rescued by none other than Nat. Then hannah is going to be burned out of her house, or if the people have their way, in her house. But Kit goes and helps Hannah get out before the evil people come, and she gets her on a ship... whose ship? Guess. Nats. And so Hannahs gone and Kits life is drudging on a usual.... and then someone comes... like you can't guess who... and something happens...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Now that's what I call a "living" book
    I just finished reading this book aloud to my 3 children. They are a tough audience but this book made the history lesson extra smooth. They were begging for "just one more chapter".

    This book delves into the Puritan lifestyle,touches a bit on some of the sentiments of the colonists and their fierce independence, briefly touches on some of the archaic medical practices of the times, shows how easily innocent circumstances turned into witch hunts and sparked a conversation about how people can fall into a mob mentality and much more.

    There is tons of information here to spark an interest in children to dig deeper. Our family highly recommends it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent lesson to be learned
    I discovered this book years and years ago in the fourth grade. The thought of it stayed with me through the years. I bought the book for my friend's son a couple years ago and reread it to see if it was as good as I remembered. It was even better because as an adult I can see some of the most important themes of the book that weren't evident to a child. Tolerance and acceptance are perhaps the biggest lessons of all to take away from it. Independence is another. I will continue to buy this book every time a child close to me comes to the age where they can understand it. The plotline is enough to keep them interested while at the same time teaching them valuable life lessons, without them even knowing it. ... Read more


    4. The Hummingbird's Daughter : A Novel
    by Luis Alberto Urrea
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316745464
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 1122
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The prizewinning writer Luis Alberto Urrea’s long-awaited novel is an epic mystical drama of a young woman’s sudden sainthood in late 19th-century Mexico. It is 1889, and civil war is brewing in Mexico. A 16-year-old girl, Teresita, illegitimate but beloved daughter of the wealthy and powerful rancher Don Tomas Urrea, wakes from the strangest dream--a dream that she has died. Only it was not a dream. This passionate and rebellious young woman has arisen from death with a power to heal--but it will take all her faith to endure the trials that await her and her family now that she has become the "Saint of Cabora." THE HUMMINGBIRD’S DAUGHTER is a vast, hugely satisfying novel of love and loss, joy and pain. Two decades in the writing, this is the masterpiece that Luis Alberto Urrea has been building up to. Its publication will be a major literary event. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Sumptuous, Dazzling Novel
    In the harsh yet thriving landscape of Mexico, circa 1880, the poor, illiterate and unmarried Yaqui woman (known by her tribe as The Hummingbird), gave birth to Teresita with the help of the town's healer, the curandera called Huila.Huila-one of Urrea's most remarkable creations-is as cantankerous as she is powerful.So powerful in fact that she lives in a room behind the kitchen of the great hacienda owned by the wealthy Don Tomás Urrea.Don Tomás does not care much for religion but he knows that Huila is an asset and puts up with her magic as much as Huila puts up with her patrón's habit of spreading his seed despite having a beautiful, attentive wife and several children who populate the hacienda.Teresita eventually-and literally-wanders into Don Tomás's life and is subsequently taken under Huila's wing.Huila notices two things about this unusual girl: she resembles the Urrea family and she possesses the power to heal.Don Tomás ultimately owns up to paternity and is determined to make a lady out of this barefooted urchin.But as Teresita matures, her powers grow until all know that she is the curandera women should go to when they are about to give birth or when a child becomes ill.Then one day, when Teresita goes out to the fields, she is raped, beaten and eventually dies.But on the third day, at the end of burial preparations, in the midst of five mourning women, Teresita awakes.The town is abuzz with news of this miracle.With her resurrection comes greater healing powers and, of course, fame.The Yaquis, as well as other native tribes, mestizos, and even Americans, make pilgrimages to the Urrea hacienda.The Catholic Church views this "saint" as a heretic, the vicious and corrupt government of Porfirio Díaz considers the girl a threat, and revolutionaries want to insinuate themselves into her sphere of influence for their own political cause.

    The climax brilliantly mirrors the immigrant's experience of seeking safe passage to a foreign land while relying on loved ones as well as fate.Urrea, who is the award-winning author of ten books-fiction, non-fiction and poetry-tells us in an author's note that Teresa Urrea "was a real person"-his aunt.The Hummingbird's Daughter is his fictionalization of family lore based on twenty years of intense research and interviews.The result resonates with such passion and beauty that it doesn't matter whether Teresita's legend is based more on a people's wishful thinking than truth.The Hummingbird's Daughter is a sumptuous, dazzling novel to which no review can do justice; one simply must read it.

    [The full review first appeared in The Elegant Variation.] ... Read more


    5. Out of the Dust (Apple Signature Edition)
    by Karen Hesse
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0590371258
    Catlog: Book (1999-01-01)
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Sales Rank: 10601
    Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Introduce your students to a Newbery Award winning book with this engaging teaching guide. Includes an author biography, chapter summaries, creative cross-curricular activities, vocabulary builders, reproducibles, and discussion questions. ... Read more

    Reviews (628)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Out of the Dust Critique
    I think the novel "Out of the Dust" is a great, emotional story. It was very touching and I thought that it was neat that Karen Hesse wrote the story in free verse poems. The poems gave me enough information for my imagination to fill in. I could read the story at many levels.

    It is about a 14- year old girl, named Billie Jo. She suffered terrible dust storms in Kansas, the death of her mother, a non- communicative father, and the burning of her hands. She really liked to play the piano and was the smartest kid in the state.

    In the beginning of the book, her father worked on the farm, her mother did work around the house, and Billie Jo helped out, played the piano, and went to school.

    In the middle, a terrible accident happened. The Dad placed a pail of kerosene in the kitchen, and Ma thought it was water. She tried to make coffee using the kerosene. Then the pail caught on fire and Ma ran outside. Billie Jo picked up the bucket to keep the house from burning, and ran outside with it. As soon as she was outside, she threw the pail. Ironically, Ma was running back inside. The burning pail hit Ma and she was engulfed in flames. Billie Jo pushed her down and tried to put out the flames, burning her hands badly. A month later, Ma died, giving birth to a baby, who died shortly after. The tragedy was so horrible that I was drawn to find out how the story would end. Yet, the author didn't overwhelm me with morbid details.

    Billie Jo and her dad barely talked. It took time for the two to work out their problems. At the end of the book, they met a woman who acted like Ma. She was called Louise. Pa married her and Billie Jo forgave him and vice versa. They overcame the past and moved on in life.

    I like how Billie Jo gradually developed the problems and gradually solved them. In doing this, the author made everything believable.

    The whole story improved with the addition of Louise. There was always tension between Ma and Dad. Louise's influence brought calmness to Dad and Billie Jo. She also re-introduced Ma's good ideas to Pa, who finally acted on them.
    Louise also helped Billie Jo's confidence and sense of family increase. Through all this, these three characters grew in positive ways.

    In summary, the free verse poems, which encouraged my imagination and the gradual positive resolution of Billie Jo's and Dad's problems, left me feeling stronger and more positive about life. This story touches anyone who reads it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Out of the Dust
    I recently finished reading the book "Out of the Dust" by Karen Hesse. We are studying the Great Depression in history, and my History teacher thought it would be appropriate to read this book for further knowledge, and in depth descriptions. I think that reading this book, while studying the Great Depression is a great combination, and results in a rapid increase of knowledge. One of the most unique characteristics about this book is that it is written in diary format, completely in free verse poems, by Billie Jo, a 13-year-old girl living in Okalahoma, during the dust bowl. The best thing about expressing literature in poetry is that it adds emphasis on the dramatic parts; they also add emotion to places where emotion makes history a reality. Page upon page, Billie Jo describes how the dust storms impact the crops, as well as everyday life, and also how it feels to be living in the middle of the biggest dust storm in all of America; the Dust Bowl. As Billie Jo describes life during a dust storm, you are swept from your everyday life and brought into the reality of being in a dust storm. The descriptions are great, you feel as if you are Billie Jo, venturing into the wind, not being able to see, dust filling your mouth. This book explains the causes, effects, and impacts of the Great Depression, as well as many aspects of The New Deal. The FERA (federal emergency rescue association), a program in The New Deal, helps Billie Jo and her family with the farm, the CCC is also mentioned in the book. The story is not all about the dust storms however; "Out of the Dust" has a great plot, with many different things to pull you in farther. Many events happen that will alter Billie Jo's life forever, a horrible accident scars Billie Jo both mentally and physically, after which her relationship with her father will never be the same. As Billie Jo pursues to sort out her many family problems she surprisingly digs deeper into her soul than she ever thought was possible, finding things out about herself that she had never known before. I enjoyed this book very much, and I know you will too. If you enjoy learning more, while having suspense and a great, enthralling plot, this book is definitely for you!

    4-0 out of 5 stars it's a good story
    Recommendation-
    I recommend this book to anyone that's 13 years old and up because the first part of the story is emotional. Billy's mom died. "Ma died that day giving birth to my brother." Billy's mom died because of the fire in which she was burned badly. This is why I recommend this book to older kids. I like this book because when people that are close to you pass away it shows how you can get on with your live. "I was invited to graduation, to play the piano." This citation shows that people start to think that Billy is normal, and she can play the piano again.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book. Makes you think about what you have.
    I read Out of The Dust when i was probably 11, and i LOVED it! For me, i love stories with a lot of drama and stories that make me cry. Some people don't like that feeling when reading a book. like i said though, i like it. As well as tears, there were also some laughs. it's a quick read and deffinately a good one!

    1-0 out of 5 stars NO GO FOR BILLIE JO
    I'm sorry but unless you are looking to throw yourself in a state of depression, this book is of no use to you.
    The story is about a girl who loses almost everything she has in a fire taking place around the time of the Dust Bowl. Sounds happy, huh?
    And when I say that the girl, Billie Jo, loses almost everything, which is closer to 'everything' than 'almost', I mean, she loses almost everything.
    Family? Her mother and unborn brother die in a kitchen fire, and the saddest part is that their deaths could have been prevented if Billie Jo hadn't flung boiling water out the door her mother had been walking through, and as you might imagine, that causes grief for Billie Jo, and her father as well. In fact, he goes on to become an alcoholic, or something like it, who lives in oblivion to pretty much everything. Even Billie Jo suffers from physical pain, when her hands were severely burned from the pot of boiling water she had unintentionally flung at her mother, causing her death.

    Belongings? Well, her family, or as the previous reviewer put it, 'what was left of it'..(I give you credit, whoever you are!) ...lost their fields, which were their main staple of income, in the dust bowl.
    Now, you might think that I'm exaggerating, but I assure you I am not. Before I had read it, my friends had told me how sick a book this was (and darn it, I couldn't agree more) and I just read it because I thought THEY were the ones exaggerating.
    So, you can be like me, If you wish, and go along and read it, which might not be such a bad idea, so you can get a taste for yourself how morally depressing this book is, or you can play it safe and not risk the nightmares. ... Read more


    6. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
    by Gary D. Schmidt
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0618439293
    Catlog: Book (2004-05-24)
    Publisher: Clarion Books
    Sales Rank: 173143
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    It only takes a few hours for Turner Buckminster to start hating Phippsburg, Maine. No one in town will let him forget that he's a minister's son, even if he doesn't act like one. But then he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a smart and sassy girl from a poor nearby island community founded by former slaves. Despite his father's-and the town's-disapproval of their friendship, Turner spends time with Lizzie, and it opens up a whole new world to him, filled with the mystery and wonder of Maine's rocky coast.
    The two soon discover that the town elders, along with Turner's father, want to force the people to leave Lizzie's island so that Phippsburg can start a lucrative tourist trade there. Turner gets caught up in a spiral of disasters that alter his life-but also lead him to new levels of acceptance and maturity.
    This sensitively written historical novel, based on the true story of a community's destruction, highlights a unique friendship during a time of change.Author's note.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Richie's Picks: LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMINSTER BOY
    "From so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved."
    --Charles Darwin, THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES

    "Like angels appearing in the sky,
    whales are proof of God."
    --Cynthia Rylant, THE WHALES

    Because it is based upon a series of true, race-related events in Maine during the early 1900s, LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMINSTER BOY might make you think of Karen Hesse's WITNESS. Several of the "good guy" characters--Mrs. Carr and the elder Mrs. Hurd, for example--have a charm reminiscent of the idiosyncratic folk in BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE. But, because of the depth of the evil behind the tragic real events upon which the fictional story of Lizzie and Turner is built, the feelings of despair and anger with which we're left evoke memories of such books as MISSISSIPPI TRIAL, 1955 and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

    The enchanting Lizzie Bright Griffin, a girl of great strength and few words, belongs to the youngest of many generations of African Americans who have called Malaga Island home.

    "Lizzie held close against her grandfather as the people of Malaga Island came out from the pine woods, gathered around their preacher on the shore to hear what had been said. Before they turned, Lizzie felt her grandfather ebb as though his soul were passing out of him, the way the last waves of a falling tide pass into still air and are gone. "She took a deep breath, and she wasn't just breathing in the air. She breathed in the waves, the sea grass, the pines, the pale lichens on the granite, the sweet shimmering of the pebbles dragged back and forth in the surf, the fish hawk diving to the waves, the dolphin jumping out of them.
    "She would not ebb.
    "Then she turned with her grandfather to tell the gathering people of Malaga that times had moved on, and they would have to leave their homes."

    Across the water, on the mainland, Turner is the new kid in town. And even worse--from his perspective--he's the new minister's son.

    "Turner Buckminster had lived in Phippsburg, Maine, for almost six whole hours.
    "He didn't know how much longer he could stand it."

    Here, as with the fight over the towers in Elaine Konigsburg's THE OUTCASTS OF 19 SCHUYLER PLACE, the root of conflict involves money and property values. Phippsburg's shipbuilding industry is dying, and the local "boys with the bucks" reckon that tourism may be the source of future prosperity if only the "less desirable" portion of the community can be run out of town.

    " 'Would you look at that monkey go? Look at her go. She climbing down or falling?' Deacon Hurd watched the last leap to the ground. 'Sheriff Elwell, I believe she thought you might shoot her.'
    " 'Wouldn't have been any trouble, Mr. Hurd. One less colored in the world.' "

    The character who is most difficult to decipher in this story of Turner's coming of age is his father. Reverend Buckminster was hired by the church leadership and is supposed to be serving God. However, he is being pulled in various directions: by the white community, by his own knowledge and conscience (or sometimes lack thereof), and by the beliefs of the maturing son he apparently loves, albeit in a stiff, 1912 Congregationalist ministerial fashion.

    "And suddenly, Turner had a thought that had never occurred to him before: he wondered if his father really believed a single thing he was saying.
    "And suddenly, Turner had a second thought that had never occurred to him before: he wondered if he believed a single thing his father was saying."

    Reverend Buckminster is but one of several characters who end up throwing Turner a curveball.

    The innocent, against-all-odds friendship that develops between Turner and Lizzie repeatedly caused me shivers, delight, and despair. It is first among the many reasons why LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMINSTER BOY is an entertaining and important piece of YA historic fiction. (...) ... Read more


    7. Daniel's Walk
    by Michael Spooner
    list price: $7.95
    our price: $7.15
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0805075437
    Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
    Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
    Sales Rank: 539721
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "Your daddy's in trouble, boy,"said the voice. "It's up to you from here, son."

    A teenage boy walks the Oregon Trail in search of his missing father

    Has something happened to Daniel's father? The warning might have been just a dream, but Daniel can't take that chance. He leaves Missouri to search for his father along the Oregon Trail.

    It is 1844 and the West is a wilderness. Trouble lurks all along the Oregon Trail-and trouble finds Daniel right away. One stormy night he barely escapes being shot by a horse thief. To protect himself, Daniel joins a wagon train, where he meets the feisty and outspoken Rosalie. Yet the horse thief returns, and this time he kidnaps Daniel and Rosalie. Can the two of them join forces long enough to escape?
    ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read this book!
    The scene: 1844, Caldwell, Colorado, high in the Rocky Mountains. Fourteen-year-old Daniel LeBlanc lives with his aunt and uncle while his father is out hunting and fishing. Daniel's father is a Mountain Man, an experienced trapper who knows the mountains, forests, and streams like he knows the back of his hand. Then one day he disappears! No one can find any trace of him.

    Daniel is, understandably, hit hard by the loss of his father. He swears that he is hearing a voice --- a voice that is telling him frightening things about his father. He's also having severe dreams at night. Frightened by these hallucinations and omens, Daniel goes out to search for his father. Daniel has many escapades and adventures. One particular stormy night, Daniel sees a scar-faced man stealing horses. The thief sees Daniel, too, and Daniel barely escapes being shot. In fear, he joins a wagon train heading west. After many long months and many obstacles, Daniel finally finds his father. How does Daniel come to understand that he and his father aren't the only ones in danger? Read this book to find out!

    I like to learn about the lives of people in America's past, so I thought this book was really informative and awesome. I also liked this book because it was exciting and full of adventure and action, and I never knew what was going to happen next! If you want an exciting book to read then read this book!

    --- Reviewed by Ashley, age 13, Book Boss

    5-0 out of 5 stars Can't agree with School Lib Journal
    (...) This is an adventure story, and on that level it works very well. In addition, the characters are diverse, rich, three-dimensional, funny, and complex. No simple formula writing here, though you can see the capture-escape-recapture-escape rhythm that you also see in the best of authors in this genre. Plus, it's a coming-of-age novel. Daniel goes off to find his father, and ends up finding himself. I'd compare it to Gary Paulsen's _Tucker_ series, or even (if you're old enough to remember) _True Grit_. Many YA readers and adult readers alike will find this book a very rewarding read.

    Furthermore, this book shows a more accurate picture of the impact of white settlement in the Amer West than most of the popular YA historical fiction. There is no whitewash of the settlers, and no romantic images of the native Americans, either. Compared to some of the "Dear America" books, for example, _Daniel's Walk_ is far and away more historically accurate.

    Students especially should get hold of it. (...) It's rare enough that we come across a decent story based on decent historical research.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An exciting new historical novel.
    Daniel's mother died in childbirth when he was just a small boy. After that, his father, a fur trapper, left Daniel to be raised by relatives in Missouri. Aunt Judith believes Daniel's father is a good-for-nothing responsible for her sister's death. She and her husband discourage Daniel from ever searching for his father. But a mysterious voice in the night warns Daniel that his father is in danger. Determined to save him, he sets out to cross the country and find his father in the Rocky Mountains. Daniel joins up with a wagon train and meets a headstrong girl named Rosalie as well as a horse thief determined to kill him. But even if Daniel survives the dangers of the overland journey, can he escape the horse thief's vengeance and find his father before it's too late? This was an exciting historical novel with a new perspective on the Oregon Trail. ... Read more


    8. The Sea of Trolls
    by Nancy Farmer
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0689867441
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
    Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
    Sales Rank: 248
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    Amazon.com

    Three time Newbery honor author Nancy Farmer's epic fantasy, The Sea of Trolls, is gigantic in every way. There are big Vikings and bigger trolls. There are big themes--hope, despair, life and death. At a substantial 450+ pages, the sheer size of this hefty tome is impressive. But, like all of Farmer's fine work, the large scale has room for enormous quantities of heart and humor. At the center of this massive adventure is a small Saxon boy named Jack, who's never been much good at anything until the Bard of his medieval village makes him an apprentice. Then, just as Jack is learning to tap into and control his power, he is kidnapped (along with his little sister, Lucy) and taken to the court of King Ivar the Boneless and his half troll queen Frith. When one of Jack's amateur spells causes the evil queen's beautiful hair to fall out, he is forced to undertake a dangerous quest across the Sea of Trolls to make things right, or suffer the consequences--the sacrifice of his beloved sister to Frith's patron goddess, Freya. Along the way Jack faces everything from giant golden troll-bears to man-eating spiders, yet each frightening encounter brings wisdom and understanding to the budding young Bard. No quester who enters these pages with Jack will go away unsatisfied. Farmer's skillful melding of history, mythology, and humor, is reminiscent of both Tamora Pierce and Terry Pratchett's medieval fantasies, and will no doubt be HUGELY enjoyed by fantasy readers of all ages. --Jennifer Hubert ... Read more


    9. Bud, Not Buddy (Newbery Medal Winner, 2000)
    by Christopher Paul Curtis
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440413281
    Catlog: Book (2002-01-08)
    Publisher: Yearling
    Sales Rank: 4101
    Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    It’s 1936 Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and 10-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy, but Bud’s got a few things going for him: 1. He has his own suitcase full of special things; 2. He’s the author of “Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself”; 3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: posters of Herman E. Calloway and his band of renown, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression. Bud is sure those posters will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road, nothing can stop him, not hunger, not fear, not would-be vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (288)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Bud, Not Buddy
    This book is about a ten-year-old orphan named Bud who is searching for his father, who he has never seen. Living on his own during the Great Depression, he meets his old friend Bugs. They decide to ride the rails west on a Hooverville train. Bugs makes it, but unfortunately Bud doesn't. This one event will change Bud's life, because Bud decides to walk to the next town and search for his father. After meeting new faces, Bud finds his believed-to-be-father, Herman E. Calloway, a musician. Although Mr.Calloway is not very friendly, Bud is invited to stay with him. In this book you learn how important communication is between people. Bud, Not Buddy won the Newbery Honor and the Coretta Scott King Award. I would recommend this book for forth to sixth graders because some events are hard to understand. I think this book has terrific facts on how people lived during the Great Depression. Something I particularily enjoyed about this book is how much the author described things. She used the five senses, especially the sense of smell. It was like the item was right in front of you. Is Mr. Calloway Bud's real father? Read this book to find out. Just remember to expect the unexpected. A great read for 5th and 6th graders.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Place Called Home
    Bud, Not Buddy tells the story of 10 year old Bud Caldwell, a young boy growing up in Michigan during the 1930's. Bud's mother died when he was only 6 years old, and since he never knew his father, Bud was forced to live in a home for orphans between his brief stays in various foster homes. Bud carries a battered suitcase which contains all the things that are near and dear to his heart; a special blanket and pictures of his mother. Although it seems as if Bud has very little, he has a drive to find his father, using the clues he feels that his mother left for him. After a bad experience at a foster care placement, Bud runs away using the rules he authored "Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself" to guide him. Will the clues really lead to his father? Will Bud finally find a place to call home?

    While this plot seems pretty intense, Curtis has truly captured the voice of a 10 year-old boy. The book is filled with laugh out loud humorous scenes that make it a really enjoyable read. Curtis carefully slips in a great deal of historical events through Bud's experiences without disrupting the overall flow of the book. Bud's voice is one that will draw children into the story and this is truly a book that young readers will enjoy. Check out Bud, Not Buddy for a splash of history, a heap of humor and an overall good book.

    Reviewed by Stacey Seay
    of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good short story.
    I liked this book becuase it was a wonderful story about history(the Great deppresion) and a boy trying to find out who he was. Or rather, who his father was. he ends up traveling with a band and finding more than he bargained for.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exciting Blend of Mystery, History, and More!
    "Bud Not Buddy" is the story of a young boy in the Great Depression whose mother has died, leaving him with what he believes to be a clue to his unknown father's identity: a flyer for a band featuring bass player Herman Calloway. When Bud exhausts other options to finding a happy home, he listens to his mother's advice ("When one door closes, another one opens") and heads to Grand Rapids to find his father. Bud's naive nature and vivid imagination lead to many humorous moments and observations along the way. Readers find themselves constantly guessing about Herman Calloway's relationship to Bud and trying to put the artfully-inserted clues together. While Bud is surprised when he finds out the truth, he ends up learning a great deal about his mother, his past, human nature, and what it really means to belong. The book is an excellent introduction to the Great Depression, while at the same time interesting readers with a likeable character and excellent mystery.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My fav book
    bud, not buddy is my favorite book. this book had me laughing and crying. i read it in like, the fourth grade and its still my fav book. i suggest this book to ne1! ... Read more


    10. Blood Meridian : Or the Evening Redness in the West
    by CORMAC MCCARTHY
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679728759
    Catlog: Book (1992-05-05)
    Publisher: Vintage
    Sales Rank: 12248
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    "The men as they rode turned black in the sun from the blood on their clothes and their faces and then paled slowly in the rising dust until they assumed once more the color of the land through which they passed." If what we call "horror" can be seen as including any literature that has dark, horrific subject matter, then Blood Meridian is, in this reviewer's estimation, the best horror novel ever written. It's a perverse, picaresque Western about bounty hunters for Indian scalps near the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s--a ragged caravan of indiscriminate killers led by an unforgettable human monster called "The Judge." Imagine the imagery of Sam Peckinpah and Heironymus Bosch as written by William Faulkner, and you'll have just an inkling of this novel's power. From the opening scenes about a 14-year-old Tennessee boy who joins the band of hunters to the extraordinary, mythic ending, this is an American classic about extreme violence. ... Read more

    Reviews (154)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An American Classic
    I recently saw Harold Bloom, the famous literary scholar from Yale, on a television show where he stated that Blood Meridian was the greatest work of any contemporary American author. I agree. I can't think of anything I've read that even comes close to this novel. First, you have the prose style, which is so controlled and crafted and at the same time flows so naturally that it must have taken years to develop. It reminded me of a missing book from the bible: hypnotic, enigmatic, ancient and at the same time, familiar. I kept thinking of the ocean when I was reading it because of the vastness of the landscape he describes. It seems as if the characters are on a journey, but they're not, unless they're circling further and further down into hell.

    I think the familiarity of the novel comes from it's relation to violence from a Christian standpoint. There's no doubt that McCarthy intends to have us react to this book from a moral perspective and yet at the same time be fascinated with it's violence. The setting, the wild wicked west, is a part of the American psyche that still takes forms today in our action films and tv shows that feed our hunger for blood and murder. By taking us back to our roots, stripping away the restraints of our Judeo-Christian values, MCCarthy steeps the story of death and evil in biblical prose and washes it with blood so that we see our dark selves reflected in all our ugliness.

    I compare this work to the works of the great Russian novelists ,Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, who always went for the big questions, What is life?, Who is God?, What is morality? and the American Moby Dick which encapsulated a universe. When you read books like these a lot of what appears on the bestseller lists seems so meaningless.

    This is a book you simply stand in awe of if you're a writer or ever thought of being one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Book I've Read This Year
    In a nutshell, I am in awe of Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian." His tale of the Kid, who is severely wounded early on in the tale and spends the rest of the novel in the hell of McCarthy's Southwest, is chilling and beautiful at the same time. McCarthy's writing is challenging, as he uses highly unusual words and phrases. And yet his voice is always appropriate and his descriptions are captivating. The key is to let yourself float along with the rhythm of the writing. You don't have to understand every word to get the gist of what he is saying, and the rhythm conveys sensations greater than the mere words could ever achieve. (In this limited sense, reading McCarthy is like reading Shakespeare.)

    McCarthy has created one of the most horrifying characters to roam the Old West in the Judge. An otherworldly monster, I believe the Judge is Satan walking the earth, leading a band of killers deeper and deeper into evil. The Judge isn't officially in charge of the Glanton Gang, but like Satan he keeps egging them on to greater depths of depravity. The Gang ranges from one bloodbath to another, enduring the miserable parched heat of Mexico, and yet the Judge never tires, never falters, and never gets so much as a scratch. Maybe he's a twisted version of Virgil from Dante's trilogy, guiding his charges into self-destruction rather than into Paradise. In any event, he's so evil it's haunting.

    Our witness to McCarthy's saga is the Kid, a character of limited vocabulary and blunt commentary. We ride with the Kid, endure his hardships, and agree with his refrain, "You're crazy," that he uses so often in his conversations with the Judge. The Kid is no hero, however, and by siding with the Kid we are made accomplices in his various crimes, as well. The conclusion of the novel is about as scary as it comes. "Blood Meridian" is a true delight, and I can't wait to read it again.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Purple Pretense
    I came to this novel urged on by the gushing, almost speechless, praise of Harold Bloom in an interview on television a couple of years ago. He called it the most important novel of our time and MacCarthy the finest writer living. He said all of this in the context of a discussion of the controversy he created in breaking with some literary elitists in his severe criticisms of hallowed icons of the modern literary canon. In short, I got the impression that Bloom was as impatient with pseudo-literary pretentiousness as was I.

    So I picked up MacCarthy's noble work in a feeling of near euphoric epiphany. This was surely going to be the most gritty, realistic and (above all) unvarnished western ever written. Then I hit this sentence:

    QUOTE: The thunder moved up from the southwest and lightning lit the desert all about them, blue and barren, great clanging reaches ordered out of the absolute night like some demon kingdom summoned up, the mountains on the sudden skyline stark and black and livid, like a land of some other order out there whose true geology was not stone but fear.

    That would make for perfect purpling in H. P. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness", but its a bit too much to swallow for a novel that aims to be an unvarnished account of unflinching realism. It is by no means an exceptional out take. The book is unctious with this kind of prose. MacCarthy is the absolute worst pretender to literary significance I have ever read for the plain reason that he tries so damned hard to be literary that it gets in your teeth like fine alkali dust.

    Yes, he has a fine gift for a well turned sentence. So do armies of nameless hacks and better known writers who never get nominated for being visionaries of our time. What sets him apart is his deliberate effort at obtuseness. He makes no obvious effort to say anything, so the mavens of literary pith conclude that it must be so profound that it reaches beyond the capacity of mere mortal words to tell, thoughts angelic or infernal in transcendence. Please.

    This is the kind of pretentious rubbish that has made Melville the dandy of lit professors for the last 150 years. I hate to be uncharitable, but the emperor is starkers. If you think this is as good as it gets, or rises above the too self-consciously literary efforts of modern fiction, then you need to read more widely.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It Just Doesn't Get Any Better
    The only reason I have given this book 5 stars is because the option to give it more was not available.

    Just an excellent work. Cormac McCarthy will be remembered as one of the most important American writers of the late 20th century.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Powerful Novel
    At first the style of writing takes some getting use to. But when you find your rhythm for reading the prose, it's actually quite beautiful.
    Of course this isn't for everyone. Incredibly violent. Hard to read and digest for most. Off-putting style for others.
    But an important work from a uniquely talented writer.
    I must admit, I loved reading the violence and the Judge's discourse about the beastly nature of man and his propensity for evil. He is one of the iconic figures in literature in my opinion. If he was a real person, he would be someone to truly fear.
    A half-mad genius with a mind for violence that has absolutely no conscience.
    Then again, he can be taken as a supernatural figure. A demon, a wraith. An embodiment of the evil of man.
    This should be required reading for college literature classes. ... Read more


    11. Fallen Angels
    by Walter Dean Myers
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0590409433
    Catlog: Book (1991-09-01)
    Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 27978
    Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    A coming of age tale for young adults set in the trenches of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, Fallen Angels is the story of Perry, a Harlem teenager who volunteers for the service when his dream of attending college falls through. Sent to the front lines, Perry and his platoon come face-to-face with the Vietcong and the real horror of warfare. But violence and death aren't the only hardships. As Perry struggles to find virtue in himself and his comrades, he questions why black troops are given the most dangerous assignments, and why the U.S. is there at all. Fallen Angels won the 1989 Coretta Scott King Award. ... Read more

    Reviews (172)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Just anothe good book
    Just Another Good Book

    Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers is a riveting tale of heroism, in a time when death and sorrow were abundant. I give 4 stars to this book for the authors amazing use of characterization. The characters emotions are clear as day during battle and when he is alone to think about why he is in Vietnam. You feel like your actually in the war when the author paints a vivid picture of the battle scene. It's a fast read, but just slow enough to let your imagination run wild.
    The plot of this novel is masterfully laid out, and it keeps you reading on and on wanting to know what will happen next. Perry is a 19 year old black man who leaves home to join the army. After basic raining he ends up on a plane to Vietnam. On the way he meets a black man named Peewee and they become best friends. Throughout the story they are forced to stick together to survive. They depend on each other and the rest of the squad to get them out alive. They are on the verge of death countless times.
    Throughout the story your mind will dissolve and blend with that of the characters. You get 5 unique points of view, and the author goes in depth on three of them. Perry, Peewee, and Monaco just want to get out of the war and go back to the lives that they left behind. The story is deeply intertwined with the emotions of the characters. There is a point in time where the characters change, they start to go a little mad and they all develop there own beliefs on what this war is all about. The characters touch you and make you feel like you're actually in the story, it's an amazing effect.
    Fallen Angels combines real life drama with a touch of fictional entertainment. This book shows you a picture of how life was back then, with an epic climax that will leave you exhausted, but begging for more. Quite simply a candidate for the Pulitzer.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fallen Angels, a really great book
    I would recommend this book to everyone of the right age, though considering some language and some events are a little graphic, I wouldn't suggest giving this book to a child. Fallen Angels is a great Vietnam War novel. It is about an African American soldier named Perry who joined the army when his athletic scholarship is ruined when he hurts his knee. He meets another African American who calls himself PeeWee and together they struggle to survive their required 14-month tour through Vietnam. Through luck, skill, and Peewee and Perry's growing companionship, they survive battle through battle as everyone around them dies. The book has a lot of battles, with a physical enemy, the Viet Cong, and with the emotions they encounter throughout their time in 'the worst place on earth.' Walter Dean Myers' description and the characterization he uses make Fallen Angels an unforgettable book. His balance of characters and their interactions make this story very realistic. Overall, this novel was put together wonderfully and there is never a dull moment. Walter Dean Myers adds a touch humor in just the right places, too. Fallen Angels shows the life of the soldier. I believe if everyone knew what it was really like, they wouldn't be so quick to have a war and send young people, who are the future, to die in battle.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Phoney and silly
    The author knows very little about Viet Nam. He apparently thinks the 60 in M-60 stands for .60 cal. and that soldiers put stamps on their letters when they were in the war zone.

    Because of the dialogue, the book's subtitle could be The Little Rascals Go To War. Soldiers' talk in this book is often just too cute. For those who like mildly homoerotic war stories that little reflect the way things are, this book might be for you.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Disturbing only for die hard war fans
    Only for die hard war fans.I did not find this movie enjoyable at all.The characters did not do it for me.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fallen Angels
    The book Fallen Angels is a grate book for today's teens. It gives the reader of the understandings of the good and the bad parts of the war. How men can find hope in the hardest of conditions and as a reader I have learned many things about life and death. About how every second counts and about how scary it is to know that when you enter this hell the only way to get out is take someone's life away and that. This book has shown me the terror of seeing someone you know die right next to you and knowing that that could happen to you any moment. But most importantly it gives me a new look on life. ... Read more


    12. The Golden Goblet (Puffin Newbery Library)
    by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0140303359
    Catlog: Book (1990-10-01)
    Publisher: Puffin Books
    Sales Rank: 19214
    Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (77)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A GREAT book!
    The book THE GOLDEN GOBLET is an great book for kids. It is about an orphan boy named Ranofer. After his mother and father die, Ranofer is forced to live with his half-brother, Gebu. Ranofer labors at the gold smiths shop and comes home every day to find a half-loaf of bread. Ranofer finds out Gebu is stealing gold, and with the help of his two friends, Heqet and the "Ancient," they try to stopped him. The big theme in the story is family. Throughout the whole book, Heqet and Ancient are becoming Ranofer's family. Ranofer learns to trust in them for help and encoraging. I would give this book 5 stars. It really takes you into the land of Egypt with a view like you have never seen before.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Golden Goblet Rules !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw is about a boy named Ranofer who is forced by his half-brother, Gebu, to work as a lowly porter in a goldsmith's shopin Ancient Egypt. His life's goal is to be an apprentice to Zao, the best goldsmith in ancient Thebes. Ranofer learns about a crime operation Gebu is involved in, and tries to stop him and his accomplice. Along the way Ranofer makes two friends, Heqet and the "Ancient One." They keep his secrets, encourage him and help him in his crusade to prove Gebu of his heinous crimes.
    I liked this book because it was very well written. The author did a very good job in bringing the characters to life. She does this by making their feelings apparent. For example, when the chief goldsmith called Ranofer "shari" meaning "small one," this little bit of kindness "brought sudden tears to Ranofers eyes, so vividly did he recall his father's voice using that very endearment."
    There are many times in this book where the author describes Ranofer's inward thoughts and speculations. These often include plans to defy Gebu and escape from his evil clutches. Other times he chastises himself for being rude to his friends. The author also describes the pain and suffering when Ranofers half-brother beats him. When Ranofer is apprenticed to Gebu in a stone cutting shop, he earnestly tries to learn this trade by asking Gebu a simple question. Gebu strikes him for no apparent reason other than asking this simple question. For the most part the plot of the book moves a bit slowly, but towards the end it becomes very exciting. I earnestly recommend this book to children 8 years old and up.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Golden Goblet (It's one of the best books i've read!)
    Looking for a really good book??? READ THE GOLDEN GOBLET!!!!!

    I thought The Golden Goblet was an excellent book! Set in anicient Egyptian times, the book told a lot about the history of Egypt. Although the beginning of the story seemed like a drag to many people, I didn't think it was that bad, although it didn't explain a lot and didn't seem to be getting anywhere. The book actually started getting REALLY interesting, right at about the fourth chapter. If you are planning to read this book, give it a chance, and if you start getting bored at the second chapter, just keep reading, until after you finish the third chapter.
    What I really didn't like about this book was that Ranofer, the main character seemed to be so secretive about lots of things, like the golden goblet, with his own friends! I thought that he should have told his own friends what he thought, so that they could somehow help him. If he had done this, he wouldn't have had so much trouble in the end, when he had problems with trying to catch his evil brother, Gebu, the stonecutter, and Gebu's friend Wenamon, the mason, while they tried to rob the tomb of a pharaoh and his wife, who had only died recently (in the story).
    I thought that this book was an exceptional story, and it's good especially if you're studying about ancient Egypt (that's when I read it). So, have i convinced you that this story is REALLY REALLY good? (It is, SERIOUSLY) But the only way you can find out what a good book it is, is if you read it for yourself! I'm telling you, if you're looking for a good book, this is the one for the job!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Golden Goblet
    This book is a book many people would enjoy,
    especially who love Egypt. I would give this book a 300 stars, but the stars only go up to five. It is about a boy named Ranofer. He has to live with Gebu his wicked half brother who is a tomb robber and stone cutter. The reason
    Ranofer has to live with him because his father dies.
    To read the book, just read the book!

    3-0 out of 5 stars excellent research but drags
    The Golden Goblet is an excellent piece of historical fiction and would have been a great cross curricular whole group read for 6th grade history; however, I feel the book could have been 50-75 pages shorter and still have achieved its goal. I might consider it for a summer reading list, but overall, I would have to say I was in a hurry to finish the book so I could move on to something else. ... Read more


    13. A Northern Light
    by Jennifer Donnelly
    list price: $8.95
    our price: $8.06
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0152053107
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
    Publisher: Harcourt Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 28267
    Average Customer Review: 4.95 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. Desperate for money, she takes a job at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown entrusts her with the task of burning a secret bundle of letters. But when Grace's drowned body is fished from the lake, Mattie discovers that the letters could reveal the grim truth behind a murder.

    Set in 1906 against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, Jennifer Donnelly's astonishing debut novel effortlessly weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, and real, and wholly original.

    Includes a reader's guide and an interview with the author.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (22)

    5-0 out of 5 stars NOT JUST FOR YOUNG ADULTS--FOR ANYONE WHO LOVES A GREAT READ
    I finished A Northern Light in a weekend; what a pleasure! I don't fit the intended young adult demographic, but I've always had an interest in children's and young adult literature as a result of my many careers.

    Ms. Donnelly brilliantly captures the boom era of the 1900s New York Adirondack Mountain region. The story of Mattie Gokey, a young woman coming of age and struggling with difficult life choices, is a familiar story to most female readers. Her determination to become a writer reminded me of my own career aspirations. I found myself holding my breath and sighing with relief when Maddie finally decided her fate.

    A Northern Light will stir passion, and even raise ire, among the young women who are fortunate to discover this beautiful book. Many readers will recognize themselves in Mattie, her teacher, Miss Wilcox, or even Weaver, her friend and fellow wordsmith. Most importantly, A Northern Light can be appreciated by readers of all ages, not just young adults, who appreciate great writing. A truly enjoyable read; I hope there's a sequel on the way.

    Also recommended: The Lightkeeper's Daughter, Witch Child

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Historical Fiction Masterpiece
    This is one of those books where about a third of the way through, you anxiously thumb the remaining pages, knowing that despite your best efforts to savor it, the book will be over all too soon. When A NORTHERN LIGHT falls open, you,the reader, will fall in. Descriptions of this book by previous reviewers, while excellent and accurate, still do not prepare you for the sheer delight and pleasure of reading this story. While it has been classified as a Young Adult novel, as it does contain some language and situations, every word is absolutely true to the character who is speaking or being spoken of. I urge every teenage girl to read this, then pass it on to her mother, all of her girlfriends, aunts, a favorite teacher--in short, anyone who has a love of words, of learning, of mysteries, and a belief in the power of young women. A NORTHERN LIGHT is a most extraordinary book. Don't miss it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great book! i couldn't put it down!
    I found this book at the school library's new book shelf, i decided to read it and i was so glad that i did. This is about a girl living with her family and how she solves her problems and deals with the people she meets. After reading this book, I thought about life and people differently. I would recommend this book to people 12 years or older because it deals with some issues that may be....yea you get the idea. Overall, this is a great book. After reading this book, I also read other books by Jennifer Donnelly, they were also very good, but i felt this one was the best!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not only for young adults...
    I read this book after reading Jennifer Donnelly's novel "The Tea Rose"(which I loved). I enjoyed the characters and the their voices, but I especially loved the focus on words and the power that they have to change a life. I found myself aching for Mattie and her longings to stretch into the wider world.
    Some of the scenes were quite graphic, so it would not be appopriate for some younger readers. "A Northern Light" is among the best young adult books I have ever read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book-Not for Kids
    I think this book is wonderful. I read it three times because it is so delightfully delightful. However, kids should'nt read it. It has some inapropriate stuff in it. Anyone else interested in books should read it. ... Read more


    14. The Land (Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner)
    by Mildred D. Taylor
    list price: $17.99
    our price: $12.23
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0803719507
    Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
    Publisher: Phyllis Fogelman Books
    Sales Rank: 20515
    Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com's Best of 2001

    The Land is Mildred D. Taylor's wonderful prequel to her NewberyMedal winner, Roll of Thunder,Hear My Cry. In the stories Taylor has to tell, life is not fair, hardwork doesn't always pay off, and the good guy doesn't always win. That's becausethis extraordinary author tells the stories of her African American family inthe Deep South during and after the Civil War, a time of ugly, painful racism.

    Paul-Edward Logan, the son of a white, plantation-owner father and a slavemother, is our narrator, bound and determined to buy his own land and shape hisown future at whatever cost. Caught between black and white worlds and notfitting into either one is devastating for him, but his powerful, engaging talesof the love of family, the strength of friendship, and growing up will inspireanyone to dare to persevere despite terrible odds. Taylor's books are not onlyessential in understanding what led up to the Civil Rights movement inAmerica--they are also breathtaking page-turners, full of suspense, humor, love,and hope. The Land certainly stands alone, but the other award-winningtales of the Logan family--Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; Let theCircle Be Unbroken; and The Road to Memphis--are excellent as well.Heartily recommended. (Ages 12 and older) --Karin Snelson ... Read more

    Reviews (22)

    5-0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BOOK
    When I discovered, through the note provided by Mildred Taylor, that The Land was more than five years in the making, I literally swooned in admiration of the freshness of the story. Any book which takes half a decade to research and write evolves with a certain degree of vulnerability. How can any author sustain such an endeavor, especially in the face of her readership, so familiar with her own impossibly hard acts to follow, and emerge holding such a live treasure as The Land, in the end?
    The Land is a prequel, in that it tells the stories of the Logan family that chronologically came before those of her beloved, already known, characters. What sets this novel apart from typical prequel status, in my mind, is the electricity between its pages. The Land is filled with its own magical energy. Paul-Edward's many adventures, his beliefs in himself and his family (as well as his view of all the other people living on his father, Edward's, land) his complex relationships with his white father, his African-Indian mother, his white brother (Robert), and his African-American friend (Mitchell) are exclusively important. They are exclusive in that they are whole, in and of themselves, and a reader can appreciate their strengths without prior knowledge of Taylor's previous work. They are important in that they can and should be told, breathe, and stand on their own. I feel that comparing them might fail them, to a certain degree. That said, the stories of the life of Paul-Edward are certainly crucial... beyond their status as prequel. The private pain and pride of Paul-Edward that we come to know, as we follow his evolution into the young landowner we reluctantly must depart at book's end, all the great sorrows and victories that spill before him in his quest to, in his mother's apt words, have "something for himself"-his own land-while caring for Caroline, her brother, and Mitchell are wondrous, well told, at times lyrically rich.
    There is nothing, in The Land, of the staleness that can threaten to tinge any writer's work when she is forced to write a prequel, by her readership, critics, or heart. Perhaps the staleness comes when a writer is not certain of the very something she must be precise about, as she attempts to trace steps prior to the heart of her matter (previous, related book(s)). I have come to believe that a great many prequels and sequels are created not in order to answer an author's own calling, but to answer the call of the readership. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Still, in Taylor's writing of The Land as a whole thing, contained in one book, which tells a before so well, as well, is wholly felt, the mold of the prequel is broken. The Land is exceptionally revealing for those who have known and loved the Logans. The Land is also its own, gorgeous, story.
    I believe the heart of Mildred Taylor's matter is, actually, those family stories she finally tells, through fiction twinned with the breath of heritage, in The Land. The novel has clarity and life and a protagonist we love, and a singular life-almost as if The Land contained the most essential things the writer (the niece, the daughter, the landowner) needed to write; almost as if all those stories she'd already made were leading us to this great center.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Taylor Never Fails
    Paul-Edward Logan has a unique life situation in the late 1800s. Born on a southern plantation following the Civil War, his mother is black and Native American, yet his father is a white man. As a child, he is treated with almost the same care given to his white half-brothers, yet as he grows up he begins to learn the harshness and injustice of his world. But Paul is determined to make something of himself. He wants his own land, he wants his own destiny, and he wants things that many others of his race wouldn't even dream of.

    I was shocked with just how much I was impressed with this book! Throughout my life I have loved the powerful stories told in Taylor's "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" trilogy, yet often authors kind of fizzle after a couple of amazing books. But not here!

    I think one of the best things about Paul-Edward's story is how once again Taylor draws on family stories. Anyone who has read "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" will recall that Paul-Edward is the grandfather of the Logan children, and will find it even more fascinating to read his own story. Which brings me to another point-the fact that Taylor not only draws on family stories, but brings them so vividly and credibly to life makes her writing all the better.

    And the writing was indeed good. Paul's first-person narrative sounds intelligent and interesting, while still managing to sound realistic and fresh. He is a character full of pride and determination that makes him truly admirable. But the book never feels preachy, and the pride and strength that Taylor fashions into her stories never feels fake.

    "The Land" is a book that is at once a story of hope and a realistic portrait of the ugly racism that plagued our society at the time. Just as in her other books, the author deals with racism in a balanced, up front, and intelligent manner.

    I was so impressed with this latest from Mildred Taylor! The character-driven story is the perfect balance of timeless values and a compelling historical backdrop.

    4-0 out of 5 stars a good book
    The book The Land was a great book a bout a boy named Paul Logan who was just trying to get by. he was th son of a white man and a black women. Paul was born with lighter skin so sometimes he could get away with things, but at other times they just treated him as if he were another one of the black people. Paul gets into a little bit of trouble along with his friend Mitchell. The boys end up becoming very close and helping each other out of achieving the goal of getting "the land." if you want to find out what happens, i recommend you read the book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Land
    The Land by Mildred D. Taylor is a WONDERFUL book. It is the best book I have ever read. It is about a man, Paul Logan, and his life from childhood to adulthood. Paul has a hard life because he his half black and half white, meaning his dad white and his mom black. To make matters worse, it is right after the civil war. Paul has to learn that not all white men are going to treat him and be as fair to him as his white dad and brothers. This book has adventure, action, and suspense. It tells a GREAT story. I recommend this book to everybody!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The BEST Book
    I loved this book. I could hardly put it down. Paul-Edward is a half black, half white slave whose owner is his father. He gets tired of his homelife and runs away. He meets Mitchell, a childhood friend, and they travel together. They work at a logging house and then find land that they would love to live on. I won't tell you the rest, because it would RUIN it!! This book has a whole lot of flashback and foreshadowing. I loved this book and encourage you all to read it!! ... Read more


    15. Nothing But The Truth: A Documentary Novel
    by Avi
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 038071907X
    Catlog: Book (1993-09-01)
    Publisher: HarperTrophy
    Sales Rank: 41669
    Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Patriotism or practical joke?

    Harrison, NH -- Ninth-grade student Philip Malloy was suspended from school for singing along to The Star-Spangled Banner in his homeroom, causing what his teacher, Margaret Narwin, called "a disturbance." But was he standing up for his patriotic ideals, only to be squelched by the school system? Was Ms. Narwin simply trying to be a good teacher? Or could it all be just a misunderstanding gone bad -- very bad? What is the truth here? Can it ever be known?

    Heroism, hoax, or mistake, what happened at Harrison High changes everything for everyone in ways no one -- least of all Philip -- could have ever predicted.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (445)

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Awesome Book!
    I read Nothing But The Truth by Avi. I found the book to be very entertaining and a great example of real life. The book is about a boy named Phillip. During homeroom they play the Star Spangled Banner and Phillip started humming to annoy his teacher. He feels an animosity toward her because he is failing English. Ms. Narwin, who is also Phillip's English teacher, sent him out of homeroom two days in a row. The assistant principal ends up suspending him for being a disturbance in class. His parents think its ridiculous that their son can't participate in a random act of patriotism. The issue becomes nationwide. Reporters start writing biased articles and the story gets totally twisted.

    This book is a great example of how a story can get twisted if everyone doesn't tell the truth, and nothing but the truth. I enjoyed the book a lot. It's written in documentary form with memos, letters, and conversations. I highly recommend this book for 12 year olds and up because of some hard vocabulary. It's a quick and enjoyable read! I hope you will read it soon!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Nothing but the Truth
    Do you like books that tell you about a disrespectful student that does not stop singing or humming to the Star Spangled Banner? Or having your parents on your side because of it? Well I think that you will absolutely love this book its called Nothing but the Truth by Avi.
    14-year-old Philip Malloy lives in New Hampshire and goes to the Harrison high school where he starts his so called "patriotism". During his 9th grade year Philip starts to be disrespectful to the teacher at least that's what she thinks. The reason how Philip is being disrespectful is that the national anthem comes on in the morning on the intercom and tells the students to stand at a respectful and silent attention while they play the song
    Philip sings or hums along with it and the teacher sends him to the assistant principal.

    Then it becomes like a snowball effect and gets bigger and bigger because Phil and his father go to their neighbor's house and his name is Ted Griffin he is almost part of the school board. He knows a person that is an education reporter called Ms.Stewart. Phil tells her the whole story and she tries to contact all of the people that are involved in it like the superintendent the principal the assistant principal and Ms.Narwin they all tell her that it is all wrong that they did not suspended Phil for singing the star spangled banner. Ms.Stewart publishes the story and then it goes on the radio and everything is ballistic! So if you want to read this exiting book and know how it ends then read Nothing but the truth by Avi. by jonathan

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very important lesson
    I find the title "Nothing but the Truth" to be cleverly ironic, as this book actually demonstrates a minor dispute's descent into a political arena where "Anything but the Truth" would more acurately describe the situation. Some reviewers have claimed that this book is repetative. It is true that readers are presented with information over and over again, but it is never quite the same. The purpose is to show how the story gets twisted each time it's re-told. How the same event comes to be described in two incredibly different ways, neither of which is accurate, depending on what each side has to gain or lose. In the huge mess that's created, no one knows the true story anymore. More importantly, no one cares.

    That is the heart of the story. The school at first only cares about Phillip disobeying (That's his real crime: disobeying an arbitrary rule. Not humming.) and then only about covering their own butts by making it sound like Phillip deserved his harsh punishment by making up a fake crime so no one will find out that his only 'crime' was refusing to mindlessly conform. Phillip and his parents at first only care about defending him against a tyrannical bureaucracy, but later his father also cares about pumping himself up by making false claims of Phillip's virtue in to counter the false claims of his depravity. Everyone else latches onto one of the false claims, seeing Phillip as saint or sinner. From the beginning, no one cares about the truth.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Boring Most of the Time
    First off let me tell you this is a documentary novel that has documents, notes files, etc. that are sometimes are really boring. The dialogue is in play form, so my calss acted it out. It's hard to follow. But it's funny and if your a teen you can relate somewhat. This was an unrealistic book, as you will see in the following text:

    Now this book wasn't so bad, but I was reading it with my class. We were acting out the different parts. This made it MUCH easier to follow. Otherwise you'll start to think about whether you left the coffe-pot on or something and have to reread a page.

    Philip Malloy is a young boy who hums along with the Star Spangeled Banner. His teacher, that he hates for giving bad grades (Which he deserves), sends him to the principal's office for "singing", so she says, the SSB. Philip is a big crybaby about ho he gets bad grades and is kicked off the track team. No one would really send a kid to the Principals Office for humming the SSB. And it wouldn't make national news, which does infact happen. I was wondering what the point was of this book until the last page... which was a funny, yet annoying ending, leaving you feeling unfinished with the story and wanting to look for the next page. There is none, which made me mad.

    Yet, this book was interesting nonetheless and a quick, easy-read. Check it out at the library BEFORE you buy it... if you even wanna read it again...

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nothing but the Truth
    Chris Skorusa

    Nothing but the Truth

    Reading II

    Summary

    Was there ever a day you woke up and thought it was going to be a good day but it wasn't? From That one day your whole week has changed it seamed like it could never get better. Nothing but the Truth is like it. The book is manly about a student named Philip Malloy. Philip is a Freshman at Harrison High. The first couple days of school were fine but there was this one teacher named Mss.Narwin. Philip didn't really like her. He wasn't doing too good in the class either he was getting a "D". With the D he wasn't able to try out for track just because he was failing this class. But it didn't get any better he got a memo telling him that his homeroom is switched to Mss.Narwin. That wasn't the smartest thing putting Phillip and Mss.Narwin together. While Philip was in the class he was suspended for humming to the announcements. With the suspension he has received Philip will be getting a lot of people mad.
    Response: I thought this book was very interesting there was always something going wrong. I can tell that the author of book must have spent a lot of time making this book. The book is written in dialogue from so you always know who is talking. There are also parts where you get to read Philip's diary and really get to know what Philip is thinking and what his emotions are. This book is really good at giving you a mental image of the story. There were some parts of the book that made me mad. Like how mad the teacher got just for humming and that everyone turned on him for not doing anything? But at the end of the book it all makes sense. I would rate this book 8 out of 10. Just because there was some situations that I don't think could really happened in life. But everything else was good. ... Read more


    16. Red Scarf Girl : A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution
    by Ji-li Jiang
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0064462080
    Catlog: Book (1998-10-31)
    Publisher: HarperTrophy
    Sales Rank: 26820
    Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In 1966 Ji-li Jiang turned twelve. An outstanding student and leader, she had everything: brains, the admiration of her peers, and a bright future in China's Communist Party. But that year China's leader, Mao Ze-dong, launched the Cultural Revolution, and everything changed. Over ht next few years Ji-li and her family were humiliated and scorned by former friends, neighbors, and co-workers. They lived in constant terror of arrest. Finally, with the detention of her father, Ji-li faced the most difficult choice of her life.

    Told with simplicity and grace, this is the true story of one family's courage and determination during one of the most terrifying eras of the twentieth century.Ji-li Jiang was twelve years old in 1966, the year that Chairman Mao launched the Cultural Revolution in China. An outstanding student and much-admired leader of her class, Ji-li seemed poised for a shining future. But all that changed with the advent of the Cultural Revolution, when intelligence became a crime and a wealthy family background invited persecution'or worse. For the next three years Ji-li and her family were humilated and reviled by their former friends, neighbors, and colleagues and lived in constant terror of attack. At last, with the detention of her father, Ji-li was faced with the most dreadful decision of her young life: denounce him and break with her family, or refuse to testify against him and sacrifice her future in her beloved Communist Party.

    Told with simplicity, innocence, and grace, this unforgettable memoir gives a child's eye view of a terrifying time in twentieth-century history'and of one family's indomitable courage under fire.

    01 Blue Spruce Award Masterlist (YA Cat.)

    ... Read more

    Reviews (74)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Red Scarf Girl: A Girl With Determination
    Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang was a fascinating memoir about Ji-li's life during the Cultural Revolution. This book exceptionally demonstrates the qualities of a hero, presented by Ji-li's actions. Ji-li was a smart, determined leader and she always stood up for what she believed was right, all of which are qualities of a hero.
    A person would not only be drawn to this book because it takes place during the Cultural Revolution, which was a horrible time period for many people living in China then, but because it is about a girl going into junior high school who is strong, inside and out, by standing up for what she believes is right, no matter what criticism and punishment she faces on her quest to make things right. In this book, Ji-li comes from a family of bad class status because her grandfather was a landlord. The Communist Party, which Ji-li belongs to, is run by Mao Ze-dong who is trying to reform China by getting rid of the Four Olds: Old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits. The Red Guard, a group of teenagers who live to serve Mao Ze-dong, search the homes of families with bad class status to confiscate any objects and possessions that might have fallen into the category of one of the Four Olds. Since Ji-li was born into a family of bad class status, she is told that she still has a chance to become an educable child. She would have to do whatever it took to prove herself loyal to Mao Ze-dong, even if it meant breaking from her family. One night, Ji-li's father is arrested by the citizens of Shanghai, the city where the story takes place, and Ji-li has to decide between two choices: whether to break off relations with him and her family to become an official supporter of Mao Ze-dong, or to support her father and family, which would cause her to sacrifice any future that she would have in the Communist Party.
    An example of when Ji-li demonstrates her heroic nature was when she was able to stand up to her enemies, Du Hai and Yang Fan. Ji-li was being teased by them for saying things that were Four Olds. They were tormenting her so much that finally, she was able to come back with thing that they had done which were Four Olds also. This part of the book is significant to the idea of heroism because part of being a hero is standing up to your enemies and not letting anyone bring you down.
    "Not me. I'll never be a quitter." This is a quote from a part in the book where Ji-li is given one more chance to prove her loyalty to Mao Ze-dong by working in a rice field as summer labor. This is a terribly difficult job, working for many days bending over rice plants in the scorching heat. One day as she was working, Ji-li faints from exhaustion. Her friend, Chang Hong who is a member of the Red Guards, says that she should stop working in the fields, but Ji-li doesn't want to give up. She loves her family and she also loves Mao Ze-dong and the Communist Party, so she feels that summer labor is the only way that she can have them both. This scene in the rice fields symbolizes how determined Ji-li is and how she will never give up on a task, no matter what the circumstances are; a true quality of a hero.
    This story about Ji-li in the Cultural Revolution brings out the qualities that are put together to convey the theme of an exceptional hero. The heroic actions that Ji-li takes to stand up for what she believes in makes this story very enjoyable and uplifting even when her family is going through emotional struggles. This story is well-written and detailed and anyone who is interested in China and the Cultural Revolution should read it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A review of Red Scarf girl
    In today's world, people are taught that heroic people must influence the masses. Only those who have monumental physical strength, celebrity status, or piles of money have the resources to affect the world around them. Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang disproves these notions. This non-fiction book tells the story of a 12 year-old girl growing up in the midst of the Cultural Revolution who becomes a hero to her family. The glossary at the end of the book defines the Cultural Revolution as "The social and political upheaval that overtook China from 1966 to 1976. During this time many innocent people were ruthlessly persecuted. THe Cultural Revolution was launched by Chairman Mao, supposedly to rid the country of anti-Communist influences. Long afterward it was revealed that Chairman Mao unleashed this chaos in order to protect his own political position." (pg. 276) Red Scarf Girl is a moving, well-written story.
    The book opens with a prologue, in which Ji-Li tells the reader the single most important lesson in school: "Heaven and earth are great, but greater still is the kindness of the Communist Party; father and mother are dear, but dearer still is Chairman Mao." (pg. 1) The people of China are brainwashed with this mantra, but Ji-Li does not feel it plays a large role in her life until sixth grade. Always a high achiever, she is looking forward to attending Shi-yi, an elite middle school. Then, Chairman Mao nullifies all teacher recommendations and divides children into schools by neighborhood; meaning Ji-Li will not go to Shi-yi. This is only the beginning of Ji-Li's problems. She becomes an outcast in school, her house is searched and Communist officers take everything of value, all because of her family's middle class status. Ji-Li's father is held in prison because his father was the evilest of all men - a landlord. Ji-Li is offered freedom from her "black" (non-Communist) class status by Communist officers. All she has to do is break from her family and testify against her father. No 12 year old should have to make the decisions she did.
    Ji-Li Jiang used literary techniques to tell her story effectively. She is very descriptive, for example, "The kitchen, located on the landing and crowded with pots and pans and a two burner stove, was crowded and stuffy. With the heat from the sun outside and the heat from the stove in front of me, I was simply melting." (pg. 90) Ji-Li uses dialogue to make the story more interesting. Though she may not have remembered exactly what everyone said, the dialogue keeps the book moving. Although the book does not tell of her life throughout the entire Cultural Revolution, the book has a satisfying ending; not a fairytale finish, but a hopeful one. All of these storytelling elements enrich Red Scarf Girl.
    One of the most important qualities of a hero is selflessness. Ji-Li Jiang showed this repeatedly. A Communist officer offered to let her change her name in order to break from her "anti-Communist" family. She almost does, but then, "I thought of Aunt Xi-wen lying in the alley (being punished for having bad class status), and Shan-Shan (her son, who had "broken" from her) walking right past her. I jumped up and ran out." (pg. 215) Later, people from her father's work unit pulled her out of class and gave her a very serious decision to make. "'As I told you before, you are your own person. If you want to make a clean break with your black family, then you can be an educable child and we will welcome you to our revolutionary ranks'...I saw myself standing in the middle of the stage, facing thousands of people...condemning Dad for his crimes, raising my fist to lead the chant." (pg. 224-5) Ji-Li refuses his offer, which meant that although she would be frowned upon in society, she would remain faithful to her family. It would have been easy for Ji-Li to change her name or testify against her father to save herself. Heroes, however, have the strength to be selfless.
    Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang shows how one 12 year old had the strength to be a hero, to be selfless. Ji-Li was not rich, very physically strong, or well-known. She only put others before herself, a truly heroic action. Clearly, Ji-Li Jiang put her best effort into this book. Red Scarf Girl is exceptionally written, and can inspire everyone.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
    This is a wonderful book that drew me in. I really felt for Ji-Li Jiang, the main character. I read it when I was in elementary school and didn't know anything about the Cultural Revolution. It educated me and I also liked how realistic it was (that's because it is a true story) and how Ji-Li agreed with communism, and it took a long time for her to realize how wrong it was even though she herself suffered a lot.

    It's not five stars though. It's a good book and I can't find anything wrong with it, but I've read better and it's not one of my favorite books. But I still highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mao's Reign Exposed Through a Child's Eyes
    Ji-li opens up to the world what her suffering meant to her in her childhood. Her bravery held her up through the beginning of communism in her country. Red Guards (supporters of the Cultural Revolution) roamed the streets, ransacked homes, beat teachers, and took Ji-li's father to "detention". The pain of Ji-li flows through the book. The before admiration of her peers went to hate. The bright future as a Red Guard becomes dark. Ji-li's hopes and dreams fall from automatic judgment and ancestry. Ji-li's story is devastating but her determination in Mao's dark world is inspiring.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
    Having spent several years of my childhood in Hong Kong, I've had an ongoing interest in Chinese culture and history. When I read this book, I felt that this was a book I wanted to share with everyone.

    Red Scarf Girl gives us a window into the life of a girl growing up during the Cultural Revolution - a time of great upheaval in China. Having read "Life and Death in Shanghai," by Nien Ching, several years earlier, I had already been given an excellent perspective of what it must have been like to live through this period as an adult. Now, I was fascinated to see the years of the revolution detailed through the eyes of a young girl who was trying not just to survive, but to rationalise, accept, and believe in what she saw happening around her.

    This is a very moving account and I believe that anyone could benefit from reading it unless they are determined not to let that happen. ... Read more


    17. The Ides of April (Ray, Mary, Roman Empire Sequence.)
    by Mary Ray
    list price: $11.95
    our price: $9.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1883937434
    Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
    Publisher: Bethlehem Books
    Sales Rank: 85246
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (5)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Ides of April, review from a teenager
    I think that Mary Ray is a wonderful author and writer, with a great imagination a descriptive skills.
    The plot was intriguing, and carefully thought over.
    I could feel everything happening, as though I were right next to Hylas, the 17-year-old slave, and Camillus, the 18-year-old tribune.
    There are intense scenes, but nothing that an 8-year-old can't handle. ALmost no romance, and there is a large dipslay of compassion, loyalty, and discerment in the two boys.
    I thorougly enjoyed her book, though it was a LITTLE confusing. (but it was almost midnight when I read it, and my brain was half-way asleep by then).
    I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well! Only three other reviews...?!
    The thing about this book was that it felt _REAL_. It was hard to remember it was *just* a book.

    You felt the danger; you felt the bruises on the ribs. You wanted the hero to make it. You just didn't find yourself doubting the realness of it.

    Now, it's been a couple years since I read this, so perhaps I was just more gullible. But I don't think so. I still remember it, after all this time. Its magic was a special fete considering I had NEVER been interested in the Roman era or historical mysteries.

    When the book was over, I wanted it to keep going.

    An excellent historical mystery. I highly doubt you'll regret reading it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Book!
    This was a very good book. Sometimes a bit of a slow read, but such and intriguing murder story set in anciet Rome you won't even think to put the book down! Great for everyone!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great for young adults
    People fantasize about the ancient world and as an ancient historian I'm often amused and annoyed by what these fantasies entail. This is especially true in books written for children and young adults where the nastiness (by our modern standards) of the ancient world are often overlooked and underplayed. Mary Ray's "The Ides of April" does a fairly good job of looking at the concerns of citizens, young people, and slaves in mid-first century Rome. While the murder mystery kicks off sharply I do wish she'd spent more time on the characters before the entire legal nightmare began so that we could be more emotionally invested in the characters. Likewise it ends a bit aburptly. I haven't read any of the other books of the series yet, but it seems like the same characters may not be encountered which is a pity. The characters are well done, they seem to grasp the mindset of the people of that time though I think holding onto a Greek identity when one is born a slave in Rome is a bit awkward. I'd recommend it to anyone between 14 and 20 who is interested in the ancient world or in power dynamics in history. For those of us who are older, it can be entertaining as well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most riveting modern historical fiction out there!
    Part Agatha Christie, part Eloise McGraw ... this book totally blew me away! Mary Ray is terrific, practically creating a whole new genre of books - children's historical mysteries. The plot flows beautifully from one catastrophic event to another, creating a tale of incredible skill and baffling turns.

    Not much has been written in the Ancient-Roman category anyway, and this book is made even more unique by its point of view - that of a slave. It exposes the so-called 'glamour' of Rome to be merely a circle of cruelty and struggle. This book is not for the very young, but discerning readers 12 & up will find this book absolutely wonderful. I can't endorse it too strongly! ... Read more


    18. Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country
    by Caroline Stevermer, Patricia C. Wrede
    list price: $17.00
    our price: $11.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0152046151
    Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
    Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
    Sales Rank: 15154
    Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A great deal is happening in London this season.
    For starters, there's the witch who tried to poison Kate at Sir Hilary's induction into the Royal College of Wizards. (Since when does hot chocolate burn a hole straight through one's dress?!)
    Then there's Dorothea. Is it a spell that's made her the toast of the town--or could it possibly have something to do with the charm-bag under Oliver's bed?
    And speaking of Oliver, just how long can Cecelia and Kate make excuses for him? Ever since he was turned into a tree, he hasn't bothered to tell anyone where he is!
    The girls might think it all a magical nightmare . . . if only they weren't having so much fun.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (32)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Unique and Fascinating Read
    To best understand "Sorcery and Cecelia" one has to first flick to the back of the book in order to read the authors' afterword in which they explain the format and history of their story. After hearing of a game called "The Letter Game", Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer decided to have a go - each took on the persona of two young women in a more magically favoured 1800's, and wrote to each other concerning their activities. Patrica Wrede plays the role of Cecelia Rushton, living in the country and somewhat envious of her cousin Kate Talgarth (Caroline Stevermer) who is being presented to Society in London. And so the correspondance began, each woman drawing on the magical angle of their created world as well as a 'Jane Austen' flavour, so tell each other of the gradually more dangerous escapades that they both get up to.

    Kate in London is well into the process of socialising and mingling, despite being overshadowed by her far more beautiful sister Georgy. But whilst watching a neighbourhood wizard Sir Hilary being installed at the Royal College of Wizards, she comes across a little door in the building that leds to a cloistered garden, where a woman named Miranda Griscombe tries to kill her via chocolate poured from a bright blue chocolate pot! It becomes increasingly difficult when her cousin (Cecy's brother) Oliver disappears while at a night time function, and everywhere she goes she seems to run into the odious 'Mysterious Marquis', a one Thomas Schofield, whom seems to be the target of Miranda's malice.

    Cecelia meanwhile has come into contract with Dorothea Griscombe (any relation to Miranda?) who unintentionally seems to attract men to her like flies to honey, in particular James Tarleton, who prowls around behind bushes and under trees with very little skill at such activities. Finding herself quite accomplished at the magical arts, despite her Aunt Elizabeth's hearty disapproval, Cecelia begins to take lessons, 'borrowing' several books from Sir Hilary's library which may lend clues to Kate's situation in London...

    Such does the story go, expanding with each letter, with each girl helping the other along, though in the entire course of the tale neither of them come face to face. It is a highly original way of telling a story, and for the most part works very well in presenting a tale. If there is one trouble, it is that we are never in any concern over the girls' safety in their escapades, as we know that they remain intact in order to write the letters chronicling their dangers. Furthermore its difficult to keep track of the myraid of characters that keep pouring into the storyline and their relationships with one another - three-quarters of the way through the book I gave up and began again from the start!

    But "Socery and Cecelia" (why Kate is excluded from the title is a mystery since I found her story and attitude far more enjoyable than Cecelia's) is a funny, witty, exciting read, filled with magic, interfering aunts, enchanted chocolate pots, romance, adventure and a certain tone that reminds us continually that it is real letters that we are reading - we never really find out what the story was behind that goat that the girls are continually alluding to!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Jane Austen meets J.K. Rowling: Intriguing and Fun
    Okay, here's another book that I snagged off the shelf for its gorgeous cover. I loved the idea of an enchanted chocolate pot and perhaps was even more overjoyed to find that it was written by two of my favorite authors, (Wrede, of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, and Stevermer, of A College of Magics.) and horrified that I hadn't read it before, as this was simply a republication of the original, published in 1987!

    Already holding high expectations from the book, I was suprised when it started out slow. Used to the fast paced Harry Potter or the action-to-the-minute Enchanted Forest Chronicles, it took me a few chapters to really connect with the characters.

    Written in letter form between two cousins, Kate and Cecelia, the book takes place in an alternate (magical) universe in England 1817. The two are well-born girls; Kate is off having a Season in London while Cecelia stays at home in the country. Kate feels pushed aside by her beautiful sister Georgina; Cecelia is put out by not being allowed a Season of her own.

    But the plot soon picks up as the two girls' stories intertwine. In the country, ordinary Dorothea becomes irresistable to all men. Clever Cecelia befriends her and starts to unwind the mystery behind the weird attraction. Meanwhile, in London, Kate is almost poisoned by an "old" lady in a garden and befriends an "odious" Marquis to whom the retrieval of the the Enchanted Chocolate Pot is quite important.

    The language and the magic in the book speak for themselves; I was completely drawn into this unique world. The intrigue and mystery were believable and definitely kept me turning pages. Kate and Cecelia's letters are witty and funny as they dabble in sorcery and try to save the Marquis of Shofield and themselves from the clutches of the estranged sorcerers Lady Miranda and Sir Hilary.

    So...I would definitely reccommend this novel. IT WAS FABULOUS! This review really doesn't do the book justice. YOU HAVE TO READ IT! If you have any respect for fantasy novels, you simply must purshase this book. Consider making it a part of your permanent library. (You'll be wanting to read it again, I promise!)

    Happy Reading! And watch for a its sequel, The Grand Tour, which might be out this summer!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!!
    From the very first page of this delightful book, I was sucked into the wonderful world of Cecelia and Kate. A very exciting book filled with romance, adventure, and fun! The way it was written, made it even more interesting. I could relate to the characters and their mischeif. Well there's nothing else to say, just read the book and you'll see what I mean!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great read for all ages
    My 10 year old, my husband and I all enjoyed this book - looking forward to the sequel. Best to read the "how this book was written" AFTER you read the book - otherwise you focus too much on that aspect. Enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars its a wonderful book
    this is one of the best books i have ever read.don't be put off by the format which i initially was.Caroline Stevermer and Patricia C. Wrede have wonderfully managed to turn the book into an interesting one through even only using letters!i like all four main characters and they are potrayed in a favourable way.the romance is also very funny and cute.it is in fact from my personal pt. of view nicer than magician's ward by patricia.c.wrede. the way the book was wrote is also very interesting.its a must read for all fans of patricia.c.wrede and fantasy readers.i m awaiting a similar book. ... Read more


    19. A Long Way from Chicago: A Novel in Stories
    by Richard Peck
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0141303522
    Catlog: Book (2000-10-01)
    Publisher: Puffin Books
    Sales Rank: 3296
    Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Each summer over the nine years of the Depression, Joey and his sister, Mary Alice-two city slickers from Chicago-make their annual summer visit to Grandma Dowdel's seemingly sleepy Illinois town. Soon enough, they find that it's far from sleepy... and Grandma is far from your typical grandmother. From seeing their first corpse (and he isn't resting easy) to helping Grandma trespass, pinch property, catch the sheriff in his underwear, and feed the hungry-all in one day-Joey and Mary Alice have nine summers they'll never forget. Richard Peck's laugh-out-loud funny, episodic novel makes sure that you never will, either!



    The 1999 Newbery Honor Book-"A small masterpiece of storytelling." -The Horn Book

    Reviews for A Long Way from Chicago:

    "Peck deftly captures the feel of the times...Remarkable and fine." -Kirkus Reviews, pointer review

    "Warmly nostalogic, beautifully written, and full of thought-provoking interpersonal relatinships." -Children's Literature

    "A rollicking celebration...Perfect for reading aloud and a great choice for family sharing." -School Library Journal, starred review

    Awards for A Long Way from Chicago:

    ( The 1999 Newbery Honor Book
    ( A 1998 National Book Award Finalist
    ( An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
    ( A Riverbank Review 1999 Book of Distinction
    ... Read more

    Reviews (98)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A One Woman Crime Wave
    It seems that GrandMa Dowdel lives in her own little world. She apparently disdains contact with her neighbors and thinks them all to be 'horse's patooties'. Once you get to know her better, you learn that her worst enemy may in fact be her best friend. The way she cons and browbeats the town banker into coughing back up the house recently foreclosed upon, free and clear, well it must be read to be enjoyed fully. Each chapter, a week the kids are 'dumped on Gandma so Mom & Dad can go fishing', reveals another action packed adventure in the constantly turning mischief mill that is Grandma Dowdel's mind. I was given this book by my ten year old son after he finished it in record time, and I knocked it off in just one day. I cried at the end, as the boy, now a man heading off to war is on the troop train. He telegrammed his Depression-era Grandmother he would merely pass through without stopping, and after many delays, is treated to a heart warming experience I'll let author Richard Peck handle in his inimitable style.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Everybody's private business is public property."
    What a fun read! Peck presents 8 short tales which span several summers in rural Illinois during the Depression, when two kids make annual visits to their eccentric Grandmother. Narrated by the boy (two years old than his sister), these outrageous yarns create a wonderful atmosphere of wacky individualism and family bonding.

    It would be hard to find a literary granny as feisty, resourceful and fearless of authority as Grandma. Things are never dull when she stirs her stumps to create a mild uproar in that pompous little town. Her nefarious schemes range from a one-woman crime wave to appointing herself Champion of the helpless and downtrodden. Don't get on the wrong side of Mrs. Dowdel--if you value your reputation or your hide! Grandma remains undaunted and unflappable through bizarre but comical events. Peck's tongue-in cheek humor will bring many a chuckle as you are drawn into her slightly-shady activities. This book will delight kids of all ages--a winner, perfect for summer reading!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Richard Peck is a genius!
    I am a big fan of Mr. Peck's writing. He has a way with words that makes him seem like he is fourteen right now, which in reality, he isn't. Now that's talent.

    The story is about Joey and Mary Alice Dowdel, two kids from Chicago who never have left the city until one summer in 1929. They go for one week to their Grandmother Dowdel's in Cerro Gordo, Illinois. (Which, funnily enough, is just outside Mr. Peck's hometown of Decatur). Strange things happen there, including a mouse in a milk bottle, and living corpses. The story follows them for six years, and then goes to an epilouge of what happens to Joey.

    This was my first book I read that was from Richard Peck, and I am glad I read it. He has a gift for writing. I recomend the sequel to the book, A Year Down Yonder.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Independent Reading Review
    Dear Amazon,

    The book, A Long Way from Chicago, by Richard Peck, is a fantastic novel for people that just want to have fun reading.The three main characters, Grandma Dowdel, Mary-Alice, and Joey each have their own virtues that stick out in my mind. Grandma's stretching of the truth makes her two grandchildren doubt how safe they really are with her. When a local gets killed many townspeople tell of old time stories of how "Shotgun Cheatham" god his name. Grandma Dowdel wants to settle the mystery of this man and let him rest in peace so she dicides to hold a wake at her house. During this time some wild things occur which could drive any reader to keep turning this books pages. The target audience for this book is more for young teens and kids to read, becuase the way the characters act in certain positions they are put in. I would recommend this novel, I definitely enjoyed it!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Long Way From Chicago
    When I first saw the cover of A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck, I thought that this was going to be an easy book to read. Somebody recommended this book to me and this book was not only easy to read, it was terrific. It takes place during the 1930s. Every summer two grandchildren, Joey and Mary-Alice visit their grandma. Joey thinks he is getting more and more mature, at least that's what he thinks, because in one summer when he turned 13, he said to his grandma, "Please call me Joe, grandma. I am not a kid anymore." Mary-Alice is more of a quiet girl and likes to read books and likes to jump rope. Grandma is a very unique type of grandma. She rides in biplanes, wrestles snakes, shoots guns, tells whites lies, sometimes, and so much more. It seems like grandma is very active and she can't seem to slow down. Richard Peck did a great job on this book and it is great literature to read. This is just a funny book and you will get a few laughs out of this book while you are reading it. It gets sad at the end, but overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars becuase it is the type of reading that I like to read. ... Read more


    20. A Smart Girls Guide to Boys: Surviving Crushes, Staying True to Yourself & Other Stuff (American Girl Library (Paperback))
    by Nancy Holyoke, Bonnie Timmons
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $8.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1584853689
    Catlog: Book (2001-08-01)
    Publisher: American Girl
    Sales Rank: 3854
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    4-0 out of 5 stars This book is a great book for us young girls
    This book is great for us young girls because it talks about relationships with boys, and everything in that book helped me a lot! I think that it's great about telling really young girls about 9-12, about puberty etc.

    4-0 out of 5 stars 3 and a half stars for a helpful book!
    As a 12 year old just begging to think of boys in any romantic way, this book helped a lot with crushes, imtroducing yourself, dealing with friends who are jelous, ect, ect. Then, once you gte into a relashionship, there is a big question mark. I would still reccomend this book, but only for 11-13 year olds who havn't had a real relashionship yet.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A GIRLS GUIDE
    THIS BOOK IS GREAT FOR US GIRLS CAUSE IT HELPSWITH MANY SIRUTIONS WERE ALWAYS IN. I LOVED THIS BOOK IT HELPED ME GET OUTY OF MANY SITUTIONS. ... Read more


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