Saturday, May 16, 2009

Riordan, Rick. The last Olympian [Percy Jackson #5]

Riordan, Rick. The last Olympian [Percy Jackson #5]. Hyperion, 2009 [978-1423101475]
Percy the other characters from Camp Half-Blood and the other Olympians, prepare to do battle against Kronos/Luke, the Titans and his forces. Much of the book deals with minor skirmishes and the lead-up to the final battle. Not until the final battle do things get serious and the reader begins to feel that the Olympians may actually loose. Will Mount Olympus (on the 600th floor of the Empire State building) fall? Will the prophecy some true about Percy? If the previous books didn't this one will make the reader look up more about Greek Mythology. All the characters are involved in this war! This 381 page book is a fitting end to this series. the author states at the end.. it is the end of the first Half-Blood series. So get ready for more. This is an exciting and well-written series.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Whelan, Gloria. After the train

Whelan, Gloria. After the train. HarpeCollins, 2009 [978-0-06-029596-7]
It is 1955 and Peter is happy with his family and looking forward to a summer in after-war Germany. The country is rebuilding but there are still some hard feelings towards the Jews. One day while going through some papers, he finds a letter... from his birth mother and it appears that he was passed to his parents family as a baby as his mother was put on a train to a concentration camp. Peter doesn't know how to approach his "parents", questioning them if they are his parents. He starts meeting with a Jewish man who works for his father, to find out about the Jewish religion. This 152 page book is short, but deals with a heavy topic. Should Peter tell people he is Jewish when there is still much prejudice in the country? How should he confront his parents? I am not aware of any other book written in this time period. I good addition to your collection.

Mourlevat, Jean-Claude. The pull of the ocean

Mourlevat, Jean-Claude. The pull of the ocean. Delacorte, 2006 [0-385-73348-8]
Yann is a mute midget who has six brothers who are all twins. Yann is able to communicate with them although he can not speak. They live with a crude, poor family and one night Yann wakes them all up scared that their parents want to kill them all so he leads them out into the night, away from the house, to the ocean. A social worker who has been concerned about the family calls and reports the missing children. What follows is an unusual journey across the country, when the kids meet various people and run into different problems. This 190 page book is unusual so say the least. I am not sure what I think of it... I did get wrapped up in the story but am not sure everyone would. Maybe it lost something in the translation from French.

Scott, Kieran. Brunettes strike back

Scott, Kieran. Brunettes strike back. Speak/Penguin, 2006 [978-0-14-240778-3]
Annisa has moved from New Jersey to Florida and her new HS is also blonde oriented. Now their cheerleading squad is heading to the nationals and are upset that Annisa is the only brunette on the team. Meanwhile Annisa has fallen for Daniel but is not sure how committed to her he is. Of course she maintains contact with her friends from Jersey. Will her relationship with Daniel pan out? Will they win the nationals? How committed is Annisa to her new school and squad. This 249 page follow-up to "I was a non-blonde cheerleader" has all the fun of the first. There appears to be another one coming in this "series."

DeFelice, Cynthia. Bringing Ezra back

DeFelice, Cynthia. Bringing Ezra back. Farrar Straus Girioux, 2006 [0-374-366395-5]
In this sequel to "Weasel" (from 1990) Nathan sees that his friend from "Weasel", Ezra is now working a freak show, traveling around the countryside in the 1800s. Ezra decides to talk his father into letting he go and get Ezra. This is the 148 page adventure of Ezra traveling the area, meeting varied characters and going to bring Ezra back. Has Ezra been so mentally damaged at the freak show that he will never recover?

Reeve. Phillip. Larklight

Reeve, Phillip. Larklight. Bloomsbury, 2006 [1-59990-020-3]
This is a great example of an alternate reality. In this reality, Isaac Newton was contacted by a alien and given the secret of space travel. It is now 1851 and the British Empire now not only includes Earth but many other planets. Our main characters, Art and his sister Myrtle get involved with space pirates, large menacing white spiders with an evil plot to take over the universe. This 399 page book is a great sci-fi adventure story with wonderfully intricate illustrations periodically. The book reminded me some of the "Edgeworld Chronicles" by Stewart. A great addition to a middle school library.