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Beverly B has commented on (255) products.

Fallout (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond
Fallout (Lois Lane)

Beverly B, August 15, 2015

Lois Lane is a trouble making high school student in modern day Metropolis in this fast paced mystery thriller. She is also tenacious, loyal, righteous, sarcastic and a little socially inept. She promised her parents that she would change and try really hard to stay out of trouble at her new school, but that promise is short-lived when, on her very first day, she sees the principal turn his back on a girl being bullied by a pack of boys. Little did Lois know, when she promised Anavi that she would make sure the bullying stopped, that she would have to take on a scary, dangerous war weapons corporation in order to keep her promise. All of the other teen characters in Fall Out are interesting, well developed and likable. They also all have intriguing secrets that are not revealed, but peek out just enough to leave readers anxious for the next Lois Lane adventure. Oh, and yes, Superman (Superteen?) is in the story as well - sort of.
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Riverman Trilogy #01: The Riverman by Aaron Starmer
Riverman Trilogy #01: The Riverman

Beverly B, August 15, 2015

In the Riverman, author Aaron Starmer takes the predictable fantasy formula and turns it upside down and inside out. The Riverman is a middle grade novel that is at times dark and creepy and at times funny and charming. Readers will be as befuddled as likable protagonist, Alistair, by the stories of neighbor Fiona. Is there really a magical world that lures children with wonderful experiences and then steals their souls, or is Fiona a gifted storyteller desperate for attention? Does Fiona need to be saved from a magical creature or are her stories a veiled cry for help from a real person in her life? Does she want to be rescued or does she want a loyal friend and fan of her stories? Starmer's beautiful writing creates a fantasy world that is stunning and appealing. He also creates a real world community that is filled with flawed, struggling people trying to find happiness in a dying town. As charming as The Riverman is, it is probably too scary for younger middle grade readers.
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Boys Don't Knit (In Public) by T S Easton
Boys Don't Knit (In Public)

Beverly B, August 15, 2015

Boys Don't Knit is classic British humor - dry wit, ridiculously funny slapstick and characters teen readers will love. Ben Fletcher is a sadsack. He feels neglected by his flighty parents, manipulated by his friends and invisible to girls. He also feels that he is cursed. Whenever he musters-up the courage to take a risk, it ends badly. Which is why he has a probation officer, is doing court mandated community service, and is enrolled in a beginner's knitting class. Much to his surprise, not only does Ben love knitting, he is a knitting savant and knitwear design genius. He also discovers being the only boy in the class is a good way to meet girls and learn how to talk to them. Ben decides that if he can just keep his father, and his friends, from finding out which class he is taking, things may turn out okay. He could even end up with the girl of his dreams. Obviously, Ben has never heard the famous poem quote, "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." Ben's inept attempts to live a double life will have readers laughing out loud and cheering for Ben.
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She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
She Is Not Invisible

Beverly B, August 15, 2015

She Is Not Invisible is a quick entertaining read, perfect for a young teen with a short attention span. She Is Not Invisible is almost two very different stories that come together when protagonist, Laureth, becomes convinced something terrible has happened to her father. Story 1 is a mystery. When no one hears from Laureth's father, who is supposed to be in Austria, Laureth becomes worried. When she receives a message from a man in the USA who claims to have her father's journal, Laureth panics. The journal is story 2. It is a fantastical examination of time and space theorizing, and trying to prove, that there is no such thing as coincidence. The entries are fascinating and include some great quotes from sage thinkers like Einstein, Edgar Allen Poe and Carl Jung, but some young teens may see the entries as a distraction from the story. Laureth is obsessed with her father's journal. She is convinced it holds the key to her father's disappearance and his whereabouts. She runs away to NYC to find her father. Complicating her plan is the fact that Laureth is blind. She brings her little brother along to act as her eyes. Laureth's and Benjamin's time in NYC is scary and so action packed the reader is almost as exhausted as poor little Ben. The crisis event is a nail-biter, but the resolution is anti-climatic.
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Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-garcia
Gone Crazy in Alabama

Beverly B, July 13, 2015

I am so very very sad. Gone Crazy in Alabama is the last story (that started with the multiple award winning One Crazy Summer) of the lovable, yet exasperating, Gaither sisters and their amazing family. Rita Williams-Garcia ends the series by taking the sisters to Alabama to spend the summer with extended family. Readers will quickly see where the Gaither sisters get their sass, their spunk and their obstinance. The elder women of the Gaither clan are every bit as funny, opinionated and impish as the Gaither girls. I laughed out loud at their negative reactions to the first moon walk. Then it turns out they were right (or so they say) when a big tornado hits the next day. Life on a farm quickly turns little activist Fern into a vegetarian much to the dismay of her elders. Vonetta discovers the joy of independence much to the dismay of her bossy sister Delphine, and all three girls discover that being black in Alabama is not the same as being black in Brooklyn or Oakland. I loved every one the characters in this series. And I loved the complicated, but loving family relationships. As Grandma Charles frequently says, "Blood is blood whether you like it or not." I also appreciated how Williams-Garcia created a realistic portrayal of life for black families during the Civil Rights era in a way that can be understood by middle grade readers. I will most definitely read this entire series many times. I wonder if Rita Williams-Garcia would consider turning this series into a TV series? It would be a great one.
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