The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands is a thriller/mystery/fantasy that takes place in mid-1600s London. In the book, Christopher, the main character, is an apprentice to Benedict Blackthorn, an apothecary. An apothecary is a person who makes helpful remedies out of many exotic and rare materials. In the book, there is a chain of apothecary murders spreading throughout London. Christopher teams up with his best friend Tom to find the culprit/s. While they are doing this, they find out that Benedict was working on something shady, something mysterious. And when the murders come closer to the Blackthorn shop than ever before, Christopher's life is thrown into peril.... I like this book because it has so many twists and turns and it is full of mystery. It is also super interesting and time will fly by super quickly while reading this book. I think mystery and thriller readers will love this book.
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands Grades: 4th - 6th Reviewed by Jude B. Tags: adventure, fantasy, fast-paced, historical fiction, mystery
This book is a delightful life relatable story that revolves around both a middle school girl and boy that have a lot of stress around them. From friend problems, to being a victim of bullying, and sometimes feeling like people think they're not enough. This story has two main characters and I enjoy it because they switch off chapters, telling each their own point of view in any situation. These two characters (Emmie and Tyler) have extremely different personalities, but begin to realize that could be a shortcut to becoming friends. Tyler is one of the most popular guys in the school. He has many friends, and always has to think before he acts, because one wrong move could end him up sitting next to the trash cans at lunch. Emmie, on the other hand, is the most quiet and non-social girl in school. She gets made fun of, and feels like she is always invisible to everyone around her. These two extremely different teens find that they also have some sort of connection...
Truly Tyler by Terri Libenson Grades: 4th - 6th Reviewed by Frances L. Tags: comics, friendship, humor, realistic
Charlie Thorne is a book of suspense about a girl who was recruited by the CIA because she almost has the same IQ as Albert Einstein and has to stop a group of terrorists and I highly recommend that you read this book!
Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation by Stuart Gibbs Grades 5th and 6th Reviewed by Asher J. Tags: Adventure
Belly Up is a fun exciting mystery adventure that takes place in a zoo/theme park called Funjungle. A boy named Teddy suspects foul play when Henry the Hippo goes belly up. As the story goes on, it gets more intense. Will Teddy escape the destruction and attacks targeted towards him? Can he find a way to convince everyone that this wasn't just death of old age, but murder? And how will Teddy, just a boy, solve this case instead of the police? With constant plot twists, excitement, and humor, too, everyone will be sitting on the edge of their seats, reading and reading until they're finished. And when they're finished, longing for more. This book is the most exciting, hilarious and mysterious mystery novel I've ever read. I finished the whole series within two months, and I'm not a big reader! This book is highly recommended!!!
Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs Grades: 3rd - 5th Reviewed by Charlotte D. Tags: adventure, animals, realistic, mystery
Can You See Me is a book about an autistic girl named Tally. For Tally, autism means she cannot understand expressions or sarcasm, she hates it when people order her to do things, and when they do, she often boils over and throws what we would call a tantrum, but she literally has no choice. It is called Demand avoidance. That means, if someone tells her to do something, she might know she has to do it, but if someone asks her to, then she feels like it is a demand and immediately refuses. Her five senses are also super good. that sometimes gets her in trouble though, because she gets accused of eavesdropping even though she can't help but overhear. That triggers her Demand Avoidance, and she then gets in a fight with her family.
She goes through sixth grade trying to pretend to be "normal". Her best friend Layla is the only one at the new middle school that knows of her autism, but they are slowly drifting apart, because Layla and her other friends (Lucy and Ayesha) start to get embarrassed about the way Tally acts. Tally gets bullied a lot because other kids think she is weird, and suffers through her classes (mostly P.E.) without any good friends. The really cool thing about this book is that it was written by an eleven year old girl with autism and her teacher. If you like wonder you would really love this book too!
Can You See Me? by Libby Scott, Rebecca Westcott Grades 5-6 Genres: friendship, realistic, tear-jerker Reviewed by Isa
The thing about jellyfish is a book about a girl whose best friend drowns while they were 'fighting' and she never gets to say goodbye. She is determined to find out what happened to her friend, and it leads her to a conclusion--without much evidence. This book is full of flashbacks. For example, she lets us know what happened with her and her friend's friendship through a series of flashbacks. The main character is quite academic, and gets bullied for not only caring about fashion and boys. This story is very sad, but I would still recommend this book for fourth and fifth graders.
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin Grades 4-6 Genres: friendship, mystery, realistic, tear-jerker Reviewed by Isa
This is a book with magic and victory. It is about a boy named Alex, his friends, and his evil twin. If you like Harry Potter or Land of Stories, this is a book you'd love. As you cheer for you favorite characters and boo your enemy's experience becoming unwanted and learning magic. This book is great mix of friendship, betrayal, and loyalty.
The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann Grades 4-5 Tags: Adventure, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Friendship, Mystery Reviewed by Hannah