Tuesday, May 13, 2014


by Chris Wooding

It was just supposed to be another weekend at Mortingham Academy. Most of the students at the boarding school had gone home for the weekend, the rest were ready to just relax. When a small silver beetle bites one of the students, an infectious disease is released that will leave nothing but destruction in it's path. Now it's up to the few that are left to try and escape, but survival is not as easy as they hope.

Silver seems pretty thrown together as a novel. Told in third person from various characters perspectives, it's had to keep track of who is who. The disease transforms rapidly, taking over the bodies of it's hosts and absorbing others to become larger. The story progresses pretty rapidly, but it doesn't seem to really have any sense of where it's going. The story kind of just ends as well, with no resolution or cliffhanger that makes you really want to read a sequel if one comes out. Good for teens who like a quick action packed read, but definitely not one that is worthy of any real study.

Genre: Science Fiction
Age Level: 7th Grade

Nearly Gone

by Elle Cosimano

Nearly just wants to keep her head down until the end of the school year. She's one of the top 3 contenders for a huge chemistry scholarship that is her ticket out of town and into college. But when the students she tutors start turning up dead, she finds herself the prime suspect in the police investigation. When she discovers an ad in the personal section that promises more attacks, she realizes that it's up to her to figure out who's behind the killings before she becomes the final victim.

There's not too many books that glorify girls who love math and chemistry, but this one does a great job of making up for that! Nearly is a great character. She's incredibly smart and knows it, and is using those smarts to get a better life for herself. The premise of the book is good, and the twists and turns in the plot keep you guessing who's behind it all until the very end. There are references to drugs and alcohol, and an entire plotline about a drug dealer. And there's a little romance mixed in for Nearly as well. It's a great read about a strong female character, but one that will appeal to both boys and girls.

Genre: Mystery
Age Level: 9th Grade


by Donna Jo Napoli

Many of us know the story of Noah and his ark. But what if there was another story on that ark? What if there was a stowaway on board? When the storm hits, 16 year old Sebah is separated from her family. When chance leads her to the ark, she climbs aboard only to discover she's not the only stowaway on board. A grilling tale about survival in the face of devastation, Storm gives a great account of what life might have been like on Noah's ark.

I thought that Storm was a refreshing take on the story of Noah. It gave a very relatable look at Noah and his family. The doubts that his family had were very believable, and made the whole tale more realistic-because who wouldn't have cause to doubt when they are trapped on an ark for months. Sebah is an uneducated poor girl whose ignorance in many ways becomes what saves her. Her relationship with the other stowaway and the animals is touching. It's a great story about what might have been, good for teens who are interested in biblical tales or in alternate histories.

Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Level: 8th Grade