December 2009

These are the books the Children's Area staff reviewed in December 2009. Click on the "check the catalog" link to see if the book is available. If it isn't, ask a librarian to put it on hold for you.

Scroll past these book reviews to see an archive of all of the previous book reviews.

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The Curious Garden

Liam lives in a lackluster city that's only known growth is of an industrial nature. Yet, despite his dreary surroundings, there is nothing Liam enjoys more than spending time outside. He daily devotes himself to exploring the concrete jungle in which he lives and one day he discovers something truly rare. On an abandoned railroad track, in an abandoned part of town, Liam finds some fledgling plants. It is in caring for these curious little plants that life in this particular city is changed forever. With beautiful illustrations and a heart warming story of transformation...this book is sure to impress readers of all ages.

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Trading Places

Things are changing for Amy and Todd. The twins were accustomed to mom being at home while dad was at work. Now mom is at work and dad is home. The twins were also used to being very different. Amy is creative while Todd is analytical. Amy and Todd find many "roles" are changing within their family and in their school. But change isn’t always bad, and being more than you thought you were is always good. Trading Places is a book about change and adaptation as experienced through two normal fifth graders in a realistic family.

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Lost: Book Two of The Magic Thief Series

In this book, Conn has comfortably settled in with Nevery the wizard and Benet the servant. They all live together in Nevery's partially destroyed home place, Heartsease. As Conn continues his wizardry lessons with Nevery, he continues to work on making a small pyrotechnic explosion, which he believes talks to him. Nevery is trying to find out why Magic is still dangerously low in the village of Wellmet, and the two situations turn out to be connected. At one point Conn blows up the remaining portion of Heartsease when he is experimenting with the pyrotechnic explosions. Benet is seriously hurt and Conn is exiled from Wellmet because of the explosion. Conn travels to the village of Desh where he thinks the source of Wellmet's problems may be found. As is it turns out, Rownan is also traveling to Desh to confront Jaggus, the sorcerer King of Desh, about Wellmet's magic problems. Danger and mystery await both Rowan and Conn. However, they do escape back to Wellmet where Conn finds himself in deeper trouble. This time even Nevery can't help Conn.

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Ever

Gail Carson Levine is known for her reimagining of classic fairy tales, perhaps most notably in Ella Enchanted, her spin on Cinderella. However, in Ever, her most recent book, Levine comes up with a new fairy tale: the tale of a doomed girl, the young god who falls in love with her, and the challenges both must face in order to be together. Fans of Levine's previous work will enjoy the novel, as it features a strong female heroine and a theme of love conquering seemingly impossible odds.

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Marsupial Sue Presents: The Runaway Pancake

In this hilarious version of The Gingerbread Man, Marsupial Sue and her friends put on a play about Auntie May's lunch - a pancake - that comes to life while baking in the oven. The pancake escapes from Auntie May, and while on the run meets a cast of characters that also want to eat him for lunch: an old dog named Tray, a Cow in the hay, a Wolf all gray, a Donkey with a bray, a Bear he got away from today, and then finally the sly old red Fox who tricks the pancake in the end. The best part is that the CD of John Lithgow telling the story and singing the pancake's version of the "you can't catch me" song is included. Lots of fun for the entire family.

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