June 2009

These are the books the Children's Area staff reviewed in June 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 Silent Boy

This is the story of Katy Thatcher, a very bright young girl growing up during the beginning of the twentieth century. Katy's father is the town doctor, and she is fascinated by his work. He likes that Katy is curious and allows her to tag along on many of his house calls. Katy meets a boy named Jacob on an outing with her father, and they end up developing a unique bond with one another. Although Jacob does not speak, he does have a special way of communicating with animals. Other than Katy, the farm animals are Jacob's only friends. Katy grows to understand Jacob and enjoy his quiet company. And only Katy understands what happens with Jacob when a terrible tragedy occurs in the small town.

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On Etruscan Time

Arath and Hector travel through time to meet each other. In the past, Arath is the son of a priest. In the present, Hector is the son of an archaeologist who specializes in the Etruscan language. Arath seeks out Hector through ancient magic. He needs Hector to help him prevent a horrible betrayal. Hector must learn to overcome "conventional wisdom" and trust in faith and the friendship that bonds two boys over thousands of years.

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Elephant Run

As the book begins, Nick Freestone is being sent to his father in Burma to live in the safety of the family's plantation deep in the jungle. The Japanese have bombed London and Nick's apartment, leaving Nick and his mother without shelter. However, when Nick arrives at the plantation, he is aware that the plantation is not necessarily the safest place. On his first day he is thrown several feet by Hannibal, the biggest elephant he has ever seen. Hannibal is a bull elephant that can only be handled by Nick's father and a mysterious Monk that seems to appear and disappear at will. Hannibal is not the only danger that Nick faces. The Japanese have taken over a nearby town and the plantation, making it their headquarters. Nick faces danger as a prisoner of the Japanese, and then as he tries to escape and free his father who has been held prisoner at a nearby labor camp. To his surprise he must rely on Hannibal to help his father and him escape through the jungle. This book is full of surprises and is definitively a page turner.

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Dad, Are You The Tooth Fairy?

The old truism, that sometimes the toughest of questions have the simplest of answers, is proven here in Jason Alexander's Dad, Are You The Tooth Fairy? Well, sort of. Young Gaby is growing up, and while many of his friends have given up on some of the more fantastical elements of adolescence, he is unprepared to rule out the extraordinary in his own life. Read along and see how Gaby’s father gracefully navigates the murky waters of transmitting the power of belief to his son.

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Secrets, Lies, and My Sister Kate

Mini and her older sister Kate are best friends who tell each other everything, and survive their parents constant arguing, together. That is until Kate learns a secret that turns their family life upside down; a secret that no one, not even Mini's best friend and sister, will confide in her. Now Mini must learn how to cope with the fact that life at home can be stressful. This book is a good read for young readers with weird older siblings. It kept me interested, there was always something I was looking forward to discovering, and exceeded my expectations. The only problem I had with it is I found its ending did not satisfy everything I wanted to know.

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