Review: The Amazing Adventures of Toby the Trilby

The Amazing Adventures of Toby the Trilby
Angela Castillo
CreateSpace Independent
Published October 17, 2013

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When an unknown Voice beckons to Toby to leave his home in the caves and seek others on the earth’s surface, Toby can’t help but obey. His caretakers, scientists who’ve created him from a melding of human and cat DNA, pack supplies for Toby and allow him to leave their care. Though the scientists have had no word from earth’s surface for a long time, they prepare him as best they can and respect his desire to choose his own path in life.

On his journey Toby meets many human survivors, many of whom are cruel or mentally damaged in some … Continue reading

Review: Clifton Chase and the Arrow of Light by Jaimie Engle

When a mysterious arrow turns up in a dusty closet, Clifton Chase thinks he’s uncovered nothing but old worthless junk. The arrow, however, turns out to be so much more. With a flash of light, Clifton finds himself transported back to fifteenth century England, in a time when a ruthless ruler has seized power and locked away two young princes. Continue reading

Review: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Tuck Everlasting
Natalie Babbitt
Square Fish
Published August 1, 2007 (Originally published 1975)

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In her tidy little home on the edge of a wood, ten-year-old Winnie Foster lives with her prim and proper family. When the summer heat and the oppressive rules become too much to bear, Winnie escapes to the forest for an adventure. She means to explore and maybe she will run away, but a chance meeting with a beautiful boy changes everything.

Jesse Tuck knows he shouldn’t have let Winnie see him drink from the fountain in that wood. Now nothing will distract the girl from the mysterious flow of water. He and his family have only one choice: kidnap the girl and … Continue reading

Review: Rock Harbor Search and Rescue by Robin Carroll and Colleen Coble

Rock Harbor Search and Rescue
Robin Carroll and Colleen Coble
Thomas Nelson
Published April 9, 2013

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When fourteen-year-old Emily is accused of stealing a valuable necklace from a local artist, she is determined to prove her innocence. Her dad and step-mom seem to believe Emily is guilty based on comments from two other teen girls, though no one searches Emily’s things. Despite the lack of support at home, Emily and her best friend Olivia decide to list suspects and investigate the case on their own. Before the necklace went missing, Emily’s parents promised her a new puppy she could train as a search and rescue dog, and now the only way Emily is going to get … Continue reading

Review: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1)
Maryrose Wood
HarperCollins
Published February 23, 2010 (Originally published 2009)

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Fifteen-year-old Penelope Lumley has been summoned to her first interview for her first governess position. As a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and armed with the pithy and wise sayings of the school’s founder, Agathe Swanburne, Penelope is ready for anything.

When she is greeted by the skittish household at Ashton Place, however, and confronted by the strange howling children who are scarcely clad, Penelope realizes it will take all her training, education, and her fond memories of books about wild ponies, to handle this task. She will not be deterred. … Continue reading

Review: The Sight by Erin Hunter

The Sight
Erin Hunter
HarperCollins Publishers
Published April 24, 2007

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Jaykit and his siblings can’t wait to be christened as apprentices when they finally reach six moons of age. Until then, though, no one will let them leave the camp, even when a dead fox and its abandoned cubs spell big trouble for the clan. Determined to help, Jaykit and his siblings sneak out of the safety of the camp, hoping to be the first to find the fox cubs and chase them from the ThunderClan territory. When the larger than expected cubs injure Jaykit, all three kittens find themselves in big trouble.

As the apprentice ceremony finally arrives and Jaykit becomes Jaypaw, he seethes under … Continue reading

Review: A Girl Called Problem by Katie Quirk

A Girl Called Problem
Katie Quirk
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Published April 18, 2013

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Shida is not a child anymore. At thirteen, she is now a young woman and her mother constantly reminds her to conduct herself as one. No more tree climbing and running around alone. Soon she will be ready to marry, if any young man will associate himself with a girl whose name means “problem” and whose family is cursed.

While her widowed mother sinks deeper into depression, the village leaders talk of moving the people to join a nearby community to share resources. Shida is excited. At last, she may have a chance to go to school, to become an educated … Continue reading

Review: The Scratch on the Ming Vase by Caroline Stellings

The Scratch on the Ming Vase
Caroline Stellings
Second Story Press
Published September 15, 2012

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Fourteen year-old Nicki Haddon arrives in Canada, ready to begin her training at the Fire Dragon Academy. But when she reports to the academy to meet kung fu master David Kahana, Nicki finds him lying in a pool of blood. He is only able to slur out a few words and begs Nicki to find a priceless vase and return it to its owner.

The search for the Chinese vase causes Nicki to question her past. She wrestles with the absence of her wealthy adopted parents as they manage their hotel chain, and her origin as an abandoned baby from a Chinese orphanage. Are … Continue reading

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