MAY
The 52-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
There is probably no literary value to these but I just love these. Such silly story lines. There's always a book due to the big nose publisher. And they keep adding to their treehouse--a melon smashing room, a chainsaw juggling level, make your own pizza room, and rocket powered carrot-launcher. etc, etc. But Mr BigNose is missing. And their friend Jill is suffering a magic sleep. There's a very hungry caterpillar (HA). Anyway--more of the same.Great. 3rd+

Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Avery H, read this first and then cried for 20 minutes and said the book should be burned. Certainly made it difficult to pick up. It is quite well written and the basic themes of "warsick humans" is so good. But it is quite the tearjerker. Pax is a red fox that has been raised by Peter after being found as a tiny abandoned kit. But Peter has to let him go as war approaches. The story moves between Peter and Pax in their search for each other and themselves. Excellent, but I can't imagine reading it out loud unless sobbing is OK.

Woof by Spencer Quinn
CCBA. Birdie Gaux (go) gets a dog(Bowser) for her birthday, and the story starts. A stuffed Marlin is stolen from Granny's shop, but there's more going on. The appeal of this story is that's it's written from Bowser's perspective and his voice is perfectly dog. The clues etc aren't really strong, but the voice is awesome. 3rd+

Eleven by Tom Rogers
It's Alex's 11th birthday. It's also September 11, 2001 in NYC. This is a kid's perspective of that day. More than anything Alex wants a dog and he finds a stray that seems perfect. But everything changes-or does it? Of course this is emotionally charged but certainly appropriate for kids. Not as terrible as it could be by any means. 4th+

The Hidden Oracle: Trials of Apollo #1 by Rick Riordan
How does he do it? This is just as entertaining and action-packed as ever. Written from the perspective of the fallen god Apollo, he must find out what he has to do to restore himself to his home. Apollo starts each chapter with a haiku-some are very funny. They have gone missing? / No, No, No, No, No, No, No / No, et cetera. The growth in character is actually pretty touching. And Riordan sure knows his mythology. Very good. 4th+

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Graphic Novel about moving into middle school. One friend goes to ballet and one goes to roller derby. Lots of frustration, anger and confused feelings. Well done.

If You Find This by Matthew Baker
It seems Alzheimer's is the latest hot topic. I think this is the third book recently where the grandparent is losing their memory. Just slightly depressing for me. This is a complicated story. The 11 year old hero is told his house is being sold, but his brother is a tree in the backyard that speaks to him. As a math and music person, he is ostracized at school along with a couple of other boys who become his partners in finding the heirlooms that might help save his home. There are bizarre turns. Another kid's grandfather who is a retired librarian just wants to die--but that's not easy either. This is not for immature readers. 5th+

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Three kingdoms of Mytica have lived in a tense peace for hundreds of years, but Auranos in the South is living in prosperity while Paelsia suffers in the middle and Limeros is frozen and hungry for power. Princess Cleo, Jonas the rebel, Lucia the mysterious sister, and Magnus the prince of Limeros find their lives intertwined as kingdoms fall.
This is a very political intrigue type of story. There are romances too and plenty of broken hearts. This is for mature readers with allusions to sexual encounters, mistresses, and sociopathic rulers who don't hesitate to slice throats literally. Well-written. YA.

The Only Thing to Fear by Caroline Tung Richmond
Well, May is a bad time for me to read dystopia. I'm already cranky. So I literally skimmed the second half of this book to get the main plot. I like the idea of writing a story of, What if Hitler had won WWII and America was divided up among Germany, Japan and Italy (aww they got the Dakotas)? But too much creepy killing and revenge emotions. I'm not in the mood. So. Meh YA for violence.

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
This was fun and got better and better. It was so shallow up front, but that was kind of the point. There was an awful lot of personal growth in the main character, which seems a bit unrealistic. Quick, thoughtful read.

Courage and Defiance by Deborah Hopkinson
History of Spies, Saboteurs and Survivors. This had real horror and sadness in it, but it was mostly heroic. The story of WWII in Denmark isn't often told. It's pretty amazing. Excellent. OK for 5th graders.

Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes
Princess Cleo, Princess Lucia, Prince Magnus, and the rebel Jonas continue to fight for their visions of Mytica and their personal kingdoms. Everyone is seeking the the Elements and their power. Lots of political intrigue, including the appearance of a brother and sister team from another kingdom beyond the sea. And the Watchers are no longer just watching. This is pretty violent. Also sexual scenes but no explicit scenes.


Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes
And the politics continue. Some of our main characters come pretty close to dying, again. And just who can anyone trust? The crystals are found, but not as we expect. Lots of surprises keep this interesting, Again, bloody.


Genius: the Game by **Leopoldo Gou**t

Prepub version. Three teenage geniuses are invited to a contest of young geniuses. But they each have life problems of their own. This started with some tech talk that was pretty heavy, but the game is a challenge and figuring out people's motives even more so. A bit like the story line of Person of Interest. And just as scary.