DECEMBER
The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall
Some of the plot of Twerp--in a moment of passion, Arthur Owens throws a rock at the Junk Man and is sentenced to juvie and then community service, working for James Hamption. The twist in this one is that Hampton is a real fold artist whose work is displayed in an art museum. The fictional part about Arthur rings true and has lots of family conflict as well as a realistic view of the juvenile justice system. I liked this one. 4th+ Excellent.

Blood Trail by CJ Box Book 8
I guessed this one about half way in, so no huge surprise except how it would play out. It's sad. Joe is called in by Gov Rulon to solve a series of murders of hunters. it's particularly gruesome and the recurring Randy Pope has taken a turn that is mysterious to say the least. Good. Adult.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer
New series and wow, this is different. The setting is Wonderland and the kingdom of Hearts. Catherine just wants to start a bakery but the King of Hearts has his eye on her as the Queen. A mysterious court Jester has appeared and things start to go all wrong. or right? This gets very plot heavy at the end and the ending is quite the surprise with a necessary sequel. Hope we don't have to wait too long! YA for violence and romance.

Force of Nature by CJ Box
Book 12. This is about Nate Rominowski's past. It's especially tense too. Adult.

Cold Wind by CJ Box
Book 11. The Earl is more like King of his domain--the largest ranch in Wyoming plus home of a new and gigantic wind farm. But He is shot in the first chapter. Did Missy do it? Joe is conflicted in so many ways, but as always finding the truth is what's most important. This had lots of twists, plus plenty of talk about wind energy/government. Side story about vengeance and Nate. Very good. Adult

Breaking Point by CJ Box
Book 13. Butch Roberson seems like a regular guy. But two EPA agents are gunned down.

Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat by Gary Paulsen
Unusual. This is a long short story about six kids stuck in a middle school rest room during bad weather. Not normally friendly, they each begin to share and notice each other. The second half of the book is the same story presented as a play. Like I said: Unusual. The vocabulary is difficult and might be more suited to middle school.

The Girl is Trouble by Katherine Miller Haines
Iris is dealing with grief over her mother's suicide and then finds it was actually murder. Iris is part of the community of Jews in her public school during WW2. But her family is also of German heritage. Really messy relationships with antisemitic feelings arising too. Lots of complications. Good.YA for violence, family indiscretions.

Sticks and Stones by Abby Cooper
What if what people called you showed up as words on your skin? It's an intriguing idea, but I think the book falls short. It reminded me, unfortunately, of the tone of Dork Diaries. Self-involved girl thoughts. For a book that is supposed to teach you to think clearly, there's way too much I Need to Go Out with someone. It dragged. Me me me. I didn't like the flat characters. Bleh.

Stone Cold by CJ Box
Book 14. Joe is sent by the governor to NE Wyoming to find out what Wofgang Templeton is up to. A full cast of creepy, corrupt, complex and some stupid characters and the ever faithful dog..Side story of a campus threat for Sheridan doesn't quite tie in, but adds interest. Oh Joe, can you ever stay out of trouble? Adult

Middle School: Dog's Best Friend by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts
I enjoyed this way more than Sticks and Stones. The simple plot--Rafe wants to make some money but evil twins try to steal his customers--is rounded out with some family complications and some actual character growth on Rafe's part. Very Good. 4th+

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes Book 5 of Falling Kingdoms
Well, I'm majorly disappointed in this, mostly for not being the final book. More of the same and no resolutions. So far, three have been resurrected, rulers have all lusted for power (even our sweet princess Cleo), love has been declared and undeclared. What the heck. The characters seem to have the emotional settings of teenagers. I guess that's who this is written for. It was an okay read, but no resolutions so no satisfaction. YA for sex talk and violence. And a baby is born, weirdly.

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey book 1
Classic comix. Still a lot of poop humor, and dropped pants. But Dog Man is our hero, combining the best of dog and man to defeat evil Pete the Cat. I enjoyed it and so will many. Some subtle humor like how to draw invisible Petey including his expressions: happy angry, sad and obsequious. Cute.

Endangered by CJ Box book 15
I believe I am caught up with the life of Joe Pickett. Whew. Joe is on a case involving the "prairie chicken" which is on the possible endangered list which would have huge impact on the state of Wyoming. Then he hears that April has been found beaten and close to death along a local road. He heads after the Cates family. Nate has a side but very serious role. Adult.

Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in Americaby Susan Campbell Bartoletti614.5 Excellent narrative of the story of Mary Mallon in the early 1900s. It's pretty balanced with the the facts about the spread of thyphoid fever along with the terrible treatment of Mary.
Trouble the Water by Frances O'Roark Dowell"The dog was old and close to dying." That's the opening line and indicative of the feeling of this book. Told by a variety of voices, from the dog, to Callie, a strong=willed black girl, Wendell, a quiet white boy, and two lost boys. It's about race relations in the 40s, the roll of journalism, and the mystery of an old yellow dog. This one is a tear-jerker. Excellent. 4th+