February 22, 2013

Review: Hideout

Hideout by Gordon Korman

Griffin Bing, The Man with the Plan, is back for a 5th book, but this time he's up against his old nemesis, S. Wendell Palomino.  Yes, Swindle is back, looking to take Luthor the guard dog back to make money and crush the kids who ruined his life.

This novel brings back some of the fun in this series that has been missing. The gang is split among three different summer camps, and struggle to complete a plan with limited access to each other. Most of the characters grow and adapt as they deal with an impossible mission.

Fans of the series will love this title.  If you are new to this series, start with Swindle.  It's like Ocean's Eleven, only with 5th graders!

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading.

February 21, 2013

Missed Cybils

It was a very difficult job selecting the final list of Cybil nominees.  I must say, there were some very good books that were left off the list.  Here's a few that I really enjoyed, but might have been better suited to a Young Adult list.

Dear Blue Sky by Mary Sullivan is the story of Cassie, who's older brother Sef is off fighting in Iraq.  Since Sef was the glue that held her family together, Cassie watches as her family starts to come apart.  A class project leads her to an unusual source of comfort, a young Iraqi girl who blogs under the name Blue Sky.

Fire in the Streets by Kekla Magoon is about Maxie, who wants to help the Black Panthers even though she is young. She discovers there is a traitor in their midst and figures that, if she could discover who it was, it would be her ticket into the Panthers. As she discovers the truth, it's much more than she bargained for.

My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece by Annabel Pitcher tells about ten year old Jamie who's family fell apart when they lost his sister Rose in a terrorist attack. When he moves to a new school, he forms a strained friendship with a classmate named Sunya, who is Muslim. Realistic and tragic, funny yet poignant. A great book to read.

See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles is about twelve year old Fern who's strained family must deal with a horrific tragedy. I can't say too much without giving away major plot details, but this is a wonderfully captivating story of dealing with loss.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading! 

February 20, 2013

Cybils Awards Announced

Yes, the Cybils Awards are out.  I must say, I was not too surprised by the middle grade fiction selection.  It was a tough field of contenders, but I think the choice was pretty obvious. And if you've read this blog, you know how I feel about Wonder by RJ Palacio!

Be sure to check out the full list of winners here.