Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Claim to Fame

Claim to Fame
by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Child star Lindsay Scott disappeared from the Hollywood scene five years ago.  She's been living in a house with her father ever since, hiding from the world.

But now her father has died, she's been kidnapped, and everything she's depended on to keep her sane during the past five years has flipped upside-down.

Lindsay isn't ordinary and, as she soon discovers, she lives in a town filled with people and things just and un-ordinary as she.

Can Lindsay, her kidnappers, and her new-found friends find a way to keep her sane, find her mother, and get her to leave the safety of her own home without going crazy?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eyes Like Stars

Eyes Like Stars
by Lisa Mantchev

Beatrice Shakespeare Smith has a led a charmed life on the stage.


She actually lives on a stage, in a magical theatre, where the characters from every play ever written come to life and perform.

With no knowledge of her parents or even how she came to live there, Beatrice hopes to one day meet the mother she's never known.

Of course, she first has to prove that she has the right to stay there.  And since she seems to be better at blowing cannonballs through set pieces instead of building them, that may be harder than even she believes.

With her constant companions, the fairies from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Beatrice must direct Hamlet (set in Egypt), deal with a dangerous flirt (an air spirit from The Tempest), and try to understand the only man who seems to truly want her to stay safe (a sailor from The Little Mermaid).

Can Beatrice learn all the secrets of the Théâtre Illuminata before she's forced to leave and live in the real world?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Give Up the Ghost

Give Up the Ghost
by Megan Crewe

Cass is probably the most feared and hated girl in school.  She knows everybody's secrets and she has made sure that everyone knows she knows.  No one talks to her because everyone is afraid of her.  Even the teachers back away from her.

She wasn't always feared.  She once had friends and a social life.  But things changed one year when her best friend betrayed her.  After that, the entire school bullied her until she was able to bully back with her knowledge of every secret on campus. 

But for all the secrets that she knows, no one knows her's.

Ever since Cass's sister died, Cass has been able to see ghosts.  And ghosts like to talk, especially when so few can hear them.

So Cass listens and learns the secrets of the school and seems to think that she's keeping it all together.... Until the class VP figures out her secret and requests her help in contacting his newly dead mother.

Now Cass has to decide between staying with the ghosts she knows or facing the fleshies around her.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thirteenth Child

Thirteenth Child
by Patricia C. Wrede

Francine Rothmer (Eff to anyone who knows her) is the twin sister of Lan, the seventh son of a seventh son.  And, since sevens are the most powerful number in magic, being the seventh-seventh makes Lan the most powerful natural magician around.

This wouldn't be a problem, except that Eff is the thirteenth child.  And thirteen is the worst number to be.  Even at five years old, her own uncle tries to have her jailed for cursing her cousin, even though children can't work magic until they're ten.  The aunts even complain that she should have been drowned at birth and that it's never too late do it.

But Eff's mother, father, and siblings disagree that Eff is naturally bad, so they move out to the edge of the Great Barrier, where her father can teach magic to others and Eff can get away from the extended family.

Eff is given a chance to grow and learn without all the prejudices that surround a thirteen.  But is she really cursed?  Can she learn to manage the magic that surrounds everything the people do before it gets away from her and harms those she loves most?

This is an alternate reality book where the Great Barrier of magic was installed by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, steam dragons threaten the settlers, and people live in the great country of Columbia near the Gulf of Amerigo.  What would the world have been like if magic truly was everywhere?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The School for Dangerous Girls

The School for Dangerous Girls
by Eliot Schrefer

Angela Cardenas is a "dangerous girl".... or at least her parents think so.

She steals, dates a boy far too old for her, and betrays a family member.  It's too much for her parents to take.  When they find out about Hidden Oak from distant relations who sent a daughter there because she, too, was "dangerous", they ship Angela before she has time to blink.

From day one, things are definitely not normal.  Confined to the "mansion", forbidden from leaving the building, locked in their rooms at night, spied on with video cameras that seem to be planted everywhere,  forced to play mind-games... and this is only the first month!

Can Angela find out the truth about Hidden Oak, and her own dangerous ways, before things go too far?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures
by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Small town life is a drag.

Small town life in a South Carolina town where everyone knows everyone and the Civil War is still referred to as the War of Northern Aggression is even more of a drag.

And Ethan knows better than most was a drag it is.

He's counting down the days until he graduates high school and can leave his little town.

That is, until Lena arrives.

First, she haunts his dreams with strange premonitions and visions.  And when he actually meets her in person, he can't stay away.

But Lena is more than just the new girl.  She's even more than the new girl who lives with her uncle, the infamous town recluse.  She's more than anyone even knows... even Lena herself.

And now Ethan and Lena have to find out about a family curse that seems destined to turn Lena into something dark and sinister on her sixteenth birthday.  A day that is coming far too quickly for anyone's comfort.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lips Touch

Lips Touch
by Laini Taylor
illustrations by Jim di Bartolo

Three short stories tell the tales of first kisses.

Kizzy has a strange family, strange traditions, and even strange clothes.  But her dreams are those of any girl.  She wants to be loved.  She wants to be adored.  She wants her first kiss to be something amazing.  When a new boy shows up and seems to be the one to fulfill all her dreams, will Kizzy fall for him?  Or will she remember her grandmother's warnings about goblins, temptations, and kisses?

Anamique has been cursed with the most beautiful voice in the world.  And it can literally kill.  One sound coming from her lips has the power to kill everyone around her.  When she falls in love with James, a man who doesn't believe in curses, will she risk the curse to tell him she loves him after their first kiss?

Without knowing it, our world is filled with demons known as Druj.  These immortal creatures have no emotions and no cares even though they sometimes believe that something is missing from their lives.  When the "pet" of the Queen of the Druj gets free with her daughter, events are set in motion that could change everything the Druj have ever known.


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