|December 2012 Book Reviews
For Younger Readers
A Home for Bird
by Phillip Stead
Some stories are so endearing they are difficult to adequately describe; this is one of them. Vernon, a compassionate toad, meets Bird, a wooden bluebird with button eyes and striped peg legs. Vernon is determined to find Bird’s home. And although Bird is non-responsive, Vernon accepts his new friend’s personality flaws and kindly continues his task. Soon Skunk and Porcupine join in his efforts. Between floating Bird down-river in a teacup and foraging through the forest, Vernon is determined to help his silent friend find home, all-the-while making you fall in love with his caring nature. The simple, yet expressive illustrations add to the “ahh” factor of the characters. For ages 2 to 6.
by Mark Kelly
Meteor is a little mouse with a big heart and even bigger dreams: he wants to fly on the space shuttle Endeavor. With hard work and perseverance he is chosen to be one of seven mice to go into space. While there, he becomes the only one small enough to help save the mission. Mark Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut, draws on his personal knowledge of shuttle missions to add authenticity to Meteor’s shuttle experiences. This is an inspiring story that celebrates problem-solving, hard work and a willingness to dream big. For ages 4 to 7.
For Older Readers
by John Barrowman and Carole Barrowman
Twelve-year-old twins Matt and Emily are telepathic with each other and share an ability to bring art to life and enter paintings at will. This ability makes them the target of a secret group that wants to tap their powers and gain access to Hollow Earth in order to release evil creatures into the world. The twins flee to Scotland with their mother for the protection and help of their powerful grandfather. But will they be safe as they continue to be pursued? This is the first in a series. For ages 6 to 12.
by Stefan Bachmann
Set in steampunk-style Victorian England, this debut action/suspense novel adds a splash of fairytale. Bartholomew, a changeling, witnesses the kidnapping of the boy across the street by a mysterious woman who disappears in a whirl of feathers. From then on, Bartholomew sets off on a dangerous path to rescue the boy. By doing so, a variety of characters come into play that may or may not be trusted. Filled with detailed scene descriptions and skillfully developed characters, readers will be delightfully drawn into the plot of this well devised murder mystery/gothic fantasy/steampunk adventure written by a teenager.
For ages 10 to 16.