Thursday, December 16, 2010

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Middle School Edition

Cloaked in Red
by Vivian Vande Velde
Genre: Re-imagined fairy tale


A kidnapping woodcutter; a werewolf grandmother; a sentient cloak: all these and more are characters in eight variations on Little Red Riding Hood.

Why you'll love it:
  • Vivian Vande Velde imbues each story with originality, humor, and creepiness. Despite the tales' shared elements—and their origins in the classic Little Red Riding Hood—they are all fresh and unique.
  • The diverse perspectives from which the fairy tale is retold are fascinating and surprising. For instance, Red Riding Hood's cloak narrates the story in one version, and in another, Vande Velde casts the woodcutter as the villain.
  • Perfectly exemplifies just how interesting and distinct variations on a theme can be.

The Scorch Trials
by James Dashner
Genre: Mystery/Adventure


The Gladers have survived the Maze. Now they must cross the Scorch, a dangerous wasteland, in the second installment of the Maze Runner trilogy.

Why you'll love it:

  • Fans of The Maze Runner will find themselves captivated by the second, even darker, installment of the series. James Dashner introduces new, terrifying creatures, impossible-seeming challenges, and surprising twists.
  • The characters’ constant life-or-death decisions will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
  • While Thomas recovers memories of life before the Maze, some questions are answered even as the central mystery deepens.


    As children in southern Sudan, John and Martha faced violence, hunger, disease, and exhausti

    Score!: The Action and Artistry of Hockey's Magnificent Moment
    by Mark Stewart and Mike Kennedy
    Genre: Sports nonfiction


    How did the Stanley Cup become hockey's greatest prize? Which team's fans sometimes toss an octopus on the ice? Text and photographs describe some of the greatest goals in the history of professional hockey, profile top players, and provide facts about the sport.

    Why you'll love it:
    • As with their previous entries in this compelling series, the authors focus on a game's most exciting moment—in this case, the hockey goal—making it fun to read about the sport.
    • List-based chapters, including "Power Plays—10 Unforgettable Goals" and "Tickling the Twine—The Most Remarkable Scoring Plays," keep historical accounts lively and succinct.
    • The book's clean layout includes plenty of full-color, game-action photographs as well as fascinating images from hockey's earliest years.
    • Score! will appeal to both hockey novices and devoted fans.


    Veens said...

    I haven't read any of these titles and I really like the first one!

    Alyce said...

    I'm glad I read The Scorch Trials because I thought it was far better than the first book.

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