Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Under Cover #7

Time to check in and see what our detectives are reading!

Talia Vance: I just finished CINDER by Marissa Meyer.  The concept is Cyborg Cinderella.  It's fun and addictive mix of fantasy, science fiction and fairy tale romance.  I read it in one sitting and definitely recommend!
W.H. Beck: I recently picked up ONE DAY AND ONE AMAZING MORNING ON ORANGE STREET by Joanne Rocklin on a recommendation by one of my students.The story revolves around a California neighborhood--and specifically, an old orange tree growing in a vacant lot. The friendships, fears, sorrows, secrets, and memories of the residents of Orange Street all entertwine on one day (and one amazing morning) under the tree. This book's about as far from a tense, edgy thriller as you can get, but, oh, it is so good in that sweet, middle grade books-with-heart satisfying way.

Laura Ellen: I just started reading THE OTHER LIFE by Susanne Winnacker. I mean just started reading -- like only a few chapters in. But I was immediately hooked after that first page when I realized that the main character, Sherry, has been living in an underground bunker with her family, and they have run out of food. So far this is an excellant read, one that is not letting me put it down for very long!

Kristen Kittscher: "What sort of madman would unleash an army of stilt-walking, laser-beaming, thoroughly angry whales upon the world? Who cares!" reads the jacket copy of M.T. Anderson's Whales on Stilts, the first in his middle grade "Pals in Peril" series.  I don't know how I'm only now discovering Anderson's hilarious send-up of early 20th century kids' pulp adventure/detective stories. What's not to love about a National Book Award-winning author having a little wholesome, over-the-top fun as he comments on how easily adults ignore evils right in front of their eyes? Immature adults and fifth graders alike will enjoy this ridiculous and tongue-in-cheek story about a girl who must save the world from this dastardly laser-beam-wielding whale plan.

Diana Renn: I just finished an ARC of ROBBIE FORESTER AND THE OUTLAWS OF SHERWOOD STREET, by bestselling mystery/suspense novelist Peter Abrahams. This captivating novel, which releases January 19, is the first in a new series of middle grade novels by Abrahams. If you've read his other YA mystery novels (REALITY CHECK, BULLET POINT, and the Echo Falls mystery series), which are grounded in reality from start to finish, you might be jolted at first by the paranormal element in Robbie Forester. 12-year-old Robbie receives a charm bracelet from a homeless woman. The charm has tremendous powers, which extend to Robbie's three friends and her dog. It also leads them down the dangerous path of the corrupt real estate developer Sheldon Gunn, who is raising rents and ejecting tenants all over their Brooklyn neighborhood. Capitalizing on the charm's strange energy -- as well as their own strengths -- Robbie and her friends form their own modern-day band of outlaws, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. The blend of mystery and magical realism makes ROBBIE FORESTER a really fun ride. And at the heart of the novel you'll find classic Abrahams writing: realistic characters with emotional depth, intricately plotted mystery, and heart-stopping suspense.

Pssst . . . Hey, you. Yeah, you! I've got a little piece of information that might be of interest to you. Okay. Word on the street is that they're hauling Peter Abrahams in to the Sleuths Spies & Alibis Interrogation Room. Right here, on this blog. Like, maybe real soon. Keep it on the downlow. Wait, on second thought, maybe spread the word. And check back here for more info. We'll be in touch.

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