In this sequel to The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley, Sabrina and Chloe, who are staying with Granny Relda because their parents have disappeared, are discovered by their evil social working to have been playing hooky, and are sent to school. Unfortunately, shortly after their arrival, their teacher is killed, and they must deal with a variety of Everafters to find out what happened, and perhaps find their parents as well. Lots of action, adventure, and clever uses of fairy tales, although I was vaguely peeved that the Little Match Girl is mentioned-- that's Andersen instead of a folk tale, which is a hair that librarians like to split. Otherwise, good fun and I was disappointed to discover that I don't have The Problem Child, book 3. These have been oddly difficult to obtain from my vendors-- they are always back ordered and then canceled!
Scott Mebus' The Gods of Manhattan took me several days to plow through. Rory, living in New York with their struggling single mother, suddenly starts to notice odd creatures that no one else seems to see. When he is attacked and then saved, he finds out that their are gods all over Manhattan, and they are being killed by the evil Kieft so he can get their power. Rory, who is a 'light', might be able to save the day, but only if he can survive. With the help of his sister Bridget (who likes to pretend to be Death Malibu Barbie), he is sucked into all of the inrigue. Filled with action and adventure, hard core fantasy fans will love this title (HUGE map at the beginning!) and its sequel(Spirits of the Park, coming May 15, 2009). While I enjoyed it, it was so full of random characters based on real historical New Yorkers that I felt like I should constantly be checking footnotes. This will not bother students.
One of my students who is in 9th grade sent me two paperbacks to read even though I've had another of her books since June! (They are both on their way back to you, Sarah!) Melody Carlson is hugely popular with my girls, and her Color Me books are always out. Just Another Girl was a riveting read. Aster is responsible for caring for her mentally challenged sister, Lily, and when she starts to get interested in boys and wants to date, she finds herself annoyed at her mother and absent father for not bearing their responsibilities in caring for her. The romances were sweet and realistic and the portrayal of Aster's struggle between loving her sister and feeling trapped by her ring true. Like the Color Me books, there is a lot of religious talk which seems added as an afterthought and makes part of the book clunky, but most of the readers just skip that. The only problem is that most of these titles are only available in paperback, not even in prebinds, which limits their life tremendously.