Garcia, Kami. Unbreakable (Legion #1)
1 October 2013, Little, Brown
ARC from Baker and Taylor
Kennedy, who already is dealing with being abandoned by her father, is shocked by her mother's sudden death. She quickly finds out that her mother has been killed by a ghost who is working for a demon, and joins up with several other teenagers in order to try to keep herself safe. Jared and Lukas have lost their parents, too, and know a bit more about the Legion, an organization trying to fight the demon. Along with Priest and Alara, the group tries to collect lenses in a device that can be used to destroy the demon. Drawing on the memories of stories told to them by their parents or grandparents, they take off to fight ghosts in a variety of locations in order to reunite the pieces.
Strengths: This had a nice ensemble cast, lots of action and fighting of ghosts. Had a slight Dan Poblocki vibe to it, and will be great for students who want ghost murder mysteries. I was able to keep all five characters straight, which shows that the writing is really good!
Weaknesses: It seemed a little far fetched that the group would be able to locate all of the disks with such relative ease. I did not care for the cover, and almost dismissed it as another YA paranormal book without much to offer middle school students. Definitely buying a copy.
Ward, Matthew. The Fantastic Family Whipple.
Razorbill, 19 August 2013
Nominated by: Suzanne Santillan
Arthur Whipple is ruining his family's attempts at record breaking. He's born on February 29 instead of 1 March. He can't even stay awake for five days, and isn't helping his family to be the biggest and best at everything so that they can be listed in the Grazelby Guide. The family is so prolific at setting records that they have a full time staff member from the Guide attend to the family. Arthur suspects he might be a victim of the Lyon's Curse, and when things start to go wrong for the whole family, he becomes more and more concerned. A giant birthday cake is sabotaged, causing injuries. The family cook, Sammy, is accused of setting this up, and Arthur is determined to see that the man is freed. This is made more difficult by the appearance of another record setting family, and the involvement of the very touchy Global Guild of Dwarves and Giants. Arthur manages to prove his worth to his family, even if it is in ways that they don't particularly value. His adventures will continue in the fall of 2014 with a second book. Had to read this carefully, but decided it is realistic, if goofy.
Strengths: Tons of action, lots of humor, kids saving the situation-- this has it all. For some reason, it struck me that readers of The Mysterious Benedict Society would like this one.
Weaknesses: A little too frenetic for my taste. There were so many characters and so much going on that I had to really concentrate to keep the plot straight.