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Bri Meets Books

Children's and YA literature reviews.

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and lets bloggers share what books they’ve received, bought, or borrowed this week.  You can find more information here, if you’d like to participate.
Last week, I had a drought of books, and didn’t receive anything. This week was great, I received several books for review and was able to read a lot, due to being home sick.
For Review
Horrid Henry and the Scary Sitter by Francesca Simon (Illus. by Tony Ross)
Sourcebooks, August 2009
In this installment of the series, Horrid Henry meets the worst babysitter ever, Rabid Rebecca.  But she’s met her match: Henry’s going to show her who’s boss.  He also tortures his parents on a long car trip, goes trick or treating, and raids Moody Margaret’s secret club.
Horrid Henry’s Underpants by Francesca Simon (Illus. by Tony Ross)
Sourcebooks, August 2009
Horrid Henry bargains with his parents over eating vegetables..only to get an unlikely reward.  He also mistakenly wears girl underpants to school, attempts to “outsick” his brother, Perfect Peter, and writes horrible thank you notes.

Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again by Juliana Hatkoff, Isabella Hatkoff and Craig Hatkoff
Scholastic, October 2009
Winter is a little dolphin rescued from a crab net, after a fisherman finds her entangled. The damage from the net causes her to lose her most of her tail, but thanks to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and a generous gift from a prosthetics manufacturer, she’s able to swim again with the help of a prosthetic tail, using the same technology used for Iraq war veterans.
Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
Simon and Schuster, October 2009
When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe. Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back — if Cassie will agree to be his bride. – Summary from
Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman
Putnam Juvenile, January 2010
Charlie Healey thinks Harmony Falls is the beginning of a whole new life. Middle School was brutal. Mean girls were all around her. But High School’s going to be Charlie’s big chance to start over and stay out of drama, except that on her first day who does she run into? None other than Will, her ex-best friend, who had moved away. Now he’s back, looking a lot cuter and hanging out with a questionable crew. But Charlie doesn’t understand just how questionable until an innocent delivery guy falls victim to a near-deadly hazing prank.
All Charlie wanted to do was have a drama-free freshman year, but now she must decide whether to turn in her very best friend, who just told her he loves her, or live with the guilt of knowing what he did. – Summary from
Bear-ly There by Rebekah Raye
Tilbury House, October 2009
What do you do when there’s a bear in your backyard? A big black bear shows up one moonlit night and creates a real ruckus, first breaking into the shed where the grain is kept for the geese (who aren’t too happy about it), then raiding the bird feeders. The bear is also causing problems at other homes in the neighborhood, getting into the trash and compost and eating dog food that was left out overnight.
One neighbor offers to shoot it. Another one suggests calling the game warden to have the bear tranquilized and relocated. But the child among them knows what is best. A bear belongs in the woods, Charlie says, and together with the adults he clears the yards in the neighborhood of any food that would tempt the bear. His dad comes up with a good idea for warning the bear away—and it works! – Summary from
Anna’s World by Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin
Chiron Books, July 2009
The United States of America in the late 1840s — A nation torn by the crime of slavery and a war of conquest in Mexico.
Fourteen-year-old Anna Coburn doesn’t want to grapple with such terrible issues. Just growing up seems awful enough. Forced from her home and away from her beloved father, Anna is sent to live among the stern people called Shakers. Their strange ways and strict lifestyle are both appealing and difficult for the bright, headstrong Anna.
When reunited with her father, Anna is plunged into upper-class Boston life, where she faces a troubling mystery, new responsibilities, and events that will affect not just herself and her loved ones, but a country about to come apart at the seams. – Summary from
The Brain Finds a Leg by Martin Chatterton
Peachtree Publishers, October 2009
Something strange is happening in Farrago Bay and Sheldon McGlone is going to get to the bottom of it. The local wildlife is behaving strangely and so are some of the grown-ups, particularly his teacher, the weird and elusive Miss Fleming. It doesn’t help that Sheldon is being relentlessly pursued by bullies—including his older brother!
Just when things couldn’t get much worse, a new kid turns up in Sheldon’s classroom. Theophilus Brain, aka “The Brain,” has an excessive imagination and a lot of odd ideas about what is ailing Farrago Bay. With a missing human leg and a crocodile who likes to play fetch as clues, Sheldon and the Brain turn detective and uncover a web of evil that stretches across two continents.  -Summary from

Giving Up the Ghost by Sheri Cooper Sinykin
Peachtree Publishers, October 2007
Davia is afraid of many things: death, ghosts, unfamiliar places, and the possible return of her mom’s cancer. But she can’t avoid these fears now. Far from their Wisconsin home, Davia and her parents are temporarily living in Louisiana to assist with the in-home hospice care of her elderly great-aunt Mari.
Everything about the old woman and her spooky-looking plantation home terrifies Davia. And when she encounters Emilie, the tortured ghost of a well-to-do adolescent girl from the nineteenth century, she is even more frightened. To Davia’s surprise, Emilie seems eager to have her for a friend, but the ghost is unpredictable and difficult.
Davia begins to gradually learn from Aunt Mari secrets about Emilie and about her own family’s past—stories of premature endings and regrets. As Aunt Mari’s health deteriorates, she and Davia become closer. Together, they hope to release Emilie’s spirit from the mansion and the world of the living.  – Summary from

Thanks to, I’m also going to be reading Freefall by Ariela Anhalt, Flight of the Phoenix (Nathaniel Fludd, Book 1 Beastologist) by R.A. LaFevers, Prairie Winter by Bonnie Geisert, and B is for Bufflehead by Steve Hutchcraft.

Bought and Borrowed: None!
Check back, I’m doing a giveaway for Horrid Henry and the Mummy’s Curse, Ice, and commenters will get a chance to win a Winter’s Tail prize pack in the upcoming weeks.  Plus blog tours for some of these titles.

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