Saturday, August 29, 2009

Scorpia by Anthony Horowitz

Alex Rider travels to Venice to find Scorpia, the mysterious organization he has heard will be able to tell him all the secrets of his past. He is not having much luck finding the group until he spies a boat on the canal with a large scorpion on it. He follows it to a grand house and finds a way to sneak into a costume ball being held there. But he is captured while investigating the office of the house and finds himself locked into a cellar that is quickly filling with water from the canal. After his daring escape Alex is welcomed into Scorpia, an international crime organization, and learns that his father was one of their best assassins. What's more, he is told that his father was shot by MI6, the very group Alex has been working for recently. Alex is faced with an impossible choice: continue to work for the group who killed his father or follow in his footsteps and become a cold-blooded killer?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Point Blank by Anthony Horowitz

After his success in stopping disaster in Stormbreaker, Alex Rider is recruited by MI6 again. The British spy agency is investigating the deaths of two wealthy men. Both men had sons who attend an exclusive school for rich, out of control teens in the French Alps. Alex has to pose as a bratty snob to get into the school and find out what's happening. After just a few days at the school Alex notices something strange. Many of the "bad boys" who attend the school have suddenly become well-behaved and studious - usually overnight. Alex knows that these boys have not changed their personalities that suddenly without something evil going on but he has to find out what has happened before the school changes him as well.

Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz

Alex Rider is trying to get back to being a normal 14 year old boy after his previous two assignments for British spy agency MI6. But before he has much time at home at all he is recruited again to travel to the Caribbean with two adult spies posing as their son to investigate a former Russian leader. Within hours his two handlers have been killed by the traps set out for intruders and it is up to Alex to get onto Skeleton Key and stop the nuclear attack planned by the crazy commander.

Eagle Strike by Anthony Horowitz

After all his adventures as a spy working for MI6 Alex Rider is trying to take some time off in France with his friend Sabina. But Alex's vacation is interrupted when he sees his nemesis Yassen and then a bomb explodes in his vacation home nearly killing Sabina's father. Alex investigates Yassen and learns that he has been hired by Damian Cray, an internationally known singer who has recently spent all of his time donating money to charities around the world. Alex is certain that Cray is planning something terrible but no one believes him, especially not his contacts at MI6. Alex has to work alone to discover Cray's plot and stop him from destroying the world.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Godless by Pete Hautman

16-year-old Jason is fed up with his parents' religion and being forced to attend religious education. One day when he is gazing up at the bottom of the town's water tower he decides to start his own religion to worship the "Ten-Legged One". Although it begins as a joke, before long Jason finds that he has several followers who are all taking the new religion more seriously in different ways. His best friend Shin has begun writing the holy scripture of the Chutengodians while former bully Henry decides that they must all bathe in the holy waters of their god. When one of the members falls off the water tower Jason finds himself being blamed for the changes in his friends.

Finding my Hat by John Son

Jin-Han's earliest memory is of losing his hat on a windy day and his mother promising to buy him a new one. From that first story Jin-Han moves through his life describing important events that he remembers. He includes kissing Tina in kindergarten, moving to Memphis and then Houston with his family, working at his family's wig store, making kim-chee in the backyard, and his first slow dance with a girl among many others.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman by Eleanor Updale

In the 1800's in England Montmorency is in prison having been captured during a robbery when he fell off a building. Although he wasn't expected to live because of his injuries he is rescued by a doctor who uses Montmorency for his personal medical exhibit. During one of the times he is on display for other doctors Montmorency hears a lecture about the new sewer system in London that runs to all the nicest, most expensive neighborhoods. Montmorency comes up with a plan to use the sewers as a way to sneak into the richest houses and steal things without being seen and when he is released, that's exactly what he does. But in order to sell his loot he needs to come up with two personalities - one lower class man who does the robbing and one gentleman who can move about in society and sell the jewelry and other items. His double life is working well for him until it seems that various people might be catching on to who he really is.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen

While looking out of her apartment window with her binoculars Sammy sees a man robbing a hotel room across the street. Although he seems familiar Sammy can't quite figure out who he is. She can't resist going to the hotel to see what's happening but while there she gets questioned by a police officer who doesn't believe anything she says. Sammy has problems at home too because she lives illegally with her grandmother and one of their nosy neighbors is trying to prove that Sammy doesn't just visit the apartment. To top things off, Sammy and her best friend are starting junior high school and on the first day Sammy punches the nose of a mean girl who is picking on her friend. Even though she was just defending herself and her friend Sammy is suspended from school. Before she knows what's happening Sammy finds herself in deep trouble everywhere she turns.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

At the end of World War II 15 year old Evie is thrilled when her stepfather comes home from the war. As an added surprise he takes Evie and her mom on a trip to Palm Beach. While staying in a hotel in Florida she meets Peter, a glamorous, older man who knew her stepfather during the war. Evie is immediately in love with Peter and he shows some signs of being interested in her as well but Evie's mom is always along whenever they spend time together. Evie's stepdad is becoming jealous of the time Peter spends with her mom and what's more, he seems to be hiding something about how he actually met Peter and what happened while they were overseas. As their time in Florida becomes more tense Evie's parents and Peter go out for a boat ride just before a hurricane hits and only two of the three return alive. Evie discovers that some of the people closest to her have not been honest about things for a long time.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Close to Shore by Mike Capuzzo

This book details the series of shark attacks off the New Jersey shore in 1916. Author Capuzzo does a great job of describing life at that time, especially about how new and different it was for people to go to the beach for fun. But this new interest in swimming resulted in disaster when a rogue shark attacked five people over the course of a week during July. This true story is the real life inspiration for the book and movie Jaws.

Things not Seen by Andrew Clements

On the morning Bobby wakes up invisible his whole life changes. Bobby's parents warn him to stay inside while they are at work but he can't resist the opportunity to explore the world while invisible. He bundles up and goes to the library where he meets Alicia, a blind girl. When his parents are in a car accident and end up in the hospital Bobby is left on his own for a few days and ends up confessing his problem to Alicia who works with him to try to be seen again. Alicia's help is even more important because Bobby's time is running out - his parents are being investigated for his disappearance and if he doesn't show up within a week they will be arrested. Bobby and Alicia have to work fast to restore his old life.

The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn by Dorothy Hoobler

Seikei wishes that he could be a samurai but you can only be a samurai if you are born to it and unfortunately for Seikei, he is the son of a tea merchant. When traveling with his father he is the only witness to the theft of a huge ruby - but Seikei is sure that the thief he saw was a ghost. He is hand-picked by a wise judge to help investigate the suspected thief while learning the rules of being a samurai. Seikei finds himself in the middle of a deadly mystery.