Friday, September 16, 2011

Thor by Wayne Smith

Thor is a German shepherd who lives with his human pack. Thor is smart and protective of his humans and prides himself on being a "good dog" - one of the many words and phrases he knows. Thor is also highly attuned to any disturbance in his life and recently he has sensed that something bad is coming. When his favorite relative, Uncle Ted, comes to stay with the family for awhile Thor's sense of dread rises. For some reason Uncle Ted seems to be afraid of Thor even though they have always been good friends. What's more, Ted acts like a "bad dog" and some of his clothes smell like a wild animal that Thor can't recognize. While following Uncle Ted one night Thor finds the exact spot where Ted's smell disappears and the wild animal's smell begins and then he finds a creature chained to a tree wearing Ted's clothes. Thor isn't sure what has happened but he does know that the greatest threat to his pack is now living in the same house with them and that it's up to Thor to protect them.

Tangerine by Edward Bloor

Paul has been told that he became legally blind when he looked directly at an eclipse at a young age. Paul can't remember doing that but he is slowly starting to remember some other events now that his family has moved to Tangerine, Florida. His parents fawn over his older brother Erik who is a star football player but an incredibly nasty bully off the field. Paul is a great soccer goalie but because of his official status of having a disability, the school's soccer coach won't let him play. After a tragedy allows Paul to change schools he is finally given the chance to show what he can do on the soccer field while he makes new friends. But Erik continues to cause problems for Paul, his friends and others in the neighborhood and little by little Paul is remembering what actually happened to him when he was blinded. This is a dark, dark story but so good! Well-written and full of surprising events and lots of things to think about.

Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Melly and Anna Beth were very old and ready to die when they were given an experimental treatment to make them young again. They were promised a chance to become young and stay at any age they wanted but the drug that was supposed to stop the aging has a serious side effect. Now Melly and Anna Beth are becoming younger each year and know that eventually they will be too young to even take care of themselves. They have to find someone to take care of them but first, they have to find a place to live where the institute who caused their problems in the first place can't find them. This book has an exciting premise and begins strong but wraps up a little too easily in the end.