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Liesl & Po

Lauren Oliver (2011), 320 pages
Illustrated by Kei Acedera
Audience: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Fantasy, Fiction, Scary
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Liesl is trapped in an attic, locked away by her evil stepmother while her beloved father sickens and dies. One night, a ghost named Po appears at her bedside. Across town, a mistreated alchemist's apprentice named Will is too tired to notice that he has accidentally switched the box with the most powerful magic ever created with the box containing the ashes of Liesl's father. Po the ghost sees Liesl's father on the other side, and he is lost, looking for the old house with the willow tree where he lived with Liesl and her mother. When Liesl hears this, she is determined to help her father's spirit find peace, so she breaks out of the attic, steals the box that she thinks contains the ashes of her father, and starts out to find the old house of her childhood. She crosses paths with Will, and together with the help of Po, they attempt to escape the city. Chasing them are Liesl's bloodthirsty stepmother, the furious old Alchemist and the frightening Lady Premier. Will they make it to the old house with the willow tree before they are captured and locked up--or worse? Will the sun finally shine again? This magical tale of friendship is thrilling, spooky and heartwarming.
Reviewed by: lauraf
Date read: 2/1/2013
ISBN-10: 006201451X
ISBN-13: 9780062014511
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Light on the Nile

Donna Jo Napoli (2011), 278 pages
Audience: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Adventure, Fiction, Historical
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When Kepi's father comes home after being maimed while working on the pharaoh's tomb, she wonders why the pharaoh hasn't done more for him. Her father plans to earn a new living baking special herb bread. Kepi's pet baboon, Babu, is stolen while she is searching for the herbs and Kepi follows the boy-thieves as they pole down the river to the next town. A friendly stranger who offers to help turns out to have designs of his own on Babu and Kepi finds herself kidnapped and on a boat traveling to Ineb Hedj, the largest city in Egypt and home of the pharaoh. Kepi decides to seek out the pharaoh and tell him of the injustice of ignoring his injured subjects. Along her way to Ineb Hedj, she finds new friends who join her on her quest, which will have an unexpected and magical end.
Similar books: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi
Reviewed by: vfv
Date read: 2/16/2012
ISBN-13: 9780061667930
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Lightning Thief

Rick Riordan (2005), 384 pages
Audience: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Adventure, Fiction
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Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse -- Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods, where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon, a mystery unfolds and together with his friends -- one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena -- Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. This is the first book in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series.
Similar books: The Stoneheart Trilogy by Charlie Fletcher
Awards won: Rebecca Caudill Award
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 3/27/2009
ISBN-10: 064172344X
ISBN-13: 9780786856299
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Reader Comments
5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 booksGo Percy Jackson Series
Commenter: Matt, grade 4
i lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvve! percy jackson series
4 out of 5 books4 out of 5 books4 out of 5 books4 out of 5 books4 out of 5 booksA Bolt From Above
Commenter: St. Charles Reader, grade 0
A twelve year old kid searches for Zeus' master bolt once he discovers that his true father is a god.
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Lights Out!

John Himmelman (1995), 32 pages
Audience: Preschool - 2nd Grade
Category: Especially for Boys, Fiction, Humor, Picture Books
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'Lights Out' by John Himmelman is a MUST read for the novice camper. Counselor Jim is having a difficult time getting the Scouts settled in for the night. The boys can't seem to fall asleep. They keep imagining all kinds of creatures who are just waiting until the lights are turned out to eat them, suck their blood, or make them sick. But never fear, Counselor Jim puts all their fears 'to bed' and the boys turn off the lights and fall fast asleep. The young reader will love the surprise ending that just might get those lights turned right back on!
Similar authors: Alex Harvey; Gwendolyn Hooks
Similar books: Olivia Goes Camping by Alex Harvey; The Noisy Night: A Pet Club Story by Gwendolyn Hooks; Scare a Bear by Kathy-jo Wargin; Camping Day by Patricia Lakin; Camping Catastrophe by Abby Klein; I'm Not Scared by Kirsten Hall
Reviewed by: mb
Date read: 8/3/2011
ISBN-10: 081673450X
ISBN-13: 9780816734504
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Lilly in the Middle

Brenda Bellingham (2003), 64 pages
Illustrated by Elizabeth Owen
Audience: 2nd Grade - 3rd Grade
Category: Fiction, Realistic Fiction
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Lilly makes a joke that her new substitute teacher, Mr. Wulf, is a werewolf, and some of the kids take her seriously. It's not a problem until the class takes an overnight field trip when there's a full moon, and the other kids are scared of the teacher. It's all Lilly's fault! To make matters worse, Lilly's friend, Minna, is mad at her, and she won't say why. Lilly feels guilty about everything. Will she find a way to make things better? This entertaining story is a part of the series called First Novels, books in small sizes with large print for readers new to chapter books.
Book Series: First Novels
Reviewed by: emc
Date read: 9/29/2010
ISBN-10: 0887805892
ISBN-13: 9780887805899
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