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City of Ember

Jeanne DuPrau (2003), 270 pages
Audience: 4th Grade - 7th Grade
Category: Fantasy, Fiction
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Ember is a city with no lights. The residents think they have found the way out! This suspenseful book will keep you reading for hours. And check out the sequels, The People of Ember, The Prophet of Yonwood, and the Diamond of Darkhold.
Book Series: Book of Ember
Reviewed by: St. Charles Reader
Date read: 10/22/2009
ISBN-10: 0375822747
ISBN-13: 9780375822742
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City of Orphans

Avi (2011), 350 pages
Audience: 6th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Fiction, Historical
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In the last decade of the nineteenth century, 13-year-old Maks Geless lives with his Danish immigrant family in the lower east side of New York City. One of 5 children and the oldest son, he hawks newspapers for the World Newspaper. After hustling at least five hours a day, he clears 8 cents and that's an important contribution to his family's welfare. Life is not easy then, with dirt, disease, and a depression, his family doesn't have it easy, even with renting out one of their beds to a border. Agnes, one of the daughters has the 'wasting disease' (tuberculosis) and they are saving all they can to afford a doctor for her. Then the other daughter, Emma, is falsely arrested for stealing a watch from the Waldorf Hotel where she works as a maid and is taken to the Tombs to await her trial in four days. The father's factory closes down. Maks almost gets beaten and robbed but is saved by a brave but filthy orphan girl and her wooden stick. With his parents just barely knowing English, it's now up to Maks and his new friend, Willa, to prove the innocence of Emma and somehow find enough money for medicine to save Agnes. As usual with master storyteller Avi, there are many twists, turns, and surprises along with his well- researched knowledge that makes the time period come alive. (It makes you glad you're not living in it!)
Reviewed by: ewl
Date read: 12/6/2011
ISBN-13: 9781416971023
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5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 booksRead All About It!
Commenter: Agnes, grade 4
This was a great adventure filled with action, villains and good against evil.
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City of the Dead

Tony Abbott (2009), 134 pages
Audience: 4th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Adventure, Especially for Boys, Fiction, Scary
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On the way back from a trip to the New Orleans railway museum, Derek Stone, his nineteen-year-old brother Ronny, and their dad were in a train wreck. Everyone aboard was either presumed dead or in a coma, except for Derek. After three weeks, when he had been given up for dead, Ronny returned, only he wasn't the same. He didn't even seem to know who he was. Everyone said it was because of the trauma he experienced, but Derek couldn't shake the feeling that there was a more sinister reason: Ronny really was someone else. Soon, Ronny admitted that he was really the soul of a prison guard who died in an earlier train wreck and that the criminals he was transporting have taken on the bodies of other people, as well. Somehow, Derek and 'Ronny' must find them and stop them before they can terrorize New Orleans again. Warning: this book ends in a cliff-hanger. You will want to read the rest of the series. Book 2 is Bayou Dogs. Book 3 is The Red House. The Ghost Road is book 4.
Reviewed by: vverscaj
Date read: 10/8/2009
ISBN-13: 9781439591475
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5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 booksSpooky Story You Can't Put Down
Commenter: Hap, grade 0
Set in New Orleans, this is a truly spooky story which you can't put down and will leave you very anxious to read the rest of the series, The Haunting of Derek Stone.
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Clara and Asha

Eric Rohmann (2005), 40 pages
Audience: Preschool - Preschool
Category: Fiction, Picture Books
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Asha is a giant fish who was originally part of a fountain in the park. Clara, a little girl, makes friends with Asha, and they have adventures together, like flying in the night sky together. Whether you regard Asha as Clara's imaginary friend or see this book as portraying a magical world where a fish in a fountain can become a little girl's friend and accompany her everywhere, this is a great title about friendship and imagination. The story takes place as bed time approaches, and while the illustrations are colorful and dynamic in composition, muted tones and soft lines give the story a calm, gentle feel.
Reviewed by: emc
Date read: 2/26/2010
ISBN-10: 1596430311
ISBN-13: 9781596430310
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Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream

Jenny Han (2011), 160 pages
Illustrated by Julia Kuo
Audience: 2nd Grade - 4th Grade
Category: Especially for Girls, Fiction, Multicultural
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Clara Lee is competing to become Little Miss Apple Pie and ride the float in her town's yearly festival. Her grandfather tells her a recent dream brings good luck, but she must contend with a classmate who claims her 'American as apple pie' heritage makes her more deserving of the title than Clara Lee. Join Clara Lee as she figures out whether her dream was lucky enough to make her wish come true!
Reviewed by: emc
Date read: 7/6/2011
ISBN-10: 0316070386
ISBN-13: 9780316070386
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