Cheri Perelli

About Cheri: 

Cheri is an elementary teacher. She has been teaching 3rd grade for 11 years, and loves to read Youth Fiction. In her Reading Life, her favorite books are in the Harry Potter series, but she also enjoys the Artemis Fowl series as excellent youth fiction. Cheri enjoys helping elementary students find that "Just Right" book to help them along their own Reading Lives.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316508889
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 31st, 2017

Cheri's October 2017 pick (1 of 2)

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow ( Nevermoor #1), by Jessica Townsend

Morrigan is a cursed child. She has lived her whole life as a cursed child, and everyone around her blames everything on her. And Morrigan’s fate is even worse than that. She is expected to die, on the eve of Eventide. Her parents have dressed up for the occasion! But Morrigan escapes her fate! Jupiter North, a strange man with wild, red hair, whisks her off at the very last second to Nevermoor and Morrigan’s life changes forever.  Amidst interesting creatures, quirky characters, and new friends, Morrigan finds a few mysteries to solve, and a contest to win, both of which are vitally important; if she doesn’t succeed, she will not be able to stay in Nevermoor, and will be carried off by the “Hunt of Smoke and Shadow,” (not individuals but a single shadow of men, horses, and hounds) hunting her.  Not since Harry Potter found himself impossibly in Diagon Alley have I found myself enjoying such a new, and yet somewhat upside down and whacky, world.This book is perfect for fantasy-adventure readers.

Warcross Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399547966
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - September 12th, 2017

Cheri's October 2017 pick (2 of 2)

Warcross, by Marie Lu

Looking for a high tech adventure mystery, mixed with a little romance? Marie Lu delivers. This new novel has everything. Emika Chen has been recruited to find a hacker, and save the life of the Warcross founder, Hideo.  Warcross is a world wide gaming sensation where players and spectators alike experience the game through a virtual reality neurolink that Hideo invented. But the deeper Emika gets into solving this mystery, the more danger comes her way. A mysterious entity, Zero, seems to be at the center, and turning his possibly deadly attentions onto Emika herself. Meanwhile, Emika is slowing falling for Hideo, her boss. As this story comes to its conclusion, not everything is as it seems.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399549731
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - August 29th, 2017

Cheri's September 2017 pick

Wonder Woman: Warbringer, by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo brings her engaging writing style to an iconic character, Wonder Woman.

Young Diana, princess of the Amazons, has brought a catastrophe to her island home by saving the life of Alia, a mortal girl. But Alia is more than just a mortal girl, she is a descendant of Helen of Troy and a Warbringer. A Warbringer is a being whose presence precedes all the devastating human wars since the Trojan War! By saving Alia, Diana has broken her oath to protect her island home at all cost. To save her home Diana must travel with Alia into the world of man, and cleanse her in the waters of Helen. In doing so Diana can break the curse of the Warbringer forevermore. However, others know of Alia's existence, and would prefer her dead! Action packed and humorous, this is a great addition to the superhero universe.

Orphan Train Girl Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062445940
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - May 2nd, 2017

Cheri's August 2017 pick, 1 of 2

Orphan Train Girl, by Christina Baker Kline

Ms. Kline had the wonderful idea of making her very successful book, Orphan Train, accessible to a younger audience and I am so glad she did. This story is one of strength in the face of adversity, and friendship despite differences, and would be a great book for upper elementary and middle school readers.

Molly is a young girl of Penobscot ancestry, living in a foster home. When she impulsively steals a library book, she is required to complete community service hours. Molly is introduced to a very wealthy and elegant ninety-one year old woman, Vivian. Vivian needs Molly to help her clean out her attic. As the contents of each box is opened, Molly learns about a life she would never have expected Vivian to have lived. Vivian was actually an orphan herself, made to live with several different homes when she was young, just like Molly. Vivian was part of a little known piece of American history, the “orphan trains.” These trains shipped out thousands of children to the midwest, in hopes of adopting them into loving homes. As in Vivian’s case, it didn’t always work out. Learning about Vivian helps Molly navigate her place in her world for the very better.

Invictus Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316503075
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 26th, 2017

Cheri's August 2017 pick, 2 of 2

Invictus, by Ryan Graudin

Shazam, Hash, and Hades, this was a great book!

Farway McCarthy was born from a long, long line of time travelers. In fact, he was born in between times which has lead to his fame as well as the high expectations for him to live up to his lineage, and his mother, Empra McCarthy. But, it hasn’t worked out that way yet. Empra has been MIA for fourteen years, and Farway can’t pass his last exam to get his time travel license. So instead, Farway and his crew, find themselves recruited by a creepy and scary benefactor to become thieves of the past-literally. During a routine heist on the Titanic, Farway is thwarted of his quarry by another history thief. She doesn’t have a crew, she doesn’t have a time machine, she doesn’t have a past. Who is this girl, Eliot, and what does she want with Farway? With humor, excitement, and plot twists, Farway and the crew of the Invictus will take you on an epic, twisty-timey journey that will leave you wanting more.

Orphan Island Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062443410
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Walden Pond Press - May 30th, 2017

Cheri's July 2017 pick, 1 of 2

Orphan Island, by Laurel Snyder

An island with 9 orphans.

Every year a mysterious boat appears on its shores. It brings with it a young orphan, and takes away the oldest. Each orphan learns a rhyme that says there should only be 9 on the island, or the sky will fall. Between the boat’s yearly trips, the orphans fend for themselves. They gather, and cook, clean and explore. No one gets one “can” get hurt. Their island paradise seems to provide everything they need, and everything works just the way it is supposed to. Until, that is, when it is Jinny’s turn to leave the island-and she doesn’t. Now there are 10. Jinny believes the rhyme is silly, but is it?  Things have changed. Has Jinny broken the Island? The beauty and mystery of this island, and its orphan inhabitants helped make this book a wonderful get away, and a must read for a summer adventure.

Felix Yz Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425288504
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - June 6th, 2017

Cheri's July 2017 pick, 2 of 2

Felix Yz, by Lisa Bunker

An alien is inside Felix- really!

Felix is a thirteen year old boy, who is fused with a fourth dimensional alien that no one can see.  Zyx, (the alien, rhymes with six), talks through Felix by using a computer to type. They have been fused since Felix was three, after a science experiment went disastrously wrong, killing his father. Not only did the experiment leave Felix and Zyx fused, but it left Felix permanently hunched over and stuttering- which in middle-school doesn’t leave much room for being popular. If this isn’t bad enough, Felix’s mom’s boyfriend wants Felix to become a Chess Grandmaster… but it’s Zyx playing-not him.  Now, a date has been set to unfuse them, an operation Felix refers to as the “Procedure.” Neither may survive. So, for the thirty days leading up to the “Procedure,” Felix and Zyx maintain a blog of their lives; about school, the bullies, the crush (Hector), and the rest of their extra-ordinary family. This is a fun middle-school read.

All's Faire in Middle School Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525429999
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - September 5th, 2017

Cheri's September 2017 pick

All’s Faire in Middle School, by Victoria Jamieson

To be released 9/5/17


Graphic novel fans of “Roller Girl” will love this new book. Victoria Jamieson has again, created a believable character facing real world problems that many kids will relate to. Figuring out who you are and who you want to be. As in “Roller Girl,” the character Imogene, brings us into Imogene’s world of Renaissance Faires.

Imogene has decided to go to middle school, after being home schooled. She considers herself an adventure, and has even earned the role of a squire for the Renaissance Faire which took a lot of work. So how hard could middle school be? For the first time she is unsure about letting her new friends know about her and her unconventional life. Navigating between who she is at home and who she is at school becomes more difficult and confusing than she ever imagined. Imogene takes quite a few wrong turns at school and at home, and thinks she may have just ruined her life. But being the worthy squire she is, Imogene never gives up. A great book to read if you are heading into middle school.

The War I Finally Won Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525429203
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - October 3rd, 2017

Cheri's October 2017 pick

The War I Finally Won, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Released 10-3-2017

This is the sequel to Ms. Bradley’s first novel, The War that Saved My Life. It picks up right where we left Ada and Jamie, in the middle of World War 2. The nuances of life in WW2 England are interesting, such as-have you heard of Woolton Pie, or Club Pigs? New challenges soon arise for Ada. She is being forced to live with Ruth, a German refugee who is also Jewish. But to Ada, the German’s are the enemy- how is this happening? This exciting and touching story reveals the nature of family, the devastation of loss, and the resilience of the human heart.  Both books, The War that Saved My Life, and The War I Finally Won, are a must read for any readers who love adventure, a little history, and characters you will root for.

Broken Pride Cover Image
By Erin Hunter, Owen Richardson (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062642028
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - June 6th, 2017

Cheri's June 2017 pick, 1 of 2

Bravelands: Broken Pride, by Erin Hunter

Readers of her Warriors series will love this new series by Erin Hunter. Now, however, readers can submerge themselves in the African savannah, and learn about the wildlife there. Fearless is a lion cub who escapes after the rogue lion, Titan, takes over his pride. He is rescued by a baboon troupe. As a young lion, Fearless struggles between wanting to truly be a baboon and fit in with his best friends, Mud and Thorn, and his vow to take back his pride, avenge his father, and protect his mother from Titan. However, the baboon troupe is also experiencing troubles of its own that Fearless also has a stake in helping with. And lastly, we meet Sky, a young elephant with the ability to see the future and the past when holding the bones of other animals. All this helps to create a rich and exciting story for young readers.

The Wingsnatchers Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616206635
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - April 25th, 2017

Cheri's June 2017 pick, 2 of 2

A debut novel of exceptional merit. This new addition to the fantasy genre involves a little steampunk, magic, and fairies. Carmer is a young performer, an assistant to a once famous magician, The Amazifier. Times have been hard for the magician however. Carmer, and The Amazifier enter a competition to hopefully revitalize their act, and their lives. In the city of the competition, Skemantis, Carmer meets Grit, also known as Princess Grettifrida. She is a feisty fire fairy who hates the idea of being a princess and defies her mother's, the Queen, expectations every chance she gets. Which means associating with the Free Fairies of Skemantis who are not beholden to the Queen. However, the Free Fairies are disappearing and no one knows why.  Meanwhile, during the magic competition, a very powerful magician, The Mechanist, shows magic that seems to defy typical magician explanations. Could there be a connection? Carmer and Grit team up in this smartly written story of magic and adventure to find out.

Strange the Dreamer Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316341684
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 28th, 2017

Cheri's May 2017 pick, 1 of 2

Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor, is an epic story not soon to be forgotten. Lazlo was an orphan with no known past. Sarai seems to have no future. Their stories spans two worlds, both real and legendary, involving gods both dead and alive. There is so much that I just don’t want to give anything away. This richly woven story left me sweetly heartbroken and mourning as it ended, but also stubbornly hopeful. Laini Taylor has won my heart and is a brilliant fantasy novelist.

Beyond the Bright Sea Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101994856
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - May 2nd, 2017

Cheri's May 2017 pick, 2 of 2

Beyond the Bright Sea, by Lauren Wolk

This is the second youth fiction novel by author Lauren Wolk. Her novel last year, Wolf Hollow, received a Newbery Honor. Beyond the Bright Sea is just as captivating. Crow is an orphan who, as a newborn, washed up on the shores of one of the Elizabeth Islands off the coast of Massachusetts. She was then raised by a recluse from another country, Osh, and Miss Maggie, an island local. Crow, now twelve, is happy, loved, and cared for. But the mystery of where she came from remains to be solved. One possibility is that she came from the nearby island of Penikese. The rest of the locals on her island seem to think so. How does Crow know this? Because they politely stay away from her. Penikese is rumored to be the site of buried pirate treasure, but it also used to be home to a leper colony. Before modern medicine, leprosy was a terrifying disease. Crow is determined to find out where she comes from, and with the help of Osh and Miss Maggie, gets a whole lot more than she bargained for. Beyond the Bright Sea is a touching and exciting novel for mid to upper elementary readers.

Spindle Fire Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062440877
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Teen - April 11th, 2017

Cheri's April 2017 pick, 1 of 3

Spindle Fire, by Lexa Hillyer

Spindle Fire is a wonderful reimagined retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story. While Aurora does indeed become the sleeping beauty, there is so much more. When Aurora was blessed by the fairies in the kingdom with grace, beauty, each faerie actually takes for each of their blessing; Aurora’s sight and sense of touch. The evil Faerie,Queen Malfleur, then curses the child with death. The final faerie softens that curse by making it a curse of sleep, not death. This fairie’s price is the princesses sight. However, the queen, thinking she is clever, allows this to happen, but to another daughter of her husband the king, two year old Isabelle. Aurora and Isabelle grow up together, relying on each to be the others half: Aurora is Isabelle’s missing eyes, and Isabelle is Aurora’s voice and protector. As the story evolves, the kingdom is threatened by the Faerie Queen, and the girls become pivotal pieces in this game, while each is handicapped, they also have strength beyond their own expectations.

See You in the Cosmos Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399186370
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - February 28th, 2017

Cheri's April 2017 pick, 2 of 3

See You in the Cosmos, by Jack Chen

Young Alex and his dog, Carl Sagan, go on quite an adventure together. They began their journey headed from Colorado to New Mexico to participate is the annual Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival (SHARF). Alex is determined to send his home-built rocket into space, carrying his “golden ipod,” full of recordings of his daily life. He is emulating his hero, Carl Sagan’s “ Golden Record, that was launched on Voyager spacecraft in 1977. However, his trip turns into its own odyssey while looking for his “maybe-Dad” and his lost dog.

Dreadnought Cover Image
ISBN: 9781682300688
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Diversion Publishing - Ips - January 24th, 2017

Cheri's April 2017 pick, 3 of 3

Dreadnaught, by April Daniels

A compelling novel. Not only because it is a great superhero story with superpowers and super villains, but because of a very compelling hero. Danny is a transgender boy, but for a twist of dangerous luck, finds himself living his dream- in a girl’s body. And not only a girl’s body, but with superhero powers that make her practically invincible. However, even this newfound power that allows her to come to the rescue of a jetliner, cannot help her stand up to her family who want their “boy” back. I appreciated the ability to become absorbed in a great story, while also glimpsing a life situation that we are all beginning to learn more about. This was a great way to do it.

Blood Rose Rebellion Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101935996
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - March 28th, 2017

Cheri's March 2017 pick

Blood Rose Rebellion, by Rosalyn Eves

(Due out 3/28/17)

For those readers who love good historical fiction, a little bit of romance… and the lure of a great fantasy novel, this is the novel for you. Anna lives in a world where magic exists but only for the Luminates. They are the elite, privileged class at the turn of the 18th century who controls who can, and can’t have access to the magic they keep stored in the “Binding”. However, even though Anna has been confirmed to use magic, the magic does not seem to have chosen her. As one disaster happens after another, it is decided that Anna could use some time abroad. She travels to Hungary, her grandmother’s homeland. There she becomes involved in trying to learn magic from a gypsy, and is pulled into a revolution to free Hungary from the Luminates control, by her cousin. I really enjoyed the feel of this story, and because it is a trilogy, I am definitely looking forward to the next book.

Carve the Mark Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062348630
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - January 17th, 2017

Cheri's February 2017 pick

Carve the Mark, by Veronica Roth

Carve the Mark is the latest novel from Veronica Roth and written for Teens. Lovers of her Divergent Series, will enjoy the strong characters and twisting plot. I found this book marvelous. With Ms. Roth’s details and emotional writing style, I fell easily into step with her new world.  Two fractious cultures clash, lives are lost and changed forever. Akos is now no better than a slave to the leader of the Shotet people, ordered by the leader Ryzek, to be Cyra’s companion. People in this world can be born with extraordinary gifts through “The Current,” a life force that exists in all living things, and throughout their planetary system. Cyr’s gift leaves her in pain every waking moment. Akos’s gift relieves her pain. This pairing evolves into a partnership based on more than just their mutual pain.  It is a thrilling page turner, and I look forward her next book.

The Uncommoners #1: The Crooked Sixpence Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553498431
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - January 31st, 2017

Cheri's January 2017 pick

The Uncommoners, by Jennifer Bell

A fast paced, novel adventure perfect for upper elementary and middle school readers. Ivy accidentally discovers an unknown world right under her nose: the people and the world of the Lundinor. They are just like us, but some have the special ability to sense and use common objects in uncommon ways. Suitcases that can transport you to Lundinor, toilet brushes that can be used as a taser, and bells that can speak. Ivy and her brother become embroiled in this world when their grandmother is attacked for information, but what could Ivy’s grandmother know? This was a very enjoyable story and I look forward to the next.

Click Here to Start Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101931875
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Delacorte Press - July 19th, 2016

Cheri's December 2016 pick, 1 of 3

Click Here to Start, by Denis Markell

    Click Here to Start is an excellent adventure story, perfect for upper elementary and middle school readers. Mr. Markell has created a story that brings together old and new. Twelve year old Ted is a gamer. He is an expert in “escape the room” games. His Uncle Ted, a World War II Asian-American veteran dies. His last words are somewhat cryptic, “go for broke” and “the box is just the beginning.” Ted soon finds himself in a real life “escape the room” game. Ted, and his friends Caleb and Isabel, quickly begin to realize that this game now has them in danger if they can’t find the clues and solve this mystery that seems to involve the Maltese Falcon. Yes, the famed falcon from the 1930’s P.I. novel with Sam Spade. I thoroughly enjoyed this unique adventure mystery.

Weregirl Cover Image
ISBN: 9781937133559
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chooseco - November 1st, 2016

Cheri's December 2016 pick, 2 of 3

Weregirl, by C. D. Ball

Weregirl is a well-paced, paranormal story. Young Nessa is a very competitive track runner at her high school. However, she doesn’t always feel like she fits it. While taking a chance and practicing with one of the track team’s star runners, she is attacked by a wolf.  Shortly after, Nessa begins to experience weird symptoms, like white fur! Interwoven into this strange event is that of her town, and the affect a chemical company has had on its residences. Becoming a werewolf seems to be somehow tied to this situation. An enjoyable story for fans of paranormal stories in middle or high school.

Rebel of the Sands Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451477538
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - March 8th, 2016

Cheri's December 2016 pick, 3 of 3

Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn Hamilton

This was a fantastic debut novel. I loved the freshness of this story. Seventeen year old Amani lives in the deepest part of the desert, but dreams of escaping. She has taught herself to be a sharpshooter, and someone to recon with.  One day she gets her chance, through the help of a handsome stranger and a mythical buraqi, Amani escapes her dead-end town for the life of a rebel, in service of a prince. I loved how this book was fresh and exciting from beginning to end. There were several unexpected moments, as well as a sweet romance. This book would be perfect for upper middle school and high school readers. The sequel is due out in March, 2017, and I can’t wait.

Hour of the Bees Cover Image
ISBN: 9780763679224
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - March 8th, 2016

Cheri's August 2016 pick, 1 of 2

Hour of the Bees, by Lindsey Eagar                                            

Hour of the Bees is a wonderfully layered youth fiction novel. Twelve year-old Carol, and her family, will not be spending the summer as she had hoped, swimming and hanging out with her friends as they get ready for 7th grade. Instead, they will be spending the summer with her grandfather- whom she has never met- on his sheep farm, in the middle of the desert, in the middle of a hundred year drought! She is not happy. Her grandfather has been diagnosed with dementia, and needs to be handled very carefully so that they can get him moved out and into the nursing home- then she will be able to go home. However, Carol is drawn to this very old, sad man- and he pulls her into a story that Carol can’t resist. He was not so old, once. With some very exciting moments, and a story touched with magic, Carol begins to understand her grandfather, her father, and herself.

The Wild Robot Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316381994
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 5th, 2016

Cheri's August 2016 pick, 2 of 2

The Wild Robot, by Peter Brown

In this unique story, a robot, named Roz, washes up onto the shores of a wilderness area. Her cargo ship had sunk, and Roz seems to be the only survivor. Through patience, and her robotic mind, she begins to communicate with the animals of the area and become a very important member of their world. But the company that sent Roz on her voyage is determined to regain their property. With her new found friends and allies, Roz resists her removal, but at what cost? I recommend this book for strong second grade readers and up.

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The World from Up Here Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545848459
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - June 28th, 2016

Cheri's June 2016 pick, 1 of 3

The World from Up Here, by Cecilia Galante

The World from Up Here is a wonderful story. Young Wren’s life is upside down right now. She and her autistic brother must live with their aunt and cousin, while their mother is hospitalized, and their father is away caring for her. Wren and her brother don’t know her aunt and cousin very well because they lived in Florida, and have just moved back to town.  Aunt Marianne’s new house is at the foot of Creeper Mountain, where there is rumored to live a witch.  What Wren does know is that her cousin, Silver, is now the most popular girl at school, and Wren feels she is at the opposite end of that scale. Soon, however, she realizes the Silver and she have a lot in common. The two pair up to solve the mystery of the local witch, Witch Weatherly, but find answers to her own mother’s illness. I very much enjoyed the natural way the friendship between the cousins developed. The adventure the girls have towards the end was exciting.  I think there will be many upper and middle aged readers who will enjoy this story.

A Night Divided Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545880794
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Inc. - August 25th, 2015

Cheri's June 2016 pick, 2 of 3

A Night Divided, by Jennifer Nielsen

A Night Divided is an excellent historical fiction novel. The story revolves around young Gert, who lives in Berlin, during the era of the cold war. One evening, as the story begins, Gert’s father and youngest brother are traveling to West Berlin. Overnight, the Berlin Wall is erected, separating West Berlin from the rest of Germany, and separating Gert from her father. Life in East Berlin becomes very oppressive and dangerous, especially for Gert, her mother and older brother who were left behind. Gert doesn’t know who to trust. Her brother is devising a plan to leave, and her mother wants to not make any waves. But, this is where the adventure begins- Gert has her own plan. The last third of the book is very exciting and will keep readers reading. I also felt I learned something from a time period that I really didn’t know much about. I recommend this book for upper elementary and older readers.

Just My Luck Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062330659
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - February 23rd, 2016

Cheri's June 2016 pick, 3 of 3

Just My Luck, by Cammie McGovern

Fourth grader, Benny Barrows’ school has started a new initiative, get caught doing something good, and get a recognition footprint taped in the hallway. Benny wants a footprint desperately. But no one seems to ever notice when Benny does something good. Life, recently, has been rough. He is the only student in his class that gets pulled out for math help. His fourth grade teacher is nothing like he was supposed to be. His best friend seems to not want to be his friend any more. His brother, George, is autistic, and to top it all off, Benny feels he was the cause of his father’s accident that has left his father healing from a brain injury. His father now acts like George. The world doesn’t seem to be in Benny’s corner right now. This is such a good feeling story- despite the struggles Benny is dealing with. I recommend it for fourth grade and older.

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Wolf Hollow Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101994825
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - May 3rd, 2016

Cheri's May 2016 pick, 1 of 5
Wolf Hollow, by Lauren Wolk
Set in the hills and hollows of Pennsylvania, a young girl  experiences a life changing series of events. It is 1943. World War II looms in the consciousness of a small rural town. Eleven year-old Annabell becomes the target of the new girl to her town and school. Coming to her defense is a war recluse who is tolerated by the town, but not trusted. Things with the bully begin to escalate, and Annabell is dragged into a life and death mystery that sets the town against the recluse. This story is at once a quaint look into the life of rural America in the 1940’s while also a reflection of the fears, prejudices, and intolerances of our current world. Wolf Hollow is a well told story that I would recommend.

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Ollie's Odyssey Cover Image
By William Joyce, William Joyce (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781442473553
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books - April 12th, 2016

Cheri's May 2016 pick, 2 of 5

Ollie's Odyssey, by William Joyce                    

Ollie’s Odyssey is a wonderful adventure story for any age. Mr. Joyce has created a story that seemed to be Winnie the Pooh 2.0. Ollie is a little stuffed animal, created with love, for Billy, his boy. The two are inseparable and share many adventures. But when Ollie is kidnapped because he is a “favorite toy”, Billy goes in search of his beloved friend and follows him to the lair of an old and bitter clown toy, Zozo. Zozo  has created an army of Creeps to find and bring to him any favorite toys they come across and this is where Ollie ends up. Will Billy find Ollie and save him or will Zozo continue to steal favorites from children? Kids will love the adventure and learn some lessons in courage and empathy as well.

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The Keepers: The Box and the Dragonfly Cover Image
By Ted Sanders, Iacopo Bruno (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062275837
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - February 2nd, 2016

Cheri's May 2016 pick, 3 and 4 of 5

The Box and the Dragon Fly and The Harp and the Ravenvine, By Ted Sanders

These stories revolve around children who mysteriously connect with an object. This object, called a Tan’ji, gives the child it is connected to a power, such as seeing into the future, or passing through solid objects. The kids then become the “Keepers” of these objects and also become part of a secret organization entrusted to protect these object from the Riven, creatures bent on taking all the Tan’ji for themselves.

I am reviewing these two stories together, as they are book #1 and #2 of The Keepers series. It has been a long time since I have read a fantasy adventure that has so captured my imagination. The story-telling is so clever that I was hooked after the first chapter. I highly recommend this series for third grade, and older,  who are looking for a well told and exciting fantasy adventure.

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The Square Root of Summer Cover Image
ISBN: 9781626723733
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Roaring Brook Press - May 3rd, 2016

Cheri's May 2016 pick, 5 of 5

The Square Root of Summer, By Harriet Reuter Hapgood

The Square Root of Summer is just what I would want for a YA read. Margot, known as Gottie, had had a wonderful summer last year, until Grey, her beloved grandfather, dies. To add to that grief her secret boyfriend, Jason, goes away to school and doesn’t keep in contact. Since then Gottie  has pulled away from her best friend and a lot of what life had to offer. With the onset of summer she will soon have to deal with the anniversary of Grey’s death, and the return of Jason.  Now, Gottie finds herself experiencing what she thinks are cosmic wormholes that are making her relive parts of last summer. These moments leave her confused and disoriented, and dreading the coming of the anniversary. Into her life, however, comes her childhood friend, Thomas. He has been gone for fives years living in Canada. Now he is back, and not only have they rekindled their friendship, but perhaps something more as well. I really connected with Gottie, and her coming of age struggles. It was a very sweet story and will make a great summer read.

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Raymie Nightingale Cover Image
ISBN: 9780763681173
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - April 12th, 2016

Cheri's April 2016 pick
Raymie Nightingale, by Kate DiCamillo (Release Date 4/12/16)                            )

Kate DiCamillo has create a new character to love. This charmingly quirky story is about a young girl named Raymie. She has just had a terrible blow delivered to her, her father has left the family. Raymie is determined to entice him back by winning a pageant and begins to try and take baton twirling lessons. There she meets two new girls who seem to be quite opposite of each other and perhaps not quite friend material. The three all have major obstacles in their life to overcome. However, in the end, their combination is stronger than any one by themselves.

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The Key to Extraordinary Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545552745
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - February 23rd, 2016

Cheri's March 2016 pick, 1 of 2
The Key to Extraordinary, by Natalie Lloyd

From the author of the wonderful book, A Snicker of Magic, comes Ms. Lloyd’s new release: The Key to Extraordinary. This book is just as magical and just as touching as Snicker. In a small town in Tennessee, Emma lives with her Grandmother and brother. They own and run a cafe and a graveyard. Emma gives tours of the graveyard and serves up “Boneyard Brew” to customers. However, things have been hard for Emma, the cafe isn’t doing as well as it had been, and a land developer is determined to buy her grandmother out, graveyard and all.  But Emma comes from a long line of “extraordinary” women and she is just as determined to save her beloved cafe and graveyard. She and her best friends set off to find a lost treasure which she is sure will be enough to save her world. Throw in some possible ghosts, magical flowers, lost loves and lost voices, and you have a story that will make you consider how to make your life more extraordinary as well.

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Summerlost Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399187193
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - March 29th, 2016

Cheri's March 2016 pick, 2 of 2

Summerlost, by Ally Condie

Summerlost is a great book to get lost in. It should appeal to upper elementary and middle school readers. Cedar is a 12 year-old girl who spends her summer working at a summer theater/ English renaissance festival. I loved how this book touched nicely on some many things. First, grief, and how you can still survive. Friendship, and how powerful a having a friend can be. Family, in all its strengths and weaknesses. Change, and the adventures that can bring. Independence, and the confidence that can develop. And finally, summer; summer jobs, summer friends, summer dreams, and summer theater. Cedar experiences all of this in such a sweetly compelling story that weaves all these things and some mystery too. It was such a good read.

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Saving Wonder Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545828932
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - February 23rd, 2016

Cheri's March 2016 pick, 3 of 3

Saving Wonder, by Mary Knight

Saving Wonder would be an excellent choice for fans of Hoot, (Hiaasen). A twelve year-old boy, Curley, lives in the mining town of Wonder Gap, deep in the “hollers” of Appalachia. He lives his grandfather, Papaw, because that is all he has now. His parents and younger brother were lost to accidents traced to the local coal mining company. The mining company changes hands, and Curley’s best friend from childhood, Julia, starts dating the new boss's son, J.D. Curley feels abandoned when he finds out that this new mining company is preparing to tear apart and literally take the top off the mountain that he and Papaw live on, Red Hawk Mountain. Soon, Curley finds he is not as alone as he thought. The unexpected trio of himself, Jules and J.D., take action to stop the mining company. Curley’s weapons are his words. The words his Papaw has taught him since he was little. But will they be more powerful that the chainsaw aimed at an ancient tree named Ol’Charley, or the bulldozer aimed at the mountain top itself.

The Immortals Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316347181
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - February 16th, 2016

Cheri's February 2016 pick

The Immortals, by Jordanna Max Brodsky (Release date: 2/16/16)

For mature fans of Percy Jackson, this book hits the mark. The Olympians are real, but fading as the millenia go by. Artemis has relocated to New York City, as have many other Olympians, and- while her strength is waning- she continues to be the Protector of the Innocent, as her draw as the Moon Goddess is still undeniable. Artemis, whose current alias is Selene DiSilva, is on the trail of a killer who is using mysterious and ancient Greek rites to re-strengthen of the Gods, but through bloody means. The murderer is using women, and innocents, both of which fall under Artemis’ protection. Several other Gods make appearances in the story, and I did not suspect who the murderer really was. I enjoyed this fantasy immensely.

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The War That Saved My Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780803740815
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - January 8th, 2015

Cheri's January 2016 pick

The War that Saved my Life, Newbery Honor Winner, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

This is an excellent and approachable story for any age. It is partially historical, dealing with the evacuation of London’s children during the beginning of World War 2. The story centers on Ada, and her brother Jamie, who are reluctantly taken in by a young women still coming to terms with the death of a dear friend, and who is not really interested in caring for the two young children. She gives in and does her best to care for the children. Jamie is only 6 and very homesick, while Ada is dealing with her own issue of past neglect by her mother due to a physical deformity that she has come to associate with her own worthlessness. Together this trio manages to become a family during this horrific time period in England’s history.

Named of the Dragon Cover Image
ISBN: 9781402258640
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - October 6th, 2015

Cheri's October 2015 pick, 1 of 2

Named of the Dragon, by Susanna Kearsley
Release date: 10-15

Set among the pastel houses and farms of a quaint  English seaside, this story was a pleasure to read.  This story is partly a romance, between a publishing agent, and an author. This story is also partly an Arthurian legend. And finally, it is partly a ghost story- all of which wove together to create a book that I couldn’t put down.

The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545522267
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - July 28th, 2015

Cheri's Octotober 2015 pick, 2 of 2

The Iron Trial, by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

I have enjoyed both the writing of Cassandra Clare and Holly Black tremendously. When finding that they combined their forces for a youth fiction series, I put their book on my reading list. However, I only just finished it as their second novel, The Copper Gauntlet, has been released. Having said that, I am glad to review it now, in hopes of encouraging readers to pick up both copies of this series. This is a fantastic fantasy series for a middle school reader. The story line has lots of action, and the characters are not perfect, but together make an unbeatable team. While the storyline is still very much good versus evil, or good magic gone wrong, there is still enough uniqueness to the story and setting that I enjoyed this new series thoroughly.

The Secrets We Keep Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374300463
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr) - April 28th, 2015

Cheri's July 2015 pick, 1 of 2

The Secrets We Keep, by Trisha Leaver

A very interesting story line. Ella and Maddy are identical twins. They are complete opposites in their personalities, and yet so close in resemblance that they can fool anyone into believing that one is the other just by changing clothes and mannerisms. The twins are involved in a tragic accident and only one survives, but the survivor doesn’t know which twin she is. Set during high school, where who you are, and who your friends are is everything, the surviving twin must rediscover who she was, who her sister was, and who she wants to be. The answers she learns were definitely not what she was expecting. This is a thought provoking novel, could you really be someone who you are not?

Uprooted Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804179034
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Del Rey Books - May 19th, 2015

Cheri's July 2015 pick, 2 of 2

Uprooted, by Naomi Novik

From the picture on the cover, I thought that I would be reading another remake of a fairy tale, but luckily the cover was misleading. While this story is a fantasy (there is magic and monsters, towers and princes) the story was not what I was expecting, and I loved it. Agnieszka has  been taken by the Dragon, the local wizard. For what she has no idea. What she does know is that the Woods that surround her village and kingdom is dark and malevolent and for hundreds of years, it has been the Dragon’s job to keep it at bay. In payment he is allowed to take a girl from Agnieszka’s village, into his tower, for 10 years. Agnieszka is a strong character who takes control of her life even though it seems to have already been given away.
Her road to discovery is unexpected to everyone, including the Dragon, for which he finds that a new purpose to his life may be discovered along with Agnieszka’s. I enjoyed the twists and turns, and the cast of characters. It reminded me of two of my favorite stories somewhat commingled: The Wizard of Oz meets My Fair Lady.

Rook Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545675994
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - April 28th, 2015

Cheri's June 2015 pick

Rook, by Sharon  Cameron

Rook, was a very enjoyable  read. It reads like a historical/fiction, adventure/romance story, with a twist. It actually takes place eight hundred years into the future, where items like a CD are coveted for their value as ancient antiques. However, once again, Paris is in turmoil and has resurrected the guillotine, renamed the Razor. The heroine, Sophia, is a privileged young woman by day, and a disguised avenger by night, saving prisoners from the Razor. Her affections are sought after by two possible heroes that may be working to put her to the Razor themselves. This novel is fast paced, creative, and full of interesting characters.
Cherilyn Perelli   

The Heart of Betrayal: The Remnant Chronicles: Book Two Cover Image
ISBN: 9780805099249
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt & Company - July 7th, 2015

Cheri's May 2015 pick, 2 of 2

The Heart of Betrayal, by Mary E. Pearson

Release date: July 2015

This book is the sequel to  The Kiss of Deception, book 1 of the Remnant Chronicles. I was looking forward to this sequel because I enjoyed the first novel very much, and this second novel did not disappoint. Lia, the main character, remains very strong and brave, while, as a reader, I am still torn between Kaden and Rafe, Lia’s love interests. I also really like the way Ms. Pearson tells the story in first person, but with each main character having their own chapter moving the story along. I will definitely look forward to the the next installment.

How to Speak Dolphin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545676052
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - May 26th, 2015

Cheri's May 2015 pick

How to Speak Dolphin, by Ginny Rorby

Release date May 26, 2015

This story is both heartbreaking and humorous. A young girl, Lily, has a somewhat difficult life. Her parents are both deceased. She is living in Florida with her stepfather and her severely autistic brother, Adam.  Lily’s best friend, Zoe, is completely blind. Lily’s stepfather is a doctor, but very much at a loss as to how to help his son. While the family begins to research schools to help Adam, they also stumble upon the possibility of “dolphin therapy.” A young dolphin, rescued while very sick, seems to be the answer. When this young dolphin, Nori, and Adam meet, Adam begins to shows signs of abilities neither Lily or her stepfather thought were possible. However, Nori is a wild dolphin and Zoe feels strongly that the dolphin should be returned to the wild, despite the connection Nori seems to have with Adam. This begins to cause problems between Lily and Zoe’s friendship. Torn between the struggle of agreeing with her best friend and the connection Adam has to Nori, for Lily, the right thing to do is confusing. What becomes more important; Nori’s freedom to be back in the wild, or Adam’s progress which ultimately might make Lily’s life easier? 

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616954239
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Soho Crime - October 28th, 2014

Cheri's February 2015 pick

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas (Being a Jane Austen Mysteries), by Stephanie Barron

This was a very enjoyable read. The language is reminiscent of Jane Austen’s style, and with the richness of the characters I really felt like I  could be reading one of her novels. Jane’s family has been invited to stay at The Vyne for the twelve celebrated nights of Christmas. The Vyne is the home a prominent member of England’s parliament. While at the Vyne, there is a murder that Jane is determined to solve. This mystery involves broken hearts, a little bit of romance, and possibly espionage. Fans of Jane Austen, of which I am, will surely love to curl up with this book. 

Book of the Dead (Tombquest, Book 1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545723381
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Inc. - January 27th, 2015

Cheri's January 2015 pick

Tombquest: Book of the Dead (Book 1), by Michael Northrop

What an exciting beginning adventure for this new book series. Two kids, fighting an ancient creature and needing to be very quick on their feet. Alex Sennefer and his best friend, Ren, both have parents that work at the museum as Egyptologists. The friends explore the museum together while their parents work. Alex has a condition that keeps him from going to school, so the museum doubles as his classroom.

Currently the parents are setting up a new, top secret Egyptian exhibit that involves a long lost Egyptian book of spells. Alex has visited this top secret exhibit and finds his life threatened. After visiting the exhibit, mysterious and scary beings with super strength come after Alex and Ren, Alex’s sickness disappears, and now so has his mother! Alex and Ren must trust someone they never thought they would have to, to find his mother.

I found this book very well written, well paced, and surprisingly exciting.

Defy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545597586
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - January 7th, 2014

Cheri's 1st April 2014 pick

Defy, by Sara B. Larson
Ages 12 and up
This is an adventure story with a romantic twist. Alexa, the heroine, has lost her parents to a dangerous and mysterious sorcerer, during a conflict between two warring kingdoms. However, the kingdom she lives in isn’t safe either. The lives of girls in her kingdom are a nightmarish ordeal. With the help of Alexa’s twin brother, her only family left, she disguises herself as a boy, and joins the kingdoms army. Her talent in sword fighting elevates her to the personal guard of the kingdom’s spoiled and petulant prince. When the prince’s life is threatened life changes for Alexa in many drastic ways. Maintaining her pretense may be the only thing that stands between her and death. But not everything is what it seems. This is a well-paced book with characters that you can care for. I am hoping that Ms. Larson has a sequel in the works because I would really like to see how Alexa’s life continues to unfold.

The House of Hades Cover Image
ISBN: 9781423146728
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney Press - October 8th, 2013

Cheri's 2nd April 2014 pick

House of Hades, Book 4 of Heroes of Olympus, by Rick Riordan
In this forth novel following Percy Jackson, the stakes keep getting higher, and the close calls closer. The two contingents of demi-gods, from  the Greek Camp Half-Blood, and the Roman Camp Jupiter, are following the quest set forth by the ominous Prophecy of the Seven.  Everything is made all the more difficult because the two camps have a history of severely not getting along. Even now the Camp Jupiter is marching on Camp Half-Blood. However, Percy and his companions have to make the best of a very bad situation. Percy and Annabeth are trapped in Tartarus, while Jason, Piper, and Leo must work together to defend their ship, the Argo II.  And Frank, Hazel, and Nico work to locate an ancient relic to help call an army of the dead to life. Each has their own individual part to play, and many sacrifices are made. None of the companions seem safe or likely to survive.  All the while Gaea gets closer to waking, the doors to the entrance of the underworld remain open, and the monsters just won’t die long enough. Mr. Riordan’s writing keeps getting better, the action is fast paced and the humor made me laugh out loud. This novel is just as exciting as his many others, and I continue to look forward to each new story.