Path to Punishment – Jeanette Alsheimer and Patricia Friedle

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Following the upheaval of the Boston Tea Party, the colonists wait anxiously for England s reaction. Mistrust is rampant and spies could be anywhere. Days after the destruction of the tea, Anne Wentworth flees from Boston to England in search of her betrothed. Far from home, she must draw on her own strength to navigate through a sea of personal and political conspiracies. As the web of intrigue tightens around her, Anne is forced to examine her political beliefs and to decide whom to trust.

Okay…this is a really bad cover! Once you get past that, though, the story is actually really good. There is a huge surprise at the end. You don’t have to read The Trouble with Tea first, although this is the sequel. If you like historical fiction, you’ll like this. – Jessica, Teen Librarian

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Skellig – David Almond

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Michael was looking forward to his new house and neighborhood, until his infant sister became very ill.  Now his parents are constantly frantic, the scary doctor is always coming around, and Michael feels helpless.  When he goes out into the old rickety garage, he comes across a mysterious being living beneath spider webs and eating flies for dinner.  This creature calls himself Skellig, and over the weeks Michael and his new friend Mina bring Skellig out in to the light, and their worlds change forever.

There was something absolutely compelling about this book. It wasn’t that long, and was easy to read, and fascinated me from the first time that Michael meets Skellig. What is he? If you are looking for something a little different, try this book out. – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator – Jennifer Allison

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Zany, likable Gilda Joyce deserves a place right next to her inspiration, Harriet the Spy.

Ever since her father died two years ago, Gilda has been working on sharpening her psychic skills, both in an attempt to communicate with him and to solve spooky mysteries. The summer before ninth grade, she invites herself to San Francisco to visit relatives she’s never met who live in a brooding Victorian mansion, complete with a ghost in the tower.

Lester Splinter, her distant cousin, seems to be hiding something about his sister’s suicide years ago, and Gilda is determined to find out what it is, with the help of his lonely, hostile daughter who is her age. Gilda’s bravery, bluntness, and willingness to try anything help bring Juliet out of herself.

This is a girl with spunk…and almost too much courage! Gilda gets into some scrapes that made me wonder how she’d possibly escape. Everything she does, though, is done with gusto. I love Gilda’s zaniness. – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Gilda Joyce: The Ladies of the Lake – Jennifer Allison

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Gilda Joyce, psychic investigator, makes a return appearance in this comic mystery set at a swanky Catholic girls’ school where she is a new student on scholarship.

Our Lady of Sorrows seems haunted by the ghost of a student who drowned three years earlier. Gilda’s encounters with the headmistress, a handsome teacher, and a small group of popular senior girls lead her to a situation in which she might solve the mystery at the expense of her own safety.

Gilda returns in an adventure that made me laugh amidst trying to solve the mystery before she could. The scariness goes up a little in this one (at least for me…some of the ghost encounters were spooky), but Gilda remains the same. Hooray! – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Gilda Joyce: The Ghost Sonata – Jennifer Allison

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When her best friend, Wendy Choy, qualifies to compete in an international piano competition in Oxford, England, irrepressible Gilda Joyce finds a way to get an invitation herself–as a page-turner. Wendy settles into an exhausting practice schedule, made worse by strange nightmares, while Gilda finds herself falling in love with a British boy. But when Wendy discovers a ghostly message written in the frost on her window, Gilda realizes her friend’s life could be in danger. Exploring oxford colleges and the English countryside, Gilda sets out to unlock the secret of the most disturbing haunting she has yet encountered.

Gilda totally cracks me up!! These mysteries are cute and interesting and the characters are funny. I definitely recommend this whole series and can’t wait to read the next one myself. – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

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Little Women is the story of The Marches, a family used to hard toil and suffering. Although Father March is away with the Union armies, the sisters Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth keep in high spirits with their mother, affectionately named Marmee. Their friendly gift of a Christmas holiday breakfast to a neighbouring family is an act of generosity rewarded with wealthy Mr. Laurence’s gift of a surprise Christmas feast. However, despite their efforts to be good, the girls show faults: the pretty Meg becomes discontented with the children she teaches; boyish Jo loses her temper regularly; while the golden-haired schoolgirl Amy is inclined towards affectation. However, Beth, who keeps the house is always kind and gentle. After certain happy times winning over the Laurences, dark times arrive as Marmee finds out about her husband’s illness. Worse is to come as Beth contracts scarlet fever in her Samaritan efforts for a sick neighbour and becomes more or less an invalid. The novel tells of their progress into young womanhood with the additional strains of romance, Beth’s terminal illness, the pressures of marriage and the outside world. This is the story of their growing maturity and wisdom and the search for the contentedness of family life.

A true classic. This is a book that touches you. It will make you smile, cry, and laugh out loud. There is romance, heartbreak, adventure, and spirit. Try this if you are tired of contemporary fiction. – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Little Men – Louisa May Alcott


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The beloved sequel to Little Women, this classic continues the story of Jo March, who goes on to get married and inherit an estate with which she creates an experimental school for boys.  At Plumfield, the boys receive education, love, and a home.

Three new people come to Plumfield and stir everyone up.  Nat likes to lie, Dan likes to beat people up, and Nan is full of energy that cannot be controlled. Eventually Jo tames them. Through some different methods, Jo and the Professor manage to create one large family at Plumfield.

Filled with troublesome boys, mischief, laughter, and hijinks, Little Men is a good sequel to Little Women.

This book was another good read. Not quite as magical as Little Women, but it continues the story of Jo, who was my favorite character, and I grew to love the boys and other new characters in this story.  Try it, and if you read Little Women, you must continue with this book!    – Jessica, Teen Librarian

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