Wolf Brother – Michelle Paver

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Set 6000 years ago, this fast-paced adventure delves into a world of spirits and mysticism. Torak, 12, witnesses his father’s brutal attack by a giant, demon-possessed bear and promises to find his way to the Mountain of the World Spirit. Before dying, his father instructs him to avoid other men and tells him that his guide will find him. Sure enough, Torak is soon adopted by a wolf cub, also recently orphaned, with whom he is able to communicate. The bear continues to terrorize the forest, but Torak is able to avoid it with Wolf’s help. They are captured by the Wolf clan, who believes that Torak is the Listener, and will rid the forest of the bear when he fulfills a prophecy by delivering three lost artifacts to the mountain. He must solve an obscure riddle to find the artifacts and traverse dangerous lands, all the while evading the evil bear.

Paver uses language like “Tall Tail-less” and other really neat ways to explain things from Wolf’s perspective in this book.  This is set 6000 years ago, so if you liked Clan of the Cave Bear, you’ll like this book.  If you haven’t read that, but you like adventure, try this anyway. The spiritual concepts in this book are really cool too!  – Jessica, Teen Librarian

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Maximum Ride: Vol 1 – James Patterson & NaRae Lee

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After being exposed as a girl, Jacky Faber is forced to leave the Dolphin and attend the elite Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls in Boston.  But growing up on the streets of London and fighting pirates never prepared Jacky for her toughest battle yet: learning how to be a lady.

Everything she does is wrong.  Her embrodery is deplorable, her French is atrocious, and her table manners–disgusting!  And whenever Jacky roams the city in search of adventure, trouble is never far behind.  Then there’s the small matter of her blue anchor tattoo….

So will Jacky ever become a typical lady?  Not bloody well likely!  But whether she’s triumphing over her snobbish classmates, avenging a serving girl’s murder, or winning over a stubborn horse that’s as fast as the wind, one thing’s for sure: Jacky’s new life in Boston is just as exciting as her old one on the high seas.

These are good books and I think they did a good job turning them into a graphic novel series.  There were only a few pages where there wasn’t really enough action for me to figure out what happened until I turned a couple more pages.  I like all the drawaings of the characters except Fang.

Maximum Ride: School’s Out Forever – James Patterson

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In the second installment in the Maximum Ride series, Max and her flock of genetically altered children are moving closer to understanding the reason for their existence–or at least for the modifications that have been made to them.  As they travel the country, Max is still hearing the Voice in her head and trying to figure out how she feels about possibly killing her own brother…if he is, was her brother.  The flock is lulled into a relaxing interlude and regular school, but is this too good to be true?

Maximum Ride is one cool chick…she and her flock take you soaring through another amazing adventure.  These books are great for everyone!  – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Maximum Ride: Saving the World – James Patterson

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There’s one last chance to save the world in the third book in the Maximum Ride series, SAVING THE WORLD AND OTHER EXTREME SPORTS. The time has arrived for Max and her winged “flock” to face their ultimate enemy and discover their original purpose: to defeat the takeover of “Re-evolution”–a sinister experiment to re-engineer a select population into a scientifically superior master race…and to terminate the rest. Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel have always worked together to defeat the forces working against them–but can they save the world when they are torn apart, living in hiding and captivity, halfway across the globe from one another?

Max and Fang split up! OMG.  So not good…but not surprisingly the flock manages to come together and kick some flying tail!  Check it out.  – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment – James Patterson

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A group of genetically enhanced kids who can fly and have other unique talents are on the run from part-human, part-wolf predators called Erasers.  Max, 14, and her adopted family–Fang and Iggy, both 13, Nudge, 11, Gazzy, 8, and Angel, 6–were all created as experiments in a lab called the School. Jeb, a sympathetic scientist, helped them escape and, since then, they’ve been living on their own. The Erasers have orders to kill them so the world will never find out they exist. Max’s old childhood friend, Ari, now an Eraser leader, tracks them down, kidnaps Angel, and transports her back to the School to live like a lab rat again. The youngsters are forced to use their special talents to rescue her as they attempt to learn about their pasts and their destinies.

What a rush from start to finish!!  Action-packed and funny, I find myself wishing to join the “flock” and fly off to save Angel with Max and the others.  If you haven’t tried this series yet…take this out NOW!  A must read.  – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Max – James Patterson

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Maximum Ride: Book 5

Maximum Ride and the other members of the flock have barely recovered from their last Arctic adventure, when they are confronted by the most frightening catastrophe yet.  Millions of fish are dying off the coast of Hawaii and someone-or something-is destroying hundreds of ships.  Unable to discover the cause, the government enlists the flock to help them get to the bottom of the disaster before it is too late.

While Max and her team are exploring the depths of the ocean, their every move is being carefully tracked by Mr. Chu-a criminal mastermind with his own plans for the flock. Can they protect themselves from Mr. Chu’s army of mercenaries and save the ocean from utter destruction?

Much better than the last one! Then environment still weighs heavily in this volume, but you’re not hit over the head with it like you were in Final Warning.  Max still kicks tail, has to face some cool new enemies, goes scuba diving, develops a new skil…and a newly hot romance!  A fun new addition to the series.  – Jessica, Teen Librarian

The Final Warning – James Patterson

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Maximum Ride and the other members of the flock are just like ordinary kids–only they have wings and can fly.  It seems like a dream come true..until they’re hunted by the world’s nastiest villains.

Max returns in a chilling adventure unlike any other.  Safe havens for the six highly-sought-after winged kids have become increasingly hard to find, so the flock takes refuge in Antarctica with a team of environmentalists studying the effects of global warming.  In this remote wilderness–whether pursued by corrupt governments, bioengineered bad-guys, or the harsh forces of nature–survival of the fittest takes a new twist.

I like the characters in Maximum Ride, and I love that a little romance seems to be developing.  What I didn’t like about this book was that it got a little preachy.  Global warming is a major issue, I acknowledge that,  I don’t need to be smacked in the face with it!  – Jessica, Teen Librarian

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