Example ARC Review


Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question by Martha Freeman

When Effie goes to live with her aunt & uncle at the Zook Farm, she finds that something is odd. Why won’t her aunt & uncle let her go to the bookstore? And why does her neighbor say that the Zook’s are celebrities? Effie turns to her only way of finding answers: asking questions. With her curiosity & stubbornness, she not only finds answers to the adult’s strange behavior, but a friend for herself as well. In this exciting story, Effie realizes she can find family & friendship in places she doesn’t expect. If you’re a fan of Nancy Drew or Encyclopedia Brown, then you will love this book.


Ivy by Katherine Coville

Ivy lives with her grandmother in the clean town of Broomsweep, where she loves taking care of animals. Sometimes that makes their home less tidy than their neighbors approve of. When the new queen makes a contest for the best town in the kingdom, Ivy & her grandmother are made fun of for their not-quite-clean house, especially when a griffin & dragon come along needing help. Just when the queen arrives to inspect the town, four trolls follow—but not to seek comfort from Ivy’s grandmother. No! They are there to EAT! Can Ivy keep her wits about her & outsmart the trolls? I loved this funny, exciting tale filled with magical creatures!


Making Bombs for Hitler by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

When Lida & her younger sister Larissa are taken away from their home by brutal Nazis, she thinks: “At least I have my sister with me.” Then they’re separated & Lida is thrown into a dirty train car filled with children. She’s brought to a work camp, where they work incredibly hard—or else be killed. As Lida struggles with starvation, sickness, fear & loss, she misses her sister even more. She hopes to find Larissa at another work camp, but when she see a girl that looks like her sister with a Nazi family, it changes everything. Will Lida survive long enough to find her sister? And when she does—will she want to? This emotionally engaging story is easy to get into & hard to forget.


The Vanishing Island (The Chronicles of the Black Tulip) by Barry Wolverton

The title alone captured my attention! Now that I've read it, I have to say this is my favorite new book! In 1599, twelve-year-old Bren lives a dull life in the village of Map on the coast of Britannia. He's determined not to end up like his father—poor and working a dead-end job, creating maps for the wealthy Rand McNally. Bren wants to be the explorer who sails into uncharted seas, finding new worlds to be put on McNally's maps. Instead, he in ends up working in the vomitorium! But there he meets a dying sailor who gives him an unusual gift that helps Bren's dreams come true. Or so Bren thinks. This story has it all: adventure, magic, humor and more. I can't wait for the next installment of The Chronicles of the Black Tulip!  


All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor

Perry considers his life normal. But to anyone who doesn’t know him it is anything but normal. For 12 years, since the day he was born, he has lived with his mom who is an inmate at a minimum-security prison.  When the District Attorney finds out, he has Perry removed to a foster home. Find out what Perry & his good friend, Samantha, do to ensure he & his mom can once again be together. These characters were so real and engaging that I forgot I was reading a book. I wanted to know Perry’s story. His mom’s story. All the people at the Blue River Coed Correctional facility who taught Perry their values—I wanted to know all their stories. This is Leslie Connor’s best book yet!