Thursday, January 4, 2018
June Cleaver's ratings: Language G; Violence G; Sexual content G; Nudity G; Substance abuse G; Magic & the occult G; GLBT content G; adult themes (getting your period, underwear, feminism) PG; overall rating G.
Liz's comments: Pretty sure MS girls will find these stories funnier than I did. ;) My favorite was "Over and Out" by Lisa Graff, detailing the misadventures of a pink bra. Strictly for girls!
June Cleaver's ratings: Language PG; Violence PG-13; Sexual content PG; Nudity G; Substance abuse PG-13; Magic & the occult G; GLBt content G; adult themes (torture, implied genocide, scenes of battle violence) PG-13; overall rating PG-13.
Liz's comments: Told in alternating viewpoints, this is a fast-moving fantasy that will especially appeal to girls. A complicated story, best for 8th and up.
June Cleaver's ratings: Language PG-13 (the "s" word appears about every other page); Violence PG-13 (a bullying beat-down); Sexual content PG-13 (significant making out); Nudity G; Substance abuse R; GLBT content G; Adult themes (bullying, underage drinking, grief and guilt) PG-13; overall rating PG-13.
Liz's comments: I liked this one a lot. I feel like handing it to the mothers of several boys I know with Asperger's syndrome who wonder whether their sons will ever be able to get a date. It's always interesting to find a well-written book offering a glimpse into the alternative way the mind of a person with autism works. Hand this one to readers who liked Sophie Kinsella's "Finding Audrey." Best for 8th grade and up.
June Cleaver's ratings: Language R; Violence PG; Sexual content PG; Nudity G; Substance Abuse PG; Magic & the occult PG; GLBT content PG; adult themes PG; overall rating PG-13 (although really, it's too confusing for MS readers).
Liz's comments: I was really a fan of Cashore's "Graceling" and "Fire" ("Bitterblue" not so much) and so was really looking forward to this one, which seemed like your standard "poor girl stumbles on a mystery at her rich friend's gala house party" until page 269, when the first set of questions have all been answered and the alternative dimension kicks in. Even though I knew it was coming, I found it disorienting--like a completely different book. Then the next section continued on in a totally different direction. Some people would find that challenging and cool (hence the starred reviews in some places) but I found it disjointed and strange, and would have liked the book better if it had just ended at page 269.
June Cleaver's ratings: Language PG-13; Violence R; Sexual content PG; Nudity G; Substance abuse PG-13; Magic and the occult G; GLBT content G; adult themes (parental abandonment, betrayal, political intrigue) PG; overall rating PG-13.
Liz's comments: A futurist story starring genetically-enhanced warriors operating Transformer-like war machines. Any reader of Dan Wells' or Brandon Sanderson's YA sci-fi books will also like this one.
June Cleaver's ratings: Language PG-13; Violence R; Sexual content PG-13 (fade-to-black sex that younger kids probably won't notice, if they ever even get as far as book 3); Nudity PG; Substance abuse PG-13; GLBT content PG-13; adult themes (political intrigue, family scheming, betrayal, difficult concepts) PG-13; overall rating PG-13.
Liz's comments: Another series I've been waiting a long time to read in order...imagine my chagrin when I realized, about 1/3 of the way through, that there's no way the author was going to be able to wrap things up by the end of book 3. Truthfully, this series is probably better for 9th-up, due to its denser prose and its challenging concepts, but for the 8th grade GT kids in any middle school who are looking for the next thing after Harry Potter--here you go.
June Cleaver's ratings: Language PG; VIolence PG-13; Sexual content G; Nudity G; Substance abuse PG; Magic & the occult PG-13; GLBT content G; adult themes (demons and those who deal with them) PG-13; overall rating PG-13.
Liz's comments: I've been waiting for several years to be able to read the entire series of 5 Lockwood & Co books, and I'm happy to say it was worth the wait. Such a fan of Jonathan Stroud! Recommend this to any good MS reader who's willing to do a little alternative thinking, and who likes a well-plotted story with plenty of creepy action. And when they're done with this series, send them over to the Bartimaeus books. Cuz why stop here?