Book List

Download List

Comments are explicit and detailed and are intended for parents to use to determine acceptability for their children. Please read comments - do not rely on ratings alone. Books are reviewed to the best of our abilities, we apologize for any errors.

Review Date Title Author Series Grades Rating Teen Comments
12/03/2019 The Mystery of the Icy Paw Prints Paris, Harper Greetings From Somewhere 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Twins travel to Alaska and figure out who has been stealing fish. Mention of digging up tools that were over ten thousand years old. Language- weird
12/03/2019 The Mystery Across the Secret Bridge Paris, Harper Greetings From Somewhere 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Twins travel to Peru and follow a secret rope bridge to a cave with an Incan statue with animals representing "The tree of life". Nonprovacative illustration of second grade girl and boy swimming in hotel pool.
12/03/2019 The Mystery In the Forbidden City Paris, Harper Greetings From Somewhere 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Children travel to China and get lost in the Forbidden City. A few mentions of Chinese beliefs including that dragons bring good luck.
12/03/2019 The Mystery of the Suspicious Spices Paris, Harper Greetings From Somewhere 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Children travel to Mumbai India and help a spice seller figure out who spoiled his spices. People wait on line to buy tickets to movie theater to see a "Bollywood film".
12/01/2019 The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone Moriarty, Jaclyn 5 - 7 Generally Acceptable
Girl has been left by her parents with an aunt since she was a baby. Hears of parents' death and follows the instructions in their will to go on a magical journey.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Mild romantic implications between adults (fairytale style): see each other, swim together, fall in love, marry.Adult woman mentions her "romantic affair" with the gardener, doesn't mention marriage but could have been.Adult mentions throwing arms around man she loved.
Violence
Some mild violence
11/17/2019 Ada Lace Sees Red Calandrelli, Emily Ada Lace 3 - 5 Questionable
Girl has trouble in the art class her father teaches and starts having a difficult relationship with him- eventually she invents a robot to do the art projects for her and discovers she is color blind- resolves her relationship with her father
Language
dumb, freaking out, a freak
11/17/2019 Ada Lace, On the Case Calandrelli, Emily Ada Lace 3 - 5 Questionable
Girls investigate the disappearance of their neighbor's dog using gadgets and technology. One girl believes in science and technology and the other believes in good luck amulets and meditation. Mention of book "Treasure Island". Girl who is spying on her neighbors watches man give woman flowers and she hugs him. Ongoing rivalry between a boy and the two girls. One word mention of TV
Language
creep, weird, butt
11/10/2019 The Woods Beyond Thorpe, Kiki The Never Girls 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Girl wanders off and has adventures with a group of boys brought to Neverland by Peter Pan. Girls sing jingle bells. Boy watches TV.
Language
dumb
11/10/2019 Under The Lagoon Thorpe, Kiki 2 - 4 Questionable
Human girl and mermaid girl become friends against the advice of their elders. Girl is surprised that mermaids tail looks different than mermaids in the movies. Illustrations of mermaids wearing scanty tops (but not nearly as provocative as mermaids in other books)
stupid/ stooopid
11/10/2019 Wedding Rings Thorpe, Kiki The Never Girls 2 - 4 Questionable
Children go to their babysitter's wedding and have adventures with their fairy friends who sneak in to see what a human wedding looks like. Illustrations of the bride wearing a low cut dress. Girl says she hates wearing dresses instead of pants because she doesn't want people to see her underwear when she climbs trees. Small illustration of bride and groom hugging each other.
11/10/2019 Ada Lace and the Impossible Mission Calandrelli, Emily Ada Lace 3 - 5 Questionable
Girls are afraid that a boy did something to sabotage their school project so they devise an elaborate plan to break into school to check their project before it is shown to parents. Many discussions about movies- characters in them, plots etc. Minor disrespect to substitute teacher. A lot of technology.
Language
gross, butt, weird, drat
11/10/2019 Take Me To Your Leader Calandrelli, Emily Ada Lace 3 - 5 Questionable
Girl learns to be a ham radio operator. Her friend is sure that aliens are communicating with them on the radio. It turns out to be a classmate pulling a prank and the space station orbiting overhead. In the back of the book the author describes how you can use various devices connected to the internet to make your house a "smart house". One sentence mention that cities are beautiful from space like xmas lights. Girl programs her robot with scary sounds to prank her brother.
Language
creepy, weird, freaked out
11/03/2019 The Year of the Garden Cheng, Andrea Anna Wang Series 3 - 5 Generally Acceptable
Prequel to Year of the Book. Chinese American girl moves to a new town and makes friends as she plants a gardenl(inspired by the book The Secret Garden). Brief xmas, Chinese New Year
Language
dumb, weird
11/03/2019 The Year of the Three Sisters Cheng, Andrea Anna Wang Series 3 - 5 Questionable
Chinese American girl and her friend host an exchange student from China. Girl reads Diary of Anne Frank and wonders how people know who is Jewish and who isn't- its not like Asians who can be identified right away. Children have Chinese class in a church. Mention of a few books by title- Where the Sidewalk Ends, Charlotte's Web, Superfudge, Number the Stars. Sad when girl's grandfather dies.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl feels self conscious in her baggy teacher with her flat chest- she wants a bra but her mother tells her Asians usually mature later.
Religion/Hashkafa
Brief descriptions of Thanksgiving and xmas
Language
stupid
11/03/2019 The Year of the Fortune Cookie Cheng, Andrea Anna Wang Series 3 - 5 Generally Acceptable
Chinese American girl travels to China to help her teacher adopt a baby and becomes more comfortable with her own identity. Jewish boy says he has to go to Hebrew school until he is 16, then he can decide if he wants to quit or "start another language" (implies goal of Hebrew school is to learn the Hebrew langauge). Chinese girl tells American girls she saw big houses in America on TV. Naughty brother only wants to watch TV. Brief mentions of xmas, picture of tree and presents.
Language
dumb, weird
11/03/2019 A True Home George, Kallie Heartwood Hotel 3 - 5 Acceptable
An orphaned mouse stumbles across a very special hotel where all animals are treated with respect. She hopes to be hired as a maid so she can call the hotel home. She ends up saving everyone from dangerous wolves.
Language
stupid
11/03/2019 The Greatest Gift George, Kallie Heartwood Hotel 3 - 5 Generally Acceptable
The hotel celebrates "St. Slumber" before hibernation season. When the food supply runs low the mouse turned maid saves the day. St. Slumber "gave us animals our gifts. THick fur to stay warm, big bellies to hold lots of food..." St. Bright Eyes is the one who wakes up the animals from hibernation.
10/28/2019 The Year of the Book Cheng, Andrea Anna Wang Series 3 - 5 Problematic
Chinese American girl learns how to make real friends. Girl tries to help her friend deal with her parent's marital problems and her father who keeps coming to her house even though he isn't supposed to. GIrls brothers are angry and tell their mother they know why their father doesn't want to live in their house anymore. Girl explains that they aren't divorced, they are separated but that is good because when they were together "all they do is fight". Girl keeps writing things down to use as "documentation" in case they have to go to court again. Mention of book titles including Princess Diaries and My Side of the Mountain. My Louisiana Sky, A Wrinkle in Time. Middos among classmates.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl wishes she could wear bras like her friend.
Religion/Hashkafa
Girl wonders why they celebrate Halloween in Chinese school since they don't celebrate Halloween in China. Description of trick or treating. Children write an essay for Thanksgiving about what they are thankful for. One word xmas.
Language
stupid, dumb, weird
10/28/2019 Better Together George, Kallie Heartwood Hotel 3 - 5 Generally Acceptable
When the hotel manager goes on vacation, the staff decides to conduct contests to attract guests, but they unwittingly attract danger and the little mouse once again saves the day. The cook "falls in love" with one of the guests- not very detailed.
10/27/2019 Lulu's Mysterious Mission Viorst Judith The Lulu Collection 3 - 5 Questionable
Parents leave their spoiled daughter to go on vacation and the daughter tries her hardest to get the babysitter fired (terrible middos). When she finds out the babysitter used to be a spy she behaves in the hopes she will train her to be a spy.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Babysitter tells girl not to hack into a computer to find out if a boy likes her better than another girl. Babysitter wears a slinky dress to go on a date.
Language
Pain in the butt, poop, dumb, stupid, gross
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Babysitter tells her that bad behavior might work in a movie but won't work with her. Girl's trombone teacher is named Harry Potter not to be confused with the book hero. BAbysitter dresses in a slinky dress and is "as beautiful as a movie star"- large black and white illustration.
10/27/2019 Aleca Zamm Fools Them All Rue, Ginger Aleca Zamm 3 - 5 Problematic
Girl tries to keep her ability to stop time a secret but her best friend gets suspicious.Girl tries to explain her actions by saying her father is a secret video star of little kids videos. She meets a younger brilliant boy who has the ability to see things from the past. Together they try to help her aunt whose ability to teleport isn't working. Middos between children in school-they say mean things to each other and try to give mean smart comebacks. Make fun of girl that younger boy is her boyfriend (he isn't). Girl remembers when she stopped time and unhooked the principals suspenders so his pants fell down. Girl does a disco dance she saw on the internet. Aunt watches soap operas- neice tries to convince her to stop watching people do "dumb" things on TV.
Language
poop, dork, freak out, dumb, snot , gross, freaks, dumb, weirdo
10/24/2019 Aleca Zamm Travels Through Time Rue, Ginger Aleca Zamm 3 - 5 Problematic
Girl who can stop time teams up with a boy who can stop time and her aunt who can teleport. They travel back in time- it only works when they hold hands (not romantic). When girl stops time she "messes" with her principal and pushes him away from the wall so when he wakes up he will fall down. Her friend convinces her it is mean
Language
weirded out, gross, pee, poop, freak out, doofus, weird
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Aunt watches soap opera on TV when she is sad. Boy has seen hundreds of TV shows and movies.
10/24/2019 Aleca Zamm Is Ahead of her Time Rue, Ginger Aleca Zamm 3 - 5 Questionable
Girl is forced to invite her former best friend turned enemy to her birthday party at a roller rink. She is forced to stop time to keep her elderly aunt from gettng hurt. Bad middos between girls. Girl doesn't like being forced to give valentines to all of her classmates, even the ones she doesn't like. Boy memorizes TV ads.
Language
freaked out, weird, gross, a freak,
10/24/2019 Lulu Walks the Dogs Viorst Judith The Lulu Collection 3 - 5 Questionable
A spoiled girl is told by her parents that she will have to earn money to buy herself something very expensive. She decides to become a dogwalker. She only succeeds with the help of a very well behaved boy who she hates. Eventually she comes to appreciate him but not to "love" him as in the story Cinderellaa since he is still "too annoying" to love. WHen they call a truce, boy and girl shake hands. Many mentions of dogs "pooping" and using a "pooper scooper" and other minor bathroom humor.
10/23/2019 The Princess In Black and the Perfect Princess Party Hale, Shannon and Dean Hale The Princess In Black Series 1 - 2 Acceptable
Princess tries to keep her superhero identity secret as she tries to transform at the same time as having a pink frilly princess party.
10/23/2019 The Princess In Black Hale, Shannon and Dean Hale The Princess In Black Series 1 - 2 Generally Acceptable
A princess secretly transforms into a super hero type princess and saves the goat herd from monsters who keep attacking them. It is hard for her to keep her identity secret when a nosy dutchess visits her in the castle. Funny violence between the princess and funny looking (but big and strong) monsters.
Language
drat (p49)
09/24/2019 The Girl With The Dragon Heart Stephanie Burgis 5 - 7 Generally Acceptable
A poor girl becomes involved in palace intrigue and saves the kingdom from evil fairies. She also saves her parents who she hasn't seen since they were kidnapped when she was young.. For most of the book she doesn't know if they are dead or alive.
Language
idiots, shut up, stupid
09/22/2019 The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden Glaser, Karina Yan The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street 5 - 7 Problematic
A biracial family in Harlem decides to cultivate an abandoned lot next to their church and turn it into a community garden and work to foil plans to sell the lot to a building developer. Elderly neighbor has a stroke and is hospitalized- children are traumatized until he comes home. Mention of author Roald Dahl. Children aren't very nice to another child but eventually become friends. A lot of talk about landlord being sad since his daughter died in an accident.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl says elderly couple is romantic because "they always hold hands even though they've been together for fifty years". Boy is friends with whole family but "definitely preferered" girl who he asked to the eighth grade dance. Brother wonders what the big deal about a dance is.
Religion/Hashkafa
Many mentions of the church and its pastor but no outright religion. Unimportant mention of Halloween costume.
Language
stupid, freaked out, pain in the butt, weird, holy heck
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Boy wishes he could text his friends, watch baseball videos on youtube and play minecraft (video game)
09/22/2019 The Wild Robot Escapes Brown, Peter 3 - 6 Generally Acceptable
Continuation of the book "The Wild Robot". The Robot is refurbished and sent to work on a farm, but it is homesick for its island (setting of the previous book) so it escapes. Farmer escapes how he hired his wife to help on the farm and then they "fell in love".
Language
weird
09/22/2019 The Journey of Little Charlie Curtis, Christopher Paul 6 - 8 Problematic
Poor, orphaned white boy is forced to accompany slave hunter to capture escaped slaves and ends up freeing them and making a new life for himself. Gritty. Terrible mistreatment and racist attitude toward blacks "darkies". Awful punishment given to slaves described in detail. Many mentions of yoshka by name and "sweet baby" yoshka. Jokes about farting. One word xmas.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Sherrif tells boy that his father was planning to abandon the family and run off with another woman. Boy watches as boy is supposed to capture flirts with a girl he is "smited bad"- "skinning and grinning and flocking 'round this one colored girl"
Language
stupid, dimwit, stinking, hell( a few times), morons, butt, dumb
09/16/2019 The Matchstick Castle Graff, Keir 5 - 7 Questionable
Boy spends his summer vacation at his "boring" uncle's house and has to be a test student for his uncles new summer school computer program. He finds some excitement when he and his female cousin meet an eccentric family living in the woods and help them save their dangerous but very interesting castle from being torn down. Boy is proud of girl for lying to her parents to get them out of trouble and save their friends. Children help break into government office to destroy the order to destroy the castle. One word xmas.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Boy holds girls hand to help her navigate a scary situation- cousin suspects she has a crush on the boy
Language
freak, weird, stupid, heck, dumb, weirdos,butt, crap, freak out, blasted, barf, maniac
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Constant technology - boy goes to summer school on the computer, checks email. Aunt sells things online. Girl suggests publicizing things on the internet. Girl looks like an actress in a made for TV movie. Children tell parents they are going to town to see a movie. TV reporters interview the family
09/15/2019 The Order of the Unicorn Selfors, Suzanne The Imaginary Veterinary 3 - 5 Questionable
The saga continues as children travel to the imaginary world to rescue a kidnapped baby unicorn. Girl hugs boy after he saves her- not romantic. End of book explains why animals grow horns "One of the most important reasons for horns is that males use them to attract females. this is called courtship. While a human male might put on cologne and a fancy suit to attract a lady's attention, the male antelope struts around showing off his horns. " Also mention of Greek mythology. Girl isn't sure if she should give Jewish boy something for xmas or Hanukkah. One word Halloween.
Language
weird, gosh darn (p73). drat, gross, booger
09/15/2019 The Rain Dragon Rescue Selfors, Suzanne The Imaginary Veterinary 3 - 5 Questionable
The saga continues as children travel to the imaginary land to help an injured dragon. Boy describes a fight he had at "Oakview Hebrew Academy". Boy is sad his parents are getting a divorce. Girl grabs boy's hand when she is scared (not romantic). Boy remembers when his father took him to a vampire film festival. At the end of the book it mentions legends about mythical animals- says we have skeletons to prove dinosaurs and wooly mammoths onec roamed the earth but no proof dragons existed.
Language
berserk, gross, weird, drat (frequent), stupid, poop, crud
09/15/2019 The Madman Of Piney Woods Curtis, Christopher Paul 6 - 8 Problematic
Companion book to "Elijah of Buxton". Two boys, one white and Irish and one black find their lives intertwined around a mysterious hermit who lives in the woods. Both families experienced a great deal of prejudice and boys find more in common than different. Lots of sibling rivalry that improves. Boy is sad about the death of his mother. Grandmother is pretty mean to him. Boy's father is drunk and beats him up- boy starts a fight with another boy so he can blame the injuries his father gave him on the fight. Bloody war stories. Mention of Yoshka by name a few times. Some parts of this book are quite gritty.
Language
Grandmother is angry at a storekeeper who showed her family prejudice and says she hopes G-d "stirs his hoof through the roof of heaven and kicks yer father square in his arse straight down to hell", butt, stupid, crap, idiots, morons, stinking
09/10/2019 Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow Townsend, Jessica Nevermoor 5 - 9 Generally Acceptable
Teen
Girl discovers her powers and tries to fight evil.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
"That's not his wife, it's his mistress" - no elaboration.Continued friendship with 2 boys. Friendly negiah with them and fatherly mentor.
Language
"You have a bum for a face"
09/10/2019 Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow Townsend, Jessica Nevermoor 5 - 9 Generally Acceptable
Teen
Girl discovers her magical powers and is taken to a magical school
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl is friends with 2 boys. May evolve in later books. Friendly,fatherly negiah between her and male mentor.
Language
fart
09/10/2019 Fortunately, the Milk Gaiman, Neil 3 - 5 Generally Acceptable
Tongue-in-cheek book about father's tall tale to kids. Other than the fact that the father is "lying", great fun.
09/02/2019 Alien Encounter Harper, Charise Mericle 3 - 5 Problematic
I only read the first two chapters and the entire thing was based on a boy getting caught on a tree by the waistband of his underwear- very juvenile bathroom humor.
09/02/2019 Sasquatch and the Muckleshoot Gidwitz, Adam and Jesse Casey The Unicorn Rescue Society 3 - 5 Questionable
Boy and girl go with their eccentric teacher to the Pacific Northwest to save a sasquatch family. Classmate shows off that he can fart to the tune of happy birthday.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl asks boy to help her put on her club membership ring and when he does she says "we are legally engaged"- he is shocked- she punches him in the are "Just kdding, boyfriend. I dont' expect you to ask me to maryy you until we are at least out of high school" (joking). Girl has a "tight grip" on boy while they are running away which makes boy feel "very weird".
Language
weirdo, weird, shut up, dumb, jerk, berserk, darn (p161), idiot
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
The plot revolves around fooling a TV news reporter. Mentions of TV shows.Girl dresses like the leaad singer in a punk rock band. Internet. Girl wonders if someone is hacking the bad organizations email.
09/02/2019 The Basque Dragon Gidwitz, Adam and Jesse Casey The Unicorn Rescue Society 3 - 5 Questionable
Boy and girl go to Europe with eccentric teacher on his rickety plane to save a dragon that was kidnapped by evil brothers who want to use it to cure their baldness. Friendly negiah between boy and girl but not romantic. Mention of legend of a god with seven heads.
Language
weird, poop, stupid, darn it (p145)
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Kids think teacher could have played a secret agent in an action movie. Kids discuss what they had seen last night on TV or online. Teacher tells children not to be swayed by videos they see on TV.

In order to reduce the number of printed pages, you may choose to omit comments. PLEASE NOTE: Lists printed for use by children should not include comments.

Do you want to print without comments?
The Book of Three
Alexander, Lloyd
Grades: 6 - 8
Generally Acceptable
Series
A boy goes on a quest to save the land from an evil king. Meets a girl who comes with him. As the series develops, he realizes he wants to marry her. In this book completely innocent.
Language
stupid, idiots, drat
The Castle of Llyr
Alexander, Lloyd
Grades: 6 - 8
Generally Acceptable
Series
The quest continues. Girl is sent to a different kingdom to learn to be a lady. She is expected to become engaged to the prince. Boy begins to realize he has feelings for her, but in this book nothing comes of it. The majority of the story involves a quest to save the girl who has been kidnapped. Non romantic negiah
Language
drat, feckless dolt, blast
The Arkadians
Alexander, Lloyd
Grades: 6 - 8
Problematic
A group of unlikely friends help save the kingdom. Essentially a mild love story that results in 3 couples marrying. Mild romantic negiah- hand holding and brief kisses. Mild flirting. On back cover is a frontal statue of a women almost completely unclothed.Magical religion. Language-stupid, jackass/ass (usually referring to an animal), dumb, idiot, stupid,
The High King
Alexander, Lloyd
Grades: 6 - 8
Generally Acceptable
Series
The quest ends- lots of magic. A mild running romance - a few hugs - end up marrying. Can easily be crossed out. Some difficult old-fashioned language. Brief mention that a character in the book built an ark and saved the animals from a terrible flood. There are sad moments where favorite characters are killed in battle.
Language
idiot
Magic Attic Club Megan & Borealis Butterfly
Alexander, Nina
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
A girl helps save rare butterfly and gains courage to go to father/daughter day in school with her aunt, since parents are divorced.
Rebel in the Library of Ever
Alexander, Zeno
Grades: 4 - 6
Generally Acceptable
A girl helps save a library in another world from people who want to destroy it.
Language
creeps, creepy, dummy, stupid, dumb, drat (once), darn (once), idiots
Ghoulish Song
Alexander,William
Grades: 5 - 8
Generally Acceptable
Strange story of a girl whose shadow separates from her thereby causing everyone, including her family to be convinced that she is dead and is now a ghoul, even though she is very much alive.Middos between siblings. Calls brother "snotfish". Sings chutzpadik song about her mother, but really loves her. Language-idiot.
Mya In The Middle
Allen, Crystal
Grades: 4 - 6
Problematic
Series
Girl with a new baby sister suddenly becomes a middle child and decides to start a class newspaper to grab her tired parents' attention. One word xmas. Some middos between siblings. Mean girl in the previous books finally apologizes. One word xmas. In the acknowledgements in the back of the book author begins by thanking her savior yoshka.- hard to miss.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
girls say a DJ is "boo- yang cute".
Language
weird, gross, dumb, freaking, berserk
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Children use computer to create a newspaper
The Wall of Fame Game
Allen, Crystal
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Nine year old girl is disappointed not to be watching a cowboy movie marathon with her mother, when she is forced to participate in a school contest to respond to her enemy's dare. She learns a lot about good and bad motivation, parental expectations, family and friends. A lot of bad middos among classmates. One word xmas. Goes to church to sign up for contest. Girl stands in front of a picture of yoshka and "folds her hands sas if she's praying. "Sorry about that lie I just told back there in your office. I'll talk to you more about it tonight at bedtime prayers...after my parents leave my room."
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
father gives mother a "smoochie" and rubs her pregnant belly.
Language
creepy, jerk, dumb, weird, stupid, stinkin'
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Girl likes to sit with her mother and watch TV and movies. Uses internet to find information.
Spirit Week Showdown
Allen, Crystal
Grades: 4 - 6
Problematic
Series
A girl is partnered with the school bully for a week long competition and loses her best friend. She gradually discovers that both the school bully and her former friend have facets to their characters she never knew. GIrl does TV commecials and is in beauty pageants. Girl wishes she could be a cowboy and dresses the part and listens to country music.
Girl wants to win contest to have a chance at being in a TV show and being a movie star.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Fourth grade girl flirts with fifth grade boy- is only friends with his sister because she "likes" him.
Language
weird, gross, kick butts, dorky, stupid, brat, jerk, sucker, creepy
City of the Beasts
Allende, Isabel
Grades: -
Not Acceptable
Boy with sick mother is sent to live with eccentric aunt who takes him to South American jungle in search of the mythical Yeti. Lots of native religion and spirits, experienced as real. Lots of mentions of natives' state of undress, including women. Discussions of boy/girl.
Sitting Bull
Aller, Susan Bivin
Grades: N/A
Generally Acceptable
Biography of Indian Chief who led his people in a fight against the US army. A lot of Indian religious beliefs- needs adult guidance.
Gilda Joyce - The Ghost Sonata
Allison, Jennifer
Grades: -
Not Acceptable
Girl solves mystery of ghost. Detailed crush, boy/girl kissing.
Skellig
Almond, David
Grades: N/A
Not Acceptable
Boy tries to come to terms with newborn baby sister's sickness, with the help of a strange man with wings living in his decrepit garage. Lots of discussion of evolution as a fact, combined with Catholic ideas - eg, shoulder blades are where people had wings before they were born and will regrow them when they die. Minor boy/girl, semi-romantic negiah, minor language: darn, bloody hell
The Silence
Alpert, Mark
Series:
Grades: N/A
Problematic
Teen
Teen
Series
This book is somewhat more problematic than the previous ones, but can still be kashered with editing. See also comments on previous 2 books. Teen robots fight powerful intruders and find out that they and their entire world is actually an AI (Artificial intelligence) program being run by AI beings from the future. In author's note at the end notes that in a real-life scientific conference, this theory was proposed (that the world we live in is just an AI projection), and it was determined that there is a high probablitiy that it is - could confuse an imaginative or mentally fragile kid. Page XIII - boy and girl robots flirt, she tells him she used to be 'hot', projection of girl in strapless dress. Reference to virtual-reality kiss - page 3. Strapless dress (19). Boy robot reveals that he is gay and has a crush on another boy robot (36-37 - entire pages; also reference on 169,199,318). Passing mention of religious question of whether robots are real recreations of people, or if their souls went to heaven. Boy robot gets a new girlfriend robot - no romance, just close relationship. Human official admits that he had an affair with girl robot's mother, and that girl was his biological child (75, 106) - this can be edited out, leaving in referrences that he is responsible for her parents' deaths (her father shot her mother and himself). Referrence to relationship with previous 'girlfriend' robot and how it broke up (81). Language: pee, heck, hellion, shut up, idiot, kick butt, freaking. Violence. Friendly 'negiah' between robots. Description of girl and boy together in virtual reality 117-118,122. Robots hug 145. When 2 robots are communicating, another robot calls them 'lovebirds' and asks if they are 'smooching' (109). Names of non-Jewish music groups. Boy robot remembers staring at girl because she was beautiful. Passing mention of Big Bang. Girl talks about not being a 'hottie' but being cute (286). Passing mention of 'conception' 9 months before person was born (209). some friendly 'negiah' between robots, and between robot and girl.
The Six
Alpert, Mark
Series:
Grades: 8 - 11
Problematic
Teen
Teen
Series
Sci-fi thriller. This is a well-written young adult book that could be kashered with editing. A group of 6 terminally ill teens agree to give up their lives to have their brain impulses transferred to metalic non-humanoid robots, who are then employed to fight a rogue AI (artificial intelligence) that is trying to destroy mankind. (all loosely based on existing or projected scientific inventions). Hero of story is a boy who has muscular dystrophy and is partially paralyzed; his previous friends, a boy and a girl, do not visit any more. He programs a virtual reality game in which the girl is a cheerleader who cheers for him playing football ; she says "I love you, I want to be with you forever" (11). Boy is jealous and thinks the boy and girl are now boyfriend/girlfriend with each other - they aren't - boy has a different girlfriend, and girl ran away from parents. In description of friend with girlfriend, she wears a crop-top and he has his hand on her waist (80). Boy hugs terminally ill girl (87) - friendly. Language: jerk, idiot, heck, stupid, hellfire (weapon), butt, screw up. Boys and girls are friends. Non-romantic negiah. Passing reference to Darwinian evolution. Description of girl with mohawk and piercings and tattoo. Boy listens to song by x-rated rap group (mentioned by name), likes it because it annoys his parents (68). Boy's mother turns to religion to get comfort over his illness, he is annoyed by this. He has theological argument with her over whether he will be himself after he is transferred to robot body; she says his soul will go to G-d. He worries that there is nothing after death. Mild boy/girl talk p. 110. In robot form, boy puts his consciousness into girl robot, they can both see each other's thoughts and they feel as if they are "naked". Later they 'kiss' in their shared consciousness reality (226-227, 236, 320). AI says that boy (robot) is pursuing girl as 'mate' even though he can no longer father children (320). One of the girls is rumored to have a crush on the army commander. One of boys says he drank liquor stolen from his mother's cabinet. Passing mention of Xmas. Kids are chutzpadik to adults when they think they are wrong. Girl has memory of 2 leering boys attacking her - no details of attack. Violence.
Final Theory
Alpert, Mark
Grades: -
Not Acceptable
Adult book. Very inappropriate scenes and language.
The Siege
Alpert, Mark
Series:
Grades: N/A
Problematic
Teen
Teen
Series
Sequel to The Six. This is a well-written young adult sci-fi thriller that could be kashered with editing. See also comments on The Six. Robots fight AI (artificial intelligence), which kills tens of thousands of people with anthrax, and inhabits human bodies, causing metal spikes to grow out of their skin. Violence against robots and people. Adam (boy robot) and Shannon (girl robot) consider themselves to be a 'couple' and he calls her his girlfriend; however, they do not do anything romantic. Shannon becomes upset about the fact that Adam did not share with her the fact that he previously "kissed" another girl robot in virtual reality (in previous book) - she breaks up with him over this - pages 59 and 152. Language: butt, heck, stupid, freaking, idiot. One robot thinks a girl robot is 'in love' with the human general (40) - later it turns out that she hates him. Boy robot thinks that it's possible for a robot to have romantic feelings since he has them for his 'girlfriend' and for the girl robot he kissed (who then died) (40). Mention secret crush he had when he was human (41). Boy stole liquor from his mother's cabinet (42). Description of new robot girl before she became a robot: goth girl in low-cut corset (48). Mother of sick girl committed suicide. Mention doctors cut off clothing of sick girl (100). Mention that boy had fallen in love with friend who was a girl, because she was the only one who visited when he was sick (101). Mention that she gave him a kiss on top of his head (116). Boy went swimming with girl (118). Boy robot whispers 'I love you' to unconscious girl friend (118, 119). Boy robot thinks former robot girlfriend is about to hug him, she doesn't (127). New girl robot is overly friendly and boy robot thinks she is flirting (138). Former girlfriend robot touches his robot arm, and he is calmed down; thinks about how he misses physical touch as a robot.(213). Mention of picture of woman in bikini (216). Mention of TV, Times Square on New Year's Eve. Evil AI takes on robot form of old man with white beard, referred to as "G-d" robot, which he took from boy's imagination of what G-d looks like (chapter 19), including how he does a good job of mimicking the "angry Almighty" (232). Discussion of general concept of evolution and whether robots are next evolutionary step (231, 235). When AI inhabits 3 robots, compared to the Trinity (241). Description of girl wearing strapless curvy dress (268). Another kiss in virtual reality (270). In preview of the next book, mention of kiss (281).
Ghost Letters
Alter, Stephen
Grades: 5 - 8
Generally Acceptable
Boy and girl deal with ghosts, genie, and magic, to fix mistakes of the past. Friends - no romance.
How Tia Lola Ended Up Starting Over
Alvarez, Julia
Grades: -
Not Acceptable
2 sets of children whose parents are dating, collaborate to help aunt open a bed and breakfast. One set of parents divorced, one died. Talk of how sad this is. Seventh grade girl wishes her father would let her start dating but since he won’t she hopes that “cute teenaged boys” will come as guests in the hotel. When some do, they treat her disrespectfully, and she realizes her father is right. She goes to watch the boys at a swim meet and is disgusted when they are wearing “eensy striped speedos that can be yanked off”. Non religious xmas and Halloween.
Please Write In This Book
Amato, Mary
Grades: N/A
Not Acceptable
A teacher puts a notebook in the writers corner for the children to write in- most of the book is the writing of the children being very mean to each other until at the very end things come to a head and they decide to work together and stop being mean. A lot of bad middos and mean drawings of each other through most of the book. A huge amount of yucky juvenille humor about smelly feet, snot, and body parts- even teacher gets involved.
Nanea - Growing Up with Aloha
American Girl
Series:
Grades: N/A
Questionable
Series
9 year old Hawaiin girl deasl with the onset of the war and tries to prove she is growing up and becoming more responsible. Girl thinks her brother is as handsome as a movie star. Hawaiiin culture. Older sister has a "crush" on a boy and likes to watch him surf on the beach. Friend's father is taken away by military police since he is Japanese- described in scary detail. War is also frightnening- people killed, trapped- but no gory detail. Girl is worried when dog goes missing at the outset of the war. Xmas described in positive light- presents, trees, carols, santa- no religion. Mom puts on her church hat. Girls "pinkey swear" they will be friends forever. Friend needs to leave island since she and her mother are "nonessential personnel".When girl is upset she makes a "stink eye". Language- dumb.
Felicity - Felicity Learns a Lesson
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Colonial girl struggles with whether to stop drinking tea or not, in sympathy with the rebels. Younger sisters talk about older sister who has a crush on a boy (p. 37-38) and make fun by pretending she is kissing him (p 42-43). Mention of G-d ruling heaven and earth, quote from "The L-rd's Prayer"" "Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven" (p. 10). History section- (p. 64) picture of mother reading with children wearing a very low cut gown.
Addy - Addy Learns a Lesson
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
A former slave girl goes to school and learns to read along with learning the meaning of true friendship.
Kanani - Good Job Kanani
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Hawaiin girl tries to earn money to save endangered seals while at the same time coming to terms with the fact that her best friend has different interests than she does. A lot of coed swimming and surfing-very matter of fact and part of their daily life. Full color illustrations of girls in shorts and tank tops, sleeveless dresses etc. Teenage girls hang around surfboard rental stand run by a teenage boy who is "tall and tanned, his wavy brown hair was flecked with blond". TV, computer, digital photo frame, email. Pet rooster runs away to be with a neighbor's pet chicken- girl says they are "in love". Language- booger, dumb. In back of book stories of real girls who have helped people- photos of girls wearing sleeveless and low cut.
Cecile & Marie-Grace - Cecile's Gift
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Girl recites a poem on stage to benefit the orphans whose parents were killed in an epidemic. Many French terms used throughout the book. Orphanage is called the "Holy Trinity"orphanage. Mention of going to mass at a cathedral and singing hymns. No detailed description. One word mention of xmas.A lot of sadness about the many who died in the epidemic.At the end in history section there is a photo of a parade, a woman is dressed in very skimpy dress
Molly - A Molly Mystery - A Spy on the Home Front
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
Girl helps prove the innocence of her German/American friend's brother who is accused of spreading propaganda for Germany.
Samantha - A Samantha Mystery -The Stolen Sapphire
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
Girls help find a stolen jewel. Minor language: blasted.
Kaya - Meet Kaya
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Lots of Indian religion - needs guidance. Courtship dance - circle of men and women, if boy likes girl he puts stick on her shoulder, if she likes him she lets him keep it there, then dance together as a couple.
Samantha - The Stolen Sapphire
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
Girls travel by boat to Europe and figure out who stole a valuable gem in order to prove the innocence of her French tutor. A few mentions of girls being orphans. Language- blasted.
Lanie
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Girl who wishes she was a wildlife biologist finds adventures in her own backyard.A lot of emailing. Full color, full page illustration of woman and fourth grade girl in sleeveless tops.Discussion about soil coming from glaciers that use to cover the land melting. No mention of millions of years. Use laptop computer, girl emails friend. Mild middos between siblings. Language- stupid, weird. In back letters from real girls about concern for animals and the environment. Brief discussion about what happens to xmas trees after the holiday, and about asking for donations to animal conservation as an xmas present- no religion.
Kit - A Kit Mystery - A Thief in the Theater
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
A Shakespeare theater company struggles to stay open during the Depression. Children help locate a thief who stole money from the box office. In history section a small black and white photo of the scantily clad cast of the movie Tarzan. Lots of theater culture
Quick Change
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Reader chooses the endings- girl tries various business schemes to earn enough money to buy a genie costume for a costume party. There are a number of illustrations of girls dressed in non sinus outfits but they are all cartoonish and non provocative. Reader is encouraged to go onto a (unreviewed) website to find one of the endings to the story. Girl wears an angel costume with a halo. Girl is wearing gold pants as a seventies costume and does disco moves (not explained).Middos between girls- eventually resolve. Language- dumb (once)
Rebecca - A Rebecca Mystery- Secrets At Camp Nokomis
American Girl
Series:
Grades: -
Not Acceptable
Series
A Jewish girl goes to summer camp to escape the polio epidemic. Townsfolk look down at female counselors who “tramp around in bloomers”. Middos between campmates. Discussion of why Jewish girl is in a treif camp and refuses to eat pork (but not other non kosher food) Counselor explains it by comparing keeping kosher to the custom of Catholics not to eat meat on Fridays. (pg38-40 chapter 3). Girl's cousins are movie actors. One word xmas, Irish girl says “saints preserve us”. Romance between 2 counselors- girls find them sitting in a cave at night reading “romantic verses” to each other.
A Winning Goal
American Girl
Series:
Grades: N/A
Generally Acceptable
Series
Reader chooses endings- a girl tries to balance having fun when playing soccer and winning as she tries to coach a friend who is just learning the game. A lot of detailed soccer plays. .
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Illustration of a poster advertising a dance recital- cartoonish girl in a leotard
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
TV.
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Reader is encouraged to go onto a (unreviewed) website to find one of the endings to the story.
The New Girl
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Reader chooses the endings- a girl tries to overcome her jealousy of a new girl. A lot of middos issues but with a purpose.Reader is encouraged to go onto a (unreviewed) website to find one of the endings to the story Many non provocative illustrations of girls in t shirts and shorts. Small cartoonish illustrations of dancer wearing a sleeveless dress and a trapeze artist wearing a leotard and tights. Girls go to see a movie.
Isabelle
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
A girl attends a special school for the arts where she studies ballet and modern dance. A lot of ballet culture. Very prominent. realistic full color illustrations as well as photos of girls in skimpy costumes at the back of the book. Boys are in ballet class as well. Mean girl displays very bad middos.Mother approves of girl wearing pink hair extensions. Family is very artsy- mother is a clothing designer and artist and father plays drums in a band- his playing described in detail as a "madman twisting and flailing behind the drums and cymbals". Girls dance before coed audience. One word xmas and jack o' lanterns- no religion. Language- shut up.
Kit - Kit Learns a Lesson
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Girl's aunt comes to live with family and teaches them how to save money, but girl is embarrassed of her in front of her friends. Eventually comes to appreciate aunt. Kids tease girl that a boarder in her house is her boyfriend (he isn't). Brief part where kids in class show bad midos to each other.
Kit - Really Truly Ruthie
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Kit's best friend tries to save Kit's family from eviction during the depression. Setting is the day after Xmas; a few enticing descriptions but no religion.
Lanie - Lanie's Real Adventures
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
A girl tries to convince her neighbor not to use pesticides since it will hurt butterflies and get on her vegetable garden. She also makes a garden festival in the community garden to raise money for endangered chimpanzees. Full color picture of girl in sleeveless top, woman in shorts and open neck shirt. Girl is interviewed for TV news. Language- butt, darn (once), gross. weird, stinks. In the back of the book there are photos of real children who have done things to save the environment- one is wearing a sleeveless shirt.