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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
05/28/2020 Aftershock Walden, Mark H.I.V.E. 5 - 8 Problematic
Teen
Students at criminal school fight against worse criminals. can be edited.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Some romantic negiah, can be edited.Peck on cheek - 20kiss on cheek - 38discussion - 89discussion - 152kiss 229hug 243hug 252
Language
Some language: damn, hell. pee, idiot
Violence
Some disturbing scenes in flashbacks from criminal adult, who was cruelly trained to be violent. After a long solitary confinement, she is forced to kill her crazed best friend in self defense.Also the usual violence.
05/25/2020 Trapped Bodeen, S.A. The Shipwreck Island 4 - 6 Questionable
The saga continues as the children negotiate with a boy from another planet who needs something they have to return home and save his people. Alien boy hold's girl's hand to show her a memory- "at first his touch seemed weird- she didn't go around holding hands with boys...but now she found it comforting"
Language
stupid, freaked, freak out, freaky, dumb, weird
05/25/2020 Jed and the Junkyard War Bohls, Steven 5 - 7 Questionable
A boy's parents go missing so he follows their instructions and finds himself in a huge junkyard world with animated junk and flying boats.
Language
dumb, dimwits, stupid, shut up, puke
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
the ship looked like a ship in the movies where "the rich hero sails into the sunset".
05/25/2020 Jed and the Junkyard Rebellion Bohls, Steven 5 - 7 Problematic
The saga continues as boy tries to discover the truth about himself and his missing parents and try to save innocent creatures at the same time. A lot of talk about life sparks which are what gives beings life and the ability to extract them from dead bodies and use them to bring things to life.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Book begins with a loving scene between boy's parents- mother takes fathers hand and leaps into his arms, father promised there will be "kissing, romantic dancing, and more kissing".
Language
shut up, weird
05/25/2020 The Sphinx's Secret Bond, Gwenda and Christopher Rowe The Supernormal Sleuthing Service 4 - 6 Questionable
Children come up against a power-hungry wizard who tries to take over the world. Boy spends time with his mother who is part fairy. No explanation why his mother and father aren't together.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Mermaid is so beautiful that boy blushes whenever he looks at her. Boy holds onto girl when they fly on a sphinx- not romantic.
Language
stinking, creep, freaked, weird, jerk, dumb
05/25/2020 The Lost Legacy Bond, Gwenda and Christopher Rowe The Supernormal Sleuthing Service 4 - 6 Questionable
After a boy's grandmother dies he and his father move into a hotel for supernormal beings and he finds out that his missing mother is a fairy. He befriends a boy and a girl at the hotel and together they try to find a magical artifact.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
lady wore a "seashell bra" and looks very "alluring"- boy blushes- p261- can be taken out
Language
weird, gross, screwed up, dumb, creepy, stupid, freaked out
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
dragon tells boy that he uses the ventilation system in the hotel to eavesdrop just like a switchboard in old movies. Boy watches movies on his dads iPad. Boy suggests watching television to pass the time. Boy thinks about the impressions he has about fairies from movies he has seen. Boy wears a tuxedo that looks like it came from an old movie. Elevator plays music from the Superman movie.
05/22/2020 Zero Hour Walden, Mark H.I.V.E. 5 - 8 Problematic
Kids from evil school stop the more-evil villian
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Lots of kissing. If you want to buy and edit: Pages 48 49 57 58 59 62 63 64 68 69 70 102 103 104 116 117192 242 256 291
Language
Some language: Hell, damn
05/13/2020 Never Say Die Horowitz, Anthony Alex Rider 5 - 8 Questionable
Teen
Jack is alive and Alex finds her.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Ugly bad woman is wearing semitransparent nightgown in bed, no description.Bad guy speculates that with his reward money he might invite a barmaid to come away with him for a weekend or forever, and not tell his wife.When Alex (15) finds his former nanny Jack (29) alive, they fall into each others' arms.
Language
Some language - hell, damn, etc.
Violence
Violence, some of it graphic
05/13/2020 Rogue Walden, Mark H.I.V.E. 5 - 7 Generally Acceptable
Teenage hero is taken over by bad guys and becomes evil.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl hugs boy when she sees he survived
Language
Some language: hell, damn, crap, J---
Violence
Violence, somewhat graphic
05/13/2020 Dreadnought Walden, Mark H.I.V.E. 5 - 7 Questionable
See comment on series
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Passing reference to girl liking boy
Language
Some language: damn, hell, crap
Violence
Violence, somewhat graphic.
05/10/2020 Lost Bodeen, S.A. The Shipwreck Island 4 - 6 Generally Acceptable
Two boys and a girl are stranded on a desert island after their parent's honeymoon cruise gets wrecked. They meet a strange girl on the island who tells them about a scary inhabitant. Stepbrother takes stepsister's hand to help her. Boy says he saw the "aquatic ape theory" on TV which explains how mermaids evolved millions of years ago. In the back of the book there is an interview with the author- she mentions her favorite books by title.
Language
creepy, weird, stupid, creeped her out
05/01/2020 Skulduggery Pleasant - Resurrection Landy, Derek Skulduggery Pleasant N/A Not Acceptable
This books starts a new storyline, with the main character now an adult. Frequent referrences to characters with non-traditional gender identities.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
One main character is "gender fluid" and is referred to alternately as "he" or "she". A main adult character has a "husband", many referrences to this.
Violence
Lots and very gory. Sadistic bad guys who kill joyfully.
04/13/2020 The Bookshop Girl Bishop, Sylvia 4 - 6 Generally Acceptable
A girl abandoned in a bookshop is embarrassed to tell anyone that she can't read- she helps capture criminals who took her adoptive family's money. Goodbye is short for G-d be with you. Step brother puts him arm around step sister to help her.
Language
stupid, idiotic, nincompoop,
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
one line mention of star wars movie
02/23/2020 Jo's Boys Alcott, Louisa May 6 - 9 Problematic
The boys in previous books are all grown up. Book is full of boy/girl relationships that lead to marraige and that don't. Girl is determined to be a doctor instead of marrying and having "a nice little house and family to take care of". Many coed dances and plays and flirting. Cultured people go to opera and the theater. Many mentions of Greek mythology. Many mentions of religion similar to previous books. Xmas. Womens lib.
02/23/2020 Mya In The Middle Allen, Crystal The Magnificent Mya Tibbs 4 - 6 Problematic
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
02/13/2020 The Unteachables Gordon Korman 4 - 7 Generally Acceptable
Burnt-out teacher connects with class of "unteachables". Cute.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Passing mention of cute girl liking athletic boy
Religion/Hashkafa
Passing mention of xmas, Grinch
Language
butt.
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Some passing references to characters from books and movies
02/12/2020 The Witch's Boy Barnhill, Kelly 5 - 8 Problematic
The son of a witch teams up with the daughter of a bandit to save 2 kingdoms. Boy's twin drowned and his mother, the witch, wouldn't let his soul fly away but stitched it into his brother's body. Detailed description of girl's mother dying from sickness, father killed by a knife. A lot of discussion of death and souls "there is no death...there is only the next thing". A lot of nonromantic negiah as boy and girl help each other, hold hands as they run away, cover themselves with a cloak as they sleep next to each other on the cold ground, etc.
Language
stupid, idiots, shut up, damn (p151)
02/10/2020 Spirit Week Showdown Allen, Crystal The Magnificent Mya Tibbs 4 - 6 Problematic
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
02/10/2020 The Jelly Bean Experiment Adler, David A. Danny's Doodles 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Boy befriends an eccentric boy and they conduct a funny jelly bean experiment. Boy wonders where his friends father is. He claims he is away because he is a spy but boy suspects this isn't true. Boy sees gossip magazines with pictures of famous people on the covers in his friends living room. Boy fools around in class and gets in trouble.
Language
weird (frequent), creepy
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Boy uses internet for school report. Boy has a TV in his living room. Boy watches sports on TV.
02/10/2020 The Dog Biscuit Breakfast Adler, David A. Danny's Doodles 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Boy makes friends with an eccentric classmate and they try to start a dog renting business together.
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
boy researches a topic for school on the internet. Magnets are used in TVs.
01/30/2020 The Sorcerer's Shadow Quinn, Jordan The Kingdom of Wrenly 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Children travel with knights to figure out what kind of monster is causing problems in the kingdom- end up befriending a young sorcerer who is treated badly by the townspeople and solving the problem. Girl puts her hand on boy's shoulder to calm him down- text and illustration- completely innocent.
Language
pesky
01/29/2020 The Wall of Fame Game Allen, Crystal The Magnificent Mya Tibbs 3 - 5 Problematic
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.
01/17/2020 The False Fairy Quinn, Jordan The Kingdom of Wrenly 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
A fairy known for making up stories finally tells the truth to save her fellow fairies. Fairy clothing is not tznius but not super revealing.
01/17/2020 The Secret World of Mermaids Quinn, Jordan The Kingdom of Wrenly 2 - 4 Questionable
Prince befriends a mermaid. The mermaid on the cover has her shoulders showing, the ones inside the book are more tsnius. Illustration of human king shaking hands with mermaid queen.
Language
darn- p74, 97
01/17/2020 The Witch's Curse Quinn, Jordan The Kingdom of Wrenly 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Children figure out who has put a curse on the kingdom causing too much rain.
Language
weird
01/17/2020 The Bard and the Beast Quinn, Jordan The Kingdom of Wrenly 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Prince is forced to take music lessons which he dislikes until he is able to use music to calm a wild beast.
Language
loopy, gross
01/16/2020 The Pegasus Quest Quinn, Jordan The Kingdom of Wrenly 2 - 4 Questionable
Children help a mythical animal return home.
Language
darn- p57
01/16/2020 The Thirteenth Knight Quinn, Jordan The Kingdom of Wrenly 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Girl competes to join an exclusive company of knights- a prophecy has told them that younger people can try out. Boy is excited and puts his hands on girl's shoulder to convince her to try out- hugs her when she wins- text and illustration- innocent.
01/16/2020 A Ghost In the Castle Quinn, Jordan The Kingdom of Wrenly 2 - 4 Questionable
Children help a ghost "restore" her soul and "rest in peace". When girl is scared squeezes her male friend's hand- innocent. Other than concept of a ghost this is relatively fine.
Language
weird, creepy
01/16/2020 The Quest to the Uncharted Lands Johnson, Jaleigh 5 - 7 Problematic
a girl is upset that her scientist parents are being sent on a dangerous exploratory mission so she decides to stow away on their airship. She befriends a boy who is also stowing away and together they figure out who is sabotaging the mission.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
a lot of non romantic negiah as the children help each other physically and emotionally- eventually turns slightly romantic girl "suddenly became aware that he was still holding her hand...it had just felt...right.Now that she was aware of it though a blush streaked across Stella's cheeks". Her mother tries to talk to her about him and says he is cute- she blushes. When he is sick she kisses his forehead and holds his hand. At the end they share a long hug.
Language
idiot, stupid, weird
01/08/2020 The True Blue Scouts of Sugarman Swamp Appelt, Kathi 5 - 7 Problematic
Racoons try to save their swamp from marauding wild boars at the same time as a boy tries to save the swamp from a developer who wants to turn it into an arena for alligator wrestling. Boy is in mourning for his grandfather who recently passed away. He is being brought up by his mother who runs a restaurant in the swamp. One word xmas.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
comical description of pigs fallilng in love "He immediately fell in love with her soft sow's ears. She immediately went gaga over his yellow gleaming eyes..." . Lady wears a tank top to show off her "impressive biceps". Lady briefly thinks about kissing man "an urge that both disgusted her and thrilled her all at the same time. It was the same with kissing alligators. Thrill. Disgust. Thrill. Disgust..."
Language
frequent language- heck, darned, dang, freak, stupid, freaking
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Alligator wrestler is in negotiations with a reality TV show.
01/08/2020 Star Wars The Mighty Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear Angleberger, Tom 3 - 5 Questionable
Based on characters and plotlines in the movie Star Wars. Smugglers take on a mission to smuggle animals out of the planet and end up on a dangerous mission to find a dangerous book on a planet inhabited by a huge monster and the dark force. One of the characters is so busy flirting with the woman who hired him that he doesn't realize he has fallen into a trap.
Language
cruddy, freaking out, weird, stupid, gross, creepy, dumb
01/08/2020 A Little Taste of Poison Anderson, R.J. 6 - 8 Not Acceptable
Companion book to A Pocket Full of Murder. A poor girl who is best friends with a wealthy boy helps him accuse his brother of murder. A lot of magic. The children have a running joke that he asks permission to kiss her and she refuses- at the end she accepts and things become romantic. A lot of description of boys and girls, men and women dancing together. Girl and her family belong to a religious group called Moshites that is persecuted- they only pray to the "All One"
Language
stinking, stupid, idiot
01/02/2020 Kazu Jones and the Denver Dognappers Holyoak Shauna 5 - 7 Problematic
Girl and boy best friends catch a dognapping ring despite the fact that her mother doesn't let her be a detective and put herself in danger. ONe sentence mention of a girl getting a dog for xmas, newsgirl gets tips for xmas. Girl likes to watch movies with her parents lying between them on their king sized bed. Children refer to older neighbor as "Geezer". Girl forced to work with a classmate she doesn't get along with. BOys father gambled away part of their tax refund playing internet poker. Boy catches sister and boyfriend "kissing on the lips".
A lot of Halloween- Halloween costumes, trick or treating, Halloween parade, Halloween parties
Language
freakish, weirdo, puke, dang it, gross, creepy, stupid, holy crap, weird, freaked out, dumb, freaks, jerk, darned, creepy
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
mentions of TV, Japanese movies by name. Girl is shopping for an ipad.
12/30/2019 Scat Hiaasen, Carl 6 - 8 Not Acceptable
Mean teacher goes missing in a swamp on a class trip and concerned students try to find her- become entangled with a misfit boy who is accused of starting a fire, a criminal oil company and people trying to save an endangered panther. As in other books by this author, there is a defiance of authority and even minor law-breaking in order to protect the environment and/or animals. Quite a bit of chutzpah to a teacher who severely embarrasses a student- eventually resolves itself but it is retold in stark detail. Boy is very worried about his father who is fighting overseas who eventually comes home with his arm amputated- boy straps his arm behind his back to learn to function with his left hand just like his father. Dysfunctional substitute teacher tells boy he must sing white christmas to the class. Teacher loves watching shopping infomercials on TV and buying worthless gizmos.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Boys best friend is a girl. She asks him to put sunblock on her face "Touching her skin felt weird. Not bad but weird". Boy remembers holding hands with a girl in fifth grade.
Language
very frequent language- weird, idiots, butt, dumb, snotty, punked, freaked out, stupid, freaky, creepy, heck, shut up, damn, moron, danged, wacko, dumbass. freaky, buck-nekked, sucks, stupid, screw up, spaz, screwball, lunatic, bummed, crap, maniac, when hell freezes over, poop, darn, gross, danged, crackpot
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
boy uses his computer a lot, especially to email his father who is in the army overseas. A different boy is being brought up by a dysfunctional and neglectful father since his mother abandoned the family. Kids pretend they are going to the movie theater - mom only lets if it is rated PG. Man talks like a cowboy because watches too many westerns on cable TV. Babysitter watches MTV instead of paying attention to the kids. Kids are warned not to tell anyone about an endangered animal- not even friends on facebook. Mentions of TV shows. Internet research.
12/30/2019 Hoot Hiaasen, Carl 6 - 8 Not Acceptable
A boy and his friends help stop a pancake house from building a new restaurant in order to protect owls who are nesting on the empty lot of land. As in other books by this author, there is defiance of authority and even minor law-breaking in order to protect the environment and/or animals. Quite a lot of bullying described in detail. BOy says another boy "has the hots" for a girl. A lot of discussion about television commercials and the actress who advertises the pancake house. Boy's stepmother is a waitress who drives around a golf course in a bathing suit serving beer to golfers. Boy runs away from dysfunctional home (described). Teenage smoking- boy breaks into a construction trailer to steal cigarettes. In the back of the book is preview for "Squirm" by the same author which has its own set of issues.
Language
Frequent language-stupid, weird, screwing up, dumb-butt, dumb jerk, heck, stupid, damn, darn, psycho, badass, wacko, sucks, butt head, freak out, dumb ass, creep
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
many mentions of tv news, commercials, sports games, movies, browsing internet for information
12/30/2019 Let the Games Begin Quinn, Jordan The Kingdom of Wrenly 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
Girl who wants to be a knight when she grows up competes in horse race even though people make fun of her for being a girl.
12/30/2019 Beneath The Stone Forest Quinn, Jordan The Kingdom of Wrenly 2 - 4 Acceptable
Prince goes with his best friend- a common girl- to explore a stone forest for her school assignment. They are forced to bring a spoiled princess with them and end up becoming friends with her.
Language
creepy
12/30/2019 Whistling In The Dark Hughes, Shirley 7 - 9 Problematic
A girl living in England during WW2 encounters rationing, the black market and bombing. Her father was killed on a ship and her mother dates a man the daughter doesn't like-she hates watching them dance "cheek to cheek" eventually the man's wife comes to tell them that he is a married man ! He also turns out to be a black marketer. Sister has a very serious boyfriend- they hug and dance together a lot. Many mentions of popular singers and bands of the period as well as movies and movie stars.Going to the "cinema" and dances are basically the only entertainment available during wartime- a lot of teenage agony about being and not being asked to dance by a boy. GIrl is jealous of her best friend who has "lovely legs". GIrl befriends a Jewish refugee who briefly describes what it was like to live in Poland under the Nazis.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
see above. Additionally, rumors about a friends mother who is rumored to go to dance halls with local servicemen while husband is away in the army.
Religion/Hashkafa
descriptions of wartime xmas. Brief mention of going to church to pray for boyfriend who is missing in action.
Language
weird, shut up, hell, creep
12/28/2019 Greetings From Witness Protection Burt, Jake 5 - 8 Generally Acceptable
Girl in foster care is assigned for adoption by family in witness protection program. Her father is a criminal and her grandmother trained her to be a pickpocket. Running theme of girl being a kleptomaniac who cannot control herself from stealing. But sweet story overall.
Religion/Hashkafa
passing mention of books/authors which may or may not be appropriate: Bud not Buddy, Tarzan, Gilly Hopkins, Hugo Cabaret.Girl is a 'gamer' on internet. Mother complains that she doesn't do 'normal' things like talk about boys and watch movies.xmas decorations and movie.
Language
screw up. bra, damnit, heck, jeez.kids say boy "shows his butt on Facebook" - after 2 pages, it turns out this means he complains on Facebook.

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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
Addy - Addy's Summer Place
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
Girl goes to visit a resort town where her father is employed and experiences segregation.
Felicity - A Felicity Mystery- Traitor in Williamsburg
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Girl uncovers traitor while trying to prove her father's loyalty to the Loyalist cause.Father kisses mother's forehead and calls her "my love'. Girl wonders why man is so attentive to her mother- discovers he had wanted to marry her, but she refused him. He kisses her hand. Minor mentions of church- no religion.
Kaya - Kaya and the River Girl
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
An native American girl overcomes her jealousy of her sister's friend when they work together to save the life of an old woman.
Dive Right In
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Reader chooses endings- a girl deals with feelings of jealousy when her friend joins the diving team and shows great talent. Many cartoonish, non-provocative pictures of girls in bathing suits, leotards. Reader is encouraged to go onto a (unreviewed) website to find one of the endings to the story.Middos issues eventually resolved. Language- bummed (once).
Marie-Grace - Marie-Grace Makes A Difference
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Girl volunteers to help during a yellow fever epidemic. Detailed descriptions of infirmary filled with sick and dying people- somewhat scary. Detailed description of wedding in a cathedral including a priest, a nun, a physical description of the church, and one sentence- kissing the bride. Girl sings hymn "Amazing Grace"- some of the lyrics written out. Name of orphanage- "Holy Trinity". Illustration of bride in low cut dress.
Ivy - Good Luck Ivy
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
A Chinese-American girl struggles to decide if she should go to compete in a gymnastics meet or go to a family reunion. Lots of Chinese culture and gymnastics culture, including Kung Fu and Bruce Lee. Brief mentions of TV shows. Illustrations of gymnasts and ice skaters in leotards. Mention of the Olympics. Girls' best friend moves away when her parents divorce.
Kirsten - Kirsten Learns a Lesson
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
A Swedish pioneer girl copes with an American school; befriends an Indian girl.
Marie-Grace - Meet Marie-Grace
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
A girl who is orphaned of her mother adjusts to her new home in New Orleans. A lot of French expressions throughout all the books in this series. Middos among classmates. Detailed description of a coed children's ball, nothing romantic. Girl's uncle is courting a woman whom he will eventually marry (in a later book)-brief mention that he "takes her hand", Minor opera culture. Explanation that Mardi Gras is the last day before Lent begins, then after forty days celebrate Easter.History section in the back repeats this explanation in greater detail, and also mentions that in New Orleans after church, people went shopping and did other things that were considered unacceptable in other parts of the USA. Preview of "Meet Cecille"- one word mention of xmas, talk of finding a good costume for the ball, father kisses mother.
Jess
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
A girl goes to an archaeological dig with her parents.Full color illustrations of ten year old girl wearing shorts and a tank top.Girl is embarrassed when lady nurses her baby with her blouse open, but then realizes that no one else is uncomfortable so she tries not to be as well.Girls parents "lean into one another holding hands". Language-weird,stupid,creepy,darned (once p 117).
Kaya - A Kaya Mystery - The Silent Stranger
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Redo of "The Silent Stranger". Native American religious beliefs- a lot of description about belief in spirits. In back of book even more detailed and clear description of beliefs.
Samantha - A Samantha Mystery - The Curse of Ravenscourt
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
Girls figure out who is causing trouble at a luxurious apartment building.
Molly - Molly Saves the Day - A Summer Story
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
A girl goes to summer camp and overcomes her fear of swimming underwater.
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.
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)
Kit - A Kit Mystery - Midnight in Lonesome Hollow
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Girl goes to Kentucky and gets to know the poor but proud people who live in a small mountain village. Figures out who is causing damage. Very mild description of a boy courting a girl- they have an "understanding".One sentence- they hold hands. Girl sings "an old love song"- eventually sings on the radio. Language- idiot
Tenney - Tenney Shares the Stage
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
A girl and a boy sign a record contract and need to compose music together despite their difficulties getting along. Boy and girl sing a duet together. Boy is arrested for shoplifting an inhalor when his brother has an asthma attack and the boy forgets his money. Girl says it isn't so bad since he was helping his brother. Music culture- country, heavy metal, rock. Girl says they are friends and hugs boy and he hugs her back- not overtly romantic. Girl keeps a secret from parents but says is alright since "you need to do what is right for your music. Movies, computers, intrnet. Language- stupid, weird, dumb, heck (once), shut up, jerk.
Rebecca - A Rebecca Mystery - The Crystal Ball
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Girl figures out who is robbing an old man. A lot of semi observant Judaism (which may be historically accurate but will be confusing for a child reading this without adult guidance) eg. light candles, make kiddush on friday night, but no Shabbos at all on Shabbos day, no shul at all, invite non Jewish janitor for Shabbos meal. Brief mention of church bells on Sunday.A lot of talk of fortunetellers and crystal balls. In back history section Houdini proves spiritualists to be fakes. Language- dumb,
Kit - Happy Birthday Kit
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
In back of book, history section discusses making decision to have fewer children during Depression, and father abandoning family.
Fork In The Trail
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Reader chooses endings- a girl decides if she should lead a group on a nature hike and learns what it takes to be a leader. Reader is encouraged to go onto a (unreviewed) website to find one of the endings to the story
Julie - Soaring High
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
A redo of Julie and the Eagles, Julie’s Journey, and Changes for Julie.Girl helps raise money to save injured eagles, goes for a ride on a wagon train celebrating the bicentennial of America, and runs for student body president along with a deaf girl. A lot of Earth day. TV, being on the TV news, girl has "crush" on TV character. Girls go to a coed square dance- but they dance with each other.One word Easter. Brief mention that blue jeans are more comfortable for horseback riding than dresses.Mean girls make fun of deaf girl- eventually learn lesson. Brief mention that parents got divorced.Non Romantic negiah. Mention of Little House books and TV show. Language- weird, dumb, stupid.
Spring Pearl
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 4 - 6
Acceptable
Melody - No Ordinary Sound
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
An African American girl growing up in the sixties is inspired by Martin Luther King, and finds the courage to sing a solo in her church choir despite her fear of walking into church ever since black girls in a southern church were killed. Family sings grace before eating. A lot of coed singing. Father wants son to go to college, he doesn't want to- he wants to become a famous singer. Sneaks behind father's back- eventually father comes to terms with it. a lot of black- music culture. A lot of church and gospel music. Church windows "shine like jewels" on Sunday mornings. Girl thinks boy is "kind of cute." TV, movies. Language- weird, stupid
Cecile & Marie-Grace - The Cameo Necklace
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
A free black girl tries to find the necklace she took without her aunt's permission and then lost. A few sentences mentioning praying at mass in a cathedral- no real descriptions.Girl "takes boys hand" in gratitude. A woman can read palms and predict the future. A boy is "smitten" with a girl and secretly paints her portrait. When she leaves she gives him "a gentle kiss on the cheek'. Language- shut your mouth (once)
Addy - Addy's Surprise
American Girl
Series:
Grades: -
Not Acceptable
Series
Detailed xmas including detailed xmas story and church.
Addy - A New Beginning - My Journey With Addy
American Girl
Series:
Grades: N/A
Generally Acceptable
Series
Religion/Hashkafa
Escaped slaves are housed in a church and helped by the reverend
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Reader chooses own ending. Brief mentions of TV, cell phone, video games, computer. . Reader is encouraged to go to an unviewed website for the ending to one of the scenarios.
Felicity - Changes for Felicity
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Colonial girl's grandfather dies when he gets sick after freeing a man from prison. Very sad. Girl is "angry at G-d"; Mother helps her feel better. Girl reads "The Lord is my Shepherd"
Kaya - Kaya Shows the Way
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Indian family spends summer fishing and searching for missing sister. Lots of Indian religion - needs guidance. Indian pre-marriage customs described.
Marisol
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Girl who loves to dance deals with moving to a new community where there are no local dance classes.A lot of dance culture and costumes. Detailed descriptions of dance class. Coed square dance. A dance where male kisses female partner's cheek- girl thinks that's yucky. Older man has a girlfriend- walks arm in arm with her- his daughter says he is a "big flirt". Girl says her father is her one and only boyfriend even though he "has eyes for another woman"- her mother! Go to church on Sundays- no description. TV. Says her father is "no movie star" in appearance. One word Halloween. Language- stupid, dang, heck In back of book photos and story about real girls who are dancers some wearing leotards.
Kirsten - Kirsten On The Trail
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
Parents forbid girl from playing with her Indian friend until she finds their lost little boy.
Mia
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Girl feels torn as she tries to decide if she wants to go for ice hockey which is her brother's passion, or figure skating to prove she is different from them. A lot of skating culture. Illustrations of skaters in scanty dress. Older brother dates a girl. A girl on the team shows terrible middos. Xmas- homemade presents. decorations. carols, Language-stupid, weird, brat
Julie - A Julie Mystery - Lost In The City
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Girl helps find a missing parrot.Many mentions of divorce, both that of her parents and a recent divorce of a male classmate's parents and its negative effect on him. Girl listens to disco on the radio.Girl plays poker with her father with shells instead of money. Non romantic negiah.Language- darn (p67)
Samantha - A Samantha Mystery -The Stolen Sapphire
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
Girls help find a stolen jewel. Minor language: blasted.
Isabelle - To the Stars, Isabelle
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Girl is coached by ballet star and performs in hospitals and nursing homes before coed audiences. Prominent realistic cover picture of girl in skimpy costume. Similar illustration inside book. Similar problems to previous books. Retelling of Greek legend of goddess. Boy wants to be on TV gossip show. Residents in nursing home watch TV soap operas.One word xmas. In back of book photos of real girls in leotards. Language- weird
Caroline - A Caroline Mystery - The Smuggler's Secrets
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
Girl helps figure out who is smuggling supplies to the British enemy in order to prove her uncle's innocence. Language- blast them (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.
Lea - Lea Leads The Way
American Girl
Series:
Grades: N/A
Questionable
Series
Girl goes to the Amazon to meet her brother's exchange student family. Learns a lot about endangered animals and the threats to the rain forest. Helps save an orphaned sloth. Two sentences -College age brother has a "crush" on a girl and stares "wistfully"at a photo of her. He falls asleep with the camera looking at a picture of the two of them wearing snorkeling gear- sister is sure he is dreaming about her. Technology- blogging, ipad, email. Language- gross, idiot, dumb
Caroline - Caroline Takes A Chance
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Two girls and a boy prevent a British warship from capturing an American supply boat, and girl finds her father nearly dead and saves him. Innocent description of boy and girl who are friends wading together.Girl "throws her arms" around male friend when he is leaving- no romantic implications. Husband and wife "cling to each other" Language- blasted.
Molly - A Molly Mystery - Clues In The Shadows
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
A girl tries to figure out who is looking through the papers she is collecting for a wartime paper drive. Middos between children. Girl finds out that a boy’s bad behavior is due to his father being missing in action. Description of women who work in war factories wearing greasy overalls and close fitting blouses. At celebration for end of war 2 sailors “kiss every young woman within reach.” A lot of adults smoking. Mention of going to the movies. Girl does tap dance to entertain wounded soldiers. Veteran shows violent tendencies and a temper in reaction to his war experiences. Girl reacts to changes in her father due to his war experiences. A bit heavy for this age group. Language-stupid, shut up, dumb, darn (once). History section at back of book- photo of soldiers and girls dancing together (pg 178)
Kathleen- The Celtic Knot
American Girl
Series:
Grades: -
Not Acceptable
Series
A poor Irish girl learns to cope with poverty and finds she has a talent for dancing. A single aunt is a poor influence on her- she smokes, uses too much makeup, and convinces her it is better to be independant and never marry, judges men by comparing them with main character in "Gone With the Wind". When the aunt finally marries, the girl is devastated. A lot of Catholic religion, belief in saints, nuns as teachers, xmas, hail marys, mass, Catholic vs. Protestant, yoshka by name.Lots of questions if G-d hears prayers and how saints help or don't help answer prayers. A lot of discussion about an unmarried woman who had a baby. Middos among classmates. In back of book photos and paintings of coed dancing.