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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
05/03/2019 The Wolf Keepers Broach, Elise 5 - 7 Not Acceptable
Girl lives in a house at the back of a zoo where her father is the head zoo keeper. She meets a boy who has run away from his foster home and is camping out at the zoo. She hides him in her garage apartment. Then they stow away on a truck that is stealing wolves from the zoo and end up stranded at a national park. A lot of conserve animals culture. Boy explains that his birth mother is in a halfway house since she is additcted to alcohol and drugs and couldn't care for him. Girl misses her mother who died soon after childbirth- description of preeclamsia that killed her. Black and white illustrations of girl in t shirt. Girl calls her father by his first name. Black boy explains that his mother was white and his father was black.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl's father has a girlfriend "they occasionally went out to dinner, and while she never stayed over at the house, Lizzie got the impression that she might like to. Her father had dated several women over the years, but none of them had ever spent the night". Boy and girl who are lost in a national park sleep back to back for warmth. Girl is so happy to see boy she hugs him- not overtly romantic.
Religion/Hashkafa
Many semi religious sounding quotes from Joh Muir, a pro animal, pro nature philosopher. Description of Indian curse. Explanation of transcendentalism- believe that people were fundamentally pure and good on their won out in nature, but not in civilization.
Language
dumb, freaked out, what the heck, stupid
05/02/2019 The Doll Shop Downstairs McDonough, Yona Zeldis 4 - 6 Questionable
A "PJ Our Way" Selection. A family of girls live upstairs from their father's doll shop during WWI. Girl helps figure out how they can earn enough to live on when they can no longer import doll parts from Europe. Family has a traditional SHabbos, but when it rains on the way home from shul they get soaked because "nobody thought to bring an umbrella".
Language
stupid
05/02/2019 Pinky Bloom and the Case of the Missing Kiddush Cup Press, Judy 3 - 5 Problematic
Jewish girl tries to figure out what happened to a kiddush cup missing from a museum exhibit. Yiddish speaking "psychic" is girl's babysitter. Lady asks girl if she has "boy trouble"- girl says she doesn't like boys. Description of Friday night dinner with brochos written out in English (with Hashem's name)light candles, drink wine, eat challah right away- no mention of going to shul.
05/02/2019 Pickled Watermelon Schachter, Esty 4 - 6 Not Acceptable
A girl goes to Israel to spend the summer with her cousins she barely knows and attend a family wedding. She learns to appreciate them and communicate them despite her poor Hebrew.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
father holds mother's hand. GIrl asks parents how they met- they were both trying to make calls on a broken phone in college (mother was planning to call her boyfriend) and they ended up talking- father was too shy to ask her out so instead asked her to teach him Hebrew. Daughter thinks this story if very "romantic". Coed swimming. Girl and her friend like to discuss "cute" boys.
Religion/Hashkafa
Girl is surprised that on Shabbat her grandparents don't watch TV or listen to the radio, since in her house they turn on lights and drive in a car. MOther asked them not to turn on the TV out of respect for their grandparents. Girl is nervous about her Bat mitzvah when she will "stand in front of the synogogue.. and help lead the service.". Description of Jewish wedding in Israel- give each other rings, brief kiss and hug at the end of the ceremony- coed dancing at the reception
Language
weird
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
TV
05/01/2019 The Long Trail Home Burkhart, Kiersi and Amber J. Keyser N/A Not Acceptable
A "PJ Our Way" Selection. A Jewish girl who is rebelling against her cultural Jewish upbringing by refusing to have a bat mitzvah is sent to a therapeutic ranch for the summer. It turns out that her behavior is due to a scary antisemitic incident she witnessed. She threw a hebrew book at her mother and gave her a bruise on her face. The other kids on the program said what they did- car jacking, smoking. Detailed description of horse giving birth. Girl describes how "horrible" it was to see her mother give birth three times.- describes the awful "slime". GIrl complains that her mother keeps having babies and each time there is more work for her and less attention for her- that is why she acts out.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl imagines her brother at camp "with his arms around some girl" sitting by the lake. Girl thinks that her friend jostles to be up front to be near "a certain good looking cowboy"
Religion/Hashkafa
Detailed description of the family's "Shabbat Dinner" which includes some inaccurate practices. Girl is so awed by the birth of a baby horse, she automatically sings "Shehechiyanu". Jewish girl is punished by having to fold charity clothing in a church basement. Girl has to do a "community service project" for her Bat mitzvah- decides to catalog the homesteads of Jewish pioneers in Colorado
Language
heck (frequent), dumb, stupid, freaking, crap, shut up, freaky, weird, sucks, butt, pee, screw up
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Girl wonders what her parents do when all the kids are in camp- maybe they sit on the couch wearing sweatpants and watching R rated movies, TV, comic books
05/01/2019 Not-So-Weird Emma Warner, Sally 3 - 5 Not Acceptable
Third grade girl has friend trouble and tries to make herself over into someone she is not. A lot of middos between classmates. Girl's parents are divorced- father is remarried. Girl's mother says friend is being mean because she is jealous- girl is surprised "jealous is for smoochy grownups in love on TV." Girl gets a new dress for Easter. Teacher tells kids to dress in play clothes and she does too- description and illustration of teacher in t shirt and pants. Teacher holds her fiance's hand- he is as good looking as an actor.
Language
darn, weird, grossed out, stupid, dumb, stinky, shut up
05/01/2019 Seymour, the Formerly Fearful Feldman, Eve B. 4 - 6 Not Acceptable
A "PJ Our Way" selection. Boy who is afraid of everything tries to hide his fears until his cousin from Israel helps him overcome his fears and be a "gever". When cousin gets sick he somehow thinks it is his fault. Passuk from Pirkei Avos quoted and translated semi accurately- some error
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Boy likes a girl- thinks of her as a "blonde goddess" with a "cute pink T shirt and her shining tan arms". Boy's older cousin keeps finding reasons to spend time with a pretty girl. Boy can't believe his cousin had "fallen for" the older sister of the girl he secretely "likes"- they write each other emails.
Language
dumb, gross, weird, stupid, moron
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
TV, movies, internet, search engines, email, etc.
04/17/2019 Full Of Beans Holm, Jennifer L. 5 - 7 Questionable
Boy grows up in a poor town during the Great Depression. Interacts with New Dealers who want to make over the town as a tourist destination. Boy gets mixed up with a liquor smuggler and agrees to pull fire alarms as a diversion so he can smuggle liquor. He feels guilty when his friend's house burns down because of him and resolves never to do it again. A lot of talk about how grownups lie, especially to kids. A lot of talk about changing diapers and baby's bungys. Juvenille bathroom humor.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
father rubs hand cream onto mother's hands and gives her a kiss on the forehead. Boy sees man wearing Bermuda shorts- calls them underpants. Girl takes boy's hand to comfort him. In the back of the book there is a picture of a black and white brochure advertising Key West with a woman in a bathing suit.
Language
sucker, lunatic, stinking, dumb
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
A lot of seeing movies in the theater. Talk of child actors by name. Boy wishes he could be in the movies. Back of the book has a list of the main character's favorite actors and what movie they starred in.
04/17/2019 The Night Garden Horvath, Polly 5 - 7 Problematic
An adopted girl is raised by eccentric parents. Get involved with a magical garden that grants wishes, a hermit, a bad cook who thinks she is a psychic, and a family of children whose father steals a plane from the military.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl is surprised that wife would choose husband who is so much shorter than her- she would have thought she would want someone her height "if only to make kissing more convenient". Man shakes woman's hand.Story about a woman who fell in love with a man who whose first wife had died in childbirth- he woudlnt' marry until a woman proved she could give birth successfully, so woman "allowed herself to get pregnant out of wedlock" (in the end he left her and she committed suicide). Lady jumps into water to save man- "strips down to her underwear..she wore gold-sequined" undergarments- these undergarments are a source of wonder to the children. GIrl is suspected of having a romantic relationship with a married man (not true)
Religion/Hashkafa
one word xmas, santa claus- no religion, man says he belongs to the "Chuch of lost causes".
Language
stupid, freakish, idiot, drat, dadblastit, heck (very frequent), maniacs, hell, gosh darn it, shut up
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
family sings gospel hymns and songs from Broadway musicals.
04/14/2019 Lucky Broken Girl Behar, Ruth 4 - 6 Not Acceptable
A PJ Our Way Selection. A Jewish girl who immigrated to the USA from Cuba breaks her leg and spends a year in a body cast lying in bed. Immigrant parents fight about money. Girl's friend explains that her mother asked father for a divorce because he was always in the bar, never home.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Storekeeper tells married lady she is "mucho bonito"- makes the lady very scared. Father hugs and kisses mother after they fight. Detail about how a girl uses the bathroom when in a full body cast and how she keeps her "private parts" covered with a towel so no one will see her "naked". Boy and girl "clasp hands" to say goodbye. MOther and father dance together. Lady explains how she got her scar- a boy wanted to kiss her- when he tried to put his arms around her she pushed him away- he took out a knife and cut her cheek. Man teaches girl to dance the tango- he explains that when men and women dance it "they embrace each other and dance all night as if time didn't exist". Girl tells story about Greek god who "adored" a nymph and kept chasing her.
Religion/Hashkafa
Family is Jewish but "not religious". They do eat a challah on Friday night and say the Hebrew "blessing". Otherwise, family doesn't keep SHabbos at all. Doctor tells girl to "pray to G-d and all the saints and your guardian angels". Indian boy gives Jewish girl a small statue of his god. She figures that even though she isfrom a different religion (Jewish) maybe it can help her anyway. Many questions about why a young boy had to die. Mexican man burns incense on his alter. Man explains that though Emma Lazarus was Jewish she wasn't religious-she believed "G-d was in the earth we stand upon, in the trees that give us shade, in the goodness of our hearts."- that is why it is Ok to pray to other gods- in America we have "freedom of belief." Jewish children go trick or treating on Halloween. Jewish girl's nanny prays for her at a shrine to a "powerful saint". Jewish family doesn't eat pork but does eat milk and meat together. GIrl regularly prays to her Jewish G-d, an Indian god and the "guardian saint" of wounded artists.
Language
dumb, heck, stupid, gross, poop, butt
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
sophisticated girl looks like she could be on TV. Girl loves to sing and dance like the people she sees on TV. Mother looks like movie star
04/14/2019 Amelia's Middle-School Graduation Yearbook Moss, Marissa 5 - 7 Not Acceptable
A PJ Our Way Selection. A girl writes in notebook form the highlights of her eighth grade year. She deals with typical eighth grade challenges including her (not Jewish)best friend's plans to go to a different high school. A huge part of the book, however, is exploration of a Jewish identity she didn't know she had- she just found out her divorced father is Jewish and she and her older sister are invited to spend the summer with him and have a "bat mitzvah".
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl says that the only thing on her 11th grade sister's mind is "boys, boys, boys". Girl drew a picture of a boy she had a crush on. School dances.
Religion/Hashkafa
Girl with non Jewish mother, Jewish father wants to have a bat mitzvah so she can have a big party, get lots of money/presents. She is so excited that now she is Jewish (because she just found out her father is Jewish) so she can learn Hebrew and wear a "star of david".
Language
stupid, weird, jerk
04/14/2019 The Great Green Notebook of Katie Roberts who just turned 12 on Monday Hest, Amy 5 - 7 Not Acceptable
A "PJ Our Way" Selection. A Jewish girl deals with growing up and moving and relating to her stepfather. She misses her father who was killed in the war. Written in the form of a diary written to her elderly neighbor in her old house.In her diary she gives examples of her "annoying bossy mother". 12 year old girl is very into wearing lipstick and often sneaks it from her mother's drawer. One word xmas
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl asks her neighbor what she was like when she was 12- did she like a boy? Worries that everyone in school will have a boyfriend besides her. Thinks a boy in her class is "a tiny bit cute".A lot more juvenille boy/girl. Girl is embarrassed when she goes swimming because she doesn't want anyone to see her "development". GIrl can't wait to be 14 and get love letters from boys to hide under her pillow. Can't wait to dance with boys at Valentine's party- all her friends do, but no one asks her. .Unfolding courtship of two elderly people that results in marraige.
Language
dumb, weird, stupid
04/12/2019 Showing Off Mlynowski, Sarah, Lauren Myracle, Emily Jenkins Upside Down Magic 3 - 5 Questionable
The saga continues as the children with "wonky" magic perform in a talent contest. Younger siblings threaten older sister that if she doesn't do what they want, they will show her baby pictures where she is "nakey, nakey". Teacher calls girl's father "small minded". Girl walks away with teacher even though it was "a hard thing to do" because it "felt right".
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
non romantic negiah
Language
stupid, drat
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
TV
04/11/2019 Sticks and Stones Mlynowski, Sarah, Lauren Myracle, Emily Jenkins Upside Down Magic 3 - 5 Questionable
The saga continues as the children in the upside down magic class are blamed for everything crazy that happens in school. The children try to prove that they are normal like everyone else. Children display poor middos. Boy's divorced father loses his job and falls into a depression- he sits and watches TV all day.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
non romantic negiah
Language
weird, dumb, drat, berserk, shut up, astupid, idiots
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
TV, movies
04/11/2019 Upside Down Magic Mlynowski, Sarah, Lauren Myracle, Emily Jenkins Upside Down Magic 3 - 5 Questionable
Girl fails a test to be admitted to her father's prestigious magical academy and instead is sent away to a special class for children with "wonky" magic. After many mishaps she adjusts and comes to enjoy her new situation. Girl explains that she is black even though her aunt is white since her father is black.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
non romantic negiah
Language
gross, weird, drat, jerks, stupid
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
TV
04/11/2019 Adventures At Shelby Stables Driscoll, Julie Our Generation 2 - 4 Generally Acceptable
A girl moves to her grandparents' ranch and adjusts to her new home. Helps resolve a feud between her grandfather and his brother. Girl is very into good luck charms. Girl finds the courage to sing in front of an audience (coed)
04/08/2019 Eight Cousins Alcott, Louisa May 6 - 9 Questionable
Classic story of an orphaned girl raised by her uncle surrounded by her 7 boy cousins. Old fashioned values including proper etiquette and dress for boys and girls. Girl convinces her boy cousins to stop smoking cigars. Mentions of old fashioned undergarments including corsets.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl kisses her uncle and hugs him- considers him like a father. Boy leads in girl by the arm as was appropriate in polite society. Boy and girl cousins swim with uncle. Man kisses his wife when he returns home after a long journey.
Religion/Hashkafa
Description of church service- no real religion. Xmas- dinner, presents, boys try to catch girls under the mistletoe to kiss them. Brief mention of Chinese gods, Indian idol. Little children play going to church with a prayer "Now I lay me down to sleep" and a sermon "Little children love one another". Children act out bible story "Bilaam and the ass"- girl plays the angel blocking the donkey.
04/07/2019 President of Poplar Lane Mincks, Margaret 5 - 7 Not Acceptable
Girl and boy run against each other for seventh grade president. Girl has a crush on her opponent. Middle school boy/ girl. Extensive mention of bodily functions including changes at puberty. Language. Discussions about why it is OK for adults to lie and not OK for kids to lie. etc.
03/29/2019 Layla- A Song From My Heart Love, Susan Cappadonia Our Generation 2 - 4 Questionable
A girl who is a rising singing start decides if she should keep her promise and perform at a fundraising concert (for a science observatory) in her small town or break her promise and perform at a large concert that will bring her fame. Middos between friends that are eventually resolved. Black and white illustrations of young girl wearing a sleeveless top.
Language
stupid
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
TV. Pop music culture. Prize of writing contest is that winner gets to be a weather forecaster for a day adn make a guest appearance on the TV news.
03/28/2019 Penina Levine is a Potato Pancake O'Connell Rebecca 3 - 5 Problematic
Book is a PJ Our Way Selection. Girl tries to enjoy Chanukah despite her annoying little sister and the fact that her favorite teacher is leaving. Mother lights menorah for the family- says brochos on menorah- Hashem's name written out in English letters. Explanation of reason for giving presents- comes from giving gelt to Torah teachers in Europe. Middos between sisters. Girl says there is no such thing as Santa Claus (because she is Jewish)- non Jewish classmates are shocked. Jewish girl's best friend is a non Jew - a lot of talk of Xmas and Chanukah- foods, customs, words to xmas carrolls, etc. The subtle message is that we have to appreciate each other's religion and customs. Chutzpah to parents.Grandmother explains to granddaughter that she and her daughter (girl's mother) have "issues". The family decides to use their dreidel earnings for "tzedakah"- to help the public library buy new books.
Language
stupid, idiots, gross, shut up
03/28/2019 Mort Ziff Is Not Dead Fagan, Cary 5 - 7 Problematic
A PJ Our Way Selection. A Jewish boy wins a contest and takes his family to a Jewish style hotel in Florida with his prize money. His brothers begin a rivalry with a family of sisters, but the boy and the youngest sister become friendly. They befriend an elderly comedian and help save his job. Middos between brothers. Boy explains he was named Norman for his grandfather Nachma who had 7 children and a beard and spent his time at the prayer house- but things were different now because he lived in the "new world" and watched TV.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Brothers tease younger brother that he has a girlfriend. Boys are mortified that their mother is wearing a bikini. Father says she looks great. Mother makes boys promise that while they wait for her to try on bathing suits they won't make fun of the women's "brassieres". Coed swimming. Boys are horrified when their mother comes out dressed in a short skirt and halter top- they tell her that her belly button is exposed-she says not to be such a "prude" and that parents are allowed to have fun. Mother tells boy that the reason he put a spider down a girl's shirt is because he has a crush on her and gives him tips how to talk to her.
Language
weird, poop, dumb, stupid, darn
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
TV, The Beatles
03/28/2019 Dreidels on the Brain Izzy, Joel ben 5 - 7 Not Acceptable
Book is a "PJ Our Way Selection". Jewish boy from a traditional but non observant family deals with questions about G-d, his father's poor health, and being the only Jew in his public school. Full of hashkafa issues. boy/girl, media and technology
03/28/2019 The Life and Opinions of Amy Finawitz Toffler-Corrie, Laura 6 - 8 Not Acceptable
This book is part of PJ Our Way Selections. A non-religious Jewish girl deals with loneliness after her best friend moves away. She is befriended by an older woman and her Chasidic nephew. This entire book is problematic- full of boy/girl, hashkafic questions and religious inaccuracies. Problematic language. Media and technology.
03/27/2019 The Relic of Perilous Falls Arroyo, Raymond Will Wilder 5 - 8 Not Acceptable
Boy battles forces of evil. Full of religious ideas and imagery.
03/26/2019 A Boy Called Bat Arnold, Elana K. 2 - 5 Questionable
A high functioning autistic boy falls in love with an injured skunk he is helping his veterinarian mother care for. Young readers without exposure to people on the spectrum will not understand that he is autistic, but they will find his behavior unusual- book is written from his point of view. Parents are divorced- it is hard for the boy to go to his father's apartment since it disrupts his routine.. Girl learns about Nordic gods in school- brief description.
Language
stupid, weird, dumb, gross
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
TV, you tube videos
03/26/2019 The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13 Lee, Honest and GIlbert, Matthew J. Classroom 13 2 - 4 Problematic
A class unexpectedly wins the lottery with awful/funny results. A lot of bathroom humor. A lot of chutzpah to parents. Boy's parents run off with his money leaving him alone. It appears that one of the students is wearing a yarmulka.
Language
butts, heck, poop, pee, stupid, weird, fart
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
internet, TV, movies, comic books, children play video games on phone during class, Netflix.Virtual reality video games. Boy uses his money to become part of the family on his favorite TV show and discovers the family members are really unpleasant actors who are only in it for the money. Boy has a major crush on a TV actress, although all the girls in the class have a crush on him since he is "handsome".
03/10/2019 City of Orphans Avi 5 - 8 Problematic
Historical fiction. A boy living on the Lower East Side works as a newsboy to help support his family. He befriends an orphaned girl living on the streets and takes on a gang that tries to bully newsboys- descriptions of beating them up. SIster is framed for a crime she didn't do and arrested- descriptions of awful conditions of jail. Detailed description of dying man's illness. Detailed description of mother's death to a "wasting" sickness. Description of a murder.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Border wants to marry one of the girls in the house, but father says she is too young and mother says no because he is Catholic. Description of coed dance. Thug tells boy he is going to get him and his girlfriend (she isn't). Nonromantic negiah.
Language
dumb, stupid, shut up, creepy, idiot
03/10/2019 School For Minions Grau, Sheila Dr. Critchlore's School For Minions 5 - 7 Not Acceptable
An orphaned boy is brought up in a school that trains humans and monsters to be minions for evil overlords. Boy tries to find out who his parents are. Middos among classmates. Skeletons and zombies are students. Bathroom humor.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl holds down boys arm to prevent him from raising his hand- he is so surprised she is touching him "my chest felt squeezed and floaty at the same time"- her boyfriend is jealous. Boy thinks girl is "cute" "her blonde hair looked so silky that I wanted to run my fingers through it". Boy's and girls dance together at dance class-illustration of boy dancing with female monster twice his size
Language
stupid, idiot, gross, darn, butt, weird, dang, dumb, shut up, jerk, cut the crap, brat, dingbat
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
TV, movies. Headmaster is obsessed with a soap opera- he wants to find out if lady on the show will leave man for another man
03/10/2019 Crispin The Cross of Lead Avi 6 - 8 Not Acceptable
Historical fiction. A poverty-stricken orphaned boy living in medieval England journeys to find out his identity. He discovers he is the illegitimate son of a cruel landholder. A lot of detailed religion (as is historically accurate) and detailed hashkafa issues, a lot of discussion of illigitamacy
02/28/2019 Polar Distress Grau, Sheila Dr. Critchlore's School For Minions 5 - 7 Problematic
The saga continues. Children travel to find a rare mineral so their headmaster can create an "undefeatable minion". Same bathroom humor as other books in this series. The secret of girl's mother's death is finally told- she was married to a bad man, and was in love with the headmaster but she stayed with her husband since they had a baby until he killed her. When girl hears this story about her father she says "my dad was a dirtbag" boy agrees and says "lots of people have sucky parents" Boy monster is depressed because his father (creator) expects too much from him. Middos between friends and classmates.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Pretty girl hugs boy and tells him to be safe- boy's "insides fluttered with happiness"- text and illustration. When girl smiles at boy he feels "fluttery" inside.
Language
stupid, idiot,shut up, freak out, shut up, jerk, creepy, weird, dumb
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
TV
02/19/2019 Gorilla Tactics Grau, Sheila Dr. Critchlore's School For Minions 5 - 7 Not Acceptable
The saga continues. Headmaster tries to save school by running a fashion show. Boy continues to seek his heritage and find a hidden library. Monster boy continues to be sad at his "father's" mistreatment of him. Continued middos among classmates.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Boys and girls go on dates to school movie night. Boy said movie was scary because there was kissing in it. Flirting, minor romantic negiah, juvenille boy/girl. Headmaster and teacher hug "there was an awkward moment where they pulled apart but didn't quite let go and they just stood there staring into each other's eyes. It looked almost like they were going to kiss... (but they didn't)
Language
idiot, heck, stupid, dumb, weird, freak, butt, pee, damn it, dummy
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
movies
02/18/2019 Stay Strong, Geronimo! Stilton, Geronimo Geronimo Stilton 3 - 5 Questionable
Viking mice battle dragons and have a contest to see who is the strongest female Viking. Mouse has difficulty deciding between his sister and his " secret crush". Cover shows cartoonish illustration of male and female mice arm wrestling. Cartoonish illustration of male and females hugging at a celebration.
02/18/2019 The Fantastic and Terrible Fame of Classroom 13 Lee, Honest and GIlbert, Matthew J. Classroom 13 2 - 4 Problematic
A talent scout comes and makes each child in the class famous with disastrous results. Same unrefined bathroom humor as other books in the series. GIrl is a witch who can do real magic.
Language
freaking out, jerk, gross, barf
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Boy wants to be famous for making videos on the internet. Agency represents pop stars and TV actors in Hollywood. Boy becomes famous acting, writing screenplays for movies and modeling. Computers and blogs Boy wants to be a famous rapper.
02/18/2019 The Disastrous Magical Wishes Of Classroom 13 Lee, Honest and GIlbert, Matthew J. Classroom 13 2 - 4 Problematic
Teacher finds a lamp and releases a djinn who grants everyone in the class a wish with disastrous results. Boy wishes for a dinosaur who proceeds to wreak havoc on the neighborhood. Same unrefined juvenile bathroom humor as the other books in this series. Girl is upset that her parents are divorced so she wishes them married again. The genie handcuffs them together and they keep fighting and are even more miserable - the girl understands they were better off divorced.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Boy is very handsome and all of the girls have a crush on him. Boy star runs away from paparazzi and ends up tangled in womens underwear drying on a clothes line.
Language
gross, poop, dumb, weird, pee, weirdos
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Boy pretends to have a stomach ache so he can stay home from school and watch cartoons all day. Movies. Movie stars. Boy is "in love with" Wonderwoman on TV. Boy wishes to be a mega TV star with disastrous results.
02/18/2019 The Super Awful Superheroes of Classroom 13 Lee, Honest and GIlbert, Matthew J. Classroom 13 2 - 4 Problematic
Children are struck by strange lighting and become superheroes with disastrous results. References to comic books and how wonderful they are to read. Boy gets superpower that lets him teleport from one place to another but every time he gets where he is going he is "naked". Brief mention of Halloween and dinosaurs- no religion. Cartoon illustration of little boys and girls sunbathing on the beach. Brief mention that girl's parents are divorced.
Language
dumb, weird, gross, poop, butt, darn, crud
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
TV, movies
02/18/2019 Kirsti and the Bear Elliot, Roberta 3 - 5 Acceptable
Old fashioned story about a girl who can talk to animals who raised by her grandparents while her parents are away. She misses them and runs away to go look for a special flower for them. She gets lost and has adventures with a bear and a fox.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
One sentence mention that if a man in Finland sends a lady a silver brooch she should think about getting married.
Religion/Hashkafa
mentions of xmas tree forests
Language
stupidly, manicacs
02/11/2019 Crisis Zero Rylander, Chris Codename Conspiracy 5 - 7 Questionable
Boy and friend (who is a girl) work as secret agents in their school. got to page 173
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Unrefined: boy purposely has accident in his pants, to get out of trouble. Picking nose.
Language
fart, take a dump, crap
Street Reality, "Gritty" books
boy catches teacher smoking
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Mention of Star Wars
02/08/2019 Like No Other LaMarche, Una N/A Not Acceptable
Chassidish teenaged girl has a romantic relationship with a non-Jewish boy. Need I say more?
02/01/2019 Pygmalion (Penguin Classics Edition) Shaw, Bernard 10 - 12
Play is based on a myth about a statue brought to life. Famous play, "My Fair Lady" is based on this. A professor of languages and his friend take in a lower class flower seller and turn her into an upper-class woman. Many inferences that it is inappropriate for two single men to take in a woman to live with them. Nothing happens, but there is a certain amount of tension as the viewer/reader hopes that she and the professor will marry. In the end, she marries a man who was wooing her for a long time. When the play was first presented the line "not bloody likely" was deemed to be very inappropriate. The introduction to this edition says that in order to "restore the shock value" the line was changed to a very inappropriate (for the time) "Move your bloomin arse!!!". The introduction also discusses the interplay between the male and female leads and compares their relationship and attraction or lack of attraction to the romantic relationship between the female lead and her boyfriend. Introduction ends by once again comparing the play to the myth where eh "dresses adn undresses his ivory statue, caressing her naked limbs".Act One: p 9-Church is used as shelter from the rainp 13- Shut upp19- damnationAct 2p29- Man instructs servant to burn girl's clothes. She is shocked and says she is not a gentleman to talk of such things- she is a "good girl". He tells her she shouldn't show "prudery" if she is to learn to behave like a duchess.'p36- Servant explains to girl why she needs to bathe "You know you can't be a nice girl inside if your're a dirty slut outside"p38- damnedp40- damnablyp47- discussion about man living with women he isn't married to "lawfully"Act 3p54- Man discusses the girl with his mother. Reassures her it isn't a "love affair", much to her disappointment.p57-damn itp59- women with single son "devours her with her eyes". Son is "infatuated" with her. (Later on becomes her boyfriend)p63- damnedp72- people think the girl is an illegitimate princessAct 4p75- damnedp80- damnedp82- boy "smothers girl with kisses" until a policeman comesp83- damn itAct 5p90- blastedp95- damnedp96- man finally marries woman he has been living withp102- damn
02/01/2019 The Secrets of the Storm Vortex Cameron, Anne The Lightning Catcher 5 - 7 Questionable
The saga continues as children face dangers created by the weather villain who has captured the boy's parents. Similar juvenile bathroom humor as previous books. Many mentions of crypts and tombs and how to make mummies. Terrible middos between classmates.
Religion/Hashkafa
children go home for xmas holiday
Language
maniac, stupid, shut up, gross, stinking, idiot, weird, freaks, blasted

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Kirsten - Happy Birthday, Kirsten
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Swedish pioneer girl celebrates her birthday and the birth of a new sibling. One full color picture of a mixed dance - looks more fun than romantic.
McKenna
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Girl who loves gymnastics begins to have trouble in school when she starts fourth grade.Girl lies to her friends about her tutoring sessions because she is so embarrassed- eventually learns her lesson. A lot of gymnastics culture. Teacher emails parents to request a meeting. Full color, full page illustration of fourth grade girls in short shorts and t shirts. Mention of watching TV. Brief mentions of divorce. Language- darn(once-p.38), weird.
McKenna - McKenna, Ready to Fly
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Girl prepares to compete in competitive gymnastics while trying to balance friendship and volunteering in a stable for special needs children. Cover of book is a very clear picture of fourth grade girl wearing a skimpy leotard. Similar large full color pictures of girls in leotards throughout the book.Girl's friend deals with pressure of a very competitive mother. Mention of watching a movie. Language- freaked out.
Kaya - Changes for Kaya
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Indian girl rescues home from forest fire. Lots of Indian religion - needs guidance.
Samantha - Samantha Saves the Day
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Rich girl discovers the island where she spent time with parents before they died. Side story of a man who is said to propose to her grandmother each year and she says no - he kisses her hand.
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 - A Kit Mystery - Missing Grace
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Two girls and a boy try to find a missing dog and uncover a criminal scheme. Woman touches her fiance's shoulder in sympathy. middos between children. coed singing. Language- stupid, stinkers.
Felicity - A Felicity Mystery - Peril at King's Creek
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
A girl helps catch a British spy. A lot of rehashing about if she should have helped an abused horse escape his owner or not (as told in previous books ) and if she should have lied to her parents or not. Answer left unclear - eg. P. 66-69
Kaya - Kaya and the Lone Dog: A Friendship Story
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
An Indian girl befriends a dog. Lots of descriptions of Indian religious beliefs.
Saige
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Girl overcomes her embarrassment to run a fundraiser for her school's arts program after her grandmother is injured and can't do it.At the same time she deals with her changing relationship with her best friend. Calls grandmother by her first name, but otherwise very respectful.Cover has large picture of fourth grader wearing sleeveless dress- as well as a 2 page full color illustration inside. Goes to a movie theater on Friday night with her friend.Non religious mentions of xmas..Language- weird,stupid, freaking out.
Maryellen - The One and Only
American Girl
Series:
Grades: -
Not Acceptable
Series
Girl tries to stand out from her older sisters in school and tries to convince her friends not to be prejudiced against their new Italian classmate. Many mentions of old TV shows by name. Girl and friends like to imagine themselves as characters on TV. Girls listen to rock and roll records. Girl imagines mother would like to be a movie star. Older sister eventually gets engaged to her boyfriend, but until that happens younger sister makes it her project to convince him to propose.. Younger sister says he is a "dreamboat" who reminds her of TV actor who is so handsome.Girl notices that sister sits next to boyfriend "closer than was strictly necessary" and boy took girlfriend's hand to help her in "holding it longer than was strictly necessary". Mother takes girl on shopping trip to buy underwear- girl says it is very "dull". A lot of xmas- songs, trees, etc. Girl living in Florida wishes she could have a traditional xmas with snow and ice skating since she sees it on TV.Many chapters about how her dream about a traditional xmas came true and how she came to realize that appearances aren't so important. Minor middos between siblings. Language- weird
Marie-Grace - Marie-Grace and the Orphans
American Girl
Series:
Grades: N/A
Generally Acceptable
Series
A girl cares for a baby left on her father's doorstep and worries he might be the son of slaves and will be caught. A lot of fear of an epidemic causing many deaths. Baby is brought to the "Holy Trinity" orphanage which is run by nuns and priests.Upcoming wedding to take place in a cathedral which girl admires. No real religion mentioned.
Caroline - A Surprise for Caroline
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Girl wishes her older cousins would go ice skating with her until she finds out one of them is scared to. She learns to consider other people's point of view and to be more responsible. Entire book revolves around xmas- special gifts, special food, read the bible with the xmas story (not detailed). Small illustration of man and woman skating arm in arm. In back discusses how different people celebrated xmas in olden times.
Addy - Addy Saves the Day
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Addy wins over a mean girl with kindness;
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
History section in back - picture of old fashioned woman's swim suit - explains that it was thought to be improper for men and women to swim together and women wore bulky dresses as swimsuits - written in a way to make separate swimming seem old fashioned - can be easily crossed out.
Religion/Hashkafa
children help with a church fundraiser - no religion
According to Aggie
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Graphic novel. A girl tries to come to grips with her best friend pulling away from her. Girls wants to watch a movie because actor is "the cutest guy on the planet".kinda dreamy". Older brother is " Father is excited because the foam on a latte looked like a skull. Movies, TV. Language- weird. Back of the book has a short story about xmas- can be easily torn out. No religion, but lots of "Xmas time is the best because..."
Samantha - A Samantha Mystery - The Cry of the Loon
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Girls figure out who is causing accidents to happen at their grandmother's summer home. Description of two male birds quarrelling over a female. Girl asks grandmother if young men ever competed over her. Grandmother describes her "gentlemen callers" and how she had to choose between 2 of them she particularly liked. (P128-129 chapter.10, and a few scattered references after that). Old "flame" kisses grandmother's hand, she gives a "delighted laugh". Relatively tame, though may seem like a big deal to this age group. Language-stupid. In back history section photo of female hiker wearing sleeveless top and shorts.
Molly - Molly Learns a Lesson
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Acceptable
Series
Girl helps win contest to make something for the war effort.
Taking The Reins
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Reader chooses the endings- a girl decides if she should compete in a horse show despite her fears. Reader is encouraged to go onto a (unreviewed) website to find one of the endings to the story. Some middos between friends. Language- freaked out (once)
Kirsten - Kirsten and the New Girl
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Short story about a girl overcoming her jealousy caused by the arrival of a new girl. Middos with a purpose. Girl wears a cross around her neck. In back history section small black and white photo of girls with dresses that start off the shoulder. Mentions that at parties women and girls gathered to sew a quilt and in the evening the young men arrived for supper, dancing and kissing games.
Nicki
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Girl commits to train a service dog even though she is overwhelmed with helping her mother on bedrest, doing chores on the family pig farm and being on a school committee. Minor middos between classmates. Learns to withstand peer pressure. Minor chutzpah to parents but regrets it after. Illustration of mother in sleeveless top. Refers to her dog as a "handsome rock star" dog. Language- funky, berserk,darn it all,brat, shut up, weird, poop.
Gabriela
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
A girl with a stutter takes on a leadership role when her family's art center is threatened with closure. A lot of dance culture- types of dance, dance moves, coed dancing. poetry culture- famous poets by name, famous poems, Shakespeare. Church offers use of its rec room- no religion. Computers, wifi, coding, Facebook, crowdfunding, etc. Language- weird.
Samantha - Samantha's Winter Party
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Girls make a poor girl a party after a rich girl insults her. Many mentions of X-Mas: vacation, pageant, carols, songs, etc. but no religion. Minor language: nincompoop. History section in back - 2 illustrations of men and women skating hand in hand,
Caroline - A Caroline Mystery - The Traveler's Tricks
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Girl goes by stagecoach to conduct important business for her father and captures a criminal. Girl's friend likes to imagine that everyone has "sweethearts" ever since she heard details of a cousin's engagement and courtship. Her friend thinks she "is a bit too interested in who might be courting whom".
Caroline - Facing the Enemy
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Redo of last 3 Caroline books. 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 (twice)
Kit - The Jazzman's Trumpet
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Redo of last 3 Kit books.Girl helps find a stolen trumpet and reunite a jazz singer with his daughter. Book explains that the father chose music over his family and that's why he left. A lot of jazz culture. Says leader of band looks like a rock star - girl says "he sounds dreamy". Boy gives girl "a playful nudge". Language- darn it/ darn (pg. 20,97, 99), dumb
Kit - Changes for Kit
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Kit tries to help children in a soup kitchen. History section has 2 photos of starlets in bathing suits with the NRA eagle suntanned on their backs - can be torn out.
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.
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.
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)
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.