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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
09/24/2019 The Girl With The Dragon Heart Stephanie Burgis The Chocolate Heart Book Series 5 - 7 Generally Acceptable
A poor girl becomes involved in palace intrigue and saves the kingdom from evil fairies. She also saves her parents who she hasn't seen since they were kidnapped when she was young.. For most of the book she doesn't know if they are dead or alive.
Language
idiots, shut up, stupid
09/22/2019 The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden Glaser, Karina Yan The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street 5 - 7 Problematic
A biracial family in Harlem decides to cultivate an abandoned lot next to their church and turn it into a community garden and work to foil plans to sell the lot to a building developer. Elderly neighbor has a stroke and is hospitalized- children are traumatized until he comes home. Mention of author Roald Dahl. Children aren't very nice to another child but eventually become friends. A lot of talk about landlord being sad since his daughter died in an accident.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl says elderly couple is romantic because "they always hold hands even though they've been together for fifty years". Boy is friends with whole family but "definitely preferered" girl who he asked to the eighth grade dance. Brother wonders what the big deal about a dance is.
Religion/Hashkafa
Many mentions of the church and its pastor but no outright religion. Unimportant mention of Halloween costume.
Language
stupid, freaked out, pain in the butt, weird, holy heck
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Boy wishes he could text his friends, watch baseball videos on youtube and play minecraft (video game)
09/22/2019 The Wild Robot Escapes Brown, Peter 3 - 6 Generally Acceptable
Continuation of the book "The Wild Robot". The Robot is refurbished and sent to work on a farm, but it is homesick for its island (setting of the previous book) so it escapes. Farmer escapes how he hired his wife to help on the farm and then they "fell in love".
Language
weird
09/22/2019 The Journey of Little Charlie Curtis, Christopher Paul 6 - 8 Problematic
Poor, orphaned white boy is forced to accompany slave hunter to capture escaped slaves and ends up freeing them and making a new life for himself. Gritty. Terrible mistreatment and racist attitude toward blacks "darkies". Awful punishment given to slaves described in detail. Many mentions of yoshka by name and "sweet baby" yoshka. Jokes about farting. One word xmas.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Sherrif tells boy that his father was planning to abandon the family and run off with another woman. Boy watches as boy is supposed to capture flirts with a girl he is "smited bad"- "skinning and grinning and flocking 'round this one colored girl"
Language
stupid, dimwit, stinking, hell( a few times), morons, butt, dumb
09/16/2019 The Matchstick Castle Graff, Keir 5 - 7 Questionable
Boy spends his summer vacation at his "boring" uncle's house and has to be a test student for his uncles new summer school computer program. He finds some excitement when he and his female cousin meet an eccentric family living in the woods and help them save their dangerous but very interesting castle from being torn down. Boy is proud of girl for lying to her parents to get them out of trouble and save their friends. Children help break into government office to destroy the order to destroy the castle. One word xmas.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Boy holds girls hand to help her navigate a scary situation- cousin suspects she has a crush on the boy
Language
freak, weird, stupid, heck, dumb, weirdos,butt, crap, freak out, blasted, barf, maniac
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Constant technology - boy goes to summer school on the computer, checks email. Aunt sells things online. Girl suggests publicizing things on the internet. Girl looks like an actress in a made for TV movie. Children tell parents they are going to town to see a movie. TV reporters interview the family
09/15/2019 The Order of the Unicorn Selfors, Suzanne The Imaginary Veterinary 3 - 5 Questionable
The saga continues as children travel to the imaginary world to rescue a kidnapped baby unicorn. Girl hugs boy after he saves her- not romantic. End of book explains why animals grow horns "One of the most important reasons for horns is that males use them to attract females. this is called courtship. While a human male might put on cologne and a fancy suit to attract a lady's attention, the male antelope struts around showing off his horns. " Also mention of Greek mythology. Girl isn't sure if she should give Jewish boy something for xmas or Hanukkah. One word Halloween.
Language
weird, gosh darn (p73). drat, gross, booger
09/15/2019 The Rain Dragon Rescue Selfors, Suzanne The Imaginary Veterinary 3 - 5 Questionable
The saga continues as children travel to the imaginary land to help an injured dragon. Boy describes a fight he had at "Oakview Hebrew Academy". Boy is sad his parents are getting a divorce. Girl grabs boy's hand when she is scared (not romantic). Boy remembers when his father took him to a vampire film festival. At the end of the book it mentions legends about mythical animals- says we have skeletons to prove dinosaurs and wooly mammoths onec roamed the earth but no proof dragons existed.
Language
berserk, gross, weird, drat (frequent), stupid, poop, crud
09/15/2019 The Madman Of Piney Woods Curtis, Christopher Paul 6 - 8 Problematic
Companion book to "Elijah of Buxton". Two boys, one white and Irish and one black find their lives intertwined around a mysterious hermit who lives in the woods. Both families experienced a great deal of prejudice and boys find more in common than different. Lots of sibling rivalry that improves. Boy is sad about the death of his mother. Grandmother is pretty mean to him. Boy's father is drunk and beats him up- boy starts a fight with another boy so he can blame the injuries his father gave him on the fight. Bloody war stories. Mention of Yoshka by name a few times. Some parts of this book are quite gritty.
Language
Grandmother is angry at a storekeeper who showed her family prejudice and says she hopes G-d "stirs his hoof through the roof of heaven and kicks yer father square in his arse straight down to hell", butt, stupid, crap, idiots, morons, stinking
09/10/2019 Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow Townsend, Jessica Nevermoor 5 - 9 Generally Acceptable
Teen
Girl discovers her powers and tries to fight evil.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
"That's not his wife, it's his mistress" - no elaboration.Continued friendship with 2 boys. Friendly negiah with them and fatherly mentor.
Language
"You have a bum for a face"
09/10/2019 Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow Townsend, Jessica Nevermoor 5 - 9 Generally Acceptable
Teen
Girl discovers her magical powers and is taken to a magical school
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl is friends with 2 boys. May evolve in later books. Friendly,fatherly negiah between her and male mentor.
Language
fart
09/10/2019 Fortunately, the Milk Gaiman, Neil 3 - 5 Generally Acceptable
Tongue-in-cheek book about father's tall tale to kids. Other than the fact that the father is "lying", great fun.
09/02/2019 Alien Encounter Harper, Charise Mericle 3 - 5 Problematic
I only read the first two chapters and the entire thing was based on a boy getting caught on a tree by the waistband of his underwear- very juvenile bathroom humor.
09/02/2019 Sasquatch and the Muckleshoot Gidwitz, Adam and Jesse Casey The Unicorn Rescue Society 3 - 5 Questionable
Boy and girl go with their eccentric teacher to the Pacific Northwest to save a sasquatch family. Classmate shows off that he can fart to the tune of happy birthday.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl asks boy to help her put on her club membership ring and when he does she says "we are legally engaged"- he is shocked- she punches him in the are "Just kdding, boyfriend. I dont' expect you to ask me to maryy you until we are at least out of high school" (joking). Girl has a "tight grip" on boy while they are running away which makes boy feel "very weird".
Language
weirdo, weird, shut up, dumb, jerk, berserk, darn (p161), idiot
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
The plot revolves around fooling a TV news reporter. Mentions of TV shows.Girl dresses like the leaad singer in a punk rock band. Internet. Girl wonders if someone is hacking the bad organizations email.
09/02/2019 The Basque Dragon Gidwitz, Adam and Jesse Casey The Unicorn Rescue Society 3 - 5 Questionable
Boy and girl go to Europe with eccentric teacher on his rickety plane to save a dragon that was kidnapped by evil brothers who want to use it to cure their baldness. Friendly negiah between boy and girl but not romantic. Mention of legend of a god with seven heads.
Language
weird, poop, stupid, darn it (p145)
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Kids think teacher could have played a secret agent in an action movie. Kids discuss what they had seen last night on TV or online. Teacher tells children not to be swayed by videos they see on TV.
09/01/2019 The Fairy Swarm Selfors, Suzanne The Imaginary Veterinary 3 - 5 Questionable
The saga concludes as the children help save the world from an evil villain. Children are really mean to an annoying girl- feel bad for hurting her feelings but don't apologize. Mention of movie theater showing an "old-timey black and white thing". Girl wants to sneak out of the house at night but her parents stay up paying bills and watching TV. Boy says he can excuse the appearance of a dragon by saying it is a robot that escaped from a Hollywood movie set. Boy has a verbal fight with girl- feels like he is in an old western movie.
Religion/Hashkafa
Although grandfather has been using yiddish expressions throughout the series, it is finally clear they are Jewish- as they emerge from the synagogue "Shabbat service" the boy hands his yarmulka to his grandfather and goes off to have an adventure (with chilul shabbos) with his friend. Grandfather invites his friend (who appears to be not Jewish) to the kiddush next week "it's like snack time, after services, when we say the blessings over the bread and grape juice"
Language
drat(frequent), dadburnit, gross, weird, poop, freaking out, stupid
09/01/2019 The Griffin's Riddle Selfors, Suzanne The Imaginary Veterinary 3 - 5 Generally Acceptable
The saga continues as children travel to the imaginary world to get a feather that will be used for medicine to stop an epidemic in their town. Boy is sad because he hears the news that his parents have decided to separate and when he comes back home from visiting his grandfather he will be living in two separate houses. At the end of the book he comes to terms with it. Boy excels at "creative storytelling. Some might call it lying". Children are mean to an annoying girl. THe llocal movie theater only showed movies on Friday nights.
Language
weird, freak out, stupid, drat
08/25/2019 The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street Glaser, Karina Yan The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street 4 - 6 Problematic
Children of a mixed race family living in Harlem triy to convince their reclusive landlord to renew their lease so they can stay in their beloved brownstone home. Mention of books "Treasure Island", "Lord of the Rings" "The Hobbit". Discussion that landlord is sad since his daughter was killed in an accident.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
A lot of talk about middle school dance and boys asking girls to go with them. Boy thinks it is disgusting that every boy in his class has crushes on his twin sisters. Boy tells girl she is the prettiest girl he knows and asks her to the dance. When boy comes to pick her up she hugs him and then holds his hand. Her father tells her that rule number one is no touching. When landlord says family can stay mother gives him a big hug.
Religion/Hashkafa
Alot of talk and planning involved in making an xmas eve dinner. Kids aren't sure if landlord is Jewish and if they should sing xmas carols or chanukah songs. Joke about Santa Claus. xmas spirit, xmas wreath, carols, tree, presents. Neighbor sings a gospel tune. One word Halloween. Church is illuminated from the inside and has an "ethereal" look. Xmas trees and menorahs displayed in many windows.
Language
pee, sucks, dummy, weird, gross, stupid, screwed up, jerkface, kicks your butt, shut up, creepy
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
GIrls are in charge of cooking xmas dinner- mother tells them to look up recipes online. Girl tries to research their landlord online but internet is disconnected since they are moving soon. Mother looks at website on her phone. Father is a computer repairman. Children talk about a movie they saw when a werewolf attacks a unicorn.
08/25/2019 The Lonely Lake Monster Selfors, Suzanne The Imaginary Veterinary 3 - 5 Questionable
The saga continues as children apprenticing for a vet who helps imaginary creatures disobey the rules and visit with a lonely lake monster. One word Halloween. Boy mentions he saw a movie about a leprechaun. Cartoonish picture of mother and daughter in bathing suits- not very provacative.
Language
weird, gross, drat, freaky, darn (p104), stupid, poop
08/25/2019 A Clatter of Jars Graff, Lisa 4 - 7 Questionable
Children with magical talents go to summer camp where unbeknownst to them the camp director is collecting jars full of their talents to sell. Girl thinks her parents aren't a good pair and wonders if there is a man somewhere who would be a better pair with her mother- eventually, her mother gets engaged to an old flame and "links hands" with him. Intense sibling rivalry. Coed swimming. Nonromantic hand holding to pass talents. Children watch a movie at a slumber party.
Language
you stink, freak out, stupid, weird, dumb
08/23/2019 The Queens Secret George, Jessica Day 5 - 7 Problematic
A continuation of "The Rose Legacy". Girl tries to help her country which is on the brink of war and gets entangled in intrigue mostly caused by her estranged mother.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl is "striking" and turning into a "great beauty"- she tailors her clothing to be extremely close fitting- man looks at her all "gooey eyed". Boy fixes girl's hair and clothing for a photograph- he stands very close to her- he comments that she should permanently fix her jacket to be more form fitting- she says she can't get it buttoned like that and "feels her cheeks burn"- boy blushes too. Boy puts him arm on a girl to calm her down- girl is jealous he didn't put his arm on her. Boy takes girls hands and says he wished he didn't have to leave her in a dangerous spot all alone- with great "daring" she gave him a kiss on the cheek- both of their faces were red and they were babbling. Later when she saw he was safe she hugged him and kissed his cheek. Girl wonders if her mother is flirting with the emporer.
Language
stupid, idiot, brat
08/23/2019 The Rose Legacy George, Jessica Day 5 - 7 Problematic
An orphaned girl goes to live with her uncle and finds out about her heritage and her ability to talk to horses. She goes from being a prim and proper young lady to a horse loving pants wearing enegetic girl. She becomes entangled with royal intrigue and discovers that her mother is still alive and working as a spy for the king (and has completely neglected her) and her father died on the way to a "romantic seaside holiday" with her mother.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
THere is increasing boy girl as the story goes on, but doesn't turn into much (beyond a kiss on the cheek) in this book (more so in the next book). Boy makes her feel "fluttery" When her uncle comes to visit he is horrified to see her holding a boy's hand and "fraternizing with strange boys". Boy gives her a necklace, kisses her onthe cheek and then fled- she thinks "it had been a very nice kiss...his lips had been very warm and soft"- she is sure if she asked her cousin for advice she would tell her to kiss him back (she doesn't)
Language
stupid, idiot, dumb
08/23/2019 Moving Target Gonzalez, Christina Diaz 6 - 8 Not Acceptable
An American girl who is living in Rome near her father's work finds out that she is descended from an ancient bloodline that lets her use a christian relic to "shape destiny". She and her best friend run away from people trying to murder her. . Lots of cellphone, TV, and internet use. Lots of religion- monks, crosses, saints, vatican, alter,yoshka and mary (by name), religious paintings,etc. Violence
Language
freak, stupid, weird, dumb, butt, shut up
08/23/2019 Time Jumpers Mull, Brandon Five Kingdoms 5 - 7 Problematic
The final book in the series- everything comes to a head as children defeat evil and save the world. A lot of talk about being eternal and life after death.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
BOy needs to hold a person's hand to help boost their power. Not romantic but there is joking that if he holds a girl's hand she will "fall in love' with him. Boy explains that his longstanding crush (mentioned repeatedly throughout the series) was not a romance but was in his mind- "she was pretty and we were friends". Looking at beautiful older girls makes boy "secretly thrilled and a little shy". CHildren go to a beach town- boy observes "people in your world don't wear very much when they swim". Boy tries to convince his friend to tell girl how he really feels about her but he refuses since he thinks if he tells her he risks ruining their relationship. Friendly hugs, supportive hand holding. Girl stares at attractive boy with "undisguised interest", she blushes and tries to look elsewhere but keeps glancing at him.
Language
freak out, weird, dumb, stupid, weirdo
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
father and sister are watching TV
08/11/2019 The Serpent's Secret Dasgupta, Sayantani 5 - 7 Not Acceptable
A girl who is living a regular life in New Jersey turns twelve and her entire life turns upside down. Her parents are dragged away by a monster and two princes come to take her to a magical land and tell her she is an adopted princess. She meets her parents who are not regular humans. A lot of minor boy/girl. Girl answers riddle that requires knowledge of Greek mythology.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Boy is so handsome "he almost melted my eyeballs".Boy has "movie star eyes". Girl says she isn't "one of those boy crazy goobers whose rooms are wallpapered with posters of floppy-haired boy bands. And I don't fil my school notebooks with my initials and the initials of some cute boy surrounded by a goofy heart" Boy "playfully messed up" girl's hair. Boy holds girl's hand when she is frightened. Girl asks boy out to a movie.
Religion/Hashkafa
Halloween- costumes, trick or treating
Language
frequent language and slang- craptastic, weird, blast you, stinky, butt, wack job, crappy/ crap, dumb, heck, stupidity, brat, gross, blast, drat, dummies, freaks, stink, idiot, stupid, freaking out, fart-face, all heck is about to break loose, dang, snot-nosed, morons
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Girl should have realized what was happening since she watched enough sci-fi television. " Girl says she likes to look up cute boys on websites "because who doesn't like to see their favorite TV star flossing his teeth?" Girl likes watching public television science shows. Girl demons chase boy like "groupies" and talk about him like kids "talking about theri favorite TV stars and pop singers". Girl learned CPR from a hospital TV show.
08/11/2019 The Sasquatch Escape Selfors, Suzanne The Imaginary Veterinary 3 - 5 Questionable
A boy comes to a small town to spend the summer with his grandfather so that his parents can have time alone to iron out marital difficulties. He finds an injured baby dragon and together with a local girl bring it to an animal hospital that specialized in mythical animals. Help recover an escaped sasquatch. Boy is surprised his grandfather doesn't have a big screen TV. Grandfather says a lot of Yiddish expressions (the only thing overtly Jewish about him besides his last name). Boy says he tells stories which is different from lying. Boy shakes girl's hand.
Language
weird, stupid, gross, freak out, dummy, drat
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
movie theater only shows movies on Friday night,
08/11/2019 Mel Foster and the Demon Butler Golding, Julia 4 - 7 Questionable
Orphaned boy is befriended by a female Frankenstein type monster and teams up with monsters to fight against an evil butler who tries to take over the country of England- he finds a magical way to animate people in paintings and to create doubles of living things- He learned this from the Egyptians who "delved deep into the chemistry of the soul"- they created a "psychic ointment" to "catch the souls of the living in the walls of the tombs- servants who could attend their masters for all eternity". Vampire is "undead" and sucks people's blood. Many of the characters in this story are "descendants" of characters in classic books- Frankenstein, Jekyll and Hyde, Dracula. Cathedral as a geographic landmark. Good guy vs. bad guy violence. One word xmas
Language
hell fiend, damn (p3), stupid, idiot, blasted, shut up
08/11/2019 Moo Creech, Sharon 5 - 7 Questionable
A brother and sister move to Maine and end up helping a mean old lady with her cow. Eventually, they befriend the lady and help her until she is discovered dead in the house (sad). One sentence mention of church bells ringing. Many mentions of cow bodily fluids. Older boy comes often- girl wonders if it is to see her or the cow. Friendly negiah. One word xmas
Language
little girl calls boy "stupid doofy head", weird, poop, kookoo, nutto, butt, manure, urine
08/11/2019 Dreaming Dangerous DeStefano, Lauren 5 - 7 Questionable
Orphaned children with special talents live in a school. A group of 4 children boys and girls share dreams, often dreams full of danger where they help each other. When one of their foursome goes missing they go to save him and discover that they are actually science experiments and the experimenter killed the girl's parents. Friends (boys and girls) often hold hands. WHen girl rescues boy she hugs him and tells him she missed him. Girl sees man and women in a dream holding hands and knows they are "very much in love with each other"
Language
stupid, weird
08/11/2019 Nothing But Trouble Davies, Jacqueline 4 - 7 Problematic
A girl is very sad that she never got to know her father (he died in a car accident before she was born) and she tries to liven up her small, dying town by pulling pranks in his memory. She teams up with a new girl and they go up against the school establishment and a mean principal to bring hope to her classmates and to the town. Her mother drowns her sorrows in alcohol and basically neglects her- eventually sobers up. Girl misses her father so much, she feels like he talks to her in her head and comments on everything she does- she even feels like she works as a team with him when she does prank since he used to do elaborate pranks when he was alive. Story about a girl "peeing in her pants". Description of a "weird" art movement after the war called Dada where they did things like put a urinal on a pedestal and call it art. One word Halloween,xmas, Santa Claus, church as geographic landmark- no religion in any of them. Girl justifies her pranks by making sure they never hurt anyone or cause permanent damage. Girls say principal is "wacko". The principal is genuinely mean- threatens students and teachers etc. but he is badly provoked and they do treat him with chutzpah.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
girl is upset that ever since her friends came back from camp they talked about which boys were "cute" and which were "super cute". When they call a new teacher "cute" girl is completely puzzled "it was not possible for a math teacher to be cute"
Language
gross, "suck up", weird, butt, freaky, dumb, wacko, stupid, poop. When ping pong balls fall down from the ceilng of the auditorium onto the principal's head he says "What the H-E-?" (stops himself before finishing the word), dang
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
A few mentions of old movies- girl has movie posters on wall. Girl says basement is "something out of a horror movie". Grandfather likes to watch reality shows on TV. Girl searches internet for info on dead father. Girl runs a website where she sells parts to old cars that her grandfather collected before he was disabled (without his knowledge- eventually she gets into trouble when he finds out). Grandfather is really excited to learn how to go on the internet- installs wifi in the house.
08/04/2019 The Stars Of Summer Dairman, Tara 4 - 7 Not Acceptable
Sequel to "All Four Stars". Girl who wants to be restaurant reviewer tries to balance day camp and writing food reviews for the newspaper. Some boy/girl including description of her first kiss.
08/04/2019 Grayling's Song Cushman, Karen 5 - 7 Questionable
A girl, a magical mouse, and some witches go on a quest to save her witch mother who was partially turned into a tree by an evil force. There are implications of a future romance but never stated outright. Mouse explains to her that it only knows what mice know "eat, sleep, mate and run away". Mentions of curing bowel problems. Gory song about a girl's "true love" who accidentally cut off her head.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Girl wants a love charm "to woo the miller's son away" from another girl. One of the witches is able to "glamour" men and get them to do anything for her. Man "pushed a wisp of hair from Graylin's face"-- man compares her to a book "creamy, thick paper, smooth to the touch but strong and altogether splendid- he smiled at her- just as you are". Girl calms herself by imagining that a metal nosed man would have difficulty kissing his wife.
Language
stupid, hellborn, blasted, blast, dumb
08/04/2019 William and the Witch's Riddle Crum, Shutta 5 - 7 Generally Acceptable
A boy goes on a quest to find his missing parents and discovers that he is royalty. It is very sad when he finds out his father died. He eventually saves his mother from a magic curse that put her into an endless sleep. He confronts a witch who is quite scary.
Language
stupid, idiots, stinks, dumb, stupidity, blasted
07/28/2019 Down With The Crims Davies, Kate 4 - 6 Problematic
A family who pride themselves on committing crimes (they never pay for the food they eat, they never pay taxes, even the teacher is scared of them, etc.) become the victim of crime themselves when members of the family begin to be kidnapped. Very tongue in cheek, meant to be funny- not sure if every child reading this will get that. Grandmother tells granddaughter to go bikini shopping for the Bahamas (after she makes a fake credit card and books a trip with it). Girl mentions a poet by name and a classmate ignorantly asks if he is her boyfriend. One word xmas
Language
screw ups, stupid, maniac, weird, damn it (p52), idiot, freaking out, shut up, brat, darn, heck
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
mentions of internet fraud, researching on internet, you tube, girls sneak into movies to watch "romantic comedies", grandmother faked her death and in the meantime "binge watched" TV, movie stars in Beverly HIlls, google, instagram, facebook, ebay
07/28/2019 All Four Stars Dairman, Tara 4 - 7 Questionable
A girl loves to cook and dreams of becoming a food writer for a newspaper but her parents (who are terrible cooks) forbid her from cooking (after she almost burns the house down). She enters a newspaper contest about what she wants to be when she grows up and her entry is accidentally mistaken as a cover letter for a job as a food writer. Parents want her to do normal kid things like watching TV and playing video games. She does some sneaking around and lying to make it happen. Mention of eating xmas dinner- no religion. one word mention of church.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
juvenille boy/girl- boy asks girl where a good place is to take a girl on a date- girl who seems to secretly like him (never stated outright) flicks his sleeve and tells him no girl would ever want to go out with him- he glared at her but "a tiny smile passed his lips" (implying that he likes her as well, though never stated outright)
Language
stinky, weird, gross, freak, what the heck (p53, 249), dumb, suck/ sucks, shut up, stupid, butt
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
mention of TV cooking shows, looking for information on internet, email, playing computer games, playing on a tablet, watching tv in a limo on the way to a Broadway show, Broadway show is based on a teen magazine and described as being silly with songs titled "make up for making out" and "ten tips for the perfect party"
07/25/2019 The Library Machine Butler, Dave The Extraordinary Journeys of Clockwork Charlie 5 - 7 Questionable
The saga continues as the mechanical boy and his friends continue to try to save the world from evil.A lot of magic. In this book a rabbi appears as an important character. He mostly preaches brotherly love, but he does wear "white tasses" , a "s,a;; round cap"and have Jewish books. ALso some Jewish things randomly quoted "Og had failed but Avrohom found three men...they had come so he would have someone to show hospitality to" and " Avrohom sent Eliezer- he was a giant, you know, and he was also called OG- out to look for travelers..." Violence. Rajah says he doesn't like principles (like religious ones) if they force someone to choose G-d above his neighbor. Boy is sure the rabbi would have gotten along well with the Rajah since they believe the same things (!?!)A lot of the action occurs in a chapel with many pictures of saints. Chapel was built where they used to bring sacrafices to a demon.
Language
weird, hell, bloody, the 'eck, idiot, shut up, stupid, stinking
07/23/2019 The Giant's Seat Butler, Dave The Extraordinary Journeys of Clockwork Charlie 5 - 7 Questionable
The saga continues as the mechanical boy and his friends try to deliver a warning to an engineer that he will soon be under attack. Good guys vs. bad guys violence
Religion/Hashkafa
brief mention that in baptism "I take upon me the name of the lord. My real name is Christian"
Language
the "eck" (very frequent), hell, stupid
07/21/2019 The Astounding Broccoli Boy Boyce, Frank Cottrell 4 - 7 Questionable
A victim and a bully both inexplicably turn green and end up in a hospital isolation ward together and become friends. They decide they must be superheroes and sneak out of the hospital and have funny/scary adventures. Many mentions and descriptions of superheroes and supervillains and comic book characters throughout. Unimportant brief mention of the Ice Age. Girl feels bad for green boy and says she wishes she could give him a hug but when he moves towards her she jumps back and says "not literally". Many bathroom jokes about boy's "wee" being green. Boys decide to rob a bank but accidentally go to a nightclub called "The Bank" and they are surprised to see "women in sparkly dresses with bare legs and tottery heels" and people singing and dancing. Girl tells boy to take her hand so she can help him get over his fear of heights.
Religion/Hashkafa
Boy says he is an elf who helps Santa Claus. There is an epidemic of a virus so the mayor is thinking of cancelling xmas so there will be no more germs spread- in the end the children "save xmas" and when the holiday lights go on everyone says "Oooooohhhh!"
Language
weird, idiot, stupid
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
many mentions of TV especially TV news
07/21/2019 Death Weavers Mull, Brandon Five Kingdoms 5 - 8 Problematic
The saga continues as the children continue to try to save the princesses. They travel to a land which is the place where "echoes" of people go when they die- it is a waystation to the afterlife (which no one can describe since no one has ever returned from there). The echoes are a bit like ghosts- there is quite a bit of hashkafic confusion if children try to make connections between this and our understandings of what happens after death- especially because the book is very detailed in its description of how everything works. Boy asks a powerful being for the meaning of life "The purpose of existence is the education of the will. And the meaning of life is to learn to love the right things... those things that bring lasting happiness to yourself and others... You'll find that it doesn't so much matter what happens as you live- what gives it all purpose and meaning is who you become"
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
continued mention of boy trying to rescue his "secret crush". A lot of talk of "liking" people and "unrealized love". Engaged couple give playful shoves and swats to each other. Boy doesn't know how to respond to crying girl so he puts and arm around her "she leaned into him which her took as a good sign". Someone tells boy "You're a cute one... I bet the girls won't leave you alone". Man gives woman "a slow kiss" on her hand "his eyes on hers". Boy runs to hug girl who he just saved.
Language
jerk, weird, stupid, freaky, gross, idiot, dumb, creepy
07/21/2019 The Grey King Cooper, Susan The Dark is Rising Sequence 5 - 8 Not Acceptable
The saga continues as the magical boy travels to Wales to recover from an illness and confronts the forces of darkness.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Story of a woman who came to Wales on a holiday, "fell shatteringly in love with a Welsh farmer and never gone home again". A detailed story is told about a girl with her baby who came knocking at the door of a solitary shepherd- he took the girl and baby in and fell in madly in love with her. He left her in his cottage to get milk for the baby and when he returned he found the girl struggling with a neighbor who decided she was a "light woman and easy for him to take if he fancied her" The shepherd beat him up. After a few days the girl disappeared leaving him the baby". The shepherd felt guilty he had been in the cottage alone with her for those few days and felt tremendous guilt and became much more devoted to his chapel.
Religion/Hashkafa
One word Easter. Description of the outside of a church and graveyard. Mention that Holloween was All Hallows Eve- "when people used to believe that all the ghosts walked".
Language
weird, stupid, damn/ dammo/ damned (p10, 102, 104,112, 183), freak, bastard
07/17/2019 Crystal Keepers Mull, Brandon Five Kingdoms 5 - 8 Problematic
The saga continues as the children look for their friends and try to rescue the fugitive princesses.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Continued mentions of boy trying to rescue the girl who was his "secret crush". Girl pats boy on the arm- friend explains to another boy that the boy who she patted is "in heaven" now since "he has the biggest crush on her". Boy poses as a royal messenger- it is explained to him that late night messages usually deal with "romantic" matters.
Language
weird, stupid, creepy, freaky, shut up, dumb, gross, jerk, idiot
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
A lot of discussion of getting on the internet from the alternate universe and checking emails

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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)
Samantha - Manners and Mischief
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 4
Problematic
Series
Redo of a few Samantha books. Uncle brings girlfriend to his parents house- eventually get engaged. Boy exhibits bad middos -teases girls. Girls wonder how it can be that a stork brings babies. Girl remembers when her mother had a baby there was a midwife not a stork. A girl passes a note in class asking "what the dickens does (a french word) mean"- girl is worried she will get in trouble if teacher finds note with an"almost swear word". A few chapters making xmas seem wonderful- decorations, gifts,tree, carols, parties, Brief mention of collection plate at church. mild chutzpah. Language-dumb, stupid
Spring Pearl - The Last Flower
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 4 - 6
Questionable
Series
An orphaned Cantonese girl finds her place when she helps protect the family who took her in when the British attack Canton. A servant boy befriends her, but not overtly romantic. Non romantic negiah. Boy is briefly chutzpadik to his mother. RIch girls display poor middos. Chinese religion including belief in kitchen god, alter, temples, festivals, etc. Language- idiot. stinking, blasted, freak, stupid.
Molly - A Molly Mystery - The Light In The Cellar
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Girls try to figure out who is stealing war rations. Children go to the movies. In back history section, discussion of wartime shortages- mentions it was difficult to purchase underwear with elastic at the waistband. Language- dumb, creepy
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).
Felicity - Very Funny Elizabeth
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Companion to Felicity books. A girl from a Loyalist family tries to convince parents not to send her away to England by behaving badly. Embarrasses sister many times; Book seems to justify it. Dance described. History section about courtship and marriage in 1775.
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.
Samantha - Changes for Samantha
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Wealthy girl's friend loses her parents and is placed in an orphanage together with her younger sisters. Girl sneaks them out of the orphanage and hides them in her wealthy aunt and uncle's attic. She sneaks food from the kitchen to feed them (calls it stealing). When she is caught her aunt and uncle decide to adopt the girls. There is a minor side story of making valentines for "Saint Valentine's Day"- no religion. Girl makes a valentine for her newly married grandparents who are away on their honeymoon. GIrl says it is "so romantic". Aunt cuts out pictures of cupids. Girl's uncle took them in after parents died, stole their money, "sold it for drink" and then abandoned them.
Josefina - Meet Josefina
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
A girl in New Mexico struggles to deal with her mother's death when her aunt comes to visit. A short description of a dance with an illustration of men and women dancing together but not touching. A few mentions of Catholic religion including praying at an alter. History section in back has photos of religious painting and statue and another picture of men and women dancing but not touching.
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 - Read All About It
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Redone first 3 Kit books. Girl learns to make do during the depression when her father loses his job. Boy shakes lady's hand (good manners).Middos between classmates. Children curious about border's boyfriend- imagine them going on a "romantic date" where he asks her to marry him. Boy teases girl that she has a boyfriend (who is really her boarder) and he lives with her because she will marry him (she gets really mad) A lot of xmas, no religion. Girls go to the movies- girl is enchanted by glamourous movie star Language- stupid
Julie - A Julie Mystery - The Puzzle Of The Paper Daughter
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
A girl reunites two elderly Chinese women and discovers a treasure in a rag doll. Mentions of girl’s parents divorce. A lot of talk about a Valentine's Day Disco party the high school kids were making for the community. Description of the coed dance –not romantic (P163-166 chapter 15). Brief description of ball gown with skinny straps. Teenager hopes she will get a date to the dance. Girls listen to rock music. Some Chinese culture. A few mentions of xmas cards-no religion. Language-weird, creepy, dang.
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
Kit - Turning Things Around
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Redone last 3 Kit books. Girl's thrifty aunt comes to stay with her family and helps them learn to make-do during the depression- at first girl is embarrassed by her but eventually comes to appreciate her. Girl clips picture of Robin Hood style birthday party given for movie star's child. Aunt offers to make girl bloomers out of flour sack- girl responds "I couldn't wear underwear made out of a flour sack!" Aunt quotes a lot of Shakespeare.Sad and slightly scary description of hobo's lives. Discussion if one is allowed to steal if he is hungry. Language- stupid, dumb.
Saige - Saige Paints the Sky
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Girl organizes a demonstration to encourage her school to start an art class and overcomes her shyness to speak at a press conference- ends up on TV.One word non religious mention of xmas. Language-darn (p5), butt out, stupid,
The New Girl
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Reader chooses the endings- a girl tries to overcome her jealousy of a new girl. A lot of middos issues but with a purpose.Reader is encouraged to go onto a (unreviewed) website to find one of the endings to the story Many non provocative illustrations of girls in t shirts and shorts. Small cartoonish illustrations of dancer wearing a sleeveless dress and a trapeze artist wearing a leotard and tights. Girls go to see a movie.
Addy - A New Beginning - My Journey With Addy
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
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.
Molly - Brave Emily
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
A companion to the Molly series. A war refugee finds herself lying about her musical talents to fit in - eventually owns up and finds that children like her for herself. Some tame mentions of difficulties caused by war. In back History section mentions that a million Jewish children were killed in the war. Language: stink, stupid. In preview of "Meet Molly", minor middos between siblings. Minor mention of Halloween costume.
Kirsten - A Kirsten Mystery - The Runaway Friend
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Girl tries to locate missing neighbor. Minor description of co-ed dance (pg. 18-19). Adults decide it's OK to open someone else's mail without permission if it will help them locate the missing neighbor.
Nanea - Prints in the Sand
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Reader chooses own ending. Modern day girl journeys back in time to Hawaii during World War 2. Hawaiin culture including stories of Hawaaiin gods and goddesses. Nancy Drew books. Sherlock Holmes movie. Girls dance hula in front of coed audience. Younger sister says older sister must be in a good mood becuase of the "cute" sodier joining them for dinner.
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.
Nicki - Thanks To Nicki
American Girl
Series:
Grades: N/A
Questionable
Series
Girl copes with her sadness when it is time to give up the dog she has been training. Deals with 2 best friends who don't like each other.A lot of discussion about the "puberty talk" given in school to fifth graders- girl is embarrassed it is coed- but description is rather neutral. Halloween- detailed trick or treating- text and full page illustration- Halloween party- no religion. Language- idiot, dumb, weird
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
Samantha - Meet Samantha
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Generally Acceptable
Series
Innocent discussion about where babies come from - does the stork bring them or the midwife?
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.
Julie - A Julie Mystery - The Silver Guitar
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Girl helps boy figure out who replaced an expensive guitar which belonged to a famous guitar player, who was killed in a motorcycle crash, with a cheap imitation. Children attend an auction with celebrities and try to get autographs of stars. Children admire a soap opera star, a TV producer, and a football coach.Mention of rock music. Brief mention of parent's divorce. Boy lies around all day making a mess and watching TV. Hides his girlfriend in the curtains when he thinks his aunt and uncle came home. Non romantic negiah. Language- weird, stupid, creepy. In back history section discussion and illustration of rock musicians.
Gabriela - Gabriela Speaks Out
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Questionable
Series
Girl with a stutter runs for school leadership position. Befriends a girl who is mean to her.Seventh and Eighth Graders very mean to sixth graders. Middos among classmates. Very good friends with a boy- not romantic. TV. Names of poets whose poetry may or may not be appropriate. Book "The Giver". Nuetral quote by Saint Francis of Assisi. Language- gross, weird, shut up
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.
Marie-Grace - A Marie-Grace Mystery - The Haunted Opera
American Girl
Series:
Grades: 3 - 5
Problematic
Series
Girls figure out who is trying to ruin the opera. A lot of detailed opera culture.Gossip that lead male opera singer is" in love" with the lead female singer- she takes his arm, he "put his arm around her protectively". A different singer is also "in love" with her but she doesn't notice him. One word mention of going to church. In the back history section, portraits of women in very low cut gowns.
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)
Under Copp's Hill
American Girl History Mysteries
Grades: -
Not Acceptable
Ghost Light on Graveyard Shoal
American Girl HIstory Mysteries
Grades: N/A
Questionable
Series
Girl helps capture a man who is trying to lure ships to a dangerous area so they will wreck. Very sad storyline about the girl's friend who is very sick and might die- in the end she seems better. Gory ghost story told. Mother warns daughter to stay away from men who sit in the back of the general store talking because of their "scandalous language" - girl eavesdrops anyway and hears them say hell. Language-dumb,goldurnit(once).
Hoofbeats of Danger
American Girl History Mysteries
Grades: 4 - 6
Generally Acceptable
Series
A girl figures out who harmed a pony express pony.Girl wishes her mother would let her wear pants. Girl squeezes boy's wrist to thank him for his help. Language-darn (once), dumb.
Danger at the Wild West Show
American Girl History Mysteries
Grades: 4 - 6
Problematic
Series
Girl tries to prove her brother's innocence when someone gets shot at a wild west show. Many mentions of older brother having girl friends, wooing women, flirting, etc. Girl enjoys tormenting shy boy by talking about "unmentionables" like "getting a swat on my backside" or "nethergarments". Children admire new invention of bloomers which are split skirts which are much more practical for trick riding a horse or bike riding. In back history section more discussion about girls wearing "divided garments" with a photo. Girl "cusses" by saying "bloody blazes". Boy and girl are embarrassed when they realize they are accidentally holding hands. Language- dang/ danged,
Whistler in the Dark
American Girl History Mysteries
Grades: 4 - 6
Problematic
Series
After girl's father dies mother is determined to move out west and become an editor of a newspaper. Mother is a women's libber- believes in "dress reform" and wears bloomers in public which is "scandalous". Daughter wrestles with feelings of embarrassment about the way the mother dresses and loyalty for her mother. The book is written in such a way as to cause the reader to sympathise with the dress reform movement and wonders why women should be "hampered by tight corsets and enormous skirts." A few mentions of going to church, no religion. Minor chutzpah. Many descriptions of the saloon where men gamble and get drunk. A poor woman abandoned by her husband earns money by dancing with miners in the saloon who pay her to dance with them. Girl rides behind boy on horse- text and illustration- no obvious romance between them, but very friendly. Language- thunderation, stupid
The Smuggler's Treasure
American Girl History Mysteries
Grades: 4 - 6
Acceptable
Circle of Fire
American Girl History Mysteries
Grades: -
Not Acceptable
Series
A black girl and a white boy try to stop the KLu Klux Klan. They aren't allowed to play together because they are getting older and it's not right for them to be boyfriend and girlfriend and do "kissing and stuff". Discussions about a movie. Mentions of xmas and playing piano for church. Symbol of the klan represents yoshka's blood. Mother calls father honey and kisses him on the cheek to get him to agree.Violence. Language- stupid, darn tootin, peeing,dadgummit, dang.