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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
09/04/2022 The Chronicles of Chretomanci Volume lll Jones, Diana Wynne 4 - 8 Not Acceptable
This volume has two more stories that involve the man who regulates witchcraft. The first story, Conrad's Fate, is about a boy being raised by his magician uncle and dysfunctional author mother (his father died) who is sent to work in a castle to change his bad "karma". He befriends the young christomnaci who is also working in the castle so that he can find his female friend who disappeared somewhere in the castle. Mother writes about "being explioted at a female". The staff gossip that the countess caught the attention of the count by "kicking up her legs in a chorus line". Man and women who are secretly dating "flung their arms around each other as if it really had been a hundred years since they last met". Man and woman who secretly married "began hugging and kissing each other frantically". Adult children are chutzpadik to mother who wants to force them to marry for money. Lady's "figure was perfect. Most of the footmen around me gasped when they saw her, and Gregor actually gave out a little moan. That was how beautiful Lady Mary was". The second story is The Pinhoe Egg about a village full of a magical family led by a mean old woman who goes somewhat senile and children from the castle who get involved. Grandson refers to grandmother as an "old bat". A flower in an alternate universe blossomed once every hundred years was so beautiful that people worshiped it as a god. One word Halloween, brief description of xmas ornaments. " Reverand Pinhoe appeared on the churchyard wall, waving a censer of smoking incense on a chain and making prayerful gestures"
Language
what the hell? (p 30 begin chapt 3), a perfect idiot, darned, creepy, damn (p138 end chapt 9), damn it (pg 147 begin chapt 10 and p185 end chapt 12 and p341 middle chapt 2 second story and p377 chapt middle chapt 4 second story), maniac, stupid, shut up, idiots, pompous idiot, blast it, damn nuisance (p496 middle chapt 11 second story), like hell you didn't (p530 middle chapt 13, second story), drat it, there'll be hell to pay (p569 begin chapt 15 second story), what the hell is that (p645 begin chapt 20 second story), blasted
09/03/2022 Clash of the Worlds Columbus, Chris and Vizzini, Ned House of Secrets 5 - 9 Not Acceptable
09/03/2022 Battle of the Beasts Columbus, Chris and Vizzini, Ned House of Secrets 5 - 9 Not Acceptable
08/31/2022 The Hangman's Revolution Eoin Colfer W.A.R.P. 7 - 11 Problematic
Teen
After going back in time in first book, female teen heroine returns to a changed future.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
2 Friendly hugs between friends after reunitedSide story of adult man and woman villains who fall in love with each other. 258-259,Kiss 266, 272. Could be edited.
Religion/Hashkafa
Use of J---- (English version of name of Hashem lehavdil) as exclamation
Language
hell, crap, poop, damn
Violence
Some cruel gory violence
08/21/2022 How to be a Supervillain: Bad Guys Finish Last Michael Fry 3 - 6 Problematic
Boy supervillain tries to do good. Lots of drawings as part of story, could be good for reluctant readers
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Mild boy/girl in drawings - girl gives boy 2 quick hugs, at end of book hold hands. Some talk of girl liking boy.
Language
poop, butt, crap, pee. Drawing of man sitting on toilet.
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Passing mention of Mission Impossible
08/21/2022 The Chronicles of Chrestomanci Volume II Jones, Diana Wynne 4 - 8 Not Acceptable
This volume contains two more stories about magical adventures which ultimately involve the Christomanci. The first, The Magicians of Caprona is about two warring magical families who need to come together to save their country and their kidnapped children. The story revolves around the belief in an angel that "brought a scroll of music from heaven" to protect the city. At the end the golden statue of the angel near the cathedral comes alive. Handsome older boy constantly has girls "falling in love" with him. Punch and Judy puppet shows are quite violent- at one point the children are bewitched to be the puppets and forced to hurt each other. Rival magical families have magical fueds when they meet and attempt to hurt each other badly. Each family tells terrible stories about the other which are equally untrue including that they don't get married properly and "have babies like kittens." Brief description of xmas. Church service where they sing a hymn about an angel banishing a devil. Story told about a lady who "ran off with a greasy little warlock" . Boy is happy his elderly uncle is sick and hopes "the old idiot" might die so he will be one step closer to heading the family. Coed dancing, not specifically romantic. Second story is called Witch Week. In a country where witchcraft is illegal, children attend a school where many of the students are orphans of witches who were burned at the stake. Children discover they have witchcraft and call upon Chrestomanci to help them. A male teacher flirts with a female teacher but she ignores him since she is set on marrying a different teacher. Child writes that the teacher "is dying for the love of her (the other teacher). Many mentions of one word xmas and Halloween. Children spy on older students who hug and kiss each other behind the bushes. Girl has a crush on a good looking man "gazing adoringly up into the man's handsome face" - when everyone held hands to keep from getting lost, girl managed to be the one holding the man's hand. Another girls says "he is so super looking he makes me feel weak"
Language
shut up, stupidity, stupid, the asses they made of themselves, idiots, brats, weirdness, blast, dumb
08/19/2022 Ground Zero: A Novel of 9/11 Alan Gratz 7 - 10 Questionable
Teen
Boy is in World Trade on 9/11, escapes while his father is killed. Interspersed story of girl growing up during Afghanistan war.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Afghani mother tells daughter that she used to wear a mini skirt and the boys liked it and she did too.Woman hugs boy when saved from danger. Husband and wife hug and kiss when he is saved.
Language
Hell, damn, crap, pee, JC, butt
Violence
Graphic descriptions of injuries, deaths, danger.
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Passing mention of Facebook.
08/19/2022 Space Runners: The Moon Platoon Jeramey Kraatz Space Runners 4 - 7 Generally Acceptable
Boys and girls on luxurious moon project try to save Earth from aliens
Divorce/Dysfunctional Families
Passing mention of mother who walked out on family.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Mention of beautiful woman who won "the last season of Heartthrob or Hologram".2 or 3 vague passing references to romance/blushing, may be more in future books.Girl hugs boy when he is saved from being killed.
Language
butt, fart,crap
Street Reality, "Gritty" books
Description of woman with left side of head shaved and the rest dyed magenta
08/14/2022 The Chronicles of Chrestomanci Volume 1 Jones, Diana Wynne The Chronicles of Chrestomanci 4 - 8 Problematic
This book is really two books in one. The first, "Charmed Life" describes how an orphaned boy came to be the ward of the Chrestomanci, the man charged with policing all magic in their alternate universe. His sister turns out to be evil and siphons magic off of her brother for nefarious purposes. She eventually goes to an alternative universe and her replacement who arrives from a different universe is much nicer. A few mentions of one word xmas and Halloween. Girl has complete lack of hakaras hatov for guardian who took her in and provides well for her and is rude to everyone around her "shut up you frog faced girl" (to a servant girl trying to help her). Magical sister threatens brother that if he tells her the ending she will turn his "underpants to ice". At church magical girl is bored and causes the figures in the stained glass window to start beating each other up and causing a major disruption to the church service (described, but no clear religion). The second story, "The Lives of Christopher Chant" is how the current Chrestomanci came to his role, starting from his childhood where he was raised by parents with a dysfunctional marriage (described in great detail) and a criminal uncle who manipulated the innocent boy to help him in his smuggling ring. Little boy is bored when his mother is meeting with her friends so he starts rolling from lady to lady so he can see what their legs look like under their petticoats. Mentions of gods and temples in alternate lands and descriptions of their "powers" and magical abilities. Brief discussion with goddess if xmas is for heathens or if the heathens are those who worship gods. At the castle the boy is given the book Arabian NIghts "with all of the dirty bits taken out".a
Language
stupid, shut up, idiot, it's hell, drat, just one more damned thing (p176 end chapter 12), weird, idiotic, giving me the creeps, darn it, this is a damned nuisance (p327 beginning chapter 5), Don't be an ass, make damned sure (p369 beginning of chapter 8), freakish, freak show
08/12/2022 The Phantom Tollbooth Juster, Norton 4 - 8 Classic
A boy who is bored with life receives a magical tollbooth as a present that sends him on a journey that revitalizes his interest in learning about the world. The entire book is tongue in cheek and full of wordplay. p104 Brief mention of xmas trees
08/11/2022 The Real Boy Ursu, Anne 5 - 7 Questionable
An orphan works mixing ingredients for a magician. After the magician is killed by a monster, the boy suspects that he created him from magical wood since he doesn't understand social cues. A girl who is an apprentice to a healer befriends him and helps him realize he is human and has strengths. Older apprentice torments the boy until he is killed one day and brought home in pieces in a sack. In the end, children learn that magic isn't worth the cost. Boy is finally comfortable enough that he can touch the girl's arm (not romantic)
Language
stupid, a freak, idiot, weird, "everyone in Altheia will be damned"
08/07/2022 A Case of Grave Danger Cleverly, Sophie The Violet Veil Mysteries 5 - 7 Questionable
The daughter of an undertaker teams up with a boy who was brought to the funeral parlor as dead( but he really was only just injured) to prove her father's innocence and capture the real criminal who committed a few murders. Mentions that she can feel spirits feelings. The girl helps the boy stagger to the house- "I ducked underneath is arm to try to bear him up. To heck with improper...he needs me". "Mother was giving me a questioning look. I looked down adn realized I wias still holding on to Oliver's had. I let go as discreetly as I could". The graveyard had two chapels. One for the Church of England.
Language
heck, drat, blast, daft, creepy
08/07/2022 The School for Good and Evil Chainani, Soman 5 - 7 Not Acceptable
A very long and involved story about two girls who were kidnapped from their village and placed in schools that train fairy tale characters to be good or evil. The girls believe they were placed in the wrong schools and try to find a way to get home until a romance with a handsome prince turns around everything. There are excellent discussions about what defines good and evil and that questions judging based on exterior beauty (even though this is prevalent and even encouraged throughout the book). However, there is a tremendous amount of flirting, impressing the opposite gender, hoping to be asked to the ball and be kissed by a handsome prince which overshadows anything worthwhile in the book.
08/07/2022 The Last Secret Cleverly, Sophie Scarlet and Ivy 4 - 6 Questionable
Final book in the series. Children go head to head with the man claiming to be the school's new owner to save the school and prevent him from knocking it down and turning it into apartments. The girls enlist the help of thier former wicked headmistress and visit her in prison. Girls go home to their father and mean stepmother and find out she is trying to poison him. Brief mentions of xmas, no religion. Ballet Swan Lake. GIrl's parents are "splitting up". Girls lie to the matron multiple times to cover up that they had sneaked into her room to find a will.
Language
shut up, stupid, brats, drat, damn thing (p245 middle of chapter 29 and p268 end of chapter 31 and p297 end of chapter 34), find this bloomin key,
08/07/2022 The Curse in the Candlelight Cleverly, Sophie Scarlet and Ivy 4 - 6 Questionable
The saga continues as the twins confront a new girl who professes to be a witch with a grudge against their best friend. A party happens on All Hallows Eve with lots of talk about witches and spirits but no religion. Mean stepmother asks girls to light the fires, girl answers chutpadikly "I'm not your servant" and similar remarks. Step mother responds (whenever father isn't present) with things like "I can do what I want you insolent brat". Girl hopes that her classmate who claims to be a witch can make a love potion for her. A lot of talk about curses, spells and bad luck. Description of the chapel and the items in it (kneeling mats, pews, candlesticks, alter etc.) but no explanation of what they are used for. Girl asks her teacher why she forgave the woman who pushed her off stage causing permanent injury. She responded "Forgiving people isn't about what they need.. its about what you need...I needed a friend and a colleague...more than I needed to hold a grudge for what had happened years ago..I don't think I had to forgive her by any means. But I spent enough years hating her. It didn't make me any better...forgiveness is up to me. It's nice to do things on my own terms."
Language
freaks, weird, creepy, stupid, idiots, make our lives worse than hee, brats, damn (p321 end of chapter 34)
08/07/2022 The Lights Under the Lake Cleverly, Sophie Scarlet and Ivy 4 - 6 Questionable
The saga continues as the twins go on a school trip and figure out who is pretending to haunt the hotel. The ghost leaves objects from a drowned church like a gold cross and wet prayer books. The man tells a scary story that when the graveyard was flooded "their bones were trapped under gallons of water and they couldn't reach the heavens". Older prefects bully younger girls- a lot of mean talk. Girls dress up as water nymphs (bathing suits and tutus) so she can photograph them to send to her father so she can show how her photography skills have improved. An innocent seeming couple kidnap a girl to prevent her from getting her inheritence- scary. The headmistress is acting funny around a handsome (married) man - the girls say she is "mooning" over him "he makes her giggle like a schoolgirl" and she blushes when he talks to her (each mention is brief and that's as far as it goes). Teacher tells girls a rock is thousands of years old, probably left by a glacier.
Language
hell, weird, stupid, idiot, shut up, blasted, brats, a freak, creepy, drat, "I blooming well wasn't"
08/05/2022 The Doldrums Gannon, Nicholas The Doldrums 5 - 8 Acceptable
Archer Helmsley and his two friends are determined to find Archer's missing grandparents. Their plans are foiled by some hilarious mishaps.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
One of the main characters of the trio is a girl, but her relationship to the boys is simply as a friend.
Middos
An exceptionally "clean" book, but the characters do lie to each other and their parents, although they eventually admit the truth.
08/04/2022 The Dance in the Dark Cleverly, Sophie Scarlet and Ivy 4 - 6 Questionable
The saga continues as the girls investigate the disappearance of their ballet teacher who was kidnapped by her mother who is her illegitimate daughter. They uncover that their former headmistress who is on the run from the police is trying to damage the school's reputation in revenge. They also figure out their own mother who died in childbirth's true identity On the cover of the book are two preadolescent girls in skimpy leotards and tutus. Mentions of xmas, no religion. Girls are excited to put on a ballet show (for a coed audienc) of Sleeping Beauty. Girl lies about where she is going since she is embarrassed to need extra tutoring in ballet. Girl threatens to tell her mother on her father if he won't let her return to school- he gives in. Bully secretly hurts and bullies one of the twins in the hopes that she will convince her sister not to compete with her for the best part in the ballet. In chapel the vicar read them "a dreary sermon" but the hymns were better and they sang them in loud voices. Girl can't believe that her enemy is going to play her "love interest" in the ballet.
Language
shut up, idiot, weird, drat, what the heck, stupid, freak, creepy, disgusting leftovers, I was stuck pulling up the bloody curtains
08/04/2022 How to Save a Superhero Freeman, Ruth 5 - 8 Questionable
Addie's mother, Tish, has just taken a new job in a nursing home and one of the new residents, who Addie befriends, is rather unusual. Things come to a head when a mysterious stranger appears, representing a company that wants to build condos on the property, but they are actually trying to capture the resident who turns out is a superhero with special powers. As always, the good guys win in the end.
One of the elderly residents dies in the book. The secular holidays, especially Halloween are mentioned, but not with religious significance.
Divorce/Dysfunctional Families
Addie calls her mother by her first name throughout the book. A teen pregnancy is alluded to, Addie's mother is described as unsettled and impulsive.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Addie's adventures involve a boy, Dickson, but it is a simple friendship.
Language
Some strong 4 letter words are used, soe salty language.
08/03/2022 The Whispers in the Walls Cleverly, Sophie Scarlet and Ivy 4 - 6 Questionable
The saga continues as the twins return to school after the arrest of the wicked headmistress. The headmaster is an old, sickly and very mean man. Girl dreams about becoming a prima ballerina.One of the twins is accused of stealing things in school, but it turns out to be another girl who is stealing things for a girl she has hidden away who was wrongly locked away in the asylum by jealous family members. 1 word xmas
Language
living hell (a few times), weird, scum, shut up, creepy, stupid, idiot, blooming well, made my life hell, weirdness, drat, I never want to see that blasted thing again, freak, what the heck,who the heck,
08/01/2022 The Ministry of Suits Gamble, Paul The Ministry of Suits 5 - 8 Questionable
Jack and Trudy are recruited to the mysterious Ministry of Suits to deal with disappearing children, dangeorus pirates and other unusual creatures
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
There are some mild references to boy/girl relationships, some hugging but in an innocent fashion
Language
The author has a very sharp sense of humor, but sometimes throws in some bathroom humor, although not an overwhelming amount. Of course inappropriate and unnecessary but it seems to be the trend in books of this genre.
Violence
The heroes of the story battles creatures and pirates with some graphic descriptions of blood and gore.
07/31/2022 The Lost Twin Cleverly, Sophie Scarlet and Ivy 4 - 6 Questionable
An identical twin is sent to the boarding school where her twin allegedly died. When she gets there she finds out she is to pretend to actually be her sister so that no one knows what happened. In the end the girl and her friend uncover the plot hatched by the head mistress and possibly their stepmother to lock away her trouble making twin in an asylum forever. Father is dysfunctional and oblivious. Girls dream of becoming actresses or ballerinas. One word Easter, xmas. Teacher is illegitimate daughter of the headmistress- headmistress tries to cover it up- mentioned a few times. Mean girls often pick on others- girl responds with violence. Girl goes to the chapel to find clues- finds one in the "kneeling mat". Step siblings are mean to each other.
Language
stupid, drat, brat, creepy, all hell broke loose, brat
07/29/2022 Don't Check Out This Book Klise, Kate 3 - 5 Generally Acceptable
Story written in the form of newspaper articles, emails, memos etc. A new librarian brings new interest in books to a very small school in a very small town. The school board president tries to get her fired since she doesn't like the idea of children taking out books with no supervision, but in the end is arrested. The children were involved in these happenings. Slightly irreverant and subtly against book censorship.
Language
weird, brat, shut up
07/29/2022 Max Tilt Eighty Days or Die Peter Lerangis Max Tilt 5 - 8 Questionable
Max Tilt and his cousin Alex set out to find a cure for cancer and other illnesses based on a cyptic message from Jules Verne. Their quest takes them to five exotic locations around the world, and find themselves in very difficult situations.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
There are rare references to hand-holding and flirting.
Language
BAthroom language is used fairly often and one curse word
Violence
Many of the adventures involves dangerous or scary things happening to the characters. Towards the end guns are pointed but not used; no one actually gets killed.
07/27/2022 The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse Gannon, Nicholas The Doldrums 5 - 8 Generally Acceptable
Archer Helmsley, with the help of his friends, tries to discover why a scientific society, and his town, has turned against his grandparents, who were once respected explorers. Very acceptable language, some boy/girl situations but not explicit at all, set in the environment of the Xmas holiday but no religious ritual mentioned
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Some boy/girl references but not vulgar in any way
Language
Surprisingly clean language (for 2017!)
Violence
Some violent or threatening scenes, but not gory or fatal
07/25/2022 The Knight's Armor Gamble, Paul The Ministry of Suits 5 - 8 Generally Acceptable
Jack and Trudy, young members of the Ministry of Suits, battle Merlin, the wizard of King Arthur's Court, who wants to take over the world. Written with tongue-in-cheek humor, the book is basically "clean".
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Minor references to boyfriend, girlfriend, but in a distant way
Language
Some bathroom humor - particularly pgs 262, 265, which have no bearing on the plot and can be removed
07/24/2022 The Time of Green Magic McKay Hilary 5 - 7 Not Acceptable
Children in a blended family move into a new house and encounter a strange kind of magic that brings characters in books to life. 14 year old boy has a crush on 18 year old babysitter and tries to impress her. He notices her necklace and his eyes "followed the line of the thong down to the stone and stopped. He became very hot. He thought, I must look somewhere else quick." The father sympathises with what his son is going through "remembering the first girl who had stepped into his consciousness, stoppped his heat and restarted it. Like stepping off a clifff into deep water, what with the plunge and the shock and the half drowned scrabble to get your haed above water again, and then the sun in your eyes..." Boy looks for girl on facebook. She touches the back of his neck gently for a moment boy reacts "there was such a thing as magic. For down into the dizzing depness of time slid Max, leaving everythign behind excpet the echo of Esm'es fingers" Many brief mentions of xmas-santa, tree,presents, decorations etc, Easter, no religion. References to Narnia, but no explanation. Girl copies cave drawings made "thirty thousand years ago"- mentioned a few times as well as in the authors note in the back of the book.
Language
stupid, what the heck?, gross, shut up, darn, weird, crikey
07/22/2022 Max Tilt: Enter the Core Peter Lerangis Max Tilt 5 - 8 Questionable
Very fast paced book where the main characters enter the center of the earth in pursuit of miraculous medication and are confronted with villains who want to steal it from them.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
One of the characters has "a crush" on the other, references to holding hands, being physically close, etc.
Language
Bathroom language at various points
Violence
A lot of violent, threatening situations, monsters, etc. One character dies, but is revived.
07/22/2022 The Patron Thief of Bread Lindsay Eagar 5 - 8 Problematic
An orphan who was part of a group of young thieves ends up working in a bakery as part of a scam. The baker, an older woman, lavishes love on the orphan, who has to choose between her old life and one with the baker.
Religion/Hashkafa
An old cathedral is a critical part of the story as well as an abbey and the nuns who inhabit it
Language
Negative language, sharp insults and bathroom language throughout the book
Violence
A woman jumps to her death, a gang attacks the orphan group, a major robbery is depicted and a gang war
07/22/2022 Spell Sweeper Lee Edward Fodi 5 - 8 Problematic
Violence
Various characters are killed in gruesome ways
Fantasy and Magic
A "regular" girl attends a school for wizards but is assigned a low level job due to her lack of ability. Conflicts involve a student who is the "Queen" of the school as well as with her sister. Bathroom language is used from time to time, girl/boy relationship is depicted with the sister and another student; reference is made to a student with "two moms"
07/21/2022 The Unfairest of Them All Hale, Shannon Ever After High 4 - 6 Problematic
The daughter of an evil fairy tale queen and the daughter of a good fairy tale queen team up to save their friend from banishment. A lot of discussion if a person has the right to choose their own destiny if it will impact negatively on others. Mentions of waking to a prince's kiss. Mentions of a good fairy tale character who fell in love with an evil one and they secretly married and had a child. Boy and girl are "sweet" on each other. Subtle flirting.
Language
stupid, freak out, spazzy, weirdly, gross, creepy
07/20/2022 Jude Banks, Superhero Hood, Ann 5 - 8 Questionable
Boy and his parents deal with death of his sister. Sad. Could be helpful to children experiencing loss.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Mention of male singer that boy's mom "had a crush on", and seeing her old boyfriends who were actors in movies.Mention of museum poster with naked woman. (27). Mention of women's undergarment.. Boy becomes close friends with girl, some friendly hugs
Religion/Hashkafa
Mention of 4 billion year old granite.Mention of novel called "Love Story" with summary of story.Boy is upset that people send angel-themed items because "angels are dead" and wear white robes, harps, etc.
Language
bullsh--, jerk, sucky, a--hole, heck
Street Reality, "Gritty" books
Girl who believes she caused her sister's death, overdoses on medicine to try to kill herself.
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Boy watches movie "Home Alone". Mention of Youtube. Mention of book "Flowers for Algernon" (which is not appropriate)
07/20/2022 The Great Treehouse War Graff, Lisa 5 - 8 Generally Acceptable
When her parents divorce and then compete to get equal shares of her time and attention, girl moves into a treehouse and is joined by her friends.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Brief friendly hug between boy and girl
Language
feces, poop, idiot, dumb, heck, pissed, moron
Middos
Children somewhat chutzpadik to parents. Friend suggests that girl sue her divorced parents so she can live by herself.
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
passing mentiion of TV, smart phones
07/20/2022 The book that proves that time travel happens Clark, Henry 5 - 8 Problematic
2 boys and a girl travel through time.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Several extremely mild references to boy feeling good when girl compliments him . Some friendly negiah.. At end of book, she sits closer to him, hints that her future self gave her a message that she would marry him - and he doesn't get it. Then she gives him a quick kiss on the lips - page 284. Parents hug.
Religion/Hashkafa
Theme of book revolves around boy's father who is ridiculed for wearing assorted costumes of other time periods. Emphasis on how silly it is to judge people by how they look or dress. Book calls this phenomenon trans-time dressing and cross-time dressing. Subtle but strong messaging that supports current gender issues - most kids will not get the connection consciously, but underlying message is there. Also passing mention of man in the past who had women's undergarments under his clothing..Passing reference to 300,000 years.
Language
butt, tush, etc.
07/17/2022 The Lost Girl Ursu, Anne 5 - 7
07/17/2022 The Sticky Situation Stilton, Geronimo Geronimo Stilton 2 - 5 Generally Acceptable
Mouse and his cousin start a honey business and uncover a corrupt competitor. A lot of information about honey and bees. An elderly couple who are beekeepers tell the story of how they learned about beekeeping on their honeymoon. Mouse says it is a very romantic story.
06/22/2022 Stowaway John David Anderson 5 - 9 Questionable
Boy on exploratory space ship finds shelter with friendly space pirates
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Student asks regarding aliens: if they have no tongues, how do they make out (would go over most kids' heads).'female' robot sings love songs.Mention of "where to kick someone to make sure they do down and don't come back up" - and how it's not the same for every species, for some it's their armpits. Father kisses mother on the cheekObnoxious guy asks girl for payment in the form of "Just one kiss. 3 seconds. No tongue" (p. 219). Mentioned again when alien does this to the guy instead (220).Father sleeps on couch after mother dies, boy thinks it's because he couldn't sleep on bed they had shared (277).
Language
fart, sexy (out of context), jeez, piss, butt, sucked, hell, BS (initials), crap, jerk, anus, bastard
Street Reality, "Gritty" books
Talk of drinking and being drunk
06/12/2022 What We Found in the Corn Maze and How It Saved a Dragon Henry Clark What We Found 4 - 8 Questionable
Two boys and a girl discover a book of magic and use it to enter other worlds
Language
Use of words such as H-ll and D-mn are sprinkled throughout the book
Language
Bathroom language and concepts are often used and in the end, are part of the plot
Middos
At one point, one character deliberately lies to the other, although he apologizes for it later
06/12/2022 Long Road to the CIrcus Betsy Bird 4 - 8 Questionable
Historical fiction - a girl rides an ostrich belonging to an elderly former celebrity
Divorce/Dysfunctional Families
Uncle and aunt are described as dysfunctional; the elderly celebrity's past marriage is discussed with shady overtones
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
A few passing mentions by the main character of boys who are interested in her older sister
Language
References to body parts, some bathroom language
Middos
The main character deceives and disobeys her parents to ride the ostrich
05/23/2022 Clash Miller, Kayla 3 - 5 Problematic
Graphic novel. A new girl comes to school and is mean to a girl who tries to befriend her. Shows terrible middos. Eventually, the girl finds out the mean girl is having trouble dealing with her parents recent divorce.. A huge part of the plot revolved around Halloween. No religion but pages and pages of parties, costumes, trick or treating etc. 12 year old girl asks another girl if she is dating a boy. She says no, they are just friends. Many pages in this novel devoted to talk of movies and shows and actors and if they are "cute".Girl communicates with her camp friend using her laptop. Girl invites kids to a movie and dinner to celebrate his birthday.
Language
weird, dorky, cruddy

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The Isle of Mists
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Kids help prevent evil man from taking over the world.
Becca and the Prisoner's Cross
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 4 - 7
Questionable
Series
See comments about first book in series above.Man says if go by view of some biblical scholars world is 6,000 years old, if go by big bang notion it is 13.8 billion years old. Children look for relic that is shaped like a cross. Husband quickly kisses wife goodbye. Girl wonders why boy keeps staring at her, friend says it's because he "likes" her.Girl holds boys hand when she is scared. Kids search tombs in churches for relic. Old movies referred to by title. Language- stupid, gross, dummy
The Forbidden Stone
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 5 - 7
Questionable
Series
2 boys and 2 girls search for items that were parts of Copernicus' time machine, and run away from the bad guys. Put themselves in dangerous situations, sometimes with encouragements of adults. Books do not stand alone, a reader will want to read them all. Very mild references to boy's admiration of girl, not developed in this book, appears to be more as a friend than romantic; mentions of them being in close physical proximity or brief touching, no romance. Boy's parents are divorced, mention that he wished they would get together again, but now he is happy in his new blended family. Mention of girl wearing shorts and 'stylishly slashed t-shirt'. Man hugs woman who saved them - not romantic. Language: screwy. Passing mention of temples for Greek gods. Evil woman kisses precious artifact; her male employee briefly wishes he was the artifact. Violence.
In The Shadow of Goll
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Kids unsuccessfully try to rescue their friend from being transformed into a villain. Sad. Language- creepy.
The Race to Doobesh
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Generally Acceptable
Series
Children prevent beasts from creating powerful armor. Unimportant mention of children seeing a movie in a theater.
The Genie King
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Questionable
Series
Children try to find a medallion in a city that is in a bottle. Very subtle boy/girl, some children might miss it. One accidental hug (p66 chapter. 5) some blushing, goodbye hug (pg. 167 chapter.12) language- dummy, dumb, minor bathroom humor. Subtly alludes to Santa Claus but never mentioned by name.
Wade and the Scorpion's Claw
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 4 - 7
Questionable
Series
Shorter books that continue the story between the fatter Copernicus Legacy books.Told from the viewpoint of one character. Make many references to the thicker books, so they don't really stand alone.Violence, technology. Girl jokingly "shoves" boy. Man is killed on airplane- kid sitting next to him discovers he is dead- description. One sentence mention of an xmas ornament. Many mentions of church bells.Kids look for clues in a church- described. Language- dumb, geek, freaky, weird, freak out, stupid, idiot, creep
Space Bingo
Abbott, Tony
Series:
Grades: 2 - 4
Questionable
Series
Note on series: Children travel to the future and try to save the world. A lot of juvenile slang. In each book preview of the next book in the back. In this book middos among classmates and siblings. A few brief references to a meteor crashing into earth sixty five million years ago and killing all the dinosaurs.Brief mention of rock band.Non Romantic negiah. Language:nerd, weird,
The Great Ice Battle
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Children help save the city from an ice curse.
Knights of the Ruby Wand
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Generally Acceptable
Series
Kids try to find a magical wand to rescue their friends. A bit convoluted for younger readers. Non romantic negiah. Language- weird, dudes
The Sleeping Giant of Goll
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Generally Acceptable
Series
Children prevent the bad guy from getting more power. An innocent hi-five between boys and girl.
The Riddle of Zorfendorf Castel
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Children try to stop bad guys from using a portal to their world.
The Treasure of the Orkins
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Children help recover a stolen treasure
The Mysterious Island
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Children help save magical world.
The Crown of Fire
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 5 - 7
Problematic
Series
The conclusion of the saga. Similar to previous books in violence, technology. The mild romantic interest continues as boy still can't find the courage to tell girl that he "likes" her. However another boy and girl become more of a couple after she almost dies, though nothing happens between them other than hugs when they realize they are safe , when girl isn't feeling well boy puts arm around her shoulder- it feels good to her, etc.Mention of Greek gods. Hide out in a church- boy thinks stained glass windows are beautiful. Temple with statue gods. Sistine chapel- analysis of the symbolism in the painting "The Last Judgement" with the help of the Pope- many mentions of yoshka- this is very detailed and specific, but only a minor part of the story- a parent needs to use careful judgement. Language- idiotic/idiot, shut up, gross, dang,stupid, dumb, jerk, stinky head, weird, bloody 'ell, hell,
Mondo Meltdown
Abbott, Tony
Series:
Grades: 2 - 4
Generally Acceptable
Series
Mention of watching TV, reading comic books, Language- freak,weird, stinky,stupid,nerd, dorky, gross.
Pirates of the Purple Dawn
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Children prevent bad guys from the past from building an evil city.
The Golden Vendetta
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 5 - 7
Problematic
Series
The saga continues along the same lines as the previous book. Violence. A lot of cell phones, tablet, internet, technology, movies. A mild romantic interest beginning to develop- Boy realizes he likes girl when they are forced to stand "pressed up against each other" when they are hiding from a killer- but he is afraid to tell her.Girl is miserable because of her parent's impending divorce. Man daydreams about the time he held a woman in his arms for "countless seconds". Husband and wife kiss and hug "for a long time" in front of the children. Woman kisses boy on both cheeks in greeting he blushes. Mosque described in detail in very positive terms. Language- weird, stupid, creep, dumb, brat, freak, blast it all, idiot.
The Mask of Maliban
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Generally Acceptable
Series
Children try to prevent bad guys from getting a magical mask. One of the children discovers that he has magical powers. Non-religious mention of Halloween. Minor language: doofus.
The Tower of the Elf King
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Generally Acceptable
Series
Unimportant mentions of children mixed swimming.
The Final
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Questionable
Series
Conclusion to series, children save the magical world. Language- creepy. Non-religious xmas, non romantic negiah.
The Golden Wasp
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Children accidentally bring something from the magic world into their world, thereby upsetting the balance between the worlds
Queen of Shadow Thorn
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Children are not sure if they should trust a queen from the future. Book ends very uncertainly - are the children OK or not?
Orbit Wipeout
Abbott, Tony
Series:
Grades: 2 - 4
Generally Acceptable
Series
Comic book hero and villains.Brief mentions of enjoying eating snacks while watching TV.Language:gross, stinko, stupid,creepy,weird,stinky.
City in the Clouds
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Generally Acceptable
Series
Children visit an invisible flying city and help prevent the bad guy from gaining power. The Guardians of the magical city are dinosaurs - no mention of years.
Under the Serpent
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Generally Acceptable
Series
Picture of a sea serpent/lady in low cut outfit on cover - somewhat cartoonish.
Moon Magic
Abbott, Tony
Grades: -
Not Acceptable
Series
Children go to the future and the past to save the magical world. In the future a boy and girl hug "it was an embrace that never seemed to want to end"; page 127 illustration.
The Hawk Bandits of Tarkoom
Abbott, Tony
Grades: N/A
Generally Acceptable
Series
Children help destroy an evil city that reappears from the past. Girl is happy to see her friends (boys) so she hugs them- not romantic. Language- weird, creeps.
The Serpent's Curse
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 5 - 7
Questionable
Series
The saga continues along the same lines as the previous book. Violence. A lot of cell phones, tablet, internet, technology. Children visit monastery/monks, church,mentions of saints, christian art work, kneeling in prayer, . Opera described. Non romantic negiah. Language- stinking/bloody (as an expletive), weird, stupid,snot, blast it all, freaking out, freak, idiot
Quest for the Queen
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Children help save the queen.
The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
2 boys and a girl help save a magical world that they accidentally find when they clean up the boy's basement.
Voyage of the Jaffa Wind
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Children help rescue their friends
The Moon Dragon
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Children join townspeople in battle with the bad guys. A bit more violence than the other books in this series, but still pretty tame.
Journey to the Volcano Palace
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Generally Acceptable
Series
Children go into a secret volcano to steal back a magical jewel. Lies to his mother to protect magical land. Language-weird, stinky, dumb, creepy.
Into the Land of the Lost
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Children go to a ghost land to save their friend.
The Chariot of Queen Zara
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Children rescue world from evil genie.
Flight of the Blue Serpent
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Generally Acceptable
Series
Children battle bad guys and give a dying serpent back his scale. Girl holds hand of boy she thinks is dead and cries. Somewhat scary.
Search for the Dragon Ship
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Children rescue world from evil princess.
Escape from Tabar-Loo
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Children help rescue the king and queen.
The Coiled Viper
Abbott, Tony
Grades: 2 - 4
Acceptable
Series
Children chase bad guys who came into their world from the magic world.