MAY
Whistler by John Grisham
Two investigators in Florida have the usually boring job of looking into corruption of judges. But this time it leads to much more serious implications with real estate development, and Indian casino skimming. Typical Grisham.

The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier
I thought the zombie, vampire thingy was passe, but not so much I guess. I kind of liked the writing and the interaction of the characters in this. The zombie thing is meh. Boys will probably love this. Jack Sullivan has managed to survive for 42 days and finds his geeky best friend Quinn. Then the bully they hated and the girl Jack crushes on. CCBA nominee. passable.

Princeless, Vol 1 Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitely
Graphic novel.

Trials of Apollo 2: The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan
Apollo has moved on to Indianapolis where the third ruler is.Commodus. Apollo, now Lester Papadopolis, is surrounded by great, unusual friends. His character is maturing (as we would hope!) and he actually faces self-sacrifice in this book (one of my favorite themes). The haiku at the beginning of the chapters is terrific. I really liked this one. Excellent.

The Two Castles by Shannon Hale
Classic regular Shannon Hale (somebody burn Ever After High please). Our heroine leaves home to become a "mansioner"(actor), but becomes a dragon apprentice instead with the task of protecting the ruling Ogre who is waaaay nicer than the ruling king. This is a mystery fantasy, and has a great strong female lead. Very good. 4th+

The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry
Very concise, quick mystery. Olivia is actually Ariel Bensen, daughter of two murder victims. Her father's bone has just appeared after 14 years and the investigation has reopened. Ariel was 3 when it happened and has only the briefest flashbacks, as well as awful nightmares. This is a tight plot with several leads to the real murderer. Recommended for 6th grade unit. Very Good. YA for violence

Flip by David Lubar
(author of the Weenies Stories)--OK that's enough to make me buy this book. It was actually pretty serious. Aliens accidentally drop a bunch of silver disks that when flipped give you the experience of being some famous legend from history. Twins Ryan and Taylor have some disfunctional stuff going on--Ryan is a classic underacheiver quitter, and Taylor is uptight superachiever. And then there's this bully. It was a bit slow starting for me, but the ending was great, if a bit disturbing as there is a vivid fistfight. a good read with some great lessons.

Iris and the Tiger by Leanne Hall
Fantasy/Mystery. Iris is Chinese/Australian and sent to visit her mysterious great aunt in Spain. The Place Bosque de Nubes is a character in it's own right. Magic is there for those who can see it. Great Uncle James Freer was a surrealist painter, but his paintings are alive at the estate. What about Iris and the Tiger. So much mystery and magic in it's own surrealistic existence. I loved this one although I'm not sure how intermediate readers will take it. cf to The Westing Game. subtle. 4th+ excellent.

Frogkisser by Garth Nix
What a classic. Anya is a younger princess with few goals until she is thrust into a quest along with her faithful royal dog Ardent. Her evil stepstepfather Duke Rikard has evil plans for their tiny kingdom. She promises her sister that she will get the ingredients for the lipbalm that enables her to transform the prince from frog back to man. So much magic and so many complications. This is a great story with some very funny observations including the use of "nogoodniks". I loved this one. Excellent for 4th+

Startlight by Melissa Landers
Solara is trying to escape to the Fringe--out planets not policed by anyone. Doran is just headed for a vacation. But it becomed greats complicated immediately as Solara and Doran end up on a trader ship the Banshee. Joined by several other outsiders, they must deal with assassins and pirates and a secret mission. Plenty of adventure and great characters. But it wasn't unusually good, and there is a fair amount of lusty writing and sex eventually. Not in my budget. OK.

Real Friends by Shannon Hale
This is Shannon's story of relationships from very young childhood (middle of five kids) through junior high and her struggle with making and being a friend. Pretty heartbreaking at times. Might be a good read aloud.