The View From Saturday
Middle Grade / Juvenile / June 22, 2016

Author: E.L. Konigsburg. Summary: Nadia, Noah, Julian and Ethan all have one thing in common; they make up Mrs. Olinkski’s sixth-grade Academic Bowl team, which has beaten the sixth-graders, the seventh-graders, and is now up against the eighth-graders. But they have more than that in common. Each of them has completed a journey to bring them here, each of them know something about themselves they didn’t a year ago, and they all know something Mrs. Olinski doesn’t yet: why she chose them as her team. My Thoughts: One of those slightly confusing books that leave me wondering whether I didn’t quite get the meaning, or whether it wasn’t there in the first place. The children’s four stories weave together in an interesting manner, but… it all seemed vague and not-quite-defined what we’re seeing here. Content Review: Sexual content: A musician on being asked how he can stand to practice the same piece over and over again, replies: “Why don’t you ask me how I can stand making love the same woman over and over again?” Language: None. Violence: None.  

All Fall Down
Young Adult / June 22, 2016

Embassy Row #1. Author: Ally Carter. Summary: Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things: 1. She is not crazy. 2. Her mother was murdered. 3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay. As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her — so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands. Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace — no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down. (Goodreads summary.) My Thoughts: Grace was an intense, and very interesting, character. She certainly had problems;…