Bethany's Readers' Advisory

The place to go for readers' advisory on books for children, teens, and adults

11/22/63 by Stephen King December 21, 2011

What would you do if you could go back in time and save someone’s life?  That is the decision high school English teacher Jake Epping must make.  One spring day, he gets a call from Al, the local diner owner.  Al is dying and needs to show someone a secret before it’s too late.  Al’s diner contains a portal to the past, a specific day in 1958.  He wants Jake to do what Al cannot:  go back in time and prevent JFK from being assassinated. But the past does not want to be changed; it will stop Jake at any cost.

This one of the best books I have ever read.  It had everything- history, romance, suspense, and time travel.  Once I started reading, it was hard to tear myself away.  I wasn’t enamored with the ending, but I’m not sure it could have ended any other way.  Highly recommended.


Trapped by Michael Northrop

Early dismissal for a snow day is always a good thing, right?  High school sophomore Scotty and his friends wait for a ride as more and more snow falls, thinking a 4-wheel drive truck has to be better at navigating the snow than a school bus.  Eventually they realize that no one is coming for them.  At first, things are okay.  There are seven people left in the school, one of whom is a hot freshman girl.  They spend the night in the school and it’s like a weird sleepover.  But when the power goes out, the heat turns off, and they realize there’s a lot snow and no one knows where they are, they know they’re in trouble.  As the cold, dark days stretch on, they are forced to make a life or death decision.

Although a little far fetched (18 feet of snow), this was a fast-paced, suspenseful story.  The narrator is a teenage boy and the voice is authentic.  I would recommend this to teen boys who want a quick read and like survival stories.


U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton

Filed under: adult mystery — Bethany @ 9:33 pm
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A young man comes to Kinsey Millhone’s office looking for her help.  Over 20 years ago when he was a child, he stumbled upon two men burying something in the woods.  When he read an article in the newspaper about a little girl who disappeared just a few days before, he realized what he had seen.  When his memory comes up with a false lead, Kinsey is dismayed.  But her curiosity takes over, and she continues with the case.  Pieces of the puzzle don’t quite fit together and she wonders if will ever find the truth.

Chapters move from past to present, character to character.  As always, Kinsey talks her way into people’s homes and minds, revealing clues that no one else was able to uncover.  I enjoyed this book as I have all of Sue Grafton’s alphabet mysteries and wonder about what she will do when she reaches the end of the alphabet.


Bear’s New Friend by Karma Wilson

Filed under: children's picture books — Bethany @ 11:58 am
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Bear hears noises coming from the woods but can’t figure out who is making them.

This is a cute story with talking animals and a shy owl that is scared to come out and play.


You Will Be My Friend by Peter Brown

Filed under: children's picture books — Bethany @ 11:58 am
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Lucy sets out to make a new friend, only to find she doesn’t fit in with many of the critters in the forest.

This is a hilarious book about friendship starring a drama-queen bear whose enthusiasm is too much for the other animals.


My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza

Filed under: children's picture books — Bethany @ 11:56 am
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Pig visits a hungry fox and tricks him into giving him a bath, making him a huge meal, and giving him a massage.

This was a funny book about a clever, manipulative pig that outsmarts a fox.


A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker

Filed under: children's picture books — Bethany @ 11:53 am
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Bear doesn’t like to have any visitors, but mouse keeps showing up in unexpected places.

This is a cute story about a mouse that sneaks around and surprises a bear while he makes breakfast.  Not surprisingly, they become friends at the end.


Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas

Filed under: picture books — Bethany @ 11:51 am
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Three cows are ready for fun.  Unfortunately for Chicken, that means jumping, dancing, and wiggling on his sofa.  At the end of the story, they find a solution that works for all of them.

Fun book with cute illustrations!  Would be great for Toddler Time.


T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton December 12, 2011

Filed under: adult fiction,adult mystery — Bethany @ 11:39 am
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Kinsey finds her elderly neighbor lying on his living room floor, moaning in pain.  She contacts his only relative, a niece in New York, who makes arrangements for a visiting nurse.  Enter Solana Rojas, a sociopath with a stolen identity and a hunger for money.  Kinsey realizes that something about Ms. Rojas isn’t right, but will she be able to keep her neighbor and herself out of danger long enough to figure out what it is?

This was an especially creepy installment in the Kinsey Millhone series.  Grafton delves into the world of elder abuse and stolen identity in the days before the Internet and employee background checks.


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