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LitPick Book Reviews & You
The Portal House
Kelsey Ruud
What if magic existed but most people didn't know it? What if those who did know it knew of a house that could transport you across the world? And if you happened to find that house, you knew you couldn't tell anyone where it was? When two twelve-year olds, Lizzie and Johnny, explore the local haunted house, they don’t discover your traditional ghosts. Instead, they find a house with a mind of its own and portals that can take them to other places across the world. Sure it’s nice getting a little free sightseeing in at Times Square in New York City or at Notre Dame in Paris, France, but the House isn’t the only thing with magic. There are witches and warlocks and even ridiculous talking statues to contend with and the kids are even able to learn a little magic of their own. But where there are good people, there are also evil ones and this happens even in the world of magic. An evil warlock wants that portal house and he knows Lizzie and Johnny are the key. So now it's up to all their new friends and every bit of magic they've learned to keep the kids safe. Will it be enough though?
The Portal House
The Persistence of Memory Book 3: The Beginning of Always
Karen Janowsky
When gods and superheroes fall in love, it takes gods and supervillains to keep them apart. Powerful alliances from both Daniel and Nina's pasts are about to rip apart the fabric of time. Dark, tragic days loom close as those plans come to fruition. Meanwhile, Nina and Daniel struggle to explore the boundaries between passion and possessiveness, duty and desire. They are gambling with much more than their future together. This is a race for the survival of history, itself, and their pasts are about to catch up with them. History is about to end before it has begun Part 3 of a 3-Novel Series
The Persistence of Memory Book 3: The Beginning of Always
Edison 64: A Tragedy in Vietnam and at Home
Richard Sand
EDISON 64: A Tragedy in Vietnam and at Home - Edison High School in Philadelphia sent more young men to their deaths in the Vietnam War than any other school in the nation. Award-winning author Richard Sand has compiled the stories of their lives, their sacrifice, and their service. Following them from their inner-city neighborhood, where violence and poverty were a way of life, to the jungles of Vietnam, Richard Sand weaves together their lives and the lives of Edison surviving Veterans, forming a memorable tale of tragedy, part poetry and part pathos. With moving forewords by former Secretary of Homeland Security and decorated Vietnam combat veteran, Tom Ridge, as well as former Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Ron Castile, also a decorated and wounded, Vietnam Combat Veteran, this is truly one of the most heart-rending tomes on this chaotic and tragic period in American history.
Edison 64: A Tragedy in Vietnam and at Home
Oaf in Ophir
Daniel G Linsteadt
A highlight of every summer for Emory and his little sister Faye was their special annual visit to their grandmother. At Baba’s house, the kids played by the streams, ate blackberries, watched deer, and ran through the woods to their heart’s desire. This summer, Emory was particularly intrigued by the rumor of a magical Oaf living near Baba after discovering his dad’s Ophir newspaper clippings. Emory was alert as he explored the streams and wandered through the woods. A flash of light up the hillside began the magical summer he hoped for. A voice floated through the air, the sound of wood twisting in the trees, and a glimpse of a ragged piece of cloth were the first hints of the Oaf. Baba was delighted by Emory’s adventures and urged him to offer a sandwich along with a note to the mysterious being who was revealing itself for Emory. The Oaf revealed his magic with nature after Emory was mysteriously protected from a mountain lion attack. Baba finally shared her encounters with the irresistible Oaf and his ways in the woods. Tantalizing encounters ensued when Faye arrived and the Oaf slowly befriended the children. The Oaf helped them discover their own personal relationship with nature and their own innate gifts of magic with the plants, trees, and wildlife.
Oaf in Ophir
Halloween At Luke's
Priya Pasumarthy
Lyda and Tom decorate their house with colored lights, skulls, and Jack-o-Lanterns for Halloween. They dreamt that their friends visited them, and together, went out for Trick or Treating at Hemway Street. As they set their lunch table that is when they heard a KNOCK...KNOCK...
Halloween At Luke's
Different
Janet McLaughlin
Twelve-year-old Izzy wants to be like everyone else, but she has a secret. She isn’t weird or angry, like some of the kids at school think. Izzy has Tourette syndrome. Hiding outbursts and tics from her classmates is hard enough, but when a new girl arrives, Izzy’s fear of losing her best friend makes Izzy’s symptoms worse. And when she sees her crush act suspiciously, runaway thoughts take root inside of her. As the pressure builds and her world threatens to spin out of control, Izzy must face her fear and reveal her secret, whatever the costs. Authentic and perceptive, Different shines a light on the delicate line of a child’s hopes and fears and inspires us all to believe that perhaps we are not so different after all.
Different
Other People's Crazy
Gregory Fletcher
In suburban Arizona, the biggest kid in his high school sophomore class is being bullied by the smallest. With no dad, best friend, or girlfriend, Brandon's life feels like pure hopeless chaos. But thanks to his crazy single mom, a stray dog, a bronco-busting hairdresser, a random left turn, and boomerang karma from the Universe, Brandon has a chance to turn his life in a new direction. Chaos, or Choice? They're both in the mix of crazy at Mesa Grande High!
Other People's Crazy
Cat Mandoo: The Feline Who Flew
Alexis Kasden
When children are asked which superhuman power they would like to have, one of their most common answers is “to fly.” It wouldn’t be surprising to learn that other creatures want to be able to fly too. Cats, in particular, often look up at the sky, perhaps curious to see what it’s like up there. Cat Mandoo is such a cat. He wants to fly with all his heart, because he is eager to see what birds see when they fly. Cat Mandoo is not an idle dreamer: He works hard to make his dream come true. He is steadfast in this pursuit, even when the other cats in the neighborhood tease and try to discourage him. The sweet short story follows Cat Mandoo as he strives to reach his goal, and young children are shown the value of remaining true to their dreams and the importance of treating animals with kindness. Along the way, they are introduced to new vocabulary words and expressions. Youngsters will be compelled to stretch their minds as they read or hear the story of the feline who flew. To be sure, Cat Mandoo is as fun loving as he is determined, and a story about him would be incomplete if it didn’t reveal his amusing adventures and entertaining antics. The clever conclusion is sure to surprise children and adults alike. Ms. Kasden wrote this short story after Harley, her tuxedo cat, wiggled out of his carrier on his first airplane ride. She looked up when she heard a flight attendant asking, “Did anyone board the plane with this cat?” and saw Harley in her arms. Ms. Kasden whispered to her husband, “Maybe he was on his way to the cockpit to ask the pilot to take him to the Catskills or Katmandu.”
Cat Mandoo: The Feline Who Flew

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