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STUDENT BOOK REVIEWS BY LITPICK REVIEWERS
Evolution Revolution: Simple Machines
Charlotte E. Bennardo
In a quiet wood, a gray squirrel declares war on the machines that invade his wood, threatening his nest and tree. Taught words and how to use simple machines like the wheel by a young boy who names him Jack, the squirrel shares what he's learned with the other animals.
 
Jack thinks he can stop the bulldozers, if he can convince the other woodland animals to join him in the fight. But as they take on the humans and their machines, people are noticing that Jack and his friends are smarter than ordinary forest animals. All of them are in more danger than they realize. Even if Jack and the animals win the battle, will they lose the war?
 
Evolution Revolution is a smart and charming book for younger readers that will have them wondering just what the animals in the yard are up to! Watch for the next book in this series coming soon.
Evolution Revolution: Simple Machines
Ollie and the Starchaser
Tanya Southey

Nanoo is Ollie’s beloved grandmother and an astronomer who discovered the planet Terenza, in a gentle galaxy east of the moon. When Nanoo disappears on a trip to the Outback, Ollie cannot accept that she is gone. He is worried, sad and refuses to believe that Nanoo would leave him. He feels helpless sitting around on his farm with only his faithful Labrador, Chloe, to listen to his feelings. However, his luck changes when the Starchaser and his Star-fordshire Terrier, Buddy, plot a way to get to Earth from Terenza. The boys and their dogs begin an epic adventure to find Nanoo. Their journey takes them across the Outback, up the Steps to the Moon and into space. But will Ollie find her, and will he bring her home?

Ollie and the Starchaser
Paths to the Stars
Edward Willett
From Edward Willett, Aurora Award-winning author of Marseguro, The Cityborn, and Worldshaper (DAW Books), among many others, comes twenty-two tales of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, drawn from a long career of telling fantastic tales. A young musician dreams of playing his songs among the stars...A Broadway performer on the lam is forced to direct aliens in The Sound of Music...Strange vegetables with dangerous properties crop up in small-town Saskatchewan...A man with a dark secret gets his comeuppance on a windy night on the prairie...An elderly caretaker on the Moon preserves the memory of the millions who died on Earth's darkest day...A woman and a bat-like alien must overcome their own prejudices to prevent an interstellar war... From the far future and the farthest reaches of space to the Canadian prairie, from our world to worlds that have never existed to world's that might some day, rich realms of imagination and the fascinating characters and creatures that populate them await within these stories, some previously published, some seeing print for the first time. Time to go exploring...
Paths to the Stars
The Candy StoreThe Candy Store
Michele Poague
Is Destiny determined by the future or the past?

Ronald Reagan is President and the city of Denver is reeling from the 1970s Oil Boom when sixteen-year-old- Jett finds employment making confections for Watson's Candies. But when tragedy strikes, the hard-as-nails orphan wakes up in the psychiatric ward of a strangely altered word where her very words could spell doom.

     The Psychiatrist blinked at me, and just that fast, I knew I must have said  something wrong. The clothes, the old cars, the peculiar cadence of their speech; my skin danced with goose pimples and I shivered. I tried to ignore the fear creeping up my back. "What is today's date?"

    "October the twenty-ninth," the nurse said.

     "And the year? What's the year?" My heart was pounding and I was starting to hyperventilate. Tears flooded my eyes, blurring the scene before me. I was being swept away by emotional forces so strong I couldn't stem the tide. I was so afraid of what they were going to say.

    "Why, it's 1927, my dear."Is Destiny determined by the future or the past? Ronald Reagan is President and the city of Denver is reeling from the 1970s Oil Boom when sixteen-year-old- Jett finds employment making confections for Watson’s Candies. But when tragedy strikes, the hard-as-nails orphan wakes up in the psychiatric ward of a strangely altered word where her very words could spell doom.
The Candy Store
The Cape: Overdrive
Braxton A. Cosby
Winner of The LitPick Top Choice Book Review Award
Super Heroes Wage War Once Again
When the world is thrown into a panic from the imminent threat of a gigantic asteroid worth a Quintilian dollars, The Capes are asked to protect the planet from certain doom. But it's not just the destructive force of the impact that everyone fears; it's greed. Multiple nations gather to collect on the bounty for the precious meteorite while evil Super-Normals threaten to salvage the precious stone for their own deeds. Even the position of military power hangs in the balance as the most poorest of countries will catapult to the top of the totem pole with just an ounce of the spoil. Once again Paladin, Thief and Blurr must stand together and utilize every bit of their super powers - shifting into Overdrive - as the fate of the entire galaxy will ultimately hinge on the emergence of a new enemy from deep space.
The Cape: Overdrive
Time Traitor (American Epochs-Volume 1)
Todd McClimans
Have you ever wished you could go back in time? Where would you go? What would you see? What if you had the power to alter history, to manipulate events and make yourself rich, famous, or powerful? Kristi Connors is too miserable in the present to care about history. Shipped off to boarding school in the midst of her parents' divorce, Kristi wants nothing more than to run home and find her mom and dad together again. In hopes of being kicked out, Kristi causes chaos throughout George Washington Prep, and especially enjoys harassing her brash, ill-tempered history teacher, Dr. Xavier Arnold, with endless pranks. Ty Jordan just wants to be left alone. Sent to GWP by his English stepfather after the sudden death of his mother, Ty dreams of disappearing into the pages of the books he reads, far away from the bullies who torment him at every turn. When the two unlikely friends find themselves in Dr. Arnold’s detention dungeon, they make a startling discovery—their teacher has invented a working time machine! The next thing they know, Kristi and Ty are jettisoned back in time to the Revolutionary War as part of Dr. Arnold’s scheme to change American history in favor of his infamous ancestor and the country’s greatest traitor, General Benedict Arnold. They soon realize their lives in the twenty-first century, a time of cell phones, flat screens, and iPods, weren’t as bad as they’d imagined. But to get home, they must thwart their teacher’s mad scheme while evading slave catchers, surviving bloody battles, and serving as nurses for sick and wounded soldiers. Follow Kristi and Ty on their trek through time in TIME TRAITOR.
Time Traitor (American Epochs-Volume 1)
Triangulate: Book Three of The Stones of Bothynus Trilogy
D.K. Reed
Triangulate: Book Three of The Stones of Bothynus Trilogy is the final book in D.K. Reed's young adult science fiction/fantasy trilogy. Annie is obsessed with the half-angel Aaan but this summer she only has two weeks to spend at her grandmother's farm, near Aaan's cave, before flying to Budapest to visit her childhood best friend. She convinces Aaan to leave his cave with her but their short-lived acquaintance may be over when he agrees to allow Erik to use him to test how the stones affect angels, without realizing this would make him vulnerable to Daanak and the fiend. The visible battle is only the tip of the iceberg for the larger battle that rages in the Angel Realm.
Triangulate: Book Three of The Stones of Bothynus Trilogy
You Gotta Have Heart
Bruce Bernstein
Life keeps knocking 12-year-old Alan down. Can he find the courage to get back up?

Orphaned at a young age, all Alan Michaels wants is a place to belong. But the independent, street–smart kid, who lacks self-confidence, has no clue how to deal with disappointment – or a formidable bully who won’t back down. And New York City is a tough town to grow up in if you are a kid who doesn’t have much. But when he starts training at Sensei Hideki’s School of Karate, he hopes his life will change forever.

Determined to prove he’s got what it takes to become a true warrior, he pushes his body and mind to the limit. But just when the karate school starts to feel like home, tragedy strikes again. Does Alan have the courage and inner strength to overcome the odds stacked against him?

“When you get knocked down, you just keep getting back up. …You never give up.” Sensei paused for a moment and spoke louder. “That’s what takes real guts.” He stared at Alan intently. “You know, sometimes failures are your steppingstone to success.”

You Gotta Have Heart is hopefully a new addition to the great coming of age novels in the tradition of S. E. Hinton, Jerry Spinelli, Gary D. Schmidt, J.K. Rowling, Rebecca Stead and E.L. Konigsburg.

You Gotta Have Heart

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