Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Morgue and Me

by John C. Ford

Christopher Newell took a summer job doing a little janitorial work at the morgue. It wasn't really his first choice, but it sort of fit in with his life-long goal to become a spy; learning forensics and all that jazz, so it wasn't too bad of a gig. Little did Chris realize that his summer would end up heavy on the spying and light on the cleaning.

Something needed cleaning up, all right, but it wasn't the floor. There was a body and it had been declared a suicide. But it had a few too many bullet holes in it and the doctor doing the examination had a few too many stacks of hundred dollar bills sitting in a bag in his office.

Chris knew he couldn't go to the police with this one. The sheriff was the one who brought the body in. So Chris went to the local paper where he finds Tina, a new-in-town reporter looking for her big break. Before he knows what he's doing, he's holding on for dear life in the passenger seat of Tina's Trans Am as they go hunting all over town for clues.

The Morgue and Me is a great mystery. It's fast-paced and funny with enough twists you keep you guessing until the very end. If you like "whodunnits" then definitely check this one out at the LFHS library. Act fast, though, because book check out end May 7th!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Marcelo in the Real World

by Francisco X. Stork

The sound Marcelo hears in his head is like the most beautiful music in the world. But it's not quite music. It's like the feeling of music without the music actually being there. Lately, though, the internal music, or IM as Marcelo calls it, has been harder to hear and often it isn't there at all. Maybe there is no IM in the "real world." Marcelo would rather not be in the real world, he'd rather stay at Paterson.

Marcelo likes being at Paterson. It's a school for "people like him," although he's not quite like "people like him" either. The closest thing to what Marcelo "has" is Asperger's syndrome, but he's that's not really the best description either. Marcelo's father, Arturo, thinks that it's about time Marcelo left Paterson to learn to live in the "real world" and go to a public school for his senior year.

It'll be very difficult for Marcelo, so Arturo makes him a deal. If Marcelo can work at Arturo's law firm for the summer and learn to follow the rules of the real world, then Marcelo can return to Paterson for his senior year. But if he cannot successfully follow the rules of the real world, then Marcelo must go to the public high school.

The real world is tough to process. Marcelo is given a job in the mail room under the supervision of Jasmine who informs him that he's not to let other people in the office give him tasks to do. However, Arturo informs Marcelo that he should try to help out Wendell, the son of Arturo's partner, whenever he can. Is the real world always so complicated?

Things really get complicated when Marcelo finds a photograph of a disfigured girl in the trash. Marcelo wants to know what happened to her, but can Marcelo follow the rules of the real world and also solve the mystery of the girl in the photo? In the real world you have to make choices and choices have consequences. Will Marcelo risk his chance to stay at Paterson to satisfy his curiosity? Check out Marcelo in the Real World to find out!

Friday, March 19, 2010


by Scott Westerfeld

Here's another one by Westerfeld that I really liked. It's a little sci-fi and a little old-fashioned at the same time, a style that has come to be known as "steam punk." The story is set in a sort of alternate timeline version of Europe around the time of World War I. As the story begins, Alek is woken up in the middle of the night by a couple of his personal instructors to give him a late-night Stormwalker driving lesson. It makes sense to some degree, but why is Alek's fencing instructor, Count Volger, coming along? Is he in danger, is that why they're leaving at night? Is he in danger from Count Volger? Maybe he's being kidnapped!!

At about the same time, a girl in England named Deryn is trying to join the military's Air Service. She has a couple of things standing in her way, though. She's a bit young and she's a she. So Deryn tries to pass herself off as Dylan to join up. She has a lot of experience with flying already, so she's well ahead of her peers in terms of skill. While riding up on a tethered Huxley, Deryn runs into a storm that forces her to cut ties with the ground and float off over London. She's picked up by a giant airship, the Leviathan. Or should I say air beast? The Leviathan and the Huxley are both living creatures. England is a Darwinist country and they use living things, crazy beasts made from the DNA of different creatures, for transportation and weaponry.

Alek is from Austria, though, and he's a "Clanker," relying on giant mechanical contraptions for their military conflicts. How will Deryn (Dylan) and Alek fare when their countries start gearing up for war? Check out Leviathan from the LFHS library to find out!