From the publisher:

Winner of the 2012 Schneider Family Book Award

Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She's not comforted by the news that she'll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run? As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don't know what to say, act like she's not there. Which she could handle better if she weren't now keenly aware that she'd done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she's missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her. With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that's not enough for her now. She doesn't just want to cross finish lines herself-she wants to take Rosa with her.


From Publisher:  Seventh-grader Timothy July and his new friend Abigail try to break a curse that is causing them and others to be tormented by their greatest fears brought to life.


Lina knew things were tense....her father was worried about their future in Lithuania.  Who should they fear the most - Stalin or Hitler?  Despite her parents' fears, Lina continued to live a normal teenage girl's life....until the Soviet Secret Police bang violently on their door.  From this moment on Lina finds herself fighting to survive, protect her mother and brother, and how to deal with the one who, amongst the fear and the pain, has still captured her heart....a young man she may never even get the chance to love.




"After an injury ends former star pitcher Peter Friedman's athletic dreams, he concentrates on photography which leads him to a girlfriend, new fame as a high school sports photographer, and a deeper relationship with the beloved grandfather who, when he realizes he is becoming senile, gives Pete all of his professional camera gear."

From School Library Journal:

"Beginning with King Tut and moving chronologically through to Albert Einstein, Bragg explains in a conversational style what maladies brought 19 of the great ones down. Listeners will be clued in to Henry VIII's gluttony, George Washington's little mouth of horrors, and James Garfield's oh-so-slow death by ignorance. Narrator L.J. Ganser uses sarcasm, timing, pauses, and tone to wring out every last ounce of disgusting, gross misery from the deaths of Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Christopher Columbus, Napoleon, Mozart, and others."


"Belly spends the summer she turns sixteen at the beach just like every other summer of her life, but this time things are very different as she finds herself falling for a boy she has known since childhood."

3.5 Stars

     The Gathering is Book One of the Darkest Power series.  In this novel, the main character Maya loved her life - though it may have seem strange to an outsider - she wouldn't trade places with anyone else.   She liked living in her tiny secluded village, being outdoors, and even living with the free roaming wild animals.  Others may be afraid of the mountain lions there, but not Maya.  They seemed to communicate with her, and Maya had a magical, healing touch with all of the creatures.  Sure, it may be boring at times where she lived, but Maya and her small group of friends always found ways to have fun.  Maya hoped things stayed this way, forever.

   Everything soon changes, though, when Serena dies.  Maya cannot understand how her best friend, captain of the swim team, could have drowned.  Why couldn't Maya have saved her?  If that wasn't enough, some reporter in town kept following Maya and her friends around....asking prying questions about their parents, their lives, and Serena's death.  Who exactly was the new hot guy Rafe?  Did he really have feelings for her?  Or was he looking for something else?

Suddenly Maya begins to realize there were so many secrets, some dangerous and deadly, that had been and still were hidden from her.   Even the reader begins to wonder who can Maya actually trust??

Great start to a new series - but overall, too many questions left unanswered for my reading tastes!