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Gary Paulsen's WOODS RUNNER (9780385738842,$15.99) brings the Revolutionary War to life as it tells of a teen boy caught up in the passions and horror of war. Samuel's peaceful life in the American wilderness changes when war reaches his settlement and murders his neighbors. His search for his family will lead him to track the British who have taken his family prisoner, and will lead him into danger. Young adult libraries strong in historical fiction will find this riveting. Aaron Starmer's DWEEB (9780385737050, $15.99) tells of Ho-Ho-Kus Junior High, where the cafeteria is covered in burger wrappers, bullies aren't bullying, and the walls growl. Enter five detective misfit friends, the smartest kids in the 8th grade, who fight a bad reputation and imprisonment to solve the strange mystery in this riveting middle-school leisure read. Laura Peyton Roberts' GREEN (9780385735582, $16.99) tells of Lily's thirteen birthday, who begins when a present explodes on her porch revealing a trio of leprechauns who appear in her bedroom and whisk her away to their world. She's in line to be keeper for the Clan of Green--IF she can pass their tests. Middle School readers will be a captive audience for this. Roderick Townley's THE BLUE SHOE: A TALE OF THIEVERY, VILLAINY, SORCERY AND SHOES (9780375856006, $16.99) tells of one Hap Barlo, who is in jail for thievery facing banishment. Volcanoes, trolls, and Hap's dreams of rescuing all the villagers banned before him led to danger in this riveting fantasy. Caroline B. Cooney's THEY NEVER CAME BACK (9780385738088,$16.99) provides an engrossing saga revolving around a girl in hiding who is discovered when she goes to a new school. When a student recognizes Cathy as a child who vanished years ago when her parents fled the country, identity, responsibility and issues of secrecy and history invade her life. Can she ever escape the shadow of her parents' actions? Robin Brande's FAT CAT (9780375844492, $16.99) tells of a science experiment with Cat as the guinea pig. For Cat may be smart and fun--but she's not thin--until her self-experiment to eat like early human ancestors has an unexpected side result. Will Cat's dropping weight and soaring self-confidence change her life?

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Publication:Children's Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 1, 2010
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