April
Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown
Jennie has lost her twin brother and father to the Civil war and now her fiance Will is dead too. His brother Quinn has returned home, wounded and disturbed. Jennie feels led by the spirits around her, but everyone else is working against her. Her aunt treats her like a servant. She meets a photographer who sells family pictures with spirits evident in them, but that only complicates things. This is a good story with an immediate feel for the time period. The plot gets more and more complex until an extremely dramatic ending. Creepy romance. YA for sexual situations and war violence.

Emily and Jackson Hiding Out by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
With a loving aunt to care for them, and ten million dollars in the bank, you might think a problem and solution would be difficult to come up with! But there are still tornados, child catchers, and their nemesis Uncle Victor. This is a great sequel to Emily's Fortune. A great early chapter book. Perfect for good third grade readers. (release in August 2012)

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
I picked this up at Scholastic because I needed to spend money. Was it worth it? Sure. It's probably better than Twilight--of course I haven't read those. Ethan Wate is feeling captive to his small Southern town until Lena Duchannes appears. Niece of the recluse OldMan Ravenwood, there is no end to her mystery and attractiveness for Ethan. Loaded with supernatural complications to the plot this actually moves a bit slowly for me. Something awful is going to happen on Lena's sixteenth birthday and we drag inexorably toward it. The growing depth of love between our protagonists is sweet and noble. It was OK for me but not a knockout. Someone will love it. And I will read the sequel. YA for violence, sexual overtones, and weird supernaturalness.

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
He's done it again. I know that sounds hackneyed, but it's true. Hiaasen writes humorous yet exciting environmental realistic fiction for intermediate grades. Set in Florida, always. Yet unique each time. Wahoo Cray lives with his wildlife wrangling father, on the edge of financial disaster. Reality show star Derek Badger is looking to film an episode in the Everglades. Throw in the element of a girl who is fleeing her physically abusive father and by the middle of the story the action is fast and furious. Excellent. 4th+

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
It's been awhile since I've read a knock-your-socks-off YA novel. This is it. Creative, action filled, slightly dystopic, a strong main character, and full of literary allusions. Cinder is part mechanical cyborg. She is also a step-sister to two girls in New Beijing where the annual ball is scheduled to celebrate the end of WWIV. Prince Kai brings Cinder a personal android to repair since she is the city's best mechanic.And the story takes off. The intrigue is widespread but logical. The evil Levana, queen of the Lunars (yes a moon colony) is in the vein of Empress Cixi, the Dragon Lady of China.(think kill off all the relatives, etc.) Now we have to wait a YEAR for the sequel. AAAGH YA for mature romance themes, and violence(also a plague). Excellent.

Crush by Gary Paulsen
(this was an advanced reader's copy) Following Liar Liar and Flat Broke, Kevin has decided he needs to do a scientific study of relationships in order to find the best way to date his crush - Tina. Only Tina seems busy with the new boy, Cash Devine. So Kevin proceeds to study his parents, his neighbors, sets up blind dates and speed dating, etc. Very funny and thoughtful. This is an easy read but enjoyable.I especially like the neighbor kid Markie who Kevin babysits for: "Markie's like a little Dalai Lama to me sometimes." 4th+ (the dating stuff is innocuous)

Our of Sight, Out of Time by Ally carter a Gallagher Girls book
Cammie is a senior at the Gallagher girls school for spies, but cannot remember the last few months of her life. She knows she was somehow tortured and escaped, but to what purpose? This one is much darker with less girl humor. The mystery is the plot and it wraps up with penache. This wasn't my favorite, but still satisfying. YA (she actually kills someone in this one.) Very good.