• LCMS Book Reviews and Recommends


    Check out the book reviews for your next great read!

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  • Suggested Reading by Dave Connis

    Posted by Sarah Wilson on 9/13/2021

    Suggested Reading Book Cover

    This book talk is a Flipgrid short. To view it, please login with your WestAda username and password.

    Summary: Clara is a high school senior at a private school. She runs several Tiny Libraries, helps the school librarian, and participates in Queso, a book club. When she reads a classified letter with a list of 50 prohibited books, she decides to run a banned book library from her school locker. Will Clara get caught? Will she get suspended from school? Read Suggested Reading to find out. Read-alikes include: Ban this book, Fahrenheit 451, The sledding hill, Mr. Lemoncello's library olympics, Witch and wizard.



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  • Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

    Posted by Sarah Wilson on 9/10/2021

    Before the Ever After Book cover

    This book talk is a Flipgrid short. To view the video, please login to your WestAda account.


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  • My Shot by Elena Delle Donne

    Posted by Sarah Wilson on 8/22/2021

    Check out an interview with Elena Delle Donne from March 2018. This book talk is a Flipgrid short. To view it, you must be logged in with your West Ada login.



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  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

    Posted by Sarah Wilson on 8/15/2021

    wrinkle in time book cover

    I'm going to break the rules here and link a movie trailer instead of a book trailer. I'm cringing a little, but just go with it. The movie trailer breathes some fresh life into this Newbery Award winning book that was published in 1962. A Wrinkle in Time has been on my reading bucket list for quite awhile. Although some of the dialogue is a little on the "old" side, the story is wonderful. Meg's father has been missing for a long time. Everyone in town gives Meg sympathy looks as if her father ran off or might even be dead. Meg is certain that he is alive, but can't figure out why he hasn't written or called. Her little brother, Charles Wallace, is a genius. He meets some strange visitors that reveal the whereabouts of Meg's dad. Through the use of a tesseract, he has been trapped on another planet-Camazotz. It is up to Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin to get him back. Enjoy the trailer.


    A Wrinkle In Time Trailer

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  • The Finisher by David Baldacci (Vega Jane Bk. 1)

    Posted by Sarah Wilson on 8/6/2021

     The Finisher Book Cover

    Truth: The first book in this series had a bit of a slow start. BUT-for those of you who stick with it, the rewards are sweet. I wasn't sure how Vega Jane's story would unfold, but it is worth reading the entire book. Vega Jane's world has elements of classical fantasy and reminds me a little of "The Village" a movie by M. Night Shymalan. Vega's life seems pretty normal and dreary for a lowly Mug. However, Vega begins to suspect that her home, Wormwood, has many secrets including the disappearance of her friend into the forbidden Quag and her grandfather's Event. For those of you who enjoy strong female characters, magic, secrets, strange beasts, and lots of action, look no further. Pick up The Finisher today! Enjoy the book trailer by Sarah Black.

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  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

    Posted by Sarah Wilson on 7/22/2021

    To access the Flipgrid, make sure you are logged in to your WestAda account.

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  • Maybe This Time by Kasie West

    Posted by Sarah Wilson on 6/8/2021

    Maybe This Time Book Cover

    This is a young adult romance novel by Kasie West. Meet Sophie Evans, an aspiring fashion designer. Sophie works for the town's florist at all of the events with her friend Micah, who caters for her dad's business. These two friends are thick as thieves, but things get bumpy when Micah's dad hires celebrity chef, Jett Hart. Jett has a teenage son, the same age as the girls. He also attends all of the events taking photographs of the catering and posting them to his client's website. Witness some flare ups and flare outs between Sophie and Jett's son, Andrew, at nine town events. Will Sophie give up on her dream? Will she find love? Enjoy this book trailer, and then check out Maybe This Time.

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  • The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull

    Posted by Sarah Wilson on 6/8/2021

    Candy Shop War book cover


    I was compelled to read a book by Brandon Mull this year. He is the author of these popular series: Fablehaven, The Candy Shop War, Beyonders, Five Kingdoms, and Dragonwatch. I chose to read The Candy Shop War due to its interesting title and cover artwork. This is a middle grade fantasy series that will not disappoint fans of middle grade magic series such as Harry Potter and The Land of Stories.


    The Candy Shop War is about magicians wanting to find the fountain of youth without revealing their intentions to the youngsters helping them. Apparently young children are the targeted helpers of magicians since children can feel the full effects of magical candy.


    Join Summer, Nate, Trevor, and Pigeon, members of The Blue Falcons club as they complete the tasks assigned to them by Mrs. White, magician and owner of the Sweet Tooth Ice Cream and Candy Shoppe. She asks the kids to acquire strange ingredients that she uses to concoct her magical candy, including candy that makes you fly, changes your identity, allows you to give someone an electrical shock, or lets you take over the body of an inanimate object!


    At first, the kids enjoy helping Mrs. White with some innocuous tasks and receive magical candy as a reward. As the tasks become more difficult, dangerous, and illegal, the children begin to question Mrs. White’s intentions. Mr. Stott is another magician that the children meet along the way. He seems nice enough and sells inexpensive ice cream, a bonus when you don’t have much cash.


    The kids end up questioning how they got involved in this dangerous work. They get no help from the adults, who have fallen under a daze by eating too much magical white fudge. Can they trust Mr. Stott, an aging magician who has lived in the town for years? Can they trust Mr. Dart, the man who chased them through dark alleys and tried to attack them? How will they save their families and stop Mrs. White? Who is Mr. Dart anyway?


    Remember kids, don’t take candy from strangers!

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  • The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence

    Posted by Sarah Wilson on 5/25/2021

    The Skeleton Tree book cover

    A book talk by Thursday, the raven. To access the Flipgrid, you must be logged in to your WestAda account.


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  • Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

    Posted by Sarah Wilson on 5/6/2021

    Gregor the overlander book cover


    Book 1 in The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games series.


    How do you keep track of time? Most people use a calendar. Gregor keeps track of time based on his last happy memory, when he’d last seen his dad two years, seven months, and thirteen days ago.  His dad disappeared without a trace. Now, it is summer in New York City and Gregor gets to watch his two-year-old sister while his 7-year-old sister gets to go to camp. This is not the summer Gregor had in mind, but he is willing to help take care of his grandma and little sister while his mom works.


    Gregor has no idea of the adventure that awaits in the basement of his apartment building. While he is doing laundry, his sister, Boots, toddles after a ball that has rolled into an old laundry grate. Before Gregor knows it, both of them are falling down a deep dark hole. To his surprise, they land safely in a dark cavern…surrounded by larger-than-life cockroaches. Boots is talking to the “Big Bugs.”


    The bugs take Gregor and Boots to meet the Underland humans, people with nearly transparent skin and lavender eyes, who ride large bats. The Underlanders take Gregor to their city. He and his sister are fed, bathed, and given a nice bed to sleep in. Gregor just can’t believe this is happening and desperately wants to get home. He can’t figure out if he is a guest or a prisoner in the impenetrable castle.


    During their escape, Gregor and Boots are attacked by giant, Overlander (humans) hating rats. He is nearly killed but is rescued by the Underland humans. A prophecy is revealed to Gregor that could save the Underland from darkness and find his dad. Count Gregor in! He and a troop of 9 others embark on a quest.


    Join Gregor in the Underland. Unlock the secrets of the prophecy. Will Gregor and Boots find their dad? Will Gregor ever see the light of day and return to New York City? Fans of Percy Jackson, adventure novels, and Suzanne Collins will love this series.

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