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April 6, 2007 Edition

Blue Bloods, by Melissa De La Cruz

Schuyler Van Alen thinks itís hard enough being in high school, but when she discovers sheís a member of an ancient vampire family called the Blue Bloods (and so is the clique that despises her), she canít imagine anything worse. But there is worse: even though vampires are immortal, something is killing members of the Blue Bloods, and Schuyler has got to find out what before it kills her, too. Set in the glitter and money of upperclass New York City, this is as much high-society chick-lit as vampire story, with a nice twist at the end.

The Rules of Survival, by Nancy Werlin

This is the powerful story of what caring adults can do to break the cycle of family violence. At 13, Matthew thinks fear is a wonderful thing Ė it has taught him to try to calm his mother down when she gets irrational, and how to take the blows when he canít soothe her. Heís taught his 11 year-old sister, Callie, how to do it, too, and together, they are teaching 5 year-old Emmy. But the kids are just barely staying ahead of their motherís unpredictable mood swings until Murdoch comes into their lives. Though heís short-lived as Nikkiís boyfriend, he becomes Matthewís idol and last hope for a normal future. As the now 17 year-old Matthew heads off to college, he writes the story of his family for his youngest sister Emmy, so that she will understand about their mother, but also to help himself understand what he has learned.

The Pack, by Tom Pow

Bradley, and Victor-the-dog-boy are struggling to grow up in a future dystopia where children are expendable and unwanted. They barely remember what life was like before things changed: now, instead of living with parents, they look after each other, protected and befriended by wild dogs and Old Woman, who tells them stories that explain their world. When Floris is kidnapped and taken to the Invisible City, the boys and the dogs venture out of their known dangers and into the city itself to bring her home again.

Trigger, by Susan Vaught

Jersey Hatch used to be an athlete, but that was before he used his fatherís rifle to try to commit suicide. Now, heís just hoping to relearn to tie his own shoes and go back to school. Jersey fills a notebook with reminders about his life and lists of mysteries to be solved, like why his best friend wonít talk to him any more, and what made him want to kill himself. But part of him is afraid: what if he remembers why, and tries it again?

Alphabet of Dreams, by Susan Fletcher

Driven out onto the streets to beg and steal after their fatherís plot against King Phraates got him killed, Mitra now lives as a boy to protect herself and her young brother, Babak, but still remembers when she wore fine linens and rich perfumes. And so when Mitra finds that her young brother Babak has the gift of seeing other peopleís lives in his dreams, her first thought is of how this could help them go home again. But they come to the attention of a Magus, who has his own reasons for wanting Babak under his control, and soon the siblings find themselves on the road to Bethlehem, following 3 Magi into a prophecy with dreams to guide them.

Set in Stone, by Linda Newbery

When Samuel Godwin accepts a place as art tutor for a wealthy manís oldest daughter, he moves into the familyís magnificent country estate, Fourwinds. Though at first immediately drawn to the younger daughter, Marianne, he eventually also becomes fond of her older sister and their governess, and to respect the girlsí father, Ernest Farrow. But as Samuel becomes part of their lives, he becomes privy to their secrets, and untangling one mystery only reveals another hidden beneath in this engrossing gothic novel.

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