New Picture Books…The Tiny Wish; You Nest Here with Me


Evert, Lori. The Tiny Wish. New York: Random House, 2015. 978-0-385-37922-9. 32p. $17.99. Gr. PK -3.

Young Anja and her cousins are playing in the mountain meadows. Then , while playing hide-and-seek, Anja wishes that she could be smaller to hide more effectively. When she looks up again, she is tiny, and a wren offers her a ride. So begins Anja’s adventures through nature, as she sees things from a new, smaller perspective.

This beautiful book with its colorful illustrations and realistic photo-shopped creations is  a wonderful jumping off point for a fantasy story starter having students create their own tiny adventure. It also might be a great discussion to answer: What might be difficult if you were only six inches tall? What might be easier? The last page challenges the reader to decide, was it a dream or was her adventure real? Such creative and fun photographs bring the beauty of the mountains and its creatures to life in this inventive tale.

Picture Book, Fantasy        Donna Fernandez, Calvary Christian Academy


Yolen, Jane and Heidi E.Y. Stemple. You Nest Here With Me. Honesdale: Boyd Mills Press, 2015. 978-1-59078-923-0. 32p. $16.95. Gr. PreK-3.

Jane Yolen and daughter Heidi Stemple created a beautiful bedtime offering in which a mother tells her daughter about different birds and their nests, but reassures her that “you nest here with me.” For example, “Coots nest low in cattail reeds, Sparrows’ nests are full of weeds, Plus tangled grasses, feathers, seeds…But you nest here with me.” Fourteen different birds are featured, though a few other kinds make guest appearances; nature lovers may be able to spot them in Sweet’s illustrations. The rhyming text is succinct and flows nicely, making this a perfect soothing read at bedtime.

The text is also full of facts about different birds and might encourage a new generation of bird-watchers. Yolen, daughter Heidi, and husband David are bird enthusiasts. There is an Authors’ Note that describes their family’s passion for birds and each bird mentioned in the text is highlighted with a few quick facts, a silhouette, and illustrations of their eggs and feathers. Sweet’s illustrations have her usual sketchy quality, full of patterns and a bit of mixed media. They suit the story well. A great book!

Easy Fiction, Picture Book       Lindsey Long, Nye & Conewago Elementary Schools



New Nonfiction…Stingrays!, The Red Bicycle; The Book of Jonah


Gerber, Carole. Stingrays! Underwater Fliers.( A Step into Reading Science Reader, Level 3). New York: Random House, 2015. 978-0-449-81308-9. 48p. $3.99. Gr. 1-2.

Stingrays have fascinated humans for many years. The stingray is not only an expert at camouflage, but a cunning and quick creature . Stingrays hide to both hunt and hide from predators such as sharks and whales. There are hundreds of types of stingrays living in oceans and rivers.

This non-fiction beginner science book has lots of action and many illustrations and photographs of stingrays. The shark attack may be intense for some sensitive readers, but illustrates how stingrays use their skills to avoid their predators. This book would be a great non-fiction selection since many children may have visited the stingray touch pools that are common in aquariums and tourist sites and could actually make text–to-world connections about these beautiful creatures.

Animals       Donna Fernandez, Calvary Christian Academy




Isabella, Judith. The Red Bicycle; The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle. Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can Press, 2015. 978-1-77138-023-2. 32p. $18.95. Gr. 3-6.

Follow the journey of one small red bicycle from the moment a young North American boy spends his hard earned mowing money to buy it, to the shores of Ghana in Africa. This wonderful journey tells how the gift of a bicycle changed a young African girl’s life in Burkina Faso. The bicycle’s journey continues to a clinic, where it is fitted with an ambulance stretcher and used to save sick and injured villagers.

This tale is a wonderful moment to teach children about giving and how their generosity can change the lives of others. The global themes in the book open children’s eyes to the needs of others and how a bicycle can be used for so much more than entertainment. This would be a thoughtful addition to a unit on global citizenship or Africa. The back of the book lists several organizations that collect used bicycles and redistribute them to needy countries.

Social Studies Picture Book          Donna Fernandez, Calvary Christian Academy




Spier, Peter. The Book of Jonah. New York: Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2015. 978-0-385-37909-0. $17.99. Gr. K-5.

Peter Spier’s retelling of Jonah was originally published in 1985. Jonah’s story is one of the more well-known Bible stories, and Spier’s version is excellent. When God asks Jonah to go to Ninevah and spread the message that the people need to change their ways, Jonah runs from God and boards a ship. God creates a powerful storm, and Jonah realizes that he cannot run from God and goes to Ninevah to tell the important message. The people take his message to heart, and he ultimately accepts God’s word.

Spier’s classic style involves lovely watercolors, and this story is told using both text and multi-paneled illustrations. One spread shows Jonah entering Ninevah and speaking to the people through a series of six illustrations spread over two pages. This updated version contains excellent end material. There are several pages detailing the historical aspects of Jonah’s voyage through the geography of his time, including maps of the Assyrian Empire in the 8th Century BC, a map of Ninevah’s ruins, and even a cross-section of a ship like the one he travelled on when fleeing from God. The material includes current news about the story including a mention of the July 24, 2014, bombing of the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah by a terrorist group. This updated version will make an excellent addition to your 200’s shelves.

221.9 Lindsey Long, Nye & Conewago Elementary Schools

Beginner Readers…Anna & Elsa: Sisterhood is the Strongest Magic


David, Erica. A Warm Welcome ( Anna & Elsa: Sisterhood is the Strongest Magic series , Book 3). New York: Random House, 2015. 978-0-7364-3289-4. 122 p. $9.99. Gr. 1-3.

Princess Anna and Queen Elsa have set out to help a neighboring queen who they believe is in trouble. They travel to Summer Land, also known as Eldora, to see if the queen needs help controlling her powers of heat and fire, since the rumors state that the land is stuck in eternal summer. Along the way, Olaf keeps everyone cool with his hugs, but Elsa’s magic doesn’t seem to work in this hot, dry land. After crossing a treacherous desert, the friends reach the capital city and find out that all is not as it seems.

This is the third book in the Anna and Elsa: Sisterhood is the Strongest Magic series for beginner readers. These books are popular with the first and second grade crowd. The larger font and colorful illustrations will appeal to a reluctant reader. Frozen books are always popular, but these well written adventures encourage readers to jump from smaller books to a chapter book format. They also have uplifting themes of friendship and caring that make them worthwhile for any beginning reader.

Fantasy      Donna Fernandez, Calvary Christian Academy


David, Erica. The Great Ice Engine ( Anna & Elsa; Sisterhood is the Strongest Magic series, Book 4). New York: Random House, 2015. 978-0-7364-3431-7. 123p. $9.99. Gr. 1-3.

There is commotion in the center of town, and Anna and Elsa go to see what is happening. They see Oaken, the large happy store owner we met in the Frozen movie. Oaken has used lots of spare parts to invent an ice cutting machine. When Kristoff sees how fast it is, he challenges Oaken to a contest, man vs. machine. Anna helps Kristoff “train” for the contest. When they finally compete, Oaken and the ice machine are the winners. The next day all of the ice harvesters disappear. Anna ,Elsa and Olaf search for them fearing that they have been kidnapped. Will the snow storms erase their tracks? Will they find them in time?

In this fourth installment of the Anna and Elsa: Sisterhood is the Strongest Magic series, inventive ideas are at the center of the story. Oaken’s Rube Goldberg-like invention is run by his pet mouse, Lars, and put together with a lot of spare parts. When Kristoff loses to the machine, Oaken suggests that they work together to harvest even more ice. This is a good compromise between man and machine. Working together, they ultimately problem solve to save poor Lars the mouse who is exhausted. Frozen meets the Maker movement!

Fantasy     Donna Fernandez, Calvary Christian Academy


More Happy Than Not


Silvera, Adam. More Happy Than Not. New York: Soho Teen, 2015. 978-1-61695-560-1. 293 p. $18.99. Gr. 10 and up.

Bronx teen Aaron Soto has had a tough year by any measure. First his father committed suicide, and then Aaron tried to kill himself in a self-described “cry for help.” Now his girlfriend Genevieve, who stood by him through it all, has left for a summer art program in New Orleans. Aaron strikes up a tight new friendship with a neighborhood kid named Thomas, a welcome distraction from missing Genevieve and the ever-present smiling scar on his wrist. By the time Genevieve returns home, Aaron has begun to question his feelings for both his girlfriend and his new best friend. Distraught over the eventual realization that he is gay, Aaron signs up for a mind alteration procedure with the Leteo Institute, which promises a surgical alternative to painful memories and unpleasant realities (think of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). But a hate crime triggers an ingenious plot twist that elevates this seemingly standard coming-of-age and coming out narrative into the “unforgettable” category. THOUGHTS:With More Happy Than Not, debut author Adam Silvera delivers a kick to the head, the heart, and the gut with equal aplomb.
Realistic, Sci-Fi            Amy V. Pickett, Ridley High School
Do note that the novel also offers a very frank depiction of teenage dialogue and sexuality (both gay and straight). In other words, f-bombs of every context appear throughout the book. While this adds to the realism, it might be too much for some readers, and would make playing an audiobook excerpt inadvisable. Nonetheless, at its core, this is a love story.

Essential Library of World War II

Essential Library of World War II. Minneapolis, MN: ABDO, 2016. 112p. $24.95 Grades 5-12.


Edwards, Sue Bradford. The Bombing of Pearl Harbor. 978-162403-7917.

This informational text introduces young readers to the events of December 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese. It wisely begins by following the personal story of a 15-year-old seaman touring the U.S.S. Arizona who saw firsthand the destruction caused by the attack and who survived. The text then turns to specifics of the event. Students may be surprised to learn that most Americans wanted nothing to do the war in Europe, not after the devastating effects of “the Great War” and the economic collapse which many attributed to that war. In fact, Franklin Roosevelt won the presidency in part on promises to stay out of the war. Author Edwards reaches to 1853 to explain Japan’s intent in its attack, and its national pride that kept it from acquiescing to U.S. demands. The attack itself is explained in detail. The Japanese imposed silence over radio waves to avoid location of their aircraft, and chose an early Sunday morning knowing the U.S. military would not be fully prepared for retaliation. “The U.S. military in Pearl Harbor was not actively looking for enemy aircraft, and even when someone spotted them, no one realized what they were” (48). First came the aircraft with torpedo bombers, followed by submarines, including “suicide” midget subs piloted by two crewman each, designed to torpedo targets. The two waves of Japanese aircraft and torpedoes caused significant damage, resulting in the deaths of 2,400 American military, injuries to 1,180 more, eight severely damaged battleships, and numerous damaged aircraft.  The Japanese intended for the U.S. military to be so devastated that they could not reasonably be involved in the war for several years. In fact, the opposite was true. The attack reversed most Americans’ opinions of entering the war and galvanized them as one for the rationing and sacrifices that would be necessary. Sadly, it also brought about fear and discrimination against Japanese-Americans, and, in February 1942, the internment of Japanese-Americans into ten camps in remote areas of the United States. Edwards ends the book with a chapter summarizing the effects of the Pearl Harbor attack. Timeline, Facts, Glossary, Resources, Source notes & Index comprise pages 98-111.


This is a reasonable choice to cover the Pearl Harbor attack. The text can be read by middle or high school students. Edwards gets a bit bogged down in details at times, oddly leaving out results such as the specific losses of military craft and life. With all of the emphasis on the Japanese planning, it seems an oversight that Edwards doesn’t mention that the Tokyo Trials named the attack a war crime.


Streissguth, Tom. The Battle of Britain. 978-162403-7900.

Streissguth writes an inspiring account of the Battle of Britain and its impact on World War II. He shares how Britain’s manufacturers scrambled to produce Spitfires and Hurricanes, and how the Royal Air Force scrambled to train individuals to pilot these planes. Churchill shines through as the exceptional leader he was. In his words, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few” (14). Indeed, the fighter pilots risked and lost their lives at alarming rates as Hitler pounded Great Britain with bombs throughout the summer and autumn of 1940. Hitler wished to remove the British air force as a threat, and thus have no resistance in its expected ground assault. That never happened. Eventually, Germany unwisely moved to bomb civilian targets, which saved air fields and which galvanized the British to resist and fight harder. In eight chapters, Streissguth presents the plans for war on both German and British sides, the Battle of Britain, and the post-battle outcome, including the London Blitz. Accompanied by period black and white photographs and sidebars of individual events or achievements, this book will help anyone to appreciate the severity of the attacks. Recommended. Timeline, Facts, Glossary, Resources, Source notes & Index comprise pages 98-111.

These are two of ten titles in the Essential Library of World War II series, all published in 2016. Other titles include: The Battle of Britain, The D-Day Invasion of Normandy, The Dropping of the Atomic Bomb, Native American Code Talkers, The Tuskegee Airmen, Women on the US Home Front, World War II Espionage, World War II Leaders, and World War II Weapons.

940.54 World War II        Melissa Scott, Shenango High School

New Historical Fiction for Middle Grades


Wiviott, Meg. Paper Hearts. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2015. 978-1-4814-3983-1. $17.99. 337p. Gr. 6-8.

First the Nazis mandated the yellow armbands, followed by enclosures, displaced persons, and unannounced seizures.  The shortages of food and medicine, jobs and money, devastated thousands upon thousands.  Ghettos replaced neighborhoods and multiple families crammed into single bedrooms, but that was tolerable compared to the transports.  So begins Fania and Zlatka’s story, told in alternating chapters and based on a true story, of persecution, loss, and camaraderie upon their arrival at Auschwitz.  When all hope seems lost, Zlatka contrives a plan.  Using Kanada, a black market of sorts, she and other girls barter and share bread rations to negotiate deals for the materials to make an origami birthday heart for Fania which the girls inscribe their intimate birthday wishes.  It is “. . . the story of a wondrous Heart made of paper but stronger than muscle forged in defiance in secret in friendship . . .”  that gave twenty young, courageous girls a reason to believe and keep living.

Written in poignant verse, Wiviott imparts an extraordinary story about survival, love, and friendship.  The paper heart is permanently displayed at the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.

Historical Fiction                        Christine Massey, JWP Middle School

New Fiction Grades 6 and up…Code of Honor; Nightfall


Gratz, Alan. Code of Honor. New York; Scholastic, 2015. 978-0545-695190 278 p. $17.99 Grades 6-12.

Kamran Smith is living a great life: senior football star, he and his girlfriend are homecoming king and queen, and he has strong family ties, especially with his brother, who’s eight years his senior. He’s even on track to attend West Point and enlist in the Army, following in his brother Darius’ footsteps. Sure, his mother is from Iran, and he looks Iranian, but he’s 100% accepted, 100% American.


Until Darius appears in a terrorist video broadcast on American TV, spewing anti-American religious rants, standing by while an American journalist is beheaded, and pronouncing coming destruction.  It’s bad enough seeing the videos and facing his own questions—dealing with the personal fallout in his community is worse. His girlfriend dumps him; his best friend doubts Darius (and Kamran); news crews hover and torment; his parents are just holding it together. Then Homeland Security ransacks their home for information and takes Kamran and his parents into custody. The questioning makes Kamran question his own conviction that Darius is innocent, that the “code of honor” he and Darius pledged to one another still stands strong.


Until Kamran really listens to the videos of Darius and discovers his brother mixing up the stories with heroes and villains they once pretended to be. It doesn’t make sense—or does it? Could Darius be sending messages in the videos? The authorities don’t believe it, except maybe one…. Or does he? Does Kamran believe himself? Soon Kamran finds himself outside the walls and in a race to prove his brother’s innocence. Will he get to do so? What if Darius is not so innocent? Does their Code of Honor have meaning to anyone but Kamran? This is a tense action story that has Kamran and the reader changing their minds about Darius’ intent, and what the outcome should or will be. Violent but not gory, certainly a realistic plot, Gratz wraps up this story ever so neatly. Safe for middle school and thought-provoking about trust, honor, and loyalty.

Realistic Fiction     Melissa Scott, Shenango High School




Halpern, Jake and Peter Kujawinski.  Nightfall.  New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015. 978-0-399-17580-0.  368 p. $17.99.  Grade 7 and up.

From its very beginning, Nightfall builds a sense of foreboding in readers.  Marin and her twin brother Kana live on the island of Bliss.  The residents of Bliss live in daylight for 14 years, but when the sun sets at the end of the cycle, they must migrate to the desert lands to wait until the next sunrise on their island fourteen years later.  Before the tide retreats and they sail away, each family performs a series of intricate rituals; deep cleaning, moving furniture, placing items throughout the house, and removing locks.  The description of these rituals is the reader’s first clue that there are “nighttime” inhabitants of the island.  On the day of departure, Line, a close friend of Marin and Kana is missing from the oceanfront.  Marin and Kana decide to search for him during chaos of the departure.  In the end, all three teens are left behind.  They try desperately to find a way off the island, are pursued by the nighttime “creatures”, and find out some uncomfortable truths about themselves and the inhabitants of Bliss.  This is creepy, mysterious and, ultimately, enjoyable tale.  THOUGHTS: I would not consider this book to be an outstanding or innovative work of literature.  However, it is an enjoyable and fast-paced read, guaranteed to send a shiver up your patrons’ spines. It is a perfect addition to your Halloween collection.

From the outset of the novel, it is clear that the darkness is something to be feared and that monstrous creatures inhabit the island at night.  However, the authors do an expert job of making the obvious elements of the story surprising and scary.  Each of the main characters in Nightfall has a secret and has told lies, so there is an element of suspicion throughout the novel.  The plot twist involving Kana is truly unexpected and the reader will begin to question who the good and bad guys really are.  In the final scene, Marin, Kana, and Line escape the island, so there may be a sequel (set in the desert lands) in the works.

Dystopian, Horror                Susan Fox, Washington Jr./Sr. High School

Some Assembly Required…new memoir


Andrews, Arin. Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015. 978-1-48141-675-7. 248 p. $17.99. Gr. 9 & up.

Arin’s memoir traces his struggles with gender dysphoria and eventual transition from female to male.  Arin, born Emerald, felt from a young age that he was born in the wrong body.  As he began to develop as a female, he became depressed and suicidal.  It wasn’t until he saw a first-person YouTube video about a transgender person that Arin realized what he was experiencing.  He began attending an LGBT support group and met Katie Hill, a teen who was transitioning from male to female.  Their relationship highs and lows played a large role in Arin’s journey.  Although Arin’s mom was not 100% supportive at first, she ultimately learned to accept him for who he is.  Not all transgender teens are lucky enough to have family and friends as supportive as Arin’s, which he acknowledges.  A list of resources in the back is essential to teens in isolated small towns such as Arin’s.  This book is a strong addition to any memoir collection: All teens will gain compassion for the struggles of the transgender community, and teens who are transgender will find strength in Arin’s moving story.  Pair with Katie’s memoir (Rethinking Normal), which also touches on her relationship with Arin.

Memoir (LGBT)    Kristen Rowe, Plum Senior High School

YA series NF – Understanding Mental Disorders; History’s Great Structures


Understanding Mental Disorders. San Diego: ReferencePoint Press, 2016. 80p. $28.95. Gr. 9 & up.

Abramovitz, Melissa. What is Schizophrenia? 978-1-60152-926-8.

Currie-McGhee, Leanne. What Are Sleep Disorders? 978-1-60152-930-5.

Mooney, Carla. What is Anxiety Disorder? 978-1-60152-920-6.

Mooney, Carla. What is Panic Disorder? 978-1-60152-924-4.

Nakaya, Andrea C. What is Bipolar Disorder?  978-1-60152-922-0.

Yuwiler, Janice M. What is Self-Injury Disorder? 978-1-60152-928-2.

Mental disorders of all kinds are detailed in these slim, informative volumes.  Each volume includes chapters about the disease, the causes, what it’s like to live with, and treatment options.  The book is text-heavy but appropriate for high school students.  Statistics, diagrams, quotes, subheads and photos are break up the text, so the information isn’t overwhelming.  Each book has its own unique, attractive color scheme.  Most students likely wouldn’t be curious enough to check these out unless it is for an assignment, or they have a family member or friend diagnosed with one of the disorders, but these books would be a solid addition to a collection for use on health assignments.

616.8; Mental Disease   Kristen Rowe, Plum Senior High School



History’s Great Structures. San Diego: ReferencePoint Press, 2015. 96 p. $28.95. Gr. 9 & up.

Blohm, Craig. The Palace of Versailles. 978-1-60152-684-7.

Currie, Stephen. The Panama Canal. 978-1-60152-710-3.

Currie, Stephen. Stonehenge. 978-1-60152-712-7.

Nardo, Don. Roman Roads and Aqueducts. 978-1-60152-634-2.

The covers and color schemes throughout this informative series are rather bland, but the books are full of information.  Photos, subheads and diagrams break up what would otherwise be too much text.  “Words in Context” run along the sides of some pages to define more difficult vocabulary words.  A section in the back suggests resources for further research.  Students who are interested in engineering marvels throughout history may be drawn to these books; otherwise, they would be a good addition if teachers give related assignments.

386; 600s    Kristen Rowe, Plum Senior High School

New YA Mystery, and Sci-Fi…The Rest of Us Just Live Here; Black-Eyed Susans; Charisma


Ness, Patrick. The Rest of Us Just Live Here.  New York: Harper Teen, 2015.  978-0-06-240316-2.  $17.99. 317p. Gr. 9 and up.

Life is what it should be for Mike Mitchell and his friends as they enter the final weeks of their senior year.  Mike is preparing to go away to college in a different state despite his increasing OCD loops where he gets caught doing the same thing over and over (and over).  His sister, Mel, seems to have her eating disorder under control as she heads to the East Coast to start the pre-med track in college, and their mom is launching her campaign for a spot in the US Congress.  Work.  Prom. Graduation.  Everything is as normal as can be, except for the one strange occurrence that keeps happening: the“indie kids” keep inexplicably dying (You know the ones with the black-rimmed glasses and the names straight out of the 1950’s, Finn and Dylan and Satchel and about three other Finns).  The Rest of Us Just Live Here is the story of the non-indie kids living everyday life, mixed in with the indie kids saving the world….again.  THOUGHTS:  The issues are real, but so is the hope that gets this group of tight-knit friends through the rough times.  I love the indie kid parts mocking current dystopian/fantasy young adult fiction.  

Realistic Fantasy    Laura Ward, Fox Chapel Area High School



Heaberlin, Julia. Black-Eyed Susans. New York: Ballantine Books, 2015. 978-0-8041-7799-3. 354 p. $17.99. Gr. 10 and up.

When Tessie was sixteen, she was abducted and then left for dead in a field of black-eyed susans along with the remains of the killer’s other victims. Despite some substantial gaps in her memory, Tessie testified against Terrell Darcy Goodwin, who was sentenced to Death Row. Now, Tessa is a single mother in her 30s with a teenage daughter of her own. Terrell’s execution is just months away when someone plants a bed of black-eyed susans outside her bedroom window. Afraid that her “monster” is still at large, and still watching her, Tessa becomes involved in the legal effort to exonerate Terrell. But the clock is ticking, and Tessa still can’t trust her own memories. Chapters alternate between 16-year old Tessie and present-day Tessa, giving the book solid crossover appeal. A subplot about the role of Lydia (Tessie’s BFF) in the Black-Eyed Susan case also gathers dangerous momentum as the two narratives converge. THOUGHTS: This adult thriller is an edge-of-your seat mystery with TONS of appeal for teen readers!

Mystery            Amy V. Pickett, Ridley High School

I’ve recently scheduled some booktalks with upperclassmen, and Black-Eyed Susans is a wonderful example of a crossover that I can promote to mature and/or avid teen readers. The novel is a delight to booktalk because it has so many great hooks to snag readers’ interest: the abduction of a young girl, the ticking clock as a (possibly) innocent man faces execution, and even some romance. After the first booktalk, students were lining up to get their hands on the book!



Ryan, Jeanne. Charisma. New York: Dial Books, 2015. 978-0-8037-3966-6. 374p. $17.99. Gr. 7 and up.

Are you shy?  Do you have trouble volunteering in class or speaking to boys?  Aislyn has terrible shyness.  When presented with a gene therapy drug called Charisma, she takes it.  It’s not exactly approved by the FDA yet… but it works like magic!  She can speak up; she has confidence and is even comfortable around her crush.  This drug not only eliminates her shyness, it makes her extremely outgoing.  Her bubbly new personality is completely opposite of her old self. Aislyn discovers that some of her friends have taken the drug too, when some of them start getting deathly ill.  The media is in a frenzy, and the doctor who gave them Charisma is gone. The quick personality fix has turned horribly wrong.  THOUGHTS: This story was very interesting and current, with the topic of gene therapy- going from being something helpful to completely unethical, and the topic of social anxiety- a more common problem than most would think. I loved that the basic theme of the story was that there are no quick fixes and if you want to change, you need to work on changing yourself, not falling for the Charisma pill.  

Science Fiction      Rachel Gutzler, Wilson High School