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Book Review: Music From The Dead by Bebe Faas Rice

Music From The Dead by Bebe Faas Rice is a young adult horror novel originally published in April 1997.  Marnie and her cousin Peter drive up to the mansion that Marnie's father rented for the summer ahead of her father.  When the cousins arrive at the mansion called Stonycraig and settle in, Marnie is nervous because she thought she saw a shadow in one of the windows.  Then, she starts hearing a woman crying late at night.  Are the stories about Stonycraig being haunted true? This is a book I originally read as a teenager, and I remember being impressed by the storyline and writing.  I recently decided to reread it as an adult to see if it was as good as I remembered.  I have to say it was phenomenal.  Well-written and unputdownable.   Even though there were parts that came back to me as I made my way through Music From The Dead , I still found it to be perfectly eerie and creepy.  There was even a little bit of romance but nothing inappropriate for a tween or teen.  The only com

Book Review: Choosing Sides (Sweet Valley Twins, #4) created by Francine Pascal

sweet valley twins # 4 created by francine pascal
The Unicorns have decided to start a cheerleading squad at Sweet Valley Middle School and call it the boosters. The caveat put forth by teachers are they must have open tryouts. Amy Sutton decides she wants to try out for the boosters. While that is happening, the basketball team is holding open tryouts as well, and the shortest boy in school, Ken Matthews, decides to try out.

Choosing Sides (Sweet Valley Twins, #4) deals with bullying yet again. Do you see a theme in this series? Bullying seems to be most prominent in the middle school years, so it isn't surprising that the Sweet Valley Twins books deal with this subject a lot. The underlying themes are friendship and standing up for yourself in this edition.

The Unicorns try to bully Amy because they don't want an unpopular, tomboy on the cheerleading squad. On top of that, Elizabeth is worried that if Amy makes the boosters, she won't have any more time to spend with her. Bruce Patman bullies Ken Matthews just because he is the shortest boy in school and is not the best player. Elizabeth helps out Ken with some suggestions and by having her older brother, who is a basketball player on one of the high school teams, give him some pointers as well. I love the fact that despite being bullied, both Amy and Ken stand up for themselves because they know their self worth, and they do it without getting into a physical fight. Kids need to know how to do this better.

All in all, I enjoyed Choosing Sides, and it had a much better ending than the previous installment of the Sweet Valley Twins. I gave it five out five stars. Don't miss out on our other reviews in this series:  Best Friends (Sweet Valley Twins, #1), Teacher's Pet (Sweet Valley Twins, #2), and The Haunted House (Sweet Valley Twins, #3).

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