Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright

 Stars: ****
Genre: Realistic fiction
Pages: 122
Series: The book has one sequel, Christmas Jars Reunion
    Christmas is looking grim for newspaper writer Hope Jensen.  In addition to her mother's death, she comes home on Christmas Eve to find her apartment has been robbed. But as she waits for the police, Hope discovers a jar filled with coins somebody left for her. After talking to other jar recipients, she finds the family behind it and wants to turn them into the story of the century. She knows they want to remain anonymous, so she pretends to be a high school student doing a report on their family business. But as the Maxwells welcome her into their family, she wonders if it's right to expose the acts of kindness they've kept secret for so many years.
     Christmas Jars is a short, heartwarming novel with a good message you won't forget soon. Plus, it makes a great Christmas gift.

I So Don't Do Mysteries by Barrie Summy

Stars: ***1/2
Genre: Mystery, ghosts
Pages: 264
Series: There are currently three sequels
     Sherry's plans for spring break include hanging out with her friends, playing video games, and getting Josh, her crush, to notice her. She isn't happy when her dad and new stepmother decide to send her to San Diego while they enjoy their honeymoon. But things change when her mother's ghost shows up. She needs Sherry's help solving a mystery at the San Diego Zoo. Who is messing with the rhinos? Is it a worker at the ostrich farm next door? Or a chef at a restaurant that specializes in exotic foods? And what is she supposed to do when Josh shows up?
     I So Don't Do Mysteries is fun, light read, and a well written mystery.