Dancing with an Alien
Winner of ALA Best Book for Young Adults, ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers and New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

Tonia, a strong-minded 17-year-old, finds her first love when she saves an unusual young man from drowning. Once she discovers where he is from, she must decide whether to follow him to the stars or let him leave without her and lose his love forever. Branko, a visitor from another planet whose entire female population was lost to disease, has been sent to Earth to find a female willing to go back with him. He doesn't anticipate falling in love with the girl he chooses to help repopulate his planet, and he must choose between sacrificing his love for Tonia and watching her become a baby factory, or abandoning her to live her life normally on Earth and possibly seeing his race die. – School Library Journal

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Bloodwater Mysteries: Doppelganger

From Booklist: Searching for another mystery to investigate, Roni checks a missing child Web site and finds an age-progressed photo of a Korean-American boy who looks suspiciously like Brian Bain, her partner in crime solving. Initially, Brian refuses even to recognize the resemblance, but soon he becomes intrigued by questions about his past and wonders if his parents know more than they’ve told him. Meanwhile, the appearance of Brian’s photo in the newspaper brings unwelcome attention from some shady characters. The third book in The Bloodwater Mysteries, which features high-school detectives Roni and Brian, continues the series’ strengths of smart dialogue, quick pacing, and likable protagonists. Also, it adds depth to the characterization of 13-year-old Brian, who tends to stand a bit in the shadow of Roni, who’s old enough to drive. An appealing mystery for newcomers to the series, as well as for loyal fans. Grades 6-9. —Carolyn Phelan

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Bloodwater Mysteries: Snatched
Edgar Award Nominee

Eleventh-grader Roni Delicata is the sometimes pushy but always dedicated reporter for the school paper, Bloodwater Pump. She meets science geek Brian Bain, 14, when both are in trouble with the principal. They discover that Alicia Camden, the snooty new kid who lives in a mansion with her cold mother and bland stepfather, has been kidnapped. Through sheer force of personality, Roni involves Brian in her determination to crack the case. Could the culprit be Alicia's stepfather? Driftwood Doug? And what about Alicia's unpleasant ex-boyfriend? There are several mysteries here, and some unusual twists. The mixture of suspense and humor is effective, particularly in the interactions between complete opposites Roni and Brian. The authors are able to manage the rapid unfolding of the plot while still allowing for character development. Ultimately, straight-arrow Brian decides that while Roni can be a bit of a pain, she is also a lot of fun. This mystery will likely appeal to older reluctant readers. – School Library Journal

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Bloodwater Mysteries: Skullduggery

As Roni and Brian sit in a classroom listening to their teacher drone on about local wildflowers, there seems little scope for their detective skills, honed in Snatched (2006), the first of the Bloodwater Mysteries. But during a field trip, they climb a bluff and discover a cave where a local archaeologist lies helpless on a pile of bones, the victim of a blow to the head. Before passing out, the dazed, confused, and evidently unhinged professor hands Brian a Stone Age tool and orders him to save the bluff. Written with wit and style, the story shows empathy for the main characters' foibles and respect for their unconventional and sometimes fractious working relationship. The plot twists and turns as they try to unravel the mystery despite the very real dangers around them. Readers need not have read the first book set in the southeastern Minnesota town of Bloodwater to enjoy this satisfying page-turner. –Booklist

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