Category Archives: Patrick Tierney

The Screaming Staircase by Stroud

The_Screaming_StaircaseIf you were to take the mystery of a Brixton Brothers or Young Sherlock book and mix it with the supernatural horror of a series like The Last Apprentice, you would get Lockwood & Co.

The Screaming Staircase
Jonathan Stroud
Disney Hyperion
September 2013

Jonathan Stroud who is known for the Bartimaeus sequence has a new series. Lockwood & Co The Screaming Staircase is the first book in this new scary and fun series. England is faced with a problem. There are ghosts all over the place. As the society tried to deal with the Problem, it was discovered that the abilities to fight these ghosts are strongest in children. So there are many businesses run by kids that help deal with the problem.

Lucy is a new grad of one of the ghostbusting schools. When she gets to London she applies and gets a job with Lockwood & Co and the adventure starts.

This book was scary, suspenseful and fun. I was on the edge of my seat to get to the end and I was very impressed. I have placed this book firmly among my favorite books of the year.

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud. Ages 8-12 | Grades 4-8.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Patrick Tierney is a school librarian in an elementary school in Providence. Reading is his passion. He loves reading new books and sharing with his students. Getting a good book into the hands of someone and seeing them excited to read is what he lives for. He posts reviews of new and interesting Children’s and YA books at his blog.

This book was provided by the author as a review copy.

The 5th Wave by Yancy

The 5th Wave by Robert Yancy is a summer blockbuster type YA novel. It is the book to put in the hands of teens this summer, especially fans of dystopian and alien attack stories. The dystopian genre which is the new in genre at the moment is full of clones of the novel that started the craze. (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins) With so many wannabes out there what sets this book apart? For me it was the alien attack scenario.

The 5th Wave
By Robert Yancy
Putnam Juvenile
May 2013

Most YA dystopian books like The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch or Divergent by Veronica Roth take place with a society that has blown itself up. This time the collapse was caused by an alien invasion. After four waves of the attack The 5th Wave starts with the final phase of the attack. The humans don’t know who to trust and desperately need to find safety in numbers.

When Cassie (our heroine) watches her brother Sammy bussed off to safety, she knows she must stay alone to stay alive but do anything she can to find her brother. Desperate and alone she begins her quest.

There were many things about this book that I really liked. I liked the action, fast pace, and the fact that the romance did not overpower the action. I was not crazy about the multiple narrative style. It took time to adjust to this style of multiple narrators and figure out who was telling the story.

Overall, I would say that this is still a good book to put in the hands of Avid readers as the multiple narrators and at times slow pace will discourage reluctant readers. This is definitely a book for fans of Divergent and The Darkest Minds.


Patrick Tierney is a school librarian in an elementary school in Providence. Reading is his passion. He loves reading new books and sharing with his students. Getting a good book into the hands of someone and seeing them excited to read is what he lives for. He posts reviews of new and interesting Children’s and YA books at his blog.

This book was provided by the author as a review copy.

Doll Bones by Black

Doll Bones by Holly Black is a spooky ghost story. This is the type of book that I think kids will be clamoring for.

Doll Bones
by Holly Black
Margaret K. McElderry Books
May 2013

Holly Black writes with a style that creates a spooky atmosphere. The story is that three children Polly, Zach and Alice are all best friends. They have been playing a make believe game with figures and dolls for years. When it seems like the game might end forever, the trio embark on a quest, one last game. Polly says she had a vision of a ghost possessing the doll they had dubbed the Queen. Now they are on a quest to bury her with her family.

This book is aimed at the upper elementary level ( grades 4 and up). As far as ghost stories goes this book is good for that level. It is spooky but not extremely scary. I think that the story is more interesting than the typical Goosebumps book. This book differs from a Goosebumps book because it is well written. The characters are developed and you care about all of them. None of the three main characters seem like cardboard cutouts. I would recommend it to very imaginative children between grades 4 and 6 because they would appreciate the game that the characters play.

I rate this book 5 stars for being a spooky well written ghost story.


Patrick Tierney is a school librarian in an elementary school in Providence. Reading is his passion. He loves reading new books and sharing with his students. Getting a good book into the hands of someone and seeing them excited to read is what he lives for. He posts reviews of new and interesting Children’s and YA books at his blog.

This book was provided by the author as a review copy.