â€” By Stephenie Meyer
MT Books / Hardcover / 498 pp
Ages 13 and up
What would you do if you had just bitten into a figurative apple of knowledge? That is just what Isabella Swan, commonly known as Bella, unwittingly does when she moves to Forks, Washington and meets the Cullens.
Always the outsider at her old school in Phoenix, Bella is surprised by the friendly reception she receives at Forks High School, except from five students. These students seem more estranged from this school than she does as a newcomer. "Every one of them was chalky pale, the palest of all the students living in this sunless town.... They all had very dark eyes despite the range in hair tones. They also had dark shadows under those eyes purplish, bruise-like shadows. I stared because their faces, so different, so similar, were all devastatingly, inhumanly beautiful." Edward Cullen especially captures Bella's attention because it appears he has an instant dislike to her yet he becomes very friendly.
It is a fantastic twist on the usual vampire story, no gory blood sucking or manipulators trying to seduce their prey. We finally see some good vampires. "They both developed a conscience, as we refer to it, with no outside guidance." Meyer does a great job with keeping the story moving; the reader hardly notices that it is almost 500 pages long. When reading, the characters seem almost real through her detailed characterization. The second one looks just as good, New Moon.
The Graves Family
â€” By Patricia Polacco
Puffin / Paperback / $6.99
Ages 7 and under
This is the perfect Halloween story. The Graves Family is sure to add a little silliness to the fall season. The illustrations are typical Polaccoâ€”bright and fun with lots of redheads. Little kids will never view a new family in the neighborhood the same way.