Books by Suzanne Harper

Released: May 28, 2013

"A serviceable fantasy best suited for those kids who have already enjoyed Poppy's previous adventures. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
A skeptic trapped in a family of believers comes face to face with nasty nautical ladies in the third book of a series. Read full book review >
A GUST OF GHOSTS by Suzanne Harper
Released: June 1, 2012

"Second in a preteen series of spooky stories, the lure of ghosts will attract readers, particularly those who have read the first one (A Gaggle of Goblins, 2010). (Fantasy. 8-12)"
Life is hard when you think like a scientist and your parents are ghost hunters. Read full book review >
A GAGGLE OF GOBLINS by Suzanne Harper
Released: May 1, 2011

A new series focuses on the adventures of four kids whose parents are professional paranormal investigators. Protagonist Poppy is logical and practical; her older sister Franny, vain; her older brother Will, lazy; and her younger brother Rolly, mischievous. They all find their folks exasperating, and Poppy finds her siblings so as well. Oddly, it is Poppy, the grounded one, who finds herself tracking down actual paranormal creatures: goblins. Their parents are distracted by exploring ley lines under their new home, preparing for an onslaught of vicious vampires chasing one of their colleagues and trying to make contact with a potential Dark Presence that Mrs. Malone senses in the house. These are all red herrings, for readers as well as Mr. and Mrs. Malone; the real story is the goblin troupe that kidnaps Rolly and leaves a goblin doppelganger in his place, after having observed the boy's extraordinary talent for getting into trouble. Poppy is likable and a good problem-solver, and the plot moves along swiftly. Unfortunately, the secondary characters, especially the siblings, are completely one-dimensional. Franny is so annoying that even reading about her becomes so; the same goes for Will. Rolly's tricks are funny, and he might make an interesting character if we get to know him a little better in subsequent stories. Needs a little more development all around. (Fantasy. 8-11)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

Being an ex-CIA agent and also Executive Director of the International Spy Museum in Washington, Earnest carries promising credentials—but his career manual for would-be spies is a big yawn. Illustrated with drably impersonal line drawings of people in trench coats and largely devoid of actual examples, his narrative offers a generic view of what spies do, followed by comments on personal qualities that make good spy material and vague allusions to how CIA agents are trained (industrial espionage rates only a single brief mention). He then moves on to obvious advice about how field agents might enlist human "assets," get rid of a tail, present security reports to bosses and like spy-ish activities. Frequent "Spy Speak" boxes define special terms that are, mostly, already defined in nearby text. Readers with a serious yen to be intelligence agents will get more insight and information from the likes of Claudia B. Manley's Secret Agents: Life as a Professional Spy (2001), Kate Walker and Elaine Argaet's So You Want To Be a Spy (2004) or Richard Platt's Spy in the Eyewitness series (revised edition, 2009). (Nonfiction. 10-12)Read full book review >
THE JULIET CLUB by Suzanne Harper
Released: June 1, 2008

Kate Sanderson isn't exactly thrilled by the concept of "true love," having been sadly disappointed by the one-and-only boyfriend of her 16-year life. But when she wins a writing contest to attend a Shakespeare seminar in Verona, Italy, romance seems to be around every twist and turn of its antique streets. Six high-school students—three American and three Italian—take part in the seminar. One daily task is to answer letters from the lovelorn that are sent to the tragic heroine Juliet from all over the world. As they respond to these letters and as they practice their roles for an end-of-summer performance of Romeo and Juliet, relationships form and change. Each character grows in new directions, challenging their preconceived notions of who they are, to whom they are attracted and what "true" love is really all about. As frothy as the foam on a cup of cappuccino, this is a perfect summer read for girls with a touch of romance in their hearts. (Fiction. 12 & up)Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2007

What high-school kid wants to be a freak, especially the kind who talks to dead people? Not Sparrow Delaney, which is why she's keeping the secret from her family of seven women, all skilled mediums, that she can see and talk to ghosts. Evidently, as the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, she has a special psychic gift, but when the ghost of a teenage boy appears to her in her classroom and pleads for her help, she can't ignore him. The current abundance of supernatural and occult books usually have historical settings, but the clever twist in this offering casts Sparrow's family in contemporary time in Lily Dale, N.Y., a Spiritualist community. Early references to thrift stores and computers clue the reader as modern trappings enhance the confrontations and dilemmas between the dearly departed and the visionary living. Idiosyncratic sisters (all named for birds by their ornithologist father who's now missing), budding romance, a mysterious fatal accident and a live-wire grandmother all test Sparrow's own spirit as she faces her destiny. Sparrow's plight gives new meaning to "not a ghost of a chance"—an entertaining one. (Fiction. 12-16)Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2007

Effective at putting readers into a proper frame of mind, if not so useful as a handbook for emergencies, this offering of general, commonsense advice covers terrorist actions, criminal activities at home or school and a selection of natural disasters from hurricanes to the more localized likes of mudslides and flash floods. The authors can't seem to decide whether they're addressing children ("Never leave a bicycle outside, even if it's chained") or adults ("Park in well-lit areas, preferably areas with security cameras"), but their overall, non-age-specific message about the importance of being alert and prepared comes through loud and clear. Lengthy opening sections in each chapter also provide background statistics and causes for each type of emergency—which may not be exactly on topic, but do provide added value as grist for a range of related assignments. Illustrated with utilitarian, line-drawn maps and scenarios, capped with resource lists and an index, this makes salutary reading, though it's no substitute for a First Aid manual and a workbook like G. Dale Stewart's On Your Own: A Family's Guide to Disaster Preparedness (2006). (Nonfiction. 10-12, adult)Read full book review >