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Adventure on Whalebone Island by M.A. Wilson
Black Hammer Volume 2: The Event by Jeff Lemire
The Dark Lady by Irene Adler
A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong
Ghostbusters 101: Everyone Answers the Call by Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening
Habibi by Craig Thompson
If You Find This by Matthew Baker
Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina
Koko Be Good by Jen Wang
The League of Beastly Dreadfuls by Holly Grant
Locke & Key, Volume 2: Head Games by Joe Hill
Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
The Magician's Secret by Carolyn Keene
Not the Killing Type by Lorna Barrett
Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
Otis and the Scarecrow by Loren Long
Patina by Jason Reynolds
Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone by Hiro Kamigaki
A Pug's Tale by Alison Pace
The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente
Sabotage at Willow Woods by Carolyn Keene
Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11 by N. Griffin
Speedy in Oz by Ruth Plumly Thompson
Sunflower House by Eve Bunting
Teddy Mars: Almost a World Record Breaker by Molly B. Burnham
The Terrible Two Go Wild by Mac Barnett, Jory John, and Kevin Cornell
Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry by Susan Vaught
Waiting for Unicorns by Beth Hautala
The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks
Welcome to the Real World by Angela Melick
Winterhouse by Ben Guterson

Miscellaneous
December 2017 Sources
December 2017 Summary
Five stars in 2017
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (January 01)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (January 08)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (January 15)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (January 22)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (January 29)

Road Essays
The transformative power of the cornfield: magic in the Marvelous Land of Oz

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2 stars: OK
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Sabotage at Willow Woods: 01/10/18

Sabotage at Willow Woods by Carolyn Keene

Sabotage at Willow Woods by Carolyn Keene is the fourth of the Nancy Drew Diaries. Nancy and her friends get caught up in campaign sabotage in a neighboring town. George's cousin is running for city council but it seems that someone is out to ruin the campaign.

One of the big complaints reviews have for this volume is that the cover art has nothing to do with the plot. The titular Willow Woods is the location of a proposed expansion for the high school football field. There is a brief scene near the climax where Nancy is running through a wooded area, though it's not necessarily the Willow Woods.

While I'm for covers that are narrationally relevant, I don't think this cover fails its book. This liminal cover bridges the gap between the older Nancy Drew books that often showed Nancy creeping through a wooded area, and this new series that puts Nancy and friends in the midsts of modern day mysteries.

Here the sabotage isn't of the woods — it's of the campaign that hinges on building on the site of the woods. The woods in question are old growth and opponents to the plan argue that it would an environmental disaster to clear the area.

Given the recent presidential campaign, and the gutting of numerous environmental laws and agreements under forty-five, Sabotage at Willow Woods is eerily timely. The motivations of the saboteur are good even if the methods border on the terrifying at times.

One thing I like about this modern series is that the plots are less cut and dry. There's a lot of moral ambiguity that Nancy and friends have to face. Nancy doesn't have a clear cut path to thwart the villain.

Four stars

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