Plain Kate was one of my favorites. Kate is a woodcarver of incredible skill. Circumstances conspire to force her into a deal with a witch. A fascinating fantasy in a setting reminiscent of Russia, with folk lore and gypsy caravans and needing to learn the roamer way. I will always read Sherlock Holmes books. This one’s kinda … so-so. In Death Cloud, an adolescent Holmes must endure his winter holidays with relatives, but drear days are interrupted by 1) the discovery of a body, 2) the friendship of a streetwise orphan/river rat, 3) the assigning of an American tutor who teaches Holmes to apply his keen mind to deductive reasoning, and 4) said mentor’s plucky daughter. Hatchet is a classic. Brian is on his way to spend the summer with his dad in Alaska when the little two-seater plane’s pilot has a heart attack and it goes down in the midst of the Canadian wilderness. With nothing more than a hatchet, the thirteen year old has to figure out how to survive. As an aside, Brian’s also dealing with his parents’ recent divorce.