Friday, August 3, 2012


Bibliographic Information: Reichs, K.  (2010).  Virals.  New York: Razorbill.
ISBN: 978-1-59514-342-6 

Plot Summary: Due to the loss of her mother, Tory Brennan has recently moved in with her father, Kit Howard, who she has never met before. Tory's father lives on a secluded island off of the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. It isn't long before she has made friends with three other boys (Ben, Hi, and Shelton) who also live on the secluded island. Before they know it, Tory and her friends are running through the island discovering all its crooks and crannies. Tory and her gang stumble upon an old dog tag and skeleton and vow to break into the institute to find out who the person was. In the process, Tory and her gang run into a secret testing lab where they find a wolf-dog pup and decide to set it free. Their decision sets off a strange series of events in which the gang falls sick and starts noticing strange, supernatural changes. The adventure only begins there when the gang realizes they must use their newly found powers to solve a years old murder and mystery. The powers, though, may not be enough to keep Tory and her friends safe!

Tory Brennan, the niece of the forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, is no stranger to adventure and rises to lead her group of friends through danger and adventure.

Critical Evaluation: Reichs chooses to connect her new YA character to her widely known character, Temperance Brennan. This sets the setting for the Virals series and directly influences Tory as a character. Although Tory has recently learned that she is related to Temperance Brennan, she still shares many of the same characteristics with her aunt- they are both brilliant, straight talking, no fuss characters. Reichs choice to do this builds almost a bridge between her two different realities and expands her characters' universes. This also helps to explain why Tory, a young 14 year old, is able to handle all her different adventures and mysteries since she is related to such an adventurous and intelligent aunt. This extension of Reichs' universe gives a more complex depth to Tory's story and also sets the bar of what to expect from both Tory and her storyline. Some may also argue that connecting the two realities from her big selling Temperance Brennan with her new Tory Brennan series really limits and predetermines the plot of the Virals series.

Reader’s Annotation:
Being in the wrong place at the wrong time changes everything for Tory and her friends
Information About the Author: Kathy Reichs, originally Kathleen Joan Tolle, was born on July 7, 1948 in Chicago, Illinois (, 2012). She grew up in a religious Catholic family and spent most of her time within her own neighborhood (, 2012). Reichs married at the young age of 19 to Paul Reichs, an attorney and Marine captain (, 2012). Reichs then attended American University for her undergraduate studies (anthropology) and Northwestern for her PhD (skeletal biology) (, 2012). Reichs  then accepted a teaching position at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (, 2012). Reichs' career as a forensic anthropologist inspired her novels (being an author is her second career) (, 2012). Her novels have been inspired by details of her many cases (, 2012).  Reichs now splits her times between North Carolina and Quebec, Montreal (, 2012). She has worked with a variety of government agencies (including the FBI) and is highly sought after for her expertise (, 2012).

The "Virals Series" is Reichs' first forage into the YA scene. She has received great reviews and plans to continue the series. Some of Reichs' other works: 
Deja Dead (1997), I'd Kill for That (2005), Death du Jour (1999), Deadly Decisions (2000), No Rest for the Dead (2011), and many, many others (Reichs, 2012). Reichs has released about one novel every year since 1997 (, 2012). 

Interview with Kathy Reichs

Science Fiction, Mystery, Horror, and Suspense, Adventure

Biological Experiments, Paranormal Powers
Curriculum Ties: N/A

Booktalking Ideas:

1). What transformations have Tory and her friends experienced?
2). Was it right for them to take Coop?

Reading Level/Interest Age: Lexile Reading Level/YA (Follett's Titlewave, 2012)

Challenge Issues: Some themes of violence, murder, and recklessness. I would use the following items to defend this book if it was ever challenged:

1) Refer to Library Bill of Rights, see items: I, II, and III (
2) Refer to San Diego Public Library collection policy - (  Original site: The American Library Association (ALA) Freedom to Read/View Statement (
3) Refer to California School Library Association (CSLA), Model School Library Standards - September 2010 ( PDF: (
4) Refer t0 American Association for School, Librarians Standards for the 21st Century Learner (
5) Contact Office of Intellectual Freedom for any further support, 800-545-2433, ext. 4223 or
6) Refer to legitimate book reviews, such as: School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Horn Book and others; found on either Academic Search Premier, Follett's TITLEWAVE, or

Why did you include this book in the titles you selected?:
Virals is the first novel in the Virals series and begins the story of Tory Brennan, the young niece sleuth of the famed forensic anthropologist, Temperance Brennan. This book will attract mystery lovers and keep young readers hooked as they work to solve the mystery.

Reference Page:

Follett's Titlewave.  (2012).  Virals.  Retrieved August 3, 2012 from Follett's Titlewave App.  (2012).  Kathy Reichs biography.  Retrieved August 3, 2012 from

Reichs, K.  (2012).  Books.  Retrieved August 3, 2012 from 
cover art:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.