If she hadn’t been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail?
Most. Embarrassing. Moment. Ever.
Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?
Jade is determined to find out. So how does a plus-size, aqua-phobic mer-girl go about doing that exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend, Cori, and to her crush, Luke?
This summer is about to get a lot more interesting…
"Absolutely fresh and sweet, a quirky coming of age story." -The YA-5
(Description from GoodReads)
Omfg I loved this, didn’t want to take my earbuds out. It was such a stupid premise - girl falls asleep in bathtub, wakes up with mermaid tail? REALLY? That’s just idiotic. But really, this was a book about a girl going through a lot of physical changes (and no, I don’t mean just the tail) with no mother to help her, and a best friend who she’s lied to about said changes… therefore, a girl who feels like she’s totally alone in the world and can’t talk to anyone about her problems except her dorky dad, and HE’S only in the loop because he saw her standing, confused, in the tampon aisle trying to decide what to get before the napkins stuffed in her underwear stopped working. And if the mermaid tail transformation (and subsequent sobbing fit & re-humanization) weren’t enough, one day Jade sees her mother in the lake… Mom is alive! Surprise! She didn’t drown… evil criminal mermaids wanting Mom’s secret about turning human dragged her under in order to get the secret from her and become human themselves, in order to escape from their freshwater lake prison. So, of course, alone and sometimes mermaid-y, Jade has to go save Mom and bring her back to the human world. Dad’s in the loop, of course, since he busted down the bathroom door during The Bath after hearing Jade’s ear-piercing “holy crap, I have a mermaid tail!” scream. This book was so much more than the silly mermaid story; I loved Jade as a budding teenage girl, a pudgy klutz who doesn’t see how her crush could ever like her (reminds me of Mia from the Princess Diaries in a lot of ways). I loved her best friend, Corey (Cori? I listened to this on audio.), who never shook from her place at Jade’s side, despite treatment by Jade during the whole fish-tail fiasco. Loved Dad, loved the humor, wit… I was extremely pleasantly surprised at the quality of this book, and I will be recommending it *often.*
A hilarious collection of stories from some of your favorite authors - don’t miss out on this one. My personal favorite is the story by Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka - a series of letters between a favorite author, and a kid looking to get his homework done quickly and easily.
recently finished and on the review docket: belly up by stuart gibbs hit list by laurell k. hamilton a game of thrones by george r. r. martin in a heartbeat by loretta ellsworth
finished this year & on the review docket: stolen by lucy christopher dash and lily’s book of dares by rachel cohn girl parts by john cusick room by emma donoghue bossypants by tina fey one of our thursdays is missing by jasper fforde hush, hush by becca fitzpatrick cloaked by alex flinn where she went by gayle forman zoo story by thomas french inkheart by cornelia funke a tale dark and grimm by adam gidwitz blue chameleon by emily gravett the rabbit problem by emily gravett will grayson, will grayson by john green and david levithan three by the sea by mini grey little owl lost by chris haughton little white rabbit by kevin henkes have you seen duck by janet a. holmes rosebush by michele jaffe can we save the tiger by martin jenkins hunger by jackie morse kessler please ignore vera dietz by a.s. king argus by michelle knudsen wtf. by peter lerangis exposed by kimberly marcus dear tyrannosaurus rex by lisa mcclatchy me, jane by patrick mcdonnell mannie and the long brave day by martine murray inkblots by margaret peot punkzilla by adam rapp across the universe by beth revis tiny little fly by michael rosen ferret fun by karen rostoker-gruber the cardturner by louis sachar where’s walrus by stephen savage square cat by e schoonmaker living dead girl by elizabeth scott the marbury lens by andrew smith the taking tree by shrill travesty the loud book by deborah underwood queen of the falls by chris van allsburg won ton by lee wardlaw the hidden gallery by maryrose wood the replacement by brenna yovanoff
if you’re interested in a list of all the books i’ve read this year, with info on their type / whether or not i’ve reviewed them, click here.
Have you ever seen a slug in your backyard or garden? If so, you may have wondered — “how on earth would I go about teaching this slug to read, if it asked me? I don’t know the first thing about teaching a slug to read!” Well, never fear — this wonderful, instructional book will tell you everything you need to know about teaching slugs the wonderful art of reading. You might even learn some good tips for yourself!
Other great books about reading: How Do You Read to a Rabbit? by Andrea Wayne-von-Konigslow Read to Tiger by S. J. Fore Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates We Are In a Book! by Mo Willems Adios, Oscar!: a Butterfly Fable by Peter Elwell
Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was … different.
That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a new kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control.
A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation,Rageis the story of a young woman who discovers her own power and refuses to be defeated by the world.
(Description from GoodReads)
Not as good as Hunger. I’m really judgmental of cutting books, and this one was just… ugh. I hated all the descriptions of her blades and her urges… because my time as a self-injurer was so different. Like Hunger, the Horseman thing didn’t quite flow with the book, but UNlike Hunger, it stood out. I really wanted to like this book, after loving Hunger so much… but it just didn’t do it for me. I really think that if I hadn’t been a self injurer myself, I would have enjoyed the book much more - but my bias reading novels on the subject (this isn’t the first self-mutilation book I’ve disliked because of the way the author wrote about it) is too much to get over. It doesn’t make sense to me, because during my time as a cutter, I would have eaten this book up and it probably would have stopped my cutting for a week or so. Maybe because I’m so past it, I just don’t want to read about it anymore? If that’s the case, then good work, Kessler (not sarcastic!)
The year is 1962, and the words on every American’s lips are nuclear warfare.
For Franny Chapman, fear of destruction by the Russians is just one of her many fears. Why is her best friend Margie no longer acting like a best friend? Why is Uncle Otts so crazy… and is she a bad person for being embarrassed by him? Will Chris Cavas across the street ever pay attention to her as a girl? Who is Ebenezer and why does her sister Jo Ellen disappear into her room any time she gets a letter from him? Why don’t Chairman Khrushchev and President Kennedy understand that both Americans and Russians are good people who don’t deserve to be blown up?
Deborah Wiles’ documentary novel is jam-packed with stories – both true and imagined – of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Through sections of recreated speeches, photographs, music, advertisements, PSAs and more, the story of fifth grader Franny Chapman is one you won’t soon forget.
Cody, Josh, and Jordan’s fathers have all been shipped to Iraq. With no father figures in their homes, the boys start a wrestling group in one of their backyards, sneak into bars to drink, smoke, and pick up older women – but none of these ‘manly’ activities make the boys feel any closer to their father. Each boy spends a good portion of each day at their e-mail inboxes, clicking refresh over and over again, waiting to hear from their fathers. This dramatic and painful coming of age graphic novel is not for the faint of heart.
I helped start a YA book club on Tumblr. So we’ll see how that turns out. The first book is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and then there will be nominating and voting for the next book. Check it out, if you’re interested.
Young Neftali loves to collect treasures, and finds value in the smallest things. Rocks, twigs, feathers, birds’ nests, a muddy boot, pinecones, old keys – these are all items important to Neftali and his thoughts. For Neftali is a thinker, a dreamer, a writer – all activities his father disapproves of, for thinking and dreaming make one weak.
Neftali and his family go to the seaside for the summer, but it is no vacation. Every morning Neftali and his sister must swim in the powerful surf, fighting against the currents and their father’s harsh demands. When Father is satisfied that they have swum far enough out into the ocean, Neftali and Laurita are allowed back on the beach.
The Dreamer wistfully and artfully imagines the childhood of famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Illustrations by Peter Sis combine with Neruda’s haunting, beautiful poetry to poignantly bring to life the dreams of young Neftali.
One morning, Lucy finds the body of her mother, a compulsive hoarder, under a pile of newspapers and National Geographics. Lucy has always kept her mother’s compulsion a secret, never wanting anyone to see the endless piles inside her house or smell the rotting garbage and mildew from the kitchen and bathrooms. She has been called “Garbage Girl” one too many times and will not go through that again. So Lucy doesn’t call 911. She vows to herself that she will not tell anyone of her mother’s death, not even her older siblings, until the house is presentable. If the paramedics see the state of Lucy’s house, she’ll never hear the end of it from the media. Lucy covers her mother’s body with a sheet and gets some trash bags. But how long can a secret this big stay inside Lucy? - especially with her long-time crush Josh finally noticing her, and her best friend Kaylie wondering why Lucy seems upset.
Are you looking for a good read-aloud or an old classic you haven’t read before? Look no further than the TRICK series, starring Kerby Maxwell and his faithful dog, Waldo! The TRICK series’ first novel, The Lemonade Trick, was published in 1960, and paved the way for a comedic series of misadventures mostly revolving around Kerby’s use of the Feats O’ Magic Chemistry Set. Kerby was given the chemistry set in TRICK book one by an elderly woman named Mrs. Graymalkin, as a thank you for helping her free her high heel from a sewer grate.
In The Lemonade Trick, Kerby tries out the set for the first time, with some nice results! Then in The Mailbox Trick, some accidentally mailed letters cause a huge problem. In each TRICK book, Kerby, Waldo, and their friends accidentally get themselves into a new sort of trouble.
If you liked Henry Huggins or Freddy the Pig, you might like the TRICK series, or vice versa!
Tennyson is angry with his twin sister, Brontë – because she’s dating a guy their school has dubbed “Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty.” Tennyson, lacrosse jock extraordinaire, takes it upon himself to threaten his sister’s new boyfriend, since she isn’t listening to his demands to call off the relationship.
When Tennyson confronts the Bruiser in the locker room, he sees something that chills his stomach. Brewster’s back is covered in bruises, scars, and cuts – as if someone has recently beaten him within an inch of his life. Brewster denies, however, that anyone has beaten him, and asks for Tennyson’s silence. The secret between the two boys turns into a friendship. But something is still amiss with Brewster, and once Tennyson and Brontë figure it out, they aren’t sure what to do next.
Told from alternating perspectives – Tennyson, Brontë, Brewster, and Cody (Brewster’s kid brother), Bruiser is a fast-paced, emotional page turner you won’t easily be able to put down.
15-year old Finn is REALLY looking forward to this summer. His master plan is to speak to no more than twelve people (other than his dad, his grandpa, and his best friend Matthew), get a job, and read as much as he can. But when Johanna moves in next door and hires him to plant a garden in his own backyard, his plans completely change. Johanna tells Finn and Matthew that she’s going to train for a super-sprint triathalon for at the hospital where she gets breast cancer treatments. To help her raise money, Finn finds himself talking to more than his quota of a dozen people within a week, and is surprised that he doesn’t mind at all. As the summer progresses, punctuated with inspirational notes from Dylan the dog, Finn’s friendship with Johanna blooms (unlike his garden) and he realizes that maybe it’s time for his loner lifestyle to come to an end.
Paulsen’s characters are rich and full of emotion, his writing quick and witty, and his story truly heartwarming.
When you think of a parrot, you might think of a bird with bright colors, a strong beak, a long tail, the ability to talk, and flying. You clearly haven’t met the kakapo of New Zealand, “the world’s most flightless parrot,” as famous science fiction writer Douglas Adams once wrote. Kakapos are also one of the world’s most endangered parrots – and many bird- and kakapo- lovers from all over the world are fighting to save the species. At the time of publication of this book, there were just ninety-one kakapo in the entire world. Ninety-one! A few hundred years ago, kakapo were so prevalent in New Zealand that you could walk down a trail in the forest and practically trip over them. But a combination of game hunting and foreign invaders to the mammal-less islands of New Zealand killed nearly all the kakapo off. In fact, the bird was once declared extinct, until researchers found an island with kakapo still left on it.
Kakapo are fascinating birds with a wonderful life story. In Sy Montgomery’s book Kakapo Rescue, you will learn everything there is to know about the kakapo and the workers who are fighting to save the species.
Some other good books about animal species in trouble are: The Hive Detectives Gray Wolf, Red Wolf The Race to Save the Lord God Bird Planet Zoo: One Hundred Animals We Can’t Afford to Lose
Lizzie Sharp and her brothers have had a rotten slough of neighbors. They’ve all been grumpy, gloomy old couples – most recently the Potwards – with no kids at all and NO sense of fun. The sound of children having fun – this particular occasion on Lizzie’s thirteenth birthday party - is especially distressing to them. “Noise brings on Stanley’s arthritis. I should have thought you might show some consideration!” complains Mrs. Potward. “Young people nowadays haven’t got any consideration!” grumps Mr. Potward. Lizzie Sharp has had ENOUGH of the Potwards and decides to become a potion-making WITCH. With the help of her brothers, she concocts a magic potion, and draws a circle of doom with it around the Potward’s house. The very next day, Mr. Potward falls and breaks his hip. The gloomy grumpy noise-hating neighbors are GONE! But here’s the thing. When Lizzie made the potion, she didn’t REALLY believe in magic, or think that it would work to get the evil Potwards away. But since it did work, Lizzie realizes she really IS a witch! The temptation to make another potion … and another … and another … is irresistible. Read about the witch Lizzie Sharp and the hilarious effects of some of her potions in Circle of Doom by Tim Kennemore.
Thirteen year-old Sam Childs has a lot to live up to in his house. His father, Roland Childs, is one of the most prominent faces of the Civil Rights movement in Chicago; and his brother, Steven (Stick), has just joined the Black Panthers, much to his father’s disappointment. Sam doesn’t know who to follow. At first, Sam goes to Panther breakfasts at his school because he is hungry, but after he witnesses the brutal police beating of his brother’s best friend Bucky, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated, Sam begins to wonder whether nonviolence is the path after all. The Rock and the River shows a side of the Civil Rights Movement that isn’t often portrayed in young adult literature – and the difficulty in Dr. King’s nonviolent belief in the necessity of turning the other cheek.
I don’t know how I missed this book when it was published, but somehow I did. It’s everything I wished One Crazy Summer could have been, as far as teaching about the Black Panthers goes. I like the story of Sam even better than Delphine’s, maybe because I like reading about boys more than girls, maybe because Sam’s has what seems to me to be a larger dilemma. Either way, The Rock and the River is one of the best Civil Rights novels I have read in a long time (and I should know, I did research for a paper that never ended up getting written in college for a class on the Nation of Islam about presence of non-nonviolent fiction for kids and young adults. There isn’t much. With the publication of this book, which won ALA’s 2008 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent award, and One Crazy Summer, (on many Mock Newbery 2011 lists so far, including my own) I hope that the Nation and the Panthers start to get more positive notice in youth fiction and literature. I didn’t know a thing about the Nation of Islam or the Black Panthers until I took a seminar on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. my junior year in college. We didn’t entirely focus on Dr. King – we learned about all the black Civil Rights leaders – violent and nonviolent. The class got me hooked on the Civil Rights Movement, and segued into the Nation of Islam class, which I TA’d. There’s a whole side of the CRM that isn’t taught in schools that kids should know about, and I hope some pick up this book and get started.
Two of the most important things in Katie Kittrell’s life have always been her brother and swimming. She feels comforted when slicing her body through the water, feeling the bubbles against her mouth, muscles burning and lungs pumping. But then her brother’s schizophrenia becomes too much for Katie’s family to handle, and he is sent away to an institution. Katie’s parents decide to send her away as well, and ship her off to an elite boarding school. Quickly, she immerses herself in the most popular crowd and in her swimming, and everyone knows she is bound for the Olympics one day.
And of her brother? Katie tells everyone at school that there was an accident. Her brother is dead. Only her distant, harsh roommate Mazzie, knows the real truth. Mazzie has hidden demons of her own, and the roommates quickly form a bond over their secrets, becoming unlikely and inseparable best friends.
But how long can Katie keep her secret from her friends in the popular crowd? How long can she hide her brother from her boyfriend? How long does she want to continue living the popular life, ignoring everything about where she came from?
In an incredible debut novel, Jessica Warman explores Katie’s turbulent and emotional life with ease and grace. This is a novel you will not want to put down, even after you’ve finished it.
For other novels about mental illness, try The Best Little Girl in the World by Steven Levenkron Breathe My Name by R.A. Nelson or Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy by Sonya Sones.
Jack and his mother go camping in Maine over Labor Day weekend, but when Jack wakes up on their first morning, his mother is gone, along with her tent and the car. Jack’s mother has done this before, so he’s worried… but knows she’ll come back eventually. But the end of the weekend looms closer, and Jack’s food money has long since run out.
Jack knows that if he tells anyone his mother has disappeared again, he’ll be taken away from her, so he starts heading home, alone.
Small as an Elephant is a wonderful urban survival story about a boy who loves nothing more than his mother, and elephants.
A few similar stories of kids in charge of themselves:
The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron Betti on the High Wire by Lisa Railsback How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson Afternoon of the Elves by Janet Taylor Lisle One Square Inch by Claudia Mills The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
book review: the last summer of the death warriors
After the death of his older sister, Rosa, Pancho Sanchez has nothing in the entire world. No family, no friends, and nowhere to go. All he has is the burning knowledge that someone killed his sister, and that her murder will be avenged.
As for D.Q., death is all he has. Recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and living out his days in Las Cruces at a foster home, D.Q. spends his time writing the Death Warrior Manifesto – a guide for living life to the fullest.
When Pancho arrives at the foster home, D.Q. immediately declares Pancho his personal assistant. In need of money so that he can go kill his sister’s murderer, Pancho agrees to the job, for $30 a day. Soon the two find themselves in a cancer facility in Albuquerque, where D.Q.’s estranged mother hopes clinical testing will save her son. D.Q. is just hoping to woo the beautiful Marisol, and Pancho hopes to find the mysterious “Bobby” from his sister’s diary.
Being a Death Warrior isn’t easy. You must suck the marrow out of life and live each day to the fullest. But when your body is giving up on you, like D.Q., or your anger consumes you, like Pancho, the true meaning of being a Death Warrior can change.
You might like this book if you enjoyed Going Bovine by Libba Bray; Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick; or Notes from the Dog by Gary Paulsen.
book review: the incorrigible children of ashton place book 1: the mysterious howling
After graduating from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Girls, Miss Penelope Lumley is on her way to the very first job interview she has ever had. The interview is at the luxurious Ashton Place with the prim and proper Lady Constance Ashton, and everything about the job seems perfect.
Except, of course, that Lady Constance has not – and will not – mention the children. But, eager to do her part as a governess, Penelope signs her contract.
But first things first. What is that howling coming from the barn? Against the wishes of her new employer, Penelope rushes to the aid of what must surely be an injured, dying animal… and finds…
…three children. Her new charges. Penelope is told that the children were discovered in the forests of Ashton Place, and are thought to have been raised by wolves. Lord and Lady Ashton wish the children to be civilized and suitable for “presentation” to their high society friends by Christmas. What is Penelope to do?
The first book in the saga of the Incorrigible Children reminds me of Roald Dahl mixed with Mary Poppins.
Why I picked it up: The book sounded like an amusing story, and the cover drew me in. A long time ago, I read Children of the Wolf by Jane Yolen, and enjoyed reading about the adaptation of feral children to society – this seemed like a similar story with a humorous twist. Another good book about a feral child is Music of the Dolphins by Karen Hesse.
Why I finished it: It was extremely well written and easy to read, as well as being everything I expected and more, so I just kept turning the pages happily! I especially liked Penelope’s words of wisdom from the Swanburne Academy, my favorite being “All books are judged by their covers until read.”
Who I would recommend it to: Fourth, fifth, or sixth graders looking for the kind of story they won’t have read before, or just a good book they won’t be able to put down.
Amelia Earhart was one of the most formidable female pilots of her time, spurring her decision to be the first woman to fly around the world - alone. But a few hours into her flight, Amelia’s plane lost radio contact with the ground and became lost. She was never found. Fleming’s new biography of Earhart is great for younger readers interested in both the story and the time period.
Other fascinating biographies: The Great and Only Barnum by Candace Fleming Sir Charlie: Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip M. Hoose
At sixteen years old, Cameron Smith has his whole life ahead of him. That doesn’t mean he knows what he’s going to do with it, but he’s happy enough smoking pot in the school bathroom, going to Eubie’s record shop after school to pick up new Great Tremolo albums, and wishing he could sleep with Staci Johnson. But then Cameron is diagnosed with bovine spongiform encephalopathy – Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – mad cow disease.
To make a long story semi-short, Cameron, told he must save the world from wormholes, a guy called the Wizard of Reckoning, and find a dude named Dr. X (who has the cure for mad cow disease). So he, a hypochondriac dwarf named Gonzo, and eventually a Viking gnome named Balder set off across the country, following random signs, coincidences, and gut feelings.
In this extreme departure from her debut trilogy, Libba Bray’s new novel Going Bovine pays homage to Don Quixote in a magically realistic cross-country romp. Check out Libba Bray’s website (www.libbabray.com) for cool sites relating to the book – The Great Tremolo, Copenhagen Interpretation, CESSNAB, and a few others
In fourth grade, Karl Shoemaker got sent to group therapy and was never released. After years of group therapy at school with other kids who don’t want to be there, Karl has decided it’s time for him to be normal. It’s not that Kurt doesn’t like his friends (the Madmen, members of the therapy group) - it’s that he wants to have a normal relationship. He plays mother to his own mom, who can’t take care of herself or him one bit (she steals every cent he makes and spends it on god-knows-what). His friends are all in therapy for similar reasons Karl is – bad home lives – Karl just wants what every other high school boy wants – the hot girl he’s got a crush on to like him back.
One of the best coming-of-age novels I’ve read in quite some time.
Everyone knows Julia Vernon. She’s one of the rich kids who live up on Black Mountain, dating the quarterback, beautiful, popular, in every way perfect. But no one knows Julia quite like Colt Morrison. And no one knows that Julia and Colt were together for a year, in love with each other for a year, despite their vast social and economic differences; despite Julia’s quarterback boyfriend. When Julia is killed in a car accident, Colt has no one to turn to. No one knows about his relationship with Julia, not even his best friends. Then Julia’s brother Michael gives Colt a diary full of letters. Julia’s diary – letters to CM. Colt Morrison.
Why I picked it up: I’m a sucker for a good romance, especially a socially unacceptable, Romeo and Juliet style romance!! Why I finished it: Hubbard’s writing style made it easy to keep turning the pages, before I knew it I was at the end of the book. I do wish that more of Julia’s diary had been included in the book, because I really enjoyed getting to know her as a character. Who I’d recommend it to: Romance lovers - guys or girls.
book review: i survived: the shark attacks of 1916
Reading Level: Grades 2-4
If one of your friends came up to you and told you there was a man-eating shark in Lake Michigan, right off the shore of Highland Park, you’d probably laugh at them. That’s what happened when Chet, a ten year old boy living in New Jersey in 1916, sees a shark fin in the river near his house. But no one believes him. A few days later, Chet hears about a shark attacking a person just up the coast - but his friends don’t believe that either - there’s no way a shark would ever attack a person. But Chet knows what he saw in the river, and he believes the newspaper story. How can he stop his friends from continuing to swim in the river?
(Based on a True Story)
More survival stories: Black Star, Bright Dawn by Scott O’Dell Shipwreck by Gordon Korman The Cay by Theodore Taylor
After accidentally crashing the country’s online systems for three days, teenage hacker Sam finds himself recruited and working for Homeland Security - and all he intended to do was use Telecomerica’s giant bank account to purchase new state-of-the-art laptops and neuroheadsets for him and his best friend. Suddenly, thrust into the world of professional hacking, Sam begins to unearth information about Telecomerica and the neuro-headsets that go against even his unscrupulous view of privacy.
A few other suspenseful digital adventures: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Ucci Hacking Timbuktu by Stephen Davies The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer Hacking Harvard by Robin Wasserman Trackers by Patrick Carman
Love, aka deleria is the reason for all problems in the world, which is why upon every citizen’s eighteenth birthday, a cure is administered, severing the receiver from potential infection. Boys and girls under the age of eighteen, of course, are separated, lest interaction between two uncureds causes an infection. 17 year-old Lena Haloway, like all other teens her age, can’t wait to get the vaccine and be cured of the deleria - she hopes that becoming cured will finally sever her from the stigma of her uncured mother’s suicide. Just a few months before her scheduled cure, Lena meets Alex, somewhat by accident, and becomes infected. Headstrong and in love, Lena begins to question the cure, as well as everything her society stands for and has taught her; yet her cure date looms ever-closer, promising to destroy herself and Alex.
A few other dystopian love stories: Matched by Ally Condie Divergent by Veronica Roth Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Older readers will also enjoy: Wither by Lauren DeStefano Bumped by Megan McCafferty Across the Universe by Beth Revis Girl Parts by John Cusick
On the surface, this seems to be a book about a teenage girl who is struggling to be perfect in the eyes of others, yet remain true to herself. However, the book is FAR more complex than that — the cover and taglines do NOT fit the book at all. This is a book for those who like the chick lit genre but are looking for something a little heavier or for fans of heavy, dramatic moral dilemma stories.
Shawna has never been proud of the fact that her mother left her father for another woman, least of all that her mother is a lesbian. Kids at school don’t know her mom’s gay, and she wants to keep it that way. Then Shawna gets a call from the Frankfurter (Mom’s new wife) – Shawna’s mom has had a stroke, and is dying.
After her mother’s death, Shawna hopes that life can get back to ‘normal,’ whatever that is. But Mom’s will was never updated after she left Shawna’s father, and Dad isn’t being nice about things. He repossesses Fran and Mom’s house, Mom’s art gallery, forcing Fran and her two sons, Arye and Schmule, to move in with an aunt and financially ruining them. Though she feels she should hate Fran, Arye, and Schmule for taking her mother, she finds herself questioning her allegiance to her father and wonders which side is right. When Dad discovers that Schmule is his own son, hidden from him by Fran and Mom, he begins a legal battle to regain his lost son and Shawna’s choice becomes even more difficult.
Though Shawna’s thoughts and actions aren’t always perfect, her genuine emotional struggle and desire to preserve her family - whoever she decides that might be - is authentic and powerfully written. Her story is more than just one of family strife – it is fraught with homophobia, depression, suicide, shame, anger, domestic violence, and love.
“…There’s her silence, loud as a roar, pulling at me like the greatest sadness ever, like I want to take it and press myself into it and just disappear forever down into nothing.”—The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (via minnielovesbooks)
It’s fascinating to see the ways in which reading young adult fiction has affected so many people’s lives. I think it highlights the importance of books in general and not just YA fiction. The Twitter trend is in response to this article on The Wall Street Journal.
"The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say. About anything. ‘Need a poo, Todd.’ ‘Shut up, Manchee.’ ‘Poo. Poo, Todd.’ ‘I said shut it.’ We’re walking across the wild fields southeast of town, those ones that slope down to the river and head on toward the swamp. Ben’s sent me to pick him some swamp apples and he’s made me take Manchee with me, even tho we all know Cillian only bought him to stay on Mayor Prentiss’s good side and so suddenly here’s this brand-new dog as a present for my birthday last year when I never said I wanted any dog, that what I said I wanted was for Cillian to finally fix the fissionbike so I wouldn’t have to walk every forsaken place in this stupid town, but oh, no, happy birthday, Todd, here’s a brand-new puppy, Todd, and even tho you don’t want him, even tho you never asked for him, guess who has to feed him and train him and wash him and take him for walks and listen to him jabber now he’s got old enough for the talking germ to set his mouth moving? Guess who?”
New World has only one settlement – Prentisstown, populated by only men. When colonizers landed on New World, everyone caught a virus that killed half the men and every woman as well as broadcasting the surviving men’s thoughts into Noise. There isn’t any escaping Noise, not even at the bar in Prentisstown that plays loud music in an attempt to drown out drunken Noise, not even alone in the swamp where the thoughts of crocs (EAT, EAT) and squirrels (come on, whirler dog, come on, come get, come on, come get). So when Todd and Manchee discover the impossible - a hole in the Noise, out in the swamp near the old Spackle buildings, he wonders if another impossible has happened. Are the Spackle back?
But the hole in the Noise is not the return of the human-slaughtered Spackle. The source of the Noise-hole is a girl – the first girl he’s ever seen in his life, the first girl to be on New World or in Prentisstown since shortly after Todd was born. Though Todd tries to keep his knowledge of her quiet, in a world with Noise secrets are scarce.
Soon forced to leave Prentisstown for reasons he does not understand, Todd finds himself on the run with the Noiseless girl, Viola, chased by a posse of men that quickly turns into an army. But where can a boy and a dog hide in a world filled with Noise?