I am in love with Kwame Alexander. His prose, his introduction of new vocab with definitions! The main character, 8th grader, Nick Hall lives and breaI am in love with Kwame Alexander. His prose, his introduction of new vocab with definitions! The main character, 8th grader, Nick Hall lives and breathes soccer, daydreams about it and his girl crush, April. Mr. Mac, the reading, rapping, school librarian is one of my all time most favorite characters EVER. I read this book in one sitting. This book deserves some medal recognition....more
I love the way Rebecca Stead writes and that all her characters are so real and relatable. This is a coming of age story of 14 year old Bridge and sevI love the way Rebecca Stead writes and that all her characters are so real and relatable. This is a coming of age story of 14 year old Bridge and several of her friends. Interwoven is the Valentine's Day experience of an unknown older teenager who is running away from something.... After I finished the book I went back and reread the Valentine's Day chapters. It was hard to make sense of it the first time through. For this reason I would recommend this for older middle graders and up. The messages are subtle, but appropriate and universal. ...more
I really HATED this book. Since it won a Caldecott Honor award, it is one that I would normally purchase, sight unseen, for my elementary school libr I really HATED this book. Since it won a Caldecott Honor award, it is one that I would normally purchase, sight unseen, for my elementary school library. Lucky for me, I was able to read this one before I wasted my money. It was only a waste of my time. I think I am open-minded. I believe we need to prepare children for the real world, and not shelter them. Even then, I find this book goes too far. I am from a very conservative community. One where I believe parents would be horrified to discover their child, even a high-schooler, had access to this from a school.
THIS ONE SUMMER is a graphic novel about 2 girls who meet every summer when their families go to their summer cabins. Some of their conversations include talking about boobs, lesbians, sluts, sex, and pregnancy. The language in the book includes plenty of “F bombs” and other words, making it extremely inappropriate for children.
The Caldecott is awarded for pictures however, not text. I guess for a graphic novel it is interesting that it is done in blue ink only. The illustrations are very detailed. That is the only good I can say. Oh, the cover is appealing. It leads you to think this is going to be a cute, innocent little story. Very deceptive.
In short, I believe the Caldecott should be awarded to a book that is intended for children. Young children. I don’t believe we should put restrictions on anything a child wants to read. But adults should be aware of what this book really contains. If they consent for their children or teens to read this then let them get it from a public library. ...more
Heather, Natalie, Bishop and Dodge all participate in The Panic, a dare-devil type competition for newly graduated Seniors. There are six challenges,Heather, Natalie, Bishop and Dodge all participate in The Panic, a dare-devil type competition for newly graduated Seniors. There are six challenges, including one which is designed especially for each participant. No one knows who the judges are or what the dare will entail until the moment it begins. The payoff is huge. And there are no rules.
This was an incredibly suspenseful book which I read in 1 day (400 pages!) While it is not appropriate for elementary, it is certainly one I recommend for those who like nail-biters! ...more
If you knew you were dying soon, what would you put on your bucket list? If you got a second chance, would you regret your bucket list choices?
She wasIf you knew you were dying soon, what would you put on your bucket list? If you got a second chance, would you regret your bucket list choices?
She was a Sophomore in high school when Alice found out that she had leukemia. She used her "last days" getting even with those who had hurt her. She re-established a friendship with her childhood friend, Harvey, because she knew he loved her and would do anything for her. When she discovers that she is in remission, she questions some of her choices and begins to wonder if a second chance is better than death.
This is not a sad, poor girl has cancer story. It is not a story of hope and happiness. It is a gut twisting, blame placing, giving up on a future, therefore no consequences for your actions, heart hurting story. It is a story of love and friendship and hate and hurt. It is a story straight from real life.
The book is told from two points of view. Harvey and Alice take turns tells us about then (when she found out she was sick) and now (in remission). Sometimes it was a bit confusing. I really liked this book, but Alice was not a character that I liked. I struggled with not liking a character that had cancer. It felt wrong. But Alice was mean and she enjoyed getting revenge and humiliating people. I wanted Alice to love Harvey. In the end those were the things that drove the story. Both characters evolved through the story in a realistic way, leaving me with a satisfied feeling in the end.
This was an excellent offering for a first novel. Julie Murphy effectively captures teenage angst. Her characters were real and the conflicts were accurate. Appropriate for grades 9 and up. ...more
This story takes place in NYC in 1987. When 14 year old June’s Uncle Finn, a world renowned artist, dies of AIDS , she loses her best friend. At the fThis story takes place in NYC in 1987. When 14 year old June’s Uncle Finn, a world renowned artist, dies of AIDS , she loses her best friend. At the funeral she sees another man off by himself, and her sister Greta tells her that is the man who gave Finn AIDS. Although she is curious about their relationship, her mother has forbidden the girls to ever see or be around this man. One day a package arrives, a momento from Finn, with a note from Toby, Finn’s companion. As an unlikely secret friendship develops, June realizes all is not as it seems.
This book accurately portrayed the social stigma of AIDS at that time. It is a coming of age story for June and also for 16 year old Greta who is misunderstood and testing her independence. It is a beautifully written first novel with characters that are well defined and relatable. I highly recommend it. ...more
When Donovan Curtis gets sent to the school superintendent’s office for a crazy prank that got out of hand, his name accidently gets placed on the lisWhen Donovan Curtis gets sent to the school superintendent’s office for a crazy prank that got out of hand, his name accidently gets placed on the list of students who attend the Academy for gifted and talented students. Although he knows it’s a mistake, he decides that is a great place to hide out and avoid his punishment. The gifted class is preparing a robot for competition and Donovan soon finds out that being gifted has its disadvantages, and that even he has an ability beneficial to the group. Add his pregnant sister who gets involved as a lab rat to pass a Human Growth and Development requirement, a chow chow who he becomes responsible for, a school dance fiasco, two friends named Daniel, and a whole classroom of of kids who expect excellence at any cost, and you get a book that is hard to put down and leaves you with a great message. ...more
This book is on many of the top YA books of all time lists. I did not like it near as well as Green's other book on the lists, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS,This book is on many of the top YA books of all time lists. I did not like it near as well as Green's other book on the lists, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, but it was intriguing. The introspection of the characters propelled the book, especially since during the first half the only thing the reader knows is that there is a countdown to something significant. The second half of the book analyzes why it happened and how the characters are affected and how they can move on.
The story takes place in a boarding school in Alabama. Alaska is the name of the central female character. This is definitely a high school level YA novel. ...more
Charlie writes a series of letters to someone known to us only as a friend, journaling a year of his life. At the beginning he is a wallflower, simplyCharlie writes a series of letters to someone known to us only as a friend, journaling a year of his life. At the beginning he is a wallflower, simply observing life. When he is befriended by brother and sister, Sam and Parker, they initiate him into teenage society with all of its drama, angst, conflict, carefree, and recklessness abandon. The book touches on everything- first date, pregnancy, abortion, beer parties, drugs, homosexuality, and more. Mostly it is a story of friendship and acceptance.
The writing didn't feel authentic. Charlie is supposed to want to be a writer. His English teacher, Bill, thinks he is gifted, and the example we get from Charlie's school work very much exhibits that talent. Why then, are the letters he writes to his anonymous friend so void of description and detail? Nevertheless it was a good book and one I am sure teenagers will relate to. ...more