Was in withdrawal from the Twilight series, casting about for SOMEthing to read and ran across this one. Not a Twilight knock-off, by any means--but o...moreWas in withdrawal from the Twilight series, casting about for SOMEthing to read and ran across this one. Not a Twilight knock-off, by any means--but one that is well worth reading if you enjoy the modern-day demon/human interaction tales. Looking forward to the next installment. (less)
I've really been enjoying this series. This 3rd book I thought would be the final, but happily, there will be more. As a note, if you're looking at th...moreI've really been enjoying this series. This 3rd book I thought would be the final, but happily, there will be more. As a note, if you're looking at this for elementary (my 3rd-5th grade kids keep the first two circulating well), this one has more mature moments--jokes about honeymoon nights, more graphic battle scenes, etc. I'm looking forward to the next installment. (less)
You are considered a "littlie" until age 12. At 12, you move into a boarding school where you will eat, sleep and breathe life as an "Ugly", looking f...moreYou are considered a "littlie" until age 12. At 12, you move into a boarding school where you will eat, sleep and breathe life as an "Ugly", looking forward (and across the river) to age 16 when you can have the operation that makes you a "Pretty" and you can move to Prettytown--and all your troubles are surgically removed along with that too-large nose or too narrow chin. Then you meet someone who challenges this vision of your future--the only vision you've had until now, on the eve of your 16th birthday. What if you must then choose between this new friend and the only dream you've ever had. What if there's an ugly side to being a Pretty--that has nothing to do with how you look?
Uglies is the first in a trilogy that chronicles the adventures of Tally Youngblood as she is introduced to the not-so-perfect side of her utopian world. The series order is: Uglies, Pretties and Specials. For the readers who simply can't get enough of this story, there is now a 4th book in the series, set a few years in the future beyond the point where Specials left off--it's called Extras.
Although these books are 400+ pages, they read so fast that even some of my more reluctant readers are taking a chance on them--and coming back for more.(less)
This book was required reading in my 10th grade combined studies (English/History) class (though it could have been 11th or 12th grade--don't remember...moreThis book was required reading in my 10th grade combined studies (English/History) class (though it could have been 11th or 12th grade--don't remember for sure). What's really wild about this book is that, 20 years after I read it, when someone asked me about historical fiction, it's one of the first titles that popped into my head. For someone interested in finding out more about growing up in another culture in another time, or in Chinese history or women's history--this book has it all. (less)
Let me preface this by saying that I generally have a hard time reading books that I HAVE to read for an assignment. The screenplay formatting was int...moreLet me preface this by saying that I generally have a hard time reading books that I HAVE to read for an assignment. The screenplay formatting was interesting and the images and story vivid, but this book was incredibly grim. I really prefer books where the main characters have SOME kind of hope. I also want to like the main characters. This story didn't really give me either of those things. In retrospect, if I rated this book on whether I enjoyed it, I'd give it a 3 because it was a difficult, difficult story for me to read. That said, I also need to say that the story was probably one of the more powerful stories I can ever remember reading--perhaps because of its grimness. (less)
Probably one of the most powerful books I've read in a long, long while. A Printz honor book and 1999 National Book Award Finalist, Speak is the story...moreProbably one of the most powerful books I've read in a long, long while. A Printz honor book and 1999 National Book Award Finalist, Speak is the story of Melinda Sordino, a rising ninth grader who has a secret. Ostracized by her fellow students, misunderstood by her parents and teachers, Melinda's ninth grade year and story are divided into grading terms, including her declining school grades as given by her professors, and her declining self-given grades. While the "clans" at her high school may be different from those in your own, you will recognize them and you will probably recognize yourself. This well written story will make you laugh and cry. Not just another teen angst story, Speak is a thought-provoking, page-turner that will leave its readers anything but speechless.(less)
This book paints a vivid and frightening sci fi picture of a dystopian future in which people are always "tuned in" to "the Feed." Imagine walking thr...moreThis book paints a vivid and frightening sci fi picture of a dystopian future in which people are always "tuned in" to "the Feed." Imagine walking through a mall and having advertisements and information about each business (and whatever "They" want you to hear) fed automatically directly into your brain. 24-7. Of course, seeing people with their laptops, blue-tooth headsets and other trappings of this oh-so-online age make this story a little too close for comfort in some ways. I'm thinking that instead of "sci" fi, it might be more "psy" fi because of the psychological reactions the story can evoke. (less)
Imagine Jules Verne sitting down with Robert Louis Stevenson, the folk who worked on Disney's Treasure Planet and Hiyao Miyazaki (the anime version of...moreImagine Jules Verne sitting down with Robert Louis Stevenson, the folk who worked on Disney's Treasure Planet and Hiyao Miyazaki (the anime version of Howl's Moving Castle)--and coming up with an adventure story that was part historical fiction, part science fiction, and part fantasy. That doesn't actually describe what Kenneth Oppel's Airborn is, but it's close. Matt is a 15 year old cabin boy on a luxury airship (think dirigible or blimp). He's more at home in the air than on solid ground, but his world is about to get shaken up when he meets a young woman who is determined to prove that her grandfather's sightings of large furry flying creatures were not hallucinations. With airship wrecks, pirates, uncharted islands, and mysterious flying creatures (that may or may not exist), this story is a page turner that doesn't need a screenplay to come to technicolor life as you read. This book works for just about any reader, male or female, who likes a good adventure. Many of my high school students are reading this one and being inspired to read more by Oppel. Reading level grades 6 and up.(less)
As an eighth grader, Delia is totally immersed in the upcoming Double Dutch (jump roping) competition, and all seems to be going well until she finds...moreAs an eighth grader, Delia is totally immersed in the upcoming Double Dutch (jump roping) competition, and all seems to be going well until she finds that, if she doesn’t pass the upcoming achievement exams, she will be barred from competing. She would not only let herself down, but her teammates as well—and everyone would learn her secret—that she could not read. What Delia doesn’t know is that she’s not the only one with a secret. How did Delia fake her way through reading, at school and at home, for 8 years? Will the scary new kids really “cross the line from intimidation to violence?” What happened to Randy’s father? Will Delia get to compete in the upcoming championships?(less)
Russel Middlebrook is an average high school sophomore. He doesn’t stand out in sports or in specific social groups. He’s not unpopular—he has friends...more Russel Middlebrook is an average high school sophomore. He doesn’t stand out in sports or in specific social groups. He’s not unpopular—he has friends, but he feels alone. Yes, he’s an average high school student, but he has a secret--he is gay, and he’s pretty sure he’s the only gay student at his high school.
"That night in my bedroom, I logged on to the Net. I said I’d never actually been naked with a guy, but it’s possible that once or twice I might’ve gone to a gay chat room and maybe even gone off for a private chat with a guy or two. I refuse to say any more about this on the grounds that it may incriminate me, but I will say that mostly we really did just chat about innocent things, like how long had we known we were gay and which actor did we think was cute."
"The fact is, there’s a difference between being alone and being lonely; I may not have been completely alone in life, but I was definitely lonely. My secret mission—four years in an American high school—had been an involuntary one, and now I desperately wanted to be somewhere where I could be honest about who I was and what I wanted. I had plenty to say on the topic, but no one to say it to—not my friends, definitely not my parents (don’t get me started). The Internet gave me people to say it to. Problem is, they weren’t real."(Excerpts from Pages 11-12)
After this discussion, Russel goes into an online chatroom for gay teens and notices that his city’s name has been added. Could there be another gay teen in his town? His school? If Russel identifies himself to this other person, all his careful work at “playing it straight” could just blow up in his face. What would you do? Would you go meet this person? Whether you’re gay, straight, or not really sure, you won’t want to miss what happens next.
This book has won several awards and honors, is thoughtfully written, witty and definitely thought provoking. I suspect that most readers will recognize some of their own high school cliques, the cafeteria(!), and maybe even some of their own peers. Russel’s voice rings true in the sense of every high school student’s search for their own identity, their own place. It was no surprise to find out that it was semi-autobiographical. It might suffer somewhat from the notion that it’s just “a gay book,” which would be a real shame because there really is something there for anyone who is in or who has ever been in high school.(less)
Fin knows that something is wrong, she just doesn’t know what. She can’t stop counting. Some of the teachers at her new school think she just isn’t pa...moreFin knows that something is wrong, she just doesn’t know what. She can’t stop counting. Some of the teachers at her new school think she just isn’t paying attention, but Fin knows that maybe she’s paying too much attention--to everything. Her dad wants to be buddies with his new girlfriend. Her mother wants her to go to counseling. Her counselor wants her to take Paxil, but her mother doesn’t want her to take meds at all. Fin feels like she’s all alone--until she begins a “conversation” with a tagger on the stall wall of one of the girls’ bathrooms. Maybe she’s not so alone after all, but will she ever be able to stop counting everything? Will she take the meds? Will she meet this tagger? Read Total Constant Order by Crissa-Jean Chappell and see.
Chappell does for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) what Jack Gantos and his character, Joey Pigza, do for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Neither Gantos nor Chappell presume to solve their characters’ problems, nor do they preach or sugar-coat. They do not push any particular treatments. What they do is to skillfully offer the reader a glimpse into the minds of young people as they learn that, maybe, they’re not crazy--and that they aren’t alone. Total Constant Order is a worthy addition to any young adult collection.(less)