Mau thought he was paddling his dugout canoe home to his small island to be greeted by the elders eager to celebrate his “passage into manhood.” But aMau thought he was paddling his dugout canoe home to his small island to be greeted by the elders eager to celebrate his “passage into manhood.” But a tidal wave ravages his island, located somewhere in the South Pacific, and Mau returns home only to find dead bodies, his entire family gone. But wait - he is caught off guard when ”trousergirl” Daphne (an English girl), whose ship was deposited on the island by the wave, suddenly appears before him. Then a pregnant woman, and next a woman with a baby. Still others make their way to the island, and Mau has to help, because if he doesn’t, who else will?
Imagine desperate Mau wrangling milk from a mother pig to feed a human baby. And “demon boy” Mau wrestling with the gods, and barely escaping a shark attack. The survivors reinvent civilization, exploring language, religion, and science as they struggle to survive. Deeply philosophical and laugh-out-loud funny, the inimitable Terry Pratchett has crafted an original, masterful tale, reminiscent of Robinson Crusoe and Lord of the Flies, and with all the nail-biting tension of The Hunger Games and Lost....more
This short, spare book is a beautiful portrait of a young, 16 year old father named Bobby living in New York and the struggles he faces as he tries toThis short, spare book is a beautiful portrait of a young, 16 year old father named Bobby living in New York and the struggles he faces as he tries to be a good parent to his baby while surviving high school. Angela Johnson wastes no words in this simply told story. She alternates chapters depicting the struggles shared by Bobby and his girlfriend Nia during pregnancy ("Then") and life after the baby is born ("Now"), in which Nia is mysteriously absent. Johnson starkly captures how now, with the huge responsibility of caring for a child on his hands, Bobby stands apart from his former life - he must set aside the life he'd planned out for himself, set aside the carefree times he used to share with his friends, and truly grow up by caring for another. Bobby does this all remarkably, but the pressure gets to him. One memorable scene depicts Bobby cutting school one day and, almost in a timeless, dreamlike state, blowing off steam by painting a giant graffiti mural in an alley. It's a beautifully written segment in the book that captures just how much weight Bobby carries with him. He's a good kid and the learning curve is steep, but where his missteps in his former life might have been irritating to those around him, now they have serious implications because of the helpless being who so depends on him. What's most remarkable, in the end, is the love Bobby feels for his baby daughter, how, despite all the hardships, that love always wins out in his heart. That love teaches him that whatever he may have lost from his old life, he has gained something more meaningful, more essential than anything that came before. Anyone can be a halfway decent artist, but few can be a great father. Bobby is well on his way. This one had me in tears and I read it in one sitting....more
What would it be like to lose yourself in a foreign country only to realize you had lost others, too? This graphic novel is honest, heartbreaking andWhat would it be like to lose yourself in a foreign country only to realize you had lost others, too? This graphic novel is honest, heartbreaking and terrible. I am not sure if it is all true or not--- but it is amazing and you won't believe it! Soooooo good!...more
Would you drink human blood to become a vampire? Does a chance at eternal beauty with silky, smooth (and shimmering) skin, luscious red lips, and “golWould you drink human blood to become a vampire? Does a chance at eternal beauty with silky, smooth (and shimmering) skin, luscious red lips, and “gold and butterscotch” eyes sound enticing? In the recent world of vampires, whether it’s Twilight’s Edward, Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Angel, Vicki from Vampire Diaries, Eric or Deborah from True Blood, vampires are hot.
And then there’s Dave.
Dave from Life Sucks prefers to steal his nutrition from the blood bank rather than kill humans. And the fact that his life will drag on to eternity does nothing to improve his mood. Pretty much deemed a loser as far as bloodsuckers go, Dave endures his wage slave status working the night shift at a convenience store and kow-towing to his master Vlad. His friends call him a “wuss.” Dave is smitten with cute goth girl Rosa, though she doesn’t even know he exists. When Dave finally gets her attention, she wants to let the sunlight into his tiny apartment, or go outside with him in the daytime. The last person Rosa suspects of being a vampire is Dave. She’s too busy glamorizing the world of vampires and is desperate to be bitten. Given Rosa’s highly idealized vision of vampires, how could Dave possibly fit the bill?
"I picture this vast network of dark, beautiful, intellectual, artistic people, living forever with only the best things, the best food, the best clothes, beautiful homes…it would just be a better life, living amidst beauty and with all the time and energy in the world to concentrate on the finer things…"(Rosa, Life Sucks: p. 139)
Dave wants to protect Rosa from the realities of vampirism as he knows them, but then there’s surfer dude and vampire Wes, Dave’s archenemy. Wes is hot, hot, hot – unscrupulous, lives in a mansion, and wouldn’t think twice about the kill and ”becoming Rosa’s Master.”
Sometimes, life sucks. But the book definitely doesn’t! This new and witty spin on the vampire tale is complimented by Warren Pleece’s striking drawings and Hilary Sycamore’s vibrant colors....more
You’re in your parents bedroom. You’re looking for something, could be anything – a beach pass, your dad’s Swiss Army Knife, maybe a sweater your momYou’re in your parents bedroom. You’re looking for something, could be anything – a beach pass, your dad’s Swiss Army Knife, maybe a sweater your mom asked you to grab. Imagine it now. Imagine their bedroom. Now you’re shuffling through their things. And that’s when you find it. The Unwind Order. Your blood runs cold, a flash shocks your eyes, your heart thrashes. This must be a joke. But, no, this isn’t a joke because there are your parents’ signatures right there slashed across the page: ‘We hereby grant permission for the federal government to unwind our son.’ You drop the page to the floor, shaking. You’re going to be unwound. Frantically you touch your arms, your teeth, your eyelids, your tongue, your hair, and your knees. You’re feeling, feeling the parts of the body you’re going to lose when they unwind you. This is the end. Goodnight, sweet prince.
In Neal Shusterman’s seriously creepy book of darkness, Unwind, this is what happens to teenagers who are considered too much trouble by their parents. They’re erased, all their body parts recycled, disappeared. Unwound. They’re not dead, but they exist silent and helpless in a thousand different bodies where their organs, their hair, their fingernails and bones are donated and absorbed. Sure, many of them run – if they make it to 18 years old the government will quit the chase, they’ll be safe – but no one’s ever made it, they always get you. Unwind is the story of three teens who try to escape despite the odds, who run from the Unwind Order, their parents, and the police in a desperate attempt to save their skins – literally. It’s a suspenseful read with great chase scenes, action, and tense, paranoid drama (especially when they reach a secret, underground facility for runaway Unwinds). If anything, read this book for the horrifying scene in which one of the central characters gets unwound – the process is vividly depicted and…disarming, he-he....more
What would you do with your life if you knew you only had a year to live? That's the question Ben Wolf, the hero of Chris Crutcher's excellent novel,What would you do with your life if you knew you only had a year to live? That's the question Ben Wolf, the hero of Chris Crutcher's excellent novel, Deadline, must ask himself when, early on in the book, he is diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. His answer? Tell no one, go out for varsity football (despite being rail-thin, short, and the brother of the star QB), and pursue Dallas Suzuki, the most confident, athletic, and beautiful girl in school. Oh, and tirelessly challenge that thoughtless, conservative, authoritarian American Government teacher who's always getting on his nerves. This moving, funny, and compassionate book is that rare beast: a gripping, plot-driven read that weaves in heavy, controversial topics for discussion without once feeling didactic or forced. Ben's voice is irreverent, sarcastic, and independent. He's in a race to make life mean something and in only a short while (because that's all he's got) learns something about mistakes, weakness, selflessness and compassion for even the lowest of God's creatures. Crutcher's book is packed with memorable characters, touching relationships, and philosophical hot potatoes you'll be turning over for days. This is Crutcher at his very best. ...more
What is it about telling a story through the eyes of an animal? Why does it grip us, and erase our preconceived notions? Somehow despite being bipeds,What is it about telling a story through the eyes of an animal? Why does it grip us, and erase our preconceived notions? Somehow despite being bipeds, we can easliy put ourselves in their place.
The Pride of Baghdad is based on the true story of four lions who escaped from the Baghdad Zoo in 2003 during the bombing of Iraq. Safa, Zill, Noor, and little cub Ali find themselves outside the walls of their former home. All four feel very differently about where they are: Noor, exhilarated, Zill, ambivalent, little cub Ali confused, and wizened Safa reluctant.
As you turn the pages, you can feel the heat and desolation, the sand and dust coats your skin. Niko Henrichon’s drawings are amazing. The colors are both muted and vibrant. You feel as though you’ve been transported thousands of miles to the Middle East.interior pride of baghdad
Henrichon’s art is matched in skill by Brian K. Vaughan’s storytelling. It was Vaughan that was inspired to write the story of these four lions. He talks about it in an interview he gave to NPR.
Through the eyes of these lions we are able to glimpse the horror and reality of war. Some of the images and words are difficult to process. They stay with you long after you’ve turned the page....more