Sean Beaudoin definitely has a unique style that you cannot confuse with anyone else. It is like when you see a movie and you know who the director is - that is how distinct Sean's writing is. And what he does so well is keep his style yet still has characters that have distinct voices that you can distinguish between. He actually reminds me of John Green in that way; however, Sean Beaudoin is more of the underground, quirky, dry twisted humor sort of way. This book also reminded me of the humor you found in Libba Bray's Beauty Queens in that it is very much a parody of qualities of pop culture and primarily emulated at zombie flicks such as Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead.
Once you get used to Beaudoin's style, the story sucks you in. An incomparable cast of characters takes us through a survival guide against those who want to eat you. You lose some you care about, you cheer when some turn and many will dream about one particular female. Between the cast of characters, the humorous plot line and Beaudoin's style, many will eat up this novel.
Mentor text: Voice, Style, Humor, Parody, Allusions, Word Play, Vocabulary
"But Petal Gazes was a whole other universe, a different orbit, a brighter sun. She was a tenth straight espresso, pure feedback, wet-toe-in-socket beautiful. At least to him. Which went directly against Nick's long-standing policy: Never Want Anything. Treeless Christmas? Eggless Easter? Toastless morning? It's hard to be disappointed when you don't give a crap. But now he really, really wanted something. Petal Gazes." (p. 8)
Also, LOVE pg. 35, 160-161, 88, 170, 227, and Ch. 22 title!...more
In my review for Susan Beth Pfeffer's apocalyptic novel, I said, "This is the first book I've ever read that made me be scared for an apocalypse... his book terrified me; however, this made me not want to put the novel down." Ashfall does what Pfeffer's book did, but Ashfall also intrigued me in a different way because of my fascination with volcanoes- I was filled with a mix of terror and fascination all through the novel. Mike Mullin took a possible future disaster that in all speculations could happen and threw us as readers into the middle of it.
When you start the book, you know that a horrible event is going to happen. Alex, our narrator, tells us how different everything is now, but this slight preface cannot prepare you for all of the destruction, criminal activity, devastation and loss that happens throughout this novel.
Some favorite parts: *Loved that Alex described history books and si-fi books as past & future history. *The analogies throughout the novel to help readers understand what Alex is going through are superb. My favorite was describing explosions as Zeus machine-gunning thunder. *Liked that Mike never felt he needed to explain about the gay couple who lived across the street from Alex, it was just normal.
Now I just have to wait for the sequel :)
(view spoiler)[Questions I have (and Mike Mullin has been kind enough to answer my wonderings!): *Why did Joe wait so long to tell Darren and Alex that it was a volcanic eruption? Mike Mullin's answer: I saw Joe, Darren, and Alex as being shell-shocked and not really in much condition to talk about anything when the noise starts. And they have no idea how long it's going to go on, so Joe is waiting/thinking it's going to end. And they all prefer the relative safety of the tub. It's too loud to talk about it and be heard, of course. By the next morning it's obvious it isn't going to get better quickly, so they leave the shelter of the tub, find a candle and go to the trouble of writing out the information about the volcano. *Is that really how a FEMA camp is run? Or is that speculation about what would happen in this situation? It was at this point that I felt that the novel went from apocalyptic to dystopian. Mike Mullin's answer: FEMA camps are NOT run the way I depict in ASHFALL. That said, FEMA has never had to deal with a situation like this. 55,000 people responded to Katrina, which totally overwhelmed FEMA's organizational capacity. In the far worse disaster portrayed in ASHFALL, FEMA presses subcontractors with little disaster relief training or experience into place, and the priority becomes protecting unaffected states from the hordes of refugees fleeing the ash, rather than taking good care of those refugees. I think panic and a desire to protect one's own is a real possibility in a disaster like that.(hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
What a fun graphic novel series. I am so glad that I ran across it. I will definitely be getting this for my classroom. I know that many readers will connect with Daniel's feelings of not fitting in, being obnoxious to adults, and needing to find friends that understand him for who he is.
Daniel Boom is an ordinary enough boy, well, except that he is so loud that he can shatter glass when he whispers. He feels like a freak most of his life until he meets 3 other kids who all share a birthday with him and all seem to have powers that get them in trouble. Together, Daniel Boom, his sister and their 3 new friends join together to try and defeat the evil behind KR (kid-rid) industries. ...more
*Summary: Jaden lives in the not too distant future where tornadoes have intensified and are a constant threat. Jaden's father is the head of a corporation that studies tornadoes and that built a StormSafe neighborhood where the storms cannot get in. Jaden's father has not been too active in her life for the last couple of years, but when she is invited to visit him and attend a world-renowned science camp in a neighborhood that doesn't get tornadoes- it is a win-win situation. And everything is going really well. Jaden has been grouped into the meteorology section of the camp, she has made friends and is partnered with a really brilliant, nice boy named Alex. It is great. Except that something really weird is going on with her dad. He isn't himself- he only talks about work, is really intense, and isn't the comforting man that Jaden remembers. The tornadoes, the neighborhood and his company have become his obsession. So Jaden decides to discover the truth behind her father's obsession and the truth is horrible- worse than she could even imagine.
What I Think: Wow! This book jumps right in! Within the first couple of paragraphs you are thrown in the middle of a tornado that is barreling down on Jaden and her father. And the terror never ceases. Even when you start to get comfortable, you are on the edge of your seat because you know that something is going on.
This future in general terrifies me. Tornadoes are the thing that I probably fear the most. I lived in tornado alley until I was 14 and have been too close to tornadoes. I had reoccurring nightmares about them all of my childhood. They were an obsession and a fear. So Jaden's future is fascinating, but also my worst nightmare. And what makes Jaden's world even worse is that with the addition of the intense tornadoes, it seems like most joy was taken from her world- no more museums, ballet, poetry, Disney, pleasure reading, classroom learning. All of the things that make our world a place that I love- gone. My reaction to this aspect of the book reminded me of the same reaction I have with The Giver when I was in middle school. I cannot imagine a world where these joys are sucked away.
Oh, and I haven't even mentioned how well Kate writes. The imagery that she creates, specifically when it comes to the tornadoes, is what makes the book. The ability to visualize what she has created so you feel like you are there with Jaden moves the story to the next level.
"A wall of death-black cloud sits on the horizon. Slow-swirling charcoal fingers reach down from it. They point to the ground, hungry for dust and trees and buildings. The fingers close into thick fists, swirling, churning toward the farms." (p. 215-216)...more
*1. What amazing world building! Moira Young did an amazing job with not only the setting, but the "government" in her debut novel.
2. The cover of this book truly sets the tone for the story. Even when the story isn't taking place in the desert, the setting plays a major role in the story.
3. Sada. Wow. She is a strong woman protagonist. Though I found her hard to like at points, I knew it was from her passion boiling inside that she acted the way she did.
4. The best pet in a book every! Nero, the crow, is the secret star of the book.
5. The relationships in this book are things of beauty. The details in characterization that Young meticulously added to the story made it so that you are emotionally connected to all of the characters although there are many of them.
6. Girl. Cage. Fighting. Wow- it is brutal!
Originally read: April 22, 2012 Reread: July 15, 2012...more
Summary: The Power of Six picks up directly after I am Number Four with 6, John, Sam and the shape-shifting Bernie Kosar on the run from the Mogs, a group of aliens who are trying to kill them. The Power of Six also gives us the point of view of number 7, Marina, as she tries to figure out her legacies. The points of view switch back and forth between the 3 friends on the run and Marina in Spain trying to figure out what she needs to do.
What I Think: I was pleasantly surprised with I am Number Four and found that it was a fun, action-packed, well-paced book, but I feel like this book doesn’t live up to the same expectations. The Power of Six tried too hard to make us understand what was going on and it felt like the story itself was forgotten. By adding Marina’s point of view it took away from the connection you felt with the characters in the first book. I did find her story interesting, but both stories in this book felt skeletal because they were switching back and forth. I will say, though, that many of the questions that I had after I am Number Four were answered in this book, but even more questions were posed leaving the sequel as a must-read to find the answers.
3.5 stars This was my least favorite of the three books, but still good. I did find that this book was less about survival and more just a basic realis3.5 stars This was my least favorite of the three books, but still good. I did find that this book was less about survival and more just a basic realistic fiction story (you'll know what I mean if you read it) and I wish that it'd been more similar to the first two.
I did like how she combined the characters from the first 2 books, but I felt that Alex's voice had changed between #2 and this one... He was headstrong in his story but in this one he seemed not sensible at all. He was frustrating.
I saw on Susan Beth Pfeffer's website that she is thinking about writing a fourth and I could see where there is still a lot of story left to tell.
(view spoiler)[When Miranda killed Julie, I was stunned. I'm still stunned. And I really want a 4th book to find out if Alex forgives/understands. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Summary: John Smith isn't an ordinary guy, he is the 4th in a group of 9 teenage aliens that must survive to save their race; however, there is a group of murderous aliens, the Mogs, after them. Since he is nuumber 4 and the first 3 have been killed, John is next! But John is sick of moving and when Henri, his guardian, picks Paradise, OH as their next home, John wants to stay there. Then, when he finds a best friend and a beautiful girl friend, he is even more gung-ho on remaining in Paradise.
What I Think: Okay, I did not want to read this book. After hearing about James Frey's fiction factory and all the deplorable aspects of what happened to make this novel exists, I had decided I was never going to read it. Then, a couple of weeks ago, ALAN asked me to review the sequel, so I felt that to do so well, I had to read the first book. So, I got it from the library and started reading and even though I did not want to like the book, I did. It was fun, action packed and well paced with characters that I enjoyed reading about. Now, I do not think it was very well written. It was written to be popular and be a movie and you could tell. But, you can't deny good plot development and characterization and I believe the book did have that. So, after reading I am Number Four, I wasn't so upset about reading The Power of Six, but I had different feelings about the sequel.
3.5 stars Although this is not my favorite TenNapel graphic novel (Bad Island and Cardboard are just so spectacular), I still love how clever he is. I also know that this book will FLY off of my shelves in the fall - kids will adore it!
After Ely’s dog Tommy dies from being hit by a car, Ely’s father allows him to take a trip to visit his grandfather’s farm. His father hopes this trip will help him overcome his grief as well as give him some sense of responsibility. However, everything goes awry when Ely accidentally comes across a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Ely all of a sudden finds him self with a new goal- cleaning up the T-Rex’s mess and proving he is harmless.
Doug TenNapel is one of the most popular authors in my classroom. All of his graphic novels fly off my shelves and never spend much time back there once they are returned. The biggest draw of his graphic novels are they are so unique, action-packed, funny, smart, colorful, and very well done. Tommysaurus Rex is no different. This story is one that will make so many students want to read it and I know that each reader will be telling a friend about it. Just like his other graphic novels, this one is so much fun!...more
Matt was not born- he was harvested, but as far as he knows, he is a normal little boy. He lives with Celia in a small house in the poppy fields. He cMatt was not born- he was harvested, but as far as he knows, he is a normal little boy. He lives with Celia in a small house in the poppy fields. He can't leave ever, because Celia says it is too dangerous, but Matt is quite content in his little world. That is until some children show up at his window and Matt decides not to hide. The children get Matt to leave his safe haven, and they take him up to "the big house." This is where Matt learns that he is not a normal child. Mr. Alarcon sees his children with Matt and banishes Matt from the house calling him a dirty animal and livestock. After Matt is sent away to a small room to be taken care of by an evil housekeeper, he begins to learn the truth- he is a clone. In Matt's world, a futuristic North America in a country called Opium nestled between Mexico and the United States, clones are considered under the law the same way as livestock and animals. Most clones have their intelligence taken away at "birth", but Matt is different... Where will he fit in? Will he always be locked away? Where will he find an ally to help him?
This is a dark, dystopian novel that deals with our view of people different than us. The clones in this world could easily represent any race that is discriminated against. The House of the Scorpion is truly a book that will make you think. ...more
This book takes place in the future where most members of the society have a "feed" implanted in their brain. This feed gives them information, showsThis book takes place in the future where most members of the society have a "feed" implanted in their brain. This feed gives them information, shows them things to buy and gives them entertainment. The feed also controls the major functions of the body.
First, I'd like to say that I listened to the audiobook, and I really felt that they did a great job. Whenever Titus or the narrator would share a Feed with the reader, the audio was made to actually sound like the commercial or show that the character was listening to.
M.T. Anderson showed us a future in this book that at first sounds like so much fun, and the first half of the book really was fun. Titus and his friends going to the moon, meeting new people, dancing... But soon the reader begins to realize that the world isn't as perfect as it seemed at first, and Titus goes on this journey with the reader. The second half of this book is quite heavy and deep. The tone quickly changes and the story all of a sudden takes a different focus. It is no longer the fun story it once was.
Now, this book almost falls into the dystopian realm, because of the consumerism that is pumped constantly (and with the government's permission) into the brains of the citizens with the feed, but I think that it better fits into sci-fi because of the focus on the technology, clothes, etc. that has changed in the future. ...more
This is the book you will looking for in 2011. Wow! Cannot wait to share this book with my students!
In a futuristic Chicago, the population has been split into 5 factions based on what they blamed on the world's disarray. The Amity blamed aggression, the Erudites blamed ignorance, Candor blamed duplicity, Abnegation blamed selfishness & the Dauntless blamed cowardice. In this world, faction comes before family and at age 16, you are given the opportunity to choose which faction you will join- you can stay with your family or leave. This choice can change everything.
Blog post: This is one of the books where I wish that I hadn't gotten the ARC because it just meant that I had to wait longer than everyone else to read the sequel. I read the book in one or two sittings and waiting is all I have been doing ever since. Divergent is one of my favorite reads of the year that was filled with dystopian thrillers left and right. Now all of them have been pretty good, but I really feel that Divergent is the stand alone star.
What will first grab you in this novel is the factions that the author creates. With so much turmoil in our nation, many people blame different things. This novel takes the different blames and shows what happens if you focus too much on one cause for the disarray in the world. The Amity blamed aggression, the Erudites blamed ignorance, Candor blamed duplicity, Abnegation blamed selfishness & the Dauntless blamed cowardice. And what happens when your choice of blame overshadows even your family- that is what Divergent is about. It is about choice. It is about selflessness. It is about strength....more
I love Zita. She is a good friend. She is brave. She isn't judgmental. She is smart. She is a girl that all boys will root for and all girls will long to be. And Zita doesn't let anyone down- she is a true hero and I love her story. It is filled with all sorts of fun robots and creatures. Zita's story is also a perfect example of the hero's journey, although Zita never backs down.
I found this graphic novel so easy to read, because Hatke's graphics and story lent itself directly to making a movie in my head. With the bold lines yet a soft-hue of colors and a story filled with conflict, adventure and emotions, I wanted to know how it was going to all pan out from the very beginning. Zita will definitely be joining my graphic novel collection.
And on top of it all, I have recently found out that Zita has her own website with webcomics that continue her story. She also appears in the graphic novel anthology Flight 4. ...more
How dreary it would be to live in the city of Ember; mostly during Lina's time. I cannot even imagine something like light being sacred, but when youHow dreary it would be to live in the city of Ember; mostly during Lina's time. I cannot even imagine something like light being sacred, but when you live in a city with no natural light, it is.
City of Ember had many themes and messages behind it, almost too many, but I loved that it was two children that decide to save the day. It was quite easy to fall in love with the characters and the book, thus making it a quick, entertaining read. Jeanne DuPrau really puts you in the midst of things and makes it so when the lights go out, I felt the same feelings as the characters. I even caught myself holding my breath once waiting for them to come on. I am looking forward to continuing the series, so I can see what happens next.
I also had the pleasure of listening to the audiobook and found it to be hypnotizing. Although it was not a complete production, sporadically, at important intervals, there would be sound effects which added a whole other layer to the story because it helped you hear what the characters were hearing.
Ship Breaker is set in a future where global warming has changed the tide levels, the ice caps no longer exist, oil is like gold, and ships are wreckeShip Breaker is set in a future where global warming has changed the tide levels, the ice caps no longer exist, oil is like gold, and ships are wrecked all along the coast of the gulf- a future that seems almost too realistic.
Nailer and his crew work as ship breakers- they go into the wrecked tankers and scavenge what they can. Life is rough: Money is scarce, there is little food and the housing is built from whatever they can find. Everything changes though after a hurricane hits their town and Nailer, with his friend Pima, find a crashed clipper (a rich person's boat). While scavenging the boat, and finding tons of goods!, they discover a young girl who some how survived the wreck. Nita is the daughter for a rich man and bargains with Nailer and Pima for her life, but just having her there is going to change everything for Nailer and Pima.
The question that Nailer asks himself throughout the entire book is: What is family? He questions if loyalty or blood are the answer to this question.
The book is filled with fight scenes and life or death situations. Ship Breaker is a book not only for dystopian lovers, but for readers of action/adventure as well. ...more
Andrew Bean was born with amazing abilities to sense things (hear, see, taste, touch and smell) better than anyone else on the planet. No wonder that he was recruited to be part of H.E.R.O. program at the middle school: an extracurricular “club” to prep students with super-powers to become the city’s superhero’s sidekicks. Andrew, along with five other extraordinary middle schoolers including Andrew’s best friend Jenna, join Mr. Martin three times a week to work on their powers and to prepare to be the best sidekick possible. Andrew’s only problem is that his superhero is MIA not even showing up to save him when he is hanging over a pool of acid. However, Andrew’s problem seems like nothing when supervillains escape from high security prison and begin rampaging their town–throwing the sidekicks right in the middle of a super-big problem.
What a super fun book! I love the concept of H.E.R.O. and how starting in middle school sidekicks are trained to be help to their superhero–talk about career track! This concepts lends to a great story because not only do you have the sidekicks/superhero aspect of the story, but you also are throwing these kids in the middle of middle school- major drama!
Right in the middle of this drama and action is Andrew. What a funny kid! I love his voice and his story. He is a perfect protagonist for this novel (I cannot even imagine the story being told from any of the other sidekick’s POV). He is a bit nerdy, a sweet boy, pretty sarcastic, friends with the the star sidekick, and has some seriously awesome powers (even if they aren’t physical). The nerdy/sweet/sarcastic part gives us a pretty snarky, fun narrator that many people will connect with. Being friends with the star sidekick gives us some insight into her life which is pretty darn exciting and also adds the strong female and a tiny bit of romance. Finally, his type of superpowers lends to the story being told because the whole book is about Andrew figuring out his spot in the mess around him and that includes empowering his superpowers.
OH, and just you wait for the last quarter. Holy plot twist Batman! I was very shocked about part of what transpires at the end and I think you and our students will be as well....more
This book poses many ethical questions since our main characters are in a life or death situation: What is family? What would you do to survive? If a loved one was suffering and asked you to kill them, would you? Is there such a thing as fate? When can you let go of loved ones who have passed?
The first chapter of Ashes pulls you in right away. Alex is a mystery- you know she has a deadly brain tumor and her parents are dead, but there are so many questions. At the beginning, it is her mystery that keeps you reading, but within the first 30 pages, the story expands to so much more. Suddenly, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) wipes out almost everything including most living things and electronics. Alex, who was camping in the woods contemplating life vs. death, falls into the middle of a cataclysmic event. Alex, along with Ellie, an 8 year old who lost her grandfather, and Tom, a young army veteran, decide to make their way to the ranger station to find help. They must survive in the woods of Michigan while not only scavenging for food, avoiding hungry wild life that survived the EMP, but also eluding cannibalistic zombies (the changed) that were somehow transformed by the EMP. The make shift family promises to protect each other and this begins a survival story straight from a horror movie. And a horror movie is just what you will feel like you are in while reading Alex’s story. Every time something happens, you just wonder how much more she can take and what else can happen to her.
One thing that makes this book stand out from others is that Isla Bick’s descriptions of some very simple things like pain and smells are so dead on that you can feel or smell what she is talking about. When the EMP first hits, Alex describes the pain and other side effects of the EMP so well, that the reader would have no problem understanding what Alex was going through. Then, after surviving “The Zap”, Alex regains her sense of smell that she lost because of the tumor, so Ms. Bick must describe the new scents that Alex smells and she is so precise in the descriptions comparing the smells to things like wet pennies and curdled milk. The precision doesn’t stop there, though. It is obvious that Ms. Bick has done her research when it comes to EMPs and other nuclear information. The physics within the book is not only detailed and specific, but understandable. It makes the possibility of the type of destruction that happens in Ashes seem reasonable which is a terrifying prospect.
Not all of my questions were answered in this book, though, but based on the cliffhanger there will definitely be a sequel which will hopefully tell us more about the EMP, the changed, and what will happen to Alex next....more
Lena lives in a world where love doesn't exist. It has been classified as a disease at at the age of 18, all members of the society go through a brainLena lives in a world where love doesn't exist. It has been classified as a disease at at the age of 18, all members of the society go through a brain altering procedure which eliminates the ability to love. However, there are resisters outside of the society, who know how important love is. Lena, though, has never fought the idea of the cure, the order and the law. She doesn't want to end up like her mother who killed herself because of incurable love. But then all begins to change as Lena is introduced into the world of the resistors.
Although Delirium can easily be compared to other dystopian books, the comparisons are fleeting. Delirium is set in a unique dystopian world which has been brilliantly crafted. The idea of eliminating love by giving brain surgery is fascinating and the "blah"ness of the characters with the cure really hit home. To only care about order and law must really be a horrible way to live (but I can only see that because I do have the capacity to care).
I gave this books 3 stars instead of 4 (which I did consider) because of a couple reasons: -I really felt that the beginning was quite slow. It was too easy to put down and took too long to get into. The last 200 pages, however, were fantastic. -I want to know more! What did the scientists find? What were the bombings in the wild supposed to accomplish? How did they persuade the nation? How did they change history? I want to know more! ...more
Invasion is a mixture of tragedy, romance, adventure, and sci fi. Though I did have trouble at the beginning of the novel- I felt like the idea of Invasion was so cool (Men in Black + Alex Rider!), but it started off with such little pizzazz; however, do not worry! the rest of the novel makes up for it. After the initial exposition where we learn about CHAOS (a government organization that protects us from aliens) and Colt being considered as an agent in training, conflicts and action start with the freaky accidental death of Colt's parents and is non stop until the end.
On top of the main plot, Jon S. Lewis has built a comic book world that seems so thought out and real that I had to google it to make sure I hadn't missed out on reading about an awesome Captain America-esque comic book hero.
AND the technology that was available to the CHAOS agents and Colt in the novel were spectacular! I wish that some of it was real (and afraid that some of it will be one day).
I was surprised at how easily the protagonists bought into all of the weird stuff going on. If a friend of mine told me that aliens I read about in a comic book was real, I don't know if I'd believe him right away. But I guess if you are being chased by lizard men, you start to believe a lot.
I will say that there were two particular parts of the book that made me think deeply about some moral issues: *Who's guilty- those who make the weapon or those who use it? *If we sink down to the level of the bad guy to stop him, are we any better than him?
Worth reading and looking forward to the next book (CLIFFHANGER!!)
Some wonderings: *Why doesn't Oz get the serum too? *Why did they wait so long to invade? *If the weapons were so advanced during WWII, have they been improved on at all? ...more
I was enthralled by this smart, yet still accessible middle grade novel. Once I began it, I did not want to put it down. I cannot wait for the next book which I hope will be in my hands sooner than later.
The book was not only packed with an interesting concept (Mira and her mother travel through time to try to right wrongs that haven't happened yet), but the book was filled with information about late 19th century Paris, French history and art. Although some may feel like there was information overload, I found it all so fascinating. I am primarily sucked in when a book includes history that is less well known and that is exactly what this book did. Do you know about the Dreyfus Affair? After reading you will. I was also so excited to read a book so full of art history and art elements. Each page includes sketches from Mira and throughout the book you meet incredible artists such as Degas, Monet and Rodin. A cast of characters that is better than any fiction. This part of the book actually reminds me a lot of Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris except Mira is trying to fix something instead of fixing herself.
One wish I had while reading was wanting to see the artists' works as each artist was introduced. I was blessed enough to have an art-filled childhood so I could picture many of the pieces; however, many students do not have that background knowledge. I would love to see a non-fiction companion book that includes more history on each artist including copies of their artwork to really connect the students with the brilliant pieces that are being discussed in the novel.
Snatch of text: "Dad was right - [Notre Dame is] truly a wonder of the world...// Usually when you go into a building, it's lighter or darker, cooler or warmer than outdoors, but it's still part of the same world. Stepping into Notre Dame was like changing time zones or countries, crossing some magical border. A hush filled the cavernous, echoey space of the cathedral, despite all of the voices of tourists murmuring and people praying, as if the sound was absorbed into the bones of the building itself.//Light streamed in from the windows like a physical presence, the kind of light you think you can reach out and touch...The air itself felt still and chilled by the stone all around. The walls were stretched thin between the pillars that soared into a vault overhead, like the skin of a massive beast taut between its ribs." (p. 14-15)
Topics: History, Paris, Art (Photography, Sculpture, Drawing, Painting), Jewish ghetto, Notre Dame, Eifel tower, Madeline books, Anti-semitism, Degas, Van Gogh, Mary Cassatt, Monet, Gauguin, Seurat, Renoir, Manet, Whistler, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rodin, Patriotism, Oscar Wilde, Emile Zola, Zionism, the Dreyfus Affair, Military, Conspiracy, Human Rights, Justice system, Journalism, Race/Religion...more
This is the first book I've ever read that made me be scared for an apocalypse. The 2012 talk, the apocalyptic movies and dystopian novels all don't bThis is the first book I've ever read that made me be scared for an apocalypse. The 2012 talk, the apocalyptic movies and dystopian novels all don't bother me, but this book terrified me; however, this made me not want to put the novel down.
The story closely revolves around Miranda and her family (mother and 2 brothers) after a meteor hits the moon, moving it off course. Because of the diary format of the novel, we get to hear Miranda's innermost thoughts. Pfeffer beautifully writes Miranda's voice so as a reader I quickly became attached to her. Because we are reading from Miranda's point of view, the love for her family transports through the writing. As the world gets worse and worse, I became more and more attached to Miranda and her family. I understood Miranda's frustrations, felt her mother's pain in making hard decisions, and sympathized with her brothers when they hurt. I also was happy when Miranda and her family had successes. Because of all these connections, the book was not only terrifying and realistic, but also heart wrenching and wonderful. ...more
**spoiler alert** I did not find this book as fun as the first one, but it is also very different. Now that the Emberites are out of Ember, they have**spoiler alert** I did not find this book as fun as the first one, but it is also very different. Now that the Emberites are out of Ember, they have to find somewhere to live and anytime 400+ people join a town all at one time there is going to be some conflict- and BOY! was there.
This book has some of the most mentally unstable characters I've ever seen in a book:
*Tick is a sociopath! And what is with Lizzie always liking the really creepy boys- first Looper now Tick. I think Lizzie may need some help.
*Casper is such a whack-o.
*Torren. He is more than just a whiny boy. It is all his fault that this all started and I think he enjoyed every minute.
*Why didn't the Emberites make someone in charge and have them meet with the leaders? There could have been negotiations and this all could have been avoided.
This made the book pretty frustrating, because any normal group of people would have done just that and the whole book I was waiting for them to do it and even by the end they didn't. ARGH! Maybe in the 3rd book... ...more
Since I live in Florida, I am right in the middle of the NASA debate. Some feel that the science behind NASA and space exploration is not worth the money where others completely disagree. There are others who are somewhere in the middle, not knowing. To me, losing the space program is terrifying and the authors of this book take the same stance as me.
Moonbase Crisis is a book written by Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson but it is presented by June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of a commander on the Challenger, and endorsed by many NASA legends such as Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride. It is also a direct endorsement for Challenger Centers which are centers across the US that teach kids about space and hope to inspire them by letting them experience simulated space missions. That is where this book begins.
JJ and Dylan Wren are invited to a special space simulation after going on a field trip to the Challenger Center. When they arrive the find out that they are 2 of 4 young people chosen to be part of this mission. They are taught how to use actual communication devices and even put on real space suits. Then Commander Zota, the man who invited them, asks them to step into a room and next thing they know they find themselves on a Moonbase. In the future.
Throughout this book, science is definitely a main topic. It is sprinkled throughout discussing astronomy, botanical sciences, chemistry, and more I am sure. Though the book is science fiction, the science within in pure fact. The book shows a future where science and space exploration are not priorities and hopes to promote science by showing how important it is.
Then on top of all of this, it is a pretty good story with some major suspense. I look forward to the 2nd book as this was obviously an exposition for more to come.
Reading strategies: Prediction, Foreshadowing, Allusion, Making connections, Visualizing, Acronyms vs. Abbreviations (p. 36)
Snatch of text: "Also," the commander pointed out, "the Moon is near a quarter of a million miles from Earth, while the speed of our signal - the speed of light - is a mere 186,282 miles per second. Therefore it takes 1.3 seconds for a message to travel from Earth to the Moon, which will produce a noticeable lag when you talk to anyone at Moonbase Magellan." (p. 26)
"Zota continued as if he hadn't heard. "Because of the Moon's lack of atmosphere, walking on its surface will be like stepping out into a hard vacuum. Your spacesuit maintains your body's integrity. If your suit fails, your tissues explode and freeze. We wouldn't want that now, would we?" The cadets shook their heads." (p. 37)
Charity is kidnapped. This is not something that is out of the ordinary in 2035 and Charity has been trained just for these types of situations. ExcepCharity is kidnapped. This is not something that is out of the ordinary in 2035 and Charity has been trained just for these types of situations. Except, Charity's situation keeps getting worse and worse.
Bloor is one of those authors that, no matter what type of book of his you are reading, you know you will enjoy it. This book is no exception. This time he deals in a futuristic world and fills it with suspense.
I did find the book a little hard to get into at first. Because the book starts with you knowing that Charity is kidnapped, you are already supposed to feel sorry for her even though you don't know her. It takes a bit of time, through flashbacks, to get to know Charity, but when you do, you begin to feel for her and all the tribulations she is going through.
This book also deals directly with class and race issues and I really appreciate this issue being brought up in a YA/Middle Grade novel.
Lastly, I love the symbolism of the chess board on the cover! (Can't say more without spoiling...)
Overall, a good read with a lot of suspense and twists and turns. ...more
*Summary: Kaelyn lives on a small island off the coast of Canada. The only way to leave and return is on a ferry. Kaelyn returned to the island after living on the mainland and hasn't really seemed to fit in. So, Kaelyn has decided to turn over a new leaf. She doesn't want to be the quiet, weird girl in class anymore so she has started being more friendly to everyone in her class. And it is going really well. But then her friend Rachel's dad gets sick. Very sick. First he had a cough and was sneezing. Then it seemed like the illness took over his brain and he wanted to socialize, but had no inhibitions. Finally he is found in the yard screaming and hallucinating. Then he died. Just like that. Kaelyn's dad, a microbiologist, tells them all to stay away from anyone who has the symptoms because no one knows how to control it. This ends Kaelyn's resolution and starts an epidemic that takes over causing the government to quarantine the island. No longer is Kaelyn's life about making friends; it is about keeping her family safe, figuring out who her true friends are and surviving.
What I Think: I had trouble putting this book down. You get so caught up in the epidemic and rooting for survival that you have to know what happens to not only Kaelyn and her family and friends, but the whole community. The novel, written as an open letter to a friend of Kaelyn's who has left the island, really captured the emotions that would be feeling when an epidemic like this would take over a community. As Kaelyn's emotions change or envelop her, you feel them as well. But the truly terrifying aspect of this novel is that it could easily happen. We saw with the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 that the flu is relentless and that fear quickly takes over. In Kaelyn's story, the epidemic not only affects people who have the virus, but everyone in the community quickly showing all who are the good and the bad people in town. Fear becomes the emotion that controls too many instead of hope and kindness....more
Ashes, Ashes takes place in the not too distant future after a multitude of disasters have happened. Not only did global warming cause floods, droughts and other drastic weather changes, but a small pox epidemic killed off all of the human race between the ages of 30 and 60 as well as most of everyone else too. But Lucy survived. She is the only one left in her family and is doing her best to make it on her own living off the land in central park. Everything changes, though, when she meets Aidan from a close by camp and finds out that survivors are being hunted. Though Lucy struggles with being able to communicate since she's been alone for so long, Aidan and her find a connection and Lucy finds herself trusting him. From this point on, the action really starts and Lucy's life is truly on the line as well as other survivors.
Ashes, Ashes is a truly realistic post-apocalyptic novel that takes you through a young lady's story of survival against horrible odds. The book will grab readers right away with Lucy's struggles, from finding food that is not contaminated to getting away from wild dogs trying to find their own food, as well as the human instincts that come when trying to survive either alone or with a group. One surprising aspect of the novel is the twist about half way through that takes this post-apocalyptic novel and transforms it into a dystopian one. ...more
Most dystopian novels don't give you the date that they are taking place and they seem so impossible that we assume it is hundreds of years in the futMost dystopian novels don't give you the date that they are taking place and they seem so impossible that we assume it is hundreds of years in the future. Awaken is different. It takes place in 2060 and Katie Kacvinksy gives us a history that goes approximately to the present. And it is a scary, scary history, but mostly because it is probable.
In this world face to face schools no longer exist and all students go to Digital School. Our protagonist is Madeline, the daughter of the inventor of Digital School. Her day consists of interactions almost completely with computers. All of her friends are on the computer, she runs on a treadmill that projects scenery, and even when she "goes out" it is on the computer by watching movies with friends. And she doesn't question a day of it anymore. Then she meets Justin. In real life. He changes everything.
I love that Katie Kacvinsky gave a complete history to us, so that the present day in her novel seems so much more reasonable. It also showed one really negative way that our world could turn if we continue the way we are. The world Madeline lives in, doesn't even have real trees anymore, because no one wants to take the time to take care of them. That sounds so much like our society now, but a little more extreme. Though we have few that fight for the environment, how much would they fight if science finds a way for us to not need, say, trees? That is what has happened in Madeline's world. People stopped fighting.
I also enjoyed that throughout there were journal entries written by Madeline. Through these journal entries, you got to see a side of Madeline that she hid from everyone, including the reader. ...more
*Wow. Marissa Meyer completely impressed with this one! I was afraid that it was going to be just another dystopian or fairy-tale retelling, but it was so unique and really was entertaining and well done. I can definitely see why Cinder was a huge hit when it came out and I am so glad that I finally got to read it. What I specifically loved about Cinder is it didn't completely rely on being a fairy tale retelling or on being a pure dystopian novel- it is a unique combo of the two.
Characters: I love how Marissa Meyer didn't overwhelm the story with too many characters, as I have seen in other dystopian novels, she specifically delved deep into the most important characters. It made me, as a reader, feel like I had a deeper connection with the characters who actually mattered.
Setting: Holy world building batman! I am always a huge fan of a character who can build a world that is futuristic yet completely realistic. Although the Lunar colony and the glamours are a bit of a reality stretch, Kai's Commonwealth is completely plausible.
Conflict: Wow! Levana is so evil! She is a great antagonist to go up against the hardcore Cinder and handsome Kai.
In the classroom: The parallels between Cinderella and Cinder combined with many human issues throughout Cinder will definitely make it so it can be part of a classroom read aloud or novel analysis.
Topics: War, Humanity, Mechanics, Propaganda, ID Chips, Plagues, Politics
Snatch of text: "The screw through Cinder's ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle. Her knuckles ached from forcing the screwdriver into the joint as she struggled to loosen the screw one gritting twist after another. By the time it was extracted far enough for her to wrench free with her prosthetic steel hand, the hairline threads had been stripped clean." (p. 1)
"The lingering moon caught Cinder's attention, and a shock of goose bumps covered her arms. The moon had always given her a sense of paranoia, like the people who lived up there could be watching her, and if she stared for too long, she might draw their attention. Superstitious nonsense, but then everything about Lunars was eerie and superstitious." (p. 43)
(Went back and forth between a 4 and a 5, so sticking with a 4.5 only because I figured out the big secret. Otherwise- Loved it!)...more
his was such an amazing short story anthology. Usually when you read a collection of short stories there are a few winners and a bunch of losers, but with this one there are a tone of winners and a couple runners-up.
Let’s talk about how awesome it is to read a new Ray Bradbury story and a phenomenal story at that. It is an amazing story about survival, life, and love. It is such an interesting concept (a world where you only live 8 days) and is executed so well (you wouldn’t expect any less from Bradbury). And it is just one of the amazing stories. The amazing list of authors in this book would impress anyone: Rick Riordan, Shannon Hale, DJ Machale, Tom Angleberger, Neal Shusterman, Rebecca Stead, Shaun Tan, Kenneth Oppel, Eric Nylund, and Ray Bradbury. I also love the variety of stories. There are fantasy and science fiction stories – Percy Jackson right next to a story about aliens – and there are serious and funny stories – Tom Angleberger’s hilarious Rise of the Roboshoes alongside The Klack Bros. Museum by Kenneth Oppel.
Even though I don’t want to pick favorites, I would say if you are going to pick and choose go with the stories by Hale, Angleberger, Shusterman, Tan, Oppel, and Bradbury....more