This is my second Ellen Hopkins book, and there is something intoxicating about all of the problems Hopkins tackles in one book. I thought the fact thThis is my second Ellen Hopkins book, and there is something intoxicating about all of the problems Hopkins tackles in one book. I thought the fact that it was written entirely in poetry made it intriguing as well as a quick read—however I found it hard to follow the multiple viewpoints for a while, the poetry took away from the characters’ natural voices and I kept referring to the first couple of chapters to retrace their story.
And, like Burned, I was very disappointed in the ending. Obviously, Hopkins likes non-traditional, dare I say depressing, endings--which makes sense if you look at the characters that she writes about and the situations that they find themselves in, but I just want these teens to find a bit of lasting happiness.
I did like the fact that the last quarter of the book is set in the Nevada wilderness. It is obvious that Hopkins has a deep love for her home state and the beauty it possesses. ...more
This is a book about a 15 year old girl who becomes a linebacker on her high school football team. It is a great premise, but what makes it a great boThis is a book about a 15 year old girl who becomes a linebacker on her high school football team. It is a great premise, but what makes it a great book is the fact that the story doesn’t focus on football. D.J. is a depressed and overworked teen who thinks little of herself at the beginning of the book; she spends most of her waking hours taking care of her family’s dairy farm because her father is crippled with a hip injury and her older brothers are off at college.
When a rich, spoiled boy, Brian, is sent to help on the farm, D. J. starts to realize that she wants more for her life. And, when a family friend challenges her to train Brian to get him in shape for the upcoming football season, D. J. finds her purpose. I love that this book has a girl training a boy for football and eventually a girl playing football; D. J. is believable at both. The book rebuffs the social stereotypes of jocks, discussing sexuality as D.J. falls in love with Brian and D.J.’s best friend declares her love for D.J. But, at the core of the story is a girl who finds something that she loves and, in the process, learns to love herself....more
I think this book is not only a strong story, but also a great way to promote a wider understanding of gender dysphoria, especially in a teen audienceI think this book is not only a strong story, but also a great way to promote a wider understanding of gender dysphoria, especially in a teen audience that tends to be less accepting of people who are different.
Through Grady's story, readers feel the pain of not being accepted for who you truly are, identify with his internal struggle of balancing his own identity and the cost of his coming out, and understand the euphoria of a crush on a popular girl. I like how, as the book progresses, readers can see Grady's transformation as he becomes more confident with himself and his family and friends become more confident with him, the reader accepts Grady as a boy. And as Grady's self confidence increases, he goes from no friends to four friends who love him unconditionally.
I also love the character of Sebastian who is a friendless nerd who doesn't let his social status get to him or inhibit him from standing up for what is right. He immediately sees the courage that Grady is exhibiting, by announcing his transgendered status, and Sebastian decides that he will befriend Grady, no matter the cost. I think many of us can learn from Sebastian's example.
I also like that the book goes back and forth between Grady's internal dialogue and the crazy events that surround his life. We get glimpses of the drama of high school as well as an opportunity to witness the internal drama of sexual identity development....more
I really enjoyed this teenage love story. I think the setting of the book--a town that is all accepting of every lifestyle--was needed for the story tI really enjoyed this teenage love story. I think the setting of the book--a town that is all accepting of every lifestyle--was needed for the story to be about love and not about prejudice. I found the ideas of a student running an openly gay campaign for 3rd grade class president and a high school quarterback who is also a transvestite who wins homecoming queen to be radical ideas--and I loved them. I wish we all lived in the open-minded environment of this fictional town.
I thought the main character, Paul, was funny and believable. His life is full of drama, but he is the center of gravity for his constantly orbiting group of unique friends. No matter how much trouble he got into, I found myself rooting for him. And the love interest, Noah, is well worth his attentions.
Most of the book went beyond tolerance to acceptance with characters whose parents and friends loved them for who they are, not who they love. But, through the character of Tony, readers get to see the anguish of living in a home that believes your lifestyle is a sin. I was worried about Tony throughout the book and was so happy when he stood up for himself and his freinds stood up for him. When I pictured the mismatched group of unique individuals who come to Tony's house to show their love, I had to smile at what an amazing extended family Paul had built for Tony.
I highly recommend this book; it is a beautiful love story....more
This is a beautiful story of family and love. This picture book is based on the true story of Roy and Silo, two chinstrap penguins in the Central ParkThis is a beautiful story of family and love. This picture book is based on the true story of Roy and Silo, two chinstrap penguins in the Central Park Zoo. Often flippantly referred to as "the gay penguin book," I like that this story can be used to introduce the idea of non-traditional families....more
This is a much needed addition to the field of YA literature and helps the readers be empathetic toward transgendered youth. Luna is an excellent paraThis is a much needed addition to the field of YA literature and helps the readers be empathetic toward transgendered youth. Luna is an excellent parallel read for Ellen Whitlinger's Parrotfish which is told from the point of view of a transgendered teen who is transitioning from a girl to a boy.
I thought Peters did a brilliant job of capturing the histrionics of adolescence in Regan's voice. Regan's dilemma of tring to be supportive of her brother as he transitioned, and her desire to appear "normal" in front of her new crush, Chris, was painful to read, but, realistic. The one thing that held me back from giving the book five stars is that I didn't bond with Regan as I read, I found myself wanting to read the story from Chris and Luna's points of view. I thought Chris put up with a lot from Regan and questioned why he kept coming back. And, throughout the book, I wanted to give Luna a hug and tell her life would get better--I cheered for her at the end.
There are some good discussions in this book including: transgendered youth, parent support of GLBTQ teens, dysfunctional marriage, women who feel trapped in motherhood, insecurities of adolescence, self confidence, teen bullying and heterosexism in K-12 schooling....more
The master of horror finally writes a book about zombies and doesn't disappoint! I was enthralled with King's take on technological terrorism that resThe master of horror finally writes a book about zombies and doesn't disappoint! I was enthralled with King's take on technological terrorism that results in brainless masses. I bonded with his main characters and found myself wondering if I would have done as well in their circumstances. But, what makes the novel worth the read and separates it from the rest of apocalyptic stories is the mythology that he creates--the zombies become more capable than the humans-- the gashed face villain that haunts the characters' dreams started popping up in mine too. Well worth the time....more
This is a really interesting fantasy book! There are many fantastical beasts (vampires, werewolves, witches, etc.) and fantastical elements (magic, poThis is a really interesting fantasy book! There are many fantastical beasts (vampires, werewolves, witches, etc.) and fantastical elements (magic, portals, secret societies, etc.) in the book that could be considered fantasy cliches, yet the story is far from stereotypical. Even though avid fantasy readers will be able to see shades of pop culture(Star Wars, Supernatural), the elements combine into a compelling narrative.
I grew to really like the main characters and found them an interesting mix. I can't wait to see how their story will unfold as the series continues and look forward to meeting family members that are mentioned, but never introduced.
Dedicated to “all the children in the world that need a home and family,” adults are encouraged to read the book with “someone you love” and are toldDedicated to “all the children in the world that need a home and family,” adults are encouraged to read the book with “someone you love” and are told to change the pronouns so that the book best fits their family. The book is illustrated like all of Todd Parr’s creations with simple cartoons in solid colors and shows all types of adopted families including ones with two moms and two dads. The parents and children are of all types of color combinations. The book shows adopted families doing various activities like eating dinner, adopting a dog, and reading books. A fun book about adoption for young readers....more