This book is not for everyone. I think that's been thoroughly noted in among the buzz the book's been getting. Yes, there is a serious squick factor....moreThis book is not for everyone. I think that's been thoroughly noted in among the buzz the book's been getting. Yes, there is a serious squick factor. As there is clearly intended to be.
That said, I loved this book for Suzuma's writing. Lochan and Maya are caught in an impossible situation, and they are completely unable to see beyond their immediate surroundings. They've been forced to take on adult roles far too soon, and they have that teenage confidence that they know what's best, no matter what anyone (or everyone) else says. I just wanted to shake both of them and say, "You're still kids! I know you think you're grown up. I know you think you can handle everything on your own. I know you think that this is all your life will ever be. But you're not! You can't! And it isn't!" But, of course, I couldn't. All I could do was read along and hope for them to figure things out. Suzuma's masterful portrayal of her teenage protagonists makes this book a stand-out, and readers prepared to handle the provocative subject matter will find much to think about here.
I read this book back in January and originally gave it 2 stars. I liked it a lot more the second time around, and I've...moreReview to be published in SLJ.
I read this book back in January and originally gave it 2 stars. I liked it a lot more the second time around, and I've added a star to the original review. The audiobook gets four stars because Kirby Heyborne's narration is really, really good.(less)
Somehow, I missed the earlier Bordertown anthologies. The only good thing about that, I think, is that I now have some fantastic reading to look forwa...moreSomehow, I missed the earlier Bordertown anthologies. The only good thing about that, I think, is that I now have some fantastic reading to look forward to. (Pun not intended, but I'm leaving it.)(less)
If I'd listened to Wren that day, maybe I'd have just gone on being the same old pretty happy, pretty...moreBook Source: checked out from the public library
If I'd listened to Wren that day, maybe I'd have just gone on being the same old pretty happy, pretty ordinary kid.
Meet Parker Lockwood: ordinary sixth-grader from small-town central Illinois. He does all right in school, but his real talents lie in drawing and building things. That's why he and his best friend were in the junkyard that day - picking out odds and ends to put together. It was Parker who spotted the puppet and, over Wren's objections, took it home. Then he put it on his hand, and nothing has been ordinary since. Because the puppet can talk, and he refuses to let go of Parker's hand. Parker has to figure out how to free himself from Drog before the smart-mouthed puppet manages to alienate all of Parker's friends and land him in military school.
You Will Call Me Drog immediately reminded me of Origami Yoda. We have a middle-school boy with a puppet that might be magical, and it might be just what he needs. Drog is darker, though, more serious in tone. Don't get me wrong: there's quite a bit of humor here, too, but the overall mood is much heavier.
I was, honestly, surprised to like this one as much as I did. Going into it with only the book jacket description, I wasn't sure if it was going to be more middle-grade "scary story" territory than anything else. But it isn't. Underneath the spooky-puppet shenanigans, Parker faces familiar issues: the changes in his family, the shifting nature of his friendship with Wren, and figuring out what he really wants. The writing is smooth, and the pacing is just right. Once past the not-so-appealing cover, this is a book that is hard to put down until you reach the end. (less)
But Lucky was considering how, when you're eleven, you're interested in love and murder, blood and glory and kissing, things that are precious and fra...moreBut Lucky was considering how, when you're eleven, you're interested in love and murder, blood and glory and kissing, things that are precious and fragile, things that are abandoned or condemned. Because eleven is much more intrepid than only ten.
Lucky Trimble is back, just on the verge of turning eleven years old. She's starting to think that, while Lincoln is a good guy and a good friend, it might be nice to be able to spend time with a girl her age for a change. And she would really like to do something, well, intrepid.
As in The Higher Power of Lucky, Patron's writing is stellar. The Old Desert Rat Characters of Hard Pan are in good hands, and it's great fun to see them again.
Problem: Am I a nerd who only has nerdy adventures? Hypothesis: No.
Ten-year-old Gabe is finally getting what he always wanted: a brother. His soon-to-b...moreProblem: Am I a nerd who only has nerdy adventures? Hypothesis: No.
Ten-year-old Gabe is finally getting what he always wanted: a brother. His soon-to-be-stepmother has a son, Zack, who is his age. Gabe is sure that he and Zack will be best friends, but their first meeting is less than promising. Gabe quickly realizes that all the things he likes - math team, reading, museums and libraries - Zack sees as "nerdy". The only thing about Gabe that seems to impress Zack is that Gabe is about to go to sleep-away camp for the summer. What Zack doesn't know is that the camp is the Summer Center for Gifted Enrichment, a gathering of nerdy kids from across the country. Over the course of the summer, in between kayak trips and Color War, logic proofs and poetry writing, Gabe keeps a list of his adventures as evidence for whether or not he really is just a nerd, or if he might be something more.
With an eye for quirky detail, Weissman develops Gabe as a sensitive, hyperintelligent 10-year-old boy. In the first chapter, Gabe recalls staying up on New Year's Eve with his math team friends, when they calculated the number of seconds from 8:00 p.m. to midnight. He then thinks about calculating the number of seconds until his train in the morning, but he decides that it will just make him too excited to sleep. From his love of math to his cluelessness about girls, we hear Gabe's perspective on everything. It's a slyly funny narrative, with humor that even clever Gabe probably won't pick on until he's a little older. This is a fabulous contemporary realistic middle grade novel filled with humor and adventure, a great combination. A kid doesn't have to think he might be a nerd to enjoy this book, although he might finish it thinking that such a thing might not be so bad.(less)