Abandoned by her parents who went on a 25th anniversary trip for the holidays, Lily seeks adventure and a kindred spirit by leaving a notebook with scAbandoned by her parents who went on a 25th anniversary trip for the holidays, Lily seeks adventure and a kindred spirit by leaving a notebook with scavenger hunt type clues on the shelves of a hipster NYC bookstore. Dash, also parent-less for the holidays, discovers it and accepts the challenge, answering her questions with the honesty and verve he can spare while hiding nameless in a notebook. They pass the book back and forth, sending each other to festive and off-the-wall locations around the city, while pouring forth their innermost thoughts on the page. As they being to fall in love, each wonders if the person on the page will measure up to the person in real life.
This story left me with the glow like watching a feel-good holiday chick flick. While there are some unrealistic story lines (where are the parents? at Christmas!) the characters are full and realistic. The story is fun and filled with crazy situations and conversations that should appeal to boys and girls alike. I’ve seen but not read Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, but I would say that fans of that story would enjoy this one. ...more
I didn't feel that I really understood her frame of mind and reasons behind her actions. Since she had apparently blocked a lot of her memories, the sI didn't feel that I really understood her frame of mind and reasons behind her actions. Since she had apparently blocked a lot of her memories, the story started slowly with a lot of silence and attitude. By the time the trial rolled around we started learning more, but it took a while to get there. And as a mom (twice) I really do not understand these women who claim they had no clue they were pregnant - just not possible!...more
Great story about a teen who moves from Boston after her mom dies to L.A. to live with the dad she's never met. Who happens to be an A-list movie starGreat story about a teen who moves from Boston after her mom dies to L.A. to live with the dad she's never met. Who happens to be an A-list movie star. This would seem to be fantastic for just about anyone else, but Ruby is pretty angry about being ignored for 15 years and she she's still dealing with her mom's death and missing her BFF and hot boyfriend.
The plot was pretty predictable but the storytelling made it fun. I liked the descriptions of the crazy "Dream Interpretation" elective at her high school....more
I found this compulsively readable and stayed up late finishing it in two evenings. The narration effectively allows you to read Clay's reactions as hI found this compulsively readable and stayed up late finishing it in two evenings. The narration effectively allows you to read Clay's reactions as he listens to the tapes, as he struggles to understand Hannah’s depression and struggle to be heard. With my decades of hindsight on my teen years, I didn’t quite feel that Hannah’s explanations justified her suicide, but I still feel that the story clearly outlined how one person’s small, seemingly inconsequential actions can have a major impact on someone else. Definitely a great book for teens and teen discussion groups....more
Written in verse, Crank tells the story of good girl Kristina who gives in to her base urges while visiting her low-life dad and experiments with cranWritten in verse, Crank tells the story of good girl Kristina who gives in to her base urges while visiting her low-life dad and experiments with crank **because she likes a boy**. She refers to this deviant side of herself as "Bree." When she returns to her mom's, she is addicted and seeks out the company of a couple of boys who will be able to get her drugs. Life spirals downward.
Crank gives a startling and stark look at the ravages of addiction, like watching an inevitable wreck. The verse form limits tha depth of understanding of the character, but does lend itself to the feel of her emotions while high or crashing. I especially liked the indented lines that would form a second poem within the main poem. These indented verses would often be harsher or contradictory to the main poem, much like Kristina vs Bree seem in the story. ...more
Told through Miranda's diary entries over 9 months, this is the story of what could happen when an asteroid knocks the moon off its orbit. While the eTold through Miranda's diary entries over 9 months, this is the story of what could happen when an asteroid knocks the moon off its orbit. While the events are tragic and devastating, Miranda and her family show courage, hope and remain strong together in the face of death.
A gritty future awaits us when the oil age ends, the poles melt and the coastal cities of today are submerged. The main character, Nailer, is on the hA gritty future awaits us when the oil age ends, the poles melt and the coastal cities of today are submerged. The main character, Nailer, is on the have-nots side of the vast chasm between the "swanks" and the "rust rats." He spends his days working with a crew of other kids to strip any valuable metal from the carcass of washed up oil rigs; he spends his nights hiding from his abusive, crystal-sliding dad, until the day after a city-killer storm hits and he discovers a swank sailing clipper crashed nearby. Should he scavenge the wealth from the ship and buy his way out of the oil rig's guts? or should he save the half-drowned swank girl and escape to another life?
I liked this, but it left a lot of questions for me. Not so much holes in the story, that was fine, but sideline explanations about the new future. There was lots of talk about the cult and the harvesters, and I wanted to learn more about that aspect. Perhaps in the next book The Drowned Cities we'll get some more about that and the world of the "swanks."...more
In the summer of 1793, residents of Philadelphia were struck by a mysterious disease. What began as with aches, chills and headache soon developed intIn the summer of 1793, residents of Philadelphia were struck by a mysterious disease. What began as with aches, chills and headache soon developed into high fever, bleeding gums and nose, vomiting, confusion, delirium and finally, death. As wealthier citizens fled the city, those without means and those concerned for their city stayed behind to help the ailing and manage life in the city.
Audience (may include primary and secondary audiences, if applicable) 5th grade (age 10) and up
Age-appropriate booktalk “Both the kids and the housekeeper next door died today. Yesterday it was the grocer, the banker, the garbage man and the kids around the corner. Even the doctor himself is a little sick. Do you want to try his treatment? You take some mercury and some root of jalap (they’re only a little poisonous). The side effects? Vomiting and diarrhea. But that’s better than the disease. Your symptoms include a terrible fever, black vomit, confusion, delirium, red bumps on the arms, bloodshot eyes and yellow skin. You have Yellow Fever.
This book, An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 by Jim Murphy, tells of one of the many times Yellow Fever swept through Philadelphia when our nation was young. No one knew what caused it, and it would be over a century before it would be linked to the mosquito, before public sanitation programs would be developed and before a vaccine would be developed. Read this book to learn how the disease ravaged Philadelphia, learn about unsung heroes and about everyday citizens trying to survive this deadly disease.”
Strengths/weaknesses (as applicable) Murphy uses primary sources to weave a narrative beginning with the first deaths attributed to the disease, following through to the political aftermath of confusion and finger pointing, and finally discussing the medical advances that have controlled Yellow Fever. The copies of newspapers, engravings and letters help support the story. At the start of each chapter the reader can review a list of the names, ages and occupations of the dead; read newspaper announcements for estate proceedings; and follow a debate carried out publicly in the paper over proper treatments of the disease.
How could I use this book? (situations, groups, events, holidays, etc) History of early America; discussing epidemics and disease and the impact on modern society;
Read-alikes (3 minimum; print and other media – but must include print) Fever 1973 by Laurie Halse Anderson Historical fiction account of a young girl’s experiences during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793 in Philadelphia.
The Great Fire by Jim Murphy Nonfiction. An account of the great Chicago fire allegedly started by Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. Told through the eyes of several survivors.
Graveyard Girl by Anna Myers A young girl tends to the graveyard during the Yellow Fever epidemic in Memphis TN.
Path of the Pale Horse by Paul Fleischman A boy is an apprentice to a doctor, who treats yellow fever victims in Philadelphia during the epidemic of 1793.
Awards Newbery Honor (2004), Sibert Medal (2004), National Book Award Finalist (2004)...more