The President called it the "epitome of the American dream." Daddy called it the "unholy alliance of business and government." But all it really was,...moreThe President called it the "epitome of the American dream." Daddy called it the "unholy alliance of business and government." But all it really was, was America giving up. Bailing out in order to join the Financial Resource Exchange...and provide the resources needed for a select group of scientists and military personnel to embark on the first trip across the universe in a quest to find more natural resources--more profit. The answer to my parents' dream. And my worst nightmare.
Amy isn't crazy about suspended her life for 300 years and starting over on a new planet. She likes her life the way it is. But her parents have already made their decision.
Life isn't easy for Elder either. Being the only 16 year old in the whole society would be bad enough, not to mention the expectations on him as the future leader.
When Amy is unexpectedly awoken, she and Elder must work together to figure out what is really going on in this ship filled with lies before it crumbles around them.
I really liked the way that the story was told from both the perspective of Amy and Elder. Although the story is promoted as Amy's story, Elder's experience is very important to the book and I was intrigued more by his struggles to become a good leader more than some of Amy's struggles.
Sold tells the story of a thirteen year old girl growing up near the Himalayan mountains. She and her mother struggle to provide for themselves, the b...moreSold tells the story of a thirteen year old girl growing up near the Himalayan mountains. She and her mother struggle to provide for themselves, the baby, and the gambling step-father. Between bad weather and a losing streak, it is decided that Lakshmi will go work in the city to help provide for the family. Little does she know that she is actually being sold to a brothel in which she will be held captive.
Sold is an amazing story of survival told in free verse. I liked the characters and the way in which it was written. Lakshmi was a very strong young girl and I marveled at her bravery. It was a tough topic; one that is hard to relate to or even think about deeply. I can't imagine living that kind of life, and I thought McCormick did a dealt with the issue well. I would suggest the book to others.
The teacher who lent me this book said that the school had originally intended to have the seventh graders read this book, but after the entire faculty read the book, they decided it would not be appropriate. I would suggest this book to seniors or possibly some advanced juniors, but otherwise I think the topic is inappropriate for the majority of students below this level. The story is not graphic, but it does deal with issues that these students may not be ready to handle. I know that I am not comfortable with discussing these issues with the younger students.(less)
"I never heard nothing so loud as this storm. And it was so dark and loud and I was shivering inside because I never in my life felt as alone as I did...more"I never heard nothing so loud as this storm. And it was so dark and loud and I was shivering inside because I never in my life felt as alone as I did that moment, like nothing else existed anywhere but this whirlwind of sound and it wasn't nothing personal but I was gonna be sucked away and be a part of the noise and the wet darkness forever."
Ruby lives in New Orleans with her grandmother and the ruby butterfly told her that the coming storm is going to be a bad one. The Big Spin is coming and the people of her town have to decide if they are going to wait out the storm or head for higher ground. This is a story of Hurricane Katrina and does a great job of describing the situation during the week that the storm hit.
It was hard to get into the story at first because of the way in which the story was written. Ruby tells the story, but she speaks in a way that is far from typical. I'm really glad that I kept reading though, because once the storm hits the story takes a different turn. The story was full of hope and perspective, and I really enjoyed it.
I think this would be a really good addition to any curriculum because it could be a way to talk about what happened during the storm and what continues to happen. The poverty in that area is devastating, but we didn't really hear enough about the storm. I would place this book at about junior or senior year because of the writing style. I think it is important for students to read something like this because it can help them to become interested in the history of the storm.(less)
It all started with the twins, Sophie and Josh. Their parents went away for the summer on a dig and they are left living with their aunt in California...moreIt all started with the twins, Sophie and Josh. Their parents went away for the summer on a dig and they are left living with their aunt in California for the summer. There they meet Nick and Perry, and their world unfolds. They witness magic and meet the heroes and villains from centuries of legend and myth. The twins set off on a journey to save the world as the beginning of this series unfolds.
I wasn't a big fan of this book. It never really drew me in. At first I kept reading because I understood that the author had a lot to set up for, then eventually I realized it wasn't going to get any better, but I was too far in to give up. There were some characters that I really liked, Scatty and Hecate were very interesting, but I thought there were too many characters to really develop any single character well. I thought overall that the author bit off more than he could chew and started a story that was just too complex for anyone to write well.
I could see using parts of this book in the classroom. As Scott was introducing his readers to characters who were far from human, he was very careful about describing them in a good amount of detail. It would be helpful to show students some excerpts from the book to help them develop their own descriptive skills.(less)
This is the story of a Chinese-American boy, a monkey king, and an annoying relative. It is a story acknowledging the difficulties of being part of a...moreThis is the story of a Chinese-American boy, a monkey king, and an annoying relative. It is a story acknowledging the difficulties of being part of a minority but emphasizes the importance of accepting who you are. The artwork and intertwining storylines made the story so interesting it was hard to put down the book. The only disappointment I had was the ending. I wanted a less ambiguous ending. I wanted to know what happened next.
I could see the value of teaching this text. It does a great job of showing students what it is like to function as a minority. I appreciated the fact that none of the characters were portrayed as victims. They were held responsible for their actions, despite what they were faced with. It is important for students to see that being bullied doesn't excuse inappropriate behaviors. I also liked the way the issue of self-acceptance was presented. Each of the characters were told that they need to be happy with who they are. I think that is an important lesson for all teenagers to learn.(less)
"Zane, do you know what it means to 'follow the condition of the mother'?"
"I guess it means if your mother is crazy, you're bound to be crazy too."
Zan...more"Zane, do you know what it means to 'follow the condition of the mother'?"
"I guess it means if your mother is crazy, you're bound to be crazy too."
Zane's life has never been easy, not since his mom's first suicide attempt when he was four. When things get worse than he ever could have imagined, he decides it's time to leave, so he takes his brother's license and credit card, the Fool's Fire Hand, and stumbles upon the box of things his mother had with her when she killed herself. In that box, he found the keys to his dad's old '69 Barracuda and he's off. Off to Zanesville because "Zane belongs in Zanesville." On the 334 drive to Zanesville, Zane encounters the ghosts of his family's past and learns the history of the gun in his trunk and the courage of his ancestors.
This book was so different from any other free verse book I have read. It is usually listed under this genre, but there is more to it than that. There are sections in regular prose and scenes written like a screenplay, which made reading much more interesting. Wolf is originally a poet and this background shows when you read through and realize the layers of meaning within just about all that is said. I was very impressed with the story as well. Zane was a complicated but lovable character and I felt like I was in the back seat of the Cuda the whole ride to Zanesville.
I think it would be really interesting to teach this book. There are some issues with suicide and negative images about the mentally unstable, but as you move through the book, these issues are handled in an appropriate way. The story is interesting and unexpected, and I think students would enjoy the text while we discuss things like the genres in which Wolf chose to present the plot. It would definitely have to be presented to juniors or seniors in high school because of some of the issues, but I think it would be appropriate reading for them.(less)
I could not put this book down. I LOVED it. The story was suspenseful and thrilling. I know this is a really lame review, but it is only temporary: ju...moreI could not put this book down. I LOVED it. The story was suspenseful and thrilling. I know this is a really lame review, but it is only temporary: just until I can figure out what to say without giving everything away. This is definitely a book worth reading.(less)