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,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, 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.
"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"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....more
"Is falling in love with someone's story the same thing as falling in love with the person himself?"
Cassia is a normal seventeen year old. She's excit"Is falling in love with someone's story the same thing as falling in love with the person himself?"
Cassia is a normal seventeen year old. She's excited about her match ceremony and can't wait to find out which boy has been decided to be her match. It seems like a dream when she finds out that it's Xander, who has been her best friend since she was little. It isn't until she sees the face of another childhood friend in her Match information that the perfect world she believed she lived in begins to crack around her. Cassia must decide if she will do what is expected, or if she dares to try to make her own decisions.
I was really intrigued by this book. The Society that is created in the book is chilling because it's hard to imagine so many freedoms taken away without anyone fighting. I really liked Cassia's character because she really grew from the naiive girl at the beginning who believed in the system to the fighter at the end who was ready to take on the Officials for the man she loved. The decisions that she had to make were difficult and I could understand the way she must have felt.
This book would work really well along with 1984. I like this book in conjunction because it shows a person figuring out all the problems rather than a character who already knows when we enter the story. I think students could relate to this story mroe than 1984 because the protagonist is a teenager and she is battling for freedoms that they take for granted like picking who her boyfriend is going to be. I think they would also be interested by the idea of the Hundred Songs and Hundred everything else. I thought it was funny that the characters claimed that music was for the older people. ...more
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 CaliforniaIt 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....more
"After I ignored the third snooze alarm, my mom started pounding on my door, trying to get me out of bed. Just like any other morning. Only this wasn'"After I ignored the third snooze alarm, my mom started pounding on my door, trying to get me out of bed. Just like any other morning. Only this wasn't just any other morning. This was the morning I was supposed to pick myself up and get on with my life."
Valerie was the girlfriend of Nick Levil. WAS. Before the day her whole world fell apart. Nick was the one person in her life that understood her, knew who she was. Now that he's gone she's lost a part of herself. This book is her story of picking up the pieces of the school shooting when Nick turned the gun on himself after shooting the kids who mercilessly picked on them everyday.
I couldn't really connect with Valerie. I saw her as a very immature character. I would much rather have read Jessica's story or even Ginny's story, but Valerie seemed too dependent for me. I did like the way the story started out going back and forth between the present and the past. I liked getting the story in stages.
I think this book would be very beneficial for students who have been through something such as the school shooting that happened in this story. I would even like to teach it to a class to whom bullying was a big problem. There was a strong message that people need to learn to see what's really there instead of what they want to be there. This is something that would be very beneficial to students. Otherwise, I might recommend this to students who are interested in similar stories....more
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 aThis 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....more
Vera likes being invisible. All she wants to do is finish her last year of high school and move on with her life. But Charlie won't let her.
I loved thVera likes being invisible. All she wants to do is finish her last year of high school and move on with her life. But Charlie won't let her.
I loved this book. Vera was such an interesting character and I instantly loved her. I loved the complexities such as all the worries about making the same mistakes as your parents and setting boundaries for yourself so you never do. I also enjoyed hearing from the perspectives of other main characters like Charlie and Vera's dad. I also thought it was interesting to hear from the Pagoda, the giant symbol in the town which had seen it all. This is a story about learning to have the courage to stand up for what you believe in and to take chances in your life, and I thought it was very well done.
I can't really see myself teaching the whole novel to a class because of some of the issues that come up as well as the language. I do think it would be beneficial to bring in excerpts to see the way the author used different perspectives in the story. I might recommend this book to juniors and seniors, but it is not something that I could feel comfortable asking younger students to read. ...more
Luna is the story of Regan, the sister of a transgender teenager who has renamed herself Luna. Throughout the story Regan must come to terms with herLuna is the story of Regan, the sister of a transgender teenager who has renamed herself Luna. Throughout the story Regan must come to terms with her brothers identity. I really loved Regan and couldn't put the book down. She was so sweet and cared for everyone else in the story. One thing that really upset me was that everyone in the story forgot about her or used her. Even the front cover of the book claimed that the story was about her brother Luna, which really frustrated me. Chris was the only person that actually seemed to care about her.
I could see teaching this book to show the importance of accepting people for who they are and not bullying because you don't know what's going on in other peoples lives. I don't think many parents would be too happy about this book showing up on their child's reading list, however, so my final decision would have to be that although I loved the book and thought it had a great message, I couldn't teach this book to an entire class. I would like to have it on my shelf and make it available for students who I believe are prepared to handle the subject matter....more
As a reader, I wasn't as happy with this story as I thought I would be. Everyone kept telling me it was going to be so good. I think part of the problAs a reader, I wasn't as happy with this story as I thought I would be. Everyone kept telling me it was going to be so good. I think part of the problem may have been the fact that I expected it to be more like Maus. I didn't like the the way that the story was set up in episodes instead of using the typical plot line. I wanted more of Marjane's daily life, more about her life in Iran than just straight politics. I know that the politics are important and I should be interested, but the book seemed to have so much of an agenda that I was not allowed to make my own decisions. I did like the last page of the novel. That page left me wanting to read the sequel even though I didn't like most of the first book. So I think ultimately it is fair to say that there were moments that I liked the characters, but those moments were the ones when politics finally moved to the back burner and family and growing up came into play.
I cannot see myself teaching this books because of the language and some of the issues that were raised. I think that the genre would work well in the classroom because it helps students to learn to make inferences by giving them the text and the images. I can see some of the value in teaching a book like this because it shows a lot of the issues that arise with a corrupt government and the implications it can have on the society. I think one of the reasons I was not interested is because I didn't know much about the society before or after the take over. If I had known more about the issues, I may have liked the history a little more. Any teacher hoping to present this text at a high school level would have to give a great deal of background knowledge to facilitate understanding....more
Jack's used to being left alone. But when it's in the middle of a campground and not in their apartment, he isn't sure of what to do. This is the storJack's used to being left alone. But when it's in the middle of a campground and not in their apartment, he isn't sure of what to do. This is the story of his journey home and his realization of the truth of his mother's condition.
This book is definitely written for middle schoolers or students in their first year of high school. Although I can usually relate to YA characters, this one was a little too naiive for me. I liked Jack and felt for him, but I had trouble with the complete trust he had in his mother. I know he's young and I am not criticizing that trust, but she had serious problems and needed help. I can see how a seventh or eighth grade student could like the story, but it was hard for me to feel what Jack felt about his mother.
I think there are teachable moments in this book, but I am not sure that I found it worth taking up time to teach the whole thing. I would like to show the students the way the extended metaphor of elephants was used to characterize Jack and his life. I also thought that it was important that Jack didn't end up hating his mother but tried to find help for her. He started to realize that everyone else was just trying to make things better, not ruin his life with his mother. It would be a book that I recommended to my students, but not one that I would teach. ...more
"She was pretty. Krasivaya." No. Not that word. I was supposed to learn it on my own. Not from Kretzsky. "It means beautiful, but with strength," he slu"She was pretty. Krasivaya." No. Not that word. I was supposed to learn it on my own. Not from Kretzsky. "It means beautiful, but with strength," he slurred. "Unique."
Lina had a promising future ahead of her. She was accepted into the art school of her dreams and had everything she ever could have wanted at her home in Lithuania. Then the NKVD came and tore her family from their home. The story deals mostly with her struggles in the camps that her family was forced to live and work in, not because they were Jewish, but because they were considered traitors by the Soviets.
As a reader, I was amazed by this book. Readers are shown some of the horrors that the family had to face, but that is not the focus of the story. The real story is about the love and hope that Lina and her brother Jonas held on to in the midst of all the hatred surrounding them. I was amazed at their struggle for survival even after all the horrible things they had seen. This story was unlike any other Holocaust survivor story I had ever read. Lina's focus was not on how miserable she was now. A great deal of the story is told in flashback about her life before being taken to the camps. While she is imprisoned, she falls in love. The horrors are constantly there in the background and the reader certainly cannot escape them, but there is more to Lina's story than that. She is not the person whose will was broken and is just waiting to die. She really is a survivor.
As a teacher, I think this book would be very useful in a Holocaust unit because it shows a side that we don't normally see. Most of the time, we think of the Holocaust as something that only affected the Jews, but it actually had an enormous impact on thousands of lives of others in Europe and around the world. There are so many big issues in this book, such as the reasons for Lina's family being taken. It is important for students to understand how complicated life was during those war years. Although the story is not difficult to understand, some of the issues addressed in this book make me feel as if it would be a better fit for juniors or seniors. I would definitely suggest this book to students who are interested in the genre....more
"Nobody knows how things will turn out, that's why they go ahead and play the game, Moose. You give it your all and sometimes amazing things happen, b"Nobody knows how things will turn out, that's why they go ahead and play the game, Moose. You give it your all and sometimes amazing things happen, but it's hardly ever what you expect."
I really wanted to love this book. The story was good, but it just felt like there was something missing. I was waiting for something big to happen, more action than just a solution that may have come from Al Capone, but maybe from somewhere else. I guess after reading about the escapades of Frankie and the adventures in Unwind, I thought there was going to be more to a story with Al Capone's name in the title.
I can see the value of teaching this book, and I can see how students at a lower level would appreciate this book. If I were to teach this book, I would start by introducing the history of the time period and asking students to try to imagine what it would have been like to live during this time. I think it would be fun for them to start making their own cards about some of the historical figures during the period in the way that Annie did in the book. I think using a book like this that has a sequel and leaves many questions unanswered to set up the next book is a great way to get the students thinking about those questions that the author seems to want readers to ask. It would also be a great place to set students up to do outside reading on their own. All the work that they would do to read this book would prepare them to read the sequel....more