Samantha Schutz wrote this haunting memoir of her life from senior year of high school into her early twenties. Schutz documents her transition from h...moreSamantha Schutz wrote this haunting memoir of her life from senior year of high school into her early twenties. Schutz documents her transition from high school to college and college to the real world all while dealing with the onset of an anxiety disorder. Through poetic verse, Schutz explains her should normal and privileged life that is being taken over with her anxiety. She is able to paint a disturbing picture of what a panic attack feels like. She documents her constant medication changes and new therapists. Schutz is able to touch each reader through her daily life struggles and common disorder. I loved this book for many reasons. I felt personally connected to the time setting of this story, transitioning from high school to college to the real world is something I have gone through in the last 10 years and she was able to re freshen these feelings for me. furthermore, the anxiety feelings are common at some point in everyone's life. Most importantly, the way she wrote this book is what stuck with me the most. It was an easy read, but kept me engaged the whole time. The verse format fit this style and content of this book perfectly. (less)
Do you miss the language of JK Rowling's Harry Potter? Than The Tales of the Beedle the Bard is an excellent quick read for you. This book, written by...moreDo you miss the language of JK Rowling's Harry Potter? Than The Tales of the Beedle the Bard is an excellent quick read for you. This book, written by JK Rowling, consists of five short stories that act as folk tales to young wizards. The introduction explains that Beedle the Bard was what we "muggles" would consider Hans Christian Anderson or any other fable writer. This is apparently rewritten by the one and only Hermione Granger from the originals. After each story, there is a short commentary from Dumbledore explaining some background information and his own personal views on the stories morals and purpose. Each story has a different moral beyond displaying the good and bad qualities magic can express. This is quick read but very cute would be a great read aloud for younger students but also a great fun read for Harry Potter lovers of all ages!(less)
Sam Kingston is living the ideal life of a high school girl in suburban Connecticut. She has three best friends and her long time crush is her current...moreSam Kingston is living the ideal life of a high school girl in suburban Connecticut. She has three best friends and her long time crush is her current boyfriend, together they run Thomas Jefferson High School. On Cupid Day, her favorite day of high school, her normal privileged life changes for good. Sam is forced to relive this day as many times as it takes for her to realize a change needs to be made. Sam lives each of these days as her last... some chances she spends quality time with friends and family, other opportunities she rebels and lives like there is literally no tomorrow. Through each of these days Sam comes to realize the truth about her so called best friends, remembers the bond she has with her family and realizes who her true love may be. Sam encounters a lonely bullied girl named Juliet in each day. Sam now has to decide what is most important... life or making things right at Thomas Jefferson High. At first, I felt this book was moving slow and couldn't see an end in sight. However, I was hooked as the days were relived. I was touched and am still thinking about the ending. I flew through the last 50 pages and I think it would be an excellent tool for high school students. It made me consider how I would live my last day. It also allowed me to reminisce about high school and how interactions may have affected others around me. There are many themes that could be taught in high school- specfically death, bullying, and finding what matters most in life. (less)
**spoiler alert** Liz Murray is raised in an unconventional home in the Bronx section of New York City. Liz's honest and haunting tale of her life spa...more**spoiler alert** Liz Murray is raised in an unconventional home in the Bronx section of New York City. Liz's honest and haunting tale of her life spans from her earliest memories as a toddler to her late teens and adult life. Liz begins by opening your eyes to a world of drugs, addiction, hunger and poverty through the eyes of a child. She details her drug addicted parents highs and lows. As they go on binges stealing her birthday money to using their welfare check for drugs instead of groceries. Throughout this time in her life, Liz is able to still feel compassion for these people who are supposed to be raising her. She battles embarrassment at school and torment from her sister, but the picture she paints is unbelievable. As a teenager Liz learns of her mothers AIDS diagnosis and things spiral out of her control completely. With her mother moving out, Liz avoids school to the point that child services removes her from her father (who signed willingly) into a group home. This change of scenery shows her that she is now on her own. Retreating to her mothers new boyfriend for a little, she finds solice in her new friend Sam. The two of them bond over their lack of parental guidance and love for the streets of New York. When Sam is kicked out their house, Liz follows her to the streets of the Bronx. It is here they learn the value of friendship, hunger and possibility. As times get tougher, Liz falls in love with the wrong guy and loses her mom at the same time. She eventually has an epiphany that no one can change her life but her self. Liz takes us on an amazing adventure as she becomes the amazing woman she is today. (less)
The Help is a historical depiction of Mississippi in 1962, and will hook from the beginning and keep you engaged until the last page. Eugenia Skeeter...moreThe Help is a historical depiction of Mississippi in 1962, and will hook from the beginning and keep you engaged until the last page. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan has returned home from college, to her married friends Hilly and Elizabeth, and her critical mother. Skeeter has decided that she wants to be a writer, after some sound advice from an editor in New York City, Skeeter takes a job at the local newspaper writing a house cleaning advice column. Growing up with her black maid Constantine, Skeeter obviously seeks help from her friend Elizabeth's maid Aibaleen. Together an unlikely bond is formed and Skeeter discovers the real story she wants to write. With help from the black maids of Mississippi Skeeter breaks the norm of the southern housewife's relationship with her black maid and writes down the stories of her peers. Among the birth of civil rights, with Jackson, Mississippi in the center, follow these three incredible women, Skeeter, Aibaleen and a fiesty maid Minnie, as they tell their life stories. (less)
Between Shades of Gray is haunting tale of a Lithuanian family in the midst of Stalins reign over eastern Europe and Russia. The novel spans through t...moreBetween Shades of Gray is haunting tale of a Lithuanian family in the midst of Stalins reign over eastern Europe and Russia. The novel spans through the beginning of world war II and ending years later. Lina is strong willed 15 year old. She loves her family, her country and art. Her world is turned up side down when her, her mother and her 10 year old brother Jonas are taken one night without her beloved Papa. Thrown onto a train like animals, they ride with dozens of other Lithuanians to an unknown destination. Finally, disembarking the train starved, diseased and haunted by scenes of death they are thrown into a communal beet farm where they are to work for rations. Her hopeful mother keeps spirits up of those around her as Lina and Jonas battle starvation and confusion. Lina and Jonas both bond with 17 year Andrius who is doing his best to protect his mother. Lina and Andrius create the one hopeful and happy relationship within this novel. The Soviets do not stop at just the work camp, for those who do sign an imprisonment act are taken up to the vast wasteland of Siberia near the Artic circle. Jonas, Lina and her mother say good bye to the new family they have made as they are taken away from Andrius, who promises he will see Lina one day again. It is in Siberia where they fight the hardest battle of all, the cold. The end will leave you in tears but wanting to know more as they meager epilogue is your only saving grace.
I found this book to be haunting and powerful. The content is terrifying and borderline inappropriate for young readers. There are illusions to inappropriate soldier's behavior but the description of disease and hunger stick with you the most. The ending is not satisfying until you read the epilogue which still leaves you wondering how the last page led to that. I would recommend this book for a history class in high school studying Stalin and Communism but read with guidance from the teacher as many scenes are graphic and upsetting. (less)
Vasilisa, or to her close friends Lissa, is vampire royalty. As a Moroi vampire with the Dragomir name she is not where all other vampires her age are...moreVasilisa, or to her close friends Lissa, is vampire royalty. As a Moroi vampire with the Dragomir name she is not where all other vampires her age are. Lissa and her best friend Rose, a dhampir (half vampire, half human) are hiding from the Strigoi vampires and the guardians at Vampire Academy. Their freedom doesn't last long as they are captured and brought back to the academy. Immediately, thrown back into their original roles, behind the fangs and magic, it appears to be a normal high school with cliques, dances, love triangles and fights. But this is no normal high school, and Lissa is no regular Moroi vampire. Lissa has yet to specialize her magic and strange things have been happening to her since the car crash killing her parents and brother but sparing her and Rose. Their bond is unbreakable and unlike any other friendship. Lissa's special abilities and her shadow kissed guardian Rose, endure in a battle against high school forbidden loves and the dark world of vampires in the first of the series by Richelle Mead.(less)
The Chosen One is a haunting novel from the perspective of thirteen year old Kyra living on an isolated polygamist commune. Kyra is the oldest daughte...moreThe Chosen One is a haunting novel from the perspective of thirteen year old Kyra living on an isolated polygamist commune. Kyra is the oldest daughter of her fathers third wife. Kyra speaks honestly through the book of the things she thinks but cannot say. Kyra is different than many other polygamist children in that she is rebelling against the tight holds the community, specifically the Prophets orders. She is told to obey, yet she finds herself wandering off the property to find a mobile library. The driver and the books become her link to the outside world allowing her to question her faith and all that is around her. The story takes a dark turn when she is assigned by "god" to marry her 60 year old uncle. Kyra is heartbroken at the thought, as well as her now diminishing love connection with a boy her own age Josh. This is the story of a community that is driven by men, Satan and violence. Kyra is forced to discover if staying and standing by her family is worth losing Josh, her pride and her dignity.
I was unable to put this book down. It was a quick read as it is written through the voice of a thirteen year old girl. I have been interested in the topic from watching Big Love and reading other novels on the subject matter. However, I have never read one from the perspective of a child in this situation. It was moving. The one negative is that I felt the book was too short, it left me wanting more detail and more plot development. I would recommend this to those who are interested in the subject matter and young adults in high school since there was mild violence. (less)
Sarah Dessen's novel focuses on the complicated life of Mclean, a high schooler struggling to find her identity. The novel opens with Mclean in her th...moreSarah Dessen's novel focuses on the complicated life of Mclean, a high schooler struggling to find her identity. The novel opens with Mclean in her third school in two years. As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that Mclean and her "family" have come off a complicated love triangle in which her mother cheated on her father with a public figure. Mclean has animosity towards her mother therefore choosing to travel with her dad as he attempts to save failing restaurants. Mclean arrives at Lakeview ready to take her on her next persona, Liz. After changing her name and social status at her past three schools she is ready to create her next alter ego. However, something changes in Lakeview. For the first time she names herself Mclean and is not acting as anyone else. Real friends are made, beginning with a special connection with her neighbor, Dave. Their relationship allows Mclean to feel a sense of home for the first time in three years. Running from her past, fearing her future and unsure of her present, Mclean struggles to find who she really is and where she really belongs. (less)
The novel Perfect by Natasha Friend is a young adult novel touching on difficult issues some young teens face. Isabelle Lee is a troublesome 8th grade...moreThe novel Perfect by Natasha Friend is a young adult novel touching on difficult issues some young teens face. Isabelle Lee is a troublesome 8th grade girl with a sad mother and an annoying sister. After suddenly loosing her father a few years ago, Isabelle turns to bulimia to deal with her feelings of sadness. Isabelle has always viewed herself as heavy and finds solitude in the comfort of binging and purging, until her nag of a little sister squeals to her mom of Isabelle's actions. Her mom sends her to group therapy where she comes across the most popular and beautiful girl in school, Ashley. To her surprise, they become fast friends with their eating disorder as their link holding them together. Isabelle is now faced with getting help for her problem or keeping her newly found friendship with Ashely. Read and found out if these female characters of all ages are able to overcome their grief and get help for the future of their family!(less)