Prep is about a girl named Lee who gets a scholarship to go to Ault boarding school near Boston. The book takes you through Lee's 4 high school years...morePrep is about a girl named Lee who gets a scholarship to go to Ault boarding school near Boston. The book takes you through Lee's 4 high school years at Ault. Lee comes from Indiana and being on scholarship and kind of socially awkward, she does not always feel like she fits in at Ault. She would never think of telling her parents this though because she was the one who begged to go. Far too much happens in her 4 years there for me to summarize it all, but Lee is a quirky, intelligent, and observant character. She is quick to notice and criticize the cliques at school, yet she secretly wants to be popular as well. Freshmen year she gets stuck with some odd roommates, a quiet Asian girl who smells funny, and a wanabe popular girl who won't give Lee the time of day. She eventually makes some friends, and becomes best friends with a girl named Martha. Lee develops a long lasting crush on one of the cute popular jocks. She runs into Cross at the mall on one of their days off, and he 'saves' her after she passes out. However, Lee is too shy to really pursue her crush. She eventually....senior year....develops a secret pseudo relationship with him. Lee struggles a lot with the embarrassment of her family among the wealthy proper families of her peers. Lee begins cutting her peer's hair and becomes quite popular in that aspect - though she struggles with the knowledge that she is only doing it so that she can have a reason to talk to the more popular kids, she doesn't really like cutting hair. That was a slightly jumbled summary since so much happens. But this is a coming of age story - about the difficulties of high school, pressures, cliques, popularity, friends, boys, self-esteem, rumors, family, and just growing up. Honestly, I found Lee to be an odd, interesting narrator. Sometimes I was thinking, 'why cant you just act normal!' I did like the book and found it to be an entertaining read, I just did not identify with Lee very much. (less)
I chose this book because I saw it on a website that had rated YA lit books and it seemed like nothing I would normally pick up. I thought I'd try and...moreI chose this book because I saw it on a website that had rated YA lit books and it seemed like nothing I would normally pick up. I thought I'd try and expand my reading genres this summer.
Wicked Lovely is about a girl named Aslinn who has the Sight - that is she can see faeries. She has been able to see them all her life and has used avoidance, focus and control in order to keep that a secret, from both humans and fey. She begins to get very spooked when she notices that two court fey are watching her. Then, the male faery Keenan, put on a glamour (human face) and introduces himself to her and asks her out on a date. She is very scared and does not know the meaning of all of this. Her best friend/love interest Seth lives in a an old train car made of steel, which is harmful to faeries. She seeks solice with him and ends up confiding in him that she can see faeries and that she is being stalked by two of them. We learn that these two court fey are Keenan, the Summer King, and Donia, the Winter Girl. Keenan has been bound my his evil mother Beira, the Winter Queen, so that he cannot have his full powers until he finds his Summer Queen. The world is under the Winter Queens reign ever since she killed her husband (the late Summer King) and continues to grow colder. Keenan has since spent centuries looking for his Summer Queen. He has a dream about a mortal girl, seeks her out to woo her, and then give her the option of either becoming a Summer Girl and being bound to him in happy eternity as a summer faery, or if she loves him enough, she can take the test of the Winter Queen's staff - if she touches it and she is his Summer Queen then she will recieve her full powers and if she is not his Summer Queen, she will be filled with cold and become the Winter Girl, bound to serve the Winter Queen until Keenen can convinve another girl to love him enough to take the test. In short, Keenan has had a dream about Aislinn and has sought her out to try and make her fall in love with him. Donia, the Winter Girl, is obligated to try and convince Aislinn that she should not trust him. Although, Donia still love Keenan and her heart is not really in it. Aislinn, however, already having the Sight, knows that he is a faery and not to trust him. It is difficult though, because he is persisten in persuing her and uses the full force of his summer faery powers on her - he feels like sunshine and the rolling waves of the ocean, has an allure that makes you want to touch him, and is goregous of course. Aislinn and Seth are very much in love though and she is not to be persuaded easily. As the plot advances, Keenan finds out that she has the Sight and the Winter Queen becomes adament in preveting her from touching the staff - thus everyone is convinced that she is the true Summer Queen. Aislinn, too, after finally finding out what Keenan wanted from her, becomes convinced she is the Summer Queen too, but she does not want to be.... I will leaving the ending open.
I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this book about faeries - though I was very skeptical at first. It was kind of like twilight but faeries instead of vampires. I like that it was a 3rd person omniscent narrator and you get inside the minds of Aislinn, Keenan, Donia, and Beira. There is no real educational merrit in the story, but it is fairly wholesome, and Aislinn is a strong female antagonist. I think high schoolers would like this book whether they are into fantasy or not!
Go Ask Alice is the real diary of a girl living in the 60's. It starts off like a normal teenage girl's diary, but then she goes to a party with some...moreGo Ask Alice is the real diary of a girl living in the 60's. It starts off like a normal teenage girl's diary, but then she goes to a party with some acquaintances from school and accidentally has her first trip on LSD. She describes it as being a wonderful out of body experience. She claims to feel horribly guilty about it, but in no time she is experimenting with a plethora of other drugs. She meets another girl Chris who helps her get a job and introduces her to a dealer. That ends up being a horrible scam and so the two girls decide to run away. They go to California for a while and go back and forth with trying to stay clean and getting sucked into the world of drugs. She eventually goes back home....but only to be sucked back again. She leaves home again and these series of diary entries are more like nonsensical rants from various trips. It is obvious that she is into some hard drugs and may be almost living on the streets at times. This life is full of drugs and sex and stealing....and she is only 15 or 16 years old. She eventually returns home and tries very hard to get her life back on track. She is being harassed at school by the 'dopers' she used to hang out with. I was really proud of her for actually sticking to being clean and felt so bad that there was so much pressure to use and get sucked back in. These kids kept threatening her and eventually they got her....
I wont ruin the ending of the book, but I felt very bad for her and was very proud of her for getting her life back on track. The epilogue really threw me off!!! I am really curious as to what happened because her life seemed to be turning around.
Anyways, the book was powerful insight to the addiction of drugs and the overall harmful, destructive behavior that results from it. Her descriptions were vivid and powerful. The overall message from the book is the awful repercussion for doing drugs. I would definitely have this book in my classroom and I would not be opposed to teaching it. It could also open discussions of will power, self-destruction, morals and moral contradictions, and self-responsibility and accountability.
Just out of curiosity I Googled the book, and I'm a little disappointed that its basically fiction that was presented as truth. I figured it was embellished and edited to tell the story of drugs and not just girl ramblings, but I'm kind of sad that its just not a real diary at all.
I think this would pose an interesting discussion with students. Does it matter that its not true? Is it still based in truth because things like this girl's life happened all of the time and could easily have been true? What makes it believable or unbelievable? (less)
Slumdog Millionaire - originally published as Q&A - by Vikas Swarup
Adult Contemporary Literature or Multicultural Literature ?
Let me just preface...moreSlumdog Millionaire - originally published as Q&A - by Vikas Swarup
Adult Contemporary Literature or Multicultural Literature ?
Let me just preface by saying that I never saw the movie, nor did I have any idea what it was about.
Slumdog Millionaire is set in India and is the story of Ram Mohammad Thomas who won a billion rupees on a tv show W3B- Who Will Win a Billion? The book begins with his arrest after winning the show, because how could a poor 18 year old waiter possibly answer all 13 questions correctly... A woman comes into the jail saying she is his lawyer and saves him from interrogation. Ram then goes through the questions one by one with her explaining how he knew the correct answer. Each chapter tells a story from Ram's life and ends with the video of the game show question. The stories are all told in relation to the game show question, and are therefore not told chronologically. In one chapter Ram may be 6 years old, and in the next, 16 years old. Ram was an orphan from birth and has had quite a difficult life. Ram works as a servant for an actress and an Australian family. He works as an unofficial tour guide for the Taj Mahal and as a waiter/bartender at a restaurant. He has seen poverty, death, murder, suicide, robbery, and rape. But he has also seen love, kindness, and hope. It is difficult to sum up this book because so much happens, but I promise Ram's life is a fascinating read. There is also a slight twist at the end of the book that I will not give away. I loved the way the book was structured. Even thought it moved around a lot, it was not exceptionally confusing. Slumdog Millionaire relates to the themes of the effects poverty and wealth, morals and knowing right from wrong and good from evil, the will to survive, and self-reliance. I thought it was a wonderful story and I would recommend it to anyone. I think Slumdog Millionaire could be taught in the classroom, but it would be difficult to read aloud because of the many Indian words. I would absolutely have it in my classroom or do a literature circle with it.
I have now seen the movie after reading the book and I could not believe how different they were!!! I loved the book so much more!(less)
**spoiler alert** This book is about Mimi, who after her parents’ separation, moves from Houston, TX to New York City to live with her dad. Mimi start...more**spoiler alert** This book is about Mimi, who after her parents’ separation, moves from Houston, TX to New York City to live with her dad. Mimi starts her 10th grade year at Baldwin which is kind of a liberal school that gives no grades, but teachers the children of many wealthy New Yorkers. One of her first nights in New York she is reunited with her childhood friend Sam at a house party where Sam explains the socials workings of Baldwin. Mimi makes a bet with Sam that she can become one of the ‘Coolies’ – the coolest, rich, vintage-grunge looking girls at Baldwin – by Christmas break. Mimi keeps a diary of her progress at befriending the Coolies – Pia, Vivian, Jessica, and Lily. All of the girls go to crazy house parties, get fake I.D.s, do lots of shopping, date older boys, and reveal secrets about their not-so-perfect lives along the way. Mimi and Sam end up making out a few times. Then, when Mimi tells Sam that she does not want to be his girlfriend, Sam steals her ‘Coolies’ diary and threatens to reveal her dark secret to her new friends. About a week later, her entire diary ends up on the internet and Mimi’s life is in shambles. In the last chapter, all is resolved – her friends forgive her and she forgives Sam. This was a fluffy, girly read. Honestly, the main character Mimi is self-absorbed and does not act like the greatest friend to her old best friend in Houston, Sam, or her new friends in New York. The entire book was much more focused on Mimi’s experience moving to New York and the whole diary scandal was smoothed over very quickly at the end. I am sure that the characters in the book could be relatable to some high school students and it does portray the drama of high school cliques. The book does kind of glorify underage drinking and has Mimi giving into peer pressure a lot in order to fit in and feel accepted – which is relatable but not the best role model. Overall, it was an enjoyable silly read and I would probably put it on my shelf in my classroom. (less)