Monday, November 29, 2004

The Garbage King by Elizabeth Laird

This novel is based on the main personalities, Mamo & Tiggist, brother and sister with all their esperiences in Ethiopia. They encounter many hardships, hunger, and nowhere to live, but on the rocky streets facing all kinds of weather. Most of this book takes place in Addis Ababa the capital of Ethiopia.

These street kids in order to receive birr(the money in Ethiopia) to buy food. They have to beg outside Churches, or famous restaurants, or offer to watch a car while the owner went about their business. The kids live in a group, and share whatever they had amongst themselves. Most of the children were barefoot, and their clothes so dirty they looked like rags.

When money was scare, some of the children hung out in the back of a restaurant waiting for any morsels being tossed out, so the group of children could eat something.

This novel can apply to any country in the world. Some of the children were runaways, and thought life would be better than their situation at home. The novel was interesting because it portrayed the reality of life on the go on the streets. The moral of this story is think twice before you run away from home. Your home life could be better, than trying to figure out where your next meal is coming from.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Cruise Control by Terry Trueman

A companion book to Stuck in Neutral, Cruise Control is told by Paul, Shawns brother. Paul is athletic, smart, and normal. Shawn is mentally handicapped and has seizures frequently. Paul, his mom, and his sister Cindy all take care of Shawn, and it is now starting to take its toll on him. He is going to college soon and he feels that he is abandoning the family. Their father ran out on them and it seems he doesn't care but he does. Through out the book you get a sense of the hardship this family goes through, and the emotion each character goes through is felt by the words the author uses. Cruise Control shows the other side of what it is like to have a mentally handicapped sibling. It is a quick read and will be enjoyed by all who read it.

Tom Burnham

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Margaux with an X by Koertge

Two teens- hurt teens-Margaux who plays hard to get with guys and Danny who can't bear to see anything hurt are surprised to find that like each other and like holding hands with each other and like long quiet nights reading. This is a quiet beautiful story - and very short. Other books to try might be KEESHA'S HOUSE, STONER AND SPAZ, LONG NIGHT OF LEO AND BREE and Koja's STRAY DOG

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Vote For Larry by Janet Tashjian

This novel is so up-beat for teens, and reaches the topics interesting to teens way of thinking. It stretches the imagination of the reader that it is hard to put the book down. It covers many subjects that dwell inside the soul of the teenager.

The main character of the book Larry Swensen is so real, but loveable too. It is intriguing to follow the the ins, and outs of the particular personality of the novel. He has his good days, and his bad days like we all do during our lifetime. Larry's creativity, and determination to accomplish his goal pays off in the end. We the reader, see this throughout the novel. This is what makes the book worth reading. It captures your attention. The book is super interesting, and very worthwhile reading. The main character Larry is portrayed as a bright adolescent with insight, and the humor reaches near perfection.

I recomend this book for any teenager with a good imagination, and a sense of humor.


Monday, November 01, 2004

The Steps - Rachel Cohn

Annabel is spending Christmas Break in Australia with her father and his new family. At first she doesn't like them, and only wants to spend time with her father. As the story unfolds Lucy and Annabel become more like sisters than they ever thought. Annabel realizes how much her step family cares for her when she and Lucy run away to see Lucy's grandmother. With plans of her mother getting married and having a child Annabel realizes that both her parents love her even though they are separated. A nice read about the craziness of having step siblings in another country and also here in the United States.
Also recommended Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn.

Tom Burnham