Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Black and White by Volponi

If you and your best buddy did something stupid like hold up people to get enough money to pay senior graduation dues and by new fashionable sneakers using a gun and only you got caught would you turn your buddy in? What if everyone knows it had to be him holding the gun simply because the two of you were always together, stars of the basketball team, expected to get full scholarships to college, called black and white instead of by individual names. What if he is white and his father gets a top notch lawyer when he is arrested on suspicion. The lawyer is sure to get him off, while you stand to be convicted because you were recognized by one of your victims.
What would something like this do to your longtime friendship and your lives? Was it worth the results?


A Thief in the House of Memory by Tim Wynne-Jones

The house of memory is a grand old mansion that the main character's great, great grandparents built, lived in, passed down the generations. Presently he, his sister, his father and his father's soon to be wife live in a modern house built for them when his mother disappeared. They all visited the old house often. On one such visit - a man is found dead under a fallen bookshelf. Somehow this triggers memories of the missing mother and Declan begins visiting daily, remembering, searching for clues to his mother's disappearance and answers to his father's evasive and perhaps not true responses to his questions. Then there is the mystery of what the thief was trying to take and what role the statue of Plato had in the theft.
Its sort of a sad story, maybe one for Lurlene McDaniel fans?


Monday, September 26, 2005

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar

It could have happened to almost any basically normal freshman guy. Thats whats so cool about this book. Its funny too. At least I hope its funny to the kids going through this or who have just gotten through freshman year. Scott writes words of wisdom to his future little brother (mom is surprised to find herself pregnant.) It happened to my mom too so thats real. He tries out for student counsel, the newspaper, and student play all so he could be near childhood sweetheart, now beautiful, Julia. Only, he makes it and she doesn't. He doesn't stand up for Mouth, the talkative, friendless kid who tries to commit suicide. He does stand up for Lee the weird vampire wannabe nobody likes. He learns his hero big brother's terrible secret and that his dad is really good at his mechanics job. He and his friends from grade and middle school go their separate ways. He suffers through a bad Spanish teacher and enjoys his good English Class.

He sums it all up this way " Here's the reality of things. Kyle was once my second-best friend. Bobby was once my flawless hero. Julia was once my kindergarten pal. And I was once my parent's youngest son. Unlike cars, lives don't have a way to go in reverse."

jdw 9/26

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

What do you imagine Heaven to be like when you die? Fifteen-year-old Liz Hall is about to find out when she is killed in a hit and run accident. Liz wakes up on a boat called the SS Nile and it is heading for Elsewhere. Elsewhere is just like earth only instead of getting older, you get younger until you become a baby and are returned back to Earth. At first Liz has a hard time adjusting to the fact she is dead, and spends most of her days watching her family and friends back on Earth. After some time she gets a job at the Department of Acclimation Division of Domestic Animals department. Shortly after that she contacts her family through the Well and meets Owen. They begin to fall in love, but things become complicated when Owen's wife dies and comes to Elsewhere. As the years pass Liz has to retire from her job because she is getting to young to do it. She is then sent back to Earth and reborn as a baby.

Tom Burnham

Monday, September 12, 2005

Cinnamon Girl By: Juan Felipe Herrera

When I first picked-up the book I thought I was reading a story about an African girl. It turned out to be a Puerto Rican girl living on the lower East side of New York she was called Yolanda. It is a very moving account of what took place when the Tower's fell in New York City. How it affected a Puerto Rican family, how they delt with the tragedy. One of their family members was rescued out of the debris , & layed in a hospital bed till death. He was Yolanda's Uncle D.J., who was a diabetic.

This novel is written like poetry, & some words are in Spanish. I loved the book, & it was hard to put down. The novel is based on a true event that occured in the United States. It is very moving, & a tear jerker too.

LRD 9-12-05

Looking for Alaska By: John Green

This is a novel about teens, who go to a boarding school called Culver Creek. This deals about roommates, & how the friendships start up, or the roomates do not see eye to eye at all.

The novel dea;s with friendships between boys, & girls at the School , & the ins & outs of relationships. One relationship stands out with the teen girl Alaska. All the males at School have a crush on Alaska . But Miles is the male that completes the conquest of Alaska. Unfortunately, the teens drink too much secretly off campus, & one night Alaska has a fatal car accident. Everyone at the School is in schock, because she was well liked, but intelligent too.

This novel is true to life, & could happen to anyone. I reccomend this novel to any teen.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Fear Street Nights Trilogy by R.L. Stine

The Fear mansion is finally being torn down and in its place is a strip mall and a bar called Nights. About a year before the bar goes up Lewis and Jamie are hanging out in the area of the old Fear mansion. Jamie and Lewis are the first Night people. They then fall down into an old grave, which happens to be the grave of Simon and Angelica Fear. Little do they know that they were possessed by their spirits. Fastforward a year and accidents start to happen and then it leads to murders. In the second book Jamie's cousin Dana Fear comes to live with her and her family. She joins the Night people late at night at the bar Nights. Then one by one the night people disappear. Have the spirits of Simion and Angelica Fear returned to take revenge on those who looted the remains of the Fear mansion? And what does the spirit mean when it says "The Evil Lives"? In the third book everyone tries to put the murders behind them but when they start up again Jamie, Lewis and the remaining night people have to figure out if the spirit has returned, and if so what does it have in store for the night people?

Tom Burnham

The Sledding Hill by Chris Crutcher

Crutcher's books are all about the ordinary (not popular) kids that populate high schools and middle schools. Thats most of the kids isn't it? Eddie has lost both his father, who he is close to, and his best friend in the same year. Since he does not have anything to say to all the sympathic well wishers or anyone else, he just doesn't talk. What changes this? Two things, his friend Billy begins visiting him from the dead and an assigned reading book really becomes important to him. Those things are important enough that he chooses to share with Billy's father. They have many private discussions in the school's janitor's closet. A third catastrophe hits when his beloved book is banned from school by a group of fundamentalists. It looks like it will be banished permanently if he doesn't do something. With the help of Billy, Billy's father, Chris Crutcher who is the author of the banned book, and a couple of kids who think like he does, he sets out to stop the ban.