Thursday, December 28, 2006

from e to you by Chris d'Lacey and Linda Newberry

This is another email novel that turned out to be more than just pen pals telling each other about their everyday life. Annabelle and Guy are the children of two men who used to be friends. One day their parents decide that their children should create a correspondence because Guy is mourning the loss of his mother and could use a friend. Their personalities clash a bit in the beginning, but they soon form a fast friendship that leads to a bit more, but that's almost to be expected when two people of the opposite sex correspond. What makes this novel better than the previously blogged email novel is that this one includes a few little sub-plot mysteries. First there is the mystery of why their fathers are no longer friends when they used to be really close Then there is the mystery of this locket that Annabelle finds and her father tells her to forget about. Next comes the mystery of who Jane is and why is she so close to both of their fathers. And why is Mary Mary sending a love letter to Annabelle's father when she's married to Guy's father? These mysteries encourage the paranoid and creative side of the main characters creating crazy and enjoyable stories that make this novel more than just the correspondence of two pen pals.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Life As We Knew It By: Susan Beth Pfeffer

This is a novel of hard times for a family that tries desperately to survive . They must ration their food, and use food they have carefully.

Next they loose their electricity, so their is no heat to keep warm.

Lastly, but not least, of importance a flu becomes a menace to everyone . Fortunately, the family of the book lives far from other people's houses. So the family is not exposed to foreign germs.

Concerning the little food they conserved. The Mother only ate one meal a day, and let her son Jon eat more food since he was growing.

When someone got sick they got Dr. Peter their family friend from the Hospital in town. For flu he said take asperin, and drink fluids. Then one day, the Mother fell down, and it was winter, and the daughter Miranda went to the Hospital. When she arrives two nurses said Dr. Peter died of exhaustion, and exposure to flu. The Mother got weaker, and kept falling, but the sons helped her.

Because of their wise planning, the family had food. A very good novel, and worth reading. Many practical lessons learned too. We must keep our faith, and never give up.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Aftershocks By: William Lavender

This novel is historical fiction written in the San Francisco,California area about the 1906 earthquake. It focuses on a middle class family, who the Father is a prominent Doctor, and well known in the community. The wife Catherine is considered a social butterfly by the society. They have two children , the boy is Corey, and the daughter is Jessie.

Jessie has a dream of becomming a Doctor, but does not have the funds to accomplish her goal.
Little does she know that when her Father has a major stroke while driving. He hits a lampost , and he is taken to the Hospital, and dies eventually.

When the Will is read to the family, Jessie finds out her Father has left sufficient money for Jessie to complete her medical degree.

Jessie finds out she has a sister called Lilly . She looks for her, and finds out she is an orphan at the Refugee Camp. Jessie then proceeds to make friends with the Doctor in charge of the Camp.
Little do we know the Doctor takes a keen interest in Lilly, and Jessie.

This book is worthwhile reading, and very interesting.

LRD 12/19/06

Monday, December 18, 2006

Invisible Threads by Annie and Maria Dalton

This novel is told by two different people, explaining different times of their lives. The one is Carrie-Anne, a young girl trying to find her birth mother. The other person is Naomi, Carrie-Anne's birth mother. Carrie-Anne's story is the present while Naomi's story discusses the the pastevents leading up to Carrie-Anne's birth. Carrie-Anne is bitter about her parents hiding her adoption and their unacceptance of her search for her biological mother. This creates a rift between Carrie-Anne and her adopted mother which makes her seem like a spoiled brat. At the same time, Carrie-Anne has her three friends that incorporates the conflict of what happens when friends become more than friends and those feelings change. Does Carrie-Anne ever meet her birth mother and what answers can this mother give her are the ultimate questions of her story line.

Naomi is another story line. She lives with her single mother who has what might be considered Bio-polar tendencies. Naomi adapts to her mother's highs and lows, trying to be a happy force in her life. At one point they find happiness when Lily and her two daughters enter the picture. That, though, changes when a man arrives, destroying not only the friendship, but the mother/daughter relationship. Things then get even more complex and disastrous when Naomi finds herself pregnant and feeling alone.

The invisible thread that connects these two is nothing more than their DNA. There are brief moments when similarities appear and the term "invisible thread" appears once or twice in the novel, but there needs to be more of an overlap to deliver the answers the story desires. I would have loved to have found out how Naomi ends up as an adult. There is so much about her childhood and how that affects her that it might be nice to see how it truly shapes her once she gains true independence. This story has the potential to turn into a Nature vs. Nurture exploration, but it falls short of choosing a side. You'd think that calling the novel an "invisible thread" it's pulling more towards Nature and how these two women are always connected, but there's not enough proof one way or the other. There almost needs to be more purpose or answers come the end of the novel. If the conclusion is that there are no answers, then the build-up is disappointing.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

amazing grace by Megan Shull

This novel follows Grace Kincaid as she leaves her life as a famous tennis star to become a nobody in the Alaskan town of Medicine Hat. There she starts life as Emily, a normal girl. With this new, normal life she experiences a best friend, Fisher, and her first love, Teague. She also has to adapt to life in Alaska, including freezing showers and chopping wood. She quickly adapts and falls in love with Medicine Hat, only to have that come crashing down as the paparazzi find out about her hiding place. The story is directed to the reader, Grace is talking to you, describing what she's going through. While it puts you in the story, just like a friend gossiping, it seems to be just limited to the highlights of her life. Normally that's not bad, who wants to hear about the everyday boring stuff, but the novel already moves at a fast pace so it might be nice to slow it down a bit. At the same time, the problem of her being discovered seems to be a big deal, although it seems blown out of proportion. Stars deal with the paparazzi all the time. Pulling a disappearing act seemed to make the situation worse. But at the same time, the book completely blew over the drama that the situation could have created. It was almost as if the climax didn't receive the respect it deserved. That's a bit of a contradiction, blown out of proportion yet not enough, but there was just something missing to make it worthwhile. The book is good for a quick read, although there are parts that can be slowed down to give it a little more meat.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bleed by Laurie Stolarz

If I had to describe this book in one word it would be strange or weird but in a good way. Stolarz tells the stories of 10 different teenagers who are interconnected in one way or another. Nicole sleeps with Sean, her best friend Kelly's boyfriend, while Kelly is in California meeting a convicted felon, Robby, she had been writing to for a few years. Robby's meeting with Kelly scares Kelly away and Joy, their waitress, who wants true intamacy almost goes all the way with Robby. Maria bribes Sadie into going out for ice cream, but first Sadie needs to cut Maria to prove her friendship. Sadie is overweight and her sister Ginger is jelous of Kelly even though Ginger doesn't know Kelly. Derick thinks he can get any girl and meets Mearl in the diner that his family owns. Later in the day Mearl runs into Maria and after that encounter thinks that she has started to plant roots. In all of the stories there is blood or the allusion of blood. It seems that Stolarz is saying that if we bleed we know we are alive, no matter what our lives are like.

Also recommended: Blue is for Nightmares, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, and Red is for Remberance, all by Stolarz.

T. B.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick

Don't judge this book by its cover! It is a fun, funny fast read and in the end both sad and hopeful.

Late one night Alex, home alone again drinks all the alcohol his father left behind when he left the family and tries to drive drunk to his father's in anger. He manages only to drive across the neighbor's lawn, behead a lawn gnome and give himself a concussion and a severe case of alcohol poisoning. He is lucky to be alive. He is lucky to not have killed any one. He will not be able to get his driver's license for several years. He has to do community service in an area nursing home which smells like rotten turkey and lysol.

He is assigned to Sol Lewis, elderly and Jewish whose sense of humor and use of yiddish phrases is hard for Alex to appreciate or even understand. At first he focuses on playing poker and reading with Sol. Until he stumbles on Sol's and his mutual interest in jazz guitar. Alex is so self centered at the start that he doesn't realize that his long time friend Laurie is now in love with him, doesn't ask Sol about his past life and interest in jazz or about the daughter Judy who never visits and never picks up the Hannukkuh Flowers Sol buys for her. Sol has emphysema and is so old he actually knew jazz greats from the 30's. No one fights to live forever and it is inevitable that Sol won't always be around. But, he teaches Alex many life lessons in his wonderful funny "gotcha" way and Alex in turn helps a reconciliation between him and his estranged daughter.
Don't be a meshuggener - read this!
jdw 12/7/08

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

rob& by P.J. Petersen and Ivy Ruckman

This is a book written as email pen pals and is supposedly the true email correspondents between the two authors. Petersen is "Rob Cruise" a resident at Pine Creek, a type of boarding school for trouble makers of all sorts. Ruckman is "Sara 4348" a girl he decides to email after reading her poem online. A vast majority of the novel is about convince Rob not to push his luck at PC even though he's miserable and about Sara dealing with a move. The novel plays with how truthful a person honestly is in email (Rob sometimes creates new identities for himself) and, of course, young love (because you can't have two pen pals of the opposite sex not fall in love - yes that was a double negative). The novel starts off slow because it is just an account of everyday teenage life but it does pick up (a bit). The line between truth and reality could be pushed a bit more - or at least contemplated more seriously. The characters are just too trusting to not consider the truth soon. Even when Sara realizes that Rob might not be the man she just brushes it off. It also seemed as if the lead up to their love was missing. Correspondence doesn't automatically equal love, so I would have liked a little bit more reason for the connection. There were a few emails to Sara's friend Angie, so it very easily could have been included as her musings for this man. It's just hard to see at what point the characters go from "I like talking to this person" to "I love this person." Nonetheless, it was an interesting read and I like the email format.

TRUE NOTEBOOKS by Mark Salzman

Respected writer, Salzman is a volunteer writing teacher for the Inside OutSide Writing Project.
Volunteers lead groups of teens, waiting in juvenile hall in Los Angeles for trial and sentencing, in
writing classes. These are kids who take guns with them to see movies. They are kids who take a nod of a head as a threat and shoot first. These are murderers. They are kids who did not fully understand the impact of their actions at the time. They are kids whose hopes and dreams have ended. Many didn't have much to begin with. Now they have less. They are chameleons, one way on the outside, different on the inside. They write coherent, heart felt pieces that may win your sympathies. This is Salzman's moving story of the project and the writers.
JDW 12/5/06

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Never Die Alone By Donald Goines

This is a novel based on a true story that took place in New York City. It reveals the truth about a drug dealer's rise from the streets of poverty, to be known as King David. He became one of the King's of Cocaine power. Nothing ever stood in his way to gain fame. He would injure a senior citizen woman to rob her purse. King David would not care he he mixed battery acid with cocaine to gain revenge.

Then he King David made it big, and found others had not forgotten, and had no intention of forgiving. His enemies sought after him to cause him harm. They stabbed his body more than a few times, and left him bleeding on the street.

Paul Pawlowski found the body, and put King David in his car, and drove him to the Hospital. He had lost lots of blood, so he survived a couple of hours. King David left Paul his white cadillac, and a diary.

I believe noone on earth wants to bleed to death on a lonely street. This is a good book, with some lessons.

LRD 11/30/06

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Edgewater Angels By: Sandro Meallet

This book reminds me a bit of the well known novel Huck Finn. This book is set in the ghetto's of Los Angeles, California . The plot twists throughout the story. The main character of this story is Sunny Toomer, who has lots os street wise. He (Sunny) is always walking on a narrow fence not knowing whether to d0 right or wrong. In Sunny's neighborhood a certain stare by someone, might be a silent challenge. If you ask someone if he or she, has a problem it might cost y0u your life in the ghetto, or projects. Sunny tries to survive by getting acquainted with a bunch of characters. He tries to be friends with his Mother, who has no husband. His Uncles are prone to violence, since they have either served time in jail,, or are out of jail on parole.

This is a unique story, but I think it could be true. It is very exciting after you read the first 75 pages. I feel that Sunny was very lonely, but needed that special love from a parent.

I recommend the book, so we can open our eyes, and maybe be friends to people like Sunny.

LRD 11/29/06

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Everlost - by Neal Shusterman

Nick and Allie are involved in a car accident and they die. Their souls however do not get to where they are going. They end up in a place called everlost, a place halfway between life and death. When they first arrive Nick and Allie meet up with Lief, a boy who has been in everlost for a while now. Together they travel to a place where MaryHightower was the "leader" of many Greensouls who had come to everlost. They lived together in harmony doing the same thing over and over again. Allie doesn't want to do the same thing over and over for the rest of her afterlife so she goes in search of someone called The Haunter. The Haunter can teach people how to haunt the living world. He gives Allie, Nick, and Lief a test and only Allie passes. With Nick and Lief captured Allie goes back to Mary for help, but doesn't get any. She then goes out on her own to find Nick and Lief which leads her to encounter the McGill, the monster of everlost. She starts to teach him how to skinjack (take over a living persons body), but that gets her put with the rest of the souls he has collected when he finds out that it can't be taught. Nick gets free and with Allies help gets off the ship and goes to get Mary to help free the captive souls on board. If you like Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin then you'll like this book too.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Certain Slant of Light by Whitcomb

This one is for readers who enjoyed Sebold's Lovely Bones.

Two spirits trapped on earth for reasons they don't understand, meet in a high school classroom though they are not themselves teens. The discover how to take over bodies of teens emptied of their own spirits. The fall in love. While occupying these foreign bodies they must learn to play the roles of the spirits who formerly resided there. And memories of their own pasts surface, allowing them to come to terms with their tragic deaths. One teen is a drug runner, who lives with his abusive brother, his mother is dead and father in prison. The other is from a very strict home where she is not allowed to have a personality of her own. At the same time they are growing to care about their caretakers and the spirits whose bodies they possess and discovering what is holding them to earth. They dramatically change the lives of all those around them before they move on into the light and final rest. Absolutely wonderful reading.
jdw 11/22/06

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Snow-Walker by Catherine Fisher

A Fantasy Novel based on Icelandic, Norse and Celtic Myth.

Evil witch Gudrun has ruled the realm for ages. Her time is at an end however. A group of courageous folks including Wulfgur the rightful Jarl and Kari, Gudrun's son have taken back the realm. Kari is a mirror image of his mother and has as much power as she but is only learning to use it. Gudrun had kept him imprisoned in a small dirty room all these years claiming him to be a monster. Gudrun promises revenge. She steals the soul of Wulfgur's beloved and takes it to the land of the snow-walkers across the ice bridge a land no human has ever returned from. Kari and the others set out to rescue the soul of Signi and release the realm from an icy dream sleep. They meet some incredible people along the way who help them reach their goal. There is the shapshifter/wolf and a skraeling woman, keeper of goats among others. They fall into traps set by Gudrun which they must overcome. Often it looks as if they will fail. This is a perfect story for readers of Garth Nix and Philip Pullman.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sold By: Patricia McCormick

For me, this was a disturbing but real problem that happens often in the world. It has become very prevalent in lower income families. People sell their daughters for a high price because of need.

In this novel , the main character is Lakshmi, who is 13, from the mountains of Nepal. She has no clue the outcome of her life. She (Lakshmi) believes she is traveling far to become a rich ladies maid. But, instead after traveling for days, Lakshmi is sent to a brothel in Northern India.

Lakshmi encounters difficult circumstances with Mumtoz, who runs the place, and tells the young frightened girl she must work, and stay there until she pays off her family's debt. Mumtoz cheats Lakshmi her earnings , so she can never leave. The oother girls become her friends, and help Lakshmi to survive this way of life.

After months of having a life of prostitution, an American man visits Lakshmi, and does not want sex. He wants to help her get away from the place. He shows her pictures showing how he could get her out of this business.

Lakshmi's next big decision, will she risk everything for a chance to start a new life ? Read the book, and find out.

LRD 11/7/06

Deconstructing Dylan by Lesley Choyce

Dylan suspects there is something about his life that he hasn't been told. There are pictures of Kyle that look just like him. There are odd references made by his parents. There is a discrepency in when his mother told the press she was starting a family and when he was born of ten years. His parents, genetic research scientists have been very silent about their past research and jobs. Dylan has horrible nightmares he believes are trying to tell him something.
When he meets a girl who knows all the secrets of her own life, she helps him discover the truth about his. Its a lot for a kid to swallow. At 160 pages this is a short fast read.
jdw 11/07/06

Invisible by Pete Hautman

Next door neighbors Doug and Andy had been friends since they were small. They could open their bedroom windows and talk to each other long into the night. They remained friends even when Andy became popular and the odd reclusive Doug was bullied at school and spent all his spare time adding on to a model train set up started by his grandpa made all of match sticks.

They shared a fascination with fire with serious consequences. We learn the truth about the past and the present little by little. Doug's take on things doesn't mesh with the adults' around him. He is in therapy. He is supposed to be taking pills. Hautman wraps up his stories too quickly but this is a decent read. It is chillingly possible.

Gil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez

This one is for fans of Douglas Addam's Hitchhiker and Spider Robinson's Callahan books. Charlaine Harris also writes wacky vampire stories which is just what this is.

The people of the desert town are accustomed to occurences of the supernatural variety. Those have been happening since Gil came to town and opened a diner 18-years ago then disappeared. Enter Earl and his new friend Duke. Seems Duke had become a werewolf unbeknownst to him and in an incident of rage attacked Earl who just happened to be a vampire. Being undead he just let Duke wind down then regenerated himself. After teaching Duke the ins and outs of being undead the two became friends of sort and began travelling together. They stopped one night for food at Gil's All Night Diner, now being run by Lorretta though it still needed work. The pair always travelled by nite - with a vampire driving they had to. Earl explains all the ins and outs of being a vampire to the curious Lorretta. In any case, shortly after their arrival there is a massive zombie attack which the duo thwart. After hearing Lorretta is in need of handyman help and believing they can solve the mystery of the zombie attack one of many in recent times they decide to stick around awhile. They battle increasingly bizzarre phenomena, consult Hector for advice on how to proceed. Earl falls in love with the ghost that guards the graveyard nearby. They don't know until the final, ultimate battle between good and evil, the battle to save the world that it is a rebellious teenage girl behind it all. Something the reader knows all along. Its a hoot of a novel. Its laugh outloud fun.
jdw 11/7/09

Monday, November 06, 2006

Invisible By: Pete Hautman

Main character is Doug Hanson who is constantly bullied. The girl at school is crazy, or inlove with, students call him a worm. Doug seems to have a hobby of building trains in his basement. His best friend Andy Morrow is a popular football star who could date any girl at school. Even though the teens talk about any subject together they are both quite different.

Doug becomes deeper into his own world, and looses his grip on realty. Mr. & Mrs. Hanson send Doug to a Psychiatrist, who then proceeds to place, him on medication. The pills give him a reaction , and make him sleepy.

This novel is a story that the reader experiences, rather than a read. When the novel is over,
and reads the idea of the book tends to linger in your mind . I felt Hautman had not finished, he kept the reader dangling.
LRD 11/6/06

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hell Phone by William Sleator

Nick is poor and his mother works two jobs just to pay bills and get food. Nick's girlfriend, Jen, is rich and she doesn't care that he is poor. She likes him and wants to be with him. Nick wants to get a cell phone so he can talk to Jen without using his house phone. He saves up enough money and buys a used cell phone for $20. It has no caller ID so when he starts getting calls from the previous owner, a woman named Lola, and a guy named Fleck, Nick has no idea what hell he's going to get himself into. Fleck gets Nick to release him from hell and tells him that his brother Rusty, wants to kill Lola to get an inheritance that is in a will. Rusty hangs out with Jen and she starts ignoreing Nick. One night when Fleck and Nick break into Rusty's house to get Jen away from him, Rusty is killed by Nick. What fate awaits Nick? You will have go to into hell and back to find out.

T. B.

The Boy Book by E. Lockhart

Kim, Cricket, Nora, and Ruby were the best of friends and popular during their sophomore year of high school. In eighth grade Kim and Ruby started a notebook entitled The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them. Cricket and Nora added things to it as they moved into sophomore year. During sophomore year Ruby was dating Jackson Clark, and then Kim stole him away from Ruby. Then when Kim was away the weekend of the big dance and Jackson asked Ruby to the dance, and he kissed her. They were caught and then Kim, Cricket, and Nora hated her and treated her as a leper. So as the first few months of juinor year unfold, Ruby has to deal with being and outcast, with her only friends being Meghan and Noel. She starts to become friends with Nora again after pictures of her with out her top on pop up around school and Ruby defends Nora. She also has to deal with whether she likes Noel or Angelo (the son of friends of her parents). On top of that during November week she finds out that Kim is coming back from Tokyo, and is planning on taking a trip to Canoe Island that she and Nora are on. Ruby is also seeing a shrink named Dr. Z, because she's having panic attacks with everything that is going on in her life.

T. B.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

maybe by Brent Bunyon

Bunyon wrote a memoir called Burn Journals which is about his attempting suicide by burning himself up and surviving the horrific experience. His first fiction book for teens looks at the aftermath of a high speed car accident that killed the male driver and lone occupant of the car. It is told through the eyes of his younger brother Brian who experiences all the stages of grief even has he goes on living, school, dating, first love. He deals with the idea that he will soon be older than his older brother and that perhaps his troubled brother had tried to commit suicide.
JDW 10/31/06

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Easy for you to Say By: Miriam Kaufman M.D.

This is an excellent resource for teens , their families, teacher's, peers, and health card providers. The author who is a Doctor also offers practical, and honest advice in many areas that are important to teens. For most teens today, the teenage years are challenging enough. But for teens with chronic illness, the challenge is overwhelming to the point of withdrawal, and becomming isolated from peers.

Dr. Kaufman talks about how to cope physically, and emotionally with the limits, and differences imposed by chronic illness. Lots of teens deal everyday with problems arising from cronic conditions or disabilities. Teens take strong medications, and may undergo frequent, or painful medical procedures. But what is embarassing to the teen, is their appearance is different to their peers. The book of course is non-fiction, written in clear accessible language. It is a must to read.

LRD 10/18/06

Monday, October 16, 2006

Push By: Sapphire

This is a novel that could be true in African American culture, or in any American families. I was a Sociology major in College, and did further studies on families. A novel like thiis would be a must reading for Sociological students.

Your main personality is Precious Jones, who is illiterate, and sixteen years old who has noo street smarts. Precious is raped by her own Father, and her Mother finds out about how, and who is the Father. The Mother beats her, and makes her life unbearable. The authorities dismisss the case, aas one more casuality of Harlem.

Then Precious becomes pregnant with a second child by her Father. Precious meets a highly radical teacher who encourages her witth her education. Precious learns to write, and writes about her life. Precious is able to make it on her own for the first time. At the end of the novel,there are many cases, of events that have happened to people. It is interesting because, individuls have a different way of talking. I enjoyed the book very much, and it was a bit grafic in describing different happenings. This book is for a mature teen.

LRD 10/16/06

The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin

Teenager Matthew, Callie who is twelve and much younger Emmie struggle to survive under the frightening, unpredictable care of their increasingly crazy mother. Mom demands absolute love and loyalty and the punishment can be terrifying if not brutal such as the time she drove on a free way against traffic until the kids pledged their love. She stalks former boy friends and other wise terrorizes many of the people who she knows but won't be manipulated by her.
So it is that three caring adults don't know how to help the kids without making things worse for every one. They are Matthew and Callie's father who could easily get custody of his kids but would have to leave Emmie behind. The kid's aunt, their mother's older sister who grew up being terrorized by her. Finally there is Murdoch the kids met after the witnessed him stopping a father from harming his son in a grocery store. Looking back two years after the events of this book took place, Matthew relates the years of abuse in a long letter to Emmie while he tries to come to terms with his horrifying knowledge that he was capable of ending his and his sisters' suffering in a very violent and final way.
jdw 10/16/06

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Keeper of the Winds - Jenna Solitaire

Jenna lost both her parents when she was 5 years old, and lost her grandmother when she was 8. She's been living with her grandfather, and now he has passed away. A few days after the funeral she is cleaning the attic and finds a board with mysterious symbols on it. She asks her best friend Tom and his girlfriend Kristen to help decipher the symbols. She takes it to one of her professors and he acts very strange around it. Father Andrew introduces Jenna to Simon Monk who is here to help protect the keeper and the board of wind. At first Jenna doesn't accept her role as keeper of the board because she knows nothing about it, but when its taken and her friends are put in danger Jenna embraces her destiny. She is the keeper of the board of winds, and she must protect it with her life. The board is not good its evil and she is the only one who can control and hold back the board from unleashing its fury upon the world.

T. B. 10/10/06

Weird Hauntings: True tales of ghostly places - Joanne Austin

Those of you who are looking for a book that has true tales of places being haunted this the book. There are stories about haunted houses, roads and alleys that are haunted, historic places like New Orleans and Kennedy Space center, forests, graveyards, inns and hotels, dinners and saloons, schools that are haunted like Eastern Illinois University, and institutions like Alcatraz. I enjoyed this book and finished it in two days. I've heard about some of the stories that were told in here on a few TV programs that I watch that are about ghosts/hautings. So if you want a scare or are looking for a story to tell your friends on halloween look no further than Weird Hauntings: True Tales of Ghostly Places.

T. B. 10/10/06

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

This one's for readers who liked Marchette's Saving Francesca and Brashare's Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Ginny receives a package in the mail containing 13 envelopes and instructions to follow the instructions in each and never to open an envelope early. They are from her aunt, an artist and who is charming, whimsical, sometimes flaky but excited about living. This aunt has recently died of a brain tumor after a long absence from home. We follow Ginny from London to Rome, Paris, the Louvre, Netherlands, Denmark the train broke down on the way to Greece and they couldn't use the rest room. Her backpack was stolen in on Corfu. Following her aunts instructions, she gave a large sum of money to a starving actor she came to love. She discovered she had a new uncle. As we travel Europe with Ginny, reading her aunt's instructions with her, we learn who she is and through art left behind along with her travels, Ginny learns what her beloved aunt's dying was like and how much she lost.
jdw 10/04/06

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Alice in the Know By:Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

This is a series of books written by the author, using many of her own experiences as she was growing up. This novel and the Alice series, makes the reader feel that the author understands what real girls think, and feel.

This book deals with Alice's summer before her junior year in high school. Alice is excited about her three months of excitement, passion, and drama. She Alice ends up working in a Department Store catching shop lifter's. Alice also encounters "real life" problems that she never imagined. Her Dad dates a woman, and lone behold gets engaged. Alice's Mother has been out of the equation for a longtime.

Alice finds out what happens in the real world at a job when you do not advise the right Supervisor when you go on vacation. When Alice returns from a good vacation with family she is fired. Alice cannot believe the outcome of her job. She discussed her vacation with her immediate boss in the Department.

By the end of summer, Alice learned a lot more than she realized . This novel is a good read for female teens. It is well written, and exciting too.
LRD 9/21/06

The Tarot Cafe by San-Sun Park

Pamela is the owner of the Tarot Cafe and she reads the tarot cards for the Vampires, fairies, and the other creaturs that live among the humans. The first story is about a feline woman who is a whishing cat that can grant 3 wishes before dying. The second story is about a vampire looking for his long lost love. The third story is about a fairy trying to get home to marry her fiance while being trapped in a young girls body. The fourth story is about a taxidermist who makes dolls come to life, and is trying to get his lover to smile and show emotion. If you like vampires, fairies, and other worldly creatures you are sure to like this first volume in The Tarot Cafe series.

T.B. 9/28/06

Monday, September 25, 2006

Brunettes Strike Back By:Kieran Scott

This is a fantastic book about trials, and tribulations of high school life. This book is fun, and very relaxing to read. The book does not only deal with high school problems,but specifically to do with a cheerleading squad, and their endeavors to achieve their noriety. This is so true when you actually become a cheerleader, and live what this book tries to point out. As a cheerleader, you must stop and be true to one's self, and beliefs. In this book there are many pressures revealed , and goals accomplished. You also have rivals between the squads, and great competition between the cheerleaders.

The cheerleaders from differesnt high schools go to the state competition to see who is number one squad. In the end, it is a close competition, and the unsuspecting squad wins the first place trophy.

I enjoyed the book very much, because I felt it was true when cheerleaders get together socially, they even try to compete amongst each other. Just to tell you, I was a cheerleader in 8th grade, so the book was right on. I relived many experiences that I encountered as a cheerleader.

LRD 9/25/06

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sleeper Code by Tom Sniegoski

Tom Lovett has Queintin's narcolepsy, where he can have narcoleptic attacks that can last from 1-5 days. Little does he know that the narcolepsy is just a cover to who and what he truly is, an assassin. Right before a serious attack Tom meets Madison, who is spending the summer with her aunt and uncle who live next door to the Lovett's. After an attack that takes 5 days away from his life Tom is unconsciously put into the back of a black van and taken to West Virgina. During his unconscious state he has a conversation with Dr. Queintin and he explains to Tom what is going on. There are two personalities in Tom's brain and now is the time to merge them into one person. At first Tom doesn't believe it, but when he meets his double he starts to see that everything is true. He runs back to his parents house and Madison asks him where he's been and he tells her everything that happened. She doesn't believe him but when she is kidnapped, and sees Tom go after the kidnappers she believes him. When Tom and Madison learn that the Lovett's aren't really his parents and that the government is planning to blow up both houses, Madison and Tom must save Madison's aunt and uncle from being blown to bits.
T.B. 9/20/06

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A Gracious Plenty by Sheri Reynolds

Finch, who is disfigured and has long tended the towns cemetary is permitted by the mediator to communicate with those buried there. Those who can communicate. Those who have not yet told/faced their true stories and faded away. Finch has her own true story and false story to tell. She has things brought on from outside herself like a lifetime of name calling and rejection and things brought on by her inner self that she grows to recognize as time goes on. The interaction between Finch and the dead including her father, Lucy a girl who commited suicide, baby Marcus Livingston, unable to talk and tell his true story he screams and screams coupled with the interaction of Finch with the town folks such as the town police officer, Lucy's mom and others drive this story. Perfect for those who appreciated THE LOVELY BONES
JDW 9/9/06

The Road of The Dead by Kevin Brooks

This is a weird, edgy suspense story. Cole and Ruben set off to Devon England to bring home the body of their sister Rachel who was murdered while walking to her friend's home late one night. Although the brothers thought they were just bringing Rachel Home they quickly find themselves investigating the circumstances surrounding her death. Ruben true dreams and even can communicate mentally with Cole though angry Cole who may have once killed someone himself resists his own abilities. The boys are of gypsy heritage and learn that Rachel was not likely to have been the target of the attack as well as the identy of the "dead man" who they believe is guilty of the attack from the gypsies at a nearby camp. Cole uses physicaly force which almost gets himself and his younger brother both killed as he delves into the secrets the community holds until finally the boys can leave with Rachel, their qestions answered. They can go home and bury their beloved sister. Just when you think you understand everything - you find out you don't! JDW 9/9/06

Friday, September 01, 2006


This one is for readers of Dean Koontz, especially ODD THOMAS. Tim Underhill's sister in law commits suicide. Shortly after his nephew, Mark, disappears, thought to be one more victim of an apparent serial killer. Tim returns to his home town in support of his brother and to see if he can learn what happened to Mark with the help of a friend known to be a savvy investigator.
Almost immediately Tim's investigations focus on a strange vacant house backdoor to his brother. The house has a cement wall topped with barbed wire across the entire back making it impossible to see into the yard. Mark had recently become very interested in this house. He seemed to be drawn their by the essence of a girl in spite of the appearance of a hulking dark faceless figure. The fact that this house was formerly owned by Joseph Kalendar, serial killer and cousin to Tim's sister-in-law. Mark's investigations reveal hidden stairs, chilling old evidence that police had missed and an essence that keeps drawing him back, until he disappears. Meanwhile the police are focusing on a nearby park where teens gather and where the boys who have disappeared were last seen. Tim's friend pulls together the pieces of the puzzle. An elderly neighbor who once knew the original serial killer and kept close watch on the house also adds to the story in surprising ways. Tim receives two e-mail's from his nephew, both after the boy disappears assuring that he, the lost boy and the lost girl are ok - somewhere unknown to the living...
jdw 9/1/06

Monday, August 28, 2006

Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You By: Hanna Jansen

This is a novel based on a true story which actually happened in 1994 in Rwandan, Africa.
It takes you through dangers of one family that some survive. Unfortunately, it was only the daughter Jeanne, who was able to escape the mass destruction of villagers, and hers too. The name of the tribe was Tutsi, which was Jeanne's ethnic group. Jeanne saw h0rrible events, and happenings which effected her for a long time. She endured lots, and survived not eating regular food, but had lots of courage, and endurance, and strength.

It's very painful to realize people go through many hardships in perilous times. It's very tough, but Jeanne makes the adjustments at first, but becomes sick to a point, that she is almost dead. She has recurring dreams.

Jeanne is a strong person, and gets chosen by a German lady who takes her to live in Germany.
Of course Jeanne has a better future to look forward now, being adopted.

If you like intrique, and excitement this true story is a must to read.

LRD 8/28/06

Scrambled Eggs at Midnight By: Brad Barkley & Heather Hepler

This is a comical book as well as romantic. It had much meaning to me , because in my childhood I was always sent to private Camp in Canada from 4 -6 weeks. This novel is all about Camp. This is an experience you never forget being that you are 6 years old.

Eliot is one of the main characters that has to deal with his Father, whom has a business, and own's a Christian Camp in N. Carolina. The other main character in the book is Cal, a female girl. She and Eliot meet at Camp, and they hit it off. They encounter many challenges together. For example, a missing camper, and a flood . Do you think Cal, and Eliot are a summer love, or will their relationship mushroom into a special bond ?

This book will have you on the go with just these two characters. Also not to mention are the colorfull settings throughout the novel.

Before I spoil the plot for you, or go any further, you need to read this novel. It is worthwhile believe me.

LRD 8/28/06

Friday, August 25, 2006

Monster Blood Tattoo by D.M. Cornish

Rossamund Bookchild, a boy with a girls name, has grown up at Madam Opera's Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls. Every year there is a period of time where prospective employers come and take the older children for employment. About 3 weeks after this period ends Mister Sebastipole, an agent from High Vesting, comes to offer him a job as a lamplighter. He gets all of his papers in order and sets out for High Vesting. During his journey he meets up with Europe, who is a lazar. After a few days of being with her and her driver they are involved in a battle and Europe is severly injured. Rossamund takes her to an inn where she recovers and Rossamund finds a new driver for Europe. They arrive finally at High Vesting. He goes out to explore while Europe takes care of some business. He meets up with some people he knew from Madam Opera's, and is captured by Captain Poundinch. He is rescued by Europe and Fouraces. As Europe and Fouraces depart and promise to visit him when they can, Rossamund starts his new life as a lamplighter.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Banana Sunday by Nibot

This is a graphic novel. New girl in the high school, Kirby, shows up on the first day with an intelligent spider monkey, an intelligent orangutan and an indistructable gorilla. Needless to say, fitting in isn't easy. She is bullied by an obnoxious snob and pursued by a school newspaper photographer and the paper's gossip columnist. She must keep GO GO the gorilla from destroying any one and anything that appears to harm her. Its his mission to protect her.
Kirby handles the bully very well indeed. The photographer with chicken legs falls in love with her. When the gossip columnist discovers the truth about where Kirby's unusual companions really came from, she chooses to be a good friend to Kirby and remain silent. Its all great fun.
JDW 8/24/06

Monday, August 21, 2006

Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story by Eddie Guerrero and Michael Krugman

This is the life story of the late great Latino Wrestler Eddie Guerrero. Combining his famous father technique mat wrestling with that of the high flying Mexican wrestling Eddie has blended them both to his style to become the most famous Latino Wrestler ever in the history of the business. The book recounts much of the hardship that Eddie had encounter from being in the business. Eddie has been through many obstacles in his life, everything to death from his father early on to his close friends and the struggle of being an alcoholic and partying too hard on the road. Eddie was able even to overcome it all to finally reach the very top of his profession, winning the WWE Championship belt. He is the first Latino to ever hold the title. Sadly Eddie Guerrero passed away on November 13, 2005 of heart failure.


Vampire Loves by Joann Sfar

Vampire Loves is a funny love story of Ferdinand the Vampire. The story begins off with Ferdinand opening the door to his ex-girlfriend Lani who is a human plant. She wants to get back together but Ferdinand can’t get over the fact she cheated with him with his best friend! Trying his hardest to forget Lani, Ferdinand embarks on a quest to look for Love. He finds many opportunities yet something in the end makes it hard for him to truly fall in love. Vampire Love is funny and witty and some what romantic story if you can get pass the fact that monster also can fall in love.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Godless by Pete Hautmann

Pete Hautman is speaking at the library on October 18th. This book won the young people's National Book Award in 2004. A teenage boy's father insists that he participate in a church youth group though the boy has begun to question the existence of God. The kid is kind of a pain in the way he responds to the leader of the group. He invents his own religion and recruits a few members. One of the acts the group performs is to climb the water tower and swim inside as a sort of baptism. This of course causes great problems. A couple of the kids are hurt by the religion, one who believes way too seriously and one who falls. We don't get to read about teens questioning their faith often enough but it happens frequently. This is worth the read.
jdw 8/12/06

Maximum Ride by James Patterson

Max is a genetically altered human with the ability to fly. She and several other similarly engineered kids live together by their wits. They once had a teacher/guardian but this person vanished. They are constantly being pursued by really nasty beings which are altered humans as well. Thus far they have mostly succeeded to evade them. All except the youngest who was captured and taken back to the lab of their origin for more awful tests. Max is the oldest and the leader of the pack but they all work together, share new discoveries about their many special abilities. They yearn to know who their original parents (pre experiments) are. They dread being imprisoned in the lab again where they are treated as animals. Max has also discovered human kindness and for the first time after she rescues a girl from bullies. Then is rescued from her enemies by the girl and her veterinarian mother. The mother repairs Max's damaged wing, treats her to her first hommade cookies. Tells her about the microchip embedded in her shoulder making tracing her at all times possible and helps her on her way. Max has been receiving messages believed to be from the man she once trusted as her teacher/guardian. They say that if the world is to survive she must save it. There was a lot of action here. The kids are excited about their discoveries about themselves and I MUST read the sequel. This is a great book

Monday, July 31, 2006

Rash By: Pete Hartman

This is a novel considered to be a comical mystery / adventure. The book has a way of building suspense, and great characterizations.

The character Bo Marsten is blamed for a rash that affects the whole student body at his high school. Then we see Bo sentenced to work at hard labor in the tundra of Canada at a pizza factory that's surrounded by hungry polar beans. Bo finds prison life to be boring, and dangerous. Bo is athletic so he plans on being a player on the factory's highly illegal football team.

Next, we see Bork, who is artificially created by Bo in a Science project. Bork tracks down Bo in prison. Bork offers to have Bo's sentence shortened.

Bo is hesitant to return to his old regular life, and somewhat intimidated. The book jumps from one event to another, but keep's the reader's interest intact.
LRD 7/31/06

Broken China By: Lori Aurelia Williams

This is an amazing story tha could happen to any young female teen. This story takes the reader to a realistic world of a teen Mother, who is confronted with choices in her life.

China Cup Cameron, must quit school, and work full time to support her two year old daughter Amina. The only place in town that will hire a minor , and school dropout is "Obsiedian Queens" a strip club. To find out more about China Cameron's decision about her employment, and life in general, this book is exciting , and on the other hand very touching.

China Cameron cannot bear to attend her own daughter's funeral, or even visit the gravesite where she is buried. The whole episode of her daughter is topsy turfy. China Cameron visits the grave with trepadation, and gets very emotional about the event.

China Cameron has a close friend, and Father of her daughter. He advises Cameron on many issues.

Just read the book, and see more events that can happen in your lifes.

LRD 6/31/06

Saturday, July 29, 2006

On the Head of a Pin - Mary Beth Miller

Helen, Michael, Joshua, Andy, and Victor along with a lot of other people are all at Andy's house celebrating Halloween. Everyone is pretty drunk and Andy pulls out his fathers gun and shows it off to Josh and Victor. Andy believes that it is not loaded, but it is and it accidently goes off and the bullet kills Helen. Andy and Victor want to hide the body and convince Josh to help them against his better judgement. They bury the body in a shallow grave. The next morning Michael wakes up and can't find Helen. So he assumes that she left to go back home. When he gets home he finds that his father kicked him out and he goes to find his friend Moshie, a former court judge. Michael goes to Pittsburg and news of Helen's murder reaches him there, and he hires a lawyer named Mr. Lockwood to prove that he had nothing to do with her murder. Michael goes back home and hides so no one knows he is back, but he encounters Andy, Josh and Victor are fighting about Helen's murder. Michael finds out the truth and Andy is sent to jail for Helen's murder.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle By: Avi

This is a book, and story that took place in the 1830's . The main character, female, Charlotte Doyle thirteen years old is from a well to do family from Providence, Rhode Island. Charlotte attended Barrington School for Better Girls in England . Charlotte's Father wanted his daughter to finish the school term rather than yank her out to the United States to attend school. The only problem Charlotte encounters after school in England is finished, is to get home to Rhode Island she must cross the Atlantic Ocean by ship. She Charlotte, discovers she has no family on board the ship, and she is alone without relatives. The trip normally takes one to two months during the summer. Charlotte's Father insists she keep a daily journal. Keeping the journal keeps the fateful voyage in 1832 detailed.

The name of the ship Charlotte boarded was "Seahawk" it was a brig with two masted ship that was 107 feet long. Charlotte had her private cabin, and at the beginning of the voyage treated like a Princess. Remember her Father was a merchant, and owned this ship. Charlotte had many things to learn on board the ship. For example, a knife was called a dirk , a small daggerlike blade six inches in length. Charlotte was given a dirk for protection.

The story goes on, and Charlotte becomes instead of a prim, and proper lady, and becomes like a sailor in ways of living, and in behavior. Read this book, and you will be intrigued of Charlotte's doings. This book is fascinating, and full of exciting events.

LRD 7/5/06

Pirates by Celia Rees

This story is based on true events. Nancy grew up on the warves among the sailing ships with servants' children and children of poverty. Her mother died shortly after her birth. Her father and brothers were merchant seamen and slavers. When her father dies, her life suddenly dramatically changes. Her brothers ship her off to a plantation in Jamaica where servants Minerva and Phyllis care for her. She discovers that a marriage has been arranged for her with a Dark, Controlling, Violent Brazillian much older than she.
He will receive rights to the plantation which she inherited. This her brothers didn't bother telling her. The arrangement would save the brothers' shipping business. Rather than marry this horrid man, Nancy, Phyllis and Minerva run away. They make their way to a secret village deep in the jungle. It is know by a few pirates and traders as well as former slaves. From here the girls Minerva and Nancy join a pirate ship as male crew members. The Brazilian is always chasing after Nancy as she and Minerva go about their adventures as pirates...until the fatal final meeting.
Slow reading. Most of the first half of the book is used to set up the rest of the story.
jdw 7/5/06

Monday, July 03, 2006

Deep By: Susanna Vance

This is an action packed story that will put readers into the magical, and real events are happening. The two main characters are Birdie Sidwell, and Morgan Bera, who are females. Both were kidnapped by Nicholas, a fake Australian who was a ruthless sailor.

Little did Nicholas know that Birdie had asthma, and without her inhaler that had medicine she could stop breathing. Morgan was very good looking Norweigian that had a lot of strength.

This book is full of events that most people would not be able to endure. Together, these two girls become friends and when they are placed in a small wooden crate to try to survive with minimal food, and water. They also have a way to go to the bathroom. Their next experience, is when crazy Nicholas places the crate down an old well. This book is full of happenings , in fact in some places in the book it becomes a bit scarry for Birdie . One has to remember it is a make believe story, so we must go on living.

This book is real exciting to read, and I recommend the book very much.

7/3/06 LRD

Friday, June 30, 2006

Midnighters 3: Blue Noon - Westerfeld

Blue time occurs at Midnight and time freezes. There are only a select few people who can go out and walk around in the Blue time, and they are called Midnighters. When Jessica, Jonathan, Dess, Melissa, and Rex are in school the blue time happens at 9 am, they become concerned and wonder why Blue time is happening during the day. Rex and Melissa go and visit an old mindcaster that is still in Bixby and she tells them that the darkings are responsible for the Blue time happening during the day. The darklings plan on expanding the blue time to encompass the world so they can feed on humans whenever they want with no one to stop them. The Midnighters come up with a plan to stop the rift the darklings have opened up, but what sacrifices must Jessica, Jonathan, Dess, Melissa, and Rex make to stop the darklings from overtaking the world as they know it?

This book was a very good ending to this trilogy and it left a few things open if Scott Westerfeld wanted to continue the series. I recommend Midnighters 1: The Secret Hour and Midnighters 2: Touching Darkness also by Scott Westerfeld to see how it all began.

Tom Burnham

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Hunter's Moon

In order for the land of Faerie to continue to exist a human sacrifice must be made by the king of faerie on the night of the Hunder's Moon. The Hunter is a worm. A being from the dark. Human cousins Findabhair and Gwen go on an adventure searching for and finding the land of
Faerie. Upon entering one chooses to stay and one to leave. One agrees to be the sacrifice, the other to try and rescue her cousin and best friend from her fate. Perhaps a company of seven blessed by Faerie could overcome the truly evil worm that is the Hunter. All agree it is worth a try. And so it is Dara king of the Isle of Inch and his great aunt Grania healer, Gwen, friends Mattie and Katie met during her travels, Findabhair and Faerie King Finvaara all transformed in wonderful ways with gifts of strength of Faerie go against the dreaded monster. Fans of author Chris Wooding should enjoy this story and sequels.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Maisie Dobbs by Winespeare

This was on the best book for teens list a couple of years back. Its a first book in a new adult mystery/suspense series set in the early 1900's England. Its a cozy mystery. Nothing is too graphic and Maisie is a sweet, upright, character who has seen bad times. She also has a gift for reading people and understanding the deeper meanings in what they say do. This makes her especially suited to solving mysteries. She is asked to find out if a young wife is unfaithful to her husband. She finds that the woman in question is grieving over the death of a long lost lover. He was severely injured in wwII and never fully recovered. Curiously his grave and those of several others in the cemetary bear only first names not last. This leads to the discovery of a farm retreat for soldiers with severe facial wounds. Something sinister is afoot there. Maisie sets out to discover what before the son of her former employer permanently enters the retreat.
I can't think of a teen who would read this. Also, I knew everything long before it was revealed, but it was kind of fun and maybe someone really really into mysteries would be interested for the thought process Maisie uses to uncover the truth.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Wrecker's By: Iain Lawrence

This is a novel that takes place in Pendennis, Cornwall. This is a County in England famous for pirates. It is known in History that many shipwrecks occured around this location due to evil happenings. The actual villagers prayed for shipwrecks. The people of Pendennis they lived from whatever they could savage from the shipwrecks. Things they got were dead sailors tools, and trinkets.

The book is written in the style of Robert Louis Stevenson, and Charles Dickens. The book is a tale about bravery, verses, and villainy. The characters of the book are very well portrayed. There is one female character calle Mary that adds flavor to the story. Her Father is called Simon Mawogan who was mixed up with the wreckers. John Spencer, a young man, survived a ship wreck . He was a boy who became a man, and helped a lot with people. He eventually rescued his Father , whome he believed was dead.

This is an excellent read, and lots of action.
LRD 6/19/06

Sunday, June 18, 2006

High Heat by Carl Deuker

Shane Hunter may have one of the toughest jobs in any sport played, he's a closer. A closer is a pitcher that comes in and tries to end the game for the winning team. At times they are given a slight lead and must be at their top of the game to not give up a run. Most times it’s just a pressure issue with pitcher in not being able to close out a game but for Shane he feeds off of the pressure. Until his father is caught for laundering drug money for drug lords and commits suicide.

Now Shane's nice cozy life of riches is gone on the ghetto slumps is his new life. All his former friends barely acknowledge his existence. Shane now hangs out with low lives and vows never to play ball again. When Shane gets in trouble with the law and is shoved back into the spotlight, can he regain his early form and once again be the shutout pitcher he use to be?

Tangerine by Edward Bloor

Paul Fisher is going to a new school, and new town, a new state, a new everything. His parents decided to move from Texas to sunny Florida to a new development in Tangerine, FL, which use to be all citrus groves. Paul wouldn't have been an unusual kid if it weren't wore these bottle cap glasses he has to wear because of his near blindness. Paul tells people that he looked at an eclipse but he never remembers ever staring at it. Even though he has to wear goggles when he plays, he's one heck of a keeper (soccer goalie).
When he tried to get in the Soccer team for school he was cut because the school didn't want him to be a liability. Now with nothing to do school has become terrible to cope with until one day when a sinkhole suck down half the school. When given the chance to transfer to another school Paul jumps on the chance to once again tries for the soccer team and hopefully win some recognition from his dad who idolizes his football star kicker brother. Paul wins new friends at his school and is slowly remembering why he really became fully blind.

Hoops by Walter Dean Myers

Lonnie Jackson seems like a regular kid living in the ghetto but he has a natural talent for playing basketball. The only problem that Lonnie has is that he isolates himself from the people around him, his mother, friends and even his girlfriend. When the local gym decides to join in on a city wide tournament, Lonnie is introduce with a street bum named Cal who will be his new coach.
Lonnie doesn't like this new addition to the team and immediately clashes with Cal on how to run the team. When Cal tries to help Lonnie improve his game, Lonnie discovers that Cal use to be a top notch player from the NBA! Cal then talks on how he made mistakes in his career and was banned from playing ever again. Now Cal hopes to teach Lonnie so that he doesn’t do the same. Will the Lonnie get to live his dream of playing pro basketball or will Cal's past come haunt him again?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Smuggler's By: Iain Lawrence

The tittle of this novel caught my eye, being that some of my ancestors that I have traced, were English pirates that roamed in the Caribbean. This novel is full of adventure, and great characters who are unforgettable. The book is intriguing, and full of suspense.

At the beginning of the book, we find Mr. Spencer, and his son traveling by coach,(not a bus) to Dover, England to purchase a ship called "Dragon." Dragon in the past had been a smuggler's ship.

Now, the Spencer's " Dragon"will be laden with wool for honest trade. We ask ourselves can a ship that has been a smuggler's paradise be used now for normal cargo ? Can John Spencer a 16 year old , a young man be responsible now that his Father died?

Captain Crowe is hired to pilot, and steer the "Dragon," which is not an easy task. In the end, we learn that Cpt. Crowe had been in charge of a smuggling ring.

Read the novel, and find out more details. I myself, found the book exciting, and the characters very unpredictable throughout the novel.

LRD 6/10/o6

Friday, June 02, 2006

Stop That Girl by Elizabeth Mckenzie

A collection of stories that starts off with the main character, Ann Ransom, at age 8 who takes a trip with her grandmother a.k.a Dr. Frost to Europe. When she comes back her mother is a wreck and Ann learns that her grandparents have split up. Fast forward a few years and Ann is getting ready to go off to college. She is working full-time at a pizza place to save money for college. She even takes a trip with her boyfriend to see the college she is considering going to. She talks to financial aid and a short time later gets a full scholarship to college. During her senoir year her granmother reappears in her life the same day as Allen Ginsberg is speaking at her college. Dr. Frost wants to take Ann on a trip to Norway after she graduates. Fast forward another few years and Ann is married and has a son. She is living in a not so stellar house and it takes coversations with her sister to realize that everything doesn't have to be done so fast. She needs to slow down to enjoy the things in life no matter what.

Tom Burnham

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

G-Dog and the Homeboys: Celeste Fremon

The Pico Aliso housing projects in East Los Angles is one of the toughest neighborhoods in the country. Many of the teenagers don’t even know if they’ll make it to adulthood, heck they don’t know if that very day they’ll get shot. The author recounts the lives of people living in the barrio mostly that of Father Greg Boyle most known as to the homies G-Dog or just as G. Father Greg is a Jesuit priest who works to change the lives of many of the homeboys for the better. Celeste Fremon the author of the book was motivated to do this book after meeting with Father Greg and his homeboys when she wrote a story of them in the newspaper. She became deeply involve with helping Father Greg in maintaining order in the gang infested barrio of East LA.

Father Greg way of competing against gangs was to get the kids off the streets and working to better their lives. The only bad thing is that many people have negative views that gangsters are overly aggressive and violent delinquents; no establishment wants to hire such people. Father Greg manages to have the companies to hire the gang members if he pays their salary but having so many people under wages it has nearly bankrupt Father Greg. Even with such obstacles in his way Father Greg manages to pay all the wages of his gang workers and manages to change a few lives for the better.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Girls in Pants By: Ann Brashares

This novel attracted me, because I had seen the movie "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." This was a smash movie in the summer of 2005, and I viewed it at home, and I loved it.

This novel is about Carmen,Lena, Bridget, and Tibby who have been good friends since childhood. Pants are what keep them together as friends, and have some magical touch for all four girls. The girls spend their final summer together, before going to different colleges.

It's interesting the way the girls react towards events. First, Tibby learns that her pants had known what she hasn't about Brian, so she longs, and lingers for her pants. Carmen, she's needs the magical pants because,she is taking care of Lena 's Greek grandmother for the summer. Another fact is that Carmen is pretending to be someone she is not.

On the other hand, Lena wishes the pants could tell her whether to go to Art School which is her dream or should she follow, even if it means her family would not support her. Bridget the final, but not the best of the group, was especially glad to have the pants at soccer camp when Bridget finds , who her fellow coach is.

LRD 5/8/06

Under the Jolly Roger. By: L.A. Meyer

This book is a sequel to Curse of the Blue Tatoo. It relates once again to Jacky Faber, our main character in both books. This time she finds herself against her will aboard a ship where the Captain of the ship makes advances towards her sexually. Jacky is fortunate in that the Captain is ill, and dies. In the mean time, Jacky convinces the sailors to her side, which makes her gain command of a ship in the Royal Navy. In between time, Jacky encounters many adventures. She Jacky makes the rank of Liet. in the Royal Navy by Captain of a ship she was on.

In the end, Jacky Faber was known as a pirate throughout the seas. She was caged in the hold of a ship, and taken to London, England to the gallows. I am not letting you know why, because you need to read the book to find out. Did Jacky Faber escape ?

LRD 5/8/06

Friday, May 05, 2006

Poison Ivy by Amy Goldman Koss

Ivy has been picked on since the fourth grade by the Evil Three Ann, Benita, and Sophie. The Evil Three are three of the most popular kids in school, and Ivy isn't popluar at all. Ms. Gold takes this as an opportunity to have her 3rd period American Goverment class learn about the judical system. The students pick a lawyer for Ivy and a lawyer for the Evil Three. They also pick a judge and a jury. They have a trial to find out if the Evil Three are guilty of being mean to Ivy over the past few years. The trail lasts for two weeks in the classroom. The jury reaches a verdict, but it proably isnt the one you're thinking of.

Tom Burnham

Thursday, April 27, 2006

It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Craig worked hard and got into a hard highschool, he deserved it. He would get into a top ranked college too. Only, there is a wrongness about his being there, he can't eat, he can't sleep, his stomach hurts. He finds himself in a major depression and on pills. Once he starts feeling better, he goes off his pills and spirals way down hill. He is suicidal and goes the suicide hot-line. At their recommendation he checks himself in to a nearby psych hospital. Back on his pills he begins to feel better but still must find a way to deal with the nasty tentacles that reach out and make his stomach hurt and steal his sleep. In art therapy with the wonderful, troubled people he meets, he finds an anchor and a way out. The characters he meets are truly colorful gems. I wish them success. This story was written just after Vizzini was released from a psych hospital and is loosely based on his own experience. It is kind of a funny (think odd) story. But it did hold my attention.
JDW 4/28

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Totally Joe by James Howe

Howe wrote the Bunnicula Series so maybe you already know him. This book a sequel to a book called MISFITS in which the four kids in the "gang of five" run for student council on the No Name Party Ticket. They don't win but as a result of their campaign against name calling by students there will be a no name calling day at school.

Joe is totally Joe. He knows who he is and is comfortable with that...most of the time. But, like the other misfits he has endured much name calling and out right bullying especially by one Kevin Hennessey. He along with the other members of the "Gang of Five" except Skeezie have their first romantic experiences in this book. But while Joe is out, everyone knew anyway, his first date is not and would rather not be who he is. This strains their relationship and causes both to do some hard thinking. Joe decides he can wait awhile for the dating thing. On No Name day Bully Kevin gets caught. And, it looks like the gang of five may now have more than five members. Look forward to more books in this series featuring each one of the "gang" members.
A lot more than just this goes on in this short easy to read book - like White girl Addie dating DuShawn a black guy. Its a fun book. JDW 4/26

Thursday, April 20, 2006

GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka vol.1 by Tohru Fujisawa

Eikichi Onizuka is 22 years old, hopes to have a high profile job at a high class business firm earning 6 million yen a year and having supermodels party at his house every weekend. The only problem is that he’s some street punk, with no credentials and only managed to graduate from a fifth rate college. How can a lowly, former biker gang leader ever achieve his dream job? In comes a high school girl that wasn't bothered by Onizuka's perverted antics. Has Onizuka found the love of his life in some young school girl? As the two get very intimate at some cheap motel, in comes some old man apologizing for acting rudely to the school girl and then they leave together. Who was this old man, the girl's teacher! Now Onizuka has found his calling and will become the greatest teacher in Japan.... while getting a chance to look at all the hot girls in the school uniforms. GTO is a great and funny manga that many older teen readers will enjoy.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Forever Odd by Dean Koontz

This is the sequel to Odd Thomas.
Odd is able to see ghosts and some other quite evil supernatural creatures as well. He cannot talk with them but he does manage to communicate. In addition he has the gift of psychological magnetism which draws him to people he wishes to find - or sometimes in reverse those people are drawn to him.

Odd is grieving for his lost soul mate/fiance who died in the first book. He has a terrible time sleeping and hasn't worked since her death. While tossing and turning early one morning he discovers he is not alone. The father of a close friend is standing in the room looking very worried and Odd assumes dead. Following the man back to his home draws Odd into a very weird murder mystery involving the kidnapping of his handicapped friend and attempts on his own life. The adventure takes him through the storm tunnels under the town of Pico Mundo, as thunder and lightning crash outside, in the Mojave Desert and into the burned out shell of a failed Casino/Resort. He is in pursuit of a woman he doesn't know but talked with briefly by cell phone before batteries went dead. With her are three thugs and Danny, his friend. The woman believes in voodoo and an assortment of other black magic and wants Odd to give her a big thrill by showing her the dead he sees. He does manage to get her to rile a poltergeist to a rage she finds quite satisfying. In the end she and the thugs want Odd and Danny dead. The thugs are well armed and not afraid to die themselves.

Odd does prevail but not without damage to his psyche. Great reading for fans of Ghost Whisperer and Supernatural. Its a wild ride.
jdw 4/19/06

Monday, April 10, 2006

Curse of the Blue Tattoo By: L.A. Meyer

This is a novel that demonstrates how a female character can take the male role throughout the book, and keep the reader interested. Jacky Faber is the main personality. She was an orphan who makes out in life with many misadventures. Jacky disguises herself to be a boy on board the HMS Dolphin and lands a position on the ship. She eventually is found out her true identity and forced to leave the ship. Next, Jacky is enrolled in the elite Laisson Peabody School for young girls in Boston. This change for Jacky was very hard being that she grew up in the streets of London , and fought pirates. The school prepared young girls to become fine ladies when Jacky had no clue about these matters.

At the School, everything was wrong about Jacky. Her French was atrocious in class, and her table manners were nil. To top it off Jacky had a blue anchor tatoo . Jacky had some friends at the School that were close, and would cover for her when she went out at night to play her whistle, and sing with Gulley in sailor pubsl

This novel is full of adventure, and vey historical I believe. Read the novel and see.

LRD 4/10/06

Boss Lady By: Omar Tyree

Tracy Ellison is the main character in this urban literature novel. She has grown up in Philadelphia, and has many unique ideas. This novel through trials, is the story of Tracy Ellison's life. In this novel Flyy Girl is becoming a major motion picture, and Tracy is ready to do anything, and everything to tell her story, and make sure it's done right. Tracy lives a full, and busy life. Tracy is deeply in love with her man. For the moment, Tracy is involved with the movie, and her love of her life comes in second place.

I recommend the novel to anyone who has to deal with Hollywood, and has a busy lifestyle. Most people are caught up with their own live style and very busy with their own business. This novel turns out to be a gem in my opinion.

LRD 4/10/06

Friday, April 07, 2006

Duckling Ugly by Neal Shusterman

Everyone knows the story of the ugly duckling who turns into a beautiful swan. Well Shusterman takes this story and puts his own twist on the tale. Cara De Fido is the ugliest person in Flock's Rest. She is so ugly that mirrors break whenever she looks into them. Even though she is really smart and her family loves her, it is her ugliness that everyone sees. Then one day she receives a note with 3 words on it: find the answers. A few weeks later the most poplar guy in school, Marshall Astor, asks her to the homecoming dance and she agrees to go. Toward the end of the dance Cara kisses Marshall, and he is so disgusted that Cara runs away from the dance. She then runs down the road and lies down behind one of her fathers car dealership signs. She wakes up in a beautiful place where she is accepted even though she is ugly. After a few weeks she is taken to the Cauldron of Life by Aaron, where she sheds her ugliness and becomes beautiful. About two weeks after her unveiling Cara decides to return to her old life to say good-bye to her family. She is warned that if she returns things will not be the same as the were, and beauty has its price.

Tom Burnham 4/7/06

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Five Ancestors:Tiger by Jeff Stone

Five young monks from the Cangzhen Temple are training to be grandmasters of their art form which are named after animals because of the similarities of the attacks to that of their animal counterpart. Fu who is the main character in the first book is master in the tiger art form that uses strong and powerful attacks to beat their opponents. They are suddenly attack by one of their former brothers and everyone in the temple are killed and the five brothers are the last remaining monks of Temple Cangzhen. Can the five brothers uses their fighting style and beat their former brother? The next books in series are called Monkey,Snake, Crane, and Dragon.

Ball Don't Lie by Matt de la Peña

Sticky is a great basketball player with dreams of making it big but there are a number of obstacles that he has to face before he can get there. He has been abandoned 3 times in his life, he has obessive compulsive disorder, hes's been haunted from what happened to his mother and he is a white boy playing ball with grown black men. Can Sticky survive in this environment when everyone consider him a failure even before they see him in action? On the verge of graduating from high school. Sticky has no idea as to what he wants to do with his life other than play basketball and in the process of realizing that dream he may have to leave behind the only person that truely believed in him. Takes place at the historic Lincoln Rec in the Los Angles area.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

RED KAYAK by Priscilla Cummings

This story starts with three friends, Digger, Brady and JT playing near a dock that used to belong to Digger's grandfather and getting chased away by the new owners. The boys, thought up ways to seek revenge for the loss of their favorite swimming spot. Fast forward 6 months to autumn, the trio are waiting to go off to school when they see a red kayak paddling by. It belongs to the new owners of Digger's grandfather's land. The boys know it is not a good day for kayaking and consider alerting Mr. DiAngelo but in the end decide not to call out, he wouldn't have heard any way right? Later that same day Brady gets called out of school to help with a search and rescue, Mrs. DiAngelo and toddler Ben are missing with the kayak. It is Brady who finds Ben barely alive and becomes a momentary hero. Mother is found further down the coast, also alive. Ben doesn't survive and everyone must deal with the tragic loss. Brady works out his sorrow by helping the Di Angelo's with yard work. That day six months ago returns to haunt Brady in unimaginable ways and when he finds his father's cordless drill by the boat house where the kayak had been docked, his fears increase. Talking with his friends who had been avoiding him bring home the truth of why the kayak sank. Now Brady has to decide what to do and its a heartbreaking decision. Readers of Marion Dane Bauer would like this I think.
jdw 3/16

Monday, March 13, 2006

Copper Sun By: Sharon Draper

Is an important book to be read to understand . African slave trade, and then slavery in America. This was a terrible event and time for blacks who were sold in the the United States work force, and other duties. It was a way of cheap labor for the plantation owners. This novel takes place in the Carolinas where slavery was a way of life. The slaves were mistreated by anyone's standards. They lived in squalid conditions, while the owners of the slaves lived like royalty. Sure any slave that could, would try to escape to freedom. Amari an African slave girl, 15 years old, bought by Mr. Derby a wealthy plantation owner for his son (16 year old Clay) . Amari worked hard all day, and then at night had to visit Clay .

Polly was indentured slave to the Derby's, and had to work for them until her debt was paid off. She was 14 years old, and a white girl. She Polly became friends of Amari .

I liked the novel because I now realize some of the problems the slaves had in the United States.
LRD. 3/13/06

Your Eyes in Stars By: M.E. Kerr

This is a story that can be true for anyone at any age. It basically has to do with two girls Elisa, and Jessica. Elisa was from Germany, and Jessica or Jessie from the United States. They both
lived in Upstate New York, but the town had a prison, and most people called it the Hill. Jessie's Father was the Warden of this huge jail. Mr. Myer, the Warden incorporated music for the prisoners, and they had a band that played blues music. The prisoners were allowed to march in parades with band uniforms.

This relates a thought provoking message saying that there could be in our lifes right now someone who will change our world without us knowing it, and possibly never knowing us . In the novel there was a bugler who played taps nightly. The bugler was a prisoner the girls wanted to meet.

The author seems to be keen on detail, and one notices that throughout the novel. Besides another question to ponder I got from the novel was sometimes we have friends we care about, but do we really know them completely ?

I recommend the book to enhance one's immagination, and pleasure.

LRD 3/13/06

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Beating Heart: A Ghost Story by A.M. Jenkins

A young girl's spirit inhabits the house where Evan, his sister Libby, and his mother move to. Evan doesn't like the house because it is strange and foreign to him. After a few weeks there he has dreams of having sex with a young, beautiful girl, but he doesn't know who she is. Then one day the workmen who are fixing up the house find a box with newspaper clippings, photos, and letters in it. The story is about a young girl who died in the house in 1897. Evan realizes that the girl in the photos is the same girl that is in his dreams. The ghost of the girl tells the reader how she dies, at the same time Evan's relationship with his girlfriend Carrie starts to get rocky. Eventually she leaves Evan because she thinks all he wants is sex when they see each other. Then the ghost of the girl sees that all she has to do is let go of the past and she will go into the light.

Tom Burnham

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Dead on Town Line by Leslie Connor

This is a novel in verse with a dead narrator. Teenager Cassie is quite surprised to find herself dead, her body stuffed in a crack on the boundry of the town where no one is likely to find her.
She is just as surprised to realize that she has unfinished business to attend. Slowly she learns how to use her ghost powers and to help Birdie, also buried on town line only many years ago.
This is her story of what happened to her and what she did about it. Its a skinny book, easy to read.
jdw 3/06

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Inside the Crips: by Colton Simpson and Ann Pearlman

Colton Simpson family background is vast and great. His father was a baseball player for the California Angels, his uncle works as a high class lawyer and his grandmother is a respectable citizen in the community. But great family background doesn't always determine future success. Colton only wished to be a high profile celebrity and found it as ghetto star. He started to hang out with the wrong people after he moved in with his grandma Louise in South Central Los Angeles. He plunges into the world of gang politics and becomes part of LA's imfamous gang the Crips. His new family replaces his old and he starts to prove to them that he deserves to be a part of the gang and he starts to make a name for himself as Lil Cee Loc.

Cee gets wrapped up in a struggle of who he wishes to be, the simple and obedient grandson Colton or the hard core gangster who constantly breaks all the rules. Cee turns to a dark path full of violence, drugs and death. This is Colton's story of life on the streets in South Central LA.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Crushed By: Laura & Tom McNeal

This novel helps you wonder, because of all the secrets behind the three main characters. They are three best friends in High School Audrey, Lea, and C.C. These girls have their own personalities, and backgrounds as the story flows along this novel. As the reader gets through more pages in the story it reveals so clearly what can happen to three close friends, who long to finish High School, get a boyfriend, and eventually get married. The novel's subject is so familiar that it can be haunting to the reader.

What changes the theme of the story is the underground school newspaper called The Yellow Paper.

I liked the book very much, and I believe any female teen would be entertained by this novel.

LRD 2/14/06

Monday, February 13, 2006

Seeing Emily. By Joyce Lee Wong

This novel deals with a teen girl Emily torn between two very different cultures, and how she deals with it. This story is written in verse, which in my frame of mind is easier to read. The two cultures are Chinese, and American. Emily is born in the United States of Chinese parents. When Emily is 16, her parents send her to Taiwan to spend the summer with her Little Aunt to increase her knowledge of the Chinese language.

Many Chinese traditions are mentioned in the book. For instance, birthday noodles, which have to be unbroken strands that symbolize a full long life. A picture, or carving of a phoenix brings Chinese luck. Chinese parents want their sons to become dragons, which means they have achieved their fullest potential. The twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon,snakes, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, boar.

The novel was good in my opinion, but I am personally interested in any Chinese information.

LRD 2/13/06

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Teach Me By R.A. Nelson

Carolina a.k.a "Nine" is infatuated with her new English teacher Mr. Mann. They become friends and then become a couple. This goes on for a few months until suddenly Mr. Mann breaks up with her and marries Alicia Sprunk. This breakup sends Nine down a road she has never been down before. She stalks Mr. Mann and Alicia at their apartment, their wedding, at a poetry reading he is speaking at, and even tries to confront Mr. Mann at school. She also goes to see Alicia's father to get some information, but that doesn't go well. As Nine searches for answers about why he broke up with her she finds out what his life was like in high school and in college. It is only after he saves Nine and Schuyler from her car during a flash flood that he tells her the reason why he broke up with her. A fast paced novel that grabs your attention and holds it to the very last page.

Tom Burnham

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Red Rider's Hood - By Neal Shusterman

Red likes to ride around his tough urban neighborhood in his mustang. One day his mother asks him to take some "bread" (money) over to his grandma's house. When he arrives to discover her house has been broken into by a gang known as the Wolves, and his grandma mugged by them. After this happens Red decides to befriend Cedric, Marvin, and the other Wolves and joins them as a pledge. As the days go by Red learns that the members of the Wolves gang are actual werewolves. He learns that his grandmother is a werewolf hunter who helped rid the town 40 years ago of a group of werewolves lead by Cedric's grandfather. He also learns the real reason why his grandfather died. Can Red, his Grandmother, and Marissa (Marvin's sister) defeat the wolves? Or will Red betray his Grandmother and join the Wolves?

Tom Burnham

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

An Innocent Soldier by Josef Holub

The year is 1800. Napoleon has just called a draft for all able bodied men ages 17 and older to form a grand army and march on Russia. A sixteen-year-old orphan farm hand is taken to the draft by his wealthy farmer and substituted for the farmers 17-year-old son. The bewildered young man soon finds himself with a new name, a uniform and training. From the outset there is a sargeant who harasses and bullies him. Due to his familiarity with horses he is soon assigned to be a servant to a young lieutenant no older than himself. For the pair this invasion becomes more survival from the illnesses and lack of food, water, clothing and other supplies that plague the too big, undersupplied army. It doesn't take long for the pair to become close friends though one is wellborn and the other is poor. The lieutenant can use his influence to help the duo through some bad spots and Adam has skills as a thief and farmhand that go a long way towards helping them survive. These two friends witness all the horrors of war from those who died from grievous wounds to those who steal from those in need for their own bounty to abused horses, people and animals dead of starvation, freezing, cholera. Adam is very practical about his situation and the story is even funny in places. These two teenagers are quite likeable. If you know history you know how badly Napoleon misjudged this invasion, if you don't this book is a good way to learn a little history. jdw 1/31/06

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Crackback by John Coy

Miles Manning isn't that coolest guy in school, or the guy that gets all the hot good looking girls but there is one thing that Miles is good at, in fact he may be the best at it, football. He is so good that he made the varsity starting squad in his sophmore year. His best friend Zach plays on the other side with him and everbody is counting on them to take state.

Miles thinks this is going to be the easist thing to win since their school is rated the best in the state, their star quaterback is one of the best players on the team and their defense is the envy of every school in the state. Then everything changes for the worst, first head coach gets sick and has to step down and the replacement coach is not too fond on the style and play of Miles, then his best friend is trying to get him to use performance enhancer to help him get better physically. But the worst thing of them all is Miles' father, who gives him the hardest time and is difficult to please. Can Miles stick it through and finsh the season as champions as pridicted?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Come Back to Afghanistan By:Said Hyder Akbar

Someone has commented that this novel is our passport to the battle for for the soul of Afghanistan . The author of the book travels, leaving the comforts of home, which is California; venturing where few dare to go on a trip. This novel offers profound truths about U.S. policy in the Middle East.

This book deals with post taliban government. Later on, the author's father of the book becomes governor of a province that borders on Pakistan. Tonight as I watch CNN live, I feel I was actually living over again this novel. We see live shots of Afghanistan, and bombed out buildings. I learned that hospitality is a big culture tradition in Afghanistan.

No wonder the U.S. cannot catch Al Qaeda in Afghanistan . The country is called the graveyard of empires; there's no way anyone could conquer the areas that are so rugged, and very dry.

This book is so interesting, and true to today's politics it makes you wonder why we as U.S. supporters we didnot pay attention sooner to Afghanistan needs.

This book is an excellent read.

LRD 1/16/06

Thursday, January 12, 2006

All Rivers Flow to the Sea by Alison McGhee

In All Rivers Flow to the Sea Rose and her sister Ivy were in a car accident. Ivy now lays in a hospital bed with a brain hemorrhage, which makes her brain dead. She is alive but just barely. Rose goes back to her normal routine but she is always thinking about Ivy. She goes and visits her daily. Rose finds solance in Tom Miller whose father died, so he knows what it is like to lose someone you love. Tom helps Rose through the months that Ivy is in the hospital and she falls in love with him.

Tom Burnham

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Alichino vol. 1 by Shurei

In this manga from Tokyopop we meet Tsugiri and shape changers known as Alichino. Alichino are drawn to humans by their intense suffering. They have the power to grant sufferers their greatest wishes and end the suffering. But their goodness is all an illusion for payment is the loss of the human soul to feed the Alichino power. Only a kusabi with a completely pure soul can stop an Alichino but if an Alichino devours his soul first its the ULTIMATE way to enhance his own powers and they will kill any human in their way. Tsugiri is kusabi. Long protected by others who cherish his goodness, he grew up while most kusabi never make it to adulthood. Now he must deal with who and what he is, and the deaths caused by his living. Pretty illustrations, confusing story so far. We have vol. 2 as well.
jdw 1/11/06