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