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