Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Revolution 19 - Gregg Rosenblum

The bots had been built to protect humanity in times of war.  On August 17, 2051 that all changed when the bots turned on their human creators.  Twenty years later the bots still remain in control.  Nick, Kevin, and Cass have grown up in a community in the woods.  They have been off the radar of the bots until one day when Kevin finds a piece of old technology in the woods and brings it back to camp.  When he is alone it activates bringing the bots to their location.  Nick, Kevin, and Cass escape only to come back to a destroyed and abandoned camp.  They go searching for their parents, which leads them to a city under the control of the bots.  They find the city and enter acting like they belong there.  When they stop for food they witness a bot put down someone who did not pay for their meal.  Nick is wanted for violent rebellion, so Lexi and Amanda help them get away from the dinning place with out being discovered.  They head to Lexi's house where her parents ask what's going on.  Lexi explains who Nick, Kevin, and Cass are and they are searching for their parents.  Mr. Tanner is hesitant, but agrees to give them food and shelter for a few days.  They take a trip into the main part to the city to see where the re-education center is, which is where their parents are probably being held.  They get caught by the bots and escape into a grocery store where the owner helps get them back to Lexi's house.  It is decided that they need to get chip implants to blend in with everyone.  They meet Farryn, Lexi's hacker friend, who agrees to implant them with dummy chips with basic information.  They are told to come back around eleven at night for insertion of the chips.  On the way back to Farryn's they encounter a bot and Nick lets himself get captured so Kevin and Cass can continue looking for their parents. 

I enjoyed this book.  It has a nice mix of science fiction along with action and adventure that all comes together nicely.  It seems like there will be a sequel down the road just with the way the book ended.  I think there is more to the rebellion of the bots than what is widely known to humanity. 


Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Sin-Eater's Confession - Ilsa J. Bick

Ben's senior year of high school was no cake walk.  He volunteers at the ER on weekends, taking university classes during the week, runs to stay in shape for track, and is under a lot of pressure from his mom to get into a really good college.  His dad, the police chief, is hard on him but not as much as his mom.  Toward the end of Ben's junior year, Del Lange the star quarter-back of the football team was killed in a head on collision after prom.  Ben was there in the hospital ER saw him die.  That summer Ben helps out Mr. Lange and his other son Jimmy on their farm.  Jimmy and Ben become like brothers over the summer.  When school starts up Ben only comes over a few times a week.  On the second Saturday in October Mr. Lange barges into the barn and tells Ben to never come back to the farm.  Jimmy submitted photos he took of various people to a photo magazine for a contest.  Jimmy won second place and one of the photos is of Ben laying on a bale of hay with his shirt off.  The picture is very suggestive and it is revealed that Jimmy is gay and has feelings for Ben.  Ben stays away from the Lange farm and doesn't have much contact with Jimmy at school.  A rumor starts around school that Ben is also gay, which his isn't.  Ben and his friends quell the rumor.  The next week Ben decides to go and talk to Jimmy at Cuppa Joy the local coffee place run by Pastor John.  Everyone gives him the evil eye when he comes in and Pastor John tells him to leave and take his sinful thoughts with him.  Jimmy meets Ben in the back and tells him he needs help submitting an application and photographs.  Ben says no to helping Jimmy.  The next day he wakes up around four pm and calls into the ER and then goes out driving that night.  Close to seven pm Ben decides to go and help Jimmy out.  As he pulls into the parking lot around back he sees Jimmy being taken away in a van.  Ben follows the van and then the people into the woods where he sees Jimmy murdered.  All Ben can do is run away and keep what he saw to himself.  A few days later Ben discovers Jimmy's body in the park.  He takes the memory card from Jimmy's phone and the memory card the pictures are on.  Ben then goes home and acts like he didn't see anything.  A few hours later Ben's dad gets a call saying the body of Jimmy has been found. 

This was a very good book and the story was well told.  I liked the reflective nature of it too.  We as humans question decisions all the time, and ask ourselves if anything could have been done differently.  Sometimes things can't be changed and we live with the consequences for the rest of our lives.  Other times amends can be made even if a few years have gone by.  Don't let the title and cover fool you.  I thought it was a zombie book when I first saw the title before I read the inside cover. 

T.B. 4/27/13

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Drama was written by the same author who brought us the highly recognized and popular graphic novel Smile.  Callie is back without her braces but with new troubles.  Its the end of the school year for her middle school.  That means putting on the annual musical play and planning a date for the up coming end of year dance.  Callie is prop master that means she must find things like a cannon for the cast. Its a challenge. Plus, not all the cast members, in particular the lead female are working out well.  But the other drama, who to go to the dance with is even bigger.  Callie has her sights on one certain popular boy who has his sights on a different girl.  The boy who wants to ask Callie to the dance is going almost unnoticed. Many unexpected things happen on the way to performance and the dance.  Mostly they're good, but some things turn out badly, pretty much like real life.  This graphic novel is every bit as good as Smile.  There's lots going on in the beautiful art work so if you read this book be sure to look at it closely.  JDW 4/25/13

Professor Gargoyle (first of the Tales from Lovecraft #1) by Charles Gilman

So Lovecraft Middle School is a brand new school made of all recycled materials.  Unfortunately some of that recycled material cam from a recently demolished haunted mansion.  And, when the school was built the ghosts and monsters from the former mansion came along.  Now if you are an exceptionally discerning student you might just see the staircase, the library or other parts of the original mansion, that no longer exist.  And, because you can see the old mansion, and its unreal beings you may be called upon to rid the school of the malevolent beings.  And, there is that friendly ghost to get to know better.  Plus, who is that creepy substitute teacher anyway?  This is short, fast, not R.L. Stine but not bad either if you like  your reading on the spooky side.  JDW 4/25/13

I Funny, A Middle School Story by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

Jamie Grimm who is already a comic, a sit down comic plans to win the funniest kid contest.  He does have some problems like stage fright and his uncle's family who just do not get him.  But mostly this story is a laugh a minute.  You see its filled with all of Jamie's jokes and he knows a million of them.  So it isn't that different from reading a joke book.  Jamie's problems and how he resolves them make a terrific story without the jokes by the way.  Highly recommended for any time nothing seems good, also for in the car or rv on the way to vacation.  JDW4/25/13

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Biografía de Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Un Corazón libre por los autores José Luis Roig y Carlota Coronado la biografía de el señor Martin Luther King Jr. Específicamente sobre sus comienzos, sus empeños, logros y liderazgo en el área de la igualdad y paz en todo el mundo pero en especial en su país nativo Estados Unidos de América.

               Martin Luther King Jr. nació el 15 de Enero de 1929 en el estado de Georgia y fue el primer varón de la familia King. El señor King Jr., nació en una época muy difícil donde la caída de la bolsa de Nueva York y una profunda crisis económica al cual abrió pasó a una época de depresión y miseria.
Aprendemos en el libro un poco sobre los papas de el señor King Jr., sus padres, eran humildes su señor padre era pastor baptista, pero tenían muy claro que era lo que querían para su familia. En esta época era muy difícil para los Americanos raza negra porque para ellos el gobierno trabajaba contra ellos. Les negaban oportunidades y esto se significaba que no podían ser parte de una sociedad apropiadamente.

               Tras el trascurso del tiempo para el joven Martin se empezó a dar cuenta, que se significaba ser un americano de raza negra. Así que para él era muy importante progresar para él y  toda la comunidad afectada por la discriminación y el racismo. Así que se recibió su doctorado en teología y se convirtió todo un líder en su comunidad local y nacional. Logro varias marchas famosas y incluyendo su gran discurso “Ayer tuve un sueño” en la capital de los Estados Unidos.

Desafortunadamente fue víctima de un acto violento ya que fue asesinado por un hombre blanco que estaba en contra de los ideales de el señor King Jr. Ahora cada tercer lunes del mes de Enero se celebra al señor King Jr., recordando sus actos de paz e igualdad.

Este libro es un buen recurso para lectores que están interesados en la vida del señor King Jr. o estudiantes entre los años escolares sexto a ultimo año de preparatoria que están en búsqueda de ayuda en tarea o proyectos.

RPA and LD 4/23/2013

Monday, April 01, 2013

Bunheads by Sophie Flack

This book delves into the world of company ballerinas in detail and makes you feel apart of the drama. If you have no interest or connection to dance, this book might not be for you, but if you have an open-mind and are interested in a young girl trying to find her place in the world, pick up this novel.

Since she was fourteen, all Hannah Ward has known is the Manhattan Ballet. For most of her life she lives, breathes, eats, and drinks ballet. One day, though, she leaves to visit her cousin's bar and meets Jacob, a young and interesting musician. He opens her eyes to the fact that she lives in New York, but has never seen the city. She's so busy with ballet that she never has any time to have a life. While she's trying to figure out if she can have ballet and a life, she meets Matt, an attractive young man who is obsessed with all things ballet. In the midst of trying to see if boys can fit in her busy schedule, Hannah struggles with trying to get solos and a promotion in the company and deciding whether or not she still feels as passionate about ballet as when she first started.

This novel is heavy on the details about being a part of a dance company. There are a lot of dancing terms and the vast majority is about her trying to win parts, dancing, and the drama of rival dancers. While it does a great job showing what that life is like, it can get a bit tiresome if dancing isn't your thing. The character of Matt also comes and goes at random intervals and doesn't seem to do much as a character to add to the story. I understand that Jacob wasn't in the novel that often to show how little time she has, but it he also could have been a stronger presence. A little bit more might have driven home how much she was missing.

In the end, this book is a great window to the world of dance companies. At the same time, it explores the personal struggle of realizing everything you've built your life around might no longer be your passion and where can you go from there. It's a good book, just be prepared for a lot of dancing.