Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Kathryn Erskine's first novel "quaking" captures the angst of Matt's first day in a new school, first week with a "new" family and first revelation that she (yes, Matt's a girl) is strong enough to stand up for the peace she desires. This novel, being touted as the first anti-war novel of this generation, reflects on what peace really means to teenagers today; peace on the home front, peace in the halls at school and peace in the classroom, not to mention peace in the world. It is no wonder this book with its symbolism and parallel stories has been nominated as an ALA Best Books for Young Adult Readers title. A quick read that will make you think and make you thankful.
~ By special guest reviewer, Cindy Dye

Monday, October 15, 2007

I just read Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. It is an interesting book which follows the lives of 3 very beautiful sisters who were child models and now are in their teens and early twenties and dealing with everything from first love to eating disorders and other deep dark secrets too awful to mention. It has all the ins and outs of their relationships, both with each other and with their mother, the typical model/manager mom who leaves one wondering how people can be so close but so far from each other. It is also a study in the hierarchy of the high school’s “who’s who” list and how teenagers rise and fall in popularity. This is another great book from an accomplished North Carolina author.

By Guest Reviewer Cindy Dye

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

By Sonya Sones ~

The title immediately attracted me to this book, but when I opened it up and saw it seemed to be written in free verse; a poem a page, I had second thoughts. I’m very glad I gave it a try. It’s the story of Ruby, a 14 year old, uprooted by the death of her mother, to go to California to live with her famous father, whom she never met. Ruby has to leave her boyfriend Ray and best friend Liz and start all over again. Did I mention she hates her father? Why is he being so nice to her when he never took the time before? And what kind of name is Whip Logan? As Ruby says:
Can you believe that name?
It sounds so…so made up.
How did he ever come up with something that lame?

By Special Guest Reviewer, Kelly Prewett

Friday, September 21, 2007

Anna Fitzgerald was created for a purpose. Her sister Kate has leukemia, and Anna was born specifically to donate the leukocytes, stem cells, bone marrow and kidney needed to keep Kate alive. Now, after years of suffering through medical procedures to help her sister, Anna, age 13, decides to seek out an attorney and sue her parents for her right to decide what to do with her own body! What happens next pits family member against family member as the trial threatens to tear their fragile world apart. My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult, is a gripping modern-day tale you don't want to miss!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

15 years old Jess Jordan has a mad crush on the all-to-perfect Ben Jones, the boy of her dreams. Shame he doesn't notice her! Fortunately she has her good friends Flora and Fred to cheer her up - which she really needs when the Minestrone soup in her bra (you have to read it to believe it!) develops a leak at a party! Arrgghh! With more than a few dashes of zanyness, Girl, 15, Chaming But Insane, by Sue Limb, is a funny look into the life of a witty British girl out to win the boy of her dreams, keep her friends, and survive school.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

1994 was a year of great political upheaval in Rwanda. Over a million Tutsi people were massacred, and a million more fled to neighboring countries. Eight year old Jeanne lost her entire family, but was fortunate to escape and be adopted by Hanna Jansen. Now Hanna tells the fictionalized account of Jeanne's horrifying experience in Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You. Thought provoking, and true to the experience of this terrifying moment in African history, this book is sure to open your eyes to a tragic moment in African history. Booklist Editor's Choice: 2006, ALA Best Books for Young Adults: 2007.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Colin, who has a gift for trivia and word games, just graduated from high school, only to have his girlfriend Katherine dump him. No surprise. Colin's been dumped a record 19 times now - all by girlfriends named Katherine! In a funk, he let's his best friend Hassan talk him into a good, old-fashion road trip, while Colin works on the ultimate mathematical formula to predict how long his romatic relations will really last. Their adventures quickly lead them to a tiny speck on map, Gunshot, Tennessee, where they meet Lindsey, a local tour guide. Her mom hires Colin and Hassan to help record the personal histories of the local townfolk. And between their many hilarious adventures Lindsey works with Colin to help create his ultimate dating theorum!

An Abundance of Katherines, is the second book by John Green. His first book, Looking for Alaska, won the Printz Award.

In Devilish, by Maureen Johnson, we meet Jane, a spirited high school senior at a strict Catholic school who's really got her act together. That is, until her best friend Ally makes a deal with the Devil to becomes gorgeous and popular overnight. To keep Ally from her certain fate, Jane strikes a deal with the Devil herself. She will take Ally's place - unless she can kiss her ex-boyfriend Elton by midnight on Halloween night! This is a good page-turner you won't be able to put down!

Monday, May 21, 2007

"In a final show of strength, the sun amped up its assault, blazing intensely before finanlly giving up and dropping below the rim of the earth. The searing breeze turned deliciously cool. The desert breathed a sigh of relief. At last I could let down my guard and revel in my environs, watching happily as the sky turned into a swirl of pink and violet and bronze as darkness slowly seeped from the east. I realized that the safest place in the Sahara was not a place at all, but a time: night. Making it to sunset, I thought, was the one goal I could pin my hopes on every day, since it would never disappoint. I unbuttoned my shirt to let the refreshing evening air wash over as much of my skin as possible."

What would you do for an adventure? Swim the English channel? Climb a mountain? Ride a bull in a rodeo? For Michael Benanav it was a lifelong dream to explore deserets. One night, while surfing the Internet, he stumbled across information about the Caravan of White Gold and the salt mines of Taoudenni. The Caraven was actually composed of Berabish desert people riding camels who would brave the searing heat of the Sahara desert to go deep into its heart to the salt mines of Taoudenni, where they would take blocks of this once precious mineral (once worth its weight in gold!) and transport it back to civilization. Michael was hooked! In short order he had scrapped most of his life savings together and was flying to Africa to meet with a guide to take him into the desert and join the Caravan. Together they would brave the barren, unforgiving land and make their way to Taoudenni and back.

Far from being a safe adventure, this is daring true story of a man who braved 117 degree temperature, dangerous land, and the constant threat that if he fell ill, the tribe would leave him to die in the desert rather than take him back to civilization, all in order to chase his dreams. The book starts off a little slow, but once your into it, your hooked! Check out "Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold." You won't regret it!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Surviving Your Student Loans, by Nancy Mitchell

Face it, there are lots of jobs in the world that require a college education. So many teens end up going to college, community college, or technical school. What are your plans? Did you know that most people who go to college now end up taking out large student loans to pay for it? And of course, once they graduate and get a job, the banks will want their money back . . . with interest!

Nancy Mitchel recently (2006) wrote this excellent book about how to deal with your student loans once you graduate from school. I highly recommend to anyone thinking of braving college or technical school. It gives sound advice on what kind of loans there are, as well as the problems of defaulting, deferring, forbearance and being deliquent. It's an eye-opener for all teens about how the loan process works!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Drawing a Blank
By Daniel Ehrenhaft (2006).

What do you get when you mix a shy, misunderstood teen living in a private New England Prep School (who draws a syndicated comic on the sly), his father who's kidnapped, an ancient Scottish dagger, and a beautiful - but rough and tumble - girl, who's comes to help the teen rescue his dad? The answer is Daniel Ehrenhaft's latest novel: Drawing A Blank: Or How I Tried to Solve a Mystery, End a Feud, and Land the Girl of My Dreams.

Carlton Dunne IVth is a likable, quiet teen who'd really just like to spend time drawing his comic Signy the Superbad for a local newspaper (which he keeps a secret), and keep the hell away from Bryce Perry - the seriously pesky punk making his life miserable. School is boring. His mom is long dead, and his father is wrapped up in dealing with some ancient family feud with a clan in Scotland. Life seems to be one long, dull day after another . . . until is father is kidnapped.

Now it's up to Carlton to gather his wits and charge out to Scotland on a one-man rescue mission. Coming to his aid is the beautiful Aileen (a cross between Zena: Warrior Princess and a beauty pageant contestant). Adventure and fun await Carlton, and the reader of this fun, good-spirited novel.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Here's a fun book I just found: Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie, by David Lubar. Its the sometimes funny, occasionally sad story of Scott Hudson, who's trying to survive his first year in high school. Scott's terrified about going to school - and he good reason to be! He get's his lunch money stolen, has to endure gym class hell, gets roughed up, helps a friend who tries to commit suicide, and (just to top things off) he finds out his mom is pregnant!

But things do turn around for Scott. He tries out for the school newspaper, learns some valuable lessons in life from a cool English teacher, and ends up making some good new friends. I like how hard the book tried to stay true to the "experience" of going to high school for the first time. If you're looking for something good to read, you can't go wrong with this little gem!

Calling all teens who READ FOR FUN!

If you're a teen that like to read just for fun, then you'll love this blog! We review new or popular teen books every two weeks. If you think one sounds interesting, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT, and then drop by one of our library branches to check it out!