Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Manic: A Memoir, by Terri Cheney

"I think this book was simply amazing. Terri puts the reader smack dab in the middle of her head. The graphic descriptions of mania to hypo-mania to depression, and sometimes in reverse, lets the reader feel her emotions and even hear her thoughts. As a manic-depressive I felt a connection with Terri. I think everyone can. (It was) one of the best books I've ever read." Reviewed by Rebekah, Northeast Guilford High

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling

"Harry Potter #7 is the best book I've ever read in my entire life. My favorite part was the Epilogue." Reviewed by Hai, loyal Harry Potter fan!

We can't think of anyone else who has sustained such an intricate, endlessly inventive plot over seven thick volumes and so constantly surprised us with twists, well-laid traps and Purloined Letter-style tricks. Hallows continues the tradition, both with sly feats of legerdemain and with several altogether new, unexpected elements. Perhaps some of the surprises in Hallows don't have quite the punch as those of earlier books, but that may be because of the thoroughness and consistency with which Rowling has created her magical universe, and because we've so raptly absorbed its rules. ~ Publishers Weekly
The Princess and the Pauper, by Kate Brian

"It was very interesting. It would have deserved more stars (I give it four out of five) if Ingrid, Carina, and most of the people they hung around with didn't smoke; and if she didn't meet Ribbit and hang out with him while he was drunk." Reviewed by Jordan, Hemphill Teen Reader!

A light story generously peppered with modern-day references to movie stars, musical styles, and teenage slang, this novel is perfect for fans of Meg Cabot's "Princess Diaries" series ~ School Library Journal
I am Rembrandt's Daughter, by Lynn Cullen

"This book really gives insight into the true meaning of love. It's based on real historical figures such as Rembrandt and his daughter, and though some parts are sad, the end is like a happy new beginning. It's full of interesting twists and turns. Reviewed by Hannah, a Hemphill Branch teen reader!

Cullen's novel is noteworthy for its emotional depth and sensitive development of characters. Readers will learn about Rembrandt and his art--his radical painting style, his belief that God directed his brush. Around these facts, Cullen creates a powerful family drama, fleshing out father and daughter into whole, heartbreaking individuals whose inner lives are glimpsed with acute sensitivity. ~ Booklist Magazine

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kindgom's Hope, by Chuck Black

"This book is part of a series that uses a medieval background to paint the events of the Old Testament. It's exciting, thrilling and romantic. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. Reviewed by Hannah, Hemphill Branch teen reader!

Sorry, but we don't have this series in the library yet. It sounds great!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Girl in Blue, by Ann Rinaldi

"I really enjoyed the Civil War setting, and it was interesting following Sarah's journey from impersonating a soldier to becoming a spy. But I didn't like how the book ended - it left loose ends and wasn't very satisfying." Reviewed by Hannah, Hemphill Branch Teen Reader!

"Inspired by the war fever of 1861, and tired of her father's mistreatment, 15-year-old Sarah Wheelock determines to run away and join the Union forces to fight the Confederacy. The last straw comes when her father promises her hand in marriage to a man who is twice her age and has the manners of a bear. After she cuts her hair, changes clothes, and lowers her voice, Sarah has few problems passing as a boy: years of hard farm labor have toughened her physically, and she has a natural talent for impersonation. . . . While Sarah and the other characters lack depth, Rinaldi's novel offers an exciting plot based on solid historical research." School Library Journal
Hound of Rowan: Book One of the Tapestry, by Henry H. Neff

"This book is the first in a fantasy series. I was completely absorbed in it; it was exciting and captivating. The book had a happy ending, but it leaves off for the next book. I can't wait until it's published!" Reviewed by Hannah, Hemphill Branch Teen Reader!

"In a hidden alcove within Chicago's Art Institute, Max McDaniels discovers a faded tapestry. As he watches, the tapestry begins to glow; soon after, he receives an invitation to attend a private boarding school in New England. He arrives at Rowan Academy, where young people with Potential are trained to fight an unnamed enemy . . . This novel's sprawling, quirky boarding school has obvious parallels to Hogwarts, but Neff's storytelling boasts charms of its own." Booklist Magazine

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Giver, by Lois Lowry

"This is an amazing book. It deserves ten stars (instead of just 5). The world the characters live in is perfect. Everyone is alike; but Joan is singled out to learn of "the memories" when there wasn't Sameness. He is the only person that gets to experience holidays, wars, and much more." Reviewed by Jordan ~ Hemphill Branch Teen Reader

"In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world . . " A review by
Slap Your Sides, by M.E. Kerr

"I have never read a book that went through World War II with the setting in America. Usually the World War II stories take place in Germany with their perspectives or the Jewish people's perspectives. It was a nice change, so I could see . . . a different situation. However there was a lack of emotions in the characters." Reviewed by Haejin, loyal Hemphill Teen Reader!

"The 13-year-old son of a Pennsylvania Quaker family admires his oldest brother for adhering to his antiwar convictions despite hostility from neighbors and relatives. "Kerr does not shy away from difficult questions, nor does she resolve them for readers." Publishers Weekly

Monday, October 6, 2008

Kingdom's Dawn, by Chuck Brown

"This is an amazing book which allegorically begins to tell the story of the Old Testament of the Bible. I love the way that the author portrays biblical truths in a medieval setting." Reviewed by Hannah. l Sorry, but the library doesn't own this novel!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins, by Walter Dean Myers

"The perfect pick for realistic fiction lovers. It takes place during World War II from the perspective of an American soldier - Scott P. Collins. It may not be the right story for readers who adore fantasy because this book means business!" Reviewed by Haejin, Jamestown Middle School

"Writing in May_ 1944, 17-year-old Collins has no inkling of the massive military offensive he is about to take part in. Myers captures nicely the shift from the fraternity and the boredom of life on the base to the terror and confusion of D-Day. The action and imagery are explicit but not exploitative . . ." Booklist Magazine

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Peter and the Shadow Thieves, by Dave Barry & Ridley Pierson

"One of my favorite books! (It) is equal in greatness to the first book of the Peter Triliogy." Reviewed by Kahlil, Loyal Hemphill Teen Reader.
- - "An evil force is once again trying to obtain starstuff, the magical substance that, among many other qualities, enables Peter to fly and to remain eternally youthful. Peter must visit London to help his friend Molly and her family of starcatchers, leaving the boys on Mollusk Island at the mercy of Hook. Squalid London streets, aristocratic mansions . . . , and even Stonehenge make atmospheric backdrops for bouts with pirates, wolf packs, and a deliciously creepy villain who steals souls from shadows." Booklist Magazine
Scorpions, by Walter Dean Myers

"I love this book. It was packed with action and drama. It was very interesting!" Reviewed by Chris, Hemphill Branch reader!

"Jamal, who is pressured to become leader of the Scorpions gang, worries about school, family, and the rough kids on the street. When a fellow gang member gives him a gun, Jamal suddenly gains a new level of respect from his enemies. A realistic look at a boy who wants to do the right thing but gets caught up in the culture of violence. " School Library Journal

A Newberry Honor Award winner!
Romiette and Julio, by Sharon Draper

"It was a love story . . . just as good as Romeo and Juliette!" Reviewed by Bria, loyal Hemphill Branch teen reader!

"A contemporary retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story with a happy, upbeat ending. Sixteen-year-old Julio Montague's parents have moved their family to Cincinnati, OH, in order to get their son out of his gang-ridden high school in Corpus Christi, TX. Romiette Cappelle, also 16, is the daughter of successful African-American parents and the granddaughter of college professors. When these two young people, both from proud heritages, begin a romance, they must deal not only with their parents' prejudices but also with the threats of a local gang" School Library Journal

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Heather Hills of Stonewycke, by Michael Phillips & Judieth Pella

"This was an interesting historical Christian fiction book, full of romance and intrigue, but the description (in) the book slows the plot down somewhat. It is the first of a trilogy, and I will definately read its sequel" Reviewed by Hannah, Hemphill Library teen reader!

Robbie's note: "Our library has the audio CDs for this book. Check it out!"

Forged by Fire, by Sharon Draper

"The book was very good, had a great lesson and moral behind it, and it was very interesting" Reviewed by Bria, Hemphill Branch teen reader!

"This prequel to Draper's Tears of a Tiger is a stark portrayal of a young man struggling to protect his little sister from a drug-addicted mother and an abusive father." Publishers Weekly