Sunday, December 13, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
"It is a very good book. I liked it because it actually sets the readers mind into what a teen would or could be experiencing. The book is about a boy they call T-Bear (a.k.a Teddy) who was out to get back at the gang that killed his younger sister. While trying to do that he was arrested and (as) his punishment he has to mentor a young boy named Micah. Micah actually ended up being the one to tell Teddy that he knows who killed his sister. When Teddy finally gets to the boy they said did it, Micah explained what really happened and tells Teddy to go ahead and kill him, but Teddy decides otherwise because what he really wants he can't have, because killing him won't bring his sister back." Reviewed by Mikita W. at T. Wingate Andrews High School!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This is a “Boy, dodging ex-girlfriend, meets new girl. Girl, dodging her own little problems, meets boy” love story about the events of just one memorable evening at a punk rock club. Heavily sprinkled with generous amounts of profanity and a raw appreciation for the power of punk music, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a fast-paced story told in alternating chapters by none other than Nick and Norah! I thought the authors did an excellent job keeping the narratives real and fast-paced!
And if you are a fan of the book, check out the library's copy of the popular movie! Made in 2008 it stars Michael Cera as Nick and Kat Dennings as Norah! Kat was nominated for the MTV Breakthrough Performance Female Award for her role, and the movie was nominated for the Teen Choice Award!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Matt's a quiet high school senior, keeping to himself and trying his best to just blend in with the background in his high school. Skye on the other hand is totally Goth, with black fingernails, black lipstick, multiple piercings and tattoos, and an outgoing personality. They have nothing in common . . . until the day she deliberately bumps into him and introduces herself while walking her fingers over his arms. He hastens to class, but returns later to his locker to discover a note written in blood red tucked into it. “Park 7. You know you want to” was all it said.
Playing in Traffic is a taunt, well-paced thriller that explores the themes of isolation and manipulation. Check it out! Other books by Giles include Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters, and Shattering Glass.
Friday, October 30, 2009
By Robin Bowman
Back in 2001 photographer Robin Bowman was invited to spend a long weekend with a friend and her extended family in a remote cabin in Canada. With her talent for photography, and with so many open-minded, friendly teens surrounding her, she decided to do what came natural: interview and take their photographs!
That weekend sparked Bowman's desire to crisscross the nation meeting, interviewing, and photographing teens from all walks of life. Often times she just walked up to them on the street and started chatting with them. If they agreed to be interviewed she would take their pictures, then sat down with them in a quiet place (sometimes her car!) to ask them 26 questions (Yes, everyone got the same 26 questions!). After four years and eight very long car trips she put together this stunning, award winning book that takes a revealing peek into the lives of a very diverse group of teens. You owe it to yourself to take a peek at it! ~ Reviewed by Robbie
- "My biggest fear is getting older and becoming a bum on the street or something, and having nowhere to live. Sleeping in cold parks. That's my biggest fear. Because nobody grows up and says, "I want to be a bum." It just happens." Excerpt from interview with Shavaris Buie, age 18, Brooklyn, New York.
- "When I become an adult - then I want more than my family has. I've always strived to do better than what my dad's done in life. He was a three point student; I wanna be a 3.5. He was a good athlete; I wanna be a great athlete. I wanna go out and do better than that and provide something better for my kids . . ." Excerpt from interview with John Srofe, age 16, Terrace Park, Ohio.
- "I don't like staying with my mom . . . she's not there. She's crazy . . . she acts like she's twelve. I did have a job, but she took my paycheck She had just barely moved into this one place and needed, like, dishes and this and that, so she took my paycheck." Excerpt from interview with Diamond Aviles, age 15, Montello, Nevada.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
"A group of genetically enhanced kids who can fly and have other unique talents are on the run from part-human, part-wolf predators called Erasers in this exciting SF thriller that's not wholly original but is still a compelling read." School Library Journal
"I love this series - Best series ever!" Reviewed by Carryl!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Well for starts I can recommend a got a couple of terrific books to help you keep motivated to eat health. One of my favorites is The Smart Student's Guide to Health Living, by M.J. Smith. It's a wonderful book backed with easy ways to eat healthy meals and snacks, as well as other tips to keep you at your best. It even has easy recipies for you to try. Honestly the nachos, burrito bites, Bavarian Kraut Casserole, and crab spread (to name a few) sound delicious and a snap to make!
The Right Moves to Getting Fit and Feeling Great, by Tina Schwager, is another great guide to healthy living written just for young women. It covers all the things basics of healthy eating, and she keeps it fairly simple and to the point. But it doesn't stop there! It goes on to talk about body fitness, keeping a positive outlook on life, and exercise, excercise, exercise! She even throws in quick surveys to you can check yourself to see how healthy your lifestyle is . . . or isn't!
I'm not saying to scrap eating the occassional hamburger and fries (I love those too!). But would it really hurt us to snack more on a few more fruits and vegetables, and not go crazy over the chips and candy? Leading a healthy lifestyle isn't about being a fanatic. It's about taking the time to make better decisions about our own bodies! Robbie:-)
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
This is a delightful first-time story by Donna Freitas, who teaches at Boston University, and herself grew up making homemade pasta with her Italian mother and grandmother!
Monday, September 14, 2009
"You can feel the sympathy for the Koreans, and the author did a good job helping you (understand)." Haejin
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
In the book that spawned four sequels and a movie, Stephanie Meyer's weaves the popular vampire tale of Isabella Swan, who's family moves to rainy Forks, Washington. There, in her high school biology class, she meets Edward Cullen, who is as mysterious as he is handsome. With porcelain ski, a mesmerizing voice and supernatural gifts, Isabella quickly realizes there's more to Edward than meets the eye, and she is determined to uncover his secret. But as she digs deeper into his mysterious world she finds herself falling for him.
If your a fan of the Twilight series, then don't miss Stepanie Meyer's offical website, where she reveals how a dream lead her to write the story! It's fascinating!
These powerful words are from the jacket cover for Malina Saval's new book The Secret Lives of Boys. To uncover the truth about the complex lives that young men now lead in America, Malina searched across America to meet and interview ten teens from all walks of life. From a teenage father, to drug abuser, a rich kid, and even a special "sheltered one," Saval tries to get reveal what makes the modern boy "tick." The New York Times had this to say about the book: "Parents, teachers and especially teenage girls will be fascinated to know that boys care about fashion, cry about girlfriends and have deep feelings. More important, they might see aspects of themselves reflected in these stories and realize, as I did, that boys aren’t so mystifying after all."
Monday, June 8, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Sonia has a secret. She is the daughter of her illegal latino parents, driven north from Mexico by extreme poverty. Her father works three jobs to help support her family, and Sonia cooks & cleans to help her family out, and tries hard to stay clear of her drunken uncle who lives with them. More than anything Sonia wants to be the first in her family to graduate from High School, and vows not to let anythings stop her!
"Sonia's immediate voice will hold (readers) with its mix of anger, sorrow, tenderness, and humor." ~ Booklist Magazine
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Fellowship of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
"It is a very difficult and long book. It was hard to understand." Reviewed by Stephen, Hemphill Branch Teen Reader.
English author and noted scholar J.R.R. Tolkien first wrote The Hobbit, the prequel to the Lord of the Rings series, back in 1937. I remember reading it for the first time just a few years ago and marveling over how detailed and well-crafted it was. Most certainly a pleasure to read! Tolkien then followed it by writing his classic books The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. This fantasy series gained many fans, and was later turned into a series of movies in the early 21st century.
I remember reading that Tolkien spent much time creating a fictional setting for the books that was rich in language (he actually taught medieval languages at Oxford, England), characters, action and bold settings. Millions have loved his works, but also many have been turned off by the extensive details woven into their stories, and their length.
Are you a fan of the Lord of the Ring series? We'd love to hear from you!
Friday, May 22, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Stormbreaker, by Anthony Horowitz
"It was an exciting book that you don't want to stop reading. It gives good details, and it makes your heart beat faster and faster." Reviewed by Nick, Hemphill Branch Teen Reader.
"After the death of his uncle, Alex Rider gets involved in the mysterious, dangerous world of M16 (British Intelligence). Spawning several sequels and a movie the Stormbreaker series offers you a great break from the mundane!" Robbie
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
"Great mystery. It was a little slow at parts, but altogether great. I never would have suspected the killer, although my Mom guessed immediately." ~ Reviewed by RachelNathaniel Herriad, owner of a large estate, is murdered in a locked room at Christmas, and his six guests are the prime suspects!
Thursday, April 30, 2009
A Child Called "it": One Child's Courage to Survive
"I really liked this book. It was the best book I have ever read!" ~ Reviewed by Claudia
This autobiographical account charts the abuse of a young boy as his alcoholic mother first isolates him from the rest of the family; then torments him; and finally nearly kills him through starvation, poisoning, and one dramatic stabbing. Pelzer's portrayal of domestic tyranny and eventual escape is unforgettable ~ School Library Journal
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Things Not Seen, By Andrew Clements
Ever wondered what it would really be like to be invisible? What would you do? In Andrew Clements novel "Things Not Seen" 15 year old Bobby wakes up one morning to discover he has indeed turned invisible. His parent tell him not to tell anyone, but soon he decides to brave the world and seek his own answers to this dilemma. Unobserved he heads (naked!) down to the local public library, where he meets & befriends Alicia, a blind teenager, and together they try to unravel the mystery behind his very unique predicament! ~ Reviewed by Robbie
"This book deserves more than five stars!" Reviewed by Haejin
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Taming of the Shrew: "This was the only Shakespearian play that I really enjoyed, as it was a comedy. If you're going to read Shakespeare, read this play!"
Do you have problems understanding Shakespeare's plays? Don't feel bad, the English language has changed dramatically from what was spoken over 400 years ago, when William was alive and writing, not to mention our society! And yet The Bard (as he is commonly called) penned many powerful plays that are well worth diving into - IF you have the patience to tackle them! Write us with your thoughts about Shakespeare and his works!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Jarhead, by Anthony Swofford
"I don't this this book is all that good because it only talks about one person's point of view. There is way too much unneeded nonsense. But it speaks the truth in many statements." Reviewed by Nick, a Hemphill Branch reader.
Anthony Swofford recounts the time he served in the 1991 Gulf War as a Marine sniper. Dissappointed over how he was received when he returned home, Swofford became depressed and angry. Like in many tales told after a big event, some elements of this account may stray from the facts, but still it still makes a good read.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Conservative high school student Leo Carraway, head of his school's Young Republican club, learns a shocking truth - his biological father is really King Maggot (real name Marion McMurphy), head of the hard rock group Purge! After he loses his college scholarship Leo decides to track down McMurphy and demand the tuition money from him. But McMurphy first demands a DNA test, and offers Leo a summer job working as a roadie for the band while they wait for the results - NOT Leo's idea of the perfect summer job!
"I think this book was pretty good because it was funny and interesting. I would recommend this book to anybody!" Reviewed by Asha
Leo's journey to punk-rock appreciation is a sharply observed, original take on the tired "outsider looking in" cliche - Booklist
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
"This book is about the life of a male in the early 1900s. It tells about hardships, loss, and life. The book was not as exciting and adventurous as I wanted it to be. Also, parts didn't lead (anywhere). That's why I only gave it three out of five starts." Reviewed by Timothy.
This prequel to Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry tells the story of a biracial boy raised in Georgia in the late 1860s, and the many hardships he endures while growing up. ~ Robbie
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
"I give this book four out of five stars because it shows that not all plays are boring. It teaches the importance of trusting your family more than someone who says the right thing in front of you, and then does the opposite behind your back!" Reviewed by Trang, Hemphill Branch Teen Reader!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Hey, I've got a book review! Dragon Keeper is a book on Ancient China and Dragons. It is one of the best books I've ever read. It has Adventure,History, Action and Mystery all in one. It is a trilogy, it is comprised of: Dragon Keeper (Book One), Garden of the Purple Dragon (Book Two) and Dragon Moon (Book Three). ~ Way to go Peter for a great review! Thanks for emailing us. Keep those reviews coming!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
In this futuristic tale there is no more crime, no fighting, or disease. Everyone conforms, and follows what UniComp (the all-powerful computer system leading their great society) tells them to do. But Chip gradually realizes begins to realize the truth - the power of being a free-thinking individual.
"I give this book five stars (out of five) because it was written with a great writing style that presented a clear and direct picture of what was going on, putting the reader into the story." ~ reviewed by Anna
From what I've seen, most professional reviewers didn't put the book in the same class as Orwell's 1984, but they still thought it was a decent read. ~ Robbie
Sunday, March 15, 2009
- Alex Awards ~ Given to the top 10 books written for adults that have special appeal for teens.
- Margaret A. Edwards Award ~ Honors an author and their specific works that have made an important contribution to the world of young adult literature.
- William C. Morris Award ~ Given to a new, previously unpublished young adult author.
- Odyssey Award ~ Given to the best teen audiobook of the year!
- Michael L. Printz Award ~ Awarded every year to a truly outstanding new young adult book.
YALSA will also be awarding an award for the best teen nonfiction book starting in 2010. I can't wait to see who wins!
Monday, March 9, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
A tale of true love that has a bite to it! Who ever knew reading a love story between a girl and vampire could be so intriguing? This is a must read! ~ Robbie:-)
"It's awesome! Meyer's imagery is amazing" ~ Reviewed by Alexandria, 8th grade.
"I don't really understand it" Reviewed by Armani.
I need more reviews of Twilight! Click here to help!
Bonus: You're the first to know that the library has just placed an order for the Twilight motion picture. Click here to reserve a copy!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Can't Get There From Here, by Todd Strasser
America is faced with a growing social problem: homelessness. According to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty there were 3.5 million homeless people in 2007, 1.35 were children. The reasons why vary from person to person, but the hard reality of their life on the street is still the same. President Obama's new stimulus package promises money to help combat this crisis, but will it help?
Lee Weatherly's story "Can't Get There From Here" covers the day to day reality of homelessness for a group of teens living on the streets of New York City. Facing hunger, lack of shelter, abuse, drugs and more, the teens find themself struggling to make it from one day to the next. Unfortunately some don't win the fight. It's a gripping tale that will haunt you!
"It talks about real life issues. From homelessness to dying to getting lucky (and finding a safe place to call home) it teaches lessons and facts about the real world. Reviewed by Nick, Hemphill Teen Reviewer!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
In an interesting plot twist, Death himself narrates this WWII story of young Liesel Meminger, who lives in Nazi Germany. After her parents are arrested and taken away. Liesel goes to live with her foster parents, who live on the outskirts of Munich. Amidst all the suffering and sadness, Liesel meets a very interesting assortment of people, and is taught how to read by her foster dad after she steals the book "The Grave Digger's Handbook."
I guess, for me, having Death dispassionately narrate a tale certainly certainly adds a twist to the story. And it opens interesting insight (though it is fiction) into what it must have been like living in Germany during this dreadful time.
"Took me a LONG time to get interested. In fact, I don't think I ever was." Reviewed by Madeline.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
15 year old Wendy is in for a surprise when she breaks her glasses and rescues a pair of perscription sunglasses that fit her perfectly. Suddenly she can see that some of the people around her aren't who they pretend to be. A mildly geeky boy turns into a rather good looking prince with elven ears; another girl turns out to be a very old crone! The glasses are indeed special - they let Wendy see the real AND the magical world. And when Wendy finds a magical door that leaps her back in time to when her grandmother was a teenager things really begin to get exciting as other magical creatures turn up to steal the glasses away from her! ~ Reviewed by Robbie:-)
"Creative, but not very interesting. The climax lasted for about 2 seconds." Reviewed by Madeline!
Friday, February 13, 2009
This wonderful 250 year account of a African American family's strugge for freedom begins with the kidnapping of young Muhammad Bilal in African, and his journey to America. Starting with insights into of his life, and then told through successive generations of his family, Glory Field tells the story of the Lewis family's strugge against slavery and oppression. It ends in the late 20th century with a large family reunion, held at the former plantation (called the "Glory Field) where Muhammad once lived. It's a captivating story - though at 400 pages long it's not the faint of heart! ~ Reviewed by Robbie:-)
"This was a good book because it showed black history through a fictional family" ~ Reviewed by Sha-Reh, Hemphill Branch Teen Reader!
"This book was informational as well as entertaining. I thought it was really good!" ~ Reviewed by Tara, Hemphill Branch Teen Reader!
Monday, February 9, 2009
Life was crazy enough for 14 year old Rachel, until the day her divorced Mom broke the news that her little sister Miri was a witch. And no, not the “you're-a-pain-in-the-butt-and-your-driving-me-crazy!” kind of sister, but a real 100% magic using witch! And so was her mom (though she had hid it all these years)! Now it’s going to take Miri one year to be trained by their mom, which gives Rachael plenty of time to think up ways to use her sister’s new power to benefit herself! ~ Reviewed by Robbie!
"This story has good plot, but the characters aren't well-developed. There is too much background info on the main characters, and not enough on the others" Reviewed by Adrienne, Hemphill Branch Teen Reader!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
There are many ways to feel good without using drugs! That’s the message Alex Packer brings to us in his book of fun ways to relieve stress and feel great! I bet you can already guess some of them. Get enough sleep every night, eat food that recharges your body’s energy, put sadness in its place, do deep breathing exercises – these are basic ones we already know. But Packer goes several steps further! Try skateboarding or self-hypnosis, take a hike, enjoy a warm bath, seek out a truly quiet place to relax, take 20 minutes every day to write down your thoughts, lay off the caffeinated drinks, and much more! In all Packer has come up with over 150 ways you can make yourself feel better. Not all are my idea of fun (like staring at a friend's face until you can see a “double image” of it), but I thought most of them were easy to do & sure to help me feel good! ~ Reviewed by Robbie:-)
Friday, January 16, 2009
"The novel . . . takes place in the dark city of Ember, a decaying place with no natural light surrounded by the vast Unknown. Although ancestors had arranged for information on leaving Ember to be made available after the inhabitants have spent 200 years there, a corrupt mayor lost the information many years before the novel begins. Two hundred and forty-one years later, Ember's electrical lighting frequently fails, supplies are dwindling, and the populace is growing increasingly frightened. Twelve-year-old Doon and his acquaintance Lina are intent on finding a way to save Ember. After Lina finds a mysterious and fragmented paper titled "Instructions for Egress," they think they have a way out. Can they escape from the villainous mayor and his soldiers?" Reviewed by School Library Journal.
"It was a well written book (with) great characters and a cool way of showing you a new world!" Reviewed by Asha, Homeschooled
"All kids in ember have to start work at age 12. The mayor comes to the class's last day of school forever and the students draw their job, written on a piece of paper, out of a sack. They work at that job for 3 years, and after that, if they did it well, they stay at it. I don't know what happens if they fail, it never happened in the book." Reviewed by Shaina
Monday, January 12, 2009
"This story is interesting because it shows two peculiar things. First it's an example of the phenomenon of remarkably similar stories being told in seemingly unrelated regions (of the world). For example, here we have a story amazingly similar in detail to the European story of Snow White, but from a completely different county - in this case North Africa."
"The second ( pecular thing) is that the heroine in the story . . . yields highly from Middle Eastern sources. The heroine is not only the center of the story, but is a militant character both matching wits and swords with her male contemporaries. This shows that even in repressive countries women have left their mark on legends and culture around the world." Reviewed by an anonymous teen, who dropped his review by the Central Library a few days ago. Thank you!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
"This book is terrific "because . . . I don't know. It's just something about Sarah Dessen's books that make me want to keep reading them! I read most of her books and "Just Listen" is my absolute favorite!" Reviewed by Asha, Homeschooled."
"This is young adult fiction at its best, delving into the minds of complex, believable teens, bringing them to life, and making readers want to know more about them with each turn of the page." Roxanne Myers Spencer ~ School Library Journal
Monday, January 5, 2009
"I give this book five stars! It is very descriptive and (that) makes the story much easier to understand. It it is heartwarming and very suspensful. I love it! Reviewed by Chris Marie, from Brown Summit Middle School!
"Extremely well researched, Anderson's novel paints a vivid picture of the seedy waterfront, the devastation the disease (Yellow Fever epidemic) wreaks on a once thriving city, and the bitterness of neighbor toward neighbor as those suspected of infection are physically cast aside." ~ Publishers Weekly
"This is a book about how the Greek gods are still real, and how they still make half-god and half-mortal heroes. It is set in modern times though. It blended the ancient Greek gods with modern time (ones) seemlessly." Reviewed by Terrance, Brown Summit Middle School!