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.
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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:-)