Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Secret Life of Sonia Rodriguez, by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

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

Milkweed, by Jerry Spinelli

Set during WWII in the heart of Poland's war torn Warsaw ghettos, a young boy struggles to survive. He steals to put food in his stomach. He does not even know his own name. He is terribly alone, with no family to watch over him, until someone takes pity on him, and helps him join a gang of gypsy children who are trying to survive the horrors of the Holocaust. ~ Robbie
" I give Milkweed five stars because whatever event or problem happened at the beginning there was another part to it at the end. The story was like a puzzle throughout. Reviewed by Haejin!

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

The Road of Memphis, by Mildred Taylor

"Mildred Taylor did a good job concentrating on the main events & staying focused. I also liked the part when she said "We never saw Jeremy Simms again" because that told me he died during or after the war. But I wanted to see more confessions on how the Logan's family was wrong about him betraying them at the end. He was a friend!" Reviewed by Haejin

Cassie must confront racism in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1941 where she lives and attends high school. Her friend Moe is attacked and, to save himself, terribly hurts one of his attackers. Faced with mounting hatred in the community, Moe must flee town, aided by Cassie and his friends.

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

Envious Casca, by Georgette Heyer

"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 Rachel

Nathaniel Herriad, owner of a large estate, is murdered in a locked room at Christmas, and his six guests are the prime suspects!