What a wonderful read! Fast paced, emotionally gripping. A love story – Not a romance. I’m going to have to devour everything else Rainbow Rowell has written.
This charming little book is a three-way collaboration amongst artist Maira Kalman, writer Daniel Handler and the Museum of Modern Art. The theme is, obviously, “girls standing on lawns” and is illustrated by Handler’s poetic interludes, Kalman’s paintings and photographs of girls who are, quite literally, standing on lawns. Just about everyone who grew up in a household with a camera has one or more pictures of themselves in just such a setting. I know that I personally have many pictures of myself standing on a lawn (first days of school, school dances, etc.), as do my mother and her mother. These particular photos are all from a more distant past, largely the ’30s-’50s. Kalman’s paintings are her own take on some of the photos (the originals of which appear in the back of the book).
A very fast read, Girls Standing on Lawns is an interesting experiment in form. The short vignettes of text evoke a sense of potentiality for the girls in the photos. These girls are going somewhere, preparing for something – just as any of us would have been in our pictures. We don’t know who the girls are or where they’re from, but these snapshots into their lives reveal intriguing bits of personality and remind us of ourselves. Notes from the collaborators and credits for the artwork follow the main text.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future – and each other.
Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.
Paige Rawl is a courageous young lady who is positive for HIV. She was born with HIV and took meds everyday since she was three, but didn’t know of her diagnosis until she was in the 6th grade. This memoir is deeply moving about how ignorance can breed hatred and bullying situations that are completely uncalled for. Many of her “friends” turned on her after finding out about her HIV status, and this sent her on a roller coaster of despair as she tried to cope emotionally while acting like everything was ok. This goes to show you that even a positive, optimistic person can be devastated by bullies and overcome the worst. This is a must read.
This is really Lirael part II. The previous book in the trilogy ended on a cliffhanger. Sabriel and Touchstone walked into the trap laid for them. Now only Lirael and Sameth can save the kingdom. I am very glad I finished this series. Though it did drag a bit, (and I don’t like set-back, after setback) it contained some really great parts, I even cried at the end. I look forward to the next title in the series, I believe Garth Nix is doing a sequel to the trilogy.
This is the 2nd book in the Sabriel trilogy. It picks up 14 years after Sabriel killed Kerigor and takes the viewpoints of Sabriel’s son, Prince Sameth, the Abhorsen-in-waiting, and of Lirael a daugher of the Clayr who are able to see into the future. We meet Lirael at age 14 long after most Clayr have obtained the “Sight”, who has given up hope that she will ever become a ‘normal’ Farseer, like the rest of her community. Lirael eventually becomes a librarian (and what a kick-butt occupation this is in this world), and has adventurous encounters in the library with her newly acquired magical companion “the Disreputable Dog”. At the same time Prince Sameth tries to study the Book of the Dead in order to master the bells, to help his mother and eventually to become the Abhorsen. However, he experiences panic attacks when he tries to interact with the book. Eventually the 2 characters cross paths. Their interactions are delightful. Some of the surprises were easy to foresee, but I found this a very enjoyable read. Beware,it ends on a cliffhanger.
In this first book of the series, we get the viewpoint of AuRon, the clutchwinner (male dragon hatchling who wins the fight after the male eggs hatch). AuRon is a grey dragon, and unusual because he lacks scales. This is his tale from the eggshelf, the death of his parents, his capture by humans, dwarves, elves, his escape, then journey across the mountains, his tenure/apprenticeship with NooMoahk one of oldest surviving dragons, and AuRon’s revenge on the human’s who are enslaving dragons and wiping out the other species of hominids. This is a fast moving tale with adventure, battles, skirmishes, and an extended apprenticeship with the great black Dragon NooMoahk (I find I usually really enjoy these periods of scholarship in fantasy books). I enjoyed learning more background about this dragon family. I also really liked how the author depicted weaknesses that could be turned into strengths (AuRon’s lack of scales). I also enjoyed being introduced to character’s early on in the book, and then meeting them in their changed (mostly for the better) adult forms later on.
What happens when a goddess is banished to earth by Zeus? Does she still have her powers? Or will she be on her own to complete her tasks at hand? True (Eros) was banished to earth and has to match 3 couples before she can be restored to the heavens. This wouldn’t be so bad, except, the love of her life has been sent down, too. And Orion has no recollection of who she is. This fantasy book was pretty good. I enjoyed the references to the different gods and goddesses and how they could effect True’s mission.
Overweight teen Cat takes on a high school science project where she takes up the diet and physical habits of hominins. In the process she loses lots of weight, dates a number of guys, and tries to recover from an old emotional injury.
Adolf Eichmann was a Nazi commander in charge of emptying Europe of its Jews. He commanded the transportation of Jews from their homes to the ghettos to the camps and to their extermination. He was an essential part of the Final Solution to the Jewish Problem. At the end of WWII, he escaped Germany and ended up in Buenos Ares, Argentina. He lived there in freedom for 15 years before he was identified by a local girl and her Jewish father. Israel was contacted and soon a team of Mossad agents where in Buenos Ares with a plan to capture Eichmann and bring him back to Israel to stand trial. This is their story. It is a compelling story of how the Israelis tracked down Eichmann, confirmed his identity, captured him, and secreted him out of Argentina. The trial of Adolf Eichmann brought the story of the Holocaust into the public consciousness. Survivors were able to tell their stories and the world was ready to listen. This trial was a turning point in the story of the Jews. It is a powerful story and one I hadn’t heard before. Definitely worth the read.
I loved this book! If you liked Replay by Ken Grimwood, or the Time Traveler’s Wife by Niffenegger, or Singing the Dog Star Blues by Allison Goodman or even the movie Groundhogs Day, you need to read this book. Protagonist Samatha Kingston, part of the popular and MEAN girls at her highschool repeatedly lives through an eventful Friday trying to get it right. You see her grow from a shallow, rationalizing unlikeable character to a deeper person, who comprehends what it means to live life well. I so wish they’d make a movie from this book. I could read this book a couple of times.
Alice is not an innocent teenage girl, but she’s not a killer. This book explores bullying from the viewpoint of the bullies, friends or ex-friends of the victim, and eventually, the Alice herself. I like how the author doesn’t give you all of the information upfront. You have to piece together what really happened the night of Brandon’s death from the snippets of info given by the other characters. It was a pretty typical teen flick, but I enjoyed it anyway!
This is the sequel to “The Battle of Jericho” that fills you in on Josh’s girlfriend, November, after he’s gone. Within a couple of months of Josh’s passing, November finds out that she is pregnant. All of her friends rally around her to support her, but her Mom’s disappointment is almost too hard to bear. Jericho (Josh’s cousin) feels like he is responsible to help November through this but he is still aching over Josh, too. Complications and ugly high school life make this very believable and heart wrenching. November has to find the courage to do what is right by the baby, regardless of what others think. This was a good book, but I enjoyed the first one more.
Jericho has a chance to pledge with the Warriors of Distinction, a club in his school that seems to have it all going on. The pledges are told all or none so they have to stick together through pledge week through all types of challenges to prove themselves worthy of the group. At what point do the challenges cross the line? Should Jericho and his friends stick together and endure the worst? Or band together to stand up for what is right?
This book was very intense at times when the kids were pledging. I was disgusted by what they were asked to do and wondered how this type of hazing could ever be allowed. Obviously, the adults didn’t know the full extent of what was going to transpire that week. This was a powerful book that serves as a reminder to always listen to that little voice in your head that tells you if something doesn’t feel right…or if you need to get the heck out of a situation. It was well told, but predictable.
The Freedom Summer Murders covers the 1964 murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner in Mississippi. The book really brings the crime and its impact to life. There is a lot of information packed into this book, but it is all stuff the reader needs to know. However, I do think it might be a little too much for some younger readers. The book first describes the murder, then introduces the three men, then details the aftermath and the trials that resulted from the murders. I did find the narration a little choppy and wished we had been introduced to James, Andrew and Mickey before we learned about their murder. I especially enjoyed the aftermath section which talked about the difficulty in getting information out of the Neshoba County residents and how much resistance there was to prosecuting the men who murdered the civil rights activists. It is strange to me to think this happened just 50 years ago. It was definitely a dark time in our history.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.
This was a fascinating look at the connections between football and concussions. The first thing you read about in the book is the history of the sport of football. One of the things I found most interesting was the fact that conversations about the dangers of concussions with football players started at the beginning of this game. Football has always been a dangerous sport and it started out even more dangerous than it is today. I knew players didn’t start out with the padding and helmets of today. What I didn’t realize was that they started out with no padding or helmets and that it was a fairly common occurrence for players to die. From the time football started in the 1890s to when it was reformed in the 1900s it seems between 10-20 players died each year as a result of injuries sustained playing football. The fact that the game persists to this day is astounding!
The other thing I found really interesting was the fact that brain injuries are so very common among all ages of football players. The book gets into the science pretty heavily which I think will go over some kids heads, but they will understand the injuries and deaths that football players have sustained. Concussions and football have been in the news a lot lately, but the connection actually started in the 1980s. Repeated concussions and repeated blows to the head without concussion have resulted in dementia, ALS, Alzheimers, and death among football players. And it isn’t just the professional players that have to worry about it. Brain damage has even been found in high school and college football players. The fact that we let our boys start playing at a very early age and then have them continue into their teens means they are likely to get hit thousands of times. This means there is a greater chance they will sustain brain damage or injuries. I’m glad I never played football, but I worry about those who have and will.
Can I just say how much I love Rookie? Loooove it. And it makes me really happy that a good deal of the online-only magazine is being published in these “Yearbook” editions. The format is identical to the first Yearbook, but the depth and breadth of the subject matter is fresh and relevant. Rookie tackles things that most other teen magazines wouldn’t dare to. Faith, sexuality, art, music and activism are all given equal weight and credibility. The fashion spreads are moody and creative (and refreshing free from brand names and prices; something I’ve always found particularly irritating about most magazines). Themed playlists and colorful art abounds throughout. There’s not a single teenaged girl I wouldn’t recommend this to. In fact, I think most adults should check it out too. I know I learned a thing or two. And boys? If you want to understand girls a little bit more, consider this a really good starting point.
This was a haunting book that will keep you guessing until the very end. A family of three (mom, dad, and Ellie) are in a terrible car wreck on their way to their new home and one of them doesn’t survive. How would you cope if one of your parents died? Ellie’s mind is a beautiful and terrible thing. I would love to tell you more, but you have to read it for yourself. It will touch your heart and leave its mark on you forever.