Sophie is not happy to be back in the Congo for the summer, but when she rescues an abused baby bonobo she becomes more involved in her mother’s sanctuary–and when fighting breaks out and the sanctuary is attacked, it is up to Sophie to rescue the apes and somehow survive in the jungle.
I did like this book, I learned more about the conflicts that happen in African countries, as well as more about bonobos and their societies than I had known before. Any reader interested in animal conservation will be sure to enjoy this one. I wasn’t quite sure that a young girl making her way across hostile territory would have made it as unscathed as Sophie did would happen in reality, but it makes it a story appropriate for young readers. Highly recommendable.
After an injury ends former star pitcher Peter Friedman’s athletic dreams, he concentrates on photography which leads him to a girlfriend, new fame as a high school sports photographer, and a deeper relationship with the beloved grandfather who, when he realizes he’s becoming senile, gives Pete all of his professional camera gear.
This is a great cautionary tale told in a way to appeal to kids in 5th grade on up. Pete thinks he can wait until the end of the season to tell his parents about his elbow. He thinks if he tells his best friend the truth about his never playing ball again, that he will lose his best friend. He thinks that if he tells his parents about his grandfather’s troubles, that his grandfather might not trust him. What Pete learns in the end, as well as his parents, that talking to your friends and families about issues and troubles could prevent a lot of heartache in the future. He also learned that love transcends it all. Highly recommendable book.
Tom, a fourteen-year-old genius at virtual reality games, is recruited by the United States military to begin training at the Pentagon Spire as a combatant in World War III, controlling the mechanized drones that do the actual fighting off-planet.
In this futuristic view, the world is controlled by conglomerates and wars are fought in space through virtual reality game playing teens. I like science fiction and the thought that businesses could completely control our world seems more of a reality when you look at what happens in politics today. The thought that war could be fought in space with no loss of life and destruction of the planet is really appealing but definitely fictional. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to explore science fiction as it doesn’t really dive too deeply into technical terminology or seem too futuristic to be believable.
Eighteen-year-old Lena Mattacascar sets out for Scree, a weird place inhabited by Peculiars, seeking the father who left when she was young, but on the way she meets young librarian Jimson Quiggley and handsome marshall Thomas Saltre, who complicate her plans.
If you like steampunk you’ll probably enjoy this story, it’s got those unusual characters we come to expect and it’s setting is historical but in another land not in our reality. Lena journeys for Scree to find out whether or not she is really a Peculiar by finding her father. It was enjoyable enough to read, but I’m not quite sure I enjoyed parts of the book that seemed to lurch through the telling.
Seattle P.I. J. P. Beaumont uncovers a crime that has a devastating effect on two troubled teens and becomes even more of a firestorm when it reaches into the halls of state government.
This was my ‘adult’ read of the month and my get-away book. Not as quick as the teen and childrens books I’ve been reading, but a refreshing change. Another good book by Jance, I love her characters and getting lost in the story, wherever it takes me. If you like her books, then you’ll like this one.
When the difficult star of the reality television show “Expedition Survival” disappears while filming an episode in the Florida Everglades using animals from the wildlife refuge run by Wahoo Crane’s family, Wahoo and classmate Tuna Gordon set out to find him while avoiding Tuna’s gun-happy father.
While not exactly a survival in the Everglades story, Hiaasen once again focuses on animal conservation, in his own way. I really enjoyed the story, it had a bit of excitement, a bit of suspense, a little bit of boy meets girl and reality tv. This story made me laugh and I would recommend it to all of my students.
Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible in her family, where grumpy eighteen-year-old Sarah is working at the family restaurant, fourteen-year-old Holden is struggling with school bullies and his emerging homosexuality, and adorable, three-year-old Charlie is always the center of attention, and when tragedy strikes, the fragile bond holding the family together is stretched almost to the breaking point.
If you have students who like to read books that will make them cry, then this is the book for them. It takes the family a while to learn to lean on each other after tragedy strikes them and even I kept looking for signs that it hadn’t really happened. A very good, quick read, unless you don’t like sad stories.
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.
You start out by understanding why Auggie’s parents kept him at home, to applauding his decision to immerse himself in a place that he knows will probably not end well, to cheering him on as he slowly gets those around him to look beyond the surface to the person beneath. This is a book I would recommend to all my students, especially the ones who tend not to be so empathetic to others.
After undergoing gastric-bypass surgery, a self-loathing, obese teenaged girl loses weight and makes the brave decision to start participating in high school life, including pursuing her dream of becoming a singer and finding love.
Ever is 15 and fat, not that she has always been overweight, but now she lets it rule her life. Her mother has died, her father remarries and although her stepmother tries to befriend her, Ever imagines that she could never find anything about her stepmother and stepsisters that would make them comfortable with each other. In order to make her father happy, or so she imagines, she undergoes surgery and not only does she lose weight, but she gains more than she ever imagined she could. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone, skinny or not.
Fifteen-year-old Fitzgerald—Fitz, to his friends—has just learned that his father, whom he’s never met, who supports him but is not a part of his life, is living nearby. Fitz begins to follow him, watch him, study him, and on an otherwise ordinary May morning, he executes a plan to force his father, at gunpoint, to be with him.
This is a very quick read, fast-paced as the story takes place during the course of one day in the life of Fitz. I can see the appeal to boys for this story, although girls could learn something by reading it. Fitz learns that one side of the story and his imaginings of his father’s motives don’t even come close to the truth. Anyone reading this should learn that there are always 2 sides to a story and to take time to think before acting upon impulses.
Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protegé of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold.
The book was enjoyable, teen has a deeply buried power that she doesn’t realize she has. She is the only one who can save her country but can she overcome the evil guy trying to enslave her power for herself while learning she is really in love with her best friend? A different twist to the normal teen angst line, a little predictable, but teens will most likely love it if they enjoy this genre.
Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student in a Prague boarding school, carries a sketchbook of hideous, frightening monsters–the chimaerae who form the only family she has ever known.
This was a type of tale I had not seen before, the stories of chimaerae and angels. It’s a love story, is she human or monster and how does she feel about the truth when she finds it? I may or may not want to read any follow-up books, but I did enjoy this one.
Kate, Michael, and Emma have passed from one orphanage to another in the ten years since their parents disappeared to protect them, but now they learn that they have special powers, a prophesied quest to find a magical book, and a fearsome enemy.
This may be a series I read just to see how the next 2 atlases are found. I liked this book, see the appeal for young readers, it’s got a little magic, a little mystery, a little time travel. It is being called a new Narnia for tweens, and that seems accurate enough, with just a bit of Harry Potter tossed in. I want to discover the identity of the mastermind behind it all.
When two Florida teenagers become stranded on a tiny island in the Everglades, they attempt to walk ten miles through swampland to reach civilization.
Of the books of hers that I have read, I enjoyed this one the most. I liked being able to see exactly what it would be like to have to endure that trek, it was so real. And the little twist at the end made it worth the read, it makes you go back and think if there were any tells at all to it during the story. Although I did wonder why they didn’t even talk about getting the airboat out of the water!
In a society that purges thirteen-year-olds who are creative, identical twins Aaron and Alex are separated, one to attend University while the other, supposedly Eliminated, finds himself in a wondrous place where youths hone their abilities and learn magic.
Someone touts it as “Hunger Games meets Harry Potter” on the cover, not really, in my opinion. Yes, it has a magic element, a kindly, older mentor, and several sneaky boys. Yes, there is a point where children are weeded out of their society and sent to what they think is their death. However, I didn’t really find it to be a meshing of the two stories. Another book that I don’t think I want to read the sequel to, it was a fine story, but beyond that, it doesn’t really pique my interest. Kids may find it very fascinating, though.
After the death of Polly Portman, whose award-winning pies put the town of Ipswitch, Pennsylvania, on the map in the 1950s, her devoted niece Alice and Alice’s friend Charlie investigate who is going to extremes to find Aunt Polly’s secret pie crust recipe. Includes fourteen pie recipes.
A cute little mystery, a good book to get started on the genre if you’re young. I did enjoy reading it, even if I did have the culprit figured out fairly early! And I’ve got to admit that I want to try some of those recipes, they looked scrumptious.
When madness stalks the streets of London, no one is safe…
There’s a creepy new terror haunting modern-day London.
Fresh from defeating a Jack the Ripper killer, Rory must put her new-found hunting skills to the test before all hell breaks loose…
But enemies are not always who you expect them to be and crazy times call for crazy solutions. A thrilling teen mystery.
The second in the Shades of London series, I found I enjoyed this one as much as the first. I wasn’t happy that they killed off a major character, just as Rory was finding him, but I’m sure the author has some sort of ghost love storyline in mind for the future. A good read, even if you aren’t a teen.
In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations, fifteen-year-olds Day, a famous criminal, and prodigy June, the brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy.
If you liked Hunger Games, you may enjoy this book. What interests me is finding out what created the split in the nation, which is not really addressed in this book, hopefully in a future book. I think the mystery of who, what and why are done very well and just enough is answered to create the need to read more.
To everyone at Meridian High School, fourteen-year-old Michael Vey is nothing special, just the kid who has Tourette’s syndrome. But in truth, Michael is extremely special–he has electric powers. Michael thinks he is unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor has the same mysterious powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up with their abilities, and their investigation soon brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric teens–and through them, the world.
Another teen angst but this time with super powers book. I enjoyed it but don’t know that I will read any of the sequels. Isn’t this what we all would wish for, if we are the student who is bullied every day at school, to have a secret super power? In this case, a few teens that have acquired electrical powers, of different scope, who can either take over the world or become it’s savior. Teens will enjoy the fantasy involved but as I said, I doubt I’ll read the sequel.
Twelve-year-old Raine spends the summer at a mysterious artists colony and discovers a secret about her past.
I really think that this is going to be my favorite Mark Twain nominee. The characters were all so real and the storyline rolled out at a nice pace. Sometimes authors try to stuff things into their stories as they are reaching the end so it feels too rushed. I thought that Raine’s personality as an only child trying to deal with all the upheaval was well done, she is a very grounded character, not flighty like some authors might make their characters when dealing with similar plots. Very well done.