Thursday, April 17, 2014

Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd

Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic DesignGo: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, Chip Kidd has written, designed, and illustrated the BEST book for graphic design for kids; I recommend everyone read this book----they will love it. What did I learn? I had no idea Chip Kidd was involved in sooo many books, book covers (like Jurassic Park and all the covers on pages 10-12, 68-69, p. 112-115). In each of the six chapters, Kidd goes into detail about What is Graphic Design?, Form, Typography, Content, Concept and 10 Design Projects. I really liked the Chapter 4 Concept on Illusion (p. 109) where Kidd, G. Spear and Augusten Burroughs "goofed on the title, Side Effects, by addig a sixth finger to the hand (mine)." I loved how Chip Kidd shared what the title of this book Go means, p. 117. I think it would be fun for kids to jump in and try the 10 design projects and post it on gothebook.com
Loved this book!!!

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Saints by Gene Luen Yang

Saints (Boxers & Saints, #2)Saints by Gene Luen Yang
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this as part of the 2014 Hub Challenge, and I enjoyed Four Girl (Vibiana) as much as I enjoyed Bao. She was a strong character because she had to be in her family. Four Girl seeks help and strength from Joan of Arc and Dr. Won and his wife and Father Bey as she converts to Christianity. As a Christian, Vibiana cares for children in the orphanage and begins to prepare to fight like Joan in order to fight against those who do not support Christianity. Like Bao in Boxers, will Vibiana survive?

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Boxers by Gene Luen Yang

Boxers (Boxers & Saints, #1)Boxers by Gene Luen Yang
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this as part of the 2014 Hub Challenge and what a great graphic novel exploring the China of 1898 when the peasants were besieged by the foreign missionaries and soldiers. It was wonderful to see Bao's love of life, the gods and their involvement in his daily life and culture. My favorite character had to be Red Lantern; he had an impressive air about him that helped Bao mature and lead The Big Sword Society which later becomes The Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fist. But Bao as he succeeds he continues to have doubts and conflicts with his mission. What will his future hold?

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We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

We Are the GoldensWe Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children’s for this wonderful, sorrowful look at how quickly two sisters lives will be challenged when one has a secret. Nell is beginning her freshman year in high school and she can’t wait. Her much loved older sister is now a junior, and Nell follows in her footsteps making the soccer team and reveling in her older sister’s glow. Nell tells We Are the Goldens in her voice like she is confiding to her sister, or writing her a long, long letter to be read later; then Layla will really understand all that Nell has been thinking and feeling about her older sister’s distance and silences. Thankfully, Nell is a strong, likable girl with a best friend in Felix de la Cruz with whom she shares “most” of her life ups and downs. It is early on in the school year when Layla doesn’t go to parties (like she used to) and has Nell take part in her lies providing the tension, misgivings, and sadness throughout Nell’s days and nights. When it is revealed that her beautiful older sister is involved with the young, handsome art teacher, Mr. B, Nell really begins to struggle with her loyalty to her sister and this relationship that means the world to Layla. Even though their parents are divorced, Nell and Layla spend time with both parents and their parents are supportive and involved with their daughters. It is when Layla wiggles out of a time honored trip with their mom and grandmother due to “homework” that Nell really has a problem with her sister’s decisions, feelings for Mr. B, and swearing Nell to secrecy about their relationship. I ached for Nell and the loss of her sister’s support and friendship. As the book unfolds and Nell wrestles with loyalty to Layla or exposing her sister, the tension becomes many layered. Nell wants to be Nellaya (one with Layla) with her sister again; what will she do to make their bond whole again? For a riveting, true read, We Are the Goldens provides a commentary on what it means to be loyal to family, sisters, and secrets. I love Dana Reinhart’s books and this is another one of my favorites.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Scowler by Daniel Kraus

ScowlerScowler by Daniel Kraus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow, there is something so twisted but absorbing in Daniel Kraus' books. I still think about Rotters and last night I couldn't get back to sleep thinking about Ry, his mom, and little sister, Sarah as Marvin Burke (dad and father) terrorizes his family after escaping from prison. But that is just one small part of this horror story extraordinaire. A meteorite has landed in their yard and Ry needs to call upon his three childhood toys to help him save his family from the sick, twisted, maniac that is his father. I couldn't stop checking the cover as I read the book and the title, Scowler, is Ry's bloodthirsty toy (his doctor says Scowler is really his father)and he is an unbelievable adversary for Ry while the other 2 toys, Mr. Furrington and Jesus Christ are much more normal, caring, and likable. I read this as part of The Hub Challenge and boy am I glad I did, I just didn't like the crazy, scary thoughts keeping me awake:)

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No Place by Todd Strasser

No PlaceNo Place by Todd Strasser
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Todd Strasser's book are awesome and No Place will resonate with teens who have unending horrendous daily problems due to parents losing their jobs and then their homes. I really liked Dan who begins the book as a popular jock dating the most popular girl, playing baseball and thinking about college plans. Pretty quickly Dan's life spirals out of control when his parents who have been unemployed for 5 years inform him they have lost their home and are moving into Dignityville. Dignityville is a tent city that houses many who are struggling with homelessness and unemployment. There are residents in the town who see this tent city as a blight on their neighborhood and want it gone permanently. Dan is a solid teen who wants to get a scholarship to college and now finds himself embarrassed and increasingly angry. His life with his parents has always been loving but deep inside, Dan begins to wonder why they have not found jobs and are they really trying hard to find employment? It is a difficult journey for Dan but he has supporters and people like Aubrey, Meg, and Noah who help him keep his perspective and build a future that he can hopefully attain. Another ripped from the headlines books that will really speak to teens and parents.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Torn Away by Jennifer Brown

Torn AwayTorn Away by Jennifer Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and LittleBrown Books for Young Readers! What a riveting and engrossing book about family, finding yourself, and daring to believe after a tornado rips your life apart. Jennifer Brown’s description of the tornado as it affects Jersey Cameron’s life is so riveting. Jersey is a teen who unequivocally loves her mom, tolerates her stepfather, and finds her little sister very annoying. But all that changes when a tornado takes away her home, her mother, and little sister. As Jersey tries to understand why her mother is gone and her little sister, Marin, will never bug her to dance the East Coast Swing together ever again, her stepfather sends her to live with her father, Clay’s family, where she is unwelcome, taunted, and lives on the back porch. What crushes her even more is that Jersey is beginning to learn things about her mother; things she never told her, and things she kept from her. When she can no longer tolerate Clay’s family, she runs. Imagine her surprise when she learns her mother’s parents exist and bring Jersey to live with them. How will Jersey make this transition? Jennifer Brown does a great job building the tension, anger, and abandonment that Jersey constantly feels and while you root for Jersey building a lasting relationship with Grandpa Barry and Grandma Patty; it is the way Jersey hangs tough and does not give up on her hopes that will bring tears to your eyes and a warm place in your heart for her wonderful, simple, loving grandparents.

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