Sunday, May 3, 2015

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Through the WoodsThrough the Woods by Emily Carroll
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read Through the Woods by Emily Carroll as part of The 2015 Hub Reading Challenge, Quick Pics, Great Graphic Novels. The color illustrations were awesome, creepy, and perfect (with a red, black and white motif) for five eerily haunting tales; Our Neighbor's House, A Lady's Cold Hands, His Face All Red, My Friend Janna, and The Nesting Place are all so scary! If you love horror stories, this collection is for you!

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkowski

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Marie Rutkowski's worlds of Valoria and Herran are breathtaking, powerful, and full of a hateful history of conquering and enslaving the Herrani as slaves. Kestrel is the obstinate, defiant daughter of the most powerful general who pressures her to marry or enlist. When Kestrel purchases a slave (on a dare) she sets into motion a series of earth shattering events. Will Kestrel dare to become enamored of this slave? I could not put this book down- the characters, setting, and plot are all richly drawn and I am jumping right into the 2nd book, The Winner's Crime!!! Highly recommended, especially if you like love, dalliances, adventure, and drama- this is the book (series)for you!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

In Real LifeIn Real Life by Cory Doctorow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this graphic novel as part of The 2015 Hub Challenge and Cory Doctorow's depiction of teens, online gaming, and Anda's awakening to the "reality" of Coarsegold Online. As an awkward teen, Anda is recruited in school to play this multiplayer online game. What results is Anda as a gamer under the tutelage of Sarge and the blurred lines of reality and gaming. I loved Jen Wang's illustrations and Anda's two lives as student and gamer. Teens will love this book about gaming, a must read.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Revolution by Deborah Wiles

RevolutionRevolution by Deborah Wiles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I listened to this amazing audiobook as part of the 2015 Hub Challenge and what I enjoyed most was the interspersed Sixties speeches, news stories with Sunny's story of civil rights workers coming to her town in Mississippi and getting blacks out to vote. Seeing it from her teen viewpoint was key- she did not know about racism and segregation other than what she hears (they are invaders) but Sunny learns so much more that summer as events unfold, friendships are made and broken, and families are mended. I will want to get the book to see the pictures, but I loved this audiobook!

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The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

The Boy in the Black SuitThe Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am definitely going to be reading anything Jason Reynolds writes!!! His diverse books speak to readers about life, love, and circumstances of teens in Bed-Stuy but Reynolds' words, characters, setting, and plot are all very special. Matt Miller is grieving the death of his mother and while he does not really have many friends; he has a very real sense of who he is. Working for Mr. Ray's funeral parlor helps him deal with the loss of his mother with each funeral he attend/works. I loved seeing the character of Matt Miller evolve with each turn of the page, a must read! We need more diverse books from Jason Reynolds!

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Top Ten Tuesday -Books featuring Genocide, Prostitution, Holocaust, Hunger, No Water, Slavery

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  For more information, or to join the fun yourself, check out their blog!
I am including Fiction and Nonfiction titles featuring Genocide, Prostitution, Holocaust, Hunger, No Water, and Slavery:
1- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind - Nonfiction - William Kamkwamba strives to want more through hunger, drought, poverty and twice having to stop school because his family did not have the fees.

2 - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - The Book Thief - Haunting Holocaust story by Markus Zusack

3.  Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray - Author Ruta Sepetys compellingly explores the genocide of Lithuanians in Russia.

4. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein - Rose Under Fire - Author Elizabeth Wein writes about WWII pilot Rose held prisoner in the Ravensbrück concentration camp.

5. My Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt My Book of Life by Angel Prostitution novel in verse by Martine Leavitt.

6. Sold Sold by Patricia McCormick- a girl from Nepal is sold into prostitution by her stepfather.

7. Trafficked by Kim Purcell Trafficked by Kim Purcell - a girl from Moldova is sold into slavery in the US.

8.  Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick Never Fall Down  Cambodian genocide through the eyes of Arn and Patricia McCormick

9.  The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu KamaraThe Bite of the Mango Nonfiction- Sierra Leone Civil War through one brave girl's eyes.

10. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park A Long Walk to Water Sudanese Civil War

11. Parched by Melanie  Crowder Parched Exhaustive, painful search for water is a must read.

12. Image result for slave and mende nazerSlave by Mende Nazer Nonfiction - kidnapped and sold into slavery.

13. Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein Black Dove, White Raven  Elizabeth Wein weaves a story of female pilots, Ethiopia, war and slavery.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds

When I Was the GreatestWhen I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jason Reynolds has written a diverse book all teens will want to read. I found this title on #weneeddiversebooks. This book is urban fiction (my students loved urban fiction!!!), involves a black teen with Tourette Syndrome, the toughness of neighborhood and family but also the closeness of community. Ali is a teen who becomes friends with brothers, Noodles & Needles when thyey move into his neighborhood. They hang out on the steps of their Bed-Stuy block but these 2 brothers lives are so much more gritty than Ali's. Ali has a tough, loving mother who works 2 jobs, an 11 year old sister wise beyond her years, and a father who seems to be absent. Ali has scruples and looks forward to his days with Noodles and Needles even calling them The Three Musketeers. But as time goes on, Ali begins to struggle with the way Noodles treats his brother, Needles. It all explodes one night, causing Ali to question if he can be friends with Noodles ever again. The writing is unflinching but also extols family, friendship, loyalty and honesty. I loved everything about this book and am definitely diving right into Jason Reynolds next book, The Boy in the Black Suit. Highly recommended.

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